Bissell and Dyson have been mainstays in the residential vacuum cleaner industry for many years. They are consistently ranked among the most popular brands for consumers on an annual basis. One big similarity between these companies is their commitment to cordless technology, and improving the vacuums to the point where you can clean your whole house more efficiently than a larger corded offering. The ICONPet and V8 Animal both certainly fit in that category as each has the power, battery runtime, and tools to clean all types of floors. But which stick vacuum represents the best value for the money?
We will compare them in a variety of categories to help you answer that very question. Each will have pros and cons so the answer might come down to your specific cleaning needs. Before we put them head to head against each other here are the main features as well as general information about the Bissell and Dyson. This will help set some of the context for this cordless vacuum comparison.
Bissell ICONPet – Standard Features
The Bissell Icon Pet is a robust and powerful cordless vacuum that is purpose built for homes with one or more pets. It comes with a uniquely designed Tangle Free brush roll that solves one of the most frustrating problems when vacuuming up after your pet: hair wrapping around the brush. With the ICONPet you won’t have to cut and pull the tangled hair off the cleaner which is a much better experience! Other features include:
- High Performance Digital Motor will spin as fast as 420 MPH to provide powerful suction when deep cleaning carpets
- 22 Volt Lithium Ion Battery provides as much as 50 minutes of runtime depending on the power setting
- Smart Seal™ Allergen System is fully sealed to trap microscopic dust particles and keep them inside
- CleanSlide™ Empty System is engineered to quickly remove debris from the separator so it flows into the garbage with no effort on your part
- Specialized Pet Tools include a motorized turbo brush and crevice tool with LED lights that help you remove those messes that your animals leave behind
- Wall Mount Charging System allows you to hang the Icon Pet out of the way when you are done while simultaneously re-charging the battery
Dyson V8 Animal – Main Features and More
The Dyson V8 Animal is an ultra powerful stick cordless vacuum from one of the best known brands in the industry. The ‘Animal’ model is engineered more for those homes with pets so it compares well with the ICONPet. Dyson is always known for suction power and excellent filtration so you know the V8 won’t disappoint there. In fact, the digital motor spins upwards of 110,000 RPMs to really rocket the air through the internal channels. This is one of the main reasons you can deep clean carpets with it. Here is what you get with the Dyson V8:
- Sealed HEPA Filtration captures microscopic allergens and keeps them inside so the air is much cleaner (and healthier)
- 2 Tier Radial Cyclones are positioned inside (15 in all) to create strong centrifugal force as the air passes through
- 40 Minutes of Runtime is possible depending on the attachment and suction mode
- 2 Distinct Power Modes include MAX for stubborn spots and Powerful for longer cleaning sessions
- Direct Drive Cleaner Head is built to deep clean carpets as good as a much larger upright vacuum
- Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly via its’ ability to remove dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens
Quality filtration is always a consideration when looking at vacuum cleaners but that is especially true for those focused on pet hair. A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is defined to remove more than 99% of the smallest allergens like dust mites and dander from the air. This is especially important for those who suffer from indoor allergies or asthma so the air quality is better.
The Bissell ICONPet has fully sealed filtration that they call their Smart Seal™ Allergen System. A fully sealed system means that whatever is trapped in the filter or collection bin stays there with virtually no chance to escape out. This is a problem that plagued a lot of bagless vacuums of the past, where you could see the dust collect on the outside of the bin during emptying and use. Most modern vacuum cleaners have solved this to one degree or another. From what I can tell the ICONPet doesn’t sport the “HEPA” label but testing shows it traps the majority of microscopic organisms during use.
Dyson is always known for great filtration and the V8 Animal is no exception. It also comes with a fully sealed whole machine filtration system that is HEPA rated to trap over 99% of allergens. The filters are washable just like the Bissell but the Dyson filters are built to last the life of the machine. As long as you maintain them you will keep the suction power strong and won’t have to ever replace them. As far as comparing the effectiveness of the filters, both the Bissell and Dyson are excellent in this cordless category but the V8 Animal gets a slight edge in terms of longevity.
Battery technology is a very important consideration when you are looking at a new cordless vacuum that can clean your entire home. The ICONPet comes with a 22 volt lithium ion battery (Pro Version rated at 25 volts) which provides as much as 50 minutes of runtime depending on the power setting and attachment used. When vacuuming on the medium or standard setting you should have enough power to clean a standard sized home on a single charge. Plus the advantage of lithium ion is they provide fade-free power right up until the battery is drained.
The V8 Animal also comes with lithium ion technology to provide the power to the digital motor. The overall runtime on the Dyson is slightly less (about 40 minutes) which makes it more difficult to clean a larger home on one charge. Another downside to the V8 is the battery is not easily removable like some of the other popular brands (see Tineco and Shark) so you cannot purchase a spare to quickly swap out. But since the Bissell doesn’t offer this option either, the battery comparison is fairly even with both providing enough runtime to clean a normal sized home. You can also fully charge either vacuum in about 4 hours.
Suction power on a vacuum designed for pet hair is a pretty big consideration. You need to have enough of it to pull embedded dirt and dander out of the carpet fibers, and this requires more than what a traditional stick vacuum could muster. Fortunately, these two cordless offerings are powerhouses come equipped with motors that are more than capable of handling anything your pets leave behind.
The Bissell ICONPet comes with a digital motor capable of spinning 420 miles per hour. On the maximum setting this will translate to about 130 air watts, which compares favorably to most larger corded uprights. While you won’t use it on this setting for long it is obvious that the ICON Pet can pull dust mites and stubborn pet hair up from all surfaces. Even on the standard setting you will get impressive suction that can handle carpets almost as well as hard floors.
The Dyson V8 Animal also has a digital motor than can spin up to 110,000 RPMs to generate a lot of force at the cleaner head. The rating you get from the V8 is about 115 air watts on the MAX setting which is less than the Bissell. One feature that helps level the field is the 15 internal cyclones are specifically designed to direct the air through with such centrifugal force that it separates the dirt particles out. This keeps the filter clean while helping maintain a more sustained suction power throughout the entire session. When using both of these vacuums you will definitely feel like you have enough suction for all types of carpeting, but since the Bissell is rated with a higher suction level it gets the slight nod in this category.
Special Features/Final Thoughts
There are a couple of unique features that are notable and deserve to be mentioned in our comparison. The Bissell ICONPet comes with a tangle free brush roll which is a very helpful quality when you are vacuuming dog and cat hair up. It has a large brush with specially engineered bristles that works in conjunction with the powerful suction we mentioned above. The result is the hair passes right by and ends up in the collection tank. You also get multiple pet specific attachments including their TurboBrush™ tool and LED lighted crevice tool. While you might not think of Bissell as a quality brand it is clear they have put a lot of engineering into the ICONPet and it is a great choice for medium to large homes with one or more pets. For more information including current pricing and availability, click here to visit our recommended online supplier.
The Dyson V8 Animal is slightly more expensive than the Bissell but it does have a longer track record of performance. The lifetime HEPA filters and whole machine filtration really stand out as exceptional qualities. You also get a couple of attachments geared towards animals including the mini motorized turbo tool and combination tool which lets you easily transition across different surfaces. The Dyson works great on homes with mostly carpets as the Direct Drive cleaner head really gets down into the carpet fibers when needed. This floor attachment is one of the best you will find for cleaning medium to high pile rugs. Click here to check out prices and read online consumer reviews which are overwhelmingly positive (as expected).