We all love our pets dearly but there is one thing that all pet owners could live without and that is the amount of mess that is made. Dirty paw prints on the floor and spilt food are regular messes to be cleaned but it is amount of shed hair on carpets, sofas and other pieces of upholstery that is the real nightmare. In order to deal with the problem effectively, we need to invest in one of the best pet vacuums on the market – something that can make short work of stubborn hair and offer a effective clean. The following vacuum guide will look at some of the top brands and pet hair specific models currently available, and their user reviews, to compare and contrast these machines and give you a better idea of what these vacuums can really do so you can find the best pet hair vacuums that meet your personal needs.
If Power and Suction are the Priority, the Following Pet Vacuums May Have the Best Answer
Shark has a reputation of making vacuums very similar to Dyson’s pet vacuum cleaner models but for a much lower price. This is offset by the constant upgrades they make available for a higher price like extra parts or a better warranty if you spend a little more money. The best Shark vacuum cleaners are: the Shark Rotator TruePet, model NV752, Shark Rocket model HV382, and Shark Rocket hand vacuum model HV292. Shark upright vacuum cleaners were the second most reliable brand according to Consumer Reports. They had a repair rate of 6%, only beat by Kirby’s 4% repair rate.
1. Shark Rotator TruePet Powered Lift-Away NV752
The potential of this lift-away technology may lead some prospective buyers to the Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet Powered Lift-Away instead. It may not have the top billing of the Navigator but the power of this Rotator model is very impressive in the way that it collects the hair.
The vacuum is a 3-way model and the most interesting of the modes for pet owners in the lift-away pod with electric powered brush roll. This unit is said to be brilliant on hair thanks to this added power and really offers a deep clean that they had not expected. Again this Shark model has the anti-allergen seal and Hepa filter for extra peace of mind for sufferers but there are some users complaining about the weight – not only is it a little heavier than they would have liked, it is slightly top heavy too.
2. Shark Rocket with DuoClean HV382 Vacuum
This vacuum cleans up all types of particles from fine dander to large sections of pet hair due to its dual brush rolls. Its brush roll “garage” makes it easy to access these brush rolls if they do get tangled with pet hair. You can convert it from an upright vacuum cleaner to a handheld vacuum cleaner weighing less than five pounds.
This pet hair vacuum works just as well on hard floors as thick carpets. This Shark vacuum comes with the “True Pet” motorized cleaner that can pick up even pet hair from upholstery.
3. Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vacuum, Model HV292
This handheld Shark Rocket vacuum comes with a variety of attachments for cleaning every little niche, nook and cranny. Its fifteen found power cord lets you keep going as you detail your car or living room furniture instead of stopping when the cordless model’s battery dies. This handheld vacuum cleaner by Shark comes with the True Pet motorized brush, crevice tool, dusting brush and hose to extend the reach of all of them. Shark sells a separate micro-attachment kit for about ten dollars. It has the same five year limited warranty as other Shark vacuums.
4. Shark Rocket TruePet Stick Vacuum HV322
The third Shark vacuum in this list contrasts with this Rotator TruePet model because of this weight issue. The Shark Rocket TruePet Stick Vacuum HV322 is described as being ultra-lightweight, with most buyers seeming to have no trouble moving it around the house, and there is also high praise for the gentle nature of the TruePet motorized brush.
Buyers have said that it handles the cleaning of upholstery and dog beds very well, whereas they would have been scared to use other methods for fear of damage; however, this gentle nature does come with a disadvantage. Some feel that the suction on this machine is not very strong and this results in the hair being caught on, and wrapped around the brush, rather than going up into the canister. In turn, this can make the act of cleaning the vacuum out rather tedious.
5. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright NV356E
The first model that will catch the eyes of many buyers is the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright NV356E because not only it is a “professional” vacuum from a well-known brand, at the time of writing this guide it was named the #1 commercial, indoor upright vacuum.
This means that not only are there plenty of interesting features in the specification, there are plenty of happy buyers too. This machine claims to never lose suction and users agree that it is very reliable and powerful – which is ideal when picking up stubborn pet hair – and it also has the bonuses of anti-allergen filters and an extra large canister for holding all the fur and other dirt. The ratings show that it is well-liked but there are other models and brands trying to win the top spot with some interesting features and unique selling points.
Dyson has a reputation for innovation across its entire product line. Whether it is novel hand dryers or being the first cyclone vacuum cleaner, it traditionally offers features no one else has because Dyson is the company that invented it. This is the company that invented the ball steering, too. On the flipside, you pay for the privilege of having the latest and greatest technology, and you pay more for their classic models, too.
The top pet vacuums by Dyson are: the Dyson Ball Animal 2, Dyson Cinetic Big Ball animal vacuum cleaner, Dyson V8 Absolute cord-model, and the Dyson V6 Top Dog.
Dyson’s upright vacuum cleaners have a middling 13% repair rate. Its canister vacuums have a repair rate of 16%.
1. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum
The greatest strength of this vacuum is its ability to maintain high suction on any flooring. It has whole-machine HEPA filtration. Its turbine tool stands out as being tangle free – it won’t clog on pet hair. It comes with a tool specifically for cleaning stairs and another for cleaning any other surface like upholstery or drapes.
The bin is easy to empty and rarely makes a mess. Its greatest frustration is the amount of effort to push it around. This problem is worst with thick carpets, less so for short carpets. The power cord doesn’t retract, though that’s a minor inconvenience. The vacuum lock to hold it upright doesn’t always work. The accessory hose is not very difficult to deploy, but a company known for its engineering should have made it a snap to use.
2. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum
Unlike many upright vacuum cleaners, this model will never topple over. The unit is designed to right itself if tipped over. The company has designed it so that it never needs to have the filter removed or washed. It is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
When you empty the dust cup, the design forces almost all of the dirt out without letting any of it get on you. Its turbine tool doesn’t clog on clumps of pet hair. One of the downsides of this unit is how bulky and difficult to maneuver it is if you do need to move the body instead of the vacuum head.
3. Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum
One of the advantages of this stick vacuum is its weight – it weighs around eight pounds empty and hardly more than that full. It offers exceptional suction for a cordless vacuum, capable of picking up pet hair and cleaning along the edges of the carpet. It is relatively quiet, since it can pick up pet hair without being on high power. It runs around 20 minutes on a single charge at high power, 40 minutes at low power. (It needs to be on high power to pick up pet hair on upholstery or large clumps of pet fur.) It lasts longer and picks up more in fewer passes than the less powerful V6.
You have to hold down the trigger to keep the vacuum running; this is intended to save on power but can strain your hand. Like the other Dyson vacuum cleaners in this list, it has whole machine HEPA filtration.
4. Dyson V6 Top Dog Handheld Vacuum
This handheld vacuum does a good job picking up pet hair. You can use it to clean on stairs, carpets and hard floors. The V6 has a small dust cup, and emptying it is prone to make a mess. The battery life is woefully short. However, while running, it is powerful enough to pick up kibble and pet dander.
It weighs less than four pounds and the center of gravity is close to the grip. Because the motor is housed in the handle, it is heavy and hard for someone with carpal tunnel syndrome or limited upper body strength to use. However, it doesn’t suffer this problem as badly as the V8. This Dyson handheld vacuum comes with a 2 year parts and labor warranty.
5. Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Also leading the way in regard to power and drive are Dyson, unsurprisingly, with the older but golden Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum model. The meaning behind the term “radical root cyclone tech” may not be instantly clear to the average user but it certainly sounds good and buyers have said they are impressed with how effective this vacuum is in picking up pet hair.
This efficiency is no doubt largely due to the fact that this model has 25% more drive in the brush to really get deep in to the carpets and remove even the most stubbornly embedded hairs. This action is definitely a winner but there are those that complain about the fact that the brush needs regular cleaning to keep it in top condition. Furthermore, there is not much else included in the way of pet-based accessories, which leads us nicely to the final category of products.
For some consumers, the best pet hair vacuums are the ones with the extra features for an easier clean.
6. Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Power clearly is not everything because customers still want a helpful, convenient vacuum to pick up and collect all that pet hair and other dirt with ease. With this in mind, there is another Dyson pet vacuum that receives high ratings and appears to be more user-friendly and that is the Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. The cordless V6 offers greater convenience via this simple, small design and maneuverability and it has an additional “mini tool” for tackling pet hair but it still retains the v6 motor of some of the brand’s more powerful models.
It seems that the design and user-friendly features do help to make this product a recommendable choice among consumers, with the simple dirt removal being mentioned frequently; however, the battery operation has proved to be problematic because of the frequent need for recharging.
Bissell has been in business for decades and traded on its reputation for quality. The company has long offered a good combination of functionality and price, providing value for its customers. Bissell upright vacuum cleaners had an overall repair rate of 9%. They are more reliable than Dyson and Miele pet vacuums. The best Bissell vacuum cleaners are: Bissell model 1650A, Bissell model 1954 Bolt, and the Bissell Pet bagless upright vacuum cleaner.
1. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum, Model 1650A
If you pay a little more, you can buy it with extra filters, Febreeze branded scent disks to make the exhaust smell better or a separate pet tool bundle that lets you empty it hands free even if full of pet hair. The “advanced pet tool bundle” purports to remove pet hair as it is suctioned into the vacuum. Note that you can buy extra filters and Febreeze disks separate from the vacuum cleaner bundles at a number of retailers.
All versions of this vacuum have a tangle free brush roll. This vacuum has a good set of seals to trap allergens inside of the vacuum cleaner. The biggest downside of this vacuum is its weight. Another problem is how poorly it cleans on bare floors.
2. Bissell Bolt Lithium Ion Pet Vacuum, Model 1954
It can work as a stick vacuum cleaner, functioning like a lightweight upright vacuum cleaner, or as a handheld vacuum. It can run for up to 25 minutes. This is comparable to a cheap Dyson vacuum cleaner, but for an even lower price. While it does a good job picking up debris and short pet fur, it doesn’t perform as well with long pet hair. It works best on hard floors and falls short on carpets.
3. Bissell Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This Bissell pet vacuum cleaner comes with a long cord, wide cleaning path and decent hose length. It comes with a handheld cleaning tool that does a good job picking up pet fur. It doesn’t handle thick layers of pet fur, heavy pet fur on thick carpets or any heavy items. However, for light shedding on short pile carpets or hard floors, it is a good combination of low price and decent performance.
4. BISSELL PowerGlide Pet Vacuum 1305
The weakness of the Shark Rocket may be off-putting to those that want the most effective clean possible and this is where the BISSELL PowerGlide Pet Vacuum 1305 with SuctionChannel Technology can be recommended. The design of this machine is much different to the gentle Shark with its use of paddles and 9x multi-cyclonic suction rather than the brush.
These paddles are designed so that they attract the hair from the carpet or flooring more easily but the cyclone tech ensures they are sucked into the machine. This system and the pet turbo eraser tool mean that this really is a powerful, effective model but there is the issue of the difficult assembly and poor instructions holding it back for buyers that want something completely user-friendly.
Miele has a reputation for quality that is mirrored by Consumer Reports data rating it the best bagged canister vacuum cleaner in 2017. The best Miele pet vacuum cleaners are the Miele Complete C3 and the Miele Dynamic U1.
Miele’s canister vacuum cleaners had a 10% repair rate only beaten by Panasonic’s 7% repair rate. Miele’s upright vacuum cleaners had a worse 15% repair rate, only beating Electrolux’s 16% repair rate.
1. Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner
The Miele Complete C3 Marin was rated the top bagged canister vacuum cleaner by Consumer Reports in 2017, receiving a perfect score. The Miele Complete C3 cat and dog vacuum is a variation of this excellent vacuum cleaner. One of the attractions of the C3 cat and dog is the over one gallon capacity dust cup. This is the ideal vacuum cleaner for someone cleaning up after multiple shedding pets.
Replacement dust bags and filters are around twenty dollars per pack. If you have multiple heavy shedding pets, expect to change the bags after every few vacuuming sessions.
It has a six stage variable speed motor you can control with a foot pedal. This is one of the few vacuums you can shift from a thick carpet to delicate silk or wool carpets. It handles almost every surface you need to clean and offers a variety of tools like a micro cleaning tool. The cleaning head of the “upright” can navigate very tight spaces.
One word of warning – the beater head causes static on synthetic carpets and shocks you constantly.
2. New Miele Dynamic U1 Cat and Dog Upright Vacuum
If you want a Miele pet vacuum for a fraction of the price of the C3, the U1 is for you. Rivals the expensive Dyson vacuum on price. Replacement bags and filters cost around twenty dollard. This model shares the same versatile cleaning head as the C3 and comes with a similar hand held cleaning tool. Its steering and surface adjustments are essentially automatic.
One of the problems with this pet hair vacuum is that you have to take it to a repair shop when it gets a clog somewhere you cannot clear on your own, mainly in the curves around the intake valve. Getting it serviced under the warranty when problems arise is a challenge in and of itself.
Deciding on the Best Pet Hair Vacuum for your Needs
This list of products has offered a look at some of the top brands and models that are around and the different features in order to highlight key pros and cons and help you decide which model best suits your personal needs. As these short reviews have shown, while the ability to clean a carpet and effectively remove pet hair is the main priority with all these machines there are major differences in the secondary features that provide different benefits.
Power and suction are words that come up often because of the effort required to remove these stubborn hairs but there are different aspects to consider here that can affect your final choice: would you prefer to have a cordless, hand hand model and risk a short battery life or would you rather go for a more substantial machine with all the cyclonic technology and power to really attack a tough job for as long as you need to? In many cases, these pet vacuums have additional attachments and brushes to aid the process so their ease of use and versatility may be more important to you than the power behind them; however, there are those clever models with the blades that seem to be able to tackle the task without too much fuss.
The main question here is if you want a streamlined approach and simplicity or prefer the idea of lots of neat little gadgets. Finally, there is the element that none of us really want to think about – the cleaning of the vacuum itself. It is great getting the hair sucked up but we still have to get it into the bin afterwards so it is worth thinking about the design and capacity of the canister, the use of those blades and cyclonic suction and whether other buyers have had a hard time with hair trapped in the brushes.
Once you ask yourself these questions and get a better idea of the precise style of vacuum you want, you can go back to those examples of the best pet hair vacuums that really caught your eye, do a bit more research and hopefully find the perfect machine for dealing with the mess your beloved pet makes.