Product Review: Things That Suck – Vacuums!

Ultimate Vacuuming Power…in an itty bitty living space…

(Yes, that was a reference to Aladdin. I was a child of the 90s, ok?)

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it, but I’ll say it again: My husband and I live in a very small (and very fabulous) loft, so we’re always looking for ways to conserve space and reduce clutter. I’m sure I’ve also mentioned that we have two cats who shed on everything.  Oh yeah, and CJ has some serious dander allergies. To make this situation even more “fun”, CJ and I also each have our own special brands of OCD. What can I say? We like a clean space!

After living together for three years, I think we’ve finally found our perfect vacuuming solution!

Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy Automatic Vacuum Cleaner

This is kinda the best thing ever.  To be perfectly honest, the robot vacuum cleaners are all CJ’s idea.  He loves his tech and his gadgets.  Prior to this, we tried the basic iRobot Roomba. Roomba usually made me angry because it liked to run over my feet.  Also, it would generally choke on cat hair, which meant we’d have to take the brush apart and dig it out.  We then upgraded to the basic Neato.  I liked Neato quite a bit because it did not run over my feet and it did a much better job of cleaning.

We recently upgraded to the Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy Automatic Vacuum Cleaner and it is AMAZING! The special pet brush and filter makes the pet vacuum way more powerful than the regular version! I LOVE coming home to a freshly vacuumed condo at the end of a long day – and the best part is that I didn’t have to do the vacuuming!

Dyson DC44 Animal Digital Slim

But what about cat hair on the sofa, you ask?  There’s a vac for that!

As you can see, both of my girls love some sofa time. Sometimes I think they spend the entire day while we’re at work trying to think up ways to get MORE cat hair on the sofa.

Min’s favorite spot. She likes it because she’s right between me (on the sofa) and CJ (at the computer). She’s a bit of a control freak.


Roxie enjoys the chaise part of the sofa…it offers the most opportunity for snuggles.

The vacuum that ended up solving all my sofa woes was the Dyson DC44 Animal Digital Slim MK2! This thing is truly amazing.

Awesome features:

  • Small and easy to store. It’s wall-mountable! In fact, we didn’t even bother mounting it to a wall…we mounted it to a the side of our bookcase that cant be seen.
  • Rechargeable! Sure, the charge only lasts about 20 minutes, but our place is tiny. Plus, we have Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy Automatic Vacuum Cleaner to get most of the floor.
  • Easy to empty. No bags to buy and nothing to wash. We just detach the dustbin and dump it in the trash. Done!
  • Better than a broom!  I used to spend about 5 minutes in the mornings sweeping up around the litter box and around the cat food. Now I just use Dyson DC44 Animal Digital Slim MK2 and I’m done in about 30 seconds.
  • When I collapse it down and use the upholstery attachment, it’s works like a crazy overpowered dust buster.  It sucks up every single cat hair!
  • Less frightening!  The cats don’t hide from the Dyson DC44 like with the ancient Hoover canister it replaced.

Dynamic Duo

Hidden vacuum corner.


With our new, awesome cleaning machines, I have a hard time believing that just last month, I used to lug an old Hoover canister vac out of the closet, reassemble it, an struggle with parts and tubes – just to clean off the sofa! It’s also hard to imagine that I was also using it to spot clean the corners of the condo! So much work to use something for such a short time.

This is the best possible combination for the busy, city-dweller who loves a clean space. As you can see, we’ve tucked these two vacuums away in a corner of the condo that no one can really see.  The Neato is scheduled to run four times per week, and we only have to empty the cartridge twice per week.  We use the Dyson every morning to clean up tracked litter and once per weekend to deep-vacuum the sofa.

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