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Dyson Ball Animal 2 Review

While this vacuum has a lot going for it, its performance doesn't match the high price point
Dyson Ball Animal 2
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Price:   $500 List | $441.98 at Amazon
Pros:  Good on carpets & hard floors, nimble, tough on pet hair
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Dyson
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 26, 2022
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Carpet Cleaning - 35% 5.8
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7.1
  • Handling - 20% 6.8
  • Hard Surface - 10% 7.3
  • Pet Hair - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

There is no question that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is an overall great vacuum. However, it was not the best in our review, earning a runner-up position. While this vacuum has a long reach for cleaning stairs and does well on both carpet and hard floors, even excelling at collecting pet hair, it is hard to get past the outrageous price. It is also on the heavier side, something we noticed from time to time when maneuvering. Overall, we'd still recommend this vacuum if you can find it on sale, but other models perform a bit better at a friendlier cost.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Dyson Ball Animal 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $500 List
$441.98 at Amazon
$399 List
$374.00 at Amazon
$430 List
$415.00 at Amazon
$200 List
$195.99 at Amazon
$88 List
$101.84 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Good on carpets & hard floors, nimble, tough on pet hairFantastic cleaning performance, excellent at picking up pet hairGreat at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to useGood price, cleans carpet well, picks up pet hair with easeInexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaning
Cons ExpensiveNot the best for stairs, slightly short reachPriceyNot impressive at cleaning hard floorsInsufficient on hard floors, so-so ease of us
Bottom Line While this vacuum has a lot going for it, its performance doesn't match the high price pointWonderful handling matched with superior performance makes this a great vacuum for everyoneThis model removes most stubborn debris in just one pass and beats out most competitionIf you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great betIf you are shopping on a particularly tight budget for a new vacuum, this is a good option
Rating Categories Dyson Ball Animal 2 Shark APEX DuoClean... Shark Vertex Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Carpet Cleaning (35%)
5.8
8.1
8.7
8.0
4.5
Ease of Use (25%)
7.1
8.6
8.9
7.4
5.9
Handling (20%)
6.8
8.4
7.6
5.7
5.0
Hard Surface (10%)
7.3
9.8
8.5
7.0
3.8
Pet Hair (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Dyson Ball Animal 2 Shark APEX DuoClean... Shark Vertex Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Water Suction Guage (inches of water) 74" 86" 86" 72" 48"
Model Number 227635-01 AZ10002 40 AZ2000W NV356E S2 NEU182A
Dirt Collection Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless
Vacuum Head Width 13.5" 11.75" 12" 11.25" 13.25"
Measured Brush Width 12.25" 9" 10" 9" 10.5"
Measured Weight 15.5 lbs 16.9 lbs 16.8 lbs 14.8 lbs 10.5 lbs
Variable Suction Control No Yes Yes Yes No
Brush On/Off Switch Yes Slow Slow Yes No
Measured Power Cord Length 31.00' 30.00' 29.50' 26.00' 23.75'
Measured Noise 76 dBa 72 dBa 75 dBa 73 dBa 76 dBa
Swivel Head Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Carry Handle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soft Bumper No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a high-tech, performance vacuum. It cleans well, handles well, and does an excellent job collecting pet hair. However, it didn't quite measure up enough and is quite costly. Apparently, all the fancy cyclonic separators and other top-of-the-line features aren't cheap.

Performance Comparison


the dyson ball animal 2 is a good vacuum, though it isn't amazing.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a good vacuum, though it isn't amazing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Carpet Cleaning


Carpet cleaning is by far the most important of our tests and comprised 35% of the total score for each vacuum. This metric evaluated each vacuum's ability to collect oats, flour, cereal, and rice. We repeat the test on both low-pile and medium-pile fluffy carpets. The Animal 2 did well but was outshined by a few other exceptional models.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum - this dyson performed just fine, but wasn't the best.
This Dyson performed just fine, but wasn't the best.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Animal 2 did very well in our rice collection test on low-pile carpet, taking two passes to get 99% of the rice and a final third pass to collect some residual fragments and dust. It performed similarly in the fluffy carpet, again requiring a couple of passes to clean the mess. When it came to flour collection, a challenge for most models, the Animal was a bit of a disappointment.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum - this model did somewhat poorly, taking plenty of passes and leaving...
This model did somewhat poorly, taking plenty of passes and leaving plenty of residual flour behind.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Performance improved in our cereal collection test. This model did a decent job collecting Cheerios from flat carpet, getting nearly everything in a couple of passes, and then grabbing the remainder with a couple more. It did a similar job on fluffy carpet but tended to push the cereal around before picking it up.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum - this vacuum actually collected the cheerios, rather than just...
This vacuum actually collected the Cheerios, rather than just pushing them around.
Credit: Austin Palmer

This vacuum did fine on flat carpet, though it left some crushed oat dust behind after four passes. It performed similarly on fluffier carpet, with all of the large flakes collected after four passes. No matter how many times we tried, crumbs and fragments embedded in the carpet refused to be sucked up.

Ease of Use


We weighted this metric next in terms of importance, and it accounted for 25% of the total score. Testing for this category consisted of evaluating how easy it was to transition between different flooring types, each vacuum's maximum reach, noise levels, and how closely it could clean next to an edge or under furniture. This was not the best metric for the Animal 2, though it certainly wasn't the worst of the bunch.

the dyson ball animal 2 upright vacuum in use.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum in use.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Animal 2 did exceptionally well in our edging test, collecting almost all debris, and performed even better than some of the most premium models.

the vacuum cleaned in close to the edges and corners of our test...
The vacuum cleaned in close to the edges and corners of our test space.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The Animal 2 did just below average for the furniture under reach test. This model reached 6 inches under our simulated box sofa. The maximum reach is just a cut above average, measuring in at 32' with 30' of that being cord length.

the animal 2 doesn't clean particularly far under furniture.
The Animal 2 doesn't clean particularly far under furniture.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Unfortunately for your eardrums, this vacuum is a little loud, especially when on the carpet. Our SPL meter read 76 dBa, which is among the louder readings in our product lineup, though not by much.

Handling


The Animal did well here. To assess this, we rated and compared the pushing and pulling effort, maneuverability, and ease of cleaning a flight of stairs. Altogether, these three tests accounted for 20% of the total score.

the dyson ball animal 2 has an exceptional reach and was able to...
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has an exceptional reach and was able to clean an entire flight of stairs without needing to be moved.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

It was quite easy to clean a flight of stairs with the Animal 2. This model has a nice long reach and could clean 12 stairs before needing to be moved. However, this vacuum is heavy at 16 pounds. Still, it excelled in our maneuverability tests. We cleaned around a set of typical furniture, noting where each vacuum got stuck or missed spots. The Animal is one of the easiest upright vacuums to maneuver and only takes moderate to mild effort to push or pull — only slightly hampered by its weight.

Hard Surface Cleaning


The Ball Animal 2 did very well in our hard surface tests but was not as good as the best models we tested. We once again used rice, flour, oats, and cereal, conducting each of these tests on a section of laminate hardwood floor. This vacuum automatically adjusts the height for hard floors, and we turned the brush off for all of these tests.

the dyson got practically all the oats in a single pass.
The Dyson got practically all the oats in a single pass.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Animal 2 did a perfect job in the rice test, picking up all of the debris on the first pass. However, it did not continue this performance with our flour test, a tough one for many of our contenders. It collected all of the flour off of the floor's surface but left plenty of residual debris in the cracks — even after multiple passes.

all of the surface flour was collected, but plenty remained in the...
All of the surface flour was collected, but plenty remained in the gaps between boards.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The Animal resumed its solid performance in our cereal test, collecting all of the Cheerios in two passes. We were somewhat skeptical at first, as the vacuum initially piled them up instead of sucking them away, but it shifted partway through and collected every Cheerio. This vacuum also cleaned up the vast majority of the oats in only a few passes, requiring only a few more tries to finish the job.

Pet Hair


The final metric in our tests, pet hair, accounts for the remaining 10% of each total score. We tested pet hair performance by spreading 5 grams of pet hair from a local groomer onto a medium-pile carpet and pressing it in with a floor roller. True to its name, the Ball Animal 2 did exceptionally well in this test, collecting 98.2% of the hair.

this dyson model did very well at collecting pet hair.
This Dyson model did very well at collecting pet hair.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Should You Buy the Dyson Ball Animal 2?


While the Dyson is a fairly decent vacuum, it doesn't perform as well as you'd hope for the incredibly high price. We'd expect premium performance at such a premium price, and the Dyson Ball Animal 2 simply does not deliver. We do not recommend this model, as it was outperformed by significantly less expensive models.

What Other Upright Vacuums Should You Consider?


The Ball Animal 2 is a premium-priced model that fails to deliver premium performance. A better alternative would be to consider the Shark Vertex or the Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M. They are both a considerable amount less than the Dyson, but both are exceptional vacuums that outperform the Dyson handily. Additionally, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a great model to consider that outperforms the Dyson at a much more reasonable price point.

David Wise and Austin Palmer
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