Dyson Ball Animal 2
- Excellent all-round performance
- Long cord makes it great for big homes
- Mini turbine tool makes quick work of pet hair
- Strong suction power
- Effective filtration for allergy sufferers
- Relatively heavy and bulky to use
- Hose can be stiff to detach
- No automatic rewind for the long cord
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the company’s flagship upright vacuum cleaner – and possibly the last corded vac they’ll ever produce. It’s designed to handle pet hair and fluff, while being a powerful all-round cleaner for your home.
How does the Ball Animal 2 compare to other vacuums though? And is it worth the price? Keep reading our review to find out.
Overview of the Dyson Ball Animal 2
- Excellent suction power and cleaning performance on all surfaces
- Tangle-free turbine tool for cleaning pet hair
- New articulated wand
- “Ball” design for greater mobility
- Great filtration system with Allergy Standards Ltd certification
- Larger turbine tool for cleaning under furniture
- Combination and stair tools
In-Depth Look at the Ball Animal 2 Features
With these differences in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Animal 2 and see whether it provides value for money. We’ll also find out whether it’s made our list of the best uprights (which you can find here).
Note: The UK version of the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is not the same as the US model with the same name. They share some features, but are different vacuum cleaners. Keep this in mind when researching the vacuum.
Appearance & Design
The Ball Animal 2 includes the design features you expect from a Dyson upright. It has Radial Root Cyclone technology, which increases airflow and prevents suction loss as the vacuum fills up. There’s also a hose, dual filter design and metal wand (more on those in a moment).
As the name suggests, the Ball Animal 2 is built with Dyson’s “Ball” technology. This has been a staple of Dyson uprights and cylinders for a while now, and makes a big difference to the mobility of an otherwise bulky vacuum.
Speaking of bulky, this certainly isn’t the right model if you’re looking for a lightweight vacuum. Weighing 7.34kg, it’s one of the heavier vacuums we’ve reviewed. It’s also relatively loud at 80dB – Dyson has pushed the noise right to the edge of the EU limits.
There are some positives when it comes to ease-of-use though. It has a long 10.8 metre power cord, so you won’t need to change plug sockets as often. It also feels responsive and easy to manoeuvre on hard floors, so you only notice the weight when carrying or on thick carpets.
The 1.8 litre bin capacity isn’t the largest we’ve seen from an upright, but it’s about average for a bagless model. Dyson has included their hygienic emptying system, which forces dust and dirt out rather than relying on gravity alone. This is a welcome inclusion, as previous Dyson vacuums had problems with hair and dust balls getting caught.
Tools & Accessories
As with most Dyson uprights, the Animal 2 has a rigid wand that’s stored within the extension hose. This can be removed if you want the flexibility of the hose, but is useful for cleaning high locations and under furniture.
An interesting new feature is the articulated wand joint. This makes the cleaning with the wand more convenient, as it tilts and rotates for getting under or above furniture.
There are four standard tools. The most important are the tangle-free turbine tool, which is great for removing pet hair from carpets and furniture, and the larger turbine head for cleaning awkward locations. There’s also the standard combination crevice/dusting brush and a stair tool.
Dyson has included on-board tool storage for the stair tool, combination tool and tangle-free turbine. This is an improvement compared to previous Dyson uprights, which didn’t have storage for the turbine tool. The larger turbine head is too big for on-board storage though.
A downside to the long cord is that it needs to be manually wound. While a cord rewind feature would have been ideal, these are rarely included with uprights.
Suction Power & Cleaning Performance
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is built with the company’s Epicyclic Drive cleaner head. This has a rotating brush bar for digging into carpets, but still creates a strong seal for cleaning hard floors.
The motor also generates excellent suction power, despite complying with the new EU regulations. Whether you’re cleaning pet hair, dirt or larger debris (such as cereal), the Dyson does a brilliant job.
There’s also a suction control setting on the floorhead. The middle option is great for hard floors and short-pile carpets, so it’s probably what you’ll use most of the time. But for deep cleaning you can use maximum suction. This makes a noticeable difference to carpet pickup, although it means the vacuum won’t be as effective at sucking up larger debris.
While you probably won’t use the minimum suction setting too often, it’s great for cleaning rugs or mats that are easily lifted. People who struggle to push a vacuum on carpet may also find it useful.
As you would expect, the Dyson does a brilliant job at cleaning carpets – particularly fine particles and pet hair. The Epicyclic floor head digs deep into the fibres to remove more dirt and dust than many other vacuums.
A downside to the strong suction is that it can be difficult to turn on the vacuum carpets. The Ball design helps with this, but it’s not the most mobile vac when on high suction mode.
The Ball Animal 2 does a decent job at cleaning hard floors, although its performance depends on the type of debris you’re tackling.
For cleaning larger debris, such as cereal or rice, it does a great job when on “Medium” suction mode. It still performs well when cleaning finer dust, although the exhaust air can push lightweight particles around. The strong suction power also means it’s great for cleaning the cracks between floor boards.
There’s the option of turning off the brush bar when cleaning hard floors. This is an important feature, as you don’t want to scratch delicate hardwood floors with the bristles.
The stair tool is useful for cleaning small steps. And, with the combination of hose and wand, you should be able to clean most residential staircases without needing to change plug socket or balance the vacuum on the stairs.
If you have carpeted stairs, you’ll probably want to use one of the turbine tools though. These provide a deeper clean than the non-powered stair tool.
Cleaning dog and cat hair is when the tangle-free turbine tool really shines. The unique design, with two brush heads rotating in different directions, makes it easy to clean hair of any length.
You don’t need to always use the turbine tool for pet hair though. The regular floor head does a great job of removing the bulk of hair from carpets and hard floors, so you can use the tools for furniture, stairs and other awkward areas.
Dyson has moved away from its Cinetic “no filter” models, which is why the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has two filters. These need to be cleaned monthly to maintain performance and suction.
More importantly, the Dyson does a brilliant job of filtering small particles from the air. It has received an “A” rating for EU emissions and is certified as asthma and allergy friendly by Allergy Standards Ltd.
Emptying & Cleaning
Cleaning the primary filter is straightforward, as you just need to remove the top of the dust canister and run it under cold water. The exhaust filter is a bit fiddlier to access, as you need to unscrew half of the Ball, but is simple to clean with water.
As with all vacuum filters, make sure you let both filters completely dry before you use them again.
Emptying the vacuum is quick and easy, due to the new hygienic system for forcing dust out of the canister. The downside to the emptying system is that dust and other allergens can escape, but this is an issue with all bagless vacs.
Price & Competitor Comparison
The Ball Animal 2 is around £100 more expensive than the Light Ball Multi Floor. It comes with the articulated head and two extra powered tools though, so it’s the better all-rounder.
If you have pets, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is one of the best vacuums on the market. The strong suction and range of tools make quick work of hair on carpets, hard floors, stairs and furniture. It’s also great for cleaning everything from fine dust to larger debris.
Even if you don’t have pets, the large turbine tool and articulated head make this vacuum a step above the Light Ball series. Whether these features justify the extra money depends on your budget and requirements – but the Ball Animal 2 certainly won’t be a disappointment.
The only real downside is the weight and difficulty moving on carpets. While reducing the suction setting can help on long pile carpets, it isn’t the easiest vacuum to use.
If you want a powerful vacuum that can clean any surface, however, it’s a brilliant choice and one of the best uprights on the market.