The best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners have helped reinvent home cleaning, with its powerful suction, innovative bagless technology and futuristic design. But which Dyson cordless vac should YOU buy? Also, if you’re shopping for a new Dyson vacuum, you’ll soon see that cordless isn’t the only type on offer: the company also sells excellent upright, handheld and cylinder vacuums.
The cordless Dyson vacuums are the firm’s main focus now (development of new corded Dyson vacs has supposedly ceased), so there’s quite a confusing collection of different models to pick between in each range. So how do you know which is the right Dyson vacuum for you?
That’s where we can help. In this guide, we’ll help you choose the Dyson vacuum cleaner for your space and budget – whether that’s a nifty cordless Dyson to tackle the nooks and crannies of your home, a powerful cylinder model for large areas, or something even more portable for the inside of your car.
We’ve found the cheapest prices as well. We’re constantly searching for the best Dyson deals, and you’ll also find today’s biggest discounts below.
The cordless Dyson V11 Absolute isn’t just the best Dyson vacuum cleaner you can buy: it’s the best on the market today, full stop. With extremely powerful suction, you’ll get a deeper clean, especially on thick carpet, thanks to the stiff nylon bristles and motorised head. It works just as well on hard floors too, with carbon fibre filaments that keep your floors looking clean without damaging them.
What makes the V11 special is the intelligent cleaning capability. It has three different cleaning modes that automatically change the motor speed, depending on the surface you’re cleaning, which enables you to move seamlessly through rooms without having to change floor heads, and also slightly extends battery life.
The battery life on the V11 Absolute is also impressive, giving you a good 60-minute run whilst on eco mode, so you can get the whole house done without worrying about running out of battery mid-clean. The handy LCD display gives you all the information you need, including time remaining, filter maintenance reminders and reports on any blockages. This model also comes with a torque floor head, a mini pet tool, a soft dusting brush, combo tool and an extra soft roller brush floor head for use on hard floors.
Less powerful than the V8 below, despite looking almost identical to it, the V7 is the best cheap Dyson cordless vac. A 2020 upgrade means it now comes with multiple cleaning heads and a very handy ‘reach under’ tool. As its name implies, this lets you reach beneath beds, wardrobes, sofas and anything with legs, by adding a bending portion to the main suction tube. We believe Shark had this idea first, and it works really well.
Suction is fine for cleaning surfaces and hard floors, although a maximum 100AW of power is a bit lacking for deeper carpets.
We’re big fans of the Dyson V8 Absolute, but it has technically been discontinued – you can’t buy it from Dyson anyway. So our top recommend from the V8 family is 2020’s V8 Animal. With more power than the V7, it remains the best for handheld use – dusting, cleaning spills, doing your car, yacht or private jet – because it’s so much smaller and better balanced than its more powerful siblings.
As with all Dyson cordless vacuums, the V8 Animal makes cleaning multiple areas of your home easy. It works well on a range of floor types, from carpet to hardwood – although it’s more at home on hard floors and lighter carpets due to the reduced suction compared to the V11, but it is a step up in power from the V7. Pet owners are well served by the turbo brush attachment.
This model does have a slightly smaller bin size than the V11, so you’ll have to empty it more often – but it’s incredibly lightweight, portable and easy to use. As mentioned, it’s an especially good Dyson vacuum for cleaning your car or other vehicle, thanks to its compact size, light weight and range of attachments. It also has the power to clean quickly, unlike cheaper car vacs.
If you want a cordless Dyson vacuum that’s very much like the V11 Absolute but more affordable, consider the Dyson V10. It lacks the intelligent battery management of its newer stablemate and the high torque cleaning head, so it’s perhaps less effective on carpet. However, in normal use, we doubt that most users will notice the difference.
When the going gets tough, the V11 is a more able cordless vac, but the V10 looks and feels the same and will get your home clean with a very similar level of effectiveness – for well over £100 less. We suspect it might soon start receiving further discounts via sales and deals, too.
Alternatively, you could step up to the V10 Total Clean (RRP: £499), which adds a few more cleaning attachments of questionable usefulness; or down to the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal, which is cheaper and loses the V10 Absolute’s hard-floor-specific ‘roller cleaner’ head.
The Dyson Light Ball is possibly one of the most recognisable – and affordable – in the company’s range, and for several years was the biggest-selling Dyson vac. It’s the replacement for the classic DC39 and DC40 models, and benefits from noise reduction as well as the ability to tackle both larger debris and fine dust.
This high-performing Dyson vacuum comes with three suction control modes: one for carpet, one for large debris and another for ground in dirt. A crevice tool, upholstery brush and stair cleaning tool also come as standard. The way you use the additional brushes is not ideal, admittedly – a peculiar pull-out tube is extruded from the handle, like in a magic trick – and the result is far less convenient than using a cordless. On the other hand, this 2-in-1 system is better than not having any additional tools at all.
The cord is a generous 10 metres, which is great news if you have large rooms or hallways to clean. The Dyson Light Ball also has a large 1.6-litre bin, so it doesn’t require emptying as often as the smaller cordless Dyson vacuums. The best bit? It’s more affordable than other Dyson models: if you’re on a tight budget, it’s the best Dyson vacuum you can buy, even if it is corded.
This is a slightly contentious area, and one that potentially puts some customers off buying a cordless Dyson vac (or any other cordless, come to that). Dyson’s battery life claims have historically been focused around a theoretical maximum, obtained by using the vac on its lowest power setting, with an unpowered cleaning head – the dusting brush or crevice tool, for instance.
However, as soon as you start using more powerful settings and more useful tools, that duration tails off quite steeply. Battery life is also affected by the surfaces you’re cleaning (and how dirty they are, of course).
In our experience, though, Dysons do not run out of battery during ‘normal use’. You may define normal use differently, of course, but we usually prefer not to vacuum for more than 20 minutes at a stretch, and have learned to use the vacs ‘little and often’. They then go back on to charge after each use.
More recent cordless Dyson vacuums also have larger batteries and/or more efficient power usage, so they last longer as a matter of course. Using the flagship V11 as an example, on its lowest Eco setting you should get around the claimed 60 minutes of battery life, including use of the powered tools. On the Auto setting, you can expect 30 to 40 minutes. On Boost, you’ll only get six to 10 minutes.
You might reasonably say that six minutes isn’t very long, but the fact is, you don’t need to use the V11 on Boost mode unless you’re dealing with real nastiness. By keeping it on Auto, or moving between modes, you can vacuum for long enough to do any room this side of Buckingham Palace – and many homes in their entirety – in one go, if that’s your idea of fun.
Realistically, the older V8 does need to be kept on its top power setting if you’re using it to do floors, so you probably won’t be doing floors for more than six-eight minutes at a stretch. (But if you ask us, that’s quite long enough: little and often, little and often…)