With a simple claim, Eureka has thrown the gauntlet down. Their new AirSpeed vacuum "cleans carpets better than the Dyson DC14, DC17 and DC25 at one-third the price!" the vacuum maker boasts. To see how Eureka’s claims live up to reality, we pit the AirSpeed against the Dyson DC25, as well as the higher-priced DC28.
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|Suction Test (Carpet)|
Suction Test (Carpet)
We started with a fixed amount of flour on a carpeted floor, and then used each model to see how much it could suck up in 30 seconds, starting from the upright and off position.
Eureka AirSpeed: While the Eureka AirSpeed vacuumed up most of the flour, there were still stubborn remnants left over. We also noticed a few general design issues with the Eureka—the vacuum felt creaky and unstable when it was being lowered, and the power button was hidden in the relatively inaccessible back and bottom of the appliance.
Dyson DC25: The Dyson DC25 was able to gulp up all of the flour in the 30-second window, leaving the carpet powder-free. The DC25 also benefited from an ergonomically friendly design—it was the easiest vacuum to lower, with a convenient foot pedal on the back that allowed for a simple transition to the downright position. The power button was also conveniently placed in the front of the vacuum near the handle.
Dyson DC28: But it was the Dyson DC28 that bested the competition, vacuuming up the flour in a mere 15 seconds, after barely a single pass. Still, lowering the vacuum took more time than the DC25 did, since the user needs to hold the base down with his foot while pulling the rest of the vacuum back.
Winner: The Dyson DC28
We tested the suction speed of the hose, timing how long it would take the hose (without any tools attached) to vacuum up a fixed amount of flour from a carpet.
Eureka AirSpeed: The AirSpeed was easy to use and took 21 seconds to vacuum up the flour.
Dyson DC25: The Dyson DC25 took 22 seconds to clean the flour.
Dyson DC28: The Dyson DC28 vacuumed up the same amount of flour in 19 seconds.
Winner: Tie. For suction speed, there was little noticeable difference between the three models, and all models boasted a concentration of power to the hose when in use.
|Suction Test (Wood/Tile)|
Suction Test (Wood/Tile)
We performed the same power test as before, only this time on hardwood. We sucked up a fixed amount of flour with each model, and saw which vacuum could clean the hardwood fastest.
Eureka AirSpeed: The AirSpeed struggled to pick up flour from the hardwood floor, and a fair amount of powder remained after a full minute of vacuuming.
Dyson DC25: The Dyson DC25 took 43 seconds to vacuum up the flour pile, with no remnants of flour left on the hardwood. However, the flat front of the DC25 pushed the flour forward on the flooring, requiring the vacuum to be lifted over the top of the flour pile to fully clean the wood.
Dyson DC28: Once again, the Dyson DC28 offered a more efficient clean, taking only 29 seconds to vacuum up the same amount of flour, and leaving absolutely no remnants behind. However, when removing the vacuum from the testing surface, some flour did spill out of the base.
Winner: Dyson DC28
We played vacuum limbo to see which model could go under a shorter table by measuring the maximum height on the vacuum, when the vacuum is in the lowest downright position while still keeping the base fully on the floor. We then measured the width of each vacuum’s cleaning path—a narrow width is easy to fit into nooks and crannies.
Eureka AirSpeed: When shifted to its lowest position, the highest point on the AirSpeed was 14 inches. The cleaning-path width of the base is 14 inches wide.
Dyson DC25: The Dyson DC25 measured in at 20 inches at the highest point when playing vacuum limbo. However, the DC25 has the most compact design with the smallest dust cup as well as the smallest cleaning path width: 11 inches.
Dyson DC28: The Dyson DC28 had a maximum height of 22 inches when in its lowest downright position, and has a cleaning path width of 13.5 inches.
Winner: Dyson DC25 While the AirSpeed does go the lowest of the three, its bulky design will get in the way when vacuuming under hard-to-reach places. We preferred the easily maneuverable DC25 with its compact shape and small cleaning-path width for tight spaces. However, this narrow path could mean that open spaces take longer to clean.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes, you get what you pay for. The most expensive vacuum in our test also proved to be the most powerful, with the luxury-priced Dyson DC28 coming out tops, and the DC25 coming in second. Still, at around $120, it’s hard to argue with the Eureka Airspeed when it comes to price, and for budget-minded users, this may be the best purchase.
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