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Best Dyson Cordless Vacuum – 2024 Dyson Buyer’s Guide

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With Dyson now selling several cordless vacuum models we thought it was time we put together a Dyson Cordless buying guide. We’ve purchased, tested, and reviewed pretty much every Dyson cordless stick vacuum since the V7. In this review, we’ll go over all the specs, features, and performance differences as well as give our picks for the Best Dyson cordless vacuums.

Skip to the Best Dyson Cordless Vacuum for 2024.

We’ll move through key features and technologies found in Dyson cordless vacuums highlighting which vacuums include them. The models we’ll be focusing on are Dyson’s V8, V10, V11, Outsize, V12, V15 and Gen5 Detect and Outsize stick vacuums. 

We reviewed Dyson’s V15 Submarine model which is Dyson’s first attempt at a wet/dry vacuum after this comparison was complete. Generally speaking, from the standpoint of vacuuming, its performance was the same as the standard V15.

Choosing the Best Dyson Cordless Vacuum
This guide: choosing the best Dyson cordless vacuum from these models. © Vacuum Wars

Dyson Models in this Guide

Dyson Gen5outsize

  • Flagship cordless with XL capacity
  • Laser Slim Fluffy Head
  • Digital Motorbar XL
  • 250 airwatts suction power
  • 140 minute max run time
  • On/Off button
  • Released: 2023

Dyson Gen5detect

  • Flagship cordless
  • Most powerful Dyson cordless
  • Laser Slim Fluffy Head
  • Digital Motorbar
  • 262 airwatts suction power
  • 70 minute max run time
  • On/Off button
  • Released: 2023

Dyson V15 Detect

  • Previous flagship cordless
  • Laser Slim Fluffy Head
  • Digital Motorbar
  • 230 airwatts suction power
  • 60 minute max run time
  • Trigger control
  • Released: 2021

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

  • Lighter alternative to V15
  • Laser Slim Fluffy Head
  • Digital Motorbar
  • 150 airwatts suction power
  • 60 minute max run time
  • On/Off button
  • Released: 2022

Dyson Outsize

  • Dyson’s first Outsize cordless
  • Digital Motorbar XL
  • 220 airwatts suction power
  • 120 minute max run time
  • Trigger control
  • Released: 2020

Dyson V11

  • Previous flagship cordless
  • Laser Slim Fluffy Head
  • Digital Motorbar
  • 230 airwatts suction power
  • 60 minute max run time
  • Trigger control
  • Released: 2021

Dyson V10

  • First Cyclone model
  • Motorbar
  • 150 airwatts suction power
  • 60 minute max run time
  • Trigger control
  • Released: 2018

Dyson V8

  • Dyson’s longest selling cordless
  • Motorbar
  • 115 airwatts suction power
  • 40 minute max run time
  • Trigger control
  • Released: 2016

Whole Machine Filtration

Some things apply to every Dyson cordless model. For example, every Dyson in this best Dyson cordless guide has fully sealed or whole machine filtration. This ensures that the microscopic dust and particles that the vacuum sucks up don’t leak back out of the vacuum.

Testing Dyson Cordless Vacuums
Testing the whole machine filtration of a Dyson cordless. © Vacuum Wars

It’s not something that you find on cheap cordless vacuums, and Dyson is one of the best in the business at it. That being said, the new Gen5 models have an upgraded HEPA filter which far exceeds the normal HEPA rating in America, offering even better filtration.

Automatic Suction Adjustment

One feature that Dyson helped to pioneer is the auto suction adjustment feature. When set to its auto mode, the vacuum will automatically adjust the power level, giving you more power when you need it but also less power when you don’t, saving battery life and improving performance.

Dyson Cordless Screen Displaying Auto Mode
Dyson cordless models with Auto mode adjust suction based on changing dirt levels. © Vacuum Wars

The V12 Detect, V15 Detect, and both Gen5 models have this feature. They adjust the suction based on how dirty the floor is, which they can determine thanks to their built-in particle counter—hence the “detect” in the name.

In terms of the basic job of picking up debris off the surfaces of hard floors and carpets, Dyson’s cordless vacuums are about as good as it gets, no matter which model you choose.

LCD Display

Another significant feature on Dysons is the LCD display, available on the V11 through Gen5 models. This shows which power setting the vacuum is on but, more importantly, how much battery life remains in real-time.

This can change depending on which attachments you’re using or which power level you’re on. We found this to be both very accurate and very useful.

Recording Dyson Cordless Vacuum Battery Run Time
Recording battery run time during our testing. © Vacuum Wars

The models with a particle sensor also display real-time information about the amount and size of the particles you’re picking up, which is cool but less useful.

On the Dyson V8 and V10, which lack a display, the vacuum simply shuts off when the battery is emptied.

Cleaner Heads

One of the more important differences is regarding their cleaner heads. All the Dyson cordless vacuums we’re including come with some type of combo head, meaning it can be used for hard floors or carpets

However, some Dysons also come with a soft roller head, known as a Fluffy Head, which is primarily for hard floors but excels in this capacity.

Dust Illuminated by Laser Light - Dyson Cordless Vacuum
The Laser Fluff Head models illuminate surface dust and debris. © Vacuum Wars

The Detect models have a green laser on their soft roller which illuminates debris that you might otherwise miss. While this feature existed on the V12 and V15 Detect, it became much brighter for the Gen5 series, and we genuinely noticed the difference.

The combo heads have undergone changes as well. They are now all termed “Motorbars.” There are at least three types: the regular Motorbar cleaner head, the Digital Motorbar cleaner head, and wider versions for the Outsize models called the Digital Motorbar XL

Motorbar Anti Hair Wrap Technology - Dyson Cordless Vacuum
Inspecting the Motorbar’s hair anti-tangle technology. © Vacuum Wars

A significant change is that all Motorbars now have Dyson’s anti-hair wrap removal system, which uses plastic comb-like structures to remove hair as you vacuum. In our tests we’ve found this to work extremely well. The combs help both pet hair and human hair make its way into the dust bin as opposed to being wrapped around the brushroll.

The V8 through V11 all utilize the new Motorbar cleaner head, while the V12 through the Gen5 series employ the upgraded Digital Motorbar. The primary difference between them is the three-level adjustment gate on the front of the Digital Motorbars, making them superior for vacuuming larger debris.

Attachments

Dyson provides a variety of unique tools and attachments, which vary depending on the package. We’ve listed several tools below.

  • Combination Tool (standalone or in-handle)
  • Crevice Tool (substituted in-handle on Gen5 models)
  • Hair Screw Tool
  • Motorized Screw Tool
  • Wand Clip (V12, V15)

Always verify which tools and attachments come with the specific Dyson cordless package you’re considering as not every vacuum has every tool.

Dyson Cordless Hair Screw Accessory
Testing Dyson’s Hair Screw upholstery tool which ships with all Dyson cordless models. © Vacuum Wars

Some of our favorite Dyson attachments include the new Motorized Screw Tool, a powered brush that is excellent for upholstery or furniture. Almost every Dyson cordless vacuum now comes with this tool, offering exceptional anti-tangle technology. We’ve tested it all sorts of ways with hair, and it does very well with human and pet hair, short and long.

Most also come with a Combo Brush Tool, which we’ve often noted as one of our favorite brush designs on a vacuum. It has large bristles that make it perfect for dusting.  

Combo Brush Tool - Dyson Cordless Vacuum
One of our all-time favorite accessories: Dyson’s Combo Brush tool. © Vacuum Wars

The Dyson V8, V10, V11, Outsize, V12, V15 and Gen5 models all come with a Crevice Tool and a wall mount. 

Built in Dusting Tool

Some V15 Detect models and all Gen5 (Gen5 Detect and Gen5 Outsize) have something new: a brush tool hidden inside the wand. This is a nice feature as these models essentially always have a dusting tool handy without having to carry one around separately.

One accessory that would make even the best Dyson cordless even better would be a flexible extension hose. Dyson sells one that works with the Dyson Gen5detect, Gen5outsize, V15, V12, V11, V10, V8 and even the V7. There are third-party options, too. We think it adds a lot of convenience when using any of these cordless models as a handheld. 

Performance, Suction Power

Suction power spans from the V8’s 115 airwatts up to 262 airwatts for the Gen5 Detect model. Higher suction power is a good thing, but it isn’t always the best indicator of real-world cleaning performance. 

Still, every Dyson cordless vacuum listed here has above-average power. In terms of airflow, Dyson holds the top 7 positions out of over 70 cordless vacuums we’ve tested. 

Dyson Cordless Vacuums
The cordless models in the running for Best Dyson Cordless. © Vacuum Wars

This impressive power probably stems from Dyson’s in-house Hyperdymium motor. This power advantage also makes them better than average in our other cleaning performance tests, such as the Crevice Test or our Carpet Deep Clean Test.

Cleaning Tests

Our Carpet Deep Clean Test is designed to see how good vacuums are at picking up deeply embedded dirt in carpets. Our test results showed the Gen5 Detect, V15 Detect, Outsize, V11 and V10 as receiving a perfect score (100 out of 100). 

The Gen5 Outsize, V12 Detect Slim and V8 models were close behind, all scoring 96 out of 100. For comparison, the average score of over 70 cordless stick vacuums we’ve tested is a 92.

Carpet Deep Clean Test - Best Dyson Cordless
All Dyson cordless models performed well in our Carpet Deep Clean test. © Vacuum Wars

In terms of the basic job of picking up debris off the surfaces of hard floors and carpets, Dyson’s cordless vacuums are about as good as it gets, no matter which model you choose.

Earlier we’ve talked about Dyson’s soft roller performance, but we wanted to note that their 2-in-1 Motorbar combo heads are also quite good for hard floors. The only real difference to be aware of is that the V8, V10, V11 and V12, the models which don’t have the Digital Motorbars with the adjustable front gates, are not as good with larger debris. The difference is minimal, however.

Dyson Cordless Specs: Suction & Run Time

SuctionBattery Life
Gen5outsize250 AW70 min x2
Gen5detect262 AW70 min
V15 Detect230 AW60 min
V12 Detect150 AW60 min
Outsize220 AW60 min x2
V11185 AW60 min
V10150 AW60 min
V8115 AW40 min
Suction and battery life specs are from Dyson’s product manuals and website.

Handle Weight

When discussing weight and ease of use, handle weights vary from the V12’s 3.2 pounds to the Gen5 Outsize’s 5.7 pounds. That is a pretty significant difference. Every pound counts with cordless vacuums, as you need to support them with your forearm while cleaning. 

For this reason, the V8 and V12 offer the best ease of use. The V10, V11, and V15 are still relatively light, but the Outsize models are just too heavy for most people in our opinion. The tradeoff, of course, is those models’ larger bin capacities.

Dyson Cordless Specs: Handle Weight & Bin Capacity

Handle WeightBin Capacity
Gen5outsize5.7 lbs.1900mL
Gen5detect4.9 lbs.750mL
V15 Detect4.5 lbs.880mL
V12 Detect3.2 lbs.440mL
Outsize5.3 lbs.2200mL
V114.3 lbs.880mL
V103.6 lbs.760mL
V83.3 lbs.540mL
Handle weight is our own measurement. Bin capacity is from Dyson’s website.

Bin Capacity

Bin capacities vary across models, and the mechanism to empty them has remained consistent after the V8, utilizing a “trombone-like” mechanism. An additional ease-of-use factor is the presence of either a trigger or an on/off button, depending on the model.

Dyson Cordless Vacuum Size Comparison
Comparing sizes of Dyson cordless vacuums. © Vacuum Wars

Models with the trigger only run when the trigger is held down. The Dyson V8, V10, V11, Outsize and V15 Detect are trigger-equipped. 

The V12 Detect and both Gen5 models (Outsize and Detect) have an on/off button. It works as you’d expect: you press the button once to turn on the vacuum motor and again to stop it.

Official Battery Life – Low Power

Dyson makes some of the most efficient batteries in the industry in our opinion. 

Battery life, ranging from 40 to 70 minutes on a single charge (on the lowest power setting), is well above industry average. The Outsize and Gen5 Outsize both come with a second battery, doubling their cleaning time. 

Pet Hair Pickup Test - Best Dyson Cordless Vacuum
Testing Dyson’s soft roller head at pet hair pickup. © Vacuum Wars

The V12, V15, Gen5detect and Gen5outsize models have particularly efficient battery management thanks to their particle detection-based auto-suction adjustment feature.

For those familiar with older Dyson models, the V11 and Outsize used to have automatic suction adjustment, but this appears to no longer be the case.

Removable Battery

For those wanting more runtime, the V11, Outsize, V12, V15, and Gen5 series all have clickable or removable batteries, allowing the option of purchasing additional batteries if desired.

That leaves just two current Dyson cordless models, the V8 and V10 with permanently attached batteries. If the battery in one of these models fails, a replacement battery can be purchased and replaced with tools found in any home.

Best Dyson Cordless Vacuum 2024

Dyson Gen5detect

Dyson Gen5detect

Best Overall

Dyson V15 Detect

Dyson V15 Detect

Runner-up

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Lightweight Option

Dyson currently makes a good number of good cordless stick vacuums. So, which Dyson cordless vacuum is the best? We believe three models are particularly compelling: the Gen5 Detect, the V15 Detect, and the V12 Detect Slim. Which of the three is the best will depend on what you prioritize and price.

The Gen5 Detect currently ranks first out of over more than 70 cordless vacuums we’ve tested in terms of cleaning performance, but the V15 is a close second. The Gen5 does boast a few additional useful features, better filtration, and a brighter light on its Laser Fluffy Head, but price and availability could be deciding factors between the two. 

If you prioritize lightweight and ease of use, the V12 Detect is a solid choice, offering top-tier features only found in the best Dyson models in a much lighter package at the expense of some power and bin capacity. 

Budget Dyson Cordless Options

Dyson V8

Dyson V8

Best Budget Choice

Dyson V8

Dyson V8 Animal

Another V8 OPtion

Dyson V10 Animal Origin

Dyson V10

Good Value

If you’re on a budget, the Dyson V8, V8 Animal, or Dyson V10 are reasonable options. We actually like the handle style on the V8 more than the others. And, the V8 has been upgraded from its original version. The downside on the V8 is it’s much more limited cleaning time.  Summing it up, the V8 an V10 might not have the advanced features of the newer models, but they are still reliable choices.

Dyson Cordless FAQs

What about Dyson Animal, Absolute, Origin and Plus?

Dyson Animal, Absolute, Origin and Plus models are packages which come with different accessories. Since the V12 Detect Slim only the Absolute package has been used.

Do Dyson accessories work across cordless vacuum models?

Some do, and some don’t. For example, the Dyson V12’s attachments do not work with other Dyson models. But, attachments are interchangeable between the Dyson V7, V8,V10 and V11.

Do Dyson cordless vacuums have HEPA filters?

No. While all Dyson cordless models have some a whole-machine filtration seal of some sort, only select models include HEPA level filtration.

What is the most powerful Dyson cordless vacuum?

Currently the most powerful Dyson cordless vacuum is the Gen5detect. The Gen5detect delivers 262 AW (airwatts) of suction power, 12 airwatts more than the Gen5outsize and 22 airwatts more than the V15 Detect.

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