It would be easy to assume that the V8 Absolute is just an upgraded version of Dyson’s V6 vacuum cleaner: Both designs look fairly similar and they both function in much the same way too: Bringing Dyson’s incredible technological advances to the world of cordless vacuum cleaning, and providing you with a portable vacuum cleaner that’s powerful enough to reliably clean the whole house.

Dyson V6 vs V8 Comparison

The V8 is more expensive, its Boost mode’s more powerful, and it features an upgraded set of attachable tools, which may lead you to conclude that it’s clearly the better choice for anyone who isn’t shopping on a restricted budget.

The V6 does have a few unique perks of its own though: It’s slightly smaller, a little lighter, and a bit more powerful on the ‘Normal’ setting.

Once you start drilling down into the specifications for each vacuum cleaner, it does become clear that they’re aimed at two slightly different types of user too.

They’re both great options, and they’re both more than capable of getting the job done. But now that we’ve had a chance to test both vacuums, we feel it’s safe to say that  the V8 focuses on adaptability, power and short-term performance, while the V6 has been built with the everyday user in mind, and focuses on providing a good all-round experience .

Dyson-V8-vs-V6To help you pick the model that’s best suited to your needs, we’ve put together in-depth reviews of both vacuum cleaners. Below, you will also find a detailed table that highlights the main differences between each model:

Comparison Table

 Dyson-V6-Cord-Free-Stick-Vacuum-CleanerDyson-V8-Absolute
Dyson V6Dyson V8 Absolute
TypeCordless stick vacuumCordless stick vacuum
BatteryLithium-IonNickel-Cobalt-Aluminum
Run Time20 minutes (6 in boost mode)40 minutes (7 in boost mode)
Charge Time3 hours, 30 minutes3 hours, 30 minutes
Power28AW in normal,
100AW in boost mode
22AW in normal
115AW in boost mode
Filtration TypeCyclonicCyclonic + post motor filter
Bin Capacity0.4 Liters0.5 Liters
Weight2.4kg2.6kg
Sound Dampening NoYes
HEPA FilterNoYes
Price

Dyson V6 – In-Depth Review

Although it’s 2 years older than the V8 Absolute, Dyson’s V6 still stands head and shoulders above the majority of cordless vacuums.

Dyson-V6-Cord-Free-Stick-Vacuum-Cleaner

 A Revolutionary Design 

When it first debuted, it was the only cordless vacuum cleaner that could reliably clean a family home. It incorporated Dyson’s revolutionary V6 motor, and a special which gave it the power to suck up really stubborn dirt.

Better still, the V6 featured all of the other special technologies that we’ve come to expect from Dyson’s machines – from the two-tiered, cyclone filtration system to the easy-empty bins, and the versatile attachments for cleaning tricky corners, sofas or stairs.

Even now, it feels like a revolutionary machine. At 2.4kg, it’s almost weightless, but it packs all of the punch you’d expect to get from a regular, full-size vacuum cleaner – especially when you engage the machine’s special ‘boost’ mode, which ramps the power up to 100AW so that you can tackle any tough spots.

It feels almost surreal, using something that weighs less than the average baby to deep-clean a shag carpet, or blitz the dried mud off your car’s carpets.

Dyson-V6

 A Capable Machine 

The V6 is incredibly versatile too. In stick mode, you can use it to clean carpets just like you would a regular vacuum cleaner, but when you hit the stairs? There’s no need to slow down. Instead, you just push a button, detach the stick, click the stair attachment back in and keep going.

If you’ve ever struggled to lug your vacuum cleaner around the house – or thrown your hands up in frustration while trying to stretch the cord so you don’t have to unplug to move into the next room – this is the vacuum for you.

Dyson-V6

 Some Downsides 

The most obvious one is definitely the battery life. On normal mode it runs for around 20 minutes, and on ‘boost’ it only lasts for 6. You probably won’t need to use the boost all that much, as the standard power is still good enough for a quick clean.

That said, even on normal mode we struggled to get the whole house cleaned in a single charge, so if you’ve got more than 4 or 5 rooms, you might want to look at the V8 instead.

The second major problem with the V6 is its bin. The actual compartment itself is quite small: Holding a measly 0.4 liters of dust at a time. This wouldn’t be the end of the world, if it was easy to empty.

Unfortunately, Dyson’s attempt to build a completely hands-free bin backfired slightly, in that pressing the ‘open’ latch doesn’t actually empty out all of the dirt.

Dyson-V6We found it often required a bit of manual labor to scrape the contents out into the bin, which made us resent the small bin size even more.

The location of the handle used to open the bin is frustrating too. For all Dyson’s attention to detail, the fact that it’s directly opposite the main ‘power’ trigger makes it surprisingly fiddly to use, particularly if you’re in a rush.

 Bottom Line 

That said, if you’re looking for a lightweight, dependable cordless vacuum cleaner that’ll let you conquer a small house in minutes, you can’t go wrong here. Now that the V7 and V8 ranges have been launched, it’s also a much more affordable option – ideally suited to parents who want a powerful stick vacuum on a restricted budget.

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Dyson V8 – In-Depth Review

In many ways, the V8 is a straight upgrade on the V6: It features the same, basic shape; the same lightweight design and the same incredible suction but it does also boast:

  • A redesigned bin
  • Better controls
  • A more powerful boost mode (115 AW vs. 100)
  • Double the run time (40 mins, up from 20)

Dyson-V8-Absolute

 Powerful but Lightweight 

It does offer a very similar experience too. Again, holding it in your hand, you’re struck by just how light it really is (even if it is technically .2kg heavier than the V6).

Similarly, once you turn it on, you’re immediately blown away by the incredible suction, which really does feel like it’s as good as the better models of regular, wheeled vacuum cleaners.

If anything, this model feels even more powerful than the V6, particularly in boost mode, which lends it a whopping 115AW for up to 7 minutes.

 Easier Control 

The controls are in a much better place now too. The ‘boost’ button has been moved to a much more convenient place, and the latch release used to empty the vacuum has been moved away from the main trigger too, which is ideal for anyone that found the V6’s control layout a bit fiddly.

The little things like the bigger bin size, the upgraded attachments and the colorful styling do all make a big difference too. If anything, the V8 feels like the V6’s luxury cousin, particularly when you pick one up for the first time, and hear the super-quiet, V8 motor kick in.

Dyson V8 Absolute It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. In order to double the run time, Dyson have had to completely redesign the motor, and bring in a much more modern battery type which has significantly increased the base cost of the machine

Eking out a 100% increase in run time has also cost the Dyson V8 a small amount of power in ‘Normal’ mode. We didn’t really notice that difference, per-se, but it is irritating that the vacuum isn’t quite as good for everyday cleaning, and we do wonder if Dyson have shifted focus slightly: Aiming the V8 at the people who want to be able to take the vacuum outside to their car – or tackle particularly tough spots – instead of focusing on the average, everyday user.

 Some Downsides 

Some of the V6’s flaws have carried over too. The fact that it’s still ‘trigger driven’ is a prime example of this trend. When the V6 first launched, Dyson got a lot of negative feedback because the main power trigger has to be depressed at all times to keep the vacuum running.

Dyson claimed this was a power-saving feature, but many users noted that their hands got tired after using the vac, and people with arthritis and other joint problems reported that they struggled to exert enough pressure.

It’s commendable that Dyson have stayed committed to power saving technologies, but it is a bit frustrating to see the same trigger design on the new V8, given that this could have been the perfect opportunity to try something a bit more disability-friendly.

Dyson-V8-Absolute Bottom Line 

The V8 is still an unparalleled piece of technology though. You will be able to clean the whole house on one charge, and there’s no doubt that it’s fantastically well-suited to the average homeowner.

It’s clear that the V8 is something of a passion project too. The extra soundproofing, the special 0.3 micron, post-motor filter and the redesigned airflow channels all make it abundantly clear that Dyson really are trying to push the boundaries every time, and we do genuinely feel that the V8 is worth every penny of its price tag as a result.

If you’re looking for the best possible stick vacuum, you can’t go wrong with this model.

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Conclusion

Having trialled both vacuums for a couple of weeks, it’s abundantly clear that the V8 is the best possible stick vacuum on the market. It’s powerful, it’s packed with advanced features and it has a jaw-dropping 40 minutes of run time.

It is clear that the V6 has redeeming features of its own though: It’s lighter, which is great if you struggle to lift your vacuum, and it’s also more powerful on the machine’s default settings, which is great if you want a vacuum that you can use to spruce up the house, and don’t want to faff around recharging every time you reach a particularly dusty corner.

Ultimately, the right model will depend on your personal preferences, and the kind of vacuum you’re looking for. We will say this though: Both options are surprisingly brilliant, and now that we’ve tried them, we’d be reluctant to go back to a regular, wheeled vacuum cleaner.