Our Verdict: The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a powerful upright vacuum that we think is a great choice for larger homes. It’s also one of the best uprights for pet hair. However, it’s a heavy vacuum that can be difficult to push on carpets, so we think there are better options for people looking for a vacuum that’s easy to use.
Dyson Ball Animal 2
- Excellent all-round performance on both carpets and hard floors
- Long cord makes it great for big homes
- Mini turbine tool makes quick work of pet hair
- Heavy and bulky
- Hose can be stiff to detach
- No automatic rewind for the long cord
At the time of this review (November 2018), the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the company’s flagship upright vacuum cleaner. It’s designed to handle pet hair and fluff, while being a powerful all-round cleaner for your home. Dyson has also said it could be the last ever upright they produce, as the company is now focused on its cordless range.
We found the Dyson Ball Animal 2 to be an excellent all-round vacuum for cleaning larger homes. The combination of strong suction and turbine tool also make it a solid choice for pet owners. Our main complaint is the size and weight of this vacuum, as it’s less convenient to use than many competing uprights – particularly in smaller homes or flats.
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 FeaturesThe Dyson Ball Animal 2 is similar to the cheaper Light Ball Multi Floor, but has improvements in several areas – especially if you have pets.
For example, the Animal 2 has more tools, including both the turbine head and tangle-free turbine tool. Dyson has also added an articulated wand head to the Animal 2, which isn’t included with the Light Ball series.
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
As soon as you open the box, it’s clear the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is an evolution of previous Dyson uprights rather than a completely new model. We don’t mind this at all, as there’s little to be gained from changing a winning formula. It also has some interesting touches that make it an attractive vacuum.
At its core, the Ball Animal 2 includes all the design features you expect from a Dyson upright. It has Radial Root Cyclone technology, which is designed to increase airflow and prevent 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 it makes a big difference to the mobility of an otherwise bulky vacuum.
Speaking of bulky, we certainly don’t recommend this model if you’re looking for a lightweight vacuum. Weighing 7.34kg, it’s one of the heavier vacuums we’ve reviewed. In particular, we found it tiring to carry up and down stairs, although the ball design does counteract potential mobility issues during cleaning.
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. We often complain about short cables, so it’s great that Dyson has included a longer cord with the Ball Animal 2 – especially if you have a large home.
It also feels responsive and easy to manoeuvre on hard floors, so you only notice the weight when carrying or on thick carpets. Most turns only need a small wrist movement, making it surprisingly easy to steer despite the heavy design.
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 we often had issues with hair and dust balls getting stuck in previous Dyson vacuums.
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 the wand 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. We don’t think you’ll use this feature too often, but it’s a nice option to have in certain situations.
There are four standard tools. The most important are the tangle-free turbine tool, which we found 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
We highly rate the cleaning performance of the Dyson Ball Animal 2. It has strong suction power, so it can tackle almost any job. The various tools are also effective and make the vacuum more versatile.
Let’s start with the basics though. 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, we found 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.
One of the best things about this vacuum is that it performs to a high level on both short pile and deep pile carpets. Many vacuums struggle with thicker carpets, but the Dyson has enough suction and brush bar power to cope.
A downside to the strong suction is that we found it can be difficult to push and turn on the vacuum carpets. The Ball design helps with this, but it’s certainly not the most mobile vac when on high suction mode.
We found 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 included with this Dyson machine is useful for cleaning small steps. And, with the combination of hose and wand, we found you can 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. For example, we found that the turbine-tool is particularly effective at removing pet hair from carpeted stairs (and car interiors).
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.
However, we’re disappointed that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 doesn’t come with a HEPA filter. We always recommend a HEPA filter for people with allergies.
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.
Is it worth the money though? We think it’s a great option if you have a large home with pets, as the combination of long power cord and strong pet hair performance make it difficult to beat. There are better value options for small homes or those without pets though.
Dyson Ball 2 Specification
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Dyson Ball Animal 2 Vs Shark NV801UKT
Both the Dyson Ball Animal 2 and Shark NV801UKT are among the respective company’s most popular vacuum cleaners. Here’s a table showing how these two vacuums compare.
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|Dyson Ball Animal 2||Shark NV801UKT|
|Cord Length (m)||10.8||8|
As you can see, the vacuums have similar basic specifications. However, the Shark is lighter and more compact, which we think makes it much easier to move around smaller homes.
On the other hand, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has a longer power cord, bigger capacity, and provides slightly better performance on deep pile carpets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does The Dyson Ball Animal 2 Have a HEPA Filter?
No, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 doesn’t include a HEPA filter. Instead, this vacuum cleaner has standard washable filters that are designed to last the vacuum’s lifetime.
Is the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Still Available?
As of 2022, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has been discontinued and replaced by the Dyson Ball Animal. However, the two vacuums share many features, making the Ball Animal a spiritual successor (despite the difference in numbering.)
If you have pets or a large home, then we think 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. We don’t think it’s a great choice for smaller homes or flats, as it’s too bulky to manoeuvre in tight spaces.
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.