Dyson DC50 Animal Lightning Review: So Much Suction In Such a Tiny Package

By Sam Gibbs on at

Dyson's in the process of taking its super-suction power and shrinking its vacuums down to fit in with modern, compact life. First out of the gate was the handheld DC44, which we loved. Now we've got the evolution of the first ever bagless Dyson, packing two tiers of dirt-destroying cyclones, and shrunk into a knee-high package, but is it any good now it's gotten tiny?


What Is It?

The latest evolution of Dyson's once-revolutionary upright vacuum cleaner, now with two tiers of dirt-sucking cyclones and shrunk to fit our ever-decreasing living space.


Who's It For?

Anyone who wants the power of a full-sized upright vacuum cleaner without it taking up half your house.



This thing is essentially the evolution of the original, revolutionary, bagless Dyson, just miniaturised. The two rows of cyclones look pretty awesome stacked up there on the top, and the usual Dyson look and feel is there. It's also got pretty much everything shoved into the ball at the bottom, which means it's basically a ball with a clear cylinder on top. That makes this thing pretty damn small, about the height of your knee, with a handle that extends to full height when you're actually using it.


Using It

The ball makes manoeuvring this thing around incredibly easy, and at just 5.4kg it's surprisingly light too. The cleaning brush head is quite low profile too, which means it'll fit under most furniture, and once it goes over a spot there's absolutely no dirt left. You can stop the brush rotor with a button up by the handle, while the brush itself has two types of bristles -- nylon for deep-diving into your carpets, and carbon fibre for nuking the static on hard floors making picking up dust a suction-powered breeze.

The tools it comes with are also plentiful, including that new hair-destroying head, and an extendable brush-thing for cleaning out vents, plus the usual corner/edge sucker, and an upholstery tool. When it comes to emptying the bin after the job's done, it's simply button press to unlock, then just open the end in the bin and shake. Simple.

Frankly, this is about as easy as vacuuming gets without a robot maid to do it for you.


The Best Part

So much suction from something so small. It's scary how much dirt this thing sucks out of your carpets. Really. This picture is of a full bin from just one vacuuming session on supposedly clean rugs. Yuk. 

Tragic Flaw

There's no two ways about it, the DC50 is pricy, like most things Dyson.


This Is Weird

It doesn't have a lever, or need your foot on the cleaning head to lower it into action, just a bit of pressure down and it clicks into the correct position. That works great, until you want to wheel it somewhere when not in use. It is possible to wheel about it without lowering the cleaning head, but it takes a bit of practice and a light touch.


Test Notes

-- Its diminutive size makes it really easy to pack away into almost any cupboard.
-- Suction, suction, suction -- small but incredibly powerful.
-- It's quite quiet for a vacuum cleaner, which should prove popular with your neighbours, and the cat.
-- With the handle fully extended, you've got quite a reach with the DC50, meaning you don't have to move a lot when you're cleaning. Combined with the ball, it's really easy to get the whole job done nice and fast (because does anyone actually enjoy hoovering?)
-- The extendable tube has both a section of rigid tubing, and the extending handle in it. If you're trying to clean something up close, it's quite hard unless you collapse the extendable handle into the tube before you start.
-- All the attachments hook in with latches that need a button press to release. It means they won't come off, but I found some of them a bit stiff to start with, but soon got used to it.
-- Not all the tools will fit on the on-board rack, meaning you've got to have somewhere else to keep at least two of them.


Should You Buy It?

The Dyson DC50 is pretty damn pricy at £360, but it's got more suction than, well, I'll leave that to your imagination. It was scary how much dirt this thing vacuumed out of the rugs in my flat though, considering the other hoover we had, which shall remain nameless, went over them just a week before hand. It also genuinely cleaned the hard floors better too, which that static-busting head is meant to do, but I was still surprised.

Essentially, the DC50 is about as good as a full vacuum cleaner can get. Is it worth the price tag? Well, it depends if you've got 360-smackers to play with and you're bothered by dust. It's bagless, so there's no expenditure once you've got the thing, but it's not exactly going to be cheap and there are a myriad of more cost effective options. Whichever way you look at it, though, if you're a proper clean freak, this is the vacuum for you.

Dyson DC50 Animal
• Price: £360
• Weight: 5.4kg
• Bin capacity: 0.8L
• Suction: 140 AW
• Dimensions: 1064 x 280 x 354 (HxWxD) (H x W x D)
• Gizrank: 4