Best vacuum for pet hair: 9 top options to rid your home of fur, fluff, and dust

We love our fur-friends, but we could do without the shedding. Here, our choices of the best vacuum for pet hair with top-rated models from Bissell, Dyson, Shark, and more

Included in this guide:

best vacuum for pet hair Dog bed in laundry room
(Image credit: Future)

Finding the best vacuum for pet hair is a must if you have any pets roaming around. As much as we love our fur babies, there’s one guarantee that pet ownership brings: a house full of hair, tracked-in dirt, and kibble crumbs. And to tackle that, we need an appliance that's built for the job.

It’s a specialist challenge, living with pets, as pet vacuum cleaners need to be able to suck up hair from hard floors, extract ground-in fur from carpets and rugs, and provide a safe way to clean up prized couches and chairs. Ideally, they need to do this with one eye on reducing allergies, too.

In this guide, we’re bringing you our top recommendations for pet vacuum cleaners. We've vetted and reviewed the top models which are available to buy from your favorite stores to include the latest offerings from brands such as Dyson, Bissell, and Shark. Those products you see with one of our Homes & Gardens badges have been around a member of our teams' homes to test them in exactly the same way as you would. We've also considered customer feedback on the vacuum's ease of use, affordability, maneuverability, and other functionalities.

The choices below are perfect for a home with pets, but our guide to the best vacuum cleaners has a wider range of choices for every cleaning need.

Best vacuum for pet hair 2021

V11 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson V11 Animal

This is the best pet hair vacuum for overall cleaning

Type: Cordless Stick
Dust bin: 0.2 gallons
Weight: 6.68lb
Max dB: Not disclosed (84.6dB when we tested)
Battery life: Up to 60 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Automatically adjusts power+Lots of accessories+Smart LCD screen+As powerful as a plug-in cleaner
Reasons to avoid
-Fixed battery-Difficult to clean bin

When it comes to ease of use and power, nothing comes close to the Dyson V11 Animal. It can be used with the floor head for traditional upright cleaning, or in handheld mode for getting into those hard-to-reach areas. Thanks to the powerful V11 motor, this is a cordless cleaner that has the power of a plug-in model.

Smart tech
It’s the smart tech that sets this machine apart with sensors that adjust vacuum power to suit the floor type automatically. Even better, there’s an LCD screen at the rear that gives you the current battery life in minutes and even shows you handy videos, such as how to clean the filter should suction drop.

Dust collection
It’s easy enough to remove and clean the filter at the rear, but a bit trickier to disassemble the filter inside the bin. Dyson promises 99.97 percent filtration, which is great for allergy sufferers and has a clever eject system for the sizeable 0.2-gallon bin, so you get the mess out without the cloud of dust.

Anything else?
For getting into fiddly areas and dealing with upholstery, you get a mini motorized tool (great for pet hair on stairs and upholstery), combination tool, crevice tool, and a stubborn dirt tool. There’s enough storage for most of these, with two clips on the wall-mounted charging dock that the V11 hangs from and one on the cleaner’s wand.

The option of a second battery (available on the larger Outsize) for an extended run time would make this cleaner even better, – something that is an option with some other models in our list of the best cordless vacuums.

shark vertex upright

(Image credit: Shark)

2. Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-away

Best upright vacuum for pet hair

Type: Upright
Power: 1344W
Dust bin: 1 quart
Weight: 16.38lb
Max dB : Not disclosed
Reasons to buy
+Powerful suction power on hard floors and carpets+Powered Lift-Away motor and accessories offer flexible cleaning options for cleaning stairs, under furniture, and tight corners+Ample dust-bin capacity+Hair doesn't get caught in self-cleaning brushroll+HEPA filter 
Reasons to avoid
-Quite bulky-Motor emits a lot of airflow-2 out of the 3 included accessories store on board, and are easily knocked off

With the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-away, you can largely say goodbye to hair wrapping around the floor brush which makes it a good choice for taming any unwanted pet hair from around the house.

DuoClean Powerfins
Double the contact, double the clean, with the latest in Shark's vacuuming tech: DuoClean Powerfins: two rollers suck up dirt and dust to maximize floor contact for continuous cleaning.  The silicone PowerFins roller and a soft roller uncover dust and debris from carpets, directly engage floors, and pick up more in every pass. Both are designed to be self-cleaning and anti hair-wrap so you can spend less time cutting through the hair, and more time playing with Fido.  It’s a relatively easy vacuum to push around, although the bulk of cleaner means it’s not as maneuverable as some.

Powered Lift-Away
For more delicate jobs and precision cleaning, there’s Powered Lift-Away mode. This lets you pop out the main cylinder and bin, leaving you with a smaller, more nimble cleaner and hose for getting under furniture and into tight spaces.  

Anything else?
Once full, the bin lifts out the front and is cleanly emptied via the flap at the bottom. You can clean the whole lot out, too, once it gets quite dirty. It’s just as simple to clean the two HEPA filters.

If you need the power of a plug-in upright with the flexibility of a cordless cleaner, look no further.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright VacuumH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

Best pet hair vacuum for fast and nimble cleaning

Type: Upright
Power: 306AW
Dust bin: .55 gallons
Weight : 17.5lb
Max dB: Not disclosed
Reasons to buy
+Very maneuverable+Certified asthma and allergy-friendly+Extremely powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Too much suction on some surfaces-Few accessories in the box-Quite expensive

With the Dyson Ball Animal 2, the company has solved how you make a supremely powerful vacuum cleaner extremely easy to push around. 

Big ball & power
Thanks to the ball underneath, this upright can be steered at speed easily, darting around furniture and between chair legs. Yet, it’s powered by the company’s most powerful motor delivering a staggering 305AW of power.

Floorhead & attachments
The floor head automatically adjusts its height to match the surface you’re vacuuming, although some people complain that the suction power makes this vacuum hard to push on carpet. There are no complaints about how well this cleaner removes pet hair and other mess, though.

For detail work, the hose removes and you can use the provided accessories: a combination tool (crevice tool and brush), stair tool, and the tangle-free turbine tool, which is brilliant for pets beds and upholstery. It’s a shame that there’s only storage for one tool on the vacuum’s body. 

Anything else?
The bin removes easily from the front, letting you eject dust without making a mess. And, thanks to the washable HEPA filter, the Animal 2 is certified asthma and allergy-friendly, too. 

miele c1 cat and dog

(Image credit: Miele)

4. Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog Canister

Best pet hair vacuum for bagged cleaning

Type: Canister
Power: 1200W
Dust bag: 4.5qt.
Weight: 16.1lb.
Max dB: 80dB
Reasons to buy
+Generous operating radius+Self-sealing bags+Easy to maneuver+Lots of power
Reasons to avoid
-Replacement bags are expensive-Limited Availability

If you suffer from allergies and need a sealed system, the Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog Vacuum Cleaner could very well be for you.

Large capacity
With its spacious 4.5qt bags that self-seal on removal and provide additional filtration, this is a cleaner that’s great for allergy sufferers, as you remove and throw away everything. Of course, the downside is that replacement bags are a fairly hefty investment.

Pet hair taming accessories
Fortunately, the hose and wand come off the back, letting you use the crevice tool and small turbo brush for smaller areas; the latter is particularly useful for dealing with pet beds and upholstery.

Anything else?
Miele's models designated for "Cats & Dogs" use a special charcoal filter called Active AirClean filter that captures and retains over 99.9% of lung-damaging particles plus hair and fur, but that will actually help prevent odors.

There’s a 29ft cleaning radius with this model, so you won’t need to keep swapping power sockets as you make your way around the house. Suction power is incredible, thanks to the 1500W motor, so cleaning across the board, not just for pet hair, is exceptional.

Hoover - ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum

(Image credit: Hoover)

5. Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Upright Vacuum

Best pet hair vacuum for battery sharing

: Upright cordless
Dust bin: 0.26 gallons
Weight: 8.6lb
Max dB: Not disclosed
Battery life: 35 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Compatible with all ONEPWR batteries+Powerful suction+Lightweight and easy to push+Antimicrobial floor brush
Reasons to avoid
-No attachments-Battery can’t be charged in-situ

If you’re going to use removable batteries, it makes a lot of financial sense if they can work in lots of devices. That’s what you get with the large Hoover ONEPWR range, which covers everything from leaf blowers and carpet cleaners to the Evolve Pet Cordless Upright Vacuum.

Cordless design
As the name suggests, this works and acts like a regular upright cleaner, only there’s no power cord to worry about. Although relatively light at 8.6 lb, Hoover says that this cleaner feels more like a 2 lb vacuum when you push it around, with the weight towards the bottom of the cleaner.

This design gives the ONEPWR Evolve Pet a nimbleness and degree of flexibility that could suit those that don’t want a heavier machine. Even better, the vacuum stands up by itself: something few cordless models can do.

Anything else?
The downside of the design is that there’s no hose or accessory for detail cleaning, so this is cleaner strictly for floors, with three operating modes to suit all types of carpet and hard floor. 

Thanks to the 20V battery, you get excellent suction, and the floor head has an antimicrobial brush roll and pet filter that cuts down on nasty odors. You can buy additional batteries (or borrow from other ONEPWR tools) to extend runtime. It’s a shame that the battery can’t be charge in-situ for ease of use, though.

Bissell icon pet proH&G silver badge

(Image credit: Bissell)

Best cordless pet hair vacuum cleaner

Dust bin capacity: 0.4ltrs
Weight: 7lb.
Noise: 81dB
Battery life: 50 minutes
Warranty: 3 years
Reasons to buy
+Headlights useful for cleaning under sofa+Tangle-free brushes+Wall bracket for charging +Impressive design details
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier to use than some

The Bissell ICONPet is a beautifully engineered vacuum that combines the best in design, performance, and battery life. 

Powerful features
At the center of the ICONpet Pro is a 25V Lithium-Ion Battery for up to 50 minutes of fade-free suction. For reference, the high-powered motor spins at 420 miles per hour for a powerful clean, and suction. 

It also easily swivels for ultimate maneuverability, and we're pleased to report that the tangle-free brushroll, is the real deal when it comes to having to deal with accumulated strands of hair from humans and pets. Plus, the Clean Slide technology makes for easy dust bin removal for as little contact with dirt as possible. A major moment for anyone who hates dealing with cleaning out the vacuum. 

Anything else?
The 50-minute run time is ample time to get through a cleaning job, and we enjoyed the small design details like the LED crevice tool, progress indicator on the inside of the charging dock, and simply how easy it is to mount the dock level.   

shark robot

(Image credit: Shark)

Best robot vacuum for pet hair

Type: Robot
Dust bin size: 1.95qt. for the base, .17qt. on robot
Noise level: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Controllable via app to schedule and choose which room to clean in+Bagless Self-Emptying base holds up to 30 days of dust+No-go strips create a boundary+Effortlessly transitions between hard floors and area rugs
Reasons to avoid
-Charging base can't be moved-Won't work across multiple floors/ room barriers-Had trouble picking up large pieces of debris

If your pet's sheds call for picking up the vacuum daily, it may be time to automate the process. Our first pick, the Shark IQ Robot XL with Self-Cleaning Base. It offers smart mapping, personalized cleaning schedules, and a self-emptying base. However, the inclusion of Shark's signature self-cleaning brush roll makes it a great pick for pet owners since hair won't tangle or clog up the machine. 

No-Go Boundaries
For delicate areas where you'd prefer the robot vacuum not to go, or to keep it from getting too close to your pet's bed and food area, you can establish No-Go Zones with the included No Go strips cut to size or within the Shark app. 

 The anti-brush roll feature is useful for keeping strands of hair from clogging the machine The robot operates in clean, methodical lines and though the battery lasted almost two hours in our testing, should it need to recharge or empty the dust bin in the middle of cleaning, it will automatically return the dock, and then resume.

Self-Emptying Base
Our new favorite standard in robot cleaning: the self-emptying base. Since regular bins tend to fill pretty quickly with pet hair, they're especially useful for minimal interruption of your cleaning. Shark's self-emptying base only needs to be emptied every 30 days, though that differs with how often you run the robot and how messy your floors are.

Anything else?
If the self-clean base is moved after mapping, the robot will have to remap the home. The robot operates in clean, methodical lines with the ability to recharge or empty the dust bin in the middle of cleaning before resuming.

The Shark IQ effectively suctions up everything from pet hair to small messes, though we would avoid relying on it to pick up larger pieces of debris.

You may have to work to slowly introduce your pet to a robot vacuum as it might scare your pets, depending on their temperament, while you’re away. If that’s not an issue for you though, then this is a great choice for automatic, daily supplemental cleaning.

Tineco PureOne S12H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Tineco)

Best vacuum for pet hair for accessory lovers

Corded or battery powered?: 21.6V cordless
Dust bin: 0.16 gallons
Weight: 6.6lb
Max dB: Not disclosed
Battery life: Up to 100-minutes
Reasons to buy
+Loads of accessories+Flexible and easy to use+Neat LCD screen+iLoop automatic cleaning+Dual batteries
Reasons to avoid
-Not enough accessory storage-Not as powerful as Dyson

A lot of vacuum cleaning is about having the right accessories for the job, and the Tineco Pure One S12 doesn’t disappoint on this front. 

Accessories included
You get two motorized floor brushes (one for carpet, one for hard floor), a 2-in-1 dusting brush, a mini power brush (great for pet beds), crevice tool, soft dusting brush, extension hose, angled adaptor (to clean on tops of cupboards) and a flexible crevice tool. 

If that’s not enough, there’s also a clever pre-filter cleaning tool that uses vacuum power to remove dirt (the rear HEPA filter has to be cleaned with water).

The wall charging dock only has storage for three smaller tools so you’ll need a good amount of room for everything else.

Long run time
With two batteries in the box (both of which can be charged at the same time), you can have up to 100-minutes of run-time - more than enough for most homes.

There’s a smart AI mode (iLoop) that detects when there’s dirt and adjusts power on the fly, but it’s not always very accurate, so you can override and choose your own power mode. 

Anything else?
The neat screen at the back shows you battery life, and has a colored ring around the outside: it’s red when there’s dirt and turns blue to show you when you’ve finished cleaning. It also has a smartphone app, although connecting this to the vacuum cleaner doesn’t give you anything particularly useful.

Performance lags behind the Dyson V11, with Pure One S12 taking a few more sweeps to clean up, but the range of accessories you get means that this cleaner is far more flexible.

best handheld pet hair vacuum

(Image credit: Bissell)

9. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Hand Vacuum

Best handheld vacuum for pet hair: tame pet hair with the handy pet tool

Type: Handheld cordless
Weight: 3lb.
Battery life: 17 mins
Charge time: 6 hours
Capacity: 23.6oz
Reasons to buy
+Super easy to use+Pet-hair tool included
Reasons to avoid
-On the expensive side

Wherever they go, pets seem to leave a trail of something or another. Consider one of the best handheld vacuums to tackle small cleans up from dirt tracked into your after a trip to the park, spilled food crumbs, and tufts of hair that escape after grooming. Our go-to: the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Hand Vacuum.

Powerful Design
Packed with a 14V Lithium battery, this Bissell remains powerful while remaining lightweight. It easily removes crumbs, dust, and pet hair from around the home. We also like sleek design and quick-charge base make it super-easy to handle — just grab it when you need to do some quick cleaning in focused areas. This Bissell handheld vac is suitable for use on stairs, hair floors and deep-pile carpets. It also works well on kitchen work surfaces and car seats, so there's really no surface it can't cover. 

Top-notch attachments
The best part, though, is the detachable motorized brush that helps remove embedded pet hair from surfaces like upholstery and area rugs. Need something a little more delicate? Pop in the upholstery attachment to cleans soft surfaces and furniture and attracts pet hair at the same time. 

Anything else?
Given its great capability for handling pet hair, we feel it represents an excellent value. We can't forget its triple filtration performance to keep allergens at bay, either. 

How we test the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair

At Homes & Gardens we like to get hands-on experience with all the products which we decide to feature in our buyers' guides. The reason for this is to simply help you; we share our experiences so you can be confident in what you are buying. 

We test all types of vacuum cleaners including cordless vacuum cleaners and the best robot vacuums we can find so we have all floor cleaning requirements covered. Each new vac we get the opportunity to review is tried and tested in our own homes, undergoing rigorous testing on a range of flooring and household challenges (rice crispies on the floor, pet hair on the sofa, etc!)

We test the vacuum cleaners for a number of weeks (sometimes months) so we get a feel for the longevity and durability of each model. In some instances, we are also fortunate enough to keep the vacuum cleaners after writing up the review so we can continue to learn about it and share our findings with you. We look out for factors such as maneuverability, run-time, emptying of the canister (or bag), and general controls so you know exactly what you are getting for your money, and whether or not it is worth it for what you need it for. The feedback from other users is also something we look out for, especially if we are in the process of reviewing a product and we felt it was (already) a good enough product to feature in our round-ups of the 'best of' guides.

How do I choose a vacuum cleaner for pet hair?


(Image credit: Future/James Merrell)

Pet hair is a rather specialist item to suck up and get rid of with any deal of efficiency, so you’ll typically need a cleaner with the right types of accessories, rather than raw power, as such.

For dealing with carpets or rugs, this means a motorized brush bar, which uses rigid bristles to agitate and loosen hair so that it can be sucked up into the bin. 

For hard floors, having pure suction flow through the cleaner makes more sense for hair, but look out for a cleaner that has a soft brush, designed to pick up pet dander and microscopic bits of dust first.

Tools for dealing with pet hair around the house are just as important. A mini motorized brush can be your best friend, giving you the same qualities as a floor brush in a smaller package that can help clean up pet beds and upholstery with ease.

Any motorized tool with tangle-free technology is worth looking for, as you won’t have to worry about cleaning the tools so often.

Otherwise, look out for regular accessories (dusting brushes, crevice tools and so on) for getting into those hard-to-reach areas and removing all traces of pet hair from your home.

While power isn’t the most important aspect, vacuum cleaners designed for pet hair tend to be at the more powerful end of the spectrum, particularly for plug-in models. Typically, these cleaners have a 1500W or higher motor.

You’ll have a choice between cordless and plug-in models. Generally speaking, plug-in models, as discussed above, will give you a deeper and more thorough clean, but the trade-off is a large and more unwieldy cleaner.

A cordless cleaner doesn’t quite have the same level of power but can do a great job with the right accessories designed for pet hair removal. As cordless cleaners are lighter and easier to move around, you’ll more likely use them more often, too. Regular, targeted cleaning can be just as, if not more effective as a weekly deep clean.

Are HEPA filter vacuums worth it?

When sucking up dust and pet hair, it’s not what you can see that can cause irritation and allergic reactions, but the microscopic dust that you can’t. 

Pet dander, for example, are microscopic skin cells shed from animals that cause reactions in people with allergies.

HEPA filters are designed and rated to prevent these particles from escaping the vacuum cleaner, sealing in the dirt that’s collected. This is very important in a pet vacuum cleaner, particularly if anyone in the house (or a regular visitor) has sensitivities to your animals.

Are bagless or bagged vacuums better for allergies?


(Image credit: Future/Paul Raeside)

As discussed above, a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters is what you need if you have allergy sufferers, keeping the microscopic irritants sealed inside the dust bin. However, the big issue is what happens when you empty a vacuum.

For bagless cleaners, emptying has to be done with care, as opening the bin can create a cloud of dust, releasing smaller particles back into the air, causing issues for those with allergies.

Bagged vacuum cleaners have an extra level of protection, as the bags act as both additional filters to prevent particle escape, but you also remove and throw away the dirt without exposing it to fresh air. Look for a cleaner that has self-sealing bags for the best results.

As such, bagged vacuum cleaners are often easier to deal with for households where members are very sensitive to allergens. 

That doesn’t make bagless cleaners a poor choice, though: just be careful how and where you empty the vacuum’s bin. To prevent the spreading of allergens, a vacuum bin should be ejected either down, directly into a larger internal bin or, for additional safety, emptied in the same way into an outside bin.

Would I be better off with a corded vac for pet hair?

Corded vacuums tend to be more powerful than cordless vacuums, with the additional benefit of never running out of power. They’re still a solid choice for large homes, as you’ll never suffer from "range anxiety" and running out of power.

They tend to be much bigger and bulkier though, which can be a pain when it comes to easily and quickly tending to a room. We can’t speak for everyone, but for most people, and especially those in apartments, cordless vacuum cleaners have evolved to a point where they’re more than powerful enough to take care of tough pet hair, while remaining light and nimble enough to not make the process a tiring and frustrating one.

See some top cordless vacuum picks (and how we compared them) in the shoppable video below).

Other tips for cleaning up after pets 

If you're not quite convinced that a vacuum for taming pet hair will help in your household, then there are plenty of other options which are worth consideration.

Lint rollers are really handy to have in the home, or in the car. They are a roll of single-sided adhesive paper that is mounted over a barrel with a handle. These can be rolled over most materials including the clothes on your back, the seats in the car and the upholstery on the sofa. When the stickiness fades or the paper becomes loaded with fibers, it can simply be torn off and thrown in the bin.

Another option is getting a fur rake which is more for your pet rather than your home, although it will benefit you in some way. By raking (grooming) your pet regularly, loose fur can be removed without damaging your pet's new coat. This will keep your pet's coat looking healthy and free your home from any stray fur landing on the surfaces where you really don't want to see it.

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