Why Fancy & Expensive Vacuums Didn’t Work For Us – Review of Dyson, iRobot Roomba & Bissell

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With two full jobs and two kids, Mr. FAF and I spent most of our time working.

When we are not working, we have a myriad of household chores to do such as cooking, cleaning, feeding our baby, and doing the dishes.

We want to spend more time with family and relax on the weekends, so we have been trying to automate anything we can.

After Mr. FAF’s parents left for China, we have been using our LG dishwasher (inherited from the previous home owner) to save time on doing the dishes.

We cook a large amount once or twice a week to eat for the rest of the week.

We also get takeout when we get tired of cooking and home-made meals.

As to cleaning, some of my friends and neighbors have suggested hiring a cleaning lady.

They said it costs $100 once every two weeks or every month, and the house will be immaculate.

I take on the cleaning duty at home. I do ask Mr. FAF for help, but I am not always happy with the outcome of his cleaning. I didn’t tell him, but after he cleans, the house just looks like it has barely been swept or mopped at all.

Deep down, I feel like I would be happy to spend 2-3 hours cleaning other people’s house for $100, so I might as well just clean my own house first to save that money.

A friend told me about the $200 iRobot Roomba and insisted I should buy it to save time and energy on the weekends. Mr. FAF also bought a $300 cordless Dyson vacuum to try. We also got a $78 Bissell vacuum cleaner from Amazon.

In this post, I will tell you our experiences of using all three vacuum cleaners, and which one is my most favorite.

1. Dyson

While strolling around Costco, the Dyson vacuum caught MR. FAF’s attention. He was about to purchase it right then and there, but I told him to give it some thought since it was almost half a thousand dollars.

From that moment on, Mr. FAF was enthralled by this expensive and cordless vacuum. He mentioned it up often at home, especially when I was cleaning. He reasoned that the vacuum would make our cleaning job faster and better. He could also use it to vacuum the car, which proves to be difficult with a regular vacuum.

Every time we went to Costco, he would pause to look at the Dyson vacuum for a couple of minutes and imagine what our life would be like with this miraculously powerful product. After a month or so, Mr. FAF finally took action. He bought the vacuum and convinced me that we could totally return it if it didn’t work.

Mr. FAF took it home, mounted it on the wall, charged it, and cleaned the floor passionately. I had never seen him so excited about doing housework. It turns out that his passion lasted for a week or so. The Dyson vacuum ended up sitting all alone in the corner of the house for weeks afterwards. Below are the pros and cons that I saw:


— Easy to carry around the house since it’s cordless

— Lighter than a regular vacuum

— It did pick up dirt.


— It takes 3-4 hours to charge the vacuum, and the battery lasts for 20 minutes or so. I find this inconvenient since if I want to clean the house, I just want to get it done and don’t have to wait. Also, it takes me more than 20 minutes to vacuum the whole house, so waiting for hours in between the job is really a pain.

— The dust container is relatively small, meaning I have to empty it often.

— We had to mount it in the kitchen. It took up space and didn’t look nice a nice decoration for our house. I usually put our regular vacuum in the closet.

After 3-4 weeks, Mr. FAF finally agreed to return it. The problem was that we didn’t have the receipt. It means that if the item was on sale, we would get less of a refund than the original price. Luckily, we got the full refund for the vacuum. I was just so relieved and happy we got our money back.

2. iRobot Roomba

After my friend convinced me that I should give this technological breakthrough a try. I finally decided to enjoy the luxury of automation. How nice would it be if I didn’t have to spend an hour or more cleaning the house every weekend.

I charged the robot and let it do its job while we went out for about two hours. When we came back, the floor was cleaner than before, and the robot was back in its charging dork. So smart!

Mr. FAF, however, wasn’t so impressed. He pointed out all the dirt the robot failed to pick up and said that the dirt bag wasn’t big enough. He insisted I return the robot and get our money back. Our son, for some reason, was so scared of the robot and hid away in the closet while it was running.


— The robot did a decent job.

— It can charge by itself.


— The robot wasn’t able to pick up all the dirt, especially in the nooks and crannies.

— Our son was scared of that robot.

I returned the vacuum to Amazon. Since we have Amazon Prime, we had UPS pickup and didn’t have to drive anyway to return it. That was the end of our iRobot trial. I was a bit sad to see it go.

3. Bissell

Bissell is my go-to vacuum. Mr. FAF bought it on Amazon for $78. We saw a sale at Walmart last year for the same price. This vacuum is not cordless, but it’s so powerful. I can literally see all the dirt being picked up in the dirt bag.

We’ve had it for a year, and it’s still running strong. While I have to maneuver it around the house, it does a pretty good cleaning job, so I don’t have to drag on the task for too long.


— The vacuum is powerful and can do the job well.

— The price is not too steep ($78).


— It’s pretty loud.

— You need to empty the dirt bag often.

— I had to replace the rubber band that runs the wheels once, so it was an added cost of $5.

We have had Bissell for a year, and I think this is my most favorite vacuum of all. It’s the least expensive and can do the job pretty well.


I have to say that if there’s a more powerful version of the iRobot Roomba in the future, I still want to give it a try. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel so free and luxurious. But for now, I am happy with our Bissell vacuum simply because it can clean well.

All of this trial and error just reminds me that expensive and modern products are not necessary better than what we are used to. It doesn’t hurt to try them (if you can return them afterwards), but don’t let the shiny object syndrome take over your wallet.

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9 thoughts on “Why Fancy & Expensive Vacuums Didn’t Work For Us – Review of Dyson, iRobot Roomba & Bissell”

  • I researched vacuums for weeks before settling on my Hoover. I have a dog that sheds a lot, so needed something powerful that would pick up pet hair. Your Bissel was definitely less expensive. I’ll have to look at those next time I’m in the market for a vacuum.

    • I just looked up Hoover, and it looks powerful! I might have to look at Hoover if our Bissel stops working one day 🙂

  • There is a cheaper version of the Roomba called Eufy. I use it specifically to vacuum the bedrooms where I have carpeting. I like that it can get under the bed. I still use the regular vacuum in the living room and dining room. It saves time and the bedroom carpeting is always clean.

    • I just looked up Eufy. It looks nice! Having different kinds of vacuums for different areas of the house sounds like a great strategy!

  • Thank you so much for reviewing the Dyson vacuum! I have also wondered if life would be so much easier/better with one, I appreciate finding out that this is not so. Right now I have no working vacuum. This isn’t as bad as it sounds as we have no carpet and no rugs. I just sweep a lot. We have been through several cheap vacuums, I don’t think they can keep up with the dog hair.

    Regarding cleaning help: I bet your son can do a lot! A 5 year old can sweep, dust things within his reach, sort and fold laundry, unload the dishwasher for things within his reach (like silverware), pick things up and put them away, and clean the toilet just to name a few things. Plus they usually enjoy helping at this age, especially if you make a big deal about it.

    For really deep cleaning, I have a deal with my husband where he takes the kids somewhere for a few hours and I deep clean the house while they are gone. This works out great for us.

    • Aww thank you for your kind comment, Tarynkay! I was also shocked the Dyson didn’t work so well, especially with the limited battery life. I really like your idea about having the kids help out. I just think it’s faster if I do it, but it’s also good for the kids to help with housework. It’d help me too 😀

  • My mom and step dad have two vacuums – a Dyson, and a Miele. One stays upstairs, one downstairs and each swear theirs is the best! That Dyson model is really only good for small spots, definitely not a model for the whole house – and all their stuff is so expensive. The bigger models might be more useful and once maintained right, will last a long time. The Miele is expensive too, but my mom has had it over 10 years!

    Your analysis is spot on, you really don’t need to spend $500 and over on a vacuum, you could buy a Hoover and little robot one and do the whole house most likely!

    • I’m so happy you found the analysis useful! I thought about vacuums a lot and decided to put my thoughts and experience in writing in case it can help others pick the right product.

  • Okay, so weirdly i am obsessed with my carpet sweeper. It’s a Bissell (like my vacuum). It’s like a cross between a broom and vacuum! It’s all manual so you don’t have to go through the hassle of plugging it in but it’s all contained within the device and you empty it when it gets full. It’s great with a toddler and dogs – for the clean ups between vacuums, and less messy than the dustpan and brush.

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