There’s no doubt that Dyson currently rules the roost as far as the best stick vacuum cleaners are concerned. For 2019, this British technology company introduced the Dyson V11 vacuum.

This vacuum cleaner is available in two variants in the USA market; the Dyson V11 Torque Drive and Dyson V11 Animal. The big question, and probably why you are here, is, ‘‘how do these two compare, and what are the differences between them?’’

That’s precisely what this Dyson V11 review will be all about.

 Dyson V11 Torque DriveDyson V11 Animal  
yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7dyson v11 animal cordless vacuum cleaner purple
Buy on AmazonBuy on Amazon
Height10.28 inches10.28 inches
Length49.65 inches50.63 inches
Width9.84 inches9.84 inches
Weight6.68 lbs.6.68 lbs.
Cyclone Technology14 concentric cyclones14 concentric cyclones
Dirt capacity0.2 Gallons0.2 Gallons
FiltrationHEPA- fully sealedHEPA- fully sealed
Battery size3600mAh3600mAh
Battery charging time4.5 hours4.5 hours
Max runtime60 minutes60 minutes
Attachments included54
Automatic suction adjustmentYesYes
Runtime countdownYesNo
Low battery NotificationYesYes

V11 Torque Overview

The Vacuum V11 is the latest entrant in Dyson’s list of high-end vacuum cleaners. This model is relatively new in the market, having debuted on 27th March 2019, but it’s already sparking lively debates whenever strong and lightweight vacuums are mentioned.

True to Dyson’s tradition of offering new technologies with every new release, the Dyson V11 is its most advanced cordless vacuum at the moment.

Worthy of mention, this is an upgrade of the V10, which was released in 2018. As you’ll find out in any Dyson V11 vs V10 review, the V11 brings a significantly larger motor, which translates to more suction power, and an advanced display screen. There is a price to pay for these improvements, of course.

As we’ve just mentioned above, the US market can get this vacuum cleaner in 2 options: the Dyson V11 Torque Drive and the Dyson V11 Animal. For those in the UK, there is a third option, the V11 Absolute, which is very similar to the Torque Drive. We are not sure whether or when the Absolute will be available for the American market. For the sake of this article, we are going to concentrate on the Dyson V11 Animal vs Torque.

Differences Drive & Animal

To a large extent, and as the comparison table above depicts, these two are essentially the same product. The significant difference is that the Dyson V11 torque drive vacuum boasts an LCD screen, while that of the Animal is LED. These two screens offer pretty much the same information. However, the LCD screen of the Torque Drive is a tad more detailed. We’ll dig deeper into these screens in a little while.

Another difference that comes up in the battle of Dyson v11 Animal vs V11 Torque is that the latter is slightly taller. This difference is less than an inch, though. We highly doubt it is going to make the Animal any inferior (or superior, depending on the situation).

Also worth noting is that the Animal comes with one less cleaning attachment, compared to the Torque.

Other than these differences, every other feature and performance that we are going to mention in this Dyson V11 review applies to both the Torque Drive and Animal.

Design Review

The Dyson V11 is an upright, cordless vacuum cleaner that was designed to be an advanced replacement for the Dyson V10. These two vacuums seem to have been crafted using the same design platform. However, as the newer model, the V11 has made several leaps forward in terms of improved usability.

Similar to most vacuums in Dysons V-series line up, the V11 is what you’d call a 2-in-1 cleaner. It switches from a stick vacuum cleaner to a handheld unit and back in a snap. The essence here is to give you a unit that adapts to different situations easily. This style, coupled with the fact that it is cordless, makes it possible to reach random spots that the full-sized model might struggle to reach.

The aesthetics of a vacuum cleaner has nothing to do with how it performs, but then again, no wants a product that will be an eyesore around their home. This model is aesthetically pleasing, to say the least.

It has a clean look with the cyclones, motor, and in-hand dustbin all in straight-line design. Besides making the vacuum more pleasing to the eye, this straight-line configuration is also argued to boost this model’s suction power. This makes it both efficient and notably more comfortable to use.

The Dyson V11 comes in 3 color variants depending on the model that you are going for;

  • Copper (available on Torque Drive only)
  • Nickel and Blue (available on Torque Drive only)
  • Nickel and Purple (available on Dyson Animal only)

Size and Weight Comparisons


If you liked the size of the Dyson V10, then you won’t have issues using the V11. Both the Torque Drive and Animal come at around the same size and measure 50.63’’ in length, 9.84’’ in width, and 10.28’’ in height when used with the extension wand.

When broken down for use as a handheld vacuum cleaner, the V11 becomes much smaller and lighter for easy on-the-spot vacuuming and for use inside the car. As a handheld unit and without any cleaning attachment, this model has a length of 15’’, a width of 4.5’’, and a height of 10.3’’.

How heavy is the Dyson V11 vacuum cleaner?

When used as a stick vacuum, this model weighs 6.68 pounds- around a pound heavier than the Dyson V10, which weighs a sprightly 5.9 lbs. This additional weight can be attributed to the considerably larger battery capacity.

This is pretty much the average weight of most battery-powered vacuum cleaners, so we don’t think it will be a bother for most users. All the same, we have to admit that the V11 will be more tiring, especially if you have to point it upwards for long when vacuuming the windows and curtains. So, it’s worth factoring in the weight difference if you are making a Dyson V11 vs V10 comparison.

Nickel Torque Drive Cleaning Head

The main cleaning head of the two V11 vacuum cleaners is the Nickel Torque Drive cleaning head. While it’s quite similar to what the V10 uses, the big deal with the latest release is that it’s now built with Dyson’s Dynamic Load Sensor (DSL) technology.

Dyson V11 Torque Head

In addition, the new Nickel Torque Drive cleaner head boasts stiff nylon bristles that are perfect for removing stubborn dirt tracked inside the carpet. It also has anti-static carbon fiber filaments to capture and remove tiny dust particles trapped in small crevices on your floors.

The DSL technology is unique to the V11 and works by sensing resistance as you push the cleaner head across different surfaces. We’ve seen this technology used in robot vacuum cleaners that cost way much higher than the V11- so seeing it on the V11 somewhat justifies the price tag, in our opinion.  

How does DSL technology in Dyson V11 work?

Basically, DSL technology makes this product an all-surface vacuum cleaner by adjusting the motor 360 times per second. When you roll the head from a hardwood or tile floor into a carpet or rug, the roller senses an increase in resistance and ramps up the power from eco mode to medium mode/Auto mode, thereby increasing the suction power.

This Torque Drive Cleaning Head also has a manual adjustment feature that lets you block or open the gates. Closing the gates gives you more suction power while opening them makes it easier to suck in larger debris. Also, this manual adjustment will help in suiting the head to the type and depth of your carpeted surfaces.

Cleaning Modes

When you are using a battery-powered vacuum cleaner, power consumption and battery life are going to be your biggest concerns because the vacuum has to be recharged.

For convenience purposes, Dyson offers you three cleaning modes with both variants of the V11 vacuum;


If you are looking forward to a long cleaning session and want more battery life, the eco mode is meant for that. This mode will give you 60 -70 minutes when using non-motorized attachments. The compromise here is significantly reduced suction power, although it still does a great job, especially on hardwood and tiled floors.

Boost mode

As the name implies, this is the highest setting on this vacuum cleaner. It gives you pretty much all the pulling power you’d ever need to dislodge stuck debris around the house. This full-suction state offers you almost 10x more power than eco-mode, which is impressive. However, it kills the battery very fast and could drain it in around 12 minutes. 

Medium/Auto mode

This setting is a happy medium, and it offers you more suction power than what eco setting provides, all while being gentle on the battery. This mode is going to give you 35-40 minutes when you are doing lots of carpet cleaning.

Suction Power

In our experience, suction is always an issue that most cordless vacuum cleaners always grapple with. Compared to their corded competitors, these units just didn’t cut it until the Dyson V10 showed up. Dyson seems to have moved the goalposts even further with the Dyson V11 Torque Drive and Animal vacuum cleaners. Honestly, these things suck! (No pun intended).

In most deep clean tests, the V11 has been recorded to collect over 98% of sand and debris on medium cleaning mode and a 100% on high power. Even on Eco mode, which is what you’ll probably be using mostly when cleaning a large house, the V11 is off the charts and can suck 91% of debris.

Most cordless vacuums never come this close. Actually, this dramatic increase in suction power puts the Dyson V11 Torque Drive and Animal in the same league with most corded alternatives.

Display Comparison


One of the key improvements that the V11 brought to Dyson’s V-series line is the digital display at the top of the handle. Again, this is the most significant and noticeable difference between the Dyson V11 Torque Head and Dyson V11 Animal. While the Torque Head uses an LCD, the Animal uses an LED screen.

You could ask, ‘‘what’s the difference between Dyson V11 LCD and LED screens?’’

Now, both of these screens offer information regarding battery status and also lets you toggle between the three performance modes.

The main difference, however, is that the LCD shows a real-time battery runtime countdown depending on the mode that you are running the vacuum on. On the other hand, the LED screen of the Animal will also show the remaining battery life, but as an icon, not a real-time estimate in minutes, for instance.

Uniquely, with the Dyson V11 Torque Head, the LCD screen will also provide maintenance alerts (such as replacing or cleaning the filter). Also, it will go further to detect blockages and even show you exactly where the blockage is. You won’t find this versatility with the V11 Animal.

How the Dyson V11 Vacuum Cleans

The Dyson V11 looks and works just like the V10. It utilizes an in-line configuration where the digital motor, dustbin, and a 2-tier radial cyclone system are all aligned. Dyson says that this design helps in sucking in the air in a straight line, thereby minimizing the loss of inertia while increasing suction power.

This vacuum cleaner is generally straightforward to maneuver thanks to its nicely balanced lightweight design, digital motor, and pivoting head. Switching out the different cleaning attachments is a cinch too, thanks to the universal quick-release system used on all the parts.

Something that we like here is an attachment holder that lets you clip two additional cleaning tools of your choice onto the vacuum cleaner. This makes a lot of sense when you realize that you need to attach a different head while you are on the other end of the house.

The Dyson V11 is fitted with 14 cyclones that force microscopic particles, including pollen, pet hair, and bacteria, into the 0.2-gallon bin. On this note, another improvement that makes using this vacuum much easier is the new pump-action style of emptying the bin.

In this mechanism, you only need to point the cleaner towards your dustbin’s opening, and then use a large red trigger underneath the bin to shoot out the debris. This new mechanism makes emptying the bin easy (and quite enjoyable) and mess-free. We wouldn’t say the same about the Dyson V10.

Filter Review

Vacuum cleaners work by sucking in most of the bad stuff on your floors and walls and spitting out air. How the vacuum deals with these contaminants before ejecting the air out matters a big deal, especially if you have allergies.

The Dyson V11 torque and animal use two ways to prevent these allergens from leaking into the air again;

  • Fully-sealed system

The vacuum cleaner cyclone assembly has an airtight gasket that ensures that the contaminants remain in the system.

  • HEPA filter

These units also utilize the coveted HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) to capture over 99% of the dust, bacteria, allergens, and pollen.

Torque Head Attachments

If you’ve interacted with Dyson before, you probably know that they are so generous with their cleaning attachments. In total, the V11 Torque Head comes with five cleaning accessories while V11 Animal comes with one less tool- the soft dusting brush.

Here is a glimpse of the tools that you’ll get with these vacuum cleaners and their uses;

  • Nickel Torque Head cleaner– this is the primary head that you’ll be using when cleaning your floors. It is used when the vacuum is in stick mode.
  • Mini soft dusting brush– best for use on delicate surfaces such as keyboards and automobile interiors.
  • Combination tool– combines a crevice tool and a soft dusting brush. It’s best for cleaning couches and upholstery.
  • Crevice tool– it has a slightly narrower opening that helps in capturing debris and dust trapped between cushions, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Mini-motorized tool– this tool comes in handy when using the vacuum in its handheld mode. It’s excellent for on-the-spot cleaning of pet hair, upholstery, and fabrics.

Spotless Mag Verdict

There is no going around it- the Dyson V11 vacuum cleaners are pricey. However, their robotic-style, unbeatable suction power, and above-average battery life are enough reasons to consider any of the two.

As the Dyson V11 specs sheet shows, the battle of Dyson V11 Torque Head vs Animal comes down to one thing: how much are you willing to spend? The V11 Torque Head is notably pricier, but it has an LCD screen that eliminates all fear by giving you a real-time countdown on battery level. It also comes with a mini soft dusting brush to show for its price tag.

On the other hand, the V11 Animal is relatively easy on the wallet- but its LED screen won’t show you how much time you are left with before the charge runs out. This screen still shows you when the battery is low, though. You can also buy the missing cleaning tool separately if you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use parts from Dyson V8 on the Dyson V11 vacuum cleaner?

Yes, you could. They all use similar universal attachments. For the motorized parts, though, the difference in wattage may lead to underperformance.

How often should I change the HEPA filter on the Dyson V11 vacuum?

Dyson recommends replacing it every six months to 1 year and washing it when they need to be. We recommend cleaning it monthly to keep its dust-trapping performance at top-notch.

Are the Dyson V11 vacuum cleaners suitable for allergies?

Well, the fact that they use a HEPA filter and a fully-sealed system means that most of the allergies sucked from your floors won’t be spilled out again. However, we would not recommend this as a replacement for an air purifier.

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