Dyson vacuums are awful, and you know I'm right

The head on the Dyson handstick vacuum cleaner.
The head on the Dyson handstick vacuum cleaner.


It's hard to imagine a brand that people are more evangelical about than Dyson.

I have endured countless conversations with friends where they wax lyrical about how their Dyson vacuum cleaner has changed their life. From the near-hysterical tones you would think this appliance had waltzed into their house, cooked them a nice dinner, bathed the kids, put them to bed and lovingly smoothed their hair as they fell asleep.

And let's not forget how everyone lost their mind when Dyson invented a fan that you can safely stick your arm in. We all felt like we were really living in the 21st century when that bad boy hit department store floors.

What’s the point of this, James?
What’s the point of this, James?

I have purchased two Dyson vacuum cleaners in my life, because I am a slow learner. And I'm here to declare that I think they are highly overrated. I am aware that this statement is as contentious as claiming you don't like puppies or Seinfeld.

When you float this unpopular opinion in conversation, people become very protective of their purchase. It feels like everyone has drunk the Kool-Aid when it comes to this particular brand. Perhaps people - myself included, until now - are too scared to admit that they got sucked in* and spent an extreme amount of money on a humble vacuum cleaner. So we justify its existence, and suck it up*.

* That's two vacuum puns right there. More to come.


A child pointing out a very ineffective product. Picture: Supplied
A child pointing out a very ineffective product. Picture: Supplied


Each Dyson has cost the equivalent of my first car. Combine that with the reverential tones that everyone speaks about them in, and I guess my expectations were pretty high from the get go.

The first vacuum we purchased was one of the wheely ones that follows you around and slams into chair legs. The second was one of the handstick ones that you charge on the wall. We chose this model because we have a small apartment and barely have enough room to store the dead bodies, let alone a vacuum cleaner.

The wheely one was okay. Just okay. It did the job, but I often questioned whether it actually did a better job than a $200 vacuum. The second one is where I really started to call emperor's new clothes on Dyson.

The Dyson V6 stick vacuum, aka a poor decision on my part.
The Dyson V6 stick vacuum, aka a poor decision on my part.

As mentioned, our place is small and the Dyson V6 handstick somehow runs out of power after one and a half rooms. This battery situation is dire. It should be sucking the life out of our apartment several times over. And for anyone who suggests that I might get more mileage if I don't run it on the maximum power setting, that is not how I want to live my life. Max or die, baby.

Dog admires how its hair stays firmly on the carpet.
Dog admires how its hair stays firmly on the carpet.

It's also the world's neediest appliance. You vacuum a square metre of floor space and it shuts down, sulking until its filters are extracted and tenderly cleaned. The very cheap vacuum cleaner in my first sharehouse once suctioned up party vomit and it didn't put up this kind of fight.

Then, there are the attachments. Our Dyson has two - one for hard floors and one for carpets. They look very much alike. To add an air of mystery they have neglected to label the attachments. So each time I use it I play a game of roulette as to whether I have attached the correct one for the appropriate floor type. Why you gotta test me like that, Dyson?

The head has a purple and red striped spinny bit in the middle which is meant to rotate and piff the particles into the suction hole, making my life a breeze. But the vast majority of time it doesn't spin as it should. It just stays perfectly still. Coldly eyeballing me. Flipping me the bird.

An artist’s impression of how a Dyson vacuum should clean.
An artist’s impression of how a Dyson vacuum should clean.

I would conclude this rant by saying "Dyson sucks", but frankly if it did, I would be happy.

That's its one job.

Topics:  dyson editors picks retail vacuum

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