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APOSEN H21 Review

Budget Stick Vacuum

APOSEN h21 cordless vacuum

APOSEN Stick Vacuum

The APOSEN H21 cordless vacuum is an ultra-lightweight stick vacuum that doubles as a handheld vacuum. It comes with some handy tools and accessories and has a completely flat recline. On the downside, performance was spotty and it has some major issues in terms of design and build quality. It’s not a vacuum I could in good conscience recommend.Check Price

Pros

  • Lightweight body
  • Low price point
  • Includes attachments

Cons

  • Poor cleaning performance, especially on larger debris
  • Dust bin is hard to remove and difficult to empty without getting debris on your hands
  • Faulty sealing mechanism made the vacuum repeatedly spit debris out while it was trying to clean

Scoring

Cheap Price, Weak Performance
  • Design - 75%
    75%
  • Performance - 72%
    72%
  • Quality - 80%
    80%
  • Usability - 85%
    85%
  • Value - 70%
    70%
76%

Summary

The APOSEN H21 is a cordless stick vacuum that also can be converted into a handheld vacuum. It has up to a 30-minute run time (or as short as a 12-minute run time) depending on what cleaning mode you’re in. When we ran our performance tests, I noticed some critical issues in terms of build quality and performance. Issues with the sealing mechanism and the dust bin made it difficult to cleanly capture all debris within the housing of the vacuum. Instead, it sputtered debris everywhere and left a huge amount of large debris (ie: cereal) in its path. Not a vacuum I would recommend.

Cleaning Performance

Right out of the gate, let’s dive into cleaning performance. After all, a vacuum is only as good as its ability to clean up messes.

The cleaning performance of the APOSEN vacuum was honestly quite disappointing and there were large visible misses on all debris.

Overall

72%

Hardwood

76%

Low Carpet

65%

High Carpet

76%

Cereal especially was a complete failure. During our tests, cereal was sucked up, but then almost all of it simply fell back out due to the poor sealing mechanism (see below).

Poor sealing mechanism on the APSOEN stick vacuum
Poor sealing mechanism on the APSOEN

A Faulty Seal

The seal mechanism on the APOSEN is extremely mediocre.

What does the sealing mechanism do?

This seal is designed to allow debris into the canister, but then re-seals to prevent debris from falling back down the tube and out the vacuum.

On the APOSEN, this mechanism is a flexible rubber material. A single cheerio was enough to lodge that seal open, meaning the vacuum kept spitting debris out.

This would be a major flaw with any vacuum we test and as is the case with APOSEN, it creates a number of issues.

Yes, perhaps those are only triggered when cleaning large debris, but that’s going to happen often enough that these are serious issues if you’re looking for a vacuum that can tackle all debris types.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

On hardwood floors, the APOSEN performed the worst of all floor types. It was only able to capture a mere 8% of debris during the cereal test. Although the numbers were better with the other debris types, it still left noticeable piles of debris even after cleaning.

Cereal

8%

Rice

99%

Kitty Litter

92%

Sugar

99%

APOSEN stick vacuum - hardwood floor cleaning test
APOSEN H21 – hardwood floor cleaning test

These issues are a combination of poor suction and poor build quality.

Inadequate build quality can lead to a handful of issues during performance, but the bottom line is that if the parts aren’t perfect, the suction will be lacking and mess will be left.

Low-Pile Carpet Cleaning

On low pile carpet, the performance was better than hardwoods, but still, nothing to write home about. It left a large amount of debris, namely cereal, sugar, and a good bit of kitty litter.

Cereal

24%

Rice

99%

Kitty Litter

80%

Sugar

58%

APOSEN stick vacuum - low carpet cleaning test
APOSEN H21 – low carpet cleaning test

Again, it was the combination of poor suction and poor built quality which really hindered performance here.

High-Pile Carpet Cleaning

Lastly, let’s talk about high pile carpet. On high pile carpet the performance was better than either of the other two floor types, but honestly that’s just not saying that much.

It still only captured 30% of the cereal and had some big misses for kitty litter and sugar as well.

Cereal

30%

Rice

100%

Kitty Litter

94%

Sugar

80%

APOSEN stick vacuum - high pile carpet cleaning test
APOSEN H21 – high pile carpet cleaning test

The Summary

While this is a budget stick vacuum so you can’t expect perfection, there were some big fails here that really hurt the score of the APOSEN.

Large debris is simply too much for this vacuum to handle and finer, small debris was also a struggle.

Performance issues on both sides of the debris spectrum leave a very narrow window for the type of debris it can effectively clean.

And beyond that, most people don’t live life in a testing lab. You can’t always control the types of debris that need to be cleaned so it helps to have a vacuum that can tackle a wider range and the APOSEN just isn’t it.

How do we test?

To be able to make a fair assessment on cleaning performance, we put all of the vacuums we review through the same series of tests in our lab testing lane and our larger Modern Castle office and studio space.

We use three types of floors:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Low-pile carpet
  • High-pile carpet

We spread the following items along each type of flooring to test the vacuum cleaner:

  • Rice – 0.5 ounces
  • Dry Cereal – 0.5 ounce
  • Kitty Litter – 0.5 ounces
  • Sugar – 0.5 ounces
Cleaning performance test - dry debris
Cleaning performance test – dry debris

We use an engineered hardwood floor as our base test.  Low-pile and high-pile carpet inserts are laid over the hardwood floor to do the carpet testing. Debris is scattered over each type of floor covering one at a time.

We use the same vacuum cleaning process to test all our vacuum cleaners. This creates a true to life real world, consistent and fair atmosphere to provide the performance assessment.

Here is the procedure:

  1. Measure each type of testing debris by weight.
  2. Create a debris field in the testing lane by spreading the variable debris mix.
  3. Release the robot vacuum to clean the testing lane and debris.
  4. Run a high powered vacuum over the test lane to remove any debris left behind
  5. Empty and weigh any debris that we were able to remove in step 4.

RELATED: Best Cordless Stick Vacuums

Apsoen H21 Design

The design of the APSOSEN is simple and mimics the looks of other budget stick vacs in a number of ways.

It is a 2-in-1 meaning that it can be used as a cordless stick vacuum or as a portable handheld.

The body is lightweight, has good maneuverability, and comes with a nice assortment of tools.

Aesthetically speaking, it’s a nice looking vacuum.

Aposen H21S stick vacuum
Aposen H21

But aesthetics is really where the accolades stop. After using this vacuum, we noticed some critical design flaws that greatly hindered the performance.

Some of these design issues include:

  1. The sealing mechanism (mentioned above) is weak which greatly impacted performance and left debris all over the place.
  2. The dust bin is hard to empty and it’s nearly impossible to empty without physically touching the debris. It’s also incredibly small.

Size & Dimensions

The exact size of the APOSEN H21 depends on what cleaning mode it is in.

As a full-sized stick, the height is 39″ to 47″ (adjustable length), which is a comfortable height for cleaning varying floor types of or using the cleaning tools for extended reach.

As a handheld, the height is 17″ (plus the length of the attachment), which works well for more lightweight, quick pickups.

The APOSEN H21S vacuum in handheld mode
The APOSEN H21 vacuum in handheld mode

Here are the exact specifications for this 2-in-1 robot:

  • Height: 39-47″
  • Width: 9.5″ (cleaning head)
  • Depth: 4.5 (cleaning head)
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds

Accessories & Parts

Wondering what all comes in the box with the APOSEN H21? Here’s the list of everything you get below:

What’s in the box?

Here is a list of everything included in the box:

  1. Spiral brushroll: snaps into the cleaning head for multi-floor cleaning
  2. Combination tool: used in handheld mode as a dusting brush or small crevice tool
  3. Crevice tool: a longer crevice tool, good for cleaning between tight spaces
  4. Dust tool: attaches into the handheld and can be used to dust furniture or flooring
  5. Filter: a small circular filter designed to capture ultra-fine debris
  6. Cleaning head: snaps into the base of the vacuum and used for upright multi-floor cleaning at a larger scale
Aposen stick vacuum - brushroll
Aposen – brushroll
Aposen stick vacuum - crevice tool
Aposen – crevice tool
Aposen stick vacuum - filter
Aposen – filter
Aposen stick vacuum - combination tool
Aposen – combination tool
Aposen stick vacuum - dust tool
Aposen – dust tool
Aposen stick vacuum - cleaning head
Aposen – cleaning head

RELATED – Want to see other vacuum reviews? Check out more here.

APOSEN H21 Features

While the performance of the H21 leaves quite a bit to be desired, it does include some other features that may be nice.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the features:

Max Run Time

30 mins (low speed)

Min Run Time

12 mins (high speed)

Dust Bin Capacity

1.2 liters

Charge Time

4.5 hours

Modes

Two

Attachments

Four

Usability & Maneuverability

So in terms of usability and maneuverability, the APOSEN is solid.

It can lay 100% flat thanks to the design putting the dust cup on the front side of the stick. This could be a nice feature for cleaning under ultra-low profile furniture.

APOSEN H21S stick vacuum laying flat
APOSEN H21 laying flat

It’s easy to clean around tight corners as well and includes a slew of accessories for more flexibility.

As a recap, included accessories are:

  1. Crevice tool
  2. Combination tool
  3. Dusting tool
  4. Floor cleaning head

Maintenance

Moving right along, let’s talk about maintenance. The maintenance of the APOSEN H21 is basic and simple, but that doesn’t mean that it’s great.

Here’s a quick list of maintenance tasks:

  1. Clear obstructions from brushroll: You’ll want to periodically remove the brushroll to remove hair and any other obstructions. Being a bristle style brushroll, you may need to do this more often, compared to a rubberized or soft head roller.
  2. Empty dust cup as needed. As mentioned above, this can be a bit of a dirty task so you may want to do this outside or over a larger trash can.
  3. Replace HEPA filter as needed.

Is the APOSEN a worth it?

To be honest, even at the low price point, the APOSEN just doesn’t meet the mark for me. The performance was poor and it had key design flaws that drastically impacted its ability to clean up.

It’s hard recommend the APOSEN as a good choice, even for people on tight budgets. The APOSEN isn’t worth it for most consumers, in my view.

APOSEN Specifications

Specs 
TypeStick
ManufacturerAPOSEN
ModelH21
Length47" (max height)
Width9.5" (cleaning head)
Depth4.5" cleaning head)
Weight5.5 lbs.
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Max Run Time12-30 minutes; depending on mode
CordlessYes
Dust bin Capacity1.2 liters
FiltersHEPA
ReturnsVaries by retailer
WarrantyNot listed
BuyCheck Price

Should you buy the APOSEN?

To be frank, no.

I do not recommend the APOSEN H21 to really anyone. Simply put, performance was disappointing and there are better performing vacuums at a similar price point.

I would recommend any of the following budget-friendly cordless stick vacuums before APOSEN.

See our best cordless stick vacuums roundup for more info.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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