Hoover Self propelled vs Dyson Animal

Jul 19, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:A joy to use, cuts vac time in half! Really!

Cons:None so far.

The Bottom Line: Get the Hoover. Read my review.


Apologies for the length of this, but the info can be invaluable on such a major purchase...

Yakkowarner wrote 2 very thorough reviews of both this vacuum and the Dyson upright. I also own the Hoover self propelled AND the Dyson Animal (the $500 purple one). My opinion differs from yakkowarner on some very important points. I have also owned 7 other vacuums (including 3 HEPA's)in the last 4 years in search of the "perfect" vacuum (under $500 at least). It probably doesn't exist, but you'll see my clear choice from this review. I don't work for either company or sell them. I figure very few folks have had this kind of hands on experience with the both the Hoover and the Dyson and the salesman won't tell you any of this stuff. I hope this will help people make a truly informed decision.

We bought the Dyson Animal before the Hoover. It is a great and powerful HEPA vacuum, very well constructed and works very well as expertly reviewed by yakkowarner but with a few important "beware" points he did not mention. None are necessarily prohibitive, just be advised they can be irritating:
(1) One is that the Dyson vacuum is heavy and hard to push particularly on certain type rugs. My wife, who has had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists simply can't use it. I am perfectly healthy and CAN use it but it is the most difficult to push vacuum I have owned on certain carpets. Certainly not unuseable but you'll build up arm muscles using it. We have some rugs that are so hard to push over that we use a different vac on those. And throw rugs...
(2) Throw rugs, area rugs, (and fringed rugs)... they are difficult to clean with the Dyson. If you leave on the beater bar (the only way to clean good), it will catch ANY loose edge or corner(or fringe)it is exposed to. When it does it has a ratcheting mechanism to protect the vacuum parts from damage. It works, but makes the loudest, most annoying, startling, even frightening noise. I am NOT exaggerating about this noise in the least. It is horrible. My 100 lb Lab who is not frightened by thunder, fireworks, 500 watts of home theatre surround sound action movies, or ANY OTHER noise, is terrified by this sound, as is my wife. To prevent this you must stop well before the rug edge, use only forward strokes, and either completely lift this very heavy vac or click it to the full upright position before each return stroke to roll it back on 2 wheels for another forward stroke while you stand on one edge of the rug. Difficult to say the least. OK, you say, just turn off the beater bar. It just won't get the rugs clean that way. Even if you do, this machine lifts the throw rug right in the middle and bunches it up and/or reliably flips over corners and edges to where you still have to keep fixing the rug. Still you can use only forward strokes and must completely lift and/or fully upright the vac to roll back for next stroke.
(3) The Dyson is an engineering marvel. To use it's tools you have to be an engineer (a bit of a humerous exaggeration). Press button, remove wand, press another button, disconnect part, reverse part, slide hose out, click on end of reversed wand, attach
accessory. Jeez! To return to a normal upright vacuum it's even a bit more cumbersome due to having to feed the hose back into it's storage area. With the Hoover you're completely done using the tool and have it replaced way before you can figure out the Dyson puzzle and get started.
(4) Dyson has a huge long hose. Turn off the vac and you can stretch it something like 20'. But turn on the vac and the machine's incredible suction continually "vacuums" the hose back to a collapsed state, accordion style. it becomes a fight of you vs the vacuum hose. You end up having to hold the hose further back with one hand just so you can get some slack to use with the other hand.
(5) Dyson costs almost twice as much as the Hoover.
(6) The Dyson's incredible suction does not always equate to incredible cleaning. Visible debris sometimes takes multiple swipes. Don't know why.


Now compare the Hoover on the same points listed above...

(1) It is also very heavy but it's self propelled feature is wonderful. It's very controllable and intuitively easy to use. It does not move on it's own but you can literally use one finger in both forward and reverse.
(2) It works an every kind of rug, including throws, thick, thin, you name it. You can go from bare floor to wall to wall to throw rug. We never change the carpet height setting. You can even vacuum fringe if you do it sideways and stop before the corner which it WILL grab if you don't, but it's much better than the Dyson's persistant problems with such rugs. I did let it grab a corner and bind once. It threw off the self propel belt. In 2 minutes I had it back on and running fine and it was easy to avoid the problem again. No trip to the shop. Both belts (the source of most vacs most common problems) are cheap and easily accessed. Very well designed in my opinion.
(3) To use a tool, just grab the hose, grab a tool with or without the handy extensions and vac away. Done, put it back. Quick and easy. It is very well designed in this respect with the best tool storage I have seen. You can use a tool with extension for a quick p/u and be done and have them replaced in 30 seconds. BOTH the Dyson's and Hoover's "powered" hand tools are air driven, both with a somewhat anemic beater bar strength. I liked the plain upholstery tool better.
(4) Hoover's hose IS shorter than Dyson but infinetly more useable with no fighting it like with the Dyson. It is much more useable than wrestling the Dyson hose. You can even buy another hose, they click together for super long range use.
(5) Hoover $275, Dyson $500.
(6) Hoover has lab tests specifically competing with Dyson showing much better cleaning ability, our home tests confirm this. One pass of the Hoover usually picks up visible matter that the Dyson sometimes needs another swipe to get. Leading allergy specialists recommend the Hoover as THE best in cleaning ability of all vacs. We believe it. The Hoover cleans better. Don't know why.

Bottom line, the Hoover is a joy to use and cuts vac time in half (really!). The Dyson works great but is somewhat of a pain. I have had none of the trouble of the previous reviewer. Maybe his needed some small repair of the air leak he said he could hear but did not address that caused it to not clean as well after time. It may not have been a big deal. Maybe mine is an improved model. I, however, do have friends with this model Hoover with NO problems after 1.5 years and they love it. We got ours on sale at BB (they have both models) for $275 with only $20 more for a 4 year warranty.

Get the Hoover.


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