Dyson V11 Animal Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 06, 2020 at 08:23 am
Dyson V11 Animal Picture
8.1
Bare Floor
7.7
Low-Pile Carpet
7.9
High-Pile Carpet
8.7
Pets
8.8
Stairs
8.4
Cars
Vacuum Type
Stick/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The Dyson V11 Animal is a cordless stick vacuum. Since it doesn't have a power cable, it has an unlimited range and it's quite portable too. It has a great overall performance on most surface types, and if you need to get into tight spaces, you can reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum, which is great for cleaning cars. It also comes with several tools and brushes to help give you a better clean. However, it has a plasticky body that feels a little fragile, and its dirt compartment is a bit small. While its battery performance is alright, it lasts less than ten minutes when using its Boost setting, which may not be enough if you have a big mess to clean up.

Our Verdict

8.1 Bare Floor

The Dyson V11 Animal is great for bare floors. It does an excellent and consistent job of picking up pet hair as well as small and large debris, especially as its dirt compartment fills up. Although it has an only okay build quality as its plastic elements seem a bit fragile, it's fairly easy to maintain.

Pros
  • Great performance on most floor types.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
  • Fairly easy to maintain.
Cons
  • Plastic design feels fragile.
  • Small dirt compartment.
7.7 Low-Pile Carpet

The Dyson V11 Animal is good for cleaning low-pile carpet. It performs consistently even as the dirt compartment fills up, and it manages to clean most debris well. However, its build quality is only okay, and its plastic feels a bit fragile. It's fairly easy to maintain, though.

Pros
  • Great performance on most floor types.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
  • Fairly easy to maintain.
Cons
  • Plastic design feels fragile.
  • Small dirt compartment.
7.9 High-Pile Carpet

The Dyson V11 Animal is very good for cleaning high-pile carpet. It does an impressive job with its brush roll, and it's able to catch large debris like sand. While it struggles a bit with smaller debris, it does an excellent job with pet hair, and it still does a decent job overall when the dirt compartment is full. On the downside, its build quality is only okay, although it's still fairly easy to maintain.

Pros
  • Great performance on most floor types.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
  • Fairly easy to maintain.
Cons
  • Plastic design feels fragile.
  • Small dirt compartment.
8.7 Pets

The Dyson V11 Animal is excellent for cleaning pet hair. It does an outstanding job of picking up pet hairs on any surface type. Its build quality is only okay though, and if there's hair wrapped around the main brush roll, you need to remove it with either your hands or by using scissors.

Pros
  • Great performance on most floor types.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • No pet grooming brush.
8.8 Stairs

The Dyson V11 Animal is excellent for cleaning stairs. It's quite portable and its cordless design gives you an unlimited range, which is well-suited for going up and down stairs. While it has a great performance on all surface types, its plasticky body seems a little fragile and as if it could crack or break on impact.

Pros
  • Great performance on most floor types.
  • Portable and easy to maneuver.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Plastic design feels fragile.
  • Can feel a bit heavy in the hand after a while.
8.4 Cars

The Dyson V11 Animal is great for cars. It's quite portable and since it doesn't have a cord, you don't need to worry about its range. You can also reconfigure it as a handheld vacuum, and it comes with a crevice tool so that you can get to those hard-to-clean places.

Pros
  • Great performance on most floor types.
  • Portable and easy to maneuver.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Can feel a bit heavy in the hand after a while.
  • 8.1 Bare Floor
  • 7.7 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.9 High-Pile Carpet
  • 8.7 Pets
  • 8.8 Stairs
  • 8.4 Cars
  1. Update 8/24/2020: We've retested the dirt compartment's volume. We've also retested this vacuum's performance on bare floors, as well as on low and high-pile carpet.

Check Price

Blue/Nickel V11 Torque Drive
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com
Purple/Nickel V11 Animal
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BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Dyson V11 Animal's build quality is only okay. Aside from the metal wand, the rest of the vacuum is made almost entirely out of plastic. It looks nice and doesn't feel cheap, but the plastic used seems rather fragile, like it could crack on impact if dropped.

On the upside, it has a pretty intuitive design that's easy to assemble - the parts clip together with ease and come apart without much trouble. There's also a grippy rubber strip underneath the main compartment to keep it from falling over when leaning against a wall, which is a nice touch.

7.0
Design
User Maintenance

This vacuum is fairly easy to maintain. The filter needs regular cleaning, but it's very easy to access. Almost all parts that require maintenance can be removed entirely for easy cleaning, and the vacuum can be quickly disassembled in case there's a blockage. It also has indicator lights to let you know when the filter needs cleaning or if there's a blockage.

However, you need to remove the wand from the vacuum to empty the dirt compartment, which is a bit annoying since it's rather small and needs to be emptied quite often. Hair also tends to wrap around the main brush roll head and needs to be removed manually from time to time.

10
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
970013-02
HEPA Filter Part Number
970013-02

The Dyson V11 Animal has virtually no recurring costs, which is excellent. Just like the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister and Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute, there are no bags to replace. The filter also is expected to last the lifetime of your product as long as it's well-maintained. If any parts do break or need replacement, you can purchase them directly on Dyson's website.

8.3
Design
Storing
Height
45.28 in (115.0 cm)
Width
9.84 in (25.0 cm)
Depth
11.81 in (30.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
Yes
Vacuum Rack/Station
Yes

The Dyson V11 is impressively easy to store. Its tall and narrow design helps it fit in tight spaces like a small broom closet. Unlike the Dyson V8 Animal, this vacuum can store up to two brushes or tools on the vacuum directly without changing its footprint very much. It also comes with a docking station that has a couple of extra spots to store more tools, which is convenient.

6.8
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.12 gal (0.45 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

Update 08/24/2020: We've retested the dirt compartment volume using our methodology instead of using the manufacturer specs. The dirt compartment's score has been updated to reflect this change.

The Dyson V11 has an adequate dirt compartment. It's a bit small, so it tends to need emptying fairly frequently, but there's an indicator to let you know when it's full. If you want another vacuum with a bigger dirt compartment, check out the Dyson Ball Animal 2.

Design
In The Box

  • Dyson V11 Animal vacuum
    • Dirt compartment
    • Lint/dust screen
    • Filter
    • Main vacuum head
    • Wand
    • Vacuum User Guide
  • Various tools and brushes
    • Dusting brush
    • Upholstery brush
    • Turbo brush
    • Crevice tool
    • Tool holder
  • Docking station
    • Installation manual
    • 4 screws
    • Charger

10
Design
Range
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
N/A

Since the Dyson V11 is cordless, you have unlimited range. You can vacuum completely untethered, with the only restrictions being a dead battery or a full canister.

7.7
Design
Portability
Total Weight
7.72 lbs (3.50 kg)
Weight In Hand
4.41 lbs (2.00 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

The Dyson V11 Animal is quite portable. While the vacuum itself doesn't weigh too much, the actual weight you feel in your hand when vacuuming can start to feel a bit heavy after a while. On the upside, it has a carrying handle for more comfortable use in handheld mode.

6.9
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
8 min.
Maximum Battery Life
76 min.
Recharge Time
240 min.
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

This vacuum's battery performance is alright. It can go for over an hour on the Eco setting in handheld mode, so you shouldn't need to recharge it too often if you're just cleaning up small spills here and there. However, it lasts less than 10 minutes on the Boost setting with the main power head, so if you need some extra torque to power through a tough mess, you'll have to do it quickly. If you don't want to worry about battery life, check out the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light, which is a corded stick/handheld vacuum.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

The Dyson V11 has a few features to make your life easier, like automatically adjusting its power level based on its required performance. You can also adjust the main vacuum head's suction to accommodate for different surface types, but you have to do it manually via a small slider on the head.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
Yes
Turbo Brush
Yes
Crevice Tool
Yes
Upholstery Tool
Yes
Soft Bristle Brush
Yes
Hard Bristle Brush
Yes
Extension Wand
Yes
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

This cordless vacuum comes with quite a few different tools and brushes to help you get the job done. One of the brushes has retractable bristles so it can be used for dusting or on upholstery. The V11 Torque Drive variant comes with an additional soft brush for delicate surfaces and fabrics. Although there isn't technically an extension wand, you can attach any tool to the end of the main wand for added reach.

Design
Alternative Configuration

You can use the Dyson V11 as either a stick vacuum or in handheld mode by detaching the wand.

Performance
8.7
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
91 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
90 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
99 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
99 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Auto" (vacuum head vents completely open)

Update 08/24/2020: We've retested the Dyson V11 Animal's bare floor performance using the new dirt compartment volume measurements. While the scoring of this box hasn't changed, the large debris results have been updated.

This vacuum has excellent bare floor performance. Even with the dirt compartment full, it still performs almost as well as it does when it's empty. It doesn't suck up large debris like cereal as well as it does with small debris like rice, but it does an outstanding job with pet hair.

If you want a similar vacuum with much better performance on bare floors, consider the Shark APEX UpLight.

7.9
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
92 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
83 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
81 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
71 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
70 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Auto" (vacuum head vents completely closed)

Update 08/24/2020: We've retested the Dyson V11 Animal's low-pile carpet performance using the new dirt compartment volume measurements. While the scoring of this box hasn't changed, the small and large debris results have been updated.

This vacuum performs very well on low-pile carpet. It doesn't manage to catch as much debris as it does on bare floors but still does remarkably well with pet hair. It does a better job with large debris like sand than with small debris like baking soda. It also performs quite consistently regardless of how much debris is in the dirt compartment. If you're looking for a cordless vacuum that's even more effective on low-pile carpet, however, take a look at the Shark ION P50 Upright.

8.2
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
93 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
62 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
60 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
76 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
76 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Auto" (vacuum head vents partially open)

Update 08/24/2020: We have retested the Dyson V11 Animal's high-pile carpet performance using the new dirt compartment volume measurements. While the scoring of this box hasn't changed, the small debris results have been updated.

The Dyson V11 has great high-pile carpet performance. While it doesn't manage to get as much debris as it does on bare floors or low-pile carpet, it still manages to do an impressive job thanks to the agitation provided by the brush roll. Like with low-pile carpet, it catches larger debris like sand better than smaller debris like baking soda, but still excels with pet hair. Even though the performance decreases a bit as the dirt compartment fills up with large debris, it still does a decent job even when it's full.

7.5
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Ok
Under Low Table
Ok
On Furniture
Excellent
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Excellent

This vacuum has good maneuverability. While the vacuum does feel a bit heavy at times, it maneuvers around quite well thanks to its slim design. The head gets in the way around furniture, so you might have to crouch down low a fair bit to get underneath couches or tables properly. Although it's likely to get stuck on a lightweight tasseled rug like most vacuums, you shouldn't have any issues on a thicker rug or around cables.

Automation
0
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
No
Schedule Programming
No
Boundary Markers
No
Random Pathing
No
Smart Pathing
No
App Name
No App

The Dyson V11 Animal has no automation features.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

The Dyson V11 is available in two variants: the Animal, which we reviewed, and the Torque Drive. The V11 Torque Drive comes with an additional soft dusting brush for delicate surfaces and fabrics, and its LED screen is supposed to display real-time performance. For the most part, we expect both models to perform similarly as the rest of their advertised specifications are the same.

Compared to other vacuums

The Dyson V11 Animal is a cordless stick vacuum. It has a similar overall performance to the Dyson V7, and can be reconfigured as a handheld vacuum for cleaning up your car or other tight spaces. However, the Dyson V11 Animal does a better job cleaning up bare floors, and it has an alright battery life, especially when compared to other cordless stick vacuums. 

Dyson V7 Animal

The Dyson V7 and the Dyson V11 Animal are similarly performing cordless stick/handheld vacuums. The V7 is slightly better at cleaning on low-pile carpets, and it's a bit lighter. On the other side, the Dyson V11 Animal has a better overall performance on bare floors. It's better at storing away when not in use, it has a slightly larger dirt compartment, and its battery performance is much better. 

Dyson V8 Animal

The Dyson V8 Animal is a somewhat better stick/handheld vacuum than the Dyson V11 Animal. While both vacuums have a very similar design, the V8 does a better job on bare floors as well as low-pile carpet. However, the V11 is easier to maintain, it has on-board tool storage, and its dirt compartment is bigger. It also performs better on high-pile carpet and its maximum battery life is more than the V8.

Shark ION F80

The Dyson V11 Animal is better than the Shark ION F80 for most uses. It performs better on carpet as it sucks up a decent amount of debris on both low-pile and high-pile carpet. This means it's also better-suited to clean cars and it comes with more tools too. The ION F80 has a wand that can bend 90 degrees so it has better maneuverability and the batteries on the Shark are also better. 

Shark Rocket Pet Pro

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro and the Dyson V11 Animal are similarly performing stick/handheld vacuums. The Shark feels better built, it's significantly more maneuverable, and it has a better performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet. The Dyson, on the other hand, is easier to maintain, has a bigger dirt compartment, and more tools. It also has better performance on high-pile carpet.

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

The Dyson V11 Animal and the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute are two stick/handheld vacuums with different purposes. The V11 Animal is more specifically designed for cleaning pet hair. However, the Cyclone V10 Absolute can also pick up pet hair and it's better at cleaning this kind of debris on all surfaces than the V11 Animal. The V11 Animal has less maintenance needs, it's easy to store, and its dirt compartment holds more debris. The Cyclone V10 Absolute, on the other hand, has a more versatile design. It has a bit better performance on bare floors as well as low-pile carpet, it comes with more tools and brushes, and its battery charge time is a lot faster as well.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister

The Dyson V11 Animal is a better overall vacuum than the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister. The V11 Animal does a much better job of vacuuming up large debris on all surface types, it has a cordless design so you can go anywhere with it, and you can even configure it into handheld mode. However, its battery performance is alright, and unlike the corded Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister, you'll need to make sure it's charged before you use it. That being said, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister is also easier to maintain. 

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum

The Dyson V11 Animal is a better overall vacuum than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. Thanks to its stick/handheld design, the Dyson is lighter, slightly more maneuverable, and as it has a cordless design, you don't have to worry about its range. It also does a better job cleaning high-pile carpet. However, the Shark has a much better performance on bare floors, and its dirt compartment can hold more debris before needing to be emptied. 

Dyson Ball Animal 2

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a better vacuum for cleaning floors while the Dyson V11 Animal is more versatile. The Ball Animal 2 is an upright vacuum with outstanding performance on bare floors and carpets. It also has a bigger dirt compartment and it comes with a pet grooming tool. The V11 is a cordless stick vacuum so you're not limited by a cord in terms of its range. You can also use it as a handheld vacuum, which is useful to vacuum stairs or inside cars. 

Shark APEX UpLight

The Shark APEX UpLight and the Dyson V11 Animal are two similar stick vacuums. The Shark has better overall performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet, while the Dyson is slightly better on high-pile carpet. The Shark has a better build quality and the Dyson is more versatile as it's a cordless vacuum, but that means you have to worry about its battery life, which doesn't last very long on the max power settings.

Roborock S6

The Dyson V11 Animal and the Roborock S6 are two very differently designed vacuums. The Dyson is a stick/handheld with little recurring costs and easier maintenance. It has a slightly larger dirt compartment, and it can be reconfigured into a handheld vacuum for cleaning tough-to-reach places. It also does a better job of cleaning low and high-pile carpet. However, the Roborock is a robot vacuum, which is better if you prefer a hands-off approach to cleaning. It's more maneuverable, it does a better job of cleaning bare floors, and it's well-built. It also has a longer-lasting battery life, and it comes with a mop attachment feature for tackling sticky messes, although we don't currently test for this.

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light

The Dyson V11 Animal is a better overall vacuum than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. The Dyson stores easier, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and it's cordless, so you can go anywhere with it. It can also adjust its power level to better suit the mess, and it comes with several tools that help to clean more specific objects like blinds, which is nice. On the other hand, the Shark is corded, so you never have to worry about running out of battery life or recharging it. 

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