Starting to notice just how often your pet sheds? The best vacuums for pet hair would solve all of your problems. After all, at this point, you can't be too pleased with your dog or cat's hair covering your hardwood flooring, intertwined in your carpet, or worst of all: stuck in your furniture.
Finding the best vacuum for pet hair is an essential part of being a pet owner, but that's not to say many of us have aced it just yet or that we don't love our pets — we do, but we don't love them in the way we want to take them with us when we go. The last thing anyone wants is your Golden Retriever's fur all over the dry cleaning you just got back. Your day — and outfit — is ruined before ever leaving your house!
If you're looking for a top-of-the-line model that will leave your home fluff-free then sorry to disappoint, but we don't have that — we went ahead and found seven of them. Call us overachievers but here we like to deliver, and that's just what we did, right down to the very last detail. We've taken into consideration everything from the suction, specialty pet-hair tools, canister capacity, price, and how well each model dealt with the influx of fuzz it sucked up. And only the ones that survived our extensive testing made it to our list.
Continue reading to see our top 7 best vacuums for pet hair — oh, and if you were looking for just a regular vacuum, go ahead and check out our best vacuum cleaners— there are tons of winners there, too!
Here are the best vacuums for pet hair, according to our team:
If you have pets, love a Dyson, but prefer an upright model to the cylinder style above, we highly rate the Ball Animal 2. Its clever brush heads pick up all the hair our furry friends leave behind, without getting tangled up, and the motorized brush bar gets out stubborn dirt from muddy paws.
All flooring, all debris
Whether it's mud on kitchen tiles or fur embedded in your carpet, this vacuum cleaner gets to work with ease. The suction is powerful so it does the job quickly, but you might want to turn it down a bit for carpet as it can be harder to push. It won't scatter dirt around and gets right to the edges of the room.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with a two-in-one tool for dust and cobwebs, a stair tool, and a turbine tool that is tangle-free – perfect for handling all types of pet hair. The latter will help get fur (and other debris) off upholstery, too.
Ease of use
The low-profile head and telltale ball make swishing this beauty round almost enjoyable. A long cord means you won't be slowed by having to change outlets and the handle gives you plenty of opportunities to reach when cleaning stairs and upper corners. It isn't the lightest but the neat design isn't too hard to carry and it stores away nicely.
If you have a long-haired dog or cat, you'll love the Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Self-Cleaning Brushroll Upright Vacuum. Not only is it powerful enough to suck up everything in its path, but it has a self-cleaning brush roll that automatically keeps it free of hair (so you won't have to spend time removing fur that's tangled around the brush roll when you're done vacuuming). It goes without saying that it works wonders on cleaning up human hair, too.
It's a Shark vacuum, so it features the brand's Lift-Away system, which means the canister detaches to provide longer reach (perfect for de-fuzzing under beds and sofas) and easy maneuverability on stairs.
Besides the fact that it sucks up hair, this vacuum is packed with other handy features, including LED headlights for seeing under the furniture, a crevice, an upholstery tool for cleaning dog hair off the sofa, and on-board tool storage. It also has a built-in HEPA filter to remove allergens and pet dander while it cleans.
If you're looking for a great bagless pet vacuum, which isn't a Dyson, then we would recommend this vac from Miele. Not everyone is team Dyson, and we love this version from Miele, known for its top-quality engineering.
Pet hair and allergies:
Dried mud and pet hair are easily thwarted by this model, that comes complete with an Active AirClean filter. It features two electrostatic filters to remove allergens, plus a charcoal-filter to absorb odors. If you have pets and allergies this model will get rid of nasties and is easy to empty so you don't need to worry about being triggered by emptying it either.
Ease of use:
The suction on this model is great and it has a good range of tools, all handily stowed in the body of the vacuum cleaner. Switching between settings is simple – just flip the foot control to adjust brushes or retract the cable.
While it isn't the smallest, it is a neat design that is easy to transport and store. That said, when it is in high suction mode on the carpet, you might notice its weight and strength, so we recommend turning it down so the foot glides more easily.
Easy to move with a telescopic tube, people with back problems won't find this vacuum hard to use. However, it is on the weighty side, so if you have lots of stairs, you might prefer a lighter model – for a large ranch-style home, though, it would be perfect.
So, you know you want a vacuum that is tough on pet hair, but you can't decide if you want a canister or an upright? The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Bagless Vacuum is perfect for anyone who wants the versatility of both.
A new breed of vacuum cleaner
If a stick vacuum cleaner is a speedy greyhound, an upright is a reliable Labrador, and a cylinder a compact but sturdy bulldog, then this vacuum is the perfect mutt. Pictured above in upright mode, the vacuum's Powered Lift-Away canister detaches to allow you to reach hard-to-clean areas without losing suction power.
It is in the name that this is designed for pet owners so how does it cope with the hair and dirt? Very well is the answer.
The foot and attachments lift hair with ease and the boost button-ups the power for getting ingrained dirt from floors. Our reviewer noted that long hair does get tangled in the brush, but this can be easily removed.
If you want a vacuum cleaner that's easy to handle, then the Dyson Light Ball Animal Upright vacuum cleaner is one of the best pet vacuums you can buy.
Let's start with maneuverability: the small head and rollerball technology allow it to glide easily across all floor types, and it's flexible enough to get into corners and under tall furniture for a thorough clean (note that the head is quite bulky which means it won't fit under lower furniture, and you'll need to swap to tools for this).
For anyone who's never used a Dyson with roller ball technology, don't under-estimate just how light it can feel in your hand. And this particular model, at just over 20lb, is around the average weight for a vacuum so you won't feel like you have to lug it around. Another plus point is its long cable at just over 30 ft.; handy if you have a large house. Like other uprights, it's not ideal for cleaning stairs, upholstery, and curtains, but the extendable wand does make those vacuuming jobs easier – more on that below.
This Dyson's suction power is consistent, thanks to its bagless cleaning technology. There are three suction modes: one for picking up large debris, one for stubborn dirt, and one for deep pile carpets, and this carpet does cope well with picking up both small and large particles, which not all carpets cope well with. The good news? It's pretty quiet, despite its power.
Pet hair removal performance
Suction power aside, it's the Tangle-Free Turbine Tool with its counter-rotating heads that really makes it effective at cleaning up pet hair. The tool is designed never to tangle, which allows it to release more hair and dirt into the canister – and means you won't have to be constantly picking pet (or human) hair out of the brush head before you start vacuuming. Its efficient filters mean that allergens stay in the canister – ideal for pet-owning allergy sufferers.
The attachment options, including a combination crevice tool and upholstery brush, and turbo upholstery brush, also make cleaning up pet hairs from upholstery and curtains a simple task. There's a useful stair cleaning tool, too.
Ease of use
The downside of some upright models is that it can be fiddly to clean anything that's off the floor, but this model has an instant release, an extendable wand that quickly retracts into the body of the vacuum. And on-board tool storage means every tool is always to hand. Useful if your cat likes to sleep on the back of the sofa or your dog sheds so freely that even the curtains need regular vacuuming.
This Dyson is pretty easy to empty once you get used to the push mechanism, but it's worth noting that the canister has a smallish capacity, so you should expect to be emptying it more regularly than some of our other buys. If you don't have the budget and space for the best buy Dyson model in this list, this vacuum is the perfect alternative.
If you're after an efficient robot vacuum cleaner then we would highly recommend buying the iRobot Roomba 980 which happens to be our top pick in our best robot vacuum cleaners buyer's guide. But how is it at picking up pet hair? Read on to find out.
A quick clean for pet hair
We're not for a minute suggesting that a robot vacuum is a top pick for tackling pet hair; however, as a second vacuum cleaner that can tackle pet hair on both carpets but particularly on hard floors while you're out, or asleep (although at 70dB, it's not quiet-quiet), it's a real time saver. It does the vacuuming so you don't have to.
With its intelligent sensor that can detect different surfaces so that it changes its cleaning method as it moves from carpet to hardwood flooring, it works wonders on picking up debris, such as dust, pet hair, and crumbs. Its compact design and low profile mean it can get under most low-slung furniture, too, while the Cliff-Detection Sensors stop it from falling downstairs.
There are no traditional beater brushes on the Roomba, so don't expect this vacuum cleaner to do the job of a powerful, corded vac with motorized brush heads; however, it does have a spinning side brush to force debris into its path so that nothing gets missed, and the brush-less extractors do prevent tangles caused by pet hair, meaning it won't get itself in a pickle while you're out (unless there are cables in the way).
Having said that it's particularly effective on hard floors, the AeroForce cleaning system with Carpet Boost does increase performance on carpets and rugs. Plus, the efficiency filter captures 99 percent of allergens, making it a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Ease of use
The Roomba can be controlled at the push of a button, from your smartphone, or by Alexa or Google Home Assistant via a smart speaker. The iRobot HOME app doesn't just let you plan your cleaning schedule from your phone; it lets you check the status of the vacuum's process, and you can select a custom cleaning preference. We like vacuuming smarts.
In terms of battery life, it can run for up to two hours (impressive), keeping track of its location, and using a highly efficient cleaning pattern, before taking itself back to its charging station for some juice. It really is the ultimate in hands-off cleaning, but for the deep clean a pet owner needs you will want to use a multi-tooled classic vacuum cleaner for the furniture and areas a robot can't reach.
How to buy the best vacuum for pet hair:
Buy from our favorite pet vacuum retailers
Vacuums designed with hair removal in mind will often feature a motorized brush head to really work fluff up off carpet and upholstery. They might also include different filters to tackle the hair and allergens that come with pets.
In terms of style and type, you can get a stick, cylinder, and upright vacuums designed for pet hair so this will come down to your own preferences. And here's what you'll need to consider before committing to your new pet vacuum:
First, what type of flooring do you have? If your pets tend to shed throughout the house, it can be beneficial to opt for a vacuum that is adaptable to all floor types such as carpet and hardwood or laminate floors. If you have carpet, you will want a vacuum with a good brush to lift the hair from the pile.
Corded or cordless?
Also, consider what spaces you will need to vacuum. Dyson’s ball technology is great for getting into corners and under furniture, while the best cordless vacuum will make it easier to get to those hard-to-reach areas and also allow you to vacuum your car.
What about robot vacuum cleaners?
A robot vacuum cleaner is great for the floor but you will need a secondary vacuum to do a thorough job of the rest of your home. If your pet ever gets on furniture you will definitely need a vacuum with brushes and attachments to help remove fur.
Got a dog that barks at the vacuum continues to make cleaning a headache? Then a robot vacuum could be the solution. You can pop it on when you and the dog are out for stress-free cleaning.
Some may prefer a vacuum cleaner with a bag, but it's worth bearing in mind that you'll have to keep buying new bags, making it more expensive in the long run. While a bagless cleaner can be messier to empty if it's a lightweight model you can lift the machine to your bin.
If you've got more than one pet, check the vacuum's capacity so you don't have to empty it too often. Naturally, the smaller and more lightweight the vacuum, the smaller its capacity.
This is one of the most important features of a good vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers list the suction power of their machines with a standard unit of measurement such as air watts (AW), making it hard to compare models. Instead of listing the power of various models in different units, we have only included vacuums that have exceptional suction power so you know you are getting the best. Vacuums with bad suction have not made it onto this list.
Consider this if you have a little one at home all day who naps or a pet who doesn't like loud noises.
Most of the major vacuum brands such as Dyson, Miele, and Shark have now introduced specialized vacuums for pet hair, which have much stronger suction and often feature allergy filters for those who are particularly sensitive. They'll also stop the hair from simply being pushed around the carpet and releasing irritants into the air.
Don't miss our guide to how to vacuum like a pro (yup, there are techniques to get it done quicker and better).
Or if you're looking for a cheap vacuum cleaner deal, we've got lots of those, too.
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