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Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: This may not be the robot you’ve been looking for

Our Rating :
£2,099.00 from
Price when reviewed : £1400
inc VAT

Despite using superb vacuuming technology for the Dyson 360 Vis Nav, it falls short of perfection for the price


  • Powerful vacuum
  • Decent navigation
  • Unique fluffy roller


  • No mop
  • Troublesome around rugs
  • Could improve edge cleaning

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav isn’t Dyson’s first foray into robot vacuum cleaners. It launched the Eye 360 back in 2016, and the 360 Heurist in 2020. Now we have a new robot, for those that want Dyson’s superior suction in a vacuum that will do the cleaning for them.

There is, however, a significant catch: the price. We’re used to Dyson pushing its prices as it pushes the innovative technology in its products, but the Dyson 360 Vis Nav takes this to the next level.

dyson 360 vis nav review

With a launch price of £1,400, this is as pricey as robot vacuum cleaners get. Dyson’s products are often at the cutting edge in terms of the technology used and, arguably, worth the money. This time, though, we’re not so sure.

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Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: What do you get for the money?

Before you even open the box, there are things you’ll notice that are different about the Dyson 360 Vis Nav. First, the packaging is so small.

Every other robot vacuum I’ve reviewed to date that costs in excess of £1,000 comes with an enormous docking station, in a box that an average-sized adult could climb into and close the lid. That’s because there’s no self-emptying facility or extra mopping attachments. All you get in the box is the robot itself and a minimalist docking station, and the whole thing is slim enough to fit into a canvas tote bag.

dyson 360 vis nav review

Inside the box, the differences continue. Dyson’s classic purple branding immediately catches the eye in a sea of black and white rivals, and the Vis Nav also ditches the traditional circular hockey puck shape, squaring off the two corners at the front. It’s along this broad front face that the vacuum’s brush roller sits. At first glance this brush looks like a typical Dyson fluffy roller but it also has bristles running through it, and is designed to operate on both carpet and hard floor without needing to be switched.

This is unusual, even by Dyson’s standards. Most robot vacuum cleaners use a standard brush bar, with rotating edge sweepers located in the front corners. The bar tends to sit in the middle of the robot, between the wheels. With the 360 Vis Nav’s significantly wider roller, placed at the front of the machine, I was keen to find out what impact it had.

dyson 360 vis nav

As for traction, however, that’s a little less unusual, with two large tractor wheels providing drive and four small coasters to stop the robot from grounding itself. The tank tracks from the Dyson Heurist are no more.

The final feature of note is a small circular screen that sits on top, with buttons underneath it. If you don’t want to use the app, you can use this to select suction strength and set the robot off on cleaning tasks.

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: What’s it like to use?

The process of setting up the Dyson 360 Vis Nav will be familiar to anyone who has owned a robot vacuum. It involves placing and plugging in the charging dock, downloading an app to your smartphone and entering your Wi-Fi password so that the robot can communicate with it. Most of the rest of the process is done for you.

On its first clean, the robot performs a mapping run, which requires a clear floor with full access to any space you want it to reach in the future. The 360 Vis Nav uses a fish-eye camera under a dome on the top to see its surroundings, rather than a laser-guided LiDAR system like most of its rivals.

Robots with LiDAR create maps ahead of themselves by scanning their surroundings, while this robot has to roll around the entire floor plan, extrapolating a map from the data it collects. This means that you can’t start to zone off no-go areas before your robot gets to them, so you need to lift cable nests and any other serious obstacles, at least until the map becomes available for editing after this first run.

dyson 360 vis nav review

Once the map is up and running, you can use it to divide your space into rooms, which makes it possible to use different settings in each. It also lets you send the robot to particular places, either via the app or by issuing instructions with your voice by connecting it to your Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa smart speaker. You can also select areas for the robot to ignore by drawing a box around them.

We have criticised Dyson in the past for placing the collection bin at the front, so it can’t be removed and emptied without first lifting the robot off its charging plate. Thankfully, this has changed and the robot’s bin now sits at the rear, allowing you to access it far more easily. To remove the bin, simply press the large red button on the top and it pops out of its housing, ready for emptying.

dyson 360 vis nav review

The emptying process is fairly straightforward, too. A button on the bin’s bucket-style handle releases a door on the base of the collection bin, in the process dropping the outside edge away from the filter compartment. Gravity does the rest but if there’s still dirt stuck inside, all the parts are easily accessible so you can dislodge any other debris fairly easily.

Once this first filter has done its job there’s a second one, a concertina of folded paper, located in a compartment between the bin and the roller. This can be opened and removed by pressing down on it, and cleaned in cold running water like most Dyson filters.

READ NEXT: The best cordless vacuums to buy

Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: Is it good at finding its way around?

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav’s top-mounted camera uses a fish-eye lens, so provides it with some ability to see forwards. However, it doesn’t use it to avoid obstacles in the middle of the floor in the same way as the front-mounted camera on an iRobot Roomba j7 can.

Dyson makes no claim on obstacle detection, and even mentions clearing your floor before starting a clean in its documentation, but we tested it anyway with our usual trio of dropped hazards: a sock, a charging cable and a fake plastic dog poo. The 360 Vis Nav merrily drove over them all, so this isn’t a robot for a messy house.

dyson 360 vis nav review

The 360 Vis Nav uses a combination of mapping and the camera to find its way around, using SLAM (simultaneous location and mapping). This isn’t nearly as efficient as LiDAR at creating a map in the first place, since LIDAR can scan ahead while Dyson’s SLAM implementation needs the robot to visit a space to include it on the map.

Once the map is built, however, the 360 Vis Nav proved excellent at finding its way around. There’s a small bumper in front of the roller to detect collisions with furniture, but it barely uses this and does an impressive job of getting close to things such as chair and table legs, rarely touching them. I also didn’t see it getting caught up in any table legs or under chairs, something other vacuums are prone to do.

dyson 360 vis nav review

On the one hand, this is a good thing. If you have fragile furniture then the 360 Vis Nav is skilled at avoiding it. However, the downside is that it doesn’t like to venture under furniture where the legs are close together. It won’t get stuck trying to get out again, but if you want to clean the floor underneath a dining room chair or small table, you’ll need to lift it off the floor before you start.

Where the robot did struggle, however, was around rugs. The robot has a habit of nosing into areas, then rotating on the spot to explore the area around it. Since the sides are almost flush with the floor, this means it tends to crumple up rugs rather than riding over them smoothly, sometimes creating a wall of carpet big enough to stop it in its tracks.

dyson 360 vis nav review

I’ve seen this happen with a handful of other robots but it was much more frequent with the Dyson, its sharper front corners and low edges hampering its ability to navigate around or over such things.

Most robot manufacturers are coming to terms with the fact that many people in the UK live in houses that have more than one storey. As a result, if a consumer is going to spend a lot of money on a robot vacuum cleaner, it doesn’t seem much to ask to have a robot that can be moved easily from one floor to another. Dyson has that covered to a point; the app can make multiple maps of multiple floors and store them for later access.

dyson 360 vis nav review

However, in order to make and use a second map, you have to either move the charging station or, as is helpfully suggested in the user guide, purchase another one to permanently reside in each area you want to map. This is a serious annoyance when most robots can simply be lifted into a new position and sent on their way.

dyson 360 vis nav review

All isn’t completely lost. You can still carry your Dyson 360 Vis Nav upstairs and have it perform an automatic clean, where it will simply trundle around cleaning everywhere it can find. But you won’t be able to set things such as no-go areas. Other cheaper robots can do it, so Dyson loses marks for this.

Controlling the robot with the app is simple, although features are slightly more limited than I’m used to seeing, particularly from more expensive robots. One thing it is missing is that you don’t get live updates of the robot’s position on the map itself. This isn’t essential, but it’s a useful trick. It gives a clear visual indication how far through a clean your robot is, where it’s been and where it still needs to go.

Where it does beat other robot vacuums is in providing a heatmap of how much dirt it picked up after it’s finished cleaning. This may help you decide to clean certain areas more often, but again it’s more of an interesting addition rather than necessary information.

dyson 360 vis nav review

The other thing missing from the Dyson app is the ability to select an area for a spot clean. You can permanently zone and name areas, but this is more suited to whole rooms than areas particularly prone to mess.

Finally, I have a slight issue with the wording of some of Dyson’s alerts. For example, when a clean has finished a run, my Android phone informs me that a “fault” has occurred, when all it really needs is for the collection bin to be emptied. That’s not a fault, more of a feature, and flagging it as a device failure seems overly dramatic.

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Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: How well does it clean?

As you might expect from a Dyson, and hope from a robot that costs this much money, the Dyson 360 Vis Nav’s vacuuming ability is definitely top of the range. I test robot vacuum cleaners with a trio of tough materials – flour, rice and dog hair – to see how well they pick up from both short-pile carpet and hard floor.

By measuring the amount we spill on the floor and weighing the collection bin before and after each test, it’s possible to see exactly how good each robot is at these tests and compare them to everything we’ve reviewed in the past.

Starting with the rice tests, the Dyson 360 Vis Nav robot performed superbly, collecting more than 99% of the grains from hard floor and 97% from carpet. Robots with edge sweepers tend to reverse these scores, with the sweepers scattering grains beyond the reach of the vacuum on hard floor, but the Dyson’s fluffy roller came into its own when sucking up these larger, more mobile particles.

dyson 360 vis nav review

Flour is a tougher task, but the fluffy roller helped again on hard floor, with the 360 Vis Nav picking up 90% of the flour and depositing it into the dust box. Some of the remaining 10% was clearly cleaned up from the floor but must have collected in the filter or stuck to internal pipes and the like, because the floor looked impressively clear.

Flour on carpet is a tougher task and here the Dyson managed to pick up only 72%, leaving a visible flour smudge on the carpet. I can’t get too hung up on that result, though, as in recent results only the iRobot Roomba i3+ and the AEG RX9.2 have performed better, and neither are currently available to buy.

dyson 360 vis nav review chart showing percentage of spills cleaned

When it comes to pet hair, the robot’s powerful suction again helps it to achieve impressive results. On hard floor, it collected all the pet hair we laid down, merrily catching it in the fluffy roller and sucking clumps of it through to the collection bin with an audible “whump”.

On carpet, the same left and right scanning behaviour that picks up rug corners proved problematic, catching a couple of clumps of hair and pushing them out of the way. That meant only 80% was collected on the first effort, although when I sent it out a second time, it easily picked up the rest of the hair it missed on the first pass.

Overall, it’s an impressive performance, with only the Roomba i3+ and AEG RX9.2 having performed better. It didn’t outperform the excellent results we saw from the Dyson 360 Heurist back in 2020, but it’s easily the best robot vacuum cleaner currently available in terms of sheer spot cleaning power.

dyson 360 vis nav review

However, I do have some bad news to go with the good. First, there’s the edge cleaning. Where most robots have edge sweepers that reach out into corners and flick dirt towards their vacuum inlets, the Dyson has its wide fluffy roller. The problem is that this doesn’t actually extend to the full width of the robot’s chassis, leaving around a 22mm gap between the edge of the roller and the outside edge of the robot.

To combat this, Dyson has built-in what it calls a “side actuator”. When the robot is performing its edge clean on a room, a little scoop is extended out of the side. This leads to a funnel and into the brush bar, effectively providing some side suction that can pick up bits from skirting boards and walls. This works well up to a point. However, in my testing, it didn’t perform as well as a good decent edge-sweeping brush when it came to flicking crumbs and other bits of debris out from the edges of things such as kitchen kick boards.

dyson 360 vis nav review

The other problem is that the Dyson 360 Vis Nav can take a long time to tackle large spaces, and that’s mainly due to the fact that it eats through its battery very quickly. It took 3hrs 47mins to cover my 55.8m2 ground floor because it had to stop and recharge twice. That’s a shame because it’s actually reasonably speedy at cleaning when it gets going, cleaning at a rate of around 1min 5secs per square metre for smaller areas – a performance that isn’t dissimilar to rival robots.

dyson 360 vis nav review chart showing average times per square metreDepending on how you want to use your robot, this may or may not matter. However, in most busy family homes, speed is of the essence. You’ll want to send your robot out when you set off to walk the dog, do the school run or nip to the shops, and know that the chore will be finished by the time you get back. Unfortunately, it’s another step in the wrong direction for a robot that, for the price, ought to be little short of perfection.

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Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: Should I buy it?

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav is the most expensive robot vacuum cleaner we’ve ever reviewed, so we expected it to be good. In terms of its raw ability to suck things up off your floor and lock them away in its collection bin, it thoroughly succeeds. Its powerful suction and fluffy roller work in combination to provide the best vacuuming action we’ve seen in our tests on a robot that’s currently available to buy.

However, robot vacuums aren’t about suction alone and the Dyson 360 Vis Nav faces stiff competition. There can’t be many other robots exceeding the £1,000 price mark that don’t offer a vast array of additional features, such as the effective mopping of the Ezviz RS2 or the mopping and self-emptying of the fully featured Ecovacs Deebot Omni X1. Also, the iRobot Roomba j7 and Roomba Combo j7+ can avoid objects that have been dropped in front of them, whereas the Dyson can’t.

Most of these robots also have better apps. They can handle cleaning multiple floors without moving their docks. They can be instructed to clean a specific spot within a room without having to clean the whole area. And all of them can clean a sizeable area in a reasonable time without having to return to their chargers once, let alone twice.

With this much money to spend, I would opt for the Ecovacs Deebot Omni X1 over the Dyson. It comes with an enormous docking station, but that helps it empty its own collection bin into a separate, larger bag so you don’t have to manually empty it so often. It also has an effective mopping system, which fills and empties the robot of water autonomously.

Messier homes, meanwhile, will benefit from the object detection of the iRobot Roomba j7 or the Roomba Combo j7+. These have front-mounted cameras and can detect and avoid everyday objects, including dropped socks and dog poo.

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