- When you live with cats and dogs, cleaning your home requires a vacuum cleaner that’s up to the challenge of sucking up pet hair.
- Our top pick, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum, offers an ideal combination of cleaning power, maneuverability, and features designed specifically for dealing with pet hair.
I have cats. Two very long-haired cats. And they produce more hair than you could possibly imagine. It seems that no matter how thoroughly I sweep or vacuum, the instant I think I’m finished, I turn around to find pet hair tumbleweeds rolling along behind me. Needless to say, I’ve become well-acquainted with my vacuum cleaner, but I’ve also discovered how unequipped many vacuums are when it comes to cleaning up pet hair.
Pet hair requires a powerful vacuum, but power alone isn’t effective when you’re trying to clean hair out of a carpet or a sofa. A well-designed cleaning brush and roller are must-haves. Have carpeted stairs? You need a vacuum with versatility, and something lightweight is also ideal. Maneuverability is also important, especially when it comes to cleaning underneath furniture.
The vacuum cleaners in this list have all proven they’re up to the challenge of cleaning up pet hair, and plenty of it. They’re powerful, easy to handle, and many are equipped with special pet hair functions, such as non-tangling brush heads and systems that trap allergens without releasing them into the air. You’ll find a variety of price points, from a highly affordable handheld unit to a top-of-the-line splurge. If you have pets in the home, a quality vacuum cleaner designed specifically for the challenge of cleaning pet hair is a must and will make it much easier to keep your home clean.
Here are the best vacuums for pet hair for 2019:
- Best vacuum for pet hair overall: Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum
- Best pet hair vacuum for convenience: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum
- Best pet hair vacuum for maneuverability: Shark APEX Upright Vacuum
- Best handheld vacuum for pet hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
- Best high-end vacuum for pet hair: Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum
Updated on 07/17/2019 by Les Shu: Updated prices, links, and formatting.
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
The best vacuum for pet hair overall
With excellent maneuverability and a tangle-free turbine tool, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum does a great job of cleaning up pet hair.
When it comes to maneuverability, overall power, and hassle-free pet hair cleanup, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum is our top pick.
According to Dyson, it has the strongest suction of any vacuum available. It’s full of features that make cleanup easy and fast, such as its self-adjusting cleaner head that automatically creates suction whether you’re on carpet, wood, vinyl, or tile floors. Thanks to this feature, there’s no need to worry about changing settings or vacuum heads as you travel throughout your home.
The tangle-free turbine tool goes where traditional roller heads cannot, and solves the issue of the tangled (and later, broken) roller. This innovative tool features two heads that spin in opposite directions, pulling hair into the vacuum without allowing it to wrap around the vacuum head. You can see this technology in motion in Dyson’s testing video.
This vacuum is also certified asthma- and allergy-friendly. The HEPA filtration keeps allergens – like dander – inside the vacuum, rather than expel them back into the home. A single button empties the bin, so there’s no need to touch the dirt or deal with vacuum cleaner bags. The vacuum is backed by a five-year parts and labor warranty.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright has a 4 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on more than 1,100 customer reviews (it is unavailable at Amazon as of this posting). One owner wrote, “The suction power on this thing is insane! I have wood floor in my hallway and in my kitchen, transitioning over between carpet to hardwood required zero effort at all and the vacuum self-adjusted to the height of the wood floor. The same was true when transitioning from hardwood to carpet, zero effort required. I used the ‘Tangle Free Turbine Tool’ to clean the chair the cats sleep on. This chair is always coated in cat hair and was a pain to clean with the DC44. One swipe across with the turbine tool and all the hair was gone!”
Pros: Powerful suction, ball head allows for easy maneuverability, asthma- and allergy-friendly, tangle-free turbine tool catches pet hair without binding up
Cons: Power cord must be wrapped and does not retract into the vacuum, difficult to maneuver on stairs
The best for convenience
With its lightweight and streamlined design, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum is easy to use and offers powerful cleaning action.
Looking for a vacuum that will go where other vacuums can’t? The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum offers cord-free convenience without sacrificing power. It has the most powerful suction of any cordless vacuum on the market, Dyson claims.
This vacuum runs for up to 60 minutes (when not using a motorized tool) and can be recharged in 3.5 hours. An instant-release trigger means the vacuum only uses battery power while it’s running, and prevents battery usage as soon as the button is released. The vacuum is compact and easy to handle, with no need to lug a canister around behind you.
This vacuum is specifically designed to deep-clean homes where pet hair is an issue. The Torque Drive cleaner head has stiff nylon bristles that reach down deep into carpets to pick up pet hair and dirt. The fully-sealed filtration system captures 99.97% of hair and dirt particles, which means that the air it expels is cleaner and you’re not just releasing pet hair back into your home.
Perhaps the best advantage of this vacuum, though, is how versatile it is. Because it’s lightweight and streamlined, you can use it to clean under furniture, on stairs, and deep into the corners of rooms – all places where pet hair tends to hide. The cord-free design allows you to move through your home unrestricted, so this vacuum is ideal for quick cleanups or thorough whole-house deep cleans.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum has a 4.3 out of 5-star Amazon rating, based on more than 1,500 reviews. One owner wrote, “It’s great for a quick run around the high-traffic areas or a deeper clean of the area rugs and hard floors. We have medium- and low-pile area rugs over hardwood and tile floors (roughly 1,000-sq. ft. per floor), and it works fine on both.”
Pros: Lightweight and compact, cord-free design, cleaner head gets in deep
Cons: Requires recharging, must hold down a button to activate vacuum
The best for maneuverability
A self-cleaning brush-roll and lift-away canister make the Shark Apex Upright Vacuum versatile and easy to use.
The Shark Apex Upright Vacuum is full of features that make for easy and convenient cleaning, especially when pet hair is involved. One of the best is the Zero-M self-cleaning brush-roll. This design actively removes hair and prevents it from wrapping around the brush-roll, so you can clean without interruption.
The Powered Lift-Away mode gives you three different ways to clean, offering the versatility you need to navigate stairs and underneath furniture, and to deep clean floors and carpets. Simply detach the canister from the motorized cleaner head to reach underneath chairs, couches, etc. The detachable canister also makes it easy to vacuum stairs and other small spaces. The standard upright mode also offers powerful cleaning for floors and carpets. Detaching the canister takes a single push of a button.
You can see a brief demonstration of this vacuum’s features in this video.
The Shark Apex Upright has a 4.4 out of 5-star Amazon rating based on more than 400 reviews. One owner wrote, “It handles the fur without issue and picks up (sand-sized) particles from hard floor without throwing it back at your feet.” Another owner wrote, “It does great on all my floor types. Low profile carpet, thick carpet, shag carpet, tile, and vinyl hard floors … And I love that this one clears the brush roll free of hair. I like that I can ‘lift away’ the canister to vacuum all the way under the couches and beds.”
Pros: Detachable canister for easy cleaning, self-cleaning brush-roll won’t clog with hair
Cons: 16-pound vacuum weight can be heavy for some users
The best handheld vacuum
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum is lightweight and compact, ideal for common cleanup jobs that come with pet ownership.
Removing pet hair from furniture, pet beds, and stairs can be cumbersome with an upright vacuum. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum (33A1B) offers a convenient solution. This compact and lightweight vacuum cleaner weighs just 5 pounds, and the bagless design makes cleaning simple.
Though this vacuum is small, it doesn’t sacrifice power or functionality. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum comes with two nozzles to ensure top performance. The rubber nozzle attracts pet hair and helps to remove it from upholstery or carpet. For cleaning up small messes like kitty litter or spilled pet food, swap out the rubber nozzle for the suction nozzle to customize the vacuum’s performance.
The 16-foot power cord gives you plenty of reach – convenient for dragging it outside to clean pet hair off car seats – and the canister is easy to empty. With multi-level filtration, this vacuum removes pet hair and dirt from your home without releasing it back into the air. The vacuum comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Owners wrote that the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum is great for sucking up litter that cats leave all over, as well as hair off of a variety of surfaces.
Pros: Compact and lightweight, two nozzles for various types of cleaning
Cons: Corded, filter must be periodically replaced
The best high-end vacuum for pet hair
Quiet, powerful, and designed to last for years, the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum is a top-of-the-line option for homes with pets.
The Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum is a German-made vacuum designed to offer top-quality performance and functionality. The canister is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and although the vacuum is plenty powerful, the motor is quiet – particularly ideal if you have pets who are nervous about vacuum cleaners.
A 36-foot cord gives you plenty of reach without having to move from outlet to outlet, and the adjustable wand height ensures you won’t have to strain your back while vacuuming. Best of all, Miele engineered and tested this vacuum to last an average of 20 years.
This vacuum comes with an Electro Plus Electrobrush dusting brush, upholstery tool, and crevice nozzle, as well as a mini turbo brush that is designed to remove pet hair from furniture. You can operate the motor’s six-speed settings with a push of the foot-operated controls, and the five-level height adjustment on the Electrobrush allows you to customize the height as you move across different flooring surfaces.
This vacuum is also equipped with technology to deal with bad smells. The AirClean filter includes a charcoal cassette that neutralizes odors, so your vacuum doesn’t develop that musty dog scent. The AirClean filtration system captures over 99.9% of particles, ensuring the air that’s released back into your home is free of dust and pet hair.
If you’re looking for a vacuum that’s effective and easy to use, the Miele C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum may be right for you – provided you can afford its premium price. The streamlined design and flexibility of the entire unit eliminate much of the cumbersome usage that’s so common in other vacuums.
The foot-switch controls allow for uninterrupted operation without requiring you to stop and bend down to make adjustments. Additionally, the Parquet Twister offers 180-degree rotation for agile cleaning in tight crevices, underneath furniture, and in other spaces that are often difficult to access.
You can see how easy it is to maneuver this vacuum in this video.
The Miele C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum has a 4.4 out of 5-star Amazon rating based off of more than 200 reviews. One owner wrote,: “It is nowhere near as loud as other vacuums. The Electro Plus brush is a bit louder when it is switched on, but it is nice that you can turn it off at the handle quickly. I love how I can use my foot to easily remove the Electro Plus brush-head and quickly move to using the hose.” Another buyer said, “The air in my home smells and looks cleaner when I am done vacuuming.”
Pros: Designed to hold up for up to 20 years, quiet pet-friendly operation, powerful suction, adjustable features, foot-controlled speed settings
Cons: High price point