Dyson Micro review: the smallest Dyson is a solid back-up handheld vac

Unless your home is very small, the aptly named Dyson Micro is of most use for dusting and dealing with small spills

Dyson Micro
(Image credit: Dyson)
T3 Verdict

Dyson Micro reverses the recent trend for ever bigger and more powerful cordless vacs and is probably most suited to quick clean-up and dusting jobs rather than full home deep cleaning

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very light and compact

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    Good on hard floors

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    Surprisingly good suction

  • +

    Great for cleaning up spills and dust in surfaces

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Short battery life

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    Not as powerful as 'normal size' Dysons

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    Annoying combined crevice and brush tool

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The Dyson Micro review for those in a rush: this compact vac isn't going to be most people's first choice, but it could make an ideal second Dyson, if you aspire to be a two-Dyson household. It's also likely to be a hit with people like me, who just cannot be bothered to clean up for more than 20 minutes at a stretch – because that is the maximum battery life.

Arriving at about the same time as the Dyson V15 Detect with its dust-vision laser light and the Dyson Omni-Glide with its innovative, swivelling head, the Dyson Micro is exactly what you would expect: it's similar to other Dysons, but smaller. It's by no means the best vacuum cleaner or even best cordless vacuum cleaner I've ever come across, but it is lightweight, surprisingly powerful and easy to use. 

I picture potential buyers of this being people who already own a Dyson and now want a second one for doing small spills, dusting shelves and cleaning out their car, or yacht. It may also appeal to those nostalgic for the Dyson V6 and Dyson V8, which were considerably more compact than the more recent likes of the Dyson V11 Absolute or the V15 Detect. Anyway, enough of the numbers; on with the review!

Dyson Micro: price and availability

The Micro's availability is a bit up and down, but official pricing is as follows:

• UK: £299

• USA and Australia: not available. A bit of a shock, but evidently Dyson has decided the Micro is not required when the Omni-Glide and V8 are available in those countries. This does slightly raise the question of why it is available in the UK but perhaps it is to do with us having smaller homes, on average.

Dyson Micro: design and key spec

Dyson Micro

Quite literally floor-to-ceiling cleaning is possible

(Image credit: Dyson)

With its small size and range of handy heads, the Dyson Micro is the successor to the elderly V8 Absolute. I described this as 'the ultimate cordless vacuum cleaner' when it came out in 2016 which seems pretty hilarious now, but was accurate at the time. However unlike the V8, which was designed for your parents and so came with a bristly, motorised brush for doing carpets, the Micro comes with a very good, 'spongey' cleaning head that's specifically for hard floors. That's because modern rental flats are usually bereft of carpetage, while millennials habitually just say no to rugs. 

It also comes with a combined brush tool and crevice tool – the brush part sits on the crevice tool and can be pulled down, for crevices, or pushed up to act as a brush tool. I did not like this tool one bit, but it is an interesting way to try to minimise the overall size of a cordless vac. That is what the Micro is all about.

So in a sense, the Dyson Micro is a stark symbol of the generational and wealth divides that  we see in the world today. But in another sense, it's a very competent cordless vacuum cleaner.

Dyson Micro: battery life, power and other key spec

Battery life: 20 minutes. There are two power settings, and if you use the Max setting instead of the standard one you'll probably get more like 5-10 minutes. Dyson describes Max as being for 'spot cleaning' and this assessment is 'spot on'.

Charging time: 3.5 hours. This is rather a long time to wait before you can have another 20-minute cleaning stint, but that will only annoy people who actively enjoy vacuuming, ie: nobody.

Suction power: 50AW. This is not amazing on paper – the V15 Detect tops out at a whopping 240AW, for comparison. However, it works well enough for what I take to be its intended tasks.

Weight: 1.5kg. This is a key feature; it is very light by the standards of recent Dysons and most other cordless vacs. Like all Dysons, the Micro is also extremely well balanced in the hand, making it a delight to waft about – like the lady in the picture above.

Bin size: 0.2 litres. Well, that is tiny. I used it for nearly 3 months of admittedly very light cleaning and only had to empty it once. Were you to use this to fully clean your home on a weekly basis, however, you would find yourself emptying it much more frequently. 

Dyson Micro: performance

Dyson Micro

That Dyson look

(Image credit: Dyson)

50 'Air Watts' of suction and a a bin that only holds 0.2 litres of garbage might sound a bit feeble… and that's because it is. I think the comparatively lacklustre battery life, bin size and theoretical suction power do underline that this is primarily a vacuum cleaner for spills, car interiors and quick tidy-up jobs. 

I found it was well able to cope with real-life spills and accumulated dust on tables, shelves and even the top of a wardrobe, although the latter took somewhat longer, not surprisingly. With a bit more effort, the main cleaning – known as a 'Micro Fluffy Head', rather brilliantly – was able to suck up the usual mix of rice pops, rice and sugar that I use to test such things. However, this required several passes, not least beause the 'Fluffy Head' really is quite 'Micro'. 

A bigger problem with the Micro is this Combination tool.

(Image credit: Dyson)

As noted previously, I was much less of a fan of the combined crevice and brush tool. For years, Dyson has provided an excellent brush tool – the best in the business, in fact – with all its cordless vacs. So why not with this one? 

The problems with this tool are that it is too long to use intuitively as a brush head, and anyway the brush head keeps getting knocked out of place. because it's also a crevice tool, and a Micro-sized one at that, the opening to it is also, naturally, smaller than you'd like.

If this is your second Dyson, you could of course use the brush tool from your larger model though, right? Wrong! Dyson has re-engineered the tube and all tools of the Micro so they are more compact. That's great for saving a bit of space – although only a tiny bit of space, really – but it means no other Dyson attachments can be used on the Micro, and no Micro attachment will work on any other existing Dyson. So that's annoying. 

Considering that dusting and dealing with small spills are pretty much the raison d'etre of the Micro, I hereby urge Dyson to make a proper brush tool for it, pronto. 

The good news, heads-wise, is that the Micro Fluffy Head is very good for its size, and the Mini Motorised Tool – primarily for doing upholstery, but you could use it on small rugs at a push – is excellent.

Dyson Micro review: verdict

Dyson Micro

The excellently named 'Micro Fluffy Head' does a solid job on hard floors although it struggles a bit with long hairs and heavier debris

(Image credit: Dyson)

The Dyson Micro is an excellent idea, but Dyson has, if anything, made it too small. A better idea in my humble opinion would have been to make something sized in between the old V8 and the rather substantial V11. Dyson should also have a word with itself about that crappy Combination Tool and replace it with a proper brush head and separate crevice tool. 

If you can get past that, the Micro serves up highly impressive suction for its size, and its very light weight makes it absolutely effortless to use. However, given that the price of it would get you a Vax Blade 4 with two batteries or the superior Shark WandVac 2-in-1, it does feel like a luxury too far, for all but the most ardent Dyson lovers.

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Duncan has been writing about tech for almost 15 years, during which time he has attended every event going, apart from Apple ones, as he mysteriously doesn't get invited to them. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. 

Duncan's current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. Duncan also edits T3's golf section because fuck it, someone has to. Dave Usher does all the real work on that bit, though. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially Reddit before the invention of Reddit. There was a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."