Dyson V8 Review & Comparison: Absolute vs Animal vs MotorHead

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Dyson V8 Review

The V8 is one of Dyson’s most popular cordless stick vacuums available right now.

We will be comparing at the three different options available – the V8 Absolute, MotorHead, and Animal.

Once upon a time, the Dyson V8 had the most powerful motor and the best cleaning performance of all cord-free vacuums.

But with the release of the Dyson V10 and V11, that is no longer the case.

Still, the V8 is a great value-for-money alternative for folks who don’t want to pay a premium for the newer Dyson cordless vacuums.

Dyson V8 Absolute vs. Animal vs. Total Clean

Dyson V8 Comparison

You’ll get two options for the Dyson V8. These include the Dyson V8 Absolute and Animal. Don’t let the branding confuse you. All these machines are the same in terms of power and performance. The differences are the attachments that come along with each one. To summarize, the V8 Absolute suites homes with a mixture of bare floor and carpet, while the V8 Animal works best in homes with only carpet that have pets.

The V8 Total Clean is only available in Dyson UK. It comes with slightly more tools than the V8 Absolute. In addition to the standard options that you’ll get with the Absolute, you’ll also get Flexi-crevice tool, up top adaptor, and tool bag.

Pros

  • Excellent cleaning performance on both hard floor and carpet thanks to the soft roller and direct drive cleaning heads
  • The hygienic bin is easier to empty than the old design in the V6 series
  • 40-minute run time is adequate for most homes

Cons

  • Still expensive
  • Small dirt bin
Related: You can also find the best Dyson deals to get the best price possible on various Dyson products.

Introduction to the Dyson V8

Dyson V8 Closeup

While the Dyson V8 may look just a slight upgrade over the V6 model, it’s more than just that. Dyson addressed several issues that consumers have complained about, mainly the dust cup and the lack of run time.

It retains the design of the V6, but it has more power, runs much longer, and performs better all around.

There are three different variants for the V8 for consumers in the United States: the Absolute, MotorHead, Animal.

All three models have the same motor and battery, thus will perform the same. The difference is what tools that come in the box.

How does the Dyson V8 clean?

Continuing with the tradition of Dyson cordless vacuums, the V8 operates with the theme of interchangeability which is its main strength.

However, the main function of the V8 is to clean floors and it has two main attachments to do the task.

Dyson V8 soft roller and direct drive tool
The V8 has the direct drive tool (left) and soft roller tool (right) to clean carpet and hard floors respectively.

These two attachments will work great at any indoor surface such as hardwood, tile, linoleum or carpet. The soft roller attachment is an excellent tool for cleaning hard floor as it will literally grab dirt and funnel it towards the suction chamber behind it.

Since it has lots of clearance in front, there’s no risk of it pushing dirt forward.

The direct drive cleaning head is more suitable for cleaning carpet since it does not have the adjustable gates that the Dyson V10 has. It combines soft carbon fiber and stiff nylon bristles to clean surface and embedded dirt well.

Right behind the brush is a seal that ensures dirt gets sucked into the dust cup.

With the extension wand attached, you can use it as a stick vacuum.

Dyson V8 stick vacuum mode

It then transforms into a handheld vacuum if you remove the long orange tube. This design has been widely successful and other manufacturers have copied the design.

The motor of the V8 sits on top of the dust cup along with the cyclones that keep dirt from clogging the filter. Of the brands I’ve tested, Dyson is one of the best at keeping the filter clean for longer periods.

This stick vacuum has two filters – a pre-motor filter located at the middle of the cyclonic system, and a second post-motor filter behind the motor.

Dyson V8 filters
The V8 has two filters that help keep fine dust and allergens inside the dust cup.

These two filters are what you call “lifetime” filters which means it should last the lifetime of the vacuum if you clean it regularly. To minimize downtime, you can purchase extra filters and there are a lot of options in Amazon.

What improvements does the Dyson V8 have over the V6?

1. Bigger Motor

This new Dyson comes with an improved motor that has upped the power by approximately 15% more. The new V8 motor produces a maximum output of 115air watts while the V6 has 100 air watts.

In default mode, however, the V6, V7 and V8 variants have 22 air watts on tap.

To give you some perspective, the Black and Decker BDH2000FL has the same amount of power. But what separates the Dyson would be the superior agitation.

2. Better Agitation

Dyson V8 floor cleaning tools

More importantly, the V8 has better agitation – around 150% better to be exact according to Dyson. It will provide better cleaning performance, especially on carpet where agitation plays a considerable role in how much dirt it can pick up.

The design of the motorized tools remains the same. It has one soft roller head called the “Fluffy” and another bristled tool called the “Direct Drive” head.

3. Improved dirt bin

Perhaps the most significant improvement at least for me would be the dirt bin. Not only is the V8 bin bigger, emptying it is much easier than before.

No longer will you need to use your fingers to dislodge dirt trapped between the outer casing and inner mesh filter. The new design has a lever on top that you pull, and the machine does the rest.

Dyson V8 dust cup

Instead of just relying on a trap door and gravity to empty dirt, the new design helps push dirt out. With the mesh filter out of the way, it’s easier to remove any statically charged dirt like pet hair with the extra space.

The whole dust cup frame is removable if you need a more thorough clean. I prefer this design over the V6 as you don’t have to use your fingers to pull out hair or dust that sticks on the metal part of the filter.

4. Larger battery

The new lithium-ion battery extends the run time of the V8 from 25 minutes (without any motorized tools attached) to 41 minutes.

With the motorized tools attached, run time is around 25 minutes. And with the “Max” engaged that goes down to 7 minutes.

5. Less Noise

Dyson says that the new V8 engineers have developed “significant acoustic improvements” to reduce sound without compromising suction power.

To measure noise, I used a sound meter a few feet away from the vacuum.

Here are the results of the tests:

  • Default mode: 61.5 dB – 62.8 dB
  • Max: 67.7 dB – 80 dB

6. Max Switch

The last upgrade would be the power setting switch that toggles between normal and max.

Dyson V8 power setting button
Dyson V8’s new power settings button

Instead of using the same push button switch, Dyson changed it to a slide switch that makes it easier to use in my opinion.

Cleaning tests

The Dyson V8 is one of the very few cordless stick vacuums capable of deep cleaning carpet, and cleaning tests confirm it.

In a deep cleaning test done by Vacuum Wars, the V8 was able to pick up 92% of sand and powder from medium pile carpet. For a stick vacuum, the results are impressive.

Surface cleaning tests reveal that the V8 will pick up close to 100% of dirt whether it be as large as Cheerios or as fine as sand.

Choosing the right variant would depend on what type of floor you have inside your home.

Homes with only carpet flooring should benefit the most from the V8 Animal. If it is a mix of hard floor, rugs or carpet then go with the more expensive Absolute.

The soft roller cleaning head is a game-changing design that will be the future of hard floor cleaning. It features a roller with a fabric-like exterior that will literally grab dirt of all sizes.

 

How long does the V8 run?

The official number for the V8 is 40 minutes on low power using non-motorized tools.

In actual run time tests, the V8 actually exceeds this figure by a couple of minutes. Check the table below.

Dyson V8 Run Time 
Capacity2,800 mAh
Recharge5 hours
No attachments42:48 mins.
Low power (w/ powered tools)33.30 mins.
High power (w/ powered tools)9:00 mins.

The 42 minute run time is impressive and more than enough for most spot-cleaning tasks.

That number will drop down to 33 minutes with any of the motorized tools attached. If you’re relying on the V8 to clean your floors, it is feasible as the run time above is adequate unless you live in a large mansion.

Maintenance and Running Costs

Keeping the V8 in peak condition boils down to keeping both filters clean. This vacuum has two filters – the pre-motor and post-motor HEPA filter clean.

The good news is both filters are lifetime washable filters, meaning you don’t have to replace it.

Washing it once a month is enough, make sure to let it air dry for 24 hours before reattaching it.

Other than cleaning the filter, other parts to look at would be the main cleaning heads. Regularly check both tools to see if there are hair wrapped around the brush or the axles. Do the same for the mini-turbo brush.

One more thing to look at would be the battery. It should last the duration of the 2-year warranty period and possibly more if you take good care of it. Fortunately, the battery in the V8 is replaceable and third-party options are available (some have higher capacity).

Dyson V8 Comparison: V8 Absolute vs. V8 Animal vs. V8 Total Clean

Right now there are two variants – the V8 Absolute and V8 Animal with the former being more expensive.

To clarify that all V8 products have the same motor and bin. So performance is the same, and the main difference would be the tools that come along in the package.

Both have a HEPA filter, so 99.9% of allergens stay inside the bin.

Dyson’s HEPA filter at least in their cordless line is washable, so you don’t have to buy anything extra during the lifetime of the machine.

Check the photo below to see what comes with the V8.

Dyson V8 tools

Take note that you’ll only get these attachments from the V8 Absolute variant which is available in North America.

Dyson V8 soft roller

1. Soft roller cleaner head: A purpose-built tool for cleaning hard surfaces such as tile and hardwood.

Dyson V8 direct drive tool

2. Direct drive cleaner head: This tool works best on carpet capable of even deep cleaning dirt.

Dyson V8 mini motorized brush

3. Mini motorized tool: Miniature version of the direct drive tool that cleans up embedded dirt on upholstery and even mattresses.

Dyson V8 soft dusting brush

4. Soft dusting brush: The soft bristles of this attachment makes it ideal for cleaning more delicate surfaces like curtains and lampshades.

Dyson V8 combination tool

5. Combination tool: A combo tool that combines a mini-upholstery tool and brush tool. Ideal for cleaning vents or keyboards.

Dyson V8 crevice tool

6. Crevice tool: For cleaning tight crevices such as areas between sofa cushions or car seats.

Dyson V8 docking station

7. Docking station: A tool for storing and charging this vacuum cleaner. You’ll need to drill holes on the wall to use it. *

Dyson V8 extension tube

8. Extension wand: This tube extends the reach of the V8 with the non-motor attachments and transforms it from a handheld to a stick vacuum if you attach the main nozzle.

* If you don’t want to drill holes, you can buy a third-party tool like the Slysy Storage Stand that helps you store this vacuum cleaner plus all the accessories in one area. I like this accessory because you don’t have to drill holes and the vertical storage will save lots of space.

V8 Absolute

This is the most expensive and feature-rich variant currently in the V8 line up armed with the soft roller head and direct drive cleaner head.

These tools make this a great option inside homes with hard floor and carpet.

It also comes with the mini motorized tool that makes it a feasible option for cleaning pet hair on upholstery inside your home or vehicle.

Here’s the complete list of attachments and tools that you’ll get from the Dyson V8 Absolute:

  1. Soft roller cleaner head
  2. Direct drive cleaner head
  3. Mini motorized tool
  4. Soft dusting brush
  5. Combination tool
  6. Crevice tool
  7. Docking station

V8 Animal

The V8 Animal has the same tools as the V8 Absolute but minus the soft roller head. Opt for this variant if your home only has carpet inside.

The direct drive is still capable of cleaning debris like dust on bare floor. However, it will struggle with the large particles of dirt. If you try it on cheerios or cereal, it will just push it forward.

If you don’t need the soft roller cleaning head, then you can save yourself some dough by opting for the V8 Animal.

  1. Direct drive cleaner head
  2. Mini motorized tool
  3. Soft dusting brush
  4. Combination tool
  5. Crevice tool
  6. Docking station

V8 Total Clean

Another option available is the V8 Total Clean. This variant comes with more tools than the V8 Absolute.

Like the V8 Absolute, it comes with the two main cleaning heads, crevice, combination, mini turbo brush, and soft dusting brush, it comes with two extra tools that make your life easier cleaning areas high above your head and really tight crevices.

 

Take at the look at the photo below to see the tools.

  1. Soft roller cleaning head
  2. Direct drive cleaner head
  3. Mini motorized tool
  4. Soft dusting brush
  5. Combination tool
  6. Crevice tool
  7. Docking station
  8. Quick-release up top adapter: You can use this tool with the soft dusting brush to clean areas high up like tops of cabinets or ceiling fans.
  9. Flexi crevice tool: Excellent at reaching in really tight areas where a standard crevice tool might not be able to.
  10. Tool bag: For storing all the attachments.

Does the V8 provide good value?

Yes, the V8 is expensive, but it offers a lot of value for your dollar.

It is hands down one of the best performing options available. Both floor tools are capable of pickup up nearly 100% of surface debris on rug, carpet or hard floor.

However, it isn’t the best performing cordless vacuum (that distinction goes to the V10 and V11).

Also, there are cheaper options that will perform almost as well as the Dyson V8, but they don’t do as well deep cleaning carpet.

That’s the trade-off you should look at. If you don’t mind the high price tag then this vacuum cleaner will be an integral part of keeping your home clean.

How is this different from the V7?

Dyson V7 vs V8 teaser

Just recently, Dyson has released a new variant in the market called the V7. This product combines the features of the V6 and V8 at a more affordable price than the V8.

It is a V6 with the upgraded bin design and slide max button switch. If you’re not a fan of the bin of the V6 but don’t want to spend a whole bunch for the V8, then this is a good compromise.

To summarize here are the differences:

1. Dyson V8 has more airflow

The Dyson V7 has slightly less power than the V8. Using an anemometer, I measured the airflow of both stick vacuums and please reference the table below for the results.

Airflow ratingLowHigh
Dyson V729 CFM50 CFM
Dyson V832 CFM54 CFM

That’s around a 9.8% difference in the default power setting and a 7.69% difference at max mode.

2. Filtration

The Dyson V7 does not have a post-motor HEPA filter that will affect its ability to filtrate allergens while the V8 has the second filter.

3. Attachments

Depending on the variant you’ll get, the attachments will vary. The V8 Absolute has a total of 8 attachments while the V7 Motorhead only has 5. The V7 Fluffy is also available if you want the soft roller attachment, but only in certain markets – particularly in Asia or Europe.

4. Price

There is a significant price difference between the V8 Absolute and V7 Motorhead. If you’re home only has carpet, I would suggest going with the cheaper V7 Motorhead or the slightly more expensive Animal version if you have pets.

Product Specifications

The information below is the complete list of product specifications for the Dyson V8.

Product Specifications 
BrandDyson
ModelV8
Length49.2"
Cleaning Path9.8"
Weight5.75 pounds
Dust Bin Capacity0.54 L
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Warranty2-years
PriceCheck Price

The verdict: Who should buy the Dyson V8 stick vacuum?

The Dyson V8 may not be the most powerful cordless vacuum, but it has a great balance between ergonomics, power and run time.

It’s a rare combination that you need to look for when buying something without a cord.

You’ll get a versatile tool that can be used in different configurations depending on the need.

If you’re looking for the following features (listed below) in a cordless stick vacuum then the Dyson V8 would be a great option.

  • Versatile cleaning tool: You can use the Dyson V8 as a handheld or a stick vacuum, for cleaning hard floors or carpet.
  • Lightweight and ergonomic: The Dyson V8 does not have the power of the V10, but it’s lighter thus more maneuverable and easier to use above floors.
  • Strong suction: The V8 scores high marks in terms of airflow (cfm) which contributes to the excellent cleaning performance.
  • Long run time: The run time in real-world tests exceed the 40-minute mark by Dyson. Even if you use the main cleaning head, it’ll still run for more than 30 minutes which is plenty for a cord-free vacuum cleaner.
  • Don’t mind paying for a quality product: Yes, the Dyson V8 is expensive, but you’ll be getting an excellent product that will last for years with the proper maintenance. If you’re willing to spend the $$$ for such a product then this is a great option.

For more information about the Dyson V8 please click here.

An Excellent Alternative If the V10 is Too Expensive
  • Ergonomics - 94%
    94%
  • Surface Cleaning - 95%
    95%
  • Deep Cleaning - 92%
    92%
  • Quality - 93%
    93%
  • Design - 94%
    94%
  • Value - 93%
    93%
94%

Summary

People looking for a lightweight cord-free vacuum that can clean surface and embedded dirt should take a look at the Dyson V8. Yes, it isn’t as powerful or runs as long, but the price difference between the two is quite significant. One thing I like with the V8 is that it is more ergonomic when cleaning anything above the waist and shoulder because it is less top-heavy. It won’t deep clean carpet as well, but it does as well as the V10 when it comes to picking up surface dirt.

10 thoughts on “Dyson V8 Review & Comparison: Absolute vs Animal vs MotorHead”

  1. For those of us not in the U.K. but with a V8 Absolute, can we, or will we be able to add on the 2 additional parts that are currently only available in the U.K.?

  2. I would like to know what the difference is between the Dyson V8 Absolute and the Dyson V8 Absolute Plus They look exactly the same to me, but there must be due to price difference. Thanks in advance.
    June Rowlstone

  3. Hi was wondering with the silver @ blue v6 model is there only that one air filter to clean or is there a way you can clean the internal filtration thank you

    • I have a prepolished hardwood floor, would like to know should I buy v8 absolute or v8 animal.?Please respond me ASAP, because I want to purchase of Black Friday.
      Thanks

      • The V8 Absolute would be a better option in my opinion.

  4. Am I right in thinking that the v8 total clean is exactly the same as the v8 absolute but just with two extra tools ?
    Surely there must be some other slight difference for Dysin to make 2 models ?
    Would welcome your thoughts ,thank you

  5. CAn you explain me differences between v8 fluffy and absolute?

  6. Can you explain the differences between v8 absolute and v8 total clean please?

    • The V8 Total Clean is only available in Dyson UK. It comes with more tools than the V8 Absolute.

  7. Che differenza c è tra v8 Absolute e v8 motorhead?

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