Updated Aug 17, 2020

Dyson V10 vs. V11: Is The V8 Still Relevant? The Conclusive Test

Cam Secore

After a month of testing, I determined Dyson V11 Torque Drive is the best cordless stick vacuum for all floor types because it’s quieter, has a better runtime, and an LCD screen. However, Dyson V10 Absolute is the better bet for those with mostly hard floors because it’s more affordable and includes a special roller for hard surfaces.

Want to learn how I reached this conclusion? Read on to see the detailed breakdown of carpet performance, hard floor performance, and overall design functionality.

Running low on time?

Don’t believe me? Check for yourself.

Carpet

  • V11 TorqueA+
  • V10 AbsoluteA-

Suction: Dyson V11

Overall impression: The V11 is unquestionably the best Dyson stick vacuum on carpets. It has incredible suction power on max mode and just enough with the medium mode for everyday cleaning. The Torque Drive roller automatically switches modes when you go from hard floors to carpet.

Notes:

  • The new Torque Drive roller is almost the same as V10’s, but it senses the floor surface type and changes the suction level and roller speed automatically.
  • I can’t find the official Airwatt ratings for each suction mode, but the “Turbo” suction mode has 185 Airwatts of suction and is the most powerful suction from stick vacuum on the market.
  • While the extra power isn’t worthwhile when on hard floors, it’ll come in handy when going deeper on carpets. (Here’s the part in my video where I show each suction mode while on carpet with rice.)

Suction: Dyson V10

Overall impression: The V10 and V11 have similar suction power on the medium mode, which is perfect for everyday cleaning. The V10 max mode isn’t quite as powerful as the V11’s, but this mode should be saved for special occasions anyways.

Notes:

  • While vacuuming carpets, you’ll use the Torque Drive cleaner head.
  • In almost every situation, you’ll need at least the medium suction mode (34 Airwatts), which should give you around 27 minutes of continuous vacuuming.
  • The “Max” suction mode has 151 Airwatts of suction and is enough power to compete with lots of corded vacuums.
  • The low suction mode (16 Airwatts) isn’t enough power in most situations while on carpets.

Runtime: Dyson V11

Overall impression: With the Torque Drive roller, you’ll need the medium suction mode, which gives 43 minutes of runtime. In high traffic or spill areas, you can switch to the max suction mode and get 8 minutes of runtime. 

Notes:

  • The V11 has a 3600mAh battery and advertises up to 60-minutes of battery life. Unlike the V10, Dyson is underselling the battery runtime. I had even better results with the motorized tools attached.
  • With motorized tools (Torque Drive, Direct Drive, Mini Motorized) you’ll get:
    • Low suction: 66 minutes.
    • Medium suction: 43 minutes.
    • Max suction: 8 minutes.
  • It takes 4.5 hours to recharge the battery fully from 0%.

Runtime: Dyson V10

Overall impression: With the Torque Drive roller, you’ll need medium suction mode, which gives 27 minutes of runtime, which is 16 minutes less than the V11. In high traffic areas, you can switch the max mode for just 7 minutes of runtime.

Notes:

  • The V10 has a 2300mAh battery and Dyson advertises a 60-minute runtime.
  • The runtime advertisement is inaccurate. That number only applies if you’re using the vacuum as a handheld without attachments.
  • With motorized tools (Soft Roller, Torque Drive, Direct Drive, Mini Motorized) you’ll get:
    • Low suction: 45 minutes.
    • Medium suction: 27 minutes.
    • Max suction: 7 minutes.
  • You’ll need the medium suction mode in most situations on carpets and the low suction on hard floors.
  • It takes 3.5 hours to recharge the battery fully from 0%.

Hard Floors

  • V11 TorqueB
  • V10 AbsoluteA+

Suction: Dyson V11

Overall impression: The V11’s Torque Drive roller works well on any surface, but it doesn’t clean as efficiently on hard floors as the Soft Roller. The Soft Roller isn’t included with any V11 variant because you get just one roller, but the good news is that you don’t have switch rollers when moving to a new surface.

Notes:

  • While vacuuming on hard floors, you’ll use the Torque Drive cleaning head. Unfortunately, Dyson doesn’t sell a V11 Absolute variant in the US (they do in the UK though).
  • Despite superior suction power in the V11, it doesn’t work better on hard floors.
  • The Soft Roller from the V10 is compatible because both vacuums are the same wattage, and can be purchased separately. Like I mentioned before, the Soft Roller isn’t necessary for hard floors but enhances efficiency. If you’re spending premium money on a vacuum, why not get one that’s fully optimized for hard floors?
  • When comparing the V11 Torque Drive to the V10 Absolute on hard floors, my preference is still the V10. If you bought the Soft Roller separately and put it on the V11, you’d get more power (not noticeable on hard floors) and longer runtime.

Suction: Dyson V10

Overall impression: The V10 Absolute comes with two rollers. The Torque Drive roller is made for carpets, while the Soft Roller specialized for hard surfaces. For regular, everyday cleaning (dust, hair, cereal spills, etc.), the Soft Roller cleans more efficiently and for longer on one charge because only the low setting is needed.

Notes:

  • While vacuuming hard floors, you’ll use the Soft Roller head, which is sometimes referred to as the “Fluffy” head. The Soft Roller is a gamechanger for hard floors for a few reasons:
  • It uses carbon fiber filaments to help reduce static electricity, helping it pick up fine dust other vacuums will miss.
  • The Soft Roller is faster at cleaning up on hardwood, and you’ll preserve more battery.
  • You can usually get away with using the lowest power setting.
  • The only downside to the Soft Roller is you’ll have to carry both included rollers (Soft and Torque Drive) if you have carpets. The Soft Roller won’t work on carpet. If your house is mostly hard flooring (wood, tile, laminate, concrete), the Soft Roller is a must-have and this is only included with the Absolute variants.
  • You can vacuum hard floors with the Torque Drive head just fine, but you’ll need to use the medium setting and it’s not as efficient because it tends to push objects rather than picking them up on the first try (check my video).
  • If using just one head sounds more convenient, you’ll want to buy the V10 Animal to save $100 from the Absolute.

Runtime: Dyson V11

Overall impression: The low suction mode works fine on hard surfaces (66 minutes of runtime), but the medium suction is preferable (43 minutes) to get more debris per swipe.

Notes:

  • The V11 has a 3600mAh battery and advertises up to 60-minutes of battery life. Unlike the V10, Dyson is underselling the battery runtime. I had even better results with the motorized tools attached.
  • With motorized tools (Torque Drive, Direct Drive, Mini Motorized) you’ll get:
    • Low suction: 66 minutes.
    • Medium suction: 43 minutes.
    • Max suction: 8 minutes.
  • It takes 4.5 hours to recharge the battery fully from 0%.

Runtime: Dyson V10

Overall impression: With the Soft Roller, the low suction setting is all you need, which will give you 45 minutes of runtime. Like the V11, you can use the Torque Drive head on hard floors, but you might need the medium suction (27 minutes). If you have the Soft Roller, why not use the more optimized tool?

Notes:

  • The V10 has a 2300mAh battery and Dyson advertises a 60-minute runtime.
  • The runtime advertisement is inaccurate. That number only applies if you’re using the vacuum as a handheld without attachments.
  • With motorized tools (Soft Roller, Torque Drive, Direct Drive, Mini Motorized) you’ll get:
    • Low suction: 45 minutes.
    • Medium suction: 27 minutes.
    • Max suction: 7 minutes.
  • It takes 3.5 hours to recharge the battery fully from 0%.

Design

  • V11 TorqueA
  • V10 AbsoluteA

Design: Dyson V11

Overall impression: The V11 is substantially quieter than the V10. The V11 is close to a pound heavier than the V10, but when vacuuming the floor with a power tool attached, the weight doesn’t feel much different. The V11 LCD screen shows the amount of runtime remaining and alerts you of any errors with the vacuum.

Screen:

  • The screen shows which cleaning mode you’re in, and how long the vacuum will run for. This runtime dynamically changes based on the mode and roller being used. It’s cool to see a precise time remaining, but I found it wasn’t always accurate. Also, are people vacuuming for more than 40 minutes at a time? But if you’re planning on using the Turbo mode on carpets, the screen will be helpful.
  • The screen shows errors, such as clogs or filter misalignment.
  • Dyson missed an opportunity to show the time remaining until recharge.

Weight:

  • The handheld weighs 4.4 pounds. It’s light enough to work as a great handheld vacuum, but it’s close to a pound heavier than V10. The added weight comes from the added screen and the 60% bigger battery from last year.
  • If you’re planning to use handheld and the wand together to clean areas above your head (blinds, corners, ceilings, things you can’t reach, etc.), you’ll notice a big difference because you’ll be aiming the vacuum upwards and putting lots of extra pressure on your wrist.
  • It weighs 6.7 pounds with the wand and a roller attached.
  • You won’t notice the added weight for medium to short cleaning sessions.

Noise:

  • It sounds quieter than V10 by a wide margin. The numbers don’t exactly verify what my ears heard. Here are my measurements:
    • Eco Suction: 75 Db.
    • Medium Suction: 78 Db.
    • Turbo Suction: 81 Db.

Design: Dyson V10

Overall impression: The V10 is almost a pound lighter than the V11, which becomes noticeable when you use the unit as a handheld, especially when cleaning blinds, ceiling corners, or anything above your head.

Weight:

  • The handheld weighs 3.7 pounds with balanced weight distribution. It’s light enough to work well as a handheld.
  • It weighs 5.8 pounds with the wand and a roller attached.
  • All V10 variants (Absolute, Animal, Motorhead) come with a docking station, a crevice, and a combination tool for using the vacuum as a handheld.
  • The dustbin holds 757 ml of dry material.
  • You push down on the button and the debris is squeegeed out of the dustbin. You don’t have to get your hands dirty.

Noise:

  • The V10 sounds substantially louder than V11. My not-so-accurate numbers say it’s louder but the difference is not substantial:
    • Low Suction: 77 Db.
    • Medium Suction: 81 Db.
    • Max Suction: 91 Db.

The Verdict

dyson v11

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

10

Get the Dyson V11 Torque Drive if you have mostly carpets. It can go deeper on carpets, has a longer runtime, and it's quieter. It works well on hard floors, but the Soft Roller (not included with the V11) is more optimized.

dyson v10

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

9

Get the Dyson V10 Absolute if you have mostly hard floors because it comes with two rollers. The Torque Drive roller works on carpets and hard floors, but the Soft Roller is made specifically for hard floors and picks up more debris per swipe.

When buying a Dyson, pay more attention to the variation (Motorhead, Animal, Absolute, Torque Drive) and less attention to the model (V7, V8, V10, V11). The variation indicates the types of rollers included, while the higher model number is essentially a minor suction power and runtime improvement from the previous model.

Don’t believe me? Watch my demo comparing two roller types.

What are other options aside from the V11 Torque Drive and V10 Absolute?

If you have mostly carpets, you can save money with the more affordable Motorhead or Animal variants. The Absolute variant is great for all floor types, but it’s a must-have for homes with mostly hard surfaces. The Absolute variant isn’t necessary for anyone, but why not have the most optimized tool for the job if you’re making a big investment?

The best Dyson for most people might not be either of the vacuums from this post. The older Dyson V8 Absolute (read more) is just $350 and works great with all floor types. It’s a fantastic value and provides two rollers: one for hardwood and one for carpet.

The Dyson V10 Animal is usually $450. It’s a great option for those who don’t have lots of hard floors and want to save money. You’ll get just the Torque Drive roller and sacrifice the Soft Roller.

The Dyson V11 Animal is usually $100 less than the V11 Torque Drive, but it’s the same machine minus the LCD screen. It’s a better value because the screen isn’t useful for the average user.

 

I’ve been obsessed with gadgets since I was eight years old. I buy each device reviewed with MY money and don’t have insider access. I’m just like you, the everyman.

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