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Dyson Cyclone V10 review: The upright vacuum killer for less this Black Friday

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
400
inc VAT

Still a great cordless despite the introduction of the new V11, the Dyson Cyclone V10 is a fantastic vacuum cleaner

Pros 
Powerful, three-mode suction
Improved, smoother running cleaner head
Bigger dust container
Cons 
Heavier than before
Pricey
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Save £50 on the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal vacuum for Black Friday

If you find yourself routinely picking up hairs after a furry friend, this animal version of the Dyson Cyclone V10 may be for you. Just like the five-star V10 reviewed below, it has the same power modes, 0.76L dustbin and suction strength - the only difference appears to be a pet turbo tool in place of another cleaning head, so why not get it for a steal this Black Friday!
Dyson
Was £350
Now £300

The Dyson Cyclone V10 marked a watershed moment for the eponymous vacuum cleaner company. It was the first of a new breed – a cordless vacuum you could use in place of an upright – and the first vacuum of Dyson’s all-cordless lineup.

Since our initial review of the V10 was published, it’s been a big hit but Dyson has now released its successor – the Dyson Cyclone V11 – and it’s even better than the V10.

Does this mean you should disregard the Cyclone V10? Absolutely not. The V11, brilliant though it is, is £100 more expensive than the V10 and, since Dyson is still selling the V10, it’s still worth considering if funds can’t stretch to the shiny new V11.


Dyson Cyclone V10 review: What you need to know

That’s because the Dyson Cyclone V10 is still a very effective vacuum cleaner. In fact, it’s considerably more effective than the company’s V8 cordless with a more powerful motor, and it’s only slightly less powerful than the new V11.

READ NEXT: Best cordless vacuum cleaners compared

It comes with a variety of attachments, depending on whether you choose the Animal, Absolute or Total Clean “models” (see below for more details) and is effective and very easy to use as it’s cordless — once you’ve charged it you can take it anywhere in the house that needs a clean without having to worry about plugging into a wall socket.

Dyson Cyclone V10 review: Price and competition

It says a lot about the dominance of Dyson in the cordless vacuum space that the V10 main competition comes from its own stable, in the shape of the Dyson V8 range of cordless vacuum cleaners and, of course, the new Cyclone V11.

The V8 is less powerful than the V10 but it is a little lighter and easier to manipulate. The V11 is a touch more powerful, comes with a more effective cleaning head, better battery life in boost mode and an automatic, floor-type sensing cleaning head – but it’s heavier and a lot more expensive.

None of these vacuum cleaners is cheap. The V8 is the “cheapest” of the lot, with prices starting at £350. The Dyson Cyclone V10 is pricier than the V8 at a starting price of £400. That’s for the Animal version, which has the fewest number of tools and accessories, including the handy motorised soft-roller cleaner head.

The Dyson Cyclone V11 starts from £500. If you want the very best cordless vacuum cleaner money can buy, you’ll need to invest in the V11’s but the Cyclone V10’s still represents the best compromise between performance and value for money.

Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal vs V10 Absolute vs V10 Total Clean: What’s the difference?

In fact, before I go any further into this review, it’s worth laying out the differences between the “models” and what you get and don’t get, because it’s not abundantly clear from the names. So here’s a table detailing just that:

Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

Dyson Cyclone V10 Total Clean

Price

£400

£450

£500

Standard attachments

Direct-drive head

Direct-drive head

Direct-drive head

Crevice tool

Crevice tool

Crevice tool

Combination tool

Combination tool

Combination tool

Mini-motorised tool

Mini-motorised tool

Mini-motorised tool

Extra attachments

Mini soft dusting brush

Mini soft dusting brush

Mattress tool

Soft roller head

Soft roller head

Up top tool

Extension hose

* Motorised attachments highlighted in bold

The takeaway, though, is that there is no difference between the motor unit you get across the different models, just the type and number of attachments. For me, the best value model is the Absolute, because this gets you all three motorised heads.

The Animal might be for you if you only have carpets – the soft roller head is designed specifically for hard floor dusting and cleaning – but only buy the Total Clean if you’re a completionist. Asking an extra £50 for what is, effectively a hose and an extra brush is a little bit rich.

Dyson Cyclone V10 review: Design and key features

With that out of the way, it’s on to the Cyclone’s improvements and there are plenty of those. For starters, you’re getting improved battery life of up to 60 minutes in default mode, which is a 15-minute improvement over the V8. In boost mode, the battery lasts 30 minutes, and there’s now an extra “Max Boost” mode, accessible via the three-way switch on top of the V10’s housing, which gives you the best performance but only five minutes of battery.

As ever, the battery gives what Dyson calls “fade free” performance. All this means, in effect, is that the power doesn’t drop off as battery capacity runs low and, also as before, there’s an LED indicator below the grip handle to tell you roughly how much capacity is remaining. The on/off trigger ensures that you’re not using power when you don’t need to.

There’s a new layout to the components, too, which keeps the cleaning head, wand, dustbin and motor unit all in a straight line, enabling a straight-through air path, which Dyson says is more efficient. The new design also allows Dyson to squeeze in a 40% bigger dust container (it’s now 0.76l, up from 0.54l) and washable post motor and dust filters are now combined in one unit at the rear, which makes cleaning simpler than before.

Other improvements include a new rubber heel, which allows you to lean the V10 against the wall without worrying about it slipping sideways. There’s a larger dust ejector handle that feels much less fragile than on the V8 and requires less grunt to open. The bin itself is simpler and easier to release for cleaning, the wand provided with the Dyson Cyclone V10 is 50g lighter than before and Dyson has also improved the design of the standard motor-driven cleaner head so that it picks up more dust.

The key development with the Dyson Cyclone V10, though, is the new V10 “digital” motor, which has been significantly redesigned to provide more power in a smaller package than the V8. The new motor delivers a higher rpm – up to 125,000rpm – courtesy of a newly designed impeller, with a lightweight ceramic shaft and overlapping vanes. The result is, says Dyson, 20% extra airflow.

Dyson Cyclone V10 review: Performance and usability

All of these are welcome improvements and, mostly, they translate to better, more flexible cleaning performance than with the V8. To test out the suction and cleaning power, I cleaned a small section of carpet first with the V8 and then the V10 to see how much the second pass would pick up. I then reversed this on another section of nearby carpet, cleaning with the V10, then the V8 to see how the results differed.

In the first instance, the V10 picked up as much as the V8 did on the first pass. In the second, the V8 picked up noticeably less – a good indication of the increased power of the new model. With two more suction modes to explore there’s plenty of scope for deeper cleaning if you need it, too, although having used the Cyclone V10 for over a week, I’ve not yet felt the need to up the power.

That’s great, but flexibility and usability are at least as important as performance and on this count the Dyson Cyclone V10 also scores very highly. For example, the new straight-through design means the V10 is easier to squeeze into narrow gaps and under large items or low furniture.

The newly designed direct-drive head, as well as being more powerful than before, also judders less when you pull it back against the nap of the carpet. It rolls more smoothly across the carpet as a result and makes it far easier to manoeuvre. It’s also quieter and slightly less annoying than before, although it does emit a weird “ooom” sound every time you take your finger off the trigger.

Generally, the Dyson Cyclone V10 is a big improvement over the V8 but there is one negative: it’s heavier. Not by much, but it’s noticeable if you’re cleaning more than one room in one go. The V10’s improved head design does mitigate this somewhat, though.

Dyson Cyclone V10 review: Verdict

The Dyson Cyclone V10, like the V8 before it, is an excellent product. It is effective and practical, comes with a decent selection of accessories, and is a better cordless vacuum cleaner than the V8. In fact, the V10 Absolute launches at a price that’s £70 less than the V8 Absolute was originally available for.

It’s still a big investment, and other manufacturers’ products are generally much cheaper, but there’s no denying that this is a well-designed, powerful cordless vacuum cleaner. Just make sure you don’t buy the Total Clean package – the Dyson V10 Absolute offers the best value for money in the range.