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Dyson V6

Dyson V6 Absolute review: One of the best cordless vacuum cleaners

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
399
inc VAT

An incredibly light cordless vacuum cleaner that's perfect at cleaning a wide variety of surfaces, from carpets to hard floors

Pros 
Long-lasting battery
Perfect for all surface types
Lightweight and maneuverable
Cons 
Undeniably expensive
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Think Dyson, and you'll think of a brand synonymous with cramming raw power into a compact little package. Just take a look at that powerful hairdryer and you'll see what I mean. Dyson's V6 Absolute doesn't stray from that, thankfully, it's lightweight, small enough to fit in most cupboards, and will suck up anything you ask it to, putting mains-reliant vacuums to shame.

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Take a look, and you'll think nothing had changed from its predecessor. Don't take that as a negative, though: Mr Dyson is well-known for eye-catching, yet practical home appliances and the: "if it 'ain't broke don't fix it" approach rings true here more than most. There's that power trigger grip at the top end, along with the motor and battery just below. With that, and not with a simple one-button press, you're only draining the battery as and when you need to, even if it is a touch sensitive.

With the centre of gravity up high, it's incredibly easy to manoeuvre, lift up and clean the ceiling, without strain on your back. Given the V6 Absolute weighs just 2.7Kg (when empty at least), this is one of the lightest vacuum cleaners we've tested thus far.

Dyson V6 absolute 1

Dyson V6 Absolute review: Ease of use

The main way the Absolute differs from Dyson’s other cordless models is the presence of a post-motor filter, as well as the now standard pre-filter. According to Dyson, this prevents up to 99.97% of particles escaping back into the air when cleaning. This should make it more suited to those with dust allergies that can be exacerbated when cleaning, but with no-one on staff being a sufferer it was impossible to verify the claim. The filter unscrews with a twist and is easy to rinse clean.

Unsurprisingly for a handheld vacuum, the V6 Absolute doesn’t have a huge capacity. At 0.4l, you’ll likely have to empty it every time you use it for a full house clean. At least emptying the bin is quick and easy, with a convenient sliding mechanism opening the lid and letting the dirt drop out freely into a rubbish bag. You can’t really trigger the release accidentally, so you don’t have to worry about making a mess.

Dyson V6 absolute 3

The pink extension tube clips on and off easily, with terminals sending power from the vacuum to the brush head when you use one of the direct drive attachments. With separate heads for carpets and hard floors, a smaller direct drive head for sofas and stairs, a crevice tool and a multi-function brush tool, the V6 Absolute has more accessories than some full-size vacuums. The larger heads have ball joints, which makes them incredibly articulate when changing direction, and they are all able to get very close to walls and corners, ensuring nothing is missed. The wall-mounted charging station helpfully holds the attachments when you aren’t using them, and doubles as a storage rack for the vacuum itself.

Dyson V6 Absolute review: Performance

The Absolute combines Dyson’s V6 digital motor, which spins at an incredible 110,000 revolutions per minute to produce a maximum 100 air watts of suction, with the cyclone technology previously used in the company’s mains-powered vacuums. The 15 cyclones are placed in two radial tiers, which preserves air pressure on its way through the vacuum and helps capture smaller dust particles. When empty, we measured suction at 11kPa, or 19kPa in MAX mode; that’s on par with some of the mains-powered vacuums we reviewed last year. Impressively, this didn’t drop at all while the battery was draining, or when the bin was half or even almost full.

Dyson V6 absolute 4

The direct drive cleaner head draws power from the vacuum to spin its brush bars, which push brush bristles deeper into carpets than the manually- or air-driven competition, which should help it remove more dirt. Indeed, it showed in our carpet tests, taking just a single sweep to clean up a cat litter spill. It didn’t kick dirt around the floor, either, collecting it without making further mess.

The hard floor cleaner head was perfect for kitchen spills, picking up fine powders in a single sweep. The floor might not have looked as shiny as it did after the V6 Fluffy’s buffeting brush head had swept it (the cordless Dyson designed specifically for hard floors), but it was unquestionably clean, with no streaks or left-over fine dust. It even gets into crevices without the need to engage MAX mode. You can the see the performance in our baking powder test below, with the before and after shots.

Dyson V6 absolute - tile test (before)

Beyond the typical combination and crevice tools, the mini motorised tool does a fantastic job on sofas and in the car, effectively picking up dust that has had the chance to settle.

Battery life is paramount in any cordless vacuum cleaner, and while Dyson’s best case run time of twenty minutes might seem low versus competing models, considering suction is so much better, you actually spend less time overall vacuuming and that 20-minute limit never really becomes an issue. You also have to think how you use a product like this: you only engage the motor when you're physically vacuuming; with a corded model you generally have the vacuum running all of the time, even when you're not physically vacuuming.

Using one of the motorised brush heads will reduce this to 15 minutes, and engaging the Max mode lowers it further to six minutes total runtime. Max mode is only really necessary for big spills, and isn’t needed for day-to-day cleaning.

Dyson V6 absolute 5

Because the docking station doubles as a mains charger, the V6 Absolute should always be fully charged when you come to use it as long as you leave the mains adapter plugged in. However, it’s impossible to tell how much battery you have left when you’re using the vacuum as there’s no power indicator - the vacuum simply shuts down completely when it’s out of charge. It takes around three and a half hours to fully recharge. The good news is that you get full power throughout the charge and suction doesn't drop off as the battery empties.

Dyson V6 Absolute review: Verdict

The V6 Absolute is undeniably expensive; it costs as much as some mains-powered vacuums, but that’s because you could feasibly use it to replace a full-size vacuum. It has a battery that lasts long enough to clean the entire home. Thanks to unparalleled suction and its compact, easy to carry design, you can be sure that your house will be very clean, right into the corners. It isn’t quite as adept at hard floors – that’s what the V6 Fluffy is for, after all – but it still does a better job than any other cordless vacuum out there. If your house is mostly comprised of carpets, this is the cordless cleaner to buy.

Hardware
Dimensions (HxWxD)250x1207x208mm
Weight2.3kg
Bin capacity0.4l
Vacuum TypeCordless handheld
Bagless?Yes
Floor typescarpet, hard floors
Telescopic tube?No
Filters?Pre-filter
AccessoriesSoft roller cleaner head, Motorised cleaner head, Mini Motorised Tool, Docking Station, Combination Tool, Rigid Crevice Tool, extension tube
Power and capacity
Vacuum power - stated (W)28AW/100AW MAX
Suction - empty (kPa)11kPa / 19kPa MAX
Suction - half full (kPa)11kPa / 19kPa MAX
Suction - full (kPa)11kPa / 19kPa MAX
Run time20m (regular)
Charge time3h 30m

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