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A great Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner now with a lower price tag.
The Dyson V8 is probably one of the best vacuum cleaners Dyson ever made. It’s compact and lightweight, sports a pretty sleek design, and also benefits from great tech updates that set it apart from its predecessors.
The great thing about these vacuum cleaner masters is that they have been consistently improving their tech since the release of their first cordless vacuum cleaner, the V6.
Dyson is here to answer the real problems we have when using a cordless vacuum cleaner – not enough time, not enough suction, and carpet cleaning that can easily be bested by a corded counterpart.
Each vacuum cleaner within the V8 series has its own strengths that make it such an appealing choice, and one of these is that it has quite a reasonable price tag.
Getting my hands on the Dyson V8 was exciting, and putting it through our own in-house testing process was fun, to say the least. I will say now that it ticked a lot of boxes, so It’s worth reading on to find out what I loved and what could have been improved.
About the Dyson V8
We purchased the Dyson V8 Absolute for this review. This model comes with the Direct Drive floorhead that has become one of Dyson’s main features, and can be used on both hard floors and carpets.
It cost £399 for this model, but you can purchase the Dyson V8 Animal for £349, or the Animal Extra (one extra attachment) for £347. Below, you will learn more about the main differences between them.
*Prices correct February 2020
Quick View of the Dyson V8 Specifications
|Model||V8 Absolute & Animal|
|Dust Bin Capacity||0.54 L|
|Returns||Free 35 Days via Dyson.co.uk|
Dyson V8 - Absolute Vs. Animal - Key Differences Explained
There isn’t actually a massive amount that is different between the Absolute and Animal models, but there is just enough that it’s worth making a note of.
Firstly, the Absolute comes with that fantastic Fluffy floorhead. It’s made to deal with hard floors and fine dust without being rough, and it is one of the best accessories that Dyson has.
If you have a lot of hard floors in your home, this is the tool you need. While it does not come with the Animal, it is available to buy separately for around £60.
Secondly, The Absolute is the only model that comes with the Fluffy floorhead as mentioned above, and the Animal Extra comes with all the same accessories as the regular Animal with the exception of the stubborn dirt brush. This handy little addition is really good at getting mud stains out from mucky kids and workboots.
Finally, you have the wand colour. This is a pretty standard way for Dyson to differentiate their machines, and there tends to be a colour trend that is passed down to each range.
The Absolute is nickel and gold (not my favourite colour combo), but the Animal takes a step back from its traditional purple and nickel, instead opting for a pure nickel look that actually looks quite nice.
Features & Benefits
Our Battery Life Run-Time Test Results
In order to really test the full capabilities of this vacuum cleaner, we charged it up and prepared our stopwatch for the ultimate battery test. Once it was ready, we held down the trigger and let it run until it was completely out of juice.
We did this for both power settings with the Direct Drive head (as this is the most commonly used). It should be noted that the motorised head does decrease the maximum running time, and that when using the non-powered heads you get closer to 40 minutes of battery life.
|Model (Mode)||Runtime (Mins)|
|V8 (Eco)||27 Mins|
|V8 (High/Boost)||8 Mins|
The charge period is probably the most disappointing feature that the Dyson V8 has. This is because it takes a whopping five hours to reach full charge; longer than any other model in the V series.
In its defence, it was the first cordless model from Dyson to push the battery life to new heights, and so a longer charge time was expected. There is a plus side to this though, because the V8 range features interchangeable batteries, unlike the V11 for example.
But how does it clean? All the cool features and extras mean nothing without notable suction. So, before we take a look at all the cleaning details, here is a little snippet of what makes it such a good vacuum.
The Dyson V8 has massively improved since the original V6, providing 20% more suction than its predecessor according to Dyson. This means that you are pretty much guaranteed a better clean and more efficiency on carpets..
Our Airflow Test Results
In order to measure the airflow of this vacuum cleaner, we put it through our own series of tests. During these, we had the vacuum cleaner in its full stick mode as this is the most common way it will be used. The figures that you see in the table below are in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
|Air Flow ( Low Setting)||16.5 CFM|
|Air Flow ( High/Boost Setting)||27 CFM|
As expected from most Dyson vacuum cleaners, cyclonic technology is used to ensure a clean and powerful experience. The cyclones ensure that debris makes its way straight to the bin without being sprayed throughout the interior, which also makes it cleaner for asthma and allergy sufferers.
It also contributes to fade-free suction, and this is where even as the bin fills up and reaches the MAX line, it will remain just as powerful and efficient as when it is empty.
The Dyson V8 is powered by an excellent smart motor, which contributes to its superior ability to clean your home. It’s small, but mighty, and a marked improvement on the V6. The technology is complex while also remaining simple, so you don’t have too much to choose from but you also know that this machine will be able to do the job flawlessly.
Now that we have taken a look at some of the basics, how does the V8 perform in the home?
Carpets. The V8 is actually pretty good on carpets, especially for a cordless vacuum cleaner. It might not quite be able to achieve those deep cleaning levels, but on low-medium pile carpets, it does a stellar job of keeping them in top shape.
This is thanks to the Direct Drive floorhead, which features two brushes on the roller. One of these is hard for dealing with carpets, and the other softer for hard floors. This allows it to really work into the fibres of your floor so that you can reach the hair and grime effectively.
Our Low-Pile Carpet Test Results
Of course, we had to test out how effective it really is on carpets. In order to do this we gathered the following ingredients: chilli flakes, cheerios, loose black tea, and flaxseed.
We weighed it up and ensured we had precisely 100g, and we chose these ingredients because they represent the various textures found in household debris. We then took a 1.5m strip of carpet and performed a 10-second pass over the debris.
Once we were done, we took the contents of the bin and weighed them to see how much was collected. The table below contains the percentage that we got back from each session.
Hard Floors. Both the V8 Absolute and Animal work brilliantly on hard floors, but what sets the Absolute apart is the fact that it comes with the Fluffy floorhead.
As this has been specifically designed to deal with hard floors, it provides an especially gentle touch that will be kind to even the most delicate surfaces.
While the Direct Drive floorhead is fantastic and can be used effectively on hard floors, the Fluffy takes it one step further. It’s delicate yet thorough touch is unmatched, which also makes it suitable for tricky flooring like vinyl.
At the same time, it is incredibly effective at picking up fine dust, something the main floorhead fails to do at an equal level.
If you want to clean your hard floors effectively, you need to pick up the Fluffy floorhead – which is also sold separately if you decide to buy the Animal/Extra and decide you want this floorhead later.
Our Hardwood Floor Test Results
For this, we did the same thing as with the carpet test in the previous section. The only difference is that we used a strip of laminate flooring, which is the most common in the UK.
We used the vacuum cleaner, again in its full stick mode, but with the Fluffy head as opposed to the Direct Drive. The below table shows you the cleaning results on each power setting.
Stairs. When cleaning the stairs, the best tool for the job is the mini motorised tool. This is because it is pretty much a miniature version of the main floorhead, and therefore has a lot of power.
It really works those carpet fibres and gets rid of embedded dirt and hair effortlessly. As a fun side note, it can also be used on the interior of your car as well as furniture.
Pets. Once again, both V8 models are perfectly suited to pets. The only real difference is that the Animal Extra comes with the stubborn dirt brush, which I find very helpful for cleaning up after really muddy walks. It’s a touch brush with a lot to give for such a small tool.
Otherwise, there is no difference between the vacuum cleaners. They both use the same main floorhead, which delivers equal power. I would say that the mini motorised tool is another top pick here simply because of how effective it is at removing grime and hair.
Plus, it works wonders on pet bedding and furniture; which is nice for you and your pet.
Our Pet Hair Tests
In order to test how effective this model is with pet hair, we took a five-foot strip of low-medium pile carpet and combed dog hair into it. It’s no easy task, but we passed over it with the Direct Drive floorhead for 20 seconds while on boost mode.
The results were exceptional, and we made sure to go through the rest of the carpet with a window blade to check what was left behind. After that, we repeated the test on the regular power mode to see what happened. The table below gives you a good look.
|Pet Hair Pickup (Eco/Low)||90%|
|Pet Hair Pickup (Boost/High)||99.5%|
The results above show just how effective this machine is at removing pet hair, especially when you consider the excessive amount we combed into the carpet. Therefore, you can go about your daily cleaning routine without worrying about leftover hair.
The Dyson V8 uses the classic HEPA filter that we have all become accustomed to within Dyson vacuums. These are the most effective filters because they claim to catch particles as small as 0.03 microns – making it capable of capturing 99.7% of allergens.
In addition to this, it also features a sealed system, which is the icing on the proverbial cake. What this means is that when the air that is pushed through the filter is released back into the home, there are practically no allergens or dust particles with it.
This is because there is no room for them to escape, making it safer for those with asthma or allergies to use.
Our Filtration Test Results
In order to perform this test, we needed a particle test metre. This is where we test the air in our chosen environment before using the vacuum cleaner, and then again after we have collected dust for 15 seconds (special international approved dust from DMT). We found no increase in the air environment.
|Air Particle Test ( Our rating %)||100%|
This is great news for those who suffer from asthma and allergies, as it shows the air being pushed back into the home is very clean indeed.
The Dyson V8 Absolute is a lot quieter than the V6, which is welcome news to many who used the first generation vacuum. As a result, it is much friendlier to family living, allowing you to get the vacuuming done in the morning (or the evening) without waking anyone up.
Even when you use it on its highest setting, it hovers at just over 70db, which is gentle on the ears. It should also be noted that this is well below the maximum limit for vacuum cleaner noise as per EU regulations.
Our Noise Test Results
We whipped out the decibel meter, ready for action, and set it three feet from the end of the vacuum. As a quick note, we used it in its most common configuration; full stick mode. You can see the results in the table below, and they are excellent for such a powerful machine.
|Low Setting||62.2 Db|
|Boost Setting||71.7 Db|
The V8 doesn’t have a massive amount in terms of tech features, but what it does possess is worth noting. It’s all about the battery indicator with this model, a handy little feature that may seem small but actually provides a lot of assistance when we are cleaning.
It’s a single light that sits at the base of the handle so that you can see it while you are vacuuming. When it is running low on charge, you will know because the light will flick on to let you know that the battery needs to be charged soon.
However, there are also different lights to watch out for when your V8 is on charge. Here is a quick guide to what each of these means:
- Solid Blue: charging
- Flashing Blue: not charging. Try another socket or readjust the charger
- No Light: charging complete
- Solid Amber: temporary fault, such as too hot/cold
- Flashing Red: fault, contact Dyson for assistance
- Flashing Red and Blue: fault, contact Dyson for assistance
The V8 follows the same design as the V6, with a sleek build that offers the perfect balance between portability and power. It’s versatile with regards to its handheld mode, and it remains relatively light to use despite all of the heavy parts being found in the main body.
In the big scheme of things, it doesn’t actually weigh a great deal more than the V6, and most of the extra weight is because of the new and more powerful battery.
Our Weight Test Results
We weighed the vacuum in both its full and handheld forms so that you can get a clear idea of the weight involved. It was important for us to weigh both parts because you are highly likely to use each form when cleaning your home. As you can see, it is surprisingly light.
|Weight ( Full Unit with Floorhead)||2.60 Kg|
|Weight (Hand Unit Only)||1.6 Kg|
The wand is made from lightweight aluminium, which ensures you can use it easily for above-floor cleaning, but also keeps it from feeling cheap and flimsy. It’s a feature that Dyson keeps in each range.
Despite the fact that it does use a fair amount of plastic in its construction, the V8 remains a durable vacuum cleaner that certainly doesn’t feel flimsy. This is because high-quality materials are used, ensuring that the machine you pick up will last for years to come.
Both the stick and handheld mode are easy to use, retaining the classic Dyson style and accessibility. Switching between each mode is incredibly simple, and you’ll find that the handheld format is ideal for cleaning stairs, furniture, bedding, and the interior of your car.
The V8 comes in at 124.5cm long and 25cm wide. This makes it a little taller than the V6, but it’s still just as compact and easy to use.
Of course, you also have the fact that each model has its own distinct colour pattern to help you differentiate between them. This is something I talked about in more detail at the start of this guide, although I will say again that the Animal has much nicer colouring.
#1 Direct Drive Cleaning Head
This is a classic floorhead, and one that has been so successful that even the Dyson V11 Animal still uses it. It features two rows of brushes; one hard and one soft. This means that it can work on both hard floors and carpets without issue.
#2 Fluffy Cleaning Head
The Fluffy cleaning head is another classic, and while it is sold separately it comes exclusively with the V8 Absolute as a bundle. This has been designed to deal with hard floors, and it is exceptional at fine dust collection.
#3 Mini Motorised Tool
This is my favourite accessory, and it comes with all of the V8 models. It is basically a mini floorhead, and as a motorised tool you are certainly not missing out on any of the power.
It is exceptionally useful for cleaning the stairs, stubborn stains and pet hair, furniture, and bedding (including your furry friends’).
#4 Combination Tool
This little accessory has a wide nozzle with a dusting brush over the top. The wider area means that suction is increased and you can collect more debris, while the dusting brush has both a gentle touch and the ability to filter dirt from each side up through the nozzle.
#5 Stubborn Dirt Brush
This tool only comes with the Animal Extra, but it is also really handy to have. It can be found separately as well if you want to go with one of the other Dyson models.
It’s perfect for really tough dirt that you just can’t seem to get out. The stiff nylon brushes are perfect for carpets and furniture, with a tough yet gentle approach that makes life easier.
#6 Crevice Tool
A staple tool for any vacuum cleaner, life without the crevice tool can feel a little meaningless.
#7 Soft Dusting Brush
This tool only comes with the Absolute and Animal Extra. It’s a great little tool for cleaning really delicate surfaces like bannisters, counters, and coffee tables. I actually like to use it on my kitchen floor because I find it does a great job picking up leftover debris, but it’s also very gentle on my tiles.
#8 Docking Station
The docking station can be attached to the wall to keep things out of the way, or simply placed on the floor if you are unable to mount it. The charger cord is quite long, allowing you some flexibility when you position it. The docking station also has room for some of the tools to be stored to keep things extra tidy.
Ease of Use and Setup
Building the Vacuum
Actually building the vacuum cleaner is really easy; a relief for those who really hate hassle when they get a new appliance. All you need to do is click the wand into the main body and then the floorhead onto the wand. It’s as easy as that, and it takes a matter of seconds to do.
Emptying the bin
This process is the same as the V6, and is certainly seen as one of the easiest ways to empty the muck from the container. All you need to do is hold the vacuum cleaner over the bin (you can leave the wand attached) and push the lever down.
This will release all the debris, which will fall effortlessly into the bin without you needing to touch it. While you might find some muck gets stuck in the shroud, this only really happens when you go above the MAX line. Other than this, it is pretty much hands-free, and you just need to pop the lid shut after you empty it.
It doesn’t take much at all to maintain the V8. All you really need to do on a weekly basis is wipe the dust canister out to get rid of any lingering grime, and you are good to go. This can be done with a damp cloth and then dried naturally or with a clean cloth.
The filter is also really easy to clean, and this is recommended as a monthly task. However, you’ll be able to see when it starts getting dirty so this is something that you can judge yourself when you go to check it.
You will find the filter right at the back of the main body, and it can be popped out ready for inspection and cleaning. Just rinse it under cool running water, leave it on the side, and put it back in the machine once it is completely dry.
The filters tend to last quite a few years as they are washable instead of replaceable. You can buy new ones if they get worn out or something happens, but it is worth taking care of your Dyson filter as a replacement will set you back £50.
The V8 comes with a standard 1-year warranty from the date of purchase. This covers things like mechanical faults and defects. However, the V8 also comes with a money-back guarantee that spans 35 days.
Should I Buy The Dyson V8?
Yes, you should. Why? Well, the Dyson V8 is one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners around, and the fact that it is still able to hold its own even compared to newer V series models is a rarity in itself.
Yes, the battery takes longer to charge, but the battery life is pretty impressive and you have the option to switch the batteries out if you want to. (Spares batteries cost around £80)
If you have a lot of hardfloor the the Absolute which comes with a fluffy head is a must, or at least by the head separately for around £60 as I mentioned earlier which can be used on the Animal or Animal extra.
If you do have pets then personally I would buy the Animal extra and then purchase the fluffy head separately.
It’s affordable for a Dyson vacuum, especially now that it is a few years old, and this is another feature that makes it quite enticing for such a powerful cordless.
Why not check out our latest deals and offers page to see if there’s one out there for you?
If you have any questions, just leave a comment below as always!!
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.