Dyson V6 Absolute

I have this vacuum. At first I was skeptical because I didn’t think I would ever be able to clean my whole 900sqft apartment in one charge- but then I tried. Turns out, vacuuming only * feels* like it takes forever…

Reviews over at Best Buy

The never ending Dyson suck products. Over and over. The suckin continues…

Have seen it at many websites.

Overstock has the same unit for $270.

[MOD: That’s not the V6 ABSOLUTE. The Absolute is $599 on Overstock]

This is a slightly shortened version of my LONG Amazon review of the Dyson v59 and v6 cordless vacuums:

Assembly is so easy you don’t even need the instructions. Click the wand on the motor end, click a floor tool on the other end of the wand and you’re done. Take off the wand and you can use the vacuum as a hand vacuum by clicking on another attachment, such as the mini motorized tool that works on stairs, upholstered furniture and car interiors.

Each vacuum takes about three hours to charge and then runs around 5-8 minutes if set on Max (the Max power button is on the end of the grip, facing you as you hold the vacuum) and 16-20 if not. Each vacuum is powerful–100AW for the DC59 and the V6.)

I know some potential buyers are concerned about the fact that there is no on/off switch; you have to hold the trigger down to run the vacuum. This is not the problem it might seem. The trigger is a hair trigger and it’s located right where your index finger naturally rests when you’re holding the handle, so it’s really effortless. I think it’s actually a good thing that you have to hold down the trigger. You’re not wasting battery life if you stop for a second to move something, answer the phone, or whatever. It’s worth noting that you have to be holding down the trigger to toggle the Max button on and off.

I love bagless vacuums, but the bins on these things are very, very small. Chances are, you’ll have to dump at least a couple of times per run, likely more if you have pets. When you empty the bin, there is a decent chance that not all the dirt, debris and pet hair will just drop out, which means you may have to do some fishing with your finger, a skewer, plastic knife or other implement. I’m totally used to it and it’s not a big deal, but if I had a dust allergy, I might be concerned.

It’s important to pay attention to be sure you don’t let the bin get overfilled, because you can then end up with a blockage where the vacuum’s wand enters the bin. If the vacuum cycles on and off every couple of seconds while you’re holding down the trigger, that’s a sign of a blockage at that spot; a safety feature is making sure the vacuum doesn’t overheat. I’ve only had that happen once, but if you let the bin way overfill, it’s going to happen at some point. If you so much as feel one little hesitation in the vacuum running, or if it starts to feel quite warm in your hand, then you should stop vacuuming, empty the bin and pull off the wand to make sure there isn’t any dirt/hair stuck where the wand enters the bin area.

Although I can get a lot of vacuuming done with the Dyson cordless vacuums, I do sometimes run out of power before I’m finished. I really wish these vacuums had swappable battery packs like my power tools. It’s frustrating to be vacuuming away and then the thing just dies and you have to wait hours for it to charge up again. By the way, there is no indicator light to tell you how much juice you have left. The vac is running full bore or it’s out of juice and you have no real warning that the stopping point is near.

You can extend how long you run the vacuum before the battery runs out by not using the Max setting much. It’s definitely not needed on hard-surface floors and, once you have your rugs good and clean, you can use the regular setting most of the time on the rugs, too.

Though I do obviously have criticisms of these Dyson cordless vacuums, they are absolutely my vacuum of choice, and I’ve used a ridiculous number of vacuums in my time, including a Miele. The reason is that Dyson cordless vacuums are powerful and way easier to use than a clunky corded vacuum. The first time I used the DC59, I couldn’t believe it, but it actually lifted up the edge of a pretty heavy rug when set on Max. I was also impressed (and embarrassed) by how much dirt and dog hair it lifted from my rugs the first several times I used it. I’d cleaned the rugs regularly with a Miele, and yet this little cordless vacuum was pulling out loads more dirt and dog hair.

The ease of use of these vacuums makes it almost a pleasure to vacuum. They are lightweight and tremendously maneuverable. The head is very low profile and gets under everything. It’s quick and easy to swap out the various attachments and they work extremely well on upholstery and stairs. Because of the light weight and their being cordless, it’s easy to grab one and suck up cobwebs when you spot them, or get rid of the gnats that swarm in and get all over the ceiling on warm evenings. And it’s not to be sneezed at that because they weigh only five pounds and they look cool, you actually might be able to get the kids to use them.

With a corded vacuum, I never vacuum on the spur of the moment, but I do it all the time now. Often, when I let the dog out, I just grab the vacuum and do a quick run. With these vacuum cleaners, I vacuum nearly every day and my floors now actually look good and clean all the time. A vacuum cleaner that actually makes me a better housekeeper is a treasure. And that’s why I am a big fan of Dyson cordless vacuums, while my corded vacuums sit in the closet. The challenging part for the prospective buyer of a Dyson cordless vacuum is figuring out the differences between the models.


With every model, Dyson makes changes. The big difference between the old DC44 compared to the DC59 and the V6 is that the DC59 and V6 have considerably more suction. That’s because the DC44 uses the old V2 motor, while both the DC59 and V6 use the V6 motor. The bin release works a little differently on the DC44, and the articulation of the floor tool is improved on the DC59 and V6.

Until you get to the V6 Absolute, there doesn’t seem to be any real difference between the DC59s and the V6s. All models in the two lines use the same V6 motor and they have the same suction power (100AW). I will say that my DC59 Motorhead and V6 Absolute sound slightly different. The DC59 Motorhead’s sound is a little louder and higher pitched. I don’t know why they sound a little different, since the motors are the same. Maybe the HEPA filter on the V6 Absolute alters the sound a little bit.

The lowest-level of machine in each line lacks a powered head for the floor attachment, but the powered head is added for Motorhead and Animal versions. Animal versions are the same as Motorheads, except that their included attachments are different.

The V6 Absolute adds two things: a HEPA filter (the first in a Dyson cordless) and a new floor tool in addition to the usual powered brush roller. (It also has a mini soft dusting brush for dusting hard furniture surfaces and electronics. That attachment also comes with the V6 Animal, but not with any of the other cordless vacuum models.) The new floor tool that comes with the V6 Absolute is a powered soft roller for hard surfaces. You know how when you run a brush head over a hard surface the rotating brushes sometimes just shoot pieces of debris away from the head rather than sucking them up? The soft roller is designed to avoid that problem.

The first thing I did when I got the V6 Absolute, was to check out that soft roller head. The big roller is covered with a velour fabric, which Dyson says is made of nylon with carbon fibers, and there is another velour-covered small roller behind it. The roller also has brushes, but they only stick out slightly beyond the velour fabric.

I ran two comparison tests between the soft roller and the regular brush roller. First, I scattered a dozen or so Cheerios and tried to vacuum them. The regular brush roller kicked out three of the Cheerios, but the soft roller picked them all up. Next, I scattered flour on the floor. Both heads picked up the flour well, but when I ran my finger over the tile the regular brush roller was used on, I picked up a tiny bit of fine dust. While both floor brushes do a good job on cleaning up visible debris from hard surface floors, the soft roller brush doesn’t kick out larger bits of debris and also seems to get at that ultra-fine layer of dust that can leave your floors looking dull.

Though it doesn’t look like the soft roller head is currently available to purchase separately, it appears it will be at some point, and it is compatible with the other V6 cordless vacuums and with the DC59 Motor Head and DC59 Animal. Pricey, though; just a penny shy of 150 bucks on the Dyson site.

The next thing I looked at on the V6 Absolute is this new HEPA filter. There is a turn-and-click fastener that keeps the filter attached. I don’t really have anything else to say about it. It’s a HEPA filter.

MAKING A DECISION: DC44 versus DC59 versus V6

Once you’ve experienced the increased suction power of the newer models, it’s hard to choose the DC44, even though it’s cheaper. So the real fight is between the DC59 and the V6.

As discussed above, until you get to the V6 Absolute model, there are no significant differences between the DC59 and the V6, so it seems like cost and included attachments should be the determining factors.

You can easily see that the V6 Absolute is in a whole different price category from the others in the V6 and DC59 line. You have to decide for yourself if the addition of the HEPA filter and the soft roller floor attachment make that differential worth it.

If you decide that you’d prefer to forego those two extras, then I would suggest the Motorhead or Animal in either the DC59 or V6. (I wouldn’t go for the base version of either the DC59 or V6, because it doesn’t have the separate motor in the floor attachment, and that’s a major factor in how well the vacuums clean, especially carpets.) It gets a little tricky between the Animal and the Motorhead, because the two models at the two levels don’t come with the same attachments. All DC59 and V6 Motorheads and Animals come with the powered floor brush tool, a crevice tool and a combination tool. Then, here is how it sorts out as to which other attachments come with each:

Mini Motorized Tool:
DC59 Animal AND the DC59 Motorhead
V6 Animal but NOT the V6 Motorhead

Mini soft dusting brush (for dusting hard-surface furniture and electronics, for example):
NEITHER the DC59 Animal nor the DC59 Motorhead
V6 Animal but NOT the V6 Motorhead

And, just in case color is important to you, the DC59 and V6 Motorheads come with a fuchsia wand, the DC59 and V6 Animals’ wands are purple, and the V6 Absolute has a red wand.

As you think about which model might be right for you, keep in mind that with the V6 line out, there is discounting going on with the DC59 line. A lot of people seem to be assuming that the new V6 is more powerful than the “old” DC59, but that’s not true, and your knowing that may benefit you. You can also find loads of refurbished DC59s and even some V6s on Amazon Warehouse Deals.

The bottom line is that I enthusiastically recommend the DC59 and V6 Dysons—the ones with the powered heads, anyway. It’s just a question of which model hits the sweet spot for you.

Very helpful! thanks.

Two questions/observations:

  1. Why are there so many Dyson refurbs available? They’re all over the web. Either they have poor quality control, or:

  2. Is the whole “refurb” thing a marketing gimmick? Dyson stuff is pricy, so there’s only a relatively small group who would have the funds and be willing to part with them to own a new Dyson vacuum. Maybe the marketing dept created a class called “refurb” to sell the same vacuums at lower prices without alienating the customers who will pay the full retail for “new”…

I have a theory about that, at least as to the cordless versions. If you are careless about emptying the bin often enough, you can get a jam up above the bin (not just where the wand enters). If this happens, the motor will start turning itself on and off, which makes it sound like you have a motor problem If you just clear any easily visible jam, you’ll still have the problem and might become convinced that the vacuum has failed.

You have to do a little bit of taking apart to clear this jam. The way to do it is described in the manual, but you know how some people never want to actually look at a manual . . . Anyway, I suspect a lot of cordless vacuums end up being returned because of this easily fixable problem.