Perfect for hard floors, the V6 Fluffy is unbeatable for battery-powered performance
Dimensions (HxWxD): 250x1207x208mm, Weight: 2.3kg, Bin capacity: 0.4l, Vacuum Type: Cordless handheld, Bagless?: Yes, Vacuum power – stated (W): 28AW/100AW MAX
The Dyson V6 Fluffy is no longer widely available, but for a similar price you can buy the Dyson V7 Animal. The latter offers similar levels of performance, albeit without a dedicated hard-floor brush. Alternatively, if your budget will stretch to £400, you can pick up the excellent Cyclone V10, which Jon Bray labelled “the upright vacuum killer”. The Cyclone V10 is powerful, has a longer-lasting battery and is easier to manoeuvre on carpet than its cheaper counterparts, making it a worthy investment.
Original review continues below:
Hard floors used to be vastly outnumbered by carpet here in the UK, but that is rapidly changing; compared to twenty years ago, the country has seen an almost 75% increase in sales of wood, ceramic, laminate and vinyl flooring. That’s why Dyson has finally brought the V6 Fluffy handheld vacuum over from the far east, where it launched last year.
On paper, the Fluffy looks a lot like the V6 Absolute, with the same overall design but the post-motor filter removed from the back of the vacuum. This brings the total weight down to 2.3kg, which is on par with many handheld vacuum cleaners, but is astounding when you consider the Fluffy is meant to replace a mains-powered vacuum.
Aside from a change of colours, the Fluffy has the same trigger grip as the Absolute, with the battery underneath, motor above and 0.4l bin in front. It’s easy to lift above your head to clean hard to reach ceiling corners, as the centre of gravity is around the handle. The power trigger makes sure the battery only drains when you are vacuuming, which makes more sense in a battery-powered vacuum than a hard on/off button.
Dyson V6 Fluffy review: Ease of use
The big difference comes with the included vacuum heads; whereas the direct drive brush head bundled with the V6 is designed for carpets, the Fluffy has a much softer brush head that was built exclusively for hard floors. The roller bar is covered in soft nylon and interspersed with carbon fibre filaments: the soft material envelops larger debris and forces it up the vacuum hose, preventing it from being flung across the floor by the rotation motion, while the carbon fibre picks-up fine dust. The roller bar covers almost the entire width of the brush head, and sits flush to the floor to create a tight seal, meaning better suction.
You don’t have to panic if you also have a few carpeted areas, as the Fluffy comes with a secondary brush head that is better suited to carpets. There’s also a mini motorised tool for removing ground-in dirt, which is particularly handy for cleaning car seats and floor mats, a crevice tool and a combination tool for those trickier spots like skirting boards and furniture. It’s more than you get with many full-size vacuums.
The motorised brush heads are powered by the vacuum, with terminals running down the blue telescopic tube, although removing it and using the Fluffy handheld is possible too. Both are left/right and up/down articulated, but don’t use the ball-joint articulation found on the Absolute because they need to remain flat to the floor for the best suction on hard surfaces. Each one still glides smoothly across all floor types, and with the brush bars pushing right up to the edge of each head you’re able to get right into corners and the edges of walls.
The bin is easy to empty, too: a pull-down release switch flicks open the bin lid, with the dust and dirt inside dropping out into a rubbish bag. It’s next to impossible to pull down the switch accidentally, so there’s little chance of you emptying a full bin all over the floor.
Dyson V6 Fluffy review: Performance
Just like the Absolute, the Fluffy uses Dyson’s V6 digital motor to create suction. It spins at a whopping 110,000 RPM, which, combined with the company’s patented cyclone cylinder design, creates a maximum 100 air watts of suction power. There are 15 cyclones, placed in two radial tiers, which admittedly eat into the maximum bin capacity, but should also help the Fluffy pick up smaller dust particles than competing vacuums. With the bin empty, we measured suction at 11kPa, or 19kPa with MAX mode enabled. That result is actually comparable to some of the mains-powered vacuum cleaners Expert Reviews looked at last year. Even better, this figure didn’t drop at all, either when the battery was almost depleted, or when the bin was nearly full.
The direct drive fluffy head worked wonders with our black floor tiles, leaving them cleaner than before we’d spilt anything on them; the brush bar created a buffeting motion that really made them sparkle. It easily handled our baking powder spill, picking up everything in a single sweep and not leaving anything behind, as you can see from the before and after shots below. Larger particles weren’t a problem, either. A cat litter spill was sucked up cleanly, without sending grit scattering across the floor, with nothing left in the crevices of our wooden floors either.
The carpet brush bar isn’t as large here as it is on the V6 Absolute, and while it still managed to pick up 90% of a cat litter spill there were still a few bits and pieces left behind after one sweep. That being said, it’s second only to the Absolute here, and still outperforms all the other cordless vacuums we’ve seen to date. Engaging MAX mode ensured everything was collected on the first sweep.
The Fluffy has the same lithium ion battery as the Absolute, which Dyson says should last for around twenty minutes of general use, fifteen minutes with one of the motorised brush heads attached, or six minutes in MAX mode. This might sound low compared to other cordless vacuums that claim upwards of an hour away from the mains, but realistically it never becomes an issue; because suction is so good, it only takes a few sweeps to completely clean a room, so you should be able to clean the whole house on a single charge. Importantly, Fluffy never reduces suction as battery charge diminishes, so vacuuming is as effective at 1m as it is as 20m.
The charging station can be wall-mounted to put the vacuum within easy reach, or hide it away for convenient storage, but either way it ensures the Fluffy always has charge when you come to use it. It is annoying that there’s no way to tell how much battery life you have left, though; the vacuum simply shuts off when it’s completely out of juice, and takes around three and a half hours to fully recharge. The charging station also has room for the Fluffy’s multiple attachments, which is convenient.
Dyson V6 Fluffy review: Conclusion
With essentially the same suction performance as the V6 Absolute, the Fluffy is jointly tied as the best cordless vacuum cleaner available today. It’s naturally more suited to hard floors, meaning you would be better off with the V6 Absolute if your house has more carpets than tiles, wood or laminate, but it can still cope with carpets when needed. It is unquestionably expensive, costing more than many mains-powered vacuum cleaners, but it’s fair to say the versatile, portable design more than makes up for it. You can clean the floors, get into corners and even take it outside to clean the car, with none of the limitations of a wired vacuum. If you’re after a regular vacuum or something different, check out our best vacuum cleaner guide.
|Vacuum Type||Cordless handheld|
|Floor types||carpet, hard floors|
|Filters||pre-filter, post-motor filter|
|Accessories||Direct-Drive Cleaner Head, Hard floor 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 time||20m (regular)|
|Charge time||3h 30m|