Dyson 360 Vis Nav vs Dyson 360 Heurist: which robot vacuum cleaner is best?

Robot vacuum cleaners are having something of a moment as technology finally starts to catch up with our imaginations. Now, the best robot vacuums can map out your home, dodge all sorts of obstacles, and even recharge themselves.

Dyson has made it their mission to push the envelope on how well a robot vacuum can perform, with their latest robot vacuums rivaling the suction power of their cordless models. However, all that advanced technology is going to result in a premium price. The latest Dyson robot vacuum - the 360 Vis Nav, released in 2023 - clocks in at an astonishing £1,199.99 / $2,399, while its most recent predecessor, the Heurist, launched for £799.99 back in 2020. 

While there are plenty of other, cheaper robot vacuum brands available, many of which offer extra features such as self-emptying and mopping functionality, Dyson still pulls away from the pack when it comes to superior design and suction power. If you’re wondering whether to plump for the brand new Vis Nav or track down a second-hand or refurnished Heurist, you’ve come to the right place to get the lowdown on how the two robots compare. 

Dyson 360 Vis Nav design

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson 360 Heurist vs Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Design

While the Dyson 360 Heurist and 360 Vis Nav look similar, the Vis Nav features a more advanced, high-tech design. The Heurist resembles the previous Dyson 360 Eye model with minor color changes to its plastic body. The Vis Nav has an attractive nickel blue color with sleek brushed metal accents on its filter access panel and other areas.

Both models feel solid and durable thanks to Dyson's reputation for quality construction. But small touches like the Vis Nav's dust bin emptying mechanism and brush access slot make maintenance easier. 

Dyson 360 Vis Nav dustbin

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson 360 Heurist vs Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Features

Both models utilize Dyson's full-width roller brush that maximizes cleaning path coverage. But the Vis Nav adds high-tech carbon fiber filaments, nylon bristles, and a fluffy coating for superior pickup across all floor types. It also has an automatically extending side duct to better capture edge debris instead of traditional rotating side brushes. 

The 360 Vis Nav also sets itself apart with advanced navigation courtesy of a front-facing camera and intelligent programming. This allows for smart home mapping, custom cleaning zones, efficient path routing, and seamless integration with the Dyson mobile app. The app provides access to user guides, maintenance tips, and automatic firmware updates. In contrast, the 360 Heurist relies on simpler top-mounted camera navigation without advanced cleaning customization.

While similar in footprint, the lower profile Vis Nav can fit under more furniture for whole-room cleaning. Its charging dock maintains the slim form factor with a clever built-in cable tidy. The 360 Heurist's dock is similar but slightly bulkier, and it needs to be bought separately, while the Vis Nav dock comes as part of the package. 

So, while the older 360 Heurist remains competent, Dyson's newer offering takes robot vacuum design to a higher level. Its intelligent navigation, mapping, app connectivity, and user-centric tools provide a next-generation cleaning experience. Ultimately, the 360 Vis Nav offers superior design and functionality.

Dyson 360 Heurist

(Image credit: Dyson)

Dyson 360 Heurist vs Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Performance

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav stands out with exceptional suction power, thanks to its ten cyclones generating forces of up to 100,000g to suck up dust and debris. Our consumer tests showed it matched corded Dyson vacuum performance, completely removing oatmeal, crumbs, and flour from carpets and hard floors. The 360 Heurist is no slouch either, with its upgraded motor providing 20% more suction than the prior 360 Eye model. Both models use full-width roller brushes to maximize cleaning path width in a single pass.

Where the Vis Nav pulls ahead is its intelligent navigation and mapping capabilities. After an initial mapping run, it capably navigates rooms while avoiding obstacles. Using its front-facing camera and sensors, it rarely gets stuck. It also learns room layouts to develop customizable cleaning zones set via the mobile app. The 360 Heurist relies on simpler top-mounted camera navigation without advanced customization. However, both models offer the ability to clean in a dark room with the aid of LED lights, and both come with an app where you can customize cleaning.

While very thorough, the Vis Nav's cleaning does come at the cost of longer run times. Its average cleaning session required multiple returns to the charging dock to repower, taking up to four hours for a modest home. The 360 Heurist may not match its ultimate cleaning performance, but it offers quicker, more efficient coverage in less time.

Maintenance is easier on the 360 Vis Nav. Its dust bin emptying system is more hygienic than the Heurist's pull-out container. Accessing the Vis Nav's brush roll is also simpler for clearing wraparound hairs. 

When running in max suction, the Vis Nav produces about 67 decibels of noise. That's quieter than the Heurist, which comes in at around 72 decibels, and many other robots. However, the Heurist's louder operation provides audible alerts when blockages occur.  

Ultimately, the Dyson 360 Vis Nav's advanced navigation, customization, and exceptional cleaning power make it the top performer. But its higher price and longer run times may keep the 360 Heurist competitive among more budget-focused shoppers as it features Dyson's excellent pickup and mostly autonomous operation at a more affordable cost. 

Whether you opt for the Heurist or the Vis Nav will ultimately depend on whether you prefer value for money over a more intelligent, deeper clean.

Dyson 360 Heurist vs Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Price and availability

The Dyson 360 Heurist robot vacuum was only released in the UK in 2020, skipping a US and Australia release because it ‘wasn’t suited to larger, more complex homes’. Also, given that it was released four years ago, you’re much more likely to pick up a second-hand or refurbished model than a new one. Prices range from a few hundred pounds to over £500, depending on where you look.  

On the other hand, the Dyson 360 Vis Nav is available in both the UK and Australia. As Dyson's newest and most advanced robot vacuum, it commands a premium price of £1,199.99 - more than double the highest current cost of the 360 Heurist. While the Vis Nav has wider availability and more advanced technology, its much higher price puts it out of reach for many consumers. It is available to buy on the Dyson website and other selected retailers.

Dyson 360 Heurist vs Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Our verdict

There’s no question in our minds about which robot vacuum cleaner is best. The Dyson 360 Vis Nav is the better robot vacuum overall. While the 360 Heurist offers excellent cleaning for a more affordable price point, the 360 Vis Nav justifies a premium price tag with superior navigation, customization, and best-in-class suction power. 

Its advanced mapping and zoning capabilities, seamless app connectivity, ultra-thorough pickup across all floor types, and high-end design showcase Dyson's engineering at its finest. Yes, the multi-hour run times are a bit frustrating, but precisely controlling when and where it cleans via the app helps maximize efficiency. For shoppers who want the ultimate hands-free cleaning experience with next-generation smarts, the Dyson 360 Vis Nav is the clear winner despite its hefty price tag. 

Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 

You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website: https://www.joannelewsley.co.uk/