Reviews You Can Rely On

Dyson V11 Animal Review

This premium offering has some unique features but didn't quite do well enough to nab an award
Dyson V11 Animal
Credit: Dyson
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $599 List
Pros:  Good at cleaning carpets, convenient
Cons:  Didn’t do as well as we hoped with hard floors, expensive
Manufacturer:   Dyson
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 28, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 14
  • Convenience - 35% 7
  • Hard Surface Cleaning - 30% 7
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Carpet Cleaning - 15% 8

Our Verdict

As one of the top-tier stick vacuums from Dyson, we initially thought that this product would be a shoo-in for an award based on the performance of their previous models. However, this isn't how things played out. While the V11 Animal mostly did very well overall, its second-tier performance in our hard floor cleaning tests dropped it out of the running for a top spot. That said, it performed very well on carpet and offers three cleaning modes so you can prioritize battery life or the mess at hand, depending on your needs.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Dyson V11 Animal
This Product
Dyson V11 Animal
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $599 List$330 List
$329.99 at Amazon
$400 List
$356.49 at Amazon
$115 List$40 List
$34.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
72
80
78
65
48
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good at cleaning carpets, convenientConvenient to use, great at cleaningFantastic at cleaning hard floors, very easy to use, swappable batteriesGreat value, convenient, does well with hard floorsDecent at cleaning hard surfaces, inexpensive
Cons Didn't do as well as we hoped with hard floors, expensiveA bit loudA little priceyCould be better at carpetHarder to use, loud
Bottom Line This premium offering has some unique features but didn't quite do well enough to nab an awardIf you are looking for the absolute best of the best when it comes to stick vacuums, this is one of our all-time favoritesThis is an exceptionally easy to use product that cleans well and sweeps away most of the competitionIf you are shopping for a stick vacuum and don't want to break the bank, then we think this is a great optionThis inexpensive model cleans decently, especially when it comes to hard surfaces
Rating Categories Dyson V11 Animal Shark Rocket Pet Pro Shark IONFlex Moosoo XL-618A VonHaus 600W 2-in-1
Convenience (35%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Hard Surface Cleaning (30%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Carpet Cleaning (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Dyson V11 Animal Shark Rocket Pet Pro Shark IONFlex Moosoo XL-618A VonHaus 600W 2-in-1
Weight 6.7 lbs 7.8 lbs 8.9 lbs 5.1 lbs 4.5 lbs
Cordless Battery Life 12:30 min:sec 20:37
min:sec
11:44 min:sec 22:40 min:sec n/a
Maximum Corded Reach n/a n/a n/a n/a 21 ft
Measured Charge Time 220 min 150 min 210 min 340 min n/a
Noise Level 77 dBa 73 dBa 74 dBa 67 dBa 77 dBa
Model Number V11 IZ163H IF200W XL-618A EPT2
Battery Type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium-ion n/a
Measured Cleaning Path Width 9" 10.25" 8" 7.75" 8.75"
Variable Suction Control Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Brush On/Off Switch? No Slows the brush for hard floor Slows the brush for hard floor No n/a
Storage Wall mount only Freestanding in MultiFLEX storage mode Freestanding in MultiFLEX storage mode Wall mount only Stands up; falls over easily
Bag Type Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless
Swivel Head? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Soft Bumper? Yes No Yes Yes No
Cordless? Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Dyson V11 Animal offers multiple cleaning modes and excellent carpet cleaning abilities. It failed to impress us to the same degree on hard surfaces and will put quite a dent in your wallet, but there's no doubt that this is a well-designed vacuum in most respects.

Performance Comparison


The V11 Animal excels at cleaning up messes on carpet.
The V11 Animal excels at cleaning up messes on carpet.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


We began by rating and scoring how convenient it was to use each vacuum to clean other areas of the home besides the flooring, and assessing the weight, storage method, and battery life. The V11 did well here, as it includes a wide variety of different attachments and fittings, letting you clean practically anywhere in your home — even the really hard-to-reach areas. All of the attachments use a single-button locking mechanism that is super easy to engage or disengage.

The V11 is very easy to empty.
The V11 is very easy to empty.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The V11 Animal is about average in weight for these products, tipping the scale at just shy of 7 pounds. It's cordless and provides solid battery life, improving a bit on its predecessors. The V11 lasted for about 12.5 minutes on its boost setting and short-pile carpet and took about 3.75 hours to recharge completely once the battery was depleted.

Unfortunately, this vacuum is not balanced to stand on its own, so it either needs to be propped against something, or you need to use the included wall mount to store it.

The V11 has a comfortable grip.
The V11 has a comfortable grip.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Hard Surface Cleaning


After convenience, each vacuum's performance when it came to cleaning hard floors carried the most weight. We spread out rice, flour, cereal, pet hair, and oats on a section of hardwood laminate floor, noting how quickly and easily each vacuum cleaned up the mess and if there was any residual debris. The V11 did well but didn't match the performance of the top products, which largely contributes to it failing to claim an award.

The V11 does not include a hard floor brush like other Dyson models, hindering its performance slightly. It performed about average at collecting the rice we spread out, getting the single grains and smaller piles without much difficulty. However, it also tended to fling plenty of rice to the side.

The V11 models don't come with a hard floor brush.
The V11 models don't come with a hard floor brush.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance improved a bit with the flour but still wasn't as impressive as other Dyson models with a hard floor-specific brush. We tried out the V11 in all of its different cleaning modes for this test, finding the "Boost" mode to be the most effective, as it was the only one that could pull flour out from the cracks between boards. Overall, it got the majority of the flour up relatively easy.

Flour was no match for this model.
Flour was no match for this model.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The V11 did an excellent job with pet hair, collecting all of it without issue, and did quite well when sucking up Cheerios as well. It got all of the cereal on the first go, but it only has enough clearance to pick them up between the notches on the brush head. From there, the V11 finished out this test with a great showing in our final test: cleaning up oats. It didn't fling any to the side and got the vast majority on the first pass. It doesn't do the best at cleaning them up in reverse but still only left trace amounts behind.

This model isn't as effective as its predecessor at cleaning up hard...
This model isn't as effective as its predecessor at cleaning up hard floor messes.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


We focused on ease of operation for our next metric, looking specifically at the different power modes available, the ease of cleaning under furniture and along walls, maneuverability, and noise level.

The V11 Animal is about average in terms of noise and has an excellent reach when cleaning under furniture, reaching about 33" under our simulated testing "sofa" with the handle in the normal orientation. You can make it reach further if you twist the handle, but this isn't the most comfortable on the wrist. This vacuum also is highly maneuverable, with a swivel head.

The swivel head makes it really easy to maneuver around obstacles.
The swivel head makes it really easy to maneuver around obstacles.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The V11 leaves a lot to be desired when cleaning in tight corners, but it did well along the edges and walls of a room.

We were left wanting more out of the V11 in corners.
We were left wanting more out of the V11 in corners.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

This vacuum also has the option of three cleaning modes: Eco, Boost, and Auto. This lets you decide if you need to maximize cleaning power for stubborn messes or battery life if you want to clean a larger area. Auto mode is a neat addition that aims to provide you with the best balance between performance and runtime, automatically adjusting power based on the amount of mess and the type of floor you are cleaning.

This model has a simple and elegant user interface.
This model has a simple and elegant user interface.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Carpet Cleaning


Our fourth and final metric assessed the carpet cleaning performance of each product. We used the same sample messes as our hard floor metric, this time spreading them out on both flat and fluffy carpet. The V11 did exceptionally well at cleaning up flour from low-pile carpet, delivering one of the best performances we have seen to date. It removed over 90% of the flour in normal mode. When we increased the power to Boost mode, this powerhouse left practically no flour behind at all.

Flour is almost no match for the V11 on short carpets.
Flour is almost no match for the V11 on short carpets.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The V11 also did very well with pet hair, only leaving one or two stray hairs behind on flat carpet. For our remaining three tests in this metric, we tested on both flat and the fluffy carpet, only omitting the fluffy carpet test with flour and pet hair since that is a bit much to ask of any stick vacuum.

Have a pet? The V11 makes quick work of cleaning up pet hair but...
Have a pet? The V11 makes quick work of cleaning up pet hair but fills up quickly.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The V11 did a solid job at collecting Cheerios on both types of carpet, though it tended to push them around for a bit on the medium-pile carpet before collecting everything. Oddly enough, this vacuum did significantly better at sucking up rice from the fluffier carpet than the flat carpet — opposite to what we've observed with most vacuums. On flat carpet, it often threw the rice to the side, leaving more residual grains. That said, it still got the bulk of the rice when all was said and done.

The V11 doesn't do so hot while "reversing" over debris.
The V11 doesn't do so hot while "reversing" over debris.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The V11 did about the same with oats, getting far more from the fluffy carpet than the flat carpet. It did, however, drag the oats around instead of sucking them up when pulling the vacuum backward, the same as with the rice.

The V11 versus oats on fluffy carpet.
The V11 handles carpet messes with ease.

Value


The V11 is an abysmal value, as it performed comparably to vacuums that cost substantially less.

Conclusion


While we initially had high hopes for the Dyson V11 Animal, we found it to be a slight disappointment, failing to snag an award. There are a handful of other vacuums that we would recommend over this one when it comes to performance, with quite a few being less costly as well.

David Wise and Austin Palmer