Is the Dyson gen5detect Vacuum Worth Its $1,000 Price Tag?

We put “the most powerful HEPA cordless vacuum” to the test

August 7, 2023 10:55 am
The all-new Dyson gen5detect vacuum cleaner.
The all-new Dyson gen5detect vacuum cleaner.

My apartment is embarrassingly dusty. I blame it on the high ceilings and…my lack of commitment to regularly cleaning. However, I also blame it on vacuums. Traditionally, they’re bulky, heavy and quite restrictive, making vacuuming a nuisance you want to keep putting off. So when I turned 25 this past year, and my frontal lobe fully formed, I knew it was time to get myself a Dyson vacuum. The brand’s highly engineered products are regarded as some of the best on the market, and the idea of a high-powered, cordless(!) and relatively lightweight dust-busting machine scratched an itch in my now-adult brain. It was going to solve all of my problems, wasn’t it?

If you’ve ever bought a Dyson or even perused the site, there are many, many models to choose from. There are vacuums designed specifically for pet owners, vacuums with fancy green lasers that reveal hidden dust, hefty corded vacuums and even incredibly slim vacuums designed for quick in-between cleaning. However, Dyson recently released two new cordless cleaners: the Dyson Gen5detect and the Dyson Gen5outsize.

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They’re the brand’s most advanced vacuums yet and are essentially the same, the latter is just slightly larger and built for cleaning bigger spaces with 140 minutes of runtime and a 0.5-gallon bin. Since my space is a New York City apartment, I went for the Dyson Gen5 Detect, a slightly smaller, $950 machine Dyson calls “the most powerful HEPA cordless vacuum.” I’ve been obsessively cleaning with the new vacuum for the past month, and here are some thoughts: 

The setup:

I’ll be honest, figuring out how to assemble the Dyson Gen5detect wasn’t as intuitive as I initially thought it would be. There’s a small instruction booklet (luckily with pictures), but there are various unlabeled attachments included with the vacuum, and I was a tad overwhelmed unboxing. It took some time, and a YouTube instruction video, to figure out which rods clicked into where, what cleaner heads did what and how to assemble the charging station, but I eventually figured her out. The vacuum also comes partially charged (a nice gesture) so I could start using it immediately. 

The specs: 

  • New single-button power control
  • Up to 70 minutes of run time
  • 0.2-gallon bin
  • 7.65 lbs
  • 50.2 in
  • Fluffy Optic cleaner head and Digital and Motorbar Cleaner head included
  • 4.5-hour charge time
  • Whole-machine HEPA filtration
  • 262 AW suction power

What works:

  • Unlike previous Dyson models which require you to hold a trigger button to keep the vacuum on, the Gen5 Detect features a brand-new single-button power control. Just press it and go for finger-free cleaning.
  • The advanced 10-cell battery makes this Dyson’s longest runtime in a cordless vacuum. When not in-use, I have my vacuum on the charger anyway, but the long runtime ensures you’ll never have to annoyingly juice it up mid-clean. 
  • Between the advanced HEPA filtration system and the cordless motor that spins at up to 125,000 RPM (it’s Dyson’s fastest and most efficient motor), the new Gen5detect is a cleaning powerhouse. And you can see exactly how much debris and dust your machine is picking up via the display screen. 
  • If you have long hair, or live with people who do, the Digital Motorbar cleaner head is a real godsend. It’s equipped with 56 de-tangling vanes that automatically untwine hair from the brush bar as you clean. 
  • My favorite feature, however, is the built-in dusting and crevice tool that, with a literal click of a button, turns your vacuum into a handheld. 

What kind of works (or needs work)

  • It’s probably a testament to how dusty and dirty my apartment can get, but I was surprised by how quickly the 0.2-gallon bin filled up after a few uses. If you have a larger space or need to clean often, it might behoove you to upgrade to the Dyson Gen5outsize, which features a larger 0.5 bin. If you’re someone like me who hates emptying the bin (although, Dyson’s hygienic ejection mechanism makes it a less gross experience.)
  • The Gen5detect features improved illumination technology, i.e. that futuristic green light that reveals 2x more microscopic dirt and dust, which is the most mind-blowing feature on the new device. However, unlike previous models with the laser technology, there’s no way to toggle the light off on the Fluffy Optic head, an attachment used for cleaning hard floors. It’s not the end of the world, obviously, and again, the feature is very efficient in showing you just how disgusting your floors are. It’s just something to note if you’ve used previous models. 


As one reviewer noted, the Dyson Gen5detect is “the Rolls Royce of Vacuum Cleaners!,” and I must say I agree. The new model is no joke, and while spending a thousand dollars is also no joke, a vacuum cleaner is an item you’re going to use at least once a week. You might as well have the best of the best, and the Dyson Gen5detect fits that bill. It’s a highly engineered, powerful and efficient vacuum cleaner, sure, but it also makes the mundane practice of cleaning your space, an easier, more luxurious experience, and one you might actually start looking forward to doing. 

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