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My first Dyson Animal was many years ago, and it was probably one of the best vacuum cleaners I ever owned. It was able to pick up after five very fluffy dogs without issue, as well as more cats than I care to admit.
Needless to say, the day it died was a sad one, and while my love affair with Dyson will last through the ages; I haven’t found the perfect replacement. That is until now, of course. When I was first presented with the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2, I was both excited and sceptical.
Previous ball Dyson’s hadn’t been as effective with pet hair as my original vacuum, and I was honestly starting to lose hope. After all, it can be difficult to live with that much fur when you can’t seem to get rid of it all.
So, I approached with caution as well as suppressed excitement for my next vacuum venture. I can tell you, quite proudly, that I was really impressed with this model. Seriously, it did everything I wanted and more.
I’m trying not to give it all away right here, but it may have rekindled my fading passion for the Dyson name. If you want to find out exactly why, take a moment to relax and have a read through this concise, yet detailed, review.
Dyson Big Ball Animal 2
Corded cylinder vacuum
Also known as the Light Ball on steroids, this beast can make an excellent addition to your home; cleaning every mess in sight with fantastic precision.
Packed full of new and improved features, and ideal for those who have pets, it won’t take much to get you excited about this vacuum cleaner.
- PROS AND CONS
- 1.8L dustbin
- 7.8kg weight
- HEPA filter
- 90 air watts
- 5-year guarantee
Presenting the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2
The Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 is exceptional when it comes to dealing with pet hair and loads of mess; since that’s what it was made for.
It owns the home from the moment you switch it on, and the power is unbelievable.
The last of the Dyson corded vacuum cleaners, it’s quite possible that this is the vacuum cleaner that truly marks their legacy.
Despite my strong words of love, it might not be the vacuum cleaner for everyone. It can be a little heavy, and the hose isn’t optimal for floor to ceiling cleaning.
Design and Features
I love the way the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 looks, and the modern yet compact design means that it is easy to store away when you have finished using it. As someone with very little cupboard space, I was pleased to discover that it slipped in perfectly.
The assembly is quick and simple too, with each of the pieces clicking into place expertly. Just like the Light Ball, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 has a brand new floorhead, and this new design means that it is wider than it used to be for better cleaning power.
The brush roll is very large, and it even has a separate motor so that you can have complete control over it while you are cleaning. The brush bar itself is also completely replaceable if you find that it wears down over time.
However, as part of the new design, the bristles are now made from red nylon to increase the durability of the bar, as well as preventing too much hair from becoming tangled and wrapped around the bar. It also provides better edge cleaning due to the width, which I look at a little later.
You will also discover that the front of the floorhead has a slider on it with three different settings that you can switch between. You will likely be in the middle one the majority of the time as this is the standard.
The low setting is for hard floors, and the high for giving carpets a really deep clean (even if it does make pushing it forward a little harder). I love the new handle as well, because it is made from metal. Now, you might think that this will make it heavier, but it is actually really lightweight.
Combined with the new articulated joint in the handle, it makes it really easy to clean your home with the wand, hose, and accessories of your choice. There is also a tool holder that slides onto the body where you can store the attachments.
The controls are located above the bin on the main body, which means that they are really easy to access. Aside from the power button, you also have the brush bar controls which means you can switch it on or off at will.
Why might you want to do this? Well, some hard floors are very delicate and may be damaged by a brush roll.
How Noisy is it?
You will find that the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 produces 80db of sound, which is within the EU requirements for noise. This is a massive relief, because some previous Dyson models were deafeningly loud, and it was not a pleasant feature.
Cord Length and Storage
Impressively, there is a 10m cord with this vacuum cleaner which means that you won’t need to worry about switching between sockets too often.
It’s the perfect length for the majority of homes, and when you are finished with it, you can wrap it around the hooks on the back of the machine. Plus, the plug can be clipped onto the cord afterwards.
Weight and Handling
The Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 weighs in at 7.8kg, which is pretty heavy for a vacuum cleaner. However, unless you are lifting and carrying it around a lot, you are unlikely to notice this weight too much.
As you push it across the floor, it is barely noticeable, although it does become harder to push in maximum mode. The ball technology also means that steering is an absolute breeze, and you can swing it around all of your furniture without an issue.
Dust Canister and Filter
I was really impressed by the dust capacity in this vacuum cleaner because it is 1.8L; which is massive. It’s more than enough for the average home, and you won’t need to empty it too frequently.
The bin is really easy to remove and empty, all it takes is the press of a button, and you’re there. Plus, the contents fall out really quickly, and there is a low chance of anything getting stuck.
As usual for Dyson ball models, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 has two filters installed. There are a HEPA filter and a motor filter, each of which is excellent at collecting dust and allergens; which is part of what makes it so perfect for asthma and allergies.
Both of these filters should be washed once a month to keep them clean, and to prevent loss of suction. You will find the mail filter in the top of the dust canister, and it is conical in shape. When you wash it, do so under running water and squeeze it out before you leave it to dry.
The motor filter is actually in the ball, and you can unscrew the lid on one side to get it out. This should also be washed under running water. For both filters, make sure they are completely dry before you secure it back in.
Due to the fact that this model uses cyclonic technology, the filters shouldn’t look too bad when their monthly wash comes around.
How Well Does It Clean?
The Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 was really good with hard floors, and I mostly used it on the medium setting; although the low setting was equally impressive.
There was no snowploughing, which made me exceptionally happy, and it was able to pick up both large and small debris without an issue. I also tested out the edge cleaning, and when approached from the front it was flawless.
From the side, however, there was some debris left behind. It did a good job on carpets, although I found the maximum power setting to be better than the medium one. Using the latter, there was some fine debris left behind, and the carpet didn’t look as clean overall.
When in the maximum mode, it picked up everything and the results were a lot smoother. I did also find that the exhaust on the side of the machine did blow some of the lighter debris around as well.
I was quite pleased with the stair performance, because after the Light Ball I wasn’t expecting the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 to deliver. However, it really did, and the hose was able to comfortably reach 13 steps when the wand and hose wee combined.
Related: Best Vacuum Cleaner for Stairs
It is a massive improvement, and way less hassle. The floor to ceiling cleaning was also good, especially with the new metal wand, but there was one little feature that did get on my nerves.
It always has with the ball models, and it is the fact that the hose sometimes fights back when you are cleaning high places. On one occasion the vacuum fell over, which did give me a bit of a fright. This was especially noticeable with the crevice tool.
How Well Does It Cope with Pet Hair?
To make a long story short, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 does a great job with pet hair, and this is certainly helped by the pet tool that comes with it. Perfect for beds, furniture, and areas of carpets that have a lot of fluff and fur in them.
On hard floors, it was able to pick up large and small clumps of pet hair, as well as fine dust and debris that they have left behind after long walks or playing in the garden. I didn’t find the brush bar got clogged either; even when cleaning up after ten animals.
I was pleased with the carpet results. It was better on the maximum setting, like when cleaning normally, but it was also able to pick up the pet hair quite effectively.
It took a couple of passes, but I didn’t mind because the results were great and my carpet was left looking wonderful. I tested on both short and thick carpets, finding the results to be about the same.
Much like the Light Ball, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 uses new tools that have a quick release system to click them in place. So, if you were thinking of using your old Dyson tools, then I’m afraid you won’t be able to with this one.
However, this model of vacuum cleaner does come with a fantastic selection for you to choose from.There is a miniature floor head included in this particular bundle, and this is the ideal companion for cleaning under furniture, tight areas, and also giving the stairs some extra power.
It has turbo power for excellent suction, and it is really easy to use in a range of situations. The pet tool is perfect for getting all of that fur and fluff out of beds, carpet, and other touch areas where it has become embedded.
It’s something I touched on briefly in the above section. In addition to that, you have the upholstery tool that can be used on your furniture and car interior to really scrub them and get it looking good and clean again.
The combination tool is both a crevice tool and a dusting brush, and the brush can actually be removed if you find that it is getting in the way. The former is great for reaching those tight spaces, while the latter is designed for delicate surfaces that need some extra care and attention.
How Does It Compare?
Here are some other, similar, models of vacuum cleaner for you to consider, just in case you want to look at other options before you commit to a Dyson Ball Animal 2.
Dyson DC40 Animal
The DC40 Animal has been made to deal with pet hair, and it was the predecessor to the latest ball models.
It may be older, but it can still hold its own against the newer models, with powerful suction and excellent hair pickup that you don’t find anywhere else.
Combined with an excellent selection of accessories, it is the perfect model for pretty much every home. You can read my full review of Dyson DC40 Animal as well for more information.
Dyson Light Ball
The Dyson Light Ball is a fantastic model for all homes, and it has the same newly designed floorhead to really help you give your floors the deep clean that they deserve.
There is even a pet version if you fancy an extra tool to better your results. The dust canister has a huge capacity, the suction is fantastic, and you will find that moving it around comes naturally.
I have written a detailed review of Dyson Light Ball that you can read for more information as well.
We hope that this Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 guide has shown you what this vacuum cleaner can do, as well as all of the fantastic features it has to offer.
It has to be one of the most advanced vacuum cleaners I have had the joy of sampling, and the fact it is made for pets is the icing on the cake.
Sadly, it is not a perfect machine, and I am still determined to find a model that has no flaws. This particular model is a little heavy to catty; which can make putting it away a bit tricky at the end of each session.
However, when you are using it, you get used to the weight very quickly because it is being pushed over the carpet. The short hose can be difficult as well due to the fact that it pulls back when you stretch too far in the floor to ceiling mode.
Despite this, it remains a powerful and efficient machine, as well as one of my top Dyson models. Overall, an impressive 4.5/5 stars go to this one.
What did you think of our Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 review? Do you agree with our thoughts on the vacuum, or are there others that you think are better suited to the task? We love hearing from you, so make sure you leave us a message in the comments below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.