Dyson Ball Animal 2 review

A powerful corded vacuum with a large dust canister

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 being used to clean hard wood floors
(Image: © TechRadar)

TechRadar Verdict

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a bagless corded upright vacuum cleaner that can match the brand’s cordless cleaners for powerful suction. It offers a long wand that can reach to the top of a flight of stairs, which is handy considering it’s a heavy unit. It can also move easily between carpet and hard floors. However, it’s bulky, it isn’t as versatile as some upright vacuums, and the floor cleaning head lacks LEDs.

Pros

  • +

    Powerful suction

  • +

    Large dust canister

  • +

    Glides well on carpet and hard floor

Cons

  • -

    No LEDs on the floor cleaning head

  • -

    Heavy

  • -

    Bulky

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Editor's Note

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is no longer part of Dyson's current vacuum cleaner lineup, although you may still be able to find models via third party retailers. In the US, it has been superseded by the Ball Animal 3, while in Australia there's the Ball Animal. Alternatively, head to our best upright vacuum cleaner roundup for some alternatives.

Ruth Hamilton headshot
Ruth Hamilton

One-minute review

Dyson is a stalwart of the floor cleaning market, having launched its first vacuum cleaner in 2010. It now offers a wide range of vacuums from which you can choose, all of which offer powerful suction. However, note that the majority of models are now cordless, including the Dyson V15 Detect, following an announcement from the brand in 2018 that revealed it would no longer produce corded vacuum cleaners.

However, for those who prefer an upright mains-powered vacuum for larger expanses of carpet or floor to clean, there remains an option: the Dyson Ball Animal 2. A contender for our pick of the best vacuum cleaners you can buy right now, this upright cleaner features a relatively large ball that joins the dust canister with the floor cleaning head, allowing it to be steered around furniture easily. 

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 offers powerful suction and a 0.48 gallon / 1.8-liter dust canister, which is far larger than you’ll find on any cordless vacuum cleaner. While you can’t convert this model into a handheld cleaner such as Dyson’s cordless designs, the wand and extension tube connected to the articulating handle can be removed from the main unit to make cleaning stairs, under furniture, or up high a breeze.

There are three levels of suction on offer, which are adjusted using the slider on the floor cleaning head. You can also choose to stop the brush bar spinning, to avoid damaging hard floors when vacuuming. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with four tools, a washable filter and a 30ft / 9m power cable. 

At $499.99 / £299.99, the Animal 2 is one of the most expensive upright vacuum cleaners on the market. However, for anyone wanting powerful suction and an extremely large dust canister to ensure as few interruptions to their cleaning sessions as possible, it’s worth the investment. 

the side view of the Dyson Ball Animal 2

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Dyson Ball Animal 2 price and availability

  •  List price: $499.99 / £299.99 

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is priced at $499.99 / £299.99, and while it’s one of the more affordable vacuums offered by Dyson, it's one of the most expensive upright floor cleaners we’ve tested. It’s available from Dyson direct or through Amazon, but isn’t on sale in Australia. 

In the UK, you can also pick up the Dyson Small Ball Animal 2. A more compact and lighter version of the full model, it costs £249.99 (around $340). However, this model isn’t available in the US.

Check out the latest Dyson promo codes to see how you can potentially save more.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 with all its accessories

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • 0.48 gallon / 1.8 liter dust canister 
  • Ball design ensures it can be steered in all directions
  • Comes with one floor head and three tools

Compared to Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaners, the Ball Animal 2 is a bulky vacuum measuring 42.13 x 15.35 x 13.39 inches / 105.7 x 38. 4 28.1 (h x d x w), and weighing in at 17.5lbs / 7.34kg. This vacuum’s design is unusual as upright models go, featuring a plastic ball that sits between the floor cleaning head and the dust canister. However, its inclusion ensures that in spite of its weight, the unit can be steered around corners with very little effort. 

The power button, and the ability to stop or start the brush bar rotating during cleaning, can be found on the main unit, slightly above the 0.48 gallon / 1.8 liter dust canister. It also offers three levels of suction, which can be adjusted using a slider found on the floor cleaning head. 

As mentioned, there’s no way to convert this vacuum into a lightweight handheld cleaner, as is possible with Dyson’s other cordless models and the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away NZ850UK. However, the wand – which is attached to an extension tube – can be detached from the back of the vacuum and used to clean up high, under furniture, and even on the stairs, with the help of the articulated handle. 

In the UK, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with three tools: a tangle-free turbine tool that has counter-rotating brush heads to remove pet and human hair from upholstery and carpets; a stair tool, and a combination tool. In the UK, there’s also the additional low-profile cleaner head designed for use under furniture with low clearance.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 being used to clean a hard floor

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Powerful suction
  • Glides well on carpet and hard floors
  • Floor cleaning head lacks LEDs

We were impressed by the suction on offer by the Dyson Ball Animal 2. It collected fine dust as well as larger debris, which in this case was cereal, from both hard floors and carpets in just one pass, even on the lowest power setting. Switch the cleaner to the most powerful setting, and not only did the vacuum collect all the debris we scattered, but it also provided a deeper clean, sucking up embedded fine dust. 

The ability to stop the brush bar from spinning on hard floors is handy, in order to avoid any damage to surfaces while cleaning. The upright vacuum glided across carpets and hard floors with ease, although on its most powerful setting on carpets, we did find that suction was so strong that in this instance we struggled to maneuver the Dyson Ball Animal 2.  

Unlike some upright cleaners, it isn’t possible to convert this model into a lighter handheld cleaner. However, we found the wand easy to detach from the vacuum cleaner and, with a reach of 5ft / 1.5m, we were able to clean a flight of stairs comprising 13 steps without having to pick up the unit. The bundled tools were easy to attach to the wand and allowed us to clean into tight corners, as well as upholstery. However, we were disappointed the floor cleaning head lacks LEDs; these can prove useful when cleaning into dark spaces. 

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 was easy to empty. Once the canister has been detached from the upright vacuum, a button activates the point-and-shoot mechanism found on Dyson’s cordless range of vacuum cleaners, ejecting the debris directly into the garbage in one swift move. 

During testing, the sound created by the vacuum measured 69db on our decibel meter on carpet, and 72.2db on hard floors. This is the equivalent to the level of noise created by a dishwasher mid-cycle, which is more than acceptable, and makes the Dyson Ball 2 Animal one of the quietest upright vacuum cleaners we’ve tested.  

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 with its extension hose stretched to clean skirting boards

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Should I buy the Dyson Ball Animal 2?

Buy it if...

You don’t want to empty the vacuum often
With a large 0.48 gallon / 1.8 liter dust canister, you’ll easily be able to clean a three-bedroom house a couple of times over before the dust canister requires emptying.

You have carpet and hard floors
The ability to stop the brush bar rotating when cleaning hard floors makes the Dyson Ball Animal 2 an ideal choice for those whose homes comprise carpet and hard floors.

You have pets (or regular vacuum up hair)
On test, the tangle-free turbine tool proved extremely efficient at collecting hair from carpets and upholstery. If you have furry friends, or find there's a lot of human hair to collect in your home, this is the ideal buy. 

Don't buy it if...

You’re tight on space
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a bulky cleaner that will prove difficult to store if space is at a premium. 

You want a vacuum with an adjustable height handle
Unlike many other upright vacuums on the market, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 doesn’t have an adjustable height handle. If this is a priority, then consider a different model. 

You want a lightweight vacuum
Weighing in at 17.5lb / 7.34kg, this is one of the heaviest upright vacuum cleaners we’ve tested. If you need a model that can regularly be carried between rooms or up the stairs, the Ball Animal 2 is one to avoid. 

First reviewed: November 2021

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.