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Whether you share your home with cats, dogs, or both, pet fur seems to have a way of getting everywhere. It’s especially tough to remove from upholstered furniture and carpets, so regular cleaning and vacuuming is the only way to stay on top of defuzzing your space.
Vacuums may not be the most glamorous home item to shop for, but a reliable model with strong suction is a necessity for pet owners. Besides helping to remove the regular build-up of dust, dander, and crumbs, vacuums help remove pet hair from both soft and hard surfaces in your home. Luckily, there are tons of styles to choose from, including robot models and hand-held styles.
Here, the best pet hair vacuums.
Best Overall: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift Off Upright Pet Vacuum
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser was designed with pet owners in mind and it certainly shows. This versatile model can be used as a standard upright vacuum but can also be converted to a canister vacuum for more portability and reach.
In addition to a swivel head that helps you maneuver, there's even edge to edge suction and a roller brush that'll remove even the most embedded pet hair. You can adjust the suction and brush powers, too, for hard and carpeted surfaces. The best part? As hair and pet fur is picked up, the vacuum separates it from dirt and dust and spools it into a ball for easy clog-free emptying.
If you suffer from allergies, you'll love the vacuum's SmartSeal Allergen System, which traps allergens that get vacuumed up so they don’t end up being re-released into the air. There’s even built-in Febreze to eliminate odors. Still not convinced? This vacuum is backed by a five-year warranty—and each purchase of a Bissell vacuum supports the Bissell Pet Foundation, whose mission is to save homeless pets.
Best Budget: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
The BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser also comes in a handheld form that’s perfect for quick clean-ups in between deeper cleaning sessions. It’s cordless and lightweight, weighing only 3 pounds, so it’s a quick and easy way to run over your pet’s favorite spot on the couch.
Since it runs on a lithium battery, you'll get 17 minutes of run time on a full charge. Plus, it even has a triple filtration system that traps odors and allergens to keep them out of your home’s air. The generously-sized dirt bin means you can vacuum longer without having to stop to empty it. It also comes with a motorized brush tool, upholstery tool, and crevice tool to help you clean pet hair from hard to reach places.
Best Upright: Miele Dynamic U1 Cat and Dog Upright Vacuum
For something more high-end, consider Miele’s Dynamic U1 Cat and Dog Vacuum. This traditional upright bagged model is designed to powerfully pull pet hair, dander, and crumbs from every surface in your home. Plus, it can be used on carpets or hard flooring, and includes a handheld brush attachment for tackling your pet’s bed and favorite couch cushions.
Though it's an investment, Miele certainly makes it worth your while. In addition to a roller brush that automatically adjusts to whatever surface you're cleaning, there's also an LED headlight that helps you pick up hidden dirt. It's also equipped with a sealed filtration system and even has charcoal filters to help neutralize smells.
A swivel head makes it easy to glide around furniture legs and the edges of area rugs, but be aware it’s on the heavy side at 21 pounds. It comes with several attachments, including a dusting brush, upholstery tool, and crevice tool, so you can convert the vacuum to fit your needs. Perhaps the best part is that Miele vacuums are built to last, and it's likely this vacuum will keep running for at least 10 years.
Best Cordless: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum
Dyson vacuums are iconic, and if your budget allows for a splurge then the V10 Animal Stick Vacuum is a top-rated option for pet parents. Designed for deep cleaning pet hair, this cordless vacuum has three modes so you can customize its power whether you’re cleaning hardwood floors, low pile area rugs, plush rugs, or upholstery.
Thanks to four attachments—a mini-motorized tool, crevice tool, combination tool, and mini soft dusting brush—you can clean just about every surface you can think of. You can also detach the top of the vacuum from the stick to use as a handheld unit.
Still not convinced? Since it weighs just under 6 pounds it's easy to maneuver into tight spots and under furniture. You can even save floor space by storing the vacuum and extra accessories in the included wall-mounted dock that also recharges the battery—when fully charged it'll give you 60 minutes of run time.
Best Hybrid: Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean Vacuum
If you're torn between a traditional upright vacuum and a hand-held option, consider the Shark APEX UpLight. The compact, corded design offers a 2-in-1 cleaning solution that's perfect for small spaces. The corded stick vacuum can be used on all floor surfaces, while the attached Lift Away pod is a handheld vacuum that'll clean everything from furniture to cars to steps. There's even a built-in hose to extend your reach, making it possible to vacuum dust from ceiling fans or pet hair that sticks to walls (yes, that’s a thing).
The vacuum has two self-cleaning brushrolls that keep long hair and fur from getting tangled around the brush. DuoClean technology picks up deep, ground-in dirt and fur from carpets and actually leaves hard flooring looking like they’ve just been polished. It’s also equipped with a HEPA filter to make sure dust and allergens stay inside the vacuum and out of your air space.
Finally, the dirt bin opens on either end so you never have to touch the yucky stuff inside. Retractable wheels automatically kick out when the vacuum is upright to allow it to stand on its own—no dock or wall mount required.
Best Robot: iRobot Roomba 675
If you’re over having to drag a full-size vacuum out every other day to clean up after your pet, a robot vacuum can make daily, hands-free cleaning not only possible, but effortless. The iRobot Roomba 675 connects to your WiFi so you can schedule it to run from your phone using the iRobot HOME app. You can also pair it to Google Assistant or Alexa for voice-controlled cleaning.
The Roomba tracks your cleaning habits and suggests cleaning schedules, even taking into account allergy season and times of year when pets tend to shed more. It can be used on hard floors and carpeted areas and has a 90-minute run time—when it’s time to recharge its batteries, it simply docks itself in its charging station.
While the Roomba won’t be able to tackle stairs or upholstered furniture, it’s loaded with sensors that help it find the dirtiest spots and maneuver under and around furniture. It also has a special brush for sweeping fur and other debris from corners and along edges.
Overall, our top pick is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (view at Wayfair) because it's versatile, budget-friendly, and effective. The vacuum comes with a five-year warranty, too, in case you need to replace any parts. For a hands-free experience, we recommend the iRobot Roomba 675 (view at Amazon) for its high-tech capabilities.
What to Look For in a Vacuum
The most traditional type of vacuum is the upright corded style, which is bulky, powerful, and great for larger households. Stick vacuums are gaining in popularity due to their lighter weight and come in both corded and cordless styles, although the most basic models aren't as powerful as their larger upright competitors. Robot vacuums are expensive, but they're a fantastic option if you need help keeping up with your vacuuming. While they probably won't replace a regular vacuum if you have pets, they're ideal for regular maintenance while you're busy.
Vacuum prices can range anywhere from $70 to $700, more or less, but keep in mind there are multiple factors that impact the price. For starters, style is important—a hand-held vacuum will be more wallet-friendly than a larger model, while robot vacuums typically cost more than both upright and stick models. Second, features will influence price—you'll spend more if you opt for a style with smart tech and/or interchangeable parts. Finally, prices fluctuate depending on the brand. Budget brands like Bissell and Shark will be more affordable, while Dyson, Miele, Riccar, and iRobot will be on the high end.
If you live in a large house, a cordless stick vacuum might sound more convenient, but it's likely you won't be able to finish vacuuming before the battery dies. Stick with a powerful upright model, and consider a robot vacuum to help you keep up. Stick vacuums are best for smaller homes and apartments, since you don't necessarily need a whole lot of power to keep smaller spaces clean. Plus, they're easier to store. If you have pets or serious allergies, look for a vacuum that has a sealed filter to prevent hair and allergens from blowing back out into the air, and consider adding a handheld or robot vac to your arsenal to really keep your space clean.