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Dyson Vs Kirby Vacuum: Ultimate Comparison

by  Lawrence -  Last updated on February 8, 2021

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There’s a reason why teenagers around the world make extra pocket money by doing the vacuuming. It’s a chore. It’s a pain to do, but it’s got to be done.

So when you’re doing the vacuuming, you want to make sure that it’s as simple and efficient as possible. You don’t want to have to run over the same patch eleven times, just to pick up some dirt the kids brought in after playing outside.

And you certainly don’t want to get half-way round, only to find out that the dustbin is full or that it’s run out of battery. Luckily that’s not a problem for either of the vacuums we are going to look at in this article.

We are going to compare Dyson and Kirby. Dyson has been making a lot of noise in the vacuuming world in recent years. They have released a ton of different models, ranging from the upright models like the Dyson Ball Animal 2, to the cordless vacuums like the V11, to the hand-held Dyson V7 Trigger, and now they even have robot vacuums, like the Dyson 360 Eye Robot.

In contrast, Kirby has been sticking to what it knows since 1906. They have stood-by the upright vacuum design while others, including Dyson, have been modernizing and altering their designs. But that’s not to say that the Kirby vacuums are out-dated. It’s rather that they have been perfecting what they offer to make sure it is the best it can be.

To keep it a fair comparison, in this article we are going to compare the Dyson Ball Animal 2 and the Kirby Avalir 2. They are both substantial, up-right, corded vacuums that claim to be the best in the market.

It can be hard to know who to believe, so we are going to run through their similarities and differences in a clear format, away from all their marketing jargon, so you can work out which is the best option for you.

Dyson Vs. Kirby at a Glance

If you don’t have the time to read the full article then you can just take a look at this quick list of advantages and disadvantages.

However, these two vacuums have quite different strengths and weaknesses, so we really recommend that you take the time to read through if you can.

Dyson Advantages:

  • Multiple additional tools
  • Washable filter
  • Cheaper

Dyson Disadvantages:

  • Less powerful airflow
  • Less good at high pile carpets
  • More likely to clog

Kirby Advantages:

  • Carpet shampooer
  • Hard floor polisher
  • Most powerful air flow

Kirby Disadvantages:

  • Heavier
  • More expensive
  • Difficult to get used to

Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is Dyson.

What’s the Difference Between Them?

Features

We are going to kick off our comparison of the two vacuums by talking about the main features that the two vacuums offer. This is where we see a real difference between the Dyson Ball Animal 2 and the Kirby Avalir 2.

They are both powerful, upright, corded vacuums, so they are both more than competent at vacuuming floors, but they also each offer so much more than that. Let’s start by taking a look at the Kirby Avalir 2.

This Kirby vacuum is so much more than just a vacuum that it barely warrants the name. It really is a complete home care system. It can work both in the upright position, but also as a canister, using the light-weight wand instead, with the simply trailing behind.

It also has a feature that allows it to work as a carpet and furniture shampooer. It uses a dry foam, which means that it dries in just 12 hours, which is super quick. But don’t worry if you’ve got a mix of floors, as it also offers a feature of hard floor polishing.

Then on top of that, it can also work as a mop and it can work in a hand-held position. As if that wasn’t enough, it can also work as a blower for inflatables and such, and even works as a paint sprayer. This vacuum really does seem to cover everything and more.

So now let’s compare that with the Dyson Ball Animal 2. By most standards, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 offers a lot, but it is in a very different way to the Kirby. Whereas the Kirby requires that you change the settings on the vacuum to achieve the different tasks, the Dyson instead has different attachments for different tasks.

Like the Kirby, it can be used in canister mode, so you can just use the lightweight wand, but other than that, the different functions rely on the different tools that are included. This is the case with most Dyson vacuums, and means that you can usually buy extra tools specific for your needs.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with three additional tools. The first is a turbine tool. This is great for agitation when you’re cleaning the carpets. We’ll discuss the performance of the vacuums on the carpets in more depth later on.

It also comes with a crevice tool, which is great for when you need to clean the hard-to-reach places, or along any alternative surfaces. Then it also comes with the stair tool. It has a wider nozzle and as you might expect, this makes cleaning the stairs a lot easier.

Verdict:
While it is useful that the Dyson has so many great tools, and that you can buy additional ones like the tangle-free turbine (which is great for removing pet hair), these tools can’t compete with the first-rate features of the Kirby Avalir 2, which takes the concept of a vacuum cleaner to a whole new level.

Design

When it comes to the design, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 certainly looks a lot more modern than the Kirby Avalir 2. It comes in the silver and purple color scheme, which is pretty popular with Dyson, and it looks very sleek and stream-lined.

The brush head sits at the bottom, with a big silver ball on top, and then the two litre dustbin sits above that, directly below the handle. The whole thing moves as one, making it easier to maneuver, as we’ll see later. The motor and electronics sit within the ball.

This keeps the weight at the bottom of the vacuum, again making it easier to move around. Within this is the cyclone system that Dyson vacuums use. The cyclones spin the dirt and dust around the filters so that the primary filter can remain clean, and so the vacuum can continue to clean efficiently, regardless of how full it is.

The three different tools that come with the Dyson Ball Animal 2 are all able to be attached to the wand of the vacuum, so that they are within easy reach. The wand then stretches fifteen feet, so you don’t really need to carry the vacuum with you as you do the stairs, which is good given how much it weighs.

In terms of its size, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 measures 42.13 x 15.35 x 13.39 inches, and it weighs around 17.35 lbs. In contrast, the Kirby Avalir 2 measures 40.0 x 10.8 x 23.2 inches, and it weighs around 18 lbs.

This means that it is a lot bulkier than the Dyson, and weighs a little more. This is partly because it is made of light-weight metal rather than plastic. It’s worth mentioning that at these weights, neither vacuum is light.

They are both heavy and cumbersome, but the Dyson is a lot more streamlined. The Kirby Avalir 2, on the other hand, has a much more traditional design. The brush head is very bulky, with a dome shape to house the motor and help with the suction sitting directly behind the brush.

Then the Dustbin comes up, running parallel but separate to the wand. In order to pick the different functions, you choose the function by the brush head and adjust it accordingly.

For many aspects, such as switching from carpet to hard floors, you also need to adjust the height of the brush head. This is a neat trick that helps the vacuum to be as efficient as possible for each different surface, although it can take some getting used to having to alter it each time.

Verdict:
The Kirby Avalir 2 is able to do a whole lot of things, but the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has a much sleeker, more modern design, which makes it our favorite for this round.

Usability

We touched on this briefly in the last section, but when it comes to usability, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is quite unique in that it has a ball shape to help it maneuver. This ball means that the vacuum head is able to rotate a full 90º.

On top of that, there is the 15 ft hose, which means that it is super easy to reach far away places. Given that this is a vacuum that needs to be plugged in to work. It is heavy, so carrying it up and down stairs can be a pain, but other than that it moves really easily.

The Kirby Avalir 2 is a similar weight, although slightly more, so it is also not that easy to carry around the place. However, it is simple enough to drive. This is particularly due to its self-propelled transmission, which makes it pretty much drive itself while you just guide it.

Also, while it is in canister mode, you are able to just maneuver the wand, with the canister following easily behind you. In terms of the extra features, the Kirby Avalir 2 is quite difficult to get used to.

It isn’t complicated as such, but nor is it intuitive, so you’ll need to read the instruction manual carefully. Having said that, once you’ve got to grips with it all, it’s fairly simple and means you can do multiple things with it. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a fair bit easier, as you just switch the tools to the brush head.

Verdict:
Again, although the Kirby can do more, the Dyson is easier to use, so we will also give this round to Dyson.

Power

Dyson are pretty clear about the Dyson Ball Animal 2 having the strongest suction of any vacuum, although they do then clarify that they mean at the cleaner head. And it is true, this Dyson vacuum is far more powerful than nearly all other vacuums, that is, except the Kirby Avalir 2.

While the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has an air flow of 55 cfm (cubic feet per minute), the Kirby Avalir 2 has an air flow of 132 cfm. This makes it around 2.5 times more powerful than the Dyson, and you can see it in their performances.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is great on all floors. In fact, the suction is so powerful that on the high carpets it has a bit of a tendency to result in it pushing the debris as the brush head sucks the carpet (which it has to be said, isn’t ideal).

However, the Kirby Avalir 2 takes carpet cleaning to the next level. It is able to get dirt, sand, debris, and anything else out of the carpet, quickly and effectively. Part of the reason is that the brush head includes a strong agitation, which helps to move the dirt and collect it.

While the Dyson Ball Animal 2 does have a turbine tool that has a similar aim, it’s not as effective.

Verdict:

There is no doubt about it, the power of the Kirby Avalir 2 is unparalleled, and makes it the clear winner for this round.

Price

Okay so we’ve been through a lot of aspects, but for a lot of people, the real deciding factor is price. Needless to say, neither of these vacuums comes cheap. They are both top of the line, with outstanding power, excellent cleaning, multiple functions, and high-end designs.

However, Kirby vacuums use quite a different selling model to the Dyson vacuums. They use a direct selling method, where they are available only from independent, authorized Kirby Distributors.

This means that each set of distributors can set their own price, so they are often a bit more expensive. Even when they are re-sold after some use, the price tends to still be pretty high. So whereas the Dyson Ball Animal 2 would be around $400-500, you would expect to pay more than double that for a new Kirby Avalir 2.

Verdict:
The Kirby Avalir 2 has a pretty hefty price tag, which makes the Dyson Ball Animal 2 more appealing for this round.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve been through the two vacuums, what are your thoughts? In a nutshell, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has a sleeker design and a cheaper price tag, with intuitive tools that make it fairly simple to use.

In contrast, the Kirby Avalir 2 has a bulkier design and a much bigger price tag, but it is also 2.5 times more powerful and has every feature you can imagine needing to keep your floors and home clean. It is reliable, powerful, and effective. The question is, is it worth it? That’s for you to decide.

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