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Dyson V10 Animal vs. Absolute vs. Total Clean – In-Depth Comparison Table

Written by James Hall |

Thinking of buying the excellent Dyson Cyclone V10? Here’s a comparison of the currently available models – Animal, Absolute and Total Clean – to help you make the right choice.

The Quick Pick...

It Depends

Winner: It Depends

All versions of the V10 Cyclone are brilliant vacuums – the only real difference is the included tools. The Absolute and Total Clean both come with the soft roller for hard floors, while the Total Clean also includes extra accessories such as an extension hose.

If you need to clean hard floors – particularly delicate hardwood – go for the Absolute. The soft roller’s unique design makes it great for both larger debris and small dust particles.

If you don’t need the soft roller, the Animal is cheaper and still includes ​the direct-drive head and pet turbo tool. Click here to view the V10 Animal.

We’re big fans of Dyson cordless vacuums at Spotless Vacuum – especially the V10 Cyclone. It received our highest ever rating for a cordless (see Dyson V10 Cyclone review) and is our current #1 pick for a cordless vacuum.

There is some confusion about the differences between V10 models though. Dyson has simplified their cordless ranges – the V6 series had an astonishing 12 models at one point – but the differences between V10 Cyclone versions aren’t immediately obvious.

This is a problem for any vacuum series, but especially one with a premium price like the V10. If you’re going to spend £400+ on a vacuum, you want to know you’re getting the right model!​

For this reason, we’ve put together an in-depth comparison of the Cyclone V10 Animal, Absolute and Total Clean.

What’s The Same?

Cleaning fur from floor

As with all Dyson “V” stick vacuum series, the V10 Animal, V10 Absolute and V10 Total Clean are fundamentally the same vacuum. They come with different colour tubes, but the underlying technology is identical. Here’s a list of features that are common to all V10 models:

  • Dyson V10 Motor. The core technology is Dyson’s new V10 motor. This has been re-designed since the V8, and provides excellent suction power that rivals upright models. All versions of the V10 use the same motor.
  • In-Line Configuration. Unlike the V6, V7 and V8 series, which all had similar designs, the V10 has a new “in-line” configuration. This means the bin, cyclone and motor are in direct alignment, which increases efficiency and cleaning power. It also allows for a larger 0.76 litre dust capacity.
  • Direct-Drive Cleaner Head. One of the reasons the V10 is such a great cleaner is its direct-drive floor head, which is included with all three models. This isn’t new – the direct-drive cleaner head dates back to the V6 series – but is built with a motorised brush bar that removes more hair, dust and dirt from carpets.
  • Up to 60-Minutes Run-Time. The V10’s nickel-cobalt-aluminium battery provides up to 60-minutes of fade-free suction power. You’ll only get close to this run-time when using the vac on low power and without a motorised tool – it drops to 25-minutes on medium power – but the V10 certainly provides a longer battery life than previous Dyson cordless. This is significantly longer than the V8 (click here for our in-depth comparison).
  • Three Power Modes. Previous Dysons had a “standard” cleaning mode and a “boost” function for extra power. The V10, in comparison, has three power modes: low, medium and high. In our review, we found the “Medium” provides more than enough power for almost any cleaning job. High power is brilliant when you need maximum suction, but rapidly drains the battery life.
  • Whole-System Sealed Filtration. Dyson cordless vacuums have always had excellent filtration – and the V10 is no exception. It’s built with a fully-sealed design which, combined with the cyclone technology and post-motor filter, can trap 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. The Cyclone series has also been certified by Allergy Standards Limited.
  • 14 Cyclones. Along with the powerful V10 motor and sealed filtration system, the 14 cyclones do a great job of forcing dust, dirt and bacteria into the bin.
  • Handheld Mode. The Cyclone can be used as a handheld vac by detaching the stick. This makes it a highly versatile model that’s just as useful for cars and stairs as for cleaning floors.
  • Docking Station. All V10 models include a docking system for charging and storing tools. Be aware that the docking station only stores two tools though – you’ll need to find somewhere else for the rest.
  • Point and Shoot Emptying System. One of the side-effects of the in-line design is the new bin emptying system. An interior collar forces out dust and dirt, so you don’t need to get your hands dirty, while the “point and shoot” design means you can place the door deep inside a bin. The downside is that you need to detach all tools and the stick before emptying.

RELATED: If you want to view our full list of the best cordless vacuum cleaners, click here.

What’s Different?

So, if the majority of the V10’s features are the same for all models, what are the differences? And do they justify a £100 price gap between the Animal and Total Clean? Let’s take a look at what differentiates the various V10 models.


Cleaning a hard floor

The main difference between the Animal and Absolute/Total Clean is the inclusion of the soft-roller cleaner head. Previously known as the “Fluffy” floor tool, this has soft bristles for removing dirt and larger debris from hard floors.

While an extra floor head may not seem like a major difference, the soft-roller is an excellent addition. ​It has a unique combination of stiff carbon fibre and soft nylon bristles, so it’s effective at picking up larger debris – such as cereal – along with smaller dust particles. The soft design also won’t scratch delicate surfaces.

​With that said, the direct-drive cleaner head still does a great job at cleaning hard floors. It might not be as effective as the soft-roller, but it’s no slouch either. It’s also brilliant on both low pile carpet and high pile carpet.

So, if your house has lots of delicate hardwood floors, the Absolute or Total Clean are the better options. If your budget won’t stretch to the more expensive models, or you don’t need the soft-roller head, the Animal can still do a great job at cleaning all surfaces.​

Note: The soft-roller clean​er head can be bought separately from Dyson. If you’re not sure whether you need it, go for the V10 Animal and add the soft roller later.

Tools & Accessories

Tools and accessories

Another major difference between the V10 Cyclone models is the included tools and accessories. Here’s a quick overview:

  • The V10 Animal is the cheapest model. It comes with the direct-drive head, turbo tool for pet hair, combination tool, crevice tool and dusting brush.
  • The V10 Absolute includes all the Animal’s tools, but with the addition of the soft-roller cleaner head.
  • The most expensive option is the V10 Total Clean. It comes with everything from the Absolute – aside from the mini soft dusting brush – but adds several new tools. These are the up-top adaptor, extension hose and mattress tool.


All models of the Cyclone are expensive – but there are significant differences in price between the various versions.

The current RRP for the Animal is £400, while the Total Clean costs a whopping £500. The Absolute sits in the middle with an RRP of £450. As the core vacuum is the same, the differences depend on which tools and floor heads are included.

Keep in mind that retailers, such as Argos or Amazon, may have deals or discounts, so the actual prices may vary.​

Which Should You Buy?

The Dyson V10 Cyclone is an excellent vacuum cleaner – and this is true for all versions. Whether you buy the Animal, Absolute or Total Clean, the core features and technology are always the same.

In fact, the only differences are the price and which tools are included. So, which should you choose?

If you​ don’t need the soft roller, the Dyson V10 Cyclone Animal is a brilliant vacuum – and there’s no real need to pay more for the Absolute. The Animal provides outstanding cleaning performance and still comes with a variety of tools, including a turbo tool and dusting brush. This means it’s great for cleaning everything from pet hair to carpets.

For homes with lots of hard floors – especially delicate hardwood flooring – the soft roller is a worthwhile addition though. You’ll need to spend £50 more to get the V10 Absolute, but the soft roller makes cleaning vinyl and hardwood floors much easier.​

How does the Total Clean fit into the picture? It’s the most expensive model, but the only additions are an up-top tool (for cleaning above furniture), extension hose and mattress tool. These are all useful accessories, but the Absolute is probably the more cost-effective choice.

We hope our Dyson V10 Animal Vs Absolute comparison has helped you decide on the best model for your home. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments section below!​ If you’re still not sure which vacuum to buy, we’ve also written a Dyson V10 vs V11 guide.

9 thoughts on “Dyson V10 Animal vs. Absolute vs. Total Clean – In-Depth Comparison Table”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you for this! I couldn’t decide but now I think i’m going to get the Animal (Dyson really need to do a better job of explaining that the actual vacuum is the same for all of them)

    • James Hall

      Glad to help Jenn! Let us know how you get on with the Animal.

  2. Avatar

    Thank you James. Based On your knowledge and advice I bought the Dyson V10 Animal, and it is just superb as you said it was. Thanks for explaining all the differences between the V10’s it was very helpful indeed, and made it much easier for me to decide which one to buy. I’m thrilled with the Dyson V10 Animal, its an absolute brilliant vacuum cleaner. Thanks again.

    • James Hall

      Glad to help Suzi! Enjoy the V10.

  3. Avatar

    Thank you so much for this comparison! I was confused between all of these v10 choices. I was leaning toward the animal, but my home has mostly hard wood flooring, so the extra attachment included with absolute & total is a must.

    • James Hall

      Glad to help, Caren!

  4. Avatar

    What is an ‘up-top adaptor’?

    • James Hall

      Hi Laura. It’s a curved tool that’s designed for cleaning above tall surfaces, such as on-top of wardrobes.

  5. Avatar

    Excellent detailed comparisons, much appreciated really helped with my buying decision.


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