Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review: the best hard floor cleaner available to humankind

A top-performing vacuum mop that cleans hard floors and then cleans itself

T3 Platinum Award
Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review
(Image credit: Bissell)
T3 Verdict

All hail the Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max. As hard floor vacuum mops go, this one is the knees of the bee. Apart from being light enough to carry up a flight of stairs and easy enough to push and pull around the home, this model’s pièce de résistance is its ability to clean liquid-based spills with impressive panache. It’s also more widely available to buy than many if its Chinese competitors.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Superb performance on all hard floors

  • +

    Cleans up all liquid spills

  • +

    Large water tanks

  • +

    Excellent self-cleaning system

  • +

    30 minutes of cordless cleaning

  • +

    Comes with one litre of cleaning solution

  • +

    Great price

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Awkward charging dock interface

  • -

    Not cheap

If you want to know what a clean hard floor looks like, pop over to this writer’s pad and admire the hard graft I’ve put into getting my floors to look like a polished school hall. Actually I tell a lie. I did no graft at all because I’ve been testing the latest range of whizz-bang hard floor cleaners that not only dispense a water solution while sucking up liquid muck of all varieties, but they also automatically clean themselves afterwards.

To date I’ve tried the excellent cordless Tineco Floor One S3 and Roborock Dyad, the cordless Kärcher EWM 2 – a simple roller mop that also dispenses water but doesn’t really suck it up or clean itself – and the cordless two-in-one Roidmi RS70, which transforms from a efficient vacuum cleaner into a wet mop. I’ve even given some hard floor steam cleaners a whirl which you can read about in T3’s guide to the Best Steam Cleaners.

Consequently, I’d like to think I’ve tested a fair breadth of hard floor cleaning options these past few weeks to form a valid opinion, but truth is I haven’t tested any model to date that’s as good as the Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max. And the main reasons why it’s so brilliant is because it’s a bit lighter than the others, it stands up on its own, it washes floors superbly well, it cleans itself afterwards and it all comes apart really easily for occasional rinse trips to the sink. It’s also more readily available online and from a company with a foot placed firmly in the UK – and that makes it easier to get things fixed when/if required.

If you want to learn more about this marvellous floor cleaner, carry on reading. Alternatively just go and buy one. It’s that good.

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max: price and availability

The Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max is widely available in the UK from Amazon (opens in new tab), Currys (opens in new tab), AO (opens in new tab) and Bissell Direct where it retails at around £430. 

If you live Stateside, consider Amazon (opens in new tab) ($359) or Walmart (opens in new tab) ($399) and, if Down Under, 

Bissell Australia (AU$699) and Harvey Norman (AU$649).

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review: Design and features

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review

(Image credit: Bissell)

Presumably the CrossWave Max gets its name from the wavy shape of its side profile. Whatever,  it’s a strangely attractive thing – for a mop. Like the similarly-styled Tineco Floor One S3 and Roborock Dyad, the CrossWave is a fully cordless mopping system that cleans hard floors of all styles – including treated wood – using water, cleaning solution and a fast-rotating woolly roller. It also features a powerful vacuum motor to suck up all sorts of liquid mess in the path of its nine-inch maw, including spilled cereals, porridge  and unsavoury substances like vomit, dog wee and possibly even other forms of liquified excremental matter which I wasn’t keen on experimenting with.

The CrossWave Max is super easy to master as long as you can get a handle on the concept of pulling a trigger while you push and releasing it when you pull. This is because the machine only dispenses water to the roller when the trigger is pulled. The idea is that, on release of the trigger, the vacuum system is activated to suck up all excess liquid, leaving the floor dryer than most of its competitors. 

The CrossWave Max weighs a very respectable 5.22kg and comes with an extra large 828ml clean water tank and a larger-than-average 550ml dirty water tank with filter attached. This means you can clean for much longer than others without having to refill the clean water tank or empty the dirty one. Top marks there.

The roller itself measures nine inches (about 23cm) in width and is made from a soft wooly material with several extended bristles for scrubbing obstreperous substances off the floor. And because the roller brush stretches across almost the entire width of the cleaning head, it will tackle spills right to the edge.

Aside from the on/off button, the CrossWave Max also has a floor selector that activates two types of water intensity for treated wooden floors and non-porous compounds like tile, linoleum, polished concrete. A separate button activates the self-cleaning mode when the unit is mounted to the charger-cum-cleaning station. 

I can’t really find anything negative to say about the design of the machine itself or its performance. However I do have one major gripe to mention and it’s the dodgy interface between the machine and the charger-cum-cleaning station. When I first mounted the unit into the cleaning station’s provided port, it refused to engage with the power supply. In fact I had to jiggle the machine around until the charging light came on. You’re supposed to be able to quickly plonk the machine on the cleaning plinth but in reality you first have to align the rear of the unit with a recessed port on the cleaning plate and it’s not very intuitive because a) you can’t see what you’re doing and b) the tiny sprung lid to the charging point appears to occasionally stick. I wouldn’t say it’s a deal breaker but it sure is frustrating.

This writer despises household cleaning machines that can’t stand up on their own so you’ll be pleased to learn that this one can. Like an old-fashioned Hoover, you simply push the handle into an upright position and, voila, it stands up on its own. That’s what I’m talking about.

The Crosswave Cordless Max can also be used to vacuum a rug or refresh it with a quick wet application though, in the latter respect, it’s no substitute for a bona fine Best Carpet Cleaner.

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review: How it works

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review

The Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max has just three buttons: power, floor type and self clean

(Image credit: Bissell)

The CrossWave’s 828ml clean water reservoir comes with two sets of measurement markings, one for short emergency whizzes and another for a full household clean. Simply fill the top container to the fresh water line of choice and pour in the provided Bissell cleaning solution up to the second line, about one centimetre above (Bissell provides a litre of the stuff which should last ages). If, like me, you have treated wooden floors, select the ‘wood floor’ function, pull back the handle to engage the cleaning head, press the lightweight trigger and walk forward slowly while the wet roller does its scrubbing thing. 

Now release the trigger and pull slowly back to suck the mess up into the 550ml dirty water tank. If you have tiling, polished concrete or linoleum, go the full hog and select the appropriate setting which dispenses more water per pull of the trigger. That’s it – that’s all you have to do. No reaching for a mop and bucket, no dollops of elbow grease to release sticky substances. Just a simple push and pull. When you’ve finished, clip the unit into the awkward cleaning base interface, tap the clean button and watch in awe as the roller brush turns from filthy brown to a lighter shade of clean.

There will be times, mind, when you will need to remove the dirty water container and rinse it under a sink, especially if the catch filter is clogged with hair or other unsightly muck. But this is par for the course with any type of floor cleaner.

Regarding battery time, you should get up to around 30 minutes of use from a complete charge. And that’s more than enough time for any task bar perhaps a full four-room mopping session.

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review: Performance

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max on white background

(Image credit: Bissell)

When it comes to hard floor performance evaluation, I’d like to think I have a good test bed for a device of this nature. Yes, kids make a mess and even some grown ups do, too. But nothing – nothing I tell you – messes up a house more than a bunch of animals. I have two labs and three cats and that means muddy floors on a regular basis… and hair. So. Much. Hair.

My first test was on the kitchen floor which was a different colour to what it was last week – more a shade of dark oak than the lighter shade of pine it should have been. I opted for the gentle wooden floor setting and pushed and pulled it back and forth but, alas, the wooly roller remained dry. Until I spotted the water-dispensing trigger on the handle. RTFM, I hear you holler? Nah, manuals are for wimps.

Anyway, the upshot is that the CrossWave Cordless Max performed a miraculous feat by restoring the floor to its original condition – well at least close enough. I then added a squirt of ketchup to see how well it cleaned it up and how well the self-cleaning system performed. Lo and behold, my new floor dynamo completely eradicated the ketchup after just two passes, depositing it all in the dirty water tank which by now resembled the contents of a cesspit. Emptying the contents into the sink was easy but I did have to manually remove a bunch of hair and rinse the whole tank under the tap – par for the course with any floor cleaner.

As my floors are mostly comprised of wood, I’m very cautious about adding too much moisture lest the floorboards start warping or bulging. Thankfully, the CrossWave seems to remove more excess water than other models, leaving just a very thin film in its wake which evaporates in minutes. In fact, this part of the process impressed me so much that the machine has become my new go-to floor cleaner for all eventualities.

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review: Self cleaning

Like the Tineco Floor One S3 and Roborock Dyad, the Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max comes with a self-cleaning feature that spins the brush head at Hadron Collider velocity, purging all the muck it’s collected before sucking it up into the dirty water container. I was super impressed by the way it miraculously removed all traces of pet hair and ketchup, returning the brush to near new condition after just one cleaning binge. So, top marks there. I just wish Bissell could improve the interface between the cleaner and cleaning base because the current method is way too clunky.

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review: Verdict

Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max review

(Image credit: Bissell)

If you’re in the market for an exceedingly competent hard floor cleaner that tackles all types of flooring including sealed wood with consummate aplomb, the Bissell CrossMax Cordless is the machine for you. It’s light enough to carry up stairs and push and pull around the home, it’s ability to remove grime and most watery solids is second to none, its self-cleaning mode is an unbridled joy and the extra large water tanks allow for longer stints on the floor. In fact the only thing that lets it down a little is the useless charging interface. But not by a big enough margin to lose it a star.

Looking for a different type of hard floor cleaner? Check out our guide to the Best Hard Floor Cleaners

Prefer steam? No problem, hop over to our handy guide to the Best Steam Cleaners

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic).