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Dyson V8 Absolute Vs V8 Animal – What’s the Difference?

Written by James Hall |

Thinking of buying a V8 cordless vacuum but not sure which to get? In this Dyson V8 Absolute Vs Animal article, we pit the two popular vacs against each other to help you make the right choice.

The Quick Pick...

It Depends

Winner: It Depends

The only real difference between the V8 Absolute and Animal is the Absolute includes the “Soft Roller” cleaning head. This is Dyson’s unique tool for cleaning hard floors.

For this reason, if you have lots of hard floors then get the Absolute, as it’s fantastic for cleaning both large debris and small particles. If your home is mainly carpets, the Animal is cheaper and still does a great job on all surfaces. Click here to view the price of the V8 Animal.

One of the most common questions we get at Spotless Vacuum is “which Dyson cordless should I buy?

It’s a fair question – Dyson’s cordless vacs are fantastic, but the company hasn’t made it straightforward to know which to buy.

There are currently three V8 stick vacuum models available (Total Clean, Absolute and Animal), but also three V7 and six V6 versions – and we’re not even counting the handheld-only versions! There are also additional versions available in the US that may eventually make it to the UK.

For this reason, we’ve made it our mission to untangle the different features, floor heads and tools of each Dyson vacuum. We’ve already done an in-depth comparison of the V6 models, and also compared the V7 to the V8Now it’s time to compare the Dyson V8 Absolute and Animal.

We compare the Dyson V8 Absolute with the Animal

What’s the Same?

The V8 Animal and V8 Absolute are fundamentally the same Dyson vacuum cleaner. While they come with a different set of tools and accessories, they both use the same V8 technology. Here are the key features common to both vacuum cleaners:

  • Whole Machine Filtration. The V8 series is built with Dyson’s “whole machine filtration.” This works by spinning air within two tiers of cyclones to remove dust, dirt and other debris. There’s also a post-motor filter to catch particles down to 0.3 microns in size. Interestingly, both the Absolute and Animal have exactly the same filtration system, which wasn’t the case with the V6.
  • Direct-Drive Cleaner Head. Amongst the best features of the V8 series is its direct-drive cleaner head. Both the Animal and Absolute have a version of this head that’s 150% times more powerful than the standard V6 Animal floorhead, so it can dig deep into carpets to remove more dirt. There are also carbon fibre filaments to clean hard floors.
  • Digital V8 Motor. Dyson claims the V8 motor is their most powerful yet when put into maximum power mode (note: this was until the V10 came along). All V8 models use this motor.
  • 40 Minutes Run-Time. One of the big upgrades the V8 has over the V6 is the longer battery life. Dyson uses a new battery that provides up to 40-minutes run-time when using a non-motorised tool. This drops to 25-minutes when using the motorised floor head, but is still longer than the V6.
  • Maximum Power Mode. When you need extra suction, both the Absolute and Animal have a max power mode. This greatly reduces battery life, but provides a handy boost in power for getting rid of stubborn dirt.
  • Handheld Mode. One of the defining features of Dyson cordless vacuums is that they can quickly convert into a handheld vacuum cleaner. This is great for cleaning stairs, cars or other tricky areas. In fact, the Dyson V8 Animal is one of the best cordless car vacuum cleaners available in the UK.
  • Hygienic Dirt Ejector. The V8 has a new dirt emptying system. Instead of using gravity to get rid of dust and dirt from the canister, debris is pushed out so you’re less likely to need to pull it out manually.
  • Docking Station. Dyson supplies a docking station with all the V8 cordless series. This acts as storage for the vacuum and its accessories, as well as a charging port.
  • 0.54 Litre Dust Capacity. Both the Animal and Absolute have a 0.54 lire dust bin capacity. This is around average for a cordless, but be ready to empty it regularly.

RELATED: We’ve also written in-depth comparisons of the V8 and Vax Blade 2 and V8 and Gtech AirRam cordless vacuums.

What’s Different?

If the underlying technology is the same – what makes these two versions different? Let’s match the V8 Absolute Vs. Animal and see whether there are any significant differences (we also have a more in-depth Dyson V8 Animal review if you want to learn more).

Floor Cleaner Heads

The soft roller cleaner head is great for hard floors

The biggest difference between the V8 Absolute and Animal is the Animal doesn’t come with the “Fluffy” soft roller cleaner head, but the Absolute does include it (along with the direct-drive floor head mentioned above).

Why is this a big deal? The Fluffy floor head is designed specifically for hard floors. It’s built with a combination of soft nylon and stiffer carbon fibre, which allows it to pick up both large debris and fine dust. The soft design also prevents it scratching delicate surfaces.

We were impressed with the soft roller floor head in our Dyson V6 Fluffy review – so this is a great addition if your home has a lot of hard floors.

This doesn’t mean the Animal can’t clean vinyl or hardwood floors.​ The direct-drive cleaner head, which is found on both the Animal and Absolute, is also designed for hard floors and does a great job. It’s just not quite as effective on this surface as the soft roller.

It’s worth noting that the soft roller tool can be bought separately. So, if you’re not sure which to get, choose the Animal then buy the soft roller later if you need it.​ Still, if you have lots of hard flooring, you’ll want this tool.

Note: Dyson also produces the V8 Animal Complete. This has the same features as other V8 models, but with the inclusion of extra like the up-top adaptor and stubborn dirt brush.​

Tools & Accessories

Both have the same tools

Aside from the soft roller cleaner head, both the Absolute and Animal have the same set of accessories. These include the docking station, miniature motorised tool (that’s great for pet hair), rigid crevice tool and combination tool.

What’s interesting is that the other V8 model, the Total Clean, includes several additional tools – namely the “Up Top” adaptor for cleaning above cupboards and “Flexi Crevice” for getting into awkward places.​ So if you want greater versatility, the Total Clean might be the better choice.


The V8 Animal is around £90 cheaper than the V8 Absolute on the Dyson website (at the time of writing – this might change). This is a significant saving, especially as the models are identical in most ways.

Retailers set their own prices for the Absolute and Animal, however, so the prices may vary.​

Which Should You Buy?

The direct-drive cleaner head is on both the Animal and Absolute

As you can now tell, there are very few differences between the Animal and Absolute. This is unlike the V6 Animal and Absolute, which have different floor heads, filters and various other features.

The most significant difference is that the Absolute includes the soft roller floor head for hard floors, while the Animal doesn’t.

This means you’re effectively paying extra purely for the “Fluffy” floor head.​ Is it worth the money though?​

In our opinion, the V8 Animal is an excellent vacuum for almost any surface. The mini motorised tool is great for getting pet hair out of stairs and upholstery, while the direct-drive makes quick work of carpets.

If you have lots of hard floors, however, it’s worth paying extra to get the soft-roller cleaner head on the V8 Absolute. This is a truly innovative tool from Dyson and is a joy to use on hardwood or vinyl floors. If your home is mainly carpet, then stick with the V8 Animal, as you don’t need the extra tool.​

We hope our Dyson V8 Absolute Vs. Animal comparison has helped clarify these excellent vacuum cleaners. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments!

18 thoughts on “Dyson V8 Absolute Vs V8 Animal – What’s the Difference?”

  1. Avatar

    How much is the soft roller floor head if bought Separate for the animal? And is it easy enough to fit?

  2. Avatar

    Really useful review.Thankyou for the information,helped me make up my mind 😊

    • James Hall

      Glad to help Tracy!

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for the in-depth comparison. I have been debating which I should get absolute or animal. Thanks to your info it shall be the absolute as we only have hardwood flooring throughout the house.

    • James Hall

      Glad I could help! The Absolute won’t be available for much longer (Dyson has stopped selling it), but if you can’t find it you could get the V8 Animal and purchase the soft roller floor head separately.

  4. Avatar

    Thank you!!!

    • James Hall

      No problem, Alejandra.

  5. Avatar

    What is the difference between the V8 Animal and the V8 Animal Extra?

    • James Hall

      At the time of writing this comment, there are two V8 Animal’s the V8 Animal and V8 Animal Complete. The Complete comes with a couple of extra accessories (up-top adaptor and quick-release stubborn dirt brush).

  6. Avatar

    I found your analysis of the absolute 8 and pet really helpful. Thank you!

    • James Hall

      Glad we could help Christine.

  7. Avatar

    Hi i live abroad with tiled flooring and a few rugs. I have a dog who sheds a lot of hair!!
    I need something which is preferably light to manoeuvre and can pick up the hair and fine dust.
    I was looking for a cordless if possible. What would be your best recommendation please?

    • James Hall

      Hi Sharon, the V8 Animal sounds like a good fit. To be honest, any of the Dyson cordless vacs with a pet turbo tool would work.

  8. Avatar

    Thank you, this was so useful

    • James Hall

      Glad to help, Susie!

  9. Avatar

    Is the V8 absolute ok for pets or should we stick to the animal what’s the difference when it comes to pets

    • James Hall

      The Absolute is just as good for pets. The Animal is cheaper but doesn’t include the soft roller, but both have a pet tool.


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