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- When you live with cats and dogs, cleaning your home requires a vacuum cleaner that’s up to the challenge of sucking up pet hair.
- Our top pick, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum, offers an ideal combination of cleaning power, maneuverability, and features designed specifically for dealing with pet hair.
I have cats. Two very long-haired cats. And they produce more hair than you could possibly imagine. It seems that no matter how thoroughly I sweep or vacuum, the instant I think I’m finished, I turn around to find pet hair tumbleweeds rolling along behind me. Needless to say, I’ve become well-acquainted with my vacuum cleaner, but I’ve also discovered how unequipped many vacuums are when it comes to cleaning up pet hair.
Pet hair requires a powerful vacuum, but power alone isn’t effective when you’re trying to clean hair out of a carpet or a sofa. A well-designed cleaning brush and roller are must-haves. Have carpeted stairs? You need a vacuum with versatility, and something lightweight is also ideal. Maneuverability is also important, especially when it comes to cleaning underneath furniture.
The vacuum cleaners in this list have all proven they’re up to the challenge of cleaning up pet hair, and plenty of it. They’re powerful, easy to handle, and many are equipped with special pet hair functions, such as non-tangling brush heads and systems that trap allergens without releasing them into the air. You’ll find a variety of price points, from a highly affordable handheld unit to a top-of-the-line splurge. If you have pets in the home, a quality vacuum cleaner designed specifically for the challenge of cleaning pet hair is a must and will make it much easier to keep your home clean.
Here are the best vacuums for pet hair for 2019:
- Best vacuum for pet hair overall: Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum
- Best pet hair vacuum for convenience: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum
- Best pet hair vacuum for maneuverability: Shark APEX Upright Vacuum
- Best handheld vacuum for pet hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
- Best high-end vacuum for pet hair: Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best vacuum for pet hair overall
Why you’ll love it: With excellent maneuverability and a tangle-free turbine tool, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum does a great job of cleaning up pet hair.
When it comes to maneuverability, overall power, and hassle-free pet hair cleanup, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum is our top pick.
According to Dyson, it has the strongest suction of any vacuum available. It’s full of features that make cleanup easy and fast, such as its self-adjusting cleaner head that automatically creates suction whether you’re on carpet, wood, vinyl, or tile floors. Thanks to this feature, there’s no need to worry about changing settings or vacuum heads as you travel throughout your home.
The tangle-free turbine tool goes where traditional roller heads cannot, and solves the issue of the tangled (and later, broken) roller. This innovative tool features two heads that spin in opposite directions, pulling hair into the vacuum without allowing it to wrap around the vacuum head. You can see this technology in motion in Dyson’s testing video.
This vacuum is also certified asthma- and allergy-friendly. The HEPA filtration keeps allergens — like dander — inside the vacuum, rather than expel them back into the home. A single button empties the bin, so there’s no need to touch the dirt or deal with vacuum cleaner bags. The vacuum is backed by a five-year parts and labor warranty.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright has a 4.1 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on 1,089 customer reviews. Top 500 reviewer Paul Cassel wrote, “I am frankly astounded by the cleaning power of this vacuum cleaner. I’ve never seen anything come even close to it. It makes my previous cleaner look like it has asthma and a leaky hose to boot.”
David A. stated this vacuum is a must have for all pet owners: "The suction power on this thing is insane! I have wood floor in my hallway and in my kitchen, transitioning over between carpet to hardwood required zero effort at all and the vacuum self-adjusted to the height of the wood floor. The same was true when transitioning from hardwood to carpet, zero effort required. I used the ‘Tangle Free Turbine Tool’ to clean the chair the cats sleep on. This chair is always coated in cat hair and was a pain to clean with the DC44. One swipe across with the turbine tool and all the hair was gone!”
Pros: Powerful suction, ball head allows for easy maneuverability, asthma and allergy friendly, tangle-free turbine tool catches pet hair without binding up
Cons: Power cord must be wrapped and does not retract into the vacuum, difficult to maneuver on stairs
The best pet hair vacuum for convenience
Why you’ll love it: With its lightweight and streamlined design, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum is easy to use and offers powerful cleaning action.
Looking for a vacuum that will go where other vacuums can’t? The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum offers cord-free convenience without sacrificing power. It has the most powerful suction of any cordless vacuum on the market, Dyson claims.
This vacuum runs for up to 60 minutes (when not using a motorized tool) and can be recharged in 3.5 hours. An instant-release trigger means the vacuum only uses battery power while it’s running, and prevents battery usage as soon as the button is released. The vacuum is compact and easy to handle, with no need to lug a canister around behind you.
This vacuum is specifically designed to deep-clean homes where pet hair is an issue. The Torque Drive cleaner head has stiff nylon bristles that reach down deep into carpets to pick up pet hair and dirt. The fully-sealed filtration system captures 99.97% of hair and dirt particles, which means that the air it expels is cleaner and you’re not just releasing pet hair back into your home.
Perhaps the best advantage of this vacuum, though, is how versatile it is. Because it’s lightweight and streamlined, you can use it to clean under furniture, on stairs, and deep into the corners of rooms — all places where pet hair tends to hide. The cord-free design allows you to move through your home unrestricted, so this vacuum is ideal for quick cleanups or thorough whole-house deep cleans.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum has a 4.4 out of 5-star Amazon Rating, based on 1,120 reviews. Janell K wrote, “It’s great for a quick run around the high-traffic areas or a deeper clean of the area rugs and hard floors. We have medium- and low-pile area rugs over hardwood and tile floors (roughly 1,000sq ft per floor), and it works fine on both.”
Pros: Lightweight and compact, cord-free design, cleaner head gets in deep
Cons: Requires recharging, must hold down a button to activate vacuum
The best pet hair vacuum for maneuverability
Why you’ll love it: A self-cleaning brush-roll and lift-away canister make the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum versatile and easy to use.
The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is full of features that make for easy and convenient cleaning, especially when pet hair is involved. One of the best is the Zero-M self-cleaning brush-roll. This design actively removes hair and prevents it from wrapping around the brush-roll, so you can clean without interruption.
The Powered Lift-Away mode gives you three different ways to clean, offering the versatility you need to navigate stairs and underneath furniture, and to deep clean floors and carpets. Simply detach the canister from the motorized cleaner head to reach underneath chairs, couches, etc. The detachable canister also makes it easy to vacuum stairs and other small spaces. The standard upright mode also offers powerful cleaning for floors and carpets. Detaching the canister takes a single push of a button.
You can see a brief demonstration of this vacuum’s features in this video.
The Shark APEX Upright has a 4.2 out of 5-star Amazon rating based on 151 reviews. Apostol Apostolov wrote, “This is the best vacuum I’ve ever owned. I have two Malamutes that have long hair and shed enough to stuff a king-size pillow almost daily when they shed their winter/summer coats. I have mostly hardwood floors that are black wood on which dirt tends to show, this vacuum really does a great job on the hardwood and the low area rugs I have. It handles the fur without issue and picks up sand size particles from hard floor without throwing it back at your feet.”
Ashley Gambino also had a positive experience with this vacuum: “It does great on all my floor types. Low profile carpet, thick carpet, shag carpet, tile and vinyl hard floors. I have three dogs so I need something that sucks good, and can hold a lot in the canister. And I love that this one clears the brush roll free of hair. I like that I can ‘lift away’ the canister to vacuum all the way under the couches and beds.”
Pros: Detachable canister for easy cleaning, self-cleaning brush-roll won’t clog with hair
Cons: 16-pound vacuum weight can be heavy for some users
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