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 100 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 robot vacuums for pet hair, the best handheld vacuums for pet hair, the best apartment vacuums, 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 vacuum has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter that's washable and reusable, resulting in low recurring costs. It also delivers superb pet hair cleaning performance on bare, even surfaces like hardwood or laminate. While the main floor head's brushroll isn't removable, it does have angled plastic fins advertised to reduce the incidence of hair wraps.
This vacuum is easy to maneuver as a result of its pivoting vacuum head and lightweight plastic construction. It feels decently well-built for the most part and can be reconfigured into a handheld vacuum very easily. It comes with a crevice tool and a combination upholstery tool/hard bristle brush for clearing debris on furniture or dislodging stuck-on dirt. Battery performance is satisfactory, as you should expect roughly anywhere between 10 to 40 minutes of runtime on a single charge depending on your choice of attachments and current suction power mode.
Unfortunately, this vacuum lacks a brushroll on/off switch, so it can occasionally get stuck on rug tassels. There are also quite a few components that need regular cleaning, though they're all easy to access. Otherwise, its superb bare floor performance and maneuverable design make it one of the best cordless stick 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 like 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. However, its corded 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, 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 V15 Detect is the best vacuum for pet hair on carpet that we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum can suck up pet hair without much of an issue, even on low and high-pile carpets. The brushrolls for its main vacuum head, secondary bare floor head, and turbo brush are easily removable, allowing you to clear any tangled hair wraps. Thanks to its washable allergen-trapping HEPA filter and bagless design, recurring costs shouldn't be a major concern.
This vacuum's lightweight construction makes it simple to maneuver. Its use of easy-clip mechanisms allows you to quickly attach any one of the wide variety of included tools or reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum for cleaning shelves, countertops, and furniture. Its battery performance is good overall, and you can expect a maximum of roughly 70 minutes of runtime, though this can vary in the real world. The LED display on top of the vacuum provides you with a rough estimate of the remaining battery life and an estimate of the size and number of particles it picks up.
Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn't feel particularly sturdy, especially its clear plastic dirt compartment, which could break if you drop it. Its strong suction force can also cause it to get caught on rug tassels and pull some lighter rugs around. There are also quite a few parts that need regular cleaning. Still, if you're looking for a cordless vacuum that can handle pet hair on carpets, this is an excellent option.
If you value the virtually indefinite runtime of a corded vacuum but still want fantastic pet hair cleaning performance on carpets, consider the Shark APEX UpLight. This corded stick/handheld vacuum isn't as portable as the Dyson V15 Detect and comes with fewer tools and accessories. However, you can use it for much longer periods without having to worry about running out of charge. While it doesn't have the almost unlimited range of the cordless Dyson, its power cord is also still quite long. It has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, and its bagless design and washable filters result in a near-total lack of recurring costs. You can also use it in a semi-handheld configuration by removing its dirt compartment from its wand and maneuvering its hose with your other hand. Unfortunately, its hose is very short, making it hard to clean high-up shelves or counters. Many parts need regular cleaning.
Get the Dyson if you want a lighter, more portable vacuum with a practically indefinite range, but consider the Shark if you don't want to worry about battery life or recharging times.
The best pet vacuum with a handheld design that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This handheld vacuum delivers incredible pet hair-cleaning performance across a wide range of surface types, ranging from hard floors to low and high-pile carpets. Its compact, lightweight design also makes it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Its turbo brush accessory has a brushroll with angled plastic fins that are designed to reduce the incidence of hair wraps. It also comes with a hard-bristle brush and a dedicated crevice tool for clearing messes in tight corners. The vacuum itself feels well-built and is easy to maintain, with few parts that need regular cleaning. Recurring costs are also rather low, as the only component that needs regular replacement is its dust cup filter.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's battery life of a little over 10 minutes may not be sufficient to deal with some larger messes, though this can vary in the real world. It also doesn't come with a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean. Still, its compact size and fantastic performance in clearing pet hair make it one of the best vacuums for long hair 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 has a HEPA filter, so you shouldn't have to worry about the spread of allergens as it cleans.
Unfortunately, there are a few parts that need regular replacing, so recurring costs can add up. Due to the number of components that need servicing, 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 we've tested in the budget category is the BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet. This upright vacuum does a fantastic job cleaning pet hair from bare floors and low and high-pile carpets. You can take its brushroll out of the head to clear hair wraps a little easier, though you do first need to remove six Philips head screws to do so.
The primary head features five levels of surface adjustment, allowing you to adapt to different floor types on the fly. The vacuum has a large dirt compartment that shouldn't need emptying too often. It also comes with a fairly wide assortment of tools and accessories that can be attached to its removable wand, including a motorized turbo brush and a triangular upholstery tool for tackling messes in tight corners.
Unfortunately, this is a large, bulky vacuum. Its dirt compartment can get it the way when trying to clean under tables and chairs, while its swiveling head doesn't articulate very well. There's also no way of turning off the brushroll, so it can scratch hard floors or get tangled in rug tassels if you don't have it set to a sufficient height. It also doesn't come with a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean. Otherwise, its affordable price, fairly wide selection of tools, and superb pet hair cleaning performance make it an excellent choice for pet owners.
Sep 23, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category. Added Roborock H6 Adapt and Eureka FloorRover Elite NEU630 to Notable Mentions.
Aug 27, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Jul 30, 2021: Replaced Dyson Ball Animal 2 with Dyson V15 Detect as 'Best Vacuum For Pet Hair On Carpet'. Replaced Dyson V15 Detect 'Cordless Alternative' pick with Shark APEX UpLight as 'Corded Alternative' pick. Added Dyson Ball Animal 2 to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.