This Dyson Small Ball Compact vacuum review puts the premium brand’s latest compact machine to the test. With the Small Ball, Dyson is aiming to bring powerful cleaning to smaller homes with an easy-to-store cleaner capable of cleaning both hardwood and carpeted floors. The Small Ball has upgrades to several features found on its similar existing model, the Dyson Ball Compact Animal. Dyson say this newer vacuum is also up to 30 percent quieter than its predecessor.
– Works well on carpet
– Compact size
– Easy to move around
– Very good on pet hair
– Difficult to carry
– Not so good on hardwood floors
The Dyson Small Ball has something of the appearance of a child’s toy, with its bright yellow and grey colors in the familiar Dyson style. There’s a robotic look to it, particularly with its diminutive size – with its handle folded it stands 32 inches high. A large, transparent canister dead center puts your dust and dirt on display whether you like it or not. The bin has a 0.21 gallon capacity.
There are two wheels at the rear, and a roller brush bar in the front fitted with nylon bristles, inside the cleaning head. Two alternate attachments are also supplied: a narrow combination tool with a brush fitting, and a star cleaning tool tipped with velour strips for picking up dust and hairs.
The handle lifts out of the body and clicks into place in a single position about 10 inches high, which seems a convenient height for big and small users. The handle retracts for space-saving storage when you press a large red button, and the hose also tucks away into this compartment. Annoyingly, to use the hose with any of the attachments, you have to unwind the power cord completely, all 31 feet of it, which makes spot cleaning more of a chore than it ought to be. The attachments can also be fitted straight onto the wand instead of using the full length of the hose.
The Small Ball weighs around 12 pounds which feels like a lot for something so small. There’s a separate carrying handle on the front but it’s a little too easy to reach for the retractable operating handle to carry it, and have the machine unfold.
The ball does its work well, however, and makes the vacuum very easy to maneuver, particularly into corners and tight spaces. It does make a tall bulbous shape at the front, so you’ll be getting the attachments out to clean under furniture.
Apart from the handle latch, other large red plastic buttons on the Dyson Small Ball detach attachments from the hose, adjust the power from regular to Max, and turn power on and off.
Another button deactivates the roller brush, in case you want to protect delicate rugs and pieces of flooring. Apparently with the latest brush design, this is no longer necessary as it was on earlier Dyson models.
Faced with cereal and rice dumped on the hardwood floor, for testing purposes of course, the Dyson would push a lot of it around the floor before eventually collecting it up. It did collect all of our mess, but took two minutes to get everything sucked up rather than just making one pass. It ended up blowing flour around a bit, and it definitely felt like it would’ve been faster to use a broom.
On carpet it performed much better, quickly suctioning every kind of mess we tried it with at the first attempt. With pet hairs it performed well with both the regular roller brush and the smaller attachments, even though the Small Ball is not designed specifically for pet hair, and lacks the pet-hair tool that comes with the Compact Animal.
Cleaning out the Dyson Small Ball is relatively easy, although it requires a lot of button-pressing. One button releases the bin, then another on flips the bottom of the bin open to deposit the debris in the trash. And the canister disassembles to help with cleaning out the filters and dusty corners within.