We put off buying one of these for quite a while, partly because we had a so-so experience with an expensive vacuum in the past. As I recall, it cost almost double what the Dyson did, but it really was nothing special.
If I knew then, what I know now, I’d have gotten the Dyson much sooner. For the last several years, we’ve had a cheapo vacuum that at least was bag-less. Bags are a pain in the butt, and I’m glad they’re gone. This vacuum was good, but it did have some quirks that annoyed me. Mostly related to maintenance and the size of what serves in the place of the bag. I’d have to empty it 3 times while doing the main level of our house, and if you don’t empty it soon enough, the cat hair would get sucked up into this screen, that you couldn’t easily see (to check if it was gunked up) or clean.
The Dyson is, pretty much, the perfect vacuum.
The “ball” I wasn’t sure about initially, but it does provide quite a lot of maneuverability. However, the “kick stand” that holds it up when you aren’t using it took some getting used to, I initially could never get it to release when I wanted it to.
It’s also surprisingly quiet. Sure, it still freaks out the one cat, but he’s scared of everything. It’s not so quiet that I’d vacuum with someone sleeping, but it is something both Evelyn and I noticed.
The big thing is the maintenance. The beater bar is direct drive instead of belt drive. I’m very much looking forward to not burning up any more belts and having the house smell like burnt rubber. But, time will tell whether it just burns the motor out… However, the cover over the beater bar is clear, so you can see if it’s running or not… And to clean the beater bar, you twist off a cover and slide it out — very easy. Sadly, to unlock the twist-off, you have to use a coin, it’s not finger-operated. And time will tell if that gets stripped up using a coin.
However, you don’t have to do this maintenance on the floor… The whole power head comes off the vacuum, so you can unhook it and bring it over to a counter or table to work on.
The cover over the 2 filters seems similarly easy to get to, and they only require cleaning every 3 months, which is probably about what our previous vacuum required. You just wash them in the sink and let them dry.
The button to activate “bare floor” cleaning is easy to access (on our old one it was a dial on the head that we never used). We’ve been using it all the time for vacuuming the kitchen vinyl flooring.
The bin is much larger than our old vacuum and can go the whole level without emptying even when we haven’t vacuumed recently. Better: you press a button and the whole, contained bin comes off. You take it to the trash or put it in a trash bag, and push a button and the bottom opens and the cruft falls out. This is clear so you can see when it’s empty and shake it to get the last out. This includes the equivalent to the screen in our old one, if it gets over-full — just shake it and it comes clean. The old vacuum had an open cup and if it was full often the cup would spill when emptied and required vacuuming a bit around where you emptied it.
My primary complaint about the setup we have is that it included this extra “powered head” for the extension wand, but there’s nowhere on the vacuum to store it. Our old vacuum had a similar “power paw”, but it had a nice place that it snapped into for storage. I have no idea where the power head now is. On the other hand, the power head is larger than on the old one, and does work much better. We have these curtains that the cats walk by that it works great on.
Another complaint I had but I think I just figured out today was the cord clip. It’s kind of like the springy black paper clips, it’s wedge-shaped. If you put the cord fully into this, the plug just slips down the cord. I realized today that if you put one loop of the cord fully into this clip, and then clip it onto a second, it works perfectly. I wish they could get a spring-loaded cord retractor in it, that’s the one thing that expensive vacuum we got 20 years ago had that I absolutely loved. But, that was a cannister vacuum, and the retractors are rare on the uprights.
So, while there are some things that could be improved, I will say that it is a huge improvement and I really wish I had gotten one sooner. It’s expensive, but a good value. We got it for 20% off during a sale before the holidays, which helped a bit. It’s, admittedly, probably not 4 times better than our previous vacuum, despite being 4 times as expensive, but it’s definitely worth it to me.