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Dyson V11 review: still a supremely capable vacuum cleaner
7:40 am | August 12, 2019

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Dyson V11 vacuum cleaner: two-minute review

The Dyson V11 is a powerful cordless vacuum cleaner, offering up to 60 minutes of untethered cleaning time. There are three suction modes: a lower-powered Eco mode that gives the maximum cleaning time, a powerful and battery-sapping Boost mode for when you need a bit of extra oomph, and an Auto mode that detects what kind of floor you're on and adjusts suction accordingly. 

On test, I found that even in Eco mode the V11 packed a good amount of power, clearing small and large-sized debris, and pet hair, with ease. I also found Auto mode worked reliably and effectively when moving between carpet and hard floors. The LCD screen – a new addition here, but ubiquitous from this model onwards – is useful for letting you know how much juice you have left, and alerting you of blockages.

The V11 comes with Dyson's usual range of versatile and well-designed cleaning attachments for various cleaning tasks – although exactly which ones will depend on which model you go for and where you live. 

Dyson is widely considered to be one of the very best cordless vacuum brands around (and one of the best vacuum brands in general), and even though it's not the most recent model, the V11 is still well worth your consideration. This is the successor to 2018's V10 (read TechRadar's Dyson Cyclone V10 review), and at time of update, several newer and higher-spec options have been released – head to our Dyson Gen5Detect review for more on the latest model. 

There are a few iterations of this model – at time of update, a V11 Extra and a V11 Advanced. The base model is the same; the difference is the selection of included tools. There were more when it was initially released, and not all configurations are available in every country. 

The fact that you're not getting the very latest features is reflected in the price. Most versions were originally in the premium price bracket, but have been discounted into the mid-range, making it a good pick if you're looking for that Dyson engineering on a smaller budget. 

Dyson V11 review: price & availability

  • US / AU: Dyson V11, list price $569.99 / AU$1200
  • UK: Dyson V11 Advanced, list price £429.99 (reduced to £359.99)
  • Other versions available with different tools

Dyson has released different packages in the US, UK, and Australia. While there were more options at time of first launch, at time of updating this review (June 2024), the standard Dyson V11 is part of the current lineup in the US and Australia, with a list price of $569.99 (discounted to $469.99) / AU$1,199 (confusingly, in Australia there's the V11 Advanced, also at AU$1,199, which seems to be identical including the tools included). 

In the UK there's only one version available: the V11 Advanced, for a list price of £429.99 (discounted to £359.99). The tools included are not the same as you'll find with the Australian V11 Advanced. Finally, in the US there's a V11 Extra, which has a list price of $599.99 adds a load of extra tools, compared to the base model.  

Note, here I'm talking about what's available to buy direct from Dyson at time of updating this review – there may be other versions available via third party retailers. Simple!

What does all that mean in terms of value for money? Well, most versions were originally in the premium price bracket, but have been discounted into the mid-range. It's not the cheapest cordless vac in the current Dyson lineup (head to our Dyson V8 review to find out more about the model that takes that spot), but it's also far from the priciest – the Gen5Detect is $950 / £750. 

Although brands like Shark are looming increasingly large in the vacuum cleaner space, Dyson is still widely considered to be leading the way in terms of innovation. You're paying for that meticulous engineering (and yes, a little bit for the Dyson name). It's probably worth keeping an eye out for a Dyson deal around major shopping events like the Black Friday sales if you're hoping to score a discount.

Dyson V11 vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson V11 review: design

  • Sleek and effective design, engineered to maximize suction
  • LCD display shows battery life, mode and any issues
  • 3 power settings: Eco, Auto/Medium, Boost

The Dyson V11 looks very similar to most of its V-something siblings, with a sleek design that isn't an eyesore if you forget to stow it away in the cupboard. Because it's symmetrical, it's as easy to use left-handed as it is right-handed. 

The mechanism is lined up so the air is drawn into the 14 internal cyclones in a straight line, to maximize suction. For this model, Dyson also re-engineered the motor to reduce turbulence, increase the overall airflow efficiency, and cut down on noise. It promises 20 per cent more suction power than the V10 and works in conjunction with the 80W High Torque cleaning head to collect significantly more debris. 

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)

The Dyson V11 has three different suction modes: Auto mode, Boost mode and Eco mode. Eco mode is best for long cleaning sessions. It's the lowest in power (although still packs a decent punch). At the other end of the spectrum is the ultra-powerful Boost mode, which is perfect for particularly stuck debris.

However, Auto mode is what you’ll use most often, according to Dyson’s user statistics. The V11 has sensors on the main cleaner head that measure brush resistance as an indicator of whether you're on carpet or hard floor. In Auto mode, it responds by raising or lowering suction accordingly. When I tested the Dyson V11, I tried alternating between a carpet and a wooden floor, and I could feel (and hear) the an instant shift in suction power as I moved between the two.

(Newer Dyson vacuums take this a step further by also monitoring how dirty your floor is and bumping up or lowering suction more precisely as required, but that's not included here.)

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)

Perhaps the biggest change to the design of the V11 in comparison with its predecessor is the inclusion of an LCD display. This shows the current mode of the vacuum, the estimated remaining battery life and any other warnings or alerts that might be relevant. For example, this screen displays a warning if there’s a blockage, and even shows you how to clear it, which is especially handy.

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)

The High Torque cleaner head features a mixture of stiff nylon bristles, designed to drive out ground-in dirt from carpets, and soft anti-static carbon fiber filaments, which work to collect dust from hard floors. There's also a manual adjustment on the head that allows you to open and close valves to suit the depth and type of carpet surface in your home.

It comes with an array of attachments. Exactly which ones will depend on the version you go for and where you live, but roughly expect a Motorbar Cleaner Head, Hair Screw Tool, Crevice Tool and Combination Tool (but double check when you buy). These can be attached directly to the motor unit for use in handheld mode, or to the end of a wand for further reach. Where it improves on the V10's design is that here, the accessories can be clipped onto the vacuum itself – a useful touch for anyone who's found they need another head when on the far side of the house. 

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)

There's a 0.2 gallon (0.75 litre) bin capacity, with a pump-action sliding mechanism that projects the bin out away from the cyclonic cylinder to enable you to dispose of its contents quickly and easily. 

The V11 also includes a fully sealed filtration system, designed to capture even the tiniest of bacteria. It's designed to minimize the amount of allergy-triggering dirt, dust and pollen particles getting stirred up and released into the air. Anyone with allergies will also appreciate the added collection provided by an easily cleanable filter.

Dyson V11 specs

Dyson V11 review: performance

At 6.68lb (3kg), the V11 is lighter than most corded vacuums (although a little heavier than the V10), but it does carry a lot of weight in its handle. I found the High Torque and Soft Roller heads counterbalanced most of this weight when used with the extension barrel on the ground, but that it became quite an arm workout when I wanted to use a non-motorized attachment. However, a fellow tester found that it felt light and easy to use in any mode. 

The V11 moves around easily on both carpets and hard floors, whether you're using the High Torque cleaner head or the soft roller cleaner head, and the articulated design of the heads makes it easy to get under furniture (Shark has since taken things a step further on this front – today's best Shark vacuum cleaners have a hinge to its vacuum wands, so they can bend to 90-degrees from the motor unit). 

I started by seeing how the V11 tackled an oat spillage. I used the soft roller cleaner head, which is designed for hard floors, with soft bristles and a velvet-like material covering the roller, on the Auto/Medium power setting. Just one slow pass picked up 100 per cent of the oats, and the V11 repeated the feat on the Eco setting. 

I also tried it on talcum power and carpet freshener on carpet, using the High Torque cleaner head on the Auto/Medium setting. Again, one slow forward and back pass cleared the whole spillage. 

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Pet hair was the next test, and again the V11 performed impeccably, cleaning the hair from the rug with little effort. The results were equally evident from looking at the amount of hair collected in the bin.

Switching out the High Torque head and wand for the mini motorized tool, I tackled the sofas. While this configuration looks a little ungainly with the tool connected directly to the cylinder, it feels well balanced and light at just over 2kg, and again it picked up the pet hairs with ease. 

The V11 Absolute also makes light work of the normally onerous task of cleaning stairs, thanks to the mini motorized tool, which can get right into the corners with no trouble.

(Image credit: Future)

During my tests, I occasionally found that the sticks and hair collected by the V11 would need to be dislodged from the airways and the spinning head later. Fortunately the V11's components are still easy to detach and clean when you need to, and a new motor sensor will now alert you to any blockages that may be reducing suction power (a surprisingly common support request).

In terms of emptying the regular bin, though, it was as easy as it initially appears. All the dirt and debris came out without any need to poke around and get my fingers dirty. 

Dyson V11 review: battery

Officially, the Dyson V11 will last 60 minutes in Eco mode (with non-motorized tools attached), and just 12 minutes in Boost. In Auto/Med, the battery life will depend on how much suction is required (in this mode, it'll power up when on carpet) – I found it delivered just under 41 minutes with the soft roller cleaner head. 

I found there was more than enough power to tackle a lightly soiled four bedroom house from top to bottom, crevices and all, but I would need to factor in a re-charge time if I wanted to embark on an intensive multi-hour spring cleaning sprees. Because the remaining battery life is clearly displayed on the LCD screen in terms of time, it's easy to see how much juice the vacuum has left, and adjust modes accordingly.

Cleverly, the remaining runtime will adjust depending on which attachment is connected – so it knows if it has a battery-sapping motorized tool attached, and this is reflected on the screen.

Should you buy a Dyson V11?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

  • First reviewed: 2019