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

From corded to battery-powered, we round up our choice of the best vacuum for pet hair for our fur-friendly homes

best vacuum for pet hair
(Image credit: Future)

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

It’s a specialist challenge, as pet vacuum cleaners need to be able to suck up hair from hard floors, extract walked-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, Miele 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, manoeuvrability and other functionalities.

Keep scrolling to see which vacuum cleaners for pet hair made the cut for an easier clean around the home. Don't have pets or want to see some more options? No worries: see more at the best cordless vacuum cleaners for our top models.

Best vacuum cleaners for pet hair 2021

DYSON V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

1. Dyson V11 Animal

This is the best pet hair vacuum for overall cleaning

Corded or battery powered?: 25V battery powered
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-Fiddly to clean bin-Quite expensive

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 latest 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 the High Torque cleaning head (designed for carpets and hard floors) using sensors to 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 per cent 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 V11 Outsize) for an extended run time would make this cleaner even better, however.

Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Self-Cleaning Brushroll Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

(Image credit: Kohls)

2. Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (AZ1002)

Best vacuum for pet hair for upright cleaning

Corded or battery powered?: 1350W corded
Dust bin: 0.18 gallons
Weight: 17.1lb
Max dB : Not disclosed
Reasons to buy
+Extremely powerful+Hair doesn't wrap around the brush+Designed for both hard floors and carpet+Can turn into a smaller vacuum
Reasons to avoid
-Quite bulky-Few additional tools

With the Shark APEX Upright, 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.

Self cleaning brush rolls

With Shark’s Zero-M tech, the bristles on the roller are designed like a comb to help hair get sucked up rather than tangled. It works well for strands of hair, but user reviews warn that you can get tangles with clumps of hair or clippings. 

In addition to the brush, the floor head also gives you a smooth roller for dealing with hard floors. This 11-inch wide floor head makes it quick to deal with large areas, and you get a slider control to set the power level for hard floor, short-pile and deep-pile carpet. It’s a relatively easy vacuum to push around, although the bulk of cleaner means it’s not as manoeuvrable as some.

Powered Lift-Away

For more delicate jobs and precision cleaning, there’s 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. With an upholstery tool and 12-inch crevice tool (both stored on the vacuum’s body), you get the basics for detail cleaning.

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 to the two HEPA filters.

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

Best-Vacuum-for-Pet-Hair-DysonH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

3. Dyson Ball Animal 2

Best pet hair vacuum for fast and nimble cleaning

Corded or battery powered?: 306AW corded
Dust bin: 0.55 gallons
Weight : 17.5lb
Max dB: Not disclosed
Reasons to buy
+Very manoeuvrable+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 cleaner 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 Dynamic U1 Upright Vacuum

(Image credit: Best Buy)

4. Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Vacuum Cleaner

Best pet hair vacuum for bagged cleaning

Corded or battery powered?: 1500W corded
Dust bin : 4.22 gallons
Weight: 23lb
Max dB: 80dB
Reasons to buy
+Large operating radius+Self-sealing bags+Easy to manoeuvre+Lots of power
Reasons to avoid
-Replacement bags are expensive-Large and heavy vacuum

If you’re after a large, heavyweight vacuum cleaner that’s great for allergy sufferers, the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Vacuum Cleaner could well be for you.

Large capacity

With its massive 4.22 gallon 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.

The U1 is one of the largest vacuum cleaners you can buy, with 23lb weight. Although it rolls well and pivots, lying the cleaner almost flat to get under couches needs some strength.

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?

There’s a 45ft 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.

There are more flexible cleaners, but few this large and powerful, and the U1 is a great choice where a bag is a preference. 

Hoover - ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum

(Image credit: Best Buy)

5. Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Upright Vacuum

Best pet hair vacuum for battery sharing

Corded or battery powered?: 20V battery powered
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 8.6lb, Hoover says that this cleaner feels more like a 2lb 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.

Shark Cordless HandVac, Pet Model CH950UKT

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

6. Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Best vacuum for pet hair for handheld cleaning

Corded or battery powered?: 10.8V battery powered
Dust bin: 0.06-gallons
Weight: 2.8lb
Max dB: Not disclosed
Battery life: 15 minutes
Reasons to buy
+Very light+Powerful +Anti-tangle motorized brush+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Long charge time-Short run time

The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld Vacuum is that grab-and-go cleaner, such as cleaning up a couch before you sit on it. While many spot cleaners have simple attachments, this one is built for animals, with the self-cleaning pet power brush that can make short work of pet beds and upholstery.

Self cleaning action

As with Shark’s larger cleaners, the self-cleaning brush is designed to prevent hair getting wrapped around the roller, but be careful when using it on large clumps of hair. You also get a scrubbing brush and crevice tool in the box, although there’s no storage inside.

Convenient to use

There’s just an on/off switch, making the UltraCyclone easy to use. The 10.8V battery can provide similar cleaning power to a regular vacuum, although you only get 15-minutes on a charge and have to wait six hours for a full charge.

Anything else?

There’s a small bin, but it’s easy to empty and large enough for spot cleaning. Once removed, you can rinse the bin and filter under a tap to keep it all clean.

If you’re regularly reaching for a larger vacuum to clean up pet hair, the Shark UltraCyclone could well be your grab-and-go friend for smaller jobs.

Dyson v11 Torque

(Image credit: Argos)

7. Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Best cordless pet hair vacuum

Charge time: 4.5 hours
Battery life: 60 minutes
Dust bin capacity: 0.2 gallons
Weight: 3kg, 6.7lb
Max db noise: 80dB
Reasons to buy
+Powerful performance+LCD screen with useful info+Brush adjusts automatically between carpet and hard floors+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Dock won’t hold all attachments

Dyson has worn the crown of cordless vacuum cleaners for years, and the V11 Torque is no exception. 

Impressive suction

The British company’s flagship dirt sucker packs in a total of 14 cyclones generating 185 air watts of suction when cranked up to max. In plain English, that means it's more than powerful enough to pick up stubborn dirt and clingy pet hair.

In addition to its raw power, it’s got the brains to match too, thanks to Dynamic Load Sensing technology which cleverly adjusts the vacuum to the type of surface you’re on, which also helps maximize the battery’s efficiency. Dyson states that you can squeeze out up to an hour of cleaning on a single charge, depending on the area being cleaned and what power setting is used.

Anything else?

A built-in LCD screen lets you keep on top of what cleaning mode you’re on - Eco, Auto and Max - as well as providing maintenance information, such as a blockage that needs clearing. The only main downside is that the dock won’t hold all of the additional attachments, but that’s where drawers come in, we suppose.

It’s expensive, sure, but brilliantly designed, super powerful, and looks stylish to boot. Want the best? Look no further.

Best cordless pet hair vacuum for daily automatic cleaning: iLife V3s Pro

(Image credit: iLife)

8. iLife V3s Pro

Best pet hair robot vacuum for daily automatic cleaning

Charge time: 5.8 hours
Battery life: 100 minutes
Dust bin capacity: 0.07 gallons
Weight: 2.2kg, 4.8lbs
Max db noise: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Cleans automatically+Powerful enough to tackle pet hair+Slim design for cleaning under furniture+Long run time
Reasons to avoid
-Small bin capacity-Might scare your pets

What’s the point of living in a tech-packed future if you don’t have a robot to do your dirty work for you? This robot vacuum cleaner is one of the best performing ones around, and is more than capable of picking up stubborn pet hair that’s littered across your floor.

Self sufficient 

It’s long 100 minute run time should be more than enough to tackle your abode while you’re out and about doing something more fun, and it’s capable of recharging itself and continuing the job if it does happen to run out of steam during a clean.

Infrared sensors avoid any accidental collisions with furniture and/or cats, and its slim profile means it can travel underneath furniture too, for a more thorough clean.

Anything else?

The only main downsides are the fact that you’ll have to empty its small capacity bin often, and it might also 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.


(Image credit: Tineco)

Tineco Pure One S12 Plus

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

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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.

How we test 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 (sometime 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 manoeuvrability, 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.

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 a consideration.

Lint rollers are really handy to have in the home, or in the car. They are a roll of single-sided adhesive paper which 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 fibres, 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 pets new coat. This will keep your pets 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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