The V8 technically has more power than the V7, as you’ll see below, but it’s not noticeable.
The Dyson V8 comes with two roller heads. You’ll use the Direct Drive head on carpets. As I said, the V8 technically has more power, but it didn’t translate to any noticeable difference on my carpets. With regular suction, the V8 clocks in at 22 Airwatts while the V7 is 21 Airwatts. With max mode, the V8 is 115 Airwatts compared to the V7’s 100 Airwatts.
With the V7, you’ll be using the Motorhead roller, which is its only roller and it’s designed specifically for carpet cleaning. I suggest using regular mode for both vacuums as it should get the job done and allows for long runtimes. However, high-traffic areas or deeper carpet might require the max setting.
Aside from the overall runtime, these two are identical in terms of carpet performance. The numbers might tell a different tale, but I found no clear difference between them in this regard. The rollers have different names, but functionally they are the same.
Carpet winner: V8
Carpet performance might have been identical, but here’s where the differences start. The V8 Absolute is amazing on hard floors while the V7 Motorhead struggles to keep up.
V8 Absolute comes with two cleaning heads: Soft Roller and Direct Drive. While the Direct Drive is considered all-purpose, it’s best for carpets. The Soft Roller was made for hard floors and has carbon fiber filaments that eliminate static electricity. This ensures it can effectively clean fine dust and dirt with little effort. You’ll only need regular power when using the Soft Roller on hard floors because you won’t notice a difference in performance if you use max mode.
The V8 Absolute is my recommendation if you have primarily hard floors (or half and half). The Soft Roller is what gives it the leg up in this competition. If not for this attachment, then you would find that the V8’s Direct Drive and V7’s Motorhead would function about the same on hard floors.
The V7 Motorhead struggles with hard floors. It’s able to suck up debris, but not as effectively. You’ll have a hard time with larger debris, like cereal, because it will just push it around. Since the head isn’t made to reduce static electricity, it will also have a hard time with fine materials because they’ll be stuck to the floor. It can pick up everything, but it’ll require more time. Not only that, but you might have to use max mode just to suck up standard debris.
The problem here isn’t the V7 itself, but the variant. The V7 Motorhead is best for carpets. There is a V7 Absolute that, much like the V8, is great for both carpets and hard floors. The problem is that it’s almost impossible to find. You can only find the Motorhead (the model reviewed here) or Animal, which is made for hard floors specifically.
If you buy a Soft Roller separately and attach it to the V7, then they are nearly identical. If you have a spare Soft Roller, you can use it with the V7. However, I’d suggest just getting the V8 Absolute because it’s more convenient and you get the other V8 benefits too.
Hard floor winner: V8
Both of these should cover most or all of your home, but the win goes to V8 for a stronger battery and better battery life.
The V8 has a 2800 mAh battery. It’ll last about 34 minutes in regular mode with motorized tools and 8 minutes in max mode. The battery cannot be swapped out and takes about 3.5 hours to fully charge.
The V7 has a 2100 mAh battery. It’ll last 28 minutes in regular mode with motorized tools and 6 minutes in max mode. This still should be enough to do most of your home.
If you haven’t used a cordless stick vacuum before, then neither of these times might seem great. However, think about how long vacuuming actually takes you. Most people are done within 10-15 minutes give or take. Either Dyson should be able to suck up all the dirt and debris around the house without an issue. At worst, you might have to split your vacuuming into two days.
Another difference is the battery meter indicator. The V8 Absolute has three lights showing how much battery life is left. I love this, especially if I have to use max mode. Unfortunately, the V7 doesn’t have a battery meter. You’ll know your time is drawing to a close because the vacuum will slow down, but otherwise, you don’t have an exact measurement.
Battery winner: V8
Dyson is a company that improves on its old designs every year. Each model adds more power and features. However, with that being said, I like the V7 Motorhead’s design more than the newer V8 Absolute as it’s lighter and quieter.
Starting with the V8, it weighs about 3.5 pounds, which is half a pound heavier than the V7. That may not sound like much and you probably won’t notice it when using the motorized tools with the stick, but it’s more noticeable after long cleaning while using it as a handheld.
The V8 holds 530ml of dry material. Both the V8 and V7 have the same debris release. Simply remove the canister, pull the red tab, and everything will be released without touching anything. It’s simple and prevents your hands from getting dirty.
The V8 has a wall-mounted charging dock, which I love. While I don’t have any official numbers on this, the V8 is somewhat louder than the V7. It’s not by a massive amount, but side by side I can hear the difference.
The V7 weighs 3 pounds. Again, it’s not a huge difference between them, but you will feel it when using a motorized tool.
You get the same 530ml dustbin capacity and the same release tab. The vacuum is quieter than the V8. However, there is one area where the V7 stumbles. The V8 has a HEPA filter that is better with sealing allergens. The V7 doesn’t have a HEPA filter, unfortunately. If you have bad allergies, then this is likely an important difference, but it probably won’t matter as much if you don’t have allergies.
HEPA filter aside, I’m surprised to say that the V7 was more impressive in my opinion in terms of design. Both are fantastic, but I appreciated V7’s lighter design and quieter vacuuming.
Design winner: V8
If you have a mix of hard floors and carpet, or even just hard floors, then the Dyson V8 Absolute is the winner. Dyson V8 Absolute is significantly better on hard floors with the Soft Roller attachment and it has improved battery life.
The V7 wins when it comes to the overall design, being both lighter and quieter, but the Motorhead variant suffers from only being great on carpet. The V7 Motorhead is great if you only have carpets, or if you’re willing to buy a Soft Roller you’ll find that the V7 is nearly identical to the V8.