Best Dyson Vacuum Cleaner: Which One is Right for You?

Stick vacuum, upright, barrel and handheld, if you’re a fan of the brand and are thinking of purchasing a Dyson, this expert guide will help you choose the best Dyson vacuum cleaner for your situation.

best dyson vacuum cleaner
image credit: Dyson Australia

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So you’ve decided to bite the bullet and get one of those sleek and sexy Dysons everyone’s been raving about. But which one is most worth the investment?

We have to give credit where it’s due, Dyson vacuum cleaners have changed the standards for what we expect from vacuum cleaners forever. Strong suction, long battery life, each new model with more clever technology than the model previous. But does that automatically make the most recent model the one you should buy? Not necessarily.

Your budget is the main determiner with these expensive machines, but double the cost does not mean double the power. In fact, the costing on most of these machines comes down to recency of release, rather than specs.

Dyson is far and away the biggest vacuum brand selling in Australia, with their innovative bagless technology and excellent design forging a path for other brands to attempt to replicate. However, with so many models and options on the market, confusion is compounded by significant risk of making an expensive mistake.

Our complete expert guide will help you choose the best Dyson vacuum and will arm you with the knowledge of what to look for and how to carefully select which model is going to suit your needs.

Dyson V11 Absolute Extra

 Best For Wooden Floors 

1. Dyson V11 Absolute Extra

The best Dyson vacuum for all floors that money can buy

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One of the latest and greatest, the V11 Absolute Extra is the best Dyson cordless vacuum with the most innovative tech function. It has suction to outperform many modern corded vacuums, best quality-of-life features like LCD screen, and the most purpose-specific array of attachments yet.

The latest in technology has been included in this clever machine, with a motorised vacuum head programmed to sense all changes in flooring. As your top-of-the-range machine glides from carpet to hardwood to tiles, it will automatically adjust suction power, removing all traces of microscopic dust while protecting your more delicate Persian rugs.

An LCD screen is built into the handle showing you an array of information at a glance, in an intuitive and easy-to-read layout. Apart from battery and power settings, the screen will let you know when your filter needs to be changed, or when a blockage in your machine is affecting performance. A short video clip will even play to show you how to remove blockages in your machine, saving you the hunt for your long-lost operation manual.

The basic, non-Absolute V11 model is already loaded with attachments, including crevice tool, combo tool, mini soft brush, stubborn dirt brush, and a mini motorised tool for stairs and places like your dog’s bedding that you need to peel fur out of.

The Absolute was initially released as the premier model, with a soft fluffy roller that vacuums and buffs harder floors. This roller head also came with the V8 and has been made softer and clingier to dust, making this model the best stick vacuum for hard floors available.

Now the Absolute has been replaced by the Absolute Extra, the same unit with slightly newer technology, and some new extra tools: a dusting brush, flexible crevice tool, and mattress tool to beat out dust mites.

Dyson V11 Outsize

2. Dyson V11 Outsize

Best Dyson vacuum for large homes

The other strongest submodel option of the latest Dyson V11 is the Outsize. Dyson has decided to load the V11 with such specified features that the vacuum is now being sold in four different models: The basic torque-head model, the Absolute Extra with extra tools, and the Outsize and Outsize Pro for larger areas.

The Outsize model has the same specs as the basic V11 in most ways except size. Same dust sensor technology, whole-machine filtration system, LCD screen and basic attachments.

The self-adjust vacuum head, however, is 25% wider to cover more floor with each sweep. The dust bin is a whopping 50% larger, meaning less emptying and more dust removal, without sacrificing any power through the larger space.

In fact, the V11s have such strong power that many modern corded vacuums cannot even match up. These are the first cordless vacuums on the market to ever have the capacity to reasonably replace your older upright or barrel vacuum.

Of course, if you just can’t pick between these two modern marvels of technology, and money is no issue, you can also order the ostentatiously shiny golden Outsize Pro from Dyson’s website, which comes with both the extra tools of the Absolute Extra AND the extra capacity and width of the Outsize. We can’t fault the machine, some people just want the best, no matter the cost.

Dyson Cyclone V10

 Best For Carpets 

3. Dyson Cyclone V10

A cordless Dyson nearly as good as the V11, and nearly as cheap as the V8

If your store is having their periodic sale, you can sometimes find the Dyson V10 as cheaply as the V8, and if you do, buy it! The V8 and V10 are our mid-lower and mid-upper tier picks for best value for money, respectively. The V10 is essentially one notch better than the V8 in every way, without being that much more expensive than the V8.

The Dyson V10 introduced a high-tier digital motor provides powerful suction to remove even invisible dirt. It was also the release where Dyson moved the configuration of the motor, bin and cyclone in line with each other, allowing the motor to provide 30% more suction than the V8.

The battery too sees a massive upgrade. A seven-cell, nickel-cobalt-aluminium battery boasts a run time of over half an hour, even with the motorised head running. For extra battery saving, the Dyson V10 includes a “soft touch” trigger that reduces suction for gentler jobs like keyboards and blinds, increasing run time and keeping your delicate curtains intact.

Even the hygienic bin-emptying feature saw improvement. Now, rather than the trap-door bottoming out to release dust, these newer models have “point and shoot” emptying, that expels dirt to the bottom of your bin with some gentle force, avoiding a cloud of dust for you to breathe in when emptying.

The drop-in dock allows you to simply hang the unit on the wall to charge, without attaching any clumsy cords.

Dyson V8

4. Dyson V8 Animal

Best cordless Dyson for pet hair

The Dyson V8 has proved itself to be the best all-rounder on all lists, and it’s easy to see why. The V8 was the big release that took the revolution of the V7 and improved the battery, the motor, the suction, and the motorised head.

The high-tier digital motor is the gold standard for this price point, allowing significantly more suction than the V7, and this is what you need if you have a particularly messy baby or pets that shed.

Baby and pets will also be grateful for the acoustic engineering of the V8s, designed to dampen sound with internal shock materials to absorb vibrations, drastically reducing noise production for this and later machines.

The V8s feature whole-machine filtration, catching all particles down to a fraction of micron in the two-tier radial cyclones.

This particular submodel, the Animal, comes with a few extra attachments to make your life with pets easier. There are the regular crevice tool and multi tool, but additionally a soft brush tool for things like keyboards and TV screens – something we didn’t realise we needed and now can’t live without.

The other fantastic attachment is a mini motorised tool that is perfect for spot-cleaning pet fur and pet dander straight out of upholstery. The cat’s favourite armchair in the sun is begging for this, as is the dog’s backseat of your car.

Because this vacuum cleaner was such an easy seller, it tends to still be available in stores despite its age, which makes them more likely to periodically go on sale, too.

Dyson V7 Motorhead Origin

5. Dyson V7 Motorhead Origin

Best stick vacuum for a tight budget without skimping on performance

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If you want that awesome power of a cordless Dyson without breaking into your life savings, the V7 will more than comfortably meet all your basic needs, without any of the newest tech of the later models.

This was the model that made the cordless Dysons the revolution they are today, the moment when Dyson introduced whole-machine filtration to avoid leaking dusty particles, a hygienic dirt ejector to keep your hands filth-free when emptying, and the now-iconic “motorhead”.

The motorised head brought new competitive power to stick vacuums not seen before, where a direct-drive vacuum head was able to spin the brush, agitating and lifting dirt before sucking it up into the canister, reducing the power needed from the vacuum and increasing the longevity of the battery.

But the battery is unfortunately from that older technology, and this is the main drawback of the V7s. You can only realistically expect around 15 minutes of vacuuming on standard, so it might be best to spring the extra cash for the V8 unless you have a small home or are only expecting light daily cleans.

Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+

 Best For Hard Floors 

6. Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor+

A corded Dyson with the strength of a titan

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If you don’t mind the 12 metre cord, this is the best Dyson vacuum cleaner in terms of power-for-money ratio. This upright vacuum is the strongest Dyson ever released and will never lose battery over time.

Don’t let the apparent lack of features and attachments put you off, the Dyson Ball features excellent cyclonic filtration for capturing microscopic dust, and a HEPA filter to ensure collection of all dander and allergens, a must for asthmatics.

The “Ball” isn’t just for marketing purposes, it’s actually a functional wheel that pivots to all angles with a simple turn of your wrist. Most uprights require forward movement to spin the head around, but this ball allows you to spin while stationary, increasing manoeuvrability and cutting down on interference from the cord.

One excellent reason to consider a Ball over one of the stick vacuums is the stability of the machine. All the core components of the vacuum are stored in the iconic sphere at the base of the vacuum head, minimising the power lost to the motorised cleaner head and lowering the centre of gravity for super-smooth movement over your carpets and floors.

For vacuuming up walls and ceilings, the hose and wand can be released quickly for up-high vacuuming and getting into awkward crevices and stairs. Pro tip: If you’re finding the hose a little tricky to manoeuvre, stretch it out around the machine for a day and you’ll find it looser and slinkier to handle.

At 6.3 kilograms, it’s nothing like as light as the stick vacuums, but for those who have multiple storeys, this is a moderately manageable weight.

The self-adjusting cleaner head seals in suction across carpets and hard floors for multi floor versatility, so you’ll never miss a line of dust where your living room rug meets the hardwood.

Dyson DC65 Animal

 Best For Pet Hair 

7. Dyson DC65 Animal

The strongest suction on this list

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If you have a family member with allergies, a baby who likes to chew on dust bunnies, or pets that shed a LOT, you’re going to need a vacuum cleaner that get absolutely everything the first time. With 270 air watts of suction, this vacuum cleaner is the answer.

Despite being the same price, this is quite a different machine from the Light Ball Multi Floor+.

The vacuum is almost twice the weight, for starters. At over 11 kilograms, this is unlikely to be your first choice for multi-storey homes.

The DC65 Ball Animal has the same self-adjusting cleaner head technology as the Light Ball Multi Floor+, but with a reconfigured brush bar with 25% more power for driving bristles deeper into carpets.

The tangle-free turbine tool is also an amazing innovation, with dual heads that rotate counter to each other, fur and hair is agitated to be vacuumed up without getting stuck in the mechanism. Unfortunately, this leaves a single where the brushes don’t touch each other, meaning you’ll have to perform two strokes for every line of vacuuming.

Bin capacity comes in at 2 litres, which is going to make busy parents and fur-parents grateful for less emptying. A large trap door bottoms out to release the dirt for easy cleaning, hygienically removing dirt from the bin without covering your hands.

The cord is slightly shorter, but 10 metres is more than long enough for most homes. The hose releases easily to snake into trickier areas, and attachments can be used together to ensure you lift every skerrick of fur from under the couch.

A word of warning, the suction is so powerful on this machine that you may find the motorised head to be way too hard on your carpets and rugs. We recommend turning the motorised head off if you’re finding the vacuum cleaner is getting stuck on medium pile carpets and “fluffing up” your short pile rugs.

Dyson V7 Trigger Handheld

8. Dyson V7 Trigger Handheld

The best Dyson for handheld jobs

If you already have your stick or barrel vac needs sorted, and you just want high suction for a small space like the granny flat or car, then a handheld Dyson is just what you need.

At a fraction of the cost of the rest of Dyson’s range, the V7 Trigger Handheld is designed to clean up spills and get into tight spaces without losing that amazing powerful suction.

As with the other V7s, the 2-Tier Radial cyclones suck messes through the whole-machine filtration system, with the same fast digital motor that revolutionised the vacuuming market. It also includes the regular multi-tool and crevice attachments.

Up to 30 minutes of suction is more than enough for these dustbusters, but Dyson has included this high-performance fade-free battery to allow for the option of using MAX mode for heavy messes.

How to choose the right Dyson for you

Cordless, upright, or barrel? The first decision to make is between the famous cordless Dyson stick vacuums, and their less famous corded brothers, the Cinetic Big Ball barrel series and the regular Ball upright vacuums.

  • Corded barrel. While the Big Balls are appealing for their lower price, large canisters and self-cleaning filters that don’t need maintenance, they’re hard to recommend because they’re usually around 8 kilograms, bulky and unwieldy, and not as powerful as the two uprights on our list. None of the Cinetic Big Ball range has made any of our lists of top vacuum picks.
  • Corded upright. Ball upright vacuums come highly recommended for the power-hungry. A cord does get in the way, and may involve plugging and unplugging multiple times for larger spaces, but will increase the longevity of your machine because the battery can never fade. 5-6 kilograms isn’t the easiest to manoeuvre, and the high-suction makes this tougher still.
  • Cordless stick. The Dyson cordless stick vacuums are the breakout superstars for a reason. 2-3 kilograms of feather-light hard-hitting suction is tough to beat. The best vacuum cleaner is the one you don’t put off using, and the light manoeuvrability of these machines makes the chore so fast and easy you’ll find it gets done more regularly. The main drawback of stick vacuums usually is the battery technology that struggles to keep up with the features of the machine, resulting in vacuums that only last a few years before the battery gives out. Dyson’s most recent releases will suffer far less from this and should provide several years of fade-free suction, but keep in mind there is an inevitable end date.

Pets and Children

Your babies and fur-babies are the messiest joys, with sensitive little lungs and a penchant for eating floor crud. For them, you want the tools that get into all the corners. For guests and family members with allergies to pets, you want to prioritise excellent filtration.

  • Attachments. Your dependents are grubby little cuddle monsters that drag cookie crumbs and kitty litter from the living room to your bedroom. This is the one situation where attachments serve a vital use, so look out for wands, hoses and accessories that extend or at least easily clip in and out. The motorised mini-tool is an absolute winner here, if the model you want doesn’t come with it, consider purchasing it separately.
  • Filters. Another important factor is filtration. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air filtration, and is the international standard for removing allergens and dander from your carpets, a massive relief for those with pet allergies or sensitivities to pollen and dust. All the Dysons from V7 onwards have a sealed whole-machine filtration system, which is comparable to a HEPA filter with additional pre-filters to keep the bulk of debris in the chamber for better filter function. Earlier Dysons have HEPA and non-HEPA models, so check for the indigo HEPA attachment above the handle before buying.

Power vs cost

You’ll notice our Dyson stick vacuum section has four price-points: premium, upper-mid, lower-mid, and budget. The V11 Absolute or Outsize, V10 Cyclone, V8 Animal, and V7 Motorhead are demonstrably the best Dyson for that tier, and those tiers are separated mostly by power and battery.

  • Motor. Pets and children will put a heavy emphasis on power for pickup of larger debris and fur in your decision-making process. More recent Dysons have a digital motor that is hard to beat, but powering the motor is going to be the difference between getting more dust with each pass. Dyson’s more recent models have been streamlined to make best use of the digital motor, requiring less suction to do the same job.
  • Battery. Not an issue for the corded models of course, but the longevity of your cordless vacuum will depend entirely on battery. The V7 has an underwhelming run time of around 15 minutes, but anything from V8 onwards has some of the best battery tech available, and should provide enough power to pick up debris on first pass for years. The V7 and V8 are definitely overshadowed by the battery tech of the V10 and V11, but remain competitive against their peers from other brands.