Most helpful critical review
229 of 240 people found the following review helpful
Hoover and Bissell side by side comparison
on April 16, 2006
After owning Hoovers, I recently tried this model. I have been generally happy with my last two Hoover carpet cleaners and they have been durable for me. I used both TONS -- the 1st one was a very early model that was still going strong after 5 or 6 years of hard use, and I replaced it with one that had rotating brushes. It also got years of use but I accidentally damaged it thru my negligence. (Used it in an unheated cabin, left it overnight, and it got well below freezing - I broke the spray trigger when I impatiently tried to use it.) My last one still worked if you pushed the surge button and then pried it up again, but I decided to get a new one.
I purchased the Hoover 914-900, but it leaked before even starting to use it, so I returned it and bought a Bissell Proheat 2x. I liked that it seemed easier to clean the machine than the Hoovers, and that it had a rinse option, although not conveniently located. I noticed immediately with first use that it wasn't as good as even my old (trigger broken) Hoover. The Bissell didn't extract water well at all, even though I went over and over an area trying to get the water up. It was obvious by looking that it also didn't clean as well (probably as a result of leaving dirty water still in the carpets.) If it'd been my first carpet cleaner I might have thought it great since it did get dirt out, but I knew they didn't look as clean as in the past and mostly they were WET. The next day, before returning it I bought ANOTHER Hoover 914-900 thinking the first leaky one was an anomaly. The 2nd one leaked initially also, but once I used it for a minute, pressed and released the trigger a few times and the seals got wet, it stopped leaking. Thus I had two new cleaners to try side-by-side. Where I used the Bissell after the Hoover, there was no difference, the Bissell didn't get the carpet any cleaner. Where I used the Hoover on where I'd cleaned with the Bissell the night before -- a BIG difference. The carpet was visibly cleaner; (it's a very light carpet so it's easy to see that) the dirty water collected confirms that it picked up dirt the Bissell left behind; and the carpet was drier. This was a return to what I expected based on my last 2 Hoovers -- damp carpet, not WET carpet, and I think it's why the Hoover cleaned better. The Hoover isn't perfect -- the tanks need to be bigger for fewer trips to the sink (if too heavy for some people, they wouldn't have to fill as full), and there is no good way to clean it! I did like the idea behind the Bissell of having clean water with which to either mix with the detergent and spray, or to rinse with, and it would be a plus if Hoover would find a way to do that. (Especially if the "rinse" button was on the handle and easily accessible.) But Bissell's technique of inserting a plastic bladder for clean water inside the dirty water tank means neither holds much water which makes for extremely frequent trips to the sink. Also, having to stop, bend over, and switch a dial on the base to "rinse" and the same to switch back to cleaning mode was highly inconvenient. Last, Bissell's on-board water heater didn't seem to make a difference. Leaving behind too much dirty water was its downfall, it didn't matter that the water went in "heated." I used the hottest tap water I could in the Hoover and it worked just fine. The "proheat" seems to me to be just another unneeded gizmo that can break. Overall, I guess it depends on what's most important to you. For me, clean carpets that dry in a couple of hours trumped ease of cleaning the machine.