Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal AS3401A review: Large and in charge: Eureka's bulky vac cleans like a champ

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MSRP: $198.00

The Good The Brushroll Clean feature of the Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal works well; you'll rarely have to untangle pet hair by hand. On carpets, it performed well with both large and small particles, in addition to picking up pet hair and avoiding tangles.

The Bad It's not as effective when cleaning hardwood floors and lacks any sort of modern maneuverability like a swiveling handle or self-propulsion. As a result, it feels heavier than it should when you vacuum with it.

The Bottom Line Though not as maneuverable or as well-rounded as the competition, the Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal is a great carpet cleaner with a couple of nice extras at a budget-friendly $200 price.

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7.6 Overall
  • Performance 8
  • Features 9
  • Design 7
  • Usability 6

Review Sections

The Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal must have missed the day on modern vacuum maneuverability. Foregoing amenities like the ball on Dyson's vacs or the easily pivoting head of recent Shark and Oreck models, Eureka's vac will make your chore feel like a chore. It moves like a brick and lacks any self propulsion. It felt like the heaviest vac I've used in some time. It's actually not, but other vacs hide their weight better when you use them.

Once you get it moving, it's a good cleaner, especially on carpet, for a more than reasonable $200 price. It even includes a few appealing features like a self-cleaning brushroll. The Shark Rotator vacs, both the $200 Rotator Pro and $350 Rotator Powered, clean almost as well as this Eureka model, and both are significantly more versatile and easier to use. Nevertheless, Eureka's machine deserves your consideration as a highly competent cleaner at a budget friendly price.

I ain't afraid of no vacuum

I've always wanted to be a ghostbuster, and the busy back of the Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal has a circular disc containing the self-winding cord, a hose wrapped over the top and various attachments stuck into it, reminding me strongly of a proton pack. I really wanted to strap it to my back, grab the hose from over my shoulder and chase after Slimer.

The front of the vac is much simpler with the vacuum head colored an appealing dark orange. The long cylindrical dust bin sits on top of it, the clear plastic adorned only by the Eureka name and a line letting you know when it's full.

Ready to roll. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Available now exclusively at Walmart for $200, the Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal looks pretty appealing at first glance, and again, the clunkiness of the back didn't bother me. It's also nice that all of the various attachments have a spot where you can stick them so you can take them with you as you work. They fall off a little too easily, but you can quickly put them back in place.

The package includes a crevice tool, a dusting brush, an extension wand and a stair and upholstery turbo nozzle. The last item has a mini powered brushroll so you can get pet hair off of your furniture. It's not a particularly unique item, but it's a nice perk especially in a $200 package.

The machine itself weighs a reasonable 15.8 pounds and sports a 27-foot-long cord along with a 12-foot hose.

Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy Dyson Ball Allergy Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean Dirt Devil Lift & Go Oreck Touch Bagless Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away
Price $200 $700 $500 $300 $120 $400 $200 $350
Weight 15.8 lbs 19.2 lbs 17.3 lbs 17.2 lbs 13 lbs 18 lbs 15.8 lbs 16 lbs
Cord Length 27 ft 35 ft 30 ft 25 ft 30 ft 30 ft 30 ft 30 ft
Hose Length 12 ft 15 ft 15 ft 12 ft 6 ft 10 ft 9.5 ft 9.5 ft
Included Attachments Stair & upholstery nozzle, crevice tool, dusting brush, extension wand 9 including a turbine tool, and multi-angle brush Soft dusting brush, reach under tool, mattress tool, combination tool, stair tool Dusting brush and crevice tool Extension wand, Air-Powered Turbo Tool, 2-in-1 Combo Tool Crevice tool, upholstery/ dusting brush, stair tool Crevice tool, multipurpose tool, floor nozzle, power brush, upholstery tool 8 including a mini motorized brush, a dusting brush, and a crevice tool
Notable Extras Retractable cord, self-cleaning brushroll No filter to maintain N/A Self-cleaning brushroll Vac-Dust Floor Tool with Swipes N/A Includes a cannister caddy and can switch between an upright and a canister Includes a canister caddy and converts to a powered canister or powered handheld

Limited mobility

Comparatively, Eureka's specs blend in nicely with pricey competition, and the 12-foot hose is pretty generous. I was surprised to learn it's actually lighter than the field, though. In practice, it feels bulky and before I looked up the numbers, I would have guessed it outweighed the rest by a couple of pounds.

Turns out, maneuverability makes a big difference when it comes to making your chore easier. Especially on carpet, I felt all of this vac's 15 pounds on every push during the testing process. It consistently felt like it was dragging.

Lots of modern vacs have features to distribute their weight better. Dyson's ball makes it possible to turn on a dime, and other recent vacuums add a pivoting joint between the vacuum head and the handle. Shark's and Oreck's vacs use that joint to great effect and equal Dyson's pivoting prowess. Self propulsion helps too, as vacs with it can glide across carpets with seemingly no effort on your part.

Maybe I've just been spoiled by the vacs I've reviewed recently. My grandmother's vacuum certainly never had any self-propulsion or easy maneuverability. You had to work hard to lug that thing across the floors you wanted to clean, and I think that added a character-building aspect to the process.

If you want a workout, Eureka's lack of maneuverability might even be a good thing, it's just behind the times when it comes to modern amenities to ease the burden of cleaning.

Cluttered controls

I also like the way Dyson and Shark handle height on their vacs more than the five-tier dial on top of Eureka's vacuum head. With Dyson's machines, you don't have to worry about height at all; a flexible plastic plate adjusts up and down to create a seal on any surface.

It's hard to know what setting to choose for midpile carpet. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Eureka has something similar, touting the vac's "All-surface suction plates" on its website, but it doesn't go all the way around the opening like Dyson's, just across the front, so Eureka still needed to include manual height controls.

Shark strikes a balance between being fully hands off like Dyson while still giving you some control. It's most recent Rotator Powered Lift-Away vac puts a slider on the vacuum's handle. It has three positions, one for hardwood, one for normal carpet, and one for particularly thick carpet and area rugs. On Eureka's vac, the bare floor setting is obvious, but I had trouble determining which of the four carpet notches to use on my mid-pile test carpet.

I also like Shark's efforts to let you control the vac's settings by hand. With the Eureka, you'll manipulate almost everything with a pedal. You turn the vac and the brushroll on or off with a pedal, you lower the handle with a pedal, and you activate the brushroll clean with the pedal. The power pedal proved a little finicky, you need to press it with some force to get the vac to stay on, otherwise it'll whir to life briefly only to shut down again. It's also awkwardly positioned too close to the dustbin, making it tricky to reach with the handle lowered. All the other pedals work as promised, but having so many of them confused me when I started testing the vac.

Maintenance made easy

Cleaning with the Eureka Brushroll Clean isn't overly difficult, it's just not the seamless experience offered by top tier competition. It does help you ease the maintenance process, though. You'll work hard when vacuuming with the Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal, but getting ready for the next run is a snap.

I enjoyed the automatically winding cord. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

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