T3 Awards 2020: Dyson V11 is Absolutely the finest cordless vacuum cleaner

Dyson's flagship narrowly holds off Samsung Jet 90 Pro – and hordes of other cordless rivals – to retake the ultimate prize

T3 Awards 2020: Dyson V11 Absolute is our #1 vacuum cleaner
(Image credit: Dyson)

Think of the best cordless vacuum cleaners – and the best vacuum cleaners, come to that – and you naturally tend to think of market leader Dyson. Its dominance has been under attack for several years now from some superb rival products – we recently started testing the new Samsung Jet 90 Pro, for instance, and it is absolutely stunning. However, when it came time to decide who would be declared Top Vac in the T3 Awards 2020, we still couldn't quite think of anything to top the Dyson V11 Absolute.

Dyson V11 Absolute: multiple cleaning modes and a handy battery meter

The secret of the V11's success is the way it marries power and convenience. The High Torque cleaner head (with 'Dynamic Load Sensor') serves up 20% better suction than the older V10 Absolute and greatly improves performance on mucky carpets. 

Cleaning, as ever with Dyson is also excellent on hard floors, whether you use the standard head or the spongey 'soft roller' head also included in the package. 

With the High Torque head and the top 'Boost' power setting employed, the V11 is easily as good as even the best corded vacuums. What's really impressive, however, is that performance is maintained even on the lower 'Auto' and 'Eco' settings, particularly on hard floors and surfaces. 

Auto adapts suction based on whether you're on carpet or hard floors, to extend the battery life, while the lower-wattage Eco mode lasts up to 60 minutes per charge. Very handily, a new LCD screen, as well as showing the name of the mode you're in, also displays an accurate estimate of remaining run time.

Advanced filtering means that 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns are safely processed – good news for allergy sufferers. The bin is easy to empty, with a very satisfying mechanism. 

Highly Commended: Samsung Jet 90 Pro

Samsung Jet 90 Pro: Highly CommendedT3 Awards 2020 - Highly Commended

(Image credit: Samsung)

This arrived just too late for us to use it enough before the winners had to be decided but there's no doubt this is one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners ever. It is usually slightly cheaper than the Dyson V11 Absolute and its performance, style and the way it balances beautifully in your hand are all very similar to its arch rival. 

Adding even more value, the Jet 90 Pro comes with a very neat charging stand that also holds your accessories, and a rotating mop head attachment for cleaning hard floors. This initially appears slightly ridiculous and gimmicky, but it really works. 

Finally, there's a telescopic tube that you can easily adjust for length. This is useful for people of varying heights, and also for certain cleaning tasks. Samsung's cordless vacs are improving so rapidly, Dyson will have to up its game to retain this T3 Award next year…

• Buy Jet 90 Pro direct from Samsung

•  T3 Awards 2020 – all the announcements so far.

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."