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Dyson Upright vs Canister Vacuum: Ultimate Comparison

by  Lawrence -  Last updated on March 8, 2022

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When you’re a child, you usually don’t appreciate everything that your parents do for you.

In fact, it’s usually not until you’re running your own home that you realize quite how much has to be done, and therefore how much your parents did without you noticing. The amount of chores to be done around a home can be quite staggering.

From putting away laundry, to cleaning the bathrooms, to the weekly food shop, there are always heaps of things to do. But one of the chores that can be made easier is vacuuming. The right vacuum can make the task, and your life, so much easier.

But the question is, which vacuum is the right one for you? There is no doubt that if you’ve been looking into vacuums, you’ll have noticed that Dyson is one of the most popular brands on the market.

They’ve been making vacuums for thirty years and are always looking at ways to modernize their existing products. For this reason, it can be a bit overwhelming to know which Dyson vacuum is the right one for you.

Do you want corded or cordless? Robot or handheld? Upright or canister? In this article, we are going to compare the Dyson Canister with the Dyson Upright. To keep it fair, we are going to do a comparison of the Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor Canister Vacuum with the Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum.

We’ll take you through their designs, features, power and other features. So take a look through and by the end you should know which one is better for you.

Dyson Canister vs Upright Vacuum at a Glance

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If you haven’t got enough time to read the whole thing, just take a quick look through our list of advantages and disadvantages here to get an overview.

Dyson Canister Advantages:

  • Light to maneuver
  • Can right itself if it topples

Dyson Canister Disadvantages:

  • Shorter cord
  • Heavier overall

Dyson Upright Advantages:

  • 90º flexibility provided by ball
  • Longer cord

Dyson Upright Disadvantages:

  • Difficult for stairs
  • Bigger

Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is the Dyson Upright.

What’s the Difference Between Them?


Before anything else, let’s talk about the designs. These two vacuums look really different, but they’re actually pretty similar. Both vacuums have been designed to be the most effective vacuums possible, rather than simply following what all the other vacuums do.

This means that they are both pretty streamlined, and aim to be as simple as possible. The Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum has a large silver ball, with yellow details, that links the brush head with the dustbin and wand. It is this ball that houses the motor and electronics.

The 1.6 litre dustbin is attached to the wand and sits directly on top of the ball. This allows the vacuum to work as efficiently as possible. The dustbin uses Dyson’s special dual-layer cyclone system to gather dirt and dust and keep the primary filter clear.

This allows the suction to remain just as powerful, regardless of how full the dustbin gets. The wand lies behind the dustbin and rises up to the handle. This is where the power button is too. Meanwhile, down the side of the wand are the slots for the attachments, as well as the hose.

Although the Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor Canister Vacuum looks quite different, it is actually a not too dissimilar design. The motor and electronics are again housed in a ball shape, which is on wheels and forms the canister.

The dustbin, which is the same size and has the same cyclone system, is then attached to the ball, although it is perpendicular rather than parallel, and nestles within the ball. The hose then links the wand to the ball, with the brush head at the other end of the wand.

This design allows the engine and dustbin to follow the user on the ground, which means that the user only has to carry the wand, making it much lighter. A unique aspect of the Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor Canister Vacuum is that it can right itself if it topples over.

If you’ve ever used a canister vacuum then you’ll know that they have a tendency of falling, toppling and generally pulling you back as you try to go around vacuuming. However, the engineering of this vacuum, together with its ball shape, means that this canister can right itself, so you can just go about your vacuuming without having to worry about it.

The two vacuums have very similar designs in terms of their engines and dustbins, however, the unique design of the canister being able to right itself makes the winner of this round the canister vacuum.


In terms of size, the Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor Canister Vacuum is 12.1 x 15.7 x 13.7 inches, with a hose that is 10 feet long, and a cord that measures 21 feet.

The Canister vacuum is surprisingly heavy, weighing 17.6 lbs, however you wouldn’t usually be carrying that weight, as you would mostly just be carrying the wand with the brush head.

In contrast, the Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum is 42.4 x 15.6 x 13.4 inches, with a cord that measures 31 feet. Not only does it have a longer cord, but it is also slightly lighter at 15.6 lbs.

The upright vacuum is both two pounds lighter and has a cord that is ten inches longer, so it is certainly the winner of this round for us.


When it comes to the usability of these two vacuums, it might be more a case of personal preference, as they are quite different styles. The canister vacuum is great for anyone who can’t carry something heavy for too long.

All that needs to be carried is the wand with the brush head, while the canister can roll behind. The difficult thing is that it is quite heavy, so it can be difficult to lift upstairs. It also has a smaller cord length, so you’ll need to give a bit more thought to which plug socket you’ll use.

However, the wand itself is very versatile, so you are able to reach any angle. The upright vacuum is a bit heavier to push around, but it does mean that you’re in control of the movements of the whole machine.

Again the ball design comes into play here, as it allows the head to turn a full 90º in either direction, so you shouldn’t have any problems in directing it where you want. It then also has a hose, which means that you can leave it at the bottom of the stairs and just carry the hose up to get each stair.

Carrying it up the stairs will be a bit heavy, but it is only one piece to carry, rather than the separate canister and wand of the canister vacuum.


This one is a tie. They are both excellent versions of their style, so it depends on what your preference is.


A lot of people imagine that an upright vacuum will be more powerful. In this case, these two vacuums actually have the same suction power. Given that they are both corded, you don’t need to worry about them running out of battery if you use it on the most powerful mode either.

However, the weight of the upright vacuum sitting above the brush head seems to help it with picking up larger debris, where the canister vacuum has a tendency to just push it around. That being said, they are both more than capable of vacuuming hard floors and low pile, high pile carpets and hard floors, so they should be well suited for however your home is laid out.

Both vacuums have the same suction power, but the canister vacuum seems to be just a little bit less effective than the upright vacuum, so we are going to give this round to the Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum.


For a lot of people, it doesn’t matter about the rest of the specifications. The key aspect is the price difference. And that’s fair enough. We all have our budget, and often we are just looking to see if it is worth spending more for something.

In the case of these two vacuums, although prices can vary, the canister vacuum is around $30 more expensive than the upright vacuum. They are both in the $350-400 bracket, so neither is a cheap option, but when it comes down to it, the Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum is that bit more affordable.

Although there’s not much in it, the upright vacuum is that bit cheaper and therefore our winner of this round.


Well, now that we’ve been through the features and designs of both the upright and canister vacuums, hopefully you have a better idea about what each one has to offer. They have very similar motors, suction powers, dustbins and brush heads.

The main differences lie in the style of vacuum. The canister trails behind, but can right itself if it topples, while the upright vacuum has a ball joint which allows it greater mobility than the standard upright vacuums.

This means that for most people it will come down to personal preference. We prefer the slightly lighter Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum, as it tends to be a bit more effective and is also a bit cheaper, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for you. Which one will you go for?

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