There’s not one, but two, big bold labels on the new Eureka AirSpeed (shown left) claiming that it “cleans carpets better than Dyson at half the price”. The company backs that with data from ASTM F608, an industry standard test measuring how well a vacuum removes embedded dirt from carpets. Eureka, which is part of Electrolux, commissioned the test to compare the AirSpeed vacuum and the Dyson DC-25, DC-33 and DC-41 vacuums. They say results show that the AirSpeed vacuum outperformed the Dyson models.
This design is based in part on two short tubes, which are supposed to decrease the distance for dirt to travel, increasing the amount of airflow and improving suction. Fourteen feet of hose and wand and 32 feet of cord give it a good long reach, and a pet-friendly “power paw” skims off pet dander another allergens. Like many new models, this one has a HEPA filter, which means that it captures 99.9 per cent of dust and allergens. There’s a convenient light on the head of the base, which also has a lever for changing the bar for two depths of carpet and bare floors. Another lever on the side of the machine lets the user switch between using the floor function and attachments, of which there are three; a crevice tool, upholstery brush, and duster.
Personally, I can’t vouch for that, as my own testing is, of course, less than scientific. But I can say that there are a couple of design features I find inferior to the Dyson. While assembly instructions are clear and simple, I found it a bit tricky, for example, to get the tube at the back of the machine to stay put. The cord extends from lower down on the machine than it does on the Dyson 14 I have, and I found it got in the way.
But with a manufacturer’s suggested price of $140, there’s no doubt it’s far less expensive than the Dyson, and I know that’s an important consideration for many families. Check it out at Walmart, Home Hardware, independent vacuum dealers, or online .
I hesitate slightly to tell you about Shark’s new Lift-Around Vacuum, as it’s unlikely to be available in Canada before the fall. But it’s a dandy little cleaning tool, so keep an eye open for it. It’s being promoted as being perfect for pet owners, as it promises to capture 99.99 per cent of dust and allergens in the air. At six pounds, it’s a breeze to carry around; it’s even got a strap to make hauling it about easier.Take note, though, that this is a corded machine and that the head on the attachment is quite small, as it’s designed for quick small jobs. The price should come in at about $160, and I’ll share availability as soon as I know.
Of course, if we’re speaking of compact models, I’ve got to also call out Dyson’s new DC35 Digital Slim. This is a very sweet machine. It performs beautifully, thanks to a digital motor that spins up to three times faster than conventional motors, and Dyson’s cyclone technology. This model has longer run time that the previous generation of Dyson hand-helds that I tried — 15 minutes of high constant suction, 13 minutes with the floor tool, and six minutes on a max setting, which turn on at the touch of a button on the handle.
The only complaint comes from my 17-year old son, who says the handle space is a bit small for his great big paw — making it “hard” for him to vacuum the stairs and car. Too bloody bad, I say. Make it fit! On the other hand (ha!), my 19 year old daughter loves it for quick clean-ups, and is, I believe, angling to take it back with her when she returns to University in the fall. We’ll see about that!
The well-sized motorized floor tool — with efficient carbon fibre filaments — can be used on hard surfaces or carpets, adjusting as it goes. Love that. The lithium-ion battery can be charged either from the docking station or through an independent charger. Accessory tools fit cleverly into the dock, which can be attached to a wall for storage.
But, as Sir James pointed out in a recent email interview, all those clever features are the result of research and testing, all of which costs money. Which accounts for the price-tag of $350 (at The Bay, Home Outfitters, Bed Bath and Beyond, Future Shop, Bestbuy.ca and Dyson independent retailers.) Pricey? Yes. But it’s a lovely little machine.
Since it is wedding season, I’ll point out that this would make a wonderful gift, especially if the cost of it was shared among a few family members. Perhaps not as sexy as Waterford crystal, or French linen tablecloths (although both are great presents as well) but one that’s bound to help its owners on almost daily basis, in part by resulting in fewer fights over who does the vacuuming.