My Cat Does Not Hate the Airsign HEPA Vacuum Cleaner
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My cat, Pumpkin, hates my vacuum cleaner. It’s too loud. And Pumpkin is a quiet, gentle boy, who likes quiet, gentle things: naps and cuddles and piles of unfolded laundry (both dirty and clean).
When the vacuum cleaner turns on, Pumpkin hugs the walls and retreats to the far side of the apartment in a huff. Of course, he comes back when I’m done, but it’s about as demonstrably upset as I ever see him. And given my obsessive, ravenous, and illogical love of him, I can’t stand the thought of him being even mildly put out by my noisy old Dyson.
I tried using the vacuum cleaner less often, but it’s just not possible. Pumpkin is a long-haired cat (a Nebelung) and not only does he shed, he makes a terrible mess getting in and out of his litter box, then tracks clay dust and debris all over the apartment. The rug in my bedroom has to be vacuumed daily or it starts to look like it’s been rescued from a dumpster. Given Pumpkin’s propensity for eating (and then throwing up) dust bunnies and other domestic detritus, it is essential that I stay on top of the household cleaning if I don’t want a much more…viscous mess on my hands.
This is all to say that I was ecstatic when The Wildest asked me to review the new Airsign HEPA vacuum cleaner, which I read was significantly quieter than many other vacuums and excellent at sucking up and filtering dust.
The vacuum arrived at my door in a simple brown cardboard box. Not too big and not too heavy. The component parts inside were packed in more cardboard, as opposed to molded styrofoam, which felt only right, given that Airsign claims to be a sustainable vacuum cleaner company. The vacuum has other eco-conscious features as well. The plastic used in the body of the vacuum is 20 percent recycled — a higher percentage than any other vacuum on the market, according to Airsign — and the vacuum itself, because it “incorporates no glue, permanent snap-fits, painted or co-molded parts, is fully recyclable.”
It’s also not overly complicated and the parts are easily replaceable, which means that, if need be, you can have it repaired, which prolongs its life. That option is certainly much more sustainable than simply buying a new vacuum.
Maintenance and Aesthetic
Even the bags are fully biodegradable — most other vacuum cleaner bags utilize plastic in one way or another — so you don’t have to feel so bad about throwing them away when they’re full.
I was worried changing the bags would be difficult, but it couldn’t have been easier. They’re small but seem to take in a lot of debris, and you can arrange for replacement bags to be shipped to you automatically. The vacuum was easy enough to assemble — I used the instructions, but I didn’t really need to — and it was quite elegant, for a vacuum: matte black, minimalist, and even a bit sculptural.
Given how little storage I have in my apartment, I like the things I use regularly to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. I’d never used a canister vacuum before — my parents had an upright one, and I’ve used a cordless since moving to New York — so I wasn’t sure I’d like lugging one around. I was right. I didn’t like it. But I got used to it, and it only took a day or so. So, if you’re similarly concerned, don’t be.
Yes, if you’re used to cordless, you may find it annoying at first to move the canister from room to room, searching for open plugs, but at least with a corded vacuum, you don’t have to worry about the battery running out mid-clean, and the Airsign is pretty compact and lightweight (about 10 pounds) so it’s not hard to get around. It even has a handy button for easy cord retraction.
All About the Angles
The Airsign HEPA vacuum is pretty powerful, too. I was sure it wouldn’t perform as well as my old Dyson, but when I first turned it on and placed it on my rug, I could barely move the thing! I was actually a little annoyed. How the hell was I supposed to use a vacuum cleaner that sucked so hard I couldn’t move it across my rug without breaking a sweat?
The problem, however, wasn’t the vacuum’s suction. It was the angle at which I was pushing the wand. I’m 6-foot-1, and I’ve always struggled with shorter vacuums, but once I extended the wand fully, I was able to move the Airsign easily. Physics, am I right? As a plus, for the first time in my adult life, I was actually able to vacuum my apartment without hunching over!
A Few Final Thoughts
Airsign also gave me their new prototype spinning floorhead (available in 2023), designed specifically for plush carpeting and animal hair. The vacuum works well without it, but personally, I prefer the new floorhead and would recommend any current or future Airsign owners to order it as soon as it becomes available.
I can’t really speak to the “improved air quality” promised by the vacuum’s manufacturer. According to Airsign’s press release, the vacuum catches “an outstanding 99.995 percent of harmful particles via its top-of-the-line HEPA-14 filtration technology.” It’s hard for me to tell with just a two-week trial and no equipment at my disposal for measuring air quality, but it certainly helped me keep my floors and baseboards clean!
And what does Pumpkin think? Well, he doesn’t like it when I prod around him with the brush attachment and try to clean whatever surface he’s chosen to recline on at that moment, but he doesn’t go running from the room either. The Airsign isn’t silent, but it is quieter than other vacuums I’ve had, and Pumpkin seems far less annoyed by it, which feels like a win for sure.
The Airsign HEPA vacuum isn’t cheap ($295), but it costs less than most Miele or Dyson vacuums with the same capabilities, and it’s powerful, recyclable, and even nice to look at. For a vacuum. Honestly, I’ll be sad to see it go, and I will seriously consider purchasing one for myself when my old Dyson eventually retires. Pumpkin, no doubt, looks forward to that day.
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Charles Manning is an actor, writer, and fashion/media consultant living in New York City with his two cats, Pumpkin and Bear. Follow him on Instagram @charlesemanning.