The Bissell Steam&Sweep 46B4 combines a sweeper and steam mop in one machine. The sweeper in the front of the machine sucks dirt into a dustbin, while the steam mop wipes floors in back. One can use both functions simultaneously or, as most users recommend, one after the other. Like the popular Bissell 1867-7 Steam Mop, the Bissell Steam&Sweep has a 360-degree swivel head and a 17.5-ounce removable water tank that provides about 15 minutes of steam. The Bissell Steam&Sweep also cannot generate steam that is hot enough to sanitize unless you leave the mop in place for at least 15 seconds. The mop covers on the Steam&Sweep attach with hook-and-loop fasteners, rather than the elastic-and-toggle mechanism that users complain about on the 1867-7. Other user complaints include a relatively short handle, a water filter (*Est. $12) to replace and a trigger mechanism to release the steam, which many reviewers find tiring. However, the power cord for the Bissell Steam&Sweep is almost twice as long at 30 feet.
Though you can sweep and mop simultaneously, reviewers say the sweeper's position in front of the mop cover presents the risk of getting the dirt wet when you pull the mop back, making it more difficult to sweep up. This layout also means that the steam portion of the Bissell Steam&Sweep can never reach the edges of the floor. There aren't many players in the category; the recently released Haan HD-60 Steam Sweeper may be a good alternative, but at this point lacks the reviews to back it up. If you'd prefer to combine your steam mop with a vacuum rather than a sweeper, you may want to check out the Shark Vac-Then-Steam MV2010 (*Est. $130)
No comparison tests or reviews exist yet for steam sweepers and steam vacuums, but there are dozens of owner-written reviews available on Amazon.com and Target.com. There is one detailed review of the Bissell Steam&Sweep performed by Good Housekeeping, but it does not offer any comparisons to other steam sweepers.
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At Amazon.com, the Bissell Steam&Sweep earns 3 stars out of 5 with more than 100 owner-written reviews. Owners like that the Bissell Steam&Sweep allows you to steam and sweep simultaneously or use one function at a time. However some users point out that given the Bissell Steam&Sweep's design, with the sweeper portion in front of the mop pad, you should always push the unit forward, otherwise you will have wet dirt that the unit is unable to pick up. This design also prevents users from steam cleaning all the way to the edges of the floors. As with the Bissell Steam Mop 1867, some owners find that having to pull a trigger on the handle to release the steam tires their hands quickly.
Review: Bissell Steam & Sweep Hard-Floor Cleaner, 46B4, Contributors to Amazon.com
More than 50 owners review the Bissell Steam&Sweep at Target.com and give the steam sweeper a 4-star rating out of 5. Owners praise the Steam&Sweep, saying that it's easy to assemble and easy to use. Some are impressed by the steam sweeper's pick up ability given it's only a sweeper, while others complain there isn't enough suction power. It is unclear if these owners realize the Steam&Sweep is a sweeper and not a vacuum. Other complaints include floors that are left streaky and too wet by the steam function. If you have pets, the dual function of the Bissell Steam&Sweep can leave you with wet pet hair that is difficult to remove from the dustbin.
Review: Bissell Steam and Sweep Hard Surface Cleaner -- Silver, Contributors to Target.com
3. Good Housekeeping
This reviewer offers a brief description of the Bissell Steam&Sweep and its effectiveness on various stains. While she recommends it for its ease of use on various flooring, one user posts a comment that the Bissell Steam&Sweep is hard to maneuver and does a poor job of steaming and sweeping.
Review: Cleaning Product of the Month -- Bissell Steam & Sweep, Christina Peterson, Oct. 1, 2010