Our Verdict: The Dyson V11 Absolute is an outstanding cordless vacuum cleaner. At its core, the V11 provides excellent cleaning performance on any surface, due to the strong suction and effective floorhead. It’s also packed with useful extras, such as the automatic suction setting and LCD screen. The biggest downside is the price – this is a very expensive vacuum.
Dyson V11 Absolute
- Powerful suction that rivals corded vacuums
- Two excellent floorheads for carpets and hard floors
- Adaptive suction is great for cleaning different surfaces
- LCD screen showing battery life and mode
- Outstanding all-round cleaning performance on any surface
- Very expensive
- No flexible hose attachment
Thinking of buying the Dyson V11 Absolute? Read our Dyson V11 Absolute review to find out whether this powerful cordless vacuum is the right choice for your home.
The Dyson V11 Absolute is a premium cordless vacuum cleaner that’s designed to be a replacement for corded alternatives. It comes with a range of interesting features, such as an LCD screen, automatically adjusting suction, and a bigger battery pack than the V10.
We think the V11 Absolute is a brilliant vacuum cleaner. There are very few household cleaning tasks that it doesn’t excel it, plus it’s also lightweight and easy to use. The biggest issue is the price, as it’s one of the most expensive vacuum cleaners on the market.
How does the V11 compare to other cordless vacuums though? And is it worth the high price? Read our Dyson V11 Absolute review to find out!
Please note: This review is for the Dyson V11 Absolute. The Dyson V11 Torque Drive and V11 Animal have the same design, but the included attachments vary depending on which model you choose.
Overview of the Dyson V11 Absolute Vacuum Cleaner Features
- Powerful cordless vacuum cleaner that’s designed to rival corded upright vacs
- Up to 60-minute run-time on ECO mode
- Three power settings including an Auto mode with adaptive suction power
- Two floorheads, including Dyson’s new High Torque cleaner head
- Mini motorised tool for pet hair, stairs, and car interiors
- LCD display showing remaining battery life and current mode
- Several accessories, including a crevice tool and soft dusting brush
Appearance, Features & Design
Rather than completely redesigning the V10 Cyclone, Dyson has kept everything that makes the previous vacuum cleaner great, while upgrading the V11’s suction, battery, and other key features.
This means that the core design of the V11 is similar to previous Dyson cordless vacuums. It’s a cordless stick vacuum with a bagless cylinder, lithium-ion battery, and a motorised floorhead. The stick can also be detached, turning the V11 into a handheld vacuum cleaner, and there are a number of accessories included to improve the vacuum’s versatility.
Like the V10, the V11 Absolute has a bin that’s aligned with the stick. This improves suction power and efficiency, while allowing for a slightly larger bin than the Dyson V8 (0.76L compared to 0.54L.) The V11 also comes with the same bin emptying system as the V10.
While the basic design is similar, we like that there are a number of improvements and additional features included with the V11. We’ll discuss these in detail later on, but some examples include more powerful suction, an upgraded floorhead, and longer battery run-time.
Another new feature is the digital display on the vacuum cleaner body. This displays remaining battery run-time, along with which suction mode the V11 is currently using and even information about blockages. It initially seems gimmicky, but we think the screen makes viewing key information much easier. The run-time is also constantly updated depending on which tool and mode you’re using, so it’s more accurate than the LED lights of previous models.
Note: There are two colour schemes available when buying the V11 Absolute. The standard is Nickel/Blue, but there’s also the option of a Gold colour scheme.
Manoeuvrability and Ease of Use
We like that the V11 is convenient to push around on any floor type. The articulated joints on both the floorheads make the vacuum highly manoeuvrable, and it’s also easy to clean under furniture.
It has a slightly larger battery than the V10. This increases the run-time on higher-powered modes, but at the cost of increasing the weight by around 0.5kg. This isn’t a huge issue for quick cleans, as we think the V11 feels balanced and comfortable to use. It can start to feel a bit tiring after using it for a while though.
The handheld mode is one of the best features of Dyson cordless vacuums. By detaching the stick, you can convert the vacuum into a powerful handheld that’s great for cleaning stairs and car interiors. Unlike the Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog and Miele Triflex HX1 Pro, however, there’s no option to move the power unit to the bottom of the stick to mimic an upright vacuum.
As with all Dyson cordless vacs, the V11 has a trigger system. You’ll need to hold down the trigger when cleaning, otherwise the vacuum motor cuts out. While this increases the effective run-time of the vacuum cleaner, some people find holding the trigger tiring during long cleaning sessions.
Note: The V11 has a symmetrical design, making it just as comfortable for left-handers as right-handers.
The Dyson V11 is built with the company’s “Whole Machine Filtration” system. This combines a HEPA filter with a fully-sealed design, making the V11 an excellent cordless vacuum for people with allergies.
A useful bonus is that the V11’s screen will remind you when you need to clean the filter, which is usually around once per month. After cleaning, you should leave the filter for around 24 hours to ensure it’s fully dry.
Emptying & Cleaning
The V11 is a powerful cordless vacuum, so it fills up quickly, despite having a slightly larger bin than most cordless vacs.
Fortunately, it has a quick emptying system with an internal collar to push out dirt and dust. We like this system, as it’s effective at preventing clumps from getting stuck – especially compared with vacuums that rely on gravity alone. The “point and shoot” shape also means you can point the canister deep into a bin before emptying it.
As with all bagless vacuums, however, the V11 Absolute allows allergens to escape when emptying. We recommend emptying it into an outdoor bin – or buying a bagged vacuum cleaner – if you suffer from allergies.
Note: Dyson also sells a V11 model with a larger dust container and wider floorhead called the Outsize.
Battery Life and Charge Time
The battery cells included with the V11 Absolute are around 50% larger than those found in the V10. So, while the maximum run-time is still around 60-minutes, the V11 Absolute can provide more power for the same length of time. The LCD screen also shows remaining charge in real time, so you don’t run out of battery unexpectedly (a common complaint with the Dyson V7, amongst others.)
When fully charged, the Dyson V11 Absolute can provide up to an hour of cleaning when in “ECO” mode. We think this is plenty of time for cleaning an entire home, making the V11 a true competitor to corded vacuums, rather than just a tool for quick clean-ups.
Of course, the majority of the time you won’t be running the vacuum in its lowest power mode. Run-time does drop significantly as you increase the suction, but the V11 can still provide plenty of cleaning time for most tasks.
When in “Auto” mode, the run-time varies from around 25-minutes to 45-minutes, depending on how much suction the vacuum’s sensors think the surface requires. This is a respectable run-time, especially considering the powerful suction, and is plenty for fully cleaning most homes.
You should expect a maximum of just 12 minutes run-time on the most powerful setting though. This means the “Boost” mode can only be used sparingly. Another drawback is that the battery takes 4.5 hours to recharge, which is longer than the Dyson V10.
Note: Some retailers sell a newer version of the V11 with a removable battery, while others sell V11s with a fixed battery. If you’re hoping to swap the battery for longer run-times, make sure you check which you’re buying.
Tools & Accessories
The Dyson V11 Absolute comes with a range of accessories. These include two floorheads, a mini motorised tool, docking station with charger, and several non-motorised tools. There’s also an on-board wand storage clip for two tools, which is useful for carrying accessories when cleaning.
The V11’s primary floorhead is the excellent High Torque Motorhead.
This has a fast-rotating brush bar with stiff bristles for removing more dirt and dust. It’s also designed to work with the V11’s new “dynamic load sensing” system, which changes the suction power depending on whether you’re on carpets or hard floors. A welcome bonus is the air inlet slider on the front of the floorhead, which is useful if the vacuum’s suction is making it hard to push.
The Absolute also comes with Dyson’s Soft Roller cleaner head. This is another motorised floorhead, but with a soft roller rather than a regular brush bar. It excels at picking up fine dust and hair from hard floors, while also preventing delicate surfaces from being scratched.
Other Tools, Attachments and Accessories
Aside from the floorheads, the V11 Absolute comes with Dyson’s standard range of accessories. These include a mini dusting brush, which is great for delicate surfaces and keywords, and a crevice tool for tight spaces. There’s also a combination tool, which acts as both a dusting brush and smaller head.
The most important extra attachment is the mini motorised tool. This is effectively a miniature floor head, with a motorised brush bar that’s perfect for stairs, upholstery, and car cleaning.
We also like the docking station. This needs to be mounted on a wall, but ensures that the V11 is always ready when you need it.
A minor complaint we have is that there’s no hose attachment included with the V11. Hoses can be useful for cleaning in awkward places, such as car interiors, but Dyson doesn’t tend to include them with their cordless vacuums.
Suction Power & Cleaning Performance
The bottom line of this section is that the Dyson V11 Absolute provides outstanding cleaning performance. Whether you want to remove pet hair from carpets, spruce up upholstery, or suck up dry spills on hard floors, the V11 is a brilliant vacuum. We also think the small amount of extra weight compared to the V10 is more than worth the boost in power.
Part of the reason for this performance is that the Dyson V11 is powered by the company’s new “Hyperdymium” motor. While Dyson seems to enjoy coming up with futuristic names for their technology, there’s no doubt that the motor can generate outstanding suction power.
In fact, the redesigned battery allows for up to 20% more suction than the already excellent V10, and a 45 AirWatt increase when in the highest power mode. The radial cyclone design also ensures that the vacuum cleaner provides fade-free suction.
There are three suction power modes: Eco, Medium/Auto, and Boost. As the name suggests, the “Auto” mode automatically adjusts suction depending on the surface, using Dyson’s Dynamic Load Sensor, so this is what you’ll use most of the time. The load adjustment feature only works with the High Torque cleaner head though – not the Soft Roller.
Boost mode is great for stubborn dirt, but greatly reduces the battery life to around 12 minutes. While this is a short time, it’s longer than the “Max” mode of previous Dyson vacuum cleaners. The Auto mode provides more balanced battery consumption.
We also think it’s useful to have an ECO mode when you want to maximise run-time, although we found the cleaning power to be noticeably worse when using this setting. With that said, the V11 can match many other cordless vacuums even when in ECO mode.
At the time of this review, we think the Dyson V11 Absolute is probably the best cordless vacuum for cleaning carpets. The High Torque head provides plenty of power for removing dirt that’s ground into carpet fibres, while the new motor provides ample suction for any type of carpet.
Carpets are also the surface where the “Automatic” suction adjustment really shines. When moving from hard floor to carpet, the V11 almost instantly adapts to the correct suction power.
Unlike many cordless vacuums, the V11 is capable of providing strong performance on deep pile carpets too. However, we don’t think it can quite match the best corded models on this type of surface, although it comes pretty close.
The V11 is also an excellent vacuum for cleaning hard floors, including tiled floor, laminate, and hardwood. It has enough suction to pull dirt and hair from between floorboards, while it handles larger debris just as easily as dirt particles.
It’s worth noting that we think the V11 is effective when using either floorhead on hard floors. The High Torque head is a great all-rounder, and the most convenient option when cleaning multiple types of floors, but we prefer the Soft Roller cleaner head for giving hard floors a thorough clean.
Combining the V11’s strong suction power, handheld design and mini motorised tool makes it a convenient choice for stair cleaning. It’s a bit heavier than the previous V10, but this shouldn’t be an issue for most people when cleaning a standard staircase.
While the mini tool cleans closely to the edges, you may need to follow up with the crevice tool to get right into the corners.
Both the mini motorised tool and the High Torque floorhead make quick work of pet hair, particularly on carpets. Hair is something that many cordless vacuums struggle with, but the V11 is fantastic at removing both long and short hairs.
The mini motorised tool is also great for removing hair from sofas. If you have pets, then we think the V11 is an excellent vacuum cleaner.
Price, Deals & Value for Money
We’ve covered a lot of positive features in this Dyson V11 Absolute review, but there is a big drawback: the price tag. It’s one of the priciest vacuum cleaners on the market, costing hundreds more than many other top-end cleaners. There’s the option of buying the cheaper Dyson V11 Animal or V11 Torque Drive, but these models either miss out on the High Torque floorhead or Soft Roller, which reduces the versatility of the vac.
On the other hand, the Dyson V11 Absolute is one of the few cordless vacuums that can be used as a true replacement for an upright. Most cordless vacs are designed for quick cleans, but you’ll also need to buy an upright or cylinder to get the best results. The V11 Absolute can do it all, which is why we think it justifies the high price.
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Comparison With Other Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Dyson V10 vs V11
The Dyson V10 is one of the best vacuum cleaners on the market, but the V11 is an improvement in several key areas. The V10 doesn’t include an LCD screen, for example, and it doesn’t have the High Torque cleaning head or adaptive suction. We also think the V11 is better for cleaning deep pile carpets.
To find out more, read our full Dyson V10 vs V11 article.
Tineco S12 Vs Dyson V11 Absolute
The Tineco Pure One S12 is another high-end cordless vacuum cleaner that’s a direct rival to the Dyson V11. It’s a cheaper option (although still expensive), with a built-in screen, powerful brush bar, and up to 50 minutes of cleaning run-time.
We think that the V11 Absolute is the better vacuum cleaner in most respects, including all-round cleaning performance, but the S12 is still an excellent option. If you want a premium cordless vac that’s a bit cheaper than the V11, then the S12 is one to consider.
Gtech AirRam Vs Dyson V11 Absolute
The Gtech AirRam and Dyson V11 are very different cordless vacuums. As we’ve mentioned in this review, the V11 is an all-round cleaner that can clean everywhere in the home. It’s powerful, versatile, and an equal to many corded vacuums – but it’s also expensive.
On the other hand, the Gtech AirRam is only capable of cleaning floors. It does a great job at this, but it’s much less versatile as there are no extra attachments. It’s also not as powerful as the V11 – although it’s a decent cordless vacuum for a much lower price.
In terms of overall quality, however, the Dyson V11 is the much superior vacuum.
What About Other Versions of the V11?
At the time of writing, there are three versions of the Dyson V11: Absolute, Animal, and Torque Drive. The Absolute is the most expensive, as it comes with two floorheads. We’ve written a full comparison of V11 vacuums to help you make the right choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Leave The Dyson V11 Charging All The Time?
Yes, you can leave the V11 charging in its docking station all of the time. This is one of the biggest advantages of the docking station, as it means the vacuum is always ready to go.
Do You Need To Hold Down The Trigger?
Yes, the Dyson V11 uses a trigger system. To clean, you need to keep the trigger held down at all times. While this can be tiring, it does increase the effective battery life, as you’re only using power when it’s actually needed.
Dyson V11 Absolute Review Verdict
The Dyson V11 Absolute is the best cordless vacuum cleaner we’ve reviewed so far – and one of the best vacuums in any category. It’s packed full of useful and innovative features, such as the LCD screen, adaptive suction, and easy-to-empty bin. More importantly, it’s brilliant at cleaning the whole house, including carpets, hard floors, stairs, pet hair, and car interiors. We also like that it provides plenty of battery run-time even on its “Auto” suction setting.
Our only real complaint about the V11 is the price. It’s also marginally heavier than the Cyclone V10 and takes around 30 minutes longer to charge. But if your budget can stretch to buy this vacuum, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.