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Sometimes, you don’t know what you have till it’s gone, and sometimes, the thing that’s now gone is a half-inch thick layer of pet dander and dead skin cells you just vacuumed off your bed sheets and are now staring slack-jawed at the inside of your vacuum canister.
Hi, my name is Carina, and I never realized I was f*cking disgusting until my uber-powerful Dyson vacuum exposed that I was living like King Rat on top of an avalanche of dust and old skin cells. This is my story.
I’d previously been using the same lightweight $40 Amazon vacuum for four years, and it was fine (or so I thought), until a plastic piece that held the head and the canister together broke, leaving the thing pretty annoying and useless. Too lazy and cheap to research real vacuums, I just bought another one on Amazon ($40 price tags will do that to you), until that one inevitably broke.
I trudged on, pretending it was fine, but then I got a dog whose only hobby is shedding, made some risky financial decisions (all my assets are tied up in rugs rn because pretty), and that little POS vacuum was just not cutting it anymore. I’d try to maneuver it from the hardwood floor to the carpet and the part that sucks everything up would fall off, taking years off my life.
So when my mom came to pick me up from my apartment for the holidays, I knew it was time for a kabuki theatre of “Feel Bad for Me, Look How Broke I Am” (matinee edition). Here’s how it all went down: The moment she came inside, I trotted out my poor orange vacuum, cleaning my blinds and moulding and other unnecessary nooks and crannies. I figured if I reached up high up enough, the inevitable crash of the vacuum head falling off would be as dramatic and noticeable as possible.
Reader, it worked.
Lo and behold, on Christmas morning, two unwrapped Dysons from Costco sat in the corner of the living room. There was a V8 Animal, specifically designed for pet hair, (the V8 Absolute, which comes with additional brush heads is now on sale at Dyson for 23% off) and a V10 for my mom, because she decided she wanted one too. I quickly conned her into thinking the V8 was better and “significantly more lightweight” (it’s literally .1 lb lighter) and convinced her to switch. Turns out, sometimes you do get what you pay for, and I’m legit horrified at the life of filth I lived in before becoming a Dyson owner.
The Dyson V10 Sucks Up the Tiniest Dust Bunnies.
When I brought the machine back to my tiny 400-square-foot apartment, I filled an entire canister of dust from just my 3x5 living room rug, which I’d “cleaned” during that performance for my mom. And that was on the Dyson’s low setting. Disgusted and fascinated, I proceeded to clean every inch of my apartment. Now the only units of measurements I go by are Dyson canisters.
One window A/C unit? Two Dyson canisters.
My air purifier filter? ¾ of a Dyson canister.
My curtains? F*CKING FULL CANISTER, BABY.
My bedroom rug? Unlimited canisters. I’m convinced it won’t stop shedding ever.
Under my couch? One and a half canisters.
My duvet cover, where my dog sleeps every night: A centimeter of the grossest, finest white dust. Like I was just going to bed in that every night, WTF. Also the levels of obsession you have to be at to even lift up your vacuum and run it over your bedspread...the Dyson will do that to you.
It cleans shit you never even thought needed cleaning. Like you will wake up in a fugue state wondering, Why am I vacuuming the tops of my door frames? I can guarantee it.
The cordless feature is handy, even if you think you don’t need a vacuum to be cordless, it will prove useful eventually. My apartment is so small that I’m never more than five feet from an outlet at all times, so cordless wasn’t a feature on the top of my priority list, but it actually rules. If you see a lil spill on the kitchen, you can just lean over and grab the machine to pick it up instead of unwinding the cord, plugging it in, etc, etc.
It’s SO QUIET. On the lowest power setting, it’s barely a hum—even on hardwood. On carpets, it’s barely registrable. Pro tip: The hardwood head makes it even quieter. I’m a v noise-conscious Good Neighbor, and I feel totally fine busting this thing out at like 4 a.m. when I can’t sleep.
There’s no icky filter to clean. My Amazon vacuum was also advertised as having a filter you’d never need to replace, but it got dirty FAST. On this new guy, the filter (the top purple part) locks and snaps into place. That keeps it from getting gross and dusty over time.
It’s easy to lean up against the wall. I thought the weird top-heaviness design of the thing would make it super awkward to lean against my wall while I charged it. The Dyson has this neat little rubber grippy pad on the bottom of the handheld base, so you can prop it up without fear of your $400 investment crashing down.
It’s still so, so expensive. It’s legit my most prized possession. If someone broke in and stole my computer, I’d be like, “Whatever, silly, my ideas are in my head :),” but if someone stole my precious Dyson, I’d probably go to prison for things my attorney has told me not to put in writing.
You have to hold the trigger down to use it. Dyson tries to market this feature like it’s a cool battery-saving superpower. But as a consumer, it’s mostly a pain in the ass. Some people online said they used cable ties to lock the trigger into position during use. When I tried this, it wasn’t comfortable to hold with the V8 or the V10. Dyson, if you’re listening, PLEASE make a trigger lock option! It’s really hard for people with arthritic hands or carpal tunnel (me) to hold that sucker down. My place is super small, so it’s not a huge issue, but that really shouldn’t even be a factor I have to consider for $400, you know?
The attachments are stupid pricey. I wanted a hardwood-floor head for the high-traffic areas of my place, but it would’ve been $130. If you think I’m about to drop one-third of what I spent on the actual vacuum on a cleaning attachment, you are out of your damn MIND, James Dyson.
The MAX suction (now renamed “Boost”) setting lasts for literally—I’m not making this up—five minutes. You rarely even need to use that setting, but the fact that it’s advertised as only lasting five minutes stresses me out.
There is a noticeable difference in the power, ease of use, and storage capacity of the V10 and the cheaper V8. I’m not sure I’d be this enthusiastic if I just had a V8.
Is the Dyson V10 better than the Dyson V8?
Yes, noticeably so. Don’t get me wrong: the V8 is still legions better than any other vacuum on the planet, but I played around with my mom’s V8 a lot (remember, it was originally supposed to be mine) and it is not as cool and powerful as the V10.
The biggest pain point for me is that the V8 only has two power settings. You’re either married to 40 minutes of run time on low or that laughable six minutes on MAX. Forty minutes or six minutes. Imagine those are your only options. Annoying. (Again though, the V8 Absolute, which has more than 2,000 reviews and 5 stars, is $100 off aka $350 aka $50 less than the V8 Animal. Annnnnd you'll get extra brush heads for hardwood floors.)
The V10 bumps that 40 minutes to 60 minutes and has a third option between super low and super high. TBH, it is worth it. Do I know how long the middle setting lasts? No. Do I care? No.
Emptying the canister is also easier on the V10. You aim the head like you’re shooting dust into the garbage can to empty it. With the V8, you have to hold the vacuum parallel to the garbage and pull the top upward to open it (it’s like the floor dropping out of a car or something). It is counterintuitive and has resulted in my pants getting dusty more than a few times. Charging is also way faster (3.5 hrs) on the V10 than the V8 (5 hrs).
Weirdly, the online verdict seems to be that the V8 is just as fine as the V10, and the V10 also has a strangely disappointing low-4 stars on the Dyson site. Everything else has a nearly unanimous 4.5-5 star review. But having played with both side-by-side in a household with three dogs, I can tell you they don’t know what they’re talking about. The V10 kills it and is way better than the V8 in every category, hands down.
How do you get the best price on a Dyson?
My parents got my Dyson from Costco, where pricing was around $349 for the holidays (with a rebate, I believe). Regularly priced on Dyson’s site, the V10 is priced anywhere from $379 for the V10 Motorhead, the in-between V10 Animal model at $399, or the ballin’ out V10 Absolute for $599.
Now, a caveat: The Costco Dyson, aka the Clean+ is a Costco-exclusive, which conveniently voids it from the Dyson price-matching program. Tricky, I know. When I asked Dyson spokesperson how my Costco-exclu machine compares with their standard line, they told me my version is between the beginner (Motorhead) and intermediate (Animal) versions.
Surprisingly, Costco (normally the cheapest place to get anything) doesn’t really have a better deal than Dyson’s own site. Right now, the V10 on Costco is $479, and the V10 Motorhead and Animal are both way TF less on the brand’s website at $379 and $399.
My recommendation is to buy on Dyson.com. You’ll get free two-day shipping and a bunch of free tools (like that stupid hardwood head I wanted so badly and missed out on because I got one from Costco). My friend got her vacuum from the Dyson site and received hella extra heads for free. As someone who loves a bargain, I’m upset that I didn’t maximize my collection of vac-attaches by just getting it from there in the first place. I’ve also recently become aware of a mattress cleaner attachment, and I now have FOMO.
The Bottom Line
$400 might seem like a lot to spend on a vacuum, but once you buy it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. I was lucky enough to get mine as a gift, but if it came down to it, I’d use my own money to buy another one. (Worth noting: I’m so cheap that I will tear a tissue in half to make a box last longer.) I thought I was saving money by buying cheap $40 vacuums before, but now I’m just pissed I didn’t save that $80 and apply it toward the V11.
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