This article first appeared at Manchester Vacs.
Sebo versus Dyson?
It’s a big question and one that is popping up more and more. As Dyson focus more and more on cordless and handheld machines (of which they are the undisputed market leader), robots and other domestic appliances (like hairdryers), the more traditional vacuum cleaner buyer, who remembers bags and likes a more traditional machine with a flex as a main vacuum, is sometimes tempted to look elsewhere.
If you are looking for a quality vacuum cleaner, and don’t fancy a Dyson, you may well end up at the door of Sebo. Possibly Miele or Kirby, but more often than not, Sebo.
Whatever you do, PLEASE don’t buy a modern Vax, Bissell, Electrolux, Hoover or similar mass-produced machine. In our opinion, none of those are quality products any more.
It is a subject I have seen on a few discussion sites. So I thought we would try it here with a poll so folks can vote as well.
As we sell both, I think I can consider myself *reasonably* objective. That said, I have had nothing but Dysons at home since the mid/late nineties when we were first selling new DC04s. And in all that time I think the DC14 we have at home now is my 4th or 5th permanent ‘home machine’ since then (none died, all but the current one we still have were later sold – but I look after them).
We do have a Dyson cordless DC35 at home as well, an AM04 heating fan, a TP02 fan/purifier and an Airblade hand dryer in the downstairs bathroom. My wife is waiting on her Dyson hairdryer, so as we have a Dyson business as well, we might be considered Dyson freaks.
Until last year, I was one of these blokes who thought proper vacuum cleaners meant “Dyson” and anything else was collectively grouped together as “other crap” (excepting interesting vintage stuff). Certainly, 99% of everything that wasn’t a Dyson that came in our shop for repair the last decade or so could safely be grouped into the “other crap” category. Stuff like Vax, Bissell and Hoover.
I was vaguely aware of other stuff like Kirby (a million pounds new, half a ton in weight and now £50 on Gumtree including 26 boxes of tools you will never use) and the “upmarket” German machines like Miele and Sebo, but we seldom saw them for repair so I had little experience of them.
The last couple of years, I kept hearing people in the trade talking more about Sebo. Last year it was suggested to us that many of the more reputable larger Dyson shops in various parts of the country are now also stocking Sebo as well. I did some online research, and found almost nothing bad written about Sebo. I kept reading tales of people who had had them 20 years and they were still just fine. How they are used in hotels and cruise ships. How even the Whitehouse in the US uses them. Sebo were voted Which? magazine’s “most reliable brand”, etc. To cut a long story short, I met our local Sebo rep, discussed the products in depth, checked them out and shortly afterwards we became Sebo agents.
Sebo has a large and very solid following. Mostly middle class folks in the shires and other affluent areas who typically buy them from places like John Lewis and more competitive independent dealers like us. Indeed, we now offer a Sebo vacuum home delivery service to Cheshire and our near locality. You’ll not find them in Argos, QVC, Netto or Tesco. Sebo simply don’t roll that way. You’ll not see them advertised on TV either. We call them “the best German brand you have never heard of”. It’s like you must discover them……….
Dyson on the other hand are all over the TV and every outlet you can think of. They own about 50% of the UK vacuum cleaner market. We all know the products and most of them work well enough to spend a few years in our homes doing what James Dyson intended them to do.
But which one is best? Dyson or Sebo?
For me now, there is no black and white answer. It very much depends on your usage and personal preferences. Hence this topic.
Sebo – while still a premium product – is generally cheaper to buy than Dyson (because Sebo aren’t on your TV every five minutes and continue to develop machines that work well rather than trying to reinvent the wheel every two years).
Bags versus Bagless.
Dyson are bagless. Sebos have bags.
All but the newest £300-400+ Dysons have filters you must wash and/or replace. In Sebos, the bag forms part of the filtration system so no filters to wash regularly.
Which is best?
There is no definitive answer to this. Both do the job equally as well in most respects. For what Sebo bags cost, the “But you don’t need to buy bags” argument holds little water. If the price of bags (circa £10 a year) matters to you, buy a £75 bagless Vax and throw it away when it breaks (and it will).
Here is a comment from the Mumsnet forum on the subject:
I’ve had an upright Sebo for 12 years now. It’s brilliant! It lasted through 2 years of living in a building site and literally vacuuming carpet padding (previous owners took carpets with them!). It never broke down or failed. We still have it. I have a lot of allergies and chose it because it is highly rated for capturing the smaller particles. I prefer having bags too. I find dealing directly with hair, dead bugs, dust, etc. a bit off putting.
Meanwhile, my MIL has had 3 Dysons in the same 12 years. They look neat, but for me a vacuum, cleaner is a work horse not a style statement.
The whole bagless -v- bags vacuum cleaner argument is like Remain or Brexit, red wine or white wine, fish or steak, or lager -v- bitter. Everyone has a different opinion, nobody can ever be right. You choose what is right for you.
The wife factor.
In terms of vacuum cleaners, my wife is reasonably lucky that she can choose anything we have in stock in our shop to use at home (she would feel luckier if our business was vintage diamonds or Jimmy Choo shoes – but it is what it is). If she doesn’t like it, it can go back and be resold as reconditioned after we have serviced it. The last few years she has been very happy with a Dyson DC14; it has done everything she has expected of it. She tried a DC24 and wasn’t keen on it so it went back. She tried newer stuff and went back to her DC14.
When women she knows started discussing Sebo vacuums, she started using one of our demonstrators to vacuum our shop. Just to see how they were. Recently, she decided she wanted one at home to try it out. Now, one has arrived at home alongside the Dyson………
And her opinion is it is MUCH better on carpet when you hit the “hunker down” button on the top model. Worth noting that the DC14 we are comparing it to is an older Dyson model and not Dyson’s latest model.
I tried the top X4 Pet model above in my office at home today (with the “extra” button on) and it left streaks across the carpet. Even my seven year old girl (who was “helping” me) said it was like “the carpet in the hotels in America because you can see the stripes where it is clean”. And they use Windsors, which are also Sebos.
My wife has decided she wants to hang on to her new black Sebo, but isn’t *yet* ready to give up her DC14 (unless I find her an adaptor that makes all the Dyson dusting and other tools fit the Sebo). So in a Dyson -v- Sebo contest, she is undecided.
Edit: We now stock the >>Dyson tools to Sebo vacuum adaptor<< – I solved that one.
People who have owned a Sebo seldom want anything else. But the same could be said for people who have owned Dysons. So what for the people coming from Vax, Hoover, Electrolux or Bissel into something better? Which one to choose?
So I put the subject out for discussion and a vote in our poll. Dyson or Sebo?
This was a guest article on Dyson Medic by Manchester Vacs – the largest Dyson and Sebo agents in the north of England. If you like the article, please use the social media buttons below to share it.