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You can’t stop the shedding, but thankfully, you’ve got these powerful vacuums on your side. Whatever your budget, we’ve rounded up the best pet hair vacuums that work for real dog and cat owners.
Finding the best vacuum is a research process, to be sure. A good vacuum is one of the most important (and most expensive) pet tools you’ll purchase. Before making the plunge, consider:
- Your carpet type
- Floor surface mix
- Size and type of living area
- Ease of use
- Allergy concerns (allergy sufferers need a vacuum with a HEPA filter)
For instance: do you frequently find long hairs trapped in your ultra shaggy carpets? Or do you struggle to really suck up the kitty litter on the linoleum? Do you need a crevice tool for couch cushions? Do you have to climb stairs? Look carefully at the features for your specific scenario so you can feel confident that you’re getting what you need.
Of course, budget is also a factor. If you can swing it, the pricier pet hair vacuums often make up for the initial cost in longevity. Take a look at warranty details, too.
These pet hair vacuums range from handheld to canister to a standard upright vacuum, and all of them have great reviews from dog people, online and in our Rover community.
The Best Vacuums for Dog People (Cats Too!)
To prevent shedding, be sure to groom your dog regularly (and if you can, brush them outside!) Even regular grooming, however, can’t prevent the pileup of dog hair from certain coat types. That’s where a daily vacuum works wonders.
- Hoover PowerDrive Pet
- Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
- bObsweep Robotic Vacuum
- Dyson Ball Animal Upright
- Dyson V11 Animal Cordless
- Shark Rotator LiftAway TruePet
- Shark Rocket Corded Handheld Vacuum
- Electrolux UltraFlex Canister Vacuum
- Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Read on for an in-depth dive into our pet hair vacuum picks this year.
For the price, the Hoover PowerDrive is a great deal thanks to the attention to quality. In particular, we love that the brush roll doesn’t get tangled with pet hair – which is why many pet owners rave that this is the best vacuum cleaner for removing cat & dog hair. It also has a hard floor function; flip the switch and you can use it to suck up kitty litter, pet hair, and crumbs from the kitchen and bathroom.
Like you’d expect from a modern vacuum, the Hoover has good swivel steering. But as an added bonus, this bad boy uses powerful LED lights, making it easy to see in dim, dark rooms or small spaces. Lastly, because it’s bagless, all you have to do is empty the dust cup into the trash and voila. Note that at 16 pounds, it’s certainly not the heaviest pet hair vacuum around, but it’s still somewhat heavy for lugging up the stairs.
Promising Review: “I’m amazed at how much hair it picks up! I have a German Shepherd, two cats and two very messy kids who leave crumbs and small pieces of garbage all over the place. This vacuum picks it all up. I never thought I’d love a vacuum.”Buy Now on Amazon for $149
While it won’t replace a large vacuum for bigger surfaces, Bissell’s little number is perfect for furniture, dog beds, cat stands, and small messes. It’s lightweight, handheld, and boasts a nozzle with rubber comb-like bristles to grab dog and cat hair. Note that it’s really just for pet hair: it’s not as effective for sucking up regular old dirt.
Promising Review: “Holy crap!! I’ve seriously bought every kind of vacuum out there … I have 4 cats and a Golden Retriever, so I was getting desperate! I. Am. SOLD! BTW, I’ve NEVER taken the time to review a product before, just FYI.”Buy Now on Amazon for $34.99
Some of us like to set our vacuums free and forget about ’em, and to that, we say, more (suction) power to ya. Robot vacuums for the win! This alternative to the Roomba was designed specifically for pet owners, with features aimed at picking up hair and dust. Though it’s pricier than others on the list, the convenience may just be worth it for you.
Pro tip: you can find older versions at half the cost.
Promising Review: “I love my new bObsweep Pet hair vacuum. It has great suction and is easy to use. It’s an attractive design and the blue color is beautiful. We have three small rescue dogs so it gets a little hairy at our house. In the morning I turn bOb loose and in forty-five minutes all the pet hair and anything else that’s on the floor is gone. … The new WiFi remote works like a charm from anywhere in the house. I’m just sorry it took us so long to get one.” – late_niteBuy Now on Amazon for $281.99
This vacuum is expensive, but according to the hundreds of people who’ve left reviews about this “dream come true for pet owners,” the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Vacuum is worth the investment. If you’re ready to do some deep cleaning, this vacuum is here for you.
Beyond having the best in basically every category from suction to filtration, this vacuum is designed specifically for homes with pets, with a tangle-free turbine tool that removes hair. This vacuum doesn’t use filters but rather, features whole machine HEPA filtration. That’s why it’s both asthma- and allergy-friendly. The cleaner head adjusts automatically for the type of surface, which means you don’t have to push any buttons when switching from hard floors to carpets.
There are two downsides. One is that if you’re dealing with a lot of pet hair, this vacuum can get clogged—specifically the internal fine mesh screen. It’s relatively easy to clean it out, but you’ll have to take apart the vacuum to do so and get that suction back.
Lastly, some reviewers complain of its weight, so if you have trouble with lifting, this may not be the vacuum for you.
Promising Review: “If there is another vacuum cleaner which can do the work as well as this one, I’d have to see it to believe it. The Dyson is that good cleaning better than I thought possible with reasonable noise and no smell to get your allergies to kick in. If you demand the very best in a clean house, I seriously doubt you can do better than this amazing unit. After running this cleaner through my house, the place has a fresh air smell as if the air were scrubbed. The smell or lack of smell is like you get after a rain. It’s a wonderfully effective cleaner.” – Vine reviewer PaulBuy Now on Amazon for $349
If you’ve got your eye on a Dyson vacuum but also want something flexible and lightweight, this cordless stick vacuum might be for you. The upgraded Dyson V11 is very popular with pet owners thanks to its efficient motor, which makes it much more powerful than other stick vacuums on the market. It works well on both carpet and hardwood floors and comes with all the typical attachments, including a crevice tool for sucking up hair, crumbs, and dirt from between couch cushions and under furniture.
Like other Dyson vacuums, the filtration system is excellent—and while yes, it’s battery-operated, the battery life is surprisingly good. The charging time is between 3.5 – 4.5 hours, which does mean you’ve got to take a breather between heavy cleaning sessions (if they’re going to last longer than 60 minutes at a time.)
We especially like that this pet vacuum converts to a handheld vacuum, which makes it a great upholstery tool or stair vacuum.
Promising Review: “Wow, I am pleasantly surprised. I saw other reviews saying people really liked it, but I am always suspicious of battery powered devices. This is a great vacuum. The station it charges on is well made and easy to use. I am finding I use it more often and my house is cleaner more often because I don’t have to haul out the big floor vacuum. The cordless aspect of it makes it really easy to grab and do a touch-up or do a full vacuum. The big selling point for me is that it converts to a handheld vacuum for stairs. Stairs with carpet are just a hard thing to do with a traditional upright vacuum and any attachment is just an afterthought and don’t work very well. This one has an attachment that really works well for stairs.”Buy Now on Amazon for $584.99
The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet is a high-quality alternative to the Dyson that many pet parents swear by. Beyond great suction, commenters love how lightweight, maneuverable, and easy to handle it is. Shark offers a variety of vacuums; this one is their pet-specific model.
The TruePet converts from an upright vacuum cleaner to a handheld one when you’re working with stairs and furniture, though it is heavy, so vacuuming stairs can get awkward if you have several to do. Some reviewers also note that the suction is not as good on very thick carpets. That said, this is definitely one of the best pet hair vacuums in this price range.
A lower-priced alternative from Shark is the Shark Navigator LiftAway, which features the same anti-allergen seal technology but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Rotator.
Promising Review: “Exceptionally easy to assemble and easy to use. Powerful suction, doesn’t get clogged with pet hair (I have 3 dogs and too many cats to admit to), works great on both carpet and hard floors. Quickly removes cobwebs from ceilings and walls. All the attachments work wonderfully. I absolutely love it, a great birthday gift to myself.”Buy Now on Amazon for $279.99
The Shark Rocket is one of the best values on this list. As a handheld vacuum cleaner, it’s not ideal for cleaning large rooms, but it’s extremely useful when it comes to furniture, stairs, and quick cleanup jobs. If you need it for the car, a vacuum attachment kit for car detailing is only about ten dollars more.
So, how does it work? With a long power cord and stretch hose, it’s easy to maneuver. The dusting brush is designed for hard-to-reach surfaces and the foot-long crevice tool is great for furniture. The True Pet motorized brush is designed especially for pet hair, but it doesn’t quite have the necessary “oomph” for deep carpets. For shorter carpets, bare floors, and upholstery, it’s just fine.
As a smaller vacuum than others on the list, the dust cup needs to be emptied more often—simply do it over a trash can so that you don’t get the dust flying everywhere. For the price and versatility, this is a good deal in handheld vacuums, particularly for car cleanup.
Helpful Review: “The power is fantastic, it really has strong suction and cleans very well. For use on stairs, it can’t be beaten. I use the pet brush with the mini beater bar and it’s exactly what I needed to vacuum my carpeted stairs. The unit is also very solidly built.”Buy Now on Amazon for $84.79
The Electrolux vacuum is particularly beloved for its ability to suck up long pet hairs from plush or extra-soft carpets. Reviewers point out that its suction power and brush rolls easily handle deep carpet without getting clogged. In fact, the brush rolls have a self-cleaning feature to prevent tangles. Adjust the height for use on a variety of surfaces.
Some users complain about hard-to-reach customer service for this brand, however.
Promising Review: “Great vacuum. Read many reviews before purchasing and am very happy with my purchase. It does a great job with our thicker carpets and three cats. The special head works really well for this. Removes most fur with one go over. I like the furniture attachment and this works very well too. The cord is quite stiff as others mentioned in their reviews, but it doesn’t detract from how well this vacuum works.” -Di and Eugene VenterBuy Now on Amazon for $258
Okay, we’ll just come right out and say it. This vacuum is expensive. It is very expensive. It is an investment in every sense of the word—but if you can afford it, the Miele is an absolute BEAST. There’s a reason it’s known as one of the best vacuums for pet hair you can buy. One Rover employee with a high-shedding husky mix says that her Miele is “the best thing [she] ever bought, hands-down.” Plus, it will outlast cheaper models and comes with a great warranty.
With an air-cleaned, sealed filtration system, the Miele actually tackles pet odor along with dog and cat hair, pet dander, and regular old dirt. The dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool get those hard to reach areas, while the “turbo brush” (great name, no?) goes to town on cat hair. Other details help the Miele stand out from the pack, including a 3D bumper that protects the walls and furniture from scuff marks while you clean. Strong suction, a complete seal, a sturdy vacuum head, and the six-stage motor that you can adjust with a foot pedal combine to make this a premiere option.
In general, canister vacuum cleaners have more suction, but the tradeoff is needing to lug the canister around behind you as you clean. The Miele Complete C3 offers that great suction with a lightweight design and a comfort handle, and indeed, it’s well-reviewed for ease of use issues. It’s also particularly quiet, which is handy if your pet is scared of vacuums, as mine are.
Promising Review: “All I can say is WOW. If you have the means buy this vacuum. I have avoided spending this kind of money on a vacuum for ten years. Then we got a puppy. We love dogs, but we have guests that are allergic or just grossed out by a smelly house. I researched and researched and researched….This vacuum cleans the floor and keeps your air clean. It is another level of air filtration.”Buy Now on Amazon for $1,028.95
Best Pet Hair Vacuums for Allergies
Studies show a whopping 15% of the population is allergic to pets. One study showed that even if advised to give up their pet by their doctor, only one of five people did.
What makes a person allergic? A secreted protein released by dander and saliva is to blame—these allergens are sticky, clinging to pet fur but also clothing, mattresses, drapes, or bedding for long periods of time. They also stay suspended in the air for several hours.
To deal with your allergies, invest in a great vacuum. Vacuuming frequently can keep allergens from piling up. The single most important key to vacuuming frequently is to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which removes 99.97% of all tiny particles.
Even more important is a vacuum that can trap allergens instead of redistributing them through the air. The vacuum must be properly sealed or dirty air can bypass the filter, sending allergens right back into the home.
Once you have the right vacuum, make sure you empty it outside in your outdoor garbage can to prevent spreading the trapped allergens in your home.
The Bottom Line
The right pet hair vacuum is out there. Do your research to get the right fit, then sit back and enjoy the benefits of less pet hair and dander in your home.
Need more? We’ve got you covered for all things pet hair, pet allergies, and pet cleanup.
- 10 Practical Ways to Control Your Pet Allergies
- 12 Dog Hair Removal Tools That Will Change Your Life
- 6 Tools for Dealing with Excessive Shedding in Dogs
- Our 5 Best Tricks for Getting Rid of that Dog Pee Smell
- This Is my New Favorite Weapon for Fighting Dog Hair and It’s $8