The Dyson Ball Compact Animal really stands out with its futuristic design. It uses two tiers of cyclones, meaning it's efficient at removing microscopic dust from your house and doesn't require a replaceable filter. It is also a bagless canister vacuum with a detachable bin. This means that, though you'll pay more with your initial purchase than you would for other good canister vacuums, this lightweight canister vacuum has no additional maintenance costs for the life of the appliance.
We are particularly impressed with how easy this vacuum is to move around. Although the head isn't self-propelled, it doesn't have to be. The vacuum is so lightweight that cleaning with it feels effortless. The wand has true 360-degree rotation, and the power cord extends to 25 feet. This means you can move it around furniture, up the stairs and even up to most ceilings. It's extremely lightweight and easily fits in the corner of your closet.
We expected better performance from this vacuum than our tests of its cleaning and suction revealed. We tested each vacuum's ability to pick up fine dust by spreading flour and its prowess on large debris by using kitty litter. The Ball Compact Animal was fine with dust, cleaning the area in only four passes, but it struggled with large pieces. It took a total of 14 passes before all the litter was cleared from the carpet, twice the number of the best canister vacuum. For big messes, you can expect to spend double the amount of time with this vacuum as you would with some others.
The biggest concern with this vacuum is that its small size means a much smaller canister. The Ball Compact Animal can only hold 0.8 liters, which is 35 percent smaller than the best canister vacuums' capacities. If you have a big house, you'll likely need to empty this canister three times as often as you would other canister vacuums. For a unit with more capacity, check out the Bissell C4 Cyclonic.
The Dyson Ball Compact Animal is loud. At 80 dB, it's the third loudest of the canister vacuums we tested, so it's not the best vacuum for houses with sleeping babies or other needs for quiet.
Dyson offers the highest level of support online. Its customer service is very responsive, and its online chat service is the best of those we tested. It also offers a full five-year warranty on parts and maintenance, which you likely won't need to worry about. You can tell the canister vacuum is made with high-quality parts and designed with care.
If it weren't for its tiny canister, the Dyson Ball Compact Animal would be much higher in our lineup. It's maneuverable and portable, and it fits in the tightest spots. You'll pay more up front for it than you would for many other vacuums, but you are paying for the quality of the Dyson name. This is a great upgrade from a standard upright vacuum.