It would be nice if we were able to clean as often as we wanted–or rather, if we had as much time to clean as completely as we wanted–but if your life is anything like ours, it’s busy. Sometimes it’s too busy to do any cleaning at all, which is when robotic vacuums and mops come in handy. But at other times, when we can stand to do a bit more, it’s a question of how much portability we have to sacrifice to get the power we need.
Dyson gets this. They get it so well they’ll sell you full-sized uprights like the Ball Animal 2, handhelds like the V7 Car+Boat, and a pleasant blend of both in stick vacuum form, offering a mix of power and portability that helps you get things done without being tethered to power cords. Dyson calls their stick vacuums “Cord-Free.”The best out there’s the V8 Absolute, which we’ve reviewed and been thoroughly impressed by.
Today we’ll take a look at the previous generation Absolute, the Dyson V6 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum, and compare it directly to the reigning cordless champion, the V8 Absolute, to see which offers more for the money. To share our thoughts in ten seconds, we’d suggest buying the V8 for upgrades in suction, filtration, and battery life and sticking to the V6 to save a bit of weight. We fully review it below, and you can buy the V6 Absolute here.
Pros, Cons, and Key Features of the Dyson V6 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum
The Dyson V6 Absolute is an older flagship in the Dyson high-end portable vacuum line. Dyson typically refers to their luxury portables as “cord-free” or “cordless” while calling their low-end line “handheld.” In the cordless series, you get an extension hose to allow them to be used as stick vacuums; you also get improved battery life relative to the handheld series. The current cordless flagship is the V8 Absolute; the only other V8 model is the V8 Animal, which is essentially the Absolute with fewer accessories. You can also buy the V7 Motorhead, V6 Animal (which, once again, is the Absolute with fewer accessories), the V6 Fluffy, V6 Fluffy Pro, V6 Motorhead, and V6 Cord-Free; they mainly differ by accessories, suction, color, and battery life.
Key features in the V6 Absolute include a 20 minute battery runtime (12 minutes using the direct driver cleaner head, 6 minutes on max power mode) and six cleaning tools: a direct-drive cleaner head, a soft roller cleaner head, a mini motorized tool, a mini soft dusting brush, a combination tool, and a crevice tool. You’ll also get a docking and charging station to mount on your wall, Dyson’s 2 year parts and labor warranty, and an instruction manual. The V6 weighs 5.1 pounds on our scale, has 100 airwatts of suction, holds .11 gallons of dirt in its dust bin, and needs 3.5 hours to recharge its Lithium-ion battery.
What’s the difference between the Dyson V6 Absolute and the V8 Absolute?
As we noted when comparing the V6 Animal to the V8 Animal, when the models are the same but two generations apart, you’re going to see improvements. For us, the changes that make upgrades worth considering include boosts in battery life, suction, and filtration. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Perhaps the most significant upgrade is in battery life. While the V6 offers 20 minutes, you’ll get 40 minutes, or 100% more time, with the V8. It’s the difference between vacuuming the living room and vacuuming the living room, the car, and the kitchen. In other words, it’s a pretty big change. The difference also shows up with the motorized head, where you’ll get 12 minutes on the V6 but up to 25 on the V8.
While the difference in max mode runtime is much smaller (6 minutes in the V6, 8 minutes in the V8), it’s likely due to the increased suction in the V8 compared to the V6. The V8 can generate up to 115 airwatts while the V6 can’t suck any harder than 100 airwatts. Practically speaking, this means that if it takes you 10 minutes to clean up a living room full of Lab or Golden retriever fur with the V8, it’ll take you 12 minutes on the V6. The difference is slight, but it adds up fast when you realize it takes 3.5 hours to recharge the battery.
Third, the V8 Absolute includes whole machine HEPA filtration, and the V6 does not. This might not affect you if no one in your home suffers from allergies or asthma, but if you or someone you love benefits from more purified air, the greater filtration in the V8 Absolute might make a significant difference in comfort.
Besides these differences, the V6, at 5.1 pounds, is a few ounces lighter than the V8, which tips the scales at 5.8. Practically speaking, you’re not going to notice the difference unless you make a habit of holding one vacuum in each hand.
How well will the Dyson V6 Absolute clean up after kids, pets, and spouses?
When it comes to real world cleaning, most of the differences we just mentioned aren’t going to be noticeable unless you’re cleaning with both vacuums side by side. By itself, the V6 Absolute is a competent, powerful, and easy to use vacuum. No, it’s nowhere near as strong as a Ball Animal 2, but neither is the V8 Absolute, and more importantly, the Ball Animal 2 is nowhere near as light or portable as the V6 Absolute.
Why buy the Dyson V6 Absolute?
In conclusion, if your expectations are realistic, the V6 is functional enough to be your only vacuum, or at least the one you turn to most often. It will easily clean hardwood floors, low-pile carpets, tile floors, car seats, couches, minivan, car, and SUV interiors, and random odds and ends within the average home without breaking a sweat. While we wish it had more battery life, it’s easy to make that upgrade: it’s called the V8 Absolute. If you don’t need the additional power, suction, or filtration, save your money and stick with the V6. It’s still one of the best cordless vacuums on the market several years after its release.
If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can follow our efforts to keep maniacally reviewing home cleaning tools by shopping through our links above. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against every horror children, animals, and grown, yet messy humans can inflict upon a clean home.