Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum cleaner review

Read our Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum cleaner review to see if this bagless cordless stick vacuum and handheld in one is as good as its rep

Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum cleaner review
(Image credit: Dyson)
Real Homes Verdict

A vac that will do spot and regular cleaning with ease and acquit itself well on all manner of surfaces.

Reasons to buy
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    Easy to swap between jobs

Reasons to avoid
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    Having to hold the power button down won’t suit every user

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Reading our Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum cleaner review because you're thinking of choosing it to keep hard floors, carpet and the rest of your home spick and span? Good plan: our review has all the information you need. I've tested a wide selection of the best vacuum cleaners on carpet, parquet, tiles, stairs and upholstery, and challenged them with mud, fluff, light debris and pet hair to give you the lowdown on how efficiently they’ll do the job, how easy they are to use, and how much space they’ll take up in your cupboard. 

And I gave the Dyson V8 Absolute a thorough testing – read on to find out how it rates. 

Dyson V8 Absolute at a glance:

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

  • Type: cordless stick and handheld
  • Bag or bagless: bagless
  • Suction: fabulous
  • Noise: it’s not a strain to talk over
  • Easy storage: yes, it’s a neat little number

Dyson V8 Absolute

(Image credit: Dyson)

Vac specifications:

  • Power: 22 air Watts normal; 115 air watts maximum
  • Dimensions: H250 x L1244 x W224mm\
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • Container capacity: 0.54 litres

Who will the Dyson V8 Absolute suit?

Cordless vac enthusiasts after a does-every-job-including-the-car model, and those whose mobility makes a light vacuum essential.

What is the Dyson V8 Absolute like to use?

Dyson V8 Absolute

(Image credit: Dyson)

Simple to handle and easy to adapt to each job, it’s a nifty machine that makes doing the cleaning a whole lot less work.

Using the Dyson V8 Absolute on Hard flooring, carpet and stairs

The Dyson V8 Absolute comes with two heads: a direct drive version for carpets and a soft roller head for hard floors. Swapping can slow down a vacuuming session depending on the vac, but I found changing between the two on this one was swift enough not to prolong the task unnecessarily. Top marks for bringing up the carpet pile, too. It had a like-new appearance once this model had done its work. Changing from stick to handheld ready to tackle the stairs was a piece of cake.

Dyson V8 Absolute Attachments

Dyson V8 Absolute

(Image credit: Future)

The Dyson V8 Absolute comes with all the attachments you could require to go with the handheld or the stick. There’s a combination tool that allows you to choose whether to make use of a brush, or not, according to the surface you want to concentrate on; a crevice tool for the usual edge and small gap jobs; a dusting brush; and a mini motorised tool that works a treat on furry seating, say, or grubby car seats (as just another example plucked from thin air and with no admission of guilt).

Dyson V8 Absolute Power and debris removal

This vac has two power modes but there was a price to pay for the max version which has only seven minutes of running time against the 40 minutes you get from the powerful mode. The latter does live up to its name, however, so the machine got around a lot of my house before requiring recharging. As far as picking up the muck goes, I found my results a little mixed on hard floors. Light debris and dust were removed effectively, whereas mud was scattered a little by the vac, and needed a few extra passes. My results were reversed on carpet as the machine sucked up mud really well, but moved lighter debris around a bit so it needed some extra attention.

Emptying the Dyson V8 Absolute container

Getting rid of the accumulated dirt and dust from the container wasn’t intuitive for me. Once I’d got the hang of it with instructions in hand, though, it became easy.

Handy features of the Dyson V8 Absolute

Not having a cord to get in the way is always a handy feature in my book, so the Dyson V8 Absolute was ahead from the start. The simple manoeuvre to make it into a handheld was time-saving, too. The stick part of the vacuum was long enough for it to get up high for cleaning awkward spots.

Storing the Dyson V8 Absolute

This is definitely a contender for small homes. It didn’t take up much space – especially bearing in mind that it’s two vacuums in one.

Manoeuvrability of the Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute

(Image credit: Dyson)

Carrying it around the house was made easy by its light weight. The only downside for me came from the dimensions of the stick. It’s great that this is long enough to clean under furniture or high up, but that did make it more awkward to lift up the staircase. Taller vacuumers wouldn’t encounter the same problem, of course. It’s simple and convenient to take out to the car as well.

How does the Dyson V8 Absolute rate online?

It’s a big hit on the Dyson site with the 1,868 reviewers giving an average 4.7 out of five stars. What are its plus points according to the happy commenters? Getting dirt up where other vacs had gone before impressed, as well as the easiness of swapping attachments. Although this model isn’t targeted at pet owners, those with animals praised it for picking up hair. 

Drawbacks? Some buyers found the handle uncomfortable and didn’t like holding the button down (Dyson does comment that this is a deliberate decision to extend the battery charge so the machine’s not on while you’re, say, moving a piece of furniture). Some buyers felt the running time on max power was disappointing.

An average of 4.5 out of five stars was the score from Amazon shoppers with 71 per cent giving it the full five stars. Highest scores were awarded for suction power, the lightness of the machine and ease of use. Buyers were delighted with how easy the machine is to use, its handiness for spot cleaning (so you don’t have to get a heavy vac out to sort out crumbs, for instance), and – once again – pet hair removal efficiency. A running time that’s not long enough was among the negatives, together with unsatisfactory results on some hard flooring.

How does it rate against similar vacuum cleaners?

It’s at the pricier end of the cordless vac market, but the powerful suction and all-round handiness of the Dyson V8 Absolute make it worth investing in, including if you’re a pet owner.

Can’t wait to buy? Take a look at the Dyson website or Amazon and check out our Dyson deals page for the latest bargains. 

About our review – and our reviewer

Sarah Warwick has specialised in homes and interiors for over 20 years. She has written for Real Homes for many years, was Executive Editor of Ideal Home magazine, and has written for nationals, magazines and websites including Homebuilding & Renovating, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, Houzz, The Guardian, House Beautiful and Country Homes & Interiors. She put the vacuums through their paces all round the house, on all sorts of dirt and debris, and a variety of flooring and surfaces. 



Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For Realhomes.com, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.