Bissell Crosswave vs Hoover FloorMate vs Karcher FC5 – What’s The Best Vacuum for Hard Floors?
Bissell is, without doubt, the best vacuum brand if you have a hardwood floor. But there is also stiff competition from two other popular brands; Karcher and Hoover.
If you are looking to buy a vacuum for hard floors, you should be looking within these areas.
However, for many homeowners, choosing the ideal cleaner is the biggest problem.
The three brands offer a wide range of vacuums to choose from, but today, we will be comparing the best of the best model from each brand.
So, without further ado, here’s the Bissell Crosswave vs. Hoover FloorMate vs. Karcher FC5 comparison review.
We will review each one of the shortly explaining why they are the best. After that, we will now put them to a challenge, examining the important features that you should consider when buying a vacuum for hard floors.
1.Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner with Wet-Dry Vacuum
The second thing is regarding the top class performance.
From the cleaning tests results, you can see that it is the best model in this discussion.
It also comes with the biggest water tanks meaning you can clean more floor area without interruption of having to refill or empty.
The power cord is also longer so you can clean to the furthest end without changing sockets.
The fact that it has a 2-speed motor also makes it a better option compared to Karcher and Hoover that have single speed motors. If you want a longer cord, this one comes with 25 ft which is quite impressive.
On the downside, Bissell is quite expensive. Its price is more than that of Hoover and Karcher combined. It also requires frequent maintenance because of the many parts. It has a nylon bristle brush, wheels, and rollers that get tangled often. Also, the microfiber cloth wears out fast because of the high rpm.
2.Hoover FloorMate FH40160PC Excellent Hard Floor Mopping
Even though it doesn’t offer the same superior cleaning performance as Bissell, it does a great job on hard floors. It is better in all ways than the expensive Karcher FC5.
Another thing, it comes with two cleaning modes; wash mode and dry mode. This means you can dry mop or also wet mop depending on the type of mess you’re dealing with.
I also find the second brushroll ideal for grout cleaning, something Bissell and Karcher aren’t ideal for.
This vacuum also comes with brushes only; a soft brush for delicate hard floors and a tougher one to scrub stains.
On the downside, it can only be used on hard floors. We tried it on low pile carpet, and it left a lot of pet hair and dirt even after a few passes.
3.Karcher FC5 The Lightweight and Versatile Design
Bissell and Hoover have very big cleaning heads with wheels and a base, but this one has the brushroll only giving it more flexibility. It’s also easier to maneuver as the brushroll has a forward action.
Another advantage of this vacuum is the fast drying times when using the mop. On average, your floor dries in two minutes or lesser.
Karcher is a good vacuum, but we don’t think it offers good value for money. It’s not very powerful like Hoover and Bissell and won’t stand alone because it lacks a base.
Another disadvantage is that Karcher FC5 won’t pick up the large dirt debris so if your floor is too dirty, you will need to break your back sweeping or vacuuming the large debris fast.
Considering you are paying around $200, the Hoover FloorMate Deluxe would be a better option.
Bissell Crosswave vs. Hoover FloorMate vs. Karcher FC5 Face-To-Face Comparison
Now, in this section, we want to compare all the important features that vacuum cleaners for hard floors should have.
You will realize that these features are also the aspects that we always consider when buying vacuum cleaners. That makes this section a hard floor vacuum buying guide as well as a comparison of the top models.
So, without further ado, let’s see how Bissell CrossWave, Hoover FloorMate, and Karcher FC5 compare.
1. Dimensions and weight
Karcher FC5 measures 8 x 12 inches and stand as at 48 inches high. On our scale, it measured just 4.9 lbs. making it among the lightest options available.
Winner: The Hoover FloorMate is not an option here because it’s heavier and shorter. That leaves the battle between Bissell CrossWave vs. Karcher FC5. I would want to but Karcher because it’s taller, so you bend less and also, it’s very light at 5 lbs. But still, the Bissell CrossWave can’t be left behind at it’s also tall at 46-inches, and the weight is considerably lighter for such a high-performance vacuum. Karcher sounds the best deal, but Bissell is also a force to reckon.
2. Design and Aesthetics
Karcher upright vacuum has been painted yellow almost wholly and also has a 20 ft cord. This vacuum notably has lesser parts and is not free standing; you need to put it in the park station. But I am glad we still have easily accessible controls and an ergonomic handle.
Winner: The Bissell CrossWave is the winner here for several reasons. First, its finish is sleek, and everyone would want to have fancy colors at home. The vacuum has better handling, easy access to control buttons and a longer power cord. However, if you are all about portability only, I recommend you get the Karcher FC5 as it is much lighter than both models.
3. Cleaning Orientation
One of the most important aspect to consider when choosing between the three vacuums is the cleaning orientation. I know you may be aware that the three are all upright vacuums. Besides sucking up dirt, hard floors require mopping, and that’s an extra cleaning feature you should desire. This is especially if you have pets that leave paw marks all over and hardwood floors that require minimal contact with water.
Karcher FC5 is also a 2-in-1 cleaner which can vacuum small dirt and mop simultaneously. This model is specially designed for hard floors and is not suited for carpets and rugs just like the FloorMate Deluxe.
Winner: In as much as you are looking for a hard floor vacuum, it doesn’t hurt to get one that can also vacuum carpets. That’s the only reason that makes Bissell the better option here. Besides hard floor cleaning, its soft bristles will also pick up dirt from carpets without damaging the carpet or the vacuum.
4. Motor Performance
You will agree with me that the motor is the heart of a vacuum cleaner. When choosing a vacuum cleaner, there are several aspects that you need to be very keen on when shopping. You need a high-performance motor, efficient and durable and above all, it should be able to run without disturbing everyone. So, let’s see what these three vacuums for hard floors have.
Karcher is not among the most powerful vacuums out there. The FC5, in particular, comes with a 460W motor that offers just enough to vacuum hard floors. It is quite efficient and runs on minimal noise. This model is also a single speed vacuum with a fixed output and is much quieter at 58dB.
Winner: Bissell CrossWave has the best power output a sit comes with a 4.4 amp motor. However, its noise is quite a concern especially if you vacuum at night. Now that you want a vacuum for hard floors, I would recommend the Hoover FloorMate Deluxe. Even though its vacuum power is a little bit lower, it is just enough for hard floors and is less noisy.
5. Cleaning Head
Karcher FC5 is entirely different as it has been designed with two forward rotating rollers wrapped with the microfiber cloth. The cleaning head is a little bit slimmer at 8 x 12 inches. It’s important to note that Karcher FC5 is for hard floors only and perfect for cleaning the edges, unlike Hoover and Bissell. It won’t pick dirt from carpets though. This hard floor cleaner brushroll rotates at around 500 rpm which is gentle enough on hardwood floors.
Winner: Each model here has something impressive to offer as far as the cleaning head, and brush is concerned. However, Bissell carries the day because it’s also able to handle carpets, something Hoover FloorMate and Karcher FC5 can’t clean. But if you have a hardwood floor, I would recommend Hoover FloorMate as it has a special brush for this. Lastly, when it comes to cleaning edges and those tight spots, you can trust Karcher FC5.
6. Water Tank
Karcher has a dual tank system with one tank for holding the clean water and the other for dirty water. The fresh water tank is 0.4L and is located at the front while the dirty water tank is 0.2L and is situated at the back of the cleaner.
Winner: Definitely, Bissell carries the day as it has a larger water tank. On a fairly dirty hard floor, a whole tank can clean up to 100m2.
7. Filtration system
Vacuum cleaners don’t only pick up dirt and mop floors; they also filter the dirt particles. You have to know what type of filter every model comes with, and most importantly, the maintenance.
One thing we realized with these vacuums after the initial rigorous testing, the performance dipped because the filters were all clogged.
All the three vacuums come with filters in the dirty water bin to ensure the dirt is not released back. Make sure to clean them as often because the clogging cuts down performance. Also, consider replacing them after washing them severally.
Karcher FC5 is a different vacuum as it doesn’t have wheels like the rest. It doesn’t come with a swivel mechanism like Bissell and can’t make turns. But I like the forward-roller brush design that allows for effortless pushing. You need to support the vacuum, and it rolls in the direction you want. It also has a good reach of 48 inches.
Winner: Here, it’s hard to call between Karcher FC5 vs. Bissell CrossWave. Basically, this is a battle that comes down to weight vs. flexibility. Karcher is a serious contender for this spot because of its lightweight design. Bissell is twice heavier than Karcher making the latter better and easier to maneuver and even use of the stairs. But on the other hand, Bissell CrossWave has wheels, rollers, and the innovative swivel system. So, even though it’s heavier, it rolls smoothly and can be turned effortlessly courtesy of the swivel steering. For me, I think Bissell CrossWave carries the day just because of the swivel function.
9. Cleaning Tests
Now that we have looked at most of the essential features, it’s time we share with you the cleaning test results to give you a glimpse of what each vacuum offers.
We tested the three vacuums on a sealed hardwood floor using some of the common dirt you will find in your house. These include seasoning, honey, fresh eggs, milk, jam, hair, ketchup, and muddy water.
Karcher wasn’t able to pick up the large dirt like Cheerios, so we had to remove such debris from our test surface. The vacuum had no problem picking up the small dirt like seasoning, rice, sugar, and floors.
Also, the less viscous fluids like milk and dirty water were wiped off with no problem in one of two passes. However, the ketchup, honey, and other bigger messes took more time. The situation gets worse when they dry up.
Karcher is quite overwhelmed with the stains because the brushroll is too gentle to agitate the bard blocks of dried dirt stuck on the floor.
In six to ten passes, however, the floor was sparkling clean.
Winner: After the thorough tests, it was clear that Karcher couldn’t match the other two vacuums so here, the battle is between Bissell CrossWave vs. Hoover FloorMate. Even though Hoover does an exceptional job, it’s Bissell that carries the day as it has more vacuum power and sucked dirt effortlessly compared to Hoover.
From handling to the controls, here are some of the highlights of the three vacuums for hard floors.
Karcher also requires you to attach the handle. It’s nice because there are no tools or screws required courtesy of the click-fit system.
However, there is a little resistance when fixing it, but in the end, it fits tightly. Before starting, moisten the brushroll in the cleaning station.
The controls are easily accessible and straightforward.
Winner: It’s really hard to call a winner here because each model has its pros and cons, and most importantly, they are all specialized for specific needs. Karcher, for instance, will be a great deal if you intend to buy it as a gift for the senior citizens because it’s light. However, it doesn’t offer the same maneuverability like Bissell which comes with a swivel steering. When it comes to Hoover, the fingertip controls are excellent only that the mode selector is far away at the main unit, so you have to bend. At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing your needs and finding the better option. We won’t promise you that there is one model that is 100% user-friendly.
Karcher, on the other hand, has a microfiber only, so the maintenance costs are cut down at the expense of a bristle brush for carpets.
If you want the least maintenance, this is the best choice.
The brushroll rotates at 500 rpm, a speed that can’t take much toll on the microfiber easily like Bissell and Hoover.
Winner: I wouldn’t say that Karcher is the best here because it has fewer parts that require maintenance. The real battle here pits Bissell CrossWave vs. Hoover FloorMate. While maintenance is subject to usage, Hoover is a little bit easier to maintain. You can’t deny the fact that Bissell is an awesome vacuum but the tangling when used with the bristle brushes, as well as the 3000+ rpm make the brushroll less lasting. So here, our choice is the Hoover FloorMate.
12. After sales service
Your shopping experience doesn’t end at the point when your vacuum is delivered. You may want to contact the customer support team regarding the assembly and maybe the setup.
The manual alone may not be resourceful at all times. There are also replacement parts required from time to time, so you need to check availability as well as prices.
Lastly, the vacuum may stop working for no apparent reason.
Make sure to go for a longer warranty.
Karcher also comes with a 2-year warranty though there have been concerns regarding the company not honoring some warranties.
However, parts and replacements are available as well as resources to help you get started.
Winner: There’s no clear winner here because all the three are reputable brands. While Karcher might look like the black sheep because of the warranty concerns, it’s important to note that most of the customers void the warranties unknowingly. When it comes to parts, they all have readily available and affordable replacement parts and accessories. With all that said, it’s hard to pick a winner.
Overall Winner: Bissell CrossWave vs. Hoover FloorMate vs. Karcher FC5
Now, we are almost at the end of the review, and it’s time to declare our winner in this hard floor vacuum comparison review.
If you factor in the mantra of you get what you pay for, Bissell CrossWave is the winner in this epic battle. It costs much more and gladly; the features justify the high price tag. One of the biggest advantages of Bissell is the versatility. It is a hard floor cleaner that can also handle carpets and area rugs. This is something Hoover and Karcher don’t have.
Regarding value for money, we feel Hoover FloorMate FH40160PC deserves the award. It costs half the price of Bissell and is specially designed for hard floors. Yes, it may lack carpet cleaning ability, but today, we are looking at hard floor cleaners, so the extra carpet cleaning feature doesn’t count much.
For Karcher, it is still a worthy bargain but its power is much less and the price way up high. I would consider it if I really need a lightweight and easy to push cleaner, maybe for the senior citizens. Otherwise, Hoover FloorMate FH40160PC is the best value for money!
Alternative: Shark Sonic Duo Another Consideration for Hard floor and Carpet
Here, the battle is between Bissell CrossWave vs. Shark Sonic Duo. They all have a swivel mechanism that makes turning a buzz. Shark also has a longer cord, 22 foot, while Karcher and Hoover have 20ft cords.
Another advantage of this vacuum is that it has been specially designed to clean hard floors and also to recondition them. If your hardwood floor has lost its luster, then buy Shark Sonic Duo and take advantage of the versatile microfibers and cleaning solution.
But one thing you should know about this vacuum is that it doesn’t have the vacuuming function. You will need to vacuum first before using it to recondition the carpet and polish hard floors. That makes it more of an upholstery tool than a cleaner.
We have now come to the end of this vacuum comparison review.
The three models are great ideas for homeowners with hard floors.
Bissell stands out however because of the versatility. It can handle carpets and hard floors, something the other two can’t do. However, it’s price tag is very high.
Away from the versatility, Hoover FloorMate is rightly priced and delivers the best performance. For that reason, we crown it the best vacuum for hard floors.