We all love our pets, but the piles of hair they leave everywhere? Not so much. And what’s more, most traditional vacuums aren’t up to the job of picking it, so you can vacuum constantly and still have plenty of hair on your floors. But don’t worry, there are also plenty of vacuums that make easy work of pet hair, including some specifically designed for cleaning up after pets.
We reviewed dozens of vacuums for pet hair to identify the best of the best. We looked at filtration, capacity, noise, and more. We compared bagged vs bagless and cord vs cordless to find the best vacuums for any pet parent’s home.
The clear winner is the Shark Rotator Professional NV501. With a pet hair power brush to lift hair and dander, a removable canister for more portable vacuuming and a HEPA filter to trap and eliminate dust and allergens, you can’t go wrong with this vac.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Vacuums for Pet Hair
|Best Overall||Shark Rotator Professional NV501||4.4|
|Runner Up||Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal||4.4|
|Best Budget Buy||Bissell Cleanview||4.3|
|Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair||Shark Rocket HV292||4.5|
|Best Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair||Shark Rotator Professional TruePet||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Shark Rotator Professional NV501
The Shark Rotator Professional NV501 is your all in one solution to keeping your home pet hair free. Use it in traditional upright mode to remove pet hair from the main floors of your home, then with just a push of a button you can convert the vacuum to Lift-Away Mode to release the canister for a super portable, handheld vacuum perfect for cleaning upholstery, under furniture, in corners, and other hard to reach spots around your home.
The Shark Rotator Professional NV501 also has a Premium Pet Power Brush, which is designed to pick up pet hair and other debris, and picks up dander from deep within your surfaces. Within the vacuum, a HEPA filter removes 99.9% of dust and allergens, and the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology traps the dust and allergens inside the vacuum and out of the air you breathe.
Shark Rotator Professional NV501 Key Features:
- LED headlights on the handle and nozzle make dirt, dust, and hair easy to see and clean up
- XL-capacity dust cup allows you to vacuum longer without having to stop to empty your vacuum
- Lift Away Mode and advanced swivel steering make the Shark Rotator Professional NV501 easy to use to clean even the hardest to reach areas of your home
Our Runner Up Pick: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal is a pretty big investment, but it’s specifically designed to deeply clean homes with pets; it’s definitely worth it if you have room in your budget. The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal has more powerful suctioning mechanisms than any other cordless vacuum and the cleaner head’s stiff bristles dig into the carpet to free dirt and debris so you can clean more in less time. The vac’s sealed filtration system traps 99.7% of particles. Its cordless, lightweight design and torque drive cleaner head make this vacuum a leader in maneuverability.
Like the Shark Rotator Professional NV501, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal can be quickly and easily converted to a handheld vacuum to make it even easier to clean all around your home. Thanks to the Dyson digital motor V10, this vacuum can be used on both carpet and hard flooring surfaces. You can vacuum for up to 60 minutes when using a non-motorized tool and up to 20 with a motorized tool, but the instant release trigger means that you’re only using power when actively cleaning.
Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Key Features:
- 2-year automatic warranty that covers both parts and labor
- Three power modes for whatever task or floor type
- “Point and shoot” bin makes emptying the .2 gallon dust bin easy and mess-free.
Best Budget Pick: Bissell Cleanview
For an excellent vacuum for pet hair that’s under $100, the Bissell Cleanview is the best you can get. Bissell’s one pass technology incorporates strong suction and unique brush design to remove most visible surface debris in just one stroke — and that stroke covers a path 13.5 inches wide. The powerful, multi-cyclonic suction system ensures that suction stays powerful throughout the life of the vacuum.
With a 25-foot power cord and 6-foot hose, the Bissell Cleanview give you plenty of range to clean around your home — up to 32 feet! The vacuum’s lightweight design makes it easy to move around your home beyond its long range and easy to move while cleaning. The Bissell Cleanview has five different height adjustments to work across a wide range of flooring surfaces. This, plus the multiple cleaning attachments that come with the vacuum, including a dusting brush, crevice tool, and Turbo brush tool, make this vacuum ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach areas. Virtually all of your home’s surfaces, from the floor to the ceiling will be spotless.
Bissell Cleanview Key Features:
- Multi-level filtration and a washable reusable filter
- Bottom emptying dirt bin with 2-liter capacity for minimal interruptions and quick, easy emptying
- Five height adjustments and various cleaning attachments
Best Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair: Shark Rotator Professional TruePet
The Shark Rotator Professional TruePet is similar to our top pick, the Shark Rotator Professional NV501. It has a Lift-Away design that allows you to remove the portable canister and convert the vacuum from upright mode to powered lift-away and above-floor modes, giving you excellent access to all your home’s surfaces, from stairs to drapes to upholstery, with just the push of a button. Dynamic swivel steering makes the Shark Rotator Professional TruePet easy to maneuver around virtually any obstacles, while fingertip controls allow you to quickly and easily power the vacuum on and off and switch between hard floor and carpet modes.
Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filter remove and trap 99.9% of dust and allergens. The Hard Floor Hero attachment is perfect for cleaning up messes on hard floors, while the TruePet motorized brush and pet multi-tool incorporates two tools in one. The upholstery tool is great for removing pet hair from all kinds of fabric surfaces and the brush’s stiff bristles remove stuck-on messes. The vacuum also comes with a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and a mini motorized brush.
Shark Rotator Professional TruePet Key Features:
- Lift-Away design with a 6-foot hose for portable cleaning and access to hard-to-reach spots
- 1.5-quart capacity dust cup lets you clean with fewer interruptions
- LED headlights on the handle and nozzle to illuminate messes to make them easier to find and clean
Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Shark Rocket HV292
The Shark Rocket HV292 is proof that you don’t have to sacrifice power for size. This handheld vacuum weighs less than four pounds, even with accessories, and since it uses a power cord instead of a battery, it has powerful suction that won’t fade with use–plus you don’t have to worry about recharging or your battery dying in the middle of your cleanup. The cord is 15 feet long, so you don’t have to worry about super limited range either, especially with the included flexible, stretchable cleaning hose. Other accessories that come with the Shark Rocket HV292 are a crevice tool, dusting brush, and TruePet Mini Motorized Brush.
The Shark Rocket HV292 is ideal for quick cleanups, car interiors, and hard-to-reach areas like corners, stairs, around and underneath furniture, and above floor surfaces. The TruePet Mini Motorized Brush, in particular, is great for deep cleaning and removing pet hair, allergens, and other stubborn messes from upholstery.
Shark Rocket HV292 Key Features:
- Easy-to-empty .42 quart capacity dust cup opens from the bottom with just the push of a button for quick, mess-free emptying
- Washable, reusable filters and bagless design mean that you’re not constantly spending more money to maintain your vacuum
- Comes with a dusting brush, 12-inch crevice tool, and TruePet Mini Motorized Brush for enhanced cleaning across your home
Who Should Buy a Vacuum for Pet Hair
Pet hair can be very difficult to clean up and most traditional vacuums just aren’t up to the challenge, so anyone with a furry pet should get a vacuum that’s proven to stand up to pet hair. Otherwise, you’ll never successfully clean up all the hair. This is especially important for owners of cat and dog breeds that shed heavily and for households with allergy sufferers or regular visitors that suffer from allergies. While allergies aren’t actually caused by the hair itself, they are caused by dander, which are tiny flakes of dead skin that animals, including dogs, cats, and even humans, naturally shed. Dander tends to cling to the hair so if there’s visible pet hair around your home, there’s almost certainly dander around, too. It’s a good idea to keep your dog well-groomed, which can help to prevent excess shedding. Check out our review of the best dog grooming clippers for the best tools for at-home grooming.
Fortunately, vacuums that are specially designed to pick up pet hair are generally also designed to pick up and trap dander as well. Also, just like humans have allergies to animal dander, some animals, including cats and dogs, can actually be allergic to human dander. While this is rarely life-threatening, if you have a pet that suffers an allergy to you, regular cleaning with a pet hair vacuum is actually a great way to clean up your own hair and dander and keep your pet comfortable and healthy.
Important Features to Consider
A vacuum for pet hair should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a vacuum for pet hair:
- Type. There are several different types of vacuums available suited for different purposes. Upright vacuums and stick vacuums are good for cleaning large areas of the floor. Stick vacuums tend to be quieter and more maneuverable than upright vacuums, but generally, have a lower capacity and less power. Canister vacuums are portable, powerful, and great for cleaning both floors and above floor surfaces, but tend to be pricey. Hand vacs are affordable, lightweight, and good for cleaning up small messes, but they aren’t large or powerful enough for large clean-up jobs. Robotic vacuums are great for automating light clean-up around a room, but they don’t clean up as well as an upright, especially if there are too many obstacles around the room, and they’re very expensive. Finally, stationary vacuums are great for cleaning up hard surfaces; just sweep the debris over to the vacuum and it sucks the dirt up for you so you don’t have to deal with a dustpan. On the other hand, they won’t clean up on soft floors and you still have to sweep.
- Filtration. Some vacuums have reusable filters while others have replaceable ones that you’ll need to switch out every so often. Reusable filters are nice in that you don’t have to continue buying new filters, but you do need to take the time to wash them and let them dry thoroughly between every few uses. Replaceable ones are convenient but can be costly. Either way, try to get a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which is specially designed to remove particulates like dust mites, dander, and pollen from the air of your home.
- Attachments. Your vacuum should have attachments that help you remove pet hair from hard to reach areas and above floor surfaces. At the minimum, a dusting brush, crevice attachment, and an upholstery brush should all be available for your vacuum. Pet hair specific attachments are a huge plus. These attachments are often sold with the vacuum but may need to be purchased separately in some cases.
- Surface utility. If you have multiple floor types in your home, you probably want a vacuum that works on as many of them as possible. Some vacuums have adjustments for multiple carpet lengths, while a vacuum that has a brush roll that can be turned on and off can be used on both carpet and hard floors. Ideally, a vacuum is also useful for cleaning non-floor surfaces, such as upholstery.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is a pet hair vacuum different from a regular vacuum?
There are a few differences between pet hair vacuums and traditional vacuums. For one, vacuums designed for pet hair tend to have stronger suction and brush rolls with stiffer bristles to more effectively loosen stubborn pet hair. They also tend to have more effective filters that remove dander and other allergens. Finally, pet hair vacuums tend to come with pet specific attachments and accessories, like miniature roller brushes, for cleaning up pet hair in hard-to-reach areas. However, just because a vacuum is marketed as being for pet hair doesn’t guarantee that it’s effective at cleaning up pet hair, and many vacuums that aren’t marketed as being for pet hair do a great job cleaning up pet hair.
Can you use a pet hair vacuum on furniture?
Canister and handheld vacuums are specifically designed to be able to be used to clean above-floor surfaces like furniture. Upright vacuums, on the other hand, require attachments like upholstery brushes if they’re going to be used on furniture. Fortunately, most upright pet hair vacuums include these attachments, and others have compatible attachments available for purchase separately.
Do pet hair vacuums work on hard floors?
For a pet hair vacuum to be effective on hard floors you must be able to at least turn on and off the roller brush. Otherwise, the roller brush will spin on the hard surface and send debris flying across the floor instead of inside the vacuum and may damage the floor. Some vacuums actually have hard floor settings, which usually turns off the roller brush and increases the level of suction. For delicate or easy-to-scratch flooring surfaces, test your vacuum in a discrete place to make sure that it won’t damage your flooring.
How do you get dog hair out of upholstery?
A powerful vacuum with a pet hair-specific upholstery attachment is the easiest and most effective way to remove pet hair from most upholstery. However, there are additional steps that you can take to help your vacuum work more effectively, as well as tricks for quick clean-ups that don’t require you to get your vacuum out. Before you vacuum, use a lint brush or roller to effectively remove hair resting on the surface before running a dryer sheet over the surface. From there, you can lightly spray it with a mixture of fabric softener and water to help remove static electricity that causes the hair to cling. Just make sure that the surface is completely dry before vacuuming unless your vacuum’s manufacturer says that it can handle wet messes. If you don’t have an upholstery attachment with a brush, gently raking one over the surface of your upholstery before vacuuming can also be helpful in getting stubborn hair. That said, be sure to test this in a discrete place first, as brushes can damage delicate upholstery.
Other Vacuums for Pet Hair We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other vacuums for pet hair. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best vacuums for pet hair list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your home and pet. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Upright and Stick Vacuums for Pet Hair
- Handheld Vacuums for Pet Hair
- Robotic Vacuums for Pet Hair
- Stationary Vacuums for Pet Hair
Upright and Stick Vacuums for Pet Hair
This lightweight but powerful vacuum is highly maneuverable, can be used on both hard floors and carpets, and comes with a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and a wide pet upholstery tool so that you can virtually all of your surfaces.
- Hose and included extension tube give 10 feet of range for cleaning above the floor surfaces
- Easy-to-empty one quart capacity dust cup
- Reusable, machine washable filter
Need a vacuum that will stand up to marathon cleaning sessions? This vacuum has a 2.9-quart dust cup and a 30-foot cord, so you can clean as much as you need with few, if any, interruptions.
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filter remove and trap 99.9% of allergens
- Brush roll shut off for use on both hard floors and carpet
- Lightweight design and swivel steering allow for excellent maneuverability
This vacuum’s Lift-Away design and 24-inch crevice tool make it a great choice for cleaning all the hard-to-reach areas around your home. At just 12.5 pounds, it’s easy to transport to wherever you need to clean.
- Comes with a dusting brush, two different lengths of crevice tools, and a wide pet upholstery tool
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology combines with a HEPA filter to trap 99.9% of allergens
- Brush roll shutoff for use on carpet and hard flooring
This vacuum’s brush roll shutoff capability and Hard Floor Hero attachment make it a great choice if you’re looking for a vacuum that can easily handle every floor surface in your home.
- Traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum thanks to a HEPA filter and Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology
- Comes with Hard Floor Hero, Pet Power Brush, dusting brush, and crevice tool attachments
- 2.5-quart capacity dust cup
If you don’t want to lug around a traditional upright, but still need something that can clean large areas, a powerful stick vacuum like the Shark Rocket TruePet Ultralight vacuum is the way to go.
- Less than nine pounds
- Converts to a handheld vac for small messes and above the floor clean up
- Includes a wall mount for storage, as well as a duster brush, crevice tool, Hard Floor Hero attachment, and Pet Multi-Tool
With two motors, a whole host of cleaning accessories, a Lift-Away design, and a canister caddy to make the canister even more mobile, this vacuum makes short work of household messes, including pet hair.
- Permanent drive belt will never need replacing
- Comes with a dusting brush, 12-inch crevice tool, pet power brush, straight nozzle, wide upholstery tool, canister caddy, and car detail kit
- LED headlights
Handheld Vacuums for Pet Hair
This handheld vacuum’s rubber nozzle is designed to grip pet hair and pull it out for easier, more thorough cleaning while the suction nozzle is ideal for dry messes.
- 16-foot power cord gives you plenty of range to clean
- Multi-layer filtration
- Bagless for quicker, easier emptying
This vac is the improved, cordless version of the last one we discussed with a larger dust bin, more attachments, and triple-level filtration.
- 14V lithium ion battery with up to 17 minutes of run time
- Comes with a motorized brush, upholstery tool, and crevice tool
- 0.7 liter capacity dirt cup
Since this vacuum doesn’t rely on a battery, it has strong suction for as long as you need it to, but with its 15-foot cord you’ve still got plenty of room to move.
- Detachable 2.5-foot hose
- Washable filter
- Built-in crevice tool
You can clean up both wet and dry messes in your car and around your home with this lightweight, cordless handheld vacuum.
- Includes crevice tool, liquid nozzle, and dusting brush
- Up to 30 minutes of run time on a single 3 to 4-hour charge
- Washable filter and easy empty dust cup
This is the improved version of the vacuum we just talked about, with a better battery and dual stage filtration.
- Includes crevice tool, liquid nozzle, and dusting brush
- Up to 30 minutes of run time on a single 45-minute charge
- 45-day money-back and 12-month worry-free warranty
This cordless handheld vacuum is designed to be balanced and quiet with a 65-degree sloping ergonomic design for the maximum comfort of the user.
- Can pick up as much as 100 mL of liquid
- Up to 30 minutes of run time on a single 3 to 5-hour charge
- Comes with a dusting brush, crevice tool, liquid nozzle, charging station, and two washable filters.
Robotic Vacuums for Pet Hair
This robotic vacuum is just 2.7-inches tall, has four different cleaning modes, and can be programmed with a customized cleaning schedule, so it’s a great entry point for automating your housekeeping.
- Includes a remote to allow you to operate the vacuum from elsewhere in your home
- Up to 100 minutes of battery life and will automatically return to the charging dock when power is low
- Triple layer filtration system
This clever robot automatically adjusts to different flooring surfaces and has a three-stage cleaning system in which it agitates, brushes, and suctions floors for the deepest possible clean.
- Dirt Detect technology allows the vacuum to locate the dirtiest areas of your home and give them the more thorough attention that they need
- iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology helps the vacuum safely and effectively navigate its surroundings
- Self-docks when the battery is low
For a step up, go with the iRobot Roomba 650 Robot Vacuum, which has the same benefits as the 630 but also allows you to schedule cleanings up to seven times a week.
- Automatically adjusts to different floor types
- Three-stage cleaning system agitates, brushes, and suctions floors
- Self-docks when the battery is low
This robotic vacuum can be operated via Wi-Fi from the iRobot HOME app or with Amazon Alexa or Google Home for an even smarter automated cleaning experience.
- Up to 90 minutes of run time before self-docking
- Three stage cleaning system and Dirt Detect sensors
- Clean and schedule cleaning anywhere at any time
This Roomba is even smarter, thanks to iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with vSLAM technology that allows the vacuum to map its surroundings and clean an entire level of your home.
- High-efficiency filter that traps 99% of particles as small as 10 microns
- Operate and schedule cleanings remotely with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or the iRobot HOME mobile app
- Five times the air power of the Roomba 600 series
With more air power and Clean Mapping, which tells you where your Roomba has cleaned and gives you cleaning status updates, this Roomba is even smarter than the others we’ve reviewed.
- iAdapt 2.0 Navigation
- High-efficiency filter
- 10 times the power of the Roomba 600 series
Stationary Vacuums for Pet Hair
This vacuum’s infrared sensors allow it to automatically vacuum up 100% of debris, including pet hair, making it perfect for keeping your hard surfaces fur-free.
- Two high-efficiency filters
- One-gallon (3.8-liter) canister capacity
- “Always on” infrared sensors
For higher capacity and the option to go with manual vacuuming instead of automatic, opt for the EyeVac Pro Touchless Stationary Vacuum instead.
- 4.8-liter canister capacity
- Indicator light tells you when it’s time to empty the canister
- Dual HEPA filters