After about a week of testing the cleaning tech, I concluded that there are convenient ways to fit these gadgets into our lives. Here’s a guide.
The Dyson Laser Vacuum
The V15 Detect, unveiled last year, is the latest stick vacuum from Dyson. Getting started is simple: You charge the battery, attach a cleaning head to the stick and press a button.
The device comes with seven cleaning heads for sucking up dust and dirt on hardwood floors, carpets and smaller areas like crevices. The roller attachment for hardwood is the one with the laser. It makes night vacuuming a thing — the darker it is, the more visible the laser. An attachment for carpet includes a cutter to slice up hair, which reduces the need to do maintenance on the head.
Stick vacuums have been popular because of their lightweight and cordless mobility, which makes cleaning less of a hassle than schlepping an upright corded vacuum around. Generally, though, the sticks have served as a secondary cleaner to a full-size vacuum because of their short battery life and relatively weak suction.
I can confirm that the stick vacuum has come a long way. The V15 Detect has a significantly more powerful motor, with stronger suction, than my Dyson V6 stick vacuum, which was released in 2015. Its battery lasted about 40 minutes before needing a charge, enough time to go through my modestly sized home. (My V6 lasted about 15 minutes.)
Lastly, the Dyson’s suction was not as strong as my extremely powerful Miele bagged vacuum. But after two weeks of vacuuming hardwood floors and carpets with the stick, I didn’t feel a need to plug in the full-size vacuum.
It takes a while to get accustomed to the Roomba J7+, the $850 robot vacuum, and the Braava Jet M6, the $450 robot mop, both from iRobot. The devices rely on cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to create a map of your home. Once a map is created, you can label each room and tell the robots to clean specific areas or to clean everywhere.