Dyson is a British manufacturer specializing in vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, fans, and hand and hair dryers. They offer a broad selection of stick/handheld vacuums but have also developed canister vacuums and more conventional uprights. Regardless of design, they all feature Dyson's proprietary cyclone technology, eliminating the need for a dirtbag.
The best Dyson vacuum we've tested is the Dyson V15 Detect. This cordless stick/handheld vacuum's headlining feature is its built-in dirt sensor, which counts and measures the size of particles sucked into the vacuum and relays this info to an LED display at the back of its body. This feature could be helpful if you suffer from allergies and want to know about the presence of fine particles in your home. Its surface detection system also enables it to automatically change its suction power depending on the surface that it's on. It also comes with a wide selection of attachments, including a soft-roller floorhead with a laser light to help you see small debris on bare surfaces. Its powerful 230AW motor is remarkably potent for a cordless model and allows superb debris pick up on a range of surfaces. However, its strong suction force can also cause it to get stuck on shag carpeting or drag around some lighter rugs.
Its maximum runtime of over 70 minutes will be enough for cleaning most rooms, but this drops to a little over 10 minutes when used in its most powerful suction mode. If you're looking for a cordless vacuum with a larger dustbin and similar performance, consider the Dyson Outsize, one of the best Dyson stick vacuums we've tested. However, it's very bulky for a cordless stick vacuum and is considerably harder to maneuver in tight spots than the smaller, lighter V15.
If you're looking for the best cordless Dyson vacuum at a mid-range price point, look at the Dyson V12 Detect Slim. Compared to the higher-end Dyson V15 Detect, it has a less powerful 150 AW suction motor, so it falls slightly behind in deep cleaning performance. That said, it still delivers good overall debris pickup performance on different surface types and shares many of the same features at a more affordable price point. These similarities include a built-in particle sensor, which lets you keep tabs on allergen levels within your home, and an automatic power adjustment system that bumps up its suction power when passing over large amounts of debris and on carpet. It also comes with a multi-surface floorhead and a secondary floorhead with a soft brushroll and an integrated laser light to help you see fine debris on hard floors. It's smaller and lighter than the V15, making it even easier to maneuver in cluttered areas.
Unfortunately, its small, lightweight design comes at the cost of debris capacity, with a tiny dustbin that requires frequent emptying. If you want a mid-priced Dyson vacuum with a higher-capacity dustbin, you could also consider the Dyson V11, though it's less maneuverable than the V12 and lacks a particle sensor.
Generally speaking, Dyson vacuums are pretty expensive compared to peers from other manufacturers. Still, if you don't need the latest and greatest features found on newer models in the company's lineup, there are deals out there. The Dyson V8 is a great example of this and is the best cordless Dyson vacuum at a budget-friendly price that we've tested. Unlike the newer Dyson V12 Detect Slim or Dyson V15 Detect, it can't automatically adjust its suction power and lacks an onboard dirt sensor. If you don't need those convenience features, this is a solid option that executes very well on the fundamentals. It's very easy to use, has a lightweight design, and delivers strong performance on most surfaces, though it isn't quite as potent as the pricier V12 or V15. There's no suction release gate to help improve maneuverability on carpets, but there are two different power modes to suit different surface types.
Unsurprisingly, battery performance lags behind newer models with higher-capacity batteries. You can only expect about 40 minutes of runtime in its default power mode. Running it in its 'MAX' mode drains its battery in under 10 minutes, so you have to be quick when dealing with stubborn messes. In addition, build quality is a tad fragile, though it doesn't feel any more plasticky than other Dyson models.
If you prioritize portability above all else, the Dyson Omni-glide is among the best Dyson stick vacuums we've tested. Unlike a more traditional cordless model like the Dyson V8, you can't use it on carpets: the twin soft rollers in its omnidirectional floorhead don't provide any surface agitation on carpet fibers. Also, its tiny dirt compartment and short maximum battery life of about half an hour mean it's best for quick clean-ups. However, at just under four and a half pounds, it weighs even less than highly-portable Dyson vacuums like the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, and its uniquely-designed floorhead allows you to pivot around obstacles like table legs and coat racks with minimal effort.
Its onboard HEPA filter does a great job of sealing in allergens like pet dander. While there's no miniature turbo brush or even a straight-suction upholstery tool for cleaning fabric surfaces, it comes with a soft-bristle dusting brush for dealing with debris on delicate surfaces, as well as a crevice tool for cleaning tight spots.
If you aren't convinced by Dyson's cordless offerings, consider the Dyson Ball Animal 3. It isn't nearly as maneuverable as any model in Dyson's extensive cordless stick vacuum range and takes up more room when it isn't in use. However, it's a better option for longer cleaning sessions that require more power thanks to its corded design and potent suction motor. Its floorhead features a set of built-in plastic vanes that are remarkably effective in trapping long hair, preventing it from getting tangled in the floorhead and jamming the mechanism. The floorhead also has three levels of surface type adjustment, enabling you to adapt to different surfaces on the fly. Also, it has a very long power cord, so you won't have to swap outlets when cleaning bigger areas, though you'll need to wind the power cord back manually, which can be a bit of a hassle and is something of a disappointment for a vacuum at this price.
Unfortunately, build quality isn't especially robust, as its mainly plastic construction creaks and flexes slightly while in use. It's still a bulky, relatively heavy machine, even if its ball-shaped wheel does make it a little more maneuverable than most conventional uprights. It's also quite noisy and isn't the best option for something well-suited to discrete cleaning. While its redesigned floorhead allows superior maneuverability on carpeting compared to the older Dyson Ball Animal 2, which had a habit of tearing up carpet fibers, the Ball Animal 3 can still get stuck on shag-pile rugs.
As a general rule, cordless Dyson vacuums come with a wider array of attachments and have more powerful suction motors than comparable Shark alternatives. However, most Shark models feel better built and have higher-capacity dustbins. Dyson vacuums are also usually easier to maintain than newer Shark models, as the former tend to use dual-roller floorheads with a non-removable primary brushroll that can be somewhat hard to clean.
Miele vacuums and Dyson vacuums tend to occupy a similar price point, but the two manufacturers specialize in different types of appliances. Miele is renowned for its range of premium canister vacuums, which are much better built and offer superior deep-cleaning capability when paired with a powered floorhead. Meanwhile, Dyson's range of V-series cordless vacuums are easier to set up and deploy and usually come with a broader array of attachments.
Samsung's cordless Jet stick vacuums are directly comparable to Dyson's cordless V-series vacuums. Samsung's offerings are usually better built and offer unique optional features and accessories like a self-emptying docking station and a dedicated mopping floorhead. However, Dyson's newer models, like the Dyson V15 Detect and Dyson V12 Detect Slim, feature an automatic suction power adjustment system and a piezo sensor for counting and measuring ambient particle counts inside your home.
Dyson produces a decently large variety of vacuum cleaners that work well on different surfaces, though you can expect to pay a hefty premium for that performance and versatility. Most offerings in their lineup are maneuverable, easy to carry around, and come with a wide variety of brushes. Their build quality is usually plasticky, and user maintenance is a little finicky. In comparison, most Shark vacuums feel slightly better built but perform worse on carpeted surfaces. Dyson vacuums tend to be better and more consistent on all surface types than those from BISSELL.
Dyson's product lineup isn't especially complicated, with a relatively small model range.
Common Trim/Equipment Levels
Mar 17, 2023: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best option for users.
Feb 16, 2023: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs.
Jan 17, 2023: Verified that all main picks still represent the best fit for user needs and preferences.
Dec 22, 2022: Added Dyson Omni-Glide as new 'Best Lightweight Dyson Vacuum' category pick.
Nov 24, 2022: Verified that all picks represent the best option for user needs.
Dyson produces vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, fans, and hand and hair dryers. They offer a broad selection of stick/handheld vacuums. However, they have also developed canister vacuums and conventional uprights. They don't incur any recurring costs due to the implementation of Dyson's cyclonic technology across their lineup, eliminating the need for a dirtbag while also filtering out allergens. Generally, Dyson vacuums are lightweight, maneuverable, and versatile. That said, they usually have a long list of parts to regularly clean, plasticky build quality, and, on cordless models, somewhat limited runtime on high-power modes.