Best Cordless Stick Vacuum: Dyson V7 vs. Dyson V8 vs. Dyson V10

Cam Secore
Updated 11/06/2018

After a month of testing, I determined Dyson V8 Absolute is the best cordless stick vacuum for most people, whatever their flooring type, because of its versatility, quietness, long runtime, and price. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is a beast, but it’s not noticeably better in most categories and not the best value.

You’ll be happy with any Dyson stick model if you pick the right variation. The model variation (MotorheadAnimal, and Absolute) is more important than the model (V7, V8, V10). Read the “Things To Know” section if you’re not sure of the difference between the variations of each model.

I’ll explain how I reached my conclusion by comparing three stick vacuums (Dyson V7 vs. Dyson V8 vs. Dyson V10) while evaluating five categories: carpet, hard floors, battery, design, and dustbin.

dyson v8 vs v10

Dyson V8 Absolute

10
  • Carpet: At its lowest suction setting, it sucks up more than V7 or V10 on their low settings.
  • Hard Floor: The Soft Roller is a gamechanger for wood floors and you'll only need the low suction mode (34 minutes runtime).
  • Battery: With motorized tools, the low power gets 34 minutes with 8 minutes in high.
  • Design: Heavier than V7 but great handheld.
  • Dustbin: It holds 530 ml of debris.

Best for you if...

You want the best battery life to suction ratio. The V8 Absolute comes with a hard and soft roller making it fantastic for any type of floor. The Soft Roller and extra runtime are notable upgrades from the V7 Motorhead.

dyson v7 vs v10

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

10
  • Carpet: The low suction mode isn't enough, but the high power is ridiculous.
  • Hard Floor: With the Soft Roller attached, you can get by with the low suction mode (45 minutes runtime).
  • Battery: The low suction gets 45 minutes, medium gets 27 minutes and high gets 7.
  • Design: Aesthetically pleasing but heavier.
  • Dustbin: It holds 757 ml with better release.

Best for you if...

You want the best and money isn’t a concern. The V10 Absolute max suction is unparalleled, but that doesn't make it a smart upgrade from the V8. You’ll usually need medium suction, making the battery life worse than V8’s.

dyson v7 vs v8

Dyson V7 Motorhead

7
  • Carpet: In low-power mode, it sucks up more than the V10's low suction setting.
  • Hard Floor: You need high mode (6 minutes runtime) with the Motorhead, but that changes if you use the V7 with the Soft Roller.
  • Battery: With motorized tools, the low power gets 28 minutes with 6 minutes in high.
  • Design: Lightest and great as a handheld.
  • Dustbin: It holds 530 ml of debris.

Best for you if...

You want the quietest, lightest and most affordable Dyson. For houses with mostly carpet, the V7 Motorhead offers plenty of suction, runtime, and it's the best value. It'll do just OK on hard surfaces.

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dyson cordless vacuum comparison

Things To Know

  • You can’t go wrong with any of these three because they’re the best of the hundreds of stick vacuums on the market (I tested Shark ION F80 too).
  • Dyson has four “V” vacuums and typically releases a new one each year. Dyson Cyclone V10 is the newest model. Dyson believes in this technology so much they’ve stopped developing corded vacuums.
  • I left Dyson V6 out of this comparison because it has a short battery life, difficult to open dustbin, and it’s hard to find because it’s three years old.
  • Each “V” model has a variant (Motorhead, Animal, and Absolute). For example, each Dyson V8 has the same motor and base, but the only difference between V8 Motorhead, V8 Animal, and V8 Absolute is the attachments and heads.
    • Motorhead is the entry-level variant. It comes with the Motorhead head and two accessories: Crevice and Combination tool. It cleans carpet well but is just OK on wood.
    • Animal is the mid-level variant and typically $100 more than Motorhead. It comes with the Torque/Direct Drive Cleaner Head instead of the Motorhead head. It’s only slightly better than the Motorhead. You’ll get all of the accessories from the Motorhead plus a mini motorized head made for cleaning the stairs.
    • Absolute is the premium variant and the most expensive. It includes all of the accessories and rollers. The Absolute is the only option that includes the Soft Roller Cleaner Head (referred to as the “Fluffy Roller”), which is specially engineered for wood floors and essential for people with hardwoods.

My Experience

absolute and animal

Four years ago, I bought one of the cheapest vacuums for wood floors with four or more stars on Amazon.

I’m a neat freak and don’t hate vacuuming, but I found myself putting it off because I didn’t want to drag it up from the basement and deal with the tangled cord because it would tangle no matter how well-wrapped.

I was in the market for a vacuum, but not because I planned to write about it. I needed to find the best one for MY needs, so I did extensive online research before making a purchase.

I’ve compared robot vacuums, but I didn’t consider regular vacuum cleaners for Power Moves because they don’t have much tech.

But as I researched and looked for a new vacuum, I watched the live keynote where James Dyson unveiled the Dyson V10. He talked about the carbon fiber in the rollers, the power of the tiny motor and battery technology used to make stick vacuums powerful and long-lasting.

I didn’t know cordless stick vacuums existed before I began looking for a new machine. I’ve only seen battery-powered handheld vacuums. A stick vacuum was just what I needed.

I bought four of the best models based on Internet reviews. For the next month, I watched YouTube videos, tutorials, interviews. Then I went to the houses of friends and family to test different surfaces and materials.

I knew within the first week of testing that I was keeping one of the Dyson vacuums because I found as long as I had the Soft Roller Cleaner Head, any of them had enough power and runtime for my house and bamboo flooring.

I kept the V10 because I’m obsessed with owning the latest technology, but it’s not a wise or rational move considering the V7 is $250 and has everything I need.

All V Series

10

Carpet:

  • They work great on carpet with the basic Motorhead head.

Hard Floor:

  • If you have mostly wood floors in your house, you want one of the Absolute variants. The Soft Roller that comes with the Absolute is a gamechanger on hard surfaces. There are cool technologies inside the roller. For example, a reason that fine material is hard for vacuums to pick up is due to static electricity, and the Soft Roller has carbon fiber filaments that counteract the static.
  • You can keep them in low power mode for the entire time IF you have the Soft Roller attached.

Battery:

  • Dyson offers a long battery life, but their batteries aren’t removable (like Shark). My speculation is that Dyson does this because they’re worried about the motor getting overused in a short period.
  • They have a 3.5 hour recharge time.

Design:

  • They are noticeably quieter than the Shark Ion. I don’t want to post my decibel reading scores because I didn’t have the proper tools, but my testing confirmed this.
  • They come with a wall mountable dock to hold the vacuum up and charge it. You’ll never forget to charge the battery.
  • I prefer the control and turn radius of the Dyson stick vacuums compared to others because there’s a wider range of motion and they’re lighter.
  • They’re light and great to use as handhelds because of the weight distribution.
  • You have to hold down the trigger to keep the machine powered. This preserves battery life, but it gets tiring on your index finger.

Dustbin:

  • You’ll never have to get your hands dirty. You pull or push the red tab and all the dust comes out, while the debris from the filter gets squeegeed off as it slides down.

Dyson V10

10

Carpet:

  • No stick vacuum compares in its max suction mode (151 Airwatts of suction), but you’ll only get 7 minutes of battery life. It’s so powerful that it can compete with some corded models.
  • There’s a noticeable difference between the max in the V10 compared to the V8.
  • The lowest setting isn’t ideal (only 15.8 Airwatts); you’ll need at least the medium suction (33 Airwatts).

Hard Floor:

  • No stick vacuum will beat the V10 on its max suction mode with the Soft Roller head, but you’ll only get 7 minutes of use.
  • You can use the Torque Drive head on wood too, and it does well, but if you’re spending a premium with the V10 and have wood floors, why not get the best head for it too?

Battery:

  • With motorized tools the low suction gets 45 minutes, medium gets 27 minutes, max gets 7 minutes.
  • The advertised battery rate is a 60-minute runtime, but that’s while on low power and without any tools attached. You need motorized tools to do most things, and the low power has worse suction than any of the others on their base suction.
  • Medium suction is what you’ll use most often and is more effective than the base modes of V7 and V8.

Design:

  • It weighs about 3.6 pounds.
  • It’s on the heavy side, but it still feels lighter than most stick vacuums.
  • It looks stunning and futuristic.

Dustbin:

  • It holds 757 ml of dry material.
  • The V10 has a slightly nicer design where you push down, but these dustbins and dust removal mechanisms are all fantastic.

Dyson V8

10

Carpet:

  • The V8 (22 Airwatts) has more suction power in the regular mode than the V7 (21 Airwatts), but you won’t notice it.
  • The V8 has 115 Airwatts on max mode, compared to 100 Airwatts on the V7’s max, but even this isn’t noticeable either.

Hard Floor:

  • If you have mostly hard surfaces, you want the V8 Absolute. The other V8 variants are sufficient, but not as good.

Battery:

  • With motorized tools, the normal suction gets 34 minutes with 8 minutes in max mode.

Design:

  • It weighs about 3.5 pounds.

Dustbin:

  • It holds 530 ml of dry material.

Dyson V7

7

Carpet:

  • In real life, you won’t notice the difference between the V7 and V8 suction. The most significant difference between the two is battery runtime.

Hard Floor:

  • For wood floors, Dyson V7 Absolute is the best affordable option, but the Absolute variant for the V7 is hard to find. Most stores only sell the V7 Motorhead, which is solid on hard surfaces, but not as good.
  • With the motorhead attachment, it can’t pick up big chunks, like cereal. It’ll just push it around.

Battery:

  • With motorized tools, the normal suction gets 28 minutes with 6 minutes in max mode.
  • The V7 is the only vacuum without a battery meter. The others have three indicator lights to show the battery level.

Design:

  • It weighs about 3.0 pounds.
  • It feels noticeably lighter even though it’s only a half pound lighter than the V8.

Dustbin:

  • It holds 530 ml of dry material.
 

41 Comments

  • Jim says:

    Wow, thank you so much for this concise review. It has everything that I wanted to know, and nothing more.

  • Thea says:

    FABULOUS review. It addressed all my concerns in a concise and digestible manner, without the nerd jargon and stink of advertising pressure. Thank you/love you/keep up the good work

  • Royce says:

    Thanks for the review. Question for you… If the following two options were offered at the same price, which do you think would deliver better value? Option 1: a v7 absolute, or option 2: a v8 animal?

  • BJ McWise says:

    Thanks for your thorough and very well-written review! Looking for something lightweight for quick pick-ups of tracked cat litter from dense plush carpet (between deeper weekly cleanings with corded upright). Is the V8 Motorhead the right choice for this? No wood surfaces — Kitchen/Bath floors are tile or marble.

    • Cam Secore says:

      You’d have better luck with an Absolute model for your Kitchen and Bathroom (hard surfaces), but the Motorhead can get the job done if the price is significantly better.

  • Pamela Melton says:

    Hello! I just bought the Cyclone V10 for $400 which was a discount price. It’s wrapped and under my tree. Merry Christmas to me! My question is, I just recently found a V8 Absolute for waayyy cheaper. Not sure if the differences are worth the stretch in price. I can always return the V10. Thanks in advance!

    • Cam Secore says:

      The differences won’t be substantial enough to warrant the extra money. BUT it’s tough to complain about the V10 Absolute for $400.

      • Lu Mas says:

        Cam, you’re assuming Pam has an Absolute V10 under the tree. It’s probably a Cyclone V10 Motorhead (only). Target is selling Cyclone V10 Motorhead for $359.99 and Cyclone V10 Absolute for $515.99.

        • Cam Secore says:

          Great point! If that’s the case, I’d much prefer the V8 Absolute even if the prices were the same.

  • Connie says:

    Hi, I’ve been trying to decide between the V10 animal or the v7 animal. I have lots of pets and it will primarily be used on indoor outdoor carpet in my sun rooms. I don’t know if you have tried those out or know anything about them but I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you

    • Cam Secore says:

      Like I say in the post, the head is more important than model. The V10 Animal is going to have better suction and battery than V10, but it’s probably not enough to warrant the upgrade (assuming the price difference is substantial).

  • STEVEN SIMPSON says:

    I agree with most. Very concise review. Cuts through the BS, and gets to the heart of what is needed. My 2 cents? I think the new cordless technology is great for appliances. However, I also think more R and D can be placed in Beta testing i.e., overall battery life. Companies should establish benchmarks in line and range with what the public uses, then expand overall battery life based on the feed. For example, averaging 6 to 7 minutes at full max with accessories is a bit weak… Just saying.

  • Kelly Costello says:

    This review is great! Very helpful….I am having a hard time deciding which model to get. We have been a Dyson family for 16 years at least, love them! I am about to purchase a new one, I want a stick because I hate carrying the big ball one up and down the stairs. Plus, we have 2 dogs and a cat, I need something that is easy and powerful to get the hair out of sofa cushions, and the hair off the stairs. Is an absolute model better than animal? Which do you recommend?

  • Lori says:

    Does the V8 absolute attachments work with V10 absolute?

    • Cam Secore says:

      Their site will tell you no, but I found them interchangeable in my testing. It should work perfectly.

  • Armando F says:

    Perfect. I knew I wanted a Dyson but which one. Your Review helped me with that decision. As much as I would like to have the V10 I think the V8 will be adequate for my needs being I already have Ball Animal corded Vac.

  • Laura says:

    Great comparison. I’m going to buy one through your site. Just looked and am considering the V8 Absolute for $359 or Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless HEPA Vacuum Cleaner + Manufacturer’s Warranty + Extra Mattress Tool Bundle For $399

    What do you think about “hepa, manufacturer’s warranty and exxtra mattress tool” for $100 bucks more? Thanks

    • Cam Secore says:

      You want the V8 on Amazon for $349 because it already includes the manufacturer’s warranty and the HEPA filter.

      The other listing looks like a fishy 3rd-party seller trying to get extra attention by putting the warranty and HEPA in the title. I’m not sure what the mattress tool is.

  • Connie says:

    Cam, you rock!!
    Thank you so much for this information.

  • Zach says:

    Great post and super detailed!
    I have no wood floor.
    I have a big dog with A HUGE drop of fur.
    I have only a single carpet in the living room.
    Can buy V8 absolute or V10 Moorhead for the same price.
    What are you suggesting?

    • Cam Secore says:

      I’m still going V8 in that situation. You could sell the soft roller on Ebay for $100.

  • Phems says:

    I have a Shag rug and I’m trying to decide the best vacuum to get. I doubt if the Dysons will work, but do you or anyone have a good suggestion without having to break the bank.

  • Steph M says:

    Great concise, easy to read and understand review. I also love the down to earth, real person approach. Thank you! Costco is listing “Dyson Cyclone V10 Total Clean+ Cord Free Stick Vacuum” which one is this Motorhead, Animal, or Absolute? I can’t tell from the on-line description.

    • Cam Secore says:

      I looked it up and it looks like it only includes the Direct Drive Cleaner Head, so that means it’s the Animal. I’m not sure why they’re labeling it like that.

  • Hari says:

    You mention that the battery isn’t replaceable like shark, but aren’t the batteries removable from the handle, and can’t I buy a replacement if it loses charge over period of time?

    • Cam Secore says:

      No, Dyson’s batteries are not removable. That’s Shark’s biggest advantage.

  • Anna says:

    Thank you for an awesome and such clearly written and organized review! I had the V7 and wasn’t happy with the short battery life (about 9 to 11 minutes with my use/needs) and so I returned it for the V10, and I wanted to LOVE it, but the moment i unpacked the handheld, I knew it would be uncomfortable. I have a small-ish hand I guess and after 15 minutes, my hand is cramped up and painful for hours after.

    Do you think the V8 handheld part is as comfortable as the V7? Thank you!!!

    • Cam Secore says:

      V8 and V7 felt the same to me with the motorized tools attached. The only time you’ll notice a difference is when you’re using it as a handheld. Is a couple extra minutes of battery going to be worth it? Maybe cordless vacuums aren’t for you yet.

  • DENNIS WHITLOCK says:

    GREAT review. I have the Dyson V8 Absolute and love it. Like yourself, I previously owed ‘Corded’ vacuum cleaners and put off vacuuming because I didn’t want to drag it out and deal with the cord etc. I bought a Roomba and had it for 8 years and ‘loved it’ until it finally died for the last time after replacing the battery a few times. Then I decided to check out the Dyson stick vacuums. Now I won’t own anything ELSE but a Dyson. And I’ll [NEVER] forget how Hoover ripped him off!

  • Shar Jordison says:

    Having a hard time deciding between the v8 and v10. I have mostly carpet in our house. We have no pets in the house . Is the v10 worth the extra money for the suction?

  • Shaan says:

    any tips on returning a V7 motorhead for the V8 animal? Best buy doesn’t seem to sell the V8 absolute which is what I wanted. (Have to shop at best buy due to a gift card). Is the battery life going to be that much better on the V8 animal?

    Thanks for your review btw, very helpful and I Read through twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything

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