Sunday, December 5, 2010

Checking Our List: Dyson DC31 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner {Review}

I have two kids, which means I have two independent mess-makers in my house each and every day. I know I can't be the only parent that, at the end of a meal, looks at the remnants and crumbs scattered absolutely everywhere and wonders if more ended up in their mouths or on the floor, right?

But as much as I hate feeling the crunch of Cheerios under my feet or finding bits of macaroni & cheese stuck to my socks, it's really not all that convenient to pull out the vacuum cleaner every day, multiple times a day. Plus, not only is its large size a little bulky for me to roll out, Little Sister B is frightened of the loud noise and cries as soon as she sees it. So... what's a mom to do?

No doubt about it, for me the answer is the amazing, high quality Dyson DC31 handheld vacuum.

Just like everyone else, I've seen the commercials and listened to James Dyson discuss how he was tired of vacuums that lose suction and I couldn't help but agree. It really is frustrating when you're trying to get something clean and have to go over it and over it just trying to get all the pieces up.

But when the ads went on to claim that Dyson vacuums have fastest motors and the highest RPM (I had to Google that to even figure out that it meant Revolutions Per Minute)... well, all I really want to know is how well they work. Would the DC31 really perform better than any other handheld dustbuster-type of vacuum that I had tried in the past?

From the small size of the box, I knew that this was going to be a compact vacuum cleaner and, indeed, it is. Pulling out the pieces, they immediately feel like solid, high quality parts that, even though they are plastic, aren't the slightest bit flimsy or thin. Considering I knew this would have to withstand some bumps and a drop or two along the way, I was glad to see that it appeared plenty ready to take what I (and my kids) could dish out.

Considering that the Dyson DC31 had already accomplished quite the feat by making me actually excited about cleaning, I moved on to any assembly needed and found that there really isn't any. The main accessory tools click on and off with the push of a button and give you the choice of a wide debris nozzle or a longer, thin crevice tool for reaching into tight gaps and narrow spaces.

Once that is on, that's pretty much it. I love the simple, modern design and that there isn't any sort of technical knowledge or extended manual-reading necessary. Picking the DC31 up, the 2.9-pound weight and ergonomic hold are easily noticed and, perfect for someone who is usually multi-tasking, the entire vacuum can be operated with just one hand by pressing the trigger on the handle.

With a 22.2V lithium ion battery, the power that comes out of this small machine is extremely impressive. Considering this is meant to be a portable, handheld vacuum for small jobs or to cover a small area, the battery has two different modes (which are easily accessible using the button right on the back) depending on how much strength and suction you need.

In the 38 air-watts mode, the battery will last for 10 minutes and in the 65 air-watts mode (which gives you 70% more suction and could be used on heavier objects) the battery will last for 6 minutes. This sounds like a short amount of time, but really is plenty considering that this isn't a replacement for a full size vacuum - any job that is going to take more than 10 minutes is probably large enough that lugging out the big one is more practical.

As for the original question of how well does this work? AMAZING! It is easy to hold, easy to use and the amount of dirt and crumbs this can pick up just by being waved along them is incredible. At the end of lunch recently, I pulled back Little Sister B's chair and found that her booster seat looked like this:

Grabbing my handy Dyson DC31, I attached the crevice tool to get into all of the icky spots and had it clean in a matter of seconds.

Glancing at the floor, I quickly switched to the combination accessory tool and sucked up every last bit of food that was down there, both big and small.

But those were only two of the places that I've used this Dyson on and, without a doubt, it performed just as well everywhere else. I cleaned along our furniture, under the entertainment center, my daughters' car seats (talk about crumbs!) and even my computer keyboard (the combination accessory tool converts to a brush with the push of a button - how convenient!) and never had any loss of suction.

When it is time to give cleaning a rest, the Dyson DC31 will let you know when the battery is running low by a blinking LED indicator showing that there is less than a minute of power left. Simply plug the small charger right into the back and let it sit for 3.5 hours (it turns itself off when it's done!) and you'll be ready to go again the next time. Or, if you'd rather store the vacuum away and just charge the battery itself, it can easily be popped right off so that you can do that.

When it comes to hygiene and cleanliness, not only does this vacuum do its job, but it helps you dispose of the dirt without coming into contact with it either. The bagless, clear canister holds quite a large amount for such a small machine and features a one-touch release button to pop open the bottom for emptying.

As for the internal filter, there is no wasted money buying new ones with the DC31. The lifetime filter is easily accessible with the button right on top and all you have to do is wash it off every month and it won't ever need replacing.

Retailing for $219.99, this is far from any other cheap handheld that you can buy for a fraction of the price. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for and in the case of the Dyson DC31, I believe that. The powerful Dyson digital motor provides plenty of suction while the compact size is just so easy to hold and use.

Much faster and easier than taking out a large vacuum, this does a far better job than a broom and is just much more fun. The multiple attachments provide the ability to use this in different environments and spaces and, although the battery life isn't extremely long, having this be cordless more than makes up for it for me (I hate cords. I hate unwinding them, rewinding them, untangling them, finding an outlet... all of it).

Instead, I am purchasing a wall mounting bracket for my Dyson DC31 and am going to giving it a permanent home that is convenient for me to pull out at any time and have it be charged and ready. I'm looking forward to years of less dirt and food and crumbs and dust thanks to Dyson!

For more details and purchasing information for any number of amazing vacuum cleaners (upright, canister and handheld) as well as innovative fans and hand dryers, I'm now convinced that Dyson truly does outperform the rest and any of their products would make an incredible holiday gift. You can also keep up with them and receive support on Facebook and don't forget to head over to A Mom's Balancing Act for Jenna's thoughts on the Dyson DC31 as well!

(Other than the Dyson DC31 that I was sent by Dyson, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my opinion of this company and their high quality products.)


Mandee said...

Oh I want one! :)

I hope you are doing well! It's been a while since I have been around. I must stop by more to enter these amazing giveaways! :)

Anonymous said...

We were talking about Christmas gifts for each other last night, and I made hubby a list. In big letters I wrote a DYSON and then haha. It's in my dreams to have one, and hopefully one day, hubby will finally give in, even though the price is way out of our budget. They just look and sound amazing.

MIG said...

This sounds like an extremely easy handheld to use. I've been wanting something like this for a few years now to replace my old handheld. My husband always prefers to buy me romantic gifts but maybe he'll take a different route this year. I could really use something to easily pick up snack crumbs in place of hauling out the big vacuum every day.

lfhpueblo said...

I have Two Dyson's and I love them both.

EmmysBoosAndRawrs said...

I want one! I have a dust buster that is pretty old and has almost no power anymore, I don't even use it anymore. It's such a pain to drag out our big vacuum for simple messes all the time. This sounds great!