Canister vacuum cleaners don’t get nearly as much love as they deserve. On average, they’re a lot more powerful than uprights, let alone stick vacs and robots. In this review, we’re going to take a look at the Bissell Deluxe 1161 Canister Vacuum, a truly remarkable piece that comes equipped with all of the heavy-duty goodness that makes canister vacuums so great.

Bissell 1161

Bissell Canister Vacuum Review

To sum it up, the Bissell Deluxe Canister Vacuum 1161 provides an excellent canister vacuuming experience. Much of this is due to the vacuum’s sleek and clean design, making it easy for you to move the vacuum across through your entire home, vacuuming in spaces that other vacuums can’t reach. But, there’s also the excellent motor and floorhead, which allow for thorough floor cleaning. Because of these qualities, the Bissell 1161 – is an excellent canister vacuum if you need one that’s lightweight, efficient, and reliable.

Pros: Weighs very little, easy-to-use, sleek and clean design, quite powerful

Cons: More expensive than other canister vacuums

Excellent Hard-Floor Vacuum Cleaner

The first thing everybody should know about the 1161 is that it is made specifically for hard floors (hardwood floors, tiles, marble). Its 7-amp motor delivers a great amount of suction to lift and remove debris residing between boards or tiles and hiding within invisible cracks.

Bissell 1161 Deluxe

Bissell 1161

Also, the floorhead uses a soft-bristle brushroll that “massages” the floors while it works in order to clean crevices. Measuring 10 inches in width, the 1161 reduces the number of passes needed to clean wide surfaces, giving you more time to re-dirty your floors afterward.

Adjustable Suction

With total suction control, users can choose how much or how little power the 1161 exerts in order to do a thorough job. For floors, we’d recommend sticking to its highest setting, especially when attempting to clean low-pile carpeting, but don’t expect much—its floorhead’s bristles are far too short to clean carpets at the roots.

Variable suction allows you to clean a number of different surfaces such as drapes without pulling them off of the rod. You should definitely make use of this feature when performing above-ground spot cleaning with one of the three included cleaning tools.

4-piece Cleaning Accessory Set

Speaking of which, the 1161 comes with four cleaning accessories: a dusting brush, a low-pile carpet tool, and a crevice tool. All of these tools can connect to the extension wand to increase your reach by over a foot in order to get at high surfaces with ease.

Bissell 1161 Deluxe Review

Bissell 1161

It’s worth noting that the 1161 does not come with any specialized pet tools such as a motorized brush for removing pet hair. In fact, if fallen strands of pet hair is a regular problem, we wouldn’t suggest the 1161 as your go-to canister vac. Although it does deliver quite a bit of suction power, its cleaning tools aren’t made for such a demanding task.

16-foot Retractable Cord

One thing that amazes us about this entry-level canister vacuum is that it comes with an auto-retracting mechanism to make cleaning up after vacuuming a breeze. The oversized buttons on the canister allow you to rewind the 16-foot power cord with a simple tap of the foot.

But we do have one question about this feature. Why would 16 feet of power cord—shorter than what we normally prefer—need such a system in the first place? One common complaint amongst users is that the power cord is far too short for comfort and makes multi-room cleaning a greater chore than it already is.

Tiny 1-liter Dust Cup

Another thing buyers should be aware of is that the 1161 houses a tiny 1-liter dust cup. Granted, a tinier dust cup means a more lightweight, compact canister vac, but it also means having to empty the dust cup out more frequently.

Depending on how much vacuuming you do, you may find that the cup reaches max capacity before the job is complete.

Standard Paper Filter

As we hinted in an earlier section, the 1161 is not a pet-friendly canister vacuum cleaner. This is further supported by the lack of any meaningful filter.

Bissell 1161 Deluxe Canister Vacuum

Bissell 1161

By meaningful, we mean True HEPA or HEPA-esque—instead, the 1161 spots a simple, non-washable paper filter that needs to be replaced every 4 to 6 months.

Lightweight Design

What the 1161 is made for is cleaning your home from top to bottom without weighing you down. At only 10 pounds on an empty dust cup, lifting this unit to get at above-ground surfaces shouldn’t be a problem, especially with the help of the 8-foot hose and extension wand.

Essentially, for cleaning surfaces of reasonable heights, the 1161 is definitely one of the best, less strenuous canister vacuums out there.

Decently Quiet

What makes the 1161 is even adored is its quiet motor and suction noises. At most, the 1161 produces around 80 decibels which, admittedly, is nowhere near whisper-quiet, but by canister vacuum standards, it’s undoubtedly one of the quieter models.

Related Bissell Canister Vacuum Articles

Buying Guide
Best Bissell Canister Vacuums

Single Reviews
Bissell Deluxe 1161
Bissell Hard Floor 1547
Bissell Zing 4122

Comparison Articles
Bissell Zing 4122 vs 2156A

Verdict: Should I Get the Bissell Deluxe 1161?

In spite of its drawbacks, there’s one thing we can’t ignore: this canister vacuum absolutely sucks in an absolutely great way.

Its sizable motor and suction control feature allow you to clean all sorts of surfaces, including carpets to a very limited extent, without trouble. If you don’t have pets, then the Bissell 1161 is undoubtedly a great option.

Bissell 1161 Deluxe Canister Vacuum Cleaner Review

Bissell Vacuum Review

Overall Recommended Canister Vacuums
Best of the Best! Budget Option Also Great
Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum Marine Blue (Compact C2) ureka NEN110A Whirlwind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner Miele Grey Classic C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Miele Electro+ Eureka NEN110A Miele Classic C1
 • Hard Floor / Carpet
 • Filterbag
 • 18.7 lbs
 • HEPA Filtration
 • Hard Floor
 • Bagless
 • 8.3 lbs
 • -
 • Hard Floor / Low-Pile Carpet
 • Filterbag
 • 11.4 lbs
 • -

Newsletter Signup

The Best of HouseholdMe in Your Inbox!

We’d love to stay in touch, sign up for the HouseholdMe team to contact you with great news, content and offers.