The DC44 Animal Digital Slim is a high-end cordless vacuum by Dyson. It’s also one of the most expensive cordless vacuums available. Is it worth the price premium? Read on for my complete review.
Cordless vacuums vary greatly in their suction power. They range from being so weak that they’re barely effective to being as powerful as most corded vacuums. Dyson’s corded models are known for their powerful and reliable suction, and fortunately the DC44 is no different with its 22.2 volt motor.
All of Dyson’s cordless vacs have two modes – regular and boost. Regular mode is sufficient for everyday cleaning and in most cases is all you’ll need. Boost mode can be activated by a button the handle for stubborn messes such as a clump of hair that’s really tangled in carpet. Power is an area where this vacuum really stands out – it can handle just about anything a corded vacuum can.
The DC44 is very effective at cleaning tile, hardwood, and other hard floors. The included cleaner head works well, but if your home is mainly hard flooring, I recommend picking up the articulating hard floor tool. It does away with the brushroll and gives you a wider yet less bulky head for maneuvering around and under furniture. It’s also safer to use on hardwood flooring as some owners have reported scratching with the included cleaner head.
On carpet, cleanup is as about as good as it gets for a cordless. As the “Animal” name suggests, it’s designed to be better at picking up pet hair. Corded models still have an advantage here as many will have larger brushrolls and a little more power. For everyday cleanup it works well on one pass. If you have a lot of pet hair to clean up you may need to go over areas your pets lie down a few times to grab it all.
Used as a handheld, the DC44 has plenty of power for use in the car and cleaning elevated surfaces such as furniture and blinds.
Ease of Use
Attachments are easy to switch out with the press of a button. The wand can also be removed entirely with one button press to allow the vacuum to be used as a handheld. The cleaner head tool, used for flooring, pivots to make it easy to guide around furniture and into tight spaces. The brushroll can easily be removed from the cleaner head to remove hair that may get tangled around it.
The dustbin has a slide lever which pops open the container, so you can simple hold it over the garbage can and empty it with a flick of the lever.
Battery Life and Charging Time
Lithium-Ion batteries are usually the best choice for a cordless vacuum, but the DC44 goes one step above to a Nickel Mangenese Cobalt (NMC) battery. NMC batteries are lightweight and have no memory like Li-Ion, but have even greater battery life. This gives the DC44 20 minutes of battery life on normal mode, and 8 minutes of run time in boost mode. While 20 minutes is an average amount of run time for a cordless vacuum, it’s quite good for a vac that’s as powerful as the DC44.
Charging time for a fully depleted battery is approximately 5.5 hours for the DC44. This is a bit longer than the DC35 and other Li-Ion models, but still far better than NiCad-powered vacs.
The DC44 weighs in at 4.9 pounds. This is a couple pounds less than the Hoover LiNX and Rowenta Delta Force, and slightly less than Electrolux Ergorapido models. Dyson vacuums are mainly made of strong plastics which may feel a little cheaper than their price tags suggest, but keep the weight down and are actually very durable.
If you’re an allergy sufferer, you may be searching for a vacuum with a HEPA filter. While the Dyson doesn’t use a true HEPA filter, it does filter much smaller particles than most vacuums. This makes it a great choice for those looking to greatly reduce the dust and pet dander which may otherwise be recirculated into the air while vacuuming.
The filter a “lifetime” filter which is removable and washable. You won’t need to purchase additional replacement filters – it can be washed and reused for as long as you own the vacuum.
The dust bin on the DC44 is very easy to empty – just flick the release lever over your garbage can to empty it. Unfortunately, the dust bin is quite small. If you’re cleaning a large mess or your entire home, you’ll need to empty the canister more than once.
Included with the vacuum is a motorized floor tool with brushroll, a crevice tool, and a combination accessory tool which can be used for blinds or upholstery.
A wall-mountable docking station is included for charging the DC44 and is helpful for keeping it within reach while minimizing the space it takes up.
Dyson offers a Cordless Tool kit for use on the DC34, DC35, and DC44. It’s a specialized tool kit which includes a stubborn dirt brush, soft dusting brush, extension hose, and wide nozzle tool.
The Dyson Home Cleaning kit has a soft dusting brush, multi-angle brush, and stiff bristle brush.
Another set called the Dyson Asthma and Allergy kit includes a mattress tool, flexi crevice tool, and soft dusting brush, each designed to remove dust and allergens.
The Tangle Free Turbine is great for home with a lot of long pet hair (such as golden retriever fur) or people with long hair that frequently gets tangled in brushrolls.
The Articulating Hard Floor Tool is another very useful attachment for homes with mainly hard flooring.
Despite all these options, the attachments included with the DC44 work quite well in most cases.
Very few people have reported problems with motor or battery failure. I would consider this a more reliable and long-lasting vacuum than most cordless models.
Dyson includes a 2-year parts and labor warranty on the vacuum and its accessories. This is an average warranty duration for a cordless vac.
The biggest drawback to the DC44 is its price. This being Dyson’s top-end model for an already pricey brand puts its price out of reach for many people. However, you won’t an equally powerful and versatile model for less money.
- One of the most powerful cordless vacuums
- Can be used as a stick vacuum or handheld
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Reliable and durable
- Great performance on a variety of surfaces
- Good filtration
- Power button must be held down for the vacuum to run
- Included cleaner head may scratch hardwood – Articulating Hard Floor Tool is recommended
- Small dust bin must be emptied frequently
If you’re simply looking for the most powerful and fully-featured vacuum at any price, the Dyson DC44 Animal can’t be beat. The additional runtime and power of the DC44 over the DC35 make it worth spending a little extra to step up to Dyson’s top-of-the-line model. The DC44 is one of the few cordless vacuums that can fully replace a corded model in smaller homes, thanks to its great performance on a variety of flooring types. Add in its capability to be used as a handheld and it can be used for cleaning just about anything.