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 90 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 vacuum sucks up a remarkable amount of pet hair on bare floors. It's equipped with a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, and its main vacuum head features angled plastic bristles that are advertised to reduce the incidence of hair wraps, though we don't currently test for that.
Its lightweight construction makes it very easy to maneuver around or under obstructions like tables or couches. You can configure it as a handheld vacuum to better tackle messes on shelves, stairs, or furniture, and it comes with dedicated upholstery, crevice, and hard-bristle brush tools. Its washable filters and lack of a dirtbag also keep recurring costs low. It's decently well-built too, and easy to disassemble or reassemble.
Unfortunately, while the vacuum can provide roughly 40 minutes of runtime on a single charge when used as a handheld vacuum, that drops to little over 10 minutes if you use it continuously in its high-power 'MAX (BOOST)' mode. There are also quite a few parts that need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Otherwise, this vacuum's excellent maneuverability and strong overall cleaning performance make it one of the best bagless vacuums that we've tested.
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 canister vacuum isn't as easy to pick up and carry around compared to the cordless Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H, but its cordless design yields a virtually indefinite runtime, and it does an exceptional job of sucking up pet hair from a broad range of surfaces. It feels impressively well-built and is exceptionally easy to maintain as well, with very few parts that require regular cleaning. Despite its rather heavy weight, it's also very easy to maneuver, even over high-pile rugs. Unfortunately, its allergen-trapping HEPA filter and dirtbag need to be replaced periodically, so recurring costs are somewhat high.
Get the Shark if you prioritize portability and a go-anywhere range above all else, but consider the Miele if you want a better-built vacuum with a virtually indefinite runtime.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the best vacuum for pet hair on carpet that we've tested. This corded upright vacuum clears an impressive amount of pet hair on low and high-pile carpet. It also comes with a wide variety of tools and accessories, including a turbo brush to clear messes from upholstered surfaces as well as a dedicated pet grooming tool. It has a HEPA filter too, which is helpful if you have a heavily shedding pet.
It can be used in a semi-handheld configuration by unlatching its wand from its main body, which makes it easier to clean on top of furniture and shelves. It isn't too demanding in terms of maintenance, with most of its parts being rather easy to access. Its bagless design and washable, reusable filters result in a near-total lack of recurring costs too. Its dirt compartment is also quite large, so it shouldn't need to be emptied too often.
Unfortunately, its high suction force can make it difficult to maneuver on high-pile rugs, even with the vacuum head's ability to self-adjust to different surface types. Its mainly plastic construction also doesn't feel particularly sturdy, which is somewhat disappointing given its price. Otherwise, its impressive cleaning performance and wide assortment of tools and brushes help make it one of the best vacuums for carpets that we've tested.
If you'd prefer something a little less bulky and value the unrestricted freedom of movement that comes with a cordless vacuum, take a look at the Dyson V15 Detect. It has more parts that require regular cleaning than the Dyson Ball Animal 2 and features a smaller dirt compartment, but its cord-free design allows you to easily clean areas that are far away from an electrical outlet, and it does a similarly superb job of cleaning pet hair from both low and high-pile carpets. Depending on usage patterns and power settings, it supplies anywhere roughly anywhere between 10 to over 70 minutes of runtime on a single charge, which should be sufficient for most users. Its slim design makes it easier to maneuver in tight spaces or under furniture compared to the Ball Animal 2, and it can be easily reconfigured into a handheld vacuum. However, its strong suction power can make it hard to push on some carpets or even cause it to drag around lighter rugs.
Get the Ball Animal 2 if you want the indefinite runtime of a corded vacuum, but consider the V15 Detect if you frequently find yourself cleaning far away from an outlet or simply don't want to deal with the hassle of a power cord.
The best vacuum for pet hair with a handheld design that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This handheld model does a remarkable job of sucking up pet hair on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet. Its included turbo brush, well-suited to removing pet hair from upholstered surfaces, has a brushroll advertised to detangle hair wraps by itself, though we don't currently test for that.
This vacuum's lightweight, compact design allows you to easily maneuver it in tight spaces, like the inside of your car. Recurring costs shouldn't be a major concern since only its dust cup filter needs to be replaced every six to nine months. Its plastic construction feels sturdy overall, and disassembly for regular maintenance isn't particularly difficult.
Unfortunately, this vacuum lacks a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, which could be a significant annoyance if your pet sheds heavily. Depending on your usage patterns, it may also only supply a little over 10 minutes of runtime on a single charge, so you need to work quickly when spot cleaning several areas. Otherwise, its compact size, easy-to-maintain design, and fantastic overall performance on carpets make it one of the best car vacuums 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 easily sucks up pet hair on a wide variety of floor types, including bare, even surfaces like laminate and hardwood as well as low and high-pile carpets. Its brushroll can be removed, which makes it easier to clear hair wraps too.
You can use it in a semi-handheld configuration with its wand fitted in place. You can attach its crevice tool to tackle messes in hard-to-reach areas, use its soft-bristle brush to clear messes on delicate surfaces, or fit the triangular upholstery tool in place to clear debris on fabric-lined furniture. Most of these accessories can be stored on the vacuum itself, so you don't have to find a separate place to stow them away.
Unfortunately, this bulky vacuum doesn't have a rotating head, which makes it hard to clean under couches and tables or maneuver in tight areas. In addition, its vacuum hose is quite short, which makes it hard to clean on top of high-mounted shelves or other far-away spots. It lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter too. Still, if you're looking for a budget-friendly vacuum that easily deals with pet hair on a wide assortment of surface types, this is a good option.
Jul 01, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Jun 04, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category. Added iRobot H1 to Notable Mentions.
May 07, 2021: Replaced Dyson V7 Animal with Dyson V15 Detect as 'Cordless Alternative' due to superior pet hair cleaning performance. Moved Dyson V7 Animal to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.