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Dyson V10 Absolute vs. Dyson V10 Animal: Which Cyclone model is best?

When it comes to flagship vacuums, Dyson leads the pack when it comes to performance, features, and reliability. From uprights and canister style vacuums to ergonomic handheld models, there’s a Dyson vacuum for every home, car, and garage — as well as plenty of attachments to adapt to whatever kind of cleaning you need to do.

Dyson’s V10 Cyclone products are a go-to for many Dyson fans, and for good reason. The V10 represents over 25 years of vacuum research and development that has produced a family of cordless stick vacuums that combine the tech of Dyson’s full-sized machines with its miniature vacs. The end result: A phenomenal cordless vacuum body with comfortable controls, premium suction, and a bounty of attachments.

Within the V10 lineup, there are three distinct Cyclone models: The Animal, Absolute, and Total Clean. While there are many similarities between these V10s, there are a few key differences to set the models apart. In this piece, we’ll be breaking down the the V10 Absolute and V10 Animal features to help you figure out which V10 is right for you.

Design

The Dyson V10 point-and-shoot dustbin.

Dimensionally, the V10 Absolute and Animal are identical. With the fully elongated stick attachment in place, both vacs measure 9.5 inches tall, 49.2 inches long, 10.1 inches wide, and weigh 5.9 pounds. In terms of color, both models sport Dyson’s trademark purple trimmings, but the stick casings are different shades. The Absolute is black and the Animal is iron (similar to chrome).

Both the V10 Absolute and Animal vacs bring Dyson’s new “in-line” design to the table. That means the V10’s motor, dustbin, and cyclone are all in alignment. From a performance standpoint, Dyson opted for this new design to increase suction power throughout the whole vacuum. From carpets to hardwoods, you’ll feel the difference immediately — especially compared to Dyson’s V8 lineup.

As part of the in-line design, both vacs are equipped with a 0.2-gallon dustbin with a point-and-shoot removal feature. When all attachments are removed, simply aim the V10 body into a trash can and press the point-and-shoot trigger to empty the bin.

Dyson’s acoustic absorption tech is also present in both the Absolute and Animal, allowing the vacs to dampen sound as you clean, making for a quieter clean compared to other leading cordless stick vacs. Both vacuums are also ready-made for total handheld cleaning. Once you detach the main stick, you’ll be able to use the V10 body for things like car seats and floors, couch cushions, and other quick vacuuming jobs.

Both models are equipped with Dyson’s whole-machine filtration. For those with sensitivities to airborne pollutants, Dyson has always been one the best brands for keeping the air clean in your home, and the V10 line is no exception. The Absolute and Animal are fully sealed filtration systems that trap up to 99.9% of pollutants, taking care of particles as small as 0.3 microns and expelling pollutant-free air back into your residence.

Since the two models are so similar we’re calling this category a tie.

Motor and suction

The Dyson V10 motor.
Jeremy Kaplan/Digital Trends

In terms of motor and overall suction, the V10 Absolute and Animal models are identical in these aspects as well. The revamped V10 digital motor has been designed from the ground up to offer stronger suction across all V10 attachments, especially when compared to the V8 motor. Dyson has also equipped both models with 14 cyclones that generate enough force to fling the tiniest of pollutants (like pollen and bacteria) into the dustbin.

Both the Absolute and Animal also come with Dyson’s Torque drive cleaner head, a motorized attachment that sends vibrations to the head’s nylon bristles, helping to loosen deep-seated debris in the shaggiest of living room carpets. You’ll also be able to choose from three distinct suction modes with both models, compared to just the “standard” and “boost” options of older Dyson cordless vacs. The three new modes are low, medium, and high.

These two models sport the same motor and overall suction functionality, so in this category is also a tie.

Battery

In terms of longevity, Dyson supplied the Absolute and Animal with a seven-cell aluminum battery that offers fade-free power, regardless of which suction mode you’re using. While cleaning time will vary based on the suction mode and attachments you’re using, you can get up to 60 minutes of cleaning time using the V10’s least heavy-duty cleaning features. When you add the Torque drive head, you can expect up to 35 minutes when set to low. With the soft roller cleaning head (Absolute only — more on that below), you’ll get up to 40 minutes when set to “low.”

In terms of recharging, it’ll take both models about 3.5 hours to juice up from a totally depleted battery.

The Dyson V10 and Animal are so similar in this category, we’re calling it a tie — again.

Attachments

Dyson V10 Absolute with motor-driven attachment.

Here is one category where the Absolute and Animal models actually differ. In terms of quick-clip attachments, the V10 Absolute comes with two motor-driven cleaning heads — the torque drive and soft roller cleaner heads. The latter is tailor-made for hard-surface floors, utilizing soft-woven nylon bristles and antistatic carbon fiber to suck up major messes without scratching up your kitchen laminate. While the main torque drive head does a great job of tackling hardwood messes, the Soft roller head is ideal for the delicate hard surfaces in your home, with the bristles and carbon fiber acting as buffers between the drive head and your floors.

Additional Absolute attachments include the mini motorized tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush, and combination tool. The V10 Animal includes every V10 Absolute attachment — except for the soft roller cleaner head.

We’re giving this category to the Dyson V10 Absolute.

Price and warranty

With the additional soft roller cleaner head, the V10 Absolute is a little more expensive than the V10 Animal. Right now, you can purchase the V10 Absolute for $550. The V10 Animal sells for $500. All Dyson cordless vacuums come with a two-year warranty.

While the two models have the same warranty, the Dyson V10 Animal costs less, making it the winner in this category.

The verdict

Dyson V10 Cordless Vacuum used in a living room.

In our opinion, spending the extra $50 on the V10 Absolute is your best bet. Yes, the fundamentals and core attachments are nearly identical between both models, but the soft roller head is a must-have for homeowners with delicate surfaces.

However, if you’re budget-minded and would rather save the $50, the V10 Animal is still an excellent Dyson cordless vacuum that offers the same power, battery, and suction modes as the Absolute — save for the single soft roller attachment.

Winner: Dyson V10 Absolute

What about the V10 Total Clean?

There’s one more model in the V10 lineup — the V10 Total Clean. Priced around $700, the Total Clean uses the same motor and suction tech as the Absolute and Animal models, and comes with all of the Absolute attachments (save for the mini soft dusting brush).

So what does the extra $150 get you? The answer is three unique attachments: An up-top adapter (that you can purchase for the Absolute and Animal separately) for multi-angle cleaning, an extension hose, and a mattress tool.

As of the writing of this article, the V10 Total Clean is in short supply through Dyson and other online vendors.

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