Dyson D22 'Motorhead' Vacuum: Does It Live Up to Its Heavy Metal Name?
What it is: Those who still think a vacuum's a vacuum have yet to encounter Dyson. The funky-looking, English-engineered line of bag-less, suctioning masterpieces is a far cry from the clunkers lining the shelves of Bed, Bath & Beyond. (You'll even find several in modern art museums around the world.) The DC22 Motorhead is the newest addition to the line of Dyson canister models. It takes up a little over a square foot, weighs 18 pounds, and trails the user as he or she maneuvers the hose attachment of choice.
Why it's different: Canister-style vacuums are nothing new. But Dyson's DC22 is an attempt to match the power and performance of a much larger upright model. The company also added a new, small, lighter motor that boasts 88,000 spins per minute (way fast) while ditching standard carbon brushes (which release particles into the air).
What we like: Dyson has undoubtedly succeeded when it comes to the combination of small size and strong performance. Its trademark suction power performs unparalleled feats on carpet and hard floors alike. The motorized brush bar attacks pet hair with a vengeance, while the wand houses three conveniently placed buttons (on/off for the whole gadget, two-speed power control, and an on/off switch for the brush bar). The design and variety of attachments makes getting into those famously "tough-to-reach" places possible with no furniture moving, a particular advantage of the canister design.
Emptying the bin is easy and hygienic, too; just hold it over the trash and push a release button. On the eco-friendly front, the new, efficient motor, the purification of the vac's output air (making it 150 times cleaner than the air we breathe, says Dyson), and the lack of bag or filter replacement make this vac as green as online billing.
What we don't like: The canister style is a niche within the vacuum cleaner market, and ultimately comes down to a matter of preference. Though perhaps not unique to the DC22, moving around a space was at times awkward; it's sometimes necessary to manually drag the canister along, which can be tiresome and time consuming. Also, we would have preferred the main vacuum head to be a bit wider than 9 inches. We also found the 16.5-foot power cord to be annoyingly short. Though the two-level variable speed control seems like a nice idea, we rarely used it.
Oh, and then there's the $799 price tag. When comparing this model to Dyson's popular DC24 upright, we had a hard time figuring out where that extra $400 went. Canister vacs are generally more expensive, but this premium is steep.
Does it live up to the hype? Dyson makes great vacuum cleaners, and the DC22 Motorhead is one of them. It's beautiful, works like a dream, and is perfectly compact while sucking nearly as hard as 'Transformers 2' (zing!). Spending $400 on a vacuum cleaner is already a stretch for many, however, so twice that much could be tough to justify. But if funds are not an issue, and you like canister-style vacs -- or just have a lot of awkward, small places to clean -- then you'll love the Motorhead.
Where to get it: The Dyson DC22, $799, is available directly from Dyson, or most major retailers like Home Depot and Amazon.