Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle Review

Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle

The Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle is aptly named as it does a great job cleaning up pet-hair. The machine's Airmuscle technology  means that it adjusts to the floor type and carpet height as you need it.

In addition this model features a mini-turbine head for cleaning pet hair on upholstery and a great filtration system.

However, weighing over twenty pounds, this machine is heavy, making it difficult to maneuver across floors and carry up stairs. If your homes is full of wide-open spaces, you will find that this machine does a great job cleaning floors.


  • Tremendously powerful suction
  • One touch buttons for adjusting to different carpet heights
  • Long reach wand
  • Excellent on board tools


  • Heavy
  • Big and not easy to maneuver around furniture
  • For edge cleaning, it doesn't do a great job as an upright

Video Review


  • Airmuscle technology – adjusts to the floor type and carpet height
  • Control the vacuum level with the touch of a button
  • Root Cyclone technology for no suction loss
  • Bagless 0.61-gallon dustbin
  • Limited five-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • Lifetime guaranteed washable HEPA filters

Attachments/On-Board Tools

  • Quick-draw Telescope Reach wand
  • Five-Foot Hose
  • Mini turbine head for cleaning pet hair on upholstery
  • Flat Out head for cleaning under furniture
  • Combination crevice and upholstery tool
  • Stair Tool

Our In-Depth Review


dc28-carpetQuite simply, the Dyson DC28 vacuum is a beast. Now, when we say “beast” we mean that in both a good way and a bad way. First of all, it is beastly because it destroys any dirt or debris in its path.

On carpeting, no matter the height (small, medium, or long pile) pick the carpet height with a touch of a button and vacuum away. You can actually feel how powerful the suction is.

When we tested this vacuum on a large area rug, the suction was so powerful, it occasionally lifted the rug off the hardwood floor, even in the middle of the rug. The head of this Dyson is low to the ground and creates tremendous suction.

Pet hair didn’t stand a chance either. The Airmuscle turbine brush dislodged pet hair and sucked it right up.

The other reason this vacuum is beastly is it is a large, heavy vacuum. The Dyson DC28 Animal is easy to operate when you are pushing it back and forth on carpeting or hard floors, but it is hard to turn quickly and lift it up to carry the vacuum up or down.

It does a great job in open spaces, but you’ll have to use the on board tools to get the edge of the floor, or other tight spaces clean. The on board tools are very nice, and the DC28 features a very useful Mini Turbine brush for cleaning pet hair up on couches, pillows, or blankets.

Performance / Using the Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle Vacuum

Dyson DC28We tested this vacuum in a variety of situations. It excelled in certain situations, but didn’t do so well in other categories. Overall, we loved this vacuum as a carpet cleaner. It can clean any carpet height, and any type of mess.

The Dyson DC28 is tabbed an “Animal” by the Dyson vacuum corporation because it is specifically designed to clean pet hair off of carpeting. It does a great job on the carpet.

The “Animal” turbine head brush also does a good job cleaning pet hair off of couches and other upholstery. The suction is well over 100 kilopascals which is excellent for keeping carpets clean.

The DC28 does a good job on hard flooring, but the low clearance of the vacuum doesn’t allow large debris to get sucked up unless you lift the vacuum head off the floor. Another negative is it doesn’t get the edge of the carpet or hard floor totally clean.

Performance on Carpets

Do you have a house full of carpet with animals shedding their pet hair everywhere? Then the Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle is right for you. We tested this machine on carpet and you can really “feel” the suction power. It really is that impressive as far as suction is concerned.

We were even a bit disturbed at the amount of dust and pet hair that appeared in the clear bagless chamber after vacuuming up only one room full of carpet. To think that most people live with that much dust and pet hair embedded in the carpet!

To test the Dyson DC28 Airmuscle, we dumped large particles, small particles, and vacuumed up areas that were covered with pet hair. For large particles, we “accidentally” dumped a large amount of dirt from a potted plant onto the carpeting. All the soil was cleaned up with a couple of passes with the DC28.

The small particle test involved pouring flour on the carpet. All the fine dust and flour powder was cleaned up with ease. The last test involved this “Animal Vacuum” sucking up big piles of pet hair. It worked wonderfully on these pet hair patches.

The only negative as far as carpet cleaning capabilities was it doesn’t get about a 1/4 of an inch of area next to the wall clean. The vacuum’s brush bar is set back a little bit from the edge of the machine, so you will have to use the on board tools to get the entire room spotless.

Performance on Rugs

Lighter or thinner area rugs might not be ready for the suction power of the Dyson DC28 Airmuscle. It does a great job suck the dirt off of these carpeted rugs, but the suction can lift a rug off the floor.

We suggest using it on large area rugs or thicker entry rugs. Don’t try it on a small or thin rug because it might suck it right up into the machine.

Performance on Hard Floors

dc28-hard-floorsBefore you use this Dyson on hard floors, make sure you select hard flooring by the power switch to turn off the Airmuscle turbine brush bar.

The two types of debris we used were flour to simulate fine dust, and crushed cracker pieces for larger particles.

The flour was cleaned up nicely and there was no flour left on the floor after one pass. The cracker pieces were cleaned up, but some of the larger cracker bits didn’t fit under the carriage of the vacuum.

We had to lift up the front of the DC28 because the vacuum was just pushing the large debris.

Once we lifted it up and then dropped the vacuum down onto these large particles, they were sucked up immediately.

Again, this vacuum didn’t get right up to the edge of the floor. We had to use the crevice tool to get the corners and floor edge clean.

Edge Cleaning

Use the on board tools to get the edge of the floors clean. On carpets and rugs, the 1/4 inch next to the wall won’t get totally clean when you use the upright vacuum. We suggest using the crevice tool for hard flooring, and the Airmuscle Mini turbine head brush for carpets.


Using a laser particle scanner, we tested the exhaust for dust. It registered zero particles. Hardly any other vacuums emit no dust at all.

This Dyson has a great filtration system. This means dust as small as 0.3 microns is captured and won’t get out of the vacuum.

The Dyson DC28 Animal is great for people with allergies because it removes dust and dander that could trigger allergy symptoms.

Ease of Use

dc28-controlsThe nicest feature on the Dyson DC28 vacuum is the one-touch controls that adjust the level of the Airmuscle brush bar. You don’t have to bend over at all. Just push the buttons and continue cleaning.

The on board tools clip on nicely and all do a great job, but the biggest thing about this vacuum is the weight. It’s heavy and bulky. If you have to go up and down stairs, get ready for a workout.

Getting Started

Pull the vacuum out of the box and snap everything in place. No tools are needed to get the DC28 up and running.

Simply click the long reach wand onto the hose, and then snap the wand onto the DC28 vacuum, and you’re set to go. That’s all there is too it.


For larger rooms without a lot of furniture, this upright vacuum is great. It has a 13-inch wide path and does a tremendous job cleaning the floors.

If you have a lot of furniture to maneuver around, this vacuum can be cumbersome to use. It weighs in over 20 pounds and has a higher vacuum head, so it doesn’t sneak under furniture easily.


The Dyson DC28 Animal vacuum was pretty typical as far as noise level is concerned. It ranged between 75-80 decibels depending upon room size and floor type.

You can hear other people talk if they use a louder voice. A normal conversation can’t be heard over the noise of this vacuum.

Attachments / Onboard Tools

dc28-toolsFour tools are included with in Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle vacuum cleaner. All of these tools can snap onto the long reach wand.

If you don’t want the wand, you can detach it and snap these tools right onto the stretchy and very flexible hose.

The first two simple tools are stored “on board.” There is a small stair brush, and the combination crevice and upholstery brush.

Be careful with these tools because of the Dyson’s suction power. It can suck up large items if you aren’t careful. Keep socks and plastic bags away!

The Flat Out head is very low to the ground; you can really get down and sneak underneath furniture with this tool. This is very nice, so you won’t have to move couches to get the floor underneath clean.

Ease of Use on Stairs

You have to use the on board tools for cleaning stairs with this vacuum. If pet hair gets on your carpeted stairs, the best tool for the job is the Mini turbine brush bar. It will get the carpet clean and dislodge any dirt or dander that has worked its way in.

The Mini turbine brush bar isn’t very wide though, so it may take a bit of time to work your way up. For hard floor stairs, the Flat Out tool works nice. It is much wider and does a great job as you go up the steps.


dc28-filtersMake sure to empty the bagless clear bin when it is full of dirty things like pet hair, and dust.

The Dyson DC28 Animal has two filters that need to be washed out every three months.

Rinse them out with water and let them dry for 24 hours before inserting them back into the vacuum for usage.

We didn’t have to do this after our tests, but pet or human hair can lodge itself in the Airmuscle turbine brush bar.

You can remove the bottom of the vacuum to cut away the hair to ensure the vacuum operates efficiently and effectively.

Emptying the Bagless Canister

dc28-dustbinSimply depress the red button at the top of the canister to detach the bin from the upright unit.

Take the canister and hold it directly above a refuse container.

On the backside of this bagless canister is another red lever.

Push it down and the bottom of the canister flips open, dropping all the stuff you sucked up out of the bin.


For a home covered with carpets, no matter if it is short, or long pile, this is a great choice.

The perfect candidate for the Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle is someone who has furry animals that shed all over on a home with a lot of carpeting. It does do a good job on hard floors to, but most vacuums can clean hard flooring with ease.

Dyson vacuums are pricey. It is hard to justify spending up to or over $500 on a vacuum if you aren’t going to use this for the right situations.

We only suggest this model if you have pets, and if you have large open carpeted areas.

Also, people who suffer from dust or pet dander allergies would be wise to purchase the Dyson DC28 Animal.

This vacuum is really only perfect for a very select group of people. If you don’t fit right into the description above, there are several other Dyson models that cost less and do a great job.

Final Vacuum Verdict

We can sum up the Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle vacuum with two simple words: Powerful suction. It totally cleans up carpeting, leaving a glowing soft path in its wake.

If you want the cleanest carpet possible, right down to the roots of your carpet fiber, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better vacuum.

The downside of the DC28 is in the details. It doesn’t clean the floor edge very well, it’s big and heavy, and it is expensive.