Pets bring endless joy to our homes, but vacuuming up pet hair is definitely not one of the highlights. The key to keeping pet hair at bay is regular vacuuming, but if you’ve got a furry friend at home you’ve no doubt realised that standard vacuums just don’t cut it when it comes to removing pet hair.
We feel your pain! If you’ve been trying to find the best vacuums for pet hair you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve collated and reviewed the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair and looked at all the pros and cons to come up with the very best pet vacuum for every home. We’ve even narrowed down the best vacuum for dog hair (because lets be honest, dogs come with a special kind of hair overload).
- 1 What Is The Best Overall Vacuum For Pet Hair?
- 2 Comparison Guide To The Best Vacuums For Pet Hair
- 3 What’s Important When Choosing The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair?
- 4 Choosing The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair And Hardwood Floors
- 5 Choosing The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair On Carpet
- 6 Choosing The Best Vacuum For Dog Hair
- 7 Choosing The Best Vacuum For Cat Hair
- 8 What Is The Best Cheap Vacuum For Pet Hair?
- 9 Summary: The Best Vacuums For Pet Hair
What Is The Best Overall Vacuum For Pet Hair?
Short on time? Just want to know what our overall winner was? Well the Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner was a clear winner. It doesn’t come cheap (click here for pricing) but it is an amazing vacuum for removing both pet hair on hardfloors and pet hair on carpet.
It comes with a motorised brush head with adjustable levels to get pet hair out of even the deepest rugs. The Active AirClean filter captures and retains over 99.9% of lung damaging particles and eliminates pet odors which is definitely a big bonus, especially for dog owners. It’s incredibly compact but still super powerful and with the backing of the Miele brand you can be sure it will last for years to come.
Comparison Guide To The Best Vacuums For Pet Hair
You can read our reviews and guides to the best rated vacuums for pet hair below but if you are short on time and just want to know the best of the best pet vacuums then this table will help you decide.
|Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum||Lightweight|
Specialised odor filters
|Comparatively expensive||5 out of 5||Probably the best vacuum for pet hair available. A clear winner for the best vacuum for pet hair and carpet.|
|Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner||Brush head for carpets|
Not ideal for stairs
|4.5 out of 5||Definitely one of the best vacuums for pet hair on the market. Winner of best vacuum for hardwood floors and pet hair.|
|Dyson DC39 Animal Canister Vacuum||Super manoeuvrable|
Powerful cyclone suction never looses suction
Adjust the head type from the handle (no bending)
|Not as effective on carpet as some of the other vacuums.||4 out of 5||A great all round vacuum and ideal for smaller spaces. One of the top rated vacuums for pets overall.|
|Bissell Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner||Affordable|
Rotating brush for better hair removal
Doesn't offer different head options for hardwood/carpet
|4 out of 5||A great option for those on a budget. Winner of best cheap vacuum for pet hair.|
|Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum||40 min battery life cord free|
Flexible heads for hardwood and carpet
|Not ideal for stairs|
Not suitable for large homes
|4.5 out of 5||Winner of the best cordless stick vacuum for pet hair. An awesome everyday vacuum.|
|Bissell Lithium Ion Pet Vacuum||2 in 1 stick & handheld|
|Short battery life (25min)|
Comparatively less effective suction
|4 out of 5||A good option for an affordable cordless pet vacuum.|
|Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-Light Upright Corded Vacuum||Super compact|
Dust removal pad
Motorised brush head
2 in 1 hand held and stick
Comparatively small dust capacity
|4.5 out of 5||A great pet vacuum if you're looking for compact corded vacuum. The small canister size can be an issue for larger areas.|
|Dyson V7 Handheld Vacuum||Lightweight & compact|
30 min battery life
Great accessories including a mini motorised head for pet hair on fabric & furniture
|Not suitable as a primary vacuum|
|4.5 out of 5||Definitely the best handheld vacuum for pet hair. Ideal for the car or removing pet hair from furniture.|
|Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum||Super affordable|
Fabric head tool
|Not suitable as a primary vacuum|
|4 out of 5||This little vacuum is a good option as an inexpensive pet vacuum for the car.|
|PureClean Robot Vacuum Cleaner||HEPA filtration|
Automatic scheduling to vacuum while you are out!
|Less effective on carpet|
|4 out 5||This robot pet vacuum is surprisingly effective at removing pet hair. It consistently rates well and is an ideal option if you want a robot pet vacuum to do a quick daily vacuum to remove pet hair.|
What’s Important When Choosing The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair?
Choosing a vacuum cleaner is difficult at the best of times. There are literally hundreds of options available. While many vacuums share similar characteristics, certain features are more important when dealing with pet hair than others.
Some of the things you’ll need to consider when trying to choose the best pet hair vacuum (or the best vacuum for dog hair) include:
- Will you be cleaning pet hair off hardwood, carpet or a combination of both?
- What is the size of the area you’ll be vacuuming?
- Are you looking for a vacuum for long pet hair or a shorter haired animal?
- Do you want a bagless, bagged, handheld or cordless vacuum?
- Do you need a vacuum for allergies AND pet hair?
- Do you need additional features such as a pet hair vacuum attachment (for cleaning your pet) or an upholstery attachment for removing pet hair from fabric?
- What is your budget/how much do you want to spend on a pet vacuum?
Remember that some vacuums might be great general purpose machines but they are not necessarily the best vacuum for pets (or homes with pets). It’s important to balance your general cleaning needs with the specific needs that come with pet hair.
While the marketing materials might try to convince you that any vacuum labelled as “pet” automatically means it is the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, but some “general” vacuums are actually just as good at removing pet hair (and often a lot cheaper).
What Surface Will You Use It On?
The surfaces in your home are a really important factor when it comes to removing pet hair. Many vacuums can cope well with pet hair on hardwood or tiles but struggle to remove hair from carpet.
If you have a lot of carpet then you’ll probably need to look at some of the vacuums with brush heads or specialised carpet attachments. We’ve reviewed the best pet vacuums for hardwood floors and carpet separately below.
As well as the type of flooring you have, consider how big an area you need to cover and whether you’ll be tackling stairs. Cordless pet vacuums generally only run for 20-45 minutes so won’t be ideal if you’ve got a large home but they can be a great choice for a quick daily vacuum of the main living areas.
What Type Of Vacuum Is Best For Cleaning Pet Hair (Upright/Barrel/Handheld/Bagless/Bagged…)
The style of vacuum you choose depends on a few factors beside how well it removes pet hair. Keep in mind that larger barrel or canister pet vacuums are generally quite heavy and upright vacuums can be a challenge on stairs. If you’ve got loads of stairs then choosing a lightweight vacuum will be a priority.
In most cases bagless vacuums are better for animal hair, especially those that shed a lot, as constantly replacing a bag becomes frustrating and expensive. Also consider how easily the barrel/chamber can be removed or emptied as you’ll be doing this quite a bit 😉
Handheld pet vacuums can be good for removing hair from the car but they obviously aren’t going to cut it for a full house. Consider the amount of space you need to clean and how long it will take.
If you are short on storage space then you might want to check out our review of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair below. While some people say that cordless vacuums aren’t powerful enough for pet hair we haven’t personally found this to be the case. The winner of the best cordless vacuum for pets is one of the most effective at removing pet hair of any of the vacuums we reviewed.
Choosing The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair And Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors and pets can be a bit of a nightmare combination, especially if you’ve got a pet that sheds heavily. In general, most vacuums tend to do better at removing pet dander from wood or tiled floors than carpet. That’s probably a good thing as pet hair tends to show up way more on hardwood floors!
Vacuums with a speciality hardwood floor head perform particularly well and are also far less likely to scratch the floor. I personally LOVE the Dyson hardwood floor head on their V6 & V8 cordless vacuums. While the standard head was good, it is amazing how much more the dedicated hardwood head picks up. It also meant hair was collected with one swipe rather than repeated passes over.
The winners for the best vacuums for hard floors and pet hair are…
Overall Winner Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum For Pet Hair
While it doesn’t come in cheap, this vacuum takes the cake when it comes to pet hair. With a 5 year warranty they also back up the quality with real service. It is surprisingly light, turns on itself for super easy manoeuvrability and removes pet hair from all surfaces with ease. If you’re willing to invest in a quality, long term vacuum that will make removing animal hair a breeze then you really can’t go past the Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum. You can read the full review below.
Winner Best Cordless Stick Vacuum For Hardwood Floors And Pet Hair
This is my personal favourite vacuum and I use it daily. It is super lightweight and flexible and it picks up EVERYTHING from hardwood floors. The speciality head is designed to collect both small and large debris in one swipe and it really does. As you can tell, we are a little in love with the Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless and while it isn’t ideal for a big house, it is a great everyday vacuum for the main areas of your home. You can read the full review below.
Choosing The Best Vacuum For Pet Hair On Carpet
Pet hair and carpet can be a nightmare of a combination. Even the strongest of vacuums can struggle to remove ingrained hair and frequent vacuuming is essential. Vacuums that have a brush head consistently came up as the best vacuums for carpet and pet hair, both in terms of ease of use and effectiveness. Where many of the vacuums performed well on hard floors, only the top vacuums really cut it for carpet.
If you’ve got a significant amount of carpet that pets spend time on then investing in a good quality vacuum specifically designed for pet hair will really be worthwhile. Choose one that doesn’t require a bag and has a good capacity as you’ll be emptying it often.
Winner Best Vacuum For Pet Hair And Carpet
The motorised brush head on the Miele Cat and Dog vacuum is a clear winner when it comes to removing pet hair from carpet. If you’ve got a bigger budget then the new Miele C3 Cat & Dog vacuum is pretty amazing and also had a HEPA filter which makes it a good option for those looking for a vacuum for pet hair and allergies.
Choosing The Best Vacuum For Dog Hair
Dog hair is a nightmare when it comes to vacuuming. They just seem to shed SO MUCH! Finding the best dog vacuum to tackle the hair is essential if you want to keep the house hair and odor free. If you’ve got a dog then you’ll be using the vacuum a lot so it really does pay to invest in a good one.
An ideal option is an everyday stick vacuum such as the Dyson V8 Cordless or the Hover Cordless Stick Pet Vacuum for a quick daily vacuum of the main living areas and then a dedicated canister vacuum such as the Miele Cat and Dog Vacuum for more thorough work.
Overall Winner Best Vacuum For Dog Hair
The winner of best dog hair vacuum goes to theMiele C1 Dog and Cat Vacuum for it’s large canister size, flexibility and super turbo head which really takes the cake for removing dog hair from carpet.
Another contender for the best vacuum cleaner for dog hair was the
Winner Best Handheld Vacuum For Dog Hair
A great handheld vacuum for removing pet hair from fabric and couches with handy features such as a crevice tool and motorized head to ensure thorough removal of pet hair. The Bissel Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum is also probably the best car vacuum for dog hair due to its portability and convenient size.
Winner Best Cordless Vacuum For Dog Hair
If you’re relying on a cordless stick vacuum for picking up dog hair you really can’t go past the Dyson range of stick vacuums. The Dyson V6 and Dyson V8 Animal are excellent allrounders and ideal for both everyday spot vacuuming and as a main vacuum in smaller homes. It’s not just a good vacuum for dog hair, it’s great at picking up just about anything, especially on hard floors.
Choosing The Best Vacuum For Cat Hair
Cat hair isn’t usually as difficult to manage as dog hair (although some longer haired breeds can be worse!) but trying to choose the best cat hair vacuum can still be a challenge. One of the most important features in a vacuum cleaner for cat hair is a good fabric or upholstery brush as cats tend to leave dense hair on sections of their favourite furniture!
Winner Best Vacuum For Cat Hair
The Dyson DC39 Animal Canister Vacuum was chosen not just for its powerful hair removing motor and great filtration system but also for the supplied accessories which are great for removing cat hair from couches and fabric.
What Is The Best Cheap Vacuum For Pet Hair?
If your budget doesn’t stretch to some of the higher end vacuums, don’t dismay. There are some great inexpensive vacuums for pet hair too. While they don’t offer the same warranties and features as the pricier vacuums if you’re looking for the best affordable vacuums for pet hair then these might make a good option.
Winner Best Cheap Vacuum For Pet Hair
The winner of best cheap vacuum for pet hair is a surprisingly impressive vacuum for the price. It includes an odor absorbing carbon filter to help get rid of pet smells as well as a turbo brush and a stair and corner tool. A great option for those looking for an inexpensive vacuum for pet hair.
Runner Up Best Cheap Vacuum For Pet Hair
This is a really affordable cordless stick vacuum for pet hair. It receives great reviews and is a good option for those on a lower budget or looking for a second vacuum that won’t take up too much space.
Summary: The Best Vacuums For Pet Hair
Choosing the best vacuum for pet dander really comes down to knowing how you’ll use it, where you’ll use it and how long you’ll use it for. Budget will also be a deciding factor as the cost of quality vacuums for animal hair vary hugely.
Overall Winner Best Vacuum for Pet Hair:
Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum.
Our overall winner, great for pet hair on carpet and hardwood and super effective at removing pet odor as well. If you’ve got a lot of pet hair to deal with then this is definitely the best rated vacuum for pet hair out there. While it isn’t cheap, it is worth the cost and will last for years to come.
Winner Best Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair:
Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Particularly good for hard floors and a great option if you’ve got the space to store it. It comes with a great range of accessories for upholstery, crevices and more which makes it a fabulous all-round vacuum. One consideration is that it is a bit on the bulky side so probably not ideal for dragging up stairs.
Winner Best Bagless Vacuum for Pet Hair:
Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum.
By far the top rated vacuum for pet hair and the overall winner of best vacuum for pet hair as well as the best bagless vacuum for pet hair. It’s super light weight makes it ideal for stairs and multi-story homes and its compact size makes it easy to store.
Winner Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair:
Dyson V7 Handheld Vacuum.
Dyson really does produce some fabulous vacuums and their handheld offering is no exception. If you’re after a great vacuum for pet hair in the car this is the vacuum for you. It’s also great for removing pet hair from furniture and comes with a mini motorized head.
Winner Best Cordless Stick Vacuum for Pet Hair:
Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum.
My personal favourite, I lOVE the Dyson stick vacuums and the V8 Animal is a fabulous pet hair vacuum, particularly on hardwood floors. Compact and quick to charge this vacuum is great for everyday vacuuming, especially with kids and pets around.
Winner Best Cheap Vacuum for Pet Hair:
Bissell Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner.
If you’re on a budget then this one is a winner. Despite the low price tag it’s surprisingly effective at removing pet hair on all surfaces. The warranty isn’t as good as most of the other options but given how good the price tag is you can probably overlook that.
So there you have it, all the best vacuums for pet hair (and the best vacuums for dog hair) compared in one place. At the end of the day, when it comes to a vacuum you really do get what you pay for but there are a number of options for smaller budgets out there. Remember to consider how you’ll use the vacuum, where it will be used, what surfaces it will be used on and how often. Buy the best vacuum your budget will stretch to and remember to take into consideration the warranty length. Happy hair removal 😉