Rising home prices, ever-shrinking living spaces, and improvements in cleaning technology have made room for the cordless vacuum cleaner to shine.
Previously considered an add on to a central cleaning system, cordless cleaners have now morphed into the primary vacuum cleaner in many homes. The Dyson brand has been at the forefront of this charge.
Dyson initially flirted with the portable cordless cleaner idea with the DC30 handheld and the Dyson Digital Slim, first released in 2009. Since then, Dyson has gone on to release multiple handheld and cordless stick vacuums. However, the launch of the Dyson V6 in 2015 took the game to a whole new level.
With the launch of the V6, Dyson signaled a change in culture that was soon to take the whole market by storm. Dyson V6 is Dyson’s first cordless cleaner with enough firepower, tools, and accessories to hold its own against regular uprights and serve as a complete home cleaning solution.
Since the V6, Dyson has focused on their cordless cleaner line, putting out new products every single year. V7, V8, V10, and V11 Absolute all bring incremental improvements to their cordless lineup and further cement Dyson as the leader in stick vacuums. During the launch of its now popular Cyclone V10 model, Dyson reiterated their commitment to going cordless. The company stated that it would never make another corded vacuum cleaner.
Why go Cordless?
Over the past few years, cordless vacuum cleaners have been growing in popularity, replacing more and more uprights and canister vacs. Cordless cleaners have been rising in market share for the same reason smartphones are replacing computers in our day to day activities. Cordless cleaners are smaller sized, way more portable, more comfortable to maneuver, and all-round more convenient cleaning option.
With a standard upright or canister vacuum, you have to deal with the real-time logistics of cleaning your home. A common hassle with conventional cleaners is figuring out the optimal sockets and switching the cleaner’s position to get optimal proximity as you change cleaning areas. You also have to deal with moving the cleaner/cable to get the hose within reach of where you want to clean.
Despite their many apparent advantages, cordless vacuum cleaners initially had a hard time making a dent on the market due to the shortfalls of the early prototype. The fundamental problems with the first models include inadequate suction and miserable battery life. To put how bad their battery was in perspective, the original DC30 handheld from Dyson could only sustain a meager 40AW of suction for meer 6 minutes before needing a charge. Compare that statistic with the brand new Dyson V11 Torque drive that outputs 185AW for over 60 minutes on one charge.
With rapid innovation by brands like Dyson and Shark, the cordless vacuum cleaner has reached the point where it can become a mainstay in most homes. You can now get multiple lightweight vacs sport superior engineering to give you that perfect clean. Considering the many advantages and increased convenience, if you are in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, now may be the right time to go cordless.
Cordless cleaners are excellent for smaller homes with less carpet. They are also awesome quick cleans and a great alternative for those who struggle with managing heavier vacs.
Drawbacks of Using Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Limited By Battery Life
Compared with standard corded cleaners, with cordless vacuums, you gain portability and improved maneuverability. However, this added mobility comes at the expense of a constant power supply. Cordless vacuums principal limitation is battery life. Initially, a typical cordless stick type offered a battery life of around 5–20 minutes depending on the selected power setting.
However, recent years have seen improvement in cleaning battery technology, with the newest Dyson models offering up to 60 minutes of suction per charge. However, the limited battery on older models will need multiple charges to handle larger homes.
As with other battery-powered devices, with cordless vacs, you all have to deal with the complication of batteries losing charge capacity over time. This battery degradation means that your battery may give out way before the other parts of your vacuum leading to more maintenance visits.
Low Power Output
Most cordless vacs tend to operate between 20 – 100 watts of power, which isn’t so powerful, especially for deep pile carpet but is excellent for tiles and hardwood. The latest from Dyson, the V11 Torque Drive, provides up to 185 watts, which is quite an improvement. While the V11’s can match the power of most low to mid-tier uprights with its 525-watt motor, it is slightly outperformed by high powered uprights like the Shark Rocket DuoClean, with its 600-watt engine.
Smaller Dust Capacity
Battery-powered cordless vacs are all about portability and improved maneuverability. And this design philosophy affects every section of the cleaners build. The streamlined profile of the vacs also means that you get a smaller dirt bin. For example, the Dyson V7 Absolute has a tiny dirt collector of just 0.14 gallons compared to the uprights like the Shark Navigator NV70 with a 0.73 dirt cup.
Related: Best Shark Vacuum Cleaner 2019
Storage and Charging
You may need a wall mount to charge some cordless vacuum models. Installing a dedicated wall mount for you cleaner can be a hassle. However, wall storage could also double as an advantage as it provides a clutter-free way to store your cleaner.
Dyson Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Models
Dyson V6 Absolute
Released in 2015, Dyson V6 Absolute is the premium version of the V6 model, the first vacuum cleaner in Dyson’s cordless cleaner V series. A replacement for the Dyson DC34, the vac aims to bring the same cleaning performance of Dyson’s more giant cleaners in a smaller, more portable sleek-looking cordless package. While the V6 is nowhere near Dyson’s leading offerings in cleaning performance, it more than makes up for it in portability and ease of use.
Dyson V7 Absolute
The V7 is Dyson’s answer to a go-between the V6 and V8. Despite packing the same power as the V6, the V7 claims to deliver 75% more agitation thanks to optimization by Dyson’s engineers. The V7 launched as a repackage and further optimized V6.
Dyson V8 Absolute
The Dyson V8 is a high-powered cordless vacuum that brings improved battery backup, more cleaning tools, and better performance on tiles and hardwood. This vac gains better performance on hard surfaces with a 15 air watts suction increase from the V7. The V8 retains the design setup of the V7 with the major difference being more suction power and added battery life.
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
Dyson Cyclone V10 is everything the V6, V7, and V8 tried to be. A reliable high-powered yet ultra-portable cordless cleaner that delivers top-notch performance every single time. It is the first cordless cleaner to indeed hold its own performance-wise against high-end uprights.
Thanks to updates in its cyclone technology, the V10 produces distinctly superior suction to the older models. The new V10 digital motor included on this model is capable of 125,000rpm up from 108,000rpm on the V8.
Dyson V11 Torque Drive
This model features the newer Dyson digital motor V11. The motor spins at 125,000 RPM and in the process, generate 20 percent more suction than the V10 and providing a slightly better clean on all surface types.
The Dyson V11 also uses a high torque cleaner head equipped with stiff bristles to handle deeply embedded dirt. The cleaner also has soft filaments that are excellent for picking up finer dust particles.
The V11 is also the first Dyson cordless to feature a digital motor and intelligent real-time status monitoring.
Dyson V6 vs. V7 vs. V8 vs. v10 vs. V11
When it comes to cordless vacuum cleaners, Dyson is hands down the largest industry giant. Their cordless vacs are so far up the totem pole that in this category other brands are playing catch up.
Dyson was one of the pioneers of the cordless revolution and one of the first to dedicate maximum attention to their cordless lineup. The result of this, the V series, are some of the best portable cleaners on the market and the first products we recommend to anyone going cordless.
From the V6 to the newest V11 Absolute, Dyson stays true to the same design philosophy. All five cordless vacs share a similar build profile and core tech. The cleaners are lightweight convertible cordless vacs powered by fade-free lithium-ion batteries. The vacs come with multiple cleaning attachments to help you complete various cleaning tasks.
With each newer V series model, you get incremental updates in suction power and operating time. You also get minor design updates for improved efficiency and added convenience. Compared to other cleaners in their weight class, the Dysons provide some of the best suction and runtime.
Here’s is a technical comparison of all Dyson cordless models:
|Model||Dyson V6 Absolute||Dyson V7 Absolute||Dyson V8 Absolute||Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute||Dyson V11 Torque Drive|
|Motor Type||Dyson Digital Motor V6||Dyson Digital Motor V7||Dyson Digital Motor V8||Dyson Digital Motor V10||Dyson Digital Motor V11|
|Post Motor Filter||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Operating Time||Up to 20 minutes||Up to 30 minutes||Up to 40 minutes||Up to 60 minutes||60+ minutes|
|Operating Time (Maximum Power Mode)||6 minutes||6 minutes||7 minutes||8 minutes||12 minutes|
|Maximum Suction Power||100 Air Watts||100 Air Watts||115 Air Watts||150 Air Watts||185 Air Watts|
|Dust Cup Volume||0.11 gal||0.14 gal||0.14 gal||0.2 gal||0.2 gal|
|HEPA Standard Filtration||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Charging Time||3.5 hours||4 hours||5 hours||3.5 hours||4.5 hours|
|Weight||5.1 lbs||5.3 lbs||5.75 lbs||5.9 lbs||6.68 lbs|
|Dimensions||9.8 x 47.5 x 8.2 inches||9.8 x 49 x 8.8 inches||9.8 x 49 x 8.8 inches||10.1 x 49.2 x 9.5 inches||10.28 x 50.63 x 9.84 inches|
|Buy||Dyson V6 Absolute||Dyson V7 Animal||Dyson V8 Absolute||Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute||Dyson V11 Torque Drive|
Dyson maintains a familiar design profile with all their cordless vacuums. As a result, all five cleaners have pretty similar aesthetics. Each vac has a cleaning head, an ample extension wand and a control section that houses the handle and trigger. The trigger switch directly controls suction and must be held down to keep the vacuum running. The trigger does a great job of conserving power during cleaning breaks. However, some users find this constant triggering method a tad bit annoying as there is no option to lock the trigger in on all models.
In the Dyson V6, V7, and V8, the dirt cup is perpendicular to the extension wand. So, the center of gravity is closer to the handle section is closer to the handle, creating a solid feel in hand. While the V10 brings an in-line arrangement of the dirt cup and the extension wand, increasing suction power but making the machine feel more awkward to handle. The new design on the V10 boost suction by 21% while the V11 with a similar layout, sees a 61% increase.
The three earlier models use a two-tier, 15-cyclone centrifuge that uses gravity and spin to collect dirt particles with a sensitivity of up to 0.3 microns. The V10 and V11, on the other hand, use a 14-cyclone system that is oriented in-line with the cleaning head and dirt cup to produce stronger suction and improved airflow.
All models except the V7 comes with a post-motor HEPA filter to provide excellent true HEPA air filtration. The main filter on the V7 is not a true HEPA vacuum cleaner.
The cleaning performance is pretty good across the board with slight differences depending on the cleaning surface. The V11 and V10 do the best jobs on any surface, providing near-perfect clean on both low pile carpets, high pile carpets, and hard floors. Due to its lower suction power, the V7 will struggle with high pile carpets.
Maneuverability and Mobility
The maneuverability on all Dyson cordless models is quite comparable. All V series vacs are relatively lightweight and easy to handle. The V6 and V8 feel most natural in hand.
While in use, their extension wand on the vacs can lean back to the ground without the cleaning head shifting. This flexibility is particularly useful when cleaning tight spaces like under furniture.
You can also convert these vacs into handhelds by removing the extension wand. However, V10 and V11 are relatively heavier than the rest so they might be much harder to handle as handhelds.
With each new model, you get a progressively stronger battery that helps boost runtime. Runtime starts at 20 minutes on the V6 and goes all the way up to 60 minutes on the V11 (on standard mode.) Running the cleaners on the max mode will reduce estimated runtime by at least 60%.
All six models use power fade-free lithium-ion batteries that ensure stable power output through the discharge. These batteries help prevent drops in suction power during cleaning.
Before use, you charge the vacuum using the standard charger for at least 3 hours. You also get the option of a wall mount which can make both charging and storing your cleaner way easier.
All five vacuum cleaners are quieter than what you would get from a typical upright. Even among cordless vacs, Dyson models post some of the best scores. At 3” away, all five models have a noise profile of between 68-72 decibels. The oldest model, the V6 is understandable the loudest. The V11 and surprisingly, the V7 are the quietest, while the V8 and V10 are middle rangers.
Maintenance (battery and filters)
Maintenance on Dyson cordless vacuums is pretty minimal. You only have to worry about keeping the cleaner filters clean and emptying the dirt bin to keep the cleaner in top condition. While the filters on the cleaners feature a design that is meant to last a lifetime, they can get damaged if they face particularly rough debris. It will cost you between 15-25 buck to replace a filter, depending on the model.
The V7 has a washable central filter that lasts as long as your cleaner. The V6 and V8 both come with washable lifetime-use primary and HEPA filters. The primary filter on the newer V10 and V11 is dirt-proof, so you only have to wash the HEPA filter.
To keep your cleaners performing at their best, we recommend you wash the filters at least once a month. Wash the filters in cold water and air dry for 24 hours.
Based on user reviews, we expect the battery on the older V6, V7, and V8 to last for up to 5 years before they need replacement. The newer V10 and V11 models feature improved batteries that are rated by Dyson to last for up to 15 years.
Dyson V11 Absolute adds intelligent status monitoring and features an LCD screen with robust reporting. The display indicates battery stats and remaining cleaning time as well as the current cleaning mode. The display also warns of maintenance issues like clogged filters.
The V6, V7, and V8 come with both a soft roller cleaner head and a direct drive head, a combination tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush, and a mini motorized pet tool.
The V10 replaces the direct-drive head with a torque drive cleaner head that is rated by Dyson to remove 25% more dirt than the previous models using a direct head. Dyson V11 Torque Drive comes with an improved torque drive cleaner head and adds a stubborn dirt brush to the accessories bag.
Dyson Cordless vs. Other Brands
Dyson is one of the pioneer brands and currently the market leader in cordless vacuum cleaners. This dominance is as a result of the considerable resources they dedicate to research in the field. While they do have significant competitions from brands like Shark and Bissell, the competitor offerings are typical a copy or new take on what Dyson has put out that year.
Are you trying to point out the best cordless vacuum? Select the Dyson model from that year, and you won’t be far off. The cordless vacuum cleaner race is typically the latest Dyson product followed by a chasing pack of wannabe products.
If power, ease of use, and versatility are what you are looking for in a cordless vacuum, you can’t go wrong with a Dyson.
However, in recent years, many brands are rising to their challenge and stepping up their cordless cleaner game. This competition and increase consumer awareness have resulted in a massive boom in the cordless vacuum cleaner sales. Popular Dyson alternatives include the Vax Blade 2 Max and the Shark DuoClean Cordless.
Dyson cordless cleaners lead the charge to go cordless and represent the latest in wireless vacuum cleaner technology. While they are bad fits for larger homes or industrial cleaning, Dyson V series cleaners are the perfect tool for smaller living spaces.
For the latest and greatest they have on offer, you can’t go wrong with the Dyson V11 Torque Drive. The V11 packs the most power of the series and provides the best cleans on every surface. However, at almost 600 bucks, the V11 is significantly higher than most people budget for a cordless cleaner.
The best value for performance ratio you will get in a cordless cleaner is the Dyson V6. Portable, dirt cheap, and an efficient cleaner, the 4-year-old V6 is still a top performer in our books and a risk-averse way to join the cordless revolution.
The slightly pricier V10 is the best bang for your buck in the series. With superior suction and outstanding cleaning performance, you get a cleaner that is only a notch below the V11 but significantly cheaper.