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 handheld vacuums best suited for dealing with pet hair should not only be easy to carry around but also 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 125 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for 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, look at our lists of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair, the best vacuums for pet hair, and the best robot vacuums for pet hair.
The best handheld vacuum for pet hair we've tested is 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 carpets. Its onboard HEPA filter helps seal in some fine particles, though it doesn't have an allergen-sealed construction. Its compact size makes it a breeze to store in cupboards or larger drawers. It also comes with a wide variety of accessories to help make cleaning hard-to-reach areas easier, like a flexible extension hose and an upholstery tool for dealing with pet hair on furniture. It'll last for about half an hour in its default suction power mode, which is quite long for a handheld vacuum of this size.
While this vacuum does a fantastic job of dealing with pet hair, be careful when cleaning around bulky debris, which can clog its suction inlet. It's also worth noting that, unlike the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, it doesn't come with a miniature turbo brush for easier cleaning of fabric surfaces. That said, the Shark lacks a HEPA filter and doesn't last nearly as long on a single charge.
If you want a handheld vacuum that can hold a larger-than-usual amount of hair, the Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet is worth a look. This handheld vacuum is much bulkier than the Wyze Handheld Vacuum and doesn't feel as sturdily-built. However, it has a much larger dustbin that won't need emptying nearly as frequently. It does a fantastic job of sucking up pet hair on bare surfaces as well as low and high-pile carpets. It also comes with a miniature turbo brush to help deal with hair on upholstered surfaces, not to mention a built-in crevice tool/extension wand to give you a bit of added reach. It can run for about 30 minutes in its default power mode, which is quite long for a vacuum of this type.
Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn't have an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. As a consequence, it does a terrible job of sealing in fine particles, so it isn't the best option if you suffer from allergies. Thankfully, the build quality is decent, and despite its relatively big dustbin, it's still easy to store in a cupboard or a cabinet.
If you want to spend as little as possible on a handheld vacuum for cleaning up pet hair, you could look at the BISSELL AeroSlim. It has a shorter battery life and inferior deep-cleaning performance compared to the Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet, but it's a good alternative if you're looking for something cheaper and smaller. It does a fantastic job of dealing with pet hair on rugs as well as bare surfaces like hardwood floors or shelves and tables. Unlike the Black+Decker, it doesn't come with a miniature turbo brush for cleaning fabric surfaces, but it does have a crevice tool/extension wand to help you clean tight spots, not to mention a slip-on soft-bristle tool for cleaning delicate surfaces.
This handheld vacuum is remarkably compact, allowing you to store it in a large drawer or at the back of a cupboard or cabinet. Its simple design is easy to maintain, and despite its affordable price point, the dense plastic body feels reasonably robust. Unfortunately, the very compact size begets a tiny dirt compartment that needs very frequent emptying.
The iRobot H1 is one of the best hand vacuums for pet hair we've tested if you suffer from allergies and require superb air filtration performance. While it's a lot pricier than the Wyze Handheld Vacuum, its dual-layer filtration system allows it to capture fine allergens like pet dander, even compared to other models with just a HEPA filter. It also does an exceptional job of dealing with pet hair on bare floors, as well as rugs and carpets. Its miniature turbo brush attachment is quite effective for dealing with pet hair on upholstered surfaces, though the brushroll inside isn't removable and is consequently quite difficult to clean.
This vacuum is on the bulky side for a handheld vacuum and isn't as easy to stow away as a smaller alternative like the BISSELL AeroSlim. Thankfully, it does feel very well-built and can run for up to almost half an hour on a single charge, which will be more than sufficient for most spot-cleaning tasks. You can increase its suction power for dealing with stubborn messes by using the 'Max' suction switch, though running it in this power mode decreases its battery life to roughly 10 minutes.
Dec 15, 2022: Recateogrized Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet as 'Best Mid-Range Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' due to current pricing.
Oct 20, 2022: Removed 'Best Stick/Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' category. Replaced Dyson Humdinger with iRobot H1 as 'Best Handheld Pet Vacuum For Allergies' due to current availability. Removed less relevant Nptable Mentions picks, added Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L to Notable Mentions.
Jun 29, 2022: Extensive article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Wyze Handheld Vacuum as 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' pick. Recategorized Dyson Humdinger as 'Best HEPA Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair'. Recategorized Black+Decker dustbuster AdvancedClean+ Pet as 'Best Mid-Sized Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' pick. Moved Shark ION W1 WANDVAC to 'Notable Mentions'. Removed Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet, BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033, Miele Triflex HX1, Samsung Jet 90 Complete, Dyson V11 Animal, Dyson Micro 1.5kg, Shark Vertex Pro, Wyze Cordless Vacuum, and Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H from Notable Mentions.
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.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best handheld vacuums for dealing with 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.