In this guide, we’re going to have a battle of new versus old. In a market of thousands of vacuum, we compare one of the oldest brands to one of the newest brands. Namely, we’re pitting Rainbow against Dyson. 

Rainbow vacuums are a product of Rexair, a company established back in 1936. Dyson, meanwhile, didn’t hit the scene until 1991. If we assigned generations to these companies, Dyson would be a Millennial and Rainbow would be part of The Silent Generation. That’s the generation even before Baby Boomers!

With appliances like vacuums, we all tend to gravitate towards the latest and greatest, but is that the way to go? Is new always better? 

Read on to determine which vacuum comes out victorious in this battle of the ages. 

Format 

The format of a vacuum is simply just the type of vacuum it is. There are five basic vacuum types: upright, stick, canister, handheld, and robot. The last two mostly speak for themselves, so let’s describe the first three.

  • Upright vacuums – This is what probably comes to mind when you think about vacuums. It stands upright but leans when you’re pushing it. It’s a one-piece appliance and usually plugs in for power.
  • Canister vacuums – This model is a two-parter. It includes a wand and canister. The pull-along canister allows for a larger motor. These are great for hardwood floors but they are heavy.
  • Stick vacuums – These are gaining popularity quickly. They’re lightweight and easy to fit in tight spaces. They often need to charge for power. 
Woman Using Dyson Vacuum
Every vacuum by Dyson is only a single purpose product. If it’s an upright vacuum, you can’t use it as a handheld vacuum. 

Dyson vacuums come in upright and stick models. Rainbow ones are canister types. 

Price

Neither of these brand’s vacuums can be classified as budget buys. For top-dollar brands like these, expect to pay top dollar.

For Dyson, you won’t find a vacuum for less than $400. That lower end price covers more simple upright models. If you want something fancier, the high end Dyson choices include $800 stick models. 

Rainbow, however, may cause a case of sticker shock. A Rainbow vacuum will cost anywhere between $1,300 to $3,000. To save some money, you can buy a refurbished model – but it will still cost more than $1,000. The deep cleaning of Rainbow vacuums comes at a cost!

Availability 

Availability is an issue as well. If you are willing to pay for the Rainbow brand, you might have difficulty finding it first. 

While you can buy seemingly anything on the internet, Rainbow vacuums may be the exception. If you search the web, you’ll find refurbished and reconditioned models on sites like Amazon, Home Depot, and Overstock.

For a brand new Rainbow vacuum, though, you’re going to have to schedule an in-home demonstration. Just like in the days of the door-to-door salesman, a representative will come to your home to show you the cleaning power of a Rainbow vacuum right on your own floor. 

On the other hand, Dyson vacuums are much more common. You can find Dyson selections at most major retailers (assuming they sell vacuums, of course). These include Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, and more. 

Performance

Price and availability are nice, but in the end, it’s about buying a vacuum that gets the job done. Often, we will be willing to pay more if the product is worth it.

Dyson is a solid choice. More than solid, actually, because Dyson sticks and uprights are the highest performing vacuums in their categories.

Plus, with so many models of Dyson vacuums, there is one out there that is perfect for your home. The Dyson v8 cordless stick vacuum, for instance, is lightweight and perfect quick daily cleans. The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball upright vacuum features the signature Dyson ball and is designed to combat animal hair. 

However, longevity may be an issue. Namely, in 2019, Consumer Reports dropped all Dyson stick vacuums from their recommendation lists. It was discovered that many Dyson stick vacuums develop issues within the first five years. Fortunately, the same does not happen to the brand’s upright models and they still have the CR stamp of approval.

Meanwhile, Rainbow vacuums are an entirely different type of appliance. Unlike other vacuums, Rainbows are water-based. Straight from the company website itself: “The Rainbow uses Mother Nature’s most powerful element, water, to trap dirt and odors, returning only naturally clean, water-washed air to your home environment.”

In fact, Rainbow vacuums have a HEPA Neutralizer Filtration System. Simply put, dirt and microscopic particles aren’t leaving that vacuum, making your house cleaner. It also has a powerful motor. So powerful, Rainbow dubbed it a Hurricane motor and it lasts indefinitely.

If you’re wondering how long a Rainbow vacuum will last, prepare yourself. It has been found that most Rainbow vacuums can last up to 20 years or more. One of these heavy-duty vacuums will last decades without a repair, making the brand’s high price point rather reasonable. 

Woman using Rainbow Vacuum to clean the stairs
Rainbow vacuums have slightly weaker suction power than Dyson. However, Rainbow are very strong and long-lasting vacuums .

Features and Accessories

With any vacuum, you expect some accessories to be included (or available). Both Dyson and Rainbow have accessory collections to fit your needs. 

Dyson Accessories (dependent on model):

Stick Vacuums:

  • Light-pipe crevice tool
  • Low-reach adaptor
  • Dirt brush
  • Vacuum stands

Upright Accessories:

  • Pet groom tool 
  • Flexi-crevice tool
  • Mattress tool

Rainbow Accessories:

  • LED-lighted Power Nozzle
  • AquaMate carpet cleaner attachment
  • RainJet spray squeegee
  • RainbowMate motor-powered brush
  • MiniJet upholstery brush
  • JetPad attachment with microfiber pads

Customer Satisfaction 

Numbers and facts can only go so far. What do real customers think of these vacuums?

One customer, known only as Econowife, found her Dyson Ball Multi Floor Origin vacuum to be a game changer in her home with 3 kids and 3 dogs. “I think I vacuumed for three days straight, I loved it so much! The suction is amazing. With the ball, it maneuvers so easily, and I can’t believe how much better the carpets! I no longer want to replace them.”

There are givers of constructive criticism as well. For instance, several customers criticized the lackluster battery power of the cordless stick vacuum, the Dyson Cyclone V10. 

Rainbow vacuums are well-reviewed as well. Carol of Lake City, Florida bought her Rainbow vacuum back in 1986 and is still using it today. “I know there have been a lot of improvements made since 1986, but I can’t justify buying another one when this still performs like it’s new…I would give this company and vacuum 10 stars if I could!”

Rainbow vacuums aren’t without faults, however. After purchasing, one customer decided to leave a review warning others that it didn’t perform well on hardwood and it was too heavy to carry up and down stairs. 

Pros and Cons

Let’s make it short and sweet and break down the two brands into a pros and cons list. 

Dyson Vacuums

PROSCONS
More affordable of the two options
Powerful suction
Lightweight 
Can be purchased from most retailers
Shorter lifespan
Limited accessories

Rainbow Vacuums

PROSCONS
Provides a deep clean with water-based filtration
Built to last
Multiple accessories 
Expensive
Have to buy directly from distributor
Bulky

Conclusion

Listen, both Dyson and Rainbow are solid brands. A vacuum from either will give you the sparkling clean floors of your dreams. 

If money were no object, I’d like to think we’d all have a Rainbow vacuum in our homes. They’re versatile, built to last, and provide a deep clean. 

Still, money is an important factor and as such, makes the pricey Rainbow an unattainable option for many

In the end, Rainbow vacuums win in performance, but Dyson beats the competition in the other categories, especially price. 

Do you need any more help around the house? Check out our other guides!