The joys of owning a pet are seemingly endless. They provide fun, compassion, companionship, and unconditional love. Our lives are truly enriched as a result of owning and living with our canine or feline family members. However, as we assume all of you reading this article already know – owning a pet is also hard work.

They need feeding, grooming, playing with, walking (if it’s a dog), and their “droppings” need to be cleaned up regularly. However, for many people, the most annoying part of pet ownership is probably cleaning up their hair.

The amount of hair that our pets leave behind is something that can often astonish first-time dog/cat owners. It’s like a whirlwind made from pure hair sweeps through our homes on a nightly basis, covering everything and anything in a layer of fluff.

At first, many people usually try and keep on top of the cleaning with a traditional vacuum cleaner. Sometimes this can work (if you’re lucky, or have a super advanced product), but most of the time you’re creating much more hard work for yourself than you need to.

Dedicated vacuum cleaners that are intentionally designed to remove pet hair free up time and turn a long, boring, backbreaking task into something a little less annoying (but it’s still not exactly fun).

With that in mind today we are going to take a look at the wonderful world of pet vacuum cleaners. We’re going to see what they are, how they’re different, and provide you with a bunch of recommendations for different situations.

Let’s get started.

The Different Types Of Vacuum For Pet Hair

There are a few differences between traditional vacuums and those that are designed for pet hair. They’re reasonably small deviations from a traditional vacuum cleaner, but they make a huge amount of difference. The main difference is the brush.

The brush that is attached to the suction head of a normal vacuum cleaner is great at picking up traditional household dust and debris, but it’s terrible for pet hair. As you may already have experienced, pet hair will often become trapped in the brush clogging it up. If the hair doesn’t get trapped in the brush, it can instead become entangled in your carpet, making it even more difficult to remove.

Pet hair vacuums often use brushes made from a different material (silicon) and have thicker bristles with a different layout. This reduces the amount of hair that gets tangled and makes cleaning much, much quicker.

Because of the high demand for pet hair vacuums, they are now available in all shapes and sizes. Each has their own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Handheld

Handheld vacuum cleaners are one of the most popular choices for pet hair removal. They’re cheap, convenient, and get the job done in places that would not be accessible to a full sized product. They are usually found in cordless varieties but a few corded versions are available if you look hard enough.

Handheld vacuums are less powerful than all other vacuum types due to their small size. This means that they are more useful as a “touch up” tool, or as a way to clean in places outside the home (like cars). If you’re looking for whole room coverage, you should consider a larger non-handheld product instead.

Upright

Upright vacuum cleaners are the most popular kind of traditional vacuum cleaner on the market. They’re one of the best choices if you’ve got a whole home full of pet hair that needs cleaning up on a regular basis.

They’re easy to use, contain a bunch of useful accessories, and are usually very reasonably priced. Additionally, they’re one of the most powerful kinds of vacuum cleaner, and they’re versatile enough to be used on hardwood or carpeted floors.

Uprights are great for covering large floor areas, but they are not so good at cleaning sofas, chairs, and stairs. That’s why you’ll find many 2 in 1 upright vacuums that convert into a canister for convenience.

Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners are one of the most versatile products on the market. They feature a large canister that is dragged around on the floor, and the suction head is connected via a flexible hose. They can be equally as powerful as an upright (or even more powerful). The additional maneuverability is perfect for pet owners as it allows you to clean hair away from chairs, sofas, and stairs with ease.

Stick

Stick vacuum cleaners are the least powerful of all (except handhelds). They’re slim, easy to store, and reasonably well priced. They get the job done, but these days they’re generally seen as a worse alternative to both canisters and uprights. Due to this, there are not many true stick products on the market, and the ones that are available are usually cordless.

Cordless

As the name suggests, cordless vacuums run on battery power. If you pick the right model, they can be a great way to speed up the amount of time you spend cleaning (as you don’t need to keep moving the plug). They’re usually slender, easy to store, and can conveniently reach hard to access areas.

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However, they’re also usually underpowered compared to their corded brothers and sisters (and many don’t do too well on long carpet either). They usually have a small dust collection bin, which means you’re going to be emptying them reasonably regularly.

Bagless

Bagless vacuum cleaners are the most popular kind of vacuum on the market now. You’ll be able to find bagless versions of all of the variations of vacuum cleaner we have mentioned above. They use an emptyable chamber to store dust and debris instead of disposable bags.

This makes their running costs much lower, and they are more eco-friendly too. It’s also easier to see when you need to empty the chamber (instead of peering into the suction hole to see if the bag needs replacing). The only issue with some bagless systems is that pet hair can get stuck to the sides of the bin when you empty it. This can mean that you need to reach in to remove it by hand (which is gross).

Hardwood vs Carpet Pet Hair Vacuums

Hardwood floors and carpeted floors are very different surfaces to clean. As such, certain vacuums are better suited to certain flooring types. We will briefly list the main considerations you need to take into account below.

How To Get Dog Hair Off Hardwood Floors

  • Ensure there are no hard brushes (or ensure that they can be retracted) as they can scratch floors with ease.
  • Look for products that have some form of padding on the bottom of the suction head to further avoid scratches
  • If you’re getting a canister vacuum, ensure that it has soft rubberized wheels.

How To Get Dog Hair Off Carpeted Floors

  • Pick a product that has a brush head layout specifically designed for pet hair.
  • If possible, ensure that the brushes on the suction head are thick enough to not allow pet hair to get tangled

Best Vacuums For Pet Hair

Best Overall Pet Hair Vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift Off Bagless Upright

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift Off Bagless Upright

We’re going to list quite a few different recommendations on this page, and we highly suggest you consider them all. But in our opinion, this product from Bissel represents the best the market currently has to offer in 2018. It hits the perfect sweet spot between functionality and affordability that was hard for us to ignore.

It’s a 2 in 1 convertible product that can either be used as an upright or a canister. This means that you’ve got the speed and coverage capabilities of an upright, combined with the convenience of a canister (that makes it great for stairs and upholstery). Like most aspects of this product, the brush has been custom made for pet hair removal. The thick bristles combined with Bissel’s “Tangle Free” technology make trapped hair a thing of the past.

One of the most impressive parts of this product is the hair spooling system inside the canister. As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest issues with bagless pet hair vacuums is that hair gets stuck and you have to reach in and clean it out with your hands. With this system, the hair is spooled automatically which makes emptying the product a breeze.

Combine all this technology with the allergen reduction filtration system, the incredible suction power, and the affordable price – and it’s easy to see why it’s our top pick.

We recommend you keep reading and look at the products below, but unless you have a good reason, this product should be at the top of your shortlist.

Best Affordable Vacuum for Pet Hair

Bissell CleanView Bagless Upright Vacuum

Bissell CleanView Bagless Upright Vacuum

If you liked the sound of the product above but felt it was a little bit out of your price range, then we strongly recommend you consider this product instead. It’s another Bissell product and is very similar to our top pick in many respects, it’s just lacking some of the bells and whistles.

The main difference between the two products is that this is a standard upright product (it doesn’t convert into a canister). This is going to make cleaning stairs, sofas, and chairs a little trickier – but it’ll still get the job done.

It’s also less powerful than our top pick, but you should set your expectations accordingly (as this is less than half the price). That being said, it’s more than powerful enough to allow you to clean without it becoming frustratingly underpowered. It also doesn’t include the hair spooling system (like many products on this list), which means you may need to reach in to clean hair out.

But apart from that, it’s a great product. It still contains the most important part – which is the innovative tangle free brush head. It’s a different color and has a very slightly different design, but for all intents and purposes, it provides the same performance as our top pick.

All in all, it’s a well-rounded vacuum cleaner, that comes with a generous warranty, and is made by a respected brand. If you’re looking for performance at a budget price point, you could do a lot worse than picking this product.

Best In Class

Best Handheld Pet Hair Vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum

Another great product from Bissell is this handheld vacuum cleaner. It’s got a dual nozzle design that makes it perfectly suited to picking up long and short pet hair with ease (as well as harder things like dry food and litter).

It’s also got a long 16 ft power cord for convenience and it boasts of some pretty hardcore filtration systems that remove allergens from the air (at the same time as being impervious to its clogging effects). It’s one of the most powerful handheld products we came across in our research (that was at a reasonable price point). If you need a handheld vacuum, this is the one to get.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Powerful for a handheld
  • Pro – Long battery life
  • Pro – Respected brand
  • Pro – Dual nozzle design
  • Con – Only suitable for cleaning smaller areas

Best Upright Dog Hair Vacuum Cleaner

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift Off Bagless Upright Vacuum

The best upright product on the market is the one we picked as our overall best pick above. If you want an upright, we highly recommend you consider it. If it’s out of budget, then consider our affordable overall pick instead.

Best Cannister Pet Hair Vacuum

Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog Canister

Miele Classic C1 Cat and Dog CanisterThis vacuum manages to pack a serious amount of suction power into a small space. As such it’s very easy to store (but will be able to remove pet hair with a single pass). It’s a 6-speed product which allows you to tailor the suction power to different surfaces. The retractable brush on the suction head has 5 different heights (including complete retraction) which make it versatile enough to be used on both hardwood and carpeted flooring.

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The product contains a durable, and efficient hypoallergenic filtration system which removes 99% of all particulate from the air and does a great job at pet odor removal too. Finally, there’s an included “mini turbo brush” that is specifically designed to be used on furniture and upholstery. This allows you to remove hair from all areas of your home, regardless of how hard they are to reach.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – 6 Speed suction
  • Pro – Retractable suction head
  • Pro – Reasonably priced
  • Pro – Hypoallergenic filtration
  • Pro – Turbo mini brush
  • Con – It’s a premium product with a premium price tag

Best Stick Vacuum Cleaner for Dog Hair

Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

The best stick pet hair vacuum cleaner we came across also happened to be a cordless product (there are not that many true corded stick vacuums on the market anymore). It provides you with portable suction power that’s incredibly easy to store. The dual speed brush is tipped with gentle, non-scratch bristles that are able to be used on hardwood and carpeted floors (without getting tangled up with hair).

It’s got a large bin and an even larger battery. On a full charge, you’ll be able to clean most average sized homes before noticing a loss of suction power. Once you’re done, simply return the vacuum to its charging stand and It’ll be ready to rock with a full charge next time you need it.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Great suction power
  • Pro – Long battery life
  • Pro – Convenient charging stand
  • Pro – Easy access to hard to reach areas
  • Pro – Large dust bin
  • Con – Not enough battery life for larger homes

Best Cordless Vacuum for Dog Hair

Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum

Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum

Because our best stick product above is also a cordless product (that we highly recommend), we’ve picked something extra special as the best cordless product. This product from Dyson is one of the most advanced vacuums on the planet, it’s also one of the most expensive on this list.

Dyson claims that this is the most powerful cordless vacuum ever created with it’s digital Dyson motor V8 (and we believe them). The amount of suction it provides is mind-boggling, especially when you consider it’s a cordless device. The powerful motor is coupled with a massive battery that can keep this beast of a machine running for 40 minutes at a time on a full charge. It’s got an advanced direct drive brush head that drives the bristles deep into the carpet to remove even the most stubbornly tangled hair with ease.

There’s no getting around the fact that this is a premium product with a premium price tag. But if you can afford it, it’s going to change your life.

Pros And Cons

  • Pro – Dyson brand
  • Pro – Long battery life
  • Pro – Amazing suction
  • Pro – Direct drive brush head
  • Pro – Easy to store
  • Con – Reasonably expensive

4 More Highly Recommended Pet Hair Vacuums

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

With a name like “Shark Rotator”, you know this is going to be a product that gets the job done. It’s an upright that provides impeccable performance while delivering superb levels of suction. It can also convert into a canister when you need to clean stairs or furniture, it has a swivel ball steering mechanism (that won’t scratch hardwood floors), and it even has LED headlights.

The Shark Rotator has an advanced brush head (called the “premium pet power brush”) that is custom designed to remove pet hair on hardwood and carpeted floors with ease. Everything that is sucked up will pass through the advanced HEPA filtration system to efficiently remove allergens and pet odor from your home

Eureka AS One Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum

This is one of the cheapest products on our list, so again it’s important to set your expectations accordingly. However, if you’re on a budget (and didn’t like the look of our affordable recommendation above), this is a product we strongly recommend you consider. It’s reasonably powerful, has a reusable washable filter, and has an extra long hose and power cord.

The most impressive thing about this product has to be the advanced “Pet Power Paw” brush head. It’s an incredibly well-designed brush (that’s clearly taken inspiration from some of the premium products on the market). So while you may be lacking some of the other bells and whistles with this budget option, you’re getting a premium quality tangle-free brush (which is the most important part).

Bissell 20431 Powerglide Lift Off Pet Plus Upright Bagless Vacuum

This Bissell product is a great middle ground between our top recommended pick and our recommended budget option. It’s a 2 in 1 vacuum that can convert from an upright to a canister at a moments notice. The simple on-off toggle switch that controls the depth of the brush ensures it can be used on hardwoods or carpets with ease.

The brush itself is made from thick bristles and its triple action design ensures nothing gets left behind (and nothing gets tangled up either). The included HEPA filtration system is infused with a Febreze pet odor eliminator filter which destroys all traces of pet smell that are in the air.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum

The final product on our list is another offering from Dyson. The Animal 2 uses Dyson’s famous ball technology that gives the vacuum maneuverability on a scale that no other product can deliver. Dyson claim (with a couple of caveats) that this vacuum has the strongest suction power of any product on the market. While we’re not sure if this is technically true, we’d be surprised if it wasn’t at least one of the strongest.

This impressive suction and maneuverability are combined with a self-adjusting cleaner head that resists tangles. The bin contains a spooling function which ensures that pet hair won’t get stuck when you’re emptying it (this means you don’t have to get your hands dirty). Combine this with the HEPA filtration system and the included stair and upholstery tools, and it’s easy to see why it’s made our list of recommendations today.

Conclusion

So there you have it, a run down of everything you could ever want to know about pet hair vacuums. We’ve included a product on this list that’s going to be suitable for every household, and we’ve tried to recommend products for all budgets.

They all represent the very best that the market has to offer in 2018, and they are all more than worthy of your consideration.

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