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Should I buy a Dyson?

Our expert take on whether Dyson vacuums, fans and hair dryers are worth the cash, and when you might like to consider other brands.

Last updated: 12 December 2019

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, but it depends what you're shopping for. 

If you're considering buying a Dyson vacuum cleaner, fan or hair dryer, read on for what our CHOICE experts have to say about this cult brand.

Dyson Big Ball Origin barrel vacuum cleaner

Dyson Big Ball Origin barrel vacuum cleaner

Barrel and upright vacuum cleaners

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 to $849) are not always 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, some other brands still outperform Dyson.

Dyson announced in 2018 that they are focusing only on cordless models and are not developing any new corded vacuum cleaners. Their current range of corded barrel and upright vacs will continue to be sold into the future, probably as long as they see a market for them.

CHOICE verdict: For barrel and upright vacuum cleaners, Dyson models are generally good, but you can find better (and cheaper) options. 

Stick vacuum cleaner - Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute stick vac

Stick and handheld vacuum cleaners

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. For some homes (especially smaller homes with mainly hard floors), a good stick vac may be the only vacuum cleaner you need.

Dyson dominates the stick vac market even more than the barrel and upright market, and it's a product area where Dyson can really deliver. Their V11 stick vac is a top performer, and previous models including the V6, V7, V8 and V10 have also scored very well. 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. Their stick vacs are priced from $399 to $1249.

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 $299) 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.

Dyson Pure Hot Cool Link fan heater

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link fan heater

Fans and heaters

Dyson's bladeless tower fans (priced from $548) certainly look striking, and those with a heater mode perform well in our electric heater tests. We've recommended several of their fans and fan heaters in the past. They usually deliver a good amount of air flow. Those with a heating mode 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 also recommended much cheaper heaters in our reviews over the years, from brands other than Dyson.

CHOICE verdict: Dyson fans and 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. Check out our pedestal fan reviews to find out more.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

Hair dryers

The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer (priced from $549) 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.