Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ review: The ute of vacuums
Quick verdict: A wonderfully powerful vacuum, but it lacks the versatility of its cordless siblings.
- Huge dustbin
- Very powerful
- Glides easily for the weight
- Confusing and difficult assembly
- Impractical for anything other than floor cleaning
With its corded upright design, the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ is somewhat of a relic in 2021. In fact, Dyson itself announced in 2018 that it would be ceasing development of corded vacuums, though are still producing a few of those older lines.
Though this may be a little outdated compared to cordless stick vacuums, the upright vacuum was once a mainstay of the vacuum world, offering manoeuvrability and power with a particular focus on floor cleaning. So does this design still hold up?
Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ review: Design
Despite being a few years old, the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ still manages to look slightly futuristic. The solid glossy plastic mixed with bright pops of colour and an alien-looking cyclone feels iconic and timeless. There's no fancy LCD screen or bells and whistles – just an on and off button for both the machine and the powered floor head.
But, putting together the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ was one of the most confusing vacuum experiences I've ever had. The Multi Floor+ head attaches to the bottom of the unit with quite a bit of difficulty, and there's a long extension pole that threads through a hose and snaps into the handle of the unit.
It works, but it's not intuitive. It feels like looking at an AI generated image where no figure or form is quite complete. It's just confusing.
The pole can be unthreaded from the hose and attached to the end for an impressive amount of reach with nimble movement. You can attach accessories directly to the end of the hose, which is perhaps one of the best feeling hoses I've ever used. The sensory experience of extending it is divine, plus it reaches out quite far and easily folds tightly back.
However, it's not that practical to use the Light Ball Multi Floor+ outside of floor cleaning because of its heft. It weighs 6.33kg, stands over a metre tall, and has a footprint of roughly 40cm all around. There is a handle in the middle to help carry it, but I still found it quite the task.
While the Ball technology allows smooth movement on the floor, that 6kg feels like a lot to lift. I hadn't thought much about how often I lift the vacuum to manoeuvre tight spaces or unstick from rugs until I had to do so with 6kg. Carrying it downstairs from an apartment to vacuum the car is almost cruel.
There is, of course, a cord. Now, I won't mince my words: I hate corded vacuums. They make me unbearably angry.
I hate having to find a free power point. I hate getting the cord caught on things. I hate having to untangle. I hate accidentally yanking it when I get too far away then having to walk back to unplug it and begin the torture again at another power point. It's a surefire way to turn an enjoyable task into a bummer.
Thankfully the cord neatly wraps around the back of the unit, and has a clip near the plug that very effectively keeps it tidy. It often seemed to effortlessly unwind during use. I generally didn't notice that I was being given more length as I moved around the house – it just did it automatically. A small blessing, but not enough to cover the general sins of a cord.
The Light Ball Multi Floor+ is fairly light on included accessories, coming with a Stair Tool, Combination Tool, and Carbon Fibre Soft Dusting Brush. There's a spot for the Stair and Combination tools to clip into the side of the unit, but the poor Dusting Brush has no home.
While I'm thankful there isn't a slew of loose accessories, like you often get with vacuums, this almost feels mean. Why has the Dusting Brush been left out and excluded like this? Does he not deserve a safe spot to stay? This abandoned accessory haunts me.
The joint between the floor head and body clicks to either give free movement whilst vacuuming, or lock the body upright. This reroutes the suction power from the floor head when tilted back, to the hose when upright. It's quite sturdy when locked, and can easily be kept in any spot that's large enough for it. It's tidy, and helps the unit feel less chunky than it is.
Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ review: Performance
If we were to imagine cordless stick vacuums as small hatchback cars, made for zipping through city streets, then the Light Ball Multi Floor+ is a big ol' ute. It's chunky, yet moves surprisingly fast, and roars with power. You can feel it rumbling in your hands when the motor whirs up, and it feels good.
And, like a ute, this thing has some heft behind it. The 6kg of weight is enough that you'll give it a good push to get going, and be carried forward by some inertia. If you're not careful this can mean slamming into things quite hard.
Of course, being a corded vacuum opens up the lid for a lot of power in comparison to cordless models. It's just pedal-to-the-metal full pelt power the whole time, and there's a sizeable bagless dustbin to accommodate the intense amount of dust this thing will suck up. It almost feels like giving your floor an industrial deep clean.
Although I'm a true believer that anyone with carpet should invest in a wet vac for true deep cleaning, and I will be preparing my Ted Talk about it soon.
The cord does need to be unwound entirely if you wish to use the hose component and accessories for car or surface cleaning. Despite how much I like the feel of the extendable hose, using it was a pain. It automatically cinches back up if not enough force is applied to extend it, and a decent amount of force is required. I found myself with 1 hand holding the hose to give myself some slack, the other hand actually doing the vacuuming, and a foot placed on the machine to prevent it from toppling. I'm here to clean, not play Twister.
It's an extremely inconvenient experience, and I found myself turning a blind eye to bits of grit that I would usually immediately clean with a cordless vacuum. In that regard, I do think your house ends up cleaner in general if you opt for a cordless model that helps you do frequent small cleans, even if the Light Ball does boast superior power.
The high-reach wand is very good for vacuuming the ceiling, but not much else. It's lightweight and manoeuvrable, especially when compared to supporting the weight of a cordless vacuum body. But ceiling vacuuming is usually a "sometimes" task anyway. The only time I really do it is when we have a bit of a fruit fly flare up or a stray wasp in the house, which isn't often enough to crave a high-reach wand.
The Combination Tool and Stair Tool work well enough – though I tested the Stair Tool on upholstered surfaces like the couch in lieu of stairs. It's a basic unpowered head and has quite a small footprint. I can't imagine wanting to balance the machine on a stair as you crouch next to its loud whirring motor to vacuum. Plus, the tube only extends so far, so I wouldn't recommend this vacuum for stair cleaning.
The Carbon Fibre Soft Dusting Brush did a solid job dusting flat surfaces and my TV, but cannot suck up debris larger than dust. The tool was very effective at providing suction all the way down to the very tip, and made light work of surfaces where a Combination Tool would usually leave a bit of grime behind.
Despite its size, I found the Light Ball Multi Floor+ moved quite smoothly across the carpet. However, the head is quite wide, and with the large Ball behind it it's not well-suited to sliding under coffee tables or between the legs of chairs. The powered head can be turned off for use on hard floors, though I would still be a little concerned about wooden floorboards getting scratched from the Ball. To me this feels most suited to deep carpet cleaning.
The dustbin detaches from the unit, and has a mechanism to open the bottom for emptying. It doesn't have the same kind of rubber skirt that the Dyson V15 Detect has, for example, which pushes debris out as you slide the dustbin. However, the extra space helps prevent things from getting so tightly packed that you need it.
The larger dustbin means a larger area from which debris is being ejected so you're going to want to be accurate with where you're aiming that thing, and make sure your trash can is big enough.
Should you buy it?
- Buy it if you are primarily vacuuming heavily soiled floors.
- Don't buy it if you want an all-rounder vacuum.
The Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ is about as close as I would come to recommending a corded vacuum in 2021, but it still just misses the mark for me. While it is considerably cheaper than Dyson's cordless vacuum lineup it's much more limited in usability.
You simply won't want to vacuum anything other than the floor because it's far too much hassle. You'll also want to vacuum less often. To me this means you're getting less bang for your buck.
The power upgrade doesn't feel significant enough to pick it over a cordless vacuum, either. Technology has come a very long way since 2017, and I implore you to embrace it. But if you really just want a deep carpet clean then this could be the one for you.
Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ review: Pricing and availability
How we tested
The Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+ was tested in a 2 bedroom, low-pile carpeted apartment, with tiles for hard floor testing. The space is inhabited by 2 long-haired people, a long-haired dog, and a cat. Testing was done over a period of weeks.
Dyson supplied the vacuum for the purposes of this review.
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