Dyson Gen5 Detect review

Powerful, but pricey – is the Dyson Gen5 Detect vacuum cleaner worth the spend? We find out.

Recommended
Luxury
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Dyson released the Gen5 Detect vacuum cleaner in May 2022. According to Dyson, it is the company’s most powerful cordless vacuum to date, with a claim that it rivals the power of its corded vacuums. 

Without a doubt, Dyson is a household name synonymous with quality vacuum cleaners. British inventor James Dyson founded the company in 1993, after inventing the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner ten years previously. 

With Dyson machines now available in over 65 countries across the world, the company continues to innovate with new products, including a move into haircare with the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer in 2016 – but vacuums are still its bread and butter and the Gen5 Detect is its latest top-of-the-line offering.  

Dyson Gen 5 main shotCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Dyson Gen5detect is their most expensive cordless – but does a lofty price mean a good clean?
Recommended

Dyson Gen5 Detect

Luxury

Pricey, but not perfect. The Gen5 Detect is a thoughtfully designed vacuum with mega suction power. However, its short run time and heavy handling prevent it from being a truly five-star product.  

Design

Ease of use

Performance

Value


Who’s this for?

This is definitely one for the avid Dyson fans out there, who want to add to their collection. Aside from that, it is a great vacuum if you suffer from allergies as it comes with a genuine HEPA filter, which can capture particles as small as 0.1 micron.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Strong suction
  • Nicely thought-out design
  • Quieter than most cordless vacuums we’ve tested
  • Very expensive, especially as it’s not perfect
  • Heavy and quite tiring to use
  • Need to change floor heads

Expect to pay

RRP: £849.99 There are no real deals to be had on this vacuum cleaner, although sometimes Dyson has offers on the website, which might make this machine slightly more affordable.

Dyson Gen5 Detect Review method

How we test

We put the Gen5 Detect through its paces at our purpose-built Saga Exceptional testing centre. We tested its ability to pick up different debris, from wool to ground coffee, and how well it worked on different floor types. 

To measure the vacuum’s battery life, we ran it every day throughout a three-bedroom house, using it across carpets, tiles and laminate flooring, as well as stairs and upholstery. 

We also determined how much vacuuming we could do before the bin needed to be emptied. 

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Dyson Gen5 Detect Design

The Ferrari of vacuum cleaners

The Dyson Gen5 Detect is the Ferrari of vacuum cleaners. It’s sleek, stylish, and oh so powerful. The Prussian blue and rich copper edition is exclusive to the Dyson website, and the copper accents undoubtedly add a touch of luxury.

The modern design and colours make it feel like a high-end product – and at this price, it should. 

When assembling the vacuum, the pieces fit together with a satisfying clunk in a way that screams expensive. Even though it is made of plastic, it definitely doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy. 

Dyson Gen 5 in hand shotCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Gen5 Detect looks lovely but is very top heavy to use, which may not suit everyone

As with many cordless, stick-style vacuum cleaners, the Gen5 Detect is very top heavy. Without the battery, it’s a dream to move around, but once that’s added, it becomes hard work to grip.

When you push it around, though, it does have a smooth feel and, with a 45-degree swivel to left and right in the head, it moves around furniture easily. 

To really store this vacuum in the manner appropriate for such an expensive machine, it needs to be wall mounted. To do this, it comes with a wall dock, which is straightforward to attach to the wall.

Otherwise, it needs to be propped up, or the stick separated from the floor head, to enable easy storage.  

Dyson Gen5 Detect Ease of use

Nice touches that make vacuuming less of a chore

We’re always happy to see a vacuum cleaner that comes with a quick start guide as this is an indication of how easy it is to operate. The only downside to this is that if you need more information, you’ll have to download the app and register your machine, or go online.

While this is fine, sometimes you just want to be able to consult a manual right away. 

Dyson gen5detect manualCredit: Saga Exceptional

It was super easy to get going – we just added the stick to the floor head and the handheld section, and it was ready to go.

Unlike other Dyson cordless vacuums, which require you to hold down a trigger button to operate them, the Gen5 Detect has a LCD display and power button on the top of the bin, near the handle.

This makes it much easier to use, as you can simply press the power button to start and stop the vacuum, without having to hold down the trigger button. 

One push of the button and it goes on in auto mode. This mode automatically adjusts suction power across different floor types to maximise battery life.

A silver button on the display also allows you to move between boost mode (for more intensive spot cleaning) and eco mode, which has been designed for longer cleans. 

Our only complaint about the controls is that when you switch from auto mode, it goes to eco mode first.

We think this is backwards, because most people would want to boost the power to pick up stubborn dirt and debris, rather than go back to eco mode. 

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Close up of the Dyson Gen 5 LCD unitCredit: Saga Exceptional
The LCD display shows suction power, battery battery and the type of debris the vacuum has sucked up

The LCD display on the Dyson Gen5 Detect is one of the most complicated we’ve seen on a vacuum cleaner. It shows the suction power that’s being used, as well as a size breakdown of the particles being sucked up.

We found these details to be somewhat unnecessary, but the timer that counts down the remaining battery charge was a helpful feature.  

It’s obvious that this machine has been thoughtfully designed, with lots of nice touches that make vacuuming less of a chore.

We loved the integrated crevice tool, which is built into the tube of the vacuum, so you can access it with the press of a button. Simply pull down on the tube to reveal the crevice tool, and you’re ready to clean those hard-to-reach spots. No more fumbling with attachments or trying to remember where you put them.  

A close up of the Dyson Gen5detect empty bin and HEPA filtersCredit: Saga Exceptional
The bin and filter can be easily removed for effortless cleaning

The bin on the Dyson Gen5 Detect has some nice design touches, such as a slider that makes it easy to empty the dirt. The bin can also be completely removed from the handheld section, so you can give it a thorough cleaning.

Removing the bin was straightforward, but putting it back on was a bit trickier. After a few tries, we got the hang of it.  

The HEPA filter is easy to clean. Simply unscrew it from the end of the unit and rinse it with warm water. Dyson recommends cleaning the filter every month to ensure maximum performance. 

Dyson Gen5 Detect Performance

One mighty suction machine

The Dyson Gen5 Detect is a powerful and effective vacuum cleaner, but it is also quite heavy. This can make it difficult to manoeuvre, especially for extended periods of time.

While Dyson is not the only manufacturer of top-heavy cordless vacuum cleaners, the price of the Gen5 Detect would lead some consumers to expect a more user-friendly design. 

On carpets, the suction power was a beast. So much so, we struggled at times to push it around. When we tried boost mode, it was almost impossible to use. We found changing the suction, by pushing the slider on the floor head, helped a little.  

Dyson Gen 5 pick-up tests on deep pile carpetCredit: Saga Exceptional
The suction power on carpets is so great it can sometimes top the brush head rotating

When set in auto mode, we found that the power and suction of the vacuum was too great and at times caused the brush to stop rotating. The only way to sort this out was to turn the vacuum off and on again.

Using the eco mode, which has less suction, did help, but it’s something to consider if you mostly have longer pile carpets.  

The results were impressive, though. Using this mode in our test centre, the Gen5 Detect picked up 100% of the measured debris used for the test. 

Even though it comes with super suction, this is one of the quieter vacuum cleaners we’ve tried. We were able to have a conversation with ease and hear the radio at a reasonable volume while vacuuming.  

The Gen5 Detect can be used on all floor types, but the Fluffy Optic cleaner head is the best option for hard floors. The standard floor head can also be used on hard floors, but we didn’t find it as effective.

Switching between the two heads can be a faff, though, so if you are only vacuuming hard floors, it may be easier to stick with the fluffy head. 

Detail shot of the Dyson Gen5detect fluffy optic headCredit: Saga Exceptional
The laser on the fluffy attachment shows up all the dirt and debris on the floor

The fluffy attachment does have an advantage in that it has a green light that illuminates dust and debris, making it easier to see what you’re vacuuming up.

We were, quite frankly, shocked to see how much it highlights. Much more impressive than the usual white ‘headlights’ on many vacuum cleaners, we really felt as if our hard floor areas were sparkling by the time we’d finished vacuuming. 

The Gen5 Detect comes with a variety of attachments that are easy to attach, and all of them worked effectively across different areas. The hair screw tool made light work of our stairs.

While the head did an amazing job at sucking everything up, the heavy handle brought us out in a sweat. If you have any issues with grip, this vacuum cleaner probably isn’t for you.  

We tried the crevice tool with duster on our venetian blinds and it worked a treat. The only issue, again, was the weight. We had to take several breaks as lifting it up to head height was a true workout.  

A photo of Dyson Gen5detect accessories on the floorCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Dyson Gen5 Detect comes with a variety of attachments that make it a versatile vaccuum cleaner

It also comes with a low-handle adapter, which is great for getting under furniture and other low-lying surfaces. However, we found that it was a bit of a hassle to have to attach the adapter every time we wanted to use it.

Shark’s Flexology wands, on the other hand, which allow the user to clean without having to stoop, have a design that bends at the touch of a button as you vacuum. 

The bin capacity is fairly standard at 0.77 l (just over a pint), but it was enough to do a run of a three bedroom-house (minus the stairs).

We love how the bin works. With a simple slider mechanism, it opens and pushes the dirt out, so there’s no need to get your hands in there to clean it out. 

Dyson Gen5 Detect Battery life

Watch your mode if you want a longer run time

While Dyson advertises an impressive 70-minute battery run time, on closer inspection this is only when it’s run in eco mode. Our tests revealed that it’s nearer 30 minutes, which in real-life terms, meant one run of a three-bedroom house.

This included the stairs and some use of the attachment on blinds and upholstery. We kept the mode to auto throughout the run, apart from a couple of boost blasts to pick up stubborn dirt.

Dyson Gen 5 detail unitCredit: Saga Exceptional
The battery fits in easily to the handheld and can be charged separately from the machine

If you need a quick top-up, the battery does charge at an OK rate. However, our tests showed that a full battery recharge takes 3hrs 46mins.

A solution to this is to buy another battery (RRP £120), but they seem to be permanently sold out on the Dyson website, so you may have a long wait on your hands. 

The battery clicks easily into the handle and can be removed by pressing a red lever. You can recharge the battery while it is still on the vacuum, or you can remove it and charge it separately.

This is a great feature because it gives you more flexibility and allows you to store the vacuum wherever you want, even if it is not near a power outlet. 

Dyson Gen5 Detect Value

A weighty price for a weighty machine

The Dyson Gen5 Detect is a powerful vacuum cleaner with impressive suction power. However, were not sure its worth the high price of £850. We would be more likely to recommend this as one of the best cordless vacuums if it were lighter and more affordable.

If youre a die-hard Dyson fan, youll love it, but we will be waiting to see if Dyson improves the design and the cost of the vacuum cleaner before making a purchase. 

Dyson Gen5 Detect Competition

Other luxe cordless vacuum cleaners to consider

If you really want to go all out for a top-of-the-range vacuum cleaner, there are other choices outside of Dyson. Some of these vacuums have even more cleaning options and they may be a better fit for your needs. 

Three Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra Cordless Vacuums lined up against a wallCredit: Samsung
The Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro comes with its own cleaning system

Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner 

This top of the range model from Samsung has definitely got the design factor, in that it’s a vacuum cleaner you won’t mind having on display. Where it beats the Dyson is that it comes with a self-cleaning station and mop function. And all for £200 less than the Gen5 Detect.

What’s more, Samsung has a plethora of offers available now, including money off for trading in your old vacuum cleaner, which makes this a much more purse-friendly, yet still luxury, choice.  

Featured product

Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

RRP: £649.99

Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Read our Samsung Bespoke Jet Pro Extra review
Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro (IZ420UKT) cordless vacuumCredit: Shark
This Shark Stratos cordless vacuum is perfect if you have pets

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro (IZ420UKT) cordless vacuum  

The Stratos range is Shark’s more expensive range of vacuum cleaners, and this one is its priciest, coming in at £549.99. Shark does have deals on throughout the year though, and at the time of writing, this model was selling for £449.99 on the official site.

Like the Gen5 Detect, it has the ability to detect dirt, adjusting the cleaning power as it goes, plus it comes with a variety of tools. It also comes with inbuilt anti-odour technology, which protects against bad odours inside the vacuum – perfect if you have pets.

What’s more, this one comes with two batteries, so you get double the run time without having to fork out for another battery.

Featured product

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro (IZ420UKT) cordless vacuum

RRP: £549.99

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro (IZ420UKT) cordless vacuum

Dyson Gen5 Detect Final verdict

Should be perfect for the price – and it isn’t

While its fair to say our carpets have never been cleaner, it comes at a price and that we feel is the major letdown with the Gen5 Detect.

When youre paying £850 for a vacuum, you expect everything to work perfectly, and it doesnt. The Motorbar cleaner head cutting out was frustrating, while the heavy weight made vacuuming a mammoth feat.

Its a shame, as it comes with so many wellthoughtout design features such as the crevice tool and the amazing show everythinglight tool but it would be nice if it also came at a cheaper price.  

Recommended

Dyson Gen5 Detect

Luxury

Pricey, but not perfect. The Gen5 Detect is a thoughtfully designed vacuum with mega suction power. However, its short run time and heavy handling prevent it from being a truly five-star product.  

Design

This is one gorgeous vacuum cleaner, especially the exclusive colourway we tested. It’s also been thoughtfully designed with lots of nice touches that make it easy to use.

Ease of use

Simple to put together and easy to start vacuuming. Thankfully, the Dyson trigger has been replaced with a regular push-on power button, and the LCD display makes for easy monitoring of battery time and dirt pick-up.

Performance

Say hello to super suction power. In fact, it’s so powerful it can be hard to push at times. Our carpets have never been cleaner.

Value

The main downside to this gorgeous vacuum cleaner is the price. At the best part of £1,000, it’s hard to justify the price when there are still some issues with weight and battery life.


Who’s this for?

This is definitely one for the avid Dyson fans out there, who want to add to their collection. Aside from that, it is a great vacuum if you suffer from allergies as it comes with a genuine HEPA filter, which can capture particles as small as 0.1 micron.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Strong suction
  • Nicely thought-out design
  • Quieter than most cordless vacuums we’ve tested
  • Very expensive, especially as it’s not perfect
  • Heavy and quite tiring to use
  • Need to change floor heads

Expect to pay

RRP: £849.99 There are no real deals to be had on this vacuum cleaner, although sometimes Dyson has offers on the website, which might make this machine slightly more affordable.

Dyson Gen5 Detect Specs

Dimensions 116cm x 25cm x 24cm (45in x 10in x 9in)
Floor types All
Weight 3.45kg (7lb 9oz)
Run time 30 minutes
Charge time 3hrs 46mins
Bin volume 0.77 l (just over one pint)
Noise level at head height 76-77db (carpet), 75-76db (hard floor)
Filtration Washable HEPA filter
Attachments Digital Motorbar cleaner head (main head), Fluffy Optic cleaner head, hair screw tool, built-in dusting and crevice tool, combination tool, battery, charger and wall dock
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Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her

Updated:

Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 24 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars. A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

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