Dyson DC41 Animal Review: Great for Homes with Pets

When you think of powerful vacuums and innovative, the brand Dyson springs to mind.

Dyson DC41 Animal Review

They are known for their innovations like the bagless design which James Dyson pioneered a few decades ago.

This vacuum is the second generation upright labelled “Animal” which means this comes with the tangle-free turbine tool specially design to clean any type of hair on upholstery.

Related: You can also find the best Dyson deals here to get the best price possible on various Dyson products.

This machine debuted in 2013 and had a retail price of over $600, more than a couple of years have passed and the price has gone down a bit.

There have been questions about this products quality in terms of usability and the plastics used.

Ry Crist a product reviewer from CNet said that this vacuum had “several baffling build oversights”.

Some potential issues

First you’d had to yank it with force to bring it down from its standing position which could cause issues in the long run.

Second, the back wheels don’t always pop up when you yank it down. This makes it hard to maneuver this thing around.

Third, when you detached the wand from the base, there’s no handle to hold it comfortably.

But are these oversights enough to brush aside this product?

Let’s find out.

Features at a glance

  • Has 235 air watts of suction
  • Comes with three attachments – (1) tangle free turbine tool, (2) combination tool and (3) stair tool
  • 1 liter dry dirt capacity
  • 35 foot power cord (no cord retract)
  • 4 foot hose
  • Cleaner head auto-adjusts to maintain optimal contact on the surface


  • Very good cleaning performance – just about what you’d expect from a vacuum this expensive
  • Long reach thanks to the length of the hose and power cord plus wand
  • Decent sized dirt bin
  • The ball feature gives this very good maneuverability
  • Tangle-free turbine tool is a game changer in terms of cleaning all sorts of hair
  • 5 year warranty


  • Very expensive even for a vacuum that’s in the market for more than 2 years
  • There’s not lever or button to dislodge this from its standing position
  • Rear wheels don’t pop up instantly
  • Poor quality of plastics used
  • Extension wand does not have a handle
  • Plastic hose hard to stretch

What to expect from this “value for money” Dyson upright

Remember that there are two versions of the DC41, this machine is called the animal. And it comes with three attachments.

The second variant is called the “Animal Complete”, feature wise it is the same machine but with more attachments.

Aside from the three tools included it also comes with the soft dusting brush, stiff bristle brush, multi angle brush and the zorb carpet powder.


The Animal Complete may be a better value

Basically the Animal Complete is better value the price difference isn’t too much. And it comes with more attachments.

Out of the box it is very easy to assemble, just follow the instructions carefully.

My favorite attachment is the tangle-free turbine brush that makes cleaning hair”tangle free”. Instead of using a traditional bristle brush, Dyson uses two gear-like mechanisms that turn in opposite directions to pick up hair.

The because of the design is there is less hair that get’s tangled. There will be less up keep with this tool.

Let’s see this tool in action

In terms of the amount of dirt it can carry, it can store up to 2.1 liters worth of dirt before you have to empty it.

It also is approved by the British Allergy Foundation which means very little allergens will come back out from the exhaust. This is a great option for allergy sufferers.

Reach wise, this is excellent with a range of over 50 feet thanks to the long power cord and hose.

When you combine the extension wand, it can reach up there to clean dust bunnies on the ceiling.

Bare Floor Performance

The bottom line is you buy a Dyson for cleaning performance and in the cleaning test done in the CNet laboratories, the DC41 did pretty well across the board.

It shined particularly in the bare floor test where it was able to pick up nearly all large and fine sized debris in their tests.

Not all large bits may fit under the low profile cleaner head so you may need to take out the wand.

One tip when cleaning hard floors, make sure to turn off the motorized brush because it can create more mess pick up dirt.

Carpet Performance

The DC41 also did well in cleaning carpet. According to Ry Crist of CNet it actually did better than the newer DC50 cleaning up cheerios but it was 20% less effective in picking up fine sawdust on mid pile carpet.

Another review site, the Vacuum Wizard tested this on leaves and they loved how it picked up fallen leaves on carpet.

The also mentioned that this machine had very good edge cleaning capabilities whether cleaning head on or from the side.

Upholstery Performance

This is where you’ll love the tangle-free turbine brush. Despite being marketed to be a tangle free hair cleaner, it can also pick up other debris on upholstery not just pet hair.

If your daughter, wife or female companion has long hair, you know that strands upon strands of it will fall on the sofa or chair, this tool will make short work of that and the great news is you don’t have to spend time cutting off wrapped up hair on a bristled brush.

This tool alone is worth around $50.

Pet Hair Removal

In terms of cleaning pet hair, this machine rocks! It picked up 100% of all pet hair scattered on hard wood, low and medium pile carpet. Add to that the tangle-free turbine tool this machine is a pet hair inhaler capable in annihilating every strand of pet hair in its path.

Attachments and Accessories

This particular model comes only with three – the tangle-free turbine tool, combination crevice and brush tool and stair tool. The DC41 complete comes with a total of seven and in my opinion has the better value for money.

Cord Length

It has a very long cord – around 35 feet, but it does not have any cord rewind.

Filter Clean up

According to VacBin, there are two filters to clean. The main filter is located on top of the dirt bin. A post motor filter is located inside the ball. Both filters need to be washed every three months. Remember that both filters need to be completely dry before you put it back in.

Watch this video on how to access these two filters plus other maintenance tips.

Just in case hair or strings get wrapped up in the beater bar the floor, the main cleaner head is easy to remove and the brush is easy to access just by unlocking two keys.


All Dyson uprights come with a 5 year warranty on the whole unit.

Product Specifications

AttachmentsCombination brush and crevice tool

Stair tool

Tangle-free turbine tool
Cord Length35 feet
Auto Cord Rewind
Motorized brush
Brush on/off switch
Filter clogged indicator
Full bin indicator

Dirt bin is transparent
Self propelled
Net weight17.1 pounds
Shipping weight25.1 pounds
Hose length15.4 feet
Cleaning Path13.3"
Dirt capacity2.1 liters
Filter typeTwo washable filters - one located inside the dirt bin and another inside the ball
Power235 air watts
Voltage120 volts
Manufactured inMalaysia
Warranty5 years

See it in Action

Vacuum Wizard’s review…

CNet’s take…

The Hoover WindTunnel Air Pro vs the DC41…

Customer Reviews

The majority of consumers who’ve purchased this in Amazon or any other online store gave positive reviews for this mainly because this vacuum cleans, period. As you’ve seen with the product review from CNet and Vacuum Wizard, in terms of cleaning performance, the DC41 Animal is at par with any high end vacuum available right now in the market.

There are usability problems though

First is the plastics used, I’ve read a lot of complaints about the poor plastic quality used. One consumer complained about the dirt canister falling off because of a failed plastic hinge holding it.

Others had issues with the rubber hose that doesn’t seem to stretch well. You’ll need to pull it with two hands with some force to stretch it all the way.

There’s also the problem about locking the vacuum back up in its upright position. You’ll have to do it several times until it sticks or it will fall. Make sure not to fully let go until you’re sure it’s locked in position.

Then there’s the issue of the back wheels that get in the way and don’t fold up on cue.

These issues aside, it still performed well on bare floor and carpet because it has above average suction. It’ll also do well cleaning pet hair from upholstery thanks to the tangle-free turbine tool.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy the Dyson DC41 upright for just a little over $500 in Amazon. And it’ll be eligible to their free 2-day shipping if you join Prime.

They also sell extended warranties of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.

To Wrap Up

Despite the negatives in terms of build quality and the need to use some force to dislodge this from its standing position and vice versa, this machine is built with one purpose in mind – to clean messes.

Whether cleaning large cereal or fine dust, this machine is capable of cleaning a variety of surfaces with different levels of effectiveness. It is most efficient on bare floor surface.

The tangle-free turbine tool will work wonders in cleaning up very long hair and that includes pet hair on upholstery.

This machine would be most beneficial to people who live with individuals with very long hair or have lots of pets.

The oversight in terms of the lack of a handle in the extension wand and easy release pedal to dislodge this from its upright position is a big concern for me. And if it should be for you too. You’d be better off with another brand like the Shark that’s a whole lot cheaper.

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