Tested by experts

Eureka Boss 4870MZ Review

A top-dog of a vacuum



If the Eureka Boss were actually on the top rung of some corporate ladder, we imagine it would act like Alec Baldwin’s Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross: Yes, he gets the salesmen motivated, but only through threats and intimidation. In the case of this Boss, it’s A, Always. B, Be. C, Cleaning.

Tenderness with carpet is a luxury, and you don't get that for the Boss' $135 sale price. Still, we would've preferred a vacuum whose brushroll was a little more targeted; instead, we found ourselves dodging debris, as it got flung across the lab.

Design & Usability

Heavy and obstinate. Just using the Boss sometimes feels like you’re about to break it.

Though there are a plethora of height options on the 4870MZ, none of them are tall enough to prevent the Boss from getting bogged down on medium-height carpet. This puts wear and tear on the vacuum, your carpet, and your arm muscles. We’re also concerned about the 4870MZ’s storage lock lever. As it is, it requires a very specific yet firm press of the foot to unlock the vacuum from the upright position. Since the foot-pedal interlock also mechanically shuts off the brushroll, it’s even harder to lock the vacuum for storage, requiring a wrenching motion that not only could be difficult for some users, but also feels like it’s going to break the machine.

It's hard to lock the vacuum for storage, requiring a wrenching motion that feels like it's going to break the machine.

At close to 20 lbs., this isn’t a great machine for anyone who needs to climb stairs often. Just pushing it requires a decent amount of effort. By using the hose you’ll only get about six feet away from the cleaner itself, but that’s plenty for vacuuming high ceilings or behind furniture. As far as attachments are concerned, the 4870MZ comes with a “Power Paw” mini turbine brush, a crevice tool, upholstery brush and floor brush. They all store on the vacuum itself.

The power on/off switch is on top of the cleaner, below the handle. All other controls are on the front of the brush head, and require the user to bend over. The 30-foot power cord doesn’t automatically retract, and must be rewound on the back of the unit. Open up the front cover and you'll find a sealed HEPA system with replaceable filter, plus a large bag that's easy and cheap to replace—in bulk, they sell for under a dollar each. The front of the vacuum won’t close unless there’s a bag in place.


Features & Performance

Adept at cleaning up dirt—but not debris

The design of the brush head launched items instead of sucking them up.

Among all the flooring types we test, the Boss did the best job on high pile carpet, cleaning up more than 50 percent of the dirt we put down. That puts it in a rare group of cleaners that can tackle flooring choices thicker than berber. Short carpet wasn't a problem, nor was pet hair. It didn’t do so well on debris, however, as the design of the brush head launched items instead of sucking them up. Otherwise, nothing really distinguished it from many of the other cleaners out there.

We rarely test a vacuum as loud as the Boss, whose growls would carry through the walls of a corner office. Not only was the sound level high, but the quality of the noise was quite aggravating.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Eureka Boss SmartVac 4870MZ, take a look at these other vacuums.


Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss

Among the eternal questions, humans have wondered just who, exactly, is the boss? Some say Angela, others Tony. Further hypotheses have included Bruce Springsteen, Rick Ross and—a theory posited by a fringe group of researchers—none other than Kelsey Grammer.

In Eureka’s case, the Boss is an upright vacuum cleaner with a $199 MSRP that can easily be found on sale for $135. It’s a mean boss, the kind that makes carpet work late and tells hardwood floors his ideas are stupid. That said, it gets the job done, even if it does so inelegantly.

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