Updated May 25, 2019

Dyson V7 vs. V8: Motorhead, Animal & Absolute Comparison

Cam Secore

After a month of testing, I determined Dyson V8 Absolute is the best stick vacuum because it cleans efficiently on hard floors and carpets and has a longer runtime than other models. Dyson V7 Motorhead is great, but I only recommend it for households with mostly carpets.

I’ll explain how I reached my conclusion by comparing two stick vacuums (Dyson V7 vs. Dyson V8) while evaluating four categories: carpet, hard floors, battery, and design.

dyson v8

Dyson V8 Absolute

  • Carpet: While the suction power is higher than V7’s, the difference is negligible.
  • Hard Floor: The Soft Roller is a gamechanger for hard floors, and you'll only need to use the low suction mode (34 minutes of runtime).
  • Battery: With motorized tools, the low power setting gets 34 minutes, while high gets 8 minutes.
  • Design: It’s bulkier than the V7 but still easy to handle.

Best for you if...

You want the best vacuum for hard floors. The V8 Absolute comes with a Direct Drive and Soft Roller, making it fantastic for any floor. The Soft Roller and extra runtime are notable upgrades from the V7 Motorhead.

Budget Option

If you don’t have hard floors, the V8 Animal is the same machine as V8 Absolute minus the Soft Roller.

dyson v7

Dyson V7 Motorhead

  • Carpet: While the suction power is lower than V8’s, you won’t notice the difference.
  • Hard Floor: The Motorhead isn’t efficient on hard floors but it cleans OK overall. It works much better with the Soft Roller, but this is not included.
  • Battery: With motorized tools, the low power gets 28 minutes, or 6 minutes on high.
  • Design: It’s a half-pound lighter and an works well as a handheld.

Best for you if...

You want the lightest and most affordable Dyson. For houses with lots of carpets, the V7 Motorhead (or Animal) offers plenty of suction and runtime for the best price, but it isn’t ideal for hard surfaces.

Upgrade Option

V7 Absolute provides the same hard floor performance as the V8 Absolute, but it’s not easily available.

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dyson vacuum comparison

Things To Know

  • Dyson’s cordless stick vacuum product line is confusing because they sell all of the previous generations and there are too many variants of each model with strange names.
  • Dyson Cordless Vacuum Comparison Tips:
    • Dyson releases a new “V” model each year with improved suction and battery runtime.
    • Each “V” model has a different name, which refers to the types of accessories included.
    • The Motorhead variant is the entry-level vacuum and only comes with one all-purpose head.
    • The Animal variant is the mid-level vacuum and includes a slightly better all-purpose head, called “Direct Drive” and you get a Mini-Motorized tool for stairs.
    • The Absolute variant comes with all of the accessories and rollers from the Animal, plus you get a Soft Roller made specifically for hard floors.
    • When comparing the V7 and V8 (and other Dyson’s), I found that the model of the vacuum wasn’t as important expected. The extra runtime is nice, but the added suction power isn’t noticeable in real life tests. The most important thing to keep in mind while shopping is the rollers. You need the proper roller for each surface. (To better understand what I’m talking about, I made a 90-second video demoing the difference between the Motorhead roller and the Soft Roller while on wood.)
    • On hard floors, you can get by with the all-purpose head from Motorhead and Animal, but it’s not efficient. If you’re paying a premium price for a vacuum, why not get the best?
    • Bottom line: If you have mostly hard floors, you need a Dyson Absolute. You can pick any model (V7, V8, V10, V11) because you won’t notice a difference in suction performance. Pick your model based on your preferred runtime, design, dustbin size, weight, and noise level.

Dyson V8


Carpet (B):

  • The Direct Drive cleaner head is what you use on carpets, while on the regular suction setting. The V8 (22 Airwatts) has more suction power in the regular mode than the V7 (21 Airwatts), but you won’t notice it in real life.
  • The V8 has 115 Airwatts on max mode, compared to 100 Airwatts on the V7, but the extra power isn’t noticeable.

Hard Floor (A+):

  • V8 Absolute comes with two cleaning heads: The Direct Drive and the Soft Roller.
  • The Soft Roller is brilliant and explicitly made for hard surfaces. It has features like carbon fiber filaments in the roller to reduce the static electricity, making fine dust and dirt much easier to pick up.
  • You’ll never need the maximum suction mode when you have the Soft Roller.
  • The Direct Drive head is an all-purpose head and works fine on hard floors, but it performs the best while on carpets. The Soft Roller makes cleaning hard floors more efficient.
  • If you have mostly hard floors, you want the V8 Absolute. The other V8 variants are sufficient, but not as good due to the lack of the Soft Roller.
  • If you put the Soft Roller on the V7, you won’t notice a difference in suction.

Battery (A-):

  • It has a 2800 mAh battery.
  • With motorized tools, the normal suction gets 34 minutes, or 8 minutes in max mode.
  • The battery has a 3.5-hour recharge time and is not replaceable.

Design (B):

  • It weighs about 3.5 pounds. You won’t notice the extra half pound while vacuuming with the stick and brushes.
  • It holds 530 ml of dry material.
  • It has the same debris release as the V7. You pull the red tab and it empties without touching anything.
  • You’ll get a wall mountable charging dock.
  • It’s slightly louder than the V7.

Dyson V7


Carpet (B):

  • The Motorhead roller is what you’ll use on carpets with the regular suction mode. It works well and you can use the high suction mode occasionally in high traffic areas.
  • You won’t notice the difference between the V7 and V8 suction power. The most significant difference between the two is the battery runtime.

Hard Floor (C):

  • For hard floors, you’ll use the same Motorhead roller as with carpets. It works, but it’s not efficient.
    • You can’t pick up big chunks of debris, like cereal. It’ll just push them around.
    • It doesn’t do well with fine material either because it gets stuck to the floor via static electricity.
    • You’ll need to run it for longer to make up for its lack of efficiency.
  • The Motorhead roller is the only roller included with the V7 Motorhead variant. Dyson V7 Absolute could be the best affordable option for hard floor owners, but the Absolute variant for the V7 is hard to find. Most stores only sell the V7 Motorhead or V7 Animal, which are solid on hard surfaces, but not as good as an Absolute variant with the Soft Roller.
  • If you find a V7 Absolute or you buy a Soft Roller separately, I’d give it the same great as the V8 Absolute on hard floors.

Battery (B-):

  • It has a 2100 mAh battery.
  • With motorized tools, the regular suction gets 28 minutes, or 6 minutes in max mode.
  • The V8 has three indicator lights to show the battery level, but the V7 doesn’t have a battery meter.

Design (B+):

  • It weighs about 3 pounds.
  • It feels noticeably lighter even though it’s only a half-pound lighter than the V8. It’s the most comfortable handheld vacuum to use.
  • The dustbin holds 530 ml of dry material.
  • There is no HEPA filter as in the V8.
  • It’s quieter than the V8.

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