Comparisons and Guide to Everything You Should Know Before Buying a Dyson Cordless Vacuum
Note: This article originally was written when the V10 did not exist. In 2018, Dyson introduced the V10. Some parts of the article, I may just refer to the V6-V8. The “base” Dyson V-series remains the same for the V10. Any upgrades and exceptions are noted in the Dyson V8 vs V10 at the bottom of this article.
Considering buying a Dyson cordless stick vacuum–V6, V7, or V8 (and new in 2018 the V10)?
This page reviews these Dyson vacuums and breaks down the differences in all the Dyson models: V6, V7, V8, and V10 (not sure why they never made a V9?!)
But I’ll give you a spoiler: Unlike some Dyson vacuums, these Dyson cordless stick vacuums live up to Dyson’s top-of-the-line vacuum reputation. It’s definitely the vacuum I recommend first to anyone who has the money to invest in a good cordless stick vacuum.
This doesn’t mean the Dyson V-series vacuums are for everybody. They have some flaws I’ll cover in this article. Not to mention, the best version can set you back close to $600. Not cheap for a vacuum that is acceptable but not great for cleaning carpet.
If that price scares you off, the lower end versions are significantly cheaper. As of writing (September 2017), you’ll save $234 buying the V6 instead of the V8.
So is are the Dyson cordless vacuums worth the price? And do you want a V6 or a V8? And once you decide what V-version you want, do you want the absolute series or animal series?
I can’t answer these questions for you, but I did the homework for you. This guide shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes, and you’ll be able to make a confident vacuum decision after you read it. Also, here’s a layout of this article if you want to skip around:
- review of the Dyson cordless stick vacuums
- differences in each model: V6 vs V8, V6 vs V7, V7 vs V8, and V8 vs V10
- differences in animal and other versions
- comparison of Dyson V-series vs Shark Rocket (another popular stick)
Captain’s notice! When I recommend a vacuum, there is a link to a product page (usually Amazon), and I may receive a small commission if you purchase after clicking it. This does not change what you pay or what I recommend. It does help fund the research I put into the site, and I’m grateful for any support!
Review of the Dyson cordless stick vacuums (V6, V7, V8, V10)
If at any time during reading, you’d like pricing or other information from Amazon on the Dyson vacuums reviewed, just click the corresponding link below:
For more information on the Dyson V6, click here.
For more information on the Dyson V7, click here.
For more information on the Dyson V8, click here.
This is a combined review of the Dyson V6, V7, and V8.
Why did I review these 3 vacuums together, instead of separate reviews for each?
They are basically the same vacuum. Each version comes with an upgrade. But besides a few new tools and slightly better performance, the newer versions aren’t much different than the V6.
Plus, I cover the differences in each of the 3 models below. Consider this the “base” review, and then you can get more details when I cover the V6 vs V7 vs V8.
So let’s start the review. I’m going to cut to the chase. Dyson cordless sticks are my favorite in the ‘cordless stick’ category, and most experts agree with me.
Because of this, I think a good start point is, “What makes the Dyson V-series better than other cordless sticks?”
Dyson starts by attacking the biggest limitation of most cordless sticks: They can’t get enough power from a battery to clean effectively. Vacuuming takes a lot of power.
Interestingly, the V-series vacuums actually don’t have a tremendous amount of suction (although it is good–especially for the class). The suction ranges from 28 to 115 air watts depends on the version and the mode you have it in. In comparison, you want at least 100 air watts for an upright vacuum that cleans carpet, and many higher-end vacuums have 200+.
The game-changer for the Dyson vacuums is how they suction–this includes how the brush head picks up debris to how its siphoned through the vacuum. In other words, Dyson didn’t solve the problem of cordless vacuums not having enough power with new power technology. They solved it by innovating ways to make vacuums pick up more debris with less power.
Taking it a step further, it’s simple to use. And usually, if you want the hassle-free option of going with a cordless vacuum, it would be a deal breaker if it wasn’t easy to use. The Dyson V-series vacuums you literally pull off the charger and hit a button. Want to clean the ceiling, your keyboard, or car? Well-organized attachments are at your disposal.
So basically, what makes the Dyson cordless sticks unique is they do what you want them to better than any other vacuum: be a hassle-free way to get your home clean.
Here are the features you’ll find in the V6, V7, and V8:
- cord-free: easy charging (3.5 to 5hrs for full charge) in-wall docking station
- slim and well-organized docking station: easy access to vacuum and attachments
- only 5lbs makes easy cleaning for harder to reach areas like stairs and ceilings
- brush technology that picks up significantly more debris than most cordless sticks
- some type of air filter (specific section dedicated to this below)
- simple push button emptying of canister into the trash (varies slightly based on version)
- easily transforms from stick to handheld to clean cars, desks, etc
- max power of 100-115 air watts (equivalent to some corded uprights)
- 20 to 40-minute battery life depending on the version (more on this in V6 vs V8 below)
- anything I didn’t cover you’d want to know? let me know in the comments below
More explanation on key benefits from above:
Dyson knows if you buy a cordless vacuum you want it to be simple to use–after all, you’re researching these vacuums because you don’t want to deal with a cord. They achieved this by a flawless ease of attachment to the dock, enough tools to clean anything in your home but not too many to overwhelm, and easy push button technology for about everything (vacuuming, emptying, and increasing power).
You can effortlessly clean anything from carpet to hardwood to ceilings to desks. This is not only because of the attachments but the lightweight and perfect weight distribution, as well as easy transformation into a handheld vacuum.
This combination of simplicity, versatility, and power makes Dyson V6/V7/V8 the best all-purpose vacuum I’ve found. But it does have some flaws. Before you invest your money, they’re worth reading about…
Why you might want to look for a different vacuum:
There are a couple of cases where you might not want one of the Dyson cordless sticks:
- You want to deep clean carpet. The Dyson V-series vacuums do a decent job of cleaning carpet, especially short carpet. However, cordless sticks are generally the least powerful vacuums. Since Dyson is the best of class, these vacuums would be the equivalent of an average to slightly below average upright vacuum.
- You get “on a roll” when you’re cleaning and want to clean your whole house. You’re running on a timer of 20-40 minutes and once that time runs up, you’ll need 3-5 hours for it to recharge.
My final opinion on best uses for the Dyson V6/V7/V8 is as an excellent all-purpose vacuum for smaller houses without thick carpet OR as an excellent versatile cleaner for homes that already have an upright vacuum. I find homeowners who already have an upright to do most of the cleaning jobs love the Dyson cordless vacuums because they can grab it for any spot cleaning job around the house, and it replaces many other tools such as brooms and computer vacuums.
Dyson V6 vs V8
Dyson V6 vs V8: Oldest vs newest. Approximately $280 vs $480.
Should you pocket the $200 savings and go with the V6, or should you splurge and go for the V8?
You get everything described above in the review of the Dyson cordless stick vacuums with both the V6 and V8: best cordless stick cleaning of hardwood and carpet (based on reviews and my experience), no easier stick vacuum to use, and versatility to clean nearly anything in your home.
But there are differences between the two:
- V8 has 40 minutes of battery life vs 20 minutes for the V6 (I find these times listed by Dyson to be pretty accurate–maybe only a couple of minutes less in the real world)
- V8 fixed an annoying problem of debris getting stuck to the side of bagless cannister when emptying the V6 (although all you have to do is putting your finger in and scrape the side)
- more powerful power brushhead making the V8 slightly more effective at cleaning carpet (150% more power)
- separate “soft” brush head for the V8 that provides even better hard surface cleaning (note you can get this brushhead now for the V6, but it doesn’t come standard)
- cannister is 25% bigger in the V8
- 15% more air watts (suction power) for the V8
- V8 has a battery indicator so no surprises when you’re going to run out of battery life
- V8 is slightly quieter
- V6 is slightly lighter (probably not a noticeable difference)
My ultimate verdict: most people can save the $200ish and go with the V6. However, if you have a home with carpet and hard flooring and want the Dyson cordless vacuum to be your only vacuum, you’ll like the extra power, 2 brush heads, and battery life of the V8. And whether you decide the V6 or V8, it’s worth reading about it compared to the V7 (see below).
Dyson V6 vs V7
If the V8 is a little too expensive, and you’re wanting to go with one of the older models, you get to choose between the V6 and the V7. And this isn’t a bad thing.
Both of these vacuums give you the top of the line performance for a cordless stick vacuum. You won’t be disappointed in their ease of use and effectiveness at getting anything in your home clean.
Here are the notable upgrades in the V7 vs the V6:
- more powerful brush head for better agitation on carpet (75% more power)
- 30-minute battery life for the V7 vs 20 minutes for the V6
- V7 has 25% bigger dustbin
- V7 fixed an annoying problem of debris getting stuck to the side of bagless cannister when emptying the V6 (although all you have to do is putting your finger in and scrape the side)
The interesting thing about the V7 is it actually was made after the V8 (but is a lesser version of the V8). Dyson brought some of the improved features of the V8 to the V7 but was able to keep the price closer to the V6. You’ll pay about $50 more for the V7 over the V6. These upgrades over the V6 but just a small increase (not nearly as high as the V8) make the Dyson V7 my favorite in the cordless stick series.
Dyson V7 vs V8
What about the newest versions. What’s the difference in the V7 and V8?
- V8 brush head is more powerful than the V7 (V8 is a 150% upgrade over the V6, while V7 is a 75% upgrade)
- V8 has 15% improved air watts (suction power)
- V8 has 40 minutes of battery life vs 30 minutes for the V7
- V8 has a battery life indicator, so you know when it’s going to shut off
- V8 has a HEPA filter
If you didn’t read the V6 vs V7 review, the interesting thing about the V7 is it actually was introduced after the V8. Instead of an “upgrade” over the V6, it is more of a “downgrade” of the V8.
But here’s what these two vacuums really come down to:
The V8 is the better whole-house cleaner with a little more power and battery life. But for most people, the Dyson cordless is a secondary vacuum–meaning they also have an upright or canister. If this is your case, you probably won’t need the extra battery life or power the V8 offers.
The bigger game-changer for the V8 might be the HEPA filter. If you have allergies, this makes it worth the upgrade.
Dyson V8 vs V10
In 2018, Dyson introduced its newest cordless model and skipped the “V9” series and went straight to the V10. This is Dyson’s continual effort to make their cordless vacuums the only vacuum you need.
The previous Dyson’s V6-V8 already can clean nearly anything in your home and are the most convenient, easiest to use all-purpose vacuums I’ve used. But I’ve always said they lack the battery life and power to replace an upright or canister vacuum in moderate size homes or homes with carpet.
So does the V10 upgrade address these problems? Well, they at least take a shot at it. Here’s what Dyson states are upgrades in the V10:
- 25% more dust removed from carpets due to a new brush head
- battery life upgraded from 40 minutes to 60 minutes
- up to 150 watts for the V10 vs max of 115 for the V8
- the V10 has 3 power settings vs 2 of the V8
- some versions (animal and absolute, NOT motorhead) have a 40% bigger bin
You can see Dyson is directly going after what I consider to be the weaknesses of the V-series. The upgrades sound great, but from what I’ve seen in initial reviews, it doesn’t quite lead up to the hype.
Specifically, the 150 watts with the improved brush head is a giant step in the direction of being an all-purpose carpet cleaner, but it wouldn’t make an impressive upright for cleaning carpet. But more importantly, it only holds this power for under 10 minutes (some people report closer to 5).
This brings us to battery life. An hour you can do more vacuuming than you’d ever want to, and certainly could vacuum your whole home. The problem is this is on the low power, which is actually lower than the lowest power on the V8. If you compare the same suction (medium on the V10 is like the low on the V8), it lasts about the same amount of time.
The difference in “animal”, “absolute”, “motorhead”, and other series
Each the V6, V7, and V8 have multiple “versions”:
So instead of having 3 Dyson cordless stick options, you end up with 10+ (they keep coming out with new versions).But here’s a secret:
It sounds confusing, and it is. But here’s a secret:
There’s no difference in the vacuum within each model (V6, V7, or V8), except the accessories.
So the battery power, cleaning power, dustbin, and how you operate the vacuum won’t differ whether you get a motorhead, animal, or absolute series.
This makes it easy because once you know whether you want a V6, V7, or V8, you can just decide what extra tools you want, and find the vacuum in that series that has them.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common series:
V6 vs V6 animal: So when I said the power is the same within the series? Not exactly true for this one. The animal series comes with the brush head you’ll find in the V7–the one with 75% more power. The air power is still the same between the two. You’ll also get a mini-motorized brush for removing pet hair from upholstery with the animal version. Get more info on the V6 animal on Amazon by clicking here.
V6 vs V6 absolute: The V6 absolute is essentially the V8 tools with the V6 vacuum. It’s the most feature-rich V6 you’ll find, and this includes the soft roller head for hardwood that was introduced with the V8. Also, a big win for the V^ absolute is a HEPA filter. Get more info on the V6 absolute on Amazon by clicking here.
V7 motorhead vs V7 absolute: The V7 motorhead is the “standard” V7 version. The big upgrade for the V7 absolute is the soft roller head for hard floors. Either version will clean hardwood floors, but the soft roller head does it even better. There’s typically about a $100 premium for the Dyson’s with this roller head, so expect to pay for the upgrade. Get more info on the V7 motorhead on Amazon by clicking here.
V8 vs V8 animal: If you think the V8 animal is an upgrade, you’re wrong (and so was I). In Dyson V8, the animal means that you don’t get the hard floor roller. This doesn’t mean you can’t clean hard floors but it just doesn’t come with the extra technology. You’ll find this V8 animal cheaper than the V8, as it should be. Get more info on the V8 animal on Amazon by clicking here.
Captain’s warning! Be sure if you’re buying a version you make sure it has the tools you want. Dyson has even introduced a few versions that are the handheld only. It’s easy to avoid as long as you make sure you don’t just pick up the first V-version you want without looking at the specs. The handheld versions should be clear in their description/packaging.
Which Dyson cordless have HEPA filters? (good question… it’s confusing)
Every Dyson cordless vacuum has a filter, but only the Dyson V6 Absolute and all V8 models are upgraded with HEPA filters. Notice that no V7’s come with a HEPA filter (since writing this has changed, around Feb 2018 Dyson added a special V7 edition with HEPA filter. thanks to Patti in the comments for first reporting this).
I thought researching this would be straightforward, but it’s wasn’t. I knew all the V8 versions I encountered had HEPA filters, and the V6’s I encountered did not. Turns out, as mentioned in the comments (thanks, Nick), the V6 absolute comes with a HEPA filter. Here’s where it gets confusing:
I asked Dyson support what cordless sticks come with HEPA filters, and they said only the V8’s. But on their website, it agrees with Jake that the V6 absolute comes with a filter. Further research didn’t uncover any other Dyson cordless vacuums with a HEPA filter.
Shark rocket vs Dyson cordless stick
Sometimes I get asked, “I want a stick vacuum, which is better the Dyson for Shark?”
It’s a common question because Dyson has been synonymous with high-end vacuum technology, but Shark is the newcomer that is here to disrupt the vacuum industry, making vacuums that compete with Dyson at a lower cost.
The fact is the Shark Rocket is very comparable to the Dyson V6/V7/V8. But there’s a big difference:
The Shark Rocket isn’t cordless. In fact, it’s my pick for the best corded stick vacuums.
So the real question is do you want a cordless vacuum?
I’ll give my 2 cents that you are a lot more likely to use your vacuum when it’s cordless. Even though plugging a vacuum in and wrapping the cord isn’t difficult, there’s something so much easier about just grabbing the cordless vacuum off the wall and using it.
If you want an all-purpose cleaning, possibly to supplement your main upright vacuum, I’d go with the Dyson cordless sticks. If you live in a small place and want a stick vacuum to clean all your floors that’s easy to store, I’d go with the Shark Rocket.
Captain’s parting words!
If you want a vacuum that you’ll have fun using, the Dyson cordless sticks are your best options. I find most people’s homes cleaner than ever after purchasing this vacuum because the ease of use combined with its power for a cordless, leads them to vacuum way more than they ever imagined.
If you have thick carpet or a big place you want to clean in a single session, you’ll want an upright or canister vacuum to go with your Dyson V6/V7/V8.
Hopefully, this article helped you decide if you want a Dyson V-series vacuum, and also narrow down the V6, V7., V8 and which extra tools you’ll need.
Any questions? Let me know in the comments below.