This Kenmore bagless vacuum has one brilliant feature

When you have been reviewing products for so many years (two decades in my case), seeing actual progress in one segment is amazing.

With the Kenmore AllergenSeal Lift-Up Bagless Upright Vacuum, one innovative feature has to do with the initial setup. Just a few years ago, I tested another similar model, and the setup process involved a couple of screws and various parts. I didn’t really need a manual, but it took a while (maybe 10 minutes) before I could test the vac.

The Kenmore AllergenSeal Lift-Up Bagless Upright Vacuum is even easier. The process was cut to literally about two minutes. After opening the box, the vacuum snapped together without any screws or fuss. Not only did I not need a manual, but I also don’t think Kenmore even included one because it’s unnecessary. Using the vacuum is just as easy. I’ve tested many makes and models, including multiple Dyson vacs, but I really like the versatility of the Kenmore AllergenSeal because it seems to fit my vacuuming routine.

The most brilliant feature is that you can disconnect the canister altogether and “go rogue” anywhere in the room. With a click of a button, the whole canister lifts off the base so you can move around easier, vacuum a ceiling fan, or go mobile in a room without restricting yourself with the wheeled base. The hose also lifts out of the canister with a click, so you have two different ways to get more mobile with your cleaning gear.

I mentioned this to a friend with a whole-house vacuum system (known as a “central vac”). We compared notes and realized his system is quite unique (and very quiet) because the discharge chamber is in the garage, and there’s a portal on every level. That said, the extender arm on the Kenmore AllergenSeal means I could reach places that were not possible with his system (and let’s be honest, at $220, my review vac is much more affordable). It’s important to mention that this is not the ultimate pinnacle of all vacuum cleaners, but I don’t think Kenmore was going for that anyway. It’s smartly priced and smartly designed.

Most of us are just Regular Joes and Joans. We need a quality piece of machinery to do the cleaning when we have time, at an affordable price, and we don’t want to have to fuss around with faulty equipment. Go with a high-end vac for $1,200 or so, and you will probably find a few extra features, more nozzles, and even new technology, but guess what? That unit will also wear out eventually. (Mostly because all cleaning appliances wear out.)

I’ve tested high-end vacs that were also heavy and bulky; the Kenmore AllergenSeal is only 14 pounds. A filter system blocks 99.97% of the dust from leaking into the room. There’s a crevice, dust, and furniture attachment as well. I liked how easy the 10-foot hose is to use and recoil back to the machine. My only slight complaint is that, when you first start using the unit, the hose recoils too tightly, and you have to fight with it a little to extend the hose. Not a big deal since, over time, it pulls out easier and then still flexes back into place.

I like the way it works, the design, the setup, and the functionality. I’m okay with the price, too, which is right in that sweet spot of affordability but not the junky $80 machines that seem like they will do the job and then stop sucking (or start sucking?) after only a few months.