I Tested the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum: Is It Worth the Price?

The V12 is a slimmer, lighter stick vac with the same flagship Dyson features, including a green laser for illuminating dust and hair.
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Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum Review

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

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The Dyson brand is known for its sleek and powerful devices, and the V12 is no exception. The V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum features many of the flagship features that Dyson fans love: six layers of advanced whole-machine filtration; a fully sealed system that keeps dust in the machine; and a modern, lightweight design.

I spent several weeks testing the V12 and evaluated the stick vacuum based on dustbin capacity, weight, portability, accessories, and cleaning performance, both on hard surfaces and carpets. My tests consisted of vacuuming several flooring types, including tile, laminate, and carpet. I have four pets, so removing pet hair from these surfaces was a must. I also used the included V12 accessories to determine how easy they were to attach and how well they functioned.

The V12 is a powerful and effective cordless stick vac with many pluses. This lightweight vacuum lifts dust, pet hair, dirt, and other debris with ease, and it comes with several accessories that make it easy to clean in tight corners and hard-to-reach places. It’s a perfect all-around vacuum for small to medium-size homes, and it’s great for quick cleanups in larger homes, too.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum: At a Glance

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Rating: 7/10


  • Laser light on the vacuum head makes hidden dust more visible on hard floors
  • A sensor automatically detects debris level and adapts suction to balance power and runtime
  • Boost mode traps 99.99 percent of particles, dust, and allergens as small as 0.3 microns


  • Dustbin capacity of 0.1 gallon may deceptively read large, but it’s merely 1.6 cups

Get the Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum at:

What is the Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum?

The V12 Detect Slim is Dyson’s lightest, most compact intelligent cordless vacuum with laser illumination. It’s designed to be more lightweight and portable than the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute. The V12 weighs just over 5 pounds.

This stick vacuum features an LCD screen that displays information such as battery-power status, power mode, maintenance alerts, and filtration data. The V12 operates on a powerful lithium-ion battery for up to 60 minutes on a single charge. It features a no-touch emptying bin and quickly converts to a handheld unit with the included crevice and combination cleaning tool.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Is the Dyson V12 Detect Slim easy to assemble?

Assembly of the V12 is intuitive and easy. The vacuum has a docking station, four cleaning accessories, and a charging cord. The docking station is compact and designed to fit into small spaces.

The only con I found with the whole setup is that there isn’t room to store all the accessories. The docking station has room for two tools, and a third tool stays on the vacuum. The fourth tool is left in limbo, so I had to find a place to store it near the vacuum. Overall, however, the accessories are easy to swap out when needed.

Is the Dyson V12 Detect Slim easy to use?

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum has the characteristic Dyson laser-gun form. Although the grip is the same as other V models, there is no trigger to hold down to use the vacuum. Instead, the power button is located at the front of the machine, allowing it to run continuously until it’s turned off. I did think the placement of the power button up front was odd and assumed it was placed there for the overall aesthetics of the product. In my opinion, it would have made more sense to place the power button on top or near the handle of the machine. Instead of reaching around with my opposite hand, I would have preferred to switch the vacuum on or off with the same hand I used to hold the vacuum.

Not having the trigger power button makes the vacuum easier to use because it doesn’t require the user to continuously press down on a trigger in order to power the vacuum. However, the continuous power doesn’t offer the same battery protection as the trigger-button design. To help conserve battery life, you must switch it off if you pause to move a chair or other objects. This feature wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but it’s easier to run through the battery faster with this design than with trigger-button vacs.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

What special features does the Dyson V12 Detect Slim have?

In addition to the front power button, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum features an LED screen that displays the filtration data. The info screen displays a count and analysis of the size of dust particles that are coming in via Dyson’s multistage filtration system. For most people, that information isn’t relevant, but for those who like a visual cue of how clean their house is getting, this information is a gold mine. The LED screen also displays the length of vacuuming time left, which changes depending on the mode the machine is in, whether Eco, Medium, or Boost.

The other special feature of this vacuum is a green laser light that illuminates the floor in front of you, making hairs, crumbs, dust, and spills on the floor stand out better. The light is optional, but it’s handy when cleaning in dim corners. Last but not least is Dyson’s signature ejection mechanism, which is a red bin-release lever that opens the bottom of the bin, releasing dirt in one action, so there’s never a need to touch the debris when emptying.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Should you buy this Dyson stick vacuum? 

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum has a hefty price tag. However, there is no denying the power of this Dyson vacuum. It’s powerful, features smart tech that automatically adjusts suction, and it includes an impressive array of tools and accessories. The battery life is good—up to 60 minutes depending on cleaning mode and dirt level—and the laser light works wonders with detecting fine pet hair and dust.

Even with all these top-notch features, the minuscule dustbin makes the stick vacuum unsuitable as a primary vacuum for a large home or a home with multiple pets. Although the battery life is good, it does take several hours to recharge. Again, that’s not ideal if you have a larger home and need to clean often. If you have a home with multiple pets and a lot of carpeted areas, skip the V12 and go with the Shark Anti-Allergen Pet Power cordless stick vacuum or the Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet cordless stick vacuum.

All that said, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum is perfect for smaller homes or even style-forward homes that don’t require frequent vacuuming.

Where to Buy the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum

Get the Dyson V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum at:

Meet the Tester

Debbie Wolfe is a photographer, author, and freelance writer in various niches. She has contributed hundreds of home, garden, and crafting articles and DIY tutorials for leading media outlets and retailers, including HGTV, Real Simple, Forbes Advisor, The Spruce, The Home Depot, Walmart, and Mother Earth News. She is the author of two DIY books: Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts and Crafting with Herbs from Skyhorse Publishing. Her testing approach is straightforward and budget-minded.

Debbie Wolfe Avatar

Debbie Wolfe

Contributing Writer & Editor

Debbie Wolfe is a freelance writer, photographer, and author who specializes in a variety of fields. She’s been contributing to since March of 2020 but has been writing in the home and garden industry for 10 years. Debbie covers all topics pertaining to home, gardening, and food, and she has published hundreds of DIY tutorials with step-by-step photography for leading home and garden media outlets.