Dyson V8 Animal vs Absolute (2020): Which Cordless Vacuum Should You Get?

Dyson has made a name for itself with its premium cordless vacuum cleaners. Even their older V series vacuums continue to be relevant choices for households looking to make cleaning easier and more efficient. Here’s a detailed comparison between two highly rated models, the Dyson V8 Animal and the Dyson V8 Absolute, for those who want a solid cord-free stick vacuum on a budget.

Dyson V8 Animal vs Absolute Cordless Vacuum Comparison Chart

ModelDyson V8 AnimalDyson V8 Absolute
Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner - IronDyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner - Yellow
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ColorIronYellow
Dimensions8.2″ x 9.8″ x 49″9.9″ x 8.9″ x 49″
Weight5.63 lbs5.75 lbs
Motor TypeV8V8
RuntimeUp to 40 minutesUp to 40 minutes
Suction Power115 AW115 AW
HEPA FilterYesYes
Bin Capacity0.54 L0.54 L
Direct Drive HeadYesYes
Soft Roller HeadNoYes
Mini Motorized ToolYesYes
Combination ToolYesYes
Crevice ToolYesYes
Mini Soft Dusting BrushNoYes

Design

The Dyson V8 Animal and Absolute are identical except for the wand color.

Dyson V8 Animal vs Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Design
Only the wand colors are different between the Dyson V8 Animal (left) and Absolute (right).

If you’ve seen previous generations of Dyson’s V series of vacuum sticks, the V8 line keeps its distinctive design. Despite how bulky the handheld body looks, it’s actually lightweight and easy to maneuver, especially when used without the wand extension and cleaning head. There’s no design difference between the V8 Animal and Absolute except for the wand color, which is only used to tell these models apart.

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One of the best things about the Dyson V8 series is its modular design. It comes with a number of accessories that help you customize the vacuum according to the cleaning task at hand. Switching attachments is easy and intuitive, as is operating the vacuum cleaner itself. Moreover, being completely wireless when in use is simply fantastic design.

The dust bin release tab is found at the top of the handle; pulling it will pop the dust bin’s bottom lid open for emptying. As the bin is transparent, you get to see exactly how much dirt the Dyson V8 sucks up, but some might find it unappealing to see.

Cleaning Power

The Dyson V8 Animal and Absolute offer similar cleaning performance.

Dyson V8 Animal vs Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Cleaning Power
Clean up messes quickly with a charged-up Dyson V8 cordless stick vacuum.

Once again both Dyson V8 Animal and Absolute clean as well as the other since they have the same motor and structure. The Dyson V8 digital motor was the most powerful of its time, and it’s still fairly impressive compared to the latest offerings of other brands. Together with the direct drive cleaner head, it lets you pick up both fine dust and bigger debris from all types of surfaces.

You can switch between two power modes to pump up the V8 motor as needed. When turned to Max mode using the switch at the top of the handheld body, you get around 7-8 minutes of high suction reaching 115 AW. This is highly useful if you need to get stubborn and embedded dirt out of rugs and carpets.

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On actual use the Dyson V8 stick vacuum performs admirably on hardwood and low and high pile carpets. It’s exceptional when dealing with fine and small particles, but struggles a bit with larger debris on hard surfaces. It appears that the V8 tends to push these forward instead of rolling over them, which means you take a bit longer scooping them up. One accessory of the V8 Absolute helps with this however, as we’ll discuss below.

The blue cap at the end of the vacuum body houses the HEPA filters that trap allergens that get sucked in while cleaning. So not only are you getting rid of visible dirt, you’re ensuring cleaner and safer air in the house too.

Handling

Both Dyson V8 Animal and Absolute vacuum cleaners are lightweight and highly adaptable.

Dyson V8 Animal vs Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Handling
Take out cobwebs by attaching the wand extension and the combination tool on the Dyson V8.

Dyson designed its stick vacuums with both power and handling in mind. It’s light and easy on the arms even when you need to sweep cobwebs around the house. The wire-free design means you don’t need to mind power cables while moving around, which is really annoying to deal with if you’ve only used upright models before.

Operating the Dyson V8 vacuum cleaner is simple. You simply press on the trigger to get the motor’s suction running and release it to stop. This saves on battery charge so you get the most out of the 40 minute runtime.

Switching to handheld mode makes the Dyson V8 even more maneuverable. You’ll be able to clean car interiors with ease, especially with the mini motorized tool reaching into car seats and in between narrow spaces.

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Accessories

The Dyson V8 Absolute has a soft roller brush head in addition to all of the accessories included with the V8 Animal.

Dyson V8 Animal vs Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Accessories
With the soft roller cleaner head, the Dyson V8 Absolute is better able to clean up larger bits on the ground.

So here’s the only real difference between the Dyson V8 Animal and Absolute. The latter gets a soft roller cleaner head as well as the standard direct drive cleaner head used on all V8 models. This extra motorhead is intended to help with sweeping up larger debris such as cereals and dog kibble, giving the V8 Absolute the slight edge over the V8 Animal.

The rest of the included accessories are the same for both V8 models. You get a mini motorized tool to tackle tough, ground-in dirt, a soft dusting brush for dusting sensitive areas and items, a crevice tool to sneak into tight spots, and a combination tool for extra reach. There’s also a convenient docking station so you charge the Dyson V8 and have it ready in an easily accessible spot.

Verdict

The Dyson V8 Absolute has a slight edge over the Dyson V8 Animal.

Dyson V8 Animal

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner - Iron

Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner - Yellow

With only the extra cleaner head differentiating these two cordless vacuum cleaners, you’ll feel pretty confident opting for the Dyson V8 Animal as it costs less and you’re not losing out on much. It offers the same suction power, motor, runtime, and extra attachments so you won’t be getting the simply inferior version. If you can get it with a considerable discount, it would easily make it the better value.

The biggest reason to go for the Dyson V8 Absolute is the soft roller brush, which is only really necessary if you find yourself having to clean up large particles a lot. On launch the price gap between it and the V8 Animal is substantial, but nowadays they’re a bit closer on cost so you can get extra value with the Absolute for just a few extra dollars.

Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.