New research finds the durability of stick vacuum cleaners sucks

A recent survey shows Kiwis are let down by how long their stick vacuum cleaners are lasting.

Vacuuming floor in the living room.

Most people expect their stick vac to go for more than six years, but a third fail before then.

“That’s double the failures reported for corded vacs,” Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said.

Surprisingly, stick vacs from the best-selling and best-performing brand, Dyson, stand out for their failure to go the distance. Dyson is the least reliable of the leading cordless vacuum brands.

Consumer NZ research shows most people choose vacuum cleaners based on good reviews and reputation, ahead even of price. People assume big name brands last longer, but that’s not always the case. Consumers need information from manufacturers on how well their products last.

“That’s why we’re doing a major project to make it easier for people to buy more durable products and brands. The #BuiltToLast project, partially funded by the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund, means we’ll be doing more product durability testing, more research — and encouraging manufacturers to address the problems we find in their products. We’ve contacted Dyson to let it know our tests show its stick vacuums do a great cleaning job, but suck at durability,” Duffy said.

“Three-quarters of Dyson stick faults are related to the battery or charging. Dyson sells replacement batteries and chargers, which is great, but we don’t think owners should be saddled with parts that fail so soon or have to fork out to replace them.”

Consumer NZ is asking Kiwis who have a broken vac to let them know all about it at consumer.org.nz/built-to-last.

The Consumer campaign #BuiltToLast and associated e-waste project is made possible by partial funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund. As part of the wider plan to reduce the amount of harmful rubbish ending up in landfills, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage recently announced electrical and electronic products as one of six priorities for a regulated product stewardship scheme, under the Waste Minimisation Act.

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A K.
12 Sep 2020
Dyson DC04

I've had this Dyson for so long , I don't even know when I bought it. I've just had a new cord & filter fitted and it cleans better than any of my past v.cleaners that I've ever had. I think it should be good for another 15 + years. Being an upright it is heavy to handle. Because of the number of cats I have, I have to vac every 3 to 4 days. ~~~~ A. K. ~~~~

Nev & Marj C.
08 Sep 2020
Search the website

After logging in I cannot find a search bar to look up information about a specific product

Consumer staff
09 Sep 2020
Re: Search the website

Hi Nev & Marj C.,

Our search has moved - it's now located in the top menu bar, just below the login button.

Kind regards,
Frank - Consumer NZ staff

Vikki M.
07 Sep 2020
Dyson Stick

I have had ours for years and did have to replace battery after about 3 years. Dyson advised that I was shortening battery life by putting it back on charge as soon as I had finished with it rather than let it cool down as advised. No problem since.
Perhaps other consumers are not aware of this. It is in manual - but who reads that! Other than that I am completely satisfied and would buy another.

clayton e.
06 Sep 2020
Dyson v6 animal

I feel the need to say something here - I have had the above vacuum for years and thrashed it and all this time its been great! Highly recommend it - the battery is still great and nothing has broken on it.I would buy another one when the time comes however it will be a few years away as this product is built to last

Clinton George a.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson V10 & Air Purification

I had an older Dyson stick prior to this and preferred the dust canister on the older machine to the V10 I Currently have. I find it awfully difficult to open. The mechanism sticks. It has great suction though. Dyson customer care based in Australia is terrible. I also have 3 Hot and Cool Air purifiers - I’m not sure if other people are having issues with these. The one has been replaced twice and the other has just been taken back to the store as it’s faulty. I really don’t think Dyson are well made anymore. I was without the air purifier for nearly 7 weeks while Dyson decided what they were going to do. Dyson are good at empty apologies- maybe they should go into business selling those...

Elke M.
05 Sep 2020
Changed my mind

I had a corded (still have that as a backup) and cordless Dyson for years and was a real fan as their suction was great. Even after a lot of people left comments that they wished a Dyson had an "on" button (not hold only) and separate rechargeable batteries, Dyson wouldn't change any of the above. In the meantime other brands have caught up and when I saw a Bosch on special for $699 which included 2 rechargeable batteries, I had to grab it. I don't have one bad word to say about it, it runs forever on one battery and then I have always the second ready to go, it also has the above mentioned "on" button, which makes it even more versatile to use. The suction is great and it's far more quiet than the Dyson. Really happy!

Maureen D.
05 Sep 2020
Bosch Stick Vac

Elke: What model do you have?

Linda B.
06 Sep 2020
Batteries

Spare Rechargeable batteries - seems like a no-brainer. I have a Bosch too, which I like, but I’m getting less and less time out of it before I have to plug it in again. When I replace it I’ll look for the spare battery option

Scott M.
06 Sep 2020
Dyson “on” button is available online

Head on over to Amazon and order a ‘Lanmu Trigger Lock’, which turns a Dyson trigger into a proper “on/off” button. I hated the trigger on the Dyson V11 I bought at the start of the year, as it made the Dyson so incredibly horrible to use that it turned it from a 5-star vacuum into a 1-star one. But the Lanmu trigger lock is fantastic and I wouldn’t be without one on a Dyson now.

SHARON M.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson V10

We have had a Dyson V10 for 18 months. Although I would prefer the running time to last longer when being used on full power, and also I would like to think it is going to have a longevity of 5 - 6 years or more, these wants pale in comparison to the actual suction capability, which is amazing and I would rate 10/10. I have never used a vacuum that is as good as this, particularly with pet fur. Totally recommend this vacuum.

Jan M.
05 Sep 2020
Tineco Vacum stick

I purchased a Tineco stick cleaner a month ago. I paid $1150 at Dysons. The reason I purchased this over the Dyson was it had 2 batteries and more power. After 3 weeks the power button broke off (a small plastic lever which snapped off). I am taking it back on Monday feeling rather disappointed with the fragility of the lever. I think I would rather have purchased a heavier duty cleaner

Ronni
05 Sep 2020
Built to Last

We had a problem with our line trimmer, caused by using too heavy gauge in the trimmer. We have had a trimmer for over a year, but returned to Bunnings where we purchased it. We were delighted to be able to by a new head where the line goes ($24), and did not have to replace the skin ($174) when the rest of the trimmer is perfectly okay. Well done Bunnings for having the part. And now to tackle the backyard jungle...

Barbara E.
05 Sep 2020
Stick vacums

I bought an Electrolux stick vacum 4 years ago and thought it was great until after 18 months the battery died. I presume it was the battery because I cleaned it regularly. The battery was very hard to get to - it was out of warranty, so I gave up and bought a $60 stick vac from The Warehouse. It cleans very well and have had it for 2 years now. I use it 3-4 times a week and if it breaks down I'd be happy to buy another of these!

Alan I.
05 Sep 2020
Produce The Research Please

Where is the research so we can assess it? How did other brands perform etc?

J W.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson, Apple, & Tesla

What is it about these brands that attracts such die-hard, "my brand right or wrong" followers? You would think the people who report bad Dyson experiences are criticizing the "Dysonettes" validity as human beings.

Rob C.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson customer service seems to be geared towards selling you a new one.

We've had a V8 for a few years now, and had the first battery lose it's charge early in its lifecycle. They tried to sell us a new one when we rang, but after our insistence that it should last longer, they agreed to examine the battery to see if it was faulty. No diagnosis came back, but a replacement battery did. Now we have the motorised head fail (like many have experienced) and they *never* appear to have a replacement in stock. A email to request advice when they came back in stock has never been replied to. Seems to me that this is again to encourage purchasing a new one. That sucks.

Matt S.
05 Sep 2020
Interesting

My sister loves her expensive Dyson stick vac, but admitted that it only lasted 18 months before dying (battery replacement). The customer service was top notch though. But 18 months? Disappointing reliability. If the justification from readers is that Dyson vacs get used more than others (eg every day) then they should design the battery to suit this type of usage. Otherwise they're not fit for purpose, right?

John I.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson Stick Vacs

Our experience has been similar to the other comments on this page. Have the V8 vac bought over 5 years ago which gets used daily and the only faults have been of our own making. The charger connection was damaged mounting the vac one time and recently battery life dropped until we realised that the motorised head motor axles were clogged up stalling the motor. Should have cleaned it more often in line with instructions. Overall, battery life has not diminished notably and expect to replace it around the 5-8 year mark as is the case with any Lion battery.
In heavy use, still get around 20 minutes in turbo mode, a lot longer on hard floors at the lower speed.

James C.
05 Sep 2020
Support the effort

Great campaign to pressure manufacturers to focus more on product life and end-of-life recycling to avoid everything being thrown into landfill (a practice supported by many councils and the Government too). So irresponsible. Many manufacturers talk about their sustainability efforts but if they don't care what happens to their products at the end of its life then that talk is cheap.
What's needed is legislation to drive change and responsibility. Without that it will be disjointed. Consumers are at the point of demanding such action. Case in point: There are thousands of child car seats that, at the end of their regulated 10 yr life, go to landfill every year. Government, councils and manufacturers support this outcome. This needs to change.
Consumers reporting of Dyson products seems balanced and simply reflects experience of the wider customer base. I personally have stayed away from their products after an independent repair shop advised me that Dyson products was the most returned product needing repair. If I want to know which products last, I ask those who repair them.

Georgia M.
05 Sep 2020
Love Dyson cleaners

We had a Dyson upright and a ball model. We bought a v6 which is a few years old now. Did have battery failure and Dyson was great at servicing and replacing. Unfortunately the service agent wasn’t amazing. Replaced the battery 3 times then Dyson replaced the whole machine for us (with an upgrade to V10 and let us keep the old one.) Had no more issues with the old one and the v10 has been fantastic. Just needs regular cleaning and don’t overfill the bin, as per the recommendations. Feel this article has been pretty unfair.

Dorothy M.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson fan

I Have had a dyson corded vacuum for 12 years, no problems In that time. Also the basic battery one for 5 years, no problems at all, have not had to replace the battery. Looking at upgrading to the new super cordless battery model. Dyson appear to have good customer service in NZ which is a plus. Surprised at Consumers negative reviews on this brand.

David S.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson sucks

We have a Dyson stick vacuum which was ok when it actually worked. Battery failed within 12 months. I would not recommendthis product

Jim B.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson V11 is awesome

Bought a V11 Outsize during the Lockdown and never considered getting a stick vac until it got this big as we have a very hairy Golden Retriever who is an inside dog. We fill up the 1.9l bin in the living room which is the only inside area he gets to spend time in. We can then do the rest of the house on the next bin. Normally put in boost mode for the living room and we have never run out of battery (as long as we started with a fully charged one) yet. Easily as good at getting up the fur as the old Amway CMS1000 which has outlived Bissell and Nilfisk machines.

Long may it last

Joanna C.
05 Sep 2020
Happy with my Dysons

I have two Dyson stick vacs: one six years old and one 4 years old. I replaced the batteries in both vacs last year, and am very happy that it’s possible to do so. In addition, the new batteries last much longer than the old batteries did, so it feels like both vacuums have received an upgrade. Dyson is very good about repairing its products, too, so I feel this article is pretty unfair on them really.

Dwayne B.
05 Sep 2020
Rubbish excuse for journalism

Consumer seems to have an axe to grind against Dyson.

Never had a problem with my Dyson, and neither has anyone I know.

Thing about Dyson sticks is they tend to get used a lot more than a regular vacuum - I use mine everyday, whereas with an old-type vacuum I would use it no more often than once a week.

Rex C.
05 Sep 2020
Dyson stick vac

Purchased a new one, put it on high and battery lasted five minutes, contacted Dyson they said to set it to low and battery lasted a lot longer.
That engineering is wrong.

Michele L.
05 Sep 2020
Everyday use compared to once a week

You have raised an excellent point Dwayne. We use ours everyday and got it because of our large, furry dog. It does an excellent job very quickly so everyday use is a breeze and therefore something we have taken to doing. I like the idea of encouraging longevity with products so that we can step away from being a throwaway society and I am sure that Dyson will be doing their very best to support that. They certainly gave amazing, free service when a small part broke on my Dyson V11...best ever customer service. Plus I can easily do the whole 275sqm house on medium on the one battery charge.

john a.
05 Sep 2020
Consumer mag is letting itself down with tabloid headlines

It is a bit unfair to publish criticism of just one brand without actually publishing the detailed results to let consumers judge for themselves. how large was the sample size? did they only hear from product failures, not those which didnt? which models were affected?
Dyson is quoted to make a headline but what about all the other brands?

we have used Dyson for years, corded and stick and have always been very happy compared with bag models.

I expect more balance from this organisation.

Jane S
05 Sep 2020
Dyson - we like them

We have 3 Dyson stick vacuums with the oldest being 5 years old. We really like their functionality and have not had any issues yet. That is only a sample of 3 though!

Christopher W.
04 Sep 2020
Dyson

I've gone over to Dyson after using two other brands. We use 2 to vacuum the whole house. Dyson does need proper cleaning otherwise the battery will not last very long. This is logical as you stress the electric system if there is not free flow through the vacuum. Our central vac doesn't get used at all now. The review is a bit harsh for Dyson.