5 things to look for before buying a Dyson vacuum cleaner

Dyson V7
(Image credit: Dyson)

When it comes to the best vacuum cleaners, the Dyson vacuum cleaner is right up there in performance. Renowned for its incredible power, advanced filtration system and innovative design, it isn’t any wonder why Dyson is one of the most sought-after vacuum cleaners. But with a range that covers everything from the lightweight cordless and handheld to durable upright models and canisters, it can be overwhelming to know which one to buy. 

While each of the vacuum cleaners in the Dyson range has its own unique benefits and features, there are some key things to look for before buying a Dyson vacuum cleaner. After all, Dyson vacuums are among the more expensive vacuums on the market — so you’ll need to choose the right one for your needs. To help you to decide, here are five things you need to know before buying a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Once you do purchase your model, be sure to check out how to clean a Dyson vacuum to make it last longer. And try not to make these 9 vacuum cleaner mistakes while cleaning every room of your home

1. Do you want a cord or cordless model?

Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum

Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum (Image credit: Dyson)

First of all, you simply can’t beat the power of a corded vacuum cleaner, and when it comes to durability, the corded cleaners are far superior. Generally, corded vacuums are ideal if you have a large house, and are the best option for carpeted floors. They also have a large canister to hold more debris — saving you many trips to the trash can. If you want incredible power, we can recommend the Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Ball Animal 2 ($420, Amazon), which is also best for removing pet hair in no time.

On the other hand, Dyson’s cordless cleaners offer a sleek, lightweight design with many innovative features. While you don’t have to worry about finding a power source, always consider the battery life. Certain Dyson batteries can last up to 60 minutes before recharge, but this all depends on the model and what power setting you use. In addition, most batteries can take between 3.5 and 5 hours to recharge, so bear this in mind if you don’t want to interrupt your chores. 

In any case, Dyson cordless models offer the freedom of movement to quickly whizz around the home, and tackle stairs. Similar to other cordless vacuums, cord-free Dysons can convert to small handheld cleaners for quick pick-ups or stairs. Plus, if you’re space limited, these are easier to store or wall mount in a cupboard or kitchen. If you’re after an exceptional cordless model, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive ($599, Amazon) is the flagship of the range.  

2. What type of floors do you have? 

Light wood flooring

Light wood flooring (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Consider the different types of flooring in your home before buying a Dyson vacuum cleaner. If you have a mixture of hardwood, pile carpet or tile, you’ll probably need a Dyson multi floor vacuum. These upright vacuums are designed to remove dust, debris and even pet hair from a variety of surfaces in no time. Plus, they automatically detangle pet hair quickly and efficiently. 

However, if you have hard flooring, the Dyson V11 cordless range is known for its strong suction power to remove dirt and dust between gaps and crevices. In addition, its ‘soft roller’ cleaner head is suitable for all types of hard floors, without the risk of scratching the surface.  

3. Design and ease of use 

A Dyson vacuum cleaner being removed from the box

A Dyson vacuum cleaner being removed from the box (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re often cleaning your floors, design and ease of use is important. How heavy is it to maneuver or carry? The more powerful upright models often weigh between 15-18 pounds, while their cordless counterparts are between 5 and 10 pounds. Something to consider if you have a large house or a lot of stairs to navigate around.

In addition, how easy is it to use? For instance, the Dyson Small Ball upright vacuum is smooth and easy to push across the floor, and the ball allows more flexibility and movement. However, it can be quite a challenge to navigate the large ball under low furniture or into tight corners. In which case, you’ll need to use an attachment for those awkward spots. Cordless models however, are more convenient for cleaning under furniture and cobwebbed ceilings, but will have a smaller dust canister. In any case, if you’re after a sleek and modern design, you can’t beat Dyson’s stick cordless cleaners.  

4. What features do you need (or want)?

The Dyson V15 Detect with laser on a hardwood floor

The Dyson V15 Detect with laser on a hardwood floor (Image credit: Dyson)

Dyson is known for its innovative features, so it’s worthwhile checking out the spec before buying. Typically, most Dyson vacuums come with the standard turbo and soft-roller floorheads, which you can swap to suit the surface you're vacuuming, and up to three power settings. They are also equipped with an easy-to-use, 'hygienic' dirt ejector, LED headlights and flexible cleaning tubes. 

The newer cordless cleaners (V11 and V15 models), have advanced features. The V11 as previously mentioned has a torque floorhead, which automatically adjusts the suction power depending on floor type and LCD display with a battery life countdown. The v15 Detect uses an actual laser to reveal hidden dust and debris on hardwood floors while you vacuum. Plus, it can record and display data on what it collects via the LCD screen. Inevitably, the latest models have the best power and performance, but they will cost more than the predecessors. So consider what features are really necessary for your needs. 

5. Price and warranty 

A Dyson cordless stick vacuum in handheld vacuum

A Dyson cordless stick vacuum in handheld vacuum  (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Generally, Dyson is more expensive than other top brands on the market. In fact, you’re looking at around twice the price for a similar level in each range. Dyson cordless prices vary from $399 for the v8 Animal to $899 for the Dyson Outsize Absolute+, while equivalent models start from $259 and range up to $479 for the Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum.

However, during the holiday season, Dyson vacuums often go on sale, making it a good time to find one on discount. Be sure to check out our Black Friday deals on vacuums and other products. 

In addition, Dyson only offers a two-year warranty, which includes parts and labor, while other brands offer a five-year limited warranty. 

If you’re still undecided, check out our guide on Shark vs Dyson: Which vacuum cleaner is best? For a full breakdown. Also, find out what happened when our Editor visited the Dyson HQ to get a closer look at their new appliances. You can also check out this Dyson vacuum cleaner that is a sci-fi tech marvel.

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!