Dyson is known as a leader in the cordless vacuum world. Dyson was the first brand to really listen to their customers and create powerful, yet lightweight, vacuums to make cleaning quick and easy. From suction to storage, the Dyson cordless vacuum’s eye-catching design speaks not only to agility and ergonomics, but also to its easy-to-empty system and battery-life. All of these factors combined make the Dyson cordless vacuum v11, v10 Cyclone, v8 Animal, or v7 Motorhead a worthy investment.
In order to make choosing a cordless vacuum a stress-free experience, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about Dyson cordless vacuums, from features and reliability to a breakdown of the best models.
Dyson offers a versatile selection of cordless vacuums at different price points to meet different cleaning needs. However, one drawback that comes with a rich catalog is that it is difficult to decipher between the different models and understand the various functions of each one. Oftentimes, people may not even realize they’re purchasing an old model. Rather, they just see the name Dyson and assume that all cordless models will run with similar power and performance.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. An old model like the Dyson v7 does not have the same technology as the Dyson v11, simply because Dyson has perfected their cordless vacuum technology since the v7’s release.
Overview of Dyson Cordless Vacuum Models
Before we dive into our favorite Dyson cordless vacuums, let’s talk about what makes each series different. Dyson currently offers four series of cordless vacuums: the Dyson v7, Dyson v8, Dyson v10 Cyclone, and Dyson v11. Each series comes in at a different price point and offers different features and levels of performance.
Dyson v7 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
The Dyson v7 models start at $299 and offer base-level suction. They have a runtime of 30 minutes, which is the shortest battery life of any of the Dyson cordless vacuums. Although the v7 models were innovative when they first came out, Dyson has since created much better technology in its subsequent models.
Dyson v8 Cordless Vacuums
Dyson’s v8 cordless vacuums start at $399 and offer a slightly longer 40-minute runtime. These models also offer 15% more suction than the v7 models, making it worth the slightly higher price point. According to Dyson’s website, the models in this series are “certified allergy friendly” and have advanced filtration that can capture 99.99% of allergens.
Dyson v10 Cyclone Cordless Vacuums
The Dyson Cyclone v10 models range in price from $499 to $549, depending on the features that are included. These models have 55% more suction than the base-level models and boast an impressive runtime of up to 60 minutes. There are four different models in the v10 family - the v10 Absolute, the v10 Animal, the v10 Animal Pro, and the v10 Motorhead. These models are also “certified allergy friendly” by Dyson.
Dyson v11 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
The v11 models, which range in price from $599 to $799, are the gold standard of Dyson cordless vacuums. They offer a whopping 85% more suction than the v7 and come with two replaceable batteries for a total combined runtime of 120 minutes. These models work great on both carpet and hardwood flooring and feature automatic surface detection to allow you to easily move between spaces without switching gears.Like the v8 and v10 models, the v11 cordless vacuums are “certified allergy friendly.”
Another unique perk you get with some of the v11 models is the LCD screen, which gives a real-time reading of the battery levels based on what type of surface the vacuum is being used on. (Keep in mind: this feature is NOT available on the v11 Animal.) There are four different models in the v11 series - the v11 Outsize, the v11 Outsize Origin, the v11 Animal, and the v11 Torque Drive.
If you’re looking for the best cordless vacuum, we found that the latest Dyson v11 models take advantage of Dyson’s most prominent offerings. These models combine powerful and versatile cleaning power with battery longevity and convenience.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Dyson Cordless Vacuum
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the number of cordless vacuum options on the market. However, there are a number of factors to keep in mind to ensure that you make the right choice for your and your family. Below, we’ll list eight of these factors and explain how Dyson’s cordless vacuums fit into each one.
Convenience is key when talking about cordless vacuums. Ideally, you want to find a model that’s lightweight, agile, and easy to use. In general, Dyson cordless vacuums do pretty well in all of these areas. They’re much easier to carry around than most competing models and feature a swivel head that allows you to get under furniture and in hard-to-reach and awkward spaces.
However, Dyson cordless vacuums do not stand up on their own, which is a bigger inconvenience than it seems. When taking a break from vacuuming, you have to be sure to lay them down on the floor or place them back on the wall mount. Otherwise, they may come crashing down, bringing everything in their path down with them. (Full Disclosure: my Dyson may or may not have knocked down an entire bottle of white wine after trying to let it stand for thirty seconds).
Another inconvenience about Dyson cordless vacuums is that you have to hold the trigger down in order to make it run. Personally, I’m still holding out hope that Dyson will release a model with a one-touch turn-on feature.
2) Cleaning Performance
Different Dyson cordless vacuums offer different levels of cleaning performance. For example, some models like the v11 Torque Drive perform well on all types of flooring and offer automatic surface detection. However, many of the models in the older v7 series are best for spot cleaning hardwood floors. Additionally, the v8 models are not great on high-pile shag carpeting but do really well on hard floors and low-pile carpets. Before purchasing any cordless vacuum, it’s important to survey the needs of your home and balance them against the offerings of the model. In terms of cleaning performance, Dyson is an industry leader challenged only by Miele. We compared Miele vs Dyson vacuums in detail on our review article.
There are lower price point competitors in the space such as Shark cordless vacuums but we prefer the Dyson quality for a small cost difference. For more in depth comparison between the two brands we published a Dyson vs Shark cordless vacuum review.
3) Allergen and Dust Management
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you know that having a high-quality vacuum with advanced filtration is life changing. Luckily, all Dyson vacuums come with a sealed system, which means that the air they release is cleaner than the air they take in. Some models also include an all-important HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. HEPA filters are able to trap at least 99.97% of particles like dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria and mold.
According to Dyson’s website, the v8, v10, and v11 models are “certified allergy friendly” and have “advanced whole-machine filtration that captures 99.99% of dust and allergens as small as 0.3 microns.”
An added bonus? When you register your cordless vacuum with Dyson, the company will send you alerts when it’s time to clean or change your filters. This takes the guesswork out of cleaning your filters. Because let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to remember when you last washed your sheets - nevermind a filter you rarely see with your own eyes.
4) Performance on Pet Hair
All of Dyson’s cordless vacuums perform well on pet hair. However, the appropriately titled “Animal” models are specifically designed to pick up dog and cat hair. These vacuums even come with additional attachments to tackle pet hair on every surface in your home.
5) Noise Level
When looking at decibel levels, most of Dyson’s cordless vacuums are comparable to other models on the market. However, Dyson models tend to have a higher frequency sound, which makes them seem louder than they actually are. Although Dyson cordless vacuums perform well and come with a number of different tools and attachments, they are not the most efficient when it comes to sound. In terms of the competition, I much prefer the quiet hum of the Miele Triflex HX1 cordless vacuum.
6) Service and Reliability
Before releasing any product onto the market, Dyson subjects its vacuums to rigorous testing protocols. According to the company, during testing, a vacuum is dropped up to 5,318 times to ensure durability. Additionally, Dyson offers 30 and 90-day money-back guarantees on their vacuums, in the off chance that you are dissatisfied with your purchase.
However, in 2019, Dyson’s stick vacuums were stripped of their Consumer Reports recommendation after a high volume of owners reported significant problems with their models within five years of purchase. This means the vacuums were not lasting as long as they should, causing a considerable problem for Dyson’s reputation.
7) Dyson Cordless Vacuum Price Comparison
Typically, cordless vacuums can range in price from $100 to over $600. The more you are able to spend on the vacuum, the more features and tools you will likely have access to.
Here’s a breakdown of the prices for Dyson cordless vacuums:
|Dyson v7||Base level suction, 30 min runtime||start at $299|
|Dyson v8||15% more suction, 40 min runtime||start at $399|
|Dyson v10||55% more suction, 60 min runtime||start at $499|
|Dyson v11||85% more suction, max 120 min runtime||start at $599|
Our 4 Best Dyson Cordless Vacuum Models
1) Best Overall: Dyson v11 Torque Drive ($699)
Dyson’s v11 Torque Drive is undoubtedly the company’s most powerful and versatile cordless vacuum. This model works great on both carpet and hardwood flooring, and features automatic surface detection to allow you to easily move between spaces without switching gears. It also comes with a mini motorized brush tool to clean awkward areas and surfaces like steps, car interiors, furniture, and bedding. However, many users have reported that the suction power makes it difficult to push on high-pile carpets.
When I tested the Dyson v11 Torque Drive for myself, I did find that the suction made it a bit difficult to maneuver on high-pile shag carpets. For the most part though, this cordless vacuum did really well on all surfaces with a single pass. I especially liked the fact that I didn’t have to lift up the vacuum when I moved between surfaces with different types of flooring. Unlike other cordless vacuums, the Dyson v11 Torque Drive was able to automatically and seamlessly switch gears to accommodate the change in flooring.
One of the coolest features of the Torque Drive is the LCD screen, which gives a real-time reading of the battery levels based on what type of surface it’s being used on. When placed in eco mode, the Torque Drive can get up to an hour of battery life.
In terms of allergen management, the Torque Drive has a sealed system with a HEPA filter to adequately eliminate allergens from your home.
However, one complaint that users have consistently reported is that the Torque Drive is too top-heavy. Personally, my biggest critiques with the vacuum were minimal - the model isn’t freestanding, so you’ll have to lean it on a counter if you take a break. I also found it inconvenient to have to continuously press down on the trigger in order to make it run.
2) Best on Pet Hair: Dyson v8 Animal ($399)
This lightweight Dyson model is known for being agile and convenient. Like the v11 Torque Drive, the v8 Animal comes with a mini motorized brush tool for upholstery, stairs, and otherwise awkward spaces. The cleaning head also swivels from side to side, making it ideal for cleaning under and around furniture. Like the v11, the v8 Animal also has a sealed system with a HEPA filter.
However, the Dyson v8 Animal does not do well with picking up large debris and crumbs from hardwood floors. Although it has no trouble picking up large crumbs on carpet, it merely pushes debris around on hardwood floors. This is less than ideal if you live in a home with young children who often drop cereal and other food on the floor. I also found the v8 animal to be a little too top heavy, which can lead to sore arms after deep cleaning your home.
3) Best Value: Dyson v7 Motorhead ($299)
At only $299, the Dyson v7 Motorhead is the most cost effective cordless vacuum on our list. This vacuum works great on area rugs and hard flooring, making it the perfect choice for apartment living. It’s a great introduction to what Dyson cordless vacuums have to offer without the price tag of the more advanced models. My biggest issue with this vacuum is that it has only 30 minutes of runtime. However, if you’re in a small apartment or are just looking to spot clean, this is the perfect option for you.
This cordless vacuum is super lightweight at only 5.45 pounds, making it ergonomic and useful for cleaning cobwebs in hard-to-reach corners of your ceiling. For allergen management, this model also has a lifetime washable filter. However, it does not have a HEPA filter for advanced filtration, making it less than ideal for asthma and allergy sufferers.
4) Best for Cleaning Large Spaces: Dyson v11 Outsize ($799)
The Dyson v11 Outsize has all of the perks of the v11 Torque Drive with the addition of a larger cleaning head, which allows you to cover more ground in less time. It also has slightly stronger suction power than the v11 Torque Drive. Like the Torque Drive, it has automatic surface detection, making it great for both carpets and hard flooring. Another perk of this model is the larger dustbin, which allows you to go longer without having to dump out dust and debris.
Like the Torque Drive, the v11 Outsize also comes with the LCD screen to let you know just how much battery life is left. I really love this feature because it takes the guesswork out of determining how much longer you can vacuum without having to stop to recharge. Speaking of charge, this model has a total runtime of up to 120 minutes because of the extra replaceable battery that it comes with. This is a huge bonus for cleaning large spaces.
The only critiques I had with this vacuum were the same critiques I have with all Dyson cordless vacuums - they’re not freestanding and require you to hold down a trigger to keep it moving. Overall, however, this is a great vacuum for those with pets, kids, or just a large home in general.
Dyson has been a trusted name in the vacuum industry for over 20 years. Although the company offers a large variety of cordless vacuums, choosing the perfect vacuum for your needs can be overwhelming. After testing several Dyson cordless vacuums, I found the v11 Torque Drive to be most efficient in a number of key areas including performance, allergen management, and convenience.
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