Best Vacuum for Pet Hair – Our Top 5 Picks for 2017
Luckily, technology has come a long way, and now there are actually some great choices on the market. The following are the best of the best when it comes to cleaning pet hair out of the house, and there’s an option for every budget.
- Oscillates at up to 5000 Hz
- Self adjusting cleaner head
- Engineered to last 10 years
- Asthma & Allergy certified
- Easy to steer
- Weight: 19.2 Pounds
- Bin Volume: 0.57 Gallons
- Max Reach: 50 Feet
- Cord Length: 35 Feet
- Suction Power: 180 Air Watts
- Dimensions: 43.3” x 13.4” x 17.2”
- Volts: 110v
- Warranty: 5 Years
- Carbon fiber soft dusting brush
- Multi angle brush
- Mattress tool
- Reach under tool
- Tangle free turbine tool
- Attachment storage bag
- Great for pet hair
- Picks up cat litter from hard floors
- Amazing suction even on shag rugs
- Comes with many attachments
While overall users rave about this upright, some have said it’s hard to push when it’s not running, especially on thick carpet. This makes sense as the power steering will only kick in when the motor is on. If you need to get to the other side of the room, its best to keep it running to steer it easily.
How heavy is it?
The Dyson Big Ball Cinetic weighs in at about 19.2 pounds. Since its power driven, even though it’s on the heavier side (though some uprights can weigh up to 30 pounds), it’s still easy to maneuver and steer.
What color does it come in?
This vac is silver and chrome with accents of red and purple on the trim.
Does it work on tile and hardwood floors?
This vac works great on both tile and hardwoods as it keeps very close suction to the floor but without scratching delicate surfaces. One user review says it really sucks, and in a good way!
Dyson Big Ball Cinetic vs Dyson DC65
Both of these vacs are designed to work very well on both carpet and hard floor surfaces, and they both are great for picking up animal hair. However, the Cinetic claims to have much more suction power due to its newer technology. The DC65 is slightly smaller and lighter in weight, but according to review after review, they both work great on hardwood and carpet, have the reach needed to vacuum stairs and do a great job at picking up cat and dog hair.
The good news is that if you have attachments from a DC65 series model, they will fit this one as well.
Does it have a retractable cord?
It does not – you need to loop it around the hooks on the back of the machine.
Does it work well for under furniture?
While the machine itself is probably too high in profile to fit under most beds and furniture, it does come with some great attachments specifically designed for this purpose.
How does it compare to older models like the DC14?
According to user reviews, this newer model is a vast improvement over the older Dysons. One user in her review says it took her 60-70 minutes to vacuum her home with her old DC14, and it takes her only about 30-40 minutes to do the whole thing with the Dyson Cinetic Animal. She says it also works much better on dog hair.
One of the big pluses of this new model is that it has a lifetime filter, and you never need to wash it. With the old models, you had to take the filter out, wash it, and then wait for it to dry before putting it back in.
Does it suck up cat litter from hardwood floors?
The problem with most upright vacuum cleaners is that they tend to scatter cat litter everywhere if you’re using it on vinyl, tile or wood. According to user reviews, this one sucks it up with no problem at all without scattering it around.
Will it scratch my hardwood floors?
In user reviews, people who own this Cinetic say it doesn’t scratch their floors. Just make sure you flip the switch to turn off the beater brush so the bristles aren’t moving when vacuuming delicate hardwood surfaces.
Will it work on thick rugs?
Some users with thick area rugs (like wool) say they’ve had vacuums burn up their belt with such a tough job. Since this one uses direct drive instead of a belt, this shouldn’t be a problem. Since the cleaner head adjusts itself, it will automatically raise up to accommodate the thicker carpet pile.
Do I have to change the filter?
The Cinetic technology separates dust better than other vacuums, and that efficiency means you never need to clean or replace the filter. In fact, while it has internal HEPA filtration, there’s really nothing you need to do for maintenance.
Is the canister easy to empty?
You can empty the canister by pushing one button, so it’s not difficult. You generally won’t need to work too hard to get the dirt out, but one review from a woman with two Australian Shepherd dogs with long hair says she sometimes has to reach in to pull all of it out, as it gets wound up in the canister. Most users say if you just give it a good shake, everything falls out on its own.
Dyson Cinetic Animal vs Animal plus Allergy vs Multifloor
The only difference in these models is the attachments that are included with your initial purchase. When you buy it, the Animal comes with a tangle-free turbine tool, stair tool and combination tool. The Allergy version comes with those PLUS a reach under tool, soft dusting brush, multi angle brush and mattress tool.
The Multi floor version of this highly rated vacuum isn’t specifically designed to filter out allergies and handle sticky pet hair. It also only comes with a combination tool and stair tool, and the bin volume is just slightly smaller, though it does weigh about two pounds less than the Animal and Animal / Allergy versions.
How well does it work for long hair?
If you use the tangle free turbine tool, hair doesn’t get caught up in it. However, if you vacuum up long hair with the regular cleaner head, you’ll probably need to occasionally need to clean it off the beater bar (like with any vacuum). In one review from a woman with a Maine Coon, she says she occasionally needs to clean out the turbine tool as well when the tufts from her cat are really thick. She does say it does an amazing job of picking up the hair though and is extremely happy with it.
The bottom line: Users love Dyson. While they do have a high price tag, they last many years, don’t get clogged up and work fantastically for cleaning up pet hair or anything else you put in their path. The new Cinetic Animal + Allergy is no exception. It not only cleans your floors, it cleans the air in your home as an added bonus.
This particular model comes with a bunch of great attachments. In fact, you may end up not using them all, but they’re nice to have if you find yourself in a tight spot or wanting to clean stairs or overhead where the big machine won’t reach. While it’s a little on the heavy side, it’s also very sturdy and durable. At the end of the day, this is without a doubt the best vacuum for pet hair and is a great investment.
#2. Shark Rotator TruePet NV752
While not necessarily inexpensive, the Shark Lift Away Rotator NV752 comes in at about $200 less than the latest Dyson, and it still does a good job picking up dog and cat hair. In consumer reports and reviews, it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars, an excellent rating.
- Swivel Steering
- Sealed System
- HEPA Filter
- 3 in 1
- Total Weight: 20.5 Pounds
- Canister Weight: 8 Pounds
- Max Reach: 15.4 Feet
- Cord Length: 30 Feet
- Suction Power: 1200 Watts
- Height Adjustments: 3
- Dimensions: 45.05” x 13.39” x 11.89”
- Volts: 110v
- Warranty: 5 Years
- Canister Vac
- Hard Floor Attachment
- Pet tool
- Good suction
- Works well for pet hair
- Lift away canister option
One of the things users comment on a lot with the Rotator series is that they are top heavy with a tendency to tip over if you stretch the hose out too far. In user’s review comments, they say if you only need a short reach, use the hose on the big vacuum. However, if you need to reach further away, it’s best to use the canister so the main unit doesn’t tip over.
How does it work on berber carpet?
In vacuum cleaner reviews, many users comment on how well this one works on all types of floors. If you use it on the low pile setting, it works great to remove human hair, dog hair and debris from low pile carpets like Berber.
One user in his review says he has berber carpet that’s the same color as his dogs, and he says its amazing how much hair gets picked up.
Do I have to clean hair from the roller?
Yes, as with just about any vacuum, if you have really long hair, eventually you’re going to have to either cut it or pull it out from around the beater bar. Most users say this isn’t an issue and they don’t need to do it very often.
Is it too heavy?
The Shark Rotator TruePet does weigh a few more pounds than the Dyson, and it does seem to be a bit more top heavy. If you use just the canister, you shouldn’t have a problem moving it around, but if heavy weight is an issue for you it might be a little bit hard to maneuver.
This only really becomes an issue for most people if they extend the hose out all the way, in which case you risk the vacuum tipping over. While the reach of the extension tube plus hose is just over fifteen feet (which should work fine for most jobs), if you’re cleaning a long flight of stairs, it might be a concern for you.
What about the lights?
One of the things that make this Rotator unique vs other top models is that it has LED headlights, a feature lacking in most others.
How close will it get to the wall?
With brushes on the side, it actually gets really close to baseboards. The front of the machine doesn’t get as close, so if you use the side it works better.
Does it scratch wood floors?
The wheels on this Shark are covered in a soft material that doesn’t seem to leave scratches on wood floors. It also comes with a hard floor attachment with a microfiber cloth that does a great job for cleaning these surfaces.
Many users say they’ve never had a problem or seen any scratches on their floors from this popular vac. Just make sure you flip the switch to turn the beater bar off so the brushes aren’t moving if you’re going over a delicate floor surface.
NV752 vs NV751, NV753 and NV755
These models are so close and are essentially the same vacuum. All have HEPA filters and have a lift away canister. They are all 1200 watts and are the same size and weight.
The big difference in the NV755 is that it has an extra – large dust bin compared with the other models. It comes with a mini motorized brush, pet upholstery tool, dusting brush, crevice tool and hard floor attachment.
The biggest difference is in the accessories included. The NV751 comes with the hard floor attachment only. The NV752 has the hard floor attachment and a mini motorized brush for pet hair. The NV753 has both of these plus a crevice tool, pet multi tool and accessory bag.
All of the models have a place on the unit itself where you can store a couple of the tools.
Does it have a retractable cord?
Like most vacs, it does not. You need to manually wind the cord around the hooks located on the back of the machine.
Does it work well on stairs?
Users love this TruePet because of the lift – off canister that makes it easier to clean stairs. It has a nice long cord so as long as you don’t mind carrying the canister; you can use one of the attachments on it to clean any type of stairs.
Does it have power steering?
This model has power steering when the beater bar is running and it does swivel which makes it pretty easy to maneuver. Users say it’s actually very easy to push and pull, and it’s not super heavy. If you have the beater bar turned off for smooth floors, it will be a little bit harder to push, but if you’re using the hard floor attachment it has a very smooth movement.
What is the hard floor attachment?
This Shark comes with a Hard Floor Genie, which is essentially an attachment with a microfiber pad that is intended for dusting hardwood floors. Consider it to be like an electric sweeper (like a Swiffer but with more power).
The hard floor attachment is about 10” long and nearly 6” wide. Users say it works great at picking up kitchen debris like flour or powdered sugar that can get down between the boards in hardwood or laminate flooring.
How often do I need to clean the filter?
This depends on how much dirt and pet hair is in your house and how often you vacuum. At first, check the filter every time you use it to see how fast it gets dirty. Some users only wash their filter every 3-4 months and some find it works best to clean it monthly. Keep an eye on it to see how fast yours gets dirty then plan accordingly. The good news it – you really can’t clean it too often.
Will it suck up area rugs?
Many powerful vacuums are really hard to use on throw rugs because they tend to want to just suck them up. However, this Rotator has a special setting for area rugs, making it quite different vs other vacuums.
Will it fit under the bed?
The profile is about three inches high, so it will fit under most beds. It also comes with attachments that can help you clean easier under furniture.
We rated the Shark NV752 True Pet number two on our list because it doesn’t have the suction of the Dyson Cinetic. However, it also doesn’t have the high price. If you need a good overall vacuum cleaner that also happens to do a great job at cleaning up sticky or tufted dog and cat hair, this one is a very good choice.
With its versatility (3 vacs in 1) and hard floor attachment, it’s great to use for a variety of jobs and on all surfaces. The additional pet tools make it extra versatile to clean hair from your furniture and drapes as well.
#3. Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser
The Bissell 1650A is without a doubt one of the best inexpensive vacuums for pet hair. With a 4.5 star rating and a pet hair spooling system so you don’t have to touch the mess, it’s definitely a step up for Bissell and pet owners everywhere.
- LED lit tools
- Febreze Odor Eliminator
- Patented Hair Spooling System
- Tangle Free Brush Roll
- Weight: 18 Pounds
- Max Reach: 8 Feet
- Cord Length: 30 Feet
- Suction Power: 8.5 Amps
- Dirt Bin Capacity: 1.5 Liters
- Dimensions: 13.5” x 12.4” x 46.8”
- Volts: 110v
- Warranty: 5 Years
- LED lit crevice tool
- 2 in 1 pet brush
- Pet hair eraser tool
- Quick release wand
- Great with pet hair
- Brush roll doesn’t tangle
- LED lights on crevice tool
According to users, it’s a bit on the heavy side. Like most other Bissells, it’s very sturdy but also heavy. While this isn’t a problem in regular daily use, the short hose length and weight of the machine don’t make it the easiest to use on stairs.
Is the cord retractable?
Like our other best – selling pet hair vacuums on this list, this cord is not retractable, and you need to wind it up by hand.
Is it good for hard floors?
This Bissell has a brush roll shutoff as well as different height adjustments, making it work well for hardwood, vinyl, stone and tile floors.
How well does it work on long pet hair?
To put it simply, in one user review, it’s said that this is the first vacuum the owner has used that didn’t end up getting hair tangled around the brush roll right away. It’s said the hair doesn’t get twisted around the brush so you have to pull it out. Instead, it goes right into the dust bin.
How is it specially designed for pets?
The Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser is specifically designed with pets in mind. It comes with a tangle – free brush roll which won’t wrap up with hair. It’s good at removing even embedded cat and dog hair. It also has a built in allergy system that both traps allergens and eliminates pet odors as you’re vacuuming.
It also comes with a crevice tool with lights and a pet hair tool to get sticky hair from shedding dogs and cats off upholstery and carpets.
Does the brush shut off?
There is a separate switch to shut off the brush roll / beater bar, but it will also automatically stop spinning when the machine is in the upright position.
Is it low profile?
While the head of this Bissell isn’t low profile, it probably won’t clear low furniture like most sofas without using separate tools.
Is it loud?
In user reviews, it’s said this is a pretty quiet unit and definitely quieter than a Kirby. They say it’s about the same in volume as most regular vacuums.
Where do I store the tools?
There is on board storage for all the tools so you don’t need to worry about them getting misplaced, lost or in the way.
Do I have to wash the filters?
There is a pre motor filter on top of the dirt canister that does need to be washed occasionally. You can use the regular or scented Febreze filter in this capacity, but you may want to replace it once it loses its scent. The manufacturer recommends replacing the post motor filter every six months or so depending on how often you use the machine. Those can be ordered from Bissell.
As for how long the pre motor filter scent lasts, one user review says they vacuum three or four times per week, as they have a very furry dog. They’ve been using it for six weeks, and the filter scent hasn’t changed at all.
Does it have a HEPA filter?
No, however according to the manufacturer, the filtration system captures over 85% of airborne particles of 0.3 microns or larger though it doesn’t have a sealed HEPA system designed into it.
Will it pick up litter?
One of the most popular questions on vacuum cleaner forums is will it pick up cat litter from hardwood floors. While the #1 pick (the Dyson) does an amazing job, this one isn’t bad as long as you go slowly. If you go slowly over the litter, it will pick it up rather than scatter it around.
Does it take batteries?
The only thing on this cleaner that requires batteries is the crevice tool since it has lights.
How is it for long human hair?
In user reviews, it’s said the brush roll doesn’t tangle up with long hair. With most vacuums, you occasionally will need to remove the brush roll or cut the hair out of it and pull it out.
This is a great mid – priced vacuum that has the added bonus of a tangle – free brush roll. This new technology means hair won’t wrap up on the brush so you have to cut it off (what a pain!). This alone is a great selling point, but that’s not all it has. In this model, you’ll also find a crevice tool with an LED light which doesn’t sound like much but you may think again the next time you try to clean that tight space next to your refrigerator.
This is the only model on our top 5 list that has a pet odor eliminator filter by Febreze to leave your house smelling fresh. It also comes with a special pet hair tool to clean off upholstery, and the quick release wand makes it a cinch to use all the tools without a bunch of hassle.
#4. Eureka Clean Pet AS3401AX
The Eureka Brushroll Clean Pet AS3401AX is just about the middle of the road when it comes to pet vacuums. However, it does have a few features lacking in other machines designed for this purpose. The brush roll that won’t tangle up is definitely a plus, and it is self – cleaning, so hair won’t get wound around it. For this reason alone (though there are others), its worth taking a closer look.
- Brush roll doesn’t tangle
- Deep cleans
- Washable allergy filter
- Designed for carpet & bare floors
- Weight: 15.8 Pounds
- Max Reach: 12 Feet
- Cord Length: 27 Feet
- Suction Power: 12 Amps
- Dimensions: 13.5” x 13” x 43.5”
- Volts: 110v
- Warranty: 3 Years
- Crevice tool
- Extension wand
- Turbo nozzle
- Dusting brush
- Great suction
- Washable filters
- Good for pet hair
Though this vac does work well for pet hair, one complaint is that the attachments tend to fall off. They are meant to be on board, but they don’t seem to be very secure. One user says she secured them with stick on Velcro and it solved the problem.
It’s also said that this unit is top heavy (like the Shark Rotator), so if you stretch out the hose, it may have a tendency to tip over.
Does it work well on shag rugs?
If you use the highest setting, it seems to work well on thicker pile rugs without getting bogged down.
Can I turn off the roller?
Yes, it does have a separate shutoff switch for the roller so you can turn it off for bare floors.
Is it easy to steer?
Users actually say it’s a bit clunky to steer and a bit top heavy when you stretch out the attachment extension hose. However, for the price (if you’re on a tighter budget), it’s said in review after a review that these shortcomings are a small price to pay for the quality of the job it does.
How is it for long hair?
The Eureka AS3401AX has a self – cleaning brush roll, so hair doesn’t tend to build up on it. One woman lives in a house with three people with long hair a dog and two cats, and she says it does a great job. She says not having the brush tangle up with hair has saved hours of cutting hair and pulling it out of the roller.
Is the cord retractable?
That’s one thing this Eureka has way over and above the others on our best pet hair vacuums list – it has a retractable cord! It winds up by just pushing a button so you don’t need to manually wind it up.
While it’s not top of our Top 5, the Eureka AS3401AX still deserves a spot as a best vacuum for pet hair. One thing it has over the competition is an automatic cord rewind. While this has nothing to do with cat and dog hair, it’s a really cool feature even Dyson doesn’t offer.
As for pets, this Eureka does have a high – efficiency allergy filter. It also has a button you can push to automatically clean hair off the beater brush roll without having to cut and pull it off, which saves a lot of time and headaches. It offers a deep clean and comes with a tool to clean pet hair off your upholstery.
#5. Hoover WindTunnel 3 Pet UH72630PC
The Hoover brand is a long – standing one and supports its reputation of quality with yet another mid – priced yet powerful vacuum in the Pet UH72630PC High Perfomance WindTunnel 3. It’s easy to use, has an on / off switch for the brush roll and comes with a nice set of attachments for cleaning in, around and under just about everything in your home.
- Cleans fast
- 3 Channels of suction
- Weight: 18.5 Pounds
- Max Reach: 15 Feet
- Cord Length: 40 Feet
- Suction Power: 12 Amps / 1440 Watts
- Dirt Bin Capacity: 1.42 Liters
- Height Adjustments: 7
- Dimensions: 14” x 15.5” x 44”
- Volts: 110v
- Warranty: 5 Years
- Long crevice tool
- Rotating pet brush
- Crevice tool
- Pivoting dusting brush
- Regular dusting brush
- Good suction
- Nice attachments
- Well placed buttons
Overall, this is a good vacuum. However, the motor isn’t quite as strong as some others on our top rated list. Since it’s not power driven, some users say it can be a bit hard to push around as well. However, if you’re in relatively good shape (probably from housework!), you shouldn’t have any problems with this.
How loud is it?
Overall, users say this is a rather loud machine. While it’s not as loud as vacuums made many years ago, it’s definitely on the loud side according to modern standards and expectations.
What about cat litter?
Unlike a lot of uprights, this one doesn’t seem to spit out cat litter and scatter it around. If you go slowly, it picks it up just fine. For a budget vacuum, it does a good job on this.
Does it have auto rewind?
Nope – You need to wind the cord manually on this one. The only top rated model we’ve found that has an automatic cord rewind is the Eureka Clean Pet (#4 above).
How does it work for long hair?
Like most vacuums with a rotating brush roll, if you have long hair, you’ll probably find yourself pulling hair out of the roller every once in a while. However, it doesn’t seem to accumulate as quickly as it does with some upright cleaners.
Do I need to wash the filters?
The UH72630PC has one filter that is washable plus a HEPA filter that is not washable. The manufacturer recommends replacing the HEPA filter once per year more or less depending on how often you use the machine and how many allergens are in your home.
How does it do on different types of carpet?
Since it has seven separate height adjustments, you can adjust the head to many different heights to accommodate any type of carpet from a low – pile Berber to a deep – pile shag.
Is it small enough to fit under furniture?
This Eureka does not have a low profile, so it may be tough to fit it under low furniture like sofas and chairs. However, you can use the attachments to get underneath large items if you don’t want to move them aside.
Is it self – propelled?
This one is not self – propelled, but in user reviews, owners say it’s still really easy to push and pull, though it is heavy to lift.
Does it clog with pet hair?
If you keep the filter clean (just check it every few times you vacuum to see if it’s dirty), you shouldn’t have any problem with loss of suction or clogs from dog hair. One user in her review says she has a Husky, which has an incredible undercoat like a German Shepherd, and her Hoover hasn’t clogged up at all. She says the motor seems to be powerful enough to suck up all the hair tufts without them sticking in the hose.
How easy is it to use the tools?
You do have to follow a few steps to connect the tools and accessories. First, make sure you have the vacuum turned off. Then, there is a switch that needs to be changed from Floor (red) to Hose (green). After that, attach your accessory to the extension hose and turn the unit back on.
Does it smell?
Once when I lent an old vacuum cleaner to my neighbors, it came back smelling. Every time I used it, a funky smell came out of it no matter how many times I cleaned out the filters and dust bin. This doesn’t seem to be an issue with the UH72630PC Wind Tunnel 3. One user says she has six cats and has never smelled an odor in the machine. Another has a long haired dog and two cats and says in all the time she’s been using this vac, it’s never started smelling bad.
The Hoover Windtunnel 3 UH72630PC ended up on the bottom of our list simply because it doesn’t have some of the fancier features or quite as much power as the other models. It’s a little loud and can be hard to push and pull at times. However, if you’re on a tight budget, it’s a good option for pet hair and any other debris collecting on your floors, and it does a good job.
No matter which of these best vacuums for pet hair you choose, you’ll be better off for it. When making your decision, consider the budget you have to work with and the type of accessories you’ll actually use before you buy. Some of these choices are on the inexpensive side, and some are much pricier. This is a case somewhat of you get what you pay for, but even the cheapest model on the list is still a good investment if you have dogs and / or cats with hair and dander (even litter) everywhere.