A consummate cordless vac for pet owners, the Dyson v11 Animal has stupendous suction, great battery life, automatic power control, six-stage filtration and a top set of tools for all your vacuuming needs
Three power modes
Excellent dust emptying design
Good running time
Boost mode eats battery time
Takes 4.5 hours to charge
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In the pantheon of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair, the cordless Dyson V11 Animal is a veritable carpet shark. This stick vac has been expertly designed with the exasperated pet owner in mind. As a consequence, it comes equipped with an ultra powerful battery-efficient motor and a wide variety of tools, including a motorised brush head for both hard floors and carpets, and an effective handheld mini motorised brush for pet beds.
Granted, the V11 Animal isn’t the cheapest pet-specific cordless vac on the market, but it easily collects enough pet hair in a single vacuuming session to start a knitting factory. And that’s a good enough reason to give it serious consideration.
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Dyson V11 Animal: Features
The v11 Animal’s hand unit incorporates an efficient in-line configuration and is constructed out of a variety of mostly injection moulded plastics that do look a little brittle. That said, this writer has never had a Dyson crack or come apart even after abusive use, though how this one will fare after a drop on a flagstone floor is open to debate. The accompanying 70cm plastic suction tube, though, is tough as nails. Incidentally, the tube’s purple colour is the only thing that visually distinguishes this model from the more expensive v11 Absolute.
At 2.97kgs, the v11 Animal feels lighter in the hand than the majority of current cordless vacs and you’ll come to appreciate that statistic when pushing it around and using it to clean shelves and cobwebs off the ceiling.
Like other models in the v11 range, the Animal comes with some clever battery-maintenance tech on board, including fade-free power management and three power modes, selectable via a button above the filter. Eco is ideal for hard floors and light hand-held dusting, Auto changes the speed and suction power of the main brush head as soon as the head’s built-in sensor detects resistance, and Boost unleashes the Animal’s full 180 air watts of suction power.
For a cordless model, the v11 Animal boasts an excellent running time of up to 60 minutes on a full charge of its replaceable clip-in battery. However, this is only achievable when used in Eco mode. Auto mode also fares very well on battery consumption but go easy when using Boost or the battery will be flattened in about 15 minutes. Thankfully, an LED readout shows the remaining running time in minutes and seconds.
When it comes to emptying the contents of its 0.76-litre dust collector, the v11 Animal is in a class of its own. Simply unclip the bin from the motor housing and flick the lid latch over a dustbin. The whole cylinder jolts down and the lid drops open to eject the carpet matter without creating too much dust in the process. When empty, close the lid and push the cylinder back into its housing. Simple and effective.
Dyson V11 Animal: Performance
Let’s face it, if you love cats, dogs and other hairy animals you simply have to live with the biological fact that they shed hair en masse. Lots of it, all the time, and more so in spring and autumn. Most dog breeds (and cats like the Maine Coon and Manx) have two coats – a thick, downy undercoat for insulation and a stiffer top coat to dispel water and generally protect the undercoat. Both coats shed on a regular basis and that inevitably means a lot of hair gathering on carpets, in corners and along skirting boards. That’s where this beast comes in.
The v11 Animal is one of the most powerful machines in Dyson’s ever expanding arsenal. The suction power of its Hyperdymium motor is immense, and that means the vac performs exceptionally well across all disciplines, whether it’s on carpet, wood, stone or tile floors. Its superb six-stage filtration, meanwhile, captures all dust, dander and most other allergens and locks them in – it also reduces nasty carpet smells.
This vac ships with an excellent range of tools, including a main motorised head, a mini motorised tool for pet beds and sofas, and three attachments for tight corners, shelves and hard-to-reach areas.
Dyson’s exemplary Direct Drive floor head is the tool to use for all floor cleaning duties. At 25cm in width, it uses Dyson’s Dynamic Load Sensor technology to monitor the resistance of the brush head, adjusting speed and power accordingly. You can actually hear the change in pitch as you move from carpet to hard floor. Its two rows of revolving brushes (one soft carbon fibre, the other stiff nylon) are superb at picking up both deep-trodden dust and surface hair.
Although it’s not quite as effective as the amazing Tangle-Free Turbine tool which is supplied with the corded Dyson Big Ball Animal 2, the v11’s Mini Motorised attachment is nonetheless an excellent hand tool for dog beds, sofas and most types of car seat material.
Should you buy the Dyson V11 Animal?
When it comes to dealing with pet detritus in all corners of the home and car, the Dyson v11 Animal truly excels. Yes, it’s more expensive than the keenly-priced Gtech Mk2 K9 which, while less versatile, is just as good – if not better – on carpets. However, the cordless Gtech is an upright and it doesn’t come with any tools for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, dog beds, sofas and shelves. In this respect, the Dyson v11 Animal is a sure-fire winner. It’s a top notch performer on all types of flooring, it runs for ages on a single charge, is simple to store using the supplied wall-mounted charging bay and so effortless to use.