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 75 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums for pet hair. 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, the best robot vacuums for pet hair, 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 cordless stick/handheld vacuum is very lightweight and portable. It delivers a fantastic performance on bare surfaces like linoleum and hardwood flooring, where it easily clears pet hair and debris without losing suction as its dirt compartment fills.
It can be used in a handheld configuration, which is helpful when you're cleaning stairs and shelves. It's equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and comes with several tools and brushes, like an upholstery tool for use on fabric-covered furniture and a crevice tool for getting into tight corners. It's also very maneuverable, with a rotating head that helps it move around obstacles and a flexible wand that makes it easier to reach under low-lying furniture like your couch.
Unfortunately, its battery can be depleted in less than 10 minutes if you set it to 'MAX (BOOST)' mode, the most powerful suction setting. However, it provides roughly 40 minutes of continuous use if used in its handheld mode, and its exceptional performance on bare floors makes it one of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair.
If you're looking for a canister-style vacuum that can clean up pet hair, you may like the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This corded model is heavier and less portable than the Shark Rocket Pet Pro, but it's similarly effective at clearing pet hair from bare surfaces like linoleum or tile flooring. It's also very maneuverable, despite its bulkier size, and you can use it in a semi-handheld configuration when you're cleaning areas like stairs. It uses a spacious dirtbag, so you don't need to replace it too often or worry about spilling pet hair and debris when you empty the dustbin. Unfortunately, because its allergen-trapping HEPA filter, pre-motor filter, and dirtbag all need to be replaced on a regular basis, it incurs high recurring costs.
If you want a more portable vacuum with a handheld configuration, go for the Shark. If you don't want to worry about running out of battery or prefer a bagged vacuum, you may prefer the Miele.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the best vacuum for pet hair on carpet that we've tested. This upright model has a distinctive design, with one big ball-like wheel that helps it maneuver in tight spots. It delivers a fantastic performance on low and high-pile carpets, where it clears pet hair very effectively.
The head automatically adjusts itself to whatever surface it's cleaning, so you can easily move from bare floors to shaggy carpets. The vacuum can be used in a semi-handheld configuration, which is useful if you're cleaning stairs or your car. It comes with a wide variety of tools and brushes, including a turbo brush for dislodging dirt from fabric-covered furniture, a crevice tool for getting into tight corners, and even a pet grooming tool. Also, it incurs virtually no recurring costs, thanks to its bagless design and washable filters.
Unfortunately, it lacks the easy-clip mechanisms that some Dyson vacuums have, and so it can be a bit tricky to assemble and attach tools. It also has a plasticky build quality that feels a bit flimsy. Otherwise, its outstanding performance and a wide variety of accessories make it a great choice for pet owners with carpeted homes. It's even one of the best upright vacuums we've tested.
If you want a vacuum that does a good job on carpets but prefer a cordless model, consider the Dyson V7 Animal. Its overall performance on carpets isn't as good as the Dyson Ball Animal 2's, but it's similarly effective at clearing pet hair from that surface type and is much more portable. Also, because of its cordless design, its range is practically unlimited, as long as it has room left in the dirt compartment and battery life remaining. You can use it as a handheld vacuum with any of its tools and brushes, including a turbo brush for cleaning fabric-covered furniture and a soft bristle brush for use on delicate objects. Unfortunately, its battery life is disappointing, since it only provides roughly eight to 30 minutes of continuous use.
If you want the model with the best overall performance on carpets or prefer a corded model, go for the Ball Animal 2. If you want something cordless or more portable, the D7 is worth considering.
The best vacuum for pet hair with a handheld design that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This cordless model is remarkably effective when it comes to cleaning pet hair, as it doesn't struggle with picking up this kind of debris on bare floors, low-pile carpet, or even high-pile rugs. Its suction performance remains consistent as its relatively spacious dirt compartment fills up, which is good if you want to clean a couple of messes without interruption.
It has dense plastic construction that feels quite sturdy, and the few parts that require regular maintenance are easy to access. Its dust cup filter is its only disposable part, so recurring costs are quite low. It comes with a couple of tools and brushes, with a crevice cleaner to tackle messes in tight spaces, a hard bristle brush to dislodge dirt from surfaces, and a turbo brush fitted with a self-cleaning brushroll to automatically clear hair wraps.
Unfortunately, you can drain its battery in a little over 10 minutes, so it's not the best choice for cleaning big areas. It also doesn't have a HEPA filter to trap allergens, which may be annoying if your pet sheds heavily. Minor issues aside, its portable design, sturdy construction, and versatile cleaning performance help make it one of the best lightweight vacuums we've tested.
The best robot vacuum for pet hair that we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This robot model has a self-adjusting brushroll and can easily handle pet hair on a wide variety of surface types, ranging from bare hardwood floors to shag carpeting. Thanks to its smoothly-rolling wheels, it can maneuver effectively on uneven surfaces without getting stuck.
Its battery life is outstanding, as it should provide roughly between 50 and 155 minutes of continuous runtime. Its iAdapt 3.0 navigation system allows it to spot hard-to-see obstructions, plot out battery-efficient cleaning routes, or identify areas that require extra cleaning. You can use its companion app to set virtual boundary markers or schedule cleaning times for individual rooms. It's equipped with a HEPA filter, so you shouldn't have to worry about the spread of allergens as it cleans.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few parts that need to be replaced regularly, so recurring costs can add up. Due to the number of components that need to be serviced, user maintenance can be somewhat tricky. Still, its impressive pet hair-cleaning performance helps make it one of the best cordless vacuums we've tested.
The best vacuum for pet hair that we've tested in the budget category is the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet. This upright model easily clears pet hair from any surface type, from bare floors like hardwood or laminate to high-pile carpets. Since it's corded, you can tackle big areas without worrying about running out of battery, and it has a good-sized dirt compartment that doesn't need to be emptied too often.
It's decently portable, with a handle that makes it easier to carry from room to room. When you want to clean awkward spaces like your car or stairs, it can be used in a semi-handheld configuration. There are five surface-type adjustment settings, so you can adapt to whatever area you're cleaning, and it comes with various tools and brushes, including a crevice tool for getting into narrow spaces and an upholstery tool that can help remove debris from fabric-covered furniture.
Unfortunately, it's a bit bulky, and the head doesn't rotate very well, so it's not the most maneuverable vacuum. Also, because the two pre-motor filters need to be replaced regularly, there are a few recurring costs. That said, thanks to its ability to pick up pet hair from any surface type, it's definitely a solid option for pet owners on a budget.
Feb 19, 2021: Removed the Shark ION P50 Upright as the 'Cordless Alternative' to the Dyson Ball Animal 2 because it's difficult to find in stock online; replaced it with the Dyson V7 Animal. Verified other picks to make sure we're still recommending the best products for our users.
Jan 22, 2021: Verified that we're still recommending the best picks to our users and that they're in stock. Added the Miele Triflex HX1 to Notable Mentions.
Nov 05, 2020: Replaced Neato Botvac D7 with iRobot Roomba S9 as 'Best Robot Vacuum For Pet Hair'. Removed BISSELL Featherweight Stick 2033 from main recommendations. Added new 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair' category.
Sep 24, 2020: Replaced Miele Classic C1 with Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine as 'Canister Alternative'.
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.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our vacuum reviews, ranked by their pet-hair cleaning performance. 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.