Pros / Suction on thinner carpeting was unsurpassed.

Cons / Lack of a headlight might mean you miss a few dark corners.

 Verdict / The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has a smooth-swiveling head and strong suction to deep clean on any type of flooring.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 nearly had the best cleaning performance score and was a strong competitor in all aspects of our testing. This vacuum is designed to maintain strong suction on any type of surface, and to do so automatically. The cleaning head retracts on thicker carpets and expands to be closer to the surface when on hardwood flooring to maintain cleaning power. Most machines we tested scattered Cheerios and flour everywhere, but the Animal 2 removed the mess without any hesitation. It cleaned thinner carpeting faster than any other unit we tested, getting the highest score for that test.

The Animal 2 is great for getting around chair and table legs with its swiveling head. However, it is not as great for getting under beds or low-slung desks and tables. Competing units maintain contact with the floor so they can keep cleaning as they recline to get under obstacles. When you lower the body of the Animal 2, the head of the vacuum lifts off the floor, so you'll have to use its hose and other tools for cleaning under some furniture. If you prefer a vacuum cleaner that can glide under beds, check out the Miele Dynamic U1.

This Dyson vacuum lacks a headlight for helping you see into dark corners. That is not necessarily a deal breaker, but it can be helpful for making sure you don't miss any messes. It manages to fit onboard tool storage, even in its very slender design. The long and flexible hose is easy to deploy, and you can use the combination crevice/brush tool to clean furniture and other tight spots.

This vacuum cleaner is fairly portable compared to others we tested. It is above average for weight and a little bottom heavy, but it was not too bad for taking up and down stairs. Having two separate handles helps.

The cleaning head is wider than average on the Animal 2 so it can cover a lot of ground quickly, saving you time. Unfortunately, this vacuum also is above average for price. However, there are lots of deep cleaning vacuums that cost much, much more. Among the ones we tested, it is a little pricey, but it also offers exceptional suction.

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  • Medium-pile Carpet Cleaning
  • Low-pile Carpet Cleaning
  • Hardwood Floor Cleaning
  • Maneuverability
  1. Cleaning score for medium thickness carpeting.
    Higher is Better.
  2. 2  Dyson Ball Animal 2
    97.0 %
  3. 94.0 %
  4. 82.0 %
  5. Category Average
    84.4 %


This vacuum is on the pricey side, but we believe it’s worth it due to its exceptional cleaning performance. It has a ton of cleaning power on every surface. The cleaning head automatically adjusts to get thick and thin carpets equally clean, as well as hardwood floors. It does it all in very few passes, saving you time and trouble.

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