Dyson DC44 Animal Vacuum Review: Small, Sure, But It's All About How You Use It

By Sam Biddle on at

We live in an age of robot cleaners scouring our floors for us with virtually no intervention. It takes a special vacuum cleaner to make you want to go back to using your arms again. But the DC44 Digital Slim vacuum is worth a look if you're considering a Roomba — because this vacuum might actually be a better solution.

 

What Is It?

A powerful, supremely-designed, superbly-maneuverable, cordless, bagless £280 handheld vacuum cleaner.

 

Who's It For?

Anyone who isn't homeless and has a lot of money to spend cleaning that home.

 

Design

Fantastic form and function. Extremely comfortable for cleaning a floor and overhead.

 

Using It

Pull the trigger and let it suck. An optional turbo button is available for filthy floors, and a range of nozzles fit every surface of your abode.

 

The Best Part

The battery life is stupendous—well beyond the advertised 20 minutes of continuous cleaning.

 

Tragic Flaw

Go ahead and laugh, but 2.3kg can get heavy. It works one-handed, like a giant wand. No motor on the floor is convenient, but it means you're always carrying the whole unit—reaching into crevices and lifting it overhead can start to be a strain.

 

This Is Weird...

The dirt chamber was sometimes difficult to click in and out of place. It took some wrangling—and you could imagine a disgusting spill if it were totally packed full.

 

Test Notes

 

  • Vacuumed wood floors, carpet, and used a nice cone-shaped nozzle on couch crevices.
  • A motor in both the base and the cleaning head makes for some incredibly powerful sucking.
  • Kept it leaning against the wall in the kitchen. Compact enough to not bother stowing it away.
  • So easy to use, you find yourself spot-cleaning all the time with it.
  • Really remarkable battery life. Cleaned the entire apartment top to bottom, plus little bursts of cleaning over the course of three weeks.
  • Recharged the battery a few times—but got over 20 minutes of vac action on each full charge.

 

Should You Buy It?

Most people can't spend £280 on a vacuum cleaner. That's a lot of money, and you can get a good vacuum for much less. That said, if you're looking at this price range on a handheld, the DC44 isn't the only option—but the others aren't this good, and so well suited for daily life.

So assuming you're serious about this investment, put it to yourself this way: A manual vacuum can't compare to the ultra-convenience of a Roomba, but there's no doubt it can do a better job cleaning. You could be happy with either purchase. It's either a robot maid that does a decent job on floors alone, or a phenomenal cleaning tool for all surfaces—as long as you can handle some actual labour.
Dyson DC44 Animal
• Price: £280
• Weight: 2.3kg
• Bin capacity: 0.35L
• Dimensions: 1120 x 230 x 300 mm (H x W x D)
• Battery: Nickel manganese cobalt; no mAh or watt-hours numbers
• Gizrank: 4