Review Update 03/12/14: We first reviewed the Dyson DC59 last year. Since then we’ve seen several new cordless vacuum cleaners come to the market, so we thought now was a good time to revisit the DC59 and see how it compares to some of the new models. Originally reviewed by Luke Johnson, updates by Andy Vandervell.
What is the Dyson DC59?
There’s a revolution going on and it’s powered by batteries. Some of the best and most interesting vacuum cleaners in 2013 and 2014 have been cordless vacs. From the Gtech AirRam to the Bosch Athlet, lots of brands now have cordless vacuum cleaners that aim to give you greater freedom without compromise and the Dyson DC59 is one.
A follow-up to the Dyson DC34, the Dyson DC59 aims to provide the same cleaning performance of Dyson’s larger vacuum cleaners but in a small, portable and cordless body. It claims a 20-minute battery life and is light enough for most people to use single-handed. Moreover, unlike Dyson’s handheld models, its long arm attachment means hard to reach areas are easy to get to. It’s now cheaper than when we first reviewed it (down to £280 from £350 at launch), making it better value than before.
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Dyson DC59: Design Features
The Dyson DC59 makes a great first impression. This isn’t the sort of ugly vacuum you want out of sight in a cupboard, it’s a good-looking modern gadget. It’s also packed full of thoughtful design tweaks that show Dyson has thought hard about how people will use the DC59.
One of the biggest is the power button. Rather
than a simple on/off switch button, the DC59 has a power trigger you must hold
down that helps extend the functional battery life
That’s because the trigger system means you never leave it running unnecessarily, which makes the difference
between the DC59’s battery life and the 40-minute cleaning time of the Gtech Air Ram less pronounced. It also matches up reasonably well to the Bosch Athlet when used on its ‘normal’ setting, though the Bosch claims up to 60-minutes when used on its lowest power setting for hard floors.
practice, we found the DC59’s battery life was more than ample for a couple of full sweeps of a
moderately sized two-bedroom house.
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all this said, it does reinforce the fact the Dyson DC59 is really a
vacuum cleaner for smaller households, or a secondary cleaner for quick ‘top-up’ cleans. Its size and nimble design make
it ideal for small houses and flats, but it’s a tight limit to clean a
large family house in 20 minutes.
That argument is supported by the limited 0.4-litre dust capacity, a decent amount less than the 0.9 litres of the Bosch Athlet. As with the battery life, 0.4-litres is enough for small homes and flats, but it’s not enough for larger homes if used as your primary cleaner.
But what the DC59 lacks in capacity, it more than makes up for with lightness and ease of use. The Dyson DC59
isn’t too hard on your wrist or back as it weighs just two kilos
(about the same most laptops). It’s easy to tilt it to the
ceiling or reach tight corners with minimal strain, which is down to how evenly its 2kg weight is distributed. It’s an incredibly well balanced machine.
Our only other small complaint is the number of scuff marks and
blemishes the motorised cleaning head acquired after just a couple of weeks
of use. It’s not a critical problem, but we expect a little more
hardiness at this price.
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Dyson DC59: Accessories
The Dyson DC59 comes with plenty of accessories to tackle a variety of jobs.
The main one is a motorised cleaning head for normal carpets, but it
uses more power so there’s a standard non-motorised one as well in
addition to the crevice tool and bristled extension for those more
All of these attachments fit either directly to the body, or at the end
of the one-metre rigid extension, which means the Dyson DC59 comfortably
doubles as a handheld vacuum (for car interiors, table tops etc.) and a
standard vacuum for normal housework. It’s an incredibly versatile machine.
But, while we love DC59’s versatility and dexterity, its most practical
feature is the neat wall mounted docking station. The dock, which screws
into the wall, is a brilliant addition that stores and charges the
vacuum, and holds two cleaning attachments. It’s useful so that you
don’t forget to charge the DC59 between cleans – an important point
considering the 20-minute battery life.