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Dyson is one of the most popular vacuum cleaner brands in the United States, and they're well regarded for good reason. With excellent suction power and a whole range of features that make cleaning easier and more effective, it's not hard to see why these appliances are so popular.
But buying a Dyson vacuum isn’t necessarily simple — you have to select from a whole range of models, and it can be tough to decide which one is best for you.
We at BestReviews are here to help you select the right products to suit your needs. We test items in our labs, consult experts, and gather opinions from existing customers — all to aid you in making wise purchasing decisions.
When you're ready to buy, scroll up to see our product matrix featuring our top five Dyson vacuums. But first, read on to learn all you need to know to pick the perfect model.
First, let's examine the four primary varieties of Dyson vacuum on the market: upright, canister, cordless, and handheld.
Upright Dyson vacuums are one-piece units, with the suction head at the bottom and a handle at the top to push it around.
Tend to have larger capacities, quicker for cleaning large areas, usually better at lifting pet hair from carpets.
Heavier than other types, not so good at tackling stairs and corners without using the hose.
Roughly $300 to $500.
We recommend an upright Dyson to anyone with large rooms, particularly for spaces that are sparsely furnished.
Canister Dysons have the motor, filters, and dust chamber (where the dirt is collected) located in the main body of the appliance, with the cleaning head on the end of a flexible hose.
Generally lighter and easier to maneuver than upright models, fairly quiet, good at getting dirt from nooks and crannies.
Takes longer to vacuum large spaces, can be more awkward to store with the trailing hose.
Roughly $350 to $550.
Some canister vacuums are inferior to upright models at sucking up animal hair, but Dyson make a range of canister models that are specifically designed with pet owners in mind.
Cordless Dysons are exactly what they sound like — they have no cord (instead running on a rechargeable battery), so you just have to grab and go.
Takes some of the hassle out of vacuuming, makes it easy to vacuum cars or outbuildings.
Limited battery life, suction power may not be quite as strong as corded models.
Roughly $200 to $500.
For many users, the convenience of a cordless Dyson vacuum outweighs the slight reduction in cleaning power. Plus, it's worth noting that the newest cordless Dysons could give most other corded vacuums a run for their money.
Handheld Dyson vacuums are small "dustbuster" type units, designed for small cleaning tasks.
Extremely portable, great for spot cleaning or vacuuming upholstery.
Small capacity, not suitable as an only vacuum.
Roughly $150 to $250.
Some people love handheld Dyson vacuums for spot cleaning and other small tasks, but they're definitely not large or powerful enough to be used as the only vacuum cleaner in a household.
What is it that makes Dyson vacuums unique and worth spending those extra dollars? The following Dyson features are patented and can't be found on any other vacuum cleaners.
You might notice a couple rows of cones at the top of the dust chamber of a Dyson vacuum. Air spirals — or "cyclones" — spin inside these cones, using centrifugal force to fling the dirt into the dust chamber via a process known as cyclonic separation. While Dyson didn't invent this process, it was the first company to harness its power for use in vacuum cleaners. Some other vacuums now work in a similar way, but Dyson's dual cyclone technology is patented and is often considered superior.
Product in Depth
Product in Depth
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy
Great for Pet Owners and Allergy Sufferers
Perhaps the most notable feature of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy is its remarkable, maintenance-free HEPA filtration, which is a boon for allergy and asthma sufferers. Dyson Cinetic science prevents tiny dust particles blocking the airflow, meaning this vacuum doesn't lose suction over time. Users report it's exceptional at sucking up pet hair, even from hard-to-reach areas.
You may have noticed that upright Dyson vacuums look unusual, as they have one large ball on which the cleaning head pivots, rather than the small wheels that other upright vacuums have. This is known as "The Ball" and is designed to make Dyson's upright vacuums easier to maneuver.
Tangle-free turbines are found on all Dyson vacuums in the "Animal" series. This special tool is designed to lift pet hair from deep within a carpet without getting all tangled up, which is what generally happens with typical rotating brush bars.
The Ball on upright Dyson vacuums houses the motor, which reduces noise and lowers the center of gravity, making the whole unit more stable.
Not all Dysons use cinetic cleaning power, but those that do have soft rubber tips on the ends of the cyclone cones.
These tips oscillate while the vacuum is in use, filtering even the tiniest particles of dust, eliminating the need for an additional fine-dust filter.
This means you never have to change or clean another filter.
Forgetting to clean filters can lead to a reduction in suction power, but with Dyson cinetic vacuums you never again have to clean or replace a filter.
The dust chambers on Dyson vacuum cleaners tend to be relatively small, possibly to cut down on size and weight.
Average capacity ranges from about 0.5 to 2 liters, with upright models usually having the largest capacity and handheld models the smallest.
If your chosen Dyson has a small capacity, it might be inconvenient to empty the dust chamber regularly, but the flip side is that the contents won't languish inside for months and start to smell.
Compared to other vacuum cleaners of similar sizes, Dysons are often fairly heavy. In fact, it's the only bad thing that many owners have to say about these appliances.
In the grand scheme of things, we'd rather have a heavy vacuum that worked exceptionally well than a lightweight vacuum that did a poor job of cleaning, but make sure you don't choose a model that's too heavy for you to handle.
If you want a lightweight Dyson vacuum, canister and cordless models tend to weigh less than upright varieties.
If noise is a consideration for you, be aware that Dyson vacuums can be quite loud.
Essentially, it's the sign of a powerful motor (which equals good suction power), but that's not much of a consolation when you scare your cat or wake your sleeping baby.
Cordless models are the quietest, followed by canister models, then uprights.
Many Dyson vacuums have self-adjusting cleaning heads, which automatically adjust their brush height for different kinds of flooring.
This is an excellent feature if you have different flooring in different parts of the house, as you don't have to manually adjust the head when you move from room to room.
Q. Why should I buy a Dyson instead of another brand of vacuum cleaner?
A. While we're not suggesting Dysons are the only good vacuums on the market, they're popular for a reason. They have excellent suction power, a range of unique features, are durable, easy to use, and come with a good warranty. If you have the budget for one, a Dyson vacuum cleaner is definitely worth the money.
Q. What's the difference between a Dyson "Animal" and a Dyson "Multi Floor?"
A. Most models of Dyson vacuum come in two versions: the Animal and the Multi Floor. The Animal series is designed to deal with the hair and extra dirt that comes with pets, and has the tangle-free turbine attachment. The Multi Floor model is essentially the same as the Animal, but without the extra attachments. So, if you have pets, go for the Animal, and if you don't, the Multi Floor will suffice.
Q. Are Dyson vacuums good for allergy sufferers?
A. Due to their impressive suction power, Dyson vacuums remove more allergens from your home than many other vacuums. Plus, they have excellent filters, so that these allergens don't simply get blown back into the room with the air output.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.