Review: Dyson V11 Outsize - a whole-home stick vac?

With massive suction, a huge bin and half-hour cleaning between charges, the corded vac’s days could be numbered.

Dyson V11 Outsize stick vacuum cleaning under a table.

Cordless sticks revolutionised how we vacuum. While corded models are the choice for deep-cleaning your home, a stick is a whizz at zipping over frequently used areas. However, with the V11 Outsize, Dyson thinks it has a stick that can do everything.

Let’s get over the obvious hurdle first … $1399. You read that right. Dyson stick vac prices push the boundaries of what’s reasonable, but this is next-level. However, our trial found the V11 Outsize is a cleaner that could consign your corded to the cupboard.

Upgraded performance

We’ve tested the normal-sized V11 Absolute stick, and we recommend it. In fact, its performance would shame a corded vac – compared to the best models, the V11 is better at cleaning carpet, scores 100% for picking up pet hair, and is easier to use than dragging a corded canister through your home. But it’s not perfect, especially if you have large areas to clean.

Removing battery from Dyson V11 Outsize.
The Outsize's battery is removable, so you could keep a charged spare to swap in.

The V11 Outsize sounds like it’s been upgraded in all the right ways:

  • An outsized 1.9L bin – two-and-a-half times the size of the Absolute’s bin, and as big as many bagless corded models.
  • 40 percent more suck.
  • A larger powerhead – 32cm wide, compared to 25cm on the Absolute model.
  • More battery capacity – Dyson claims the Outsize offers “up to 60 minutes of fade-free cleaning” (note, this is achieved by using the least powerful Eco mode on hard floors). The battery is removable, so you could keep a charged spare to swap in.

One vacuum cleaner to rule them all?

I was excited to try this out (well, as much as I could be about vacuuming). I’ve got a four-year-old Dyson V6 stick and a corded Miele vac at home, which cover small and large jobs between them. Could the V11 Outsize do everything they can?

Dyson’s housebound workout

My first impressions highlighted why all sticks vacs aren’t like this. As the name suggests, the Outsize is huge.

Dyson Outsize V11 cleaning against wall.
The Outsize's increased size and weight over its predecessors means you may need two hands to manoeuvre it.

Whereas my Dyson V6 is easy to pick up and flick around one-handed, the V11 Outsize needs both hands. It weighs 3.9kg (1.6kg more than my V6), with a lot of that extra weight in the larger powerhead. You’d need forearms like Popeye to easily lift the head off the floor with one arm. That, and the wider cleaning head, means it’s not as easy to whizz this big stick into tight spaces.

Dyson could learn from line trimmer design – adding a second handle on the end of the bin would make it much easier to wield. If you’re thinking of going Outsize, I recommend you check one out in store first, to make sure you’re comfortable throwing it around.

Good for whole-home cleaning

I used the Outsize to completely clean my three-bedroom home – which is too much for my V6. My place has a 50:50 mix of hard floor (wood and tile) and carpet, stairs, and a few deep-pile rugs. Using my corded Miele vac, I need to swap it around five plug sockets to vacuum the entire space.

Dyson V11 Outsize built-in display.
The Outsize comes with a built-in display indicating its current mode and charge.

I was disappointed to find that, when fully charged, the built-in display indicated I had just 10 minutes of Boost mode available. That’s three minutes less than we measured from the Absolute and a result of Dyson packing a bigger motor into the Outsize. However, for regular cleaning, the V11 Outsize has an Auto mode that turns the power down on hard floors and up on carpet (see our review of that function on the V11 Absolute). Using this (and Boost a handful of times on really grimy areas) I got 35 minutes of cleaning time – enough to vacuum my house. The display told me I had still had five minutes of Auto mode remaining.

While manoeuvring the weighty V11 for more than half an hour was tiring, vacuuming my house with it was easier than it is with my corded Miele canister vac (especially on the stairs), and the end result was a house as clean, if not cleaner.

Overall, my whole-home clean was a success.

A versatile but bulky handheld

Dyson V11 Outsize vacuum in handheld mode.
Disconnect the wand and the Outsize becomes a handheld vac – albeit a large and somewhat unwieldy one.

I also cleaned my car with the Outsize. It was manageable, but not as easy as using the smaller model. The weight of the vac and bulk of the bin made it harder to get under seats and into footwells. However, with its extra suction power, it made short work of grass and dirt left by football boots and a mountain bike (tasks my less powerful V6 struggles with).

The supplied attachments are great for this handheld cleaning task – a mini-powered head scraped dirt from velour seats and rough carpet. You also get a suite of upholstery, crevice and dusting tools.

Overall, car cleaning was a success.

Quick-cleaning masterclass

My final test was to replicate the typical kitchen and laundry clean-ups where I find my V6 stick so handy: cereals, rice and washing powder. However, my old V6 is a bit underpowered for larger messes.

None of the spills were a match for the extra suck of the Outsize. All the powder and rice were cleaned up. Like most vacs, the V11 pushed most of the larger cereals around rather than sucking them up. However, using a “lift and drop” technique to get them under the head, they all ended up in the bin.

Compared to my V6, the powerhead of the Outsize got right up to cabinet edges. However, it was annoyingly too wide for one recess in my kitchen that the V6 head fits into perfectly.

Overall, my quick-cleaning test was a success.

Verdict: Big

The V11 Outsize can do everything a cordless stick and a corded vac can do. It’s a compromise, though – to give it enough power to tackle big cleaning jobs, it becomes less easy to use.

Like a stick vac, it’s great for quick clean ups and it hangs conveniently on a wall-mount to charge up when stored. Disconnect the wand and it becomes a handheld vac, albeit a large and somewhat unwieldy one.

Woman mounting Dyson V11 Outsize on wall for charging.
The Outsize hangs conveniently on a wall-mount to charge up when stored.

Unlike most sticks, though, it’s powerful enough to tackle the whole home in one go. You won’t need to recharge it or empty the bin every five minutes.

The Outsize’s $1399 price tag is steep – I’ve never considered paying that much for a vacuum cleaner. However, this has the performance to replace my existing corded and stick vacs. If I were in the market for a new vac, it would be at the top of my list.

Dyson V11 Outsize specs

  • Price: $1399
  • Bin volume: 1.9L
  • Run time: Up to 60 minutes (In Eco mode on hard floors)
  • Dimensions: 29.8 x 32 x x 127.6cm (H x W x D)
  • Charge time: 4.5 hours
  • Weight: 3.56 kg

Member comments

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Bill R.
02 May 2020
Long term dyson life.

I've had a few dyson floor standing models. None of them lost vacuum noticeably over time. As long as you clean the filters regularly, and clear blockages - which is easy since they disassemble easily, they are great.

And I have cat litter to vacuum up which is very abrasive so I have no evidence to suggest abrasive materials affect suction at all.

For my first machine the flexible house failed after about 3 years - and I replaced that and it was back to normal.

I have a V10 which I have had for about a year. Lots of cat litter and fur and I have mostly carpet but also wooden floors.

It still seems as good as when I first bought it.

But you have to clean the filters as per the instructions.

John M.
18 Apr 2020
How long would it last?

My issue with ALL vacuum cleaner tests is that they are always done with a new machine. The proof of the pudding with vacuums is how long does their "superior" sucking power last and this is usually down to how well they are designed and manufactured. What kills a vacuum or shortens its satisfactory sucking life is dust getting past the seals into the motor bearings and other parts, which with some machines reduces their effectiveness quite rapidly. So, especially, if I was to pay $1400, I would want to know that the machine would carry on being such a wonderful tool for several years and the way that this would be scientifically tested would to test it with a vacuum gauge as new, then test it again at intervals over period of time, at least a year.
The other question I have about the Outsize is how much for the second battery (I have a big house) and does it have to be attached to the machine to be charged? Thank you.

Nic W.
18 Apr 2020
Just ordered one

I just ordered a V11 outsized and additional Battery this week. The battery comes as a Battery & Charger Set at $245. Still waiting for them to be delivered.

Staff C.
20 Apr 2020
Stick vac durability

Good morning John,

I agree about the need for durable vacs. I think the change that could have an impact is the switch of many models to bagless - the bag system does a good job of sealing the vac internals from dust. The bag acts as a replaceable filter and seal.

Unfortunately, we haven't tested vacs over a period in the lab - that's tough for us to do due to resourcing and cost. I don't know of any other organisations that have undertaken such a test either. It is, however, a very good idea.

We have a project starting shortly looking at durability and repairability of vacuum cleaners. I'll see if we can build durability testing into that work, to gain some insight into bagged vs bagless vacs.

In our reliability surveys, we don't see "loss of suction" as a major cause of stick vac faults, but that's not to say they don't lose some suction over time. Don't forget, if your vac doesn't function as well as it did when new after 12 or 24 months, it's not of reasonable quality and you should chase a fix under the CGA.

cheers,
Paul

David C.
18 Apr 2020
Are read on how durable they are?

The older style bagless Dysons seem to run in to problems when the airflow gets disturbed by (I think) the interior surfaces becoming scored with grit. I had several friends who pensioned them off after relatively few years because their suction dropped away. And at $1300 it's not far off the price of a light commercial vacuum cleaner.

John M.
18 Apr 2020
durability

I see, David C, you have similar concerns to me although you have raised another deterioration cause perhaps unique to the Dysons and it is all very well raving about a new machine but if it needs to be pensioned off after 12 or 24 months then it is hard to justify the $1400 (not $1300) price ticket. We wouldn't necessarily need to wait for 12 months for a verdict as some indication could be gained from a continuous test done in a laboratory test. Perhaps run along side another reasonable quality machine and using plaster dust which I understand is one of the most penetrating materials that are an enemy to vacuums.

Peter R.
18 Apr 2020
Hand knotted rugs

Paul: Now I get poncey. I have number of high quality hand-knotted carpets - the received wisdom is a low "suck" (surely there's a technical term) and only in one direction. I am not sure whether I am reading the detail of your review properly. Does a powered head mean it is a rotational brush as on my little hand held Dyson? (Which is totally fantastic and a revelation.) In other words does it move multi-directionally or will it clean a pile in one direction only?

Staff C.
20 Apr 2020
Powered heads

Hi Peter,
The three powered heads that come with this V11 (the main one, the hard floor one, and the mini one) all have a rotating roller or bar that 'scrapes' from front to rear. So they only clean in one direction.
cheers,
Paul

Rob H.
18 Apr 2020
Dyson v Bosch

I bought a Bosch Unlimited for the sole reason that they have removable batteries (good to see that Dyson do now) that can also be used in any Bosch power tools. Small bin is no problem as it takes about 10 seconds to empty. Very light and great suction.
We are rapt, 10/10. And at half the price (on special at Farmers) even better.

Staff C.
20 Apr 2020
Removable batteries

Hi Rob,

Totally agree - removable batteries are great, especially as a battery or charging fault comes back in our reliability survey as a common cause of stick vac failure. It's taken Dyson (and other vac brands) a while to catch up the power tool and outdoor tool makers in offering them.

We also found the Bosch vacs do well in our test - they're a good option.

cheers,
Paul

Sonja C.
18 Apr 2020
Best vacuum ever -seriously.

This is one of those rare products that has genuinely made my life easier. Large family home, enough battery power to do the whole house on a single charge. Fantastic for spills. Amazing suction, really makes a powerful clean. Only ‘issue’ is the small head attachments for handheld mode only effective if on max suction therefore uses up battery quickly eg: car internal vacuum..

Gary B.
17 Apr 2020
Loop pile carpet

Carpet manufacturers advise not to use vacs with rotating brush heads or beater bars on loop pile or berber carpet. Have yet to find a stick vac that has a head relying on suction alone. Does this new Dyson come with that option and if so is it still as effective. Cheers

Staff C.
17 Apr 2020
Re: Loop pile carpet

This one comes with two full-sized heads, a general purpose one for all types of flooring and the other for hard floors. However, they are both powered and the general purpose head is the "beater bar" type.

The hard floor one uses a soft foam-covered roller instead of a beater bar, so it should be gentler on loop pile carpet. I'm not sure how effective it will be at cleaning carpet though.

I'll give it a go on my wool carpet this weekend and report back here.

cheers,
Paul
Consumer NZ

Staff C.
20 Apr 2020
Hard floor head on carpet

Hi Gary,

The hard floor head seems to work quite well on low-pile carpets and rugs. I tried it on my loop-pile wool carpet and a really low-pile rug (sisal-type). The soft roller does a good job picking up debris - it gets squished into the roller, then whisked up into the vacuum.

There are no bristles, so it doesn't work like a beater bar that scrapes the carpet. So I doubt it'd get deep in to clean, but that also means it is unlikely to damage the carpet. That's just speculation though - I haven't tested it to that depth.

I also found that head was awful on deep pile carpet - it just gets stuck and drags the carpet around. Hope that's of some use.

I think it's worth you checking the heads out in a store to have a go. I'd suggest taking an offcut of the carpet with you to test, if possible.

cheers,
Paul