Versatile with several attachments
Easy to maneuver
Removes tons of pet hair
Whole-machine HEPA filtration
Segmented brush roll
Awkward standing mechanism
Pet hair will take over your home if you let it—trust me, I know—which is why every pet parent needs a high-quality pet hair remover, like the Dyson Ball Animal 2. Dysons are well-known to be some of the best vacuums available, thanks to their powerful suction, but can this model really handle a multi-pet home? Is it worth the hefty investment? We wanted to find out for sure.
To put it to the test, we used the Dyson Ball Animal 2 for a variety of cleaning tasks in a multi-pet home, evaluating how well it fared against animal hair and other pet messes.
Setup: Watch the online video
Save yourself some hassle and just watch the online tutorial on how to set up the Dyson Ball Animal 2. Not only are there a lot of pieces to sort through, but the instructions are incredibly sparse and gloss over several key steps. We got incredibly frustrated trying to figure out how this vacuum went together!
The first problem we encountered is that there’s a U-shaped plastic piece that needs to be attached to the brush head. However, it must have come off in transit, and when we tried to connect the brush head to the main body of the vacuum, it wouldn’t “click” into place—because the plastic piece was missing. We didn’t know that because it wasn’t mentioned in the instructions (it is mentioned in the section about how to clean the brush roll, but we weren’t looking there at the time), so we struggled for several minutes trying to get the parts connected to no avail. We only figured out the problem after pulling up the online video.
The other confusing aspect of setup is that the extension wand is supposed to be stored inside the hose on the back of the vacuum. However, the instructions don’t mention that you have to hold the purple button on the hose down to slide the wand inside. Again, we struggled for a few minutes trying to figure out what was wrong before finally consulting the video. The online tutorial also showed us how to properly store the vacuum’s attachments, which we probably wouldn’t have figured out from the instructions alone.
Given this frustrating experience, we’d recommend simply watching the online directions to start with to save yourself a headache.
Design: A few kinks
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a high-end machine, and it certainly looks the part. Its sleek purple and gray exterior is quite luxe, and it has the futuristic vibe that Dyson is known for. You can clearly see the Advanced Radial Root Cyclones that power the impressive suction, and the clear canister lets you see just how much dirt and hair you’re picking up.
Plus, the “ball” base (made of glass-reinforced polypropylene) that contains the motor makes it easy to maneuver with minimal effort, letting you steer around furniture easily. We also liked that there’s a designated spot on the vacuum body to store the various attachments (except the “tangle-free turbine”), saving you the hassle of finding a box or bag to keep them in.
While all these features are great, there are a few other design choices we weren’t completely sold on. First of all, when we first used the vacuum on a carpet, we noticed the streaks it left behind were segmented, as though something was stuck underneath the brush bar. When we flipped it up to look, we found that there’s a little wheel in the middle of the brush bar that causes this segmentation. It doesn’t seem to affect the vacuum’s performance, but you do have to go over that missing spot to prevent your carpet from looking streaky.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is one of the most powerful vacuums we’ve ever used.
The other feature we didn’t love was the standing mechanism. Unlike many vacuums, which have a foot lever you push to release the vacuum from a standing position, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 clicks in and out automatically when it’s put upright. However, we often had trouble getting it to stand up on the first try—sometimes it took a few tries to get it to “click in” the right way. It’s a small detail, but for the price point, we think it should be a little more user-friendly.
The final kink we discovered was with the vacuum’s hose and wand, which are supposed to be used to reach high-up places, clean furniture, etc. However, we found the hose to be quite stiff and hard to maneuver. Even if you stretched it out, it would quickly slink up into its original form. This would likely be something that improves as the vacuum gets “broken in,” but it’s frustrating to work with initially.
Cleaning Performance: Where did all this hair come from?
Despite some questionable design choices, there’s no denying the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a total powerhouse when it comes to picking up dirt, dust, and pet hair. We tested it in a variety of ways and were continually impressed at how much hair it managed to remove from various surfaces—even seemingly clean carpets yielded huge amounts of debris!
Its first major test was the carpet in the bedroom, which we purposefully didn’t vacuum for a few days. We knew it had a fair amount of pet hair and dirt on it, but we were still surprised when the canister was practically filled to the brim with hair. The low-pile carpet was clearly hiding quite a bit of grime, but the Dyson’s powerful suction and self-adjusting cleaner head were powerful enough to pull it out.
We were continually impressed at how much hair it managed to remove from various surfaces—even seemingly clean carpets yielded huge amounts of debris!
We emptied the dust canister, which is as easy as pushing a button to eject the contents out of the bottom, then moved on to the hardwood floors of the living room. The instructions say to turn off the beater bar for hard floors, so that’s what we did. The puppy was nice enough to shred a stuffed animal a little while before, so we used the vacuum to pick up all the fluff left behind. In addition to easily collecting the stuffed animal fluff, the vacuum also managed to pick up quite a bit of dirt and other pet hair—again, we found ourselves asking where it even came from, as the floor had recently been swept and looked clean to the naked eye.
All in all, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is one of the most powerful vacuums we’ve ever used. Even if you think your floors are clean, this vacuum will probably suck up hair and dirt that’s hiding deep in your carpet’s fibers.
Size: About average
This vacuum is the size of a standard upright vacuum. It will take up a fair bit of space in your closet, but no more than any other model. Plus, as mentioned earlier, we like that it has built-in storage for some of its accessories, so you don’t have to find separate spots for them.
In terms of weight, the vacuum weighs 17.5 pounds, which is on the higher end of the spectrum for upright models. However, it’s well-balanced, so we didn’t have any trouble pushing it around the house or moving it from room to room.
Take a peek at some of the other best upright vacuum cleaners you can buy.
Noise Level: Not too bad
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend using this vacuum while your family is sleeping, as it’s definitely loud enough to wake them up. However, it’s still only an average noise level, especially considering the suction is incredibly powerful.
Additional Features: All hail the tangle-free turbine
Beyond its powerful suction, the next best part of this vacuum is its tangle-free turbine attachment. This unique tool has counter-rotating brush heads that dislodge pet hair from upholstery—without getting it wrapped around a brush bar and creating more work for you. Genius.
We used this tool to vacuum the couch, where both the dog and cat frequently nap, and we loved how quick and easy it was to use. It removed the vast majority of visible hair, and true to its claim, there were minimal hairs wrapped up in its brushes when we were finished. We even used it on the cat’s bedding, and it picked up the clumps of hair, no problem. Can you be in love with a vacuum attachment?
For the price point, we think the vacuum’s features should be a little more user-friendly.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 also comes with a “combination tool” that serves as both a crevice tool and duster, as well as a small stair tool. Neither of these are anything special, but they’re useful for vacuuming the stairs, cleaning out spider webs, dusting shelves, and the like.
Two other additional features of this vacuum is that it has a washable lifetime filter, saving you the cost of replacing them every few months. Plus, it has whole-system HEPA filtration, which removes tiny particles like pet dander from the floor and keeps them trapped in the vacuum—great for those with allergies. In fact, this vacuum is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Price: Typical Dyson
The term “cheap Dyson” is an oxymoron—you know when you purchase one of these machines, you’re going to be spending quite a bit of money. True to the brand, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 retails for around $500. The high price tag makes us question the less-than-user-friendly design features, but we’re willing to overlook them given this vacuum’s powerful and efficient performance. If you’re tired of dealing with pet hair everywhere, it’s worth the splurge.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best Dyson vacuums.
Dyson Ball Animal 2 vs. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum
If you’re looking for a less expensive vacuum to remove pet hair around your home, another popular option is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum, which costs just $50. This small, handheld vacuum delivers nowhere near the same level of suction as the Dyson, but it still does a decently good job getting hair off furniture and bedding. However, its 15-minute runtime per charge means its only suitable for small jobs around the house.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best pet hair removers.
Worth the splurge!
If you have multiple pets and are tired of having grimy carpets and furniture, you won’t regret purchasing the Dyson Ball Animal 2. This vacuum delivers truly amazing suction and will pull up hair you didn’t even realize was there. Sure, it has a few wonky design features, but we’re willing to overlook them given its stellar performance.
- Product Name Ball Animal 2
- Product Brand Dyson
- MPN UP20
- Price $499.00
- Weight 17.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 15.35 x 13.39 x 42.13 in.
- Warranty 5 years, limited (parts and labor)