Bissell SmartClean 1974 Robot: Absolute Value for Money or Just a Mediocre Machine?

Ever felt like a caveman while chickening out from getting a robot vacuum cleaner time and again?

Join the club!

And trust us when we say this, letting a little bot-vac do what you and your giant upright achieve together, demands a strong leap of faith.

We took it the day we brought Bissell SmartClean 1974 Robot home. 

With a giant Labrador shedding like crazy and the kids bringing dust and dirt home whenever they wish to, storming the house with our heavy upright vacuum every day was turning out to be a tedious challenge lately. 

A few days of procrastination followed by a few days of hesitation finally led us to the day we added our little robot vacuum to the cart.    

Was it worth the purchase?

We are here to give you a detailed account of just that.

So, buckle up for the friendliest of the Bissell Smartclean Robot vacuum reviews. Here it goes. 

A Quick Look at the Bissell SmartClean 1974

An amazingly lightweight and compact robot vacuum, the Bissell 1974 bot-vac may not be the most sophisticated of its kind, but sports some pretty decent features. 

These features are actually all we needed in a robotic vacuum. Fancy add-ons weren’t essentially essential. 


The Bissell SmartClean robotic vacuum is armed with:

  • Triple Action Cleansing System with dual-edge side brushes, a rotating brush, and a good suction.
  • Bissell SmartClean Battery, a lithium-ion battery that allows up to 80 minutes runtime.
  • Multi-surface adaptability
  • Virtual Invisible Wall to ward it off from unchartered territories.
  • Cleaning session scheduling
  • 0.4 L Capacity Dirt Cup
  • Cliff sensors, bump sensors and dirt sensors
  • Automatic Docking and Recharging

Design and Dimensions:

Adorned in different shades of grey and a sporty shade of blue, Bissell SmartClean robotic vacuum looks quite high tech. The upper surface of this frisbee-faced cleaning machine has an array of buttons along with the LED screen. 

With a 13 inches wide diameter, it does seem to announce its presence on the floor. However, the short 3.4 inches height enables it to glide under furniture with style and ease.

Why Bissell SmartClean Robotic Vacuum?

The thing which appeals to us the most is affordability. With a price tag significantly lower than the much-talked-about Roomba 690, we found this Bissell robot vacuum surprisingly feature-packed. 

Almost all Bissell robotic vacuum reviews agree that the SmartClean 1974 is reasonably priced, even though it is one of the priciest among Bissell bot-vacs. 

There are a handful of other things that we absolutely loved about this little cleaner robot. Here’s a list.

  • Supreme performance on a hardwood floor.
  • Cleans low pile carpets fairly well.
  • The dustbin is easy to remove and empty.
  • Fast navigation.
  • Smart sensors.
  • Goes under furniture easily.
  • Picks up dog hair efficiently.
  • Accurate virtual invisible wall.
  • Automatically goes back to the charging base when in need of refueling. 

So, is Bissell 1974 a Flawless Machine?

Great in many ways? YES.

Flawless? NO.

No matter how impressive it seems, the device does have some design glitches. A Bissell SmartClean review is incomplete without their mention.

These are the areas that the Bissell SmartClean 1974 struggles at:

  • Faces trouble transitioning between floor types.
  • Goes all clueless in a medium to high pile rug.
  • Small bin capacity
  • No wireless connection.
  • No remote control, so you’ll have to chase after your Bissell whenever you need to change settings.

There are a couple of other troubles that our Bissell SmartClean landed into, but we quickly learned ways to avoid them. We’ll share the wisdom as we proceed.

What’s in the Box?

A package of Bissell SmartClean 1974 Robot Vacuum Cleaner contains the following:

  • A Bissell 1974 SmartClean Robot
  • One Lithium-ion battery
  • A 0.4 L Capacity Dust Bin with Filter
  • A Docking Station
  • A Power Adapter
  • A Virtual Wall

By the look of it, it seems like all the Bissell SmartClean parts come inside the box. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You’ll still have to buy the 4 AA batteries to run the virtual wall.

Setting Up the Bissell 1974 Bot

Getting started with the Bissell SmartClean bot involves an easy 4-step process.

  • Installing the lithium-ion battery. 
  • Installing the two-edge side brushes. This should be easy as the brushes conveniently click attach to the slots on the holders.
  • Installing the 4 AA batteries inside the invisible wall barrier.
  • Charge the battery before it is ready to get started.

Want us to show you how it’s done?

Here you go!

Our Experience with Bissell SmartClean 1974 Robot

While robot vacuums may be the trend of the time, in the world of supreme vacuum cleaners, Uprights undoubtedly reigns supreme.

While we kept the occasional extensive cleaning for our Upright, the robot was tasked with carrying out the moderate cleaning that the house calls for on a daily basis.

We pre-schedule our Bissell 1974 tasks, see the sensors at work with our own eyes, and explore different cleaning modes. 

This little thing buzzes around on its own taking care of all the rooms one after another. This often makes us feel that Bissell SmartCare robot vacuum would have been a more appropriate name.

However, the noise is something we didn’t grow fond of.

Scheduling the Bot-Vac:

Unlike its contemporary robot vacuums, the scheduling function buttons of Bissell 1974 are in the docking station instead of the bot itself. After you manage to find it toggle the switch and you’ll see three options:

  • Clock
  • Schedule and
  • Run

Begin with the clock and set the time straight. If you jump to ‘schedule’ before dealing with the clock, your Bissell Bot won’t know the time and creep you out with a humming run in the middle of the night. 

Then you move on to ‘Schedule’ where you’ll get to choose from 5 schedule formats;

  • One day/week
  • Sunday to Saturday ( 7 days/ week )
  • Monday to Friday ( 5 days/ week )
  • Monday to Saturday ( 6 days/ week )
  • Saturday to Sunday ( 2 days/week)

We run it in a 5-days a week schedule without any complaints from the bot. 

Finally, give the final command by ‘Run’. 

If the ‘clock’ and ‘schedule’ icons light up at this point, then your SmartClean has received the message.


How well Bissell SmartClean performs largely depends on the type of floor it is up against. 

Armed with the Opticlean Sensor technology, the little bot-bac navigates and picks up dirt, debris, and pet hair with ease over hard floors including wood floors.

When up against a carpet, it does okay on a low pile one. Medium to high pile carpet would get it stuck. 


The Bissell SmartClean 1974 pulls off an 80-minutes run time after which it runs back to the dock. 

The sign during this time will read ‘LO’. While you ponder where the ‘W’ of “LOW’ went, your bot-vac will already be refueling. 

Cleaning Modes:

The Control Panel has three buttons for controlling the cleaning time, navigation, and power. Depending on the mode you choose, your Bissell bot vacuum will walk in a spiral path or a diagonal one. Or it may walk along the walls from edges to edges, or in a  Z formation.

If you are not sure about this, set it to the automatic mode. The device will walk in all formations one after the other.


Bump sensors prevent bumps on the road by Infra-red and acoustic sensors. Despite that, we did find reports of some bumps in a Bissell SmartClean robot review that we came across. 

Cliff sensors save it from falling off stairs.

Dirt sensors detect dirty areas so that the bot can hover over it several times.

Bissell Bot-Vac Wisdom 1: 

Fancy saving your little robot from tripping on cables? Make sure you place the virtual wall in front of tangles of cables. Your bot won’t go near them. 


Bissell SmartClean is quieter than Roomba. Even then it can be quite noisy and will make sure to let you know that it’s at work every single time.

Other Robots that You may Find Interesting

Shark ION Robot Vacuum WIFI-Connected, Voice Control Dual-Action Robotic Vacuum

If you are looking for a more state of the art robot vacuum cleaner, then take a look at Shark ION. It is quiet and with an intuitive app that works with Alexa and Google Home.

iRobot Roomba 690:

Although much more expensive than the Bissell 1974, and also much noisier, the Roomba 690 deserves some attention due to its great reviews. It is wireless in contrast to Bissell 1974 which only runs on manual command.

Related Topic: iRobot Roomba 890 Review: Best Robot Vacuum for Your Money?

The Verdict

Bissell SmartClean 1974 is a fairly good vacuum cleaner for small to medium-sized households. However, if you are looking for more modernized sophisticated options, this Bissell bot-vac isn’t cut out for you. 

With an extremely economical price tag, as far as moderate automated cleaning is concerned it does its job like a pro.

The SmartClean 1974 crafted by the trusted Bissell is absolutely a great value of money. 

And no, no, no. It’s not a mediocre machine.

Now What?

Now that we made it quite clear how much we truly appreciate our Bissell Bot-Vac and highly recommend you to bring one home, it seems like we are due to part ways.

Let’s do that with wisdom then, shall we?

Bissell Bot-Vac Wisdom 2:

Don’t be worried if your Bissell robots halt in front of a black rug. Often cliff sensors tend to mistake black rugs as pits or holes.

To get around this problem, cover the cliff sensors with tape and place the virtual wall on top of the stairs. 

This way, your bot will not hesitate to run over the black rugs and will be protected from a fall at the same time.

Smart, right?

Bye then!

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