For the past year, I didn’t own a vacuum. Which is more than embarrassing. It’s a little feral—full “goblin mode,” as people are calling it these days. Do you have any idea how much Takis dust I eat in a year? (This much.) How much hair I shed? Enough to please a whole army of Long Furbies. To be clear, cleaning is very important to me; I’m not saying I never cleaned the floors of my Brooklyn railroad apartment (hi, Mom), which I’ve scrubbed on all fours with a sponge, cleaned with Clorox wipes, and vacuumed thanks to my roommate’s hand-held vacuum cleaner. But for some reason, I just couldn’t pull the trigger on a new vacuum when I moved into my current apartment—and I couldn’t understand why.
After a bit of soul-searching, I realized it was because, financially and mentally, I’m somewhere in-between a rogue fuckboi who smells like Irish Spring, and someone with matching silverware and a 401(k) plan. It’s not that I couldn’t afford a Dyson vacuum; I’d just rather spend that money on tattoos, fancy candles, and haircuts (like most millennials). I’m also not sure how long I’ll be living in my current apartment, or if I’ll ever be buying a home (also like most millennials). Why splurge on a vacuum that costs the same amount as a round-trip ticket to Berlin?
I’ve owned the clunky, oxygen tank-esque vacuums, and I’ve used my parents' sexy Miele vacuum when visiting for the holidays. Price- and experience-wise, I wanted something in-between, so I started sleuthing through reviews of vacuums and found that a lot of the more expensive models had higher prices due to silly features like being cordless (which I can only imagine to be a plus if you live in a mansion) or else really quiet (who cares??). I also wanted to make sure I found a vacuum that could be stored in a compact space, as my railroad apartment has very little storage, and I hoped I could find one that could power-suck my roommate’s and my long hair from the floor, which is so prevalent it sometimes forms crop circles. I was about to give up on my quest, and then I found the Bissell Zing.
The main thing that drew me in, aside from the great name, the bag-free design, and the delightfully affordable price tag, was the reviews. “I decided to go for it since it was SO cheap … and a trusted brand,” wrote one of the over 23,000 reviewers on Amazon; “Our house is primarily hardwood with carpet in the bedrooms and stairs. [And] let me tell you, this thing is amazing.” The Zing received top marks for suction, clean-up, and storage, and an extra gold star for its ability to get into those hard-to-reach corners, baseboards, windows, and ceiling fans. “It is lightweight but feels sturdy,” wrote another reviewer, “The suction blew my mind! I was fully expecting large items to get clogged, but to my surprise, this thing is really powerful. It was able to suck up dryer sheets and fuzzy remnants of toys that my dogs tear up on a regular basis.” I was sold, baby. All of that, for the price of a lobster dinner? I smashed that order button, and awaited my Zing to see if it really was worth the internet hype.
What was rad
Dude, I have no patience—especially when it comes to home improvement tasks such as assembling IKEA furniture, understanding how my Alexa works, or actually reading the instructions on the deranged things I order from Wish.com when I’m bored. It’s embarrassing but it’s true, and it’s actually good news for you because it means that I am the absolutely lowest denominator for companies who sit down, and say, “Yes, but would a cretin have the patience to use it?” The Zing was designed for cretins like me, because you can just take it out of the box, assemble it intuitively in two seconds, and start sucking.
The Zing worked well on all my surfaces, removing bits of fuzz, hair, and space shrapnel from my bathroom tile and wood floors. Perhaps most impressively, it even cleaned out my musty vintage rugs. There was a point where I ascended to manic cleaning heaven, and I felt like I was in a Nancy Meyers movie montage scene as I zipped around the hallway, swapping out attachments—my favorite is the round brush—for cleaning everything from baseboard grooves to doors (yup, you can vacuum doors) and using the long ass vacuum neck to reach otherwise abandoned areas under my bed that had developed their own dust ecosystem. I’ve read so many vacuum reviews where customers say “I’m addicted to vacuuming!” or “Now I just clean for fun” and I always considered them total BS, but… now I get it. I’m sorry. It is really addicting, when you have a vacuum that feels less like an appliance and more like a dance partner; the Zing is svelte, easy to maneuver, and my favorite thing to hang out with on a lazy Sunday when I want to feel slightly more accomplished.
I also love that the vacuum is so easy to store. The hose portion of the vacuum is easily collapsible, which makes for quick and compact storage that you won’t get with those upright, chonky vacuums, and keeps your railroad apartment looking prim and uncluttered.
What was tricky
I own a lot of rugs, from vintage Scandinavian rya rugs to accent rugs shaped like mushrooms and mitochondria, and they all shed like crazy. I’m ok with that, because the trade-off of living in a house like the cross between a 1970s funeral parlor and porn studio is worth it, but it does mean that my Zing had a HELL of a lot of hair to get through—so much so, that at one point bits of fuzz from my rugs started poking out of the nozzle attachment’s joint areas. I’m chalking this down to the extreme nature of my rug collection, however, because the Zing had absolutely no problems sucking up the excessive hair from me and my roommate that somehow finds its way to every corner of our house. If you have pets that shed a lot, I would recommend a more animal-specific vacuum such as the Dyson V8 Animal or Bissell CleanView, but only because you’ll probably have to empty the canister more often; personally I don’t mind that, because the bagless nature of this sucker makes it both easier to clean and more planet-friendly.
Did you only just get your mattress off the floor, and into an actual bed frame? Are you a reformed grifter with a heart of gold who wants to finally make a house a home, but who doesn’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a vacuum, and not a lot of storage space? Then the Bissell Zing is a great choice in both price and functionality, because it costs less than our favorite Diptyque candle, and it works like a champ on both hardwood floors and shaggy, shedding-prone rugs.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.