Dyson has expanded its range of cordless cleaners beyond the main V series to include more specialist vacuums, such as the V11 Outsize, which is optimised for larger homes with lots of carpeted space.
The Omni-glide is at the other end of the spectrum: it’s aimed at people who live in modern city apartments with hard flooring. But it would also work well as a second vacuum cleaner to be kept in the kitchen as a handy runaround.
Design & appearance
Although it’s very recognisably a Dyson, the Omni-glide represents the biggest design change from the V series of cordless cleaners. It’s a Dyson in its lightest, slimmest and most manoeuvrable form, which means it’s been pared down to its essentials. It lacks the screen that you’ll find on the V11, V11 Outsize and V15 Detect, as well as the newest Dyson tech: the laser and piezo sensor.
The biggest change is to the cleaning head, which has two fluffy rollers and four casters that can rotate 360°, allowing it to vacuum forwards and back and to move in any direction.
The handle has also been redesigned. Instead of the familiar trigger grip, the Omni-glide has a smooth wand. The smaller, slimmer battery pops in at the top and there are only two buttons: On/Off and Max power. This means that you don’t need to keep the trigger pressed down when it’s in use.
If you’ve used a Dyson and found the trigger to be hard work, this will be a big plus. But the club-like, grip-free handle does take time to get used to.
The slim battery does, however, mean a shorter running time.
Finally, the bin has been slimmed down as well, which allows the Omni-glide to lie flat to get under beds and sofas. This increases reach and manoeuvrability – but the trade-off is that you’ll need to empty it more often. Much more often. At only 0.23 litres (0.05 gallons), it’s less than a third of the size of the V11’s already-not-massive dustbin.
In the box
If you buy the Omni-glide in the UK, as well as the omni-directional fluffy cleaner head, you’ll get the combi-crevice tool (which combines a brush and a nozzle), a wide-mouthed cleaning tool and a mini-motorised tool, which you can use on mattresses, upholstery and stairs. You’ll also get a charging lead and dock, which you can opt to wall mount.
But, as the battery is so easy to remove, you can instead pop it out and charge it separately, while you stow your vac in the cupboard.
If you buy the Omni-glide in the US, you’ll only get the main cleaning head, the combi-crevice tool, docking station and charger.
The Omni-glide only has two settings: eco mode and max power. Run it in eco mode and you’ll get a maximum of 20 minutes of battery life. If you add the motorised cleaning head or use the higher setting, you’ll get significantly less cleaning time.
But, like the little bin, this isn’t a huge deterrent if you have a smaller living space. For a start, eco mode is more than capable of cleaning hard flooring, so you’ll only need to switch to using the higher setting or the mini motorised tool for rugs and upholstery.
And, really, the Omni-glide is designed for people who clean little and often. If you give your apartment a quick going-over on a regular basis, twenty minutes will be more than enough cleaning time.
It also charges in 3.5 hours, which is an hour less than the V15 Detect.
However, the slim design creates other issues. Because the bin is so narrow, it clogs up much more often than a regular 0.76 litre Dyson dustbin. Although the bin pops open just as easily as on other models once the wand is removed, I found that to empty it properly, I had to resort to pulling out clumps of dust and hair by hand.
And, although there’s a pinprick blue light that flashes to let you know that the Omni-glide is charging successfully, there is no battery indicator light to let you know when the battery is about to die. It’ll just stop. That means you have to be diligent about charging it after you use it.
Still, all of this is just preamble to the main point. This is an appliance that has been designed to be in motion. Does it vacuum in all directions? Yes, absolutely. Does it glide? It really does.
The Omni-glide is, hands down, the most manoeuvrable vacuum cleaner I’ve ever used. It slides across the floor, spins into corners, slips into narrow spaces and vacuums while almost perfectly flat. It can be twirled around table legs and awkward pieces of furniture. It is in a class of its own when it comes to ease of use.
Personally, I hate vacuuming. I hate dragging out a heavy cleaner. I hate moving furniture around. I hate the fact that there’s always a space slightly too narrow for the vac that’s a magnet for dust and dirt. The Omni-glide takes away so much of the actual work of vacuuming that the trade-off for the tiny bin, short battery life and lack of battery indicator light is worth it – for me, at least.
But – and this is a big issue – the Omni-glide is no good at all on carpets or rugs. If you have a couple of rugs, you can switch to the motorised cleaning head to take care of them, although it’s pretty labour intensive. But forget carpets.
The Omni-glide is noticeably less powerful than other, current Dyson models, so while it’s great for the job it’s optimised for (cleaning hard flooring), you’ll find yourself sawing back and forth to get a bit of fluff off a carpet.
Also, one side effect of its club-like design is that it’s quite long in handheld mode. If you use it handheld with the combi dust brush, it’s 78cm (31 inches) from end to end, which is great for dusting high-up spots but less useful on shelves close by.
Price & availability
The Omni-glide is available to buy in the US from Dyson.com for $399.99. That makes it the same price as the V8 Animal.
So, although the Omni-glide is a pretty affordable Dyson, that’s not the same as saying that it’s great value. You could opt instead for a Dyson that’s more powerful and has a better battery life.
The Omni-glide isn’t a one-size-fits-all vacuum cleaner. It’s designed for a specific lifestyle and for people who give their homes a quick going-over on a regular basis, rather than a weekly deep clean.
It also has some serious limitations. It’s only good on hard flooring, it has a short battery life, no indicator light, a very small bin and its handheld mode isn’t exactly compact. And, as it’s only good at one thing, it’s a bit of a luxury item.
But in spite of these flaws, the Omni-glide is worth it. It’s an absolute breeze to use, gliding around a room and making light work of one of the worst household jobs.
Dyson Omni-glide: Specs
- Up to 20 minutes battery life
- 3.5 hour charge time
- 0.23 litre (0.05 gallon) bin volume
- 108×9.1×20.6cm (42.4×3.6×8.1in)
- 1.9kg (4.18lb)
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