Is a Dyson Vacuum Really Worth the Money? We Tested One to Find Out.
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Are Dyson vacuums worth it? One editor put the V11 Torque Drive cord-free vacuum to the test.
I’m proud to announce that I reached peak adulthood. How do I know? I got excited about a vacuum cleaner.
Now, previously, vacuuming was a chore I absolutely dreaded. I mean, who actually enjoys lugging a heavy machine around to each room, plugging it into a different outlet every five minutes and sticking their hand into a grimy filter? I certainly don’t. (Especially once I learned how often I should be vacuuming!)
So, when I got the opportunity to test out Dyson’s V11 Torque Drive cord-free vacuum, I was intrigued. This modern machine looks more like a spaceship than a vacuum cleaner, and it boasted a lot of impressive features. The only downside? A $700+ price tag.
We put this vacuum cleaner through the paces so you can decide once and for all, are Dyson vacuums worth it?
What Is the Dyson V11 Vacuum?
The V11 is labeled as “Dyson’s most intelligent, powerful cordless vacuum.” It boasts up to an hour of run time and is suitable to use on a variety of floor types. The V11 works as both a standard, upright vacuum, and it can also be converted to a handheld cleaner for hard-to-reach spots.
Plus, we can all but guarantee this is the smartest vacuum you’ll ever use. An LCD screen indicates battery level, remaining run time, filter cleaning reminders and more. And the built-in Dynamic Load Sensor system automatically adjusts between floor types—so no more fumbling with pedals and buttons as you transition between the carpeted hallway and hardwood bedroom floors.
As an added bonus, the V11 is completely cordless. And it runs on the impressive suction power Dyson is famous for.
Unboxing the Dyson V11
When the Dyson arrived, I was impressed by how much they were able to fit into a relatively small package. Upon opening, I unveiled the vacuum, a connecting shaft, several attachments, a docking station, a charger and the Torque Drive head.
At first, all of these pieces looked pretty intimidating. But with the help of the operating manual, I had the vacuum fully assembled in mere minutes.
The next step was to charge the machine. Since I live in an apartment (where drilling holes in the wall is a major no-no), I opted to just plug the vacuum directly into the wall charger. But the vac does come with a mounting plate, if you’re so inclined.
How the Dyson V11 Works
Start by selecting your desired power mode: Eco, Auto or Boost. Eco is designed for longer cleaning projects and ensures you’ll get the most bang out of your battery’s buck. Auto mode is a medium setting that will help your vacuum automatically adjust its power when transitioning between floors. And Boost—an intense cleaning mood that will suction even the most ground-in dirt and grime. To toggle between power modes, simply press a button on the vacuum’s LCD screen. (Yeah, it’s that fancy).
Once your power mode is selected, start the vacuum by holding down a trigger. This design definitely takes a little time to get used to. At first, I thought I was doing something wrong because the vacuum would shut off when I let go. But in hindsight, this feature helps preserve your vacuum’s battery life since it uses power only when you’re cleaning. (As opposed to a standard vacuum that keeps running until you turn it off).
How We Tested the Dyson V11
The Cleaning Test: Hardwood Floors
First, I vacuumed the hardwood floors in my apartment on Eco mode. I was impressed (and slightly horrified) with how much dust and hair the Dyson picked up. I consider myself a fairly clean person, but this machine had so much more power compared to the vacuum I previously used. Plus, since I didn’t have to worry about plugging it in, I could move the vacuum into hard-to-reach areas I’ve never been able to access, like underneath radiators. (These are the spots you’re not vacuuming, but should be.)
I had to empty the cleaning bin twice as I vacuumed my tiny one-bedroom space. Yikes! But luckily the process was super simple. I disconnected the machine from the shaft, pulled down the opening bin over the trash and snapped the bin back in place.
The Cleaning Test: Carpeting + Furniture
To really stretch this vac’s legs I took it to my parents’ house, which has carpet, hardwood and tile floors. My mom was initially skeptical—she’s used to changing the settings in between each flooring type—but instantly fell in love. The Dyson performed just as well on carpet as it did on hardwood, sucking up a full bin of dust, hair and dirt. (And my mom’s stricter about her vacuuming schedule than I am!) The only drawback? On some settings, the vacuum was a little hard to push on carpet.
Psst! Are you making any of these cleaning mistakes that are making your home dirtier?
I also tested out the hand-vac attachments on my couch. At first, I accidentally plugged in the wrong attachment, but the machine quickly alerted me with a warning message on the LCD screen. Once I rectified my mistake, I put the vacuum on Boost mode and worked my way around the furniture. In less than five minutes it was crumb-free and just as clean as when I first bought it. I’m looking forward to using the hand-vac feature in my car, too.
Dyson V11 Update
I’ve been using this vacuum cleaner for over two years now—and I still love it. I’ve moved to a larger space with all-hardwood and tile floors, and the Dyson V11 keeps dust, dirt and other debris at bay. Plus, it still runs and charges like the day I first opened it! The only signs of wear are some scuff marks on the Torque Drive head.
The one (slight) downside to this vacuum cleaner is that it doesn’t have a wet option. Even small amounts of water can harm the LCD screen and other smart components, so I take extra care when vacuuming my kitchen floor. By the way, here are more things you should never try to vacuum.
Dyson V11 Vacuum Features
A vacuum is a big purchase! Here are a few things to consider when deciding if the Dyson V11 is right for you.
What we liked about the Dyson V11:
- Easy to use and charge
- Picks up a ton of dirt, dust and debris
- Three cleaning modes for any task
- A variety of attachments for cleaning furniture, stairs and other tricky spots
- Low-profile head makes it easy to vacuum under beds and sofas
- No cord means you can use the vacuum anywhere
What to consider about the Dyson V11:
- The battery may not last long enough to clean large homes on a single charge
- Some may find the hold-down trigger difficult to use
- Can be hard to push on carpeting
- Not suitable for wet or damp spaces (i.e. kitchens and bathrooms)
- With a price tag over $700, this vacuum cleaner is an investment
What Other Reviewers Had To Say
“I was concerned about the price to value ratio, but I needed a new solution to take care of a recently renovated home,” writes swanarl. “Wow. In under a week, it completely changed my cleaning habits (hello, parent of twins with no time!). I use it for everything, floors, clean under table after dinner, clean up constantly spilled messes…vacuum baseboards, clean window blinds, clean between the window and the window screen where dirt accumulates. I now vacuum instead of dusting.”
Silicon Valley Dave writes: “I read the reviews, but didn’t expect this vacuum would work as well as it does. The battery lasts much longer than expected because I almost never need to use boost mode. The auto mode does a great job on carpet and tile floors. This thing pulls up dirt, fine sand, and dog hair admirably, every bit as well as my big high-end corded vacuum. However, the greatest part is it’s ease of use. All I do is pick it up, and start vacuuming. I can finish the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, hallways, bedroom, and walk-in closet easily with one charge, and in far less time than it takes to fool around with a power cord and heavy vacuum.”
Are Dyson Vacuums Worth It? Our Final Verdict
Now, an answer to the question you’ve been waiting for: Is this vacuum really worth the price tag?
Answer: Yes! Trust me, I was a skeptic at first, too. After all, $700 is a lot of money. But there were so many features that made this vacuum worth the cost. It’s well-designed and so easy to use. Plus, it comes with a 2-year warranty and is one of the most well-respected brand names in the industry. (These kitchen brands are well-renowned, too).
But what really sold me was how clean my apartment felt after just one use. I suffer from allergies, and there’s nothing more satisfying than picking up dust and placing it in the trash where it belongs. (Next, read up on our top cleaning tips for people with allergies).
Want your own? You can buy the Dyson V11 Torque Drive cord-free vacuum on Amazon.
Up Next: Find out what the best hand vacuum options are for your dust-busting needs.
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