The Dyson DC31 Animal could be considered the handheld version of the Dyson upright and canister vacuums. It too has the root technology that its other siblings have, along with powerful suction, and sensitivity to allergens too. I have used many a vacuum in my years on this earth: Hoover, Kenmore, Dirt Devil, Miele, iRobot Roomba, Shark, and the Black & Decker Dustbuster, to name a few, and even the old school Electrolux. But until this past week I had actually never gotten my hands on a Dyson.
We received a review sample of the Dyson DC31 Handheld Vacuum. Out of the box you can tell that the Dyson DC31 Animal is not your typical handheld vac. It’s extremely high-tech looking and it has a form factor that is completely different than any other handheld vac on the market. Based on online photos, I also assumed before seeing it in person that it would be quite big and clunky. But I was wrong, and it turns out that the device is actually pretty compact and significantly smaller than I expected. Resembling the design of a drill, the Dyson DC31 Animal is a handheld vacuum designed for homes with pets. Which I have plenty of (two rabbits and one Westie -in case you are wondering)! However, it does take some getting used to trying to hold the DC31, as I’m personally used to the handheld vac with the handle in a traditional position.
Once you get over the unique way of holding the DC31, you pretty much have a powerful suction cleaning machine in your hands. For $239 the DC31 includes three additional accessories: a corner crevice, combination accessory tool, and a motorized brush tool. Basically if you live in a small apartment or studio, you just eliminated the need to ever buy a vacuum cleaner. It also comes with a washable filter.
The DC31 is ideal for quick pick-ups, spot cleaning, and those annoying pieces of rolled up balls of hair in the corners of your home. There is a button on the very back of the DC31 that enables Dual Power Mode, once pressed the suction really increased and picked up those stubborn litter pieces left behind from rabbits and crumbs from the dog. It worked like a whiz to clean up the hair from my bunnies as well, as its very much like cat hair that sheds and flies everywhere. I was also able to suck up tissues and whole paper towel sheets (just because I wanted to really try out that suction) and I didn’t have to stop and clean it out to continue cleaning. The one thing I found frustrating is that you have to constantly push the power button while vacuuming. I assume this was done to preserve battery power, but nonetheless getting used to that took sometime and became stressful on my hand.
When you attach the different attachments, you can clean hard wood floors, corners, and carpeting excellently. However, you have to be careful when you vacuum that there is not something dusty behind you because the fan blowing out the backside of the DC31 will blow it all around the room, meaning double the work. Depending on what level of suction you use, the machine will only last 10 minutes or 6 minutes on its own. If you are in the middle of cleaning something, you will need to recharge or just attach the plug directly and continue.
To clean the DC31 just bring it over a garbage can and slide down the red button which unlatches the clear bin and its dirt into the trash. But I had to make sure the dirt didn’t go above the line where it says ‘MAX’ or I would be stuck sticking my hand in the clean bin to clean it out thoroughly. The motorized brush attachments can also be cleaned thoroughly if it gets tangled with hair, which is common if you have pets.
Overall I enjoyed my experience with the Animal DC31. It is certainly the most unique handheld vacuum I have ever used and I appreciate that Dyson’s Root Cyclone technology was applied to this smaller device. The price tag certainly stings when you can buy at least 3 Dust Busters or a similar type of handvac for this price, but this is a Dyson after all. I certainly would have liked if the vacuum lasted longer than the 6 to 10 minutes depending on the suction power. Regardless, die-hard Dyson fans will love the ergonomics of the DC31 and its overall uniqueness. If you got the dough and you know someone who loves to clean, this should guarantee you a lot of kisses under the mistletoe this year. The Dyson DC31 Animals can be found at Dyson’s online store, Amazon, and many other online and local retailers.
The Good: Really Powerful suction. Relatively quiet operation. Ergonomic design. Easy to empty clear bin.
The Bad: Even though the design is actually very ergonomic, some may find the handle awkward. Would have liked the battery to have lasted longer.