Confessions of a long-haired dog owner (with two kids and seasonal allergies).

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1984 Bissell AirRam Cordless Vacuum
Credit: Wayfair

I’m a vacuuming enthusiast. With a long-haired dog and two toddlers, the battle against crumbs and fur balls is constant. It’s a lot of commotion under one small roof, but we manage to keep things (relatively) spick-and-span thanks to a few hardworking products. At the top of the list? Our 1984 Bissell AirRam Cordless Vacuum ($249.99).

To say I was hesitant to take the plunge on a cordless vacuum is an understatement. All I could think about was the glorified dustbuster on a stick that Mom had given a chance for a few ill-fated weeks back when I was a child. It couldn’t hold a charge for more than a matter of minutes and, in the time that it was supposedly on, it didn’t do much. Now try to use that type of faulty product to clean up after an English Springer Spaniel, two children, and a husband with an affinity for crunchy snacks. It’s the recipe for a crumbly, furry disaster. I can feel the grime on my bare feet just thinking about it. Eventually I caved though. We were soon the owners of a new 1984 Bissell AirRam Cordless Vacuum, and I’ve never been more happily wrong.

First things first: The bagless canister has worked wonders for my allergies, is easy to remove and empty, and holds quite a bit of fur. I typically empty it halfway through vacuuming the house. If I didn’t have the dog, I would probably be able to make it through the house a few times before needing an empty.

We live in a relatively small house and are always strapped for space—I even have a one-in-one-out rule for new toys—so the small size got me right away. The handle collapses down to nearly half its full length and has a far smaller footprint than our previous vacuum. It’s light too, which comes in handy when I’m holding a child on one hip while pushing around the Bissell on mess control. Hair, dust, crumbs, dirt, you name it, the Bissell has got it covered.

Now before you think I have easy peasy wood floors throughout my house that has aided in my adoration of this wonder tool, let me say that we’ve got it all. Carpet, hardwood, a sisal rug, and even a shag number in the nursery (probably not the best decision in hindsight, what with the dog and all). It moves between each surface without issue. It has a pile height adjuster, but I honestly never touch it (who has time for a two second task when a baby is screaming for more snacks?) and things have worked out just fine. As for how long each charge lasts (a cause for much concern on my part) I’m typically able to run the vacuum throughout my house two full rounds before I need to charge it. And this is no 5 minute clean—I’m very thorough. It takes 4 hours to recharge, so I typically just plug it in automatically after every other use.

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The 1984 Bissell AirRam Cordless Vacuum is specifically engineered to efficiently pick up pet fur, and it shows on my bare floors that don’t have a lick of fur on them—until 5 minutes after I let the dog back inside.