Having a pet makes life a whole lot better, from being able to cuddle with it to being able to have someone to bounce your insane thoughts off of at 3 am when you’re eating shredded cheese out of the bag. However, if you have pets, you also know about pet hair. Even though several friends of ours happen to have short-haired dogs, those still shed. 

What is the best vacuum for pet hair? The answer will usually vary depending on the type of hair you need to vacuum up, though there are a few vacuums that serve as a catch-all for all kinds of pet hair, your hair, and even the toughest of dust bunnies. Make sure to identify your needs before you buy.   

In this article, you’ll learn all about the best vacuums for pets of every hair type, why finding the right one is essential, and a little bit of the science behind why pet hair is such a nuisance. By the end, you’ll hopefully have looked over your needs and been educated enough to decide which is the best pet hair vacuum cleaner for your needs.  

The Effects of Pet Hair on Humans

But first, let’s discuss why it’s crucial to vacuum pet hair.  A lot of people who have an allergy to dogs or cats believe they’re allergic to the pet hair itself. This is just simply not true–you are reacting to the dander that comes off of them, which is basically flakes of dead skin. The other thing you could be allergic to is their saliva, so no matter how hard those little Goldendoodles try, they are never going to be truly hypoallergenic.

The dead skin cells contain specific proteins that cause the reaction. If you have asthma, this can be a problem for you, since the protein, which is the allergen, can induce asthma attacks. A pet hair removal program of some kind is vital if you have asthma. There are a few ways you can do this, either with a more traditional removal approach, like with a lint roller, or with a vacuum.

Vacuum cleaners for pet hair are typically going to be much more precise at gathering all of the pet hair than your lint roller will be. If you are sensitive to the hair and the dander, then you might notice that using a less effective approach will not alleviate your symptoms at all.  However, a vacuum is going to get it all and also lock it in so that you won’t be exposed to it like you would with your lint roller pads sitting in the trash can after you use them.

Just because you don’t have an allergy to the hair doesn’t mean you aren’t affected, though. In fact, pet hair causes a world of trouble if you don’t know how to take care of it. Dog hair, especially if your dog is unkempt, can carry parasites like tapeworms, hookworms, and scabies, in extreme cases. When you’re letting your pet shed all over the house, and you’re not cleaning it up, those parasites could be spreading. 

How to Reduce Shedding in Your Home

If you’re willing to go the extra step, you can make it easier on yourself and your vacuum during shedding season. The best way to do this is through regular maintenance.  You can find pet brushes in a variety of stores, both in-person and online. Brushing your pets daily will pull the excess hair off of them and onto the brush, which eliminates the possibility of that hair ending up on your floor.

Pets shed a lot when they are improperly cared for. If you notice an abnormal amount of shedding in your furry friend, consult a vet as quickly as possible. Making sure that your pet has quality food and is getting all of the vital nutrients they need to stay healthy will reduce the amount of off-season shedding you’re forced to endure.

What Makes The Best Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner Different from a Regular One

Pet hair vacuum cleaners and regular vacuum cleaners are entirely different animals (no pun intended). There are a few key differences between them, and if you don’t pay attention, you might as well not buy one at all.

To start, pet hair vacuums typically come with an attachment that resembles a big comb. This attachment is perfect for combing over your carpets, couches, or blankets for any excess pet hair. The attachment is called a carpet rake.

Carpet rakes are also suitable for your regular vacuum, too. As you use the carpet rake from your pet hair vacuum cleaner, you loosen up the fibers in your carpet. This ensures that your vacuum and its attachments will be able to get in between the fibers of your carpet in the future, making it easier to clean your carpet.

Do You Need a Different Vacuum Cleaner for Cat Hair Than For Dog Hair?

Even though it can seem like dog and cat hair are very different, they are not different enough. If you have a cat and a short-haired dog, you might think you need a separate vacuum for both, but you don’t. As long as your pet hair vacuum has a carpet rake, you will be able to get rid of any type of pet hair.

What is the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair and Hardwood Floors?

The Shark Rotator TruePet Powered Lift-Away NV752 is the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair on a hardwood floor. In addition, it has a simple switch you flip for different types of flooring. One side of the switch turns on hard floor mode, which will pull the beater brush up into the machine so that it won’t scratch and scrape against your hardwood floor. The other side leaves the beater brush down, which is mean to benefit your carpets. You can check out this vacuum here.

Something unique about this vacuum is that the cannister detaches.  This makes the machine less bulky so that you can clean those hard to reach areas like under your kitchen table where the puppies stash their toys to under the rack where you all stash your shoes. The filter in the vacuum is a HEPA filter, so if you suffer from allergies or asthma, these filters will trap in that dander and reduce your reaction.

The vacuum has tons of bells and whistles. However, if you’re looking for a cordless or robot vacuum, this vacuum is not for you. The cord is pretty long, so it won’t hold you back too much.  However, you will be tethered to an outlet, which is not ideal for vacuuming the whole house.

What is the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair?

The Shark APEX AZ1002 DuoClean is, overall, the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, in our opinion. First of all, this vacuum is available in a few different colors. Even though that is not really important in the world of vacuum cleaners for pet hair, getting to choose the color of the device is always a bonus.

As we previously discussed, beater brushes on vacuum cleaners are an essential part of the vacuum that could destroy it in terms of use for pet hair. This vacuum has a dual brush roll system and an 11-inch wide cleaning path. The beater brushes are non-stop self-cleaning, so you won’t have to worry about it clogging.

As with the previously mentioned product, this vacuum cleaner also has the detachable canister feature for easy cleaning of those hard to reach places, like under your couch and tv-stand. Unfortunately, though, the product is not ideal for hardwood floors.  The beater brushes don’t retract into the device, so they could end up scratching on your hardwood floors. If that isn’t something you care a lot about, you can go for it, but if it is, you might want to look elsewhere.

The other thing this vacuum cleaner has that may be a drawback for you is a cord. Though it is pretty long, about 30 feet, it won’t be great if you’re trying to go from room to room or up a flight of stairs. Though the detachable canister makes it lightweight, which would be great for the stairs, the cord may mean you cannot get up the stairs without having to unplug and plug back in in a new outlet close by.

Check out a video about the Shark APEX here.

What is the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair on the Stairs?

The Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vacuum is perfect for going up the stairs. Please never vacuum going down, unless you’d like to fall forward. Some of us had to learn the hard way. The best kind of vacuum to have when you’re vacuuming the stairs is a handheld one, since vacuuming a stair with a traditional vacuum is impractical. The cleaning path is just too wide, so it won’t fit properly on the stair.

Handheld vacuums like this one have smaller cleaning paths and are generally much smaller in size, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come with any of the extras that a regular vacuum cleaner does. This vacuum comes with a dusting brush as well as something called a crevice tool, which gets in places you can’t reach with a typical vacuum (while also having a name that sounds like a torture device).

Even though it’s pretty small, it does have an average capacity for whatever it happens to pick up. The filters that come with it are reusable as well as washable, so you won’t be creating too much unnecessary waste with them, though you will want to replace them about every six months for the sake of the suction.

Since the head of the vacuum is so small, you probably won’t want to use it for every room of your home. The stairs, inside of your car, and your upholstery are going to be the best places to use this vacuum cleaner. The only other downside is that it also has a cord, so you will have to change outlets at least once as you go.  If you are interested, here’s a link to the Shark Rocket.

What is the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Longer Pet Hair?


Dyson’s Cinetic Ball Animal Canister Vacuum is the best vacuum for pets with long hair, hands down. Dyson is notorious for making all sorts of crazy, technologically advanced products, and their vacuum cleaner for pet hair is no exception. For starters, it looks like a little robot. It also needs minimal cleaning, other than emptying the dirt cup inside.

The vacuum cleaner comes with a turbine tool, which Dyson claims is immune to tangles, even with the longest of pet and human hairs. The vacuum will pick up pet hair, dust, dirt, and dander until the compartment that contains it all is full. In addition, this vacuum cleaner is much quieter than others.

There are a few drawbacks to this option, though. The vacuum cleaner is corded, though it does have an overall reach of 35 feet. The dirt cup is pretty small, so if this is something that gets a lot of use, you’re going to need to clean it out often. Not cleaning it out will ruin your suction and, if you choose to ignore it, you can experience some regurgitation of dirt and clumps of pet hair the vacuum had previously picked up.  Check it out here.

Does Long Hair Impact Vacuum Cleaner Needs?

In a traditional vacuum, long pet hair and long people hair alike can impact your vacuum cleaner’s performance. When you have a traditional vacuum with a beater brush, long hairs can get caught in it and wrap around it. Once that happens, it can be hard to untangle, and you can find yourself breaking your beater brush in an attempt to get it all out.

Traditional vacuums don’t try to do anything to help with this problem, though. Pet hair specific vacuum cleaners, though, do. They design their beater brushes to be easier to clean and harder for the hair to get wrapped up in. If you have a fancy one, they might even simply sucking the hair up into it so that. There is no possibility at all for it to wrap around the brush.

What is the Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair?

The Electrolux UltraPower Studio Model EL3020A is one of the best upright vacuum cleaners for pet hair of all lengths and textures. For starters, this product is cordless, which means you can take it from room to room with ease. The battery takes around four hours to charge fully, and once charged, it can run for up to an hour.

The filter that comes in this vacuum is washable and reusable, so you won’t have to worry about producing unnecessary waste. However, it’s good practice to buy a replacement filter about once every six months just for the sake of the vacuum cleaner’s suction. Be careful with that, though; the brand carries filters for different models, so you need to make sure you get one that fits yours.

There’s one real qualm with this product: it is not the best at dealing with long pet hair. It handles short to medium hair with ease, but the beater brush is not as tangle-resistant as some of the other products we’ve looked at. However, the company saw and tried to remedy this flaw as best they could; the brush rolls are pretty easy to reach, so you can quickly reach down and untangle the hair as you go. Just make sure that you turn the vacuum off before you go reaching down to untangle it.  Go here to find out more about it.

What is the Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair?

The Dyson V6 Animal Hand Cordless vacuum cleaner for animal hair. The vacuum is lightweight and maneuvers easily from place to place and from room to room. It is also not one of Dyson’s priciest models, so though it will be a splurge, it won’t be as big of a splurge as other Dyson products.

This vacuum also comes with attachments suitable for both carpet and hardwood floors. However, instead of just having a switch, they have entirely separate heads. Having two heads might be a bit of a hassle if you’re trying to go from room to room, but you could always do all of the hardwood rooms first and vice versa.

Something that works against the product just a bit is the amount of charging time you put in vs. the amount of use you get out. The Dyson product reaches its full charge in three hours and will last about twenty minutes once you stop charging it. Twenty minutes won’t be too bad for spot cleaning, but other vacuums will give you more time to clean between charges for a lower price.  We still think you should splurge if you really want a cordless that sucks up pet hair.  Look here for more information.

What is the Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair?

The iRobot Roomba 980 is the best robot vacuum cleaner for pet hair of all types. For a while, Roombas were just bouncing around and picking up willy-nilly, but they don’t do that anymore; once you connect the device via wi-fi and the Roomba app, you can tell it exactly where it needs to go. It can navigate from room to room.

If your Roomba decides it needs a power nap in between cleanings, it will know where it left off, and it will pick up there rather than starting over. This is a relatively new feature that can only be found in the 980 and the 880 models. The robot vacuum is also only about four inches tall, which makes it ideal for getting under the shoe rack or the kitchen table.

The company claims to have largely improved the tangling aspect of the product. A few years ago, Roombas were notorious for getting all tangled up with pet hair and carpet strings. However, in the 870, 880, and 890 models of the iRobot Roomba Vacuum Cleaner, we have seen some of that better anti-tangle technology.  If you’re interested, definitely check out this cool video here.

That being said, the iRobot Roomba is absolutely not meant to spend its life on carpet because it will manage to get stuck on the fibers somehow. If you have a house with mostly hardwood, then this is totally the vacuum for you. However, if you know you have loads of carpets or even just a bunch of area rugs, opting for a more traditional pet hair vacuum cleaner that maybe can switch between both is probably your better option.

What is the Best Rated Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair?

The  Bissell Cleanview Swivel Vacuum Cleaner is the best-rated vacuum cleaner for your pet hair needs.   

This vacuum cleaner is bagless, meaning it just comes with the dirt cup at the bottom. The cup is easily emptied, though, and it is larger than a lot of other options, meaning that you’ll need to empty it way less often than you would with your smaller dirt cupped vacuum cleaners. In addition, it comes with quite a few attachments.

The attachments make it easy for you to reach any surface in your home because realistically, none of them are safe from pet hair. Especially if you have a cat, having attachments that will reach places you didn’t even know could collect pet hair is essential.

The swivel steering of this vacuum cleaner, coupled with the 6-foot hose, makes it ridiculously easy to vacuum your home. People who use this vacuum praise the speed with which it cleans–a real plus if you don’t plan to spend half an hour vacuuming your house. The vacuum even comes with a brush attachment for your actual pet, so you can brush them and have the hair sucked directly up into the vacuum cleaner. That way, you won’t need to worry about the hair transferring from your brush into your home.

Go here to buy this Bissell.

What is the Best Cheap Vacuum for Pet Hair?

The Bissell PowerGlide Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner is a pretty cheap and decent option for a pet hair vacuum cleaner. Though it isn’t the most affordable option there ever was, it is less expensive than a lot of its competitors, even from the same brand. Even though it is cheaper than other models, it still has plenty of bells and whistles to keep you occupied so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out.

The vacuum cleaner comes with technology that is equipped to eliminate odors from the pet hair it picks up, which is a huge bonus that not all other pet hair vacuum cleaners possess. The Bissell PowerGlide vacuum cleaner also possesses a triple brush roll, which widens your cleaning path as well as helps ensure that no hair will get left behind.

Unfortunately, with this one, there are a few things you will be missing. For starters, this vacuum cleaner is more hearses toward carpet flooring and your furniture. Though it will technically work on hardwood floors like any vacuum, the brush roll will get in your way and could end up scratching up your beautiful hardwood floors. The vacuum is also corded, so if you have plans to take it up the stairs, make sure you’re prepared to switch outlets a couple of times.

However, if you’re just looking for a quick and cheap fix, this will be fine for you. It does have a few attachments for your couches and those hard to reach corners. When you simply need something to work, there is nothing wrong with opting for a basic model, and this is proof of that.  Check it out here.

Should You Splurge for a More Expensive Option?

Whether or not you want to splurge for a more expensive option really depends on your specific needs. If you have tons of pets, or even just a couple of pets with pretty long hair, then a more expensive option with a more advanced beater brush might be a good investment. More costly options also tend to have more attachments, so you might want to snag one if you would benefit from all the bells and whistles.

However, honestly, there comes the point when you just don’t need to spend all the extra money on a pet hair specific vacuum. For example, if the only pets you have happen to have pretty short hair, you don’t particularly need an extremely advanced beater brush since there wouldn’t be a possibility of the pet hair getting caught up in it.

Overall, if you compare a vacuum to your needs and it meets your needs but has a hefty price tag, go for it. The convenience of having the right machine to deal with your pet hair problem is worth the extra dollars you spend, as long as you can afford it. If you buy a vacuum cleaner that has all of the attachments you need right away, you won’t have to purchase those attachments later, which could save you money in the long run.

How to Clean up Pet Hair if Your Vacuum Bites the Dust

Even the absolute best vacuum cleaner for pet hair can break from time to time, especially with overuse. A pet hair vacuum cleaner is meant to handle pet hair, of course, so if other things get caught up in it, your vacuuming experience can go bad quickly. Though you can find some solutions, you’ll probably want to find a new pet hair vacuum as soon as you possibly can. These solutions will work, but they will be too time-consuming to commit to long term.

The first solution works best for upholstery, clothes, and blankets. It’s a classic: the lint roller. The lint roller approach works pretty well for all types of pet hair, so if your vacuum kicks the bucket, it will do until you can get a new one. Unfortunately, though, lint rolling your furniture takes a lot of time. In addition, since lint rollers have a bunch of sticky plastic sheets attached to them, they’re wasteful. Especially if you have a lot of pets, you probably will need to use more than one sheet at a time, which will get pretty pricey. There is enough waste in this world–using those sticky plastic sheets long term is not sustainable for your planet or your wallet.

The other solution you can use is dryer sheets. Just run them along your upholstery or your clothes, and they’ll essentially work the same as a lint roller will. If you choose this approach, though, you will also have the benefit of a pleasant smell, which is always a bonus when there are pets involved. This isn’t great for the long term, though. You’ll go through dryer sheets quickly, which creates waste, and running the dryer sheet along the surfaces will be much more time consuming than just splurging to buy a new pet hair vacuum.

Don’t Get Sucked In

You don’t always need the fanciest, most extravagant model of something possible. Yes, a lot of vacuum cleaners have very fancy parts. Yes, you could find a use for them. But, sometimes, no, you don’t need them.

You’re buying the best pet hair vacuum cleaner to use for your pets. If you have short-haired dogs like I do, buying an expensive vacuum cleaner that uses state of the art technology to deal with long pet hair is not necessary, and that’s all there is to it. You’re investing by merely owning a pet, so if you don’t need to make another major investment with a fancy pet hair vacuum cleaner, then don’t.

It’s easy to get sucked in by new, shiny technology. It’s easy to spend money on things you don’t need because they look good. However, it’s also easy to make sure you go into looking for the absolute best pet hair vacuum cleaner with your needs in mind. The absolute best pet hair vacuum cleaner for a long-haired dog and the absolute best pet hair vacuum cleaner for your teacup chihuahua are not the same, and that’s okay.