The 8 Best Dyson Vacuums for 2023, Tested by HGTV Editors
With so many models on the market, it can be difficult to know which Dyson vacuum is best for your home. We've combed through the specs and tested the newest Dyson vacuums to land on our top picks.
Our Top Dyson Vacuum Picks
- Best Overall: Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum
- Best Upgrade: Dyson V15 Detect Absolute Cordless Vacuum
- Best Value: Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Vacuum
- Longest Battery Life: Dyson Outsize+ Cordless Vacuum
- Best for Pet Hair: Dyson V10 Cyclone Animal Cordless Vacuum
- Best Upright: Dyson Ball Animal Extra 3 Upright Vacuum
- Best Lightweight: Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Vacuum
- Best for Spot Cleaning Hard Floors: Dyson Omni-Glide+ Cordless Vacuum
In 1993, James Dyson launched the first mass-produced vacuum cleaner, the DC01, which he engineered after a frustrating experience owning a standard vacuum with a non-reusable bag that would often get clogged. Since then, the brand has put out a wide range of innovative air purifiers, fans, hair dryers and, of course, vacuums, including the cordless stick vacuums for which the brand has become known.
While the brand Dyson has become synonymous with high-quality vacuums, the brand recognition does come at a premium price. But Dyson vacuums, when taken care of, will last for years. With so many models available and more consistently getting released, choosing the right Dyson vacuum for the needs of your home and family can be overwhelming and a little confusing. We tested almost every top-rated model that Dyson currently sells on its website to make our top recommendations for every need. (Dyson does offer a handy quiz on its website to help narrow down your search as well, which we utilized in selecting the models we tested.) Shop the best Dyson vacuums we think are worth buying below.
How We Tested
To determine which models we tested, we took Dyson's quiz several times to see which models the brand recommends for different size homes with different needs. We read customer reviews and compared features of the Dyson models widely available on Dyson's direct-to-consumer site as well as other popular retailers' sites like Amazon. We tested nine Dyson vacuums for this test over the course of several months, comparing them to other vacuums we already owned or have tested for other reviews, including some older Dyson models. Seven testers with houses large and small and a mix of floor types, pets and family sizes evaluated the Dyson vacuums and provided detailed feedback on the vacuums' real-life performance before we made our selections.
From small to large homes with pets, kids, carpet, hard floors and everything in between, Dyson's V15 Detect model is a solid overall cordless vacuum that will satisfy the needs of most households. Plus, the suction power, battery life and bin size are sufficient for this model to serve as your primary vacuum for quick pickups and whole-house cleans. With suction power up to 230 AW, the V15 Detect is the second most powerful cordless vacuum Dyson offers (just barely behind the V15 Detect Absolute model, our Best Upgrade pick). Our tester concluded this is the best vacuum she's ever used. She said, "In the past, I’ve needed an upright vacuum with my stick vacuum at times to get a truly deep clean, and that isn’t the case with this one."
The V15 Detect comes with seven attachments: Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, hair screw tool, Digital Motorbar cleaner head, crevice tool, combination tool, mini soft dusting brush and stubborn dirt brush. It also comes with a charger, docking station and wand clip for attaching to the stick canister that can hold more tools for storage. The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head is one that sets this model apart from older Dyson models — this cleaner features a green laser that allows you to see tiny specks of dust on hard floors you might have otherwise missed. All of the cleaner heads work extremely well on human and pet hair on both carpeted and hard floors, meaning hairs don't get wrapped around the roller brushes. This vacuum features eco, auto and boost modes that allow for efficient battery use, especially in auto mode when the vacuum can increase power automatically when it detects heavier dust and debris. While the vacuum performed well on all surfaces, our tester did notice that the auto and boost modes were too powerful on her Ruggable rugs, but switching to eco mode worked well on those thinner rugs. In testing, we found that the battery life lasted for 79 minutes on eco, 40 minutes on auto and 15 on continuous boost mode. At .2 gallons, the dust bin does need emptying frequently, but since the point-and-shoot emptying process is so easy and mess-free, it only takes a couple of seconds and doesn't require touching any of the dust.
Our tester did note a few downsides but not deal-breakers when using this vacuum. This vacuum does not have a trigger lock or on/off button for continuous vacuuming, so you have to hold down the trigger manually for the entire cleaning session. For a higher-end vacuum, this seems like a feature that should be included, but you can find off-brand accessories on Amazon like this clamp to hack a trigger lock function. At 6.8 pounds, this vacuum is heavier than most of our other recommendations, too, which our tester found a bit more cumbersome to maneuver than the Dyson V8 Animal she previously used. The V15 Detect is still much lighter than an upright vacuum, though, so it should be comfortable to use for most people. If you have arthritis or mobility issues, one of the lighter models like the V12 Detect might be a better choice. While this vacuum comes with seven attachment tools that all work really well, the docking station and wand clip can only accommodate four storage spots other than the one on the vacuum, so you'll need a box or somewhere to store extra attachments.
If you have pets, a larger home and/or more carpet and are willing to spend a little more, Dyson's V15 Detect Absolute is a great upgrade choice, especially if you're looking for a primary vacuum to handle quick daily maintenance sessions as well as deeper cleans covering an entire small to mid-size house or at least one level of your home at a time.
The V15 Detect Absolute is very similar to the V15 Detect, our Best Overall pick, and has the same basic features like a 60-minute runtime, a .2-gallon dust bin, point-and-shoot dust disposal, three suction modes, cleaner heads with hair detangling capabilities and a laser cleaning head ideal for hard floors. Our tester, who has a long-haired dog, found that the hair screw tool worked especially well on upholstered surfaces. While they're both rated for an up-to-60-minute battery, this V15 Detect Absolute model lasted longer on auto mode in testing — about 50 minutes (which can vary depending on floor type or how dirty the home is since auto mode adjusts output based on those factors). In addition to these primary features also found in the V15 Detect, the V15 Detect Absolute has a few bonus features that make it worth splurging on. It has a slightly more powerful max power output of 240 AW, making it Dyson's most powerful cordless vacuum model. It also comes with a built-in dusting and crevice tool, meaning fewer loose attachments to store, and a HEPA filter, which is ideal for pet owners and allergy sufferers.
The primary con but not a deal-breaker is the same one we have for the V15 Detect: no trigger lock or on/off button for continuous vacuuming, especially at this price point. If you vacuum in longer sessions and are worried about finger cramps, Amazon reviewers say this $10 clamp can hack a trigger lock functionality and is also compatible with this model. At the same 6.8 pounds as the V15 Detect, it's also a bit heavier than some of our other models, which might be a con if you're looking for a more lightweight option.
If you don't mind missing out on the fancier features of the newer models like cleaner heads with lasers, auto mode or LCD screens that show dust and debris data, this Dyson V8 Animal model is a great value. It's several hundred dollars cheaper than our Best Overall pick, and it still has a decent battery that lasts up to 40 minutes and a .14-gallon dust bin with the easy point-and-shoot release. With two modes, powerful suction mode and max mode, that you have to manually toggle between, it's strong enough for all surfaces and handles human and pet hair well. At 5.63 pounds, the V8 Animal is one of the lighter vacuums that's easier to maneuver and use on elevated surfaces and ceiling corners.
One of our testers has owned this vacuum for more than four years and still loves it, but she says she typically gets closer to 30 minutes on regular suction and less than 10 minutes on continuous max mode. Due to the shorter battery life and smaller dust bin, this model would likely work for whole-home cleaning in a small apartment, but for larger spaces, it'd serve best as a daily maintenance vacuum for shorter vacuuming sessions and spot cleaning.
If you want a cordless vacuum and a long-lasting battery is a primary feature you're looking for, consider splurging for the Dyson Outsize+ model. Ideal for larger homes and whole-house cleaning sessions, this vacuum can run for up to 120 minutes, since it comes with two batteries, each lasting up to 60 minutes, that can be charged on or off the machine and used consecutively. In testing, each battery typically lasted for about 45 minutes in auto mode or about 90 minutes in total.
Beyond its impressive battery life, it also features a .5-gallon dust bin, meaning fewer trips to the trash to empty it. It also features a max suction power of 220 AW, more than enough to handle homes with pets and high-pile carpets and rugs. It comes with seven attachments: a Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, a Digital Motorbar XL cleaner head, a hair screw tool, a crevice tool, a combination tool, a stubborn dirt brush and a mini soft dusting brush. It also comes with a charger, docking station, an additional battery and a wand clip for storing two tools on the wand of the vacuum. Like with the other Dyson models that offer these tools, we especially liked the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, the hair screw tool and the Digital Motobar XL cleaner head for how well they work to detangle and suck up human and pet hair, and in the case of the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner, how well it shows tiny specks of dust.
On the downside, this model also lacks a trigger lock or on/off button for continuous vacuuming, which is especially disappointing since its other features make this model ideal for longer vacuuming sessions when you'd likely miss this feature most. Something else to be aware of is its weight and size. At 7.98 pounds, this is the heaviest cordless vacuum we recommend that gets a little tiresome to maneuver after a while, especially for reaching ceiling corners or other nooks and crannies. It wouldn't be ideal for people with limited mobility or anyone looking for a lightweight vacuum primarily for spot cleaning.
While most of our recommendations are cordless, an upright vacuum may still be the best option for you if you have a lot of carpeted floors, pets, a large home more than 2,000 square feet or frequent deep-cleaning needs. Our favorite upright model from Dyson is the Ball Animal 3 Extra. With a whopping suction power of 290 AW, this model is the most powerful Dyson vacuum we recommend and ideal for deep cleaning. Plus, it's one of the more affordable models Dyson sells, and you won't have to worry about the battery dying mid-cleaning session. This vacuum handles any mess, including pet and human hair, extremely well. With a .45-gallon dust bin, this vacuum can go longer between emptying, but the whole dust bin removes for easy one-button emptying, which is not the case with other upright vacuums we've tried. The cord is extra long at 35 feet, and the hose wand measures 15 feet long, meaning you can access a wide surface area before needing a new outlet.
On the downside, the Ball Animal Extra 3 is not as easy to maneuver and store. It weighs 17.3 pounds, making it quite a big lift to carry up stairs. Due to the weight and strong suction, it also requires more arm strength to push it back and forth, especially on carpets, but deep-cleans so well that the effort can be worth it for big cleaning sessions. This is not the vacuum you want for spot cleaning or quick pickups.
If you want a Dyson that handles pet hair well but is lighter and more versatile than the Ball Animal Extra 3 and cheaper than the newer models, this Cyclone V10 Animal is the pick you want. While it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of the newer models like laser lights and LCD screens, it handles pet (and human) hair extremely well and meets the basic requirements like decent battery life, powerful suction and cleaner heads that detangle hair to make it a great value for pet owners.
With a max output of 150 AW, this vacuum works well on both carpeted and hard floors. Our tester found that this vacuum even worked better than her older Dyson upright vacuum. This vacuum comes with five attachments: a Motorbar cleaner head, hair screw tool, crevice tool, combination tool and a mini soft dusting brush. Our tester especially liked the hair screw tool because it worked incredibly well removing stuck-in hair and debris on upholstered furniture.
It features three suction modes: suction mode 1, suction mode 2 and boost mode. Unlike the Detect models, this vacuum can’t automatically adjust suction when changing surfaces or in areas with more dust, so it’s up to the user to manually switch to boost mode when needed. While this model is rated for an up to 60-minute runtime, the battery usage isn’t quite as efficient and didn’t last quite as long in testing without the auto mode option. With the battery lasting about 30 minutes on the middle suction power mode, this vacuum would be great for spot cleaning and daily maintenance as a supplemental vacuum in a home that already has an upright one. For larger homes with a lot of carpet and pet hair, both of which might require boost mode frequently (and more battery juice), opting for a V15 Detect or V15 Detect Absolute would be a better choice for a primary cordless vacuum for whole-house cleaning sessions.
One con but not a deal-breaker is that this vacuum doesn’t feature a continuous vacuum mode, but this accessory clamp would also work on this model if you want to hack a trigger lock.
As the name suggests, the V12 Detect Slim cordless vacuum is slimmer and lighter at 5.2 lbs, and its dust bin is only .1 gallon. Its max power suction is 150 AW, which is still on the stronger side but much less powerful than the V15 Detect's 230 AW or the Ball Animal Extra 3's 290 AW. It's an ideal vacuum for smaller homes or for serving as a supplemental vacuum for spot cleaning if you already have a vacuum for deep cleaning.
Dyson's V12 Detect Slim comes with five of the same attachment tools as the V15: a motorbar cleaner head, hair screw tool, Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, crevice tool and combination tool. All of the cleaners work well, especially on long human hair. The three main cleaner heads don't get hair stuck around the roller brush, which is a major performance upgrade from other vacuums we've tried. Our tester has tried robot vacuums and other stick vacuums that require frequent hair removal from the cleaner head. The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head is also great for hard floors because it's soft and doesn't leave scuffs behind. This vacuum also comes with a docking station, charger and wand clip for storing two tools. If you store the hair screw tool on the vacuum itself, you can technically fit all of the attachments on the docking station and wand clip, but it's a bit of a challenge to get them all in place. While the V15 Detect is lacking this feature, the V12 Detect Slim does have an on/off button for continuous vacuuming. It also features an up to 60-minute battery life and eco, auto and boost modes. In testing, we found that the V12 Detect lasted about 76 minutes in eco, 34 minutes in auto and eight minutes in continuous boost mode.
Our tester, whose home is mostly hardwood floors, especially appreciated the laser lights for making sure she didn't miss any areas of dust that otherwise wouldn't be as visible in normal lighting. She also loved how lightweight and easy it is to maneuver for things like cobwebs in ceiling corners, too. While the dust bin is smaller and needs frequent emptying, our tester also didn't mind that fact since the point-and-shoot mechanism makes it so easy to empty.
While the V12 Detect Slim makes for a great daily maintenance vacuum for quick spot cleaning, the price point is too high to warrant purchasing it if that's all you need. If you're primarily looking for a spot-cleaning vacuum as a secondary vacuum to keep near the kitchen or entry where regular messes are common, the Omni-glide+ cordless model is a better value.
With max suction of 50 AW and a run time of up to 20 minutes, the Omni-glide+ is best for hard floors and quick vacuuming jobs. The slimmest and lightest Dyson we recommend, this model weighs just 4.19 pounds and has a .05-gallon dust bin capacity. The biggest selling point for this vacuum is maneuverability. The Double Fluffy cleaner head allows you to move the vacuum in literally any direction — back and forth, side to side — without having to actually pick the vacuum up. The flexible hose and four 360-degree wheels on the bottom allow the vacuum to glide around chair legs, corners and furniture without any trouble. You can also lay the vacuum completely flat on the ground to get under the bed, couch, nightstand, etc. Needless to say, it’s extremely easy to maneuver.
Our tester also loved the quiet operation and the light pipe crevice tool, one of the included attachments with LED lights that illuminate dust and debris. Note that this vacuum isn't ideal for carpets or rugs.
What to Consider Before Buying a Dyson Vacuum
Corded vs. Cordless: In recent years, Dyson has popularized cordless stick vacuums, meaning you can to ditch annoying cords and the need to have access to an outlet near the area you're vacuuming. Compared to corded canister or upright vacuums, cordless stick vacuums are usually lighter, easier to maneuver and store and adjustable to transform into a handheld vacuum as well. The potential downsides of cordless vacuums include limited battery life, smaller dust bin that requires more frequent emptying and lack of suction power compared to some corded models. Most of the vacuums available on Dyson's website today are cordless, and over the years, the brand has addressed most concerns to minimize the limitations of cordless vacuums. Only one of our recommendations is a corded model, but if you're shopping for a Dyson vacuum to be your one and only vacuum, you live in a larger house with a lot of carpet and/or pets, a corded model may still be the best value for you.
Battery Life: For cordless vacuums, battery life is arguably the most important feature. There's nothing more annoying than the battery dying halfway through cleaning your mattress or vacuuming your living room and then having to wait 3-4 hours for it to recharge. The more powerful the suction of the vacuum, the more strain on the battery, so if a vacuum is rated to run "up to 40 mins", you may only realistically get 20-30 minutes, depending on what mode you're using, how dirty the space is and the floor type you're cleaning. The size of your house or apartment, whether you vacuum all at once or in smaller sessions and how often you plan to use the stick vacuum all contribute to what kind of battery life you'll need. In our testing, we found batteries rated as lasting "up to 60 minutes" to be sufficient for tackling most vacuuming jobs. If you already own a primary vacuum and are in the market for a supplemental vacuum for quick pickups or live in a small space, a vacuum rated as "up to 40 minutes" is likely all you need.
Suction Power: For cordless styles, battery life and suction power go hand in hand. A more powerful vacuum will suck up dirt and debris faster, requiring fewer passes to clean the area. But the more powerful the suction, the faster the battery will die. Dyson provides suction power capabilities in air watts (AW), which refers to the number of watts used by the vacuum to carry a unit of air through the opening or nozzle. Most of our recommendations have a max suction power of 130-150 AW, which will be sufficient for some homes, but for larger homes or ones with a lot of carpets, a model with power in the 230-290 AW range will be more efficient. The most powerful Dyson vacuum we tested is an upright corded model with a max power of 290 AW. Most cordless vacuums have three modes like eco, auto and boost mode that allow you to use the strongest suction power only when you need it, which helps make the most of the battery life.
Bin Size: The larger the bin, the more area you can cover in one session and the less often you will have to empty it. Most of the Dyson vacuums we recommend have a dust bin between .1 or .2 gallons, which will usually require emptying after every whole-house cleaning session. If you have a larger home over 2,000 square feet or don't want to empty the dust bin as often, consider opting for a dust bin closer to .4 or .5 gallons.
Configurations and Surface Capabilities: Any good cordless stick vacuum will also convert to a handheld vacuum and come with attachments for upholstery and tight crevices. The corded upright Dyson models are not as versatile but do come with a wand-style attachment with an extra-long hose, meaning you can leave the vacuum in one spot and still reach stairs, upholstery and other elevated surfaces. Aside from a couple of small, lightweight Dysons that are most ideal for hard floors, most Dyson models are powerful enough to work on hard floors, carpets, mattresses, cars and any upholstered surfaces as well. The newer cordless Dyson vacuums can sense when you're cleaning hard floors versus carpet and will automatically adjust the mode and suction power when you transition from one to the other.
Maneuverability and Size: A major benefit of Dyson's cordless stick vacuums is that they're lightweight and easier to steer and lift, in both the stick and handheld configurations, making them ideal vacuums for reaching cobwebs in high corners and cleaning awkward spaces like stairs, cars, underneath furniture and more. Most cordless vacuums weigh around 5-7 pounds, but the upright model we recommend weighs 17 pounds, making it tougher to transport and lift up stairs. For any vacuum, the more powerful the suction, the more force is required to push the vacuum to keep it moving, especially on carpeted floors.
Storage: A major perk of cordless stick vacuums is how easy they are to store compared to the upright Dyson models, which require a bit more space. A cordless stick vacuum is light enough and slim enough to be mounted to a wall or tucked in the corner of a hall closet when not in use. Most cordless vacuums come with a wall-mountable charging dock that charges and stores the vacuum and battery. Another feature of a docking station that some of our top recommendations offer is the ability to store all of the attachments on the docking station, too. Otherwise, attachments often get thrown in a random cardboard box that takes up a lot of room and may get misplaced easily.
Additional Features: Some other nice-to-haves include quiet operation, laser lights, smart dust-sensing technology and continuous vacuuming. A newer feature of some of our top Dyson recommendations is a cleaner head with lasers, which allows you to better see dark areas like under a bed and harder-to-see dust you may miss with the naked eye. If you prefer to vacuum in longer sessions or whole-house cleans compared to spot cleaning, another helpful feature to look for to save your hand from cramping is a continuous vacuuming mode. Most models have an on/off button to accommodate this feature, but surprisingly, a few of the newer (and expensive) models don't have a continuous vacuum option — it's one of the main complaints we came across in customer reviews. Some Dyson users swear by this off-brand clamp attachment from Amazon that can hack a trigger lock feature. Beyond these elements, you'll want to consider price, filter type and attachments.