Best Vacuum for Pet Hair 2021 – A Buyer’s Guide
Living with pets is wonderful but cleaning up their hair can be a big issue and tends to be a tiring process. We used to have this problem all the time in our family because most vacuum cleaners struggle to get fur out of carpets and upholstery. Perhaps you, too, had the experience that your vacuum just makes a hairball where you are using it.
Luckily there are devices to solve this problem: A vacuum for pet hair that is specifically designed with the power and functionality to pick up animal hair. These vacuums do a much better job to remove fur efficiently and significantly reduce the particles that cause allergies.
Last update on 2021-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
With that overview out of the way, let’s get more into details of our top list. We have tested all these vacuums for pet hair in our real household, making these experiences as close to real life as they can be. This includes our friends who own at least one of the vacuums in this list, so we can incorporate their experiences over months and years. We also have a quick buyers guide at the bottom where we talk more about different things you want to look out for.
1. Dyson Ball Animal 2
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the best option today. It is another excellent device for upright cleaning of pet hair. Similar to the C3, the Dyson is a cyclonic upright vacuum, a hassle-free device with a battle-tested design that is built to remove any debris, dust, and hair even from nooks and crannies.
Dyson’s famous Ball technology helps to provide great mobility and smooth articulated movements that allow it to reach any corner. The vacuum is equipped with an effective and efficient filtration system that is certified by Allergy Standards Limited.
The vacuum is great at pulling out any kind of cat and dog hair with the help of its powerful suction and epicyclic floor heads. We also tested the effectiveness of this cleaner on matted hair and it has proven itself to easily remove them. The turbine head is equipped with carbon fiber and a tangle-free turbine tool for stairs, cars, and upholstery.
While it is a heavy vacuum, it was able to get into every corner of our house without problems. Like all models of the Dyson family, it is a bit expensive, but not as much as other Dyson models. However, since it is bag-less, you do end up saving money on bags over time. The Ball Animal 2 is built with a push-button design technology that helps to empty it for people suffering from an allergy.
We find that Dyson products, in general, are always worth their price, not only in the case of this model. The hefty Ball Animal 2 can easily clean any space and corner, giving you your money’s worth. While the Miele C3 model is an all-around model and overall godsend, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 wins our choice for the best upright vacuum cleaner for pet hair.
- Good on all floor types
- High reach
- Great filtration
- A little heavy
- “Ball” part makes it harder to go under furniture
- A bit louder than competition
2. Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Vacuum Cleaner
One of the best pet vacuums available is the Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Powerline. It is a strong 900W model with a dust bag that helps to remove both fur and odors. The vacuum is equipped with a TurboTax floor head and a strong filter that has allowed the Miele Complete to become the No. 1 pet vacuum not only statistically, but even among our friends since 4 out of 11 people use it.
The C3’s motor gets stubborn hair out of pretty much anything, such as carpets and any kind of fabric. The motor also sucks in dust debris or other dirt that is left behind. The bagged vacuum is easy to clean and swapping the bag for a new one is child’s play. The bag was designed to empty it without releasing any dust and allergens.
The C3 is also equipped with a miniature turbo tool that is great for removing any other kind of debris (such as dirt and dust) from the nooks and crannies that are hard to get to. We are still positively surprised by the low amount of noise and even though it is not lightweight, we find the vacuum very easy to handle and quite portable. Equipped with Miele’s active Air Cleaner filter, odors get neutralized extremely well in our experience.
The vacuum comes with a 10-meter operating radius, adjustable power settings and does an excellent job of cleaning hardwood and other solid surfaces.
The Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Powerline is a powerful and excellent vacuum for any kind of animal hair. Its only downside, though entirely justified, is its high price point. It is a premium product for many reasons, and if it is within your budget, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- 6 Suction levels
- Low noise
- High-End quality
- Lots of attachments
- Sealed bag system
- High-End pricing (but quality)
- Need more room to store than an upright vacuum.
3. Shark APEX AZ1002
The Shark family has a wide variety of cleaning products that we know well and respect for their quality. Its vacuums are typically meant for specialized situations, like pet hair removal in this case. Shark has a lot of great vacuum cleaners and knowing the brand and its quality gave us confidence in the abilities of the Apex AZ1002 even before we had tested it. The model is a versatile cleaner that does not only rid your home of pet hair, but it also does an excellent job of cleaning carpets, hard floors and other upholstery.
Cleaning pet hair by hand with brush rolls is a frustrating process, especially since cleaning the rolls is difficult and tiring. Our friend Jill used to do that until she bought the Apex AZ1002, so we had a real testing environment here to check how well this vacuum does its job.
We found the smart machine to be simple but highly effective. Attached with a Zero-M system, the AZ1002 removes any unwanted hair, both from pets, and humans.
Removing pet hair from floors of all kinds is, of course, the primary task. It is also where this model shows what it can do! Shark’s engineers have thought of a basic, yet exceptionally viable design to get rid of pet hair effectively.
The way we see it, this device is built to appeal to both pet owners and non-pet owners alike. It comes with a Complete Seal, which is a specially designed anti-allergen filtration system. This HEPA filtration system meets all the high-end requirements and cleans the air of allergens very well, thus purifying it. The technology also cleans the air from pet odors very well. Due to its noise reduction technology, we found the Apex to be almost as quiet as the Dyson Ball Animal 2.
Its range of features makes this model one of the best premium vacuum cleaners available. The Apex is equipped with a canister that instantly transforms the vacuum from a capable upright device into a convenient and light handheld model. The cleaning head of the Apex is equipped with LED lights that help you see when cleaning dirt and debris from corners and other hard to reach places, like under furniture. We find the brush rolls (DuoClean) quite versatile, as they manage to clean thick carpets as well as hardwood floors.
The design and technology of the Shark Apex AZ1002 help to make cleaning up after your pet quite easy and our friend Jill says she loves every minute of it.
- Good on all floor types
- Filter washable
- A little heavy
- A little bulky
- Hose could be longer
4. Dyson V8 Animal
Another member of the Dyson family that you could call the jewel of the Dyson cordless range is the Dyson V8 Animal. This skillful machine is an improvement on the previous and popular V6 models. The V8 comes equipped with extended battery life and keeps the V-series tradition alive by being one of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair.
The main improvement of the V8 model is longer run time. The device is capable of running for up to 40 minutes on a single charge, so it is capable of cleaning large homes without a charge-up break. My cousin Bob is quite loaded and lives in a big mansion. His family has used the V8 since its first release and has since added a V10 (see below) to his vacuum weaponry. Its long run time is the very reason why they use this model. Sure, they could use a Miele C3 and would also have no issues price-wise, but for going cordless was more important to them due to the large home. You might want to do the same if your living situation is similar.
The V8 does an excellent job of cleaning up pet fur, even though many cordless models struggle when it comes to this task. It is equipped with mini motorized tools that help improve hair suction from sofas or stairs. The Whole Machine Filtration system reduces the re-emission of particles and ensures a clean process. Also, there are a lot of great dog grooming vacuum attachments available for the V-Series.
While it is cheaper than its descendant, the V10, the Dyson V8 is still one of the more expensive vacuums available in the market. But like we said before, the price tag of a Dyson is always worth it in our experience.
Due to its small size and dust capacity, you need to empty it regularly. Don’t be worried, though, it will clean the whole house and doesn’t get full in the middle of that. We typically empty it after every use, since it is quick and easy to do.
Despite some of this minor drawback, it is a joy to use. There is no question regarding the suction power of this device. We find it to be an improvement over the previous models, a view that Bob also shares. Having used the V-series for years, my cousin certainly has insight into the matter that I appreciate. Due to its lower price over the V10, we believe it to be the best pick for a cordless pet hair vacuum if you have budget constraints. Otherwise, we recommend moving directly to the V10, since it is a newer model. Check both prices though, because they are getting closer to each other and may not be far apart sometime after writing this review.
Note: There is a similar model called the V8 Absolute. Make sure not to buy that one; you want the V8 Animal if you’re indeed looking for a pet hair vacuum cleaner.
- Portable, compact
- Improved battery over the V6
- Easy to get under furniture
- Stick & Handheld in one
- Very Quiet
- Small dust bin because the V8 is compact
- Battery not replaceable
- Larger battery means longer recharge time
5. Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal
The sixth generation of Dyson V-Series is a blast, a high-end vacuum cleaner for the family that does even better than the V8, albeit at a slightly higher price point than its predecessor.
It is designed to have a higher suction capability and be lightweight at the same time. The V10 Animal is equipped with an even stronger battery than before and a new configuration that manages 20% higher suction power compared to any previous V-model.
The V10 has the suction of a corded vacuum but is lighter than 6 lbs and hence easy to use. You can use it to swiftly clean any surface, floor type, and upholstery.
This model also comes with several additional tools such as a HEPA filter system and a new motorized floor tool. To deal with different surfaces, the V10 has two extra brushes and manages to clean carpets at 25% higher efficiency than older models. For hard floors, the vacuum features anti-static brushes. For carpets, it uses rotation nylon bristles. You can easily disassemble these accessories for cleaning. Also, the model is equipped with a great tool for hard floors that easily deals with particles of larger and smaller sizes.
The V10 also comes with a small dusting brush for cleaning computer keyboards, furniture, and car interiors, with the help of small bristles. Especially keyboards are a pain to clean, so we appreciate that feature very much. You can use the light detachable wand for cleaning hard to reach places.
We love that you can remove parts of the V10 and use it as a handheld device. You can then also attach the floor tool (which is motorized) to that handheld device to clean any surface.
You can set the maximum power mode when cleaning areas that require high suction. Of course, this reduces battery life, but you only use that when it’s necessary. The run time for the low power mode is one hour, while the medium mode lasts for 40 minutes. Power is supplied by lithium-ion batteries that charge within 3.5 hours, which is fast.
The V10 has a washable filter that is guaranteed to survive a lifetime. No less than fourteen concentric cyclones separate small and large particles, assuring that suction remains strong. Like all Dysons, the V10 has no bags, saving you money over a bagged vacuum model. It also comes with a small dusting brush.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick vacuum is one of Dyson’s best hard floor tools yet. It has a lot of similarities and differences to the previous models and is superior to the V8. With higher suction capability, the V10 can capture both small and large particles easily, making it a powerful tool with a quiet mechanism.
Note: As with the V8, make sure to get the Animal version, not the Absolute version if you’re looking for pet hair removal vacuums.
- Portable, compact
- Better battery than the V8
- Very Quiet
- Both stick & handheld
- MAX mode eats the battery
- Can’t swap the battery
6. iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum
No list like this would be complete without the top robotic vacuum cleaner. The Roomba 980 is most certainly the most popular model of its type and we had a lot of fun testing this automatic helper around the house.
Being the latest model, the 980 comes equipped with solutions to a lot of the issues that existed in prior versions. One such improvement is iAdapt navigation that allows it to roam around the entire house to clear up the whole floor area systematically as opposed to moving around aimlessly and randomly. It is to be noted that for the vacuum to perform this function, you need to use Wi-Fi, a smartphone app and proper configurations between the Roomba and the app. Then you can use the app as a controlling device, which is a joy to do!
The Roomba can return to recharge itself and move back to exactly the point where it stopped cleaning. However, it still can’t discharge the waste contents from its dirt cup. The previous versions of the Roomba, like the 880, were not equipped with these features. The skill to navigate within numerous rooms is only available with the Roomba 980 and 880. Due to the improved structure and design, the chances of the robot getting stuck under furniture are very small. In fact, we had no such circumstance in about one month of daily testing. It also determines its routes significantly better than before.
Using the app, you can easily set up cleaning times for the vacuum that it heeds on its own. The 980 performs better at suctioning very fine scurf and pet hair compared to the earlier models. Also, as opposed to the models that were available 5 years ago, strings and long pet hairs don’t get tangled up with the brush of the vacuum and consequently do not affect the performance.
For you, the main thing for you to consider is the higher price point that is normal and expected for automatic vacuums. The 980 model is undoubtedly the most preferred and liked robotic cleaner among all its competitors, especially in the category of pet hair vacuum. The freedom of not having to do the manual labor is well worth the price, if it is within your budget.
- Auto schedules
- Mobile app control
- Long battery life
7. Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet
One of the latest innovations in Shark vacuums is the Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet. The main distinguishing features of this lower budget vacuum are both the cleaner head and the pet tool. Interestingly, both attachments are powered electrically and provide more efficient cleaning as opposed to devices that are air powered.
This model provides you with a blend of two types of vacuums: featherweight upright as well as lightweight canister vacuums that can be detached (they come with a powered brush roll). Since this model is equipped with a “never lose suction” technology we have found no loss in suction over a two-month period of testing. Since we test vacuums either in our home or among our group of friends and extended family, all products are used in real household environments and their challenges.
Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology catches 99.99% of dust and store it without polluting the air and making breathing difficult. It is extremely easy to move the TruePet around furniture due to its swivel steering and smooth-gliding wheels. We find the functionality of this model is comparable to those of Dyson. Top features of this machine consist of a seven-year warranty, the capability to attach or detach the brush roll for more powerful carpet and hard surface cleaning, and a headlight to increase visibility in darker areas. The fingertip controls of the brush roll are embedded in the handle.
This pet hair vacuum cleaner also comes with a maximum capacity detachable canister that you can easily use to work all those hard to reach areas like stairs, under the furniture, upholstery, drapes and ceiling fans. You can easily move the canister around with the help of the wheeled floor caddy.
The entire vacuum set comes with a 2 in 1 dusting genie that we majorly use for fine dusting. It also has a hose that is super stretchable, a crevice tool, some microfiber pads, and a pet hair turbo brush. The tiny and hard to get fur along with the concealed dirt can be easily picked up from carpeted stairs, interiors of cars and upholstery using the electrically powered mini-motorized brush. The main brush of the TruePet has a 10-inch cleaning surface, a dust bin capacity of 3.3 quarts and a cleaning power of 1200W.
Perhaps the most prominent and distinguishing feature of this vacuum is the powered brush roll. You can use it even if you are working with the detachable canister. The tool, called the TruePet hand tool, is also driven electrically as opposed to air which makes it all the more powerful and capable.
The vacuum comes with a lifetime HEPA filter that works in close compliance with the sealed system to keep the air fresh, clean and allergy-free, stopping any dirt from flying out. We found the vacuum to be easily movable because of its swivel wheels instead of the fixed wheels that are used more typically. The additional tools will assist you in cleaning hard floors as well. For added control, the brush roll fingertip controls are fixed in the handle.
Overall, we found this vacuum to be capable, but not as comfortable and practical, or powerful as the more expensive competition. This is, after all, a solution for a lower budget. However, if this is what you are ready to spend, you can’t go wrong with this model over other lower budget vacuums.
- Maneuverable, not too heavy
- Upright & canister
- For stairs has a lift-away pod
- Great motorized pet tool
- Can tip over when upright
- A little long for shorter people
- Only adequate hard floor performance
8. Shark Rocket HV292 – Corded Hand Vacuum
Another affordable and economical vacuum cleaner is the Rocket HV292. This vacuum is our top pick for pure hand-held pet hair vacuums. It and comes with a long stretching hose, a brush that you can use for dusting, and a crevice tool about 12 inches long. The included dusting brush does a fine job.
The TruePet motorized brush also performs well and can remove pet hair as small as 1/2 inch long. Unfortunately, it cannot get under the carpets unless it is directed in that direction. Nevertheless, this model has great sucking power and is also very portable due to its low 4-pound weight.
In case of low battery, it doesn’t lose suction completely as it is equipped with a 15-foot power cord, which is long enough to clean cars. However, when cleaning stairs, you might need a socket change. The dust bin also has a satisfactory capacity, but you can be empty it quite easily. We advise emptying the contents over a trash bin to avoid spillage of debris.
While the filters are washable and reusable it’s good to change them after a while to maintain high suction quality. The head of the vacuum is 6 inches long, making this device an ideal contender to clean targeted spots, cars, and upholstery.
We enjoyed working with this vacuum. It is efficient and affordable, but only a handheld device. If that is what you are looking for, perhaps for your caravan, then you can go wrong with this one. For home use, we believe going with a model like the Dyson V10 is far better, since you can turn it into a handheld device, thus having it included instead of being separate.
- Good suction
- 15 feet long cable
- Washable filter
- Big dirt cup
- One year warranty
- Hose a little short
9. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 1650A
The market is full of manufacturers that claim their products to be the best pet hair vacuums available in the lower budget zone. However, few can stand by their claims and prove them to be true. Bissel is one of those brands that keep producing affordable but capable devices that specialize in cleaning animal hair.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is one of the best products from the wide range of pet hair vacuums at this price point. This is not only due to its skill in cleaning fur but also due to the functionalities and flexibility that it has to offer.
One of the top reasons why you may fall in love with this model is its “free of tangles” roller brush. It does not collect hair in its bristles, which makes it so much more efficient. The vacuum also brings along some practical attachments, such as the Pet Turbo Eraser tool. Using this tool, cleaning all those hard to get areas is easy, as it provides good cleaning capability in a compact size. The Smart Seal Allergen system keeps the air purified, fresh, breathable, and allergy-free. Along with this, it also employs a Febreze filter that specializes in eradicating foul smell and leaves your home fresh and fragrant.
This Bissell model is so versatile that although the name suggests that it is only good for pet hair cleaning, we found it to be more of an all-rounder. The fact that it comes with a 5-year warranty proves that Bissel is committed to providing good customer care and keeps its reputation alive.
Like the Shark NV752, this is a low-price vacuum cleaner or at least low for the pet hair category, so you should only consider it if your budget is limited.
- Easy to empty canister
- Retains dust very well
- Long cord
- Febreze filter leaves fresh smell
- Suction could be better
- Hard to go under furniture
How to Choose a Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner
In this quick guide, we want to give you a brief overview to help you select the best vacuum cleaner for you as a pet owner:
Price Range: Since all pet hair vacuums are equipped with strong suction and more effective brush action, they are more on the expensive side compared to regular vacuums. However, this does not imply that economical options are not available. Going for a cheaper version does mean that you will comprise on the quality, but even the cheaper options do a decent job. In our top 10 list above, you will find the best 2 lower priced options on #7 and #9, while #8 is a pure handheld vacuum. Going with the high-priced options like Miele C3 and the Dyson family always yields the best results by far.
Category: The market is full of options when you start looking for a vacuum. There are cylindrical, upright, and handheld devices. Also, robot vacuums are now available that can deal with pet hair and work autonomously. However, what type of vacuum suits you the best depends on the size of your house, the size of your pet, and how much hair the animal sheds. Again, the high-priced options deal with everything, and in cases like the Dyson V10, it can even be turned into a handheld device if need be. Robots are great to save on labor, especially if you live in a large house.
Pet Type: All types of cats and dogs shed hair, but some shed comparatively more. Some dog breeds shed large amounts of hair such as Labradors, German shepherds, golden retrievers, and Siberian Huskies. If you own an animal that is a heavy shredder than you should strongly consider going for a vacuum with strong suction and large dust storing capacity.
Type of the Filter: An effective filter is of huge importance for a pet vacuum. It makes sure that the allergens picked up from the floor are not released back into the air, as it can cause serious allergies. Some filters also come with an odor-removing capability to leave your home clean and odorless. Remember that dogs can also be affected by dust allergies! The HEPA filter is generally the best one you can get.
Size: A good pet hair vacuum must be skillful enough to get in the hard to get places like under the carpet and stairs and provide powerful suction to ensure maximum cleanliness. The only disadvantage of powerful suction is that the dust cap may reach its limit quickly. If that doesn’t bother you, all models are fine. If not, stay clear of the Dyson V8 and V10 as they have relatively small storage space. However, we never managed to fill it up entirely during a whole cleaning day.
Bagged or Bagless: The vacuums available today come with either a bag or no bag. Both perform equally well in capturing and eliminating pet hairs and dust, but the problem arises while emptying the contents of the dust cap. Bagged vacuums can seal the dust and allergens while bagless vacuums might cause air pollution.
Accessories: Some vacuums come equipped with a truckload of accessories while others only have a few selected items. Some of the provided accessories are essential for pet hair removal. Ideally, think about what accessories you are going to need to clean different parts of your home and invest accordingly. High priced options always have everything you need, so this question only arises if you are looking at lower budget devices.
More guides from us
If you have pet hair on your clothes, a vacuum won’t help a lot. Check out our guide on how to get dog and cat hair off your clothes without a lint roller.
Navigate Pet Hair Vacuums