If you're a pet owner, there's no doubt you've had to deal with the hassle that comes with shedding. We all love our furry friends, but there's no denying pet hair is a nuisance. It has a nasty tendency of getting everywhere, so a vacuum that can clear this type of debris across a wide range of surfaces is crucial. Good maneuverability and portability are plus points, as they let you clean pet hair from underneath and around couches, tables, and other types of furniture.
We've tested over 30 vacuum cleaners so far, and below are our recommendations of the best 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 design and price. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best vacuums and the best vacuums for high-pile carpet.
The best vacuum for pet hair on bare floors that we've tested is the Shark Rocket Pet Pro. This stick/handheld vacuum is outstanding when it comes to cleaning pet hair across a wide range of surfaces, but it's most effective on bare floors, like linoleum, hardwood, or tile. If you have a heavily shedding pet, you'll be pleased to know it has a self-cleaning brushroll to prevent hair from getting tangled up.
It's also lightweight, highly maneuverable, and can easily be converted into a handheld vacuum, so sucking up stray hair from behind furniture or on top of high-placed shelves isn't too hard. The included crevice tool makes it easier to reach small nooks and crannies, while the upholstery tool allows you to clean pet hair from furniture. It's decently well-built and thanks to its bagless design, incurs virtually no recurring costs over time, as long as you take care of its filters.
Unfortunately, it has quite a few parts that need scheduled maintenance, though you can access these parts easily. It also lacks onboard tool storage or a vacuum rack, which makes it a little harder to store in your closet. If you use it continuously in its 'MAX (BOOST)' mode, its battery lasts a little over 10 minutes, which is annoying if you've got a large, dense mess to clean up. With that said, this vacuum should have no trouble dealing with even the most heavily shedding critters.
If you prefer the effectively unlimited runtime and more conventional design of a corded canister vacuum, consider the Miele Classic C1. It doesn't have the Shark Rocket Pet Pro's go-anywhere capability due to its short power cord. It also has higher recurring costs since it has a dirtbag and disposable filters that need regular replacement. There's no HEPA filter, which means that more allergens may be left behind. That said, it's far better-built and offers outstanding ease-of-maintenance. It has superb pet-hair cleaning capability not just on bare floors, but also on carpet. It also has adjustable vacuum head bristles, which reduce the chances of having them scratch against your floor. Despite its short power cord, its smooth-rolling wheels allow you to easily navigate tight areas, while its included assortment of brushes and tools make it easier to clean pet hair underneath or behind furniture.
Get the Shark if you value portability and don't want to deal with the hassle of having to replace filters and bags, but consider the Miele if you want something better-built, easier to maintain, and just as effective at cleaning pet hair.
The best vacuum for pet hair on carpeted surfaces that we've tested so far is the Dyson Ball Animal 2. This corded upright vacuum comes with a dedicated pet grooming tool, which is a handy feature if your furry companion is comfortable around vacuums. It also comes with a turbo brush to help clean hair off of upholstery. It employs a bagless design with cleanable filters, so recurring costs are virtually nonexistent. There are also relatively few parts that need scheduled maintenance.
It does an outstanding job of cleaning pet hair on carpeted surfaces, whether that be densely woven low-pile carpets or fluffier shag high-pile carpets. Despite its fairly large size, it's quite maneuverable, with a very long power cord that allows you to reach far-off areas. You can easily use it as a handheld by unclipping the wand from the main body, which is helpful when trying to reach behind couches or tables.
Unfortunately, it feels quite plasticky, with the dirt compartment feeling especially flimsy and fragile. It lacks the easy-clip mechanisms found across the rest of Dyson's lineup, making it a little harder to snap pieces together during routine maintenance. It's also a little on the heavy side, so carrying it up a flight of stairs can be a bit of a hassle. Other than that, this is a very versatile, well-performing model that's among the best pet vacuums we've tested to date.
If you value the go-anywhere capability of a cordless vacuum but don't want to give up much in the way of performance, take a look at the Shark ION P50 Upright. This cordless upright/handheld vacuum has fewer brushes and tools than the Dyson Ball Animal 2 and has more parts that need regular cleaning and maintenance, but it's better-built and its lighter weight and cordless design make it more maneuverable. It does a similarly outstanding job of cleaning pet hair from both low and high-pile carpet, though some hair can get stuck to the hard brushroll. Battery life is great, especially for a cordless upright, as you can use this vacuum for over 20 minutes even on its highest power mode. If you don't push it as hard, it should last for just under an hour.
Get the Dyson if you want a wider assortment of tools and fewer maintenance worries, but consider the Shark if you want to clean hard to reach areas.
The best robot vacuum for pet hair that we've tested so far is the Neato Botvac D7. It's very sturdy and is outstandingly effective when it comes to picking up pet hair, regardless of the surface. It comes with excellent automation features in its companion app, including a coverage map, cleaning history, and, somewhat uniquely, a remote piloting feature. You can also set up custom boundary lines in the app if you find the included physical boundary strips to be insufficiently long.
While it can occasionally get stuck while trying to navigate more cluttered areas, it still does an overall decent job of moving efficiently around a room. Even on its max-power 'Turbo' mode, it runs for well over 90 minutes. If you want a gentler clean, its Eco mode extends its runtime extends to over two hours. It even rejects cleaning tasks and self-navigates back to its charging station once its charge drops beneath a certain battery level, informing you with an in-app notification.
Unfortunately, recurring costs are fairly high, as the filter, brushroll, side brush, and battery eventually need to be replaced, though you only have to replace the latter every one to two years. Still, due to its ability to cope with carpeted surfaces, this is a very good choice among other robot vacuums and is one of the best pet vacuums that we've tested.
The best budget vacuum for pet hair that we've tested so far is the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet. This corded upright vacuum is an excellent option if you have heavily shedding pets, as it does a superb job of sucking up pet hair on any type of surface, whether that be a tile floor or a shag carpet. It also makes the most of its bulky size by including an onboard tool storage rack.
The power cord is quite long, so you can reach far-off areas without too much difficulty. Its large dirt compartment and bagless design allow you to clean big messes without too many interruptions. It comes with a good number of accessories and brushes, including a unique triangular brush to help you thoroughly clean corners. The vacuum head is adjustable between five levels and allows you to keep moving forward if, for instance, the surface you're cleaning suddenly transitions from tile floor to shag carpeting.
That being said, it lacks a HEPA filter, which means some allergens from pet hair may be left behind. It's also quite flimsy-feeling and is hard to navigate in tight areas due to its heavyweight, bulky design and short hose length. Still, as long as you stick to more open environments, this is a fairly effective choice.
If you're on a tighter budget and want something easier to carry around, consider the BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033. This upright/handheld vacuum has a much smaller dirt compartment than the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet and only comes with one extra cleaning accessory, but it's far lighter and easier to maneuver through cluttered rooms, despite its short power cord. The no-frills design philosophy makes it easy to swap to a handheld configuration and clean pet hair from furniture and shelves. It's also easier to maintain, with a shorter list of parts that need regular inspection. Recurring costs are virtually nonexistent, as you can simply wash its dust cup and pre-motor filters after heavy use. Unfortunately, the vacuum as a whole feels somewhat cheap and flimsy due to its all-plastic construction. It also lacks a HEPA filter to trap any allergens.
Get the Cleanview if you want a slightly more versatile upright vacuum. The Featherweight, meanwhile, is a solid option if you want to clean a smaller space and don't mind giving up a few amenities.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums for pet hair to buy. We factor in a fairly wide range of factors, including availability, price, and reader feedback.
That said, if you'd like to make your own choice, here's the entire list of vacuum cleaners that we've reviewed so far, as to let you make the best choice for your current situation.