Some of you may know that with three dogs and a cat I'm always eager to find the best carpet vacuums - anything which might help my poor cream carpets stay clean for longer. Compounded by working full time and time being limited, it's an ongoing battle which I'll be honest, no one else seems to notice but me, but still it's always there in the back of my mind, says Kim O'Meara.
Mia, the oldest of the three bears
Christopher, the youngest of the three bears who spends at least 39.5% of his day upside down
I've been a big fan of cordless vacuuming for a couple of years now, it just makes it easier to get the job done quicker, but lately I've noticed that it's not been doing as good a job as I'd hoped so I began my search for something new and came across the Dyson Small Ball Animal.
Danny, the somewhere in between bear, who loves to lie on multiple cushions at once
Part of the reason I'd switched to cordless was for the easiness of going from room to room and floor to floor, but also, I'd felt the weight of an upright could be downright annoying on those tired mornings.
Thankfully what jumped out at me about the Small Ball Animal was it's ultra-lightweight feature and size.
Catface, aka Buster, who loves a good box
And so after close inspection by two dogs and a cat, we were ready to begin our test.
A DOG OWNER’S REVIEW OF: DYSON SMALL BALL ANIMAL - RRP £400
It does live up to its compact and ultra-lightweight tagline. I found it to be amazing at picking up dog hairs, even those which seemed fairly woven into the carpet.
It also picks up a huge amount, I'm embarrassed to say, of dust and dirt which I think you just don't see with the naked eye (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it), thanks to the Radial Root Cyclone™ technology. All in all, it made me feel the carpet was much cleaner, as well as visibly appearing so.
As you'd expect the Small Ball Animal makes light work of moving from hard floor to carpet and gives the option to change the power of the suction at the slide of a dial should you want or need to.
According to Dyson, the cleaner has a 25% longer cleaning reach compared to the DC50 upright vacuum model and is 30% less noisy than their previous small upright machine.
The cable is 9.67m in length and I found it not quite long enough to vacuum without moving from plug to plug in a single session cleaning downstairs. This is no doubt a personal issue and it may be absolutely fine for others but it's worth noting the length.
Its price has to also be noted under this section. Although it does offer a 5 year warranty, with an RRP of £400, it is an outlay and worth considering. However if you search for the model you can find retailers with regular offers and discounts (some well known outlets, such as Currys.co.uk have the model on offer from £299.99 at the time of writing - see here for details).
For a compact cleaner, it really does do a marvellous job. Its small size makes it easy to store and its weight makes it less of a chore to carry from downstairs to upstairs, or vice versa.
I was amazed, truly, at how much dirt and dust it did seem to gather and noticed a visible difference when finished. Being compact and picking up so much dust as well as pet hairs, it does fill quickly and needs emptying regularly but it does it at the touch of a button so isn't an issue.
Although the cord wasn't as long as I needed for one area that is a personal note, it's perfectly adequate overall and this shouldn't be held against it. It's added appliances, nozzles and heads are up to the standard you'd expect with a Dyson and combined with the cleaners mobility and movement to ease into those hard to reach places with or without the nozzles, it does a great job.
The price, however, is worth considering, with a 5 year warranty it does put it in perspective to a degree but search for retailers with offers available.
Find out more about Dyson's Small Ball Animal cleaner and their wider range online at Dyson.co.uk