I have a large hairy hound who sheds everywhere, plus four children who seem to shed on the carpets more than the dog does.
I also home educate three of the four – which means the house literally gets no respite. They’re on the flippin floors all. day. every. day.
Woe are my floors.
So when we vacuum (I use the ‘we’ royally here – clearly vacuuming is not *my* job. It’s a child job. A quick schwizz to be performed daily, and a real thorough grown up version happening at least once a week), we need a vacuum to totally suck. In the best way, obviously.
When Dyson asked if we’d like to try out the V8 Absolute cordless vacuum cleaner, I admit I was sceptical. Despite the £499.99 price tag, I was totally unconvinced this small and flimsy thing could actually handle what my house would throw at it. But it looked like it would be fun to try – and at least the children would be keener on vacuum chore day, so I said yes (whilst plotting not to be *too* rude in my review).
Cordless vacuums have come a long way since we reviewed the DC35 four years ago – back then it only gave us a mere ten minutes of vacuuming. I well remember the ‘Olympic Vacuum’ speed routine we had to perform.
The V8 Absolute? Oh, this one’s a game-changer.
The ‘body’ is a little bigger than I expected. It’s not heavy, though, and the size means that there’s room for the actual collection of floor-gubbins, plus a decent motor, surely? Well, let’s talk about that questionable power issue first.
Dyson say you get forty minutes vacuum-time with the V8. Forty minutes (frankly, if the vacuuming isn’t done in 40 minutes, it’s not getting done).
But do you really get that long? Well – sort of. On ‘normal suck’ setting, we get around 20 minutes continuous on the thick wool carpets – and actually do get up to the full 40 minutes if it’s stop/start on the hard floors. Do note, though, that if you flick the power up to the Max Suck setting, you get a mere seven.
But it’s actually surprising how much you can do with those seven minutes – and I rarely need them. Most days, normal suck (yep, that’s the tech term for it) is absolutely fine. Mind you, during dog moult season I definitely need Max Suck for the areas she chooses to roll and wriggle. Black hair mats magically appearing on a cream carpet are not a good look.
(As an aside here, the V8 comes into its own during dog moult season – in one short burst I can not only clear that mat of fine black hair she’s just rubbed off, but I can also scooch over the side of the sofa and armchair she’s rubbed up against too. De-hairing it all, easy and swift as a whizzy thing.)
The heads that come with the Dyson cover all the possible vacuum eventualities you’d expect. And some.
Of course there’s the long pipe for back-friendly hand-to-floor vacuuming, and the super-short nozzle for hand-held quick clean ups. A full-width bristle ‘direct-drive’ head very effectively drives bristles deeper into the carpet (apparently to remove even more dirt). The ‘Soft Roller’ head was invented for the contemporary hard floors we all seem to have – and it manages (by magic, obviously) to removes large debris in the kitchen plus the fine dust at the same time (so often I find they usually ignore the big chunks, or they whoompf the fine stuff away instead of sucking it in).
But half the joy of the V8 Absolute is the stuff you don’t think about, and then when it’s sitting waiting patiently in its dock you find yourself thinking “oooh! I bet the Dyson’d sort that for me…”
Obviously it’s brill for the car interior clean, and I’ve already said that it’s great on the sides & backs of the sofa and armchair where the dog rubs past and a fine hairy mat collects amazingly quickly.
But the short soft brush head is brilliant at cleaning glass light shades. And picture frame tops. And crumby surfaces and breakfast-cereal floors. And the top of the roller blind in the bathroom, and the annoying-to-dust naked lady sculpture that I love (but hate dusting), and getting in that annoying space round the back of the woodburner. Oooh, and the little tiny bitty shreds of hair on your son’s neck after a trip to the barbers (oh, he just loved it when I advanced on him for that one… but it totally worked, he was itch free and one day he’ll be grateful).
Basically if it’s got stuff that can be sucked off, the Dyson V8 Absolute will suck it off for you.
And finally. The best bit. Dyson fixed the emptying process.
You know how with every Dyson you empty the canister, but then have to jiggle the leftover rolled mat of dust that it leaves behind?
No more, my friends.
Dyson have created a new system so that the whole motor and filter rise up out of the canister (cleaning the filter on the way, I might add) at the same time as the usual bottom trapdoor opens. Poof. like that. It’s all gone, and you’re good to go again.
You do need to be sure the wall dock is near a plug socket – this proved a little tricky for us at first, but obviously that’s going to change house by house (we solved it with a judiciously placed and tucked-away extension lead). If you remember to dock it and charge after every use (no hardship as the wall socket is where it’ll live anyway), then you’ll find it’s always ready for you.
No previous incarnations of cordless vacuums would ever in my mind replace the good old standard upright. The V8 Absolute brings that opinion into question… We do have a pretty large house (a small double fronted 20’s home with a modern 3 bed extension on one end, meaning we’re not deep but really, really wide) and if the vacuum routine falls behind (come on, of course it does) then I do still pull out the old faithful upright with its retro cord to make sure I’m not racing the battery clock or fretting at the power running out when I’m only half done. But if you have a smaller home, less children or a more efficient housekeeping system than me I do believe this might be all the vacuum you need.
And yes, of course it’s expensive. But it’s very very good. And if my old Dyson Animal Upright can live with our battering for six years, then I’m pretty sure this one with the up to date engineering is going to last wa-a-ay longer.