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The best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner 2020

T3 logo T3 18/09/2020 T3 Online
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The best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners have helped reinvent home cleaning, with its powerful suction, innovative bagless technology and futuristic design. But which Dyson cordless vac should YOU buy? Also, if you're shopping for a new Dyson vacuum, you'll soon see that cordless isn’t the only type on offer: the company also sells excellent upright, handheld and cylinder vacuums.

The cordless Dyson vacuums are the firm's main focus now (development of new corded Dyson vacs has supposedly ceased), so there's quite a confusing collection of different models to pick between in each range. So how do you know which is the right Dyson vacuum for you?

That's where we can help. In this guide, we’ll help you choose the Dyson vacuum cleaner for your space and budget – whether that's a nifty cordless Dyson to tackle the nooks and crannies of your home, a powerful cylinder model for large areas, or something even more portable for the inside of your car. 

We've found the cheapest prices as well. We’re constantly searching for the best Dyson deals, and you’ll also find today’s biggest discounts below. 

Dyson vacuum cleaner Amazon Prime Day deals

Amazon Prime Day isn't necessarily the best time to snap up a cheap Dyson, but we'll bring you the best of what's on offer. Usually, we'd expect price cuts on models such as the V7 and V10, and perhaps some of the cordless Dysons too. 

Which is the best Dyson vacuum?

We think that the Dyson V11 Absolute is the best Dyson vacuum going. It’s a powerful cordless Dyson, with an auto-cleaning mode that can adapt the level of suction to your floor type, and a new digital battery countdown as well. 

Of course, the right Dyson vacuum for you depends on how and where you want to use it – so here’s a quick explainer for the different types on offer (or you can jump straight to our pick of the best Dyson vacuums – cordless and corded – below). 

  • Dyson cordless vacuum battery life: everything you need to know

The best Dyson vacuum cleaners you can buy, in order

The cordless Dyson V11 Absolute isn't just the best Dyson vacuum cleaner you can buy: it's the best on the market today, full stop. With extremely powerful suction, you’ll get a deeper clean, especially on thick carpet, thanks to the stiff nylon bristles and motorised head. It works just as well on hard floors too, with carbon fibre filaments that keep your floors looking clean without damaging them.  

What makes the V11 special is the intelligent cleaning capability. It has three different cleaning modes that automatically change the motor speed, depending on the surface you’re cleaning, which enables you to move seamlessly through rooms without having to change floor heads, and also slightly extends battery life. 

The battery life on the V11 Absolute is also impressive, giving you a good 60-minute run whilst on eco mode, so you can get the whole house done without worrying about running out of battery mid-clean. The handy LCD display gives you all the information you need, including time remaining, filter maintenance reminders and reports on any blockages. This model also comes with a torque floor head, a mini pet tool, a soft dusting brush, combo tool and an extra soft roller brush floor head for use on hard floors. 

This outstanding cordless Dyson vacuum does, of course, come at a price. If you can do without the torque head, take a look at the Dyson V11 Animal – it's £100 cheaper. However, we'd say the torque head is what makes this cordless Dyson vacuum, so if you’ve got the cash, splash it on the V11 Absolute. It's the best you can buy. 

Less powerful than the V8 below, despite looking almost identical to it, the V7 is the best cheap Dyson cordless vac. A 2020 upgrade means it now comes with multiple cleaning heads and a very handy 'reach under' tool. As its name implies, this lets you reach beneath beds, wardrobes, sofas and anything with legs, by adding a bending portion to the main suction tube. We believe Shark had this idea first, and it works really well.

Suction is fine for cleaning surfaces and hard floors, although a maximum 100AW of power is a bit lacking for deeper carpets. 

We're big fans of the Dyson V8 Absolute, but it has technically been discontinued – you can't buy it from Dyson anyway. So our top recommend from the V8 family is 2020's V8 Animal. With more power than the V7, it remains the best for handheld use – dusting, cleaning spills, doing your car, yacht or private jet – because it's so much smaller and better balanced than its more powerful siblings. 

As with all Dyson cordless vacuums, the V8 Animal makes cleaning multiple areas of your home easy. It works well on a range of floor types, from carpet to hardwood – although it's more at home on hard floors and lighter carpets due to the reduced suction compared to the V11, but it is a step up in power from the V7. Pet owners are well served by the turbo brush attachment. 

This model does have a slightly smaller bin size than the V11, so you’ll have to empty it more often – but it's incredibly lightweight, portable and easy to use. As mentioned, it's an especially good Dyson vacuum for cleaning your car or other vehicle, thanks to its compact size, light weight and range of attachments. It also has the power to clean quickly, unlike cheaper car vacs.

The V8 doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the newer V11, but it remains an excellent cleaner. The fact it now comes with the very handy Reach Under attachment – as mentioned in the V7 review above – is another big plus mark for the V8 Animal.   

If you want a cordless Dyson vacuum that's very much like the V11 Absolute but more affordable, consider the Dyson V10. It lacks the intelligent battery management of its newer stablemate and the high torque cleaning head, so it's perhaps less effective on carpet. However, in normal use, we doubt that most users will notice the difference. 

When the going gets tough, the V11 is a more able cordless vac, but the V10 looks and feels the same and will get your home clean with a very similar level of effectiveness – for well over £100 less. We suspect it might soon start receiving further discounts via sales and deals, too.

Alternatively, you could step up to the V10 Total Clean (RRP: £499), which adds a few more cleaning attachments of questionable usefulness; or down to the V10 Animal, which is cheaper and loses the V10 Absolute's hard-floor-specific 'roller cleaner' head.

The Dyson Light Ball is possibly one of the most recognisable – and affordable – in the company's range, and for several years was the biggest-selling Dyson vac. It's the replacement for the classic DC39 and DC40 models, and benefits from noise reduction as well as the ability to tackle both larger debris and fine dust. 

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This high-performing Dyson vacuum comes with three suction control modes: one for carpet, one for large debris and another for ground in dirt. A crevice tool, upholstery brush and stair cleaning tool also come as standard. The way you use the additional brushes is not ideal, admittedly – a peculiar pull-out tube is extruded from the handle, like in a magic trick – and the result is far less convenient than using a cordless. On the other hand, this 2-in-1 system is better than not having any additional tools at all.

The cord is a generous 10 metres, which is great news if you have large rooms or hallways to clean. The Dyson Light Ball also has a large 1.6-litre bin, so it doesn’t require emptying as often as the smaller cordless Dyson vacuums. The best bit? It’s more affordable than other Dyson models: if you’re on a tight budget, it’s the best Dyson vacuum you can buy, even if it is corded.

With a similar amount of suction power to the Dyson Light Ball multi-floor model above, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 is smaller and easier to use. It’s corded, so it’s not as convenient as the cordless Dyson alternatives – but thanks to its unique ball-shaped design, this model is able to self-right itself if it topples over. Anyone who's spent years being frustrated by drunkenly tottering cylinder vacs will love this feature.

As the name suggests, this Dyson vacuum is designed for pet owners. It comes with a tangle-free turbine tool that will remove any pet hair that may have found its way into the fabric of your carpet or upholstery. The counter-rotating brush heads also make it easier to clean. 

It works across a range of flooring, and is of course more than capable of picking up larger debris as well as fine hairs. It also benefits from Dyson’s signature pneumatic head. This adjusts suction automatically depending on the floor type, which is handy if you’re moving from room to room or from carpet to hard floor. 

If you're looking for a handheld-only Dyson vacuum, and can't afford the V8, we recommend the Dyson V7 Trigger. It's small, compact and lightweight, and it’s perfect for difficult-to-reach places like the stairs, inside the sofa or your car. It comes with a special crevice tool that lets you get into those awkward spaces, and thanks to a mini motorised brush tool, you can make light work of any ground-in dirt or pet hair. 

This Dyson vacuum has a run time of 30 minutes on a normal setting, but bear in mind that if you activate the MAX setting – which gives you boosted suction for stubborn dirt – then you'll only get around six minutes of power out of the machine. 

The 360 Eye's small bin, slow pace, eccentric navigation, tendency to get stuck and high price mean it is by no means the best robot vacuum cleaner you can buy. But if you're a Dyson addict and want one for its novelty value, it’s worth a try. It's actual cleaning power, when it's not stuck, remains quite impressive. 

The 360 Eye was Dyson’s first foray into the world of robotic vacuum cleaners and quite possibly its last in the UK, although an upgraded version of this did appear in Japan. 

It can be controlled via a single button on the top of the machine, or via an app on your smartphone – so you can get your cleaning done before you get up or return home from work, at least in theory. The smartphone app also lets you check on where the 360 Eye has been and how much of your home it’s cleaned, and it is fully compatible with smart hubs such as Alexa. 

This robotic Dyson vacuum can move easily between rooms, as long as the thresholds are below 2cm. It benefits from an extra-wide suction that extends to the edge of the body, so it can clean all corners and edges with ease. 

Today's best deal on every version of the best Dyson vacuum cleaners

Which type of Dyson should I buy? 

There are five types of Dyson vacuum to choose between, each with its own unique qualities. However, one thing every Dyson vacuum has in common is that they’re all bagless and use cyclone technology to remove dust from the air… 

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Dyson cordless vacuum: Dyson’s cordless stick vacuums have no cord, instead running on a rechargeable battery. They’re very convenient, extremely lightweight and great for stairs and tight spaces, but have less capacity and battery life than an upright Dyson vacuum. Shop Dyson cordless vacuums at Amazon.

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Cylinder Dyson vacuum: These are two-piece Dyson vacuums – also known as Dyson ball vacuums – with the motor, filters and dust chamber located in the main body of the appliance, and a cleaning head on the end of a flexible hose. They’re lighter and easier to move around than upright models, but due to the trailing hose can be more difficult to store. Shop Dyson ball vacuums at Amazon.

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Upright Dyson vacuum: These one-piece corded units look like a more traditional vacuum. They’re powerful, with larger bins, making them very good for big spaces or high-traffic areas in your home that are prone to heavy dust or dirt. However, their size, weight and cord can make awkward areas like stairs harder to clean. Shop upright Dyson vacuums at Amazon

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Handheld Dyson vacuum: Smaller cordless Dyson vacuums, these don't have a long tube to convert them into stick vacuums. They're cheaper, super portable and great for small, fiddly cleaning tasks like your car or upholstery. However, they're all older models, have small bins and more limited suction. (If you’ve got a cordless Dyson already, you don’t need one.) Shop handheld Dyson vacuums at Amazon.

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Robot Dyson vacuum: The 360 Eye is a small machine that cleans your home at the press of a button. It’s fun to use, but as with any robot vac, it can’t handle stairs or ledges higher than 2cm, and it's priced fairly highly given it can’t be used as your main cleaner. The 360 Eye is a few years old now and there are better robot vacs available today. Shop the 360 Eye Dyson vacuum at Amazon

(Note: in 2018 Dyson announced that it would stop developing corded models, instead shifting focus to its cordless and handheld models, but this doesn’t affect the availability of the current corded models.)

How to choose the best Dyson vacuum

One of the reasons it can be difficult to know which is the right Dyson vacuum for you is the sheer volume of different and overlapping models in each range – particularly when names like 'Absolute', 'Animal' and 'Total Clean' start coming into play. To help you decide what you need, we’ll break down some of the different options here – but first, a word on battery life…

Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner: battery life

This is a slightly contentious area, and one that potentially puts some customers off buying a cordless Dyson vac (or any other cordless, come to that). Dyson's battery life claims have historically been focused around a theoretical maximum, obtained by using the vac on its lowest power setting, with an unpowered cleaning head – the dusting brush or crevice tool, for instance. 

However, as soon as you start using more powerful settings and more useful tools, that duration tails off quite steeply. Battery life is also affected by the surfaces you're cleaning (and how dirty they are, of course).

In our experience, though, Dysons do not run out of battery during 'normal use'. You may define normal use differently, of course, but we usually prefer not to vacuum for more than 20 minutes at a stretch, and have learned to use the vacs 'little and often'. They then go back on to charge after each use. 

More recent cordless Dyson vacuums also have larger batteries and/or more efficient power usage, so they last longer as a matter of course. Using the flagship V11 as an example, on its lowest Eco setting you should get around the claimed 60 minutes of battery life, including use of the powered tools. On the Auto setting, you can expect 30 to 40 minutes. On Boost, you'll only get six to 10 minutes. 

You might reasonably say that six minutes isn't very long, but the fact is, you don't need to use the V11 on Boost mode unless you're dealing with real nastiness. By keeping it on Auto, or moving between modes, you can vacuum for long enough to do any room this side of Buckingham Palace – and many homes in their entirety – in one go, if that's your idea of fun.

Realistically, the older V8 does need to be kept on its top power setting if you're using it to do floors, so you probably won't be doing floors for more than six-eight minutes at a stretch. (But if you ask us, that's quite long enough: little and often, little and often...)

Dyson Absolute vs Animal vs Total Clean: what's the difference?

When it comes to Dyson vacuums, you’ll often see Absolute, Animal and even Total Clean models for each range. The only real difference between each machine is the tools that come with it: the motor within each range is always the same. 

The Total Clean usually includes extra accessories, such as an extension hose; whilst the Animal comes with a tangle-free brush to get rid of any ingrained pet hairs clinging to the fibres of your carpet. If you have the budget, however, the Absolute is usually the best option as it tends to include all the attachments, as well as motorised heads that make cleaning effortless. 

Dyson Uprights vs Dyson Cylinder Vacuums

Whether you chose an upright or a cylinder Dyson vacuum depends on the features you want. Upright Dyson vacuums tend to be easier to store because they don’t have a trailing hose. They can cover a larger floor mass, and often have larger bin capacities. 

However, the cylinder models are lighter, quieter and easier to manoeuvre, which can be a big advantage if you have a lot of stairs in your home. In fact, the ease of use when it comes to a Dyson cylinder vacuum often outweighs its faults. The Big Ball Animal 2 is a perfect example of this - its self-righting functionality is a real plus for any home. 

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