Don’t let the funky design fool you.
The Bissell Air Ram 1984 will clean floors exceptionally well.
It has a unique design with the motor sitting right behind the main cleaning brush, thus minimizing power low where it counts most – at the main nozzle.
How does this stick vacuum does in the real world? We’ll find out in this review.
Mid-Priced Option for Cleaning Floors
Bissell Air Ram 1984 Review
The Bissell Air Ram 1984 will only clean floors, nothing else. It does not come with any tools or convert to a handheld. But it excels with what it does, which is cleaning floors. The lightweight design and the low center of gravity make it light on the arm, but the swivel steering isn’t as agile as a Dyson. But heck, it’s one of the least expensive options capable of deep cleaning medium pile carpet. If that is a concern, the Air Ram may be what you need.
- Excellent design: The main cleaning head’s design gives it the best of both worlds. Its gate in front opens up on the forward pass so that larger bits of debris like Cheerios will fit through and then closes at the backward pass to create a great seal which is great for carpet or crevices.
- Great at cleaning surface and embedded dirt: The nozzle’s unique design gives it superb surface and embedded dirt performance.
- Light on the arms: This Bissell’s low center of gravity makes it extremely light on the arm at less than one pound. Moving this vacuum around won’t be as tiring as, let’s say, a Dyson V11.
- Self-standing: Another benefit of this design is its ability of it to stand on its own. It doesn’t need any rack or special port to store vertically.
- Deep cleans carpet: It scored a perfect 100% in a deep cleaning test (100 grams of sand embedded on medium pile carpet) by Vacuum Wars – the same number as the more expensive Dyson V11.
- Extended run time: This cordless stick vacuum can run for up to 42 minutes and 47 seconds.
- Removable battery: The battery of the Air Ram is removable, and replacements are readily available.
- Limited functionality: This variant does not have extra tools and doesn’t convert to a handheld. So it can only do one thing – clean floors.
- Quality control issues: Several complaints in sites like Consumer Reports and Amazon about quality concerns.
Table of Contents
The Bissell Air Ram has a distinctive design compared to most stick vacuums available.
Instead of having the motor and dust cup near the handle, the Air Ram has it at the base next to the main cleaning head.
This design gives it a low center of gravity, making it light at the handle.
Bissell says that the handle weight on this vacuum is one pound. Other vacuums with the motor and dust bin near the handle weigh between three and five pounds at the handle.
It translates to a more comfortable experience vacuuming floors.
The swivel may not be as good as a Dyson, but it is sufficient for moving around furniture.
One advantage of this design with the motor right next to the motorized brush is that there is minimal airflow loss.
Not having so much power loss is a big reason it did so well cleaning carpet. Despite having just 33 CFM, this vacuum can pick up 100% of sand on medium-pile carpet.
If you’re not familiar with it, the term CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. It measures how much airflow the vacuum has at the nozzle.
Underneath the main nozzle is a brush roll (with stiff bristles) paired with a strong motor that provides it with excellent agitation.
But wair there’s more.
Bissell engineers added a wrinkle on the floor tool, a gate that opens on the forward push so that larger bits of dirt can fit.
And on the backward pull, that same gate closes, creating a essential seal for cleaning entrenched dirt on carpet.
It’s one reason why the Bissell does so well on hard floors and carpet.
LED HeadRight in front of the base is a bright LED headlight that helps illuminate – this is helpful when cleaning in low-lighted areas under furniture.
Bright light helps track down dust on hardwood and carpet and helps you keep track of areas you have not cleaned.
Multi-Surface Brush Roll
At the heart of the Bissell’s cleaning performance is the multi-surface brush roll that allows this vacuum to clean on various surfaces from hardwood, carpet, and rugs.
It also cleans to the edges, so you won’t need to bring out a handheld to clean baseboards.
Next, we’ll look at how the Bissell Air Ram cleans various surfaces from hardwood to carpet.
When you look at the airflow numbers, this vacuum has less power than the Dyson V10 and even the V8.
But surprisingly, it did exceptionally well in cleaning tests, picking up almost everything scattered – from fine to large debris.
Hard Floor Cleaning
The Bissell Air Ram has a brush on/off feature that allows users to turn the brush off when cleaning bare floor.
It will rely solely on suction with the brush roll turned off.
Even without the aid of the brush, it has enough airflow to pick up debris of various sizes.
What’s impressive is how it tackles fine stuff like sand or powder. Cleaning these types of dirt will not be an issue with this Bissell.
It also did well with the edge cleaning, though it was better to clean it from the side than cleaning from the front.
The gate in front of the cleaning head gives the Bissell Air Ram excellent surface debris pick up on carpet.
It doesn’t matter the size of the debris. The vacuum will pick it up as long as it fits through the gate.
Another strength of the Air Ram is its ability to deep clean medium pile carpet.
It was able to pick up 100% of 100 grams of sifted sand on medium-pile carpet.
When you compare it to the Dyson V8, it’s eight percent better despite having more power.
Again, that’s because of the excellent design dynamics of the main cleaning head.
If you need a cord-free stick vacuum to clean carpet and do not mind the lack of versatility, the Bissell Air Ram is a good alternative.
Consumers say that it has amazing suction and is fully capable of picking up surface dirt and embedded dirt trapped underneath carpet fibers.
The proof is in the pudding, so here’s a cleaning test.
One word. Impressive!
Here’s how much dirt it was able to pick up (mostly pet hair).
Bissell says that the Air Ram will run for as much as 40 minutes with its 22-volt Li-ion battery.
However, tests reveal that it exceeds these figures by almost three minutes. This vacuum can run for around 42 minutes and 47 seconds.
To put the power-to-run ratio in context, the Bissell Air Ram runs longer than the Dyson V10 in its medium setting at 26 minutes and 57 seconds and longer than the Dyson V8 at the lowest setting at 33 minutes and 30 seconds.
The battery is removable, and you can purchase extra directly from the Bissell website to eliminate any downtime during recharging.
The Air Ram measures 44 inches long and 9.9 inches wide. It weighs 7.75 pounds.
The cylindrical dust cup of the Air Ram can hold up to 600 milliliters of dirt which is more than the 540 ml capacity of the V8 but less than the V10, which can hold up to 760 ml of dirt.
One of my favorite features of this Bissell stick vacuum is how easy it easy to empty. It’s got a lever that you can pull to empty dust and hair that may stick on the inner walls of the dust bin.
Unfortunately, it does have a HEPA filter or a sealed system, so it may not suit folks who have allergies.
It comes with a washable foam filter that needs frequent cleaning to maintain performance.
The primary area that needs constant maintenance is the filter. Remember that the Bissell design isn’t good as a Dyson, so the filter will gather dirt after just a few uses, so it requires more frequent washing.
Please refer to this video on how to wash the filter.
Fortunately, there are filters available for sale on Amazon that will enable you to use the vacuum while the filter dries up.
Bissell Air Ram Replacement Filter
The great news is, these filters don’t cost a lot of money and packs of two are available to cut costs further.
Also, the 22-volt Li-ion battery is detachable, and the replacement battery is only available in Bissell.
Just in case it breaks down after the warranty period, it is easy to replace.
Let’s now look at the ergonomics. Despite weight more than lighter options such as the Shark IONFlex and Dyson V8, the low center of gravity makes it one of the easiest to use on floors.
It has swivel steering that is decent but isn’t as good as the ball system of a Dyson. Some people like how the Bissell steering works, while some don’t.
The foot-activated power button is at the bottom left of the main cleaning head and easy to access.
One potential weak point of this vacuum is the plastic hinge that holds the handle in place that could potentially break after just a few months.
Bissell says that they will cover this in the warranty and would send a replacement handle just in case it breaks so please take note of this.
One way to prevent this from happening is to use the carrying handle when moving it around.
While lacking in versatility, the Bissell Air Ram is extremely good at what it does, which is vacuum floors.
The unique design of this cord-free vacuum gives it substantial power and airflow, allowing it to pick up dirt regardless of size.
It is also proficient as a deep cleaning tool. In cleaning tests, it did very well at picking up embedded sand on carpet at the rate of 100%.
However, this product lacks the versatility that other brands offer. It doesn’t have any extra tools nor converts to a handheld.
If you don’t mind the limitation, it can serve its purpose as a standalone vacuum inside a small to medium home regardless of surface.
5 Reasons why you should buy the Bissell Air Ram
- Excellent run time: This vacuum will run for up to 42 minutes and still have the equivalent airflow of the Dyson V10 in the middle power setting.
- Great at cleaning surface dirt: The self-opening gate in front of the cleaning head allows the Air Ram to clean small and large bits of dirt without clogging regardless of surface.
- Deep cleans carpet: It’s got enough agitation and airflow to pick up embedded dirt on medium pile carpet. For something that doesn’t have a cord, it is very impressive.
- Easy to move around: With all of its weight at the base, it is easy to move this vacuum around and underneath furniture without being too taxing on the arm. The swivel steering is decent and helps to navigate around furniture.
- The dust cup is easy to empty: The lever that pushes dirt out makes emptying dirt a straightforward process.
Click here to learn more about the Bissell Air Ram.
Another drawback of the Air Ram is the lack of a HEPA filter.
It also doesn’t have a sealed system so allergens will seep through the exhaust. However, most cordless vacuums in this price range have the same limitation.
Overall, the Bissell Air Ram is a decent floor cleaning stick vacuum that will pick up dirt. It provides high-end performance on carpet for the price of a mid-range option.
The lack of tools is concerning, but a decent handheld vacuum isn’t expensive.
Pair this with a decent hand vacuum, and you’ll still be spending less than buying a high-end cordless stick vacuum.
Great for Cleaning Floors and Nothing Else
Ergonomics - 95%
Surface Cleaning - 93%
Deep Cleaning - 100%
Quality - 82%
Design - 88%
Value - 88%
The Bissell Air Ram 1984 is an excellent mid-priced option for cleaning different types of floor such as carpet and hardwood. It scores high at surface and deep cleaning tests thanks to the innovative gate design that opens on the forward motion then close at the backward pull. However, the lack of versatility does hamper its usability score and you’ll have to purchase a handheld to complement this. Also, there are complaints about quality control issues particularly with the plastic lock that holds the handle in place. Special care must be taken when moving this around or that part will break.