For many households, pets are a limitless source of joy, comfort, and laughter. Unfortunately, they can also be limitless sources of pet hair, which has a nasty tendency of getting everywhere. Having a lightweight vacuum that can cover almost every part of a home is invaluable for owners of heavily shedding animals. The best handheld vacuums for pet hair should not only be easy to carry around and easily suck up pet hair but also should have a variety of tools to tackle small, closed-off areas. A HEPA filter is also a handy addition since it can trap allergens as you clean.
We've tested over 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations of the best hand vacuums for pet hair to buy. These recommendations are based not only on their pet-hair cleaning performance on different types of surfaces but also on their feature set and price. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair, the best vacuums for pet hair, and the best robot vacuums for pet hair.
The Dyson Humdinger is the best handheld vacuum for pet hair that we've tested for bare floors. This compact handheld vacuum does a fantastic job sucking pet hair on flat, even surfaces like hardwood or tile. It has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter that shouldn't need replacing as long as you clean it regularly, and it comes with a turbo brush for helping remove pet hair from upholstered surfaces.
This vacuum weighs very little, making it easy to pick up and carry from room to room. It also has relatively few parts that need periodic cleaning. It offers a maximum of roughly half an hour of continuous runtime on a single charge, which should be more than sufficient for most spot-cleaning tasks. You can increase its suction power for dealing with especially stubborn messes by using the 'MAX' suction switch, though running it in this power mode decreases its battery life to just roughly 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, it has a very small dustbin that needs frequent emptying and feels quite fragile, as it could break if you were to drop it. In addition, larger debris like sand can get caught in the crevices of its turbo brush. Otherwise, if you're looking for a handheld vacuum that delivers superb pet hair cleaning capability on bare floors, this is a good option.
The Shark ION W1 WANDVAC is the best handheld pet vacuum for carpets that we've tested. This compact cordless vacuum can easily handle pet hair on low and high-pile carpets and rugs. Unlike the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, it doesn't come with a turbo brush to help clear away pet hair on upholstered surfaces, but it still manages to do a decent job of clearing away pet hair on chairs and couches.
Unique for a handheld vacuum of this type, it has an onboard HEPA filter that helps it trap fine particulates as you clean, which is great if you have allergies. Since the filter is washable and shouldn't need to be replaced as long as it's cleaned according to manufacturer recommendations, recurring costs aren't a major concern. It also feels well-built and has an easy-to-maintain design.
Unfortunately, Its short battery life of a little over 10 minutes forces you to work quickly when spot-cleaning larger areas. Its tiny dirt compartment also needs to be emptied frequently. Still, its compact size, HEPA filter, and superb pet hair-cleaning performance make it one of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair that we've tested.
The Samsung Jet 70 Pet is the best stick/handheld vacuum for pet hair that we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum is remarkably effective when it comes to clearing away pet hair on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet. It also does a decent job of dealing with pet hair on furniture, though it's worth noting that its miniature turbo brush attachment is a little cumbersome to use and can leave some small strands of hair behind, which you might need to clear away with its narrow-nozzle combination tool.
This vacuum's onboard HEPA filter is part of its five-stage filtration system, which is quite effective in trapping fine allergens and is quite useful if you have a heavily-shedding pet. Its floorhead's brushroll does attract pet hair, but you can easily remove it from the floorhead and cut away any tangled debris. You can also purchase a dedicated mopping floorhead separately, which is great for clearing away stuck-on dirt and debris that your pet might track in after going outside.
Unfortunately, while this vacuum can run for up to 50 minutes in its most energy-efficient 'MIN' mode, you need to work quickly when using it in its high-power 'MAX' mode, which can drain its battery in as little as five minutes. Unlike the pricier Samsung Jet 90 Complete, it also doesn't have a telescopic wand, which would make it easier to find a height that suits your preferences. Otherwise, it's a great option if you're looking for an easy-to-maintain stick vacuum that can easily handle pet hair.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly handheld vacuum for dealing with pet hair, we recommend the Wyze Handheld Vacuum. This cordless vacuum delivers superb pet hair cleaning performance on bare surfaces, like countertops or shelves, as well as low and high-pile rugs and carpets. It also has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
This vacuum's compact size makes it a breeze to store in cupboards, closets, or larger drawers. It also comes with a fairly wide variety of tools and accessories to help make cleaning hard-to-reach areas a little easier, including a flexible extension hose and an upholstery tool for dealing with pet hair on furniture. It should last for about half an hour in its default suction power mode, though its runtime drops to a little over 10 minutes when using it in its 'Max' mode, so you need to work quickly when spot-cleaning dense carpeting.
While this vacuum does a fantastic job of dealing with pet hair, you should be careful when cleaning around bulky debris, which can clog its suction inlet. It's also worth noting that, unlike the comparably-priced Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet, it doesn't come with a miniature turbo brush for easier cleaning of fabric surfaces. Otherwise, if you need an affordable, compact handheld vacuum that can easily handle pet hair, it's a great choice.
If you're looking for a cordless handheld vacuum with a larger dirt compartment, consider the Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet. It doesn't clear pet hair quite as effectively on low or high-pile carpet compared to the Wyze Handheld Vacuum and isn't as compact or lightweight, but it does have a bigger dustbin that doesn't need emptying nearly as often. While it lacks an extension wand or hard bristle brush, it comes with a turbo brush to help clear debris on upholstered surfaces more easily. It supplies roughly anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes of runtime on a single charge depending on your choice of suction power mode and attachments, though it takes notably longer to recharge. Also, it lacks a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, and its plastic pre-filter and main filter need replacing quite frequently.
Get the Wyze if you want a smaller vacuum with a HEPA filter, but consider the Black+Decker if the inclusion of a larger dirt compartment and a turbo brush are more important to you.
Apr 22, 2022: Substantial article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Replaced Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ with Shark ION W1 WANDVAC as 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair On Carpet' pick. Added Samsung Jet 70 Pet as new 'Best Stick/Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' category pick. Moved Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, Dyson V15 Detect, and Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H to Notable Mentions. Added LG CordZero A9 A916BM to Notable Mentions.
Feb 23, 2022: Ensured all main picks still represent the best fit for user needs and expectations.
Dec 24, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category.
Oct 26, 2021: Replaced HoLife HM036E with Dyson Humdinger as 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair On Bare Floors' due to current availability. Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum, Shark Vertex Pro, and Dyson Micro 1.5kg to Notable Mentions.
Aug 31, 2021: Checked accuracy of picks; no change to recommendations.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best handheld vacuums for pet hair to buy. We factor in a fairly wide range of factors, including availability, price, and reader feedback.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our handheld vacuum reviews, ranked by their performance in picking up pet hair. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.