Eureka Optima 431F Review
The Eureka Optima 431F may be tiny, but... but nothing. It's just tiny.
The Eureka Optima 431F is a well-designed, attractive, and compact vacuum that sells for $60. Unfortunately, it failed at every one of our performance tests. If you thought this tiny upright could do as good a job as a full-size unit, clear out some space in your closet: you’re going to need a bigger vacuum.
Design & Usability
Despite its flaws, the 431F feels well-built and well designed. It’s easy to carry and store, but hard to push across deep carpets.
The Optima 431F is a true Mini-Me version of a full-size upright vacuum. Nobody at Eureka reinvented the wheel here—they simply shrunk it down, complete with smaller buttons, narrower hose, little filter, and tiny dirt cup. Its circular handle is quite comfortable, and slides into the body for storage. Unfortunately, the small wheels and lack of a carpet height adjuster mean this vac easily gets bogged down on carpets.
A three-position rocker switch controls whether the vacuum is on or off, and whether the brushroll is powered. A separate switch swaps suction between the floor cleaner and an extension hose, the latter of which connects to either an upholstery brush or a crevice tool. No other tools come with the vacuum. A 20-foot cord doesn’t automatically retract, and must be rewound manually on two posts at the back. The whole getup weighs 12.76 lbs., a full pound and three quarters more than the box claims.
The dirt holder detaches from the cleaner with the touch of a button. To empty it, one must twist the top open and turn the dirt holder over. Make sure to do this over a trash can because dust will inevitably fall out—most of it concentrated in a small ridge on a plastic ring at the base of the filter, dropping only after you bang the filter with the ball of your hand a few times.
Features & Performance
Adequate performance cleaning wood floors, but just couldn’t handle pet hair or carpet
The Eureka Optima 431F utterly failed all our carpet cleaning tests. Unless you’ve got tile and hardwood all over your home, with not a thread of rug in sight, this vac will inevitably disappoint. It might be a good choice for a quick kitchen cleanup, but it had trouble getting larger pieces of debris. If you're going to get something smaller than a full-size, we'd at least recommend something more convenient—like a cordless broom. Oh, and if you think you're saving heaps and heaps of energy, think something else. For such a small vacuum, the 431F sure uses a lot of electricity, and makes a lot of noise. In fact, it drew as much energy, and got as loud as a full-size cleaner!
Almost a toy, but a lot less fun
If your American Girl doll needs a new vacuum, this is it: A miniature, lifelike replica of an everyday upright.
It’s such a convincing copy that one could almost be forgiven for thinking it’s a real cleaning tool. Disappointingly, it costs $60 and barely moved as much dirt as a well-wielded carpet sweeper.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!