In this comparison, we’ll look at two generations of Dyson cord-free products – the V8 and V11.
The V8 was once a Dyson flagship option having the most airflow among cordless vacuums but now is superseded by the newer V11 with even more airflow.
So which model is better? We’ll unpack all the info you need to know in this review.
- 1 Introduction to the Dyson V8 vs. V11
- 2 Dyson V8 Absolute: Lighter, Excellent for Hard Floors and Carpet
- 3 Dyson V11 Torque Drive: A True Deep Cleaning Cord-Free Product
- 4 Interface comparison
- 5 Power/Airflow Comparison
- 6 How does the Dyson V8 and V11 clean?
- 7 Cleaning Comparison
- 8 Which is better on hard floors?
- 9 Sand on hard floor comparison
- 10 Edge cleaning comparison
- 11 Carpet cleaning comparison
- 12 Large debris cleaning comparison
- 13 Hair wrap comparison
- 14 Tools out of the box
- 15 Run time comparison
- 16 Dust bin comparison
- 17 Filter comparison
- 18 Noise comparison
- 19 Ergonomics comparison
- 20 Maintenance
- 21 Spec comparison
- 22 Where can I buy the Dyson V8 and V11?
- 23 Which vacuum offers the better value?
- 24 The Bottom Line: Is Dyson V11 better than V8?
Introduction to the Dyson V8 vs. V11
The V8 and V11 introduced some of Dyson’s most innovative features within their cord-free stick vacuum line.
With the V8, it was the hygienic system that addresses one of the most significant issues in the V6 – the dust container that’s messy to empty.
Please note that the V8 came out before the V7.
In the V11, it’s the Dynamic Load Sensor in the Torque Drive attachment and the Dynamic LCD screen.
The DLS (or Dynamic Load Sensor) automatically increases suction if it detects more resistance (e.g., carpet) and decreases if it detects less.
And the LCD screen notifies users about essential data such as battery status, power mode, error codes, and more.
Dyson V8 Absolute: Lighter, Excellent for Hard Floors and Carpet
Of the two alternatives, the V8 Absolute is the lighter and nimbler vacuum. Its compact frame is excellent inside smaller homes with a mix of hard floors and carpets. I’ve tested this product extensively, and it does an outstanding job at picking up surface debris and great at embedded dirt on mid pile carpet.
One drawback of the compact size is the low dirt volume – only 0.54 liters.
The V8 should be a strong consideration if you’re looking for a compact stick and handheld vacuum capable of cleaning even cramped areas. Its small stature will do well in these zones.
There are several sub-models available for the Dyson V8. Some of these include the Absolute, Animal, Animal Pro+, Animal+, and MotorHead, to name a few.
Dyson V11 Torque Drive: A True Deep Cleaning Cord-Free Product
The V11 Torque Drive possesses monster airflow and the hands-down option for folks looking for a cord-free vacuum capable of deep cleaning carpet.
It isn’t as potent as the Outsize, but it’s darn good at what it does.
While the Torque Drive can clean hard floors, it comes at the risk of scratching the surface, plus it vibrates a bit, so it’ll be noisier.
In my tests, it ran for as much as 74 minutes! And that’s with the Torque Drive attachment. Surprisingly, it ran further than with the crevice tool – “just” 71 minutes.
The V11 is one of a handful of cordless stick vacuums that’s truly capable of cleaning embedded dirt. Also, the large capacity dust container makes it a viable alternative for larger homes.
There are currently three V11 primary options available – the Torque Drive, Animal, and Outsize.
The Torque Drive has the Dynamic LCD screen that updates vacuum data in real-time, while the Animal has a more static display without any live information.
The Outsize, as its name implies, is a supersized version with larger overall dimensions.
The V8 Absolute has a simpler interface with the slide switch on top and trigger while the V11 has a more dynamic one.
Absent is the slide switch found in the V10. In its place, Dyson put in an LCD screen behind the motor with a single button to toggle through the different power settings.
Speaking of which, the V8 has two power settings (Default and Max), and the V11 has three (Low, Auto, and Boost).
The “Auto” setting automatically increases or decreases airflow based on surface resistance.
So if you’re transitioning from hard floors to carpet, the sensor kicks in and increases the motor speed. It does the opposite when transitioning from carpet to hard surfaces.
Now let’s move on to the test results, and I’ll start with power. I didn’t just rely on the stated air watts claim of Dyson but used an anemometer to check airflow at two areas – the wand and cleaning nozzle.
I believe this device gives an accurate reading of the amount of air that flows through these zones.
In all the experiments I did, vacuums with higher airflow tend to do better at cleaning carpet since dirt tends to beneath strands of fabric.
Here are the results of the Dyson V8 and V11.
|Wand||31.34 CFM||N/A||54.24 CFM|
|Cleaning head||26 CFM||N/A||36.95 CFM|
The V11 has 17.75% more airflow at the max setting at the wand, and whopping 36.73% at the nozzle.
Putting this information in perspective, the V11’s airflow at the cleaning head is almost equal to the V8 at the wand.
You can see this difference in how the V11 cleans carpet, which we’ll go through in a bit.
How does the Dyson V8 and V11 clean?
Dyson cordless vacuums are pioneers of the current cord-free boom you see right now.
They are the first to incorporate a detachable tube with interchangeable tools, which is what you’ll get from the V8 and V11.
The V8 Absolute, though, comes with two nozzles – a Fluffy and Direct Drive attachment. While the V11 Torque Drive only has one – the Torque Drive.
Here’s a close look at the V8’s Fluffy and Direct Drive tools.
And here’s the Torque Drive of the V11.
Lastly, here’s a view underneath all the tools.
You can see that the V8 has the seal behind the brush while the V11 doesn’t not.
Putting the Torque Drive and Direct Drive attachments side-by-side, you can see the difference.
The Torque Drive has two adjustable gates that allow larger particles of dirt to fit that’s no present in the Direct Drive attachment.
This feature enables the Torque Drive to clean large debris on hard floors better than the V7 or V8.
However, I would not use it on soft hardwood finishes as the “Ball” system of Dyson doesn’t have any rubber padding. So there’s a high risk of scuffing easily scratched hardwood.
Another issue is the noise. The Torque Drive attachment does vibrate a little more than the Fluffy tool.
Now, let’s look at how well these vacuums clean debris. First, here’s an overview of all the test results.
|Model||Dyson V8||Dyson V11|
|Hard Floors (Surface Test)||99.66%||
|Sand on Hard Floor|
|Carpet (Surface Test)||97.29%||
A glance at the chart reveals the V11 has higher overall scores in both the surface and embedded debris tests.
This is one evidence of how the airflow difference plays a role in how a vacuum cleans.
Which is better on hard floors?
Despite not having the Fluffy attachment, the V11 had slightly better results in the hard floor tests.
However, the Torque Drive attachment is noisy and can scratch surfaces, especially if there is build-up on the “Ball” system that also doubles as the rear wheels.
If this isn’t a concern, the V11 is an excellent alternative to look at inside homes with a mixture of carpet and hard surfaces.
One advantage that the Fluffy tool has is it doesn’t need high airflow to be efficient.
In all the experiments with this tool, I just left it at the default setting, and it did very well.
Note: Please check my guide on cordless vacuums for hardwood floors if you live in a home with such.
Sand on hard floor comparison
Another important consideration is how well do these vacuums pick up sand. While both vacuums scored high marks, the V11 isn’t as efficient, leaving trails of sand in the forward pass.
- Dyson V8 Absolute: 99.5%
Dyson V11 Torque Drive: 99.4%
It wasn’t an issue with the V8 Fluffy as it picked up everything in the first pass alone.
Also, the V8 Direct Drive attachment did better than the Torque Drive, picking up nearly every particle of sand in the initial pass.
One reason is the seal behind the brush roll. If you look at both tools, you could see the V8 has it while the V11 does not.
Edge cleaning comparison
To test how well these vacuums clean edges and corners, I scattered pet litter along a corner of my room.
Here are the results for the V8’s Fluffy and Direct Drive attachment
And the V11 Torque Drive.
Both vacuums did very well in this test. There isn’t much of a difference with the amount of dirt left after the run.
One thing to note is some debris scattered behind the Torque Drive and Direct Drive attachments.
Carpet cleaning comparison
Let’s now move over to how the V8 and V11 did at cleaning carpets.
|Model||Dyson V8||Dyson V11|
|Carpet (Surface Test)||97.29%||
The V11 is better at both surface and deep cleaning. And the difference in airflow is seen in the latter where the V11 was able to pick up an absurd 114%.
Of all the cord-free vacuums I’ve tested, this is the only one so far capable of cleaning embedded dirt.
Even in the auto setting, the V11 still was able to pick up 99.97% – higher than the V8 at max.
Between these two vacuums, the choice for cleaning carpets is apparent, regardless of the price difference.
Large debris cleaning comparison
The V8’s Fluffy attachment is capable of picking up large and extra-large stuff like Cheerios and Fruit Loops. Likewise, with the V11’s Torque Drive attachment, thanks to the adjustable gates.
You’ll have to go in a zigzag motion with the V11 to coax the debris into one of the two gates.
However, the V8’s Direct Drive tool minus the gates won’t be able to pick up large items as it lacks the clearance.
Hair wrap comparison
Next, we’ll look at how well these vacuums resist hair wrap. To test this, I scattered one gram of human hair (between 5 to 7 inches) on a test area on hard floor and carpet.
Here’s how much that wrapped around the brushes of the V8.
And the V11 Torque Drive attachment.
This much hair was inside the Dyson V8 dust container.
And inside the V11 receptacle.
There isn’t much that wrapped around any of the brushes. You can use any of these two for cleaning pet and human hair (up to 7 inches) without too much risk of it clogging the brushes.
Tools out of the box
The Dyson V8 and V11 more or less have the same set of attachments, and we’ll go through each one.
Here’s are the tools of the V8.
- Fluffy tool
- Direct drive tool
- Mini turbo brush
- Soft dusting brush
- Combination tool
- Crevice tool
- Docking station
- Extension wand
And the tools of the V11 out of the box.
- Mini turbo brush
- Soft dusting brush
- Crevice tool
- Combination tool
- Stubborn brush tool: It has stiffer bristles than the combination and the soft dusting brush, which makes it great for cleaning pet hair.
- Wand storage clip
- Docking station
The V11 has one more tool than the V8 plus the wand storage clip that holds an extra attachment.
Learn more about the differences between a Tineco and Dyson here in this article.
Are Dyson V8 and V11 attachments interchangeable?
I’ve tried it, and yes, you can use the V8 attachment on a V11 and vice-versa. You can even attach the Torque Drive attachment on the V8, which I thought was not possible.
Run time comparison
One of the big advantages of the V11 is the length of time it runs.
Let’s look at the chart below to see the difference.
|Cleaning head||31:33 mins.||N/A||8:31 mins.|
The V11 can run for as much as 74 minutes with the Torque Drive attachment! No, that’s not a misprint. It’s a result of my test.
The V8’s time is decent at 41 minutes, but that’s with the crevice tool. If you use the Direct Drive attachment, it goes down to 31 minutes.
Can you replace the batteries of the Dyson V8 and V11?
Yes, replacing the battery of either model is possible. I’ve written an article about replacing the V8 battery here, so please have a look to know the steps.
The V11 is a newer model, so there aren’t any OEM replacements available just yet.
Note that there are two V11 options available – an option with a click-on and another with a bolt-on battery.
The former is easier to replace with the release lever, while the latter requires the use of a screwdriver to remove.
Dust bin comparison
The V8 and V11 both utilize Dyson’s hygienic system that forces dirt in a downward motion.
However, with the alignment difference, there will be a slight variance in emptying these vacuums.
For the V8, you just place the vacuum over a trash bin and pull up the run lever.
The V11 is slightly different. You point the vacuum towards the container then push a red lever forward.
It isn’t messy to dispose of the contents, and there’s just a variation in going about it.
In terms of dirt volume, the V11 can hold more – up to 0.77 liters versus the 0.54 liters of the V8.
So it’s a better option inside large homes since there’s no need to empty it as often.
Before the Dyson V10 was released, all Dyson cord-free products had two filters – a primary filter in the middle of the cyclones and a second post-motor HEPA behind the motor.
However, that all changed with the V10, then now the V11. These models only have one filter behind the motor.
The good news is these filters are what Dyson terms “Lifetime.” So you don’t need to replace it.
Nonetheless, Dyson filters are available for sale in online stores like Amazon. I would suggest purchasing an extra set so you can still use the vacuum while waiting for it to dry.
I use a sound meter to record noise a few feet away, and these are the results.
|Model||Dyson V8||Dyson V11|
The V11 is the noisier option with as much as 78.9 decibels at the “Boost” mode, while the V8 produces 73.2 decibels. So there’s a trade-off with the high airflow of the V11.
The V8, with its more compact size and lighter weight, will be better than the two ergonomically.
Just look at the size difference.
You can use the V8 in areas where it will be uncomfortable for the V11 because of its length.
Above the floors like cleaning stairs, the V8 also is better since it is lighter and not as big.
Steering is almost even with a slight edge to the V8 because of its smaller stature and weight. The V11 steers well for a vacuum its size thanks to the ball system.
But I must caution you that it can be challenging to push on carpets in the “Boost” mode because of the high airflow. This is a common occurrence for vacuums with strong suction.
Upkeep is similar for both vacuums. Clean the filter (or filters) once a month. Empty the dust container after every cleaning cycle, and keep the batteries charged.
There’s no need to replace Dyson filters since these are the lifetime type. So operating costs are low.
But as I’ve said earlier, you can purchase extra to minimize downtime.
The cleaning heads also need regular cleaning as hair, grime, and dust will accumulate on the brush, axles, and other components.
When you do all these things, the V8 and V11 will last for a long time.
Where can I buy the Dyson V8 and V11?
You can buy these vacuums from different online stores like Amazon and Walmart. Please examine the links below for the latest prices.
Note that if you purchase through any of the links above, I will earn a commission. But at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
Which vacuum offers the better value?
Currently, the price difference between the V8 Absolute and V11 Torque Drive isn’t that significant. When you factor in the uptick in power, larger dirt volume, and lengthier battery life, the V11 may offer batter value for your dollar.
To help you decide, I’ll share with you some compelling reasons to choose one over the other.
4 Reasons to buy the Dyson V8
- Lighter and better ergonomics: The V8’s compact size gives it an advantage over the V11 when it comes to maneuverability. I’d go with this model if I need something to clean upholstery inside the home or vehicle.
- Excellent on hard floors: The Fluffy attachment works excellent at picking up debris on hard floors with less risk of scuffing than the Torque Drive.
- Great for cleaning sand: Another strength of the Fluffy tool is its ability to clean sand with a low risk of scratching hardwood floors.
- Better around furniture: The smaller frame of the V8 enables it to go around and under furniture better than the bulkier V11.
5 Reasons to buy the Dyson V11
- Much better airflow: The V11 has up to 30% more airflow than the V8, and this manifests itself in how well it cleans carpets.
- Larger dirt capacity: The V11’s realigned dust receptacle almost doubles the volume of the V8.
- Runs longer: Even with the Torque Drive attachment, the V11 runs further than the V8 – as much as 74 minutes!
- Deep cleans carpet: Its high airflow and improved brush design permit the V11 to clean embedded dirt better than the V8 in longer spurts.
- More convenience: The Dynamic Load Sensor in the Torque Drive attachment removes the need to continually adjust the power setting on every transition as it does it for you.
The Bottom Line: Is Dyson V11 better than V8?
The Dyson V11 is a compelling option over the V8, given its superior airflow, larger dust container, and its ability to deep clean carpet.
One reason is the current price difference, which isn’t a lot by premium vacuum standards.
Eight times out of ten, I choose the Dyson V11 over the V8 for reasons stated above. I would only opt for the V8 in certain situations. For instance, the V8 will be better than the V11 at cleaning hard floors.
Another reason is you need something inside a smaller home where run time won’t be much of a concern. Or you’ll be using it above floors as often as cleaning floors.
Other than that, the V11 is superb for cleaning hard floors and carpet for extended periods without having to recharge.