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best vacuum for pet hair

What is the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair?

The type of vacuum you need will depend greatly on the surface you’re trying to clean. The best vacuums for pet hair include:


There’s nothing better than snuggling with a fluffy cat or a soft, furry dog. We love our pets, hair and all! Just think, though—wouldn’t it be nice to invite your guests to sit in fur-free chairs instead of wincing when you see them trying to brush pet hair off the furniture?

As much as we adore our furry friends, it’s easy to get frustrated with the amount of fluff that ends up on our clothes and in our homes. In fact, one BISSELL survey showed that a quarter of people who chose not to adopt a pet cited cleanup as their primary reason.

It might seem overwhelming, but I can tell you from experience that pet cleanup is very manageable with the right tips and tools.

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Best Carpet for Pets

Before we get into how to remove cat or dog hair from our carpet, it’s important to ask “what kind of carpet is best for pets?” After all, it doesn’t do much good to have a fluff-free carpet if it stains easily and looks dirty even when it’s clean.

I know so many pet parents that avoid carpeting altogether just because they’re afraid of their pet having an accident on it. Hard surfaces may seem to be the easier route, but if you’re craving that warm plush flooring, you will love this option. 

Mohawk has an incredible type of carpeting called All Pet SmartStrand. It’s made, in part, with plant-based materials that resist pet stains.

It’s backed by Mohawk’s All Pet Protection and Warranty, covering all accidents all the time. And it’s super easy to clean. All you need is water!

Now that you have flooring that’s easy to clean, we need to tackle the fluff. So, to take the first step toward achieving a fur-free home, let’s talk strategy.

How Can You Prevent Shedding? 

The short answer is that you can’t. Even though there are times of the year when pets shed more, most pets will shed year-round to some extent.

Thankfully, though, there is plenty you can do to decrease the amount of fur your pet sheds.

First, make sure to regularly bathe your dog and bathe your cat as needed. Establish a consistent grooming routine to take care of pesky stray hairs. Some pet parents even use a grooming extension for their vacuums to pick up loose fur right at the source. I’ve found the Furminator to be an excellent tool for both kitty and doggie grooming!

Personally, I love using the Booster Bath to keep my dogs clean at home. It lets me stand up straight while bathing my pups, and makes water drainage and cleanup easy! I’ve used it both indoors and outdoors, and I definitely recommend it for every pet parent.

I pair my Booster Bath with Vetericyn’s FoamCare Shampoo and the Waterpik Pet Wand Pro to keep bath time mess-free and stress-free for all of us.

FoamCare’s pH-balanced formula never irritates my dog’s sensitive skin, and it rinses fast and clean.

Of course, it’s easier to rinse when I use the Waterpik, which is designed to clean even the hardest-to-reach spots on your pet. I just attach it to my kitchen sink or my garden hose.


By the way, when you’re ready to try Vetericyn’s FoamCare Shampoo, don’t forget to use the code PETLIVING for 20% off your fur-st order!

Of course, despite your best efforts, your pet is still going to shed. So, the question remains: how do you manage all the fur?! You need the right tools.

The Best Vacuums for Pet Hair

As pet parents, we have to clean up messes pretty frequently. So, we need tools that will make the job easy.

Tulip with my favorite vacuums for pet hair.
Tulip with some of my favorite vacuums for pet hair.

Believe it or not, I have 5 vacuum cleaners — and I use them all. They range from cost-effective BISSELL vacuums designed to be paw-some at picking up pet hair, to high-end ones like a Meile canister model and Dyson’s pet vacuum.

Regardless of your budget, I’m confident you can find a vacuum cleaner that will effectively remove the furry flurries from your floors and upholstery.

The Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors and Pet Hair

Dyson Ball Animal 2

My Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a life-saver for hard floors. This upright vacuum is so lightweight that your arm won’t get tired even if you have a large house to clean! The self-adjusting cleaner head automatically raises and lowers itself to seal in suction and deep clean across different surfaces, and it can swivel to make cleaning under furniture a breeze. It’s also easy to empty, tangle-proof, and allergy-friendly.

Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • Incredibly strong suction and self-adjusting cleaner head automatically raises and lowers to seal in suction across all floors
  • Engineered for larger homes with pets with advanced filtration to trap allergens
  • Includes 9 Dyson-engineered accessories 

Rubber Push Broom for Pet Hair

It’s also handy to have one of these rubber brooms lying around for those times when you don’t need to haul out the vacuum. It works almost like a magnet to clean up pet hair. Quick cleanup, here we come!

The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair on Carpet

BISSELL® Pet Hair Eraser® Lift-Off Vacuum with Tools

This is a brand close to my heart. The BISSELL family is dedicated to supporting pet rescue and helping pet parents keep their homes free of stains, odors, and hair.

I love all of BISSELL’s Pet Hair Eraser models, and I even own a BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo. This upright vacuum combines power and convenience with a detachable, portable canister that you can use to clean all over your house.

This canister vacuum comes with the Pet TurboEraser tool to remove embedded hair from carpets and upholstery, a pet grooming attachment, a built-in telescoping wand to reach baseboards and ceilings, and an LED-lit crevice tool to uncover hidden dirt.

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Lift-Off Vacuum
  • Furguard self-cleaning brush roll to prevent hair wrap
  • Sealed HEPA allergen system to capture and hold dust and allergens
  • Every purchase supports the BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets

The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair on Upholstery

Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner

I absolutely love my Miele canister vacuum—personally, it’s one of my favorite corded vacuums. Its six-speed motor, interchangeable floorheads, and uniquely engineered attachments make it the perfect cleaning machine for all types of hard floors, carpets, and upholstery. The automatic cord winder and crush-proof hose are built for both ease of use and durability. The mini turbo attachment easily removes hair from upholstery. This canister vacuum is even built with an advanced charcoal filtration system designed to neutralize pet odors and remove 99.9% of lung-damaging particles from your home.

Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog Canister HEPA Vacuum Cleaner
  • 20-year average life-span
  • Powerhead for deep cleaning, restoring crushed carpet, and picking up large amounts of pet hair from carpet
  • Comes with specialized floor brush designed to go flat under baseboards, low under furniture, and  tight up against kick jams and around chair legs

The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair in the Car

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum

This lightweight, rechargeable cordless vacuum is easy to handle and quick to use. It provides consistent, strong suction that works on all the different surfaces in a car to remove embedded pet hair. This nifty handheld vacuum comes with three different tools to cover various surfaces as well as an easy empty dust bin and triple level filtration for better cleaning.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
  • Motorized brush tool and additional specialized tools for deeper cleaning and better pet hair removal
  • Large, easy to empty dirt bin
  • Triple level filtration for better cleaning performance

The Best Cordless Vacuum for Pet Hair

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Designed to pick up and purify both larger particles and fine dust, this powerful cordless vacuum received perfect scores in Good Housekeeping’s Pet Hair Pickup tests. It’s lightweight, versatile, and only uses battery power while it’s actually vacuuming, which means it can run for up to 60 minutes on a single charge.

It also converts quickly into a handheld vacuum for use in the car or on the go, and its low profile makes it easy to reach even the most remote places where pet hair gathers. This handheld vacuum picks up even ground-in dirt and fine dust, leaving you with a virtually spotless home.

Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
  • Up to 60 minutes of run time and converts to a handheld for cleaning cars, stairs and upholstery
  • Comes with 4 tools for versatile cleaning and a de-tangling Motorbar cleaner head for better pet hair removal
  • Advanced whole-machine filtration with a washable filter that can be reused for the life of the vacuum

The Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair

iRobot has been the go-to robot vacuum for years, and with good reason. iRobot’s vacuums are reliable, and they just get the job done. Plus, I love that they’re constantly improving their technology.

Their latest model, the iRobot Roomba j-7 PLUS is self-emptying and uses a unique technique called Precision Vision Navigation to identify non-dirt obstacles on the floor, like clothing or cables and cords.

But here’s the BEST part… It identifies and avoids pet accidents! So if your pet happens to poop or pee in the house, you don’t have to worry about your Roomba smearing it all over your floors.

The canister empties itself when it’s finished cleaning, for up to 60 days at a time. So you never have to worry about touching pet dander and dirt. 

iRobot Roomba j7+
  • Lets you control and schedule which rooms are cleaned and when with customizable Keep Out Zones and easier cleaning on each level of your home
  • Uniquely designed multi-surface rubber brushes and edge sweeping brush pull in dirt, debris, and pet hair from wherever it hides

The Best Robot Vacuum Mop Combo

For pet owners who could use an extra hand around the house, the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Robot Vacuum and Mop is just what you need.

Powered by iRobot OS home intelligence, the Combo j7+ robot vacuum can detect and avoid floor obstacles like cords, shoes, pet bowls, and, yes, even solid pet waste.

It’s also perfect for homes with a mix of floor types, as it seamlessly cleans carpets and hard floors in the same cleaning job without any intervention from you.

And unlike other 2-in-1 robots, the Roomba Combo j7+ this one has an auto-retracting mop pad that lifts when on the carpet, preventing wet messes.

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+  Vacuum & Mop
  • Knows when to mop and when to vacuum and seamlessly transitions between them without intervention
  • Automatically empties its bin on its own for up to 60 days
  • Recognizes and avoids obstacles like, clothes, shoes, towels, and even pet waste 

The Best Allergy-Friendly Vacuum for Pet Hair

Kenmore Floor Care Elite Upright Bagged Vacuum

If you or another family member has a pet allergy, this vacuum might just be the answer to your doggie (or kitty) dilemmas. This device’s triple HEPA filtration system captures 99.97% of dust, dander, pollen, and other allergens so you can breathe easier.

Its Pet Handimate hose and wand attachment make it easy for you to clean under furniture, on top of high shelves, along baseboards, in the car, and all over your upholstery to remove even the most stubborn pet hair and dander.

It also comes with an LED Infrared Dirt Sensor that shows you where to focus your cleaning power, giving you confidence that when you’re done vacuuming, your surfaces are truly clean.

Kenmore Floor Care Elite Upright Bagged Vacuum
  • Roller brush spins a high RPM to easily remove dander, stubborn pet hair and other debris off all your home's surfaces
  • 3 motors to deliver more air power and not lose suction
  • Beltless agitator for less maintenance and repairs

FAQs

What Is the Difference between a Pet Hair Vacuum and a Regular Vacuum?

A pet hair vacuum is specially designed for tackling pet hair effectively, which often clogs and tangles in the bristles of regular vacuums. A vacuum designed for pet hair usually has a tangle-free brush roll to prevent pet hair from getting tangled in your vacuum—something we pet parents need in our house that’s undoubtedly filled to the brim with fur!

Additionally, pet vacuums often incorporate HEPA filters, which trap dander and allergens. These filters are great for us pet parents with allergies or asthma, as these filters help keep the air in our homes cleaner.

Regular vacuums, on the other hand, are equipped for general cleaning tasks, handling everyday dirt, dust, and debris well, but they may not be able to pick up such a large amount of pet hair.

What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Pet Hair Vacuums

When shopping for the best pet hair vacuum, look for models that can manage pet fur and dander efficiently. Along with checking the reviews of each vacuum you consider, make sure to be on the lookout for the specs that fit your needs:

  1. Suction power: Strong suction power is essential for removing and cleaning pet hair from various surfaces—be it hardwood floors or carpet.
  2. Filter system: A HEPA filter is ideal as it can trap small particles like dander that can make allergies worse.
  3. Brush design: Look for a vacuum with a brush roll designed to resist tangling, which is common with pet hair.
  4. Attachments: Useful attachments for upholstery, crevices, and specialized pet tools like a mini soft dusting brush can enhance cleaning effectiveness.
  5. Ease of cleaning: The vacuum should be easy to clean, as pet hair can clog machines more quickly.
  6. Portability and maneuverability: Would you prefer a cordless handheld vacuum or a corded one? Features that make the vacuum easy to carry and maneuver around furniture are beneficial, especially for multi-level homes.

Are Vacuums with HEPA Filters Worth It?

Yes! Vacuums equipped with true HEPA filters, like the Kenmore pet-friendly vacuum, capture 99.97% of particles, including common allergens like dust mites and dander, down to 0.3 microns in size. Though this makes them especially valuable for those with allergies or asthma, it makes for a cleaner environment all in all. But make sure the vacuum contains a genuine HEPA filter, not a HEPA-type filter, to ensure you’re getting the highest level of filtration. 

Are Bagged Vacuums Better than Bagless Ones for Pet Hair?

Bagged vacuums are often considered more hygienic than bagless models, especially for pet parents, because they trap debris and allergens within a sealed bag. This design reduces the chance of allergens being released back into the air during disposal, making bagged vacuums a recommended choice for those with allergies.

Bagged vacuums are low maintenance; they can hold a considerable amount of debris before the bag needs to be replaced, and the filters in the bags don’t require cleaning. This convenience, coupled with the hygienic benefits and the use of HEPA filtration to trap fine particles, often makes bagged vacuums a better option for pet parents and for people concerned with indoor air quality and allergens.

Tips for The Best Pet Hair Removal

Once you have the right tools for your cleanup job, follow these tips for the easiest fur removal!

  • Start with a clean bag or empty canister.
  • Use attachment tools for removing pet hair on upholstery or curtains.
  • Make sure there’s nothing blocking the vacuum hose to get the strongest suction.

If you’re still struggling with pet hair in your home even after a thorough vacuuming, wash all pet bedding and blankets regularly. Those soft surfaces tend to accumulate pet hair which then migrates around the home on drafts, air currents, or even feet!

So, are you drowning in cat or dog hair? Is the thought of furry flurries keeping you from adopting a pet? Just remember: with the right tools and strategies, you can overcome even the hairiest of issues.

Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert, influencer, and Fear Free Certified® Professional with over 30 years of experience working with pets.

Through this blog and her book, Pampered Pets on a Budget, Kristen has helped millions of pet parents solve problems and provide the best care for their dogs and cats.

Working alongside hundreds of pet professionals, including veterinarians, behaviorists and trainers inspired Kristen to become a pet parenting “guide”, providing readers with reliable information about health, wellness and lifestyle for dogs and cats and the people who love them.

A dogged advocate for pet adoption and rescue, Kristen has featured over 1,000 adoptable dogs and cats from the SPCA on live television and radio appearances to get them adopted. Her blog, KristenLevine.com has been featured in over 100 media outlets – including the New York Times, USA Today, FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, Women's Day, Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, Pop Sugar and more.

To stay up to date on the latest health and lifestyle trends for pets, Kristen regularly attends the top veterinary and pet product conferences, where she’s often a featured speaker.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I just bought a Bissell pet hair eraser vacuum and I love it, for both the cat hair of 4 cat’s as well as the fact that I have long hair. It does the job and it glides along so nice, it is perfect for me..
    Vicky

  2. We just bought the Miele cat and dog vacuum cleaner, so far it’s doing the job so good even the tiniest hair. It’s really a good thing to invest in high quality vacuum cleaners. We’ve been using it for almost a year now.

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