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How to Choose a Pet Vacuum: 7 Best Options for Picking Up Pet Hair

Using a pet vacuum to remove hair from couch with cat sitting next to it
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Shed happens. Whether you share life with a dog or cat that is hypoallergenic, double-coated, or hairless, pet hair and dander are a fact of life. Shedding is a natural way for a pet’s body to rid itself of old, unneeded hair. That hair winds up all over your home and floors, which is why the right pet vacuum is a staple in a pet parent’s household.

Keeping your home free of pet hair and dander is a breeze if you know what to look for when purchasing a pet vacuum. If you have allergies or find yourself sneezing in the company of dogs or cats, the right pet hair vacuum can save you from congestion and flare ups. 

One-size or one-type-fits-all doesn’t apply when shopping for a pet vacuum. For instance, German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers shed more than a Miniature Poodle, so a pet vacuum that holds up under daily use is a must. Similarly, a multi-pet household may want a heavier canister vacuum with more suction power and a proper filtration system.

You can’t stop your cat or dog from shedding, but you can keep pet hair to a minimum with one of the vacuums on our list. We’ll break down the top-performing pet vacuum cleaner models, with a variety of features for every type of pet household and situation. 

Best Pet Vacuum: 7 Top Options for Picking up Pet Hair

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair

Our pick: Roborock Q5+ Robot Vacuum

eufy by Anker, RoboVac G30

If you’ve got plenty of things you’d rather do than vacuum up pet hair (like spending quality time with your cat or dog), the Roborock Q5+ is a dream come true. This super-powered robot vacuum has earned the approval of countless pet parents because it makes cleaning up after even the heaviest shedders virtually effortless.

The innovative Q5+ model features a whopping 2700 pascals of suction power, which is more than many of its robovac competitors. Plus it has a “floating” brush that adapts to the height of the floor, which is especially effective against pet hair. So this small-but-mighty robot can suck up dirt, debris, fur, and microscopic allergens like dander from deep inside carpets or hardwood floor crevices.

This robot vacuum uses a proprietary PreciSense LiDAR smart navigation system to map out the most efficient and effective way to clean any area in your home. And you can easily monitor, customize, and control the vacuum’s progress using a handy app on your smartphone.

Best of all, the Roborock Q5+ does the dirty work for you. The vacuum returns to its Auto-Empty Dock after every cleaning, where everything it has sucked up gets automatically emptied into the dock’s generous 2.5L dust bag. So you don’t have to change the bag for up to seven weeks!

Highlights

  • Long-lasting, hands-free cleaning for even the hairiest pet messes
  • Super powerful 2700 Pa suction works on carpet and hardwood
  • Auto-empties debris into 2.7L docking station bin after every clean
  • Dustbin bag filters 99.5% of particles, so no need to empty for up to seven weeks
  • PreciSense LiDAR system uses 3D multi-level mapping to find safest, most effective cleaning route
  • Easy-to-use Roborock app features powerful suite of custom controls
  • Lightweight but very powerful 

Things to Consider

  • 180 minutes maximum runtime
  • 3230 sqft maximum vacuuming range
  • Requires one 5200mAh Li-ion battery, which is included 

Sample buyer review: “The suction is amazing! After its first cleanings, I was pleasantly surprised to see a mostly full dust cup and little to no traces of dog hair anywhere. And since most of my house is carpeted, it’s in carpet mode most of the time, which is essentially the “max suction” setting. The vacuum just this morning cleaned about 800sq feet and had 60% battery left when finished. If you have wood floors and run a lower power setting, you could easily stretch the battery to over 2000sq feet. Amazing product!”

Read more sample reviews at Roborock.

Best Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair

Our pick: Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with TruePet upgrade

Shark Vertex with TruePet upgrade

Touted as their most powerful vacuum, the Shark Vertex combines powerful suction with revolutionary cleaning technologies in one upright machine. It features DuoClean Powerfins that dig deep into carpet and pick up more dirt, hair, and debris with every pass, and a self-cleaning brushroll to avoid hair wrap. It also comes with a pet crevice tool and dusting brush for any cleaning situation. 

Tackle pet hair with three ways to clean floors, under furniture, and above the floor on ceiling fans, steps, and shelves. Effortlessly switch from carpets to floors without losing any motorized power. The anti-allergen complete seal means dust and allergens stay inside the unit where they belong.

The slender 8-inch pet crevice tool removes pet hair from hard-to-reach spaces and places. The self-cleaning pet power brush takes on ground-in dirt and pet hair from stairs and upholstery. 

Take the Shark experience to the next level with the TruePet upgrade. This package includes the self-cleaning pet power brush, multi-angle dusting brush, anti-allergen dust brush, accessory bag, duster crevice tool, and flexi crevice tool. A free Shark steam mop and under appliance wand complete the package for every pet household.  

Highlights

  • Self-cleaning brushroll is powerful enough to pick up pet hair without hair wrap
  • Brilliant LED nozzle lights reveals pet hair in cracks and crevices
  • Anti-allergen Complete Seal Technology and HEPA filter traps 99.9 percent of dust and allergens inside the Shark Vertex vacuum. 
  • DuoClean PowerFins for continuous cleaning to dig deep into carpet fibers to catch more pet hair and dander with each pass
  • Smooth maneuvering capability thanks to Active Glide Technology on hard floors and carpeting
  • Tools included for hard-to-reach spaces where pet hair gathers 
  • Lift-Away pod for motorized cleaning under furniture or detachable nozzle to clean above the floor
  • Five-year VIP service warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee

Things to Consider

  • Vacuum weighs slightly over 16 pounds
  • Unit is bagless
  • No light on the attachment wand

Sample buyer review: “I recently purchased the Vertex, for two specific reasons: It has the ability to vacuum under furniture and beds (with the “lift-away” feature) as well as under lower kitchen and bathroom cabinet toe kicks (which my Dyson could not). The attachments connect AT THE HANDLE, not at the end of a wand, making it ergonomically comfortable. It came with even more attachments than I anticipated, and they’re fabulous. I am extremely pleased with this product.”

Read more sample reviews at Shark.

Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair

Our pick: Anker eufy RoboVac G30 Verge Robot Vacuum

eufy by Anker, RoboVac G30

Why vacuum when a robot can do it for you? Anker’s smart dynamic navigation keeps vacuuming on track for targeted cleaning versus random patterns. The ultra-strong suction means more hair and debris get picked up. 

Anker provides a complete report showing where the RoboVac cleaned and when. Noise is minimal thanks to the advanced brushless motor that seems more like white noise. 

Set boundaries by programming where the RoboVac should and shouldn’t work its suction magic. Using boundary strips, you can easily avoid areas (like the top of a dog bed). 

Thanks to drop-sensing technology, the unit will not fall down stairs or off ledges. From carpet to hard-floor, RoboVac seamlessly adjusts. The included app allows pet parents to set cleaning patterns with cleaning history from a smartphone or voice assistant.

Highlights

  • Features dual gyroscopes and location detection system
  • Returns to its charging dock when running low on power; after recharging, it will resume cleaning where it left off
  • At 2.85 inches high, it slips easily under and around furniture
  • Connects to Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free control
  • Lightweight at 5.6 pounds but very powerful 

Things to Consider

  • 100 minutes maximum runtime
  • Requires five to six hours for the battery to fully charge
  • Requires one lithium ion battery, which is included 

Sample buyer review: “It’s evident how far this line of robot vacuums has come. The new vacuum is super-efficient. Gets right to work mapping out as it drives and doesn’t miss a spot on the entire floor. It moves intelligently, not randomly. The map displays real-time as it’s driving and is incredibly accurate. When it’s done the whole floor, it makes one trip around the perimeter then goes back to charge. It has been running for a week now and hasn’t missed a square CM of floor. Can hardly tell it’s running it’s so quiet, yet its bin is full at the end of its session.”

Read more sample reviews at Amazon.com.

Best Car Vacuum for Pet Hair

Our pick: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

Have pet, will travel. If you travel with your dog or cat—whether on regular trips or to the veterinarian or groomer—shed happens. Vacuum pet hair in a snap with the set of specialized tools included in this package. 

The motorized brush tool allows for easy suctioning, fast removal, and triple level filtration to keep hair inside the unit. Pet hair is easily disposed of as desired thanks to the large, easy-to-empty bin. If you prefer to use this unit inside, Bissell’s upholstery tool can be used on couches, chairs, and soft surfaces. 

The 14.4 volt lithium ion battery will run for up to 17 minutes so you can vacuum hair in a jiffy. Use it on stairs, under seats, between the front and back seats in the car, and more. Embedded hair can be challenging but the Bissell performs time and again. 

Nicely priced, the Bissell is a perfect thank you or just because gift for the pet lover in your life. Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or any day, pet parents will thank you for this thoughtful, practical, and functional gift. 

Highlights

  • Comes with a charging cord that features a plug and cable
  • Motorized brush removes embedded dirt, hair, and debris
  • Tackles quick messes and spot cleaning
  • Three-stage filtration keeps dirt and debris inside the unit
  • Best used on carpet and rugs, low pile carpet, stairs, bare floors, and pet beds
  • Three tools included are a crevice tool, upholstery tool, and motorized brush roll tool

Things to Consider 

  • Additional filters are available for purchase
  • Weighs 3 pounds

Sample buyer review: “This thing exceeded my expectations. I have 4 dogs, 2 shed insanely. I have a Shark (love it). But wanted something I could yank out quickly and suck up the dog hair on my couch covers or suck up the dirt the pups drug in. This hand vac does a great job! Recommended!”

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Best Stick Vacuum for Pet Hair

Our pick: Shark WANDVAC System Ultra-Lightweight Powerful Cordless Stick Vacuum

Shark® WANDVAC™ System Ultra-Lightweight Powerful Cordless Stick Vacuum

Imagine a lightweight, powerful cordless stick vacuum with strong suction, and you’ve got the Shark WANDVAC. This stick vacuum charges on contact thanks to the low-profile charging dock that comes in the box. 

Transition from hardwood floors to carpeting to tackle messes and pet hair anywhere in your residence. As you pass by furniture, convert the Shark WANDVAC to handheld and clean furniture, stairs, and more. 

The extended reach feature allows you to maneuver the unit into any tight space. HyperVelocity accelerated suction power coupled with the PowerFins brushroll picks up more debris, dirt, and pet hair than ever before. This unit is very portable and can be used in the car to get up any loose hair or debris on the seats and floor. 

Thanks to the self-cleaning brushroll, you’ll never worry about hair wrap again. The one-touch hygienic empty dust cup allows pet parents to clean longer without frequently dumping the mess. Order directly from the manufacturer for free shipping and a 5-year limited warranty.

Highlights

  • Works on carpeting, hardwood floors, and above floors (ceiling fans, steps, etc.)
  • Sound is not super loud
  • Easy to use, lightweight, and simple to maneuver
  • Disassembly and reassembly of dirt cup is easy 
  • Cordless and rechargeable to make life easier
  • Ideal everyday stick vacuum to pick up dog and cat hair
  • Easily converts to a hand vacuum 

Things to Consider

  • Does not include LED lights
  • Runs about 25 minutes before it needs a quick recharge

Sample buyer review: “I bought this product for the express purpose of surviving oak season in Florida with a Golden Doodle dragging pollen through the house 6 times a day… I have a 1,000 square-foot house with 100% tile and I can vacuum every square inch of it using one bar of battery life. The product has three bars capacity. It is perfect for constant touch up work and transitions to area rugs really well. It handles my long hair well. No complaints.”

Read more buyer reviews at Shark

Best Canister Pet Vacuum 

Our pick: Oreck Compact Canister Pet Vacuum Handheld

Oreck Compact Canister Vacuum-Handheld Cannister

Sometimes you just need a canister vacuum that isn’t heavy but does what it’s designed to do. For many years, the Oreck Compact Canister vacuum has been a staple in our pet home. Perfect for cleaning hard floors and carpeting, the HEPA inner bag and AirClean filter trap at least 99.7 percent of particles at 0.3 microns from the air.

At under 5.5 pounds, you can easily carry it or wear the unit over your shoulder with the included adjustable strap. Pet hair is no match for the powerful bagged performance of this Oreck canister.

Using the flexible hose, telescoping extension wand, and on-board tools, this unit can be used in the car, garage, basement, and anywhere pet hair gathers. Switch out one house to turn the unit into a blower to get rid of debris in any room. 

Highlights

  • Works on upholstery, stairs, hard surfaces, edges, and small spaces
  • Features a 20-foot power cord that wraps around the bottom
  • Comes with a variety of attachments for different needs
  • Lightweight at under 5.5 pounds, so it isn’t heavy or tiresome
  • Powerful replaceable bags perform to keep debris and pet hair from escaping

Things to Consider

  • A few complaints about the hose not staying attached to the unit when in use
  • Must replace bags when they are filled
  • Best for spots in the house where a traditional vacuum won’t do

Sample buyer review: “I had bought this as a gift for my mother, after her original Oreck canister vacuum quit working after 15+ years. Needless to say, she was really excited about having a vacuum that worked again—it’s a staple in their household, as well as in my own. This compact vacuum is lightweight, compact, and really great for cleaning tight corners like car seats, on top of your fan, or in between cushions. Emptying and replacing the bags are easy to manage, and the various attachments that it comes with make for a great, spotless cleaning experience. I would highly recommend this vacuum!”

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

Best Lightweight Vacuum for Pet Hair

Our pick: Bissell 24613 Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Vacuum

BISSELL 24613 Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Vacuum

Some pet parents prefer a lightweight vacuum for pet hair. Weighing in at 14.2 pounds, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo works beautifully. If you live in a multi-floor dwelling or have several pets, you may not want to lug a heavy vacuum around. 

This lightweight unit doesn’t lack in power or performance. The Pet Hair Eraser Turbo comes fully equipped with an extension wand for higher cleanups and hard-to-reach messes around the house. 

Thanks to the one-touch, easy-empty dirt tank, there’s no more stressing over cleaning your vacuum after cleaning your home or apartment. The Smart Seal Allergen system traps allergens and dirt and eliminates odors. This means no more pet hair or pet hair smell. 

As a bonus, buying this pet vacuum helps support homeless pets through the Bissell Pet Foundation. Feel good at a budget price with this lightweight vacuum that delivers on its promises.

Highlights

  • Comes with a Pet TurboEraser tool, 2-in-1 pet dusting brush, and LED crevice tool
  • 30-foot cord length allows ample movement around home
  • Tangle-free brush roll makes vacuuming easier
  • Optional Febreze pet odor eliminator feature 
  • Agile design with SmartSeal Allergen System to trap particles inside the unit
  • Cyclonic spooling system so pet parents won’t touch the debris inside when emptying

Things to Consider

  • Some complaints about holding the cord in one hand and the handle in another
  • Inability to adjust roller to how high or low it is from the floor

Sample buyer review: “I didn’t want to have to hear for the next few years about how the Dyson was better. As an experiment, I vacuumed the whole house with the Dyson and got the usual 3 canisters full of dog hair (HEY, DON’T JUDGE ME!!!). Then, I vacuumed the house again with the Bissell and got another 3/4 full canister of dog hair. The Bissell was easy to maneuver, lightweight, not too loud and, plus, I looked good vacuuming with it! So, the moral of this story is don’t have dogs, only buy a house with hardwood floors but if all else fails, buy a Bissell because it’s up to the job of sucking up lots of dog hair, dirt, and the occasional spider out of your carpet.”

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

Best Budget Pet Vacuum Cleaner

Our pick: Eureka Lightweight Powerful Upright Vacuum 

Eureka Lightweight Powerful Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Take one part powerful upright vacuum and mix in onboard attachments from a trusted brand at an economical price and you’ve got the Eureka Lightweight Pet Vacuum. With five speed settings, the Eureka Lightweight performs on carpets, shag rug, and even hardwood floors. 

Thanks to the smooth-running wheels of this unit, there will be no scratches or gouges on hardwood floors. The multiple accessories allow this unit to be used in the car, on curtains, around door frames, and even ceilings.

Because it is a powerful vacuum, pet hair is no match for the cyclone technology. Eureka has been working hard to make cleaning easier for over 100 years, and that includes for pet parents. The easy empty dust cup is simple to use for a mess-free clean.

The bagless design and washable filters make this pet vacuum a value-added unit. The 12.6 wide nozzle means you clean more space in less time. 

Highlights

  • Affordable and nicely priced
  • Unit weighs 11 pounds with a 25-foot cord
  • Additional tools stored on board include a crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tool
  • Generous debris cup holds 3.9L of dirt and pet hair
  • Easy to maneuver to attack every fiber of the carpet and pull up pet hair
  • Canister opens from bottom so pet parents need not touch inner contents
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty 

Things to Consider

  • Some complaints about the length of the cord, which is 25 feet
  • Some statements that dust and debris get trapped around the filter regularly 

Sample buyer review: “I decided to try out the new Eureka on my already ‘clean’ floors. Two carpeted bedrooms, and a 5’x8′ area rug in living room, plus the bare floors. After ten minutes, this is what it collected…If it were any more powerful, it would be sucking up the dirt from my downstairs neighbor’s carpets!”

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com.

Pet Vacuum Buyer’s Guide

Robot vacuum in house

What Is the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair?

Everyone wants the best vacuum for pet hair, but not all pet vacuums are created equal. When you are considering investing anywhere between $100 to $1,000 or more in a household appliance, there are certain elements it should have. Consider the following aspects:

  • How often do you plan to vacuum and which rooms? 
  • What type of floor surface will the vacuum be used on? (e.g., carpeting, shag rug, linoleum, hardwood floors, etc.)
  • Do you need an on-board filter due to human allergies and sensitivities?
  • How much space will you be vacuuming? 
  • Do you prefer a lightweight canister unit or a beefier standup pet vacuum?
  • What type of dirt and pet hair containment system is preferred (bagged or bagless?)
  • Do you desire additional accessories to clean beyond the floors?

Like pet food, the best vacuum for pet hair is the one that works for your lifestyle and needs. Your neighbor might have three German Shepherds, so he would likely want a powerful suction with a bagless option. A robotic floor unit may work best if you have one cat who doesn’t shed a lot.

How to Choose a Pet Vacuum: What to Look For

Woman vacuuming up pet hair from the ground

When you first start shopping for a pet vacuum, you’ll be amazed at the thousands upon thousands of units available. There is truly something for every pet parent in every situation. 

However, there are key features to look for depending on your specific needs. We hope our list of pet vacuums inspires you, along with these elements:

On Board Attachments: Do you want to clean beyond the floor area? If so, how many on board attachments would you need and for what purpose? Some commonly offered accessories include a dusting brush (for blinds and curtains), crevice tool, upholstery tool, pet hair corner tool, and pet turbo eraser tool. 

Suction Power: The motor in a $500 unit is likely to be more powerful and perform better than a small handheld car vacuum. Read trusted reviews and check out each model’s suction power information.

Surface Intent: If your entire home is carpeted, then you’re set. But many pet parents live in a residence with a multitude of floor surfaces. Be sure the pet vacuum you purchase can handle hardwood floors without scratching and easily adjust from room to room. 

Size and Type of Living Area: How much space do you want to cover? A robot vacuum is basically set it and forget it but you’ll need to program it where you don’t want it to go. Do you live on two floors or a single floor home? Will you need to lift the vacuum to use it on multiple floors? Does this matter? Decide before you buy. 

Woman vacuuming next to dog

Filtration System: Pet allergies are very common, which is why many pet vacuum manufacturers indicate the type of filtration system offered. In addition, the manufacturer should tell you how effective the filter is and how much dirt and/or allergens it controls and traps. 

Bagged or Bagless: A robotic floor unit may work best if you have one pet who doesn’t shed a lot. This is a personal preference but any vacuum will need to be properly serviced and cleaned from time to time according to the manufacturer’s instructions and usage.

Weight of Unit: If the weight of a pet vacuum matters, be sure to keep an eye out for this as you shop. Each manufacturer should list the weight of the unit. 

Ease of Maneuverability: Does it pivot and maneuver around furniture where pet hair gathers? Is it agile and able to swivel and turn where you need it most?

Trusted Reviews: What are other people saying about the pet vacuum? Look at the positive and not-so-glowing reviews. Don’t just look at the stars but read why the people are praising or complaining. Is hair getting stuck in the dirt cup? Does it have strong cyclonic action so you don’t have to touch dirt? 

Warranty Offered: You work hard for the money and that includes the cost of a quality pet vacuum. Some pet parents prefer a household item that comes with a warranty. Be sure you understand what the warranty includes and for how long. 

Price Point: There’s an old adage that you get what you pay for, which holds true with pet vacuums. Some lower price point vacuums deliver on their promise despite the minimal cost. Sometimes you can’t judge a vacuum by its dollar value. Know your budget and price point before you look for a pet hair vacuum. 

Tips for Using a Pet Vacuum 

Robot vacuum next to dog on cute rug

Once you’ve purchased a pet hair vacuum, there are some do’s and don’ts for general maintenance to help your purchase last for many years.

Do

  • Check the bag or container to ensure it is not overfilled. Empty as needed. 
  • Check the brushroll to ensure no hair is clogged in the unit
  • Follow instructions as to the proper way to empty the canister
  • Keep pet odor eliminators on hand to nip any stains or odors in the bud while you vacuum
  • Vacuum at least once every one to three days, more often if you have heavy shedders
  • Check the filter and make sure it is clean and replaced if needed
  • Locate hotspots in your home where pet hair tends to gather (under furniture, corners of rooms, basements, etc). 
  • Keep pet hair to a minimum by using furniture covers 
  • Use a pet hair remover in between vacuuming on furniture to minimize accumulation 

Don’t

  • Neglect belts and brush rollers, which also need regular maintenance and support
  • Forget to dust and vacuum blinds, corners of ceilings, windowsills, under desks, and ceiling fans
  • Forget to clean filters out to prevent clogging of pet hair
  • Neglect heating and cooling vents. Vacuum them regularly with an on-board attachment. 
  • Ignore ceiling fans, which are notorious for collecting pet hair.
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