Dyson vs. Oreck: the vacuum cleaner showdown

Posted on January 25, 2006 at 12:23 AM

Dyson v. Oreck A few months back, our 5 year old Hoover bagless vacuum had become almost unusable. The amount of suction it was producing was so poor it's attachment hose would barely hold on to the palm of an open hand, not to mention the visible dust the vacuum was exhausting while in use. On the verge of being vacuum-less, this blog's in-laws stepped in to provide us a loaner vacuum until we could get something more permanent. Though the vacuum we received wasn't your average, run-of-the-mill vacuum, we were lucky, it was an Oreck XL which was in great condition.

The Oreck is the 8 pound marvel we've all heard about on TV and radio over the years that has enough suction power to hold a 16 pound bowling ball in the mid air. (I remember my Father made the Oreck salesperson demonstrate this feat before they purchased their Oreck years ago). After just one session of using the Oreck we were definitely impressed, as it was a tremendous improvement upon what we previously used.

But the time had come to cease our vacuum mooching ways and begin the search for a new vacuum. With so many different types and brands to chose from the decision was somewhat daunting. Our goal was to purchase a quality vacuum that would provide good value and stand the test of time (i.e. maintain suction for more than a couple of years). After getting bitten in the ass for buying crappy $150 vacuums, we decided it was time cough up the cash to buy a quality vacuum. Though we were impressed by our loaner Oreck XL we've always had our eye on something else. That something else was a Dyson.

Now, I've seen the commercials that claim how Dyson's never loose suction because of their patented, new-fangled sucking technology (technical description) which supposedly makes a Dyson superior to other vacuums. But being one that isn't easily swayed by marketing hoo-hah, or a quaint British inventor stating how he "just thinks things should work properly", we talked to friends that owned Dysons and read all the Dyson reviews on Amazon.com. Even armed with all that knowledge, we found that our trepidation concerning the price of the Dyson was the one factor holding us back.

"$549 is a lot of money to spend on something you only use a few hours a week" we thought.

To make a long story short, we pulled the trigger and bought the Dyson.

Now that we had it in our possession we were eager to get it home and immediately start using it (a wild and crazy Friday night, let me tell you). We just hoped it "sucked" well enough to justify the expense.

And so the challenge begins....

Upon arriving home we found ourselves in the midst of a great opportunity. In the same house we had the current reigning vacuum champion, the Oreck XL vs. the upstart challenger, the Dyson DC14 "animal". We immediately laid down the gauntlet, I would start vacuuming the house with Oreck XL and the Head of the Culinary Arts Department would follow suit with the Dyson. This would allow us to see if the Dyson was able to pickup anything that the Oreck missed.

I took great care to make sure I did a thorough job of vacuuming with the Oreck, as I wanted to give the Dyson a run for it's money. But after spending $549 on the Dyson we were hoping that we would be able to see some kind of results.

My dear intraweb friends, let me tell you, there was no competition.

We could immediately see that the Dyson was pulling up dirt, dog hair, and debris we couldn't even see in the carpet. It was unbelievable. I mean, I had just thoroughly vacuumed the carpet with what I thought was a top of the line Oreck vacuum, only to watch the Dyson's dirt canister quickly become full. To get a sense of how much it picked up, I submit for your perusal, exhibit "A", a pic of the Dyson's dirt canister after we used it to vacuum the same area we just finished with the Oreck.

A horrifying sight to say the least. We had no idea how much dirt and debris the Oreck was missing.

Weighing the benefits

While the Dyson isn't without it's faults (though none real significant) I thought I would give you a list of Pros/Cons we observed after using the Dyson over the course of the weekend:


  • Awesome sucking power. Dyson's proprietary root cyclone technology claims to never lose suction and picks up objects some vacuums wouldn't touch.
  • Dirt collection bin easily empties from the bottom with the push of a button.
  • Extra long extension cord (approx. 35 feet). Was able to vacuum a large percentage of the house with the Dyson plugged into the same outlet.
  • Lifetime HEPA filter (just rinse, dry and reuse)
  • Telecsoping wand lays hidden within the Dyson's handle then extends to 17 feet, allowing you to easily clean a full flight of stairs, giving the Dyson a total reach of about 52 feet.
  • Comes with 3 standard hose attachments, a low reach floor tool for hard to reach areas under furniture, plus a mini turbine head tool for upholstery.
  • Ergonomic design provides easy handling and a well balanced feel.


  • Price ($549 is a little steep for a vacuum but a tremendous value in this blog's opinion).
  • Vacuum tends to roll when telescoping hose is used while base unit sits on tile or wood flooring (unit stays situated when placed on carpeting).
  • Weight - approx 20 pounds (when compared to the 8 pound Oreck. Not that great of a difference).


By far the Dyson is THE BEST vacuum we have ever used/owned. In the beginning we were timid of the Dyson's cost but found it was easily justified when considering the money we would have spent on other lesser quality vacuums that tend to lose suction over time. Also consider the fact that a vacuum like an Oreck doesn't have a built in extension hose to get those hard to reach places, which would have forced us to use two separate vacuums had we stuck with the Oreck.

I highly recommend this vacuum to anyone looking to replace their dying, suctionless vacuum, especially for those of you that have dogs/cats that shed hair throughout the house or children who are part time geologists and seem to bring home every rock they find on the playground.

Hell, I like this vacuum so much I proudly display it as the gadget of the week. (it was due for an update anyway.)

Ed. note: Any personal experiences (positive or negative) with Dyson vacuums would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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"...a few hours a week..." You use a vacuum a few hours a week? Sounds like someone needs to start living small.

Posted by: kadavy | January 25, 2006 06:18 PM

I LOVE MY DYSON!!!! I've had mine for a little more than 6 months now and if I have even (1) complaint, It is do not use a DYSON on cheap burber carpeting. The DYSON suction is so powerful it will put the loop right out of carpet. I have since purchased STAINMASTER pile carpet and love the DYSON even more.

Posted by: a tipton | January 25, 2006 09:49 PM

I LOVE MY DYSON!!!! I've had mine for a little more than 6 months now and if I have even (1) complaint, It is do not use a DYSON on cheap burber carpeting. The DYSON suction is so powerful it will put the loop right out of carpet. I have since purchased STAINMASTER pile carpet and love the DYSON even more.

Posted by: a tipton | January 25, 2006 09:55 PM

Did the Legal Departmant verify your test results? Ok, the Orek is to vacuums as the '92 Corsicas are to cars.

Posted by: this blog's in-laws | January 27, 2006 08:08 PM

I wouldn't say the Orek is THAT bad. Any moochers out there that can get their hands on one for free, its a great vacuum. I would compare our old hoover bagless to a '92 Corsica... total piece of crap.

Posted by: dana | January 28, 2006 11:05 AM

No, the results of our comparison were not verified by the legal department as most of the testing was carried out after he went to bed.

I would also have to say that comparing the Oreck to a 92 chevy corsica is an unfair comparison. This blog knows first hand the perils of owning/driving a 92 Corsica (a truly regrettable experience). I would have to say that the Oreck is a good vacuum when compared to others, it's just not better than a Dyson.

Posted by: Joe Schmidt | January 28, 2006 12:22 PM

You got me Kadavy, while the JoeSchmidt.com world headquarters isn't as spacious as I would like it to be, vacuuming 2 hours a week might be a bit of a stretch. Probably more like an hour and 17 minutes (give or take). When you factor in a tyrant dog and geologist/paper shredding child you will find that your time spent vacuuming increases exponentially.

And trust me, if we lived any smaller, we'd be living nano.

Posted by: Joe Schmidt | January 28, 2006 07:35 PM

Could you imagine what your ma'mas bagless vacuum would look like? Sorry AP.

Posted by: Michelle | January 31, 2006 08:49 AM

hi all,
I love my oreck.you all know me and new things. old and traditional is good. Did the pilgrims have a vacuum cleaner? I think not.
love, mom/ap

Posted by: mom/ap | February 4, 2006 05:05 PM

Thanks for the great review. I bought an Oreck XL last year and love its ease of use (I can carry it up the stairs along with a basket of laundry) and it is easy to maneuver. But...my family is *voilently* allergic to dust and I can't help but wonder if the Dyson could improve our situation. I am very intrigued and just might have to trial one and reperform your "test" in my house. I will be auctioning off my Oreck if I find the same results!!!

Thanks again for your detailed review.

Posted by: ihatedust | March 10, 2006 08:57 AM

That oreck you have is an older one, the newer ones have a little more power. Do this test, run up and down the stairs with each vacumum. Then accidentally drop them down the stairs. The Oreck will be just fine. I know, my wifes a housecleaner. The Dyson will not hold up over time and is way too heavy (22lbs!!!) Oreck 8lbs. Simple convient design.

Posted by: dave | March 21, 2006 07:13 PM

We are in the same hunt for a vacuum. Currently have an old Hoover which emits a foul odor after use (not kidding), but have been looking at Oreck and Dyson (as you did) with the same concerns. Curious how often you have to empty the canister (does it fill quickly)? Does the dust/dirt fly all over the place when emptying? Does the Dyson actually emit cleaner air (as I think the website states)? Does it work well on uncarpeted floors?

Posted by: R&A | May 6, 2006 07:41 AM

Try this same test with the Oreck with a clean bag following the Dyson. You will get exactly the opposite results. For that matter, follow pretty much any vacuum with pretty much any other; the second will always pick up dirt that the other missed. This test is just not complete without trying it the other way around.

Posted by: Brian | May 28, 2006 03:04 PM

I had the opposite happen with my Oreck. After vacuuming with a Dyson, I vacuumed with the Oreck and opened the bag. There was a tremendous amount of dirt in the bag. Did you try this test?

Posted by: Sucker | June 1, 2006 09:46 AM

I'm currently in the market for a new vacuum. My old Dirt Devel is spewing out more dust than it's sucking in. I looked at the Oreck XL and at the Dyson. My ultimate dream has always been to own a Dyson, but that was before I realized how agonizingly HEAVY it is!!! Oreck is only 8 lbs. I almost don't care if it doesn't pick up as much dirt as the Dyson. I'm tired of lugging 20+ lb. vacuum cleaners up and down all of my steps!!! And, call me clumsy, but I occasionally drop my Dirt Devil onto my foot. OUCH! Oreck is looking better and better...

Posted by: Julie | July 30, 2006 07:11 PM

I can't help but realize they never posted the results of the reverse test. Has anyone vacuumed with an oreck (or any vacuum) after the Dyson. If the Dyson really is that good, I would like to get it before my baby starts crawling. I vacuum about 1 hr a day, all week long trying to make sure everything is out of the carpet. Especially with a dog, we need the best vacuum out there - just wish I knew which one was the best.

Posted by: Need to know (nosey) | September 25, 2006 10:48 PM

I just bought an Oreck over the weekend because my girlfriend kept complaining about the dog hair. I thought about the Dyson because my sister and friend have one which they love compared to their old machines. I love the fact that the Oreck lays flat and can go underneath my bed, pool table, works great on my tile and wood floors on low speed and great on the carpet upstairs on high speed. The canister hose I use for the stairs, hard to reach places and picking up bowling balls... lol. It has a convenient shoulder strap. The Oreck has a 10 year warranty. I am told that I need to take it in for a tune up at least once a year. I am a single male and for me to like a vacuum cleaner enough to post a blog here should tell you something. I know my sister and friend like their Dyson's but hell, I love how light the Oreck is. At 3800 square feet of vacuuming, the weight difference is the biggest factor compared to my old heavy Eureka. I am sure single moms would easily appreciate the light weight of the Oreck. I still bench press over 220 pounds so I aint no sissy boy and it makes a difference to me. I hate cleaning but the Oreck actually makes it nice because your arm isnt tired after you are done. I am sure the Oreck, Dyson and Kirby all do about the same. It just comes down to what's important. Again for me it was the light weight nature of the Oreck that has me sold.

Posted by: Mario | November 2, 2006 09:40 AM

Three years ago I bought an Oreck XL21. I have two Golden Retrievers each of which sheds the equivalent of a small dog everyday. I found the Oreck to do a fine job for several weeks or so but then it would start to howl. Back to the shop it went. One week, no vacuum. When I got it back it worked as new. This happened several times and each time I found myself without a vacuum for a week or more. After several repeats of the exercise I decided that I would try to fix the problem myself. It turns out that the blower rotor in the Oreck is very easily fouled with long dog hair. It got to the point that I was taking the machine apart at least twice a month to clean the dog hair out of the rotor. Yes it only weighs 8lbs and is easy to move around the house, but if I have to take it apart several times a month to make it work the light weight becomes a secondary issue.
I then did what every good consumer does, went to Goggle and typed in "vacuums for dogs" and the first thing (dozen things) that popped up was DYSON. Did some more research and now I am VERY HAPPY owner of a DC14 Animal.
Did that same test as described in this blog... Clean bag in the Oreck, twice over the carpet and then try the DYSON. WOW, what a difference.
What I picked up vacuuming the whole house could have easily filled two Oreck bags.
Ohh yea, the Dyson does not stink. The bags in the Oreck stopped all of the dust, but little of the odor. Packed dust and dog hair just does not smell that good. No such problem with the easy empty cannister on the DYSON. I'm sold on the DYSON

Posted by: Dennis Smith | November 11, 2006 08:15 PM

I bought the Dyson DC-14 recently and found it rather cumbersome to manuever. Its just plain heavy in comparison to the Oreck I had been used to. As you may expect, the Dyson is on Amazon for sale. I like the separate small compact vacuum that comes with the Oreck rather than dragging along onboard tools on an already heavy Dyson. Plus the Oreck has enough suction power to suit me.

Posted by: Buck Green | December 23, 2006 02:41 PM

What everyone has failed to mention about the Dyson is that it is registered as a medical device. The air that is expelled from the vacuum is that clean. Can Oreck do that?
Needless to say we love our Dyson and as an Asmatic I am thrilled with its performance. Next to a Kirby the Dyson is a lightweight!

Posted by: L Richard Heward | January 6, 2007 04:44 PM

being an oreck vacuum salesmen of course im going to pick the oreck over the dyson any day. if you want to do a real test take the oreck challenge vacuum with the dyson first and then sure the oreck over that and then check the bag i can garentee there will be dirt inside the oreck bag. also sure the oreck XL21 it has the power of a catigory 2 hurrican. dont use an oreck from the 80's. the xl21 has a 21 year warrenty what does the dyson have? not 21 years. i have so many customers that buy the dyson. they throw it away after 6 months. why do you ask ill tell you. the part that holds the handle up will break in 6 months. if anything goes wrong with the dyson you will wait almost a month for parts because its all made in england parts have to be shipped over here and it will cost you. oreck is all USA New Orleans. the oreck weights 8 Lbs. why would you want to push a 20Lbs thing about when you can push a better 8 Lbs? if you have any questions about the oreck feel free to email me naitsob43@hotmail.com
thank you

Posted by: Adam | January 17, 2007 02:39 PM

I bought the Dyson animal to replace my aging Oreck. I have a large German Shepherd/excessive shedder. I began my daily vacuum only to find that the exhaust from the Dyson was going to make this daily ritual a problem. The exhaust from the motor is at the bottom and is very strong which sends the hair flying. I called Dyson and the people I spoke with were less then helpful. I ended up bringing the vacuum back and buying a new Oreck to replace my 15-year-old unit. For such an expensive vacuum and one that is specific for animals you would think they would do their engineering homework and know that the exhaust needs to be diffused to blow upward. My new Oreck is doing a great job and is easy to handle, made with quality products, not cheap plastic like the Dyson. For my money the Oreck has it all over the Dyson.

Posted by: Tom | February 15, 2007 07:51 AM

I have a degree in marketing and I run a vacuum store. I love the Dyson because it makes me all kinds of money. Ya know how he says in his commercial that it "never loses suction and never clogs"? Well in 12 months I have unclogged at least 100 dysons. Most with just hair and carpet. And hepa filtration? Yea until it starts leaking around the seals and the hose. I just carry cheap $50-$200 vacuums and these are much better than the Dyson. But in my closet is an Oreck XL21 that I got from my competitor across town. For my money its all ORECK.

Posted by: David C | March 9, 2007 10:51 PM

I would have to side with the ORECK!! I am a Service Tech and I work on both ORECK and Dyson. I do believe the Dyson is a great Vacuum but filters alone can get expensive. and I promise you BRAND NEW ORECK will do just as good as your BRAND NEW Dyson did...

Posted by: Kammie Anne | March 12, 2007 03:33 PM

I totally agree. Our Dyson Animal completely blows the Oreck XL out of the water.

Our local vacuum repair guy said that Oreck's were designed for hotels and they all have short pile carpet. they vacuum is design to get the top of the carpet clean but not really get down deep.

Posted by: Randy Rhodes | April 11, 2007 06:13 PM

About 8 years ago, my grandmother bought an Oreck XL Signature Series from QVC. I used it, and I loved it, so I went to the local Oreck store and bought an Oreck XL, but its not the same model as my grandmothers. Today, my grandmothers is still going strong, but my Oreck is having problems. Now, I have two golden retrievers and they shed like crazy, so therefore, i have to vacuum everyday. Before long, the brush began to wear down, and the belt would wear too. Soon, my five year tune ups ran out, and after the 5th year, my oreck began to act up. The belt and brush went again. Suction was horrible, even after a fresh bag was put in and all tubes were checked for blockages. The sixth year, I had to pay $65 to have it serviced. From then on, I just began to buy the belts and brushes and install them myself. Still, the suction was mediocre still. Oreck says that its vacuums are used in hotels all over the world...the hotels don't use residential ones that they sell in the stores: the use the commercial version. Thats how they hold up so well in hotels. With that all said, I am looking to buy a new vacuum. I was debating, is it worth it to just buy cheap, $100 vacuums, have great suction and performance for a little while, and then throw it away and buy another, or should I buy the $500 Dyson, or should I retake the "Oreck Challenge" and buy the Oreck Commercial XL or the new Oreck XL21. What do you think?

Posted by: jmjo | April 12, 2007 12:53 PM

About 8 years ago, my grandmother bought an Oreck XL Signature Series from QVC. I used it, and I loved it, so I went to the local Oreck store and bought an Oreck XL, but its not the same model as my grandmothers. Today, my grandmothers is still going strong, but my Oreck is having problems. Now, I have two golden retrievers and they shed like crazy, so therefore, i have to vacuum everyday. Before long, the brush began to wear down, and the belt would wear too. Soon, my five year tune ups ran out, and after the 5th year, my oreck began to act up. The belt and brush went again. Suction was horrible, even after a fresh bag was put in and all tubes were checked for blockages. The sixth year, I had to pay $65 to have it serviced. From then on, I just began to buy the belts and brushes and install them myself. Still, the suction was mediocre still. Oreck says that its vacuums are used in hotels all over the world...the hotels don't use residential ones that they sell in the stores: the use the commercial version. Thats how they hold up so well in hotels. With that all said, I am looking to buy a new vacuum. I was debating, is it worth it to just buy cheap, $100 vacuums, have great suction and performance for a little while, and then throw it away and buy another, or should I buy the $500 Dyson, or should I retake the "Oreck Challenge" and buy the Oreck Commercial XL or the new Oreck XL21. What do you think?

Posted by: jmjo | April 12, 2007 12:54 PM

Man, how many of those posts are from Oreck marketing or Dyson marketing? I don't trust any of them. I bet they are roughly the same, just different in weight and bag requirements. I think I will buy a refurb Oreck, and x my fingers that it lasts long enough to pay for itself. I hate it that I bought a piece of crepe Eureka. Kept getting clogged and eventually burned its belt in two. You get what you pay for.

Posted by: laurie | April 22, 2007 01:22 AM

Okay, got the ORECK XL as a gift, looked online and realized she had spent $250, ripped open the box enthusiastically and gave it a go. Seriously I was about 6 minutes into my vacuuming frenzy when some horrid burning plastic/rubber smell started filling the room. Immediately I shut it off and flipped it over to check out the brush roller. There was nothing visibly wrong and my dad took it apart...nothing. When we tried to turn it back on the brush wouldn't even revolve. He's an electronics/mechanical professional (30 years +)....it was broken. I emptied the bag....nothing. Unfortunately my dad threw it away before I had a chance to check out the warranty. I realize it is a good vacuum but who can ignore a personal experience like that? I bet dyson is better than that lemon!

Posted by: liz | April 22, 2007 05:12 PM

Have used a dyson since first trying one a few years ago. Easily beats every other cleaner I have had, by far.You get used to emptying the container on a regular basis, it shows it's doing it's job. I also happen to live 5 miles from Mr. Dyson in Gloucestershire so he's almost a neighbour. We gotta stick together!!

Posted by: dave parke | May 2, 2007 09:02 AM

Obviously, you did not do you research very well...
You are using a Oreck that I bet hasn't had a tune up in years (all vacs need one annually) and the Dyson was new so there is an imediate edge. The Oreck also was just a 2 ply bagged vac not hepa rated, not even Hypo-Allergic.
That Dyson is still throwing dirt out in the air..and you have to ship it to NJ to get even a belt replaced.

My friend try a Oreck XL-21 against a Dyson..you were comparing a Ford Focus to a Ford Mustang....with an XL-21 vs. a Dyson...thats a Mustang vs. Mustang challenge.

Posted by: Tim | May 6, 2007 07:07 PM

person who wrote Need to know (nosey) You'r an idiot Dyson has way better suction than orick and Kirby. If you vacume a room with a orick vacume and right after that vacume it with a Dyson the Dyson would still be more full than the orick, apparently you dident read more than a scentence of the caption at the top. F.Y.I Im only 11 and I think im smarter than you!

Posted by: Brett | May 17, 2007 09:49 PM

hello all
I usually don't ever write on these things, but this topic is of particular interest of mine. I work at Oreck. All I have to say is obviously everyone's vacuum preferance is different. Dyson, Kirby, and Oreck all are great vacuums. It's just about your needs and preferances. Tuneups are important to help your Oreck stay up to par, thats why Oreck includes free tuneups with most of the vacuums they offer. And I have heard many mixed reviews about the Dyson. All I ask is that you try them both, figure it out for yourself. Certainly not because you read on a blog somewhere that Oreck/Dyson's better.

Posted by: vk | June 9, 2007 04:33 PM

Excuse me, Mr. 11 year old, If I were you, I would not be calling someone an idiot, when you are unable to spell correctly. And by no means are you smarter than the gentleman who you verbally attacked. Just some advice.

Posted by: jmjo | June 16, 2007 10:20 PM

Testing HTML tags
I have an Oreck XL2. The best of what I have read here about the Oreck is true of my experience with it.

But I have one complaint. The cannister vacume does not measure up to the upright standard. The exhaust blows dirt backward (on smooth surfaces) if you leave it on the floor. The bag is small and fills up quickly and limits suction.

To be fair... I have not taken the machine into the shop. (I was looking for an address when I stumbled upon this blog.) We used a Kirby for many years and I appreciate the Oreck.

Posted by: Sid Wyckoff | June 20, 2007 06:23 PM

Wow! After reading all the un-necessary posts, I only have a few things to say! I as well am a Salesman for Oreck Home Care. Oreck vs. Dyson? I can only laugh. Arguing doesnt do any justice for either vacuum. Both are great, and each have advantages over the other! American made over a foreign product. We all have our own preferrences. I myself, own a 4090p, to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I trully haven't changed the bag in almost 9mo. I use an odor fighting bag that helps increase the suction by up to 90%, 7 times more efficient than the standard bag. I even vacuum 4x's a week. I have no dogs and no pets. My house is very clean. Oreck Challenge or not, we all do our research online before we go to by anything. You cant make a concious decision based on what a blog says or what people say. You have to try it out so that you can make your own decision. Closely relatable to buying a vehicle. Vehicles, however, you dont get to try. Anyways, if you know what you want, then get it. If not, then go to a store and get a proper demonstration. Just know, that Oreck is, to my knowledge, the only company other than Electrolux that has service centers. Oreck I believe is the only one that services their vacuums in-house. Good luck, and if you have any questions, then email me @ ohc166@oreckretailstores.com

Posted by: Aaron | September 18, 2007 12:49 PM

We are looking for a new vac as well and are looking at both the Oreck and Dyson.

How old was the Oreck in your test between the Oreck and Dyson. YOU should try a new Oreck because you had a new Dyson.

Posted by: lekathbenner | September 30, 2007 10:48 AM

YES, I work for ORECK. Just wanted to say that our company is starting a new ad campaign very soon, watch for it. Very enlightening...

You must try whatever vacuum you are considering in your home to make the decision. What works for you and your family differs from anyone else. And yeah, the fact that another vacuum picks up dirt after the first one went over the area is meaningless. Follow the Dyson with a Dirt Devil and you will get stuff... every time.

The top 3 reasons we love our vacs:

They are NOT bagless. Bagless convenience ends with not having to buy bags, period. There are filters (up to 5 on some models I've seen) that either need to be maintained or replaced on a regular basis, not to mention cleaning that dirt cup. Plus, bagless vacs have to be emptied often, sometimes more than once in a vacuuming session (around 1qt capacity in most models) And unless you want to go outside to do this you may have to clean up after your vacuum from the dust that spews out from dumping it into your garbage. Bags should be changed regularly as well... mold, mildew and odor causing bacteria can grow in a bag that is left until someone thinks it's full (we've seen people go a year on our 7qt bag, still should be changed quarterly at least!)... but not much is easier than the auto-closing bags on our vacs.

They are 9lbs!!! (8 without the cord, we had to change it for legal reasons, dang lawyers) Do everything you walk on with the upright, even stair tread. They edge well and are convenient to get under low furniture and between dining room chair legs. Use the 5lb canister for everything else, which in my house isn't every time I vacuum for sure! I'd rather have 2 lightweight, powerful machines than trying to lug one heavy one around every time.

Service, warranty, & longevity blow the others out of the water! People love their ORECKS, but the love can go on for years because of our quality and service. The Dyson lists a 2-5 year warranty, and tells you it should be serviced regularly. Where? How much will that cost? After you use their telephone troubleshooting support, In my area there are 2 places to go that are authorized to inspect and clean the machines at YOUR COST, but they can not do repairs... for that your vac to make the trip to a regional service center somewhere in the US for 2-4 weeks. And yes, parts come from Europe if they don't have what you need there. Our comparable model in price has 10 years of warranty and 10 years of free anual service. This vac will be cleaned and maintained, with non-consumable parts coverage for 10 years (belts, bags, bulbs, brushes are consumables). Your Dyson will almost certainly be a distant memory in 10 years, just like anything else you purchase at Target/Best Buy/Walmart/Sears. Oh, and if you've ever had to throw a vac away because they didn't make your part anymore... That doesn't happen at ORECK. 1 belt style for 43 years of operation, and all parts are retrofit-able to the older units.

SO... if you want a lightweight vacuum that lasts a long time and is easy to maintain either by yourself or with the help of our 450 service centers, ORECK is worth giving a try.

Kim, ORECK Store Manager, ORECK XL21B & 4090G owner.

P.S. Dyson is not sold in Germany as it violates their Clean Air Act, hmmm. And they say it never clogs, but as the other vac person said they DO... they just call clogs "blockages" so they can say that, LOL!!!

Posted by: KimBob249 | October 17, 2007 06:18 PM

Got the Dyson Slim and find the vacuum to be very powerful and light. Probably not as light as the Oreck thou. Haven't used a Oreck before, so can only tell you the perks of the Dyson Slim.

As mentioned before, it is very powerful. Love how they made the detachable hose as part of the handle, very convenient. The rotatory brush can be removed, cleaned, and re-attached again. Which is super convenient when you pick up long hairs, since they tend to wrap around the brush and stop it from functioning. And last, it just looks great.

Wish I can try the Oreck too so I can tell you hands down that the dyson is better, but I can't since I have never tried an Oreck. But it beats everything else I have tried out there.

Posted by: Tim | October 21, 2007 05:59 AM

The only problem with what you did was that you used an Oreck vac that was about 12 years old. Let us all know just how well your Dyson is still sucking in that amount of time. It is a credit to Oreck that their machine was still working well even with a brush roller that was more than likely worn out and probably in need of a new belt.
I just purchased a new Oreck Ultra2 at the same price point and there is no comparison.
I hope you enjoy emptying the dust cup outside in the winter because if you open that baby up inside, well lets just say that you will be using your dyson again right away to clean up the cloud of dust that just escaped from your garbage can.
One last thing. I had a friend that had a Dyson and the belt broke on it after One year. They took it to a local vac shop to get it fixed because they did not want to ship it away to Dyson for six weeks for them to fix it. The Dyson has a two stage belt and transmission that all has to be replaced if the brush roller belt breaks.
$200!!!!!!!! Now that's long term investment value!

Posted by: Paul | November 7, 2007 05:12 PM

I'm looking between an Oreck and a Dyson right now for my personal use. I haven't used an Oreck much before. My mother has a new XL which I'd like to test out. My college fraternity has had a Dyson (which model I'm unsure of) for the last five years. It has worked awesomely! The only problem is here in Colorado the air's very dry so the seals started drying out. I used a rubber rejuvenating liquid on the seals I found to be dry and the vacuum has worked flawlessly since. Our chapter is relatively small, and we did all of our own cleaning, so it was 18-23 guys a semester in a 10,000 or so sq. ft. house. We had a vacuum chore twice a week, as well as before and after any social event.

Posted by: Mr. C | November 13, 2007 02:12 AM

I've had my Oreck XL for about 2 years and, although I appreciate it's lightweightedness, it has never performed to my satisfaction.

Even though I replace the bag regularly and go for tune-ups, it does not pick up everything, especially pet hair.
I also have an Oreck Rinse-O-Matic that doesn't work very well at suction only because it gets clogged with the pet hair that the XL won't pick up. And I'm talking about A BUNCH of hair!

I'm thinking more and more about purchasing a Dyson but am still unsure.
I feel like a girl looking for Prince Charming even though I know that Mr. Perfect does not exist.
I wish Dyson had a better warranty and local repair shops like Oreck does; it would make my choice much easier.

Posted by: pantherhlc | November 30, 2007 03:35 PM

Holy Hairball!!! Dyson totally rules!!! I've had 2 Hoover Canisters, 2 Red Devil Uprights (heavy clunkin' crap for sure),1 Phantom Thunder Canister (total crap that worked well for about 10 days then totally self-destructed), 2 Orecks...and my Dyson. My Orecks (yes they are light weight) kept burning out belts during EVERY use and new brush roller every month...Oreck just could NOT tolerate my daily long hairdroppings, the many, many ChowChow tufts and long kitty hair without burning up a belt and stinking up the house. I returned the dang thing to Oreck 3 years ago and asked that they replace it for use in my fitness clinic....NEVER got a replacement or heard a peep from them.
I dropped the entire moneybelt on "General Dyson" 3 years ago. I have been a "happy vac chick" ever since! My dog requires that we vac EVERYDAY. The thing grabs hair like crazy, hubbys many, many crumbs (he has Parkinson's)shreaded paper,hunks of anything you have laying around on your carpet or hard surface flooring. It is NOT a lightweight for sure...but it is well balanced and if you work within proper body dynamics, you get a good workout and a clean floor at the same time! (im a Certified Physical Trainer).... we even vac our dear dog with the upholstery brush (she loves it)...then throw the brush into the washer with the dog towels. It's WELL worth the $$ and you will not believe the crap that it pulls out of your so called "clean carpet".... if you do NOT have a Dyson, think twice about walking around on your carpet barefooted!!! ICCCK!!!

Posted by: Coach Deb | December 5, 2007 03:35 PM

I have bought a Dyson Animal about three years ago. It worked exceptionally well for a few months. Then, like every other vacuum I have ever owned, it began to lose suction. After it worsened beyond acceptability, I sent it back to Dyson for repair. It came back a few MONTHS later working spectacularly well again! ...for a few months. I was very disappointed and would not recommend this vacuum. I have not owned an Oreck but I think the same thing would happen. I have decided now that it might be best to buy a cheap vacuum every year and that way I will have one that works great all the time.

Posted by: C Blattman | December 13, 2007 09:45 PM

Check this Youtube review out, seems to be only one winner.


Posted by: muddy | December 18, 2007 06:16 AM

Hello - I've had the Dyson DC14 Animal for a few years...it has worked fine. I have never liked the fact that, when on carpet, the brush does not leave those nice lines. The fact is although it pull stuff out, it nevers gets everything. You have to use the tools because the top of the dyson is too large to fit under anything, kitchen cabinets, the sofa, small tables, etc. Additionally, on my hardwood floors (we have a dog) hair would blow away from you as you vacuum. Just got the XL21, amazing on carpet, pulls things from along baseboards (unlike Dyson - need to use tools). It's leaves lines on carpet and it actually looks like you vacuumed - Dyson does not. It weighs less, my wife and kids now don't mind using on stairs and it's easy to move between the upstairs/downstairs. I thought I would miss the onboard tools since Oreck provides a separate portable, however with the XL21 you don't really need the tools except for ceilings, etc and since the portable is light and small, you can hang the handy should strap on and walk through the house. Overall, I recommend the Oreck XL21 vs. the Dyson.

Posted by: G | February 4, 2008 01:45 PM

dysons are much better and cost less

Posted by: bill | February 9, 2008 09:10 PM

Ok people I'm going to share with you something that ought to be a matter of simple, obvious, observation.

(definition of the word - Fact) "A concept whose truth can be proved".

Those of us who've been around long enough to know that if you put a manual transmission vehicle in 3rd gear and drop the clutch the result is a stall (buzz off those of you who've done this in a 340 "6-pack" or something similar. If you even know what that is you REALLY need to read to completion of my commentary, cause you've got some cojones and deserve to read some "truth." If you don't or can't figure the analogy out - fageddaboudit - you've not been on the planet long enough to debate this minor (or is it?) question.

The Dyson is OLD NEWS. Amway came out with a bagless vacuum that had electrostatic primary filtration years before Dyson's "hurricaine - blah, blah, blah." Oreck, Kirby ... those guys have been in the business of selling us machines that have nothing but smaller and smaller holes for years.


I have sold, door to door both the Kirby (at the time it was called the "Heritage" model and a bit of time trying to use similar sales philosophies to eek out a living selling the Amway CMS-1000. I was never very good at making Hay (earning a living) at door to door sales though I know of several people who still do so to great advantage. I won't go into the why's or wherefor's of this particular failing of mine. Suffice it to say that it takes a certain personality to NOT take 23 no's in a row without also taking it personally.

The reason I make this post is that I have done the research personally and professionally and absolutely defy anyone to stack their Dyson or Kirby or whatever against a Thermax AF.

I've PERSONALLY removed the bag (now you have to think about this a bit before jumping into a refutation of my description of this and it's implications, then you need to do it yourself after which we can talk. The Dyson....?? All I can say with regard to it is, wear a respirator designed for micron sized particulate matter before you empty the thing ... let alone use it for a period of time... and you MIGHT be safe. Keep in mind that for every 10 degrees centigrade increase in temperature chemical reactions DOUBLE.

I have, use and will continue to use a Thermax Af Vacuum Cleaner and Hot water Extraction Home Cleaning System. If that sounds like an Ad don't blame me It's the proper way to name the machine.
The maker of the Thermax AF INVENTED Hot Water Extraction .... what most of you know of as "Steam Cleaning". Before I go further give this little tidbit a thought, hot water extraction is what your washing machine does to your t-shirts or anything else you put in it on the warm/cold cycle ore even hot/cold cycle.
Carl Parise, in his critical observation of certain laws of physics saw that it was not necessary to "Steam Clean" most clothing to make it clean and ready to wear. In fact were you to STEAM CLEAN your favorite T-shirt very many times it would likely fall to pieces. Remember for every 10 degree increase in temperature.... and so on.
All that is necessary to clean the fibre of your clothing is, water, and detergent (soap). That in mind Carl Parise developed the FIRST patent on "hot water extraction". His original patent has long since lapsed into the public domain making machines like the monster you can rent at your local Safeway, you know, the rug doctor and other derivatives possible.

The thing is you can have the original these days for less than $800.00 used on ebay if you're careful and you'll get the ONLY machine that both vacuums AND properly does Hot Water Extraction.

Here's where I Blow the GARBAGE ABOUT OREK OR DYSON out OF THE WATER (no pun intended). A Properly Maintaned Thermax, I've had my Green one for better than 8 years, will last as long as you are willing to properly maintain it. The motor ALWAYS freewheels because you read the manual and empty the water basin when it begins to build an island of dirt (mud) in the bottom of the basin. The air pulled through the hose, whether you are using the powerhead (don't be a moron and try to suck up water with it - it's electrified dumbass - if you are going to use the Thermax in Hot Water Extraction Mode - USE THE ATTACHMENTS MEANT FOR THAT PURPOSE.

The Thermax (LONG BEFORE DYSON MADE THIS CLAIM) NEVER LOOSES SUCTION. If you follow directions you understand that it isn't suction that cleans your carpet anyway - it's AIRFLOW. If you do not understand the difference stop reading this and pick up a text on air movement. Understanding how an automobile uses it's air cleaner is a really good place to start.

I will give the Dyson ONE comparison - the only one that really matters too. When you empty it (or the orek - or any other bag or cannister vacuum for that matter), is there airborne dust? If there's so much as one particle floating in the air .... put the machine in the place it belongs, regardless of what you paid for it - it's not working!

Now empty the Thermax, yup, ya might have to swirl the water around a bit to lift the sediment off the bottom if you want. You don't need to have it all out of there if you're still going to vacuum, I like to but that's just me. As long as water can be moved through the downtube and there's unobstructed flow through the water to the exhaust tube, fill the basin to the line with fresh cold water and continue vacuuming. When you're done with the vacuuming, also known as deep cleaning for those who understand what Carl Parise was intending when he made the FIRST patent on Hot Water Extraction, you can move on to actually performing the task of Hot Water Extraction. You don't need steam, in fact with most carpet if you use something that makes water into steam - over 212 degrees Fahrenheit you will probably void your carpet's warrantee and also render it useless as a floor covering not to mention what it may do to the subfloor....

I want you to think about all this because it all makes a great deal of sense. Carl Parise was an man who was ahead of his time in many ways. This is only one of them and if you take the time to research the preceeding description, compare it to what is comercially available on the market for cleaning carpet let alone the rest of your house you may find that, as I did, the answer to owning a house with indoor carpet is ONLY cleanable (unless you're rich and can afford to do this once a month or so) with the Thermax AF.
There is simply no real comparison. I defy you to provide me with one!!

Posted by: Wayne | February 10, 2008 05:08 AM

Something to try. Once your carpet is dirty again, vacuum with the Dyson first. Then put a fresh bag in and vacuum with the Oreck. Find anything in the bag?

Posted by: Greg | March 16, 2008 10:15 PM

Gawd, I hate LIARS.... especially sales/service people who LIE...

The typical Oreck vacuum has a THREE to FIVE year warranty.... with a 10 year housing warranty n certain models...


All upright Dysons are FIVE years on EVERYTHING...

Posted by: Bobby D | March 22, 2008 11:13 PM

Thermax AF..

Funny as to WHY they dont quote the price on their web site. You have to CALL them. Here is a used one going for $750.. Customer just got tired messing with the water thing.. Maybe thats why they dont post the price. They are WAY expensive!!


Posted by: Bobby D | March 22, 2008 11:25 PM

My brother and sisterin law who live with me were given an Oreck XL as a wedding present as they had been regailing their friends with the tale of Filter Queen that I had bought 18 months earlier that did not not work even on hardwood floors and the Fantom Fury I bought 12 months later although it worked better ceased working altogether 12 months later. Calls to Fantom that is located only about 100 km away could not get us any further than a recommendation to have it repaired at a local vacuum store of our choosing. Co-incidentally I had bought a Dyson DC14 not knowing of their friends wedding gift. Anyway, used the Dyson first as I had unpacked it from the box and their Oreck was still in the wrapping and they thought they might sell it. The Dyson proved to be a real animal. The vacuum was and is so powerful that it lifts the "fitted carpet". The airflow was and is so high that the collector had to be emptied several times the first day I used it. My sister in law tried vacuuming with the Dyson the next day but stopped complaining that it was too powerful and was heavy. She decided to use the Oreck. She complained that although it was light and more manouvrable than the Dyson it did not pick up much of anything. She continued to try the Oreck for a week but complained that it was still not picking up. I ran the Dyson over the areas she had done and lo and behold the canister was filling again and again. My sister in law decided to sell the Oreck on ebay and use the Dyson. She has grown to love the Dyson and ignore the additional weight. My experience with Dyson customer service was great. I had bent the alumnium extension tube when using the wand to try and knock down a hornets bike just outside the kids bedroom window. The new wand / tube arrived the next day by UPS. The replacement cost seemed reasonable. I think one of the posters is mistaken about where the Dyson is manufactured. I take the machine completely apart ( without any tools) all the time and the parts arre all marked made in Maylasia for Dyson England. As a matter of fact two neighbours come and borrow the Dyson when they are having special events in their homes. One has a Nilfisk and the other has a Hoover wind tunnel. Both say the Dyson works fantastic. The only problem that I have with the Dyson is the initial cost and the fact that it sometimes takes days and pleadings to get it back when I lend it out. Yes! I know; tell them to get their own Dyson, I have made that suggstion more than a few times and the answer is "as soon as we their unit fails and they can afford a Dyson".

Posted by: David Brooks | April 2, 2008 12:38 AM

I just ran across your blog here about the Oreck Challenge. Couple things that i wanted to bring to your attention.
1.If you look in the pitcure the oreck vacuum you were using as about 8 to 10 years old. Who knows if it has been maintained for those
2. Anytime you vacuum you are gonig to pick up dirt and dust. If you have pets the dander is a huge issue at all times. The dyson has a small plastic holding tank which looks full when there is barely anything in it. It is a more visual thing than anything. Personally i don't want to watch my dirt spin around
3. The dyson will loose suction everytime the hepa filter is clogged. Try a mizture of baby powder, potting soil and some glade carpet freshened and watch it plug up like no other.
4. When you ahve an animal in your home your dyson will start to smell like the animal. The new orecks (which i will compare anyday of the week with any vacuum) have takin a whole new look at keeping that smell inside your vacuum and not pushing it back into the air.

I guess the point i am getting at is that the dyson, though it is nice looking vacuum, is a piece of junk. Did you know that they are made in australia and they are rated very low in there country. Also the owner of dyson went belly up the first time he tried to sell a new vacuum. The worst of it all is that there 5 year warranty is bunk. Where are you going to take it to get fixed. How long will it take? How much will it cost?

Posted by: Josh Guy | April 28, 2008 11:42 AM

Received free shipping on the purchase of Oreck XL vacuum cleaner.......!

Posted by: Andrew | May 1, 2008 02:17 AM


Posted by: Chuck | June 3, 2008 08:07 PM


Posted by: Chuck | June 3, 2008 08:07 PM

I purchased the purple DC14 a few years ago and was blown away with the results... Yes, it is a little heavy and a little expensive... So if you are 90 years old, or cant afford it, get a $50 used hoover. Otherwise Absolutely get a Dyson.

I'm a bachelor, I don't like to vacuum. I do have an indoor cat. Compared to my previous vacuum ($300 Kenmore canister), I figure I can sweep half as often with this thing. (I dont tho. :) )))

I actually went into Sears for the first time ever and bought the Dyson. I am spontaneous but I am also a big fan of places with friendly return policies. Sears had this policy. I guess Target does too and other places.

I brought it home and immediately fell in love. I ended up taking it to the office and showing my coworkers. I often lend it to my friends and ask them to try it... Actually last night i tried to give it to a friend (but she has 90% hardwood floors... and .. honestly there is nothing exciting to suck out of hardwood floors... )

At our office the office manager purchased an Oreck. It is light, yes. .. but lame as hell. When I realized the Oreck was $550 truly shocked. Forget using these bags. They are annoying. Dyson drops out the nasty dander. hair, fuzz, dirt with the pull of a finger) .. no touch. Also, the Oreck tracks slightly sideways across the carpet, maybe a little mass is necessary for the thing to stick to the floor properly. I wont even comment on the Oreck design... Okay, i cant help it - Absolutely lame. Embarrassing. (Oh - and the canister vacuum that they apparently decided to throw in is hilarious!!!!) We ended up leaving the Oreck in the company apartment for occasional use.

I should go grab the nearly brand new Oreck and do a side-by-side test with my 3 year old Dyson. Record a movie with my camera...

If you are questioning the purchase, test one or both.... Then return it if you hate it...

Posted by: Michael S. | July 24, 2008 07:13 PM

The DYSON is by far the BEST vacuum I have ever used. I have had my DYSON for over 4 years! IT STILL WORKS LIKE NEW! As long as you do the maintenance (clean filter and make sure your brush bar is clear) it will be your best friend!!

Posted by: Melissa | August 31, 2008 11:12 PM

This test was done with a lower model Oreck compared to the Top model Dyson. I know a gentlemen that sells carpets for a living. On his carpets, it says "do not use Dyson" reason being because it tares your carpet.

I'm also curious on how long you had the Oreck before buying a Dyson? You need to remember that the Belt needs to be changed every 6 to 12 months, I'm sure when you tested the Oreck against the Dyson that either your Belt was already warn out or your brush was. Oreck Vacuums comes with annual tune up which include changing the best, seals, polishing motor, checking connections, cleaning roller brush, cleaning outer bag and changing inner bag. I don't know any other Vacuum that includes this type of service besides Oreck. Oreck has been around for 50 years, so they must be doing something right.

Now if you went against an XL21 (new) vs a Dyson (new), that would be the real test. I love my Oreck and tested it against the latest Dyson. I had to use my XL21 to pick up what the Dyson didn't. Trust me when I say this for you Dyson owners. Watch your Dyson brake down in 2 to 3 years, you will end up buying an Oreck in the future.

Posted by: Nino | October 2, 2008 12:32 PM

This thread spans over 2 years. I'm exhausted. I work in the vacuum business and thought I had something to say about vacuums. Now I don't care.
Good luck on picking a vacuum. It' a tough decision

Posted by: rodrigo valini | November 14, 2008 03:40 PM

"Compact" (TM) vacuum salesmen used to have you vacuum your carpet with your vacuum and then they would re-vacuum with the Compact (of course with a new bag)
It made you realize how much dirt your vacuum was leaving behind capared to the Compact. If you were to go back over the same area with your own vacuum with a new bag in it, you would once again pick up alot of dirt and small particles. Truth is you will almost always pick up more fibre from your carpet and small amounts of dust which lays at the bottom of the carpet nap.
I have to wonder if you vacuumed again with the Oreck to see what was left behind? Did you re-vacuum with the Dyson to see if it left anything behind?
You are obviously happy with your purchase and that is the important part.

Posted by: Sandra | November 29, 2008 10:15 PM

I need to buy a great vacuum but I'm completely confused which one to buy after reading all these comments. Perhaps I'll just draw straws.

Posted by: Ange | January 3, 2009 01:07 PM

To make the test fair, I think you should reverse the process. Vacuum with Dyson first, then followup with the Oreck and see what happens. Otherwise the test is skewed and, in my opinion, invalid.

Posted by: Steve | January 30, 2009 06:15 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! For the past couple of years, I've been hauling my pig of a vacuum around - yup, a Hoover bagless - while endlessly debating whether to buy an Orek or a Dyson. Since neither is cheap, I was paralyzed by indecision. Today, I googled just the right search string and up popped your comparison. Dyson it is! I could KISS YOU! SMOOOOOOOOOCH!!! My sinuses are truly grateful.

Posted by: Trish | February 16, 2009 07:16 PM

I Hate my Dyson.

It's great at first but not durable at all. We did the same test the first night we bought it (same results, minus the Oreck). A year later it hardly picks up anything.

We are looking at Orecks now for two primary reasons:

1) at first the Dyson did great, but a year later it barely sucks anything and I am constantly tinkering with it for my wife

2) It is very heavy and my wife cannot move it around the house very easily

Posted by: Jeff | May 2, 2009 08:56 PM


Posted by: DALE A. MEADOR | June 13, 2009 12:40 PM

oreck £500,i know someone who paid just that,and what a load of crap it is,the oreck is like going back in time with bags and smells,we are now in 2009,and we must move with the times,not go back,the oreck is for old grannys who cant lift heavy objects,the heavier the hoover the better,just like a lawnmower,so it sits closer to the surface.

Posted by: dave cooper | June 29, 2009 11:56 AM

oreck £500,i know someone who paid just that,and what a load of crap it is,the oreck is like going back in time with bags and smells,we are now in 2009,and we must move with the times,not go back,the oreck is for old grannys who cant lift heavy objects,the heavier the hoover the better,just like a lawnmower,so it sits closer to the surface.

Posted by: dave cooper | June 29, 2009 11:56 AM

oreck £500,i know someone who paid just that,and what a load of rubbish it is,the oreck is like going back in time with bags and smells,we are now in 2009,and we must move with the times,not go back,the oreck is for old grannys who cant lift heavy objects,the heavier the hoover the better,just like a lawnmower,so it sits closer to the surface.

Posted by: dave cooper | June 29, 2009 11:57 AM

Well, it's whatever you like.
I have allergies and the Oreck was about the only vac. that had bags, i've had many other vacs. without bags and I got tired of taking them outside to empty them, cause no matter how carefull I was the dust still flew. And yes, I do love my Oreck, it does a good job cleaning, and it dosen't make me sneeze.

Posted by: sw | July 21, 2009 07:32 PM

I'm helping an elder woman get her house and belongings around. She's a pack rat and, as such, doesn't clean much. She happens to have a very gently used oreck and oreck handheld. I've used them before and have enjoyed them. Her handheld is very loud and in approximately 30 sec, the sound shifts to a louder sound and I get a strong burning odor. So, I shut it off. I found a box with all the attachments (all unused) and really wish to employ this machine. What's going on with it & how can I fix it? Thanks.

Posted by: Meghan | August 23, 2009 12:29 AM

Not a fair test. Vacuum with the Dyson. Then vacuum with the Dyson again, and you will also pick up more dirt.

Posted by: Ron | October 5, 2009 12:28 PM

The Oreck is a great vacuum, but it has one of the smallest fans in the industry. But the brush spins MUCH faster than most vacuums, so alot of the dirt and stuff will be picked up. Some of that dirt might have been from your old Hoover. (Which needed a new Hepa filter, i can tell by how you described it.) But if you take the Oreck and the Dyson and compare it to how long it will last, the Oreck will last forever. Every single part is replaceable so you can rebuild a Oreck in minutes. Plus the Oreck clean well enough, and in the long term the Oreck might even make the carpet last longer. (The Dyson's brush roll is too stiff and slowly rips up the carpet.) Try vacumming with the Dyson and then vacuum with the Oreck and you will see that there is still dirt!

P.s I don't work at an Oreck store, so I tell the truth!

Posted by: Nathaniel the Vacuum Collector/Expert | February 14, 2010 08:05 PM

Great comparison. I think the Oreck has it's benefits, but overall the Dyson does have the edge. I guess it all depends on which features are most important to you.

Posted by: Micah | February 17, 2010 12:22 AM

I bought a Dyson DC07 around 2004 or 2005. I used it when I was moving to a new apartment.

The carpet was shabby and somewhat dusty. My old vacuum actually broke because it couldn't take the strain. It was one of those filter-less types that uses water in the collection tank.

So I tested the Dyson and I was surprised. The carpet shags as well as dirt, hair and dust were all sucked out. The Dyson's tank quickly filled up.

I'm still using the Dyson. It has retain it's suction strength and the parts are very durable. Never regretted that $500 price tag. Still can't believe how well the Dyson vacuum has performed.

Posted by: hedge | July 17, 2010 02:27 AM

I just want to add that the Dyson is manufactured in Asia, not England...
and the Oreck is made in Tennessee.. so.. for me. even though the Dyson seems to be number 1 on this site...
I wouldn't buy things from countries that have so little regulation on workers rights.. not to mention I have no sympathy for a company that moves out of its' home town to cheapen its labor costs only to make more money..

DYSON might make quality vacuums.. but they don't care about humans

Posted by: CB | July 28, 2010 10:34 AM

I have both an Oreck XL and a Dyson pet vacuum. I love the Oreck because it is lightweight, goes flat to vacuum under beds, is great for stairsteps and tile floors. Having four dogs, we really needed a good vacuum for pet hair. I loved my Dyson also, until it needed service. Good luck finding a repair service that is an authorized Dyson repair shop and be prepared to pay dearly for any service. My Dyson has never worked right since I had it in for repair and there is no place to take it. So, I have an @ $600.00 vacuum that is worthless as far as I am concerned.

I have my little Oreck serviced once a year and have had it for 10 years, it still works like a charm.

Posted by: DJ | October 12, 2010 01:55 PM

Thanks for your review as I have to buy a new vacuum today. My neighbor, who is a meticulous interior designer with back problems, is sold on the Oreck and has been trying to get me to buy one. She especially likes the light weight of the Oreck. She has used my Dyson Animal and finds it heavy and awkward to use the attachments. I was actually thinking of trying out the Oreck this time because she is much cleaner and neater than I am and, heck, maybe if I use the same vac she does, it might rub off on me. After seeing your review, I'm sticking with the Dyson.

Oh, why am I having to replace my Dyson? Being six years old, it was one of the earlier Animal designs. However, it has never lost suction and still runs fabulously. The only reason I am getting a new vac is that my 110 pound, nine and a half month old woolly-mammoth of a Newfoundland puppy finally exacted his revenge upon the dreaded, evil Animal and chewed the cord into numerous pieces the size of fire crackers.

My husband is going to try to replace or splice the cord when he has a chance, but Dogzilla is shedding like crazy and I can't wait for that project to be attempted and/or finished.

Thanks again for reminding me why I love the Dyson Animal.

Posted by: Dogzilla Strikes Again | October 23, 2010 08:54 AM

The Oreck you tested is an older unit, looks even used. Using one vacumm after another for a test is the oldest vacuum cleaner demo trick in the book. I can guarantee you if you had used the Dyson first then used the Oreck, the Oreck would have picked up more dirt after the Dyson. Vacuuming is a dynamic process on carpet. Using the vacuum loosens the dirt at the bottom which is eventually picked up at the surface by frequent use.

Posted by: tom Wheeler | March 27, 2011 11:51 AM

OMGosh, I am guess you people don't have multiple cats and dogs to deal with. Yeah, we were sucked into the Dyson "Animal" because it claimed to be the best at sucking up all pet hair and dander off of anything. My husband and I have allergies (not to pets,LOL)but to pollens,dust etc...

We had the Dyson for 2 years. Like so many have said, it worked good for the first 6 months but then would constantly clog up, in the base of the hose where it is attached to the machine. The belt broke 2X within the first year. I took it to a Dyson recommended service center and they said the belt should last for years and didn't know why ours broke soo often!! Maybe because the vacuum is a piece of crap(I thought). From then on it was nothing but problems. I have to vacuum every other day to keep our home allergy protected and the Dyson absolutely did NOT fulfill it's promise in the least.

We did more research and ended up after reading and talking to many people, to buy an Oreck.It came with their cannister vacuum free and the thing can pick up a freakin bowling ball. I do really like the Oreck and I love that I can take the bag out, throw it in the trash and don't have to breathe all the dust and junk I just vacuumed up when I emptied the Dyson. plus the Dyson canister really needs to be washed out every couple days and so does the Hepa Filter (which also has to be air dried after that)new ones are $90.00!! which we had to buy 2 additional so that we could switch them out to wash one and let it "AIR DRY". Pain in the BUTT and disgusting to wash.

So to end this lengthy post, we absolutely HATED the Dyson and would never recommend it to ANYONE!! The Oreck has been great and doesn't suck up our carpet fibers like the Dyson and destroy our carpet. THANK THE LORD we figured this out ourselves and called a friend in the carpet industry to see if he knew of such a thing. He said yes the Dyson destroys your carpet.So if you bought a Dyson, good luck.

Posted by: sharon | April 12, 2011 10:33 AM

I did the same experiment following a $99.00 Dirt Devil with the Dyson and 2 days later with the $99.00 dirt devil followed by the Dyson and got the same results, the second vacuum always picks up after the first one. I went to the Oreck store and they had a demonstration with a Dyson,a Kirby and an Electrolux (I think)and the Oreck always picked up what the others left behind, and I'm sure if they had done the test the other way around it will be same result.

Posted by: Marcelo Alvarez | April 13, 2011 12:56 PM

I will go for Dyson.

Posted by: Jaquelyn Tarry | April 17, 2011 09:05 PM

Growing up we had a Kirby 70's & 80's. When that salesman that you can never get to leave came by our home in 2001, I was already halfway sold...and yes we bought it for I think $1200 W/ the carpet cleaner attachment. We live in the desert where dust is forever finding its way into our home. We have 5 kids and a lab mix dog. I vacuum every other day.

For the first 2 yrs I loved loved the kirby, but then it just always seemed broken and ineffective, not to mention the nausiating burnt rubber smell. The next couple yrs I was sad sad about kirby but $1200!! I had to keep it, and the last 7 yrs I've hated hated kirby. 12 yrs later and in a new home in done with kirby and between the cost of the vacuum, bags, belts, tune ups UGH I don't even want to think of the $$ we have spent to not have clean carpets. The carpet cleaner was useless and too small from day one so it has never been used again :(

I almost choked on the cost of the Dyson but then referenced back to Kirby costs and thought the Dyson really is a deal if it does what it says!

I am also choosing Dyson because I believe in new technology and have know doubt there has to be a better way than the vacuums we have all groen up with!
My husband doesn't think we need a new vacuum and certainly doesn't want me to buy one ( he is still referencing $1200++++the kirby has cost us) but new house new vacuum. I've saved up $500!

I've heard nothing but good from Dyson owners and it seems silly to me to by another bagged vacuum. Thanks for this blog!

Posted by: victoria las vegas nv | July 18, 2011 03:48 PM

It really is hard to clean when the suction is poor. This is especially important when cleaning the carpet. I, myself wants a reliable vacuum cleaner.

Posted by: Jane Mccarthy | July 22, 2011 08:06 AM

The Oreck is a great vacuum, but it has one of the smallest fans in the industry. But the brush spins MUCH faster than most vacuums, so alot of the dirt and stuff will be picked up. Some of that dirt might have been from your old Hoover. (Which needed a new Hepa filter, i can tell by how you described it.) But if you take the Oreck and the Dyson and compare it to how long it will last, the Oreck will last forever.

Posted by: spy on cell phones | August 3, 2011 09:20 PM

I bought an Oreck years ago after researching the Oreck and Dyson. I decided on the Oreck mainly because I can get it serviced nearby. My daughter borrowed my vacuum several years ago, and I haven't seen it since! She loves it!!!

The test that was done with the Dyson and Oreck would be the same no matter what vacuum you used. You can vacuum for 5 minutes in the same spot, and still get more dirt out of the carpet, using the same vacuum.

Posted by: Maria Mclaughlin | September 15, 2011 01:00 PM

I have the Dyson DC14, not the Animal. Before that I had a year old Dirt Devil Breeze Bagged (Paid $50 for). I didn't need a new vacuum, but the Dirt Devil wasn't anywhere near the best vacuum. With 2 cats I expected a large amount of dirt to be in the container of the Dyson, there wasn't a HUGE amount of dirt, but I did just vacuum earlier that day. The suction of the Dyson was AMAZING compared to the Dirt Devil. I have had two Oreck's, I had a classic and a commercial version... Not the best vacuums. After two years the Dyson needed a repair, the little thing that switches from floor to hose suction when you push up the handle up was messed up, it wouldn't switch right and the handle wouldn't go up. Luckly, we called them and just had to take it to our local Sears store and they fixed it... In 3 weeks, so our normally vacuumed every other day carpet and hard floors were not vacuumed for a few weeks, the hard floors could be swept, but the white carpet was covered in black cat hair.

Posted by: Tuck | September 25, 2011 11:15 AM

Have never seen any website with so many great reviews (Dyson vs Oreck). To those who took the time, my paraplegic son will be continually grateful and can narrow his choice down MUCH more easily! The latest hurricane took his current Oreck for a 12" swim in his basement "pool." Thanks!!!!

Posted by: Glenna | September 29, 2011 04:02 PM

As my name would imply, my wife and I have 2 long haired cats that live with us in our 3,500 square foot home. Last year our old vacuum ( it was actually my Mom's 12 year old Oreck XL) needed to be replaced ( it had started making a weird noise, and the cord was frayed and I was afraid we would electrocute ourselves). My parents suggested I take the XL to an Oreck Store and have them fix it, but I thought I would go ahead and buy something new.
I became intrigued by the Dyson after seeing several of their commercials and decided to get one. My wife freaked out when I brought the $500+ machine home, but after I explained to her that this was the "latest and greatest" vacuum technology (no loss of suction, on board tools, etc..) she, reluctantly decided to give it a try. It didn't take too long for me to figure out she didn't like it. First was the weight difference....we put the Dyson on our bathroom scale and it came up just over 20lbs. My wife is only 115lbs and she had a very difficult time getting the Dyson out of the closet, and an even harder time getting it up the stairs. The next thing we noticed was that it seemed to take longer to vacuum all the carpets than it used to. The Oreck used to get all that cat hair with pretty much 1 pass, while the Dyson would take 2-3 (we have light colored carpet and black haired cats, so it easy to see the hair in the carpets). The next thing she hated was the dust cup on the Dyson. The bag in the Oreck would last 2 months or more between replacement, but she was having to empty the Dyson dust cup every time she vacuumed. Even though the Dyson claims "no loss of suction" once the dust cup fills up, it just doesn't pick up any more. Plus we have to go outside to empty it, or the dust flies out of the trash and into our kitchen.
The last straw were the clogs, and the fact that after roughly 8 months of use, one day it simply refused to come on, no matter what I tried to do to get the power on. I even tried to open the vacuum up to see if I could spot the problem, but it was a nightmare to take apart and put back together. Finally we contacted Dyson and shipped the vacuum back for service. We waited 5-6 weeks to get the vacuum back, and within a month of getting the unit back, the same problem happened again. That was it...we were thru with it!
At my parents suggestion we went to an Oreck store near us and traded in our $500+ mistake on a new Oreck Pilot vacuum ($399 including the handheld cannister) with a lifetime warranty! My wife LOVES IT!! First it is only about 10lbs which makes it easy to take up and down stairs. Next it has a swivel steering mechanism that is so easy to steer...it even feels self propelled, you really don't have to push it, just steer it. It's really low profile so it is easy to get under beds and furniture, but the best part is the power. This thing has so much suction power, it gets all the cat hair and more! we use the full HEPA rated bags with the odor absorber and the first one has lasted nearly 3 months now! We are very happy with our new Oreck XL Pilot vacuum, and we even got the little handheld 5lb Oreck canister vac for doing the stairs, shelves and our cars.
The best part about all of this (aside from my wife being happy again!!) is that the Oreck was less money, made in the USA and comes with a LIFETIME warranty!! If I ever have an issue I just take it back to my local Oreck store and they fix it right there at the store. As a consumer who has owned both a Dyson and an Oreck, I can safely say...I'll stick with Oreck.

Posted by: Cat Lover | October 28, 2011 03:50 PM

It really is hard to clean when the suction is poor.

Posted by: Canadian Citizenship Test | November 2, 2011 11:56 PM

Nice info! thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Logo Designs | November 10, 2011 05:14 AM

which is tough? I really enjoyed reading the replies. Its kinda fun though, anyway, just need a vacuum cleaner too that's why I fall to this site :)

Posted by: louisiana maritime attorneys | December 11, 2011 10:52 AM

I have read a lot of these posts and also think they are funny. I am a consumer who bought 6 vacuums in the first 5 years of marriage. The last one almost caught my home on fire. I was constantly buying parts ie. bags, filters, belts etc and felt that every vacuum I bought was a money pit. My wife told me to do some research and I simply read some consumer reports and the Dyson was one of the top but very expensive in my eyes. After doing the math, it would still be less expensive than what I did over the first 5 years of marriage. So I gave it a shot and bought the DC14 and have never looked back. I was worried about dust going everywhere when I empty the unit. It all depends upon how high from the garbage I am when I open the latch. Use common sense. I never get airborn dust. I have officially owned this vacuum for 8 years and the only issue I had was last year when the dog chewed the cord and I ordered a new one and replaced it within 2 days. My mother called and told me she was getting an Oreck and I told her it may be the best choice for her seeing how old she is. If you have to carry a vacuum up and downstairs and are old, then the Oreck is your best option. If you are a family man with kids and a pet, I highly recommend the Dyson. My kids have no problems bringing the vacuum up and down the stairs and yes it has fallen down the stairs a couple of times and it is still in great shape. I am sold on Dyson and I think they do so well because they sell themselves. Try one and you will never look back. I think I would compare my Dyson experience to converting from Dial-up internet to Cable modem. Once you try it, you can never go back.

Posted by: Richard Nichols | January 7, 2012 07:53 PM

Very close to purchasing a Dyson until I heard the suction is hard on Berber carpet and can pull up loops. Is that true?

Posted by: carl d. | January 30, 2012 02:09 PM

Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what they're talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe you're not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

Posted by: Liana Fuentes | March 15, 2012 09:25 AM

This post is full of information that everyone should know. It will helps a lot.

Posted by: Knee Doctor Dallas | March 22, 2012 06:41 AM

I have a Dyson Animal 41. Let me tell you it is the bomb. The suction is incredible. It cleans both carpet and regular flooring real well.

Posted by: Betty Newberry | May 24, 2012 07:33 AM

My one question would be did you do the reverse test. Vacuum with the dyson then go over it with the oreck? All vacuums say they pick up more than the other guys. You had the perfect opportunity to check this test ou.

Posted by: Ladyhenry | September 28, 2012 03:04 PM