This thing is an absolute animal! You should see how it vacuums. It is light years better than its predecessors, two of which I have owned and used for years (I think DC 44 and one other).
The battle of the best handheld vacuum rages on. I want to explain why I really, truly love this vacuum. Sure, it’s not perfect, but I think it’s as close as we’re going to get in 2015.
Let me be clear right off the bat: I have always been a Dyson fan (we got our first one the day after we got our first cat, Malee) which says a lot since vacuuming is my least favourite cleaning task. I have not been paid to do this review, however I was given this vacuum by Dyson (I was quite excited and appreciative). I was not asked by Dyson to give a review, I am just sharing with you my thoughts, opinions and experiences with it since many of you have asked.
Dyson is known for a cool aesthetic, and given that I usually feel pretty unexcited when it is cleaning time, picking up a pretty, fun cleaning tool actually does help in making it easier to clean. It’s got bright purple and red pops of colour, and even the attachments are equally as functional as they are pretty. I keep them in a small basket in my office for ease of access. The vacuum is docked neatly on a docking station and charges when required. It looks cool and is readily accessible with minimal digging and dragging (win!).
But I live in a tiny place, do I even need a vacuum?
When I used to live in a condo, the thought of a full-sized vacuum was laughable; I barely had room for a winter coat. The caveat is, smaller spaces still call for a vacuum, and a good one at that. The concentration of dust in a small space can really build up and affect the inhabitants over time – you are always generating dust, crumbs, dander, pet hair and the like regardless of the space you live in.
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Without vacuuming it up and say, just sweeping, you kick up dust in the process which leaves more ambient dust that will re-settle quickly meaning you’ll see more dust, more often. This leads to a space in a constant dusty state, meaning more cleaning and more sneezing.This vacuum is compact and sleek enough that it can be nimbly docked and recharged in a bedroom, hallway or laundry closet without affecting precious storage space.
Now some people maintain that a stick vacuum is sufficient, however a stick vacuum just cleans floors. Sure, it’s small, but without attachments you are not getting the full range of capabilities offered by a vacuum (the detail work which I’ll cover off shortly). Plus, the fact that the V6 offers HEPA filtration and Dyson cyclone technology means it’s going to get you those amazing vacuum benefits without the bulk.
If you live in a small space, a good vacuum is crucial and this is a perfect choice.
Dyson has always included a good selection of tools with their handheld models. This one comes with a generous range of cleaning tools, some of which have been redesigned. As you acquaint yourself with these tools as I have, you’ll understand and appreciate the versatility and true functionality of the V6 Absolute.
Each tool is so unique and functional in its own right, here’s what each does:
Mini motorized tool – I love this one for upholstery cleaning. It’s got a small motorized head which contains several soft-bristled brush clusters and can get to pet hair like no other attachment I’ve seen on handhelds. It also creates a strong suction when applied to a surface, which makes me feel like any area I’m cleaning gets super clean with this guy. I have used it in the car, for all upholstery around the house and I have used it on flat, cheap rugs too. This tool allows you to get into smaller spaces without compromising suction and ‘digging’ that you’d get with a larger powerhead.
Combination accessory tool – this acts both as a crevice tool and a soft-bristle brush. It is perfect for dusting and light vacuuming jobs with a specific focus area, such as a keyboard, a vent or a tight corner. I used this tool when I was detailing my car as well, specifically for dusting small crevices and corners, the air vents and those sneaky areas between the seat cushions. It is easy to clean and since it’s not motorized, the entire tool can be dunked in a bucket of soapy water to clean it from the dirtiest of jobs. The brush is retractable, meaning it can be used or pulled back depending on the job at hand.
Crevice tool – there’s no questioning what this tool does. Getting into those tight corners has never been easy, but with a well-designed crevice tool it’s no longer a challenge. I use these for cleaning baseboards, getting into tight corners and zapping up cobwebs. When in doubt, I reach for the crevice tool. It’s also non-motorized so it is easy to clean as well.
Mattress tool – I love that Dyson is bold enough to include a mattress tool with the V6. They have clearly recognized the importance of applying a HEPA system to a mattress to improve our sleep environment and the task could not be easier with this little baby. It is absolutely versatile though, and can be used on upholstery, it’s a fabulous stair cleaning tool because of it’s breadth, and of course, it’s wonderful to use on the mattress every now and again to lift away dead skin cells, dust and the like.
Extendible hose – now this is new and exciting! One thing I have experienced in the past with Dyson handhelds is that it can certainly be awkward to manoeuvre in smaller, tighter spaces. The whole reason I’m using a handheld in the first place is because the area I am cleaning is hard enough to tackle with a large vacuum. So the introduction of an extendible hose is a dream since now, I can operate the machine with my left hand (as in, control the power), and move the tool around as needed with my right hand ( I am right-handed). This made detailed cleaning jobs such as cleaning my car infinitely easier. The hose is much like a hose on a larger vacuum, it is coiled and extends and retracts for easy storage. With this tool, I have found smaller detailing jobs like dusting significantly easier and less taxing on my hands. With it, I can move it freely without feeling encumbered by the bulky unit which I’d have to position in all kinds of awkward ways to accomplish a relatively simple task. Love this – it makes this machine super duper all-purpose and a dusting master.
Soft Roller Cleaner Head – this tool and it’s sister tool (see below) make the Dyson V6 Absolute look like a Rolls Royce. The striking red and purple velvety (ok, it’s ‘soft woven nylon’ according to the website) spirals are gorgeous enough on their own, but understanding how functional they are is a whole other, cooler story. The motorized hard floor cleaning tool has been designed to pick up both large debris and fine dust with ease and with no risk of damage to the surface. I also like how it is a large tool – the breadth means I don’t have to do as many passes to get the floor vacuumed. I love using this on the tile and hardwood, it’s sickly satisfying.
Direct Drive Cleaner Head – this motorized carpet cleaning tool is really something. This tiny handheld vacuum has the capability of a motorized powerhead and technology to dig right into those carpets and suck the gunk out of them like nothing else. The direct-drive motor pushes the brush bar deeper into the carpet to remove ground-in dirt and the stiff nylon bristles remove ground-in dirt from carpets. It’s also large like it’s sister and can cover a lot of space with one pass. You will be amazed at how much ‘stuff’ comes out of your carpets when you’re done using this. The thrill of seeing that canister fill up never gets old.
The Core Unit
I’ll get into the technology here a little bit, but I would encourage you to see what Dyson has to say on its website about the tech – they explain it and storyboard it beautifully and simply.
The reason Dyson has such a cult following is because of how well they work as compared to commensurable brands of vacuums (not something that’s $1300 of course). The quality of suction (length of time and efficacy), as well as the HEPA filtration, in my eyes at least, puts it first in class.
Suction and cyclone technology – You can learn more about the technology behind the 2 Tier Radial Cyclone technology here. Put simply, the cyclones are arranged in a way which optimizes airflow and allows for the best possible suction of large and small particles. You don’t see this kind of ingenuity in other vacuums.
Filtration system – The filtration is another big win: not only do those 15 cyclones filter air, but a post-motor HEPA filter removes 99.97% of particles which literally makes the air coming OUT of the vacuum cleaner than the air you breathe. Wow.
Easy to empty bin – I’ve always loved the handheld’s easy to empty bin. Just hover it over a garbage can, press the red button and BOOM! Out goes the schmutz, no disassembly required.
Dyson Digital Motor – this is what allows the vacuum to be so lighweight, powerful and of course, what limits it to 20 minutes of cleaning power. I’ll cover the cons below, but this 20 minute battery life is a beef. That being said, I don’t make these vacuums and I can’t even begin to imagine how much work has gone in to creating something this unique and powerful. So for now, I am just going to appreciate the 20 great minutes of cleaning power that I do get from the Dyson V6 Absolute, and wait patiently for Sir James and team to figure out how to make this battery last longer.
The battery charge gives you 20 minutes of consistent cleaning power and you can also up the ante by pressing the ‘max’ button to get crazy strong suction for tougher tasks. But take note, this saps the battery and you get 6 minutes of this power before it’s time to recharge.
The machine comes with a wall mounted docking station which looks sleek and solves the space and storage issue.
Nothing is perfect – and here’s where this machine falters. I know these are common beefs but I’ll share them anyway because I really want you know what you’re getting into with this machine.
What annoys me the most about this vacuum is the fact that the trigger has to be constantly held down while cleaning, it does wear out my hand after a while. If someone has arthritis or other joint, nerve, muscle or bone issues in the arm, this may pose a challenge. I understand why it is done this way; the idea is to not burn the battery out quickly and only use the machine on an as-needed basis. That said, it can also be cumbersome for someone who is trying to clean their floors – gripping and moving with the same hand and arm does get tiring, even for someone without any of these issues.
And as briefly touched upon earlier, my other beef is the 20 minute battery life and 3.5 hour charge time. As much as I adore this baby, I get annoyed when it cuts out mid-clean (especially because it is so HARD to get in the mood to do it) and I have to stop my task. Again, I understand that this machine is made specifically to do smaller cleaning tasks in smaller spaces, and I am sure that the Dyson crew is working feverishly on figuring out how to get that battery life up. I guess I just want to have my cake (small, sleek machine) and eat it too (infinite battery life). Is that too much to ask?! To its credit, it remains strong throughout the entire 20 minute run, it doesn’t lose suction, it just works hard and then cuts out.
Despite my two widely-experienced cons, I would still highly recommend this machine as a go-to for smaller spaces or for a supplemental tool for a larger home, especially one with pets.
I love this tool for quick mid-week clean ups, car detailing, stair cleaning and tight-space cleaning. It’s become a part of our high-rotation cleaning tools and I was so very excited to replace my DC44 with this newer, sleeker and more functional model. If you have a Dyson V6 Absolute, I would love to know your experiences with it. I hope you have found this review helpful!
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