It’s nearly spring, which means it’s nearly the season of cleaning and organization. There’s something particularly alarming about emerging from the winter doldrums to find that your home is a dusty, cluttered mess. To help you (and us) with sprucing up and restoring order, we’re talking to professionals and experts this week all about the best tricks and tools.
Though I’ve never had the pleasure of owning a Dyson, I know it as the company that consistently makes me want to spend my rent money on a fancy vacuum. So when I got the opportunity to test out Dyson’s new Cyclone V10 vacuum for Get It Together Week, I was excited to see what the hype was about. The “hype” surrounding this specific vacuum has a lot to do with remarks that founder James Dyson made during its launch this month. With the creation of the V10 — a cordless stick vacuum that generates the same suction power as a full-size upright vacuum — he announced that the company would no longer produce bulky, corded vacuums. In a way, you could say I’m test-driving the future of vacuums as we know it.
For scientific purposes, I compared the Dyson against my scrappy handheld Bissell vacuum called the Pet Hair Eraser (which is a favorite of more than one Strat staffer). It’s a small $30 hoover that I bought a year ago because of its ecstatic reviews and low price tag. And though it’s mainly designed for picking up pet hair, I use it on a large white-and-pink floor rug in my room that tends to shed more than a long-haired cat. Sometimes tufts of rug will float out into the living area like tumbleweeds (see above), so it always delights me to see the Bissell collect fistfuls of these fibers in its brushlike head.
Because it’s white and tends to collect a lot of dust and dirt, the rug also made the ideal test subject for the Dyson. My Bissell is great at the bigger picture stuff, but very mediocre at sucking up the nitty-gritty dirt and crumbs. To see how they measured up, I sectioned off one half of the rug for the Dyson and another for the Bissell, and then went to town.
Before I go into actual testing, here’s what you can expect from the Dyson. First, the price tag. The V10 Absolute model will set you back $700, so it’s definitely on the splurgy end. But if you think about how much you clean on a yearly basis (and when you see just how well this one cleans), you might want to look into it. The V10 combines some of the best features of existing Dyson standing models: an ultrapowerful motor, a purified air filter, a hygienic dust chamber that ejects dust and dirt with the flick of a switch, plus mix and match parts that snap into place. Like other models, you can use the long rod for easy access to ceiling vents and for cleaning floors without stooping, or deconstruct the vacuum to use as a handheld option. And of the three V10 models, the Absolute comes with the most attachments.
And then, of course, there’s the cordless, five-pound body. The main difference between this model and its predecessors is that the V10 comes with a longer charge (up to 60 minutes of power) and more powerful suction than ever. Charging the lithium-ion battery will take you about three hours, but once you’re set, you could have an hour of deep-cleaning power at your disposal. It also has 40 percent more bin storage than older versions.
To start the vacuum, all you have to do is push a button resembling a trigger on the inside of the handle. Once it’s revved up, it emits a high-pitched jet-engine hum (which explains the powerful little body this guy has). I used the “torque driver” cleaner head (it’s specially designed for carpets) and set my vacuum to its maximum setting — there are three — and reader, it took less than a minute to accumulate almost a half-tank of dust. I was floored. I clean this rug almost every week, so it’s apparent that the Dyson is way better at deep-cleaning carpets than the Bissell. But just to prove my case, here are snapshots of the Dyson dust chamber (overstuffed) at three minutes, and my Bissell vacuum after three minutes. It’s disturbing to think about just how much dirt and dust my regular vacuum is missing on a regular basis.
For peace of mind, I even used the Dyson to go back over the areas of the rug I’d cleaned with the Bissell, and was horrified to see how much dust, crumbs, and dirt were neglected.
The only downside, if you plan on going fast and furious with the Dyson on maximum mode like I did, is that it’s going to be a major drain on the battery — don’t expect more than 30 minutes of continuous cleaning on max power. And then, of course, the matter of actually paying $700 for a vacuum.
That being said, you really do get what you pay for. Considering the sheer amount of dirt and dust this vacuum can pick up from hardwood floors, crevices, and carpets (and how fast), you’d have a hard time finding a better easy-to-use vacuum — especially if you suffer from allergies, have pets, or own lots of dusty upholstery. If you just want to upgrade to a more powerful vacuum but can’t afford the V10, sure, there are plenty of other models with great reviews and cheaper prices, like the Miele C2 or the Shark Rocket. Or, you could find a solid vacuum with a replaceable HEPA filter, like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away, if dust is your main concern.
But if there’s anything I’ve learned from this, skimping on a cheaper model for the sake of being thrifty isn’t worth the drop in quality, and once you’ve tried the Dyson, it’s hard to turn back. For the power, the results, and all of the extra cleaning gadgets, it would be worth it to go the extra mile and invest in a deeper clean and a top-of-the-line vacuum. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even end up seeing a sexy new V10 in my next Strat Haul.
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