Home / Vacuums / Dyson V10 Absolute vs Animal vs Motorhead Cordless Vacuum: Differences Explained

Dyson V10 Absolute vs Animal vs Motorhead Cordless Vacuum: Differences Explained

by  Lawrence- Last updated on October 28, 2020
dyson v10

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Determining which vacuum to purchase can be a pain. Even once you’ve narrowed it down to a specific brand, there are so many models and available options it can still be a difficult choice.

Dyson is one of the top vacuum brands available today. They build powerful vacuums that are easy to assemble and compact for easy storage. It’s no surprise that they offer so many different models when their vacuums are some of the most sought after in the world.

The V10 models in particular have some of the strongest suction and are all entirely cordless. However, it can be difficult to narrow down your options when you can’t see just what the differences are and how each vacuum performs differently.

In this review, we’ll cover all the advantages and disadvantages of the top three Dyson V10 vacuum models: the Absolute, the Animal, and the Motorhead. With a side by side comparison, you’ll be able to have a clearer idea about which model is best for you.

Although they’re equipped with similar technology and may be relatively equal when it comes to performance, there are a few things that set them apart.

Dyson V10 Absolute vs Animal vs Motorhead At A Glance

  • All of these models have a full hour long run time when you are not using a motorized accessory. The cordless design also makes it easy to clean an entire house without having to change outlets or struggle with untangling a cord from around furniture.
  • Both the V10 Absolute and the V10 Animal have a 77 liter bin while the V10 Motorhead has a 54 liter bin, making it just a bit smaller than the other two options.
  • All models feature 150 air watts and come with a 2 year warranty and have three suction modes: low, medium, and high.
  • The Motorhead is the most lightweight at only 5.05 pounds while the Animal and the Absolute are 5.86 pounds and 5.88 pounds respectively. All are super lightweight and easy to carry, though, so the little extra weight doesn’t detract that much from the heavier two designs.
  • All of the models have extra tools included. The Dyson V10 Absolute and the V10 Animal have a combination tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush, and a mini motorized tool while the Dyson V10 Motorhead only includes a combination tool and a crevice tool.
  • The Dyson V10 Absolute and the Dyson V10 Animal feature the torque drive cleaning heads while the Dyson V10 Motorhead features the direct drive cleaning head. The direct drive head is rated Dyson’s top vacuum head and is one of the best performing heads on the market, making the Motorhead really stand out against the other two.
  • These three models are all great for hard floors as well, but the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute includes an extra motorized cleaning head specifically for hard floors: the soft roller cleaning head. It’s available for extra purchase on both the Amazon and Dyson websites and fits the Animal and Motorhead models as well.
  • All three models are great for homes with pets and have powerful suction to remove pet hair from any carpet, be it berber carpet or nylon.
  • All Dyson dust bins have HEPA filtration systems which ensure the debris your vacuum sucks up doesn’t escape into the air or cause issues for those with asthma or allergies.

Dyson V10 Absolute Advantages

  • Cleaning Heads

Comes with two different cleaning heads. The torque drive cleaner head is the regular attachment and the same as the Animal, but the soft roller cleaner head is designed specifically to pick up fine dust and large debris.

The soft roller head is the best of all the cleaning heads at cleaning hard floors and picks up 99% of the debris when tested.

  • Floor Surfaces

Due to the two motorhead options, it can be used on both carpeting and flooring with equal efficiency. In fact, it is known for cleaning hard flooring indoors really well. Especially surfaces like hardwood.

  • Cleaning Accessories

The Absolute includes all of the extra cleaning tools and motorheads available in the initial price so you won’t be spending extra money in the future if you find you need a new cleaning head.

  • Easier to Use

The soft roller of the Absolute has a special design so you’ll find that it’s very effective at removing both bigger pieces of dirt and debris as well as smaller particles quite well.

  • Removes More Dust

As one of its latest models, Dyson has created the V10 Absolute to be able to remove up to 25% more dust than its older models.

Dyson V10 Absolute Disadvantages

  • Price

The Dyson V10 Absolute is the most expensive V10 model built by Dyson. This price does include all the accessories, but unless you regularly use them all, the extra price may not be worth it.

  • Few Built In Slots

Even though this model comes with four different attachments and a charging dock built by Dyson for the Absolute, there are only two built in slots for the attachments. You’ll have to find somewhere else to store the remaining two attachments which seems like a pretty obvious design flaw on Dyson’s end.

  • Runtime

The soft roller head is a motorized tool and will reduce the Dyson V10 Absolute’s runtime from 60 minutes down to 40 minutes. This may not be that big of a deal, but if you forget to plug in your vacuum after a full day or cleaning with the soft roller head, you won’t get very far the next time you try to use it.

Dyson V10 Animal Advantages

  • Performance

When it comes to suction, performance, and overall power, the Dyson Animal and the Dyson Absolute are basically the same machine. This means you can pay a lower price for the best model, but you will receive one less motorhead.

  • Great for Pets

The Dyson V10 Animal is designed specifically for homes with pets and is therefore designed to suck up dirt, dust, and pet hair from even the deepest carpets. It sucks approximately 55% more debris than previous Dyson models and has an improved filtration system so you don’t have to worry about dust or pet hair escaping back into the air.

  • Cleaning Tools

It includes four different tools for deep cleaning your floors and the charging dock supplies an easy storage location for all of them. You won’t have to worry about remembering to charge the vacuum or where you placed the tools as it can all be stored and charged in one place.

  • Advanced Filtration

The Dyson Animal has a more complex filtration system that comes with a lot more suction power. It’s able to remove 99.99% of all kinds of particles on your floor, even particles that are extremely tiny (ones that are .3 microns).

These particles can cause a lot of harm for people with allergies or asthma and because they are so tiny for us to see, we often don’t even realize they’re there.

  • Cleaning Modes

You get 3 different cleaning functions or modes with the Dyson Cyclone Animal. Each of them will give you a different amount of suction power. This way, it’s very easy for you to pick and choose what mode you’d like, depending on what kind of flooring you’re vacuuming.

Whether you’re on hardwood flooring or have to suddenly switch to cleaning your carpet, there’s a mode that’s suitable specifically for what you need.

Dyson V10 Animal Disadvantages

  • Runtime

When you use one of the motorized attachments, it changes the runtime from an hour down to 30 to 40 minutes at most. Again, this may not be a problem for smaller homes, but if you’re cleaning a large space or using the vacuum for anything more than 30 minutes, you run the risk of it shutting off part way through the cleaning.

  • Battery Replacement

Some customers have reported that changing or replacing the battery can be a pain. It’s possible you may not ever need to replace the battery, but if you do, it could be difficult and a bigger hassle than expected.

Dyson V10 Motorhead Advantages

  • Direct Drive Cleaner

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead has the direct drive cleaner head instead of the torque drive cleaner head like the Animal and the Absolute. After testing both models and how well they clean up fine debris, we found the direct drive head actually performed better on carpeted areas than the torque drive head did.

  • Cleaning Under Furniture

The direct drive cleaner head has a low profile to easily clean under low furniture. It also has the ability of rotating 360 degrees so you don’t have to awkwardly twist or pick up the vacuum when trying to reach a difficult area.

  • Low Price

It’s the lowest priced of the three models but still includes a fully functional docking station and all the extra non-motorized tools you need to clean corners and other difficult to reach areas. It also has the option of being turned into a smaller hand held vacuum that’s easy to control and great for cleaning cars or furniture.

Dyson Motorhead Disadvantages

  • Not for Hard Floors

It does not come designed for hard floors and performs the best on carpets. If you have lots of hard floor areas and want to be absolutely sure your vacuum is picking up all the debris and fine dust, you’ll have to purchase the soft roller cleaner head separately.

Unfortunately, the cleaning head is often out of stock on Dyson stores and the price seems to be increasing on Amazon.

  • Battery Replacement

While the battery is rechargeable, it is not replaceable. It can’t be removed if it’s ever damaged so you’ll have to purchase an entirely new vacuum. You can try changing the charging adapter to see if that’s the problem, but it’s not a guaranteed fix.

  • Small Bin

It has the smallest dust bin so you will have to empty it more often. After a full cleaning session or a big deep clean, the canister will need to be emptied before it can be used again in order to keep the vacuum functioning as well as possible.

The Difference Between Them

In the end, all three of these vacuums are quite similar. They do include the same type of battery, as well as the ability to dock them, to recharge the battery, and to use them for a total of 60 minutes when you’re cleaning.

The real question is how they’re different, because while the differences may be marginal, there are differences in each of these three Dyson V10 vacuums.

Cleaner Heads

The most important part of any vacuum is how it cleans, which is directly connected to the cleaner heads. While the cleaning performance on all three vacuums are very similar, the

Motorhead does have a different cleaner head: the direct drive cleaner head. The other two have a torque drive cleaner head, and the Absolute additionally includes the soft roller cleaner head.

This makes the Absolute perfect for dealing with all types of flooring, especially hard flooring that you don’t want to scuff.

Verdict: The Dyson V10 Absolute includes both the torque drive cleaner head for power and the soft roller cleaner head for softness.

Cleaning Ability

All of these vacuums clean well, and pick up a majority of debris left on your floor, but it might interest you to know that if you have a lot of low pile carpeting, the Motorhead performs the best.

It does pick up a little bit more when you do one forward pass and one backward pass.
On hard flooring, the Motorhead also outperforms the other two vacuums—up until you add in the soft roller head on the Absolute.

That roller head performed perfectly when used on hard flooring, perfectly sweeping up everything without a problem. The Absolute also is designed specifically to remove more dust than previous models, which makes it great for getting the corners and the areas that dust normally gets trapped in.

That being said, if you don’t want to spend the extra money on getting the soft roller head but still want a good vacuum to pick up dust and dirt on hard flooring, the Motorhead is still a great option.

Verdict: In terms of raw cleaning ability, the Dyson V10 Motorhead performs the best, especially on carpeting and does work more powerfully on hard flooring too. If you primarily have hard flooring though, the Absolute will be best thanks to that soft cleaner head.

Weight and Capacity

Ultimately, all three of these vacuums have similar weights and dust bin capacities. This makes sense considering their similar structures, but there are minute differences that may matter to you when you’re trying to carry your vacuum around with you to clean your home or car.

Both the Absolute and Animal weigh the same: 5.9 pounds. The motorhead is marginally lighter at 5.5 pounds, and it holds 0.14 gallons in its dust canister. By contrast your other two options have dust bin capacities of 0.20 gallons.

The small amount of extra space might not feel like much, but it may make a difference when you’re trying to empty your vacuum out as few times as possible. You won’t need to deal with dust and dirt as much either, since you won’t need to struggle to empty your canister.

Verdict: Either the Dyson V10 Absolute or Animal, both of which have a 0.20-gallon dust bin capacity to carry more debris before you need to empty it. It’s worth noting that they do have the same dust bin capacity, but the Animal is less expensive.

Extras

You don’t buy a vacuum for all the accessories that you get with it, but it is nice to receive a bunch of tools with your purchase. Fortunately, all three of these Dyson V10 vacuums include a basic litany of tools, including the docking station, the combination nozzle, the crevice tool, and their own cleaner head.

The difference is that this is all the Motorhead has. If you want a few more extra tools, you’ll pick the Animal, which also includes a mini motorized brush and a dusting brush. The Absolute will come with all of this as well as a soft roller cleaner head to prevent scuffing on your flooring too.

There are only two places on the docking tool where you can hang all these tools though, but you might like having the option to use these tools anyway.

Verdict: The Dyson V10 Absolute includes the most when it comes to accessories and extras, which makes it great for cleaning all corners and floor.

Price

Price does indeed matter, but for a good vacuum, you might not mind spending more money. The Dyson V10 Absolute is the most expensive option, while the Animal is cheaper by around $100. For just a little bit less, you can buy the Motorhead.

The prices between these three aren’t exceptionally different, but you might want something a little cheaper.

Verdict: Ultimately, the Dyson V10 Motorhead is the cheapest, but for just a little more, you might prefer the extra features included in the Animal.

Battery Life

The whole point of your cordless vacuum is having a long battery life so that you can clean your whole home without worrying about needing to recharge it while you’re still working.

All three of these vacuums do have a long battery life, clocking in at around 60 minutes when you use them on low, 30 minutes when used on medium, and 6 minutes when you use it on high.

You will notice a shorter runtime when you’re using the motorized tools on each one of these options, so if you’re spending a lot of time using the soft brush head on the Absolute, you might find that the vacuum runs out of power more quickly.

Verdict: The Dyson V10 Motorhead may be your best bet here, if only because it tends to pick up well without using the motorized tools much, which drain the batteries more than just using the suction mode.

Suction

If you’re spending a lot of time cleaning up pet hair, you need a vacuum that has the brush head and the tools to help you pick up the most amount of pet hair possible. Thanks to the suction on both the Motorhead and the Animal, you generally will find that they pick up more pet hair than the Absolute.

Not that the Absolute performs poorly in general, but for pet hair, you may find that the other two vacuums are a little better.

That being said, all three vacuums do have strong suction, as well as three power settings that you can adjust depending on what you need to suck up. You might find that the Animal and Motorhead are better with pet hair specifically, but the Absolute still has the same powerful suction.

Verdict: The Dyson V10 Animal or Motorhead, which are made to pick up pet hair with greater ease.

Ease of Use

Ultimately, there are a few things that make your vacuums easy to use. This includes cleaning modes. The Absolute model has a handheld mode that makes it possible for you to carry around this vacuum with you to get small spaces.

By contrast, the Animal includes a specialized mini-motorized tool which you can use instead of carrying around the whole vacuum along with you. This tool also performs well in terms of removing pet hair.

Other than this, all three models do have similar features that make them easy to use. This includes the docking station, which you can hang up to store you vacuum with ease.

Not only does this make it simple for you to grab it, but it’s simple to store it and to save space too. You’ll charge your three vacuums here using this docking station, and will have slots to store your accessories as well.

Verdict: The Dyson V10 Absolute has the ability for you to carry it around with you in an easy handheld mode, making it one of the easiest vacuums to use.

Noise Level

Ultimately, all three of these Dysons are not very loud, and they clock in at similar levels of noise. You likely will not notice a huge difference in the sound, but if you’re trying to do your cleaning at night or when your kids are sleeping, it’s true that the Absolute and the Animal are marginally quieter.

Verdict: The Dyson V10 Absolute and Animal are somewhat quieter than the Motorhead, although the difference is not immediately noticeable.

Replacement Items

Let’s face it: sometimes you need to replace pieces of your vacuum. You might want to replace a roller head or to exchange the battery when you notice that your vacuum is no longer working as well as it should. Replacing the entire vacuum is much more expensive, after all.

The problem though is that if you buy the Absolute, it can be difficult to replace that soft roller head if you notice any problems. Prices do keep going up for this roller head too, so you may not like spending more money to replace this part.

The battery can be difficult to replace on the Animal as well, so when this goes out, you might find that you need to pick up an entirely new vacuum. Since all three vacuums use the same battery, this is a problem for these Dyson models in general.

The Motorhead cannot remove the battery at all, so if that breaks, you will need to replace the entire vacuum.

Verdict: The Dyson Animal and Motorhead don’t include the soft roller brush head that the Absolute has, and which is difficult to replace, but both of these two models also do not let you easily replace the battery.

Tight Corners

One thing that most people hate is cleaning within tough corners and struggling to get hard-to-reach areas. All three of these vacuums are small and lightweight, and something that you can use to point upwards to get at ceilings and at corners that you normally can’t reach without struggling to get any other vacuum there.

That being said, it’s the Motorhead that has a special vacuum head. This vacuum head can be rotated 360 degrees, which means that it’s simple for you to maneuver it around furniture and through tight corners.

You don’t need to constantly twist to get your vacuum to work; just let the head of the vacuum do the work for you. It’s so low profile that it’s easy to push underneath furniture as well.

Verdict: The Dyson V10 Motorhead is obviously the correct option here, since it maneuvers a little easier than your other two options.

Conclusion

The Dyson V10 Absolute ticks most boxes – it’s powerful, easy to use, conveniently portable, quiet and has a good sized bin. If you want the very best in quality, get the V10 Absolute. Surprisingly, the older Dyson Motorhead is a good option as well.

It’s the cheapest option, has the best cleaning head for carpeted areas, and can easily be transformed into a hand held vacuum if necessary. While the battery problem is a bit disappointing, this vacuum should still last you several years if you take good care of it.

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