Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: January 23, 2021
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You might think that a good vacuum cleaner is good for all cleaning jobs, but they do in fact have specialties. Some vacuums are better for specific purposes than others. In this article, we’re exploring the best vacuum for pet hair. Pet hair can be very awkward and is different to most of what a vacuum will collect. For this reason, some manufacturers have created specific pet hair designs and attachments which pick up the long thin animal hairs with ease.
In our reviews we’ve looked at the features that make a pet hair vacuum great such as the weight, how long the cord is and what sort of warranty the manufacturers are offering. We’ve also looked at specific attachments or design features which make the vacuum specifically good for pet hair. The type of vacuum is also a big feature to consider, whether it is corded, cordless or even a robot vacuum.
Our team spent a huge amount of time researching the subject, and have looked into different types of vacuum cleaner which can do the job of picking up pet hair effectively. We have used firsthand experience as well as consumer reviews, YouTube demonstrations and discussions to evaluate which are the best vacuums for this purpose. Our guide has a simple table to compare models as well as in-depth reviews. There is also a buying guide to help you to work out which features are most vital to you.
The Shark brand is full of great vacuum cleaners, Shark Navigator Deluxe NV42 is a product which is very well suited to pet hair problems. Even though it isn’t specifically marketed as it, this is the best Shark vacuum for pet hair.
This is designed to be cordless, bagless and easy to use. The versatility of this vacuum is backed up by the incredibly lightweight design. It is just 15 lbs in weight. In spite of this, it has a large cup which means you can clean for longer without having to purge your pet hair.
In spite of being light and easy to use it also doesn’t lose suction over time, and its performance remains steadily powerful throughout the entire cleaning session, time after time.
The dust brush, brushroll, and crevice tools are all very good tools for helping you to get a thorough clean which removes pet hair. This is a vacuum that can be used around the whole house with ease and though it isn’t specifically for hair, the attachments ensure it does a wonderful job.
The fact this doesn’t need to be plugged in to mains power to be used means it is arguably the best cordless vacuum cleaner.
If you are looking for a robot vacuum on a budget, then it might be best to look to the ones further down the list now! This is one of the more expensive pet hair vacuums out there. If, however, you are having some real problems with pet hair and are willing to spend a little more to fix these issues, the Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum has the features to justify its purchase.
Not only does this have a great method of navigating around the home and capacity to set up schedules. It also has enough sensors to ensure it doesn’t bump into anything or fall down stairs.
Like many other robot vacuums it uses the Mi home app to let you monitor, schedule and also control the product via your voice using Alexa or other smart home products.
One feature that makes this excellent for pet hair is the ‘multi-mode’ functionality which means you can change the setting based on how much power you need and also based on the surface you wish to clean, making this not only one of the best robot vacuums for pet hair on the market, but also an excellent choice for hardwood floors.
The battery life is also very impressive: 150 minutes of vacuuming means your entire house can be cleaned without interruption.
If you are looking for the best stick vacuum for pet hair then you probably won’t be overawed by choice. There aren’t too many of them on the market. The benefits are that this is extremely lightweight at well under 10 lbs. It can be used both as an upright vacuum or converted into a handheld vacuum which can be used on furniture.
The tech of ‘hard floor hero’ means that this is one of the best vacuums for laminate floors and hard floors, as it can bring up items and debris which have become stuck on the floor. It is great for all sorts of wooden and hard flooring.
The pet-specific features include a pet multi-tool which can scrape away and lift up pet hair whatever the surface. It is great for couches, chairs, even beds and other furniture.
Another top feature is the LED lighting which allows you to see all the dust and hair you need to pick up from the floor. You can remove hair you would otherwise have missed.
The controls are super easy as it can swivel around and is super lightweight. In spite of being so small and intuitive it also has a large dust cup, so you don’t have to rush to get rid of the contents whenever you want to use it.
What we liked:
Lightweight and easy to store.
30-foot cord allows a large surface area of movement
This is a robot vacuum with some very cool features, but you will pay a little more for the privilege. It comes with a higher price tag due to its clever robot mop functionalities and the fact it has some extra power and can be controlled from the app.
The way this navigates is different to a lot of other robotic cleaners. It has 13 sensors and follows a ‘methodical’ path around rooms rather than the more random way some others move. This helps it to not collide, or jam under anything. It can also charge itself by going to its dock.
1800 Pa of suction power is perfect for pet hair, this can pretty much suck up any debris out there and it does a great job of even stubborn hair from bigger animals.
Connecting this to an app on your phone gives you such an incredible amount of control. You can control the direction it is going to, see the areas it has covered and even schedule the cleaner to do its thing when you want it to. For instance, you could get it to vacuum up the pet hair while you are at work.
As well as vacuuming this also has a mop function which uses water to clean stains and other marks from both carpets and other types of flooring. This can add an extra level of cleaning to ensure you’re rid of any pet hair.
Though a lot of people are opting for vacuum cleaners which are robotic in this day and age, the best handheld vacuums for pet hair can be upright too, and the Dirt Devil is designed specifically for those who need to pick up annoying hairs from their carpets.
This is a good quality vacuum even if you ignore the pet features. It doesn’t lose suction, and it has a 25-foot cord which also comes with an extendable hose so you can clean smaller areas. The XL dirt cup means you don’t have to clean it out as often.
The specific pet related features include a ‘brushroll’ which is great for both carpets and hard floors and helps remove hairs which are stuck. The Turboclaw tool can also be attached and this allows you to effectively use it in a handheld manner to get hairs off of stairs or your couch, for instance. The filter built in is also designed to keep pet smells to a minimum in your home.
The steering system is designed to be intuitive and easily coast around corners. It is designed to be far less frustrating than the models of hoover we may remember from years gone by which were almost impossible to move freely!
What we liked:
Good value for money
Lots of pet attachments and pet hair specific features
The eufy Boost IQ RoboVac 11S is the best robot vacuum for pet hair. It has a huge amount of functions which are great for picking up stubborn hairs, but being a robot vacuum also means that it is one of the easiest ways to get the floors in your home cleaned.
The manufacturers claim that this is the slimmest robotic vacuum cleaner available. It is just 2.85 inches tall which means that it is great for getting into difficult areas such as under tables and beds where your pets may have shed their hair.
The “IQ” technology the brand offers is a way to increase the power if required. The vacuum will sense whether it needs a little extra boost. The suction is already at 1300 Pa, which is plenty of power for most homes.
Like many other robot vacuums, this model uses infrared for sensing where there are sizeable options in the way. It can also sense where there is a drop so as not to fall down the stairs.
There is a remote control, and it comes with side brushes which can also help to get those extra little hairs which end up in awkward places. The Robovac 11S is able to automatically go back to its base and recharge and then be ready whenever it is needed.
This is an incredibly popular vacuum cleaner, and it is easy to see why. If you are looking for a robot vacuum for cleaning pet hair this is worth considering.
The Eureka isn’t such a big brand as some of the other products to make the list, but this product has plenty of features which are suitable for those who live with pets that shed hair.
This is one of the nicest vacuums to steer that we’ve come across. It has a wheel design which makes it so easy to swivel and change direction.
The dust cup has a huge capacity, so it will allow you to clean for a long time without having to remove the contents of the cup.
One of the most impressive aspects of this vacuum is the HEPA filter. This is designed to filter out particles which are tiny and ensures 99.9% of allergens, which can be a real issue if you have pets with a lot of fur.
Tools to help you further with pet hair include the turbo brush, a tool to help with upholstered items and furniture, and a crevice tool for reaching small areas and down the sides of furniture, for instance, with all this making it a great vacuum for long hair in particular.
Generally, this modern design is a good alternative to some of the other best vacuum cleaners for pet hair and is especially good if you need to remove allergens which you or a family member may be sensitive to.
What we liked:
Exceptional filtration system
Comes with specific tools for pet hair such as turbo brush
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser may not have the immense amount of technology some of the other brands offer, but it does have plenty to offer and gives you the power to control exactly where you are cleaning. It is one of the best handheld vacuums for pet hair.
Bissell have made this product specifically to remove pet hair. It has a brush tool which is motorized and does a great job of dislodging and moving hairs. As the brand is committed to helping animals (and their owners) they donate $10 to the Bissell pet foundation for every buyer of this vacuum.
There are three levels of filter and the cleaning is pretty thorough for a handheld tool. Naturally it is tougher to get carpet hairs with a product like this and it is designed more for furniture or even cars. it has attachments for upholstery and getting into crevices.
The 14V Li-Ion battery is able to last almost 20 minutes without recharging. This isn’t amazing, but it is fine for a product which you will likely only use for the odd extra bits of cleaning.
All-in-all, if you just need a good option for getting stubborn individual bits of pet hair from surfaces then this could be an option. For large areas, you may need an upright or robot vacuum.
What we liked:
Multiple attachments for hard-to-reach areas
Lightweight and small
Donation to Bissell charity as a result of purchase
The second Bissell vacuum on our list is a great upright option, and yet another of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair in their range due to being designed specifically for this purpose.
A 30 feet cord is plenty of reach for most homes, and means you won’t be constantly changing the power supply. The vacuum can function as just a normal vacuum cleaner if you do not have pets, but the specialisms for pets are what makes it reach our list.
The pet features include a turboeraser tool which is packed with functions designed specifically for pet hair. Removing allergens is one of the main advantages, and something not every type of vacuum can do. The 2 in 1 pet brush attaches to a wand and it’s ‘fingers’ help you to remove even stubborn stains and hairs from all sorts of furniture and other surfaces. The crevice tool is something many products of this type can offer, but the Bissell has an LED light to help you to see the hair to remove it more effectively.
Swivelling functions in the steering means you can easily navigate with this vacuum, and the ‘edge to edge’ technology also means that the whole of the bottom of the vacuum cleaner is used for suction, with none lost at the edges.
The brush roll is designed to avoid tangling, which is not something that most competitors can offer.
What we liked:
Tangle-free brush roll great for long pet hairs
LED lighting for small crevices.
Inbuilt filter to remove pet smells
What could be better:
Large items can get stuck
Louder than some competitors
Things to Сonsider
What is the best vacuum for one person’s needs may not be best for someone else. It will depend on not only the type of floors and furniture you need to vacuum, but also on the type of pet you have. Considering the length of the hairs and how irritable they may be is vital.
Our buying guide is in place to help you establish which of the features are most important for you and your home, and to understand what makes a good quality vacuum.
Advantages of having a vacuum for pet hair
An ordinary vacuum might not be the best if you have pets who are constantly leaving hairs on your furniture or on the floor. These hairs can get in awkward places, meaning you have to vacuum every square inch, and not every vacuum is cut out to do this. Vacuums which have been made with pets in mind often have attachments to make this easier. They will also have a lot of suction which helps in bringing up the hair which may have got stuck in the couch or carpet.
Pet hair vacuums also tend to have features which will brush up some of the hairs which may be embedded. In the modern age, we can even find vacuums which require us to do absolutely nothing, as robot vacuums have started to flood the market.
Features to consider when choosing a pet hair vacuum
The following are the main features on which we have judged these vacuums on, and the main aspects you should consider when reading reviews and working out which model best suits your own needs. There are a lot of different types of vacuum. While some are considered a little more ‘old fashioned’ such as the upright vacuums, they still have their merits.
Type of vacuum
There are a surprising amount of types and subcategories of vacuum cleaners on the market. Of course, robot vacuums are all the rage at the moment. These have a lot of advantages, not least of all because they save you the time and hassle of having to do the cleaning yourself. However, these do have their disadvantages, as they make it harder to clean furniture. The carpets and hard floors are where the robot vacuum is most effective.
Upright vacuums are ever-popular. These can come in canister or stick designs, which relates to the size of the body. Upright cleaners tend to be cheaper than the other models, which is a big advantage. They’ve come a long way in recent years and decades and are much easier to use than vacuums of days gone by.
Handheld vacuums are great for smaller and more specific areas. They tend to be cordless and are great for vacuuming up hair from furniture and even in the car after a trip out with your pets.
However, these vacuums don’t handle large surface areas at all, so should be used alongside another vacuum cleaner.
Power can be a difficult thing to measure specifically, especially with models which are not robot vacuums. However, a good gauge of power will come from the Amp measurement. Some work more efficiently than others, and product reviews are the best way to get to grips with whether a vacuum is powerful enough. As you would expect, a smaller model or a handheld vacuum won’t offer as much power, but within larger upright models there is quite a lot of variation too. Some vacuums lose power as their charge starts to run down.
While not the biggest consideration for a lot of people, if you are going to be using your vacuum a lot or transporting it from place to place then you might want to opt for something which has a lighter weight. This will make it easier to push, get up and down stairs and generally make vacuuming far less of an arduous task.
Corded or cordless?
Corded and cordless products both have their pros and cons. In the modern day and age it can be easy to assume that cordless is better, but cordless does mean you need to consider the charging time and how long the battery will last for. Corded products often have 20-30 feet of length which is plenty for covering a large area and means you don’t have to change the plug for every area you wish to vacuum.
Cordless products are popular, of course. The advantages are clear: you don’t have to move the power supply at all and have the flexibility to cover the whole house and beyond. If a cordless product doesn’t hold its charge for long then this could be an issue. Products such as the Bissell Handheld have a battery life which is quite modest, but this is because it is likely to just be used to vacuum individual items or outdoors in car seats or outbuildings, for instance.
Bagged vs. bagless
It is fair to say that most vacuums on the market today have embraced the bagless design. Bagged products will fill with waste via a bag which needs to be replaced, whereas bagless vacuums have a bin which needs to be emptied and can be used permanently for the life of the product. Capacity is the main consideration here.
Another thing to consider is the environmental impact.
Having to use bags can mean extra packaging being produced and more things to throw away. Bagless cleaners are becoming more popular, often for this reason.
For pet hair, it makes very little difference which of these types you use, but the decision will be based on your own preference.
Filters such as these are always a good thing in a vacuum cleaner, but they can be especially good when it comes to vacuuming pet hair. They can ensure you can properly pick up and rid yourself of the allergenic elements within the pet hair and this is not left behind for you to get irritated by. Many of the upright vacuums offer some form of filter, but naturally some are better than others. Depending on your sensitivity, you may want to prioritize this feature.
Naturally, one size of vacuum can’t cover every area you want it to. People have furniture and other obstructions. For instance, you may not be able to reach under tables or down the side of a couch with your vacuum in its normal function. This is why they tend to have extensions such as hoses and ‘crevice’ tools which can let you reach all sorts of different areas. The hose length as well as which attachments it comes with are vital to the reach of a vacuum.
Some vacuums perform better on some surfaces than others. It is important to consider the surfaces you will be vacuuming and match them up to the vacuum. The best versatile vacuums for pet hair will be good at both hard floors and at rugs or carpets, but some may have a specialty or even specific attachments for each. For instance, the Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum and Mop is wonderful for both hardwood floors and carpets due to its multi-mode function.
A warranty is pretty self-explanatory. In terms of any electronic product or home appliance such as this, a longer warranty is usually a good indication of quality. If a vacuum cleaner has a warranty of five years or more, it is safe to say the manufacturers are confident in its quality and durability.
Robot vacuums have come a long way and their controls and sensors are very good quality. That said, they are only really suitable for flooring, so if you want to hoover furniture or other surfaces then a robot vacuum might come up short.
Your vacuum’s manual will tell you how to change the filter exactly. You should do so outside as it may be dusty. Some filters are able to be rinsed and washed and reused. Each model will have a filter located in a different place.
Vacuum suction can be lost for a variety of reasons including electrical faults. You should troubleshoot by emptying the container or bag, checking for blockages and checking the hose. If problems persist you may have to contact the manufacturer.
The Shark Navigator Deluxe NV42 is our top pick due to the incredible control and versatility it offers. This is a hugely powerful vacuum and you can be confident that it will not lose suction, even after prolonged use, ensuring that all pet hair is removed for a clean home! For this reason, and because it can reach pretty much any corner of your home, it gets a full 10 from us.
The Roborock S5 is an incredible robot vacuum that demonstrates just how far technology has advanced over the years. You can trust this little appliance to vacuum (and mop!) your home and pick up all those pesky pet hairs, whilst you focus on doing something more important. This can be programmed and controlled from your phone or smart home system. It offers excellent coverage, good battery life and can even go and charge itself! It gets a 9.8 from our team.
The best vacuum for pet hair doesn’t necessarily have to be a robot vacuum. Another Shark model takes our third place. The Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-Light Vacuum is an incredibly easy to use appliance, even for prolonged periods of time. It successfully removes pet hair from all surfaces, be they hardwood floors or soft carpets.
Whatever vacuum you choose, we hope this guide has helped you to make the most informed decision for your home!