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Extremely user-friendly, but only after mastering a bit of a learning curve.

The DC26 is relatively easy to push on hardwood because of Dyson’s swivel-ball technology, which allows for quite a lot of control. The canister is very compact—the whole thing is only 11.74 pounds—so users can pick it up and move on stairs or between rooms with ease. The hand wand, however, isn’t as light as you’d expect, while the cleaning head is actually too light. It means the cleaning head will glide over thick carpet instead of burrowing down and getting the dirt out. The cord retracts, but it's only 18 feet long, which means you'll have to unplug it to move among different rooms of your house.

The hand wand, however, isn't as light as you'd expect, while the cleaning head is actually too light.

The Dyson DC26 Multi Floor has a few simple controls on the base of the canister: a power button on the left and a cord retract button on the right. You can remove the dirt container from the base with a simple click of the grey button at the top. The container can be emptied from its trap door at the bottom by pushing its red button, and there's a washable HEPA filter in there too.

There is also a silver button at the bottom of the hose that allows users to switch between cleaning tools. Those include a crevice tool, which features a brush that slides to the top, a wide nozzle, and a small tool with plastic bristles that can be used to dig up tough dirt from carpet. They attach to an extendable wand that gives either 48 inches of reach up top, or around nine feet of distance from the cleaner itself.

Effective on hardwood floors, but disappointing almost everywhere else.

It left behind more than 90 percent of the dirt we put down, among the worst performance we've seen.

If you’re looking for an all-purpose vacuum that will reliably pick up dirt on long carpet, the Dyson DC26 Multi Floor isn’t your answer. It left behind more than 90 percent of the dirt we put down, among the worst performance we've seen. Short pile carpet wasn't that much better, though hardwood floor cleaning was acceptable. Debris and pet hair pickup were equally unfortunate. Considering how much effort was put into engineering this vacuum to be user-friendly, these test results were quite a disappointment. At the very least, this vacuum is somewhat good at keeping the noise down.

So much about this vacuum impressed us...until we started cleaning with it.

The Dyson DC26 Multi Floor is a good target for customers seeking a portable vacuum that can suck up dirt from a kitchen floor. Just don’t expect it to perform well on either short or high carpet. The DC26 struggled on low carpet and barely picked up any dirt on the high pile. On hardwood floors, it did pretty well. But for a vacuum that has a $399 price tag (it can also be found for $319 online), the overall results are disappointing.

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What the DC26 has going for it is ease of use. Like most Dysons, the dirt container is user-friendly and a breeze to empty. At only 11.74 pounds, the DC26 is also not hard to carry around your house and, since the hand wand attaches to the back of the canister, it stores well. The Dyson DC26 Multi Floor is energy-friendly, as well, so it won’t put too much of a dent in your electricity bill.

The Dyson DC26 Multi Floor has OK performance on hardwood and is fairly capable on short carpet, but avoid using it on long carpet.

You'll be stunned by what it leaves behind.

The DC26 pulled in a measly 6.7% of the sand and talcum powder from our high pile carpet, and most of what the vacuum sucked up was the talcum. This vacuum clearly wasn’t meant to suck dirt from the depths of long carpet. On short carpet, the DC26 pulled in 39.5% of dirt, which also isn’t great at all. Wood floor performance was acceptable: it hauled in 86.7% of our sand and talcum powder combination.

With pet hair, the Dyson DC26 Multi Floor did a good job and pulled in most of it, leaving only a bit of fur in its wake. The only problem was that a lot of the hair ended up getting caught in its power brush. In our debris test, the DC26 pushed much of the debris forward, sucking up only 24% of it. Users should note that the power brush was turned off during this test to prevent damaging our hardwood floor. With the power brush running on high carpet, the DC26 did much better, raking in 64% of the debris. The vacuum sucked up 90% of rice and 87% of macaroni, but had trouble with the coins. Most of the dimes and pennies that it would suck up were caught in between its nozzle and hose and not easy to remove after the fact.

Quiet and miserly.

The Dyson DC26 Multi Floor was fairly quiet. In our tests, it put out 73.9 decibels, but that’s still a tad high for such a small vacuum. It also only pulled around 1030 watts.

Meet the tester

Patrick Ouellette

Patrick Ouellette

Staff Writer

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Patrick Ouellette is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

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