The Dyson V6 Mattress is a battery-powered handheld vacuum cleaner with a specialty: beds. Dyson claims that all of our mattresses are covered in dust mites and dust mite feces, as well as our own skin cells, hair, and other microscopic refuse. Unfortunately, Dyson is right. As we sleep in our beds at night, we are surrounded by a micro universe of filth, dust, and allergens. Fortunately, the V6 Mattress is here to combat the micron-sized horrors with powerful suction, an assortment of attachments, and a hygienic-if-tiny dust receptacle. At $249.99, it’s expensive considering its very specific function, but it could be worth it if you’re an allergy sufferer or a Felix Unger type who wants fewer microbes in your home.
Design and Features
The V6 Mattress looks very similar to Dyson’s DC59 Animal and DC59 Motorhead stick vacuums, but just the top part. It’s almost like a robo-gun from the future. The vacuum is made mostly of white plastic with turquoise accents, with a clear tommy gun-like drum for a dust receptacle. It even has a trigger and something of a safety lock in the red bin ejector. It works by pulling the trigger, and you can boost the suction power by pressing the Max button on the butt of the machine, although battery life will take a serious hit—from 20 minutes down to just six. Better bust those dust mites fast.
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Dyson’s cyclone system uses 15 cyclones, arranged across two tiers, that work in parallel to increase airflow and capture fine dust. You can see this from the outside out of the V6 in the form of chromed, reflective plastic that’s contoured around each chamber, with a removable, washable HEPA filter in the middle. The dust compartment holds a large turquoise chamber inside to direct dust and other microscopic critters.
Emptying the dust chamber is easy: pull the red catch opposite the trigger and the bottom flips out, allowing the dust to fall straight into a trash bin—very hygienic. Be sure to keep the chamber close to the garbage can though, in order to avoid spraying stray dust everywhere. Also keep in mind that you’ll be emptying the canister a lot, since it’s very small. It only holds up to 0.12 gallons of gunk. If it gets too full, you can remove it and wash it separately, which you may want to do anyway if you have pets or a lot of hair—hair has a tendency to tangle and can be difficult to remove otherwise.
Attachments and Performance
Four attachments come with the V6 Mattress, including a soft upholstery brush for keyboards and other small surfaces, a combination accessory tool, and a crevice tool that’s good for corners, and, well, crevices. Perhaps also crevasses.
But the real star is the motorized mattress tool with stiff nylon bristles that knocks up dust mites and skin flakes and sucks them into the V6. Much to my glee and horror, it really works. I ran the V6 across my seemingly pristine sheets and saw the truth trapped inside the clear container: large clumps of dust, like awful gray captives, revealed for my naked eye to behold. Yuck.
So, there you have it: we all sleep in squalor, or at least I do, apparently, and the mattress tool is the one to get it done, at least when it comes to cleaning beds.
When I tried the other accessories on my sheets, they didn’t yield the same results. But they’re appropriate for small spills of dry items like Cheerios or cat litter. The combination brush took a little while to suck up the litter, but it worked like a charm on both crushed and whole Cheerios. The mattress tool also worked its powerful magic on both substances. The slim crevice tool did a decent job on them, too, but the upholstery tool is really only good for fabric. It’s a nice set of accessories, and it helps the V6 feel like more than just a tool for cleaning your mattress.
As mentioned above, Dyson claims a maximum battery life of about 20 minutes, or 16 minutes with the motorized mattress tool attached. That number drops to six minutes while in Max mode, which boosts the suction power to an impressive 100 air watts. No matter the setting, you’re pretty much stuck to vacuuming in short bursts. It takes about three and a half hours to charge the V6 with the included adapter. Unfortunately, the vacuum won’t work with the adapter plugged in, which in many instances would solve the battery life issue.
The best thing about the Dyson V6 Mattress is that it truly works as advertised. Set it to Max and you’ll see dust bunny colonies born from your bed in no time. The six-minute battery life in this mode might be cause for alarm, especially if you have a queen or a king mattress. But thanks to the powerful suction, you can potentially get your dust busting done quickly. Still, the $250 price tag is a bit of an issue, considering the V6’s narrow focus. You can get a hand vac that does the same basic tasks—minus the heavy-duty mattress cleansing—for a fraction of the price. But if you suffer from allergies, or you’re just a neat freak who appreciates design aesthetics, the V6 Mattress is worth considering.