/ Home & Energy

Do you really need a Dyson?

Thanks to Kazuhiro Keino on Flickr for the image.

Our research found that if you’re a Which? member and have a bagless vacuum cleaner, there’s a 75% chance it’ll be a Dyson. But my question is – do you really need a Dyson?

Named after the man who invented the bagless cyclonic vacuum cleaner, Dyson vacuums are instantly recognisable and one of the best selling UK vacuums.

Much to the delight of dust vanquishers everywhere, the Blighty based company released its new generation of Dyson vacuum cleaners earlier this year.

These new-to-2012 models boast a range of smart sounding features, including their refined ‘radial root’ cyclone technology which, according to a recent Dyson advert, ‘captures more dirt than any other cyclone’.

Dabbling with Dysons

Dyson’s new cylinder vacuums are the first to benefit from patented ‘ball technology’, making them easier to shift about. Many models now have added floor heads that automatically adjust to suit the type of surface they’re cleaning.

So it may surprise you to learn that of the six 2012 Dysons we’ve tested so far, only one has been given a Which? Best Buy. We currently have 20 vacuums that have made the Best Buy grade and only three of them are Dysons.

So why aren’t they doing better? While we can’t reveal our test results here, we can tell you that ball technology does not seem to have much impact on their manoeuvrability compared to non-ball vacs. And despite Dyson putting the motor inside the ball, it seems that noise still remains an issue.

Additionally, some Dyson vacs have also been known to struggle with pet hair compared to competing models.

You and your Dyson

Considering the number of Dyson vacs we’ve tested, our current conclusion is that they’re good, but most of the time there are better options available. That’s a sobering fact to consider when you’re squaring up to Dyson’s typically premium-sized price tag.

But given how well they sell, it’s fair to say that Dyson is a brand that inspires fierce loyalty (as well as a number of copycat designers) . But do you love your Dyson, or would you consider looking elsewhere?

Are you a fan of Dyson vacuum cleaners?

No - I think Dysons are over-hyped (45%, 447 Votes)

Yes - I think Dysons are the best (30%, 295 Votes)

Maybe - I might be a fan if Dysons were cheaper (25%, 253 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,007

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I can honestly say “I do not own a Dyson”. Although with all the calls I get offering a discount on servicing my Dyson, you’d think I did. That fact alone will ensure I’ll never buy one, just so I can avoid being party to that scam. So there are disadvantages to owning the most popular brand of vacuum.


How odd – I’ve had several Dysons over the years but have never had a call offering service, with or without a discount.


Nope: never owned one and never will.

When the first Dyson uprights came out I knew 3 people who bought them and had them catch fire; that would have put me off even if I’d wanted one, but to be honest, my grandparents’ 1957 Hoover Junior, which uses a fraction of the electricity of the Dyson, and has a fully automatically adjusting carpet thickness / head height arrangement, has several times outperformed Dyson cleaners (and also Kirby cleaners – much to the humiliation of the Kirby salesmen!), so why on earth would I want to change?

My Hoover has coped with pet hair all it’s life, has picked up things it never should have after building and pluming works, including nails, screws, small pieces of wood chippings, plaster dust and odd bits of gravel (all by accident – I’d never deliberately try to Hoover them up) and has never yet broken down. I can still buy belts, bags and brushes in local shops and supermarkets and when I take the paper bag out I simply fold the top over and pop it in the bin – which doesn’t upset my hay fever – unlike bagless cleaners where you have to tip the waste out of the container, and if there is any breeze it blows all over at you – making me sneeze for days. Oh, and it’s very quiet and extremely lightweight too.

I’m sure James Dyson has tried his very best and I know his products appeal to many people, but I’m afraid I can’t see the attraction at all.

If I’m ever forced to buy a new cleaner it’ll be a Sebo, but it seems that mine is fairly indestructible so far.

James Dyson’s balls (pardon the expression) were better off on his BallBarrows, of which I have two, both in the family since he first marketed them, and both providing sterling service on the allotment and in the garden. Now they really WERE a fantastic invention!

E Barber says:
7 September 2012

I, too, know of people who have had vacuum cleaners for years, would never change them and good luck to them. I have had numerous vacuum cleaners over the years and they have never lasted very long. However, I now own a Dyson, I would NEVER change to a cleaner which needed a bag and I cannot understand the comment that the dust flies everywhere when bagless cleaners are emptied. I put the cylinder in a plastic bag before I release the dust – simple!

As for a Dyson not coping particularly well with pet hair. Why would I care as I have never owned a pet.

The one I own at present has brilliant suction, is easy to manoeuvre around furniture, is light weight and I can see when the cylinder needs emptying, it has never needed repair or maintenance and I do not need to spend money buying bags or filters. Sorry – I am a convert.


Don’t the modern Dyson’s need filters?

I have no “hands on” experience of anything after the DC02, but two friends of mine with more recent models (I don’t know which though) say their biggest gripe with them is that they do need filters, that the filters need changing almost as often as they have to empty the canister and that the filters cost an arm and a leg to buy. One of these friends says she washes the filters but the other lady says that the Dyson service engineer told her that anything other than replacing the filters would invalidate the warranty.

Since E Barber says no need to spend money on Filters I’m now wondering if the latest Dyson’s have got round this expensive situation.


E Barber

The only vacuums I’ve owned that have ever gone wrong are two Black & Decker “Dustbusters” – The reason for buying the Dyson DC35 in the first place was to replace the useless dustbuster. Every other vacuum I’ve bought since 1960 is still working.- never needed a new cable (what are people doing to damage the cables?) never needed new motors (never overworked them – an advantage of having a vacuum on each floor)

The DC35 is brilliant at cleaning my Venetian blinds (I have 12 to 14 ft ceilings and high windows- open book cases to the ceiling so it is good for those too.) no other vacuum is as good. But equally brilliant for removing dust from furniture – the car – edges – the stairs. Excellent range of accessories. Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre as no cable. I wouldn’t be without it.

All my vacuums are good at removing pet fur – I can have up to nineteen dogs at one time (I foster pet dogs for those normally poor and vulnerable who go into hospital and can’t afford the kennel fees – been doing it for years) So pet fur could be an issue. But my floors in general are laminated wood – the fur is removed from furniture easily.

As for bags – I’ve found that I can use them at least twice – too many people try to use their vacuums with the bags too full – putting far too much stress on the motors – maybe a reason for poor service life.

Never used the non portable Dyson so will not give an opinion on them – particularly as all my existing vacuums are still working well – with or without filters – with or without bags. The reason I was never attracted to the Miele is it is too expensive and had limited use for me.

So as a pet owner I am a firm convert to the portable Dyson.

Ivan Wain says:
16 February 2018

If you do not listen to Which, you deserve to buy a Black & Decker, I have found that they are not very good.

Harvey says:
6 September 2012

We bought a Dyson upright and whilst it did pick up well, it was very heavy and not easy to use. After a couple of years the flexible hose cracked making the cleaner useless. We replaced it with a Miele cylinder, a much better machine in every way.