Dyson V7 Review - Animal vs Fluffy vs Motorhead vs Absolute vs Allergy

Dyson V7 Comparison & Review

The Dyson V7 cordless vacuum cleaners come in many varieties and models depending on your needs. This thorough comparison & review will go over the 5 top V7 models which will clarify which models are a good fit for you, and which models you might want to avoid. There is no best V7 model for everyone - the right vacuum depends on your needs, and we will go over this in detail.

Before we begin, familiarize yourself with the following comparison chart. Feel free to come back to this chart at any time as you're progressing through this guide. One important thing to remember about the V7 vacuums is that they are identical in terms of shape, size, motor, suction, dust bin, battery, and weight. What's different about these vacuums is the type of filter you're getting and the accessories they come with.

Dyson Overview

Dyson has been producing vacuum cleaners since 1991 and ranks #1 in overall customer satisfaction. Dyson definintely falls within the top 5 cordless vacuum cleaner brands. It's a solid, trustworthy brand with very high reputation you can rely on. Dyson is not a fly by night brand, it's a reliable and trustworthy company.

Suction Rating

The V7 provides 2 power settings: Normal at 25 Air Watts, and Max at 100 Air Watts. The V7 suction rating is very good. Air watts, to put it simply, is a formula that factors in both the airflow and water lift. It represents the strength and airflow volume capacity of the motor. The V7 model offers the same air watts as the V6 model, and just slightly below the 115 air watt V8 model. All in all, V7 suction is excellent so long as you properly clean the filters (see Maintenance section).

The V7 offers 72 inches of water lift, which is a measurement of how much weight the vacuum can lift with the motor. This translates to how well the vacuum can pick up large, heavy debris. Every V7 model, including Motorhead, Animal, Allergy, Fluffy, and Absolute provide the same water lift rating because they all have the same exact motor and design. The airflow rating specifies the amount of air the vacuum cleaner can suck in with no attachments per minute. The V7 can consume 39 CFM (cubic feet per minute), which is a great amount of air within its price class.

Motor

Motor
Dyson V7 high efficiency motor
The V7 comes with a small but powerful motor that spins up to 110,000rpm (around 1800 per second!), producing excellent suction and airflow. The V7 motor got a new design from the previous V6 generation motors, featuring 15 small cyclones that produce massive g-forces and optimized to filter out particles about 100 times the size of a human hair (those cyclones at the top of the vacuum aren't there for cosmetics!). The V7 motor also saw an increase of 75% of power at the brush bar than the previous V6 generation.

In terms of raw power, the V7 motor showed excellent performance and ability to pull both small and large particles.

Battery, Charging, & Running Time

Battery, Charging, & Running Time
Blue light indicating charging
The V7 has 2 power settings: Normal and Max. Normal offers a good 30 minute run time without any attachments (20 minutes with direct drive cleaner head), and 7 minutes on high setting regardless of attachment. This is up from 20 minutes on the V6. The V8 provides 40 minutes of run time, and each subsequent release offering even more run time, at the expense of getting heavier and bulkier.

30 minutes should be enough for an average 2000 sq ft house, but you have to factor in floor type and extent of cleaning. For instance, vacuuming carpets will consume more energy than vacuuming hardwood floors for the simple reason that the motorhead meets a lot more resistance when driving the brush through carpet. If you decide to vacuum every crevice, baseboard, and ceiling fan, one charge might not be enough.

The V7 battery charging time is 3.5 hours. When connected to the charger, a solid blue light will emit on the side of the battery indicating that it's charging. When the light shuts off, that indicates charging is complete. Dyson provides a 2 year warranty on all of its batteries.
Q: Does the Dyson V7 battery detach?
A: No, the V7 battery does not detach. To remove the battery, you must use a screwdriver.
Q: How do I know if the Dyson V7 is charging?
A: When charging, a blue light will emit on the side of the battery. Once fully charged, the light will turn off.
Q: How long does the V7 battery take to charge?
A: The V7 battery takes 3.5 hours to charge to full.

Dyson V7 Weight

Weighing a manageable 5.3 lbs, the V7 V7 is up from 4.6 lbs of the previous V6 generation. The extra weight is in part due to a larger battery that extends run time to 30 minutes and other improvements. Relative to V8, V10, V11, and subsequent models, I would still consider this model low to medium weight. It's easy to hold and maneuver, even for an extended period of time.

Dust Bin

"500ml bin is slightly lacking"
Dust Bin
Click to play
Emptying the dust bin quickly and easily
The V7 dust bin is 25% larger than the V6, filling at a modest 500ml (0.13 gallons). Even with the increase in size, it's still fairly small, and you will have to make extra trips to the trash can if your house is extra dirty. This dust bin got a surprisingly great overhaul from the previous generation of V6 dust bins in terms of simplicity and ease of use. Simply lift the small red handle up and bottom of the dust bin will fly open, releasing all the dust and debris directly into the trash can, without getting your hands dirty. The see-through canister design is great because you can see what is being picked up and how much.

Emptying the bin is quick, convenient, and clean. Should any hair get wrapped around the collector head refusing to drop down, simply shake the container or reach in and pry it off. While the design is great, points are removed for its small size.

If you're looking for a larger dust bin, you will have to skip the V8 model, which is also 500ml, and go for the V10, which provides a 50% larger dust bin than the V7 or V8.
Q: How big is the Dyson V7 dust bin?
A: The V7 dust bin is 500ml (0.13 gallons) in capacity.
Q: Which Dyson dust bin is larger, V6, V7, or V8?
A: V7 and V8 are both 500ml. V6 is 400ml.

Noise

The V7 produces moderate noise levels, clocking in at 65dB normal setting and 74dB on high setting. This makes it just slightly louder than the V8 version, but not by a big margin.
Q: How loud is the Dyson V7?
A: The Dyson V7 is moderately loud, ranging from 65 to 75 dB.

Dyson V7 Filters

"choose your filter wisely"
Dyson V7 Filters
Click to play
All Dyson V7s come with a pre-motor filter that sits at the top of the unit. The pre-motor filter is removable and washable, but does not pass the whole-system smoke filtration test, which means that the filter allows many fine particles through.

Dyson installed a secondary HEPA filter (high efficiency particulate absorbing filter) on Animal, Fluffy and Allergy models, but not on Motorhead or Absolute. The HEPA filter is located at the back of the V7 and can easily be identified by its blue cylindrical shape. This means if you want your V7 to remove allergens, mold, and dust particles as small as 0.3 microns (1/100 width of human hair!) you are limited to those 3 models.

I do highly recommend that you do stick to a HEPA filter to maintain healthy air for you and your family. As a general rule, if you don't have a lot of hardwood floors, you'd be best served by the V7 Animal. If most of your floor type is hardwood, however, the best choice for you is the V7 Fluffy.

dyson v7 filter hepa image
Q: Can a HEPA filter be added to a Dyson V7 without HEPA?
A: No, you cannot add a HEPA filter to a Dyson V7 which doesn't come with it.
Q: How do I know if my Dyson V7 has a HEPA filter?
A: Dyson V7s with HEPA filters have a blue cylinder located at the rear exhaust of the vacuum.

V7 Carpet Cleaning Test

V7 Carpet Cleaning Test
Click to play
Effortlessly picks up all carpet debris
Many tests show that the Direct Drive V7 cleaner head (comes included) picks up debris from carpet with ease, large and small. Using the stiff nylon bristles, the brush drives deep into carpets to capture hard to reach dirt. Rice, Cheerios, oats, flour, and sand is picked up with no issues at normal power setting and normal cleaning pace. The vacuum also picks up pet and human hair with ease. The brush will get tangled if enough long hair is picked up, but that is to be expected.

The dual-brush cleaner head intake is slightly smaller than the V8 version and has fewer air gates which leads to higher suction. This makes this cleaner head great for deep cleaning your carpets and picking up the deep seated debris.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning Test

Hardwood Floor Cleaning Test
Click to play
Struggles picking up large debris on hardwood floors
The V7 dual-brush cleaning head picks up fine dust with ease on any type of hardwood floors. Its high suction makes it a breeze. However, picking up larger bits like cheerios is an issue, as it tends to push the debris forward instead of picking it up. This is simply because the suction style brush roll cleaner head is not ideal for hardwood floors. It was designed to be used for both surface types, but it ended up being good for just carpets. If your house floors are primarily hardwood floors, you want to look for a vacuum with a soft roller cleaner head such as the V7 Fluffy model.

Crevice Cleaning Test

Crevice Cleaning Test
Click to play
Need to hold the cleaner head over the crevice
The crevice cleaning test shows the motorhead requires considerable effort picking up dirt from the crevice when going over at normal pace. If you keep the motorhead over the crevice for a couple of seconds, it tends to begin to clean it. Using the crevice tool for this purpose is a better alternative, but this goes to show that the motorhead can help with crevice cleaning.

Dyson V7 Usability

This model offers great usability. Transforming the vacuum cleaner from handheld to stick (and vice versa) is simple. All it takes is a push of a button to quick release the pieces, and snap in the new extensions in seconds.

The V7 has very good maneuverability. The vacuum itself is quite light, can turn 90 degrees, and lay nearly flat to reach deep underneath furniture.
Q: Can the Dyson V7 reach beneath furniture?
A: Yes, the Dyson V7 can lay flat and reaches underneath most furniture.

Dyson V7 Maintenance

Maintaining the Dyson V7 is quite simple. First, empty the dust bin when the debris level reaches the marker on the side of the canister. Second, remove and clean the pre-motor filter at the top of the unit under running water once a month. Dry for 24 hours before installing the pre-motor filter back. If your vacuum has a HEPA filter, remove it and clean it under running water. Let it dry for 24 hours before installing. Following those steps, the V7 will operate efficiently over a long period of time. The pre-motor filter does not need to be replaced at any point. Both pre-motor and HEPA filter will last a lifetime.

Dyson V7 Accessories

Dyson V7 comes with 6 tools: The Multi-floor Cleaner Head, Crevice Tool, Combination Tool, Mini-Motorized Tool, Soft Dusting Brush, and the Fluffy Soft Roller Head. Each one of these V7 products also comes with the docking station, wall plug charger, and the extension wand.

Crevice Tool

Dyson Crevice Tool
Crevice Tool
Click to play
The crevice tool is included with the V7 Motorhead, V7 Animal, and V7 Absolute which is extremely useful when trying to reach between tight spaces and crevices. This tool provides higher, concentrated suction power necessary to maximize reach in hard to reach spots. It's one of my favorite tools to use when cleaning.

This tool is compatible with Dyson V7 V8 V10 V11 and V15 models.

Combination Tool

Dyson Combination Tool
The two in one combination tool is included with the V7 Motorhead, V7 Animal, V7 Absolute, and V7 Allergy models and provide a convenient dusting brush which can be switched to a general nozzle for upholstery by holding down the button and pulling back the brush. In addition to cleaning upholstery, this tool can be used to clean the baseboards, vents, window sills, pick up webs, and a verity of other things. It's a great multi-purpose tool and you'll find new things to clean with it all the time.

The V7 combination tool will not fit a Dyson V6, however, it will fit a V8, V10 and V11 Dyson cordless vacuums.

Mini-Motorized Tool

Mini Motorized Tool
The mini motorized tool comes with the V7 Animal, V7 Fluffy, and V7 Absolute. It's got a 20W electric motor that spins a brush to get deep seated debris out. This tool is great to clean your car with. The cleaning head tilts and adjusts to the angle of the surface to maintain constant suction. This tool is also wonderful for cleaning carpet stairs. Simply remove the wand from your V7, attach this tool, and you're ready to tackle the stairs.

Soft Dusting Brush Tool

Dyson Soft Dusting Brush
The soft dusting brush tool comes with the V7 Animal, V7 Fluffy, and V7 Absolute. The soft brush does wonders for vacuuming delicate surfaces such as TVs, computer monitors and keyboards, laptops screens, wooden furniture, window glass, and many others. It would be impossible for me to get by without the soft brush, I highly recommend to get it.

Fluffy/Soft Cleaner Head

Soft Roller Cleaner Head
The V7 soft roller cleaner head only comes with the V7 Fluffy and V7 Absolute models. What makes this cleaning head special is the fact that it performs amazingly on hardwood floors. Dyson designed the Multi-surface cleaning head to tackle both floor types, however, it lacks significantly when it comes to large debris on hardwood floors. For that reason, the soft roller cleaning head comes as an option for homes with a lot of hardwood floors.

This cleaning head is very niche, as it operates only on hardwood surfaces, however, it performs extremely well. If your primary floor type is overwhelmingly hardwood floors, I would recommend going for V7 Fluffy, as it includes a HEPA filter (V7 Absolute does NOT), and you can also grab the V7 Crevice tool separately for $10-15 extra. You cannot go wrong with this combo.

Direct Drive Cleaner Head

Direct Drive Cleaner Head
The Direct Drive cleaner head comes with separate motor and is the primary cleaning head that comes with the V7. This tool does not come with the V7/V8 Fluffy model, because the Fluffy model comes with the Soft Roller Fluffy Cleaning Head instead.

This 2-in-1 brush head roller is excellent at deep cleaning carpets, and performs well on small debris on hardwood floors. As mentioned, this cleaner head performs poorly on large debris on hardwood floors, but has no problem with large debris on carpets.

Dyson V7 Pros & Cons

  • Powerful suction performs excellent on carpets
  • Fluffy cleaner head super effective on hardwood floors
  • Deep carpet cleaning outperforms even the V8
  • Instant release trigger helps maximize battery efficiency
  • Very easy to use, maneuver, and swap attachments
  • No whole-system HEPA filtration on Motorhead and Absolute
  • Smaller dust bin than I prefer
  • Direct drive head performs poorly on hardwood floors with large debris

Final Verdict

The Dyson V7 is a beautiful cordless vacuum in its design and performance. While being slightly more expensive, it vastly outperforms other brands. The V7 has stood the test of time for being reliable and a pleasure to use.

The V7 Animal is the recommended option for those with more than 60%-70% carpet. If you have 50/50% carpet and hardwood floors, you have the option to purchase a fluffy roller head alongside the V7 Animal, which is excellent for hardwood surfaces.

If your floor type is primarily hardwood and you do not need the direct drive cleaner head for carpets, then grab the V7 Fluffy which comes with the soft roller head designed for hardwood floors.

Regardless of which choice you make, I highly recommend to get a V7 with a high efficiency HEPA filter in order to be able to clean your air as you're vacuuming from fine dust, pollen, mold, and other small particles. The Dyson V7 is a great choice if you are looking for a slightly lighter variant of the Dyson cordless stick vacuums.

Questions or Comments? Leave a reply!

TOP PICKS