Kenmore 31150 Elite Review: Is This The Best Bagged Vacuum?

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Bagless vacuums are great but it may not suit the individual who suffers from allergic rhinitis because even if these types of vacuums have sealed HEPA systems.

Kenmore 31150 Elite Review

You are still exposed to allergens when you empty it, case in point the Dyson Cinetic.

Dyson claims that the Cinetic technology will prevent allergens clogging up its HEPA filtration system. But a reviewer in Youtube disputes this and he has video proof of it.

This is where a bagged vacuum shines.

Just throw away the bag if it’s full. There’s no exposure to allergy inducing dust.

The Kenmore 31150 is one of the best in the market of bagged vacuums thanks to the features that we will talk about later on and we’ll find out in this review how it performs.

Features at a glance

  • Comes equipped with the 3D inducer motor which houses the motor directly inside the motorized brush – this eliminates the need for a drive belt.
  • Dirt sensor lets you know which parts of the floor need cleaning
  • Has HEPA filtration
  • Motorized brush roll has stiff bristles which means great agitation
  • Good clearance to clean large bits of debris
  • 4 position height adjustment
  • 1 year warranty

Pros

  • Inducer motor gives this vacuum superior suction
  • Bagged system keeps allergens inside
  • Has a height adjustment feature that adjusts suction and motorized brush power for specific surfaces like bare floor, low and high pile carpet.
  • LED headlights helps track down hard to see dust
  • Extension wand and hose make this capable of cleaning above the floor

Cons

  • No swivel steering
  • Very heavy – this will be hard to carry up and down the stairs
  • Cost of bags will add up over time
  • Short one year warranty – it should at least have a 5 year warranty

What to expect from this bagged upright

Kenmore31150EliteFeatures

First and foremost this vacuum has a bag inside that collects all the dirt. And just in case you’re curious, bags go for around $35 for a pack of six. That’s around 5.83 per bag which is a pretty good deal.

In terms of suction power, this machine has lot of it thanks to the 3D inducer motor.

Strong suction

At full power the suction is so strong that you won’t be able to move it forward when cleaning shag carpet because it tries to suck it in.

Another feature I like would be the belt-less design. Kenmore was able to pull this off by placing the motor beside the beater bar. Since there is no more belt, it’s one less part to worry about breaking.

This is fully capable cleaning even shag carpet thanks to the stiff bristles that really agitate dirt. It also gives you the option to turn off the brush roll so that you can use this on bare floor.

Not for bare floor

But I wouldn’t recommend this if your home has mostly bare flooring because of the bulk and weight.

Despite its weight and size, you can use this to clean above the floor areas. It comes with a 4 foot hose and extension wand for upholstery and stair cleaning.

But according to some reviews I’ve read, the hose is really short and does not fully extend when the vacuum is on.

Other tools include a mini-motorized pet cleaning tool.

Let’s look at how it performed.

Bare Floor Performance

This machine will be able to clean fine and large debris on bare floor surfaces because it has a brush roll on/off feature that turns off the brush roll to prevent the brushes from scratching it and flinging debris around.

But if your home only has bare floor, I suggest you go with something lighter.

Carpet Performance

Homes that have a lot of carpet will benefit most from this vacuum.

It’s got great suction thanks to the 12 amp 3D inducer motor. The stiff bristles on the motorized brush produce excellent agitation.

When you look underneath, you’ll notice that the brushes are stiff. And because it doesn’t have any belts, the brushes go all the way to the side.

Bristles

Let’s see it in action

It’s hard to quantify how much dirt it picked up because you can’t see through the bag. Based on consumer feedback it has very good suction and agitation is excellent.

Let’s see how it compares with the Rainbow vacuum

You’ll also see how to properly attach the bag.

You’ll notice that even after a few passes with the Kenmore, the Rainbow was still able to pick up a good amount of pet hair and a little bit of sand.

But I do want to point out that the Rainbow while a very good cleaner will set you back over a thousand dollars (second hand).

Here’s a little trick to make this usable on shag rugs…

On default mode, the suction is so strong that the vacuum is very hard to move forward or back.

The trick here is instead of directly connecting the hose to the base connect it to the extension wand. So that you’ll be able to adjust the amount of suction.

Upholstery Performance

The Kenmore Elite does come with a mini motorized tool that you can connect to the hose or extension wand so that you can clean upholstery and even the stairs.

Pet Hair Removal

Thanks to the stiff bristles inside the main floor tool, strong suction (Kenmore claims that vacuum has the strongest suction among uprights) and the mini motorized brush, this machine will be capable of picking up pet hair on carpet, bare floor and even upholstery.

Attachments and Accessories

This machine comes with a total of four…

  • Combination dust/upholstery tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Pet handi-mate (a fancy term for the mini-motorized brush)
  • Telescopic wand

Cord Length

Power cord is around 35 feet but it does not have any cord rewind.

Filter Cleanup and Maintenance

Since this machine uses bags, there are no filters to clean.

When the bag is full, you’ll need to replace it with a new bag. Replacement bags will cost around $35 for a 6 pack (that’s almost $6 per).

Aside from the bags you will need to periodically replace HEPA filters.. Kenmore says there’s a total of 3.

Warranty

It only comes with a 1 year warranty.

This is a huge disappointment considering other top bag-less brands like the Dyson, Shark and Hoover all over 5 year warranty on their products.

Product Specifications

AttachmentsCombo Dust/Upholstery

Crevice Tool

Pet Handi-Mate

Telescoping Wand
Cord Length35 feet
Auto Cord Rewind
No
Motorized brush
Yes
Brush on/off switch
Yes
Swivel
Yes
Headlight
Yes
Filter clogged indicator
No
Full bin indicator
No
Bagless
No

Uses a bagged system
Multi-surface
Yes
Self propelled
No
Net weight21 pounds
Shipping weight27 pounds
Hose length6 feet
Cleaning Path14"
Dirt capacityN/A
Filter typeBag + 3 filters (has HEPA filtration)
Power12 amps
Voltage120 volts
Manufactured inChina
Warranty1 year

Customer Reviews

Consumer Reports gave this vacuum the highest rating among uprights and with good reason. This machine has a sealed HEPA filtration system and has very good suction.

Consumers likewise say that the suction in this machine is A+.

Some even say that this machine has too much suction that you can’t use this on rugs because it’ll try to suck it up.

I showed you earlier how to use this on shag rugs and you can use the same technique no throw rugs.

This technique means opening up the release valve to lessen the suction.

It is a heavy upright

Probably the biggest complaint by consumers is the weight. This machine tips the scales at 22 pounds, and if you’ve tried to carry something that heavy on stairs, you’ll know what I mean.

If you’re a bit old or don’t have enough upper body strength to carry something this heavy around, you’d be better off with something lighter like a Hoover Air Cordless or a Von Haus 2-in-1.

Because of the bulk, weight and the short hose, you won’t be able to use this on a tall flight of stairs.

Go with the Shark if you want something lighter

Another complaint of consumers is the inability of this machine to clean deep under furniture. If you’re looking for an upright that’s capable of doing such, I suggest you have a look at the Shark Navigator Powered Lift Away.

It is bag-less but it’s a lot more nimble and the lift away feature allows it to have best-in-class reach under furniture. Position of vents could be an issue according to consumers.

It blows dirt, particularly on bare floors…

Youtuber Kode1996 shared this problem that his Kenmore had after cleaning a very dirty carpet with lots of sand in it.

Just make sure that when you buy this whether at Sears or in Amazon to immediately put it through its paces so you’ll find out if there are any problems in terms of build quality.

Overall based on consumer reviews, this machine would be best utilized as a deep cleaner on larger homes with lots of carpet in it. Just make sure you have enough strength to carry this on a flight of stairs because it weighs over 20 pounds.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this upright from Amazon for less than $230. And it’ll be eligible for their 2-day free shipping if you join Prime.

Amazon also sells extended warranty of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.

To Wrap Up

If you look at deep cleaning performance alone, this vacuum has got to be one of the best in the market right now.

For people who have wall to wall carpeting, it would be hard for me not to recommend this product because it has very good agitation and suction power that will deep clean even shaggy carpet.

The extension hose and on board tools provide it some capability to clean stairs and upholstery but the short hose limits this feature somewhat.

I am concerned though with the short 1 year warranty. When you factor in the price and competition, the warranty should be at least 5 years. Competing brands like Shark and Dyson both offer 5 year warranties for their uprights.

But if you want to try it out I won’t stop you because Kenmore is a quality brand.

Beware that it has some limitations (can’t use it on stairs and short hose) and it weighs over 20 pounds.

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