Best Pet Vacuums for Dog and Cat Hair

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Struggling with your pets shedding all over the place? To help you make the best choice for your unique needs, we’ve put together a list of the best pet vacuums for both dog and cat hair.

One of the less pretty aspects of pet parenting is the hair. Oh my gosh, all the hair everywhere. If you like to wear colors that are contrasting to your pet’s fur color, say goodbye to your wardrobe- or reconcile yourself with the fact that pet hair is now part of your outfit. Does your cat or dog like to sleep on your furniture? You’ve guessed it, you’ll be picking out hairs out of it what seems like all the time. In a nutshell, whether you have a cat or a dog, pet hair all around the place seems to be a part of the deal. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. If you invest in a pet vacuum that’s designed to suck up pet hair like it’s nobody’s business, you won’t have to live like Yeti is your roommate.

Why do I need a pet vacuum?

Pet vacuums are designed specifically (or feature specific accessories) to make sure there’s no pet hair in tufts around on your hardwood floors or embedded into the carpeting. This also goes for furniture, and many pet vacuums have special functions that allow them to deep-clean your sofa from dust, dirt, and pet hair alike. Usually, pet vacuums are much more powerful than your average vacuum cleaner and often include better filtration systems.

Once you single out the vacuum cleaners that are potent enough to tackle the persistent pet hair in your home, it remains to be seen if the type of pet vacuum is something that actually works for your needs. Do you want a hands-free experience? Then you’ll need a robotic pet vacuum. Do you prefer upright or stick vacuum cleaners? Are you planning on vacuuming hardwood floors, carpets, or both? Or do you want something small, compact, and handheld, maybe to use in your car after a visit to the vet or a road trip with your pooch? These factors are also very important when it comes to choosing the right pet vacuum. But do you know what your options are, in the first place?

Types of Pet Vacuums

Pet vacuums are, essentially, regular vacuums with features that make them especially efficient for removing dog and cat hair, be it a specific filtration system, brushes, or anything else that does the job. So, this means that there is no pet vacuum that fits all- there are different designs, types, and performances that will suit different needs. The most common types of pet vacuums are:

Upright Pet Vacuums

Affordable, practical to use, and available in a wide range of designs, upright pet vacuums are a good choice for most people. This type of vacuum consists of a cleaning head that’s joined to a handle and bag or container for dirt and dust. These pet vacuums are recommended for carpets, as they have impressive sucking power and clean a wider strip of surface in one go. The potential downsides to upright pet vacuums is that they can be heavy to tug around and that they can be a bit noisy. For some pawrents, though, this is a small price to pay for getting rid of pet hair from their home!

Stick Pet Vacuums

At first glance, there’s not much difference between stick and upright pet vacuums. Both are designed as a handle with a cleaning head and container for dirt, but they have one main difference: power source. Stick pet vacuums are usually cordless and powered by batteries, unlike upright that stick into a power outlet. They are lightweight and convenient to use as they are not restricted by the cord- you can take them to any nook and cranny of your home without any issue. However, while there are merits to stick pet vacuums, it should be noted that cordless stick vacuums can be less powerful than the corded options, and that they are usually not meant for heavy-duty use. They can be used to pick up litter or suck up loose hair from hardwood floors, but cleaning upholstery and carpets from pet hair can prove to be a challenge for most.

Canister Pet Vacuums

They might look clunkier than the sleek upright pet vacuums, but canister pet vacuums definitely get the job done- and all around the house at that. This hair-sucking setup includes a canister container and a separate cleaning head on a stick, that’s connected to the container with a hose. As a result, canister pet vacuums are much more manoeuvrable and get to those hard-to-reach spot with ease. They are versatile and can be used on various surfaces from bare floors to carpets and upholstery. The problem with canister pet vacuums, though, is that they can be heavy, they are difficult to store and depend on electric power as they are corded.

Handheld Pet Vacuums

For a quick cleanup of the sofa before the guests arrive or keeping your car free of pet hair, a handheld pet vacuum is unbeatable. Lightweight, portable, and efficient at cleaning smaller surfaces, it’s ideal for taking with you on the go or just having on hand. Handheld pet vacuums can be corded or powered by batteries, but in either version, they will not be as powerful as a full-sized vacuum. Naturally, they don’t need to be, either- as long as you have one “regular” pet vacuum in the home, a handheld will be a perfect addition to your arsenal of pet-cleaning tools.

Robotic Pet Vacuums

What if someone could do the job for you? Or at least a good chunk of it? No, you don’t have to get a maid just to get rid of pet hair. (Although it can’t hurt if you can afford it.) Robotic pet vacuums are a perfect solution if you want to have a hands-free experience with cleaning pet hair and put as little effort into vacuuming as possible. However, there is a catch: robotic pet vacuums will only pick up some of the grunt, but won’t completely do your work. They can only tidy up uncluttered floors between the regular house cleaning days, minimizing the amount of pet hair that would usually be found on floors. The hair on the furniture, though, that’s all left for you to clean.

To help you make the best choice for your unique needs, we’ve put together a list of the 12 best pet vacuums for both dog and cat hair. The goal was to include a variety of best-selling, best-reviewed pet vacuums that will suit different purposes and situations, each a top performer inside its category. So, whether you have one pet in your family or live in a multi-pet household, have a tight budget or you’re ready to splurge, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Our list of best pet vacuums has a perfect match for everyone’s needs!

1. Editor’s Pick: Raycop RN UV Sanitizing HEPA Allergen Vacuum

Created by a doctor, this allergen vacuum will not only tackle the persistent pet hair but also employ UV light to get rid of 99.9% of dust mites, pollen, bacteria, and viruses that are lurking in your furniture. In other words, this is the ideal handheld pet vacuum for allergy sufferers, as it eliminates almost all allergens from the environment in one go. You’d never tell that such a compact handheld device will be so powerful–Raycop will suck the soul out of your sofa or mattress, let alone the grimy dirt (and there will be more than you’d expect) and the tufts of your cat’s or dog’s hair. We’ve had the opportunity to test this bad boy- check our in-depth review of Raycop RN for more scoop.

2. Runner Up: Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet

If you want to clean your whole house, floor to ceiling without having to empty the canister once or bother with switching out ten different brushed, you got to swim with the big sharks. The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet is designed to offer superior vacuuming experience, whether you’re cleaning carpets, bare floors, or going over your furniture. Its Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology with a HEPA filter keeps the hair and the allergens trapped- perfect if you have asthma or dust allergies. This upright vacuum with detachable canister can access hard-to-reach areas to suck up every last bit of pet hair as its XL vacuum detaches with one click. To boot, this pet vacuum comes with a TruePet mini motorized brush for cleaning pet hair out of upholstery and fabric.

3. Best Handheld: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum

As pet owners, we will often come across smaller messes that need clean up, but don’t quite call for the power of a full-sized vacuum. In these situations, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum is a great option! This compact handheld vacuum is designed for quick cleanups on stairs, upholstery, vehicle interiors, and hard surfaces. The 16’ power cord gives you enough flexibility to accommodate most homes and spaces.

Bissell specifically designed this vacuum with pet hair in mind. A specialized rubber nozzle option works to attract hair, pulling it and dirt out of carpets, stairs, and upholstery effectively. Meanwhile, the standard nozzle will quickly and easily pick up dirt and debris from active pets including pet kibble and cat litter.

The vacuum is extremely mobile and lightweight making it easy to carry from location to location. With an easy-to-empty bagless canister, this vacuum will make cleanup quick and simple, giving you more time to spend with your pets. With a high rating and tons of positive ratings, this handheld vacuum is loved and recommended by many pet parents.

4. Best Upright: Kenmore Intuition BU4022 Bagged Upright Vacuum

Lightweight, powerful, and quiet, this bagged upright vacuum will make pet hair embedded in the carpets or lying around in tufts on hardfloor a thing of the past. Thanks to the PetHandiMate attachment and impressive sucking power, this upright vacuum is perfect for pet owners that want to keep their house neat and clean without much effort. Versatile and adaptable thanks to the lift away technology, it can be used to clean floors, carpets, stairs, and furniture with ease- and thanks to different attachments that come with it, it won’t matter if you’re cleaning up your sofa or getting in the corners of the room as there’s a special attachment for every situation. Highly rated with over 2,000 reviews raving about this upright vacuum, it also comes in two colors: green and red.

5. Best Accessories: Hoover REACT Professional Pet Plus

Hoover is a household name in the world of vacuum cleaners- and this product was designed specifically for pet-owning households. A professional high-capacity vacuum, REACT Pet Plus combines the deep cleaning performance of the series with special accessories created for tackling pet hair, whether it’s embedded in the upholstery or flying around the floors in clumps. The micro-sensors can tell which surface is being cleaned so the vacuuming experience is always superior- whether it’s carpets or hardwood floors. To boot, this upright pet vacuum has a sealed allergen system of filtration to make it suitable for asthma and allergy sufferers.

6. Best Lightweight: Dirt Devil Razor Pet

If you thought your pooch was the only dirt devil you’ll welcome to your home, guess again. This powerful upright vacuum cleaner will make tidying up after your pets a breeze. In addition to the extreme sucking power, Dirt Devil Razor Pet boasts its brush-like accessory called Turbo Claw which literally claws out pet hair out of your upholstery. Well, it’s less dramatic than that, actually- but just as efficient. This pet vacuum is lightweight and has a swivel head, making it easy to use maneuver around the house- no need for lugging a heavy vacuum around in order to get the job done.

7. Best for Hard to Reach Areas: Bissell 1782 Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand and Car Vacuum

Does your car look like you’ve been smuggling Ewoks around after a visit to the vet? Don’t fret, that pet hair doesn’t have to become permanent decor for your car seats. This handheld cordless pet vacuum is ideal for those hard-to-reach places in areas where a vacuum with a cord might not be the ideal solution. Bissell 1782 Pet Hair Eraser boasts a special nozzle for deep crevices and a brush for removing pet hair from upholstery. You can keep this pet vacuum in your car at all times- just make sure you have spare batteries on hand, and you’ll be good to go!

8. Best Canister: Ovente Bagless Canister Cyclonic Vacuum

If you’re on a tight budget but still want something that will efficiently clean your pet’s hair without cleaning out your account, Ovente canister pet vacuum is a solid choice. Not only that this compact pet vacuum has a HEPA filtration system that will ensure that allergens are safely trapped inside the cleaner, it also has a special pet hair brush attachment that is ideal for cleaning fur from furniture.

9. Best Robot: iRobot Roomba 675

If you want your vacuuming experience to be a hands-free one, you need a robot pet vacuum to do the work for you. The Roomba 675 has a patented 3-stage cleaning system that loosens, lifts, and sucks up the grime, dust, and most importantly- pet hair from your floors and carpets. The self-recharging vacuum connects to a smartphone app or Amazon Alexa, so this hard-working little robot can be always tidying up, creating a pet hair-free home effortlessly. Impressively rated, this robot vacuum is a tried-and-true option for all busy pet parents.

10. Best Premium: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal

A lightweight cordless pet vacuum that boasts an incredible performance, Dyson V10 can be used on upholstery, carpets, hardwood floors- it even transforms into a handheld vacuum for your car. The assortment of tools that comes with this pet vacuum is meant to make cleaning after pets even easier. You can use one pet vacuum around your home and car with the same efficiency! To charge and store this stick pet vacuum, simply dock it into a wall-mounted station. The charge usually lasts about an hour, which is plenty of time to banish all that pesky pet hair from your home in one go.

11. Honorable Mention: ILIFE V3s Pro Robotic Vacuum Pet Hair Care

Trust your handy robot to keep your pet-friendly home spotless! While designed to tackle pet hair specifically, the ILIFE V3s sucks up debris, fine dust, and pet hair all with the same efficiency. Just program it and let it do its job, while you take your pooch on a walk or lounge around with your feline friend. The run time for this robotic pet vacuum is 120 to 140 minutes, but it is self-charging. While this robotic pet vacuum is ideal for a hardwood floor, it will also work on thin carpets or tiles. Awarded the Amazon’s Choice award and boasting a slew of amazing ratings, this robotic pet vacuum will definitely exceed your expectations.

12. Also Consider: Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Bagless Cleaner

Did you forego carpeting when you got your pets thinking it would be less work to clean or simply prefer the sleek look of hardwood floors? Either way, if you need a superior pet vacuum for hardwood floors, you can’t go wrong with this one. The V-shaped foot traps all the debris and dirt inside the head, making corners and spaces around furniture legs easily accessible. But it’s the unique rubber squeegee system that should pique the interest of every pet owner, as this is what gets all that pet hair trapped and sucked in. This bagless cleaner is labeled Amazon’s Choice and has over 10,000 ratings- a sure sign of reliable performance, even in multi-pet households. With this pet vacuum, your beautiful hardwood floors will be hair-free and spotless once again!

What should I consider when buying pet vacuums?

It’s not the same if you only have hardwood floors in your home or thick carpeting- if your pet is short haired or long haired, or if you want to do upholstery cleaning or need a portable vacuum cleaner for your car. Consider all of your needs before making a purchase as there are a variety of designs out there, from handheld vacuum cleaners to robot vacuums and not every type will work for your needs. Some other things to pay attention to are the sucking power of the vacuum, type of waste disposal (bags or bagless), filtration type, and any special design elements you might need (various attachments, remote control, etc).

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Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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