Dyson V8 Absolute Review
Pros: Compact, great at cleaning carpet, convenient
Cons: Short battery life, expensive
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Bringing the cyclonic separator technology from its line of upright vacuums, Dyson has made an excellent cordless stick vacuum with unmatched prowess at cleaning carpets. This compact vacuum can clean everywhere from your floor to your ceiling — provide you can finish before the battery dies.
To see which of these products came out on top and were worthy of awards, we conducted a rigorous series of side-by-side tests, assigning each product a score from 0-100. These tests were split among four metrics — Convenient, Hard Surface Cleaning, Ease of Use, and Carpet Cleaning — each weighted based on their importance.
Earning the most weight out of any of our rating metrics, Convenience is king when it comes to these products, accounting for 35% of the total score. To test this, we compared how well each vacuum did at cleaning non-floor areas of your home, its weight, battery life or maximum reach, whether or not it was cordless or corded, as well as it storage method — whether or not it could stand upright or be mounted to a wall. The V8 scored very well, earning a 7 out of 10.
The V8 tied with the Shark Rocket for being the best of the bunch at cleaning non-floor surfaces, with tons of attachments and accessories to clean all of those tricky places around your home.
On top of that, it is exceptionally easy to switch between attachments, with simple locking buttons holding them securely in place until depressed. This vacuum is about average in terms of weight, weighing in at 5.6 lbs — right in the middle of the group, as shown in the following chart.
This is a cordless model, earning it a few more points than the corded models when it came to convenience. However, this model lost some points when it came to battery life, having one of the shortest runtimes of the group.
We did run this test at the maximum cleaning power, so it would extend a bit if run on a lighter cleaning mode. It takes about four hours to recharge the battery, so this model isn't suited for particularly long or deep cleans of your house. It is much more suited for cleaning up a single, small mess or cleaning a small amount of space. The V8 is intended to be stored using the included wall mount bracket, though it could be stored upright if leaned against a wall or another piece of furniture for stability.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Ranking behind our Convenience metric in terms of importance, comprising 30% of the total score for each vacuum in our review. We used a section of hardwood laminate floor as our test surface, conducting tests with oats, rice, flour, pet hair, and cereal as messes for each model to clean up. The Dyson V8 did very well.
For the first test — rice collection — the V8 delivered an unremarkable performance. This vacuum did a decent job, taking about 1.5 passes to clean the test area, but it did fling some grains of rice around, especially when rice was piled up slightly. We used the hard floor brush at the normal speed and suction setting. In contrast to its mediocre performance at collecting rice, the V8 did an amazing job at collecting flour from the hardwood floor. This vacuum essentially received top marks — on par with the Shark Rocket. It even removed flour that was trapped in the cracks between boards.
The V8 carried its excellent performance over to our cereal collection challenge, being one of the first Dyson vacuums that we have tested that did not become clogged when tasked with collecting Cheerios. Usually, the crushed cereal dust would prove an impossible challenge, but the V8 did a great job overall.
It continued its solid performance into our oat collection challenge, only taking a single pass to clean the floor. Bette yet, it didn't fling oats everywhere, like its counterpart the V6 did. Finally, the V8 did a respectable job of collecting the tufts of pet hair we laid out, tying with a handful of other models for the top score.
Ease of Use
Next up in our testing series was our Ease of Use metric, taking credit for 20% of the total score. We based the scores of the noise level of each vacuum, its ability to clean under furniture and in close to edges, as well as the different cleaning power levels available. The Dyson V8 again scored very well, tying for the top spot.
The V8 has both a high and low power cleaning mode available to use, with the low power mode being a great option for lighter messes or when you want to conserve battery life. This model doesn't really have an option to turn off the rotating brush, rather you switch brush heads and have a switch on top of the brush head to adjust the amount of suction. Moving on to the next test, edging, the V8 did a great job, collecting all of the rice along the wall without any difficulty.
This model of vacuum also did an excellent job at cleaning underneath furniture, earning one of the top scores of the group. To test this, we crafted a simulated sofa out of boxes and measured how far each model could reach under — in the case of the V8, an astonishing 37".
This model has swivel steering, making it very maneuverable and agile.
The V8 is on the quieter side when it comes to these products, measuring in at 77 dBa on our SPL meter.
This model can also store two of the included attachments in the mount.
For our fourth and final metric, we compared the skills of each stick vacuum at cleaning carpets. This metric accounts for the remaining 15% of the total score. We used pet hair, oats, cereal, flour, and rice as our sample messes, using both low-pile and medium-pile carpet as our test floors. The Dyson V8 delivered a fantastic performance, earning an 8 out of 10 and nabbing the top spot.
This model did exceptionally well in our rice collection test, earning top marks in both the flat and fluffy carpet version of this test. For the flat carpet test, the V8 picked up the majority of the rice in two passes. It also did an amazing job on the medium-pile carpet, leaving almost no rice for the cleanup vacuum to pick up. The V8 also distinguished itself in the flour test, performing by far the best out of the entire group.
This vacuum also did very well at collecting Cheerios, once again breaking the trend of crushing up the cereal and becoming clogged, like other Dyson models we tested were prone to doing.
It took minimal effort to clean low-pile carpet and while it did begin to pile up the cereal, it sucked all of the Cheerios up with only a slight delay. The Dyson V8 continued its exceptional performance into our oat cleanup test, with only trace amounts of crumbs left behind. In fact, it looked comparable to the performance of some of the better upright models in the fluffy carpet test. Finally, this model continued to show its carpet cleaning prowess in our final test, pet hair collection, collecting the vast majority of the hair we laid out.
While the Dyson V8 is a great stick vacuum and the best cordless model you can get, it definitely isn't cheap and you are going to have to pay a hefty sum to get it.
Earning one of the top scores, the V8 is an all-around, fantastic cordless stick vacuum that is exceptionally easy to use, convenient, and has superb cleaning powers. Unfortunately, it is a bit on the pricey side and doesn't have the longest battery life.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer