The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

Dyson V7 vs Dyson V11: Which cordless vacuum cleaner is best?

We pit two of the brand’s most popular models against each other to find out which is best for you

Kate Hilpern
Thursday 17 December 2020 18:17 GMT
<p>We tested running time, ease of use and functionality across different floor types</p>

We tested running time, ease of use and functionality across different floor types

Dyson is used to storming ahead of the competition when it comes to innovation and technology, and its cordless vacuums are no exception.

So much so that many people turn straight to this brand. And who can blame them? Whether it’s to accompany a bigger corded vacuum, or to take pride of place as your one and only floor cleaner, cordless models, and particularly those by Dyson, are having a moment.

That’s not to say that other brands are mere white noise – we have reviewed some beauties, including brands you may not have heard of. But, according to James Dyson himself, every penny of Dyson’s vacuum cleaner investment is now ploughed into cordless models. Cord-free vacuums, he says, are the future – and especially Dyson’s future.

As our IndyBest best buy in our round-up of the best cordless vacuum cleaners, we stand firm that the V11 is the mother of all cordless vacuums. But with an eye-watering price tag and a list of bells and whistles that supersede some people’s actual needs, it’s not for everyone, with the more affordable V7 arguably a better investment for certain households. 

So we’ve put the two machines head to head to find out which one you’re best off forking out for.

Cost, longevity, battery life, running time, ease of use and functionality across different floor types – we’ve left nothing to chance in our rigorous tests.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent. 

Dyson V11 absolute

Bagged or bagless? Bagless

Capacity: 0.76l

Charging time: 4.5 hours

Running time per charge: 60 minutes (12 minutes on turbo)

Weight: 3.05kg

Dimensions: 128.6cm x 26.1cm x 25cm

Variable power? Eco, auto and boost

An updated version of the V10, the V11 – which first appeared in 2019 – is the best cordless vacuum we’ve tried and moreover, is quite unlike anything else on the market.

We felt as if we were in an advert while gliding it across a large lounge floor that we’d let a toddler loose on with crumbly cake. It soared across the carpet, leaving no trace of debris in its wake. The same happened when we tried it on floorboards under the kitchen table (including in deep crevices) after a busy family dinner and on the laminate floor of a well-used garden cabin. From fine dust to whole lentils and from clusters of pet hair to the mess made from a day of arts and crafts, it gobbled up the lot effortlessly. For those in a hurry, more good news comes from the fact that the torque floor head means you don’t – unlike most machines – have to change heads according to floor type.

The V11 has the longest running time on the market – a full hour on minimum setting, which we found to be easily enough time to get around a large four-bedroom home. Even 12 minutes on turbo is more than you get with most machines, and you don’t even have to pick between the two as the auto mode adapts the device’s suction power to match the floor surface, maximising battery life.

Expect a decent four-and-a-half hours of charging time, while the grab-and-go set-up means you can get rid of that cobweb you missed in a heartbeat.

The LCD display keeps you up to speed on everything, from current charge time to blockages, to when the filter needs cleaning (about once a month). And, as with all cordless Dysons, emptying the canister is speedy and hygienic thanks to the quick click-and-drop mechanism, although we still experienced a small dust cloud. On the whole, though, this is a fabulous machine for allergy sufferers due to the multiple layers of filtration and incredibly robust seals.

We tried the V11 absolute, which comes with everything you could want – the torque floor head, auto-cleaning mode, an extra soft roller brush floor head for hard floors, a mini pet tool, soft dusting brush and a combi tool. But you can also get cheaper versions – the V11 torque drive (no extra soft roller brush floor head) and the V11 animal (no torque floor head or auto mode).

While we wouldn’t say it’s heavy, you do notice the weight more than with some other cordless stick vacuums. You should also note that the mini turbo brush can’t be deactivated – bad news for delicate loop pile carpets. And you have to keep your finger on the trigger the whole time you’re using it. Plus, it’s Dyson’s most expensive vacuum – but then again, it’s the only one you’ll need in your home.

Continue reading...


Dyson V7 absolute

Bagged or bagless? Bagless

Capacity: 0.54l

Charging time: 3.5 hours

Running time per charge: 30 minutes (six minutes on turbo)

Weight: 2.32kg

Dimensions: 124.3cm x 25cm x 21cm

Variable power? Powerful and max

The V7 – which was first unveiled in 2017 but got an upgrade 2020 – is Dyson’s cheapest cordless vacuum. Coming in at half the price of the V11, it’s a snip in comparison.

Compared to other branded machines in this price range, we noticed a much deeper clean from the V7, and in quicker time too. The 2020 version makes it further stand out against the competition – the filtration is now on par with the V11, while the new “reach under” tool means it can get right under even the deepest of sofas.

It sucks up fine dust and pet hair effortlessly, although some larger debris like a scattering of rice cake, which the V11 guzzled up, remained stubbornly on the floor with the V7, while its lower-power setting wasn’t a patch on the V11. But with 100 air watts (a measure of suction power) and a maximum spin of 125,000 rpm – compared to 185 air watts and a maximum spin of 170,000 rpm on the V11 – that’s not surprising.

Whatever type of floor you have, the V7 does the job well – we noticed no difference across carpets, hardwood or laminate, although unlike the V11 you will need to change the floor heads each time. And because it’s nice and light – 730g lighter than the V11, and much lighter than any corded machine – it’s brilliant for carrying up and down stairs and works a treat on upholstery too.

The V7 has half the running time of the V11 at 30 minutes (and six minutes on turbo), but that’s still good. And it takes a whole hour less than the V11 to charge up, at only three-and-a-half hours. The grab-and-go format and quick and clean bin emptying is the same as the V11, although the canister is significantly smaller. And it’s layers of filtration means its just as good for allergy sufferers. 

Like all the Dyson models it has a detachable handheld unit for hard-to-reach places, and with the absolute version you also get a crevice and upholstery tool, a dusting brush, a mini turbo brush for pet hair and a wall mount. There’s a cheaper V7 animal version, which comes without the extra soft roller floor head for hard floors.

As with the V11, you have to keep your finger on the trigger the whole time you’re using it, but that didn’t bother us.

Continue reading...


The verdict: Dyson V11 vs Dyson V7 vacuum cleaner

There’s no doubt the Dyson V11 has the edge. It lasts longer on a single run, is more automated and has more features. And even though it costs a bomb, you won’t have to shed out for another vacuum cleaner of any kind as it does a first-class job – as good as any corded model – even in larger homes.

But if you’ve got a smaller home – say a one- or two-bed flat or terraced house – or you want a quick run-around machine as a backup to your main floor cleaner, we think the V7 is a better buy. It’s also lighter, meaning that older people, or those who have a lot of stairs, might prefer the V7.

There may be other reasons for picking the V7 over the V11 too. It charges up quicker and is half the price. And if you’re a first-time buyer of a cordless vacuum cleaner, the V7 may also feel a safer bet – you can always (and many do) upgrade to the V11 over time.

In short, the V11 is the crème-de-la-crème of cordless vacs – the Rolls Royce of the industry – while the V7 is the BMW.

If you want to consider any other options, we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up all the best cordless vacuums 

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in