Dyson pushes out a lot of marketing for its products, but it can be confusing as to what is different between their 2-in-1 vacuums.
Between the V6 Motorhead, V6 Animal, and V6 Absolute, there aren’t a lot of features that are exclusive to each. The V6 Absolute being the most unique, since it has a HEPA filter.
Aside from that, you won’t see any difference in suction or visible cleaning power.
So we have,
Well, the V6 Animal is essentially the same as the V6 Motorhead. The only difference being that the V6 Animal comes with a mini motorized brush for the handheld that is useful on stairs, furniture, and vehicle interiors.
Then you may ask, well what is the improvement of the V6 Animal over the basic V6? It’s all in the cleaner head. The improvement over the basic V6, for all other vacuums in the V6 Series, is the cleaner head. Dyson claims that the direct-drive cleaner head has 75% more brush bar power than the Dyson V6 Cord-free. This means they clean carpet better than the basic V6.
If you have mostly bare floors in your home, then seriously consider saving the cash and going for the basic V6 or possibly the V6 Motorhead. At the time of writing this, the basic V6 and V6 Motorhead are priced exactly the same. This is likely due to Amazon trying to move inventory, but nonetheless do your research so you don’t pay for more than you need!
- Low-pile Carpet
- Bare floors
- RV’s, Vehicles, Boats
- Capable of covering around 1000 Square Feet
- Suction is best-in-class for a 2-in-1
- Docking Station for accessible storage
- 3.5 Hour Charge Time
- Direct-drive brush roll; 75% more power than the V6 Cord-free brush roll
- Mini motorized brush tool for handheld is included
- Can reach from floor to ceiling
- Brush roll is easily removed and cleaned
- 2-year Warranty
- Only 20 minutes of runtime
- Holding the trigger can be difficult if you have arthritis
- Battery is not user replaceable
- No height adjustment for brush roll; not friendly for thick carpet or rugs.
I’ve found there’s no difference between the suction of the V6 series of vacuums. Dyson doesn’t claim any difference except for the cleaner head and attachments that are provided.
If you’ve had bad experiences with suction from a 2-in-1, you will be surprised at what the Dyson series is capable of. This vacuum should not be the only vacuum you use, and if this is your first 2-in-1 experience you will need to understand the compromises made for the 2-in-1 form factor.
The suction is so good that you find the dustbin fills up very quickly, and this is a big complaint from users that try to push a 2-in-1 beyond what’s it’s meant to handle.
Dyson goes an extra step to maximize the runtime of their 2-in-1’s by using a trigger mechanism to power the vacuum instead of a simple on/off button. This somewhat forces the user to focus on spot cleaning with the vacuum since holding the trigger can be tedious if you’re vacuuming a large area.
The main idea is that while the vacuum is being powered it is cleaning with purpose. There also is no warm-up time, so when you pull the trigger, the vacuum is ready to go.
Dyson claims that the V6 Animal has a 75% increase in brush roll power over the Dyson V6 Cord-free. This same brush roll is also in the V6 Motorhead and V6 Absolute.
Since the brush roll performance mainly impacts carpet, this is one more reason to favor the V6 Animal over the Cord-free if the majority of your home is carpeted.
Bare Floor Performance
Bare floor performance isn’t greatly enhanced with the direct-drive cleaner head. Bare floors don’t require much agitation to get dust up.
Often with brushless vacuums, you still end up with a small amount of dust still clinging to the floor. Having some brush action helps remove even more debris from bare floors.
The additional attachment that is included with the Dyson V6 Animal is the mini motorized brush tool for the handheld. It’s a smaller motorized brush than the cleaner head that you use when it’s in the stick vacuum form. This is great for cars and RV’s since they often have small crevices and upholstery you need to get too.
- Mini Motorized Brush tool for the handheld.
- Crevice Tool
- Combo Brush and Crevice Tool
- You have the option of attaching the cleaner head directly to the handheld.
You may find you actually prefer using the standard cleaner head with the handheld instead of the mini motorized brush for stairs. Though you can certainly use either. The cleaner head is closer to the width of a stair so you can nearly clean an entire stair in one pass.
Check out this video of the handheld with the cleaner head being used on carpeted stairs.
Battery & Runtime
- 20 minutes
- Lithium Ion Battery
- 3.5 Hour charge time
If there is a sore spot with this vacuum, then the runtime is it. Even so, it’s about average for a 2-in-1, but also equally as important is the recharge time.
Three and a half hours is slightly better than average. It would be nice to get 30 to 40 minutes, but back to the purpose of this vacuum: spot cleaning.
A lot of 2-in-1’s have 5 to 9 hour charge times, which when you only get 15-20 minutes of use, is horrendous. Dyson hits a sweet spot of compromise with the V6 series.
If you’re willing to splurge, however, you can get 40 minutes of runtime with the Dyson V8 Absolute.
The filter on all the Dyson 2-in-1’s is very accessible. There’s no need to open the dustbin to get to it. Simply pull it out of the top of the handheld.
It’s washable, and Dyson recommends cleaning it once a month, then letting it dry for 24 hours. Dyson claims that all parts on the Dyson V6 are built to last 10 years, so you shouldn’t have to replace it for quite a while.
Allergy & Asthma Friendly Alternatives
Of the Dyson 2-in-1 vacuums, the V8 Absolute and the V6 Absolute are the only ones with HEPA filtration. The V8 Absolute is about twice the price of the V6 Cord-free, whereas the V6 Absolute is about $100 more. As a bonus, however, the V8 Absolute has twice the runtime(40 minutes).
As you can see from the example videos above, pet hair isn’t a problem for this vacuum.
The V6 Animal is built for handling low-pile carpet very well, so getting a lot of pet hair up isn’t a problem as long as you keep the dustbin emptied.
Regular Maintenance & Clog Removal
After each use, make sure any strings or hair wrapped around the brush roll are removed. Clean the filter cup and shake out the filter.
If you noticed reduced suction, check for clogs around the entrance to the pipe at the vacuum head and the dustbin. Remove clogs as early as possible to prevent damage to the motor.
- Wipe out the dustbin with a damp cloth
- Wash the filter once a month and let dry for 24 hours
The complains of the Dyson V6 series of vacuums are pretty much all the same.
The major problems areas are:
- 15-20 minute runtime
- Small dustbin
- They suck up so much stuff that the dustbin needs to be emptied before the charge runs out.
Dyson may have got it right with the suction strength, but a lot of people just expect more battery life.
This vacuum truly is just for spot cleaning. You can’t clean your entire house with it.
Warranty & Customer Service
Some users report their battery failing after the 30 day return period, but still within the 2-year warranty. We asked Dyson the following,
“… I would like to know if Dyson replaces the battery if it doesn’t hold a charge within the 2-year warranty period.”
and their response,
“…The cordless vacuum and all of its parts are engineered to last at least 10 years. The 2-year manufacturer warranty covers parts and labor for manufacturer defect from the date of purchase when used for private household purposes in accordance with the Operating Manual.”
So they expect the unit to last at least 10 years, but as everyone knows some defects occur in manufacturing. Dyson responds very well to these issues and offers to fix the problem. Dyson has great support and responsiveness to customer inquiries. You shouldn’t have any issues getting Dyson to honor their warranty if an issue occurs with your unit.
|Form Factor||2-in-1, Stick|
|Brush Height Adjustment||No|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Charge Time||3.5 Hours|