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Dyson review

I tested a Dyson vacuum and air purifier by adopting two kittens before my review

Are they worth the hefty price tag if you're a pet owner?

I never had a huge interest in cleaning appliances until I turned 30. Did this make me feel old? Yes. Did I care? No. I daydreamed about the ease and efficiency of a cordless hi-tech vacuum like a Dyson and felt no shame about it. 

My need for vacuuming speed increased when I took the leap into crazy cat lady territory and adopted two kittens (another possible response to entering my 30s). 

Suddenly, the house was filled with fur, litter, and various odours, and that budget vacuum that had lived in the hall cupboard for years just wasn't going to cut it.

Not long after welcoming two feline brothers named Dingo and Gus into my home, Dyson reached out with an opportunity to try out their Gen5detect Absolute (RRP $1649), hailed as a Godsend for removing dust - including pet hair and dander - in just one pass. 

But how would it cope with the other debris now scattered throughout the house? Gus had taken to playing with bark and shells from various houseplants, while Dingo had a knack for tearing the feathers off his toys and knocking over the plants, sending dirt flying meters across the room.

Well, the Gen5detect has Dyson's most powerful suction yet - apparently, it spins 9x faster than a Formula One engine. The clear bin on the machine showed me the Dyson had made quick work of all the above, but what might be more impressive is how it deals with the yucky stuff you can't see in the container. 

Dyson vacuum removing pet hair

The specially engineered 'brush bar' works to agitate pet hair that has embedded in the carpet or stuck to hardwood floors, but it has a further bit of tech in the cleaner head which detangles and removes the hair into the bin, rather than letting it just stick to the end of your vacuum. Being a long-haired girl who has had to cut much of my own hair out of vacuums before, this was a win for both me and the pets. 

It's not just hairs we have to worry about though - it's what they carry with them. With cats, it's skin, pet dander and dirt, which can also become airborne particles when they break down. One of Dyson's special features is a 'fluffy optic' cleaner head that shows you where to clean by projecting a blade of light - a luxury I've never experienced before and one that almost made vacuuming fun…kind of like a video game?

There are at least two significant downsides to this machine, though - one, when I first turned it on, Dingo freaked out, did a backflip and left a giant scratch across my foot. (He's since gotten used to it, and Gus never cared in the first place). 

Dyson vacuum removing pet hair

Two, it ain't cheap. In a cost-of-living crisis, shelling out approx $1650 for a vacuum cleaner sounds kind of crazy and won't be possible for many households. Keeping an eye out for sale prices can drop the cost by about $250, though. 

The vacuums come with a two-year warranty, but anecdotally, people reckon they can last up 10 years, especially if you replace the batteries - and that goes a long way to justifying that price. 

So, the vacuum takes care of the floors and furniture, but what about the stuff in the air? Not to mention the unpleasant aromas that can arise no matter how often you change a litter tray. 

Enter the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde (RRP $1249). This, I was more sceptical about. 

I already had a basic heater that did the trick, and I swapped that out for an old-school fan in the summer - did I really need air filtration and all the bells and whistles that came with it? 

Dyson purifier

It may not be the sort of thing one needs, but knowing that the purifier captures 99.95% of particles down to a tiny micron size sure is good for peace of mind. When you hook it up to the MyDyson app, you can see exactly what kind of nasties are present in your home and then feel really smug when your air quality is returned to 'good'. 

I put mine mostly in the bedroom, near my ensuite where the kittens sleep and have their litter tray. This was a game-changer when it came to feeling like my room stayed fresh and clean. 

It's not a cure-all for any and all odours, but it definitely dulled the 'kitten-y' smell I'd be battling. The machine is sealed to HEPA H13 standard, which means what goes inside stays inside, and it has a carbon filter to capture gas pollutants that never needs replacing

Dyson purifier

While nerding out watching all the purification data is quite cool, it can also be a little anxiety-inducing. Seeing pollutant levels spike up when doing things like lighting a candle, cooking or blow-drying my hair occasionally made me feel like ignorance was bliss, and in an information-overload world, it can be too much. 

It's not the main drawcard, but I was thrilled with how this machine operated as a heater. Being able to adjust the temperature from my phone while still in bed on a cold morning was bliss, and my God, it heats up a room quickly. 

I was a bit worried about Dingo and Gus using the purifier like a jungle gym and knocking it over, but it turns out this thing is sorted when it comes to safety features. If it falls over - it turns off. If it's in danger of overheating - it turns off. If a blanket gets thrown on it - it turns off. More peace of mind.

I had also been concerned about the strain such a fancy bit of kit might put on my power bill, but the machine's auto mode makes sure it's only working when it needs to be. 

Dyson purifier and vacuum

It might seem like a high-powered motor would require heaps of energy, but on the contrary, it works harder for a shorter amount of time than many other heaters. 

Again, when you're dealing with Dyson, nothing is cheap. But if you split the price of the purifier into 4x Afterpay payments of around $300 bucks, I think it's well worth the investment. 

Dyson made a name for themselves with their vacuums, but I'd suggest that these purifiers which also heat and cool are now the area where they're totally in a league of their own, and a warm healthy home is worth shelling out for - if you can.

Monika was loaned the Dyson Gen5detect Absolute and the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde for this review.