Pros: Awesome cleaning, simple maintenance, lifetime filters, bagless.
Cons: Price initially, not all attachments fit on vacuum.
A couple of months ago I managed to blow up our Hoover vacuum. We looked online that night and decided to replace it with a Hoover bagless.
At the store I compared the prices of the vacuums and wanted to "look" at the Dyson's since they look so strange. I compared the cost of replacing filters and decided that the Animal would be cheaper in the long run since we wouldn't have to replace any filters.
The Dyson Animal is a futuristic looking purple thing. It is odd looking in our historic home.
The Dyson uses "Root Cyclone" technology. The Dyson website claims Root Cyclone gives higher suction power. Spinning air creates centrifugal force. By making the air stream spin, dirt and debris are subjected to centrifugal force. The dirt and debris are thrown out of the air.
Because the airflow is unobstructed there's nothing to clog, so suction power remains constant.
The cord is 35'. The hose is 17'. Maximum reach is 53' although the Animal will follow you if you pull this far. The motor is 12 amps. Suction power is 270 airwatts which means nothing to me! It does have great suction, even with the attachments. It weighs just over 19 pounds. It has a convenient carry handle and does not feel that heavy.
It comes with a two year warranty. This model is a different color and adds attachments not available with other models although the vacuum is the same. There is one model that offers a three year warranty instead of two and is offered at independent stores only. My recommendation is to figure out which attachments are important for you and choose the model that matches your needs. With all of our animals, we decided the Animal is what would work best for us.
Included with the Animal are stair tool (with velour strips), brush tool (brush head twists), crevice tool, Animal turbo tool (a power brushbar), and floor tool(for under furniture). Also included is a carpet cleaning kit which is "zorb" - a sprinkle which is worked into the carpet and vacuumed up for odor and dirt removal with an attachment to work the zorb into the floor, and "dyzolv" - a spot stain remover spray. Especially the Animal turbo tool helps with pet hair, dander, and dirt the pets leave around the house.
The brush, stair, and crevice tool attach to the actual vacuum. The rest do not, so I had to find a place I wouldn't loose them.
There's a permanent HEPA filter that is washable. no expensive replacements. Included is a sticker for you to circle the month you started using the vacuum and six months after to remind you to wash the filters with water. The filters are lifetime filters. There is a pre-motor filter which is the only that is cleaned and a post-motor filter which is lifetime that does not require washing.
There is a "Bactisafe" screen which traps and kills bacteria, molds, and allergens on contact.
The Animal is not as loud as our Hoover was. It is bearable, until you get the fringe of the oriental rugs in it! It makes a horribly loud noise when the fringe is being vacuumed.
Emptying the container is simple. It is marked clearly to let you know when to empty. We alway empty before or at the mark. There is a release lever to pull the container out, then holding it over the trash (or in a bag to decrease the amount of dust with the bag held against the container) you pull a trigger and the bottom opens to release the trash. I empty over a bag and have not noticed a problem with dust.
Ease of use
I find the Dyson very easy to use. My 4 year old was able to effectively use it in a large open area. It easily adjusts to different height users. It does not put unnecessary pressure on my arm/wrist. I do have a nerve disorder and would notice if this was an issue. I had a self-propelled vacuum before and this is the same or easier to push than the self-propelled vacuum.
There is a large button to power on/off. There is a foot plate to press on and pulling the handle back toward you engages the vacuum.
There is a bare floor setting and a carpet setting. On the bare floor setting the brushbar does not turn. Even on the carpet setting, the brushbar does not turn until you begin vacuuming.
For attachments, you press the hose release (which has the wand inside the hose) then 1) slide the wand cap and place the attachment on the end. 2) Remove the wand and place the attachment. 3) Reverse the wand into the hose and click the attachment onto the end.
We prefer the reverse wand method so we don't have to bend as much.
I hate to know what was in our carpets before we had this! We tested it out and even when the carpet looked clean, I could still see dirt coming in. I vacuumed a lot longer than I would have without seeing the dirt. Our carpet was much more vibrant with deep colors since we got the dirt out.
I am very impressed with this vacuum. I grew up with Kirby's and when I had to buy, I had Eureka and Hoover's. This is my favorite vacuum. I am very pleased with it's performance on wood and on carpet. My biggest gripe is the horrible noise it makes on the rug fringe.
With the long range, I can now reach all but two stairs without moving the vacuum upstairs. We have 19 steps on the staircase - old victorian home. We are very pleased with each of the attachments as well. We tested each of the attachments (still haven't opened the zorb or dysolv yet). They are simple to attach and work very well.
I have seen these for sale on the Dyson website, various stores like Target, Best Buy, etc. The prices do range a bit.