The Dyson dilemma

I love the new carpet in the basement. It’s cozy and warm and soft. Its light colour is nice and neutral.

What I don’t love is cleaning it.

Fluff on a light carpet

Don’t judge

The fluff. Oh the fluff!

I blame Matt and his black socks. The fact that the basement stairs start at the front door, a major traffic point for the house and source of many “bits” and dirt, doesn’t help.

My parents loaned us their old vacuum (old as in purchased in the 1970s before they moved to a house with central vacuum), but its suction kind of sucks–not in the good way a vacuum should. Our shop vac does a slightly better job, but it’s not really skilled at cleaning carpet and doing the whole basement with it is a pain.

If I’d been thinking ahead, perhaps I would have put in a central vacuum system when we had the walls open in the basement. However, I didn’t think of it, so we didn’t do it.

So now, I’m dealing with a fully carpeted basement and the weekly sock fluff invasion. And all I keep thinking is “Dyson.”

Dyson vacuum brochure

I really know nothing about them aside from the marketing hype. In the informal polls I’ve done so far with people at work, Dyson comes highly recommended. We’ve looked at them in stores, where, of course, the price tag makes me blanch.

So now I’m turning to you. Is a Dyson worth it? What version do I buy? Is there another brand that works just as well?

We have a cut pile carpet in the whole basement (1100 square feet). The stairs are carpeted too, so the vacuum can’t weigh a ton, or it needs to have an attachment that lets me easily go up the steps. The biggest requirement is that it easily and cleanly picks up the sock fluff and all of the little bits that accumulate every week. Someday, it will likely have to pick up dog hair too. Oh, and I need a vacuum that lasts. I don’t want to have to buy a new one–especially if I invest in a Dyson–anytime soon.

Please weigh-in in the comments. Do you have a Dyson? How does it work for you? Is there another vacuum that you recommend?

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22 thoughts on “The Dyson dilemma

  1. I’m glad you asked. I can say that it has good suction. I bought my first Dyson in August 2012. I hate it. It is so heavy to pull around. It tips over and catches on corners and doors. Carrying it upstairs gives me a stroke. I usually have to empty it every week and that is a horrible task. I always get the dust down my front and I hate reaching up inside to pull down the dust and hairs trapped inside the plastic pail. I regret buying it.

  2. I have the stowaway and I absolutely love it! My mom actually purchased it for me in Stoney Creek at a store that sells refurbished stuff.(i think it’s right off the qew but I dont have the name of the store) I have not had one problem with it and I think she paid around $300 or $400 and it came with 1 year warranty. It wraps up in nice little ball so its easy to store and light to carry around. And what it does to the carpet is amazing! This one is super easy to empty out, just a click of the button and the canister comes off and you dump it into the garbage.

    http://www.english.dysoncanada.ca/store/product.asp?product=DC21-STOWAWAY-CA

      • I would say it should be fine for your large basement…most stores have great refund policies. My co-worker bought one and brought it home and then returned it because they had to vacuum an entire home and decided to go back to central vac. My suggestion is to buy the Dyson and try it out. If you don’t like it you can return it. When I saw how much it took in I was seriously amazed. My husband and I both could not believe the stuff it pulls out of a carpet. The stowaway also has a feature on the large head part that you can turn off the suction rate for carpet and use it on hardwood floors.

  3. Dyson does good work but I agree that is heavy for matters related to stairs and also seems heavy to do level floors. I owned one before I got married when I lived in a one-floor condo and brought it into the house we bought when we got married. After 2 years living with a husband, a cat, and a dog (our blended family), the Dyson gave up the ghost. I then decided that I wanted a vacuum to last until I was ready for the retirement home. We bought a Miele “cat and dog” vacuum. The sticker price is outrageous ($1000+ at that time so probably more now). However, almost 11 years later it still works like a charm with no signs of imminent death. It has loads of great accessories that are neatly hidden in the cannister. Good for carpet and equally good for tile floors. It is an outstanding machine. http://www.miele.ca/miele/canada/vacuums/vac_s516.asp

  4. Lorna S. has a Dyson and rants about how much she hates it, not sure why. We have a cheap ($100) Shark canister vac and it is lightweight and has great suction. Only caveat being that the bag is fairly smal, so it fills up quickly. Ours came with a permanent bag which sounded like a great idea to me initially (yay, environment), but the downside is that you have to pull handfuls of dirt and dust out of it each time and its very messy! Use the disposable bags – so worth it!

  5. I say buy a Miele. They are around the same price point as a Dyson but it’s so much better. Miele’s have more suction power than a Dyson. There isn’t any messy dirt cup emptying. Yes you do have to buy bags for them but after having a canister vac for a while I am going back to bags. It’s worth the extra cost especially since my son has asthma and we have allergies. I don’t work for Miele I have just been researching vacuums because mine broke and I’m tired of buying a new vacuum every few years so I wanted to get a good one. Do a youtube search for Miele vs Dyson. In my opinion a Miele is what a Dyson wants to be when it grows up.

  6. Hi-Simple solution. After regular vac, just take off the head of the tube-the concentrated suction from the hole (about 2 inches across) will suck up those nasty imbedded sock thingies lickety – split.

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