Is a Dyson really worth the price?
Dyson makes popular and stylish machines, but are they always worth the high price tag? Our tests often find cheaper brands that perform the same or better.
Barrel and upright vacuum cleaners
Dyson Big Ball Origin barrel vacuum cleaner
There's no doubt that Dyson's research and development into bagless technology has paid off. Dyson is by far the biggest-selling vacuum brand in Australia, bagless models are very popular and most other brands have had to follow up with bagless models of their own. And yet Dyson barrel and upright vacs (priced from $599) are rarely recommended in our vacuum reviews.
They often get good overall scores, but not quite good enough to be recommended: they're usually not so good at picking up dirt from carpet, which is the main job for vacuum cleaners in most homes. In that respect, we find Dyson models are regularly outperformed by other brands.
Dyson claims that one of their vacuum cleaner strengths is that they don't lose suction as the bin fills up. It's why we test with the bags and bins partly filled. Despite this claim, some other brands still outperform Dyson.
CHOICE verdict: For barrel and upright vacuum cleaners, Dyson models are generally good, but you can find better (and cheaper) options.
Stick and handheld vacuum cleaners
Dyson V8 Absolute stick vac
Cordless stick vacs are one of the most popular types of vacuum cleaner these days, and for good reason – they're very handy for quick clean-ups around the house.
Dyson dominates the stick vac market even more than the barrel and upright market, and it's a product area where Dyson can deliver. Their V8 stick vac (priced from $799) scores well, as does the V6 (priced from $549). Dyson's small motor technology is part of their success in this area; they've spent a great deal of time and money developing these compact electric motors and implementing them in their stick and handheld vacs as well as other products.
However, other brands also produce good models that have also made it into our recommended list.
Handheld vacs are less popular these days, as most stick vacs double as a handheld vac; for that reason CHOICE now focuses on testing stick vacs. Dyson handhelds (priced from $349) have performed well in past CHOICE reviews and are very similar to the base motor unit you'll get with the stick vac models.
CHOICE verdict: Dyson is a stick and handheld vacuum brand that's definitely worth considering.
- See our stick vac reviews to compare Dyson models against the rest, and our reliability survey results.
Fans and heaters
Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link fan heater
Dyson's bladeless heater fans (priced from $569) certainly look striking, and in heater mode they perform well in our tests. We've recommended several of their fan heaters in the past; they usually heat the test room quickly and evenly and are comparatively energy-efficient. But on high speeds they can be noisy.
Are they worth the high price tag? We've recommended much cheaper heaters in our reviews over the years, from brands other than Dyson.
CHOICE verdict: Dyson fan heaters are good performers and worth considering, but if you just want a basic fan to create a breeze, a cheap pedestal fan can be had for less than a tenth of the price.
Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer (priced from $499) makes use of the small motor technology found in their other portable products; in this hair dryer, the motor is in the handle which helps give the dryer a comfortable balance and feel in the hand.
Our hair dryer reviews found that the Dyson performs well and rates highly for ease of use. But it's not the only good performer out there; we've recommended some other models which rate just as well, if not better, and cost a fraction of the price.
CHOICE verdict: The Dyson hair dryer is a good performer and easy to use, but there are equally good models from other brands for much less.