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Review: The Dyson V11 is a truly outstanding vacuum cleaner

The Dyson V11 costs a lot of money, but it is well worth the investment.

I used a $150 corded vacuum for the better part of the last five years, and more recently switched to a robot vacuum. It's hard to be excited about a vacuum cleaner (unless you have the Darth Vader Powerbot), so when the folks at Dyson asked if I wanted to take a look at the V11 — the brand's current-gen cordless vacuum — I was ambivalent.

But I attended a demo session (virtually, of course) where a Dyson specialist went through everything the V11 can do, and I was intrigued. What interested me the most was its versatility; with seven attachments in total, the V11 cleans just about any surface. I also liked the fact that it works as a handheld and a regular stick vacuum, and that there's a built-in LED that shows the remaining battery time.

One of the reasons I didn't pick up a Dyson cordless vacuum in the past was because of the price. At just under $700, the Dyson V11 is several magnitudes costlier than regular vacuums, and on par with high-end robot vacuums. But as I've found out over the course of the last four months, the Dyson V11 is worth every penny. It pays for itself when you factor in the time savings versus using a traditional vacuum, and the versatility makes it a fantastic overall choice.

Bottom line: The Dyson V11 is the best cordless vacuum cleaner you can buy today. It delivers outstanding performance in day-to-day use, comes with a lot of useful attachments, and is easy to use and maintain. With a 60-minute runtime, three cleaning modes to choose from, and a built-in LCD that shows real-time battery level, the V11 is a great overall option.

The Good

  • Stellar performance
  • Versatile attachments
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Three modes to choose from
  • Decent battery life with LCD indicator

The Bad

  • Costly
  • No removable batteries

$697 at Amazon ₹52,990 at Dyson India

Dyson V11 Absolute Pro What I like

The Dyson V11 doesn't look like any other vacuum in the market today. The design immediately suggests this is a high-end product, and the attention to detail is remarkable. The blue and red accents contrast against the grey finish rather nicely, and the V11 is just a nice-looking piece of kit (I didn't think I would ever say that about a vacuum).

The Dyson V11 combines a sleek design with incredible real-world performance.

An interesting addition with the V11 is the LCD screen that lets you view the remaining battery and mode. There are three modes to choose from — Eco, Medium, Boost — and for my use case, the Medium mode worked best. You can easily change modes via the button below the screen, and the ability to glance at the screen to see how much runtime is left makes a lot of difference in day-to-day use.

There's also a nifty auto mode that adjusts suction on-the-fly based on the surface. If you're unsure what mode to use, the auto setting is reliable most of the time.

The batteries are built into the main body, and Dyson touts a 60-minute runtime in Eco mode. That's in-line with what I've seen in the last four months, with the Medium mode averaging about 40 to 45 minutes of use. It takes just over four hours to fully charge the vacuum, and the built-in battery life was enough to clean my 2,000 sq. ft. home two times over. The V11 also has "high-integrity seals" located at the back that ensure the dust that's sucked into the vacuum isn't just blown out again.

At the heart of the Dyson V11 is the cyclonic motor, which delivers 185 Air Watts of suction — 20% more than the V10. The suction is powerful for just about any debris or pet hair, and the Dyson V11 holds up incredibly well in real-world usage conditions. I threw biscuit crumbs and oats on the floor to test the V11's effectiveness, and it cleaned them up without any issues. The vacuum is ideally suited if you have pets, with the V11 Animal designed to clean up pet hair.

I routinely use the V11 on tiled floors and carpets, and it is just as effective on either surface. I was unsure whether a cordless vacuum would be able to deliver enough power for cleaning the house, but my worries were unfounded — the Dyson V11 worked just as effectively as my corded vacuum and did a better job than the robot vacuum I was using.

While a robot vacuum is great at automated cleaning, it's limited to cleaning floors and needs a clear route without any obstacles to do an effective job. My home currently looks like a warehouse with the number of packages strewn about, so it was much more convenient to just use the V11 to clean than rely on a robot vacuum. Then there's the fact that a robot vacuum is limited to cleaning floors, and lacks the versatility that you get with the V11.

One of my favorite features on the V11 is the easy-release latch for the bin. All you have to do is pull down the lever and the lid at the front pops open, and you can just empty the contents of the bin without coming into contact with it.

Based on the V11 variant you're picking up, you'll get anywhere from eight to 11 accessories in the box. I'm using the V11 Absolute Pro, and it comes with seven attachments, a docking station, an extension hose, a wand storage clip, and two extensions bundled with the package. The attachments include a high torque cleaner, soft roller cleaner, a combination tool, a crevice tool for cleaning between sofa cushions, a mini motorized tool, a soft-dusting brush, and even a mattress cleaner head.

I used the soft roller and high torque attachments most of the time, and the best part about these cleaner heads is that they have an articulated design, making it a breeze to clean under the sofa or under the bed. All the accessories attach to the body with a satisfying click. As you'd imagine for a high-end vacuum, the fit and finish here is top-notch, and the V11 should hold up just fine even after several years of use.

Dyson V11 Absolute Pro What needs work

If there's one thing I would change about the V11, it would be the option to switch out batteries. Right now, the batteries are built into the body of the unit, and while the battery life is still just as good as four months ago, Lithium-ion batteries degenerate over time, so a removable solution with the ability to switch out batteries after a few years would have been ideal.

Dyson V11 Absolute Pro The competition

If you don't want to shell out $700 on a vacuum cleaner, you can pick up Dyson's older models at discounted prices. The Dyson V10 is now $440, and that's very decent value for what you're getting with the vacuum.

The Dyson V7 is even better value at $287. Sure, you don't get quite the same amount of suction power as the V11, but it manages to do a great job in day-to-day usage. You get a 30-minute runtime between charges and a variety of cleaning attachments.

Dyson V11 Absolute Pro Should you buy?

You should buy this if ...

You want a powerful cordless vacuum

With a powerful motor and 60-minute runtime, the Dyson V11 dominates in terms of real-world performance.

You want a vacuum with lots of attachments

See yourself using the crevice tool a lot? The V11 comes with seven attachments and a few other accessories, making it a great option.

You need a vacuum that's easy to maintain

The V11 has an easy-release lever for getting rid of the accumulated garbage.

You should not buy this if ...

You want an affordable model

The Dyson name carries a premium, and that makes the V11 one of the costliest vacuums around.

Testing the Dyson V11 over the last four months made me realize just how effective it is around the house. I abhor chores of any kind (I'm waiting for a robot dishwasher that loads itself) but found myself liking the V11. It cuts down on the amount of time I take to clean the house, and that alone makes it an easy recommendation.

Ease of use is one of the biggest selling points of the Dyson V11: the cordless design eliminates a lot of the hassle involved in using a vacuum, the easy-release lever ensures you can get rid of the dust accumulated in the bin without touching it, and the versatility on offer makes the V11 a standout choice in this segment.

4 out of 5

Yes, you're paying a lot of money for a vacuum, but you are also getting an incredible product. The time-saving alone justifies investing in the V11.

Bottom line: The Dyson V11 has everything you could ask for in a cordless vacuum. It looks great, delivers outstanding performance, and the number of attachments on offer makes it the most versatile vacuum in the market today. Yes, it is costlier than other cordless options, but you are getting your money's worth here.

$697 at Amazon ₹52,990 at Dyson India



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