Dyson has a rush of product out right now. The two most recent additions to its iconic cordless vacuum cleaner range are both heavily geared towards hard floors, and both are undeniably excellent.
The brand new Dyson Omni-glide seems to almost float on air, as it effortlessly cleans around furniture and domestic debris, while the V15 Detect has a special hard floor head, which uses a laser to reveal exactly how disgusting your wood and tiled floors really are. Seriously, guys, they're gross. Sort it out.
But there is another way to get nice, clean hard floors – and do a bit of rug maintenance while you're about it. In recent years a number of brands have brought out cleaners specifically for wood, laminate, tile and linoleum/fake lino floors.
These machines use a roller that's being constantly fed with detergent-laced water from a tank. The first one I was aware of for domestic use was from Kärcher and was promising but ultimately rather unsatisfactory. Since then there have been some pretty good efforts from the likes of Vax and Bissell.
Now, however, Bissell has made this style of hard floor cleaner really come of age with the excitingly-named Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max. It's lighter, smarter and better at hard floor cleaning than any previous, erm, hard floor cleaner. And it can turn itself to a bit of rug-buffing action And it doesn't shine a laser at dirt to make it look like your home is some kind of dirt-riddled Hellscape. So that is also a plus.
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Bissell's range-topping CrossWave Cordless Max is a distinct step up from the not-so-range-topping Crosswave Cordless. While that all slotted together nicely, and cleaned with very good water-efficiency, it didn't really clean terribly well. Which sort of defeats the object of having one, really.
However in terms of basic function, it is identical.
You fill the tank at the rear with warm water, laced with Bissell's special cleaning fluid. This is then fed to the whirling roller head when you hold down a trigger on the handle, and applied to the floor. Obviously.
The clever bit is that excess/dirty water is then sucked back up, and deposited into a second tank. The general idea is that you make a forward stroke with the CrossWave, with the trigger depressed, then release and pull back. Now, I must admit that this is a bit beyond my limited physical co-ordination, but the good news is that it still seems to work perfectly alright with more random pressing and un-pressing of the trigger.
Another great way to make the CrossWave Cordless Max work to optimum effect, I have found, is to leave it to my partner to do the floor buffing. He seems to actively enjoy using Bissell's floor-meister, so both of us are quite happy in our own ways.
The Bissell not only deals manfully with dust and everyday dirt, it can also be used to remove large splats of stuff. Needless to say, no matter how good Dyson makes its vacs, it would not recommend you use them to suck jam off the floor, or the stuff that builds up around the base of your toilet when your house has men in it.
Not only that, it can even turn its hand to 'area rugs'. This is an American term for what we Brits call 'rugs'. I was pretty sceptical about how well this would work out, but the CrossWave really does a great job of refreshing rugs, 'area' or otherwise. It doesn't remove full-on stains, but it does dig out up and suck out dirt. In fact, judging by the near-black tone of the water in the waste tank after use, it digs out a lot of dirt.
More importantly, rugs are not left sopping wet. My wool one was only barely wet to the touch immediately after cleaning, and seemed fully dry within an hour or so.
Once you're done cleaning with it, the CrossWave Cordless Max can be returned to its charging station, which also has a solid base on which the business end of the cleaner sits. This does what you'd expect but also has another trick up its sleeve.
Once the CrossWave is docked, a series of blue lights flash in a sexy and Tron-like manner. Then you are able to press the special self-cleaning button. This prompts the roller head to whirr around at a million miles per hour, cleaning itself pretty damn effectively.
It's also very straightforward to remove and thoroughly rinse and clean roller and its plastic guard, as well as the two water tanks.
It's hard to say whether the CrossWave Cordless Max gets your floors as hygienically clean as the Dyson V15 Detect, and it is certainly not wafty and fun as the Dyson Omni-wave. However, cleaning with water, detergent and a roller definitely leaves hard floors looking cleaner than they ever would with a vacuum cleaner alone and for me, that's the main thing.
• Find out more about the Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max