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Dyson V10 vs V11

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Dyson V10 vs V11
With the release of the Dyson V11 cordless stick vacuum many consumers are pondering whether or not to buy its predecessor the V10 or to try the new kid on the block, the V11.  In this article we analyze, discuss and test both vacuums in order to help you make the right choice.

POPULAR V10 MODELS

There are three popular V10 models - the Motorhead, the Animal and the Absolute.
 
THE V10 MOTORHEAD is the bare bones V10.  It includes the following:
- Direct drive cleaner head
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool

V10 Motorhead
 
THE V10 ANIMAL includes the following:
- Torque drive cleaner head
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Mini motorhead tool

V10 Animal
 
THE V10 ABSOLUTE is the top-end V10.  It includes the following:
- Torque drive cleaner head
- Soft roller cleaner head
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Mini motorhead tool
 
V10 Absolute
Note that only the V10 Absolute comes with the soft roller cleaner head (shown in image above).
 

POPULAR V11 MODELS

There are two popular V11 models available in the US at this time - the V11 Animal and the V11 Torque Drive.

 
THE V11 ANIMAL includes:
- High torque cleaner head
- Mini motorized tool
- Combo tool
- Crevice tool
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Docking station
- Charger
- Wand storage clip
- LED control panel
 
V11 Animal
 
THE V11 TORQUE DRIVE includes:
- High torque cleaner head
- Mini motorized tool
- Combo tool
- Crevice tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Docking station
- Charger
- Wand storage clip
- LCD control panel
 

V11 Torque Drive
Outside of the US the V11 Absolute is also popular (this is the one we have).  It is the same as the V11 Torque Drive except it also includes the soft roller cleaner head.  All the V10 & V11 tools are shown below. We've also divided them so you can see what comes with the V10 Absolute and what comes with the V11 Torque Drive.
 
V10 vs V11 Tools

 

CLEANER HEADS

There are a host of cleaner heads between the two vacuum series and it can be a little confusing.  We've tried to create an image that shows what head appears on what model:
 
V10 vs V11 cleaner heads
 
Below you can see our V11 with the High Torque cleaner head and the V10 with the Torque Drive cleaner head.  These two cleaner heads look physically the same to us (besides the color scheme).
 
Dyson v10 vs Dyson V11
 

DISPLAY & CONTROLS

The V10 has 3 charging lights at the bottom of the handle which indicate how much charge the battery is holding.  This is useful while charging and also while vacuuming.  In addition, there are lights that illuminate to show if there is a clog or an issue with the filter.  These charging lights and trouble lights are the extent of the V10’s “display”.

V10 Battery Power Lights 
 
The V11 Torque Drive has a much more sophisticated system. 
 
V11 vs V10 controls
 
There is an LCD control panel on the back of the handheld unit that provides:
 
- Choice of language
- Reminds you when to clean the filter
- Tells you if the filter is not fit properly
- Informs you of any blockages
- Displays the power mode
- Continually reports remaining run time in each power mode
- Indicates when the battery is in need of a charge
 


 
Also, the LCD interface shows short video clips to resolve issues - see video below for short clip illustrating issue with unseated filter:
 

 
Note that the V11 Animal does not have an LCD control panel.  It has an LED control panel which is much simpler.  It has 3 bars for the battery charge, power mode indicators, trouble lights (filter and clog), and a button to change power modes. One of the main things missing (when compared to the LCD display) is the remaining run time in each mode.
 
Dyson V11 Animal LED 
 
When charging the V11 a pulsing blue light at the bottom of the handle shows it is being charged.  This light turns off when the battery is fully charged.
 

SUCTION POWER

Both the V10 and V11 have three power modes.  The V10 has: 

- LOW
- MED
- MAX
 
These are selected via a slider on top of the V10 handheld component. 
 
Dyson V10 Power Slider Switch
 
The V11 has:
 
- ECO
- AUTO or MED
- BOOST
 
These are selected by pressing a button on the LCD/LED control panel (see video in Display & Controls section above).
 
What are the V11 AUTO and MED power modes? AUTO mode only appears as an option when the High Torque cleaner head is attached. When any other tools are used the MED mode appears.  This is because the High Torque cleaner head has a sensor that measures brushroll resistance, and when in AUTO mode the vacuum considers this resistance and adjusts the motor speed accordingly to optimize power and run time.  This is especially useful when transitioning from bare floors to carpet and vice-versa – you don’t have to manually adjust suction.  Only the High Torque cleaner head has this sensor so AUTO mode doesn’t work with other tools.  Note that none of the V10 cleaner heads have sensors.
 
The following table shows the "official" suction for the V10 and the V11 in the different power modes.
 
V10 vs V11 SUCTION
Power Mode Dyson V10 Dyson V11
LOW/ECO 15.8 Air Watts 26 Air Watts
MED/MED 33.8 Air Watts 38.6 Air Watts
MAX/BOOST 151 Air Watts 185 Air Watts

As the table shows the V11 produces more suction than the V10 in all power modes.  AUTO mode is not included here as the suction varies depending on the floor type.
 

BATTERY

The V10 battery pack is the same for all V10 models and has the following specifications: 

- 7-cell Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- 25.2 V
- 20.8 A
- 2600 mAh
- 66 Wh
 
The V11 battery pack is the same for all V11 models and has the following specifications:
 
- 7-cell Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- 25.2 V
- 21.6 A
- 3600 mAh
- 91 Wh
 
The V11 battery is noticeably larger and heavier than the V10 battery (see image below).  It’s also larger than all previous Dyson stick vac batteries - the V8, V7 and V6.
 
Dyson V10 vs V11 Battery
 
In addition, it takes about 29% longer to recharge the V11 than it does the V10.  The V11 recharge time is 4.5 hours compared to only 3.5 hours for the V10.
 

RUN TIME - OFFICIAL

The following table shows the “official” figures for Dyson V10 and V11 run time (battery life) when using the Torque drive / High torque cleaner head.

RUN TIME - OFFICIAL
Power Mode Dyson V10 Dyson V11
LOW/ECO 35 min 60 min
MED/AUTO 20 min 40 min*
MAX/BOOST 6 min 6 min
 
*The V11 figures we got from Dyson. Clearly V11 run times in AUTO mode will vary depending on the floor type, so the 40 minutes is likely some kind of estimate or average.
 

RUN TIME - TESTED

We have both the Dyson V10 Absolute and the Dyson V11 Absolute so we ran the vacuums in each power mode, and using a stopwatch we recorded the time it took before the vacuums stopped.  Before starting each run we ensured the battery was fully charged, the dust canister was empty, and the filters were clean.  We ran the vacuums with the Torque drive / High torque cleaner heads on medium pile carpet.  The results were as follows:

RUN TIME - TESTED
Power Mode Dyson V10 Dyson V11
LOW/ECO 40 min 17 sec 55 min 14 sec
MED/AUTO 20 min 23 sec 44 min 17 sec
MAX/BOOST 7 min 14 sec 12 min 52 sec

The V11 battery life was not incrementally longer than the V10, it was substantially longer.  In AUTO mode the V11 actually gave us more than twice the run time of the V10.  Even BOOST mode, while pumping out 23% more power than the V10 in MAX mode, lasted a full 5 min 38 sec longer (that’s 78% longer).

 

FILTRATION

Both the V10 and the V11 have HEPA level filtration and a sealed system.  The sealed system ensures that air does not leak out around poor seals or cracks in the vacuum prior to passing through the filters and being exhausted.  In short, it makes sure the air entering the vacuum is properly filtered before being released back into the room.  The filters are also good for the lifetime of the vacuum cleaner and are rinsable in water.

Both V10 and V11 filters are located at the back of the handheld component and are very easy to remove and to reattach.
 
Dyson V10 and Dyson V11 filters
 

DUST CANISTER

Dust canister capacities of the V10’s and V11’s are as follows:

DUST CANISTER CAPACITY
Dyson Stick Vac Model Dust Canister Capacity
V10 Motorhead 0.14 gallons
V10 Animal 0.20 gallons
V10 Absolute 0.20 gallons
V11 Animal 0.20 gallons
V11 Absolute 0.20 gallons
 
You will notice that the V10 Motorhead has a smaller dust canister – see image below (V10 Absolute vs V10 Motorhead).  The Motorhead is also quite a bit lighter than the other vacuums.  If weight is a concern you may wish to read our V10 Motorhead review.
 
Small V10 Motorhead Dust Canister
 
Both V10 and V11 vacuums empty in the same manner and have what Dyson calls a “Hygienic Dirt Ejector”.  This refers to an arrangement in which you are less likely to have to dig dust/debris from inside the canister (although you sometimes have to anyway).  Also, unlike the V6, V7, V8, you must remove the wand on the V10 and the V11 in order to empty the dust canister.
 
One thing we would like to highlight is that while the V11 emptying system is the same as the V10, for some reason we find the V11 easier to empty.  We’re not sure why but the V11 simply opens easier – it pushes forward more smoothly.  We actually broke our V10 canister due to the difficulty in emptying it (although we should have been more careful in hindsight – it was a little more delicate than expected).  We’re not sure if Dyson actually made any changes to make the V11 easier to empty or if our V10 was just a little more sticky than it should have been.

 

NOISE LEVEL - TESTED

We used a digital noise level meter that measures peak decibels to test both the V10 and the V11 in the different power modes.  We measured the noise at a distance of 3 feet from the front of the cleaner head on low pile carpet with the vacuums in the upright position.

NOISE LEVEL
Power Mode Dyson V10 Dyson V11
LOW/ECO 63.2 decibels 63.7 decibels
MED/AUTO 71.4 decibels 68.4 decibels
MAX/BOOST 72.5 decibels 71.0 decibels

 

Both vacuums are fairly quiet - especially in their lowest power mode.  On average however we would have to say that the V11 may be a tiny bit quieter than the V10.
 

CARPET CLEANING - TESTED

For these tests we created debris that ranged from fine to medium sized.  We used a carefully measured ground cheerios (fine), chili flakes (lightweight, small), flax seeds (heavier, small) and split green peas (heavier and larger).  Amounts were as follows: 

- 7.5g Ground Cheerios
- 5.3g Chili Flakes
- 17.8g Flax Seeds
- 24.0g Split Green Peas
 
This debris was mixed and placed in a 5 ½ foot long line on low-pile carpet.  The vacuums were passed over this line in an approximate 10 second pass. 
 
V11 & V10 carpet tests
 
Percentage debris pickup is provided below.
 
CARPET CLEANING TEST
Power Mode Dyson V10 (pickup) Dyson V11 (pickup)
LOW/ECO 94.9% 96.7%
MED/AUTO 98.5% 99.0%
MAX/BOOST 99.2% 99.2%
 
Cleaning differences were not staggering but the V11, for the most part, had the edge.  This is not surprising given the additional suction of the V11.  The big take away here (to us) is that the V11 provides slightly better carpet cleaning than the V10 WHILE having a much longer run time. 
 

BARE FLOOR CLEANING - TESTED

A similar test to that performed above was done on a tile surface.

V10 and V11 hard floor cleaning tests

Results below. 

BARE FLOOR CLEANING TEST
Power Mode Dyson V10 (pickup) Dyson V11 (pickup)
LOW/ECO 82.4% 84.4%
MED/AUTO 90.3% 93.4%
MAX/BOOST 96.3% 96.0%
 
In LOW and MED/AUTO modes the V11 marginally outperformed the V10 on the tile surface – although performance was pretty much the same in MAX/BOOST power mode (actually as you can see the V10 figures are a tiny bit higher although I don’t think you can read much into this).

We also did a test using the soft roller cleaner head. (one is provided with the V10 Absolute and the V11 Absolute).
 
BARE FLOOR CLEANING TEST - SOFT ROLLER CLEANER HEAD
Power Mode Dyson V10 (pickup) Dyson V11 (pickup)
LOW/ECO 99.5% 99.6%
 
Results were very good and pretty much the same for both vacuums.  Actually cleaning performance was so high in ECO/LOW mode that it was not really necessary to do tests in higher power modes.  It is apparent from this test that debris pickup was much better with the soft roller cleaner head than the carpet cleaner heads.
 

See other important V11 vacuum features in our comprehensive Dyson V11 Vacuum Review.

WEIGHT

The V11’s are the heaviest of the Dyson stick vacuums. This appears to be the price for longer run times and more power.  It is hard to have it both ways – unless you make a technological leap.  The table below shows the V10 and V11 weights.
 
DYSON V10 vs V11 - WEIGHT
Dyson Stick Vac Model Weight
V10 Motorhead 5.50 lbs
V10 Animal 5.90 lbs
V10 Absolute 5.90 lbs
V11 Animal 6.68 lbs
V11 Torque Drive 6.68 lbs
 
You can immediately feel the additional weight of the V11 when you use the vacuums one after another.  In terms of weight the V10 (especially the Motorhead) feels better. Lighter is usually nicer.  But when using the V11 in stick mode we didn’t find the extra weight too much of an issue.  It is in handheld mode where it was more noticeable.
 

HANDHELD VACUUM

Remember that these vacuums operate both as a stick vacuum and as a handheld vacuum.  When you remove the wand you have a handheld vacuum. Handheld weights for Dyson stick vacs have been slowly creeping up since the V6.  We have all of these vacuums and we weighed the handheld components of each on a scale.

Dyson Handheld units v6 to v11

HANDHELD VACUUM WEIGHT 
Dyson Stick Vac Series Handheld Weight (approx)
V6 2.9 lbs
V7 3.1 lbs
V8 3.5 lbs
V10 3.65 lbs
V11 4.45 lbs
 
You can feel the weight difference more when using the vacuums in handheld mode as the unit is often not resting on the floor but rather being held aloft.  The V11, in our opinion, is starting to push the boundary of what is comfortable and we wouldn’t want to use it for long handheld cleaning sessions.  Of course this depends on your arm/wrist/hand strength.
 

WARRANTY

All V10 and V11 models carry a 2-year parts and labor warranty.

 

COST

Costs are always difficult to nail down as they vary from retail outlet to retail outlet and they also tend to drop over time.  Nevertheless we have created a table of approximate costs (according to the manufacturer) at this time.

APPROXIMATE COSTS
Dyson Stick Vac Model Approx. Cost (USD)
V10 Motorhead $399
V10 Animal $499
V10 Absolute $599
V11 Animal $599
V11 Torque Drive $699

 

If the V10 is your thing, the advent of the V11 will undoubtedly start to push prices down.  Also, over time the V11 prices will come down as well, and we’ve already seen some small V11 discounts out there.  Up-to-date pricing on Amazon for these vacuums is shown in the links below.

 

VERDICT & BUYING TIPS

The V11 outperforms the V10 in both run times and suction power.  It also performed better in our cleaning tests on carpet and tile – but marginally.  The new control panel on the V11 Torque Drive is a pleasure to use and the real time display of remaining battery power is a nice feature.  However the V11 is a heavier machine than the V10 and it generally costs more.

Also, the V11 Animal and Torque Drive, while including a host of tools, do not include the soft roller cleaner head while the V10 Absolute does.  This cleaner head is much more effective on smooth flooring than the High Torque cleaner head (which is the only cleaner head provided with the V11 Animal and the V11 Torque Drive).  So…
 
  • If you have lots/mostly carpet and you don’t think the extra vacuum weight will be an issue for you then both V11's are great choices.  If you want the nice LCD interface with run time countdown, video clips, etc (and the additional mini soft dusting brush) the V11 Torque Drive is a great choice. It does almost everything well.
  • If you want the V11 but also want to save a few bucks and don't mind not having the fancier LCD control panel (and mini soft dusting brush) then the V11 Animal is a good choice. Cleaning performance is essentially the same as the more expensive V11 Torque Drive.
  • If you have lots/mostly bare floors and the V10 limited run times will not be an issue for you then you may want to consider the V10 Absolute which comes with two cleaner heads (torque drive and soft roller). The soft roller cleaner head provides the best cleaning performance on bare floors.
  • If you want something lighter, less expensive, and with decent cleaning performance on both carpet and bare floors then consider the V10 Motorhead (it comes with one direct drive cleaner head). But consider the shorter run times and small number of tools. You may want to read our V10 Motorhead review.

 

 

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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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