If you go to enough Singaporean households, you’ll stumble upon a red-and-blue stick vacuum hanging nonchalantly on one of the walls, on standby to hoover any offending dust on the floor.
That’s the iconic Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, achieving cult status with its striking design and powerful suction power. However, many alternatives have sprouted up in the market, and a new arrival is claimed to be comparable, or even better than Dyson. That’s Bosch’s Unlimited 7 handheld vacuum.
But is the new kid on the block going to overthrow the reigning Dyson? Curiosity prompted me to put both to the test.
Sorry, #priorities. As a houseproud millennial, I was averse to ugly blocky vacuums that took up space and tormented the eyes. (Looking at you, bright yellow vacuum that rhymes with archer).
Dyson’s iconic red-blue-purple colour palette evokes a cool 90s vibe, and its on-the-wall design was minimalist enough. But the Bosch had an equally sleek body and was in a modern black-and-white palette that goes well with the Scandi/industrial look Singaporeans love so much.
If vacuums were people, Dyson is that cool student in vibrant clothes, while Bosch is that professional looking PMEB in corporate hues.
Verdict: Bosch wins. While iconic, Dyson is still a tad loud for most homes.
I’m gonna be honest – I got my Dyson V8 Slim Fluffy as a free gift while signing up for a credit card. Otherwise, I would be reluctant to get one of my own as the pricetag is nearly $500 for the V8 Fluffy, considered as one of Dyson’s budget, lightweight models.
But if we were to compare the top-of-the-range products, Dyson’s deep cleaning V12 and V15 models command up to $1,119 on the official Dyson store, while the Bosch Unlimited 7 sits at around $1,599 on its e-store.
Image credit: Dyson official store
Sounds hefty, but hey, as a millennial that hates clunky vacuums and who has a dirt-prone kid at home, I’m willing to drop that sort of money to keep my house relatively dust and dirt-free.
Regular promotions also make the splurge on both a little more worth it. While Dyson doesn’t offer significant price drops, it does add on complementary tool kits often. Bosch also has a promotion on Lazada from 25-27 March at $1,319 that comes with the full set of accessories, plus fast charger.
Verdict: Dyson, but you can use promos for Bosch on Lazada, to be fair.
Suction power is the true test of any vacuum, so it had better not suck.
And so, I decided to put both the Bosch and Dyson vacuums to the test on some tricky surfaces, as cleaning my home’s vinyl was far too easy a challenge to throw to these powerhouses.
Test 1: Oatmeal on a fluffy rug
Getting dust or food on a fluffy rug is the stuff of domestic nightmares, as it’s ridiculously tough to clean. So, the “oatmeal test” involved spreading a tablespoon of oatmeal on a set surface area evenly, then testing on two parameters:
- A) How many percent of the oatmeal was vacuumed up in one sweep
- B) How many sweeps each vacuum took to get the surface clean
After one sweep, the Dyson had 20% of oatmeal left, with some bits tangled up in the fluffy carpet hairs. But, boy did Bosch deliver. In one sweep, only 5% of the oatmeal was left, eliciting “oohs” and “aahs” from my bystanding husband. And this was not even on the maximum power mode (Just “Eco”).
Test 2: Oatmeal on fake grass
Same same, but on a different surface – fake grass (from IKEA). You know, in case folks wanted to vacuum their carpeted balcony.
After a single sweep, Dyson and Bosch had 20% and 5% of the oatmeal left respectively, while the former flipped up some oatmeal in the air.
For both surfaces, the Bosch vacuum cleared the oatmeal completely in two sweeps, while the Dyson took about four to five sweeps in multiple directions to get the carpet or grass oat-free.
Verdict: Bosch wins. Although granted, it might not be an apple-to-apple comparison as I was comparing with Dyson’s lightweight model.
Ease of use
A vacuum might be powerful, but if it is clunky to use, it’d be left in a corner to gather dust. So to test the usability of both, we concocted a few agility challenges.
Test 1: Tight corners
A spoon of oatmeal was scattered at a corner of the house. I then ran each vacuum up against the edge of the wall to score how easy it was to clean it up.
While both vacuum had nifty nozzles which sucked in the oatmeal fast, Dyson inched out the competition as its slightly curved nozzle felt smoother to use.
Score: Dyson 1, Bosch 0
Test 2: Between floor types
Another test of usability was how the vacuums handled transitions between different flooring types, which is in a day’s work of cleaning one’s home.
For the Bosch, what added plus points was the easy toggle between suction modes (Eco/Turbo/Auto) and easy nozzle switching with its nozzle spot release function – just step on a lever to remove the nozzle to switch to spot cleaning.
The Unlimited also didn’t require a finger pressing a button constantly like the Dyson (with the exception of some V12 models). However, the Dyson was a little faster when starting up as Bosch had a slight lag time when first switched on.
Score: Dyson 1, Bosch 1
Test 3: Low-lying furniture test
If you’re an elder millennial like me, you’d hate to bend down when vaccuming beneath furniture. And Bosch shone in this aspect, thanks to the LED lights shining on dust and 90-degree bendable hinge (called a Flex Tube) which could reach beneath sofas and low coffee tables without me having to kneel.
As for the Dyson, while mine didn’t, the later models do have laser functions that can shed light on “invisible dust”. Dyson models also require an additional low-reach adaptor to get to low-lying surfaces.
Score: Dyson 1, Bosch 2
In terms of weight, the Bosch Unlimited was at a chunkier 3.5kg, while my Dyson V8 Fluffy was at a lightweight 2.1kg. Even heavyweight Dyson models like the V15 Detect Absolute are still pretty easy to tote around at 2.6kg.
Score: Dyson 2, Bosch 2
Overall verdict: Tie. While Bosch had better transitions while doing a whole house clean (high to low, across different surfaces), Dyson packed a punch by being lighter overall.
To measure noise objectively, I used an app “Noise Level, DB Tracker”.
At maximum power, both emitted around the same noise level of 80 decibels.
However, very subjectively, once the aeroplane take-off noise was out of the way, Bosch’s purr sounded more gentle and easy on the ears while Dyson’s was a little more high-pitched.
I hate emptying vacuum dustbins as it’s gross and there are dust bunnies everywhere. So, whichever vacuum made this unsavoury task easier was gonna get major props. For Bosch, I had to remove the other vacuum parts and twist the bin cap to empty it. For my Dyson, I simply had to lift a lever which empties the trash out downward.
As a value-conscious Singaporean, I love feeling that I’ve got bang for my buck when it comes to purchasing big-ticket items. Enter attachments, which are like the icing on the cake for vacuums. The Bosch Unlimited came with a combination nozzle, a crevice nozzle as well as a roller cleaner, alongside the charger and battery packs.
Now, while my Dyson V8 came with a similar amount of attachments (see above pic), it was not at the same price point as the Unlimited. The model with a similar price in the Dyson camp was the V15 Detect Absolute, but this came with a more generous array of attachments: 5 tools and 2 cleaner heads.
Fair warning: I didn’t try this out. However, according to the specs, the Bosch Unlimited can run up to 60 minutes on a single battery charge, which is comparable to Dyson models.
Image credit: Colby Lopez
But just one little thing…Bosch allows you to swap out its batteries, and has a hefty charger which gets your vacuum fully charged in just an hour. On the other hand, Dyson’s batteries cannot be removed, so that means if it dies mid-clean, you’d have to lug it in to the shop.
Bosch vs Dyson: which is right for you?
The Bosch Unlimited 7 has a long run time, flexible in-built attachments, and suction power that can pretty much conquer any surface.
While Dyson is great for the everyday hair-and-dust attack, the Bosch Unlimited 7 pulls its weight especially for whole house cleans, and gives you that deep clean of industrial vacuums without the clunkiness. That means if you’re willing to invest in a vacuum, the Bosch is indeed a worthy alternative to the Dyson, and will make vacuuming a deeply satisfying task indeed.
So if after reading this, you’re itching to buy either vacuum, here are the links to do some specs comparison of your own:
Bosch on Lazada
For more useful comparisons, check out: