The Dust Mite Decimator: Oreck Halo Flash

Unplggd Test Lab

Product: Oreck Halo Flash Vac
Price: $399.95
Rating: Recommend*

Allergies are no fun. With dust mites being the leading cause of indoor allergies, solutions that get rid of dust mites are always high on our list. We know that vacuuming cuts down on dust, but our allergies are often so much worse during the cleaning process that it just makes it not worth it. When we spotted this vacuum created specifically to kill germs and eradicate dust mites, we knew we had to review it.

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Design:
Oreck Halo Flash Vac has a sleek beetle like body with a neat-o UV-C germ killing attachment. While we were at first confused by the lack of a floor cleaning attachment we quickly realized that this device was built to do one thing and do it well (and that is not to be an all purpose vacuum). This device is built for killing germs and dust mites. It is to dust mites what the ghost vacuum from Ghostbusters is to well ghosts.

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Speaking of Ghostbusters, this is a vacuum that should be worn, which is what explains the shoulder strap that came with the attachments. Other attachments include a dusting brush, telescoping wand, and a 2-in-1 crevice and upholstery tool. The star of the attachments is the Flash UV-C attachment which is where this vac gets its name. We like the big blue buttons on the top of the canister, they are conveniently located for when you are wearing the device. They are easy to press and are more than just a design element. The vac comes with a long 25 foot cord that you secure using the Oreck branded velcro. We can easily see cord control being an issue as there is no place to wrap it on the vac. We are so used to retractable cords that it was almost confusing thinking about what to do with the cord when the device is not in use.

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Usage:
After strapping on the 8 lb vacuum and putting the 3 lb UV-C attachment on it, we put the vacuum to use on the sofa bed and bedroom mattress. Using the handheld was smooth and it was easy to push the trigger to activate the UV-C light. We did get tired of holding down the trigger so perhaps it is not the best idea to sanitize all of the mattresses in your home one right after another. We don't like germs and so it was kind of thrilling to think of all of the nasty stuff that comes with sitting on subway benches vanishing as we used the device on our couch.

I have pretty severe allergies and because of this vacuuming is not something I generally do. Since this device was created to help allergy sufferers I knew that I should be the one to vacuum in order to really test this. Sadly I did sneeze and have watery eyes while using this device and a sore throat after the vacuuming was finished. Granted, it was not as rough as when using the old Dirt Devil canister vac... but it was not anywhere near as good as when using the Dyson much less the Miele (Joelle's gold standard of vacuums). I have noticed a slight improvement in my night sleep since using the device on my mattress... and as those who suffer from indoor allergies know, any boon is awesome.

In the interest of full disclosure the UV-C light in our first unit failed after about a week's worth of use. Oreck was quick to send a replacement unit and we have not had any issues since.

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Pros:
- small footprint
- kills germs & dustmites
- powerful/efficient, despite its size
- fairly quiet
- long 25 foot cord
- easy to sanitize mattresses with UV-C light

Cons:
- pricey for a unitasker
- not easy to maneuver around
- a bit heavy
- does not seal tightly, allows dust to escape
- no place to store the cord when not in use
- first unit UV bulb failed
- arrives in a giant box

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The Bottom Line (& Who Should Buy):
This is a great device for those who are interested in UV-C sterilization. Better than a sterilizing wand, the vac combines the power of an Oreck vacuum with the added benefit of UV-C sterilization which is used to sanitize hospital rooms. For the $399.95 price tag we do wish it also cleaned floors. We also wish that you did not have to wear the vacuum to use it. We did not like the weight on our shoulders and would have preferred to have the canister on wheels. While certainly not a replacement for your all around vacuum, this is a good product for those looking for a great device that kills germs and dust mites.

Our Ratings:
Strong Recommend
Recommend*
Weak Recommend
Don't Recommend

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

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