If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a vacuum but want an upright capable of cleaning both hard floors and carpets, the Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870 is a good choice. It weighs more than 21 pounds, so keep that in mind if you plan to use it on stairs. Different model numbers come with varying attachments, such as powered mini-heads with pet-hair removal attachments and a rising visor for stairs.
Surprisingly powerful for the price. Editors at one professional testing organization say the Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870 is excellent for bare floors, carpet and pet hair. It also earns an excellent score for emissions and good scores for noise and airflow. The Eureka Boss Smart Vac boasts a wide 15-inch cleaning path. Owners posting feedback to sites like Amazon.com and Walmart.com are impressed with the strong suction considering the low price of this upright vacuum and say it's great for pet hair. Opinions are mixed on noise, with some saying it's super-quiet while others claiming it's irritatingly loud.
Not as feature-packed as pricier models. The Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870 is sold under a few different model number extensions, indicating varying attachments and colors. The base model, the 4870MZ, comes with a powered nozzle with a lifting visor for cleaning stairs with ease, as well as a crevice tool, upholstery nozzle and dusting brush. HEPA filtration keeps the air cleaner. The brushroll adjusts to seven different height settings and can be deactivated, but the manual adjustment is cumbersome. Airflow can be redirected to the hose, but there are no suction-strength settings.
Heavy and bulky, with good intentions. The Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870 has an adequate 30-foot power cord. While it's not self-propelled, owners posting feedback to sites like Amazon.com and Walmart.com say it feels as though it is. There are many complaints about the weight of this 21.5-pound vacuum, and some users say it's bulky and awkward to maneuver. Others say it's simply too heavy to use on stairs and that the attachments won't stay in place. The bags are easy to change, however. The handle adjusts, but several reviewers say the release is difficult to operate.
Easy maintenance, but service repairs are inconvenient. The Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870 uses HEPA filters, which cost around $20; the pre-motor filter costs around $3. Both should be replaced every six bag changes. Dust bags cost around $6 each but can be purchased in bulk. A maintenance pack can be purchased from Eureka for $65, containing six vacuum bags, one HEPA filter, one motor filter and one drive belt. There are some complaints of malfunctioning units and brushrolls that simply quit. Customer service honors the one-year warranty, but service centers can be more than 100 miles away for some users.
ConsumerReports.org evaluates nearly 90 upright vacuums, including the Eureka Smart Vac, testing them on carpet and bare floor. Editors rate each model for cleaning ability, noise, emissions and ease of use, as well as its ability to pick up pet hair from carpeting.
Review: Upright Vacuum Cleaner Ratings and Reliability, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
The Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870MZ is reviewed by more than 770 owners at Amazon.com. About 500 owners give it a 4- or 5-star rating, but there are some complaints about frequently breaking belts and brushrolls that stop working. The majority of reviewers, however, say it's powerful, effective and lasts for years.
Review: Eureka Boss Smart-Vac Upright HEPA Vacuum Cleaner, 4870MZ, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2013
3. Good Housekeeping
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute tests the Eureka Boss Smart Vac Pet Lover 4870SZ, identical to the standard 4870 other than an additional pet-hair attachment. It performs well on all floor types, editors say, but testers found it cumbersome to operate and loud. Editors give it an A rating.
Review: Eureka Boss SmartVac Pet Lover 4870SZ Vacuum, Editors of Good Housekeeping, September 2010
About 680 owners contribute to an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Several owners report owning previous versions of this vacuum that went strong for five to 10 years. Owners say it's quiet and powerful, but might suck up the edges of throw rugs.
Review: Eureka Boss SmartVac Sealed HEPA Bagged Upright Vacuum, 4870MZ, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of December 2013
More than 150 owners offer opinions on the Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870. Overall, the Eureka Boss Smart Vac earns an average score of 80 out of a possible 100. Most owners say it's powerful and lasts for years, but there are some complaints of defective units.
Review: Eureka Boss SmartVac Vacuum 4870 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of December 2013