(Pocket-lint) - There will always be two camps over whether you should opt for an upright vacuum cleaner or a smaller based cylinder option and Dyson continue to make that decision harder and harder for you each year.

Launching in 2012 is the Dyson DC38, a lightweight cylinder vacuum cleaner that promises to give you great manoeuvrability while still giving you good suction.

Can the DC38 Multi Floor achieve that? We've been living with one in the office for a couple of weeks to find out.


The DC38 Multi Floor is a dinky little cleaner. It's main unit - excluding the rather large and long hose/handle - measures 290 x 240 x 438mm in size and weighs 6kg.

That small design does mean you get a tiny bin capacity of just .54 litres, that's a fairly obvious trade-off for having a small machine.


Using the company's ball technology for movement, the motor - that provides 170 AW of sucking power - is hidden in the unit's ball, which keeps the design nice and clean.

The striking Dyson design ethos remains with the new DC38. The overall design has been through a refining process compared to previous models, but it is still clearly a Dyson. The vacuum cleaner is mainly grey with a strong dash of colour, in this case yellow, and a clear bin topped with all those "cyclone" funnels still looks really "industrial", and lets you can see the dirt you are collecting.

Moving around

As you can imagine with the DC38, the design focused around a ball makes dragging the vacuum cleaner in the direction you want very easy. The manoeuvrability is so good that the cleaner can actually turn on the spot. To add even greater flexibility the hose can also be moved through what we think is about a 160 degrees meaning it is just easy to use. Not once did we find ourselves fighting with the cleaner to get it to move the way we wanted it to - a good thing in our books.


In use and the cleaner is good, picking up the dirt quickly, effectively, and quietly. We did have to go over troublesome spots from time to time, but on the whole we are impressed by the sucking performance of the DC38. We especially like the flat design of the head unit - which you attach to the end of the hose - as this allowed us to get under the edge of our sofa easily.

The "Turbo boost" button works a treat, and the auto coiling power cable helps keep things nice and tidy.


If you are restricted in storage space then the option of a cylinder cleaner might be the way to go. But be warned, while the actually cleaning unit is small, by the time you add the hose, handle and head it can soon become quite large. Dyson have managed to shrink the main unit down a treat, but all those accessories soon make it big again. 

At £299 the cleaner isn't cheap either, but it will get your house clean.

Those not so worried about size might want to check out the DC39 Multi Floor for the same price. It's considerably bigger, but comes with a bigger bin capacity (2- rather than .54-litres), and considerably more suction power (290 AW compared to 170 AW). 

Writing by Stuart Miles.