Best vacuums for pet hair: the top 6 choices for keeping your home fur-free

If you've got furry friends, then you'll need one of the best vacuums for pet hair to tackle stray hair and dirt with ease

best vacuums for pet hair
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(Image credit: Getty)

Starting to notice just how often your pet sheds? The best vacuums for pet hair will solve all of your problems. After all, at this point, you can't be too pleased with your dog or cat's hair littering your hardwood flooring, intertwined in your carpet, or worst of all: stuck on 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 fresh dry cleaning. 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, well we went ahead and found six 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 six 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! 

The best vacuums for pet hair of 2021, according to our team

best vacuums for pet hair

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson Ball Animal 2

Best Dyson vacuum for pet hair: great suction for Dyson fans

Specifications
Best for: All-rounder
Type: Upright
Bagless: Yes
Cordless: No
Capacity: 2.08ltrs
Noise: 80dB
Weight: 17.35lb
Reasons to buy
+Powerful suction so great on carpet and hard flooring+The ball makes it easy to move+Long cord
Reasons to avoid
-Can be noisy-On the heavier side

If you have pets and love a Dyson, 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.

Tools
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.

The Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-awayReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Shark)

2. Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-Away

Best vacuum for long-haired pets: a self-cleaning brush roll tackles hair with ease

Specifications
Best for: power
Type: Upright
Bagless: Yes
Cordless: No
Weight: 16lb.
Capacity: 1 qt.
Reasons to buy
+Hair doesn't get stuck in the brush roll+Powerful suction+Powered Lift-away feature for hard-to-reach spots+DuoClean PowerFins maximize contact with floors
Reasons to avoid
-On the heavy side

If you have a long-haired dog or cat, you'll love the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-Away. 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. 

DuoClean PowerFins
 Double the pick up in one go with 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.

Powered Lift-Away
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. 

Bonus features
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. 

MIELE COMPLETE C3 CAT & dog

(Image credit: Miele)

3. Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog

Best vacuum cleaner for carpets: a cylinder vac built just for pet owners

Specifications
Best for: Easy emptying
Type: Cylinder
Bagless: No
Cordless: No
Weight: 23lbs
Capacity: 4.75qt.
Reasons to buy
+Powerful convenience+Great on pet hair+Handles all surfaces like a pro 
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Need to remember to keep bags on hand

Carpet-heavy home? This top-rated Cat and Dog version from Miele, known for its top-quality engineering, cylinder style designs 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 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.

Maneuverability
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.

dyson v11 animal

(Image credit: Dyson)

4. Dyson V11 Animal

Best cordless vacuum for pet hair: go cord-free to go pet-hair free

Specifications
Best for: cord-free cleaning
Type: Cordless
Bagless: Yes
Cordless: No
Weight: 6.68lb
Capacity: .2 gal
Reasons to buy
+Incredible power+Long-running time+Easy to maneuver+Notifies you when it needs to be emptied
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Charging takes a long time

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 V11 Animal is 100 percent worth it. With a running time of 60 minutes and an extremely powerful design, it should get through all your trials for a fur-free home. 

Suction power
Forget the inclination that cordless vacuums don't offer as much suction as a traditional corded model. The Dyson V11 Animal offers a powerful suction experience that can replace your need for a corded unit. Stemming from its Hyperdymium moto, the brush bar spins up to 60 times a second. It's an animal all on its own. 

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 V11 Animal 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.  There's even a mini-motorized tool that's great for stairs and targeting pet hair clean up in smaller spaces.  

Ease of use
At just over 6 lbs. the V11 Animal is incredibly lightweight. 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. 

best vacuums for pet hair

(Image credit: Walmart)

5. iRobot Roomba 980

Best robot vacuum cleaner for pet hair: an effortless way to get rid of pet hair

Specifications
Best for: Hands-free cleaning
Type: Robot
Bagless: Yes
Cordless: Yes
Weight: 8.7lbs
Capacity: 0.6ltrs
Noise level: 70dB
Reasons to buy
+High-efficiency filter +Multi-surface detection +Smart compatible (Alexa and Google)
Reasons to avoid
-Loud-Small capacity-Pricey for what will be a second vac

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 and is competent when it comes to picking up pet hair.

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.

Smart cleaning
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.

Cleaning power
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.

Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

(Image credit: Bissell)

6. Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Best value vacuum for pet hair: an Amazon's Choice that won't break the bank

Specifications
Best for: pet owners on a budget
Type: Upright
Bagless: Yes
Cordless: No
Weight: 15lbs
Capacity: 1ltr
Noise level: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Triple Action Brushroll lifts, loosens and removes embedded pet hair and won't scatter fine debris +Swivel steering for increased maneuverability +Pet TurboEraser hair removal tool 
Reasons to avoid
-A little clunky-No HEPA filtration

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 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 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.  

How to buy the best vacuum for pet hair

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:

Flooring
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.

Bagless?
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.

Capacity
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.

Suction power
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.

Noise level
Consider this if you have a little one at home all day who naps or a pet who doesn't like loud noises.

Brand
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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Jaclyn Turner
Jaclyn Turner

Jaclyn is an eCommerce editor at Future Home Interest, and scouts out the best of the best for buying guides to help you fill your home with housewares you will love. She joined the team in January 2021. She has previously worked with sites like Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, and MyDomaine, but got her start at the trade mag Home Furnishings News, which fueled her excitement for innovation in the home category and seeing the newest launches.  When Jaclyn's not working, she loves long strolls through HomeGoods, unwinding with a chilled glass of Rosé, and entertaining her Cavapoo puppy, Reese.