What is the Hotpoint SL M07 A4H B?
Hotpoint is aiming to clean up in the vacuum cleaner market with two new models sporting a quadruple-A rating. With energy, dust emissions, hard floor and carpet cleaning all receiving top marks on the energy label, can the Energy Power 4 SL M07 A4H B cylinder model live up to its glowing school report?
With a super-sized anti-bacterial UV floor head and plenty of tools, this big bagless impresses with its cleaning power and super-quiet operation. However, its portly dimensions don’t make for a lightweight cleaner and suction stick-down was an issue with both carpet heads. It honours its energy label ratings well, but it’s shy of the refinements that make for a truly great cleaner.
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Hotpoint SL M07 A4H B – Design and features
This bagless Hotpoint is a big beast and suitable for the largest of cleaning tasks. The body alone weighs in at a portly 6.4kg, while the hose and extension tube adds 1.7kg. The main ProHygiene head is a whopping 1.3kg. Clip in a couple of detail tools on the tube-mounted holder and we have a near-double-digit combined weight.
This Hotpoint is big overall. There’s a whopping 2-litre bin, a hose longer than most at 2m, near-10m of cable and a high-efficiency 700W motor. This is a cleaner that means business.
The chunky body rolls easily. It has a rubber bumper all-round to protect furniture if you get into a bit of a cleaning frenzy. The main power switch and cable-rewind buttons are large enough to be seen from space. You won’t likely miss them with your foot. LED lights in-between signify power on, a blocked filter and bin full when illuminated.
The cable, lengthy hose and extension tube afford serious scope for getting around the home without swapping plug sockets frequently. The hose isn’t particularly stretchy, however, and had a habit of kinking if it became twisted. Keep everything in line and this Hotpoint offers quite epic cleaning reach.
The handle takes two AAA batteries for its remote control buttons. On the top is power on/off and +/- buttons for suction level. Beneath is a rocker switch that engages the rotating brush bar and UV lamp in the main floorhead. Oddly, these are completely independent. You can have suction and no brush bar running for delicate hard floors… and visa versa for no easily explainable reason.
Both remote control switches need to be turned off to shut the whole thing down. Frankly, this is odd and takes some getting used to. Thankfully, the main power switch on the cleaner turns everything off in one hit.
Hotpoint SL M07 A4H B – Accessories
The main ProHygiene floor head is hefty. It isn’t particularly wide, but unusually long front to back. This allows space to accommodate a down-firing UV lamp. The theory is that high-level UV rays kill off bacteria and some other small organisms. So, cleaning with the ProHygiene floor head promises to leave behind super-clean, bacteria-free carpets.
We have no way to test these claims but our gut reaction is ‘sceptical’. One assumes the UV concentration is low enough not to have any carpet colour-fading effects, such as you might get from long-term sun exposure.
The head itself sports rubberised real wheels and several smaller rollers to keep it moving. The neck has a tilt and pivot mechanism for steerage, but there’s no getting away from its sheer mass and length. Manoeuvrability could be better.
For detail cleaning there’s Hotpoint’s Sofa Brush. This is a small, air-powered turbo tool that’s ideal for stairs and, well, sofas. It isn’t the best, though. There’s no tilting neck or moving floor plate as you’ll find on competitor’s models, so it’s tricky to keep fully flat with the surface. The air-powered tool brush bar is also easily stopped if the cleaner is on low power.
Quite why Hotpoint would include a cheap turbo-tool – as opposed to a proper motor-powered tool – when it’s the hose and tubes that carry power to the main floor head is a mystery. An opportunity missed, in our opinion.
The rest of the tool roster is comprehensive if not showing quite the attention to design detail of the very best. The parquet floor tool is light and wide, with plenty of steps in the brush, yet the lack of tilt in the neck makes it difficult to keep flat to the floor. You also get a very large carpet floor head – but its basic floor plate means is sticks down like a limpet to most carpets, even with the cleaner on the lowest power setting.
Two smaller detail tools include a small dusting brush and very short crevice tool with an unusual oval profile. When we find an very short oval crevice, we reckon it will be ideal. For typical detail cleaning down the side of the sofa or back of a radiator, it’s less effective.
Hotpoint SL M07 A4H B – How does it clean carpets and hard floors?
Given the ample size of the cyclone and bin, plus an efficient motor, it was no surprise that this Hotpoint delivers superb suction and plenty of air flow. The difference between its lowest and highest power setting using the handle-based remote control is subtle. Both produce a superb amount of cleaning power and very little noise.
On its lowest power setting the Hotpoint produced a staggering low 54dB of sound – about the same as a fairly quiet tumble dryer. Ramping that up to full power adds 6dB to a still extremely respectable 60dB. The mains-powered ProHygiene floor head puts that up to around 63-64dB when cleaning over carpet, making the SL M07 A4H B one of the quietest powered-head cylinder cleaners we’ve ever tested.
We used the same ProHygiene floor head for our hard-floor test with exemplary results too. While the sound of the beater bar on the hard floor did knock the sound up to 68dB (still several decibels short of the stated 75dB), it scored a perfect result on our spilled oats test. It cleaned 100% of the oats without any flicking, and left nothing behind on the backstroke. The setup isn’t the most manoeuvrable, but there’s no denying its cleaning prowess over hard floors.
The dedicated parquet tool was passable, if not perfect. Its lack of moving parts meant it was gentler for soft-wood parquet but the fixed neck makes it tricky to use effectively. There’s something of an art to keeping the head perfectly flat to the ground, so results were a little mixed. Thankfully, the cleaner’s ample suction more than made up for the parquet head’s challenged ergonomics.
Our first carpet test involved general cleaning of longer-pile carpet; things got off to a bad start. On the highest power setting the ProHygiene head really sucked-down to the surface, making it difficult to move. Even with the brush bar running, we had to use the lowest power to get things moving with any ease.
On our shorter-pile test carpet the suck-down effect wasn’t quite so pronounced, allowing us to use full power. A firm push across a patch of mixed talc, baking powder and carpet freshener was all that was required for great results. The ProHygiene head and solid suction power lifted almost all of the residue in a single sweep. Edge cleaning was impressive thanks to the high suction.
As you pull the head back, the rear end of the head tends to lift from the carpet. This breaks the seal, making the head easier to move. You do catch glimpses of the UV light doing its thing on the return stroke. The overall result is good carpet cleaning results, but at the cost of some serious elbow-grease in moving the main ProHygiene floor head around.
Unfortunately, if the ProHygiene floor head proved ‘sticky’, then the unpowered carpet head just plain stuck. We simply couldn’t move it on our hall carpet on any power setting. The bulky head has so many fundamental design flaws that I really wouldn’t know where to start. Easier just to throw that one in the bin and move on.
Despite our gripe about the sofa tool only being air-powered, it performed rather well on upholstery. The lack of tilt in the neck is overcome by the soft cushioning of the upholstery. It isn’t perfect, but remains better than a simple, fixed upholstery brush.
The SL M07 A4H B’s large bin capacity proved extremely useful for heavy-duty cleaning. Emptying proved a little tricky, though. The release clip is firm and there isn’t anywhere to hold the bin while you push the clip. It’s definitely a two-handed job. That said, debris fell out easily – including a dense mat of pet hair.
Hotpoint SLM07A4HB – How easy is it to use on stairs?
At close to 10kg all-in, this isn’t a cleaner with which you’ll be wanting to be running up and down stairs. Well, not unless you like a work-out with your cleaning duties. Thankfully, its super-long cable and lengthy hose give it plenty of cleaning reach for stairs.
All of the supplied tools will fit directly to the handle without the metal tube, allowing to you get up close with each step. This isn’t particularly practical with the heavy ProHygiene floor head of course, unless you have forearms like Popeye. We resorted to the sofa tool. This worked well as long as you spend a little care keeping the head flat to the carpet.
Add in the metal telescopic tubes and you have quite epic reach up stairs. We comfortably reached the full height of a normal set of household steps, even negotiating the awkward bend in our flight. The sofa tool is small enough to get into tight corners and doesn’t stick down too much, even on high power. On the lowest power setting we found dense carpet would slow and stop the brush, so we kept the power high. Overall, the Hotpoint delivered respectable stair-cleaning results.
Hotpoint SLM07A4HB – How does it cope with pet hair?
With high suction power and two heads featuring rotating pet-hair-busting brushes, a house full of furry friends was unlikely to break the Hotpoint’s cleaning stride. Sure enough, the main head cleaned our test patch of mixed Collie and Labrador hair in under 10 seconds.
Yet the ProHygiene head’s propensity to stick down means that this Hotpoint is much more bull-mastiff than toy poodle when it comes to walking it around the home. On high power you’re going to be putting in plenty of effort when cleaning over carpet. Use lower power and you’ll end up going over areas a few times to remove all the pet hairs.
No such trouble on hard floors. The Hotpoint’s high air flow meant tumbleweed fur balls were dragged in with ease. The parquet floor head proved easiest to use for this type of cleaning. Ironically, its propensity to kick up at the back or front (due to the fixed neck) had a benefit. It stopped hairs becoming caught on the brush.
The sofa tool came into its own when we approached the dogs’ beds. The turbo-powered brush bar did a good job of dislodging hairs and dust without sticking down or sucking in the fabric. We’d still have preferred a motor-powered tool with better articulation, but the sofa tool didn’t prove too shoddy for detail pet-hair-cleaning duties.
Should I buy the Hotpoint SL M07 A4H B?
Living up to its impressive energy label billing, the Hotpoint SL M07 A4H B proved powerful, quiet and very effective at cleaning carpets and hard floors alike.
It’s a big and hefty beast, however, and suction stick-down makes hard work of carpet cleaning. In addition, the tools lack design finesse. We love the Hotpoint’s cleaning prowess, superb reach and pet-hair-busting credentials, but the SL M07 A4H B could simply do better at the fundamental ergonomics. As for the UV light ProHygiene effect… the jury is still out.
Not an unreserved recommendation, then, but a solid contender for those prepared to take a strong arm to their cleaning duties.
Superb energy label specification and super-quiet cleaning make for great basics – but Hotpoint’s SL M07 A4H B is rather hefty and lacks finesse.
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