Dyson V8 Absolute and Dyson V6 Animal or Absolute – Review and Comparison

Can these powerful and versatile machines keep pet hair at bay? Let's find out!

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Dyson V8 is the upgraded version of bestselling Dyson V6 vacuum. Both vacuums also come with various sets of attachments such as the Animal or Absolute set. In this review, I will go through the key differences to help you choose the right one for your needs.

* Since then, Dyson has released a new even more powerful stick vacuum than these two. You can read our review of Dyson v10 here.

At a glance

Dyson V6 and Dyson V8 are the elite when it comes to pet hair vacuum cleaners. They come at a steep price, but the investment is worth it, as they come with excellent suction power, innovative and practical design and many great attachments and add-ons. These vacuums were voted the best pet hair vacuum by the golden retriever and husky owners.  Click here to read real user reviews on Amazon.

  • Both are cordless with amazing suction
  • Bagless, with large dirt bin that is easy and hygienic to empty
  • Max power mode for tough tasks
  • Runtime up to 20 minutes in V6, and up to 40 minutes in V8
  • Trigger release and fade-free suction
  • 2-tier radial cyclones for capturing fine dust and dander
  • HEPA filter in all V8 vacuums and V6 Absolute
  • Quickly converted to a handheld vacuum
  • Many great attachments and add-ons available
  • 4.5 - 5.8 pounds depending on model
  • Dyson V6: 9.8 x 47.5 x 8.2 inches / Dyson V8: 9.9 x 49 x 8.9 inches
  • 2-year limited warranty

+  Best suction power on the market in cordless vacuums
+  Sufficient battery life even for bigger houses (V8)
+  Lightweight, compact and easily maneuvered
+  Sizeable dirt cup with quick and hygienic emptying system
+  HEPA filtration on V6 Absolute and all V8 models
+  Versatility – easily converts to a handheld vacuum
+  Come with fantastic attachments (check the table and review for more info)
+  Mini motorized brush is the top tool for pet hair removal
+  Many amazing add-ons like a grooming tool for dogs
+  Quiet – easier for pets to tolerate

- Steep price, but worth the investment

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Summed up

The Dyson V6 and V8 stick vacuums are a top notch. I have the V6 as my household vacuum, and I have been very pleased with the performance and design. The initial investment has been worth every penny, as this vacuum cleaner is my number one weapon against pet hair.

These vacuums are quality products with some serious know-how behind the design and attention to detail. Dyson V6 is the older model, which has Dyson has upgraded to the V8. There are some enhancements in the new model, but both vacuums offer excellent results and value for money.

Our rating

In this review, I will be going over everything you need to know about the Dyson V6 and V8 stick vacuums. I decided to cover both of them in the same review, as they are very similar vacuums with V6 being the older version and V8 being the newer one with some upgrades. Both vacuums are top-level machines with top level performance and design. There are many useful features and details for pet owners, which I will go through next.

Dyson has been the pioneer and king of cordless stick vacuums, and when they introduced V6 to the market very few brands could match up with the quality, power, and ease of use. Dyson has revolutionized the cordless vacuum market, and many other manufacturers have copied their design and cyclonic filtration system.

I am a big fan of Dyson vacuums, and I certainly love the V6 model I have at home. Dyson has upgraded the V6 stick vacuum to V8 with careful consideration of the feedback they have received from their customers. Most of the small glitches have been taken care of and the Dyson V8 seems to be even more perfect than its predecessor.

I’ll introduce you to both V6 and V8 models, as they have some differences, but both are great vacuums for pet owners trying to wipe out the hair in their homes.

The older Dyson V6 continues to be the bestseller on Amazon mainly because of the price drop after the introduction of new model V8, but if you’re looking to invest in the stick vacuum that has it all, I recommend the V8 Absolute. It has all the features you need, combined with a battery that lasts up to 40 minutes!

Dyson has been listening to its customers, and the new V8 model promises more power, double the run time, better filtration and easier dirt cup emptying. With several attachments, it will take care of all vacuuming tasks you can imagine.

Key Features

Cordless with maximum performance and excellent run time

Both the Dyson V6 and V8 are cordless. A few years ago cordless vacuums did not come even close to the cleaning power of AC-powered vacuum cleaners, and they were mostly used for quick cleanups. All of this has changed, and many people reported using their Dyson as the only vacuum in their house – even with houses as big as four bedrooms!

The V8 motor runs with 425W power compared to 325W of the V6. The maximum suction power has also increased from 100AW on the V6 to 115AW on V8. This level of suction is superb for a cordless vacuum of this size.

The runtime of the older V6 model is 20 minutes when using non-motorized attachments, and it is decreased by a few minutes when you use one of the motorized attachment tools. In smaller houses, the 20 minutes run time is enough for basic vacuuming, but in bigger homes for a thorough job you need to go through the house in two or more vacuuming sessions.

The Dyson V8 model has doubled the maximum run time to 40 minutes, which should be more than enough for a thorough vacuuming in any house. However, also charging to full charge takes 5 hours instead of 3,5.

Both vacuums offer a max mode, which turns the vacuum to maximum suction for demanding tasks. This brings down the run time to 6-7 minutes, which is sufficient for some powerful spot cleaning.

Like all Dyson vacuums, these vacuums have a trigger-like mechanism that turns the power on. Releasing the trigger turns the vacuum off, which maximizes the runtime as the motor will only be turned on demand. Some users said the trigger can cause strain on your finger when vacuuming for long periods, but having used the Dyson V6 for two years, I can say the trigger is very light and not once have I experienced strain on my finger when vacuuming. The trigger design does, however, maximize the runtime and that is a huge plus!

The vacuums have fade-free lithium batteries, which allow you to use stable maximum power until it suddenly drops off when the battery runs out. This feature means the power won’t fade towards the end of your vacuuming session and you always have the maximum performance of the vacuum at your use.

Large dirt cup with hygienic emptying system

Both Dyson V6 and V8 are bagless vacuums with a washable dirt cup. The dirt cup capacity is 0.11 gallons on the V6 and Dyson has increased it to 0.148 gallons with the V8. This increase is a nice bonus for people with pets that shed a ton of hair.

You can empty the V6 model by releasing the bottom of the dirt cup over a trash can allowing all the collected dirt and debris to fall out. The system works well with dirt, dust, soil and other debris, but sometimes larger quantities of long pet hair can get packed tight inside the container, and you need to pull them out with your fingers. Although it’s no big deal, doing this can be nasty.

Dyson did hear out their customers and did some upgrades when designing the dirt cup for the V8. The capacity was increased, and they also designed a new system to make the emptying process even quicker and easier. In the V8 vacuum, you use a lever to pull up the cyclonic system, which releases the bottom of the bin and ejects all content. No need to pull anything out, no need to deal with the hassle of detaching. Just one click, and it’s done.

Lightweight and easy to use

Both vacuums are lightweight and therefore ergonomic and practical. The slim design makes vacuuming between and around furniture smooth, and low profile on the cleaner heads allow you to reach under very low furniture.

The weight is 4,5 lbs for V6 and 5,8 lbs for the V8. The increase results from the bigger battery and dust cup. Even with the increased weight, The Dyson V8 is very lightweight, and weight distribution allows you to vacuum ceilings as well as under furniture easily. With most of the weight positioned on the part you are holding, you won’t have trouble lifting the vacuum to take care of those spider webs in the corners of your ceiling.

The V6 and V8 are cordless, which means you don’t have the hassle of switching outlets or getting the cord tangled. It’s also great for stairs because of its lightweight and compact design. The narrow cleaning head fits well on a step, and it is easy to carry from stair to stair. If you have carpeted stairs, you will love the mini motorized tool for some efficient pet hair removal.

Adaptability

In addition to the powerful suction, what makes this vacuum such an excellent pet hair vacuum is the adaptability that comes with many practical attachments and well thought out design.

The vacuum comes with a mountable charging dock, which is such a helpful and handy addition. Place the dock in a convenient location, and you will always have your Dyson charged and ready to go. The only way to achieve a pet hair free home is to vacuum regularly. When you have a clever and easy to use tool always at hand, you are more likely to grab that vacuum and keep your home tidy.

When you purchase a Dyson stick vacuum, you actually get two vacuums in one. With one simple click, you can detach the wand, and you have yourself a powerful handheld vacuum for small cleanups around the house or in your car.

You also have many different attachments, which allow you to clean all kinds of spaces and surfaces efficiently. For floor cleaning, the direct-drive cleaner head is designed for carpets, and the soft roller cleaner head takes care of even the finest dust on hard floors.

The mini motorized tool takes care of pet hair on upholstery and fabrics, and of course, you have a crevice tool, dusting brush, and a combination tool.

Also, there is an extensive collection of all kinds of add-ons that will benefit users with different interests. Pet owners will be happy to know, that Dyson has a tangle-free turbine for vacuuming long pet hair and even a grooming tool for dogs. Read more about the attachments and add-ons below.

Noise level

The noise level in this vacuum is quite good. Of course, the mute button for vacuums has yet to be invented, as strong and powerful motors are bound to make some noise. But for a strong cordless vacuum, the Dyson has a moderate noise level.

The V8 is even quieter than its predecessor at 70dB -  this is a 50% reduction from the older V6. They have added acoustic felt and closed cell foam inside the motor to absorb vibrations and streamlined airways that reduce turbulence. The new V8 motor is quieter, has a lower pitch and less aggressive sound, which can be better tolerated by pets.

Filtration

The Dyson V6 and V8 vacuums have two stages of filtering dirt from the exhaust air blown out of the motor. First, you have the 2-tiered cyclonic system with 15 cyclones, which increases airflow and uses centrifugal force to separate dust and dirt from the air. After the cyclones, the air is pushed through a filter that captures all the remaining dust, dander, and other small particles.

Dyson vacuums have washable lifetime filters that save you money in the long run. Just wash them under running water and let them dry completely before placing them back. Easy and simple maintenance.

The Dyson V6 Absolute and all the Dyson V8 models have HEPA-filters. The HEPA filtration captures 99,97% of particles as small as 0,3 microns. The cyclone system, post motor filter, and a sealed system mean that the air blown out is actually cleaner than the air you breathe.

Performance

Pet Hair Removal

Both Dyson V6 and V8 get compliments from people using them. They get excellent ratings in user reviews, including my survey. Even though being cordless both of these products do an excellent job of cleaning up all kinds of dirt. The suction power is measured at 100AW for V6 and 115AW for V8, which is excellent for a cordless, lightweight vacuum.

For pet hair removal on fabrics, the good people at Dyson have designed a very efficient tool called the mini motorized brush. It is a small brush roll with stiff bristles that are designed to grab ground in dirt and hair from fabrics to pull them into the suction. This tool is a blessing for all pet owners struggling to vacuum up persistent pet hair. It even deals with the short spiky pet hair that usually just won’t budge no matter how many passes you make.

For pet hair on carpets or floors, you have the soft roller cleaner head and the direct-drive cleaner head. Both are well functioning, and efficient tools with some serious thought put into the design.

Also, all the Dyson vacuums come with a “max” mode. Turning this feature on triples the suction power, but decreases the run time to about 7 minutes. You can use this feature with larger debris like spilled pet food or small pebbles brought in by your pet.

Carpet

Although I tend to think a Dyson stick vacuum can take care of any cleaning job that is thrown at it, if you have a lot of high pile carpeting at you home, you should consider buying a stronger upright vacuum. High pile carpets are the extreme challenge for all vacuum cleaners, and for vacuuming larger areas of such carpeting, a stick vacuum would probably not be the most practical one.

That said, the Dyson V6 and V8 both do a very good job in cleaning low to medium pile carpets thanks to the direct-drive cleaner head with the brush roll. The first time I used my Dyson V6 on my thick medium pile rug, I was blown away by how must dirt, hair and dust it was able to pick up. The brush roll is just so efficient in pulling out all the dirt and hair.

Bare Floors

For hard floors, you can certainly use the direct-drive head with the regular brush roll, but Dyson has an even more efficient attachment for vacuuming fine dust and dander off hard floors. The soft roller cleaner head has a more delicate and very dense brush roll, which Dyson has designed for bare floors.

It has short and soft fabric like bristles that resemble a microfiber mop, which enables it to closely sweep bare floors lifting up all kinds of dust, dirt, and debris in its way.

The bristles are soft, which is why the spinning brush won’t send larger debris like food pellets flying around. Instead, the soft brush sort of engulfs this kind of bigger debris and slings it back for the suction to pull in.

Upholstery

Again, I thank the design team at Dyson for designing a perfect tool for pet hair and dirt removal on furniture, bedding, and fabrics. The mini motorized tool with its motorized brush roll is something you can rely on to thoroughly clean your sofas, recliners and car seats. You can use it for carpeted stairs, mattresses and other upholstered items.

My dogs love my couch and spend their day laying around shedding and waiting for me to come home from work. I used to get stressed out thinking what was waiting for me at home; a dark gray couch covered in golden pet hair! The mini motorized tool is one of the reasons I praise my vacuum. With a daily quick cleanup with this attachment, my couch now looks presentable and tidy.

Attachments

Dyson stick vacuums come with a great set of attachments, and you can buy more to cover even the most specific cleaning jobs. The V6 and V8 product lines offer you a choice between a few different models.

The motor and cyclonic filtration are the same throughout a product line, but the attachments that come with the vacuum vary. In the V6 series, if you have pets, we recommend the Dyson V6 Animal since it comes with a mini motorized tool perfect for removing pet hair. If you also want HEPA filtration and the soft roller head, you should get the V6 Absolute. In the V8 series, the V8 Animal comes with the mini motorized tool and HEPA-filtration, and the V8 Absolute adds the soft brush tool for hard floors to the package.

The Dyson attachments that are available include a combination tool for crevices and surfaces, a crevice tool for hard to reach places, a mini motorized tool to remove pet hair and ground-in dirt from furniture, and a soft dusting brush for gentle dusting. All vacuums have the direct-drive brush roll cleaner head for all types of floors and carpets, and the V6 and V8 Absolute also come with an additional soft roller cleaner head, that is perfect for cleaning up larger debris on hard floor surfaces. The Absolute model is the most versatile as it has specific cleaning heads for both carpets and hard floors in addition to all the other attachments.

The direct-drive cleaner head is excellent at removing pet hair from carpeted floors, and the soft roller cleaner head does the same on hard floors. The tools are attached and released in no time at all, so I have found it easy and simple to switch between different surfaces while cleaning. You do have to carry the tools around, as there is no place to attach them to on the vacuum, but I haven’t found this too complicated.

Pet owners will love the mini motorized tool. It’s 6 inches wide and has a motorized rotating brush with stiff nylon bristles. It is extremely efficient in removing pet hair from sofas and other furniture. I would like it to be a bit wider, but that is just a small glitch.

If you have pets with long hair, you should also consider buying the Dyson Tangle-Free Turbine. It is an excellent tool for vacuuming all kinds of fabrics covered with long pet hair without having to sort out tangled hair from the rotating brush.

And if you’re having a tough time dealing with all the dog hair around the house, you can also buy the Dyson grooming attachment designed for dogs with medium or long hair. This add-on actually sucks up all the loose hair, dead skin cells and allergens while grooming your dog. It helps you remove all the loose dog hair before it is shed all over your sofas and carpets.

A wall-mounting docking station is also included, which makes the vacuum easy to grab for use and to place back again for charging. I set my docking station inside a kitchen closet, where the Dyson is within reach at all times and always fully charged - but still out of sight. It’s amazing how little the Dyson takes up space when stored and how quickly you can grab it for use. I actually started vacuuming once a day, as it was no bother at all to quickly take the Dyson V6 around the main living areas of the house.

Differences between V6 and V8

The main difference between the older V6 and the newer V8 is the runtime that has doubled. In the V8 model, the battery is chunkier, and the vacuum weighs a bit more, but the battery also does have more capacity, and the runtime has increased from 20 mins to 40 mins. The lithium battery won’t start fading with time, so you will always have the full power for your use.  It does take 5 hours to get the V8 fully charged compared to 3,5 hours with V6. But this really isn’t an issue in practice, since nobody does a thorough vacuuming every few hours and for smaller cleanups don’t need a fully charged vacuum.

The difference in weight is so small you won’t notice it when vacuuming. The dirt cup diameter is also slightly larger, which is good news for us who have pets that shed a ton of hair. The cup is even easier to empty. The V6 dirt cup often needs a tap on the side for all the pet hair to drop out, but in the V8 model, the central cyclone pulls away from the bin when the base flap opens ejecting all the debris.

The maximum suction power has increased from 100AW to 115AW, and all the newer V8 products have HEPA filtration. There are some other minor improvements, like the placement of the max mode switch and an even more comfortable clip for the attachments. Both V6 and V8 do have the same performance level in cleaning, as they both do an excellent job on all kinds of surfaces and with all kinds of dirt – pet hair and dander included.

Pros & Cons

+  Good cleaning results on all surfaces and with all kinds of dirt
+  Two vacuums in one – converts to a handheld vacuum
+  Powerful suction – best on the market in cordless vacuums
+  Max power mode for difficult cleanups
+  Runtime of up to 20 minutes in V6 and 40 minutes in V8
+  Mini motorized tool for stubborn pet hair
+  Many attachments and add-ons add to adaptability
+  Comes with a convenient docking station
+  Lightweight, slim and functional design
+  Large dirt cup with simple and hygienic emptying
+  HEPA filtration in V6 Absolute and all V8 models

- Price

Summing Up

Although Dyson vacuums are quite a bit pricier than other vacuum cleaners in the stick vacuum category, you do get excellent quality and a versatile vacuum to meet all your needs.

In addition to doing a great job in vacuuming hard floors and carpets, the Dyson vacuums can be used as handheld vacuums to clean sofas, curtains and such. Many pet owners also appreciate the fact that this vacuum cleaner can be used to vacuum the car. You can even buy extras such as an extension hose and a groomer.

Even in bigger houses, this could be the only vacuum you need.

If you really want to invest in a powerful stick vacuum that you can use throughout your house, I would recommend buying the Dyson V8 Absolute. It has all the bells and whistles the V6 boasts, but it comes with the V8 motor that doubles the run time from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Now that’s impressive for a cordless vacuum.

I own the Dyson V6 and has worked flawlessly for me – even with two golden retrievers testing its limits every day. The versatility, performance, and ease of use it offers are just incredible and having seen the improvements V8 has to offer; I will be investing in one soon to make vacuuming an even less of a chore.

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