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Dyson V6 Review – Motorhead vs. Absolute vs. Animal Cordless Vacuum

by  Lawrence -  Last updated on February 8, 2021

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Cordless vacuums are the latest craze to hit the market of cleaning technology today, and for good reason.

The commercials that you see of sleek-looking vacuums that easily tuck away in a corner and are easy to use are so enticing to those who know the struggle of lugging something heavy and corded around. But with a cordless one?

No more bending down and untangling the cord before plugging it in, only to unplug and walk to the next room before repeating the entire process over again. And the dust bag? With just one click you can dispose of everything right into your trash can!

Dyson, of course, has been at the forefront with other reliable brands to deliver a light-weight, effective, and flexible vacuum. These are likely the commercials that you’ve seen on TV and made you think about looking for a cordless vacuum in the first place.

These premium vacuums are at a higher price-point than regular vacuums, making it important to double check that the product you are buying will deliver on its promises. Cordless vacuums run on batteries that you have to charge beforehand.

This is able to give you more free range than a regular vacuum provides. Plus, the slim stick design combats the usual bulky weight that vacuums usually have, giving better ergonomics for your back.

The Dyson V6 is a great cordless, stick vacuum with three different versions that come at varying prices. At first glance, the three of these models feel very similar and it may be hard to discern which one is better.

There is charging time and battery life to consider as well as cleaning power and the different accessories that come with each. For some of these, the biggest differences are in color or price, but we decided to take a further look at why these models are some of the more highly revered vacuums on the market.

Best Dyson V6 Models (2021 Update)

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Dyson V6 Motorhead

Let’s go ahead and start with the Dyson V6 Motorhead. Now the Dyson V6 Motorhead shares many more similarities than differences with its siblings. This glowingly fuschia colored stick vacuum comes at a fixed retail cost of $399.99, a price much cheaper and affordable than its predecessor.

The lower cost is probably due to the Motorheads lack of extra accessories, which we’ll go into more detail later. But considering the fact that cordless vacuum cleaners can now go for close to a thousand dollars in some markets, just under $400 is considered a steal when it comes to the world of high-end household cleaning appliances.

Quite like the other models, this vacuum offers washable lifetime filters for optimal longevity, a direct drive cleaner head that can pick up the most stubborn of particles, and 20 minutes of runtime before the battery life runs out and you have to charge it again for 40 minutes.

This means if you forget to charge your vacuum, you really only have a run time of an hour before you’re done charging AND cleaning. That’s a win in our books. You may think that 20 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, especially if you’ve been vacuuming with a corded vacuum, but remember that all of these cordless models are designed to be efficient with space and time.

Also like the other models, the Motorhead will include a combination accessory tool and a crevice tool as well as a docking station for a designated area to keep it out of the way.

One of the main things that the Motorhead lacks, however, is the Absolute’s mini motorized tool and mini soft dusting brush, which can be used for picking up stubborn things like pet fur or getting into corners or some hard to reach places.

The Motorhead also doesn’t feature the soft roller cleaner head that was specifically manufactured for hard floors. That said, this model is a good fit for anybody who is looking for a reliable stick vacuum without wanting to pay the cost for the extra accessories and features that come with a higher price point.

It’s a great, basic model for someone who might want the functionality of a cordless vacuum but doesn’t necessarily need to be deep cleaning all the time. I thought this was a perfectly useful tool, as someone who doesn’t clean quite as often as I should.

So if you’re a basic, clean the apartment or house once or twice a month kind of person, this is a great buy for you.

Pros

  • Handheld device conversion for close and personal vacuuming
  • Utilizes a direct-drive cleaning head which is great for carpets
  • Lifetime filters that are washable for optimal longevity

Cons

  • Must hold down button in trigger like motion to vacuum continuously
  • Emptying hygienic bin can release dust into the air, as well as requiring tedious cleaning after every emptying

Dyson V6 Absolute

This model is one of the more expensive ones in the lineup coming in at a price of $599.99, or one and a half times more than the Dyson V6 Motorhead. As we delineated before, the reason for the higher price is because of the accessories and features that come with the vacuum.

For a $200.00 price difference, you can get a slightly cheaper vacuum without the extra additions. But let’s talk about what you do get with this version of the Dyson. The Dyson V6 Absolute is outfitted with a direct-drive cleaner head for effective use on carpets as well as a soft roller head that works effectively on hardwood floors.

The model also features a whole-machine HEPA filtration to filter out even those smaller dust particles that can aggravate allergies, and digital motor for optimal suction. The max power mode can be very helpful at times when dealing with stubborn particles such as pet hair or cereal crumbs in carpet.

Depending on the type of carpet you have it can sometimes be a lot easier to spot dirt or dust, which means you may have to either clean more often or find something with a little bit more power to suck everything up the first time around.

If this is the case for you, or maybe you have some little ones constantly running around and causing messes, this might be the version for you. Keep in mind that you can also transform these stick vacuums into a little handheld device for reaching those above ground places in your house that need a little cleaning up like between your couch cushions or shelves.

This model will come with an array of tools that will each help your vacuum hone in on specific situations and areas, which really effectively transforms your vacuum into a multi-purpose tool. From that perspective the price tag is well worth it, because you’re essentially able to use your vacuum as a one-stop shop of sorts for cleaning all around your place.

All in all, this model is a good fit for those who want to experience all the benefits of owning a premium vacuum cleaner, thanks to all the features and accessories that come with it. You do pay a little bit more in price, but the perks are really worth it.

Pros

  • Max power mode option for 6 minutes of higher suction
  • Utilizes a direct-drive cleaning head which is great for carpets and a soft-roller cleaning head for hardwood floors
  • Whole-machine HEPA filtration

Cons

  • Must hold down button in trigger like motion to vacuum continuously
  • Docking station will not have the space to store the extra accessories that come with the vacuum

Dyson V6 Animal

This sub-model can be found listed around $399.99 online. This makes it the same price as the Dyson V6 Motorhead. The question is, does the Dyson V6 Animal also come with the minimum amount of attachments such as the Dyson V6 Motorhead?

If you’re sold on the higher price then definitely go for the Dyson V6 Absolute. But if you’re hovering around the $400 price range then you’ll definitely want to key in on what the differences are between this and the Motorhead.

We’ll be able to break down which accessories go with each model and show that the Animal may be the best bet for optimum amount of added features. Like the other versions, this vacuum comes with the direct-drive cleaner head with 20 minutes of runtime and 16 minutes when the motorized floor tool is utilized.

Note that the mini motorized tool has stiff bristles to remove any pet fur or dirt embedded in the carpet. The Dyson V6 Motorhead is the only other one that doesn’t have this tool in its arsenal, so this is worth considering if you want something that’s a little bit above just the basic model.

This vacuum also easily converts into a hand-held vacuum with light-weight, yet strong support in the wand function to be able to vacuum parts above the ground. Whether it’s up and close personal vacuuming or extended vacuuming, all of it is made possible by Dyson’s light-weight design.

One of the only differences between the Dyson V6 Animal and Dyson V6 Absolute is the absence of a whole-machine HEPA filter. The Dyson V6 Absolute is the only sub-model that has one. That said, if you’re just looking to get the bigger pieces of dirt, pet fur, and food crumbs out, rather than the sub-particles that tend to trigger allergies, then this may be less of a concern for you.

Overall, I really couldn’t say which one I preferred between the Motorhead and the Animal, even with the mini motorized tool, just because I don’t necessarily see myself using that tool on a regular basis.

Vacuuming yes, but switching out the tool to get those harder to reach places or to get something that I didn’t sweep up the first time? Maybe not. But that’s just me. If you’re looking for something that has a little bit more accessories but aren’t looking to spend $600 on a vacuum cleaner yet, then this may be the one for you.

Pros

  • Utilizes a direct-drive cleaner head which is great for cleaning carpet floors
  • Comes with a mini motorized tool to help with catching pet hair and dirt
  • Docking station offers out of the way possibilities for storing your vacuum

Cons

  • Must hold down button in trigger like motion to vacuum continuously
  • Emptying hygienic bin can release dust into the air, as well as requiring tedious cleaning after every emptying

What to Consider When Buying

Charge Time and Battery Life

All of the models have a Dyson standard set charging time and battery life. It will take 3.5 hours to give the vacuum a full charge before the optimal amount of time for use. Depending on what cleaning mode as well as which tool is attached, the battery life will last around 16-20 minutes.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a good amount of time to vacuum your whole house. All in all this is a luxury vacuum and its use could benefit a smaller home or apartment. Just keep in mind that any house cleanings that require the vacuum for a longer amount of time, will have to be planned accordingly and strategically.

Design and Functionality

When people are looking to buy a cordless, modern vacuum they want something that can remain gracefully simple whilst still being a powerful tool. Bulky exteriors and heavy handed features aren’t a part of Dyson’s designs in their vacuums.

The Dyson V6 models all incorporate the same wand or stick like design, featuring easy capability for different types of vacuuming. This stick vacuum can easily go under furniture due to its slim style, without you having to move anything around.

All the sub-models are also able to convert into a hand-held vacuum that can be great for vacuuming fabric furniture such as couches as well as stubborn corners or any messes that occur above ground.

The light-weight design is ergonomically thoughtful, giving you easy vacuuming when you are using the wand or when you are going hand-held. The functionality is there, but there is only one feature that is discouraging.

To be able to power the vacuum and clean, the device utilizes a trigger style button. This means you will only be able to vacuum continuously as long as your finger remains pushing the button. Dyson claims this was designed intentionally.

Though it is less ergonomically thoughtful, it was manufactured this way to ensure optimal battery life saving. By utilizing a trigger method to the power button, they justified that no power is being wasted when vacuuming.

For those with arthritis or difficulty having your hands stay in a stressed position for longer than 15 minutes, then this feature may be a deal breaker for you. Otherwise, the design and functionality of the Dyson V6 models all have a reliability to them and ease that is hard to match with other cordless vacuum brands.

Cleaning Power

The worth of a vacuum always depends on its ability to suction dirt and particles in an effective and powerful manner. Efficiency is truly the name of the game, making this one of the more important qualities to look for when buying a vacuum.

Dyson is known for having efficient vacuums that can suction up even the most stubborn waste such as pet fur as well as granular waste such as cereal. Especially for people with children, you want a vacuum that can clean up a mess lickety split.

Below we decided to list out the Dyson V6 cleaning specs before going into detail about what each one means.

  • 100 air watts of suction power
  • Digital motor that spins up to 110,000 rpm
  • 15 small cyclones that stack towards the middle to create powerful cyclonic suction
  • Two cleaning modes offered: standard and max power

The 100 air watts of suction power is made possible by the powerful digital motor. They work in tandem to create the powerful suction that the Dyson V6 is known for. The cyclonic design incorporated inside the vacuum helps to move particles towards the inside filter while the debris is directed to the outside and ultimately funneled to the hygienic bin below.

The cleaning modes also offer different volumes of power that can be utilized in situations with varying degrees of mess. The only drawback is that with max power mode, the battery will drain quicker so it becomes an unsustainable mode to utilize all the time.

Maintenance and Upkeep

When it comes to maintaining the condition and quality of a vacuum, less is more ideal. There’s plenty to consider such as cleaning the exterior and the interior of the hygienic bin. Of course, with premium items some maintenance will always be required, but let’s take a look at what goes into maintaining your Dyson V6, no matter the sub-model that you choose.

To clean the hygienic bin after it reaches the maximum amount of waste, first you must press the button to release the dirt into your trash can. Be cautious of the allergens and dust that blows back in case you are easily affected by dust articles.

After doing that, you can remove the hygienic bin from the vacuum easily by tugging at the front nozzle. Take a dry cloth and be sure not to use any lubricants of any kind, to wipe off any excess dust that has collected.

You can snap the hygienic bin back in place by locating the tab on the front of the cyclone with the recess in the bin inlet. Then you can close the bin base, double checking that it is shut. To wash the filter that is located at the top of the handle of the vacuum, is a very easy process.

You can remove it easily by twisting and pulling it out of the handle. Place under the running water from your sink and rinse it thoroughly for around 30 seconds. Then wring it twice with medium force and leave it somewhere safe to dry for 24 hours.

After it dries completely it can be put back into your vacuum, ready to go whenever you need to vacuum again. Besides those two regular cleanings that are to be implemented, other maintenance is not needed. Be sure to clean the exterior now and again, but as far as routine cleans go you can be assured that is the extent of it.

Unboxing Your Vacuum

The items and accessories that come with each respective sub-model factor heavily into the prices of each. We believe that demystifying what each and every DysonV6 vacuum comes with is important in factoring decisions.

Below, we will list out every single accessory each model comes with making it plain which models have certain tools. We’ll start with the least expensive and work our way up.

Dyson V6 Motorhead

  • Direct-drive cleaner head
  • Crevice tool
  • Combination tool
  • Battery Charger
  • Removable wand
  • Docking Station
  • Operating manual

Dyson V6 Animal

  • Direct-drive cleaner head
  • Mini motorized tool
  • Mini soft dusting brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Combination tool
  • Battery charger
  • Removable wand
  • Docking station
  • Operating manual

Dyson V6 Absolute

  • Soft roller cleaner head
  • Direct-drive cleaner head
  • Mini motorized tool
  • Mini soft dusting brush
  • Combination tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Operating manual
  • Quick start guide
  • Battery charger
  • Removable wand
  • Docking station

As you can see, the extra accessories are factored into the price and the more accessories you want the higher the price you will have to pay. The Dyson V6 Absolute will have more than one cleaner head whereas the Animal and Motorhead only employ the direct-driver clean head.

The advantages to having the two cleaner heads is that they each work effectively on carpet and hardwood floors. The Dyson V6 Animal actually incorporates a good amount of accessories whilst staying at a similar price as the Motorhead making it an obvious choice over that particular sub-model.

It is also very puzzling that the Dyson V6 Absolute is the only one that comes with a quick start guide. They do all come with an operating manual, but given the price point that the Absolute is offered at, it feels a bit advantageous.

Besides the soft cleaner head and the quick start guide, the Animal is able to offer all the extra accessories whilst staying at the cheapest price possible.

Price Differences

It will take a little time and research to make sure you are buying a new vacuum and not a refurbished one, since the V6 is now somewhat out of date when it comes to different versions of Dyson vacuums.

Pricing can sometimes be indicative of whether you may be purchasing a used vacuum or not. You’ll find that the cheapest option between the three is the Dyson V6 Motorhead available around $299.99.

The Dyson V6 Animal should be available around $299.99 and the Dyson V6 Absolute is available at the price of $599.99 when offered brand new. Just keep in mind all of their differences and how it is factored into each price.

On refurbished models: some people really want to buy products brand new, but others don’t mind as much if they’re getting a model that someone else once owned.

I tend to not mind the refurbished model if it’s something like a household appliances or a smaller electronic, like an iPod or a GoPro (never headphones or earbuds though, just personal preference even though I know the manufacturer will sanitize everything and swap out the parts that need to be changed).

Usually the manufacturer will really make sure that the product functions just as well as a brand new one, and if you get it with warranty then you definitely will have some peace of mind for a while. Of course it may differ if you’re buying directly from the manufacturer’s website or from a third-party seller, so that’s something to consider as well.

Conclusion

Dyson is a brand that offers some of the best in cleaning technology. Their Dyson V6 vacuums each share the best attributes of cordless vacuums and give reliable and effective cleans. Whichever sub-model you decide to go with, you really can’t go wrong with the quality of the product, even with a lower version number.

Generally, the newer models will have more accessories, but if you’re looking for a basic cordless vacuum cleaner with just a few accessories, then you really can’t go wrong with a lower version number–as long as you find one that fits your lifestyle.

What it will come down to is whether you want the experience and qualities of a premium cordless vacuum and what price you’re willing to pay. The added accessories that come with the Dyson V6 Absolute are great, but you can get most of the same accessories at a better price by getting the Dyson V6 Animal.

Budget buyers will have no problem picking the cheapest option, but we believe that the Dyson V6 Animal offers the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to having a premium cordless vacuum.

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