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Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Review

While its good at carpet cleaning, and not bad all-around, there are better vacuums that offer more performance for less money
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Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Review
Credit: Dyson
Price:  $500 List
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Manufacturer:   Dyson
By Jessica Riconscente and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  May 19, 2023
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Carpet Cleaning - 35% 7.9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7.9
  • Handling - 20% 5.3
  • Hard Surface - 10% 5.4
  • Pet Hair - 10% 10.0

Our Verdict

While the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is not a bad vacuum overall, it commands a higher price for being fairly average. The Dyson shines the most when it comes to carpet and pet hair, but these are easy jobs for an upright vacuum. There are many other models that provide much greater value and performance at more affordable price points, and we believe it would be worth looking at those other options in our comprehensive upright vacuum review.
REASONS TO BUY
Powerful
Great overall carpet cleaning
Great edging
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Limited under-furniture reach
Poor on hard surfaces

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $500 List
$459.99 at Amazon
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$200 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line A good vacuum overall, but better more affordable options existPerhaps the best vacuum cleaner you can buy, excelling at handling and cleaning hard surfacesIf you want the absolute best of the best when it comes to cleaning your carpets, we highly recommend this vacuumAn easy model to push and pull, that won't give you an unwanted workoutIf you are trying to spend as little as possible on a new vacuum, this one is definitely worth checking out
Rating Categories Dyson Ball Animal 3... Shark Stratos Shark Vertex Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Carpet Cleaning (35%)
7.9
8.2
8.6
6.9
4.5
Ease of Use (25%)
7.9
8.6
8.9
6.9
6.0
Handling (20%)
5.3
8.3
7.6
8.4
5.0
Hard Surface (10%)
5.4
9.8
8.6
6.8
3.8
Pet Hair (10%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
9.6
Specs Dyson Ball Animal 3... Shark Stratos Shark Vertex Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Water Suction Gauge 104 inches 94 inches 86 inches 72 inches 48 inches
Model Number UP30 AZ3000W AZ2000W NV352 NEU182A
HEPA Filter No Yes Yes Yes No
Vacuum Head Width 11" 12" 12" 11.25" 13.25"
Measured Brush Width 10" 9.5" 10" 9" 10.5"
Measured Weight 17.9 lbs 16.8 lbs 16.8 lbs 13.6 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 35.75' 29.5' 29.5' 24.75' 23.75'
Measured Noise at Arms Length 75 dBa 75 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
Dirt Collection Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Like many new Dyson models, the Ball Animal 3 Extra has a see-through head, so can you can view any leftover or stuck debris.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Carpet Cleaning


The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is excellent when it comes to carpet cleaning and should be on a short list of models to consider if you have large carpeted areas to keep clean. Due to its importance, our carpet cleaning metric comprises 35% of each model's overall score.

For this metric, we tested each model's ability to clean a variety of messes, including rice, oats, cereal, and flour, and scored their performances based on the results. Our team performed each test on both low and high-pile carpets to simulate real-world applications.

We make sure to roll debris deeper into the carpet to make it even harder for the vacuums to pick up in our carpet cleaning tests.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Dyson excelled in our rice and oatmeal tests, lifting the majority of each mess with a single pass, requiring very few follow-up passes to fully lift all debris. However, it was somewhat challenged by cereal and flour messes. It initially plowed some cereal and ground it to finer debris which it failed to pick up completely, and it wasn't able to lift all the flour used on our low pile carpet test, leaving some residue behind. Fortunately, in the case of flour, it ultimately cleaned the remaining mess with additional passes.

dyson ball animal 3 extra - the dyson did alright in our rice tests, although it did marginal...
The Dyson did alright in our rice tests, although it did marginal plowing of rice grains.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Ease of use


In our ease of use metric, responsible for 25% of each model's total score, the Dyson Ball Animal 3 did well and performed just behind the top three models we tested. It did an impressive job of edging, cleaning exceptionally close to walls, and only failing to pick up debris in the tightest corners. Its reach is great at over 35 feet, and it transitions surfaces well.

The Dyson comes with convenient attachments for lifting debris from hard-to-reach places.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

When it came to reaching under furniture, the Dyson is limited to 5.5 inches, and while you can take out the wand, it requires more steps than the 'lift-away' feature on other models.

dyson ball animal 3 extra - the dyson ball animal 3 extra includes a few accessories, like pet...
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra includes a few accessories, like pet grooming and stair cleaning attachments.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Handling


We found the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra took a step back from previous models. The larger ball that the vacuum pivots around limits the maneuverability around furniture; even with a narrower vacuum head, the reach under furniture is limited to about 5.5 inches, which is well below average.

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is more clunky and less maneuverable than its predecessor.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Hard Surface Cleaning


Our hard surface cleaning test metric, responsible for 10% of each model's overall score, again challenged each vacuum's ability to pick up four messes, rice, oatmeal, cereal, and flour. The Dyson Ball Animal did a great job of cleaning flour, and earned near-perfect marks. Unfortunately, it could not maintain this level of performance across the remaining hard surface tests.

Large piles of debris tend to clog up the Dyson on hard surfaces.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Rice took multiple passes, making incremental improvements with each pass. However, when our team tested its ability to pick up oatmeal, it struggled again. Instead of making incremental improvements, it reached a point rather quickly where no progress was being made, and a minor mess of residual oatmeal was always left behind.

Its performance picking up cereal was dismal, and it couldn't complete the task. Surface type adjustments failed to make any improvement, and it simply could not do anything but displace cereal.

Overall, the Dyson earned a slightly below-average score for its hard surface cleaning performance compared to its peers.

Unfortunately, the Ball Animal 3 Extra dragged and plowed messes on hard surfaces.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Pet Hair


The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra did a near-perfect job of cleaning pet hair in our last metric, worth 10% of each vacuum's overall score. The Dyson lifted an impressive 99.99% of all the hair used in our test.

dyson ball animal 3 extra - the brush design on this model is straightforward, but what is more...
The brush design on this model is straightforward, but what is more unique are the red gates that can be adjusted for different surfaces.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra?


The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is not a bad vacuum, but it's exceptionally expensive for an average vacuum, and there are many other vacuums that provide much greater value and performance at more affordable price points. As such, we can't recommend this model over a handful of other options that performed much better.

What Other Upright Vacuum Should You Consider?


At 40% of the price of the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra, the Shark Navigator Lift Away offers superior performance and would be a wiser financial decision. Of course, if budget is not a major concern and you are looking for the maximum performance from a vacuum, then you should look at the Shark Stratos, which offers premium performance, including near-perfect performance on hard surfaces, and costs a good amount less than the Dyson.

Jessica Riconscente and Benjamin Hickok