Spotless Vacuum may earn commission on purchases through links at no extra cost to you. Learn More.

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum Review

Written by James Hall |

Dyson Small Ball Allergy

Our Verdict: The Dyson Small Ball Allergy is a solid all-rounder that’s one of the better bagless options for people with allergies. It provides good value, is excellent at cleaning low-pile carpets and hard floors, and comes with a HEPA filter for effective filtration. The downsides are that it can be difficult to push on thick carpets and it doesn’t include a motorised pet tool.

Dyson Small Ball Allergy



Ease of Use


Cleaning Performance






Overall Rating



  • Decent all-round performance and strong suction
  • Excellent filtration system
  • Small Ball design is easy to manoeuvre
  • Powerful floorhead brush bar
  • Good value for money compared with the priciest models


  • Difficult to push on a carpet on the highest setting
  • Bin can be awkward to empty
  • No motorised pet tool

Thinking of buying the Dyson Small Ball Allergy? Make sure you read our in-depth review to find out whether it’s the right vacuum for your household!

The Dyson Small Ball Allergy is one of the company’s latest upright vacuums. It features a HEPA filter for better allergen retention, powerful brush bar motor, and Dyson’s popular “Small Ball” technology.

We think the Small Ball Allergy is a solid vacuum cleaner, without being spectacular. It’s great for hard floors and low-pile carpets, but it can be difficult to push on thick-pile carpets. This means you sometimes need to reduce the suction, which can affect cleaning performance. It does have an excellent floorhead and provides a lot of value for money though.

How does this vacuum compare to other upright models? And is it really an allergy-friendly vacuum cleaner? Keep reading our Dyson Small Ball Allergy review to find out.

Overview of the Dyson Small Ball Allergy’s Key Features

  • Corded upright vacuum cleaner that’s designed for allergy sufferers
  • “Small Ball” technology makes the vacuum easy to turn
  • Direct-drive floorhead to remove more dust and dirt
  • Three airflow modes for different types of surface
  • Lifetime washable HEPA filter removes more allergens from the air
  • Long 9.4-metre power cord
  • Four tools, including a stair tool and mattress tool

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Appearance, Features & Design

Features Rating: 3.5/5

In terms of appearance, the Small Ball Allergy looks similar to previous Dyson uprights. It’s largely grey, with splashes of red and purple to liven up the design. There’s a detachable dust canister, along with a quick-release high-reach wand for cleaning higher locations and Dyson’s Small Ball for manoeuvrability.

Speaking of the Small Ball design, this technology is more than just a gimmick. We think it really does make it easier to steer the vacuum around furniture and corners. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the manoeuvrability of the Small Ball Allergy is excellent compared to other upright vacuums.

A drawback of this vacuum is that it only has a 1.2 litre dustbin. This is a bit bigger than high-end cordless vacuums, but considerably less than the 1.8 litre capacity of the Dyson Ball Animal 2 (and much less than most cylinder vacuums we’ve reviewed.) It’s still bigger than the excellent Shark NZ801UKT’s bin, however, so it’s not tiny.

Another downside is that the combination of ball design and relatively thick floorhead make it tricky to clean under low furniture. This is an area where we think vacuums with a lift-out canister, such as the Shark NV681UKT Lift-Away, are often a superior choice.

Side Note: Dyson claimed they wouldn’t produce any new corded uprights after the release of their cordless V10 model. Fortunately, they seem to have quietly backtracked on this with the release of the Small Ball Allergy, which we think is a good decision!

Other Design Features

Like all Dyson uprights, the Small Ball Allergy is built with Radial Root Cyclone technology. This is a technology that captures dust in a way that doesn’t decrease in efficiency as the canister fills up. While this might not seem like the most exciting feature, it’s great that there’s no loss of suction when the dust container is close to full.

The Dyson has a 9.4-metre cord and a 13.8-metre maximum cleaning radius. This is a bigger range than most uprights we’ve reviewed and provides plenty of freedom to vacuum multiple rooms. In fact, there aren’t many vacuums with longer power cords, aside from the Vax Air Stretch series which is specifically designed to have a wide cleaning radius.

Dyson calls this model a “lightweight” vacuum, although we don’t completely agree with this statement. At 6.9kg, it’s a bit below average for an upright, but certainly not the lightest on the market. On the plus side, it’s lighter than the Dyson Ball Animal 2, which is one of its closest competitors, and the Ball technology greatly improves manoeuvrability compared with many uprights.

It’s also significantly quieter than the DC40’s noise level, which was one of Dyson’s previous flagship uprights.


As you would expect from a vacuum cleaner called “Allergy,” the Dyson has excellent filtration for a bagless vacuum. It comes with Dyson’s efficient whole-machine filtration system and washable lifetime HEPA filter to capture the vast majority of allergens. It’s also been certified asthma and allergy friendly by Allergy Standards Limited.

We still think bagged vacs are a better choice for allergy sufferers, however, as they are much easier to empty without releasing allergens into the air. If you have allergies, make sure you ask someone else to empty the Dyson into an outdoor bin.

Emptying & Cleaning

The Dyson has a simple hygienic bin emptying system. You just detach the dirt canister, hold it over a bin, and press a button to release the dirt.

There’s no internal collar, however, which means that hair and other debris can sometimes need to be pulled out by hand. We also think that the buttons for removing and emptying the bin are surprisingly stiff, which is a strange oversight from Dyson.

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Tools & Accessories

Tools Rating: 4/5


Unlike some cheaper uprights, which rely on suction power to turn the brush bar, the Dyson has a direct-drive motor in the Epicyclic floorhead. This powers the brush bar and allows it to dig deeper into carpet fibres.

While the floorhead isn’t as flashy as those found on Dyson uprights (there’s no Soft Roller, for example,) it does a good job on all surfaces. The corded design also provides more suction than a cordless vac, which is why the floorhead doesn’t need to be as advanced.

Other Tools and Accessories

Dyson uprights have a detachable wand for cleaning higher locations. This is easy to remove and provides plenty of reach, while also allowing you to quickly attach and detach tools.

There are also four non-motorised tools included. These are a combination brush (which is both a brush and crevice tool attachment,) stair tool, mattress tool,  and a soft dusting brush. The combination tool is probably the most useful, but we like that Dyson has included tools that don’t usually come with upright vacs.

Unfortunately, this model doesn’t come with a motorised pet tool. This makes the vacuum less efficient at removing hair from upholstery, stairs, and car interiors. There’s onboard storage for one or two tools, but you’ll need to store the others separately.

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Suction Power & Cleaning Performance

Cleaning Performance Rating: 3.9/5

The Dyson Small Ball Allergy can generate excellent suction power due to its corded design. This means it’s great at picking up everything from hair to larger debris.

It also has three airflow modes, adjusted via a slider on the floorhead, allowing you to reduce the suction on carpets and rugs so it’s easier to push.

Let’s take a closer look at how it performs at some of the most common house cleaning tasks compared with other corded cleaners.


When on its highest suction setting, the Dyson is great for cleaning carpets. It has excellent pickup, and the brush bar in the cleaner head is effective at removing dirt, dust, and hair that’s caught in carpet fibres.

A downside is that it can be very difficult to push on carpet when set to its highest airflow mode. Reducing power helps with this, but also decreases the vacuum’s pickup performance. The result is that using the Dyson can feel like a balancing act between making the vac easier to push and mediocre performance.

For this reason, we don’t think the Small Ball Allergy matches the best carpet vacuums on the market, although it’s certainly no slouch.

Hard Floors

With its strong suction power, it’s no surprise that the Dyson is a decent choice for cleaning hard floors. It’s powerful enough to pick up larger debris, and is also capable of removing dust from between floorboards. We think the vacuum also provides strong performance on laminate.

A useful feature is that you can switch off the rotating brush bar bristles when on hard floors. This is handy for avoiding scattering and preventing delicate floors from being damaged.


Vacuuming stairs is often cumbersome with an upright, and that’s the case with the Dyson. The hose isn’t quite long enough to reach up stairs, so you’ll need to clean from the top and bottom. There’s also no motorised miniature tool, which means you need to rely on suction alone.

With that said, we think it provides enough power to do a decent job when using the extendable hose, and the stair tool is useful for getting right up to edges.

Pet Hair

This vacuum cleaner does a decent job of picking up pet hair from carpets and hard floors. On carpets, in particular, the powerful brush bar is able to remove plenty of hair in a single pass.

We don’t recommend this vacuum for pet owners though. As we mentioned earlier in this Dyson Small Ball Allergy review, there’s no pet tool included. Instead, look for a model with a mini motorised tool, as this is essential for removing hair on furniture, stairs, and car interiors.

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Price & Value for Money

Value Rating: 4.5/5

With an RRP of around £200 from most retailers, we think the Dyson Small Ball Allergy provides excellent value for money. It’s not the most advanced upright on the market, but it’s a great all-rounder with powerful suction.

The vacuum is also covered by Dyson’s standard five-year guarantee.

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Specification Table

Ninja Column 1Ninja Column 2
Price Range££
Cord Length9.4 metres
Capacity1.2 litres
Motorised Pet ToolNo

Comparison With Other Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Vs Dyson Ball Animal 2

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 (not to be confused with the Dyson Small Ball Animal 2 – see below) is a pricier alternative to the Small Ball Allergy. One of the big differences is that it has a pet tool, making it a better choice for people who need to vacuum lots of hair. It also has a wider cleaning radius, due to the longer power cord and hose.

If you have pets and your budget can stretch to the Ball Animal 2, it’s definitely an upgrade on the Small Ball Allergy. With that said, both are excellent vacuums.

Dyson Small Ball Allergy Vs Dyson Small Ball Animal 2

As you would expect, the main difference between these two vacuums is that the Small Ball Animal 2 comes with a pet tool that’s more effective at vacuuming hair. Aside from that, the two vacs are very similar, so the choice really comes down to whether you need the pet turbo tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Dyson Small Ball Allergy A Bagless Vacuum?

Yes, like all Dyson vacuums, the Small Ball Allergy is a bagless model. We generally prefer bagged vacuums for people with allergies, but if you want the convenience of a bagless then this is one of the most allergy-friendly options.

Where Can You Find The Best Price For The Dyson Small Ball Allergy Vacuum Cleaner?

It’s worth shopping around for the best price. You can find the vacuum on a number of online stores, including Argos, Currys, and AO. Dyson also sells the vacuum directly.

Summary of Our Dyson Small Ball Allergy Review

The Dyson Small Ball Allergy is a decent upright vacuum cleaner without being outstanding. While we don’t think it’s the best on the market in terms of performance or features, it provides good value for money and does a good job on most surfaces. It’s also an attractive choice for people with allergies.

There are some drawbacks though. The vacuum can be very difficult to push on thick carpets without reducing the suction power. There’s also no motorised pet tool and the bin can be annoying to empty.

Even so, if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive Dyson upright that provides strong all-round performance and effective filtration, it’s a great choice – especially if you don’t have pets.

Leave a comment