A very small and flexible vacuum, the Dyson Omni-glide (available from July 2021) is a top cleaner for hard floors, and a great handheld vacuum for smaller spills. As such, it excels for use in apartments or as a grab-and-go cleaner in larger homes. Without a regular floor head, it isn’t ideal for carpets, although it has the power to tackle the odd rug.
- Very light
- Incredibly easy to manoeuvre
- Not ideal for use on carpet
- Vacuum cleaner typeThis is a cordless stick vacuum cleaner that converts to a simple handheld model. It’s designed for hard floors, although as my tests show, it can tackle mess on carpet if you need it.
- Battery lifeYou get up to 20 minutes of battery life on standard power, after which there’s 3.5 hours of charging required. Surprisingly, the efficiency of the cleaner means that 20 minutes will see you cover a significant area.
Previous models of Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner have always been multi-purpose, built to replace a traditional plug-in cleaner. However, the Dyson Omni-glide is something altogether more specialist. Designed for modern living and hard floors, the Omni-glide is a smaller, lighter vacuum cleaner built to make it quick and easy to get into every area.
For those living in smaller apartments, or just wanting a grab-and-go vacuum cleaner for minor jobs, the Dyson Omni-glide is exceptionally powerful – although it isn’t ideal for those homes that are mainly carpetted.
Design and features – The Dyson Omni-glide is compact and light
- Very small and light body
- New omnidirectional head makes it easy to clean everywhere
- No onboard storage
Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners usually have a gun-style design, with a trigger that you have to hold down to power the cleaner. With the Omni-glide, the company has done something different, putting the motor, handle and stick in line.
There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that it has allowed Dyson to build a smaller, lighter vacuum cleaner (1077 x 206 x 91mm, 1.9kg). This makes it exceptionally easy to grab and go – and, if you need to clean higher up, it’s super-easy to move the Omni-glide around.
Next, putting everything in line means that the vacuum cleaner can be placed flat on the floor, so you can push it under furniture to reach areas without having to move anything.
The Dyson’s flexibility doesn’t stop there. With the new omnidirectional fluffy head, built for hard floors, you can quickly dash around furniture, slide under sofas and get the head where you need it to go. I’ve used a lot of vacuum cleaners and the Omni-glide is the easiest to move around.
The one slight downside is that the uber-flexible head also makes the vacuum cleaner a little unstable to stand upright, even against a wall. When you need to put the vacuum down, I recommend laying it flat on the floor.
In addition, what you gain here in hard floor power, you miss out on carpet power. While the rival Shark WandVac System is designed to work on any floor type, the Omni-glide is a true hard floor specialist; there’s no carpet head in the box.
That doesn’t mean this model lacks flexibility. Dyson has provided a good array of heads in the box, including a combination crevice tool and duster, a worktop tool for cleaning surfaces, and a mini-motorised tool, which is great for use on the stairs and cleaning pet hair off sofas. It’s a slight shame that there’s no onboard tool storage. Buy direct from Dyson and you get a crevice tool with an LED in it that highlights where you’re cleaning.
Switching between stick and handheld mode is easy, and the Omni-glide is a great handheld cleaner for tackling smaller spills.
While you can charge the Omni-glide by plugging in the power connector directly, there’s also a wall dock for power. This can be screwed into place, but since the Omni-glide is so lightweight, you can actually use the sticky pads to affix the dock into place. You just clip the Omni-glide into the dock when you’re done using it and it will charge.
It’s nice to see Dyson use replaceable batteries here, with the single 14.4V 2500mAh battery sliding out the back. You could buy a second battery; you can charge the battery directly by plugging it into the dock or using the power adapter. This enables you to have one battery on charge, while you’re using the Omni-glide.
When you’re ready to use the vacuum, you’ll see that Dyson has changed its controls. Rather than the trigger you have to hold down permanently to use its other handheld cleaners, the Omni-glide features a simple on/off control, and a button to engage the Max mode.
These controls make the vacuum cleaner easier to use, and mean that you can swap hands mid-clean to get the best angle to attack a dirty spot of the floor.
There’s one filter on the rear, which unclips and slides up over the main handle. It can be washed when it becomes clogged and dirty.
You empty the Dyson of dust and debris by pointing the vacuum down into the bin and sliding the eject lever forwards. It works well, ditching everything into the waste without resulting in a big cloud of dust. And, you can remove the entire bin for cleaning (or better emptying), if you like.
It’s good to see that the new fluffy head can be taken apart for easy cleaning, too, making it easy to maintain this vacuum.
Performance – The Dyson Omni-glide excels on hard floors and can even manage a bit of carpet cleaning
- Exceptionally powerful on hard floors
- Does a surprisingly good job on carpet
- Relatively short battery life
To put the Dyson Omni-glide through its paces, I first ran it through my regular tests to measure suction power in airwatts (AW), which combines suction power with airflow to give a true reading of power.
On standard mode, I measured the Omni-glide at 25.92AW, upping to a more powerful 86.65AW on Boost. The latter figure is a little more powerful than most regular stick cleaners at their medium power.
While the standard power may appear on the low side, the true test of a vacuum cleaner is its ability to pick up dirt. And, it’s in this regard that the new omnidirectional head comes in, with its soft rollers designed to pick up dirt from the floor before the vacuum suctions it off into the bin.
Since this head is so efficient, you need less power to remove dirt. Starting off with my hard floor test, I sprinkled a teaspoon of rice onto the floor and then gave the Omni-glide a single pass through on its standard power setting. It created a clean sweep through the mess, with no grains of rice falling back out. That’s impressive given that the vacuum is running at such a low mode.
Hard floor test: Dirty hard floor (left) vs Clean hard floor (right) – move slider to compare
Next, I combed cat hair into my test carpet and use the mini-motorised tool to clear. This picked up everything in a single sweep on standard power mode. Again, the power of the tools means that you need less suction power.
Pet hair test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
What about carpets? This isn’t a vacuum cleaner designed for them, but I was surprised at the results. First, I spread a teaspoon of flour onto my test carpet. Running the vacuum cleaner through on its standard setting, you can see that it managed to pick up most of the mess, although there’s a clear patch where dust was missed.
Carpet test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
Tackling the mess again on Maximum power, I managed to clear all of the dirt, although it took a few sweeps to do it. Given that this isn’t a vacuum cleaner built for carpet, the results are impressive.
Next, I sprinkled flour on carpet tiles up against the skirting board. On standard power, results were poor, leaving a fair amount of mess behind.
Edge test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
Upping to Max power, I managed to pick up pretty much everything, with just a small trace of flour remaining – nothing that the crevice tool couldn’t deal with, however.
In terms of noise, I measured the vacuum cleaner at a relatively quiet 69.3dB on standard power and 74.9dB on maximum – that’s generally quieter than your average cordless cleaner.
The Omni-glide comes with a relatively small battery. As such, you’ll get around 20 minutes of life from a charge on standard power without motorised tools, and 18 minutes with motorised tools. On Max power with motorised tools, run-time drops to around nine minutes. It then takes 3.5 hours to recharge.
That’s not a huge amount of battery life, but given the speed at which you can tackle hard floors, this should be sufficient to vacuum a one- or two-bedroom apartment or tackle the downstairs of a house.
If you’re just after a grab-and-go cleaner for smaller everyday spills, and you have a regular vacuum cleaner for deep cleans, then there’s more than enough battery life for the job.
There’s no denying that the Dyson Omni-glide is a great vacuum cleaner. Its comparatively low standard power mode is helped by efficient and well-designed heads that make all hard floor and upholstery jobs easy, and there’s a Max mode for those occasions you need more power.
Whether or not this works for you will depend on the type of home you have. If floor coverings mainly comprise carpets, then the Shark WandVac System offers greater flexibility. But if hard floors make up most of your home, and you live in either an apartment or you want a grab-and-go cleaner for smaller jobs, then Dyson Omni-glide fits the bill.
If you’re after a cleaner with longer battery life, then check out my guide to the best cordless vacuum cleaners for alternatives.
Should you buy it?
Looking for a powerful vacuum cleaner for hard floors, either for an apartment or as a grab-and-go cleaner for smaller jobs? Then the Dyson Omni-glide is both incredibly powerful and light.
If you’re after greater flexibility, and need a vacuum cleaner to tackle a fair amount of carpet, then you’d be better off looking elsewhere.
A very small and flexible vacuum, the Dyson Omni-glide is a top cleaner for hard floors, and a great handheld vacuum for smaller spills. As such, it excels for use in apartments or as a grab-and-go cleaner in larger homes. Without a regular floor head, it isn’t ideal for carpets, although it has the power to tackle the odd rug.
Yes, it does. You can even charge a spare battery outside of the vacuum to have one battery on the go and one charging.