We love our pets, but their pet hair can be a problem. We understand. That's why we've created this best vacuum for pet hair guide which will (hopefully) help you to tame all those stray hairs littering your hardwood flooring, getting in a knot in your carpet, or worst of all: stuck on your furniture.
Why you can trust us
Our home testing process is editorially independent. The majority of the vacuum cleaners which we've featured in this guide are currently being tested so, for now, we have used our experience to-date and considered existing customer opinions to ensure that you get the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, before they all sell out.
How we test the best vacuum for pet hair
We appreciate that looking for a top-of-the-line pet vacuum isn't going to be easy since they're so many of them all claiming to do the same thing. Which is why we've gone ahead and reviewed a few for you, with more on the way - our homes have never been vacuumed so much, on and above the ground. 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 eight of our best pet hair vacuums (so far) — 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!
The best vacuum for pet hair: tried and tested by us
If you have pets, you'll never want to know life again with 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.
Read our Dyson Ball Animal 2 vacuum cleaner review (opens in new tab) for more info
If you have your heart set on a cordless vacuum that can also conquer pet hair, the Bissell IconPet Cordless Vacuum is for you. The Bissell IconPet promises up to 50 minutes of fade-free cleaning, and it proved to be a hard worker on all floor types and other above-floor tasks.
Easy to use
The actual operation of this cordless vacuum is pretty seamless; it's intuitive to handle, the dust container is easy to empty, and its LED headlights work well in both modes (handheld and full-body vacuum). It also has a Smart Seal allergen system that helps trap dust and allergens inside the vacuum, and which can be washed under the tap.
High Power Everything
We're a big fan of stats, and the IconPet has some pretty powerful specs like a High-Performance digital motor that spins at up to 420 miles per hour, a powerful 22v Lithium-ion Battery for cordless convenience with three cleaning modes that last up to 50 minutes, and the Tangle-Free Brush Roll spins up to 3200 RPM, leaving no hair wrap behind. The IconPet is tough on all things pet mess.
If you have a long-haired dog or cat, you'll love the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-Away. In fact, it's one of the best Shark vacuums you can buy. Built with hypervelocity suction, it's powerful enough to suck up everything in its path, and it's built with the latest DuoClean Powerfins features with 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.
Double the pick-up in one go. Two rollers to suck up dirt and dust to maximize floor contact for continuous cleaning. A soft roller picks up small debris and dust while the silicone PowerFins dig deep into carpets and directly engaging floors for better pet hair pickup, as opposed to vacuums with standard bristles.
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. And this version is the motorized hub of the vacuum for even more convenience.
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.
Read our Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-Away review (opens in new tab) for more info
If you're keen on a cordless vacuum cleaner that's engineered for pet hair, you will have to shell out a little bit more than a standard upright or stick, but we promise the Dyson Outsize is 100 percent worth it. With a running time of up to two hours spread across two batteries, an oversized half-gallon dust bin, and an extremely powerful design, it should get through all your trials for a fur-free home.
The Dyson Outsize is cordless that is designed to replace your traditional corded upright. Maximize runtime in eco or auto mode, or unleash all the power and suction on Boost for the highest level of performance ( and a battery that drains much faster). Fortunately, Dyson is known for its fade-free suction down to the last second of charge.
Pet hair removal
The Dyson Outstize is an absolute spitfire when it comes to suctioning up pet hair on carpets, hard floors, and upholstered surfaces. The additional attachment options, including a combination tool, crevice tool, stubborn dirt brush also make cleaning up pet hairs from upholstery and dog beds a simple task. The newly re-engineered mini-motorized tool that's great for stairs and targeting pet hair clean up in smaller spaces now has a conical hair screw tool to keep hair from wrapping around the mini brush roll.
Ease of use
It's highly maneuverable around furniture and gliding across all floor types. It also easily and quickly converts to a handheld for above-floor cleaning or getting up close and personal with pet beds. It's a tad top-heavy, and you may find your arm growing tired for cleaning above the floor, but it's overall pretty easy to use, and the extended-sized dust bin is a must for any home with lots of shredded hair to scoop up.
The best vacuum for pet hair: more top picks
Bissell's whole branding is around their love for pets, so of course, their vacuums have to be top-notch at suctioning pet hair. Plus, they're among some of the most affordable vacuums for pet hair like the Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner.
Triple Action Brush Roll
The worker bee of this machine, the Triple Action Brush Roll loosens, lifts, and removes dirt and debris from the carpet while also gently sweeping fine debris up and off hard floors. If you thought your pet works hard at distributing his shedding fur throughout your house, the Triple Action Brush works harder, across carpets and hard floors.
Pet TurboEraser Tool
The specially designed pet hair tool easily removes embedded pet hair and dirt from the carpet, stairs, upholstery, and more. Plus, it conveniently attaches to the vacuum, making your chances of misplacing it pretty much impossible.
Ease of Use
Built to last, this Bissell utilizes swivel steering to move quickly across floors and around furniture. The ClearView access to the dustbin makes it easy to monitor when the roomy dustbin is filled. Emptying the dust bin was also designed to be incredibly simple and as hands-off as possible for minimal contact with dirt. The vacuum is also extremely easy to keep clean and maintain, with almost every part of the vacuum being able to be washed, including the filter.
Sensitive to every loose strand of hair, particle of dust, or hint of debris? Well, the top-rated Cat and Dog version from Miele utilizes a sealed bag dust bin system. Miele is known for its top-quality engineering and canister style designs that will power through thick carpets and performs just as well on hard floors.
Pet hair and allergies
Dried mud and pet hair are easily thwarted by this model, which comes 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 all the 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.
If the amount of hair has seemingly become too much to handle for daily upkeep, why not invest in a robot vacuum to take on the task for you. A robot vacuum shouldn't be your sole vacuum, but it can definitely The Roborock S6 MaxV is not only a whiz at picking up pet hair (even strands embedded deep in the carpet), its obstacle detection avoids small objects and can even recognize any not-so-pleasant accidents your pet may cause to avoid.
A quick clean for pet hair
The Roborock S6 MaxV is loaded up with a beefy 2500Pa suction that can capture finely ground in dirt from carpets and hard floors.
Some very serious technology went into the Roborock S6 MaxV. Twin cameras and proprietary ReactiveAI obstacle recognition will accurately avoid everyday objects and unknown obstacles, while Precision LiDAR navigation, accurately maps your home (up to four different levels). You can also check in what your robot vacuum sees, as you clean via the smart app.
Talk about a device that can really do it all. The Roborock S6 MaxV can mop too, with a 297ml electronic water tank that can be snapped into the bottom, with water flow being controlled by the app.
Ease of use
The Roborock can be controlled at the push of a button, from your smartphone, or by Alexa or Google Home Assistant via a smart speaker. The Roborock app enables you to schedule a cleaning, clean specific rooms, see the cleaning path, and adjust suction power. You can also set up to 10 No-Go Zones, 10 No-Mop Zones, and 10 invisible barriers on each floor plan.
In terms of battery life, a single charge lasts up to 180 minutes, and where it can cover up to 2580 sq ft. And should it need to recharge, it will automatically return to the dock, charge, then pick up where it left off. 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.
The powerful 14V BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Hand Vacuum will easily remove crumbs, dust, and pet hair from around the home. The cordless design also makes it easy to take along with you in the car, should Fido get to run shotgun on trips to the dog park. Plus, it's reasonably priced, which cements its status as the best handheld vacuum for pet hair.
The elongated design is lightweight and easy to hold — just grab it when you need to do some quick cleaning in focused areas. This Bissell handheld vac is suitable for use on stairs, hair floors, and deep-pile carpets. It also works well on kitchen work surfaces and car seats, so there's really no surface it can't cover. It also features a triple-layer filtration and an easy to empty .7L dust cup that can fit a surprisingly large amount of pet hair. Our only drawback? You'll get just 17 minutes on a single charge, but note, that is standard for a handheld.
The detachable motorized brush helps remove embedded pet hair from surfaces like upholstery and area rugs. It also includes an upholstery tool for cleaning furniture, pet beds and any other surfaces that need an extra touch.
How we test the best vacuum for pet hair
At Real Homes we like to get hands-on experience with the products which we feature in our buyer's guides. Whether that's to attend product demonstrations or to have them for a few weeks (sometimes months) in our own homes, you know that these vacuum cleaners for pet hair have had a member of our team look over them before including them in this roundup. We even seek other user reviews so all experiences and opinions are taken into account.
During testing, we lookout for factors such as maneuverability, run-time, bin size and emptying, filtration, and ease of use so you know exactly what you are getting for your money. We challenge the vacuum cleaners with typical household dirt such as crumbs, dust, and pet hair for a real-life comparison to your own household.
What is the best vacuum for pet hair?
To recap, we like the the Dyson Ball Animal 2 (opens in new tab). It has been a firm favourite for a couple of years and our number one spot for most of that time, because of that immense suction. It also goes right up to the edges, transitions well across hard floor and carpets and has a long cord so you're not feeling tethered all the time - it's a real winner in our eyes.
What makes a vacuum great for pet hair?
Most vacuums outfitted for households with pets will feature increased suction, some sort of pet tool or brush, motorized brush roll (as opposed to sheer suction) to really dig out hair and particles, and an emphasis on its filtration system. Most pet vacuums, especially the middle to high ends one will feature High-Efficiency Filters to catch pet dander, capture allergens, and prevent particles from escaping the vacuum. Another highly sought-after feature on vacuums for pet hair include brush rolls that are self-cleaning or feature anti-hair wrap to ensure that strands of hair don't wrap around and eventually clog the brush roll... an annoying mess to untangle. Some are more effective than others, but we've had great luck with Shark's Anti-Hair Wrap Tech.
How to choose the best vacuum for pet hair
In terms of style and type, you can get a stick, canister, 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 brushroll to lift the hair from the pile.
Corded or cordless?
Also, consider what spaces you will need to vacuum. Dyson’s ball technology is easier to maneuver around and into corners, 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 likely need a secondary vacuum to do a thorough job of the rest of your home. A robot vacuum could be an ideal solution for pets that get irritated by the loud sound of a vacuum. An easy alternative is to schedule it for when you and the pet are out for stress-free cleaning.
If your pet ever jumps on the furniture, (inevitable, right?) you will definitely need a vacuum with brushes and attachments to help remove fur. Plus, your pup might not love having a robot vacuum invade his personal areas, such as near a crate or food bowl, so spot cleaning with a smaller handheld or normal vacuum can avoid some aggregation for both parties.
Some may prefer a vacuum cleaner with a bag, especially those who are particularly allergy sensitive, but it's worth bearing in mind that you'll have to keep buying new bags, making them more expensive in the long run. While a bagless cleaner can be messier to empty, most are removable or can be directly lifted into the 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. If you have an animal that sheds a lot, you'll want to choose a vacuum with a larger dust bin, since hair doesn't exactly compress in a vacuum, as other debris can.
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, Bissell, 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 on how to vacuum like a pro to discover the 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.
How to remove dog hair from a car
It's inevitable that your dog will find his way into your car at some point for vet appointments, trips to the park, or simply car rides, and if they tend to shed, well, they will surely leave their mark. The easiest way to remove dog hair from your car (or any other upholstered surfaces, really) is with a cordless or handheld vacuum. Opt for models that have mini-motorized tools designed specifically for covering smaller spaces and delicate fabrics. Swap in a crevice tool to get into edges and cracks where hair and other messes may have accumulated.
If you have any lingering strands try smoothing a rubber glove across the seats or creating static with a ballon to get hair to cling. Good ole' duct tape is a fine hack while dragging a squeegee blade yields very satisfying results.
You've reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top ^