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Kenmore Intuition Review BU4020/BU4022

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We’ve got another upright review to share, this time for the Kenmore Intuition bagged upright vacuum. It seems like a well-designed, lightweight, really versatile vacuum with a lot of extras that are typically not found with vacuums in this price range. So, we bought one and put it through our tests to see how it performed.

An Impressive Bagged Upright

Product Name: Kenmore Intuition BU4020/BU4022

  • Performance - 9.4/10
    9.4/10
  • Features - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Ergonomics - 9.7/10
    9.7/10
  • Value - 9.7/10
    9.7/10
9.4/10

Verdict

The Kenmore Intuition has ample power, which importantly, translated into good results on our tests on carpeting and hard floors. If you’re looking for a budget-priced bagged vacuum, the Kenmore Intuition is definitely worth your consideration. Since there’s a trio of Intuition models, be sure to check the price as well as which accessories are included.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good on all surfaces
  • Budget price

Cons

  • Long hair can tangle on the brushroll
  • Lacks height adjustment

About the Kenmore Intuition upright

When we initially did this review, there were two main models of the Intuition – the BU4020 (see it on Amazon) and the BU4022 (see it on Amazon). Both were and are today, about the same price. And, besides the color, the differences seem to be about the type of attachments and the number of bags each comes with. We’ll talk about a newer third model further along in the review.

Kenmore Intuition Review BU4022 - BU4020
The Kenmore Intuition we purchased for this review. © Vacuum Wars

We think the Kenmore Intuition was probably designed to be a bagged alternative to the Shark Navigator LiftAway 300 series, specifically the Shark NV352. That Shark model is one of the best Shark upright vacuums with a budget price, too. In any case, there are a lot of similarities between the two vacuums, so we will be comparing them to one another throughout this review.

What we like

Lightweight

Starting off with the pros, the Kenmore Intuition is very light compared to the majority of upright vacuums. This is especially important if you’re vacuuming large areas or have stairs to walk up and down. The Kenmore was heavier than the Shark, but only by about 10 ounces or so. They’re both much lighter than average vacuums.

Upright vacuum resources

Versatility

The Intuition is also very versatile in that you can remove the pod from the floor nozzle for above-floor cleaning jobs, which they call “Lift Off” instead of “Lift Away”. The Kenmore also had an integrated wand for larger debris or getting to hard-to-reach places. On that point, we liked the Intuition’s longer wand. We always thought that the Shark wand on the NV352 was just a little bit too short, at least for our preference.

Measuring Suction and Airflow - Kenmore Intuition Review BU4022 - BU4020
Taking suction and airflow measurements. © Vacuum Wars

Power and performance

The Intuition’s power and performance were also really good. We measured 87 CFM of airflow at the hose, 72 CFM at the head, and 80 inches of suction at the hose. These numbers are almost exactly the same as what we measured for the Shark NV352, except for the airflow at the head numbers.

RELATED: See our Kenmore DU5092 Bagless Upright review.

For some reason, they were a pretty good amount higher on the Kenmore. This seemed to be confirmed on the crevice pickup test, where the Kenmore Intuition did perform much better than the Shark. 

Testing Fine Debris Pickup on Carpet - Kenmore Intuition Review BU4022 - BU4020
Testing fine debris pickup on carpeting. © Vacuum Wars

It also seemed confirmed on the unsealed suction test, where the Kenmore again beat the Shark by about the same margins. So, we think it’s safe to say that the Kenmore Intuition has more power at the head than the Shark and really the average upright vacuum, which is a good thing.

Carpet deep clean test

In the deep clean test, where we test how well a vacuum can pick up sand that has been embedded into medium-pile carpet, the Kenmore Intuition scored a perfect 100, as did the Shark.

Debris pickup

Another pro was the Intuition’s performance with debris on the surface of hard floors and carpet. It has a fixed-height gate system, just like the Shark, but the Kenmore’s gates are a little bit bigger and thus a little bit better with larger debris than the Shark’s on hard floors and carpet.

Hard floor performance

The extra power on the Kenmore also helped with heavy and fine debris pickup on hard flooring, too. It did have its limits, just like the Shark, but that’s where the wand on both models earns its keep. It also has a switch where you can turn the brushroll on or off for hard floors or carpet.

Testing Debris Pickup on Hard Flooring - Kenmore Intuition Review BU4022 - BU4020
Testing debris pickup on hard flooring. © Vacuum Wars

We didn’t have the Kenmore Intuition when we last did our best vacuums for tile floors but it might have made the cut.

Filtration

Another pro is its filtration. The Kenmore Intuition has a sealed system, which we’re a big fan of. It has two filtration systems: the bag itself, which is a high-quality HEPA material, and a post-motor filter, which is probably also a HEPA filter, but we’re not sure about that.

Bag release

It also has a patented bag release button that even further reduces your contact with dust. So, it’s well above average if filtration is a big concern of yours, especially in this price range. Its bag has a fairly big capacity at 3.1 liters, and the green one, at least, comes with a year’s supply of bags.

LED Headlights - Kenmore Intuition Review BU4022 - BU4020
Bright LED lights help when cleaning in dark areas. © Vacuum Wars

Kenmore Intuition LED Lights and attachments

It has LED lights, which we think make a big difference. And, it has some well-built attachments, including the suction-powered turbo brush on the green version.

Additional pros

Some final pros: it has a 30-foot cord instead of the 25-foot on the Shark, a bag level indicator, which is a nice touch and it has a 5-year warranty. Finally, it is sold at a pretty reasonable price.

What could be improved

Hair tangles

As for the negative stuff, one of the main things was the hair tangles. The Intuition was about the exact same amount of bad as with the Shark at this test. And really, most upright vacuums aren’t great with hair tangles either. One thing we would have preferred is an easier way to clean the brushroll. It doesn’t pop out like many other uprights. It was nice that we could at least remove the floor head to work on it, though.

Another Intuition Model

After this review, a third Kenmore Intuition model, the BU4050 was released (see it on Amazon). We have not tested this model yet, but wanted to note that it is marketed as having a ‘HAIR ELIMINATOR’ brushroll.

Difficulty on thick carpet

While most of the reviews we read online that mentioned weight said that the Kenmore Intuition was light, there were some people online complaining about how hard it was to push on thick carpet or shag rugs. 

Brushroll Design - Kenmore Intuition Review BU4022 - BU4020
Examining the Kenmore Intuition’s brushroll design. © Vacuum Wars

This is because, like the Shark Navigator, the Kenmore Intuition doesn’t have a height adjustment, which is meant to simplify things but does cause this issue with very thick carpet or rugs. This is why both the Shark and the Kenmore have a suction release valve to reduce suction to make it easier to push on thick carpet or rugs.

Minor issues

Most of our other cons were just nitpicky kind of things, like we thought the wand took some getting used to in order to replace correctly. The same thing with the little bag mechanism; it took us a minute to figure it all out. Also, the cord hook was really hard to turn at first.

Controls - Kenmore Intuition Review BU4022 - BU4020
Controls include a Brushroll on/off switch. © Vacuum Wars

Conclusion

Really, there wasn’t a lot to dislike about the Kenmore Intuition. We think it’s a choice that people who prefer bagged vacuums will be glad to have. And at this price, it may cause a lot of bagless fans to try a bagged vacuum for the first time.

Kenmore Intuition specs

ManufacturerKenmore
ModelIntuition BU4020, BU4022
Vacuum typeCorded Upright
Bagged/baglessBagged
Bag capacity3.1 L
Motor10 amps
Cord length30 ft.
Height adjustmentNo
Swivel headYes
Brushroll on/offYes
HeadlightsYes
Weight< 14 lbs.
Cleaning Path Width11”
Specifications from the Kenmore website.
9.4/10
 

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