One of Dyson’s newest cordless vacuums is the V8 Absolute. It’s an impressive machine with a 40-minute battery life, direct-drive floor head and hygienic emptying system. It also improves on the previous V6 range in a number of ways.
But this performance comes at an eye-watering cost. With an RRP of close to £500, can it possibly provide value for money? Is it really the best cordless vacuum? And is it a true replacement for a corded vacuum? Keep reading our Dyson V8 Absolute review to find out.
Overview of Dyson V8 Absolute
- 0.54 litre dust and dirt capacity
- Direct-drive floor head for digging deep into carpets
- Soft Roller tool is one of the best hard floor heads
- Several accessories including a combination tool, crevice tool and mini-motorised tool for upholstery
- 40-minute run-time when not using the powered floor head
- Whole machine filtration
- Maximum power mode for stubborn dirt (reduces run-time to 7 minutes)
- Handheld mode
- Hygienic emptying system
- Docking station for charging and holding accessories
Features and Performance
The V8 might look similar to the V6 range, but comes with a range of improvements and refinements. These include greater suction power, a more hygienic emptying system, longer battery life and quieter operation. Considering the V6 is already one of our top recommendations, this is a good sign!
Appearance and Design
Like most Dyson appliances, it’s an attractive model with a bagless dust canister. With a golden tube, colourful cleaner heads and transparent dust container, it has the classic Dyson appeal without appearing bulky.
As you can see from the photos, it has a trigger that must be held when cleaning. This helps conserve battery life, but the trigger can get tiring to use as its relatively stiff. On the plus side, the motor and body of the vacuum are built around the trigger, so it’s balanced and less tiring to hold.
One of the great things about the V6 and V8 ranges is that they can convert from stick to handheld modes. By detaching the tube, the model becomes a powerful handheld that can be used for cleaning stairs, above-floor surfaces and quick spills. The handheld is also handy for vacuuming inside cars.
We also like that both cleaner heads have bristles right up to the edge. This makes it easier to clean along walls and skirting boards.
The higher powered motor means that it’s slightly heavier than the V6 range (approximately 0.3kg). We think this is a good trade though, as the small increase in weight leads to much greater suction.
A minor drawback is that it has a dust capacity of just 0.54 litres. This isn’t really a negative point, as nearly all cordless vacuums have similar capacities. But be prepared to empty the canister regularly – especially as the machine has such powerful suction.
One of the most important considerations when buying a cordless vacuum is battery life – and the V8 performs admirably in this respect. It doesn’t quite match the 60 minute run-time of the Bosch BCH625KTGB, but with a maximum run-time of 40 minutes it has more than enough battery life for a full clean of most houses.
Keep in mind that the run-time decreases depending on the tool used though. When using the motorised floor tool, for example, it can last around 25 minutes. Even so, this is a reasonable battery life compared to many other cordless models. It’s also more than both the V6 and V7 ranges.
Charging time is around five hours, which is standard for this type of vacuum.
Suction Power and Performance
The V8 Absolute is powered by Dyson’s newest motor – aptly named the digital V8. Dyson claims this makes it the most powerful vacuum on the market, although it’s worth noting that this test was performed when the cleaner was in MAX mode (which greatly reduces battery life). There’s no doubting that it provides excellent suction for a cordless though – even on standard mode.
To improve dust pickup further, Dyson has included a direct-drive cleaning head. Built with nylon bristles, the head drives the brush deeper into fibres. Dyson estimates this cleaner head has 2.5 times the power of the V6 Animal, which was already excellent at cleaning carpets.
The direct-drive bristles are too stiff for hard floors though, which is why a soft roller head is also included. This is built with a combination of soft nylon and carbon filaments. While the science is quite complex, the two materials create a seal when vacuuming that increases dust pickup while allowing larger debris to be collected. It’s worth noting that the soft roller head is not included with the V8 Animal (click to see our review of this model).
As you would expect, both the direct-drive and soft roller heads perform well. They collect large amount of debris quickly and the mini-motorised tool is great for cleaning stairs and sofas.
There is also a maximum power mode. This reduces run-time to just seven minutes, so it’s not suitable for extended cleaning sessions. But it’s perfect when you need extra suction for stubborn dirt, dust or pet hair.
Speaking of pet hair, the V8 is great if you have dogs or cats that shed a lot. The lightweight design and powerful suction make it easy to whip around your home to keep carpets and floors clean.
Ease of Use
- The vacuum comes with a hygienic dust ejector. When the container is full, you can empty it using a single switch without getting your hands dirty. A rubber collar also slides down the sides to remove more dirt. This works well most of the time, but dust can occasionally get stuck.
- A docking station is included with the V8. This can hold both the machine and attachments, while also charging the battery. The docking station can be mounted to a wall.
- The brush bar can be quickly cleaned if it becomes entangled with hair.
- With its range of tools and handheld mode, it’s great for cleaning tricky-to-reach areas or higher places in the home.
- It’s noticeably quieter than the previous V6.
- A battery metre is included so you always know how much run-time is remaining.
Like other Dyson models, the V8 comes with whole machine filtration. In practice, this means two tiers of radial cyclones force dust and dirt outwards until they are caught by a filter. This allows the machine to filter particles as small as 0.3 microns, which is around the same as you’d expect from a HEPA filter.
In other words, the vacuum provides excellent filtration, making it a great choice if you suffer from a dust or pet allergy. The filters are also washable.
There’s no doubt that the V8 Absolute is an expensive machine. It has excellent suction, many accessories and great floor heads…but this comes at a significant premium.
Despite the high price tag, it’s an outstanding cordless that makes a real case for being a true replacement for corded models. So if you’re looking for the best cordless vacuum, then we think the V8 Absolute is the model to choose. If you want an excellent vacuum at a lower cost, you might prefer to go for the Dyson V6 range, while for only floor cleaning the Gtech AirRam Mk2 is an alternative.
In addition, it comes with Dyson’s two year guarantee. This covers both labour and parts, but make sure you read it thoroughly before you buy.
Here’s a quick rundown of the array of tools you get with the V8:
- Soft roller and direct-drive cleaner heads for hard floors and carpets respectively.
- Mini-motorised tool that’s great for getting pet hair out of upholstery and stairs.
- Combination tool for awkward cleaning areas and dusting.
- A separate crevice tool for getting into hard-to-reach areas.
This is an impressive set of tools that can be used on either the handheld mode or extension tube.
Note: There are several other tools available for the Absolute that can be purchased separately. These include a quick release mattress tool, extension hose and dirt brush.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dyson V8 vs Animal – Which is Best?
The only real difference is that the Animal does not come with the soft roller cleaner for cleaning hard floors. It only includes the direct-drive head. Aside from aesthetic differences, the models are virtually identical in every other way.
If you have lots of hard floors and don’t mind paying a bit extra, the Absolute is the better option. For only cleaning carpets, or if you want to save some money, the Animal is still a great choice.
Does the V8 clean edges effectively?
Yes. The bristles on both cleaner heads go close to the edges. This design, combined with strong suction to pull in dust and dirt, makes it great for cleaning along edges.
There’s no argument that the Dyson V8 Absolute is an outstanding cordless vacuum. It’s a true replacement to corded models, due to its strong suction and reasonable battery life, and has a number of useful tools and accessories.
The only downside – and it’s a big one – is the price. With an RRP of close to £500 (although it can often be found for cheaper than this) it’s by far the most expensive cordless on the market. Considering the V6 Absolute is also an excellent cordless that’s available for much less, many people might be tempted by the older Dyson.
However, if you want a cord-free vacuum that makes quick work of almost any cleaning job, nothing else on the market can match it right now.