Best Cordless Stick Vacuum: Dyson V7 vs. Dyson V8 vs. Dyson V10
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 (Motorhead, Animal, 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 Cyclone V10 Absolute
- Carpet: The low suction mode isn't powerful, but the high suction power is out of this world.
- Hard Floor: With the Soft Roller attached, you can get by with the low suction mode (45 minutes runtime).
- Battery: With motorized tools, the low suction gets 45 minutes, medium gets 27 minutes, and high gets 7 minutes.
- Design: It’s aesthetically pleasing and has a mount but it’s the heaviest Dyson vacuum.
- Dustbin: It holds 757 ml and has a different debris release than the V7 and V8.
Best for you if...
You want the latest technology and money isn’t a concern. The V10 Absolute is the best on the market and on full blast the suction is unparalleled. You’ll need the medium mode in most situations, making the battery life shorter than advertised and worse than V8’s. The extra suction and large dustbin don’t make it a worthwhile upgrade from the V8.
Dyson V8 Absolute
- 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: It's light enough to be a handheld but heavier than the V7.
- Dustbin: It holds 530 ml.
Best for you if...
You want the best battery life to suction ratio. The V8 Absolute comes with a hard and soft roller (a must for wood floors) making it fantastic for any type of floor. You won’t notice extra suction, but the addition of the Soft Roller and 8 extra minutes of battery life are notable upgrades from the V7 Motorhead if you have lots of hard surfaces.
Dyson V7 Motorhead
- 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: It’s the lightest tested, comes with a wall mount, and works great as a handheld.
- Dustbin: It holds 530 ml.
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. Ideally, you'd buy the V7 Absolute (Fluffy Roller included) and it’d be a brilliant and affordable option for all floor types, but it isn’t regularly sold.
Why listen to me?
- I’ve been obsessed with gadgets since I was eight years old.
- I bought each device with MY money.
- I’ll update this post frequently because my opinions change.
- I don’t have insider access. I’m just like you, the everyman.
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 IONFlex DuoClean here 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.
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.
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
- They work great on carpet with the basic Motorhead head.
- 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.
- Dyson offers a long battery life, but their batteries aren’t replaceable (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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you have mostly hard surfaces, you want the V8 Absolute. The other V8 variants are sufficient, but not as good.
- With motorized tools, the normal suction gets 34 minutes with 8 minutes in max mode.
- It weighs about 3.5 pounds.
- It holds 530 ml of dry material.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It weighs about 3.0 pounds.
- It feels noticeably lighter even though it’s only a half pound lighter than the V8.
- It holds 530 ml of dry material.