Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Review: High Suction, High Capacity

Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Review: High Suction, High Capacity

My rabbit Lola has a body count. She has killed. She knows what it is to see the light go out of a vacuum’s eyes.

Any rabbit-owner can tell you horror stories about the vacuums their adorable little num-nums have slain in cold blood. That particularly combination of fur, poop, and hay have choked so many of my other vacuums to death. During testing, I expected the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra to fall to my rabbit’s fur just like all those before it. But as soon as I turned it on for the first time, I knew my rabbit had met her match.


The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra is like the Terminator. It’s prepared for everything. The front rollers have a thick vane of plastic fibers designed to prevent clogs. Paired with that heavy machinery is suction so powerful you can feel the vacuum suction itself down to the carpet when you turn it on. At 290 air watts on its highest mode (it also has a mode for deep-pile and low-pile carpets, as well as hardwood and ground-in dirt), it’s almost a third stronger than Dyson’s popular stick vacuums.

If the Ball Animal 3 had just these two features, I would’ve been elated that my days of disemboweling the vacuum to dislodge a clog halfway through every single room were over. But there’s more up its surprisingly dainty sleeves.

For a Dyson vacuum, the Ball Animal 3 is pretty small but very dense. It’s a full-size plug-in vacuum, but it has a slim and short profile that makes it easy to just tuck into a corner (even though at 17 pounds, it can be tiring to lift up and down). Like the very first Dyson vacuums, the Ball Animal 3 comes with a dust canister that you can remove from the vacuum and empty without touching a single bit of dust or fur.

Dyson’s signature ball design is another star of the show here. Vacuuming around a tiny angry rabbit can require some careful maneuvers, a lot of picking up the vacuum and re-angling it to get it where it needs to go. With the ball, you can just tilt the vacuum and make a tight little turn, all without getting too close. This maneuverability also means it’s great at getting into tight corners, awkward fits, and even under the bed a little.

I’m surprised Lola didn’t recoil from the vacuum given that it’s a very loud little thing. When you turn it on, make sure it’s not in upright mode, otherwise it will scream like a tortured human being until you tilt it back and start vacuuming.

When I finished vacuuming with the Ball Animal 3 for the first time, I hadn’t even noticed that I didn’t need to stop and unclog it. I checked, just in case. The 1.7-liter canister was completely full, and the detangling vanes in the front rollers were totally clean.

A Little Extra

Photograph: Dyson

Like Dyson’s popular stick vacuums, the Ball Animal 3 Extra (as its namesake suggests) comes with a bunch of extra attachments. It has one for grooming your pet and one for upholstery cleaning, plus all the usual little blades and brushes. When you hook up an attachment and stand the vacuum up to clean out your car or couch, you don’t lose a single watt of suction no matter which attachment you’re using. It’s one of two Dyson Ball Animal vacuums available; the other is the Dyson Ball Animal 2.

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