Dyson’s renowned vacuum motor technology is available in many forms, but one of the most popular options for smaller homes and apartments are the portable powerhouses that use battery charges to supply enough juice to give your home a thorough cleaning.
Two of the more advanced versions of these portable Dysons are the V10 and the V11. It may not be immediately apparent what exactly is different between these two models, so we’re breaking down all the major differences and which option may work best for you.
The designs of the Dyson v10 and v11 are very similar from the outside. Of course, the v11 is a newer model, so some technology inside has been upgraded, and we’ll talk more about that below. Both models have the same slim, stick-like design that can be mounted on the wall for storage. The motor and bin are placed at the top of the vac and the cleaner head (the “digital motorbar with anti-tangle design”) at the bottom. This allows users to detach the cleaner head to convert it to a handheld model to clean furniture, drapes, etc. Both the v10 and the v11 have a cleaning path of around 9.8 inches. When the bin is full on either model, you hold it over a trash can, unleash the lid, and let all the debris fall out.
Most of the differences between the models are cosmetic, but the v11 does come with a digital readout to show how many minutes of battery life you have left and easily switch between modes, which is a nice feature.
Winner: v11 (But it’s close!)
Dyson’s “Cyclone” technology is on full display in both the v10 and the v11. That includes 14 cyclones plus filters and a sealed design to keep all dust inside. The vacuums are designed to adapt suction based on the floor type so you don’t lose benefits when you switch over to hard flooring. However, the design on the v10 is a Dyson digital motor, and on the v11 that’s upgraded to a Dyson Hyperdymium motor, which is a bit more powerful.
Both models feature three different cleaning modes. There’s an Eco mode to save on battery life with less suction, a medium mode, and a boost mode that provides extra power to make sure you capture deep-down dirt and larger debris, but at the cost of serious battery life.
Both vacuum cleaners use plug-in battery packs that are designed to last up to 60 minutes, with 40 minutes of fade-free suction using the roller head. The v11 includes more power management features to help draw out battery life, and some versions include two battery packs instead of one, but there’s not a huge amount of difference here.
Weight is particularly important for cordless stick vacuums, as it dictates how easily they can be carried around and lifted to clean higher spots. The v10 weighs 5.71 pounds, while the v11 weighs 6.53 pounds. The near pound of difference is related to the somewhat different motor design of the v11, along with other small design changes.
Let’s be clear: Dysons are noisy vacuums. All that power comes at the price of some serious decibels, so there isn’t a truly “quiet” option here. Noise levels will also vary considerably based on what power level you are using. At the highest level, v10s produce around 75 to 78 decibels — not exactly earplug territory, but getting uncomfortably close. The v11’s highest levels can reach 80 decibels or higher, which may require some protection.
Both the v10 and the v11 are available in various models that come with different accessories and with slightly different features. Both come in Absolute models, which offer a balanced mix of features. The v10 is available in an Animal model targeted at pet hair, while the v11 has a Torque model that skips the soft roller brush to focus on more heavy-duty accessories. You may also be able to find Pro models of both that include larger kits. The v11 was also designed with an Outsize model that’s essentially a larger, very different vacuum, which isn’t really comparable to the v10 or v11.
All these differences in model options are hard to compare one-on-one. Both models have different package options that will appeal to different users and budgets.
Dyson v11 models are generally found at $700 to $800, depending on the package that you get. The v10 versions tend to be around $100 less, making them an easy way to save while still getting plenty of Dyson benefits. Additionally, the v11 is becoming increasingly hard to find these days. Stocks of the v10 still seem to be plentiful, so you are more likely to find models and deals that you want. Keep in mind, you can buy refurbished models, and Dyson does have a repair program if you want to keep your vac going as long as possible, along with service options to keep the vacuum lasting as long as possible.
While the Dyson v11 does have some welcome features, like a digital readout for your battery and a newer motor, it really can’t compare with the similar v10, which is more affordable and more available and offers similar capabilities. Also, Dyson discontinued the v11 to make room for newer models, so if you really want an advanced version, you may want to look at a v15 or something similar.