Kenmore Beats Dyson In Consumer Reports Upright Vacuum Test

Dyson is not the Excalibur of upright vacuums, it’s the Kenmore Progressive with Direct Drive 35922, according to survey and test results released in the latest issue of Consumer Reports.

The white wizards of product testing rated the Kenmore at 74, soundly trouncing the Dyson’s 64.

The Kenmore “Progressive with Direct Drive 35922″ garnered “excellent” ratings for cleaning carpet, emissions, pet hair, and cleaning bare floors.

The Dyson “DC17 Absolute Animal” only got got “excellent” for emissions and cleaning bare floors.

The Dyson is $250 more expensive, in-store. However, you you can get both for over $100 cheaper by searching on Amazon for slightly used or refurbished versions.

We wonder, if Consumer Reports neglected form factor, the glory of bagless, and swivel appeal (with a Dyson, you don’t need to retract the vacuum to your body and then pivot to change directions). Then again, one doesn’t go to Consumer Reports looking for soul, but cost-efficacy.

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  1. homerjay says:

    I have a Kenmore canister and I LOVE it. It sucks the shit out of my carpets.

  2. Geekybiker says:

    The Dysons have to the “ipod” of the vacuum world.

  3. rmz says:

    Dyson: more proof that if you put a guy with an accent in your commercials, you’ll sell more product.

  4. Trai_Dep says:

    Except iPods actually deliver on their promises, and have since its inception. Troll.

    Back to point: if Dyson costs 2x the price, it should perform 2x better. Maybe Kenmore needs a spokesmodel with a sexy Brit accent?

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    RMS: hehe: jinx!

  6. warf0x0r says:

    I love my Dyson, but if I had known this at the time of purchase, hrm…

  7. Anonymous says:

    or maybe dyson is the bose of the vacuum world?

  8. angelman says:

    The guy with the sexy English accent is not only the spokesman for Dyson but he is in fact James Dyson the guy that invented the whole thing. He not only invented bagless vaccuum cleaners but went on to start his own business manufacturing them because no other big manufacturer would look at his design. He singlehandely created an entirely new line of vaccum cleaners, built the number one vaccum cleaner in the world and no doubt took some satisfaction fighting other big companies who copied the ideas they had rejected previously

  9. NcSchu says:

    TRAI_DEP: Not necessarily, the Dyson costs 2x the price partly because of all the technology in it, it doesn’t have to be better, the parts just cost more. The Dyson uses a cyclone system whereas the kenmore uses a bag system. I’m still more than happy with my Dyson though, I’ve had it for a couple years now and it also “sucks the shit out of my carpet”.

  10. SoCalGNX says:

    I love my Dyson. Works great and sucks up all the hair from two dogs (one large, one small) and a long haired cat. While I agree that Americans seem to go berserk over Brit accents in commercials, this is a product that could only be better if Sam Elliot did their voice overs.

  11. CBMTTek says:

    The problem with Consumer Reports is that price weighs too significantly in their ratings. They often rate an inferior product higher then a better one, because it is less expensive.

    I do not pay anything more then passing attention to CR.

  12. thebaconissleeping says:

    What kind of emissions, exactly?

  13. RandomHookup says:

    I wish to congratulate Ben for an entire article (including the headline) about the quality of vacuums without using the word “suck”.

  14. categorically says:

    @CBMTTek: What exactly are you saing here, the Kenmoore is inferior? Hardly, don’t buy into the marketing.

  15. newgalactic says:

    @CBMTTek: I see what you are saying, but coundn’t disagree with you more. Unless I’m a millionair (which I’m not), price should be considered highly when rating a product. I believe you may be an isolated case. Most people I know appreciate CR BECAUSE they take price so much into consideration.

  16. what a shocker! CR/CU rated a Sears product higher than the same brand name item that’s the guts of their Kenmore item. I like their magazine, but I have serious issue with their Sears bias. I may have to post my feeling on the forum. My letter to BPopkin didn’t get a response. (I know I know, they’re busy making Consumerist.com awesome.)

  17. MacSeven.com says:

    I would imagine that most Millionaire’s are able to spell the work Millionaire.

    Nonetheless, I don’t give much credence to Consumer Reports testing, there have been many instances where they were shown to have poor testing strategies, and have many biases which come through in their reviews.

    Trust another to see which of these baby’s sucks the best; you know, in a good way.

  18. d0x says:

    One of my relatives had a dyson for a few days as a trial. They told them it would never clog or lose suction.

    So they used it on their carpets which always look clean. They have a dog so of course there was some hair but after 2 uses the vacuum lost most of its oomph. Empty and useless they returned it and saved about $400 at the same time.

    Its all marketing. Its $500 so it must be good!

  19. Geekybiker says:

    @trai_dep:
    Hardly. They are overpriced, underfeatured, and hyped beyond belief. Looked at objectively you shouldnt buy an ipod.

  20. DaWezl says:

    CU has hated Dyson vacuums since day 1. I think one of the biggest issues with their results is that a ton of vacuums perform well initially, but tend to break down or lose power very quickly (i.e. within 2 years). My Dyson started to lose suctioning power after three years of heavy use. I opened it up to find that large chunks of WOOD (from our wood stove) had gotten trapped in the intake. A simple cleaning and then popping the vacuum back together, and it works as good as new. Not only would it be inconceivable that any of our previous vacuums would routinely suck up huge chunks of wood and bark, but with most designs, a consumer like myself would not have been able to fix it so simply.

  21. ptkdude says:

    Glory of bagless? I’m waiting for my bagless to die so I can replace it with a standard vacuum cleaner WITH a bag. I shouldn’t have to go outside 300 feet from my house to empty the bin to prevent all the dust from finding its way back inside.

  22. CoolTri says:

    Hmm, how much money i have i saved from not having to buy a new filter every 3-6 months, or bags. i have not had to buy one single belt because my kids shoe lase got stuck in the vacuums. The best part the price of the Dyson hasn’t gone down at all and there still selling my model after 5 years. which means if i have to resell i can still get a good $$ for it.

    The only time i have lost suction is when there was a hole in the Hose. $20 online would have purchased me a replacement part but Duct tape is holding out good. it is so easy to replace those parts and to clear any blockage. Available part 5yrs from release and the DIY repairs is what make the Dyason worth every dollar.

  23. CoolTri says:

    Oh BTW.. they are so much more quieter than any other vacuum I have ever used.. noticed I said I have used.

  24. CBMTTek says:

    @newgalactic:
    So, according to your philosophy, you would rather have a Coby brand stereo instead of a Yamaha, Sony, or Bose, because price outweighs performance. Certainly hope you have never bought anything preceded with a lower case i.

    @categorically:
    Not saying anything of the kind. Just that I take CR recommendations with a mountain sized grain of salt. I personally like the Kenmore vacs. I just do not like CR.

  25. CBMTTek says:

    And, just for curiosity’s sake. How many folks bashing the Dyson actually own one?

  26. I’m sorry, but my Dyson ROCKS. I’ve convinced a dozen friends to buy Dysons by letting them borrow mine after they’ve already thoroughly vacuumed their floors. The Dyson can fill up a canister of crap off of an already “clean” floor.

    Of course, I also like Volkswagens. And iPods. And my iMac. And Crystal Pepsi. I guess I’m a sucker for marketing. Or for things that work.

  27. madderhatter says:

    @MacSeven.com: You don’t watch much MTV do you – plenty of Millionaires (not Millionaire’s) on there that probably can’t spell rap.

    We’ve got a Dyson Animal and love it. The canister can be completely full and it still sucks like it’s completely empty.

  28. CoolTri says:

    Oooo Crystal Pepsi… i miss that. oh and your right about the friend test too, I’ve done that a few times as well. i wish i had stock or commission for as many people I’ve convince to get one.

  29. goglen says:

    @CBMTTek: CR uses price only in recommending their “CR Best Buy”.

    Their score is price-agnostic – thus, the Kenmore 74 and the Dyson 64 are merely the results of their repeatable tests.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise should do some research into lawsuits. I don’t recall ANY lawsuit that Consumer Reports has EVER lost about their testing methodology or results.

    Suzuki tried for YEARS (due to the Samurai being ranked “unacceptable” in 1988, and virtually guaranteeing the death of Suzuki America cars). Suzuki officially gave up the suit in July 2004.

    Bose almost won (1981), to be overturned in Appeals, and affirmed by the Supreme Court. Isuzu “sort of won”, but were not awarded any money.

    Sharper Image lost because as desperately as they tried to, they could not demonstrate that “the test protocol used by Consumers Union was scientifically, or otherwise, invalid” (CU got $0.5 million)

    That said, any time CR has found they did something wrong, they “step up” and publically admit it, and explain how they messed up, etc (wrong instructions to independant lab for carseat testing in 2006, pet food in 1996). In other words, they’ve shown they TRY to be as accurate as possible.

    Unlike most product “fans” – people almost always brag that what they own is the best. That is hardly un-biased!

  30. TechnoDestructo says:

    @homerjay:

    Why do you have shit in your carpets?

  31. FLConsumer says:

    @CBMTTek: Coby vs. Bose — about the only difference there is the price, build quality is absolute crap on both of them. Oh yeah, Bose does have good customer service, but it doesn’t make up for the terribly inaccurate sound of their speakers, headphones, and stereos.

    I have a Kenmore canister vac here and love it. Quiet enough to still talk on the phone while it’s running and able to pick up just about everything. It’s a “bagged” model, which is fine by me. If I’ve spent $25 on bags for the past 5 years, that’d be about it. Still keeps running quite happily.

  32. VA_White says:

    I also have a Dyson and I love it. Two other vacs – a Hoover and a Kenmore – took a crap after less than two years. The Dyson actually sucks up stuff off the bare tile and doesn’t blow it around my kitchen.
    It also will suck cat hair off my sofa, something no vac has ever been able to accomplish.

    CU hates newfangled things. They also hated the Scooba because “it can’t replace a mop and bucket because it won’t go behind the toilet or into corners.” Well, duh. It takes me five minutes to wipe behind the commode and in the corners. It would take me 45 minutes to mop the whole downstairs. And during the 45 minutes the Scooba is mopping, I am DOING SOMETHING ELSE!

    It’s like my time is worth nothing in the CU ratings. They are good for testing some things but you have to take their advice with a grain of salt.

  33. CBMTTek says:

    @goglen:

    If only CU/CR were price agnostic. Then their rag might actually be worth the paper it is printed on.

    I agree that their best buy recommendation is heavily price dependent, as it should be, but I have seen superior products (confirmed numerous times in other reviews) knocked in their performance reviews in favor of the cheaper product. If you do not believe me, look a their computer reviews, and their digital camera reviews. Any techie in the universe can point out the bias toward the lower priced item.

  34. tkozikow says:

    This is the second year in a row that the Kenmore has been top-rated. We bought this vacuum about 10 months ago based on the CR review and it is the best that we have ever owned, far superior to the $500 Miele that still sits in our hall closet. Once I found that I could purchase the high performance bags online for half of what they cost in the store I liked it even more. My only complaint is that it is heavy and awkward on stairs.

  35. homerjay says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Don’t ask. Suffice to say I have– how you say– medical problems. :)

  36. Odiwan says:

    I don’t trust CR after the whole infant carseat fiasco. The last two things I’ve bought off their recommendation has caused much anger in my life. My subscription runs out next month forever. I tested both the Kenmore and Dyson DC15 ball at sears on their patch of black carpet. The Dyson championed the Kenmore on everything. Test for yourself and pick the one you like.

  37. crashman2600 says:

    I am going to come in on the Kenmore side. I have the previous version of this vacuum and I have to say its quite good. I was going to buy a Oreck (damn you Oreck salesman) but I read CU and ended up at Sears. The kenmore was like $150 compared to the $500 Oreck and it has been very good to us. I agree that a bagged design is best. You dont have to put on a hazmat suit if you have allergies, just toss it in a trash bag.

  38. IndyJaws says:

    I worked at a consumer electronics/appliance retailer for almost 20 years (no, not one of the evil chains, but not a mom-and-pop). It boggled our mind each year when CR rankings came out. Time after time, they awarded best buy recommendations to some of the biggest steaming piles of crap made. And no, it wasn’t just low-profit items that would cause us to be biased. Even high-end products that had no business being highly-rated got the award; it seemed as if there were no rhyme or reason. Ask most knowledgeable salespeople (usually an oxymoron, but there are some, believe it or not) and they’ll roll their eyes or outright laugh when asked about CR. Completely not worth the paper it’s printed on.

  39. FLConsumer says:

    @homerjay: In that case, a shop vac might be more appropriate. :)

  40. Azndude51 says:

    @IndyJaws: Though I’m not a big fan of CR, I’m still going to trust a non-profit magazine over a sales person unless the salesperson has empirically tested and used every single product themselves which is rarely the case.

  41. swalve says:

    @goglen: I’d love to know what they did to test dishwasher detergents, since Costco’s brand rated very high and sucks balls. Cascade complete blows it away. CR just doesn’t care anymore.

  42. oldhat says:

    CU rocks, the are one of the last honest joints in town.

    Are they perfect? No. Are they biased? Compared to who?!?

    If you can’t trust those old coots at CU then you can’t trust ANYONE.

    Who you going to turn to? Cnet? JD Power? Haha. Of course, personally, I like reviews from average people, ala amazon.com, but if you are shopping for some appliances, cars, etc, CU is worth their weight in gold.

    I bought my last vacuum on account of them and 10 years later it still does its thing.

    Last: Dyson is just the latest Kirby vacuum…craptastically overpriced.

  43. swalve says:

    @Azndude51: If they’re non-profit, what are they motivated by?

  44. dalejo says:

    I have a Hoover upright which is 5 years old and was near the top of the CR rankings back then. It performs better than my neighbors new Dyson. I recently bought the Kenmore 25614 canister vac and it works extremely well (haven’t tested it head-to-head with the Dyson though). I have a townhouse and 2 large dogs so I’m cleaning every few days. Ebay is great for bags and there is no dust mess trying to empty a bagless unit.

    Dyson is about a lot of marketing. I know a handful of people who have them (and love them) but they had lousy vacs before that. No wonder a $500+ vac works better than the sub $100 they used for years.

    I think CR reviews products quite well for most things. Even my local vacuum repair place that also sells high-end vacs but are super honest haven’t had any problems with the CR reviews. They still say the Miele is better (and they just might be). They weren’t that impressed with the Dyson either.

  45. parasanger says:

    The great thing about opinions are that there are so few of them and so many over reactions and distortions of them. And don’t get me started on hyperbole. Net-net I’ve owned an Eureka upright and now I have a Dyson ‘the Ball’ upright. You know what? I like both of them. If it wasn’t for the Woot and refurbishment I wouldn’t have kicked for a vacuum cleaner this expensive as the DC-15. That and my old house mate stole my 10+ year old Eureka and I needed a more flexible replacement. Say what you will about the abilities of the Eureka, but the maneuverability of the Ball on the Dyson makes it worth it in my small space and it just may make your top 10 list too.

  46. endless says:

    I sell digital cameras and when ever i see some one walk in with consumer reports i prepare for having to talk them down.

    the models they list are a mix of current generation and others that are 2 to 4 generations old. Older models sometimes rank impossibly high. Terrible cameras get rated well, good cameras sometimes do poorly. I remember the Fuju F20/30/31/40 getting some wonky ratings. Like they reviewd the 31 and the 30, and the 30 got ranked 3-5 spots better than the 31 despite the 31 being a small upgrade to the 30.

    As much as I would like to, I dont trust this group.

  47. theycallmetak says:

    @endless

    Talk them down or talk down to them? What exactly makes you think the newer model is automatically better? In the case of the F30 vs. F31, the small upgrade to the F31 included higher noise levels at ISO1600 and 3200, the same high ISOs that garnered rave reviews for the orginal F30.

    Let them buy what they want. Ask what they need or alternatively what they want, then sell them WHAT THEY ASK FOR. If they choose a magazine review over your expertise and “can’t be bothered” bringing in a few cards to shoot some test shots, then maybe they deserve what they get so long as it’s not broken out of the box.

  48. skierpage says:

    I bought the Kenmore based on last year’s Consume Reports test and it’s an excellent upright vacuum. Maybe Dyson is better, but user testimonials are worthless compared to testing. Your “test” where you vacuum over and capture more dirt is meaningless, you’d also pick up more dirt if you re-vacuumed with any vacuum cleaner!

    I bought a low-priced Kenmore dishwasher on CR’s recommendation and it’s great, quieter than an expensive Miele with better rack layout and adjustments.

    My Kenmore He3t high efficiency washer is by far the best washer I’ve ever owned. I can’t remember if it was a CR recommendation or not. Kenmore parts and service is slipping but Kenmore is still one of the best organizations for after-sales support.

    For coffee makers, CR steered me to a cheap Mr. Coffee. Zero brand reputation, but it really does work better than recent crappy Krups.

    I still read reviews on amazon.com and enthusiast sites for background and detailed issues that CR misses. You have to ignore the 5-star reviews from idiots and fanbois, and ignore most 1-star reviews from people who have an unreasonable grudge. But like @oldhat says, there’s no one individual or organization you can trust more that Consumer Reports!

  49. Fuzzyman says:

    We bought the Kenmore on the CR recommendation last year and couldn’t be happier. Not only does it work well, but it’s solidly built. It doesn’t feel like the easily breakable Bissels and Dirt Devils we’ve owned in the past.

  50. rolla says:

    @ptkdude:

    agreed…bagless is really overrated. emptying the plastic cannister WITHOUT getting the dust all over you is hard, indoors or out.

  51. distractbill says:

    My father was going to buy a Dyson but was concerned about the durability of that plastic cage. He called up Dyson and spoke to an engineer who said that, yes, a quarter sucked up into the vacuum could break it. Needless to say, he was not impressed with a product that could easily break under normal usage and decided on a different vacuum.

  52. lalahsghost says:

    ROFL @ homerjay’s first comment:
    “I have a Kenmore canister and I LOVE it. It sucks the shit out of my carpets.”

  53. ncboxer says:

    I have read CR for years. You just don’t pick the very best and be done with it, you use CR to see what features you want and which ones you should look at. If a product is way down the scale, you avoid it. Just because something is ultra expensive doesn’t mean its the very best. Do you buy a Ferrari thinking that because it cost so much it must be the most reliable car made. I have also seen (and I have done it myself) people purchasing expensive stuff and then justifying it to others that it is the best even if they know it is crap (or maybe you just convince yourself it is the best- heck you paid the most for it, it must be the best, right?). Look at all the people that love their Bose crap (unleash the hordes that love Bose).

    I use to be a salesman myself, so I don’t hold much regard for them. Do sales people use all the products and know which one will last and which one is the best at the least expensive cost? Or do they try to sell the most expensive thing because that is what they are in business to do? I’m not saying all sales people are clueless, but the majority are. They know (usually) how to operate what they are selling, they know the features, they know what to products to push, but do they really know how it will function in 2 weeks or 2 years?

  54. bonzombiekitty says:

    @rolla: With my dyson you just take the canister out, bring it over to the garbage bin, place it over the bin and pull a trigger. The bottom of the canister falls away and everything goes straight into the bin. Never have gotten dust and dirt all over the place.

  55. dandd says:

    We had a dyson, its a good vac overall, but it is overpriced. Our Kenmore bagless was louder, but it seemed to work just as good as the dyson.

  56. Xerloq says:

    I bought one of the Eureka vacs, which was ranked 4 or 5 on the CR list (but still a best buy) a couple of years ago because the TCO is about $35 per year, bags and filters included. After 10 years of ownership, the vacuum will break even with Dyson.

    I’ve used both, and the Eureka sucked stuff out of the carpet the Dyson missed, which I attribute to the brushes more than the suction. The thing feels like it’s self propelled! I found that while true the Dyson doesn’t lose suction, it doesn’t have that much suction to begin with.

    Also, you should never buy a vacuum based on store tests! Every consumerist should know that the store test is basically rigged. Bottom line, you’ve got to take the machine home and test it yourself.

    Last nugget: the Dyson I tested against broke after 2 years… my Eureka is still going strong.

  57. mobilene says:

    I bought a 1971 Hoover Convertible for $50 on eBay. At 36 years of age, it does a better job on my carpets than ANY of the Kenmore canisters I’ve owned before that. It’s made of metal, not plastic. It’s easy to maintain. It is built like a brick outhouse — but even if it does crap out on me, I only spent 50 bucks on it.

  58. GreatMoose says:

    Gotta join in on the Dyson love. That thing is friggin’ amazing. We also did the “re-vacuum” test, and we amazed (and disgusted) with what the Dyson picked up. As far as the “bagless spreads dust” comments go, it’s totally dependent on how it’s designes. If it’s designed PROPERLY (like a Dyson with its lower trapdoor), unless you’ve got a severe case of the shakes, you shouldn’t be getting dust anywhere. Oh, and we only paid $99 for ours! Long live “1/2 Of 1/2″ stores!

  59. lo_fro says:

    We have a Dyson and it rules! Our carpets look freshly steam-cleaned every time we vacuum, and it doesn’t fall over if you use the extender attachments. It’s also easy to maneuver in our apartment (I’m not very strong) and easy to clean out.

    TEAM DYSON!

  60. kpfeif says:

    I have the Kenmore vacuum above. It works well, but it is quite heavy. I’ve used the Dyson at a friends house. It works fine, too, but it was quite a bit more expensive.

    Our new home is setup for a whole-house vacuum. When this one dies, we’ll get the canister and start the real sucking.

  61. dieman says:

    I’ve owned both, the CR highest rated (at the time) Kenmore canister and a Dyson. The Kenmore is fairly good on a new bag, but bags fill up *quickly* with dog hair if you have 2 or 3 dogs in the house. Having a dyson means you can just go empty it out and keep going, without having to go through those expensive 3M bags like water. Less consumables means more value to me.

  62. NcSchu says:

    @distractbill: Uh, right, so he called up Dyson and was able to speak to an engineer just like that, huh? I’ve sucked up coins and things in my Dyson and the canister’s fine.

  63. daveydoodle says:

    This is all “an apples and oranges” comparison. There is much more involved in the choice besides cleaning power. My wife and daughter own a housecleaning service. We have found that:

    1. Dysons are the heaviest vacuum cleaners in the discussion. Carrying them up stairs may be a challenge if you aren’t healthy and able-bodied. My wife can’t pick up and carry a Ball.

    2. Kenmore vacuums are awesome. Their $69 model cleans well – even if it is cheaply made. We own a Kenmore for our home. They’re good all-around items.

    3. Wife and Daughter use Orek Commercials for work because they are wonderfully light and easy to carry to/from vehicles and do a completely acceptable job. Vacuum bags don’t have to be emptied as often as plastic cups and actually save them time.

    4. Animal hair sticks everywhere on bagless vacuums due to the over-abundance of static electricity and plastic parts. Sometimes bagless vacuums are not the labor-saving feature they’re advertised to be.

  64. edro says:

    My wife and I own both the Dyson DC14, which we bought three years ago and the Kenmore which we bought in January after CR came out with their recommendations. When we first bought the Dyson, we thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. However, after a few years, it seemed like the suction dropped. Also, it was extremely cumbersome to use the hose with the attachments as the vacuum would tip over all the time. Also, with three dogs, the roller brush would constantly get clogged with hair.

    When we got the Kenmore, we did the “re-vacuum test” and it proved that the Dyson wasn’t picking everything up. So far, given that we vacuum several times per week, in 6 months time we are on our fourth bag. The only downside to this vacuum is the weight, it is extremely heavy, but other than that, we love it.

    Anyone in the market for a used Dyson DC14?

  65. goodguy812 says:

    i own a kirby. its the best. bring your whatever over to my house and i’ll show you. ……and yes i use to sell them so i know how your piece of crap was made, along with all of its weaknesses. i’ll leave you with 2 vaccuums that i ran into on ocassion that would at least give me a run for my money.

    eureka boss (older ones) unexpectedly kicked azz
    oreck xl. – (depends on type of carpet.)
    but kirby’s are the best made machine out there. i took a 1920’s model on trade (worth a ton) that still worked like a tank. flat out, if you look at manu. specs, kirby is the best machine.

  66. goodguy812 says:

    and for all of those “its too heavy” folks out there; its because its made of metal….you cant put that big of a motor in plastic. it would catch fire. UL regulates the size motor you can put in plastic. its only 12amps. so if you want something that actually functions, you’ll have to sacrifice the light weight.(all new kirbys have power assist now so who cares)

  67. dalejo says:

    My mother used to have a Kirby about 20 years ago, it did alright but bags were more expensive. Yes it was too heavy but the biggest problem was there was more weight on one side than the other. She gave it to me and I had to muscle it around some to keep it straight when vacuuming.

  68. goglen says:

    @swalve: I actually never read their review on dishwasher detergent. Very coincindentally, we use Costco detergent, because we found it works best (we tried MANY brands in our new house 3 years ago). For us, however, we have fairly hard water, and needed a detergent with higher-than-normal phosphors (IIRC). The Costco was like 4.x% versus 2-3% of most others. This certainly helped US a lot.

    Those of you folks living in areas with naturally soft-water can use basically any detergent and still get a better clean than people with very hard-water like us :(

  69. twigg says:

    I have a Dyson DC-11 (canister vac) and I love it. I bought mine at about 4 years ago after trying almost 15 vacuums at Sears and am still very satisfied.

    A few things:

    1) Dyson vacuums are not necessarily the most powerful, nor do they claim to be. There were others I tried that had better suction power. (At least before bags and filters filled up)

    2) The Dyson bagless design supposedly means no replacement parts. So far this has been the case for me, though I suppose that the two filters between the main vacuum body and the canister could need be replaced if you didn’t follow instructions for maintenance.

    3) Dyson brushes are air-driven on the majority (if not all) of their models. This is brilliant because there are never any belts or motors that can give out. And it works as well as any motor driven brush I’ve used on standard carpeting. I imagine if you had 2″ shag it would be another matter.

    4) Emptying the Dyson can be a bit messy compared to bag vacuums. I tend to empty mine outside.

    5) The savings of not replacing bags, filters and belts on my vacuum is my biggest argument for the Dyson. I have used other bagless vacuums (we bought one for the store I own that wasn’t a Dyson and I regret it; I had a different one before the Dyson) and the filters that I’ve seen clog quickly and can’t be re-used. This is frustrating and expensive. In the long run I estimate my Dyson would have had the same price of ownership because of not needing to replace bags, belts, filters, etc as any quality vacuum would have been in the second year of ownership.

    For whatever it’s worth, I’m planning to buy a Dyson for my store because of the inferior performance/clogging of our current vacuum and the time and money this wastes. I’m completely certain of their products.

  70. darex says:

    CR is perennially biased against or towards certain brands:

    Dyson, and Hyundai (until very recently) in particular.

    For about 15 years, a Toyota Camry always won, even though it was the most insipid, moderately-powered, blandly-styled car on the road! It was ridiculous how biased (payed off?) they seemed towards the Camry — their god.

    My old 1997 Hyundai Tiburon was rated “too little data to predict reliability” — for FIVE years!!!

    Dyson always looses to generic Hoovers based on their tests, but everyone I know who has one (including myself) loves theirs.

    I’ve had mine over three years with two golden retrievers and a parrot, and had zero problems, and zero repairs.

    I also hate how CR always recommends brands like “Kirby” and “Rainbow”.

    Where do you get those? I’ve never seen one sold in any store! Doesn’t the fact that you can buy the product anywhere and find consumables/filters for it easily count for, no, outweigh most other factors?

    Why not recommend a Moulinex, Philips, or SEB vacuum while you’re at it? They are equally unavailable here, or at least, not readily found, and then you’ll have the pleasure of mail-ordering for odd-ball bags for the rest of its life.

    Thanks to CR, I bought a Samsung QuietStorm vacuum. It was okay, but the consumables were a pain to find/purchase on-line. I am so happy I don’t have to buy bags anymore. ORECK can whine all he wants on the radio. He’s pathetic. The QuietStorm was okay, but it needed maintenance, was really heavy in its own right, and my Dyson DC14 is such a pleasure in comparison.

    CR is a useful price guide, and photo gallery, and general introduction for the “uninformed consumer” but not very useful for purchasing cars or vacuums.

    I’ll take Edmunds blogs myself for my car shopping.

  71. @daveydoodle:

    dysons weighs about 20 pounds. self-propelled styles push 30.

  72. Gesualdo says:

    If you’ve got a Dyson, don’t forget to clean the filter periodically.

  73. TashaLuv says:

    After “Both” of My Vacc’s both broke & 1 lasted through 1 divorce & 2 kids & close to 20 years easy,I went out looking for a new one on tiny budget,why dose everything Break when you don’t have the money to replace stuff? Well after a long on-line search I went with my list to store and only 2 stores had one of 4-5 Vaccs and aprox $165.00 and our of my budget of course.So Not wanting to waste money on another Crapo Bagless Canister I almost pu one of those old school carpet sweepers & even they cost close to $40.00,then I see a stack of clearance Vaccs. and they were Kennmore up-rights and after my New Energy Star set I got from Sears which also are broken right now & another Nightmare story I was Leary of there brand but I had to get a Vacc asap so I grabbed one at $50.00 and took it home,I think it’s a darn good deal for what I paid for it,I wish it had a little more suction but it’s ok for now..

  74. safetyguy says:

    I recently switched from a Kenmore canister to a Dyson, and I’ve gotta say that, while I thought the Kenmore was a great product and a huge step up from my previous vacuums, the amount of dust and dirt that the Dyson picked up on its first use (directly following my vacuuming with the other) was pretty amazing. Clearly it does something the Kenmore did not…