Henry vs Dyson

henry vs dyson


Henry Vs Dyson may sound like an event that you’d have to pay to watch, involving staying awake until the wee hours to watch two fully grown blokes pounding lumps out of each other to see who falls over first, but no, I am of course talking about Henry Hoover Vs Dyson vacuum cleaners.

I’m not going to use the obvious pun here and say that neither of these brands suck, because of course both do suck very well, meaning of course that Henry and Dyson are both known for supreme suction power.

There’s a heck of a lot more to consider than power alone, though, when pitting these titans of the vacuum cleaner world against each other, and I’ll cover all of these important areas to give a well-balanced judgement of which I believe are the best vacuum cleaners in the UK when it comes to Dyson Vs Henry.

Referring to Henry Hoover as one of the Titans may seem a stretch to some, especially when you look at this relatively small, characterful little vacuum cleaner, but don’t let looks deceive you. Henry is a force to be reckoned with, not just as a product but also as a brand. 

Yes, if you asked most people in the UK to name the biggest brand of vacuum cleaners they’d probably reply “Dyson”, thanks to the huge amount of hype that surrounds Dyson, a firm with a mammoth marketing budget led by an entrepreneurial and industrial legend. 

But, while the firm behind Henry Hoover, Numatic International, may not quite be the giant that Dyson is (their turnover is heading towards the couple of hundred million mark, so not small fry but it does pale in comparison to Dyson’s roughly 6 billion pound turnover) they’re one of the leading and best-known vacuum cleaner brands in the UK, and they’re particularly popular among professional cleaners. 

While Henry is the famous character in Numatic’s range, they make a number of other hoovers and industrial cleaners, and they’ve come a  long way from their humble beginnings with commercial vacuum cleaners being made from whatever parts were readily available, including washing up bowls and oil drums.

There aren’t a massive amount of vacuum cleaner brands that have become household names, but it’s fair to say that Dyson and Henry are two of the brands who definitely have achieved this, and at different sides of the price spectrum. 

While Dyson are famous in the UK for being the most expensive vacuum cleaners, even to the point that owning the latest Dyson can be regarded somewhat as a status symbol, Henry are famously inexpensive, so It’s probably fair to say that Henry is the leading brand where value for money is concerned, while Dyson is the head of the pack when it comes to prestige.

But does status and prestige really matter, for a vacuum cleaner, that will probably be stored away in a cupboard anyway, when not in use? Judging by the huge success of Dyson vacuum cleaners, I would say that for many, it really does! 

The more shrewd among us, however, would prefer to invest our hard-earned money on more enjoyable stuff than hoovering, in which case Henry becomes a much more interesting proposition, everything taken into account.

As well as price, these two brands are at opposite sides of the market also when it comes to the kinds of vacuum cleaners they produce. 

Henry started out as practical as you can possibly get, in a large garage back in the late 1960s with a handful of staff building industrial cleaners using whatever parts were accessible. I wasn’t joking earlier when I mentioned oil drums and washing up bowls, this is a firm with practicality at its very core. 

While Henry Hoover isn’t now made using oil drums and old furniture castors, they’re still very practical and cost-effective machines. Henry is a brand mainly known for its corded cylinder cleaners, which are the original and most practical type of hoover. 

This kind of cleaner can deliver the maximum suction for the minimum cost. It’s a simple design, it works incredibly well, and it’s very cost-effective. 

Dyson, on the other hand, are right at the other side of the scale, literally on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to their products, to the point that they’ve actually dropped all corded cleaners, preferring to focus only on cordless.

The ethos of these two brands are so different, and it’s actually really clear to see why each brand occupies its spot at the top of these specific parts of the market. James Dyson is an inventor, a genius I think it’s fair to say, and everything he does is (and always has been) right at the cutting edge of technology.

Someone like this doesn’t live by practicality, they live by invention & innovation, and when you’ve built your business to the point that you’re a billionaire, you can do whatever you like, and inventing stuff is clearly what Sir James Dyson likes to do.

If he was focused purely on profit, he probably wouldn’t be walking away from a huge percentage of the UK market by leaving corded cleaners in the past – because although Dyson’s cordless cleaners are clever, to drop corded cleaners does seem like a pretty big leap, leaving lots of money on the table for other brands, although to be fair he has plenty of money to leave on the table ;-).

I think what Dyson have done, though, is very clever. They’ve made their products, which are vacuum cleaners when all said and done, desirable. They’ve put them into a similar category to smartphones, with some Dyson owners checking to see when they can upgrade to the latest model! 

But when it comes to value for money, it’s very difficult for the leading cordless vacuum cleaners to compete with the leading corded cylinders.

This is simply because while Dyson’s cordless cleaners can get close to the suction power of corded cylinder cleaners like Henry, they can only (at the time of writing, at least) do this while on max power mode, which gives you a few minutes of cleaning time until you have to put it back on charge. 

If we’re talking about a practical power setting which gives you enough time to clean your entire home, cordless hoovers are actually nowhere near as powerful as corded cleaners like Henry Hoover which can deliver stonking amounts of power continuously with no worries about batteries. 

Many people fall for the Dyson marketing and buy these very expensive, space-age looking cleaners which give the impression that they’re going to give the very best results, and I think you can be forgiven for assuming that to be the case when spending such a large amount of money on a vacuum cleaner. 

When you look at how much an average Dyson costs, which is miles away from the more affordable Henry vacuum cleaners, you’d probably be left thinking that Dyson must be better. When you look at overall cleaning performance, though, you may be surprised.

You can make a vacuum cleaner look as amazing as you like, you can come up with a whole new vocabulary of exciting-sounding buzz words, but does this really have anything to do with the overall performance of the cleaner, or is it all about marketing?

I’ll let you decide, but as far as I’m concerned what is important in a vacuum cleaner is that it does a good job in cleaning your home, and is easy to use – and that you don’t need to re-mortgage your home in order to clean it… 

There’s no doubt about it, Dyson vacuum cleaners are excellent and do a tremendous job of keeping your home clean but in this article, we’re taking everything into account, including costs.

Because it’s not just about how good a vacuum cleaner is, it’s about the value for money you are getting from it.

If value for money didn’t matter – then why buy a vacuum cleaner? Just employ a cleaner to do all your hoovering, they’ll bring the hoover (probably a Henry), simple. 

But most of us wouldn’t make this decision, because paying £100 per week for example, isn’t affordable. While most of us would prefer someone else to do the hoovering, and the rest of the cleaning, most of us can only afford to spend a finite amount of money on keeping our home clean.

The fact that you’re looking to buy a vacuum cleaner, rather than just hiring a cleaner, would suggest that value for money is important, and with this being the case, Henry really is worth considering. 

If money is no object, then my first suggestion would be, why spend your time cleaning if you can afford to delegate this time consuming task? There’s bound to be a great cleaner in your area looking to take on a new client. 

If this isn’t quite the case but you have no problem spending several hundred pounds on a vacuum cleaner, then just buy the latest in the Dyson range, you’ll get a hoover which is very capable and has a tonne of neat features. If you’re more interested in only spending what you have to, though, and value for money is more important to you, Henry may be a more practical option for you. 

So how do you decide between Dyson and Henry, taking everything into account?

What’s the difference between Dyson and Henry vacuum cleaners?

There are a few types of vacuum cleaner: corded and cordless, cylinder, upright, and the newer “stick” vacuum cleaners that Dyson are the best known for. 

Probably the biggest difference between Dyson and Henry, is that all Dysons are now cordless, and they’re mainly focussed on their cordless sticks. These are looking more and more like cordless drills with a tube/wand and brush head attached, and less and less like conventional vacuum cleaners. 

While Henry does have a cordless in the range now, Henry are mainly corded, cylinder vacuum cleaners. 

So the main reason you’d want to buy a Dyson over a Henry, would be the convenience of not having to plug it into the wall. Dyson are dominating this market because they’re one of the few who have managed to develop a cordless vacuum cleaner that has strong enough suction to compete with the best corded vacuum cleaners.

Dyson did make a corded cylinder vacuum and an upright corded vacuum cleaner but as I mentioned earlier, they’ve stopped developing anything with a cord on it, and are now only developing and releasing new hoovers that are cordless, and they’re mainly focusing on the lightweight cordless sticks. 

Despite being cordless, all of the Dyson cordless hoovers can deliver great suction power, but there’s a compromise in order to have the convenience of a cordless, and that is battery life. 

Most cordless vacuum cleaners including those from Dyson, give relatively good battery life when using them on normal or medium power,  and at these power options the suction power is usually quite a bit less than on a corded cylinder such as Henry. With most of the Dyson cordless sticks, there’s a max power option that similarly strong suction, but while draining the battery very quickly, and while having to keep the trigger pressed in. 

If you absolutely have to have cordless, because you have a particularly large home and you just can’t be going around unplugging the power cable and plugging it into sockets in each room, then you’ll probably end up with a Dyson.

Although, just keep in mind that if you do have a big house to clean, battery life is something you’ll need to consider, as cordless vacuum cleaners don’t give particularly long cleaning times, usually only between 5-30 minutes depending on the model and depending on the power setting.

If, on the other hand, you live in a more modest-sized house,  and the 10 metre cable that comes with a Henry means you only need to change the socket once or twice during your weekly clean, then given the brilliant value for money, you’ll be more likely to end up with a Henry. 

Another thing to consider when it comes to Dyson Vs Henry is the size of the waste bin, and how often you’ll need to empty it. Henry has a big waste bin, usualy 6 or 9 litres, some even more, so roughly 6-9 times the capacity of most of the Dysons with their one litre capacity bins.

So that legwork you saved yourself in not having to plug the hoover in at various parts of the home, you may lose when it comes to having to do a lot more trips to the bin, to empty it.

From an accessories point of view both Dyson and Henry come with a decent number of tools, including for cleaning above floor so its pretty much a draw on that front.

What it boils down to is whether you want to pay a huge premium for the benefit of no cord. If you don’t mind a cord then Henry cleans as well as a Dyson but costs a lot less.

These are the best Henry and Dyson vacuum cleaners in the UK:

Henry Hoover Xtra HVX200 Vacuum Cleaner

While Numatic (the manufacturer behind Henry) started out making commercial, industrial vacuum cleaners in the late 60s, Henry has been around since the 1980’s and is still a best seller to this day in the UK and for good reason.

At the heart of Henrys success is the fact that he delivers tremendous suction power, with a smile I might add, at a much lower price compared to many other brands. When it comes to value for money, it’s very difficult to beat Henry.  Henry is incredibly durable, too, which adds to the value for money, of course, because the chances are your Henry will last you a long time. 

This is probably the reason that Henry are among the most popular vacuum cleaners among professional cleaners. When you consider the number of hours that cleaners use their hoovers each week, it’s really quite something that cleaners tend to use inexpensive Henrys rather than spending four to six times the price on a Dyson.

Over the years, I’ve seen many cleaners in action, in the various businesses I’ve been involved in – and there’s one thing that nearly all of them have in common, and that is Henry Hoover. In fact, there’s only two cleaners I can think of who I’ve seen using anything other than Henry, and they were both using Harriet.

I also know of two industrial firms who need to use a hoover to maintain their machines, and one of these uses a Henry (to hoover out the filters on an engraving machine) and the other one uses a Charles (an espresso machine repair firm who need to be able to hoover up liquids, which Charles can do).

Henry hoover was actually made for professional, commercial use, which is why it was so practical and offered such good value for money right from the start, and is also why it has a smiling face.

It was made prodominantly with commercial cleaners in mind, in places like hospitals and schools. These guys work at unsociable hours, and it can be a lonely and at times a thankless task, so they decided to put a smile on Henrys face in order to keep cleaners company. 

They’re relatively light-weight for a cylinder cleaner, they have long power cables which are easy to retract, they have great suction power, they’re inexpensive and they’re ultra reliable, so it’s no surprise they’ve become such a hit domestically as well as commercially.

This model, the Xtra HVX200 is one of the best with a huge 9-litre waste bin which is way bigger than the vast majority of hoovers and a 10-metre retracting cable to ensure that you won’t need to change the socket often even if you have a medium-sized home.

This model comes with the  “AiroBrush” which is a brush powered by the Henrys suction, and is known to be very good for cleaning carpets. This tool is around £35 if you buy it separately, so this model is particularly good value. It also comes with the standard brush head, and the hard floor tool, which is as the name suggest, a tool which is specifially for hoovering hard floors.

henry hxx200 accessories

You get exceptional suction power that is as good as anything you will find anywhere and that includes Dyson, and the extra tools and extra capacity of the waste container vs the other models, which is I assume where the “Xtra” model name comes from.




Henry Hoover HVR160 Vacuum Cleaner

This model has the same exceptional power as the Extra model shown above but has fewer floorheads and a 6-litre waste bin instead of 9-litre which is still very large.

This version is very similar to the Xtra version except it doesn’t have the extra (xtra) 3 litres of waste container capacity, and it has less accessories.

Bear in mind that 6 litres waste capacity is still very large compared to the vast majority of vacuum cleaners. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that you only get the one, standard floorhead, while with the Xtra version above you get the AiroBrush and the specialist hard floor tool, too. 

You get the same 620 watt motor that provides exceptional suction that will leave nothing behind no matter how muddy or deeply ingrained in your carpet.

These are the accessories that come with this so you can compare to the Xtra above.

henry hvr160 accessoires

This version is perfect for small to medium-sized homes that just don’t need the extra floorheads that the Xtra comes with and a 6-litre waste bin is fine for most homes considering that’s about 6 times more than you can expect from most other vacuum cleaners.



See the full review of the Henry HVR160 vacuum cleaner


Henry Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

If you can’t decide between Henry and Dyson because you are not sure if you want to drag a cable around with you when you are hoovering your home then there is a cordless option to consider.

It’s not quite as powerful as the corded versions but it still has great suction power for the money and will be plenty good enough for most homes.

Corded Henry’s have one power level – super strong but in order to preserve the battery cordless Henry has two power level so in lighter areas like kitchens or hard floors the low power setting is fine and then you can switch to high power for carpets.

You still get 6 litre waste bin and a whole bunch of accessories to clean all surfaces and there is an option to buy it with an extra battery to make sure you never run out of charge.

henry cordless accessories



Hetty Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

If you are not keen on red then but you like what Henry is capable of then you can opt for Hetty which is exactly the same as the Henry HVR160 but is pink instead, and has eye lashes, which of course makes Hetty more femenine because blokes don’t have eye lashes. Oh, wait…

Everything other than the colour and name is the same.



Harry Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

Harry is effectively the version of Henry that you should consider if you have pets.

You get all of the best of Henry including a 9 litre waste bin, 10-metre cord and all the accessories but Harry comes with an extra accessory that is important if you have a lot of pet hair to deal with.

You get a “Hairo” motorised pet brush that that really gets into your carpet fibres to make sure all the hair gets safely into the waste bin and is well worth considering if you have cats or dogs living with you.

Here are all the accessories that come with Harry:

harry accessories



George Hoover Vacuum Cleaner

George is the most capable of all the Henry’s and combines dry hoovering and wet carpet cleaning all in one appliance, and yes, he does look somewhat Shrek-like in appearance, although without the ears, and you don’t need to keep him stored in a hut near a swamp, although you can if you like.

You can use George for your regular weekly clean and just by switching the waste bin and the floorhead over to the carpet cleaning head (supplied) it converts into a carpet cleaner.

Many carpet cleaners cost more than George on their own so when you take into account that George does wet cleaning and regular hoovering as well it really is great value for money.

It washes hard floors as well with a specific attached that you can see in the below image of all the accessories and attachments that George comes with:

george accessories

If you want something that does everything when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your floors then George is a great value for money option.



See the full review of the George all in one vacuum cleaner


Dyson V8 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson V8

Release Date: 2017

Battery runtime on a single charge:  up to 40 minutes

Number of power levels: 2 (maximum and minimum)

Battery recharge time: 3.5 hours

Waste Bin Capacity: 0.54 litres

Noise level measured in decibels: 70

Suction power (measured in air watts): 115

With the V8 you get a better battery with longer run time than the V7 and a better battery level indicator that gives you more information on when the battery is running out. You also get 15% more suction power than the V7.

The V8 is only available as the “Animal” version that doesn’t come with a soft roller that is good for hard floors so if that is important to you take a look at the V10.



Dyson V10 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson V10

Release Date: 2018

Battery runtime on a single charge: up to 60 minutes

Number of power levels: 3 (minimum, medium and maximum)

Battery recharge time: 3.5 hours

Waste Bin Capacity: 0.76 litres

Noise level measured in decibels: 75

Suction power (measured in air watts): 150

With its head turning max power and much improved battery life, the V10 was a bit of a game-changer for Dyson. It was a big improvement on the V8 and caused Dyson to announce that they were not going to make any corded vacuum cleaners anymore as from the V10 onwards, they believe their cordless cleaners are as good as any corded hoover.

The suction power is a lot stronger than the V8 and it comes without or without a soft roller for hard floors you can choose either depending on your needs.

A brilliant vacuum cleaner that I have used in my home for the last couple of years, and this is another model to be considered by those who do need some of the features Dyson’s provide, but who are somewhat concernd about value for money. It’s more money than the V7, but it’ll save you quite a big chunk of cash compared to the V10, and it’ll set you back only about half the price of the Dyson Outsize.



See the full review of the Dyson V10 Cordless vacuum cleaner

Are Dyson vacuums worth the money?

There is only one reason why you would buy a Dyson over other brands like Shark or Henry or Miele and that is if value for money isn’t high on your list of priorities. 

Dyson vacuum cleaners are very good, they do an excellent job of cleaning your home, but there are other vacuum cleaners out there that are capable of doing an equally good job of cleaning your home, which cost an awful lot less.

I suppose we’re talking relatively small amounts of money, in comparison to a bigger purchase, at between roughly £100 to £700 for example from the lowest cost Henry to the most expensive Dyson, so it’s quite easy to get sucked into throwing value for money out of the window and spending more than you need to. 

If you were buying a car, for example, and you wanted a four wheel drive for a relatively reasonable price, with the normal areas of importance, safety, miles per gallon & so on, you might be thinking of a Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Santa Fe or Kia Sportage. 

If you have a bit of a bigger budget, and you want a bit more luxury, you may be thinking Volvo, Landrover, Range rover, Audi Q7 and so on, and yes, as you go to that kind of level, the value for money starts to shift, and there’s definately some investment in status and prestigue going on there, in many cases.

But, it would take a very particularly type of person thinking of buying a 4×4 to even consider the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, because spending around £165,000 – so about five or six times the price of a Mitsubish outlander for example, would be incredibly difficult to justify, let alone to afford.

If you’re spending that kind of money, you clearly have no interest in value for money, and there are other much more important elements to that purchase, whether that’s how important you value prestige, or just because you’ve always wanted to drive a car like that, and you’ve worked your socks off, sold your company & now you want to enjoy yourself, and why not? 

Maybe you won the Euro Millions, or found the Arc of the covenent in your back garden, but whatever the case – if you can afford to buy a rediculously expensive car, why not? If driving a car like this would bring the exileration, luxury or enjoyment that you’re looking for, then most people, while being somewhat envious, wouldn’t blame you. 

But who enjoys hoovering that much? Some people may find it slightly theraputic, but it’s a means to an end, the end being clean floors, and I don’t think there are many people who use the goal of one day being able to afford a Dyson vaccum cleaner as their own mental carrot on a stick to urge them to burn the midnight oil toiling away with work while other people are sleeping,

While this may seem like an over the top analagy, I don’t think it is given that a Dyson can easily cost five times the price of a Henry.

OK there may be some specific reasons that would make a particular Dyson model the right vacuum cleaner for you, but I think for the vast majority of people, Henry would usually win hands down, if you’re looking at what you need, rather than what you might want, and if you’re paying more attention to facts and less attention to alluring marketing tactics.

With all that said, even if you can see that a Henry gives you everything you need, but you want some of the features that a Dyson will provide, for example maybe you don’t need such a cool looking, lightweight, shiny, innovative looking vacumm cleaner but you want one, then why not? 

So in conclusion, for the more practical among us who see hoovering up as means to an end, and just want a powerful, effective and durable vacuum cleaner that will keep their homes spotless, then we’d answer the question: Henry vs Dyson, which is best? With, Henry hoover wins.

For the less practical among us, for the more adventurous, more affluent – for those who are asking the question “Henry vs Dyson, which is best?” who mean which is best regardless of value for money, and who like to own the latest of all technology because it just makes them feel happy, then we’d probably have to concur that for you, Dyson is the winner. 

  • John Evans
    Posted at 13:40h, 03 May Reply

    To me a Henry every time
    No time for a dyson they feel and look cheap although they are not
    They are clumsy and the cylinder ones so un balanced.
    Henry is robust and and strong ideal for commercial and industrial use.
    Just gets on with the job so does not require all the expensive advertising.

    • Steve
      Posted at 14:52h, 03 May Reply

      Thanks for your opinion John – I agree! Henry vacuums do a fantastic job at the fraction of the price of a Dyson

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