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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 households.
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 taking the plunge, consider:
- How often you use a vacuum (for example: daily, once every other day, once a week)
- Your floor surface mix (hardwoods, vinyl, linoleum, carpets, and rugs)
- Carpet and rug types
- Size and type of living area
- Ease of use
- Allergy concerns—allergy sufferers need a vacuum with a HEPA filter
Consider your most common cleaning scenarios and select a machine with strengths that match your needs: Do you frequently find long hairs trapped in your ultra-shaggy carpets? Do you struggle to suck up the kitty litter on the linoleum? Do you need to get between couch cushions or to be able to lug your vacuum up and down stairs?
Of course, budget is also a factor. If you can swing it, go for a more expensive model—pet hair vacuums often make up for their initial cost with impressive longevity. Take a look at warranty details, too.
These pet hair vacuums are the best on the market and range from handheld to canister to standard uprights. All of them have great reviews from dog people, online and in our Rover community—some have been tested in-house.
Best Budget Upright: Hoover PowerDrive Bagless Vacuum for Pet Hair (Verified Review)
For the price, the Hoover PowerDrive is a good deal thanks to a few key features, and in our test, we found that it’s a decent budget option that does the job.
Our tester noted that the machine, which includes four attachments—a dusting brush, crevice tool, turbo nozzle, and a wand—is easily assembled, user-friendly, and easy to operate, gliding smoothly over various surfaces, such as area rugs and hardwood floors.
She also liked:
- It’s uncomplicated, easy to clean, bagless, and features a large-capacity dirt cup that empties with the push of a button.
- Washable, reusable, air-cleaning HEPA filters that cut down on waste and the need to order additional accessories.
- Good suction in both upright mode and with the crevice tool and turbo brush that collected most pet hair on surfaces.
- The extra-long cord keeps the operator from having to re-plug as often when moving from room to room.
Alternately, some features stood out for being less-than-useful. For owners with timid or easily frightened pets, our reviewer noted that the machine isn’t any less noisy than most: “Our dogs weren’t traumatized by the new vacuum, but it certainly wasn’t their new favorite toy.”
What she didn’t like:
- It’s not light. At a bulky 16 pounds, it can be inconvenient to move up and down stairs, use to clean the car, and store.
- A lot of unnecessary plastic packaging in addition to a fair amount of cardboard packaging.
All in all, the Hoover PowerDrive bagless upright vacuum will do a serviceable job vacuuming your pet hair-filled home at an affordable price.Shop on Amazon
Best Handheld: Shark Rocket Corded Handheld Vacuum(Verified Review)
The Shark Rocket is one of the best values on this list. As a handheld vacuum cleaner, 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 10 dollars more (though the machine itself is easily used as-is in the car, noted our verified rave review and in-depth test, Bissell vs. Shark: The Ultimate Handheld Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner Smackdown).
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. For the price and versatility, this is a good deal in handheld vacuums, particularly for car cleanup.
As our tester noted in her verified review, comparing it to other models such as the Bissell Pet Hair Remover: “The Shark Rocket is more versatile, achieves better suction, generates less fan air and noise, works better on different floor types and conditions, and is easier to operate and clean in general.”Shop on Amazon
Best High-End Model: Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum (Verified Review)
Okay, we’ll just come right out and say it. This vacuum is expensive. It is very expensive. It’s 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’s built to outlast cheaper models—the manufacturer claims it has a 20-year life span—and though it has an average one-year warranty, there are Miele dealerships across the nation that can help with repairs if and when they are necessary.
With an air-cleaned, sealed filtration system, this machine 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” attachment goes to town on cat hair.
Other details help the Miele stand out from the pack, including a 3D bumper that protects walls and furniture from scuff marks while you clean. Strong suction, a complete seal, a sturdy vacuum head, and a six-stage motor that you can adjust with a foot pedal combine to make this a premier option.
In general, canister vacuum cleaners have more suction, but the tradeoff is needing to lug the canister around behind you as you clean. Our reviewer, who is used to upright vacuum cleaners, noted this wasn’t as big of a deal as she thought it would be: “I thought it would be annoying to drag it around while vacuuming, but I didn’t even notice it.” A bigger drawback, however, was that Miele filters can’t be washed and reused, and the bags are disposable and not reusable, either. “I’d prefer not to have to buy more filters,” our reviewer noted. “It just doesn’t feel good to throw-away bags, environmentally and fiscally speaking.”
On the plus side, the Miele is very quiet; so quiet in fact, our reviewer said her normally-scared-of-the-vacuum-cleaner chow mix stuck around to observe the machine in use.
“I love everything except the need for a vacuum bag and non-washable, reusable filter. I could see this vacuum shining in a home with a lot of deep plush carpet. It did a great job vacuuming our hardwood floors and the two rugs we have and was fantastic on the car’s carpet. It feels very solid, well balanced, and runs nicely, leading me to think it will hold up over the years.”
For more about the Miele Complete C3, read our full verified review here.Shop on Amazon
Best Basic Upright: Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Vacuum Cleaner (Verified Review)
We can all agree that what matters most in a pet-specific vacuum is how well the unit picks up dirt, dog hair, and cat hair. During our in-home test, our reviewer noted strong suction, “from both the rotating brush intake on the floor and the hose when disconnected, crucial to handling pet hair.”
With five height adjustment settings, it works on everything from linoleum to a high-pile carpet. But pet hair and fur will easily clog the canister and reduce performance, our reviewer found, so it’s “important to clean the roller brushes, the foam filter, and the accessory tools regularly. Empty the canister with every use. Cat hair was immediately present and interwoven in all brushes and therefore they will be most effective when cleaned regularly (perhaps every other vacuuming).”
Other practical features included a lightweight body (10 pounds), easy-to-clean dirt cup, and a convenient cord rewind.
Potential drawbacks include a hose extension attachment that’s not long enough to reach ceiling corners (for cobwebs, etc.) and an awkward handle grip.
Our overall take? “This is a low-budget, economical vacuum with a lot of suction and some great features. It’s lightweight but still solid, seems like it could take some coffee-table corner bangs without crumbling, and has a nice headlamp at the base. I love the ability to clean down to bare floors, which is especially useful before mopping or steaming. The positives strongly outweigh the negatives. Overall, the vacuum is very intuitive to assemble, use, and maintain.”Shop on Amazon
Best Handheld for Small Jobs: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Hand Vacuum (Verified Review)
While it won’t replace a large vacuum for bigger surfaces, This 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: As our reviewer found over and over again, the Pet Hair Remover is best suited for pet hair. It’s not as effective for sucking up regular old dirt (read our full Bissell review here).Shop on Amazon
Research shows a whopping 15% of the population is allergic to pets. However, according to one study, even if allergic people are advised to give up their pets by the doctor, only one in five people did.
A secreted protein released by dander and saliva is to blame for allergies. These allergens are sticky, clinging to pet fur as well as clothing, mattresses, drapes, or bedding for long periods. They also stay suspended in the air for several hours.
Vacuuming frequently can keep allergens from piling up. The single most important key to effective vacuum cleaning is to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which removes 99.97% of all tiny particles.
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.
Shark has several models of pet vacuums, but the Apex is the biggest and most powerful one, with 1,350 watts of sucking power. Some reviewers say it’s a bit heavy; others don’t mind because of how strong it is. The canister detaches to become a handheld, portable vacuum to use on stairs and the vacuum’s Complete Seal, anti-allergen HEPA filtration system removes allergens and pet odors. It also has built-in noise reduction to protect your—and your pets’—ears from that scary vacuum cleaner sound.
The Apex has one more super-cool feature: a self-cleaning brush roll that removes pet hair as it’s picked up, directing it straight into the canister. No more stuck rollers or picking and unwrapping long hair from the roller brush with your fingers!Shop on Amazon
If you’re ready to do some deep cleaning, this vacuum is here for you. It’s expensive, but according to the hundreds of people who’ve left reviews about it, the Dyson Ball Animal Upright is worth the investment.
Beyond having the best in basically every category from suction to filtration, this vacuum is designed for homes with pets, with a tangle-free turbine tool that removes hair. Instead of filters, this vacuum uses whole-machine HEPA filtration, making it both asthma- and allergy-friendly. The cleaner head adjusts automatically to the type of surface it is rolling over, from hard floors to carpets and back again.
There are two downsides: One, the internal fine mesh screen can get clogged if you’re dealing with a lot of pet hair. It’s relatively easy to clean, but you’ll have to take apart the vacuum to do so. Two, some reviewers complain of its weight, so if lightness is a factor for you, this may not be the right choice.Shop on Amazon
This two-in-one anti-allergen vacuum has a high-performance filter that captures over 99% of allergens, and it can run for up to an hour on a single charge. Plus, you can go from floors to ceilings with the extension wand and four-foot hose. Extra features include touchpad controls, adjustable suction speed, and LED lights.Shop on Amazon
Kenmore makes old-school workhorse vacuums that have stood the test of time. This upright bagged beltless model has a fast-spinning roller brush that picks up dander, pet hair, and dirt from floors, furniture, and stairs. The HEPA filter system keeps 99.97% of allergens in the bag—it’s even certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The included Pet Handi-Mate tool gets into hard-to-reach places.Find on Amazon
There are benefits to bagged vacuums, particularly for those with allergies. For one thing, they contain all that sucked-up dirt and pet hair in one disposable receptacle, which means you don’t have to vacuum the vacuum cleaner itself.
The Eureka Mighty Mite is ideal for pet people with allergies because all that dander and dust goes straight into the bag with less risk of it re-entering the air. Its built-in HEPA filtration system captures over 99.7% of the dust. Reviewers like how compact this unit is, making it handy for vacuuming multilevel homes.Shop on Amazon
Some of us like to set our vacuums free and forget about ’em. To that, we say, more (suction) power to you. 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.)
For more, see our article on robot vacuums for pet owners.Buy Now on Amazon
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; it’s 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. We especially like that this pet vacuum converts to a handheld, perfect for upholstery or stairs.
Like other Dyson vacuums, the filtration system is excellent—and while yes, it’s battery-operated, the battery life is surprisingly good, at about an hour. The charging time is between 3.5–4.5 hours, which does mean you’ll have to take a breather between heavy cleaning sessions.Find on Amazon
This 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 canister style 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 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.Buy Now on Amazon
The new bagless upright from Hoover is noted for its powerful, long-lasting suction. Other features we like include the large dust cup and its ability to switch easily from hardwoods to carpets. This Hoover offers premium power at an affordable price.Shop on Amazon
The Bissell Cleanview is notable for its swivel steering, which makes it fast and easy to maneuver around your floors. Reviewers love how versatile it is; it can go from wood floors to tiles to carpet with no problem. And the specialized pet tools for cleaning mini-blinds, corners, and upholstery store right onboard, so you can switch out tools in a jiffy.
Another great feature of this vacuum: its retractable cord. Just press the “rewind” button to wrap up the cord and store it away for the next time you need to clean up pet hair.Find on Amazon
This lightweight, bagless pet vacuum cleaner is a bargain buy. It may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the pricier vacuums available, but its SpinPro roller brush and strong suction help lift and remove pet hair and dirt. It even comes with a detachable cleaning wand and “Turboclaw” pet tool designed to easily vacuum couches and crevices.
Reviewers praise the strong, long-lasting suction. Overall, the Dirt Devil Razor is a great choice for pet people on a budget.Shop on Amazon
Here’s another hands-free robot vacuum that does the work so you can put up your feet and relax with your dog. At under 3 inches high, the Eufy BoostIQ fits under low furniture to suck up all that dust, dirt, and pet hair. And reviewers love how quiet it is, with powerful suction that’s no louder than a microwave.Find on Amazon
One of the most unusual-looking vacuums on the market, the AirRam turns out to be unusually good at cleaning up pet hair. With a 22V lithium-ion battery, it delivers up to 40 minutes of powerful suction with no pesky cords underfoot. Speaking of feet, use yours to push the large on/off foot pedal without bending down. Purchasers say the AirRam is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to maneuver around furniture.Shop on Amazon
Eureka’s a brand name that’s been around for more than a century; this FloorRover upright model is right up there among the shiniest, newest models in looks and performance. Reviewers rave about its pet hair cleaning powers and maneuverability. With an ergonomic handle, easy-glide wheels, and swivel steering, it’s comfortable to steer around the whole house.
The attached pet turbo brush will spin its blades to grab pet hair and dander. And once you’re done vacuuming, just rinse off the filters.Buy Now on Amazon
This powerful handheld vacuum is cordless, lightweight, and strong. It’s also ultra-compact, making it perfect for everything from vacuuming the car to sucking up furballs from floors. The included pet-hair brush does a great job of removing fur from upholstery. Reviewers love the Flex Vac’s portability and flexibility, giving examples of using it for sucking up cat litter and cleaning the interior of an RV.Shop on Amazon
The right pet hair vacuum is out there. Do a bit of research to find the right fit, then enjoy the benefits of less pet hair and dander in your home. Need more? We’ve got you covered for all things related to pet hair, pet allergies, and pet cleanup.
- 9 Best Handheld Pet Hair Vacuums
- 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