Infomercials can grab our attention. Each one makes the product look like it's something you just have to have. Then, they show the price. Usually, its one low price with the fine print saying you pay that low price 4 or 5 times. You might think, you get what you pay for, why not spend the money for the more expensive product, especially if it's a name you know? Hold on. Check out what Consumer Reports found when they tested the $330 Dyson Hard surface cleaner against the $40 Swiffer Sweeper.
To see which worked best, testers used the cleaners on some tough messes, including grape jelly, gravy, ketchup, and mud, both wet and dry.
The Swiffer's wet pads, which you buy separately, were better at picking up sticky kitchen spills than the Dyson's, which left some residue behind. But the Dyson was better at vacuuming up heavy dust. The Dyson also comes with a detachable hand vac, which proved great at cleaning up Cheerios. But the Swiffer didn't have any problems with Cheerios either. In the end, Consumer Reports says the $40 Swiffer is a better deal.
If what you really want is a small lightweight vacuum, Consumer Reports found one that's better at vacuuming than either the Swiffer Sweeper or the Dyson Hard. It's the Hoover Platinum LiNX BH50010 for $150. It can't help you with wet spills, but it works well on carpets and did an excellent job cleaning up pet hair.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.