Bissell Crosswave Vs. Symphony

Bissell Crosswave Vs Symphony

With so many amazing models it isn't surprising that Bissell is one of the top names in a vacuum and floor cleaning technology. For anyone who has hardwood or tile floors, you know the importance of keeping your floors looking great and the hassle of trying to sweep, vacuum and mop your floors just to keep them clean.

With a Bissell, you can get a perfect clean by combining a vacuum and mop into one easy to use the device. Bissell has two fantastic models of vacuum and steam mops that make keeping your floors spotless simple and fast.

The Bissell Crosswave and Symphony both provide superior floor cleaning results, but there are some differences between the two. If you are struggling to decide between the two, it is important to look at the specifics to find the best model for you.

Bissell Crosswave and Bissell Symphony Differences in Design

While at a glance the two vacuum and steam mops look very similar, they are designed differently.

The Bissell Crosswave looks more like a standard vacuum and is designed to function as a more traditional floor cleaner and sweeper. The Crosswave features two tanks that hold water and floor cleaning solution and the two liquids mix together to remove stains and make your floors shine.

It also incorporates an innovative brush roll that rotates at high speeds to clean up even the smallest of debris. This means you get both the suction action of a vacuum and the washing action of a mop so you don’t miss anything as you go.

The brush roll also acts like a sponge to clean your floors and make them shine like new. Push button controls allow you to change between settings that will let you seamlessly move from hard surface flooring to carpet and back.

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The Crosswave also features swivel steering to maneuver around your floors without having to pick up the machine to move it to where it needs to be to fit into the different areas. This model also allows you to get underneath cabinets, furniture, and beds with low profile reach.

Bissell’s Symphony looks more like a steam cleaner than the Crosswave and functions more closely to a steam carpet cleaner. The Symphony has a tank for water that creates steam to clean your floors rather than a cleaning solution.

This provides for a safer clean on expensive hard surface flooring and a more natural way to sanitize without exposure to chemicals. Washable and reusable microfiber pads aid in bringing the shine out of your floors and will also remove any dust that might cause allergies.

The Symphony features two settings for regular and harder to clean messes and can switch between a straight up design for vacuuming to a steam mop depending on your needs.  

Drop-It technology is used to allow you to empty the collection tank without needing to remove anything and digital controls are easy to touch and lets you seamlessly switch between settings and access different features.

Their Sizes and Dimensions

Both the Crosswave and the Symphony are designed to be lightweight and easy to navigate throughout your home. Bissell made them both stand at 46 inches high to make it easy to use without bending over too much, but the Symphony is slightly smaller when it comes to width.  

The Bissell Symphony has a 9.8 inch by 11-inch base and weighs roughly ten pounds, while the Bissell Crosswave has a 10.5 inch by 12-inch base and weighs eleven pounds. Both will fit in a wide variety of spaces and can handle harder to reach spots with a 25-foot cord, so it is really just about how small you want the base of your vacuum and steam mop to be.

Their Cleaning Performance

Both the Crosswave and the Symphony offer a floor clean superior to many other models, but that doesn’t mean that they clean the floors the same way.

What Surfaces Can They Handle?

The Symphony, because it utilizes steam through water it can handle a wide variety of floor surfaces. These include any hardwood flooring or tiles made from vinyl, stones, linoleum, laminate or marble. (read more about the best vacuums for tile and pet hair.)

Harsh chemicals are not an issue so you can rest assured that even the most sensitive of flooring will be safe from harm. But because of the microfiber pads, it makes the Symphony ineffective as a carpet cleaner.

The Crosswave is a more versatile machine than the Symphony because it can handle all types of hard surface floors as well as carpets and area rugs. The roll brush’s effectiveness won’t be impacted by carpeting and can move seamlessly from one type of surface to another with a simple push of a button.

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What Can They Clean?

Both machines are designed to make quick work of both wet and dry messes as well as stains on multiple surfaces. This means you can use these models as your go-to for cleaning your hard surface floors without having to worry about doing a pre-cleaning like mopping or sweeping.

This will save you on time, effort and money because you can rest assured that the job will be done right the first time through.

If you are a pet owner it is important to consider how it will impact your vacuum and steam mop’s ability to efficiently clean. If you own multiple pets or have a pet that sheds a lot, the hair can get caught in the vacuum and damage the system.

This is especially true for the brush roll featured in the Crosswave. For anyone with pets, it can be more prudent to go with the Symphony because it won't clog up or tangle in anything.

Brushing Hard Floors

You can clean all sorts of hard floor surfaces with either of these vacuums. Both are able to clean wood, tile, laminate, linoleum, and more, although there are differences between how they wash all the dirt off.

The Crosswave will use a cleaning solution mixed with water to clear off the dirt. You'll notice two tanks in this vacuum then, one that you fill with water and the other with a solution. But they'll work together to do the job using the brush roll.  

This brush roll will spin at 3000 RPMs, picking up dirt kind of like a sponge would. This allows it to tackle tougher messes that would usually require scrubbing, especially the messes you see in higher-traffic areas.

The Symphony, on the other hand, is a steam cleaner. You don't need any cleaning solution, just the water to make the steam. The steam will sanitize the floors, making this vacuum a great option for people with pets or young kids that play on the floor a lot.

Make sure that you let the floor dry before you release the kids and pets, but the drying time is very quick since you’re using steam. Do be aware that this type of cleaner does have a learning curve to it though, especially if you haven’t used a steam cleaner before.

You’ll want to pick out which vacuum works best for you when it comes to the Crosswave vs. Symphony, although they will both provide you with an effective water-based cleaning solution if you’re looking for a deeper clean.

They also both have brush rolls to pick up debris when you’re doing a quick sweep over the hardwood floors.

Bissell Crosswave Top Qualities

You know how the Crosswave cleans hardwood floors, but you don’t want to buy a vacuum just for that. Know that beyond the hardwood floors, the Crosswave is made to work both as a wet and a dry vacuum.

It's able to transition from hard floors to area rugs without any trouble and can be used as a dry vacuum or a wet one.

That’s because the Crosswave has a two-tank design, one with the cleaning solution and one with the water. All of the dirty water will remain separate from the cleaning solution at all times. As you use the vacuum, the dual action brush roll, which has a microfiber and nylon brush, will be both gentle on those hard floors while being tough on any messes.

Hardwood Cleaning

The Bissell Crosswave is able to remove pet hair from your flooring with just a pass by. If you have a lot of pets, this is a great option to pick if you want to get rid of pet hair from both hardwood floors and carpeting.

Beyond pet hair though, the Crosswave works well to clean up other messes on your hardwood flooring. The brush roll is meant to scrub over your flooring without a problem, although you may end up with streaks in your floors. This isn't something you'll experience with the Symphony since that vacuum uses steam cleaning.

How It Handles

People love the swivel steering in the Crosswave, which pivots the body at the head so that you can maneuver around your entire home without a problem. Get right under cabinets, beds, and furniture while still getting the same deep clean.

Once you get to the end of your hardwood, the transition between hardwood floors and rugs without a problem thanks to the push button controls quite literally at your fingertips.

Bissell Symphony Main Features

The Crosswave sounds pretty great, working as a traditional dry vacuum and a wet cleaner if you need to get out heavy stains in your carpet or clean the hardwood floors. Don't count out the Symphony just yet though, which sets itself apart from a combination vacuum and a steam cleaner. This means that the Symphony can pick up the usual debris that you would expect your vacuum to pick up while still shining your hardwood floors with the steam cleaning option.

Hardwood Cleaning

The Symphony is made to clean your hardwood floors using the washable mop pads, which are designed to remove dirt from your floors without you needing to put in so much effort.

Use the steam boost option to clean up messes that are smudged into your floors without having to scrub or get on your knees. You don't even need any chemicals since all of this is done using steam cleaning. Your floors will be sanitized naturally just using the steam.

How It Handles

You have digital controls available to you that let you switch between high and low steam of vacuum settings. Just change the settings yourself by pushing a button as you transition between hardwood and carpeted flooring. You can even use the steam and the vacuum at the same time if you need to.

Once you’re done with your cleaning, you don’t even have to touch any of the dirt as you empty out the tank. The Drop-IT technology lets you empty the tank without a problem. Hold it over the trashcan and you’re done.

Of course, it can take some time to adjust to using a steam vacuum. This vacuum is easy to use once you get the hang of it, although it may take you a little time to figure it out.


When you’re picking out your vacuum, you want one that cleans up everything from pet hair to deep stains without you needing to scrub on your hands and knees.

Either the Crosswave or Symphony, both from Bissell, are good options, but which one you choose depends on your situation, and which vacuum you feel more comfortable using. Take your pick and get your home looking spick and span in no time.

Neither of these doing it for you? Check out our full list of the best vacuums from this year. 

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