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 80 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 Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H is the best vacuum for pet hair on bare floors that we've tested. This cordless stick/handheld model delivers an incredible performance on bare surfaces, where it easily clears pet hair as well as debris. It's equipped with a HEPA filter, which is great if you're concerned about allergens.
The brushroll can't be removed, but it's self-cleaning, so it should take care of hair tangles on its own as you clean. The vacuum can be switched into a handheld mode if you want to vacuum out-of-reach areas like your car, stairs, or even your pet's bed. It comes with some tools and brushes, including an upholstery tool for cleaning fabric-covered furniture, and it's very maneuverable, thanks to its slim design and rotating head.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have the best battery performance since it only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous cleaning time if you use the most powerful suction setting. Luckily, that stretches to more than 40 minutes if you use it in its handheld configuration. Otherwise, it's one of the best cordless stick vacuums that we've tested and a great choice for cleaning up pet hair on surfaces like linoleum and hardwood.
If you're looking for a vacuum that can clean up pet hair but prefer something with a canister design, you may prefer the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This model is much heavier than the Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H and doesn't have the practically unlimited range of a cordless model, but it delivers a similarly fantastic performance on bare floors and easily clears pet hair from that surface type. It's equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and uses a dirtbag that can hold much more debris than the Shark's dirt compartment. It's easy to maneuver, despite its bulkier size, and you can use it in a semi-handheld configuration with the wand and hose when you're cleaning furniture or another hard-to-reach area. Unfortunately, while it's very easy to maintain, it incurs a lot of recurring costs.
Go for the Shark if you want a smaller, more portable vacuum, but consider the Miele if you like canister-style vacuums and don't want to worry about battery life.
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 have carpets to keep clean but prefer a cordless vacuum, you may prefer the Dyson V7 Animal. This lightweight stick/handheld model has worse overall performance on carpets than the Dyson Ball Animal 2, but it easily clears pet hair from that surface type and has a virtually unlimited range, because of its cordless design. It's also much more portable. You can use it in a handheld configuration if you want to clean your car's interior or another awkward area, and it comes with a turbo brush you can use on fabric-covered furniture. Like the other Dyson, it should incur virtually no recurring costs as long as you maintain it. Unfortunately, it has a disappointing battery performance, as it only provides roughly eight to 30 minutes of continuous use, depending on what settings you use.
If you prefer a corded vacuum or want the model with the best overall performance, go for the Ball Animal 2. However, if you want a more compact, portable vacuum, the V7 Animal is also a great option for cleaning up after pets.
The best vacuum for pet hair with a handheld design that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This cordless handheld is small and light enough to be easily carried to far-off places to clean pet hair, which it cleans from a wide variety of surface types without too much difficulty. It even comes with a turbo brush fitted with a self-cleaning brushroll that clears hair wraps by itself.
It's well-built, with a fairly high-grade plastic construction and an easy-to-maintain design. Recurring costs are also fairly low, requiring only that you replace its dust cup filter every six to nine months, depending on your usage habits. Its dirt compartment is also relatively spacious for a handheld, so you shouldn't need to empty it too often.
Unfortunately, it only supplies just over 10 minutes of continuous runtime, which may not be enough to deal with particularly stubborn messes, though battery consumption can vary drastically depending on your own usage habits. It also lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Still, its versatile overall performance and lightweight design help make it one of the best multi-surface vacuum cleaners that 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 corded upright does a superb job of cleaning pet hair from a multitude of surface types, from bare floors to high-pile carpet. It also comes with a multitude of brushes and tools, including a turbo brush and a triangle-shaped upholstery tool that lets you clean messes in tight corners.
It can be used in a semi-handheld configuration with its wand and crevice cleaner attached, which helps let you clean pet hair between couch cushions or under furniture. Its dirt compartment is quite spacious too, and it shouldn't need to be emptied very often. It also has a decently long power cord, which should let you clean somewhat large or far-off spaces without swapping outlets. Despite its bulky size, it's reasonably easy to store thanks to its onboard tool storage.
Unfortunately, it lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and feels rather cheaply made, with an all-plastic construction. There are also quite a few parts that need to be regularly serviced, though they're quite easy to access. Also, its large size can make cleaning small or cramped rooms difficult. Still, if you're looking for a budget-friendly upright vacuum that can clean pet hair without a hassle, this is a solid choice.
Apr 14, 2021: Verified that the recommended products are still the best picks and that they're in stock.
Mar 18, 2021: Verified that all main picks were still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
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.
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.