Price (RRP): $899
The Dyson DC18 Slim is a new-look upright vacuum cleaner that’s slimmer and more lightweight than any uprights I’ve seen from Dyson. The result of 22 months research and development, the DC18 is sleek looking with a deep grey body highlighted with splashes of red and blue. Its compact design makes it much easier to store than previous models.
The body of the ultra modern Dyson DC18 Slim has red highlights, drawing attention to the machine’s power button, extension wand, foot pedal and the brush bar reset function. These highlights make it easy to locate many of the machine’s functions. It’s less bulky than some uprights I’ve seen and incorporates some clever refinements over previous Dyson uprights such as the DC07, DC14 and DC15. It has also been given the green light by the National Asthma Council (Australia) which makes it ideal for allergy sufferers.
Although it’s been described by Dyson as lightweight, for short people it still requires some effort to carry up a flight of stairs. Still, it’s several kilos lighter than some uprights I’ve seen. The DC18’s ball-type technology makes it easy to move around corners and it effortlessly glides across floorboards and slides under furniture with ease. Steering is a breeze.
Offering a lifetime HEPA filter and a bacteria killing screen (which Dyson calls Bactisafe) that kills bacteria and mould on contact, this model has gained exclusive acceptance by the National Asthma Council (Australia).
The DC18’s telescopic reach feature is particularly handy. If you’re switching from floor vacuuming to cleaning your blinds for example, you simply return the machine to its vertical position, release the telescopic wand and away you go. The wand extends, allowing you to reach up and over large bookshelves.
Or, without having to move the machine, you can stand on a chair and use the telescopic reach to clean cobwebs from your roof. Once that’s done, the hose retracts and clicks back into the body of the vac. The extendable hose is also good for cleaning stairs: you don?t always need to lug the entire machine around.
The DC18’sÃ‚Â direct drive motorised brush bar is said to improve pick-up on carpets by sweeping the dust and fibres trapped in the carpet pile into the constant Dyson airflow, without the need for belts. You can also switch the brush bar on and off by pushing a grey button next to the power button, preventing any potential damage to delicate rugs or hard floors.
The unit’s lifetime filters are reassuring for allergy sufferers and they are easy to insert and remove. There is a clearly labelled ‘filter’ catch on the clear bin which, with a light press, gives you access to the washable filter. It simply lifts up and out, so you can almost totally avoid contact with dirt.
The clear bin makes it easy to monitor when it needs emptying. Opening the clearÃ‚Â bin requires a light thumb press and dirt can be emptied directly into a rubbish bin (pictured).Ã‚Â The lid of the binÃ‚Â clicks back into place with a light press.
Dyson is very confident about the DC18’s durability, saying it repeatedly tests its machines for an equivalent 10 years of use and the machine’s two year warranty seems adequate.
IÃ‚Â put the DC18 through a series of tests including hard floors and thick carpets and we used it in rooms with a combination of both surfaces. It was particularly hassle free to maneouvre on hard floors but on plush carpets it felt quite heavy to move back and forth. It’s not ideal for older people, either: a family member in her late 60s for example found it far too heavy.
Switching from short pile carpets to hard floors was a cinch using the brush control feature next to the power on button. AndÃ‚Â I didn’t need to consult the manual (not even once) to use the various machine functions. The clearly labelled, red ‘action’ buttons (like the foot pedal) meant you didn’t need to second guess anything.Ã‚Â I also liked the refined tool storage attachment because they didn?t easily dislodge like on previous models.
IÃ‚Â also liked the flexible cord storage handle: if the cord ever gets in the way you can loop it comfortably around the rear of the machine so it doesn’t drag along or tangle.
Pet hair was easy to remove from the brush bar too with the sides of the brush bar coming off easily after turning the locking mechanism with a ten cent piece and removing, cleaning and replacing the brushes in less than a minute.
The DC18 Slim is a clever upright which has changed my perception of upright vacuum cleaners. I’d always perceived them to be somewhat clunky and cumbersome. This is a great machine for people wanting the convenience of an upright vacuum cleaner that is compact and easy to store.
Reviewer: Ella Smith