Dyson’s V12 Detect Cordless Vac Eats and Leaves No Crumbs


Like most New York City apartments, mine has outdated parquet floors. It’s easy to spot scuff marks and stains, but dust feels almost impossible. Before a Dyson vacuum entered my arsenal, I relied on a Swiffer Sweeper. (The clunky Dirt Devil vac I shared with my roommates lost suction.) I’ll admit I can be obsessive over cleanliness, but I’d fly through boxes of Swiffer sweeping cloths on what felt like a weekly basis—there’s always more dust. My situation was annoying and pricey.

Dyson’s cordless vacuum line has always been an aspirational household appliance for me (you know you’re an adult when you look forward to buying a vacuum). But I always felt like such an expensive item was overkill for a tiny New York apartment and that I wouldn’t use it to its full extent. The cheaper models also never felt quite “cheap” either. If I was going to drop hundreds of dollars on a Dyson, I didn’t want to settle. But it still had to be slim, with an array of tools I knew I would reach for (and none that I wouldn’t).

Enter the Dyson V12 Detect Slim. I immediately winced at the $650 price tag, but it’s quite literally the vacuum of my dreams. There’s laser detection, which shoots out a green light so you can see the dust before you suck it up. It’s slimmer and more compact than many other stick vacs, and it’s great for reaching those random hard-to-reach crevices in my apartment. If I can’t buy a house as a millennial, I can at least justify a Dyson, right?

Compact and Comfortable

Photograph: Dyson

The V12 Detect Slim looks like most Dyson stick vacs, though there’s an LCD screen that lets you switch between three cleaning modes: Eco, which preserves battery and increases runtime; Auto, which adapts suction based on dust level; and Boost, which is power-intensive for deep cleans but lasts a short amount of time. 

It also displays battery life, filter and blockage information, and data that shows the size and kinds of particles it’s potentially sucking up in real time. The yellow bar, for example, means that it’s mostly pulling in particles the size of allergens and pollen. The pink bar means particles as small as dust mites and fine sand, and the purple bar is particles as small as sugar granules. It’s helpful information to know, but if you’d rather not know, you can turn this off.

The V12 Detect is the first in Dyson’s lineup to have a single power button, so you don’t need to hold down a trigger the whole time when vacuuming. Just press the button on to start and off to stop. It’s my favorite feature (aside from the laser system) because it makes it easier to keep vacuuming while moving furniture out of the way (and it keeps me from accidentally powering it on while carrying it in between rooms). It’s also great for those who suffer from carpal tunnel or arthritis, especially when you’re vacuuming for longer periods of time.

Included in the box are two cleaner heads (a Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head for hard surfaces and a Motorbar cleaner head for all surfaces), plus six accessories, including a hair screw tool, crevice tool, combination tool, wand clip (to store the two aforementioned accessories), docking station, and charger for the removable battery. That’s plenty for me, but for the same price, you can get the V12 Detect Slim Extra or V12 Detect Absolute, which have additional accessories like an extension hose, mattress tool, or mini dusting brush.

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