When it comes to brute cleaning strength, most of our team agrees that Dyson’s vacuum cleaners are still at the top of the heap. Yes, there’s more competition each year from Shark and Oreck, but if you’re looking for suction in an upright, domestic (i.e., non-commercial) vacuum cleaner, we typically recommend you save your dollars (and time) and buy a Dyson the first time, instead of finding out the hard way that whatever else you bought wasn’t the best. With that in mind, Dyson keeps inventing new vacuums with slightly stronger cleaning abilities. Today we take a look at two of their newest releases: the Dyson Ball Animal 2 and the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2. Which is the better value? We made it our goal to figure that out.
Pros, Cons, and Key Features of the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum
With the Animal 2, Dyson continues to wave the flag of the “strongest suction” claim for uprights, and we found it hard to argue. It was noticeably stronger than the original Animal, and took significantly fewer passes to clean out fur from several kennels at the local animal boarding inn. We also found it did a surprisingly good job with damp-to-wet stains, even though this fell out of the recommended uses for it (it’s not a wet vac, after all). We pushed it through cat hair, dog hair, muddy deposits from the kids’ sneakers and sport equipment, and a range of leftovers they’d dropped after lunch, and the Animal 2 didn’t bat an eye.
We found the turbine tool helpful for sucking out fur embedded in sofas and we were also fans of how long the cleaning wand and hose were, as they made it child’s play to make cobwebs in the corners and popcorn below bunk beds disappear. In terms of durability, we had no concerns as the machine had a solid heft to it with well-fitting components, but we were comforted to see the continuation of Dyson’s standard 5-year parts and labor warranty for all of their upright vacuums.
Sonically and behaviorally, we were very impressed with the Animal 2’s manners. It was a no-drama, no fuss cleaner. No, it’s not as silent as an Oreck. However, it also cleans with far more depth than one, and when compared to how well it cleans, it’s a silent machine. We were happy to note a lack of high-frequency harmonics; it didn’t have a “squeal.” We did notice it was a puller; it’s not a self-propelled cleaner, but it definitely wanted to go forward much more than backward; this was a vacuum that wanted to work. We also noted a lack of smell while operating; for those of you who never notice vacuum smells, this won’t be a pro, but for those of you with sharp senses of smell who often sneeze while vacuuming, this is the vacuum for you. It doesn’t add odors while it cleans out pathogens.
We were also impressed to see that the Animal 2 came with an asthma and allergy-friendly certification by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It’s worth noting that at the time of this review, April 2017, only 22 upright vacuums carried the A&AF certification, and 16 of the 22 are Dysons. That’s as much of an endorsement as you’re going to find for a brand these days. Oh, and the Animal 2 also included whole-machine HEPA filtration. It’s one of the best vacuum cleaners you can use in your home if you or anyone in your home has asthma, allergen, or other respiratory issues.
Pros, Cons, and Key Features of the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum
The Multi Floor 2 brought Dyson’s top level suction to every task; in that respect, it was almost equal to the Animal 2. We felt that when it came to particularly messy areas (think an entire soccer team’s worth of dirty cleats), the Animal 2 didn’t need quite as many passes to get out all of the visible dirt from the carpets.
Like the Animal 2, we also found that the Multi Floor 2 exceeded the cleaning power of its predecessor; in this case, the MF2 picked up noticeably more dirt (specifically, one of our preschoolers brought in a small bucket’s worth of sand and then proceeded to dump it into the carpet “to help with the vacuum!”) than the MF1. As with the Animal 2, steering was top notch, it was almost too easy to reach everything between the ceiling and the floor thanks to the wand and hose system, and the suction power was enough to handle just about any mess we threw at it.
Like the Animal 2, it also featured a nifty hygienic bin emptying feature that allowed us to push a button and watch the dust go flying into the garbage. It’s important to keep in mind that if you really need to make the most of the included HEPA system, you’ll do this either outdoors or at the very least into a bag wrapped tightly around the canister to prevent all the dust, spores, allergens, and bacteria you just vacuumed from flying right back into your home and lungs. The 5-year warranty was of course present, as was the asthma and allergy-friendly certification.
To be honest, aside from the cleaning differences at the extreme levels, it was actually quite hard to distinguish the two machines. The biggest differences that struck us were the fact that the Animal 2 weighed slightly more at just over 17 pounds vs just under 16 pounds in the Multi Floor 2; however, this kind of weight difference isn’t one you’re going to notice in day-to-day use unless you have a habit of vacuuming your scales. The color difference was more significant (we had some die-hard fans of the traditional Dyson purple, while others felt the iron-yellow combination was a breath of fresh air), but it also isn’t a factor that would make most people choose one over the other, per the polling we did among our fellow professional cleaners and neighbors alike.
The most significant factors were the additional cleaning power at the extreme end for the Animal 2 (which was backed up by Dyson’s air watt rating of 270 for the Animal 2 and 245 for the Multi Floor 2) and the plethora of attachments present in the Animal 2 that aren’t available in the Multi Floor 2. We also noticed that the waste bin was slightly larger in the Animal 2.
Which is the Better Vacuum, the Animal 2 or the Multi Floor 2?
To be frank, both are among the best vacuum cleaners on the market today when it comes to suction power. We’d recommend the Animal 2 if you want all the power, the additional accessories, the larger bin, or the purple color, go with the Animal 2. If you don’t need as much power, already have or don’t want the accessories, don’t mind the smaller bin, or love yellow, go with the Multi Floor 2. Either will do a superb job for cleaning.
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