DYSON DC16 ROOT 6
Form Bright-hued and utilitarian—like a Tonka truck.
Feel Heavy and clunky, it won’t run without a finger on the power button.
Function Hefty suction grabs everything in the couch cushions—coins, pebbles, peppercorns. Sadly, its six-minute battery life sucks, too.
The Final Word Very robust, with a handy transparent dustbin, but high in cost and low on longevity.
DIRT DEVIL KURV
$50, Best Buy
Form More curvy vase than vacuum.
Feel At just 2 pounds, the Devil is easy to cart around.
Function It runs for a good 16 minutes; however, a superskinny nozzle results in longer pickups.
The Final Word The hourglass shape is pretty. Still, overall cleaning power could be better.
BLACK & DECKER PHV1800 PIVOT VAC
Form Half anteater, half chain saw.
Feel It’s a straining 5 pounds, but the 10-inch pivoting nozzle makes short work of awkward crevices (and thereby banishes neck cramps).
Function Neither of the two speeds is remarkable, though the charge does last for 20 minutes.
The Final Word While not as powerful as some, it has a long life and folds neatly in half for storage.
HOOVER PLATINUM COLLECTION CORDLESS HAND VAC
$130, Bed Bath & Beyond
Form Sci-fi ray gun meets leaf blower.
Feel A balanced-weight design keeps stress off wrists; a rubber handgrip prevents slippage.
Function Though “cyclonic action” ensures the filter stays clear, the power wanes after 14 minutes of strong suction.
The Final Word A safe standard, the brawny hand vac can inhale big messes, quickly.
DIRT DEVIL ACCUCHARGE
$40, Home Depot
Form Toolbelt-appropriate, with a nifty flip-down crevice gadget and a retractable brush.
Feel The 3.2-pound AccuCharge lies flat against cleaning surfaces, so it barely needs lifting.
Function It’s Energy Star–qualified but still runs for more than 20 minutes. Unfortunately, emptying the removable filter can get messy.
The Final Word Points for being green, and for its lasting charge. Were it easier to empty, we’d be wowed.