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 as well as more conventional uprights. Regardless of design, they all feature the company's proprietary cyclone technology, which eliminates the need for a dirtbag.
The Dyson V11 Animal is the best Dyson vacuum with a cordless design that we've tested. It's a stick/handheld model with an amazing performance on bare surfaces like linoleum and hardwood flooring, where it easily clears pet hair and debris like rice and cereal. It also delivers a very good performance on both low and high-pile carpets. The vacuum's dirt compartment is a decent size, and it doesn't lose suction as it fills up. You can use it in a handheld mode with any of its tools and brushes, which include a turbo brush for cleaning fabric-covered furniture and soft bristle brush for dusting delicate objects like lampshades. It comes with a docking station that doesn't take up much space, and there's room to store two tools on the vacuum. Since it has a bagless design and uses washable filters, it should incur virtually no recurring costs.
Unfortunately, it's mostly made of plastic that doesn't feel very sturdy. It's also possible to deplete the battery in as little as 10 minutes if you continuously use it in 'Boost' mode, its most powerful suction setting. That said, if you use its lower power setting, 'Eco', that can stretch to more than 75 minutes. Overall, if you want a versatile vacuum with a wide variety of tools and brushes, it's a good cordless/handheld option.
The best Dyson vacuum for carpeted floors that we've tested is the Dyson Ball Animal 2. This upright model delivers exceptional performance on both low and high-pile carpets. It easily clears pet hair, larger debris like sand, and fine material like baking soda without losing suction as its good-sized dirt compartment fills. It has a somewhat bulky design, but its large, ball-like wheel helps it maneuver in cluttered spaces. It also has a long power cord, so you shouldn't need to swap outlets very often. The automatic surface type adjustment feature allows it to adapt as you move from cleaning shaggy carpets to low-pile area rugs. If you want to clean out-of-reach spots or under low-lying furniture, you can use it in a semi-handheld configuration by detaching its wand. There's also a wide variety of tools and brushes included that can help with different cleaning jobs, including a pet grooming tool. It's fairly easy to maintain and should incur virtually no recurring costs.
Unfortunately, it's a bit difficult to take apart and put back together, because unlike some Dyson models, it doesn't have easy-clip mechanisms. It also has a mediocre, plasticky build quality and lacks storage space for all of its accessories. That said, it stands out for its fantastic performance on carpets, and it's a great choice for anyone with a carpeted home to keep clean.
The Cyclone V10 Absolute is the best Dyson vacuum for bare floors. This lightweight model has a stick/handheld design. It does a fantastic job on bare floors like linoleum and hardwood as it easily picks up pet hair as well as small and large debris. It comes with a wide assortment of accessories like a flexible crevice tool and a 180-degree extension cleaner so you can find a tool or brush that better suits your cleaning needs. Thanks to its clip-on design, its parts are easy to assemble, which is good if you want to reconfigure it into a handheld. There are virtually no recurring costs either, so long as you perform regular maintenance on it.
Like other Dyson vacuums, its build quality is just okay. It has a plastic feel, and the dirt compartment feels like it could crack if dropped. The filter can also get in the way of cleaning underneath a couch or table, and if you have a couple of rugs, it can get stuck on tassels. Its most-powerful mode provides under 10 minutes of runtime too, which is a bit short. Luckily, it has a lower power-intensity mode that you can use to extend its battery performance to over an hour. Overall, it excels on bare floors and offers versatile performance on carpet as well.
Dyson produces a decently large variety of vacuum cleaners that work quite well on different surfaces, though you should expect to pay a hefty premium for that performance and versatility. Most offerings in their lineup are fairly maneuverable, easy to carry around, and come with a wide variety of brushes, but build quality is usually quite plasticky, and user maintenance is a little on the finicky side. In comparison, most Shark vacuums feel slightly better-built but perform worse on carpeted surfaces. Dyson vacuums tend to be stronger and more consistent performers on all surface types than those from BISSELL.
Feb 24, 2021: Verified that we're still recommending the best products for our users and that they're in stock.
Dyson specializes in producing 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 conventional uprights. They don't incur any recurring costs due to the implementation of Dyson's cyclonic technology across their lineup, which eliminates the need for a dirtbag while also filtering out allergens. As a general rule, Dyson vacuums are fairly lightweight, maneuverable, and versatile. That said, they also usually have a long list of parts to regularly clean, plasticky build quality, and, on cordless models, somewhat limited runtime on high-power modes.