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Dyson V15 vs V11

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Dyson V11 vs V15

Our Dyson V15 vs V11 comparison includes carpet cleaning tests, hair cleaning tests, hard floor cleaning tests, noise level tests, battery life tests and much more.  The V11 is the V15’s predecessor and while similar, there are a lot of differences between the two cordless vacuums.  One may be a better choice than the other but it really depends on your budget and your cleaning needs.

POPULAR V15 & V11 MODELS
There are currently two V15 models available in the USA, and two popular V11 models:

1) Dyson V15 Detect

Dyson V15 Detect

What you get with the V15 Detect:
- Handheld vacuum unit
- Wand
- Filter
- One click-in battery
- High torque cleaner head
- Laser slim fluffy cleaner head
- Wall mount
- Hair screw tool
- Combination tool
- Crevice tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Wand storage clip
- Charger
- LCD control panel

2) Dyson V15 Detect +

Dyson V15 Detect Plus
 

What you get with the V15 Detect +:
- Handheld vacuum unit
- Wand
- Filter (HEPA grade)
- One click-in battery
- High torque cleaner head
- Laser slim fluffy cleaner head
- Wall mount
- Hair screw tool
- Combination tool
- Combination crevice tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Low-reach adaptor
- Wand storage clip
- Charger
- LCD control panel

1) Dyson V11 Animal
 
Dyson V11 Animal 
 
What you get with the V11 Animal:
- Handheld vacuum unit
- Wand
- Filter
- High torque cleaner head
- Mini motorized tool
- Combo tool
- Crevice tool
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Wall mount
- Charger
- Wand storage clip
- LED control panel

2) Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Dyson V11 Torque Drive
 
What you get with the V11 Torque Drive:
- Handheld vacuum unit
- Wand
- Filter
- High torque cleaner head
- Mini motorized tool
- Combo tool
- Crevice tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Wall mount
- Charger
- Wand storage clip
- LCD control panel

Note:  There is a V11 Absolute model which includes both a high torque cleaner head and a soft roller cleaner head but it is not popular or easy to find in the USA, so we’ve left it out of this comparison.

TOOLS
Tools are shown in the lists above but the difference in tool sets between models is generally not dramatic. However there is one significant difference between the V15 and V11 tools - the V15's come with the new Hair Screw Tool and the V11’s have a Mini-Motorized Tool.  The Hair Screw Tool has anti-tangle technology (the Mini-Motorized Tool does not) and it does a great job of pulling up pet hair and keeping it off the brushroll. See video below.  

WEIGHT
Vacuum weights are very similar with the V15 being just a fraction heavier.
V15 = 6.79 lbs
V11 = 6.68 lbs

CLEANER HEADS
The V15 comes with two cleaner heads:
1) High torque cleaner head with anti-tangle technology

Dyson V15 high torque cleaner head

The high torque cleaner head is predominantly used for carpet but can also be used on hard surfaces.  The V15 high torque cleaner head includes anti-tangle technology in the form of a specialized brushroll and a 56 tooth comb built into the cleaner head.  This helps reduce hair/string/thread tangle.

2) Laser slim fluffy cleaner head

Dyson V15 laser slim fluffy cleaner head

The laser slim fluffy cleaner head is solely for hard surfaces and it performs much better on hard surfaces than the high torque cleaner head.  This cleaner head also has a bright green laser than illuminates the surface in front of the vacuum highlighting hidden dust/debris.  We’ve tested the laser and it actually works.  See video below:

We’ve also read a host of V15 owner reviews and were surprised at how many people really like the laser feature.  

The V11 comes with one cleaner head:
1) High torque cleaner head

The V11 high torque cleaner head does NOT have anti-tangle technology.  See images below that show the undersides of V15 and V11 high torque cleaner heads.

v15 high torque cleaner head - underside

V11 high torque cleaner head - underside

Since the high torque cleaner head is the only cleaner head you get with the V11 it is used on both carpet and hard surfaces.  You can buy a V11 compatible soft roller cleaner head separately for use with the V11 if you wish.  The soft roller cleaner head is much better on hard surfaces than the high torque cleaner head.

LCD DISPLAY & CONTROLS
V15 Detect – LCD Control Panel
V15 Detect+ – LCD Control Panel
V11 Animal – LED Control Panel
V11 Torque Drive – LCD Control Panel

The control panel on the V11 Animal is LED (not LCD).  The LED control panel provides three bars for battery charge, shows power modes, and has trouble lights for filter cleaning and vacuum blockages (it doesn't have the run-time countdown / video clips / etc that you get with the LCD control panel).  A button on the LED control panel also allows you to choose power mode.  See image below:

V11 Animal control panel

The V11 Torque Drive and V15 Detect LCD control panels are very similar but the V15 has a few extra alerts and features.  Probably the most significant V15 feature that you don’t get with the V11 involves an acoustic piezo sensor that counts the dust particles entering the vacuum and categorizes each particle into a size range, feeding this info in real time to the LCD screen.  The screen then displays a color coded, dynamic bar chart for each range of particle sizes being picked up by the vacuum (see image below).  In addition, the dust particle figures are used to adjust power on the fly when the vacuum is in AUTO power mode. More dust equals more suction power and vice-versa.

Dyson V15 LCD control panel

So in AUTO power mode the V15 power is automatically adjusted depending on the floor type and the dust level.  While the V11 automatically adjusts power in AUTO power mode depending on only the floor type (there is no acoustic piezo sensor counting dust particles).

SUCTION POWER
In ECO power mode both the V15 and the V11 have the same suction power.  However the V15 has more power than the V11 in MEDIUM and BOOST power modes.  As a matter of fact the V15 has about 24% more power in BOOST mode than the V11.  See table below:

Power Mode Dyson V11 Dyson V15
ECO 26 Air Watts 26 Air Watts
MED 38.6 Air Watts 47 Air Watts
BOOST 185 Air Watts 230 Air Watts
 

BATTERY
V15
- 7-cell Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- 25.2 V
- 3600 mAh
- 91 Wh

V11
- 7-cell Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- 25.2 V
- 3600 mAh
- 91 Wh

Our V11 has a built-in battery.  On the Dyson.com site we noticed you can buy a “click-in” battery for a V11 – ours was not like this.  Our V15 does have a click-in battery and all V15 models come with this feature.

V11 vs V15 battery

The click-in battery is an excellent feature.  It allows you to charge the battery on or off the machine and it also allows you to buy additional batteries to effectively increase your run time (when one battery is depleted you can easily remove it and pop in another charged one).  The “click-in” battery system works very well.  Just depress a red button on the back of the battery and it pops right off.  It also easily clicks right back into place.  It takes seconds.

RUN TIMES - TESTED
We tested run times for both machines on carpet and hard flooring (tile).  

For V15 and V11 carpet tests the batteries were fully charged, the high torque cleaner heads were placed on medium pile carpet, and the suction control slider (on the front of the cleaner heads) were set in the middle.  For V15 hard floor tests the laser slim fluffy cleaner head was used (laser off) and for V11 hard floor tests the high torque cleaner head was used.

DYSON V15

POWER MODE CARPET - MEDIUM PILE
(High Torque Cleaner Head - anti-tangle)
HARD FLOOR - TILE
(Laser Fluffy Cleaner Head) 
ECO  43 min 31 sec  87 min 45 sec
AUTO  18 min 57 sec  43 min 13 sec
BOOST  11 min 49 sec  15 min 22 sec
 

DYSON V11

POWER MODE CARPET - MEDIUM PILE
(High Torque Cleaner Head)
HARD FLOOR - TILE
(High Torque Cleaner Head) 
ECO  55 min 14 sec  68 min 14 sec
AUTO  44 min 17 sec  42 min 36 sec
BOOST  12 min 52 sec  7 min 22 sec

 

There are some important figures in these run time test results.  They showed longer run times on carpet for the V11 than the V15, especially in AUTO power mode, and longer run times for the V15 on a hard surface than the V11.
 
FILTERS
The V11’s do not use a HEPA filter but, according to Dyson, the entire vacuum is capable of reducing particulate matter in the air to HEPA filter level.  We sometimes see this referred to as “HEPA level whole system filtration”.

The V15 Detect appears to have the same level of filtration as the V11’s.  However the V15 Detect+ actually has a HEPA filter.

The filters sit on the back of the handheld units in all V11 and V15 models and can be easily removed for cleaning.  They can be rinsed in water when they are dirty and then re-used.  Drying the filter takes about 24 hours.

HANDHELD UNITS
The handheld units are very similar but there are cyclone color differences between some models.  There is also a slight weight difference between the V15 and V11 handheld units (we’ve weighed both):

V15 = 4.52 lbs
V11 = 4.45 lbs

V11 vs V15 handhelds

DUST CANISTER
V15 and V11 dust canisters are pretty much the same.  They have a capacity of 0.2 gallons and they empty in the same manner.

NOISE LEVEL - TESTED
Using a digital noise level meter we performed noise tests on both vacuums.  On low pile carpet we placed a noise level meter 3 ft in front of the cleaner head (vacuum in upright position) and, with the high torque cleaner head attached, turned the vacuum.  We then recorded peak decibels over a 10 second period.

Power Mode Dyson V11 Dyson V15
ECO 63.7 dB 66.1 dB
AUTO 68.4 dB 67.9 dB
BOOST 71.0 dB 70.0 dB
 

The V15 was a little noisier in ECO power mode than the V11 but a little quieter in BOOST mode.  Noise levels were fairly close between the two machines in AUTO power mode.
 
CARPET CLEANING - TESTED
This test was performed on low pile carpet using a carefully measured amount of debris (flax seeds, chili flakes, split green peas).  The debris was laid in a 5 ft long line and each vacuum was run over the debris in a 10 second pass. Percentage pickup was determined.

Dyson V11 Carpet Test

V15 – High torque cleaner head with anti-tangle technology
V11 – High torque cleaner head

Power Mode Dyson V11 (pickup)
Dyson V15 (pickup)
ECO 96.7% 95.0%
AUTO 99.0% 99.0%
BOOST 99.2% 98.7%
 

Carpet cleaning results were pretty close between the two vacuums but maybe the edge went to the V11.  It could be down to the V15 cleaner head and the anti-tangle technology.  Is it possible the anti-tangle technology reduces pickup to some small degree?  We’ve sometimes seen this with Shark vacuums so it’s possible that is also happening here, but we cannot say for sure.  All-in-all carpet cleaning results between the two machines weren’t too far apart.

HARD FLOOR CLEANING - TESTED
This is a similar test to the carpet test but performed on a tile floor.

V15 – Laser slim fluffy cleaner head
V11 – High torque cleaner head

Power Mode Dyson V11 (pickup)
Dyson V15 (pickup)
ECO 84.4% 99.5%
AUTO 93.4% 99.9%
BOOST 96.0% 99.9%
 

The V15 does a much better job on hard floors than the V11 and this is certainly due to the different cleaner heads used.  The V11 is using the high torque cleaner head while the V15 is using the specialized fluffy cleaner head which has a soft brushroll.  Should you use a soft roller cleaner head with the V11 you will get similar hard floor pickup to the V15 (we’ve actually done the test in other articles).  We did not use a soft roller cleaner head with the V11 because the V11 Animal and the V11 Torque Drive only come with the high torque cleaner head.

HAIR TANGLE - TESTED
In this test we placed long black human hair and short white pet hair on low pile carpet and ran each vacuum over it.  The V15 anti-tangle technology works very well and there is virtually no hair left on the brushroll.  Despite not having anti-tangle technology the V11 still managed to keep the bulk of hair off the brushroll but there was still some (see video below).  The results tell us that prolonged cleaning sessions in a home with pets would likely result in more frequent cleaning of the brushroll with the V11 than the V15.

WARRANTY
The Dyson V15's and Dyson V11's carry a 2-year parts and labor warranty.

COST
Approximate costs for the different V15 and V11 models are provided below.  These are estimates only as costs vary from retail outlet to retail outlet and also over time.

V15 Detect = $700
V15 Detect + = $750
V11 Animal = $600
V11 Torque Drive = $700

We have noticed that the V11 Torque Drive is no longer appearing for sale on the Dyson.com website so it may be that it is being phased out.  However, we are still seeing it for sale on a number of other websites.
 
VERDICT
If you have pets the V15’s with their anti-tangle technology (which works well) are great choices.

If you have mostly carpet and don’t have pets, the V11s are good choices (better run times than the V15’s and solid carpet cleaning figures).  The V11 Animal is also the least expensive of the bunch.  

If you have mostly hard flooring then your best bet is a V15 because it includes the laser slim fluffy cleaner head (that has a soft brushroll) which does a great job on hard floors.  The V11’s do not include a cleaner head with a soft brushroll but you can buy one separately if you want (increases costs though as they are about $150).  The high torque cleaner heads only do an average job on hard floors.

If you have equal amounts of carpet and hard floors you may wish to consider the V15 as it comes with both cleaner heads (one for carpet and one for hard floors).  If run times become an issue (due to the V15’s shorter run times on carpet) you can always opt to get a second battery as the V15 has a swappable battery (although a second battery will cost about $150).  The V15 also has all the latest technology and the V15 Detect costs about the same as the V11 Torque Drive.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
You can find much more information on the V15 and V11 in our detailed reviews and articles:

Dyson V15 Detect Review
Dyson V11 Review
Dyson V11 Absolute vs Torque Drive vs Animal
Dyson V11 vs Dyson V10
Dyson V11 Outsize Review
Dyson V11 Outsize vs Torque Drive

 

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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.   


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