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Dyson V11 Animal Review

This premium offering from Dyson has some unique features but didn't quite do well enough to nab an award
The Dyson V11 Animal.
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Price:   $599 List | Check Price at Amazon
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  ⋅  May 23, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

One of the newest 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, we were quite mistaken. While the V11 Animal did do very well overall, its second-tier performance in our hard floor cleaning tests dropped it out of the running for the top spot, leaving the V11 empty-handed when it came to awards.


Compare to Similar Products

 
The Dyson V11 Animal.
This Product
Dyson V11 Animal
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award 
Price $599 List
Check Price at Amazon
$600 List
$498.00 at Amazon
$400 List
$399.99 at Amazon
$500 List
Check Price at Amazon
$300 List
$219.99 at Amazon
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Pros Good at cleaning carpets, convenientUnmatched cleaning performance, very convenient and easy to useGreat battery life, fantastic at cleaning hard floors, very easy to useCompact, great at cleaning carpet, convenientFantastic cleaning power, versatile, easy to use
Cons Didn’t do as well as we hoped with hard floors, expensiveExceptionally expensive, on the loud side, doesn't pick up well when going "reverse" over debrisA little priceyShort battery life, expensiveHeavy, loud
Bottom Line This premium offering from Dyson has some unique features but didn’t quite do well enough to nab an awardBy far the best of the best when it comes to these products, but your pocketbook is definitely going to take a hitThe Shark IONFlex is an exceptionally easy to use product that cleans well and sweeps away the rest of the competitionThis high-end cordless model is one of the best you can get, but comes at a premium priceFor those that need a product to handle heavier messes, the Rocket is a great bet
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories Dyson V11 Animal Dyson V10 Absolute Shark IONFlex Dyson V8 Absolute Shark Rocket...
Convenience (35%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Hard Surface Cleaning (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Ease Of Use (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Carpet Cleaning (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Dyson V11 Animal Dyson V10 Absolute Shark IONFlex Dyson V8 Absolute Shark Rocket...
Weight 6.7 lbs 5.9 lbs 8.9 lbs 5.6 lbs 10 lbs
Cordless Battery Life 12:30 min:sec 8:19 min:sec 11:44 min:sec 8:19 min:sec N/A
Maximum Corded Reach N/A N/A N/A N/A 33.5 ft.
Measured Charge Time 220 min. 190 min. 210 min. 240 min. N/A
Noise Level 77 dBa 78 dBa 74 dBa 77 dBa 77.5 dBa
Model Number V11 V10 IF200W (we tested) V8 HV380W
Battery Type Lithium-ion NCA or Li-aluminum (a type of Lithium-ion) Lithium-ion Lithium-ion N/A
Measured Cleaning Path Width 9" 9" 8" 9" 8"
Variable Suction Control Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Brush On/Off Switch: No No Slows the brush for hard floor No Slows the brush for hard floor
Storage Wall Mount only Wall Mount Freestanding
in MultiFLEX storage mode
Wall Mount only Wall Mount; Or can detatch the top and hang it on the bottom and have it stand upright
Bag Type Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless
Swivel Head Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soft Bumper Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cordless Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The V11 Animal finished just behind the Shark Rocket DuoClean and ahead of the Eureka PowerPlush. The PowerPlush is a little more convenient to use than the V11 due to its longer battery life. It also did a bit better at cleaning hard floors than the V11 and costs a bit less. However, the V11 has more cleaning modes and does a far better job at cleaning carpet. The Rocket is also quite a bit less expensive than the V11 and can't match it at cleaning soft floors but it does do significantly better at cleaning hard floors, all while being about the same in terms of convenience and ease of use.

The V11 Animal excels at cleaning up messes on carpet.
The V11 Animal excels at cleaning up messes on carpet.

Performance Comparison


In our quest to find the best stick vacuums on the market, we have extensively researched an enormous number of vacuums to identify which ones have the most potential. We then bought all these contenders to test head-to-head in four weighted rating metrics, with the V11's performance in each highlighted below.

The V11 has a comfortable grip.
The V11 has a comfortable grip.

Convenience


Starting off, we began by rating and scoring how convenient it is to use each of these stick vacuums, with the performance in this testing metric accounting for 35% of the overall score for each product. We based this on how easily the V11 cleans other areas of your home besides the flooring, its weight, storage method, and its battery life. The V11 did well, earning a 7 out of 10.

This vacuum includes a wide variety of different attachments and fitting, 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.

The V11 Animal is about average in weight for these products, weighing in at just shy of 7 lbs.


This cordless vacuum did earn some extra points for a solid battery life, improving a bit on its predecessors. The V11 lasted for about 12.5 minutes on its boost setting on the short-pile carpet and took about 3.75 hours to completely recharge when the battery was totally depleted.


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

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

Hard Surface Cleaning


After convenience, each vacuum's performance when it came to cleaning hard floors carried the most weight, accounting for 30% of the final score. We spread out rice, flour, cereal, pet hair, and oatmeal 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 that completely eluded the vacuum. The V11 did well, earning a 7 out of 10 but didn't match the performance of the top products, which largely contributes to it failing to claim an award.

This vacuum does not include a hard floor brush like other Dyson models, hindering its performance slightly. The V11 did about average at collecting the rice we spread out, getting the single grains and smaller piles without much difficulty. However, it also did tend 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.

It did a little better with the flour but still didn't do as well as the other Dyson models that have 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 at cleaning, 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.

The V11 did do an excellent job with the pet hair, collecting all of it without issue and did quite well when it came to sucking up Cheerios. 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.

It finished out this test with a great showing in our final test: cleaning up oats. It didn't fling any to the side, like with the rice, and got the vast majority on the first pass. It doesn't do the best at cleaning them up in reverse but only left trace amounts behind.

This model has a simple and elegant user interface.
This model has a simple and elegant user interface.

Ease of Use


For our next metric, we focused on the ease of operating the Dyson V11, looking specifically at the different power modes available, the ease of cleaning under furniture and along walls, its maneuverability, and noise level. These account for 20% of the Animal's final score, with it earning a 7 out of 10 for its results.

This stick vacuum is about average in terms of noise, measuring in at 77 dBa on high and 64.5 dBa on low.


The V11 has an excellent reach when trying to clean under furniture, able to reach about 33" under our simulated testing "sofa" with the handle in the normal orientation. You can even make it further if you twist the handle but this isn't the most comfortable on your wrist. It 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.

The V11 Animal leaves a lot to be desired when cleaning in tight corners, but it does do well at cleaning 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.

You also have the option of three cleaning modes to use on the V11: 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 with the Boost and Eco modes. Auto mode is a neat addition that should 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.

The V11 handles carpet messes with ease.
The V11 handles carpet messes with ease.

Carpet Cleaning


Our fourth and final metric assessed the carpet cleaning performance of each product, accounting for the remaining 10% of the score for each vacuum. We used the same sample messes as our hard floor metric, this time spreading them out on both flat and fluffy carpet for the V11 to clean. It did very well, earning an 8 out of 10.

This vacuum did exceptionally well at cleaning up the flour from the low-pile carpet, delivering one of the best performances we have seen to date. It gets over 90% of the flour in normal mode. If you increase the power with Boost mode, then the V11 leaves 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.

It also did very well with the pet hair, only leaving one or two stray hairs behind on the flat carpet. For our remaining three tests in this metric, we tested the V11 on both the 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 fills up quickly.
Have a pet? The V11 makes quick work of cleaning up pet hair but fills up quickly.

It did a solid job at collecting Cheerios on both types of carpet, though it does tend to push them around for a bit on the medium-pile carpet before actually collecting them. Oddly enough, the V11 Animal did significantly better at sucking up the rice from the fluffier carpet than the flat carpet — opposite to how most vacuums did. It does a good job of getting the grains from the piles, collecting 95+% in only two passes. It tends to throw the rice to the side a bit on the flatter carpet and leaves more residual grains but still got the bulk of the rice.

The V11 doesn't do so hot while "reversing" over debris.
The V11 doesn't do so hot while "reversing" over debris.

The V11 did about the same with the oats, getting far more from the fluffy carpet than the flat carpet.

The V11 versus oats on fluffy carpet.
The V11 versus oats on fluffy carpet.

This vacuum tends to drag the oats around instead of collecting them when you pull the vacuum back towards you, same as with rice.

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