I often wonder how I managed to clean stairs and corners with my bulky corded vacuum for so many years. Anyone who has lugged a canister model up to a second floor can most likely relate. There’s a reason it took James Dyson five years and 5,127 tries to perfect the bagless vacuum cleaner. It’s a gamer changer, especially the cordless models. Being able to attach the crevice tool and quickly clean crumbs from the couch is truly life-altering.
Over the years, Dyson has introduced a number of innovative vacuums to make its customers’ lives easier—and this advanced technology naturally comes with a high price tag. I resisted making the investment for a long time because, though they have their limitations, traditional vacuums are still extremely effective.
However, food crumbs from the kids’ meals and dog hair eventually wore me down, and I purchased the Dyson V8 Animal since it came in at a lower price point than later models but still had features to suit my needs. It’s been several years now, and I find my Dyson V8 to be the most useful cleaning tool I own. I use it multiple times a day for anything from food and craft messes to dog hair and dust bunnies.
Verdict: For homes that are short on space or where food crumbs and dog hair make a regular appearance, the Dyson V8 is a must-have item, offering users a compact and simple way to keep up with messes.
- Cordless operation
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Useful attachments
- Effective suction power
- Easy mounting
- High price tag
- Canister can fill up quickly
- High-suction mode drains battery
- Battery will likely need replacing
A Cyclone in a Small Frame
A powerful vacuum in a compact body, the Dyson V8 offers up to a 40-minute run time, multiple attachments, and a HEPA filter. Users can easily convert it into a handheld vacuum for fast cleanups. A quick-release system makes it quick and easy to attach and detach tools with the press of a button, so going back and forth from a stick vacuum to a handheld only takes seconds. The dustbin, which holds .14 gallons, is simple for users to remove and empty with a release tab on the handle.
The unit is somewhat small in stature, measuring 49 inches long, 9.8 inches high, and 8.8 inches wide. It’s also lightweight at just over 5.5 pounds, so carrying it from room to room and up the stairs won’t leave users out of breath.
The Dyson V8 is available in different models, with the Animal and Absolute being the most common. For this article, I’ll be reviewing the Dyson V8 Animal. The only real difference between the two models is the attachments. The Animal attachments include a direct drive head, crevice tool, combo tool, mini motorized tool, and soft dusting brush. The Absolute comes with all of those attachments, plus a soft roller head, which can be handy for picking up debris on hardwoods. Keep in mind that the included accessories—and color schemes—may vary depending on the specific retailer and the geographic location of the purchaser.
Grab and Go
An appealing modern design and slim, lightweight body make the Dyson V8 a solid choice for homes that don’t have a ton of storage space. We didn’t buy this device until we purchased our first home, but in retrospect, it would have been ideal for our former cramped city apartment. Though it’s compact, the ergonomic handle is broad and comfortable, and the power trigger is placed right at your forefinger for easy operation. The motor does need to be held on while in use to save on battery power, which may be a drawback for some users.
I love how simple the Dyson V8 is to operate with its easy release mechanisms that allow for swapping attachments quickly for a variety of uses. Whether it’s crumbs on the carpet or in the car, dog hair on the couch, or tiny pieces of broken glass from that vase you’ve glued back together three times, the Dyson V8 is super easy to grab and go.
When using the wand attachment and direct drive head, the unit can swivel quite a bit and lay flat to reach the piles of dust or dog hair under the couch. However, my go-to setup is the handheld configuration with the crevice tool. I use it after every meal and snack time, which equals out to pretty much constantly.
No Complicated Assembly
The Dyson V8 is simple to assemble out of the box, with just a few parts that easily click into place. Once assembled, the vacuum requires five hours of charging time before its first use. An indicator light on the handle lets you know if the unit is fully charged or it’s time to plug it in.
The included docking station is convenient for users who have the wall space to mount their device. We easily installed our Dyson V8 inside a kitchen closet, so it’s within easy reach at all times. The docking station also charges the vacuum, which is a major bonus for someone like me who regularly forgets to plug in devices. If you choose to skip the mounted dock, the charger will plug into the handle.
The Only Vacuum I Need
I still keep my canister vacuum in the basement, but I don’t use it. The Dyson V8 has been plenty powerful enough to clean my hardwood floors and area rugs. It is extremely efficient in lifting the dog hair that my pup never seems to stop shedding from both the carpet and the couch. The canister does fill up quite quickly when I vacuum my shag rug, which may be a drawback for someone with a lot of carpeting. It also does a great—but not perfect—job on my hardwoods, sometimes missing small debris.
The battery life is suitable for my needs, as I generally only clean one floor of my home at a time. In the past two years, we’ve had to change the battery once after it stopped working. The few times I’ve used my Dyson V8 on MAX mode, the power burned out pretty quickly—after about 7 minutes. I would probably reserve this setting for quick cleanups.
The vacuum filtration system includes a HEPA filter that is easy to remove and rinse. The system aims to capture allergens while expelling cleaner air. I can’t tell if the air is fresher, but I’m grateful for this feature with all the dog hair circulating in my home.
The Dyson V8 is not a budget-friendly vacuum. However, compared to subsequent models like the V10 and V11, its price tag is a lot more palatable. On Amazon, the Dyson V8 Animal retails for $389, while the Dyson V10 Animal is $595.
I honestly don’t feel like I’m missing out by owning an earlier model. Though the later versions are slightly more powerful and can feature larger dust bins, they are pretty similar to their predecessors. One reason to consider splurging for the V10 or V11 is if you’d prefer a run time of closer to an hour per battery charge. If you’re looking for a lower-cost machine, consider the Dyson V7. It’s very similar to the V8, with slightly less suction power and a 30-minute run time—10 minutes shorter than the V8.
If I could go back, I would probably choose the V8 Absolute over the V8 Animal, simply because the former includes the soft roller head that makes picking up debris on hardwoods a bit more efficient. However, I’m extremely pleased with my cordless cleaner, so much so that I think it may be time to move my bulky old vacuum cleaner to the donation pile.
How We Reviewed the Dyson V8
Rest assured, we’ve thoroughly tested our Dyson V8; just ask my three kids and 60-pound dog. We’ve owned this unit for about two years, and I have used it daily since the day of purchase. In fact, they all just shared a crumbly muffin (dog included), to which my Dyson V8 came to the rescue.
In addition to cleaning up the trail that follows my children and lifting dog hair off the upholstery with my mini motorized tool, I have used the Dyson V8 to effectively clean my stair runner and area rugs and hardwoods on both the first and second floors. I’ve also used it to clean my car after too many mobile snacks. The unit is so lightweight that even my 8-year-old will use it to clean up messes before a parent spots them.
Is the Dyson V8 Right for You?
I think you can deduce by now that I would certainly recommend the Dyson V8 to families and pet owners. This device simply can’t be beaten when it comes to convenience and efficiency for tackling daily—or hourly—cleanups. However, I also think the compact size and ample run time would make it the perfect primary vacuum for smaller households and apartment dwellers. For aging adults and those with physical limitations, the handheld option has the appeal of being both lightweight and extremely powerful. Car owners will also love how easy the Dyson V8 makes it to clean your vehicle’s interior.
This cordless stick vacuum is not without limitations, but in this user’s opinion, the convenience outweighs the need to change out the battery or empty the bin during a cleaning. I wouldn’t recommend the Dyson V8 to those looking for a budget vacuum or someone who knows they’ll need more than 30 to 40 minutes to get their cleaning job done. Later models like the V10 or V11 will offer closer to 60 minutes of run time and a larger dustbin to reduce emptying time.