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Dyson DC49 review - Performance, Value and Verdict

Luke Johnson

By Luke Johnson



Our Score:


Dyson DC49 Performance

Pairing style with substance, the Dyson DC49 is a highly impressive little vacuum cleaner. It produces far more suction that its size would suggest possible and, thanks to some clever insulating, keeps noise to a minimum. The digital motor that has been ported from the company’s hand dryers proves its worth. The traditional drone of a high powered vacuum is reduced to a more manageable whine, which you can comfortably talk over.

Dyson DC49

The Dyson DC49 does not specialise in a single surface type. It powers through all with aplomb, tackling hardware floors, tiled kitchens, carpeted stairs and deep plush rugs all with consummate ease. They only time when the compact Dyson struggles is when faced with small, lightweight throw rugs. Although able to suck out the dirt, the DC49 also sucks up the whole rug. This can be highly irritating, forcing you to tidy up after a clean. Sadly, we could not find a way around this problem.

Despite its strong cleaning abilities, the Dyson DC49 is not faultless. The hose can be a bit of a flappy nuisance in use, as well as being tricky to store. Although a necessary evil, it is at times infuriating in its unwieldy nature. That said, the quick release system that lets you jump between tools is a breeze to use and helps improve and quicken the whole cleaning experience.

Dyson DC49

Should I buy the Dyson DC49?

If you can afford it and have a relatively small home, the Dyson DC49 is a great cleaning option. However, price is always a major stumbling block for Dyson vacuum cleaners, and the Dyson DC49 is no different. Fortunately it has the power and the performance to back up its £350 asking price, but this fee will still rule it out for many potential buyers.

For those with larger homes, a bigger upright vac with an increased dust capacity, such as the Dyson DC50 might be a better fit. If you live in a flat or apartment though, the 0.5 litre bin found on the DC49 should be big enough – just. It will require frequent emptying though.


The first vacuum cleaner to feature the same digital motor as the company’s hand dryers, the Dyson DC49 is quiet, compact and a something of a joy to use. Stylishly designed it will fit in with any swanky pad, but at £350 you have really got to want a thorough clean of your small abode to splash the cash.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Cleaning performance 9
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 6


July 26, 2013, 1:26 pm

What is a "digital" motor, and what are its benefits?

Matthew Bunton

July 26, 2013, 3:30 pm

I'm no expert but assume that it is akin to the digital power supplies now available in PC's. I would imagine that it would run more efficiently and stable.

alex mason

July 26, 2013, 6:39 pm

its a bit of a con to be honest. Its nothing that new, but Dyson use a switched reluctance, brush less motor with two poles. The rotor houses the magnets and the stator receives the power signals. A hall effect sensor is used to detect rotor position and a digital micro-controller used to interoperate that and apply the power correctly so the motor moves in the right direction.


that, although a wiki link, explains how it works. You can see the digital on-off pulses used to power the desired coils on the stator and drag/push the rotor round. Dyson were able to also package the electronics right into the back of the motor as well. Very well packaged, simple, very efficient and effective motor design. They claim over 80% efficiency, twice as good as their older motor designs ( think that was a brushed motor which uses carbon brushes and commutators to switch the polarity of the rotor while the stator houses the magnets)

It appears to be nothing new, this type of motor is popular and is used all over. Brushless motors appear in all sorts, hard drives and even hair dryers! But I guess Dyson took it and highly optimised it for their application.

Its just marketing really. Nothing revolutionary, just optimised and well packaged design.


July 26, 2013, 7:06 pm

Maybe you are right, who knows. It is given first billing amongst the "Pros" of this hoover, without ever revealing what or why. Mystefied.


July 26, 2013, 8:42 pm

The main benefit is that it maintains the same speed regardless of the resistance (within reason). So the suction should be pretty constant in most circumstances.

My electric razor has one, so it keeps the same speed even when going through stubble.

Most washing machines use them too.

Prem Desai

July 27, 2013, 12:05 pm

Is that price tag for real?

For that money, I can buy a Miele vacuum cleaner and employ someone to clean the house for me.

By the time the money ran out, the Dyson would have died anyway and I would still be left with a fantastic (and working) vacuum cleaner.

Come on Dyson - don't treat people as stupid.


August 1, 2013, 10:36 am

I'm not sure that a vacuum cleaner sucking up a rug is individual to this or any Dyson. I think everyone has struggled with that since they were invented. I'm not sure why you mentioned that. Does it behave differently than any other suction-based cleaning devices you have used?


August 2, 2013, 10:54 am

If you're going to splash out on a dyson, buy the digital slim. I'm in my 60's and live in a 2/3 bed flat. I now hardly ever get my (miele) vacuum out. The digital slim is such a fantastic machine it almost leaves me lost for words. I actually feel like I no longer have the chore of vacuuming my flat. The digital slim is powerful, light and glides across both hard floors and rugs. It's also extremely versatile. The numerous attachments allow vacuuming into any nook or cranny. I installed the charger on my wall so grabbing the digital slim is as easy as grabbing a broom but without any of the bending and clearing up.
When I first purchased this machine I would regularly get the miele out but as time has gone on I get it out less and less. Not sure if, personally, I'd be entirely without a traditional machine but I can see how that would be perfectly acceptable.
The digital slim is expensive but SO worth it.


August 17, 2013, 8:37 am

With this thinking, there is nothing new under the sun & never will be.

No one in history has ever made as single atom or altered any of the principles of physics.

However, people working to:
(1) collect atoms,
(2) rearrange atoms,
(3) use studied principles of physics in better ways plus
(4) provide the benefits of all their work to others in simple, comparitiviely cheap ways
(5) which are beyond their understanding & willingness to figure out
can certainly make life a bit nicer.

The time and effort others put into such activities is all humans EVER pay for, at least with worthless barter medium called money.


August 17, 2013, 8:44 am

Actually the benefits of Dyson's digital motor are:
(a) a faster armature/fan speed, typically ~100,000 RPM instead of 20-35,000 RPM as in other vacuum motors, so that the motor is smaller yet moves as much air combined with
(b) better long term reliability plus
(c) potential for internal and/or remote diagnostics, which Dyson has implemented in a few versions.


August 17, 2013, 8:44 am

See comments above about the digital motor.


May 9, 2015, 6:22 pm

How do you vacuum a rug with the Dyson DC49. I cant move it am I doing something wrong?

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