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 100 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations of the best handheld 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 hand 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 it's cleaned regularly and 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.
If you're looking for a cordless vacuum better suited to cleaning larger areas, consider the Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H. This cordless vacuum isn't as lightweight as the Dyson Humdinger and has more parts that need regular cleaning, but since you can use it as a stick vacuum, it's a much better fit for cleaning larger areas. Its maximum battery life of approximately 40 minutes is also longer, though this can drop by a significant degree depending on the attachments and suction power mode used. Its HEPA filter traps allergens as you clean, and the vacuum does an incredible job of sucking up pet hair on a wide variety of surface types. While its floorhead's brushroll isn't removable, it's advertised as being self-cleaning. Thanks to its bagless design and washable filters, recurring costs are very low. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a turbo brush to clear debris on upholstered surfaces when you use it in a handheld configuration.
Consider the Dyson if you're looking for a smaller vacuum with a turbo brush, but take a look at the Shark if you want a vacuum that's better suited to cleaning bigger areas.
The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is the best handheld pet vacuum for carpets. This cordless handheld model does an amazing job cleaning pet hair from both low and high-pile carpets. There's a self-cleaning turbo brush included, so you can clean furniture upholstery with less worry about pet hair getting tangled in the brushroll.
It has a good, sturdy build quality and is easy to bring with you wherever you need it, thanks to its small size and carrying handle. It comes with a few other tools and brushes, including a crevice tool for cleaning tight corners or narrow spaces. While there are a few parts that need regular servicing, it's simple to assemble and easy to maintain. It also has low recurring costs since there's only one part, the dust cup filter, that needs periodic replacing.
Unfortunately, the battery only supplies 10 minutes of continuous cleaning time, so it's better suited for quick clean-ups. It also lacks a HEPA filter, which could be disappointing if you're worried about allergens. That said, its excellent performance on carpets and portable design make it one of the best handheld vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking for a cordless vacuum that offers better overall battery performance, consider the Dyson V15 Detect. This vacuum isn't as portable as the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ and doesn't feel as sturdy. However, it can provide over 70 minutes of runtime on a single charge, depending on your usage patterns and choice of accessories and suction power modes. It also delivers exceptional pet hair cleaning performance on low and high-pile carpet, and you can use it as a stick vacuum to clean larger areas with much less difficulty. It also comes with a very wide assortment of tools and accessories, including a conical turbo brush that can clear messes on upholstered surfaces, as well as a laser vacuum head to help you see small debris. Unfortunately, its high suction force can make this vacuum quite hard to maneuver on some carpeted surfaces and can even cause the vacuum to drag high-pile carpets around.
Get the Shark if you're looking for a highly capable handheld vacuum intended for spot cleaning, but consider the Dyson if versatility is a bigger concern.
The best handheld vacuum for pet hair in the budget price range we've tested is the Wyze Handheld Vacuum. This compact vacuum does a fantastic job of sucking up pet hair from many surface types, whether that be bare floor or high-pile carpet. It comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter too, which is handy if your pet sheds heavily.
It has a long battery life, especially for a compact handheld vacuum, as it can supply roughly anywhere between 10 to over 30 minutes of runtime depending on if you run it in its 'Max Power' or default power mode. It also comes with a relatively wide assortment of tools and accessories, including an extension hose for cleaning far-away areas, a dedicated upholstery tool, a crevice tool, and a hard bristle brush for dislodging stuck-on dirt.
Unfortunately, it lacks a turbo brush to clear pet hair or other kinds of debris more easily on upholstered surfaces. Its dirt compartment is also very small and needs frequent emptying, though that's to be expected with a small vacuum like this. Otherwise, if you're looking for a versatile handheld vacuum at an affordable price, this is a good option.
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.
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.
Jul 02, 2021: Replaced Shark ION W1 WANDVAC with Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Best Budget Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' pick. Replaced BISSELL AeroSlim as 'Cheaper Alternative' pick with Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet as 'Alternative With A Larger Dirt Compartment' pick. Added Shark ION W1 WANDVAC and iRobot H1 to Notable Mentions.
May 06, 2021: Replaced Dyson V11 Animal with Dyson V15 Detect as 'Alternative With Better Battery Performance' due to superior pet hair cleaning performance. Added Dyson V11 Animal to Notable Mentions.
Mar 15, 2021: Added the Samsung Jet 90 Complete to Notable Mentions. Checked other picks to ensure the best products are still being recommended.
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.