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Dyson Ball Animal 2 Review

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is one of the most well-known and high powered upright vacuums on the market. But is it right for you? Let’s break it down with our Dyson Ball Animal 2 review.

Highest Suction Vacuum

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Dyson Ball Animal 2

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has the most suction of any vacuum cleaner on the market (according to Dyson). It packs an unbelievable 306 AW of suction power driven by Dyson’s stacked cyclone design. It’s equipped with a handful of useful accessories and tools, which help expand the areas you can easily clean. It’s definitely an expensive machine, but suction power is truly unrivaled. Check Price

Pros

  • Highest suction of any vacuum cleaner on the market a 306 AW
  • A maximum cleaning reach of 50 feet, utilizing a 35 foot cord
  • Lifetime washable filter

Cons

  • On the heavier side at 17.5 pounds
  • Fairly expensive

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Design

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the most powerful and highest performing upright vacuum cleaner Dyson makes. It’s designed to be the ultimate upright vacuum and remains one of Dyson’s flagship models even several years after its release.

Design of the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum
Design of the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum

The Animal 2 utilizes Dyson’s ball design for improved manueverability (a welcome benefit given the weight).

Dyson Ball Animal 2 side view
Dyson Ball Animal 2 side view

It also includes a self-adjusting cleaning head, clear dust bin (so you can always see what’s going on), and Dyson’s stacked radial cyclones.

Cyclones

The Dyson cyclones are really what drive the performance and power of the whole machine.

Cyclone detail on the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum
Cyclone detail on the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum

These cyclones spin particulates, dust, dirt, and debris through the centrifuge, allowing even the smallest particles to be removed or trapped within the filter.

Suction Power

According to Dyson, the Dyson Animal 2 has the strongest suction of any vacuum cleaner at an incredible 306 AW (air watts). This claim is based on the ASTM F558 test at the cleaner head itself.

For comparison, Dyson’s Multi Floor 2 has 250 AW of suction power and the Dyson V11 has 185 AW of suction power (on max mode).

Dyson vacuum suction power compared. Dyson Animal 2 vs. Multi Floor 2 vs. V11

See our Dyson Multi Floor 2 review and Dyson V11 review here for more information.

The Dyson Ball

The Dyson Ball is more than just a sphere. The motor and other essential parts and electronics reside in the ball itself.

The Dyson Ball on the Animal 2 upright
The Dyson Ball on the Animal 2 upright

This design helps keep more of the weight of the vacuum lower towards the ground, which in combination with the ball design, helps improve maneuverability.

Self-Adjusting Brushroll

Lastly, we have the Dyson Animal 2 brushroll.

Dyson Animal 2 brushroll
Dyson Animal 2 brushroll

The brushroll is motorized and is able to automatically adjust the height based on your floor type. This is a nice extra if you have multiple floor or carpet types around your home.

Washable Filter

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 includes a washable filter that will last the life of the vacuum (according to Dyson). If you do happen to lose or damage your filter they are inexpensive to replace.

The filter sits in the cyclones housing where it’s able to effectively capture small particulates. Vacuums with built in filters seem to be fairly rare. We have not tested many upright vacuums that include a filter.

Removing the Dyson Animal 2 HEPA filter
Removing the Dyson Animal 2 HEPA filter

Over the last 6 months the Modern Castle team has tested a number of air purifiers (using a laser based particulate measuring device). Our results from those tests have helped prove to me the importance of good quality filters, both in air purifiers and the vacuums themselves.

A vacuum that doesn’t have a filter is more likely to simply release those ultra fine particulates back into your room and air.

In any case, it’s a big plus in my mind that the Dyson Animal 2 has the washable filter.

Dyson Animal vs. Animal 2

One of the most common questions is whether or not to get the Dyson Animal or the Animal 2?

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the newer and upgraded version, but where are the biggest difference? The table below provides detailed side-by-side specs of the Dyson Animal vs. Animal 2.

Dyson Animal 2
  • Max Suction: 306 AW
  • Cord: 35 ft.
  • Weight: 17.5 lbs.
  • Dust Bin: 0.55 gallons
  • Price: $$$
Dyson Animal
  • Max Suction: 245 AW
  • Cord: 35 ft.
  • Weight: 17.56 lbs.
  • Dust Bin: 0.55 gallons
  • Price: $$

As you can see from the comparison above, the Dyson Animal vs. Animal 2 are more alike than they are different. The Animal 2 is a definite upgrade over the original Animal, but they aren’t massively different.

The biggest challenge is simply finding the original Dyson Animal upright. It’s not as widely available as it used to be, so finding it at all can prove difficult.

Attachments & Tools on the Dyson Animal 2
Attachments & Tools on the Dyson Animal 2

In most cases, I think I would prefer the Dyson Ball Animal 2 for sheer suction power alone. The Animal 2 has 24.9% more suction than the original Dyson Animal upright.

Both the Dyson Animal 2 and Animal typically include the same accessories (see below for details), which includes the combination tool, stair tool, and turbine tool.

Some Animal 1 packages will also include the up top tool (allows you to more easily clean on top of furniture and cabinets). Always double check the spec sheet to see the full list of accessories that’s included.

Size & Dimensions

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is:

  • Height: 42.13″
  • Length: 15.35″
  • Width: 13.39″
  • Weighs: 17.5″
Size and dimensions of the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum cleaner
Size and dimensions of the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum cleaner

In addition, it has a 35 foot power cord and a maximum reach of 50 feet.

Accessories & Parts

Unlike Dyson’s V-series vacuum, which include a large number of accessories, the Dyson Animal 2 only includes a few basic (but important accessories):

Accessories for the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum
Accessories for the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum

The Animal 2 includes:

  • Combination tool – part crevice tool and part dusting brush, this is a 2-in-1 tool that serves both purposes. The dusting brush simply slides outward to use or backward to store.
  • Stair tool – primarily designed for stairs, this is a non-motorized straight suction tool with a wider mouth. Could also be used on upholstery, mattresses, or other fabrics where agitation might be too much.
  • Turbine tool – this is a motorized brushroll and provides more agitation, making it a better choice for deeper handheld cleaning (especially in cases where you aren’t as worried about protecting a fabric)
Dyson Animal 2 - combination tool
combination tool
Dyson Animal 2 - stair tool
stair tool
Dyson Animal 2 - turbine tool
turbine tool

Cleaning Performance

Unsurprisingly, the Dyson Animal 2 dominated our cleaning tests. Scoring nearly perfect vs. every debris and floor type we could throw at it.

It had one hiccup on cereal on high carpets, otherwise it basically 100% across the board.

Cleaning carpets with the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum
Cleaning carpets with the Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum

Below is our complete cleaning performance tests for the Dyson Ball Animal 2.

Overall

96%

Hardwood

99%

Low Carpet

100%

High Carpet

90%

Hardwood Floors

We expected if we were going to run into performance issues, it would be on the cereal tests on hardwood floors. However, that was not the case.

Cereal

99%

Kitty Litter

99%

Rice

100%

Sugar

100%

The self-adjusting head was able to rise high enough to get over the top of cereal, removing 99% of all debris we tested.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 cleaning hardwood floors
Dyson Ball Animal 2 cleaning hardwood floors

Low Pile Carpet

When it comes to carpet it’s not much of a contest here. Dyson Animal 2 upright has the highest suction among any vacuum cleaner and it shows.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

100%

That high suction results in exceptional cleaning performance, as noted below.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 cleaning low pile carpet
Dyson Ball Animal 2 cleaning low pile carpet

High Pile Carpet

Like our low pile carpet tests, the high pile carpet test were nearly flawless.

The only issue was removing cereal.

Cereal

58%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

100%

Because the Animal 2 has such incredible suction it pulled the cleaning head down into the carpets. As a result, the cereal (which was sitting higher up on the carpet) was largely pushed forward.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 cleaning high pile carpet
Dyson Ball Animal 2 cleaning high pile carpet

This prevented the Animal 2 from removing a large portion of the cereal.

That said, had we used the hose we could have easily removed it.

Usability & Maneuverability

Despite being on the heavier side, the Animal 2 is still fairly easy to move around the home.

Maneuvering the Dyson Animal 2 on carpet
Maneuvering the Dyson Animal 2 on carpet

Maneuverability Quick Facts:

  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Turning: 90°
  • Reach: 50 feet
  • Cord: 35 feet

Extension Wand

The combination of the extension wand and hose give the Dyson Animal 2 an extra 15 feet of reach.

This is ideal for cleaning up high, under / behind furniture, or even cleaning stairs. You can simply leave the base of the vacuum at the base of the stairs, while you walk with the light wand in hand.

Dyson Animal 2 cleaning stairs
Dyson Animal 2 cleaning stairs

This combined with the vacuums 35 foot cord gives a total reach of 50 feet.

Dyson Ball

As we discussed above, the Dyson Ball is a big part of the maneuverability. With most of the electronics and motor stored within the ball it gives the Animal 2 a low center of gravity.

Adjustable cleaning head on the Dyson Animal 2
Adjustable cleaning head on the Dyson Animal 2

This helps more easily turn the vacuum, when combined with the smooth rolling ball.

Dust Bin

The large clean dust bin is 0.55 gallons (2.08 liters).

It can be easily removed from the unit. The contents are emptied using the release button top of the bin.

Removing Dyson Ball Animal 2 dust bin
Removing the canister dust bin

For example, this allows you to place the bin partially in or over a trash can and then release the dust. This method helps you get more of the dust into the trash and prevents it from escaping back into the room.

Maintenance

Maintenance on the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is right to the point.

  • Periodically empty the dust bin
  • Wash the filter (about once per month is sufficient for most homes)
  • Periodically examine the brushroll and remove any hair or other debris

That is really about it.

Emptying the dust bin on the Dyson Animal 2 upright
Emptying the dust bin on the Dyson Animal 2 upright

I’m a big fan of both Dyson’s upright vacuums and their cordless stick vacuums. One of the big reasons is the lifetime washable filter.

These filters simply slide into the top of the dust bin and capture fine particulates. Most are rated as HEPA filters, which means they can remove particulates as small as 0.3 microns.

Not having to worry about buying and installing a new filter every 6-12 months is a huge value add, in my opinion.

Is the Dyson Animal 2 a good value?

In a word, yes.

This isn’t a cheap vacuum, but that should come as no surprise. The Dyson Animal 2 is one of Dyson’s flagship vacuums and one of the most powerful commercial vacuum cleaners every made.

Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum review
Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuum review

With 306 AW of suction power there is virtually no surface it cannot effectively clean.

The extra tools and accessories are a nice value add, as is the lifetime washable filter.

If you want raw cleaning power then you’ve got to pay for it. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is well worth the money and easily the best upright vacuum we’ve tested to date.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Specifications

Below we’ve listed the complete specifications for the Dyson Ball Animal 2.

Specifications 
TypeUpright
ManufacturerDyson
ModelBall Animal 2
Suction306 AW
Height42.13"
Length15.35"
Width (inches)13.39"
Weight17.5 lbs.
Floor TypeAll
FilterWashable lifetime
Dust Bin0.55 gallons
Cord35'
Reach50'
BaglessYes
Returns30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
Warranty5-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Who should buy the Dyson Ball Animal 2 vacuum?

You should buy the Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum cleaner if you want:

  • Raw suction power – The Animal 2 is equipped with 306 AW of suction power, giving it the most suction of any commercially available vacuum cleaner.
  • Great cleaning performance – The Dyson Ball Animal 2 scored nearly flawlessly in our cleaning tests.
  • The best upright – This is easily our favorite and the best upright vacuum we’ve tested to date. Yes, it’s heavy, but the performance speaks for itself. At the end of the day, that’s what really matters.
  • Don’t mind the heavier upright design – The Animal 2 is a hefty machine. While the Ball does help improve maneuverability it’s still heavier than most and takes some effort to move around the room.

For more information, check out the Dyson Ball Animal 2 vacuum here.

Incredible Suction & Cleaning Performance
  • 100%
    Design - 100%
  • 96%
    Performance - 96%
  • 96%
    Quality - 96%
  • 100%
    Usability - 100%
  • 97%
    Value - 97%
98%

Summary

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is an upright vacuum cleaner with 306 AW of suction power (the highest suction of any vacuum on the market). It’s a heavier vacuum, but still has good maneuverability and usability due to the Dyson Ball, 35 foot cord, and 50 feet reach. It scored virtually flawlessly in our cleaning tests, scoring 99-100% in 11 out of 12 tests (only struggling with cereal on high carpets). It’s arguably the best upright vacuum on the market and definitely our favorite upright that we’ve tested.

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