Dyson DC44 Review: Dyson Digital Slim Animal


You folks ask for Dyson reviews.

Keep in mind, Dyson vacuums are expensive and I don’t have access to the full line up.  So, when I get my hands on one, you better believe I am going to do a review on it.  The last Dyson review I did was for the DC30, a small handheld unit, which basically abolishes the dust buster. However, you weren’t overly excited by the DC30.  So, my friends at vacuum-direct.com offered up a DC44 Digital Slim Animal for me to review.

Here’s the video for your to check out.  It’s a 10 minute vacuuming extravaganza.

I’ve kind of shown my hand, I do like Dyson vacuums, I am a fan.  In fact, I own a DC23 and purchased it exactly one day after we got our first cat, Malee (you can see her in the vide).  I think it’s pretty self explanatory as to why.  The Dyson has been going strong since day 1 and comes with a 5 year warranty.  This DC44 as with any cordless Dyson, comes with a 2 year warranty.

I recently had to replace a part and Dyson sent it to me, fully covered under warranty.  Believe me, they want you to love their product.  Now keep in mind, it’s like any piece of machinery, you need to maintain it in order for it to work well.

I want to make it clear, this is not a replacement for a regular vacuum, especially in a full-sized home.  This vacuum competes in the ‘stick vacuum’ category.  It’s cordless, lightweight and a great item to use in between larger cleans.  It is also known to get into smaller spaces and deal with quick clean ups.

Here’s what comes with the vacuum

Box includes:

    • DC44 Animal Cordless Digital Slim vacuum body, looks and functions the same as the DC30
    • Charger
    • Motorized head with carbon fiber filaments
    • Mini motorized head
    • Extension pole
    • Combination accessory tool
    • Crevice tool
    • Charger stand, nice for hanging

Here are the things Dyson is most proud of about this unit

Features and Benefits (and my commentary in brackets):

    • Root Cyclone technology maintains the unit’s suction (it really does, wow).
    • Rotating nylon brushes remove dirt from carpet (the power head is serious).
    • Ultra-fine fiber brushes clean hard floors (I transitioned from carpet to hardwood with ease, and my floors were not at all harmed).
    • Run time of up to 20 minutes; up to eight minutes on max power option (thank goodness for the trigger that gives you the ability to control the power, it really prolongs the battery life).
    • The wand can be removed, so it doubles as a handheld vacuum as well (the versatility is nice, it’s great for all kinds of tasks, and will be used in our upcoming car cleaning video).

A few things before we fire it up

If you haven’t tried  a Dyson before, the first time you do you’ll be horrified.  In a good, yet bad way.  Let me explain.  You see, a Dyson is so good at what it does, that it sucks a scary (gross) amount of stuff out of your carpets.  You’ll experience shock, horror, embarrassment and finally excitement in a 10 second wave of emotion.  If you have a Dyson already, you know this experience.  The battery takes 5 hours to charge.  Root cyclone technology is super cool and creates amazing, undying suction.  I know these work well, so I am not going to focus on that as much as how the cordless, smaller version works and whether I think it is functional and easy to use.   Finally, I do not expect the same performance out of this as I do my full-sized Dyson, so keep that in mind.

The tests

Powerheads and attachments

Firstly, the size of the two powerheads.  In the video, you’ll see three lined up.  The DC44 powerheads are much smaller than the full-sized DC23 powerhead.  However, that also means they are a lot lighter.  You need to do more strokes with the DC44 to cover off a room, again, if you decide to use it to clean a whole room.  The powerheads and all attachments are very east to snap on and pop off.  The attachments are versatile, I used every single one during my test and was extremely pleased.  I like dusting with the smaller combination tool as well as vacuuming under tables with the mini powerhead.  I was actually quite excited about the attachments.  The tools gave me access to a lot of awkward spaces that are easy to avoid with a bulkier machine (even if it does come with attachments).

Machine weight

Is it light?  I’ve assembled the unit with the extension pole and larger powerhead, and the unit itself is not heavy, perhaps 6 pounds.  I can understand how this may be an onerous task for someone with arthritis or an arm injury, however for someone with no physical issues, this is a terrifically light unit.  I find it much easier to maneuver it around than my large canister vacuum, not to mention the fact that I am not dealing with cords and wires.

How much can it vacuum?

Well, it’s a small unit so manage your expectations!  The collection canister is small, clocking in at 0.09 gallons (or just under 1.5 cups), so it does need to be emptied quite often.  Having said that, if you use it in lieu of sweeping your floor, you’d have to empty your broom’s dustpan in the garbage, so think of this the same way (and you won’t have near 1.5 cups of dirt from that)! You have to empty the canister often and clean the filter (very easy to do) often to keep the suction strong.  The machine can’t work if it’s clogged, and without these two tasks completed fairly regularly, you will see a decrease in functionality.  It vacuumed up most of the problem areas in my house.  While I did encounter some areas with cat hair that I needed to vacuum two or three times (or switch to max power), I also know that I can’t expect the machine to work as well as my full-sized unit which is larger and more powerful.

How long can it vacuum for?

The battery  gives you 20 minutes of strong, consistent vacuum time.  That means that it doesn’t lose suction when it has one minute of battery power left, it stays strong until the last shred of power it has.  That’s important!  Here’s the key, you need to be mindful of battery use.  If you vacuum a floor, it should take you a few minutes, certainly not 20.  While you are moving things around, or going to a different area, you won’t be pressing the trigger therefore not wasting battery power.  I found the 6 minute life of the DC30 to be a challenge, but 20 minutes honestly tackled 600 square feet of carpet, a large sofa and 3 upholstered pieces, a flight of stairs, multiple little test areas like baseboards, ceilings and tops of picture frames, and still had juice left.  It was more than adequate for my needs, understanding this was an in between vacuum.  I was skeptical when I tried it, but when I saw what 20 minutes of battery power actually got me, I was pleased and it’s a great trade-off for the ease of use that you get with this machine.

Ground in dirt and HEPA

The thing I find the most of in my house is cat hair (and dander, yes, I have allergies).  And I feel fortunate about that actually, not only because my cats are insanely amusing creatures, but because before having cats I had no real experience with pets yet I was asked about how to deal with pets and pet hair all the time.  Now that I have two cats, I can share my real experiences with the community.  I get the pet hair challenges. I really do.  And this vacuum was pretty good with getting clumps out of the carpet.  Areas where the cats really like to sit needed the max power function and I had to vacuum slowly and make a few passes over the same spot to get the hair up.

The filtration is NOT HEPA.  That’s really important to know.  If it did have HEPA, it would not have the ability to be as strong from a suction standpoint (this is according to my research).  The filter included is a ‘pre filter’, so it does trap a heck of a lot, but it is indeed not a true HEPA filter.  As stated earlier, it is so important to clean the filter.  They get so incredibly disgusting and inhibit the machine’s ability to work as well.  Simply remove it, rinse under cool water, wash with a bit of soap if you wish and lay flat to dry for at least 24 hours, then replace.  Easy!

Ease of Use

This machine is so easy to use, it’s actually worth getting excited about.  I must share a secret with you.  I hate, I mean hate vacuuming.  It is my least favorite cleaning task because I feel so clumsy and awkward with the wires, hoses and canister.  With this, as you can clearly see in the video, I can vacuum very tight and awkward spaces, like the tight corners by furniture, areas by stairs, stairs themselves, spaces under low furniture and I could take tight corners.  Stairs alone are a royal pain to vacuum, this was so easy to use, the powerhead sipped my stairs clean in record time with very little effort.  It was lovely, I really, truly enjoyed vacuuming with this machine.  It is easy to use, and dare I say, kind of fun.

Can it be used on hard floors safely?

Yes it can, the large powerhead comes with fuzzy strips on the bottom of the unit which protect it from scratching the hardwood.  It was easy to use and glided nicely across the floors.

My Verdict

This vacuum cannot replace a full-sized vacuum, if I have not made that clear already.

On that note, it is a bang-on secondary vacuum if you want a versatile, reliable machine that is easy to use.  I love that it is cordless and lightweight, has multiple tools and quite frankly does a really great job.

If you live in a small space like a dorm room, condo, RV or boat, this is actually a great option for you as well.  When I used to live in a condo and had literally no extra space, this would have been a dream machine, especially because it can be wall-mounted.

When I look online and see peoples’ complaints, they are mostly upset about the 20 minute battery life and the lack of a continuous on/power switch.  I think the review has covered off why, if used properly, neither of these complaints are an issue at all.  They are also upset about the price.  Yes, it’s expensive, but you wouldn’t pine after a Dyson if it were $100 either.  It’s expensive for a reason; it works.

Please let me know your experiences with the vacuum and whether this review has helped you in making a purchase decision to buy or not to buy this vacuum.

Happy cleaning!

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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of CleanMySpace.com, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!


  1. I’m taking Dyson DC44 Vacuum into consideration for my new vacuum recently, and luckily, I found your review! Now I think I’ll buy it. Thank you for such nice review!

  2. I just recently bought dyson canistor vacuum, its really amazing product. It can remove dust from the any kind of flour. i really love it.

  3. Recently brought Dyson cordless V6 absolute and love it. Our house is 2055 square feet of hardwood, and tile floors with a few area rugs, and two cats. I can vaccuum the whole house on a single charge, no problem, and it works much better than our old plug in hoover purchased at Target in 2007, especially on tile and hardwood flooring. It is being used as the regular vacuum for our home and think that it could work as one in most other homes, as well, especially if you vacuum in pieces, instead of all in one session.

  4. I have this vac. The silver battery release button isn’t where yours is. I just can’t find it. It’s a good vac and I’m glad I’ve got it. But I have to say I’m not finding it as good as you have on your video. I have 3 dogs and it’s good but it’s not amazing

  5. Your video review was great. I’m a dyson fan as well. I own 2 full size vacuums; one for upstairs DC35 & one for downstairs DC07 and also the DC35 multi floor.
    I do have a question though. My handheld is an older model. I was wondering if dyson has made the trigger for on/off easier for arthritic hands? It’s hard on my hands having to hold it on constantly. This is my only con.

  6. I just bought a dc44 animal slim line and used it immediately, and I have all tile and laminate floors in my house,along with 3 dogs and 1 cat . I have got so much hair and dander up I’m almost embarrassed to think I was keeping it clean.

  7. Hey Melissa,

    I fell in love with your vacuum cleaner which is so versatile. From my research i am impressed with its performance but as everyone elses concern about the price so is mine. I found another cordless vacuum cleaner of rowenta. called Rowenta Air Force Extreme which costs $150. I like its delta head which goes into the crevices.Another benificial feature is battery.It lasts 40mins.This looks like its designed basically for the floor. If someone is looking for a single feature they could opt for this. Have a look at this detailed review which caught my eyes.


  8. I appreciate your review. I have been thinking about buying a refurbished DC44 on Amazon and your review has made up my mind — I will buy it. Thank you!

  9. Hi Melissa. I purchased this vacuum 3 days ago and I’m in love!! We recently replaced all carpet on our first floor with hardwoods, and I was being inundated with hair floating around (thanks to our 3 large dogs). Being a major clean freak, I was not only appalled to think that previously the hair was being concealed in the carpet, but I was also at my wits end trying to keep it cleaned up off of our dark floor. My cleaning routine began with me using a cheap stick vac on the wood floor (my upright moved the hair more than sucking it up), the upright on the rug (the stick vac didn’t do a thing on the rug), using a dry swiffer to get all of the dust and hair tumbleweeds from under the furniture, then topping it all off with a wet swiffer. It took me FOREVER and I hated every minute of it. Then, only a couple of hours later, I’d feel the need to do it all over again when I saw a hair floating by. I was looking for something that could eliminate a lot of those silly steps. Thankfully, I came across your review and after reading up on the DC44, I fell in love and treated myself to an ‘after Christmas gift’. We wouldn’t ordinarily have that kind of money lying around, but thanks to generous relatives who like to give ‘green’ for Christmas, I managed to get lucky this year. I absolutely love my new DC44! I’m amazed at how well of a job it does on every surface, and I’m also amazed at how FAST I can vacuum now. The little head whips around like nobody’s business, flying in between chair legs and under sofas in the blink of an eye. When I unpacked the box I as a little concerned that such a small head would take forever to clean with, but I now realize how silly of a concern that was. I’ve been cleaning everything in sight.. floors, furniture, blinds, my car, stairs, molding.. you name it, I’ve probably cleaned it with my new DC44. Thank you for such a thorough review that answered all of my questions – I’m a satisfied customer. Happy cleaning!

  10. I was on the fence regarding the DC44. I had it already in my shopping cart on Amazon. After watching your video, I returned to Amazon and bought it! Can’t wait to try it out. Most of my house is now (newly installed) hardwood….well, to be honest, laminate…flooring. I do have two rooms of carpet and two area rugs. Thank you for your excellent presentation. Obviously, it convinced me.

  11. Great review! Spending $400 on a vacuum cleaner is not in my budget. Can you please recommend a more reasonably priced home vacuum cleaner? I need a really good vacuum as soon as possible. I’m embarrassed to say that I have LAYERS of dust to remove from the ceiling to the floor of my home. I love watching you videos and you have inspired me to clean my home. Thank you for you help.

  12. I’m curious about the filter in the DC44. Dyson’s website has a section about allergies and they state that they’re “certified asthma and & allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.” I wonder whether they really are as effective at trapping allergens as vacuums with HEPA filters are. My allergies aren’t really set off by dust so I can’t say whether my own DC40 is better or worse at keeping allergens out of the air than other vacuums.

    • I’m thinking of buying DC44 and I have the same question as you. Anyone has any answer to this? Or anyone with asthma or allergy has tried this and noticed significant improvement to the air quality after using it?

  13. I own a DC44 and your review is the most accurate I found so far on the web! It is an excellent second vacuum and cordless brings a whole new level of versatility. I’ve gone through countless other cordless models that mainly lacked power and run time, which this unit has plenty. One feature I didn’t see mentioned is the fact that you can purchase extra batteries and swapping takes less than 5 seconds; I don’t know of any other cordless vacuum that allows a simple, quick battery swap. So if you’re not happy with 20 min you could easily double it. I use it daily to pick up dog hair from hard surfaces (got four shedders), stairs, and the power head for the couch. As you said ( and I fully agree), this was never meant to be a primary vacuum, and for quick pick-ups, which it was designed for, it is truly awesome. I purchased mine refurbished for $249 and I honestly could not tell it was used at all!

  14. Hello Melissa,

    Found your review in youtube, I agree that this isn’t for everybody because of the steep price tag – similar to a Mac in this sense and I don’t have a mac because I feel that I can buy a laptop that’s around 1/2 the price that’ll deliver an acceptable performance for me and similarly, there are other cordless vacuums in the market that cost half the price of this and will work reasonably well on floors but aren’t as versatile (they don’t have the overdrive feature this one has though).

    On whether I’d buy this? I have a 1 year old at home, and being a new father budget is always a concern for me, I’d pass on this even though it works.

Tell us what YOU think!!