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(Last Updated On: January 29, 2020)

Let’s be honest – cleaning floors can be such a tedious chore. You have to sweep, vacuum, and mop in order to get that ultra clean appearance. If you could get that look with half the work, wouldn’t you take advantage of that?

Bissell is a well-known brand in the cleaning industry for good reason. Modern technology and Bissell have combined to create a device that is perfect for those of us stuck in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. By combining the vacuum and mop into one easy to use device, Bissell has opened the door to giving you back some of your own free time.

The Bissell Crosswave and Bissell Symphony are two fantastic vacuum and steam mop models. Spotless floors in record time with both devices – quick and easy. There are few differences between the two, so I will go over the specifics to help ensure you get the best fit for you and your home.

Bissell Crosswave

Bissell Symphony

Bissell Crosswave and Bissell Symphony In Looks

Even though both models are similar in appearance, they have key design differences that should be noted.

Let’s discuss the Bissell Crosswave first.

As far as appearance goes, the Bissell Crosswave looks similar to your standard vacuum. Two tanks hold the water and cleaning solution of your choice. When activated, the two liquids combine to battle those stains and make your floors dazzle.

Underneath the device is where all the magic happens. The brush roll rotates at high speeds and gets into all the nooks and crannies of your floors. The rolls are similar to a sponge with how they softly remove grim to leave your floors shining.

As the brush roll is breaking up debris, the device is also acting like a vacuum to suck it all away so you aren’t rubbing dirt around. The washing action of a mop and suction of a vacuum combine to give you a powerful clean.

The Crosswave swivels and maneuvers easily on all floors and around furniture. With the simple press of a button, you can switch settings so you can vacuum your carpeted floors as well.

Now, let’s move on to discuss the Bissell Symphony.

This delightful machine has two settings to get down to the nitty gritty of your floors: Regular setting and a setting for difficult messes. For those hard to clean messes and general sanitizing, I suggest using the steam mop.

The Symphony’s design resembles a typical steam cleaner, as opposed to the Crosswave’s vacuum resemblance. Fill the tank with water in order to create that useful steam without the need for pricey cleaning solutions.

For those with hardwood floors or those sensitive to cleaning chemicals, this provides a safer clean. The microfiber pads act as an extra soft buffer that bring out the natural shine in your floors. Any dust or debris will get swooped up with this as well.

Technology has been infused with this device. The display and controls are digital and easy to use. Drop-It technology makes it simple to empty the collection tank without having to remove anything.

Cleaning Prowess

Although both models are efficient in their cleaning, the way that they clean differ.

Size Differences

Bissell makes high quality machines, so both of these devices are lightweight and maneuver easily around your home. Both of these machines are about 46-inches tall, so most people should be able to use them without straining your back or neck. Both come with a 25-foot cord so you can reach more areas of your home. There are a few slight differences when it comes to size, however.

The Crosswave’s base is 9.8-inch by 11-inch and it only weighs 10-pounds. The Crosswave is a bit larger measuring in with a 10,5-inch by 12-inch base and weighing 11-pounds. If you have areas where this slight size difference will matter, then you should consider that before purchasing.

Testing Them On Different Surfaces

The Symphony is a beast on hard floor surfaces. Between the steam and the soft microfiber pads, many floor types will benefit from this type of deep clean. Hardwood flooring, vinyl tiles, stones, marble, linoleum, and even laminate floors are great options for the Symphony.

The Crosswave is more versatile than the Symphony, but it does not deep clean like the steam mop of the Symphony. Seamless transitioning between the hard stone floor of your kitchen to the carpeted living room with the press of a button makes this a great choice for homes with varying surfaces.

Again, different homes have different needs. Both options are brilliant at what they do.

What Can You Use Them On?

Both devices make use of wet and dry cleaning capabilities and work on a variety of different surfaces. This makes cleaning in your home much easier than switching between multiple tools to do the job these can do in one. Imagine not having to sweep before dragging out the vacuum and then finally the mop and bucket. Gone are those days.

Between the various floor types and the amount of time and effort saved, the choice for these devices really comes down to what works best for your home.

One important consideration, however, is pets. Shed hair on the floor can have a negative impact on your steam mop and vacuum’s ability to do their job effectively. If your furry family members shed a lot, keep in mind that the fur can get caught in the vacuum and cause damage to hardware inside.

The Crosswave is especially impacted by the presence of fur due to the brush roll technology. Long fur especially can get caught up around the brush, impacting its ability to spin and the fur can get sucked inside and cause issues. The Symphony is a better choice for those with pets.

Effectiveness on Hard Floors

While you’ll be able to get your hard flooring clean using either of these vacuums, they both have different methods for how they get the job done. Of course, you’ll still be able to take care of your stone, tile, laminate, linoleum and wood just as well.

If you use the Symphony, you can count on sanitized floors, and no hassle set up, since it only needs water, and uses steam to do the rest. While it may take some getting used to, the biggest thing to remember is to allow the floors to dry, which is usually a fairly quick process in any case.

Since you only need water, people with pets and children are especially drawn to the Symphony. Considering that it also sanitizes the surfaces it steams, that’s even more true.

If you use the Crosswave, the brushroll spins to pick up dirt and messes, with the aid of a cleaning solution mixed with water. It’s fairly easy to set this one up too, just fill one tank with water, and the other with the cleaning solution.

The brushroll on the Crosswave makes it ideal for areas that get a lot of traffic, and therefore, a lot of mess. That’s due, in large part, to the design and material that helps it to work more like a scrubbing sponge that you might typically use.

Both of these vacuums work well for quick sweeping jobs, and both can get you a deeper clean when you need it. Ultimately, the choice of Symphony vs. Crosswave has more to do with your lifestyle and preferences than anything else.

Bissell Crosswave: Benefits


It’s great to have a vacuum that can clean your hard floors, but that doesn’t need to be the only reason you choose a vacuum. The nice thing about the Crosswave is that it does wet and dry cleaning. Beyond that, it also makes it very easy to clean an entire room, or multiple rooms, without stopping, since it can switch from carpet and rugs to hard floors without stopping.

You never have to worry about dirty and clean water mixing; those are in separate tanks, and it won’t damage floors that need gentle care either.

Easy to Use Features

The push button controls are a huge lifesaver, and they make it really easy to switch between cleaning different surfaces, since they’re located right on the handle. Because it has a swivel design, it’s noticeably easy to maneuver around. You can get under very narrow areas, into tight spaces, and anywhere else you need to clean, since the handle pivots where it connects to the head.

Amazing on Hardwood

This is a great vacuum for homes with pets; it grabs up pet hair without having to do multiple passes, and gets it out of the carpet too.

You can use the Crosswave for regular hardwood cleaning, and the brushroll does a good job of getting the mess up, although it may leave some streaking behind, where you won’t find that with the Symphony. However, it does scrub gently enough to keep floors clean and damage free.

Bissell Symphony: Benefits


While the Crosswave is undoubtedly convenient, and effective, the Symphony is a new breed of cleaner that’s worth taking a closer look at. Of course, the wet and dry vacuum combination is hard to beat, but the Symphony takes that concept in a somewhat different direction, working as both a steam cleaner, and a vacuum. The combination is great when you want to get all the debris off your floors, with a steam clean to make your floors look new again.

Slight Learning Curve

Admittedly, there is a slight learning curve when you begin using any steam cleaner, and the Symphony follows suit. However, it really is a hassle free clean after you use it once or twice. It even has built in features to make using it more convenient; for instance, the Drop-IT technology that means you never have to touch the dirt you’ve just cleaned up. Just get the trash can ready, put the tank over it, and press the button.

It’s easy to do a thorough clean in a single step; you can actually vacuum and steam clean simultaneously. Any other settings are easily accessed, and read, with the digita
l controls. You can change the level of steam the Symphony produces to match the type of clean your floor needs.

Great on Hardwood

You don’t have to use, or mix, any cleaning chemicals with the Symphony. It uses the power of steam to get your floors clean, and sanitized. It easily takes care of those tough messes that otherwise would have required long scrubbing sessions. All you need to make it work is water.

It also uses gentle, and washable, mop pads to pick up dirt and debris, making less effort for you, and saving you money in the long run.

Final Verdict

Both the Symphony and the Crosswave are great vacuums made by Bissell, and either may suit certain households better than the other. When you need a vacuum that can go from hard floors to carpet and back again, you’re also going to need a vacuum that can get the debris up, and take care of the stains that nothing else will. Both of these vacuums certainly fit the bill, and make keeping your floors clean much easier.

When it comes down to it, the best way to make your choice is based on what you prefer, and what is going to work better in your home. No matter which one you choose, the Crosswave and Symphony are sure to change the way you clean, and give your floors a facelift while they’re at it!

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