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The Complete Buying Guide to Dyson Vacuums: Every Model Explained

From Dyson’s latest and greatest cordless vacuums to its older models, here’s everything you need to know about the biggest name in vacuums.

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Chase Pellerin

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There is nothing exciting about vacuuming except for the prospect of not having to vacuum for a while. Of course, there are some vacuums that get the job done faster, more efficiently and provide some added benefits in the process. James Dyson specializes in these vacuums.

Dyson started making vacuums in the ’80s and he became so proficient at it that he later earned a knighthood from the Queen of England. His innovations are numerous — bagless emptying, cyclonic suction, swiveling heads, fade-free batteries and more — but the number pales in comparison to the number of vacuums in the brand’s portfolio. Within the four greater categories — cordless, corded, handheld, canister — there are models and submodels of those models, not to mention a whole world of attachments. Words like “Animal,” “Torque Drive” and “Cinetic” pepper the marketing materials for each.

Don’t know where to start? We don’t blame you, which is precisely why we made this cheat sheet to all the Dyson vacuums you can buy.

Need to Knows

Attachments

The names of new Dyson vacuums are followed by an adjective, such as Motorhead, Animal, Absolute, Torque Drive or, in the case of the new V11, Outsize. Each one denotes a different number of “extras” that come with the vacuum. These usually take the form of detachable heads for different uses, like a narrower head for cleaning stairs, a slimmer head for fitting in tight spaces and so on. In most cases, Motorhead models come with the fewest number of attachments, while the pricier Absolute models come with the most.

Runtimes

The runtimes listed Dyson’s cordless vacuums can be deceiving. The number you see is the maximum runtime, meaning it’s how long the vacuum will run on the lowest suction setting, which isn’t indicative of how people use vacuums. It’s safe to assume you will get 20 to 30 percent less runtime off a full battery than what’s listed, as you’ll be moving between high suction and low suction fairly often.

Pricing

As new vacuums come out and old vacuums get older, prices change. Dyson vacuums are also frequently on sale through major online retailers like Amazon, Ebay, Jet and Walmart. The takeaway: the prices listed in our guide are approximations and subject to change. One thing we do know: if you want the best value for a Dyson vacuum, go with an older generation model.

Manufacturer-Refurbished

If you ever find a suspiciously low price on a Dyson vac, it’s likely a refurb. Here’s what the company has to say about its refurb program: “Our refurbished machines have been thoroughly tested to meet like-new performance standards. Units may have some cosmetic blemishes that include scratches and/or other surface imperfections, that do not affect functionality.”

Cordless Stick Vacuums

Dyson V15

Courtesy
V15 Detect
Dyson dyson.com
$699.99
Available: Detect, Detect+
Max Battery Life: 60 minutes
Released: 2021

Lasers make everything feel more futuristic, and Dyson's latest V15 Detect has a laser in its cleaning head. The vacuum's slim laser head — meant for hard floors — is equipped with a green laser that illuminates particles as small as 10 microns, which is about the diameter of human red blood cells. The second cleaning head that comes with the V15 is the High Torque cleaner head, which works on both hard floors and rugs and carpets. If you've ever vacuumed and felt like nothing was happening, the V15 uses a thing called an acoustic piezo sensor. The sensor turns the vibrations of dust being sucked up into electric signals, and it's measured and relayed through an LCD screen to keep track of how much crap you've vacuumed.

Dyson Omni-glide

Courtesy
Omni-glide
Dyson dyson.com
$399.99
Available: Omni-glide
Max Battery Life: 20 minutes
Released: 2021

Dyson's Omni-glide is the brand's slimmest and most maneuverable stick vacuum. It has a cleaning head that swivels 360 degrees that sucks up dirt forward and backward. It was engineered for hard floors, so don't get this if your home is covered with mostly rugs and carpeting. The four-pound vacuum quickly and easily transforms into a handheld vacuum with just a click. Easily the best part of the Omni-glide is its push-button operation. While other Dyson vacuums require you to constantly depress the trigger, the Omni-glide lets you power on and power off with just a touch so you can more easily vacuum without hand strain.

Dyson V11

Courtesy
V11
Dyson dyson.com
$599.99
Available: Animal, Torque Drive, Outsize
Max Battery Life: 60 minutes
Released: 2020

The brand’s V11 continues down the path of more: more battery life, more suction, more space in the dustbin. In Auto mode, it’s able to adjust suction on the fly according to the surface you’re cleaning — high-pile rugs means more suction, hardwoods means less. The higher-tier model, called Outsize, has an LCD display on the handle that shows you exactly how much runtime the battery has left as well as any immediate maintenance requirements. The Outsize has a 25 percent bigger cleaning head than the Torque Drive, and a bigger dust bin means fewer trips to the trash.

Dyson V10

V10
Dyson amazon.com
$729.99
Available: Motorhead, Animal, Absolute
Max Battery Life: 60 minutes
Released: 2018

The V10 marked a Rubicon-crossing moment for Dyson. Upon its release, the company declared it would no longer invest R&D into its classic upright vacuums, opting instead to push further into the world of cordless vacuums.

It was also the first of Dyson’s cordless catalog to feature the vertical dustbin, which allows you to eject vacuumed contents without putting your hands in dirt’s way. It comes with a standard fully sealed, washable, full-machine HEPA filtration system, too. Since its 2018 launch, the V10 has been passed by the V11 in every category but runtime, where both tools can operate for up to an hour in low suction mode. But a reduced price makes it a higher value buy a year later.

Dyson V8

Dyson
V8
Dyson dyson.com
$299.99

Available: Animal, Absolute
Max Battery Life: 40 minutes
Released: 2016

The V8 represents the best balance of price and performance you’ll find in the Dyson catalog. It boasts plenty of suction and a full-machine, washable HEPA filter (this means you don’t have to replace the filter every few months), and it is frequently on sale. For an added layer of frugality, go for the manufacturer refurbished models, which come with a truncated warranty but are ensured by Dyson to perform up to the standards of its brand new equivalents.

Dyson V7

V7
Dyson Dyson
$299.99
Available: Motorhead, Absolute
Max Battery Life: 30 minutes
Released: 2017

Billed as a more affordable V8, the V7 packs similar suction levels, the same dirt ejection system and much of the same shape. It does not, however, come with a washable HEPA filter. Like the V8 and other older Dyson models, it’s often the subject of significant markdowns on major ecommerce sites like Amazon, Ebay and Jet.

Dyson V6

V6
Dyson amazon.com
$528.99
Available: Motorhead, Animal, Absolute
Max Battery Life: 20 minutes
Released: 2015

The V6 was Dyson’s first serious attempt at a cordless vacuum that could rival upright, corded models. The V6 is almost always on sale and readily available as a manufacturer refurb, but its weak battery life can be problematic for owners who live in a big house or have tons of carpet. It features pre-motor HEPA filtration but the filter must be replaced every three to six months of consistent use.

Handheld Vacuums

Dyson V7 Handheld

V7 Handheld
Dyson dyson.com
$199.99
Available: Trigger, Car + Boat
Max Battery Life: 30 minutes
Released: 2017

The newest Dyson handheld is smaller, lighter, more powerful and more energy-efficient than its predecessors. The Trigger model is the bare bones vacuum body with a small crevice, motorized and general use attachment head, while the Car + Boat comes with more attachment heads as well as car chargers.

Dyson V6 Handheld

V6 Handheld Vacuum
Dyson amazon.com
$410.00
Available: Baby + Child, Car + Boat, Mattress, Top Dog, Trigger
Max Battery Life: 20 minutes
Released: 2014

Though discontinued by Dyson, the V6 is still available on Amazon and Ebay. This model boasts fade-free battery control (meaning a low battery level won’t reduce suction) and a lightweight build. The only difference between the host of different models the V6 Handheld comes in is the type of suction heads, so check each to figure out which is best for you.

Upright Vacuums

Dyson Ball

Ball
Dyson dyson.com
$599.99

The Ball, sometimes called the Ball Animal 2, is the highest suction vacuum Dyson produces across all categories. It comes with full-machine HEPA filtration standard (though you will have to clean the filters after a while), a small head attachment to clean stairs and an bonus attachment meant specifically for untangling hair from carpet or rug. This model is frequently on sale and available through the brand’s certified refurbishment program, both of which net you significant savings from the retail cost.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball

Cinetic Big Ball
Dyson dyson.com
$699.99

The Cinetic separates itself from other Dyson uprights in a boring, but ultimately helpful, way: you don’t need to replace or wash the filters. Other allergen-eliminating vacuums — like the rest of Dyson’s offerings — typically require their filters be replaced every three to six months or require you to wash them by hand. Neither is ideal.

Dyson Multifloor Ball

Multifloor Ball
Dyson
$400.00

You can probably guess how the Multifloor is different than the Cinetic or standard Ball models. The suction head of the vacuum raises and lowers according to the surface you’re cleaning — an especially handy feature for those with a mix of high-pile rugs and hardwood floors. It’s significantly lighter than other options in the category, but it packs the least suction of the bunch.

Canister Vacuums

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball

Cinetic Big Ball
Dyson amazon.com
$824.88

No bags, no filters that need replacing, no suction loss over time — the canister vacuum is for the person that has a lot of space that needs deep and consistent vacuuming. Think multiple large rugs and carpeted floors, not a New York City apartment. This model comes with a dustbin ejection system that doesn’t leave dirt all over your hands.

Dyson Big Ball Multifloor

Big Ball Multifloor
Dyson dyson.com
$399.99

Think the Cinetic canister vacuum, but with HEPA-certified filters that will need washing and eventual replacing over time. The Big Ball Multifloor functions at the same suction level as the Cinetic, weighs the same and is otherwise the same vacuum (apart from some minor aesthetic detailing).

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