Dyson vs. Henry: what do you think?

I know. I am fully aware that today is Thursday and it is a day for another book review. As my regular readers know, though, I have been a bit busy and pre-occupied with my day job; so I have not had time to prepare a thoughtful (ha, ha) book review.

Apart from that, we have a somewhat different problem. Couple of days ago our vacuum cleaner went on the blink. It was not supposed to happen! Then again, even Kirby vacuum cleaners have a life span, right?

This is our second Kirby for about twenty five years. Some may think that we are slow learners; after all Kirby is a very expensive, extremely heavy and not terribly versatile vacuum cleaner. It is also pricey to service and completely not worth repairing. What is its saving grace? It is extremely powerful and according to some claims it is the one to have if your house is full of allergic men at different ages. I still remember our middle son, after vacuuming the house, saying:

“Why can’t we be like everyone else and get a Dyson?”

This was over ten years ago; now the opening to be like ‘everyone else’ is finally there because our second and last Kirby has given up the ghost.

And here we have a problem.

I, as a personal finance blogger of quality and style, want a sleek, beautiful, top of the range Dyson; the DC 40 Animal, to be specific. This vacuum cleaner has it all: Radial Root Cyclone Technology (whatever this may mean), self adjust for all floors, ball technology, it is light and durable. To top it all off it is also purple; which happens to be my favourite colour. Oh, yes; it also will set us back by £370 ($571)

Just have a look at this beauty.

As my much more practical half, John is insisting on getting a Henry. Of all things! Just for the ones amongst you who have not come across this funny little thing, the Numatic Henry HVR200A is probably exactly the opposite of the sleek Dyson: it is…well, it looks like this.

It can be worse, I suppose; John could have decided that this time we will be getting Hetty, which looks exactly like Henry but is pink. And I am not having a pink vacuum cleaner in the house.

Henry, though, has its fine points. It is reputedly very powerful, versatile, light and convenient, robust and used by all professional cleaners in the UK (or so I am told). Yes, it looks funny but it has only glowing reviews and costs only £99 ($153).

So here is the problem: state of the art, sleek and expensive technology against simplicity and good value for money. I can’t make up my mind.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “Dyson vs. Henry: what do you think?”

  1. 😆

    Apologies for creating disharmony in the Moneyprinciple household, but what you want in a hoover is a lot of “suck” and Henry wins hands down hon.

    Engineering is so simple you can fix it with a butter knife (you don’t even need a screwdriver) – there is nothing to go wrong.You can even wash Henry’s filters to make sure you capture all the allergens. Simple, spare, effective engineering – like a Sherman tank LOL

    But I am with you on one thing – no pink hoover in this house. LOL

  2. I think I’ve had most makes of vacuum cleaners over the years. I’m too mean to have ever bought a Kirby or a Dyson but I did have a Henry for some years.

    Now, we have two lightweight cleaners – one upstairs, one downstairs. I can’t carry heavy or awkward items up or down stairs any more so I’m future proofing. I do like being able to grab a vacuum for a quick whip round if there are spills.

    Bear in mind that there are only two (supposed) adults in the house and we no longer have any messy pets – tropical fish don’t shed hair!

    To bring it back to the financial aspect. A vacuum cleaner is a tool to help you keep your home running with the minimum time and effort – as you well know, cleaning is a job which only pays low wages. Therefore, if you can earn more than minimum wage, any time which can be diverted to your ‘real job’ is a win in a financial sense.

    I do agree that a pink vacuum cleaner is an absolute no-no. I do have my standards.

  3. My wife bought a Miel 1200 something or other. It sucks dirt that hasn’t even arrived yet. It’s quieter than a speeding feather falling to the floor. When she bought it I nearly died when she said spent close to $1000 but it is a pretty powerful machine.

  4. Am with Elaine on this one – Had three vacuum cleaners in my life – a hoover which set itself on fire as it was built wrong (got a free new one but didn’t trust it), a dyson which was really noisy and too heavy for me to actually carry upstairs comfortably, and now a henry which is so easy to use, has a mega cable and even the kids want to use it – no contest for us really.
    I have watched our cleaners at school using henry’s for years on tough Christmas craft glittered carpets and mod-roc plaster powder and he definitely “does what he says on the tin”

  5. My best friend has central vacuuming in her home, and she swears by it! I have an oooooooold Bissell, and it’s miserable – it’s time has come. My mom has one of the newer Dysons (although it’s refurbished) and loves it!

  6. I just added the Dyson to my wedding registry because of the sleek looks and the superb engineering. I absolutely love the ball mechanics. The number one thing I hate about vacuums is the fact that they are so difficult to maneuver around tight angles.

  7. Thanks for your responses, my friends. Just to let you know that we are the owners of a funny Henry. I know, this is exactly the same as when I wanted a Smart car and ended up with Fiat Panda (I was shopping with John that time as well). Thinkg is, when I finally got a Smart I realised how much better car the Panda was. So, Henry it is! One advantage is the our 11 year old son has been vacuum cleaning the house with it.

  8. I run a cleaning business and have had a Numatic Junior – Henry’s lower end brother – for over 3.5 years now and it has run without fault. Yes, the join on the powdercoated wand became weak and needed replacing. Yes, a floor tool broke after excessive commercial use. But the unit itself has operated without missing a beat.

    I don’t understand what the appeal is with Dysons. They apparently look sleek – I see them as being over-engineered dust catchers, with little bells and whistles that do nothing much more than catch your finger when you’re trying to free a blockage. Some of the older models – jeez, I use to get frustrated trying to work out how to clip something on or off…


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