The Vacuum Vibe Shift Is Here
And it’s—gasp!—not from Dyson.
Published Mar 7, 2022 1:56 AM
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If you scroll on Instagram long enough, you’ll start to notice all the millennial reworkings of the classics: Great Jones redoes cookware; Year & Day rethinks plates; Backdrop and Clare reinvent paint. And the list goes on, from mattresses to sofas to even picture frames. And as someone born in the great year of 1985, to use a phrase from my generation: I’m here for it. All of it.
So when I heard about Airsign, a new DTC company launching a $295 vacuum, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I was initially struck by its cool marketing, which featured a woman vacuuming her sleek wood-paneled home in a comforter-like Offhours x West Elm home coat and a pair of citrus-shaded socks. I’d never felt targeted by a product more.
But then, the style of the actual product stopped me. Instead of riffing off of the current millennial-favorite, a Dyson cordless (name someone my age who doesn’t have one; I’ll wait), Airsign’s design is a canister style, meaning there’s a tube that connects the handle to the main box on wheels, which, if we’re being honest, kind of resembles my Away roller bag. The whole contraption reminded me of the Sears setup my siblings and I would lug around our family’s carpeted split-level on chore day. Could I really be swayed away from my stick vacuum? When Airsign founder Joseph Guerra dropped off a tester unit for me to try, he assured me I would be converted.
Putting together the 10-pound unit was supereasy thanks to well-labeled packaging, and the unit feels less icky when you know that it’s made from 20 percent recycled plastic and can be disassembled for recycling, too. The cord is neatly concealed in the canister, and its 25-foot radius meant I could roam most of my kitchen and dining room without having to find a new outlet. The canister also conceals the airbags, which trap dirt and dust better than bagless versions and are biodegradable.
But what you really want to know is: How much does this thing suck? The truth is, a lot. The suction power of the highest setting is so strong that I at one point worried that the Airsign would catch a corner of my flat-weave rug and inhale the entire thing, like in a cartoon. But in a side-by-side test on my hardwood floors, my Dyson did a better job at cleaning up crushed cereal. I don’t have carpet in my apartment, but I did try it in my building’s hallway, where it glided around with ease.
Ease—that’s the thing with cleaning, isn’t it? Having to retrieve a two-part machine from the closet every time I need to vacuum does make it feel more like a chore, and for that reason alone, there’s no doubt that my Dyson is more convenient. But my stick version also lacks a HEPA filter, which the Airsign has, along with easy-to-remove screws for when it needs repair. If I had a house (especially one with carpeting), I’d fill it with the Airsign ASAP. Because if there’s one thing this newfangled vacuum gives me, it’s nostalgia. And it’s nearly impossible for any other model to compete with that.
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