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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 (high pile, low pile)
- 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.
The Best Pet Hair Vacuums for Dog and Cat Households
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 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 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.
Best Budget Upright: Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
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.
Best Handheld: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser hand vacuum offers a great value for its price. As a handheld, cordless vacuum, it’s ideal for small cleanup jobs and even comes with a set of specialized tools to target dog hair, including a motorized brush tool to help lift out embedded hair and dirt from upholstery or car seats.
As a smaller vacuum than some others on the list, the dust cup needs to be emptied more often. However, for the price and versatility, this is a good deal in handheld vacuums, particularly for car cleanup.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
This handheld cordless vacuum is ideal for cleaning up small messes and removing pet hair from vehicles.
Best Basic Upright: Eureka Lightweight Powerful Upright Vacuum Cleaner, New Model
One of our favorite budget vacuums got an upgrade from the last time we tested it, and we’re liking it even more. 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. With five height adjustment settings, it works on everything from linoleum to a high-pile carpet.
This vacuum’s power system was updated with new cyclone technology that picks up even microscopic pieces of dust, debris, and pet hair. Other practical features include a lightweight body (10 pounds), an easy-to-clean dirt cup, and a convenient cord rewind. Like the previous version, this new model comes with a variety of attachments to make cleaning easier, including a quick-release handle, 7-inch-long crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tools.
Eureka Lightweight Powerful Upright Vacuum Cleaner, New Model
An easy top use, lightweight upright vacuum that works well on a variety of surfaces.
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).
Best Pet Hair Vacuums for Allergies
It’s estimated a whopping 10-20% 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.
There’s no question Miele is one of the highest quality vacuum cleaners you buy. The Germany-based company has been in the game for over 100 years, and its loyal following and widely well-reviewed products (just Google it) underscore the company’s commitment to quality.
You’ll pay—oh, how you will pay; the above unit retails for about $699—but the fact is Miele is the gold standard when it comes to these machines (as our reviewer of the C3 Cat and Dog canister model indicates here—spoiler alert, she converted her love of Dyson to Miele).
Here are the notable features about this particular Miele model:
- Unlike most other Miele models, this cord-free, battery operated vacuum is lighter and easier to use, without a canister or bag to maneuver or maintain (like most of its other models); you empty it via a dust cup near the handle
- It’s especially made for cat and dog owners with a HEPA lifetime filter that reportedly captures nearly 100% of allergy-inducing dust and dander
- A versatile 3-in-1 design allows for infinite ways to clean, from standard upright operation to a lightweight handheld style, great for all floor surfaces, and the car, too
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!
Shark Apex Upright Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning
This large, powerful vacuum has a HEPA filtration system and features noise reduction technology, which is better suited for pets with sensitive hearing.
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.
Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum
This splurge-worthy vacuum features powerful suction (great for stubborn pet hairs) and is highly-rated by pet parents.
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.
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.
Eureka Mighty Mite 3670M Corded Canister Vacuum
If you prefer a canister vacuum, this compact canister style is one of the more affordable options.
Other Great Pet Hair Vacuums
As a more affordable alternative to the Shark Apex vacuum, the Shark Navigator upright vacuum has many of the same great features as the other vacuum but at a more affordable price point. Among them is a self-cleaning brush roll that prevents long pet hairs from clogging it, a HEPA filter to trap allergy-causing particles, and an extendable hose that allows you to better reach above and below furniture.
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum
Pet hair is no match for this Shark vacuum that’s a budget version of the Shark Apex.
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.
Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
This cordless stick vacuum offers powerful suction while being lightweight and compact in size.
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.
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet
This upright vacuum can transform to a canister-style one when needed, making it ideal for tackling carpeted stairs and furniture.
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 swivel steering allows for 180-degree movement to easily sweep up pet hair in hard-to-reach spots. Pet hair doesn’t stand a chance with the Spin4Pro Premium Pet Brushroll designed specifically to pick up pesky pet hair.
Overall, reviewers rave about how well this vacuum works, and note it’s comparable to many of the higher-priced vacuums on the market.
Here’s a 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 with 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.
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.
Gtech AirRam MK2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
This unusual-looking, low-profile vacuum claims to be exceptional at sucking up pet hair.
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.
Eureka FloorRover Dash Upright Pet Vacuum
Reviewers give this upright vacuum a thumbs-up for its ability to suck up pet hair and dander and for its easy maneuverability.
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.
Black & Decker Flex Vac with Pet Hair Brush
This cordless handheld vacuum is convenient to use for everything from vacuuming the car to sucking up furballs from floors.
The Bottom Line
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.