The Dyson Ball Animal 2 does not look or maneuver like other upright vacuum cleaners, but in this case different is good. It outperformed all others in our upright vacuum cleaner reviews by clearing many different messes from all types of surfaces with very few passes. The only problem is its relatively high price.
There are very few things you can adjust on this vacuum, so it is surprising how well it cleans on both hard flooring and carpeting. Competing vacuum cleaners have knobs and switches for different types of flooring and levels of suction. Dyson has none of that. You can opt to turn the rolling brush on or off, but that's it. This Dyson automatically adjusts to whatever floor you’re vacuuming and practically creates a seal between its cleaning head and your floor, to ensure superior suction.
In our testing, the Animal 2 had enough suction to completely clear spilled cereal – even the portion that was crushed and ground into the carpet – in just one or two passes, on both carpeting and hard flooring. It was noticeably better than competitors, whether on low-profile, industrial-style carpeting that you find in an office or the medium-profile carpeting that you would find in most homes.
This vacuum cleaner was great at cleaning up kitty litter on all surfaces, which was impressive when comparing it to the units that would spread the kitty litter out more than suck it up, especially on hard flooring. The Animal 2 just cleaned it up, and fast.
All of the units in our upright vacuum cleaner reviews struggled to clean up the flour we sprinkled onto floors to simulate fine dust. Even the Dyson was not able to clean it off the hardwood flooring or carpeting with one pass, but it did it in very few passes and without making a huge cloud of flour like some of the others.
The swiveling head on this upright made it easy to work around corners and furniture legs. The relatively low profile also allowed us to reach under furniture pretty far. Sometimes this one was a little hard to transition from one type of flooring to another, but that was its one struggle for maneuverability. It was generally easy to move around furniture and other obstacles.
For those with allergies, the best upright vacuum cleaner is one with a sealed system so that the dirt, dust and allergens it sucks up aren’t expelled into the air. This Dyson is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. However, this vacuum does not employ true HEPA filtration, and when you empty the bin, you’re exposed to the dirt, dust and allergens. The dust cloud on this one wasn't as bad as some others, though. If you still prefer a bagged unit, consider the Miele Maverick.
It has two carry handles so this Dyson is pretty easy to move around, even if it is one of the heaviest in our comparison. This upright vacuum is relatively quiet, though there were a handful that were quieter. With all of the suction this unit has, we’re surprised it isn’t much louder.
The length of the power cord combined with the length of the extendable hose means you get 50 feet of reach, which is the most of any upright on our lineup. You can clean a whole room without having to find a new outlet. And because of its weight, we were able to tug on the hose a bit without tipping the unit over.
This Dyson does not offer a lot of extras, but it does the basic job of cleaning so well you might not notice. There is no dirt sensor or sensor that tells you when to clean the filters. You have to keep track of all that yourself. Some of the vacuum cleaners we reviewed wind their own cord, and that is a very handy feature. This one doesn't do that, though.
One thing it does offer is tool storage. Even with its slender design, this Dyson includes space for several attachments. You can store brushes and the crevice tool on the unit, making it easy to grab the vacuum and start cleaning right away.
It’s hard to find an upright vacuum cleaner today without the standard four attachments: the extension wand, upholstery tool, dusting brush and crevice tool. This Dyson is no exception, but it takes it a few steps further. We got several brushes – some with soft bristles meant for delicate materials, others with firm bristles for picking up fur and hair – and a combination tool that included bristles on a crevice tool. Not all of the attachments we got fit on the vacuum, but the most important ones do.
Dyson’s five-year limited warranty covers all parts and labor of your machine from defects. That's better than most.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum cleaner surpasses the other machines in our comparison in its performance and maneuverability. The design looks strange and you don't get to control any of this vacuum cleaner's settings. It just works, though. It adjusts its own settings to function efficiently on hardwood flooring and all types of carpeting, cleaning up fine particles and large pieces with equal ease.