Poodle Brush: 2020 Picks for Best Dog Brush For Poodles

Poodles don’t shed very much, but they still lose some hair over time.

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You might not notice it sticking to your furniture, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t losing fur. Their thick coats catch the loose fur which leads to dense matting if you leave it unchecked.

Ahead, we’ll give you our pick for the best dog brush for a poodle, along with some tips and best practices when it comes to brushing and grooming your dog.

Different Popular Brush Types for Poodles

There are a few different kinds of brushes that are popular for poodle owners. There are a lot of different dog brushes out there, but not all of them are suitable for poodles. Bristle brushes, for instance, are best for short-hair dogs with sleek coats rather than the dense and curly coat of a poodle.

Ahead, we’ll cover the following brush options in depth:

  • Slicker brush
  • Rake brush
  • Pin brush
  • Metal comb

Slicker Brush

A slicker brush is probably the most common poodle brush and works well with most poodle coats. Most of the time, a poodle slicker brush will be the antidote to tangles and mats that often appear in a poodle’s coat.

These brushes have short, thin wires that are tightly spaced. They come on a flat surface with varying lengths of handles. This isn’t a brush you’re going to want to get right down to the skin with, though. The needles can be sharp and irritating, so it’s important to be gentle when pulling knots and mats out of your poodle’s coat.

Rake Brush

A rake brush is similar to a slicker brush in terms of application, but it digs a bit deeper to remove matting and dead fur that lies closer to your poodle’s body. This is a poodle brush type that is ideal for tackling some of the more tangled areas of your dog’s fur.

Rake brushes look a lot like a traditional razor, with two rows of pins that are spaced tightly along their lines. Like the slicker brush, rake brushes don’t need too much pressure when you’re dematting your poodle. Going too deep with this can scratch your poodle’s skin.

Since these brushes get close to the surface, they also present the opportunity to check any skin conditions your poodle may be suffering from.

Pin Brush

Pin brushes look almost identical to the human brushes you probably have in your bathroom drawer. This is a standard brush for a poodle and is one of the better choices for routine or daily brushing. A pin brush is probably the most comfortable brush for a poodle since it’s gentle on the skin while removing dead hair.

Pin brushes are circular or oval-shaped brushes with evenly-spaced pins. They are most effective on sensitive areas like the head where knots can often hide. You will want to be gentle with a pin brush as well, but it doesn’t carry the scratching risks that rake, and slicker brushes do.

Metal Comb

Poodles are one of the few breeds that can benefit from metal combs throughout the brushing process. These combs look a bit like human combs, but the teeth are more spaced-out than the ones we use. These also come in pick forms to give your poodle the “poofy” look.

Metal combs are best for detecting mats rather than getting rid of them. The comb will be able to hit snags and detect problem areas, but you need to get rid of the mats with a rake, slicker, or pin brush.

Understanding Your Poodle’s Coat

Poodles have the trademark tight, wavy coats. There isn’t too much variation in poodle coats, apart from whether or not their curls trend towards the wavy or curly end of the spectrum. In this section, we’ll go over some common trends and questions about poodle coats to help you understand them better.

A Poodle Puppy

Your poodle puppy will have a different kind of coat that it will when it grows into adulthood. These coats start off a bit wavier than the trademark tight curls of an adult poodle. Puppies still need a good brushing from time to time, but the matting won’t get too bad until they’re about a year old.

Is Your Poodle Shedding?

Those who haven’t done too much research into poodle coats might think that their poodle isn’t shedding at all. The tight curls of an adult poodle trap the dead fur as it comes out, and you need to remove this through brushing, washing, and clipping.

A poodle requires regular clipping to keep their coats tight and short. Unlike a lot of other dogs, the hair will keep growing until you trim it down. You can either clip your dog at home or take them to a professional groomer for this.

There is a style of poodle coat that has owners neglecting brushes and clipping appointments in favor of a “natural” poodle look. The hair will eventually group together in tight mats. The style is relatively rare, though, and very difficult to maintain. It can also be uncomfortable for your dog in the summer months.

Clipping Styles

There are a ton of different clipping styles for a poodle. This dog is one of the breeds that offers the most versatility in their appearance.

Unlike a lot of other dogs, clipping poodles often involves shaving and shaping their curls. This will often require some experience to pull off at home, so a lot of poodle owners take their dog to a groomer when it comes time for a clipping.

It’s important to keep your poodle clipped, brushed, and washed so that they’re cool and comfortable. You can let the hair grow a bit longer in the winter, but need to be sure that you’re staying on top of the brushing routine to remove any mats. Take a look at our guide on poodle clippers for more information about what to look for in these products.

Overall Best Brush for a Poodle – Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush

Key Features:

  • Self cleaning
  • Comfortable grip
  • Durable
  • Strong pins

The Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is our pick for the best brush for a poodle. It penetrates deeply into the dog’s fur to remove any mats and tangles before they get too out of control. It’s ideal for the thick poodle coat but can scratch dogs that don’t need such deep penetration, so keep this in mind if you have multiple dogs.

Apart from that, though, we loved this brush. The grip is easy to hold and comfortable, and it’s fantastic at removing mats from a poodle without causing them too much discomfort.

The best feature of all might be the self-cleaning mechanic. When you’re done, all you have to do is press a button to retract the pins, brush the dead hair into the trash and you’re good to go. A lot of other slicker brushes will have you digging hair out of the tight pins for longer than you spent brushing your dog. The Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush doesn’t have that problem.


  • Easy to clean
  • Gets rid of matting at the source
  • Comfortable for both you and your dog


  • Retractable pins can get clogged
  • Scratches dogs with thin or short fur

Best Poodle Matted Hair Brush – Pat Your Pet Two-Sided Undercoat Rake

Some people might not think that poodles need undercoat rakes because they don’t have an undercoat. These brushes dig deep into the fur to remove mats and dead hair that is trapped underneath. Poodles might not have undercoats, but they do have dense layers of fur under which hair can become trapped.

The Pat Your Pet Two-Sided Undercoat Rake is our pick for the best poodle matting brush. The blades can dig deep and remove dead fur and mats but are gentle enough to not irritate your poodle’s skin. Its rounded tooth design keeps your pet safe and comfortable during grooming.


  • Strong, durable design
  • Doesn’t irritate skin
  • 9 tooth side and 17 tooth side for varying degrees of matting


  • Better at removing mats than topical dead fur
  • Wider than other rakes

3 More Top Rated Brushes for Poodles

Four Paws Magic Coat Dual-Sided Combo Brush for Dogs

While bristle brushes aren’t ideal for poodles, we wanted to include this brush for owners who might have a poodle and another breed of dog. The Four Paws Magic Coat Dual-Sided Combo Brush for Dogs is a strong contender for the best dog brush for a poodle if you’re looking for a quality pin brush.

We really liked this brush because of the dual-sided, multi-action design. The pin brush side reduces knots and tangles while the nylon bristle side stimulates your pet’s natural oils. Although it won’t dig as deep as a rake will, it’s always a good idea to have a comfortable pin brush handy for your poodle.


  • Great for owners of multiple dogs
  • Multi-action, dual sided
  • Comfortable to hold


  • Bristles don’t work well on poodle coats
  • Bristles fall out over time

Safari De-Matting Dog Comb

As we’ve covered, metal combs are excellent tools for grooming your poodle. They can detect mats and add some fluff to the coat. The only problem with using a comb on your poodle is that they tug at mats too hard. You need another tool to get rid of them, but this bundle includes a rake as well.

This is one of the more versatile poodle grooming bundles we’ve seen. The teeth on the comb can be a bit long, but that shouldn’t be a problem for tackling the think hair of your poodle. The teeth are a bit flimsy and begin to bend when they encounter mats, but that can be a good thing. It ensures you’re not tugging at your poodle’s hair.


  • Includes both a rake and a comb
  • Durable and easy to clean
  • Easy to use


  • Teeth might be a bit too long
  • Teeth of comb bend easily

Hartz Groomer’s Best Slicker Brush for Dogs and Cats

The Hartz Groomer’s Best Slicker Brush for Dogs and Cats is another top pick for the best brush for a poodle. It’s designed to gently de-shed and remove matting while also extracting dead hair.

This brush is best for getting rid of the dead hair and mats on the surface of the coat. It is gentle enough for everyday use and its ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold and easy to use.


  • Extra fine bristles grab and remove loose hair from the undercoat to de-shed your pal.
  • Helps remove tangles and matted hair to keep your pal’s skin and coat healthy and manageable.
  • Soft pins to prevent scratching


  • Pins are a bit on the shorter side so another brush might be needed to reach the undercoat

Tips on Brushing your Poodle’s Coat

We know brushing isn’t always the smoothest process. Some pets are fussy, and some owners could stand to improve their technique to make the process faster and easier.

Getting Out the Mats

It’s important to be careful when getting the mats out of your poodle’s coat. When you find them, you should grasp the base of their hair before pulling out any mats with your brush. This will make sure you’re not tugging at the skin underneath and causing discomfort.

Getting Rid of Mats Before They Begin

Poodles are one of the breeds that are most likely to get matted fur. Their fur remains tight, and anything they shed stays within the curls. To new owners, it might seem as though their poodle isn’t shedding at all. In reality, though, the dead hair is piling up in their coat.

Dead hair will lead to matted hair if you let it linger too long. It can often be difficult to get the hair untangled if you let it grow too long. Your best option is to get rid of dead hair and matted areas before they get too problematic.

A slicker brush is your best option, here. It will be able to tackle small areas of matted hair but can’t detangle some of the bigger issues. Use a slicker brush on your poodle at least once or twice a week to prevent their hair from getting too many mats.

Waiting too long to get the mats out of your poodle’s hair could mean a costly trip to a professional dog groomer.

Detect Matted Hair With a Comb

Another helpful tip when brushing your poodle is to use a comb to identify where some of the mats are located on their fur. All you have to do is gently comb your poodle’s hair until it hits a snag. When you find one, you can use a rake or brush to get rid of it.

This can be a great way to identify problem areas on your poodle so you know where the matted hair might tend to linger. Doing this doesn’t require too much brushing, so it’s often a good idea if your poodle is sensitive to some of the brush types.


How often should you brush a Poodle?

There’s no set limit to the number of times you can brush your poodle. Some poodle owners brush their dogs every day. That’s not necessary in most cases, though. Brushing them once or twice per week should be enough to clean out dead hair and fluff them up. Too much clogged hair can mat a poodle’s fur.

How to prevent Poodles hair from Matting

The best way to get rid of matted hair on your poodle is to prevent it from developing in the first place. Try to eliminate mats at the source by using a slicker brush on your poodle once or twice per week. This will take care of the tangles and matting before it gets out of control. If the matting is too heavy for a slicker brush to handle, use a pin brush or rake instead.

Do poodles have an undercoat?

Poodles have double coats, but not undercoats. This is unlike a lot of other breeds with similar coat structure, but it means that poodles won’t be shedding as much as dogs with undercoats. Poodles require clipping to keep them cool and stylish. They’re one of the breeds with the largest number of hairstyles. Despite the lack of an undercoat, poodles do shed and can lose their hair in their curls instead of leaving it around your house.

How to prevent a poodle from shedding so much?

Poodles don’t shed as frequently as a lot of other breeds, but they still shed dead hair over time. The best way to keep their shedding to a minimum is to brush them and keep them well-fed and hydrated. If your poodle is shedding an unusual amount of fur, we recommend taking them to the vet for evaluation.


Poodles need regular brushing and grooming to keep their coats healthy and comfortable. Hopefully, our picks gave you somewhere to start and some advice on how to keep your poodle’s coat mat-free.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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