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 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 being sucked into the vacuum. It could be especially helpful if you suffer from allergies and want to know about the presence of fine particles in your home. This vacuum's surface detection system also enables it to automatically change its suction power depending on the surface that it's on. Performance on bare surfaces is fantastic, and it's highly effective on low- and high-pile carpets. However, its strong suction force can also cause it to drag around some lighter rugs. Its maximum runtime of over 70 minutes should be enough for cleaning most rooms, but its runtime 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 overall performance, you might want to consider the Dyson Outsize Absolute+, which also features a wider vacuum head. However, it's important to note that the Outsize's bulkier size makes it more of a hassle to maneuver.
The best Dyson corded vacuum we've tested is the Dyson Ball Animal 2. This bagless upright vacuum can deliver significant levels of surface agitation with its floorhead, enabling it to draw out debris worked deep into carpet fibers. However, this can also cause it to drag around lighter rugs or get caught on shag-pile carpeting. Its floorhead can automatically change its height depending on the floor type that you're on, which is handy when vacuuming uneven surfaces. It comes with a wide assortment of attachments. These include a dedicated pet grooming tool, a miniature turbo brush for cleaning upholstery, and an extension wand to provide a bit of additional reach. Its long power cord also ensures you don't need to swap outlets when vacuuming bigger or farther-away areas.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's mainly-plastic construction feels rather flimsy and creaks and flexes while in use. Unlike the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister, this vacuum isn't held together by an array of easy-clip mechanisms, making it notably harder to reconfigure or take apart for routine maintenance. However, the Cinetic doesn't perform nearly as well on most surfaces and has a considerably shorter overall range.
The best cordless Dyson vacuum under $500 that we've tested is the Dyson V8 Animal. This cordless stick vacuum lacks the automatic power adjustment capability or onboard dirt sensor found on newer, pricier models in Dyson's lineup like the Dyson V15 Detect. However, it's also notably cheaper and still delivers strong performance. It easily clears away debris on flat surfaces and performs very well on low and high-pile carpet, with no significant drop-off in suction performance as its dustbin fills up, so you shouldn't need to empty it at the end of every cleaning session. It doesn't weigh as much as most new Dyson models, making it easier to pick up and carry from room to room or maneuver around various obstacles. While there's no suction release gate to help improve maneuverability on carpets, there are two different power modes to suit different surface types.
However, battery life isn't particularly impressive, as you can only expect a maximum of about 40 minutes of runtime in its default power mode. Running it in its 'MAX' mode drains its battery in a little under 10 minutes, so you need to be quick when dealing with stubborn messes.
Dyson produces a decently large variety of vacuum cleaners that work well on different surfaces, though you should 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. That said, their build quality is usually quite 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 performers on all surface types than those from BISSELL.
Jun 23, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
May 20, 2022: Removed Dyson Humdinger from recommendations. Re-categorized Dyson Ball Animal 2 as 'Best Corded Dyson Vacuum'.
Apr 20, 2022: Ensured main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
Mar 14, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user requirements.
Feb 11, 2022: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best fit for user needs and expectations.
Dyson specializes in producing 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. As a general rule, 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.