Vacuums are one of those things you buy maybe once or twice in your lifetime, right? They tend to be expensive, so you want to choose wisely. Should you get a full size, upright, stick, cordless, portable, or a robot. All good questions that you’ll answer based on your space, and budget. I recently had the chance to test out the Dyson V11 Absolute cordless handheld stick vacuum for a few weeks in my home. Here’s what I learned about it.
Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum review
The Dyson V11 Absolute is the next-generation cordless model from well known manufacturer and innovator, Dyson. This cordless vacuum clear packs a screen on its rear and a new smart sensing technology to adjust power automatically. The company touts that this is the best Dyson vacuum cleaner in their lineup.
As an aside, I own a previous Dyson vacuum, a 15 year old upright. It still works great, and we’ve never had a single issue with it. But it’s big and heavy and needs to be plugged in, so while it’s great for doing all the carpet in our basement, it’s less than ideal on the main floor, and when you just need to spot clean an area. Plus, this cordless V11 means I can also use it to more easily clean our camper van, or the car.
Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum: what’s new?
For the average buyer, the Dyson V11 will look familiar to its predecessor the Dyson V10 (and similar to Dyson stick vacuums all the way back to the Dyson V6) as the new iteration retains the same basic design with a dustbin built into the handle. The V11, however, has a slightly bigger battery than the V10, but despite the increased weight, the V11 feels balanced and easy to handle, if a bit on the heavy side.
What’s new? More powerful motor
The most noticeable change in the Dyson V11 is the new 185 air watts motor, which the company claims is 20% more powerful than the V10, so right away we’re getting more power. Cool.
What’s new? LCD info screen
Another new addition to the V11 that is hard to miss is the LCD display. The LCD screen gives you information about when to replace the clean filters for optimum performance, and how to clean any blockages during operation. The V11’s screen also displays a countdown timer, so that you know exactly know how much battery life is left before the vacuum runs out of juice.
Setting up the Dyson V11 Absolute
There’s not a whole lot of set up, though unpacking the vacuum will seem a bit intimidating. There’s a lot of small boxes and packages in the box, and some of them seem a bit mysterious. Once everything is unpacked, you’ll need to charge the power pack or head unit fully. Then you should be ready to clean. While you can just pull the trigger to start cleaning, that small digital screen will supply you with some additional information. More on that in a bit.
Accessories & attachments: Dyson V11 Absolute cordless stick vacuum
There are a lot of accessories packed into this vacuum kit.
There are three powered cleaner heads dubbed the High Torque head, the Soft Roller head and the Mini head for upholstery/Car use.
High Torque Head
The High Torque head is meant for both carpet and floors, and you could call it your main vacuum head.
Using the High Torque head is kind of neat. You’ll get one level of power when using it on floors, but as soon as you move to carpet, a powerful and noticeable boost to suction kicks in automatically to power dirt out of fibres. I used this on a rug in my office that admittedly, I couldn’t recall when it last saw a vacuum. I filled the dirt canister twice! Later when I went back in the room I was surprised to see a very visual and noticeable difference; that rug was CLEAN!
Soft Roller Head
The Soft Roller Head is meant mainly for hard floors. It has velvety soft rollers inside and with a direct drive motor built in, it’s designed to clean fine hair, dirt and dust from floors. The soft velvet roller picks up and traps that fine dust and dirt until the powerful motor whisks it away. Once I started using it on my hardwood and tile, I definitely understand why it’s made the way it is. Rather than brushing dirt and dust away like some vacuums will do, it traps the dirt in the fine velvet rollers.
This head has an Articulating base plate, which ensures that the brushes remain in constant contact with a surface. The brushes are also positioned further forward so that the brushes reach to the front and sides of the tool – drawing hair and dirt in from all directions. Because there’s not traditional brush bar for hair to wrap around, more hair is released straight into the bin than with any other mini turbine tool.
The mini head is similar to the High Torque Head in that it’s meant for a variety of surfaces, only on a smaller scale, making it perfect for doing smaller items and upholstery, or cars and RVs.
The long, narrow crevice tool gets crumbs and junk out from between cushions, or in those hard to reach spaces in the car.
Soft Dusting Brush – softer, splayed bristles
This brush is ideal for cleaning more delicate surfaces. Think keyboards, dashboards or shelves.
Stubborn Dirt Brush – straight bristles
The stiff bristles on this brush are designed to flick dirt up from carpet, lifting more debris into the airflow area.
Ceiling and curtain dusting brush, aka Combination Brush
This adjustable head is ideal for getting cobwebs from ceilings, or, click to switch the open end for the brush end and dust blinds and shelving, or baseboards.
There’s also a small plastic docking bracket that will hold the vacuum when it’s not being used.
How noisy is Dyson V11 Absolute?
This vacuum is noisy, but, hello, it’s a vacuum. But it’s not loud. The engine comes on and turns off quickly when the trigger is pulled or released and doesn’t seem to me to make an exorbitant amount of noise.
Dyson V11 cordless vacuum Power Modes
The Dyson V11 comes with three cleaning modes for a variety of tasks. There’s Eco Mode, Auto/Medium Mode and Boost Mode.
Eco Mode uses the least amount of power, and gives you longer overall battery life and run time. Auto or Medium Mode will automatically adjust the engine, to deliver more power on carpeted surfaces. Need MORE POWER? Boost Mode increases suction again to really power out ground in dirt.
I definitely saw a noticeable difference in the Auto/Med Mode. The vacuum switched seamlessly from lower to higher power and really cleaned my carpets like a dream.
To access Boost Mode, just tap the button found on the back of the vacuum, near the screen.
Testing Dyson V11 cleaning power
I tested the V11 Absolute with a variety of debris:
- pet hair and fluff from dog toys
- fine dust and dirt from the yard
- cracker crumbs
There was really nothing the V11 wouldn’t pick up.
How does the Dyson V11 Absolute fare on stairs and around the home?
The Dyson V11 Absolute can be morphed into a capable handheld vacuum by removing the extension pole. Just plug the attachments directly into the head unit and then use the vacuum as you would to clean pet hair from your stairs or sofa.
Battery life: Dyson V11 Absolute
Dyson says the battery takes 3.5 hours to fully charge and has a run time of approximately up to 60 minutes.
How long it will stand by, unplugged, with a full battery is something I’m still working out. While I’d love to keep this vacuum plugged in and charging, I just don’t have a place where I have the space.
Storage of vacuum & accessories
Storing and charging the Dyson V11 is also something Dyson thought of. The vacuum can be easily attached and detached to the supplied wall-mounted dock.
How to empty the bin on Dyson V11 Absolute
Much like other Dyson vacuums, emptying the bin is easy and your hands never touch the mess. Just pull down on the red handle to lower the bin, then push it to a second stop. That will open the lid and dump the debris right into the garbage for you. Then pull the handle back up and it locks back into place. Then just flip the lid closed.
Watch the video review to see it in action.
Germophobes might be icked out to find you have to touch the lid, but for me, this wasn’t a big deal.
Cleaning the filter
Conveniently, you can remove the filter, wash it in the sink, and then let it dry and replace it. I definitely like that feature, since it won’t cost extra to replace it.
Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum — Pros and Cons
- Works on all surfaces; carpets, stairs, upholstery, and hard floors
- Amazing suction power
- Suction power adjusts automatically
- The LCD screen displays remaining run-time
- Cleans pet hair
- Easy dumping mechanism
- Comes with washable filter
- Can’t see the battery level until it’s low
- A bit on the heavy side
- Relatively small dustbin
Overall review: Dyson V11 Absolute cordless vacuum
I really like this vacuum, and it turns out it’s the vacuum I needed, though I didn’t know it. Having a more compact cordless vacuum is so much more versatile, and means I can more easily keep up with pet hair and small spills between major cleanings.
I appreciate that it’s not loud, it’s powerful and really cleans well. If I had any complaints, it’s that it can be heavy if yo’re using it for a bit, and the dustbin can fill up quickly, but again, it’s a compact portable vacuum. If I’m doing a big area, I should probably be doing it with my full size.
The Dyson V11 Absolute sells for between $799CAD – $999CAD, depending on the heads you get with your package, and if you want the gold colour. No kidding. Gold. My particular model sells for about $899. It’s available from Amazon, Best Buy, or Canadian Tire.
[amazon_link asins=’B07NXJDBL8,B07RXP77SJ,B0798FVV6V,B07FNZ1SGZ’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’techgadcanada-20′ marketplace=’CA’ link_id=’a87de7f1-d3e1-4b5c-b9c6-6f4d16c611cd’]
*A note about Affiliate Links: Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you chose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using this link.