The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is a bagless upright vacuum. It's an updated version of the Dyson Ball Animal 2, with the biggest difference from its predecessor being its redesigned floorhead. It features three dedicated surface settings for different floor types and a removable anti-tangle brushroll. The latter feature is very helpful if you have a pet that sheds heavily, as is the five-stage filtration system for sealing in allergens like pet dander and the pet grooming tool, which is bundled with this variant.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is great for cleaning bare floors. It easily clears away pet hair as well as small and bulky debris on this floor type, and its powerful suction motor does a fantastic job of sucking up debris in cracks and crevices. However, the vacuum itself doesn't feel especially sturdy in places, especially the clear plastic dustbin and semi-spherical wheels. Its bulky design can also be a challenge to maneuver in tighter spaces.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is a great option for vacuuming low-pile carpet. Its strong suction motor lets it easily suck up fine and large debris from low-pile carpets, not to mention pet hair. The adjustable floorhead surface settings make it a little easier to push around on carpeted floors than its predecessor. Unfortunately, you still have to be careful when cleaning around tasseled rugs, which can get caught in its floorhead even with the brushroll turned off.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is excellent for vacuuming high-pile carpet. Its adjustable floorhead and strong suction motor make easy work of pet hair as well as fine and large debris on this surface type, though you still need to be careful when cleaning very dense shag pile carpeting, which can get caught in its floorhead. Its bagless design incurs minimal recurring costs, and it isn't especially hard to maintain. However, its clear plastic dustbin feels a little fragile, as do its ball wheels.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is impressively well-suited to dealing with pet hair. It can easily handle pet hair on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet. The anti-tangle vanes in its floorhead are also very effective in minimizing the chances of hair getting tangled within the mechanism. Unlike its predecessor, the brushroll is removable, enabling you to clean it thoroughly. This vacuum variant comes with a dedicated pet grooming tool, which is ideal for clearing away loose fur and dead skin. Its five-stage filtration system is also pretty effective in sealing in fine allergens like pet dander. Unfortunately, this vacuum is on the louder end of the scale and might startle animals sensitive to loud noises.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is okay for vacuuming staircases. Its upright body is somewhat heavy and rather bulky, making it a bit of a hassle to carry around. That said, you can use it in a semi-handheld configuration by leaving it positioned upright and cleaning with its hose, which is quite long and enables you to reach most faraway areas. Its long power cord also ensures you won't have to swap outlets when vacuuming taller staircases. Make sure you leave it on secure footing so that it doesn't tip over, as some parts of its mainly plastic construction feel a little flimsy, like the dustbin and main wheels.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is an upright vacuum and isn't suitable for cleaning the inside of your car.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is mediocre for light workshop cleaning tasks, as that isn't what it's designed for. It can easily clear away household debris on hard surfaces like concrete floors, not to mention low-pile rugs, but it could be damaged if you use it to suck up heavier debris like metal or wood shavings. It also isn't meant for sucking up liquid spills.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is available in three variants, which differ only in terms of included attachments. We tested the 'Extra' variant and you can see its label here. Outlined below is the current Ball Animal 3 model lineup.
|Parts Included||Canister Color||Notes|
|Ball Animal 3||Combination tool, Stair tool||Nickel||
|Ball Animal 3 Extra||Pet Groom tool, Combination tool, Tangle-Free Turbine tool, Stair tool||Copper|
|Ball Animal 3 Complete||Reach under tool, Pet groom tool, Combination tool, Tangle-free turbine tool, Stair tool, Articulating hard floor tool, Multi-angle Brush tool, Carbon fiber soft dusting brush, mattress tool, Tool holder, Tool bag||Gold||Only available from Dyson's site|
Let us know in the discussions if you come across another variant of this vacuum, and we'll update our review.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is a bagless upright vacuum. It delivers remarkably strong performance across a wide variety of surfaces, even when compared to high-end models like the discontinued Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine, and represents a compelling option for pet owners thanks to its superb pet hair cleaning capability and anti-tangle floorhead. That said, even with its redesigned floorhead, it still suffers some of the same issues as the older Dyson Ball Animal 2. Its strong suction motor can cause it to drag around some lighter rugs and get caught on shag-pile carpeting, though admittedly to a lesser degree than its predecessor.
If you're looking for an alternative, take a look at our list of recommendations for the best upright vacuums, the best bagless vacuums, and the best vacuums for pet hair.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 and Dyson V15 Detect are differently-designed vacuums with different uses. The Ball Animal 3 is a more traditional corded upright vacuum that can run indefinitely, making it a better option for longer cleaning sessions. It also performs better on carpeted surfaces and has an anti-tangle floorhead that's very resistant to hair wraps. On the other hand, the V15 is a much lighter, more maneuverable cordless stick vacuum that you can use to clean areas far from any power outlets with ease. It also has a surface detection system that enables it to automatically adjust its suction power to suit different surfaces and an onboard piezo sensor that measures and counts particles being sucked into the vacuum.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is a notable improvement over the Dyson Ball Animal 2. The two vacuums are similar in design, but the Animal 3's updated floorhead makes all the difference. Unlike the Animal 2, it can be detached from the vacuum and has a removable brushroll, making it easier to clean. The Animal 3's floorhead also has anti-tangle vanes that are effective in minimizing hair wraps, and it offers three levels of surface adjustment, resulting in improved performance and suction force across a wide range of surfaces. In contrast, the Animal 2 has a self-adjusting floorhead that doesn't allow you to manually select a surface setting, which makes it slightly harder to maneuver on uneven floors.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 and Dyson V8 aren't meant for the same uses, considering their wildly differing designs. The V8 is a stick vacuum with a much lighter, more maneuverable design. Its cordless design ensures that you can clean areas far from any electrical outlets with ease, and it takes up much less room while in use. Its maximum runtime of about 40 minutes means it isn't nearly as well-suited to longer cleaning sessions as the Ball Animal 3, which delivers superior performance on bare floors and carpeted surface types thanks to its substantially more powerful suction motor.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 and Dyson Ball Animal 3 are very differently designed vacuums for different uses. The V10 is a cordless stick vacuum better suited to quick clean-up sessions thanks to its lighter, more portable stick/handheld design. Meanwhile, the Ball Animal 3 is a corded upright that can handle big messes far more easily, with a more powerful suction motor, height-adjustable floorhead, and higher-capacity dustbin.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is better for most uses than the Shark APEX Upright . The Dyson is easier to clean, has a longer overall range, comes with a wider assortment of tools, including a dedicated pet grooming attachment, and delivers superior performance on carpeted floors. That said, the Shark's 'Lift-Away' configuration does make it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas, as you can pick up and carry its motor unit independently of its floorhead. It's also noticeably quieter than the Dyson.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is better than the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe. The Dyson has a height-adjustable floorhead, making it easier to maneuver on thick carpeting, a more powerful suction motor, and a longer range. It also incurs lower recurring costs and is easier to maneuver in spite of its heavier build. That said, the Shark's Lift-Away design does make it a little easier to clean tight spots.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is better than the Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away for most uses, though these are still differently-designed vacuums with different uses. The Dyson is a more conventional corded upright that's better suited for longer cleaning sessions, as it can run for as long as it's plugged into an electrical socket. It's also easier to maintain, has a larger dustbin, and features an adjustable floorhead that yields significantly better performance on carpeted floors. However, the Shark is cordless, allowing you clean hard-to-reach areas like the inside of your car with relative ease. It's also quieter and lighter than the Dyson, with a 'Lift-Away' design that lets you use it as a handheld by picking up and carrying its canister body independently of its floorhead.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is better than the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Speed. The Dyson has a far more powerful suction motor, resulting in better debris pickup across a wide range of surfaces, is easier to maintain, comes with a wider assortment of attachments, and is easier to maneuver thanks to its ball-shaped wheel. However, the Shark is slightly lighter and makes a little less noise.
The Dyson Outsize and Dyson Ball Animal 3 are differently-designed vacuums with different intended uses. The Outsize is a cordless vacuum with a large dustbin meant to bridge the gap between a more maneuverable cordless stick vacuum and a traditional upright with a higher overall debris capacity. It's easier to store and carry around than the Ball Animal, and it features a larger dustbin. Since it comes with two batteries, you can continue using the Outsize for quite a while without running out of charge, though the Ball Animal is still a better fit for long cleaning sessions thanks to its corded design. The Ball Animal also delivers significantly stronger performance on carpeted floors, even if it lacks the Outsize's automatic power adjustment capability.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is reasonably well-built. It's mainly made out of plastic. Compared to the Dyson Ball Animal 2, its redesigned floorhead sees a significant improvement in overall build quality. It's smaller in size but uses a thicker brushroll with closer-spaced nylon bristles, not to mention a series of detangling vanes that help reduce the incidence of hair wraps. That said, it does share several weak points with its predecessor. The semi-spherical wheels feel rather flimsy, as does the vacuum's clear plastic dirt compartment.
Out-of-box setup is a little finicky. You'll need to put together quite a few components when taking it out of the box, and while it does use a series of easy-clip mechanisms to attach parts to each other, they're of a different, less user-friendly design compared to the clips used on other Dyson vacuums like the Dyson V11.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is pretty easy to maintain.
The Dyson Animal 3 incurs virtually no recurring costs. If the filters are well-maintained, they don't need replacing. However, like any other vacuum, if you don't properly maintain the filters, they'll eventually need to be replaced.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is pretty easy to store, especially for a vacuum of this type. It's a little shorter than other bagless uprights, like the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, but also a little thicker, so it might be hard to push it to the back of a closet. Thankfully, there's onboard storage for its combination and stair/upholstery tool. You'll have to wind up its cord manually, as there's no automatic cord retraction system.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 has a good dirt compartment. Its capacity is unchanged compared to the older Dyson Ball Animal 2, and there's a max fill line to give you an idea of how close it is to being filled.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 has an impressively long range. Its power cord is long enough to clean faraway areas without having to swap outlets, and its hose offers more than enough additional slack to make cleaning on top of shelves and dressers pretty easy.
Even though this vacuum is mainly plastic, it's quite heavy for a vacuum of this type, so it can be a bit of a hassle to pick up and carry. That said, it feels lightweight in your hand when pushing it around.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 offers a couple of quality-of-life features. Unlike the Dyson Ball Animal 2, you can manually toggle between three different surface settings using the slider on its floorhead, which change the head height and its suction force. The leftmost setting is intended for hard surfaces and embedded dirt and debris, the center for cleaning solid debris from low-pile carpet, and the rightmost setting is meant for cleaning high-pile carpet. You can see a video of the vacuum head being toggled through these settings here. You can also turn the brushroll off to avoid scratching bare floors and scattering debris everywhere. Like its predecessor, suction is directed through the hose when it's positioned at a fully upright angle. You need to tilt the vacuum backward for the suction to be directed through the floorhead.
The Extra variant of the Dyson Ball Animal 3 comes with a couple of attachments. There's a dedicated grooming tool for sucking away loose hair, dander, and dead skin from your pet, a crevice tool with a slide-on soft-bristle dusting brush, a turbo brush for cleaning fabric and carpeted surfaces, and a dedicated stair/upholstery tool. It also comes with a telescopic wand to help extend your reach.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 performs superbly on bare floors with the Motorbar head set to its leftmost hard floor mode. It easily clears away small debris like rice and bulkier debris like cereal, with no loss in suction performance as its dirt compartment fills up.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 performs remarkably well on low-pile carpet with the Motorbar floorhead set to its leftmost hard floor mode. It easily clears away fine debris like baking soda and larger material like sand on this surface type.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3's performance on high-pile floors is exceptional. Setting the floorhead to its rightmost deep pile configuration allows it to clear away fine material like baking soda and larger debris like sand with ease.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 exerts great suction power through its floorhead. With the Motorbar floorhead set to its hard floor configuration, it generates a relatively tight seal against the contact surface, allowing it to draw away debris embedded in carpet fibers or cracks and crevices.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is on the noisier side of things. It's substantially louder than premium models like the SEBO Airbelt D4, and the sound of it running is sufficient to drown out most conversation.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 has good maneuverability. Its ball-shaped articulating mechanism makes it easier to maneuver around obstacles than most conventional uprights, but the floorhead doesn't pivot quite as smoothly and makes it a little unwieldy. Since the vacuum is quite big, it's harder to use in tight spaces, and since this variant doesn't come with a slimline hard floor tool, it can be tricky to maneuver under tables and chairs. You can easily swap between the included tools, thanks to the onboard storage clip. Compared to the Dyson Ball Animal 2, which could get caught on shag-pile rugs and drag them around, it's easier to maneuver on thick carpeted floors thanks to the redesigned floorhead with manually-adjustable surface configurations. Be aware that you'll need to crouch over the floorhead to change modes and that the vacuum can still sometimes get stuck on shag-pile carpeting, however.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra does a fantastic job cleaning pet hair from furniture using the Stair tool, which is effectively a straight-suction upholstery tool with a lint strip across the rear of the suction inlet. It requires little effort to move around and clears short and long strands of hair. You can also use the turbo brush attachment, but the lighter weight of the Stair tool makes it a little easier to use.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 does a great job of sealing in fine particles. It has a five-stage filtration system with an onboard HEPA filter. Altogether, the system is advertised as being able to trap 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 does a superb job of cleaning debris from cracks. It easily cleans debris in shallow and medium-depth cracks when using its floorhead, though be aware that you should avoid using the brushroll on hard floors since it can scratch some delicate surface types.