Dyson has carved out a pretty unique niche in the higher end of the home appliance industry. The company has a long history of turning plebeian products—air purifiers, hair dryers, vacuums—into exquisite, insanely priced prestige items that somehow always perform better than advertised.
Every year, I wonder if this will be the year Dyson jumps the shark and we all simultaneously realize that it is complete madness to spend up to $700 on one of the company’s vacuums. I thought surely this year’s Omni-glide, the company’s newest stick vacuum, would be it. The basic premise is absurd. The name describes a vacuum that can be pushed in any direction and that is primarily for use on hardwood floors.
But as far as I knew, all vacuums go in all directions. Don’t they? And I already use all of Dyson’s vacuums on hardwood.
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit, because the Omni-glide has quickly become my favorite Dyson appliance. Even compared to Dyson’s previous stick vacs, I had no idea a floor vacuum could be this light, maneuverable, and useful for picking up the utter destruction that can result from serving my kids berry cake for snack. Darn it, Dyson, you’ve done it again.
Currently, I have the Omni-glide plugged in next to the Dyson V15 Detect, which is the latest cordless stick vacuum in Dyson’s popular V-series line. The V-series are already pretty light and small, but the Omni-glide is about half its size. It’s 3.5 feet tall and weighs 4 pounds.
The style in which you operate the Omni-glide is distinctive and clever. Every single other cordless vacuum I’ve tried uses a trigger that you activate with a pointer finger, much like squirting a water gun at your floor.
However, the Omni-glide turns on with a button on the stem. Then you hold the handle like a wand. This design also uses a unique, pivoting head. The neck is a long, flexible, supported spring that can rotate a full 360 degrees. On the bottom of the vacuum, the head has two soft rollers and four tiny casters that also allow the head to swivel around in any direction.
The difference between using an Omni-glide and a regular cordless stick vacuum is like transferring from a rollaboard carry-on suitcase with two wheels to one with four. Instead of awkwardly executing a 10-point turn to maneuver it into the airport bathroom stall with you, you can easily push it to make it slide in ahead of you.
Of course, since the Omni-glide is much smaller than the average stick vacuum, that means both the battery and the dust bin are smaller. It has an incredibly tiny bin capacity of 0.05 gallons; in comparison, the still quite svelte V15 has a bin capacity of 0.2 gallons, which is four times larger. I didn’t find the small bin size to be an issue, since my house is mostly carpeted and I mainly used the Omni-glide to tidy up our kitchen and dining room after meals. This might be something to consider, though, if all of your floors are hardwood.
Battery life is a paltry 20 minutes. I was able to test this inadvertently because we recently moved into a new house and I didn’t realize that one particular wall socket in our new home didn’t work. I only learned the Omni-glide wasn’t charging when it died after using it to pick up after meals for several days in a row.
Since then, I’ve found a working outlet and it charges back to full whenever it’s docked. Surprisingly, since then, I’ve never had to use it for the full 20 minutes. When a vacuum is this easy to maneuver, you don’t waste precious battery time wrestling it into the exact right spot next to the chair, under the table, or in the corner.