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Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Jul 28, 2022 at 09:18 am
Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Picture
8.2
Bare Floor
8.3
Low-Pile Carpet
8.6
High-Pile Carpet
8.4
Pets
6.5
Stairs
7.0
Cars
6.0
Workshop
Vacuum Type
Upright
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
No
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes
Wet Compatible
Mopping Only

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

Our Verdict

8.2 Bare Floor

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.

Pros
  • Superb performance on bare floors.
  • Easily clears debris in cracks and crevices.
  • Easily clears away pet hair.
  • Easy-to-maintain design.
Cons
  • A little fragile in places.
8.3 Low-Pile Carpet

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

Pros
  • Fantastic performance on carpets.
  • Easily clears away pet hair.
  • Easy-to-maintain design.
Cons
  • A little fragile in places.
  • Can get stuck on rug tassels.
8.6 High-Pile Carpet

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

Pros
  • Fantastic performance on carpets.
  • Easily clears away pet hair.
  • Easy-to-maintain design.
Cons
  • A little fragile in places.
  • Shag pile carpeting can get caught in floorhead.
8.4 Pets

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

Pros
  • Dedicated pet grooming tool.
  • Five-stage filtration system.
  • Floorhead with removable brushroll and anti-tangle vanes.
  • Easily clears away pet hair.
  • Easy-to-maintain design.
Cons
  • A little fragile in places.
  • Somewhat loud.
  • Can't be used to clean liquid spills.
6.5 Stairs

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.

Pros
  • Superb performance on bare floors.
  • Long overall range.
Cons
  • A little fragile in places.
  • Heavy, bulky design.
7.0 Cars

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is an upright vacuum and isn't suitable for cleaning the inside of your car.

6.0 Workshop

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.

Pros
  • Superb performance on bare floors.
  • Easily clears debris in cracks and crevices.
Cons
  • A little fragile in places.
  • Can't be used to clean liquid spills.
  • 8.2 Bare Floor
  • 8.3 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 8.6 High-Pile Carpet
  • 8.4 Pets
  • 6.5 Stairs
  • 7.0 Cars
  • 6.0 Workshop
  1. Updated Aug 05, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  2. Updated Jul 28, 2022: Review published.
  3. Updated Jul 25, 2022: Early access published.

Check Price

Copper/Silver Ball Animal 3 Extra
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Amazon.com
Nickel/Silver Ball Animal 3
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BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.5
Design
Build Quality

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 Animal.

7.5
Design
User Maintenance

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 is pretty easy to maintain.

  • Dirt compartment/Cyclone/Lint filter: The dirt compartment can be pulled from the vacuum by pressing the red release clip just above the handle. Pressing the clip again once the dustbin has been removed opens its bottom cover, allowing you to dump any debris into a waiting trash bin. You can also remove the cyclone and lint filter from there and clear away any stuck-on debris. You should empty the dustbin regularly. You can also wash it out with water, though make sure to remove the cyclone first.
  • Brushroll: The brushroll can be removed by rotating the cover on the side of the floorhead, enabling you to pull it free of its axle. Clean it as needed, though the plastic detangling vanes at the back of the floorhead are very effective when it comes to capturing any hair that could get tangled within the mechanism. Some hair might get caught on the brushroll bearing, but it's pretty easy to clean out.
  • Pre-motor filter: The pre-motor filter is located on the inside of the dirt compartment cover and can be unclipped from the lid and pulled out. The manufacturer recommends washing it under water once a month, and you have to let it dry for 24 hours before using it again.
  • Post-motor HEPA filter: The post-motor filter is located on the inside of the left side of the ball unit, and you have to unscrew the side cover to access it. Like the pre-filter, it should be washed with water once a month and left to dry for at least 24 hours before reinstalling it.

10
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number No bag
Filter Part Number 920640-01
HEPA Filter Part Number 920769-01

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.

7.2
Design
Storing
Height
42.13" (107.0 cm)
Width
11.10" (28.2 cm)
Depth
15.24" (38.7 cm)
Cord Storing
Manual
On-Board Tool Storage
Yes
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

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.

7.8
Design
Dirt Compartment
Volume
0.32 gal (1.20 L)
Full Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

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.

Design
In The Box

  • Dyson Ball Animal 3 vacuum body
  • Dirt compartment
  • Cyclone
  • Wand
  • Post-motor HEPA filter (located inside main body)
  • Pre-motor filter
  • Motorbar vacuum head
  • Tangle-free turbine tool
  • Combination soft bristle brush/crevice tool
  • Stair/upholstery tool
  • Pet grooming tool
  • Tool storage clip
  • User guide

8.1
Design
Range
Cord Length
35.10 ft (10.7 m)
Hose Length
9.22 ft (2.81 m)
Minimum Wand Length
2.49 ft (0.76 m)
Maximum Wand Length
2.72 ft (0.83 m)
Total Range
37.83 ft (11.53 m)

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

6.7
Design
Portability
Total Weight
17.46 lbs (7.92 kg)
Weight In Hand
2.67 lbs (1.21 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

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.

0
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
N/A
Maximum Battery Life
N/A
Recharge Time
N/A
Recharge Dock
No
Battery Life Indicator
No
Removable Batteries
No
Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Head Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
Yes
Removable Brushroll
Yes
Turbo Brush
Yes
Crevice Tool
Yes
Upholstery Tool
Yes
Soft Bristle Brush
Yes
Hard Bristle Brush
No
Extension Wand
Yes
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
Yes

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Blower Mode
No

You can also use the Dyson Ball Animal 3 in a semi-handheld configuration by leaving it completely upright, which causes suction to divert through the wand.

Performance
9.8
Performance
Bare Floor Performance (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Setting Used "Motorbar cleaner head" set to left position, Brushroll "On"
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L) 100%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 100%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L) 100%
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L) N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L) N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L) N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L) 99%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 99%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L) 100%
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L) N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L) N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L) N/A

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.

9.2
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet Performance
Setting Used "Motorbar cleaner head" set to left position, Brushroll "On"
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L) 90%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 90%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L) 89%
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L) N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L) N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L) N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L) 96%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 95%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L) 95%
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L) N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L) N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L) N/A

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.

9.4
Performance
High-Pile Carpet Performance
Setting Used "Motorbar cleaner head" set to right position, Brushroll "On"
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L) 91%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 91%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L) 90%
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L) N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L) N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L) N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L) 90%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 90%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L) 90%
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L) N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L) N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L) N/A

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra'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.

10
Performance
Pet Hair Floor Performance
Bare Floor
100%
Low-Pile Carpet
100%
High-Pile Carpet
100%

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is fantastic for cleaning up pet hair. It has no trouble handling pet hair on bare floors or low and high-pile carpet.

7.3
Performance
Suction
Maximum Suction
4.1 inHโ‚‚O (1.02 kPa)
Setting Used For Maximum "Motorbar cleaner head" set to left position, Brushroll "On"
Normal Suction
4.1 inHโ‚‚O (1.01 kPa)
Setting Used For Normal "Motorbar cleaner head" set to left position, Brushroll "Off"
Hose Diameter
1.4" (3.5 cm)

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra exerts decent 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.

7.3
Performance
Noise
Bare Floor
82.7 dBA
Low-Pile Carpet
79.1 dBA

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

7.5
Performance
Maneuverability

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.

9.0
Performance
Pet Hair Furniture Performance
Sofa Pickup Post Test

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.

Performance
Air Quality

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.

9.0
Performance
Cracks
Wood Cracks Post Test

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.

3.0
Performance
Stains
Stain Pickup Post Test

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 does a terrible job of dealing with stains. However, this isn't the type of mess its floorhead is designed to deal with.

0
Performance
Water
Water Pickup Post Test
Automation
0
Automation
Physical Automation
Automatic Recharging
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Pathing Algorithm
No Pathing Algorithm
Physical Boundary Markers
No
Scheduled Start Buttons
No
Cycle Control Buttons
No
Navigation Control Buttons
No
0
Automation
Companion App Automation
App Name
No App
iOS Availability
No
Android Availability
No
Software Boundary Markers (No Go Zones)
No
App Scheduled Start
No
App Cycle Control
No
Navigation Control within App
No

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Model Name

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.

Compared To Other Vacuums

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.

Dyson Ball Animal 2

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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 had a self-adjusting floorhead that didn't allow you to manually select a surface setting, which makes it slightly harder to maneuver on uneven floors.

Dyson V15 Detect

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 and Dyson V15 Detect are differently-designed vacuums with different use cases. 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 can be used 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.

Dyson V8 Animal

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 and Dyson V8 Animal aren't meant for the same use cases, 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. That said, its maximum runtime of about 40 minutes means that it isn't nearly as well-suited to longer cleaning sessions as the Ball Animal 3, which also happens to deliver superior performance on bare floors and carpeted surface types thanks to its substantially more powerful suction motor. 

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is better for most uses than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. 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.

Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is better than the Shark Cordless 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.

Dyson Outsize Absolute+

The Dyson Outsize Absolute+ and Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra 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.

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