The Dyson DC50 Animal Vacuum is a workhorse, and for some of our readers the best vacuum for apartment they have come across. It looks quite impressive, with the modern and unique rollerball design instantly standing out. Further, the metallic purple accents give it a very distinctive appeal.
By the end of our review, you’ll be able to determine whether or not it’s worthy of being added to your cleaning tools.
What is the Dyson DC50 Animal Vacuum?
If the Dyson big ball upright-style vacuum is too much machine for smaller messes or smaller homes, this is where the DC50 Animal comes into play. This vacuum easily condenses the newest features and technology from Dyson and puts them all into one compact package. It has a ball system on it that allows you to turn your vacuum on the spot when you use it, and you can work on different carpet piles due to the automatic adaptability of the main floor head.
Since storage can always be an issue in smaller apartments or homes, this vacuum has a telescopic handle and wand configuration on it, and this makes it roughly 30% more compact than the full-size Dyson vacuums. This makes it easier to store between uses. It’s easy to empty out, runs quietly, and it demonstrates the machine’s Animal credentials when you use the compact turbine tool for pet hair.
- Cleaning path width: 11-inches
- Cord length: 24.9-inches
- Dimensions: 30.1-inches by 11-inches by 13.9-inches
- Dirt container capacity: 0.21 gallons
- Filters: Washable lifetime HEPA filters
- Hose length: 8.5-feet
- Maximum reach: 28.5-feet
- Power: 128 air watts
- Weight: 11.6 pounds
- Read the User Manual
In addition to the exclusive 2-tier cyclone technology, it’s packed with several expected and unexpected features – each having its own pros and cons.
It has an extendable vacuum hose which isn’t very long, but it still has the right size for vacuuming corners, drapes, or even your sheets to remove house bugs.
The clever design makes provisions for carrying these attachments while you are cleaning for further assistance. Lastly, it has an easy to clean plastic dustbin that can be great for deep cleaning.
All these features of this vacuum cleaner can easily be found in its competitors which doesn’t make this vacuum stand out. In comparison to its rivals, its price is steeper, which makes me feel that it could’ve more unique.
This vacuum comes in one of the smallest boxes ever for a fully-featured upright vacuum cleaner. The assembly process is simple once you get it out of the box, and all you have to do is clip the main floor heat onto the vacuum’s body before connecting the handle to the flexible tube. That’s all! It’s now ready to plug in and use however you like.
The bin, ball, and main body on the Dyson DC50 Animal is significantly smaller than other upright models from this company, and this means that the bin has limits at only 0.8 liters. However, this is still double the size of Dyson cordless vacuums and the Dyson V6 Absolute. This is why it’s essential that you empty this vacuum regularly when you use it, especially if your pets tend to wander around the house and drop hairs and dirt.
There is a main floor head on this vacuum that is easy to remove when you want to detangle those longer pet hairs that manage to wrap around the main beater bar. You’ll get dual washable HEPA filters when you buy it, and Dyson recommends that you rinse them once a month to keep them in good working condition, just like you would your air purifier.
This vacuum also features Dyson’s turbine tool, and this tool comes with contra-rotating brushes in it that will scoop up the pet hair in your carpet and on your floor without wrapping around the bar. This tool has worked wonderfully in previous models, and it’s especially helpful with cleaning the stairs. It also comes with a crevice tool that is a decent size, and it offers a slide-down dusting brush with a very small tool for your upholstery that can really get into each nook and cranny.
There are three tools, and two will clip straight onto the vacuum’s body using pressure-release clips. The main wand handle will slide down into the vacuum to reduce the storage height even more. However, you can’t lift the vacuum’s handle when it’s in this position because it doesn’t have a lock, but it does offer a dedicated handle to make it easy to carry from point A to point B.
Weighing 11.6 lb, the vacuum has several other supporting accessories: filter, an extension hose, brush roll, removable dustbin, and a long power cord.
In addition to them, the design includes a collapsible handle that makes storage. You get the patented rollerball technology that is exclusively developed by Dyson. This incorporates a wide range of motion, making it easy to maneuver and effective.
I have doubts about the sturdiness of this vacuum cleaner though. The rollerballs are made out of plastic which doesn’t really feel durable enough. While Dyson is known for making quality products, most of the vacuums on the market are made out of sturdier metal.
Also, the rollerballs don’t serve as the base of the vacuum. Instead, two small wheels and axles have been designed to support the entire upright structure. This makes me a bit apprehensive whether it will be able to withstand the weight for extended periods. Still, while going through the customer reviews, I found out that not many people had complaints regarding its construction quality.
The collapsible handle is an intelligent addition that can save plenty of space. This is great for compact storage. Keep in mind that you need to push the handle until you hear a second click for it to lock securely. This could’ve been more intuitive.
To test the performance, we did a little test by using hair clips, sawdust, and pet and human hair.
Personally, most of the vacuums that I’ve used in the past haven’t been impressive when it comes to pet hair removal. Most pet owners can probably relate to this. Hence, I was desperately hoping for this one to work.
After scattering all these elements on hardwood and carpet, I found out that it worked well on both the surfaces quite well! However, it is in cleaning carpeted surfaces where this vacuum cleaner really shines. If you have carpets this could prove to be a worthy purchase.
As for the test results: almost all the sawdust was sucked in, while pet hair and human hair were totally gone! For the hair clips, I had to put in a little more effort but it was nothing that I couldn’t manage. On the whole, the performance is great.
Dyson DC22 Canister 3 by Michael Aulia / CC BY 2.0 The 2-tier cyclone technology of the Dyson DC50 Animal includes nylon brushes for carpets and self anti-static fibers for hardwood floors that make it versatile for all kinds of flooring.
General Cleaning Capability – Floors
If you’re someone who is used to the solid feel that comes with having a Dyson’s larger models, you may be surprised at how flimsy this one feels in comparison. This is especially true when you’re going over thicker shag carpeting. However, this is the trade-off you get when you want to keep the size and weight down instead of focusing on overall stability and robustness, and you can feel the difference.
Every component from your handle down to the ball and well component offers a very large amount of flex if you use it harder, and this doesn’t necessarily inspire a lot of confidence that it can get the job done. However, it’s surprisingly sturdy, even with heavier use because Dyson knows how to make their plastic shatter-proof.
Additionally, these concerns will go away when you switch this vacuum on because it offers a nicely designed floor head with powerful suction and next-level ball maneuverability that are efficient and flexible. It’ll turn with the lightest twist of your wrist, and it uses head steering to indicate direction. Also, the floor head will adapt very nicely to different heights in your carpet and hard floors.
You can stop the vacuum’s beater bar for sensitive flooring types, but the main beater is very gentle on hard surfaces. It has carbon bristles that make it excellent at removing dust and fine powders from laminates and parquet. The machine’s overall lightweight design also translates well to making you feel like everything is cleaner because you can maneuver it into a huge range of spaces. It’s also notably quieter than a lot of Dyson’s other upright vacuums too.
Just like most people have come to expect from Dyson, the cleaning efficiency is top-notch, no matter if you plan on running it over deep pile rugs, short pile carpet, tiles, or hard flooring. Edge cleaning is also excellent with this machine because it leaves almost no powdery residue in the dip of your skirting with one pass. Also, if you have deep grout lines in your kitchen or bathroom, this vacuum is powerful enough to suck up food particles or debris without a problem.
The hose and wand will unclip from the vacuum’s body in one movement, but things tend to fall a little short here. The hose is on the shorter side, even when fully extended. The telescopic wand also has a more limited length to it, and this can make it difficult to tackle cobwebs by the ceiling. Also, the lighter weight and the slim design on this vacuum don’t lend great stability when you use the hose and wand.
With all of this said, the Dyson DC50 Animal still gives you excellent results, even when you use the cleaning tools. The crevice tool you get is slightly longer than what you normally see on compact cleaners, and the dusting brush is bigger.
General Cleaning Capability – Stairs
We looked at a host of reviews and realized that opinions were divided on the cleaning capability on the stairs for this machine. On the positive side, it weighs very little, and this makes it easy to lift up and down the stairs when you’re cleaning them, and you can even use the main floor head as you go along without a problem.
In fact, the main floor head on this vacuum is easy enough to maneuver to cover each part of your steps except any that are extremely angled. The longer cable should give you just enough room to clean an entire flight of stairs if you have a socket by the stairs. One thing that would make this project easier is if the handle stayed down when you fold it into the body.
If you try to take on the stairs using a wand and hose, you’re going to start to see issues. The turbine tool is still the first pick for cleaning any carpeted stairs, but neither the upholstery tool or the dusting brush work well with stairs that have hard surfaces like wood. Also, the limited hose length on this vacuum means that you can’t get all of the way from the bottom to top or top to bottom of the stairs without moving the whole vacuum at least halfway up them.
The best bet for using this vacuum is a combination approach. If you leave the telescopic handle and wand behind, you can carry your vacuum using the main body handle. Use the tools and hose to clean each stair as you go. This makes it efficient and quick when it comes to cleaning your stairs as long as you can hang onto the vacuum as you work.
Specialized Cleaning Capability – Pet Hair
If you’ve ever chased your dogs around with various cleaners to try and get the hair off, you’ll notice that this vacuum does a better job when it comes to picking up stray or globs of hair, no matter how deep they are in your carpet. The larger diameter brush on this vacuum with a combination bristle design can pull hair out of your carpet pile. It works just as well on harder floors too.
However, you should note that this also means that the brush bar will encounter regular tangles of hair, particularly if you have pets with long, flowing locks. But, the head unclips directly from the vacuum. With a single button push, the head will split in two pieces so you can pull all of that pesky tangled hair out and get a clean brush bar that is ready to go once again.
Another feature that is great for pet owners is Dyson’s anti-tangle turbine tool. It has two brushes that will counter-rotate and sit flat to your floor. It pulls hairs from your carpet or other surfaces. However, instead of drawing these hairs around and around the tool’s body, the hairs will break free and get sucked directly into the cleaner or stay on the brush’s surfaces.
So, cleaning them is just as simple as stopping the vacuum and manually pulling the trapped fur ball out of the brush’s bristles. You shouldn’t have to take anything apart to do this. It works exceptionally well, and it’s particularly useful if you’re trying to clean your pet’s favorite sitting spots, furniture they lay on, or their beds.
The only missing piece from this vacuum is the anti-odor filter system. Although this isn’t a deal-breaker for most people, anyone who owns a dog or cat that frequently rolls in smelly items or jumps into the nearby pond before running inside could benefit from it.
You can easily operate the vacuum thanks to its fold pattern design. With the roller brush button and power button next to one another, the quick-release button is on the lower side.
You can collapse the handle of the vacuum by pressing the red button which is above the power button and roller brush button.
For cleaning purposes, you can open the bottom hatch to empty the vacuum easily. However, you will need to separate the cyclone component from the container when cleaning the inner chamber. And remember, since the entire construction is plastic, you need to be very careful while doing this.
Nevertheless, it’s quite easy to maneuver which makes it user-friendly. The cleaner head and patented ball technology also glide smoothly without much effort. I easily cleaned my living room and bedroom without much difficulty.
Vacuuming is the most convenient way to keep every surface, drapes, and flooring of your home spotless and clean. Not only is it time-saving, but it also reduces the overall effort needed.
Comparing the DC50 Animal with Other Dyson Animal Models
When it comes to the other Dyson Animal vacuum line, you can choose from the DC41 Animal and the DC41 Animal Complete. The DC50 Animal is the newest model, and the biggest difference between this and the other two vacuums is cyclone technology. The previous two editions of this vacuum still had great suction to them, but the cyclone technology on the DC50 Animal is on a whole other level.
Each vacuum gets engineered specifically to pick up stubborn pet hair, and they all excel here. Another big difference is the hose length with the DC50 having a 24.9-foot cord and the DC41s having a 35-foot cord. The dust bin capacity on these vacuums differs slightly too at 0.21 gallons over 0.55 gallons.
- Do not have to worry about getting hairs out of the furniture
- Fantastic suction in the tools and the brush bar
- Gets right up to any edges or baseboards in one pass
- Lightweight and easy to carry and move around
According to the reviews, the one big drawback is the dirt canister’s size as it is much smaller than a lot of the other Dyson upright vacuums. If you want something bigger, the Dyson DC40 is a medium-sized pick, and the Dyson DC65 is a full-sized vacuum model that all work specifically for pet hair.
Service and Maintenance
The company claims that the DC50 Animal won’t ever lose function, and it’s potentially true of any vacuum that has cyclone technology. However, the true test depends on you. If you clean the filter and empty the bin regularly, you preserve your vacuum’s life and power.
Just like any Dyson machine, it comes with a full labor and parts warranty on it for five years when you buy it from an authorized retailer. Should anything go wrong, you can reach out on Dyson’s service page for help. They’ll either send you new parts or request that you ship it to a service center at no cost to fix it.
This compact but powerful vacuum retails at right around $500. You can search prices by shopping online, and it’ll be hard to find a deal better than this for pet hair-specific vacuums. If the price really is a huge dealbreaker for you, you could purchase a refurbished model at a deeply discounted price from the Dyson Outlet.
The Final Verdict
Buying the right vacuum cleaner is not an easy task. You need to consider many factors like your lifestyle, budget, and personal preference. Since Dyson is already a renowned brand, needless to say, my expectations were high.
After using this vacuum cleaner for about two weeks, I can safely call myself a happy customer.
Note however that this vacuum cleaner is expensive. There are several other brands offering vacuums from which the model faces tough competition, especially in terms of performance and affordability. Dyson launching an improved version with a longer hose can be a great way to differentiate this product further from its competition.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.