Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet/Dry Vacuum review: cleans up sticky messes to leave floors hygienically clean

We've reviewed the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum. It can vacuum and mop your floors, refresh rugs and even steam clean.

Bissell Crosswave Hydrosteam Pet
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

We liked the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet/Dry Vacuum as an easy-to-use yet effective floor steam cleaner, vacuum and mop. It tackles sticky messes and debris on hard floors with ease and even cleans itself. However, if you're looking for a wet/dry vacuum to tackle carpets too, give this a swerve. It's only suitable for refreshing area rugs.


  • +

    Leaves floors shiny and clean

  • +

    Self-cleaning cycle

  • +

    No need to charge up before use


  • -

    No attachments or extra brush heads provided

  • -

    Super noisy during use

  • -

    Isn't suitable for carpets

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The Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum is a wet/dry vacuum that promises to vacuum and hygienically clean any hard floor, including tiles and wooden flooring, in your home. It vacuums, mops and dries at the same time, and can even be used to refresh your rugs.

Designed specifically for homes with pets, the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum (also known as the Bissell Crosswave Hydrosteam Pet in the UK) uses steam to clean sticky, hard-to-remove messes from all hard floors. LED lights illuminate pet hair and other debris. The brush roll also features detangling technology to reduce hair wrap. If you're an animal lover, you might also be pleased to know that when you buy a Bissell product, you're helping the Bissell Foundation save pets from homelessness across the world.

With a long-haired cat, a Golden Retriever and a litter tray in our home, we were excited to see what messes this Bissell Wet/Dry vacuum could contend with, in addition to our usual tests. Find out how we got on and discover whether it’s the right wet/dry vacuum for your home.  

If the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum isn’t the perfect new appliance for you, check out our best vacuum cleaners for every budget, tried and tested, and our guide to the best carpet cleaners.

Joanne Lewsley
Joanne Lewsley

Joanne Lewsley is a freelance health and lifestyle writer. She's also a Top Ten Reviews Customer Advisor for vacuums, air purifiers, and cleaning devices. She evaluates the quality of home gadgets in these areas, putting them through their paces in a natural home environment for reviews, updating buying guides, and speaking to industry experts on the latest product advances.

She reviewed the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum for two weeks, testing it out in her busy family home with a golden retriever, cat, keen gardener, and an 11-year-old kid.

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum: Price & availability

The Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum has an RRP of $349.99 and is available to buy direct from Bissell or from resellers such as Amazon in the States. Elsewhere in the UK, where it's known as the Bissell Crosswave Hydrosteam Pet, it retails for £349 and can also be bought direct from Bissell or resellers such as Amazon. It's worth noting that it is regularly discounted; at the time of writing it had 17% off at all outlets.

Given that you're getting a vacuum, mop and steam cleaner in one handy appliance the Bissell generally offers good value for money. It sits comfortably in the mid-range for wet/dry vacuums and the generous two-year warranty provides extra peace of mind should anything go wrong. 

You also get two sample-sized 8 fl. oz. bottles of FreshStart Crosswave Clean Out Cycle Solution and Natural Multi-Surface Floor Cleaning Solution. However, at this price, I would have liked to have seen an extra brush roll and perhaps even an extra accessory, such as a stair cleaning or upholstery tool, included. 

You can purchase extra brush rolls ($19.99 at Bissell), strainers ($4.99 at Bissell) and other accessories direct from Bissell if you need. 

Score: 3 out of 5

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum: First impressions

Unboxing the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum is super-easy as it comes pretty ready to go. Inside the box, you'll find the body of the wet/dry vacuum, the handle, the two sample cleaning solutions and the clean-out and storage tray. 

Unboxing the Bissell Crosswave Hydrosteam Pet

(Image credit: Future)

Everything is well packed and secured with sturdy cardboard, which can be recycled. Some clear plastic bags protect the components, which may or may not be recyclable, depending on where you live. 

Bissell cleaning solution samples

(Image credit: Future)

All you need to do is insert the handle into the machine until you hear a 'click' and then fill and insert the clean water tank into the back of the machine. There are specific instructions on the clean water tank about how much water and solution you need so there's no need to measure out cups of this and that - it's all very straightforward. 

Once you're set up, it's time to plug in and start using your new vacuum. After testing so many cordless versions that need to be connected to the Wi-Fi and charged up, I have to say it was a nice change to simply plug in and go! The 24.6-ft cord gives plenty of leeway. 

There are three cleaning modes to choose from:

  • SteamWash Mode: For hygienically cleaning tough and sticky messes, pet messes, wine spills and heavily soiled areas.
  • Hard Floor Mode: This mode is for everyday messes on sealed hard floors and high-traffic areas, including coffee and tea spills, hair debris and food grease.
  • Area Rug Mode: For refreshing area rugs and cleaning dry messes such as crumbs, pet hair and dirt.

Bissell Crosswave Hydrosteam Pet Steam Icon

(Image credit: Future)

The vacuum powers on in SteamWash Mode by default and you should wait around 30 seconds for it to warm up. However, you can select your mode or switch between them by pressing the mode switch at the top of the handle. The mode you're in also conveniently appears lit up on the foot display, so you can always see what mode you're using at a glance.

The power switch is beneath the mode switch on the handle. At the top of the machine's body is the Clean Out Cycle Switch, which you use to operate the self-cleaning cycle. 

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum: Design

The Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum is quite traditional in design, and has a similar look and feel to many of Bissell's other upright vacuum cleaners. Mine came in a grey and black colorway. Key features, such as the trigger on the handle for wetting the rollerbrush and operating the steam function, and the release switch for the dirty water tank, are picked out in a bright, lime green.  

The handle is roomy enough for the biggest hand and is fairly comfortable to use, while the unit itself, while heavy to lift, is easy to maneuver around. There's a handy hook at the back of the handle for securing the power cord when it's not in use. A brushed steel shaft secures the handle to the main base unit.

The base unit feels very sturdy and reliable. The clean water and dirty water tanks click nicely into place, and there's a handle on the top to aid lifting up and down stairs, or from room to room. 

At the floorhead is where all the action is. A see-through plastic screen shields the roller brush, while LED lights help you pick out debris, dust and pet hair. When the vacuum is powered on, one of the three modes icons will light up on the foot unit, which is a really thoughtful and useful touch from the designers, as it's easy to forget what mode you're in. 

Overall, the design feels safe, sturdy, and reliable. It's not exciting, and unlike, for example, the Roborock Dyad Pro Combo, it won't start any conversations. But that's okay. Personally, I value usability over design any day of the week.

What I liked most about the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum is that I can store it under my stairs when I'm not using it. As it's a corded model, there's no need to keep it charged, so if you prefer your vacuums to be out of sight instead of on show, it could suit you very well.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum: Key specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Model no35151
Dirty water tank capacity17oz
Clean water tank capacity28oz
CordedYes, 24.6 feet
Suitable forArea rugs, hard floors, laminate, tiles
Weight12.5 lbs
Dimensions10" x 10" x 44" (D x W x H)
Warranty2-year limited warranty
Accessories8 fl. oz. cleaning solution for floors and 8 fl. oz cleaning solution for the vacuum
ColorBlack/Titanium with Copper Harbor Accents

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum: Performance

During two weeks of testing the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum in my home, I looked at how well it tackled different types of liquid and debris on a hard floor, using thick sauces, sticky honey, milk, spilt cereal, oats, and flour. I also checked how well it picked up dry debris on a carpeted surface and how effective the steam function was. And of course, I used it like an everyday vacuum, seeing how well it coped with pet hair, dust and everyday debris in a busy household.

It takes a few uses to really understand how the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum works. While the manual gives a good overview of the modes and the functions, it doesn't go into a lot of detail. It can be confusing working out how to use the trigger in the different modes as it has different uses. In SteamWash Mode, it releases steam and cleaning solution, so it needs to be pressed continuously until you're ready to dry your floor. In other modes, it simply releases the cleaning formula, so that's something to be aware of and get used to. 

The dirty water tank is a bit of a mystery, too. It's pretty large but the max capacity point is extremely low. I found I generally had to empty the dirty water tank every 6 minutes or so during cleaning. There's no signal to do this but the sound of the vacuum changes to a higher tone, prompting you to check the capacity. There's no mention of this in the manual though. 

Dirty water and pet hair

(Image credit: Future)

I was impressed at how much dirt and debris the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum pulled up on its first pass around the kitchen and hallway, which have laminate floors. There was loads of pet hair secured in the strainer within the dirty water tank and the water was a deep, muddy brown. 

In terms of our at-home tests, this wet/dry did extremely well. It powered through honey, ketchup, water, and flour on a hard surface.  Spills with debris, such as oats and cereal, took a few more passes to pick up everything, but it left behind a gleaming, clean floor with not a hint of mess. I particularly enjoyed the steam function; it feels as if you're giving your floors the VIP treatment and it's reassuring to know that they're hygienically clean as well, especially with pets in the house.

While it's not designed for carpets, you can use this wet/dry vacuum to refresh your area rugs. This includes picking up dry debris, which I tested using flour and oats. It coped very well on my carpet but it does leave behind a slightly damp finish, which is something to be aware of.

The big win for me was using the wet/dry vacuum around the cat's litter tray. Some debris is always kicked out around the tray, and it's generally unpleasant to clean up. Using the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vac, I was able to remove all debris and be reassured that the area around the tray had been thoroughly cleaned, which is a huge bonus.

It's easy to remove and refill the clean water tank, and the dirty water tank, while less pleasant to empty, is pretty simple, too. Open the lid of the dirty water tank, which also houses the filter, lift up the strainer from the bottom of the tank and empty the detritus into the trash. Then, you can pour the dirty water into your basin or drain. Make sure you rinse it out to remove any stuck debris or dirt too. 

Using the self-cleaning function is recommended after every use. Whether you do or not is up to you! You'll need to fill the clean water tank and add a little of the cleaning solution provided to the clean-out tray, then place the machine in the tray. Press the Clean Out Cycle button to start the brush rolling while it cleans itself. The whole process lasts around 30 seconds and helps to remove unwanted odors from the brush. 

This brings me to sound levels. The cleaning process is a deafening 92 decibels. Thankfully, it doesn't last long, but I imagine my neighbours heard all of it. Over 90 decibels is about the same as a power tool, so that's something to be aware of. 

During operation, the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum also reaches pretty noisy heights of around 75 dB, which is similar to a noisy restaurant. So if you have people in your home or neighbors that are sensitive to noise, you may want to think twice before introducing this wet/dry vacuum cleaner.

For me, it did a great job cleaning hard floors, plus it was easy to use and clean. However, the lack of attachments and accessories, such as an extra roller brush, is an opportunity missed to add extra value. A stair/upholstery cleaning attachment would be ideal for pet owners, too.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Cleaning up around the litter tray

(Image credit: Future)

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum: Care & maintenance

In addition to using the Clean Out Cycle and the cleaning solution after every use, Bissell recommends regularly removing and cleaning the roller brush in warm water and detergent, then leaving it to air dry for 24 hours. 

They also recommend washing the filter in warm water and mild detergent before allowing it to air dry. You'll need to replace the filter every three months, while the brush will need to be replaced every six months. 

Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum: User reviews

Over on the Bissell website, users have awarded the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum 4.7-out-of-5 stars yet users of this same wet/dry vacuum cleaner on Amazon have scored it a slightly less score of 43.3-out-of-5 stars.

The general consensus of those who love it say that "it has exceeded my expectations" and it is "totally worth it". The main plus points rave about how easy it is to use and, while the cord may seem to a hinder, is actually a positive thing here because it means that you don't need to recharge a battery.

On the other hand, it's more recommended for the smaller spills and messes on area rugs. It didn't have a positive outcome on tiled flooring, with more dirt seemingly been created and streak marks appearing.

Should you buy the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum?

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Score card
Price & availabilityIt's a good mid-range price but we would have liked to have an accessory or extra brush roll included.★★★
DesignIt's sturdy and reliable and everything clicks together.The traditional design won't set your world on fire though. ★★★½
PerformanceA consistently reliable performer when it comes to tackling pet hair, debris, muddy floors and spills, but it's not designed for use on carpets.★★★½

Buy it if...

You want a vacuum and steam cleaner

The Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum can hygienically clean your floors while vacuuming away dirt and debris in just one pass. This makes it perfect for pet lovers and people who want a deeper every day clean.

You're not interested in lots of accessories or WiFi connectivity

If you're not bothered about stair or upholstery tools, crevice attachments or dust brushes, the simplicity of this Bissell will suit you down to the ground. Plus you can store it out of site, as it doesn't need to be continuously charged or connect to your Wi-Fi.

You value reliability and sturdiness with a brand you trust

Bissell appliances consistently rank highly on our site and other consumer review sites, plus the brand has over 170 years experience in creating cleaning products. The excellent 2-year warranty provides extra peace of mind too.

Don't buy it if...

You want a wet/dry vacuum that can tackle carpets

The Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum isn't designed for carpets sadly, which is a shame. However, it can refresh area rugs.  

You want a cordless model

The Bissell is corded, which may put off some potential buyers. However, it does mean it's always ready to perform at the flick of a switch with no need to charge.

You want a wet/dry vacuum that's quiet

If you value a quiet household or someone in your home is sensitive to noise, the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet Dry Vacuum isn't for you. It roars along at around 75dB during operation and can reach a powerful 92dB when self-cleaning. That's about as loud as a power tool!

How does the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet/Dry Vacuum compare?

If you like the idea of an upright wet/dry vacuum cleaner but you'd prefer a cordless version, the Ultenic AC1 Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum promises to vacuum and mop your hard floors or sealed wooden floors simultaneously, taking care of two chores in half the time. While it won't vacuum carpets, it was impressive at picking up dirt and debris on hard floors in our testing, and despite being cordless, it has a more than adequate runtime of 45 minutes per charge. 

If you'd rather have a hands-free experience, the Eufy X10 Pro Omni will do everything for you, including vacuuming, mopping, and self-emptying. But you'd better have a much bigger budget as it retails for hundreds of dollars more!

If you just want a compact and affordable option, the Black+Decker Dustbuster QuickClean Cordless Wet/Dry Handheld Vacuum could be ideal.  It's fantastic at powering through dry and wet messes in the home and car. Plus, it's small enough to store away when not in use. However, the 10-minute battery runtime could disappoint some users.

How I tested the Bissell CrossWave HydroSteam Plus Multi-Surface Wet/Dry Vacuum

Over two weeks, I evaluated the Bissell Crosswave Hydrosteam Pet Wet/Dry Vacuum, using it around my home for vacuuming, rug refreshing cleaning, upholstery cleaning, and floor washing. I tested how well it coped with sludgy messes and sauces, thin liquids, and dry debris, such as oats and flour. I cleaned laminate and hard wood floors and rugs with the Bissell Crosswave Hydrosteam Pet and used a decibel meter to record volume output.

Read more about how we test.

  • First reviewed: April 2024
Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 

You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website: