Best Pet Hair Vacuums

6 Best Vacuums For Pet Hair

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If you share your household with a dog or cat or some other hair-coated creature, regular vacuuming is essential for picking up all the inevitable pet hair. But not all vacuum cleaners are up to the job. That is why we have come up with a list of the six best vacuum cleaners for pet hair.

When you have pets at home, pet hair is not only constant and inevitable, but seems to stick to everything. You need a vacuum cleaner with the power to pull the hair off the surfaces it is clinging to.

But pet hair also has a habit of clinging to the innards of your vacuum cleaner, significantly reducing its performance. You also need a model that won’t become blocked when it ingests a seemingly unbelievable amount of hair.

We are going to share with you what we think are the 6 best pet hair vacuums on the market today. We have also put together a comprehensive buying guide so you know exactly what you should be looking for when selecting a vacuum to deal with pet hair.

6 Best Pet Hair Vacuums

PRODUCT
Shark APEX
  • With HEPA filter
  • Washable microfiber pads
  • Cleans the rollers as the machine runs
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Animal
  • The most powerful on the cordless market
  • Can continue to work for 60 minutes on a single charge in its regular mode
  • HEPA filtration system
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Power
  • Lightweight & Portable
  • Powerful Multi-surface Vacuum
  • Extra-large Dust Cup
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright
  • Triple action brush roll
  • Scatter free technology
  • Swivel steering makes cleaning around furniture and obstacles easy
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel
  • Perfect for Pets
  • Runs Like New 3x Longer
  • Powerful Cleaning on All Floors
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum
  • Lift-Away
  • Anti-allergen complete seal technology
  • Powerful and lightweight upright vacuum
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Quick Overview
TO MAKE THINGS EASIER for you, we’ve already tested and compared the best products available to narrow the field down to these top choices.

Best Overall: Shark APEX

  • Effectiveness on carpet: A
  • Effectiveness on bare floor: A
  • Tools and attachments: A
  • Dust repository: Bagless, A-
  • Ease of movement/ergonomics: A-
  • Style and weight: Upright, 16.0 lbs.

The complete name for this machine is the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean for Carpet and HardFloor Cleaning, Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap, & Powered Lift-Away with Hand Vacuum (AZ1002), and it ranks highest on our list as the best pet hair vacuum because it serves many different needs.

The upright system on this Shark vacuum allows you to remove the bagless canister and motor from the upright to get the full size head under furniture or you can lift off the canister alone and attach tools for stairs, furniture or other small spaces. Users particularly like the Pet Tool designed to both release tough pet hair from upholstery and other stubborn places and fit into those tight corners.

Users also mention the HEPA filter coupled with washable microfiber pads trapping dust and allergens as a big plus for households with pets. Pet hair won’t wrap around the brushes due to the unique system that cleans the rollers as the machine runs.

The system also comes with a unique hard (bare) floor attachment to make quick work of accumulated dust in wide passes, and the brush roll can be turned off to avoid chasing larger grit across the floor if you move from hard to carpeted surfaces frequently.

Perhaps best of all, Shark designed this equipment with noise reduction technology, so you won’t suffer from the high whine you might find with other models. It has tons of power, 1350 watts, which some reviewers comment might be almost too much. This much suction can make maneuvering the machine (built to be flexible) a chore for some.

Best Cordless: Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Animal

  • Effectiveness on carpet: A
  • Effectiveness on bare floor: A
  • Tools and attachments: A
  • Dust repository: Bagless, B-
  • Ease of movement/ergonomics: A
  • Style and weight: Cordless stick, 6 lbs.

If multiple floors in your home make you cringe thinking about moving a big machine, this cordless stick vacuum makes cleaning easier. This Dyson vac features super suction to tackle both pet fuzz on carpets and debris on hard floors with special attachments for particularly hairy problem areas. The proprietary turbine suction system design, the most powerful on the cordless market, is said to capture dust that other vacuums might leave behind.

If cleaning substantial areas is an issue, rest assured that this vacuum can continue to work for 60 minutes on a single charge in its regular mode. Turning on the turbo booster for dog beds or cat perches will use up the charge faster but promises to inhale even more of what your pets leave behind. Its HEPA filtration system effectively sweeps the air of allergens, pollen tracked in by your pets, and fine dander.

Users note the small size of the dust canister can be a drawback, though it can be emptied with a touch of a button. Its conversion to a handheld unit and multitude of tools makes cleaning furniture and hard to reach places simple. Professional reviewers note this is the most powerful cordless unit on the market today, well worth the price if ease of lightweight cleaning is your desire.

Best Budget Option: Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

  • Effectiveness on carpet: A
  • Effectiveness on bare floor: A-
  • Tools and attachments: A-
  • Dust repository: Bagless, A-
  • Ease of movement/ergonomics: A
  • Style and weight: Upright, 10 lbs.

Just because you have a beloved pet does not mean that you have the budget for a top of the range vacuum cleaner. Fortunately, there are budget options that are effective on pet hair, like this bagless upright from Eureka.

First and foremost, this vacuum is lightweight, weighing in at just 10 pounds, and can be used on almost any surface. It has five different height adjustments appropriate for different floors, including hard surfaces, and also a wide range of handheld attachments for cleaning furniture, upholstery, and other surfaces where your four-legged friend likes to curl up and leave their mark.

This machine won’t have any trouble picking up that hair, as it delivers 960 watts of suction power.

The vacuum also comes with an easy to empty 6-liter dust cup, which means less regular emptying and you won’t get your hands dirty in the process. The wide 12.6-inch head also means you can cover a lot of space in no time at all. The 25 foot cord also gives you plenty of space to roam.

The main drawback with this vacuum is that, while it picks up hair, it does not have a HEPA filter system to consistently eliminate all dander. This means that allergy sufferers will need to upgrade to a more sophisticated model.

Best For Hard Floors: Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright

  • Effectiveness on carpet: A
  • Effectiveness on bare floor: A
  • Tools and attachments: A
  • Dust repository: Bagless, B
  • Ease of movement/ergonomics: A-
  • Style and weight: Upright, 16 lbs.

If you are looking for a vacuum that is just as effective picking up pet hair on hard floors as it on carpets, then this Swivel Upright from Bissell should be on your list. The machine uses a triple action brush roll and “scatter-free” technology to maximize the hair picked up on any surface. It is particularly effective with those clinging hairs.

It is a relatively big machine, with a nice 13.5-inch head for rapid cleaning. But the swivel head means it is easy to maneuver, and there are plenty of attachments to get any job done. There are tools for reaching (plus a 27-inch cord) upholstery, and our favorite is a triangle attachment for getting into tight corners. The pet turbo eraser tool is second to none when it comes to leaving sofas clean and fresh.

This vacuum doesn’t come with the HEPA filter we are now accustomed to seeing on all pet vacuums. Instead, it uses a multi-level filtration system to reduce all household allergens. Another way in which this machine is friendly to pets is that some profits from the sale of this vacuum cleaner goes towards helping homeless pets, and this is something that is important to a lot of animal lovers.

Best For Handheld Use: Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel

  • Effectiveness on carpet: A
  • Effectiveness on bare floor: A
  • Tools and attachments: A
  • Dust repository: Bagless, B
  • Ease of movement/ergonomics: A
  • Style and weight: Upright, 17 lbs.

When pets shed their hair, it isn’t limited to floors. You will also find it on their favorite pieces of furniture, working its way into tight corners, and even climbing its way up curtains and blinds. As such, you need a vacuum that lets you access all these spaces, such as this Hoover MAXlife Pro Pet Swivel, which works equally as well as an upright and a handheld.

As an upright machine, it is big, but easy to handle with its swivel steering. It has a large head, which means faster cleaning, but which won’t fit into nooks and crannies. But for this, the vacuum’s wand easily releases, allowing you to get into any corner of your home, and you have help with  the 30 foot cord. It also has powerful attachments that give excellent suction on upholstery.

When you are picking up pet hair, it is not uncommon to see it clogging up your dust roll. That easy-empty bagless design doesn’t seem so important when you are picking hair out of the vacuum head. But the brush roll design on this machine means that you shouldn’t find yourself with this problem.

As well as being powerful enough to pick up all pet hair, this model features a HEPA filter that captures 99 percent of allergens and minimizes odors, leaving everyone in your home breathing easy.

While this vacuum cleaner isn’t cheap, it is still an investment product, as it has one of Hoover’s top-end engines, which promises to last three times longer than standard vacuums. So, you won’t need to invest in a new machine for quite some time.

Best For Severe Allergy Sufferers: Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum

  • Effectiveness on carpet: A
  • Effectiveness on bare floor: A-
  • Tools and attachments: B+
  • Dust repository: Bagless, B
  • Ease of movement/ergonomics: A
  • Style and weight: Upright, 12.5 lbs.

For allergy sufferers, vacuuming isn’t just about picking up pet hair, it is also about removing the dander that sticks to pet hair, and this is the source of most pet allergies. For this kind of work, you will want something like the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum, which combines a HEPA filter with an Anti-Allergy Seal. This is the most thorough way to remove these allergens from your home.

While this vacuum is powerful, delivering 1,200 watts, and effective, it is still lightweight, so it won’t do your back in while you are cleaning. You can also easily lift the canister away to extend your reach as you tackle drapes or stairs. It works pretty much just as well on hard floors as carpets with an automatic brush roll shut off to avoid damaging hard floors. It also has a nice range of tools for upholstery and dusting.

It has a generous 25-foot power cord, but not all users are happy with it, suggesting that where it enters the machine can be a bit of a trip hazard. But the majority of purchasers have posted glowing reviews saying how effectively this vacuum picks up visible hair and clears the air of sneeze, inducing dander.

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The Complete Pet Hair Vacuum Buyer’s Guide

Types Of Pet Hair Vacuums

Vacuums designed with pets in mind come in four categories. Each works best for certain pet situations, but none conquers all without fail.

Uprights

Upright models have everything within the space of the head and handle, including the motor and the dust repository. This means you’re moving the whole machine with each pass you make. On the other hand, uprights often have the strongest suction power because they can house the biggest motor in closest proximity to the brush head.

These vacuums are generally thought to be the best for major shedders, long hair, or removal of other debris like pet dander and allergens. They come in bag and bagless models. Some have lift-off mini-vacs for tight places too.

Vacuum Effectiveness on carpet Effectiveness on bare floor Tools and attachments Dust repository Ease of movement/ ergonomics Style and weight
Shark APEX A A A Bagless, A- A- Upright, 16.0 lbs.
Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner A A- A- Bagless, A- A Upright, 10 lbs.
Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel A A A Bagless, B A Upright, 17 lbs.

Canisters

Canisters can also provide a lot of suction power in a smaller, more compact overall size (see more on Uprights vs Canister vacs here). The only thing you’re moving around is the head with the hose attached, which means you won’t tire as quickly. Bags hold the results of your effort in the canister you pull behind you.

It’s important to make sure you aren’t skimping on a motorized head in the process of lightening your load. Also, a longer hose means there are plenty of places to have something get stuck inside. Today’s canister vacs are touted as great solutions for people with deeply piled or textured carpeting.

Vacuum Effectiveness on carpet Effectiveness on bare floor Tools and attachments Dust repository Ease of movement/ ergonomics Style and weight
Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright A A A Bagless, B A- Upright, 16 lbs.
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum A A- B+ Bagless, B A Upright, 12.5 lbs.

Cordless

People love cordless units for their portability, which means traditionally they’ve been great for small messes, light shedders, or quick cleanups. Since they are rechargeable, the unit itself is lighter than a floor model. Ease of use is usually rated highly for anything handheld.

Plenty of situations prove to be ideal for use of a handheld. Stairs come to mind, since the carpet on the risers and in the corners hang on to pet hair with a vise grip. The newest models have as much power as corded models, making them a good choice for regular everyday use.

Vacuum Effectiveness on carpet Effectiveness on bare floor Tools and attachments Dust repository Ease of movement/ ergonomics Style and weight
Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Animal A A A Bagless, B- A Cordless Stick, 6 lbs.

Robotic

We’ve all seen the funny commercial with the cat riding the automatic floor vac around the house, right? You’d think this type would be great for people sharing an abode with a feline. That might be its best feature when it comes to pets, cleaning up tracked cat litter, particularly on bare floors.

As a solution for general pet hair issues, though, these automatic machines don’t have the suction to keep your carpeting or rugs clear of fur fuzz with medium to heavy shedders, nor can it deal with your furniture messes. The dust bin will need to be emptied more frequently too, since hair will clog the mechanics otherwise. As of this writing, robotic units don’t meet the vacuuming needs of households with pet hair.

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What To Look For In A Vacuum To Conquer Pet Hair

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar. You notice a concentration of dog hair standing out as if mocking you in the center of your living room rug. Or the dust bunnies have grown fur in a color strikingly similar to your cat.

You pull out the biggest vacuum you own and run the head over the rug or chase the rolling spheres around the hard-surfaced bare floor. With minimal progress, you try again, and again. You look down, convinced it must be gone by now.

It’s all still there. The fur mocks you. Your shoulder hurts and you wonder if perhaps hairy furniture and floor covering will come back in style.

Strong Suction Is The Key

There are a lot of reasons why the vacuum you already own doesn’t do a good job on pet hair. First and foremost, it could be its age. Leaps in technology have even come to vacuums, making them more powerful while offering better features to leave you with cleaner rugs, pet-friendly floors and air.

The biggest change over the last few years is the amount of power in the suction. Older vacuums (P.S. remember to recycle) didn’t have the same air wattage (the amount of suction which, amazingly, isn’t something you can readily learn from manufacturers). If they came close in the past, they were so large, you’d destroy your shoulder trying to use them regularly and need an extra closet for storage.

New models come with more suction, translating into the ability to pull in more fur, dander and debris left by your pets. Moreover, they do this without adding a ton of weight and a city block of size. In fact, many of today’s vacuums clean with exponentially more suction than a bigger machine from ten years ago, and their weights are lighter too.

What Makes Pet Hair A Special Vacuuming Problem

Pet fur can seem to have magnetic superpowers affixing it to your surfaces. Therefore, the power of the suction is only part of the story. You need the right kind of brushes or beaters to attract the hair.

Long hair from a pet is no different from the human equivalent. Given the wrong kind of brush, it will become tangled, wrapped around as the brush spins. It builds up with time and soon, surgery is required to snip off enough fiber to consider weaving a coat.

Manufacturers realized this problem would best be solved by different devices brushing or beating the offending fiber, and that’s where the ‘for pets’ designation began to take shape. While there isn’t one best design, the combination of stronger suction and ability to break the pet hair free of the surface without tangling it inside the machine created the pet professional lines of vacuums we see today.

Our Selection Criteria For Pet Hair Vacuums

Only you can decide which of the machines on our list will be the best match for your cleaning situation. If you have dogs that are heavy shedders like mine or a cat with a long mane, you’ll be vacuuming frequently, so ease of use and suction will be key. If you have wall to wall carpets, you want something strong to pick up the pet hair stuck to the weave.

Following is the list of features we’re considering for the six best vacuums for pet hair. We’ve graded their effectiveness on a standard letter grade scale based on feedback by users and professional reviewers.

Effectiveness On Carpet

The more textured or plush the carpet, the stronger the suction you’ll need to clean it. Some materials also hold on to pet hair with more ferocity than others. We rate the effectiveness users and reviewers note on carpeting and rugs, along with any specific advice on making a good selection that matches your floor covering in the comments.

Effectiveness On Bare Floor

While cleaning a carpet is about loosening the debris from the weave, on bare floors it’s about not sending that dirt flying in a new direction. The style of brush, roller or beater effects how well the machine picks up from hardwood or as a tile vac. User and reviewers often mention issues with bare floors more frequently because it’s easier to see if the machine picked up the dust than on a carpet.

Tools And Attachments

If your pets get on the furniture or you have carpeted steps (or maybe you’ve toted Fido around town and now need a car vacuum) you’ll want an upholstery tool and a crevice head at a minimum. Some furniture tools are mini beater heads, while others have fewer features. The more attachments the merrier, since you’re more likely to find exactly what you want to clean up that special little mess.

Dust Repository

Bag or bagless is a personal choice. Bagged works well for those of us who don’t like to handle the results of our cleaning effort. Bagless is nice because you aren’t replacing something on what is likely to be a frequent basis, considering it’s getting filled with pet hair.

Ease Of Movement/Ergonomics

Vacuums are designed to be good at going back and forth, but that’s not the only movement you need to clean a rug or floor. If the machine is cumbersome with a design that makes navigating turns difficult, you won’t be as inclined to use it. The more likely you are to vacuum, the freer your home will be of pet hair, dander and allergens, making it cleaner overall.

Style And Weight

We’ve noted the design style of the vacuum, along with its overall weight. Moving an upright vacuum with a heavier weight is different from a lighter canister. If using the machine on different floors in your house or other maneuverability concerns are an issue, you’ll want to pay attention to this feature.

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FAQs On Pet Hair Vacuums

Want to know more? Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to making a purchase decision for a vacuum designed to inhale that pet hair.

Can The Same Vacuum Work For Carpeted And Bare Floors?

This depends on the model. Some are designed to move from carpet to hard floors and back again without any adjustment. The question is if they’re equally effective on both types of surfaces.

Many models come with settings based on the kind of surface you’re vacuuming. The kind of suction power used for carpet is more than what you’ll need for hard floors. Likewise, the head of a furniture attachment doesn’t need the same power because of its smaller brush area.

Ultimately, you’ll need to decide where you have the greatest problems with pet hair. Unless you have no carpets or rugs, you want it to be effective on those uneven surfaces where fur congregates. Don’t forget the other nasties you’ll be sucking up too.

Will The Same Vacuum Work On Pet Debris Other Than Hair?

In most cases, yes. Little leaves tracked in on your dog’s paws should disappear as long as your vacuum head isn’t pushing the item around the floor. Whatever you want to suck in needs to be under the head.

Large items of any kind, like big leaves, need to be picked up by hand because they would block the air passages inside the mechanics of the vacuum and ruin the suction.

The one concern some people find with some machines is the inability to pick up cat litter or tracked in grit and sand. In many cases, this lack of effectiveness occurs because the debris isn’t under the head, or it is propelled around the brush and sling shots out. If you need to vacuum grit, look for a head that can be adjusted in height so you can roll over the item and it has a chance of being removed.

What About Fur On The Furniture?

If you have a cat, your pet hair problem probably takes over other surfaces, like the couch (or windowsills, which always seem to be behind a nice piece of upholstery). While you won’t want to drag your big vacuum up on the seat, you still need the power of it directed to these fur depositories. This is where attachments become important.

Having a nice little tool that gets in the cracks and crevices isn’t enough, though. Some machines have handheld tube extensions to reach the difficult spaces, but their suction is nothing like what you have for regular floor use. Again, vacuums under the pet pro umbrella tend to maintain suction power whether you’re using the main head or a hand tool.

The best type of tool is often one that mimics the large head on your vacuum but in a much smaller size. Its brushes or rollers grab the hair better than suction alone. Add a pointy tool for the corners and something to use on your stairs, and you might be covered.

What Is The Best Dust Repository?

Again, personal preferences play a big role in the dust bin choice. I like bagless units I can empty into the trash rather than bags I have to remove and replace, though usually those translate into smaller dust repositories. However, if you have people with allergies under your roof, keeping things as sterile as possible in a removable bag might be a better choice.

The other factor to protect those with pet dander or hair allergies is choosing a unit with an air filter. HEPA grade filtration is designed to filter the air moving through your machine, removing minute particulates like dander and allergens. Even in households without allergy concerns, a HEPA system is nice because you won’t be reintroducing what you just cleaned back into your atmosphere in the air expelled from the vacuum.

Note that a HEPA filter will need to be replaced. Other designs have washable filters, which you should want if you aren’t considering a HEPA model. Dander and dust can build up in any filter over time, and that minimizes its effectiveness along with the power of the vacuum.

Vacuum Tools and attachments Dust repository
Shark APEX A Bagless, A-
Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Animal A Bagless, B-
Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner A- Bagless, A-
Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright A Bagless, B
Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel A Bagless, B
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum B+ Bagless, B

Is One Style Of Vacuum Better Than Others?

The short answer is no. Some people swear by uprights, while others like canisters that ride behind you, meaning you won’t be dragging it back and forth. Even the mini models intended for handheld use come in a variety of styles.

This being said, consider how easy or difficult it would be to move the vacuum over your surfaces. If you have heavily textured rugs, rolling a big machine could wear you out faster than if you only needed to vacuum hardwood or wood-look tile. Having a canister you aren’t also moving could be an advantage.

Does Vacuum Size Matter?

Major suction means a large motor, larger than what’s found in a traditional non-pet vacuum. You also want maneuverability. Some parts of the machine, like the head and tool attachments, should be small enough to work into the corners, next to walls, and around furniture.

Portability might also be important to you if you have carpeted stairs, or if you’re moving the machine between floors in your house on a regular basis. Weight is subjective, because the bulk and how the machine hangs together when lifted play starring roles in your discomfort or ease in moving the vacuum too.

Vacuum Ease of movement/ ergonomics Style and weight
Shark APEX A- Upright, 16 lbs.
Dyson Cyclone V10 Lightweight Animal A Cordless, 6 lbs.
Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner A Upright, 10 lbs.
Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright A- Upright, 16 lbs.
Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel A Upright, 17 lbs.
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum A Upright, 12.5 lbs.

Are Cordless Vacuums Less Powerful?

Cordless is usually equated with portability, but not necessarily power. Since power means suction, selecting a portable in a smaller model won’t be enough for long dog or cat hair or heavy shedding situations. Luckily, today some manufacturers are packing as much punch into their cordless units as they are their uprights.

Keep in mind that cordless vacuums run on rechargeable batteries. These have a finite period they can run before they need to be returned to their charging station. While some are equipped with long-lived power, this can be drained if you use a booster (a setting that temporarily increases the suction) or if you have more surface to cover than the time it can maintain a charge.

Our advice is if you intend to buy a portable, pay close attention to how long it is rated to run on regular use. Time your vacuuming to see if that is long enough to meet your needs. You might need two vacs – a portable for the hard to reach places or touch-ups, and a regular floor model for cleaning day.

Are Pet Hair Vacuums Worth It?

While “pet hair” vacuums is largely a marketing term, it is generally a guarantee from the manufacturer that the vacuum cleaning will have the features needed to deal with this pet hair. In general, this means powerful suction and a beater brush for carpets, as well as attachments for getting pet hair off other surfaces, such as upholstery.

The vast majority of pet hair vacuums will also have HEPA filter, or equivalent filtration system, to ensure the allergen dander, which is attached to pet hair, is not released into the air as part of the cleaning process.

Pet hair vacuums are not the only vacuum cleaners that have these features, and any vacuum with these features will be effective on pet hair. If you have other special needs as far as your vacuuming is concerned, because of your type of floors, for example, you may want to invest in a different type of specialist vacuum that also offers these pet hair eliminating features.

Is It Best To Sweep Or Vacuum Hardwood Floors For Pet Hair?

If you are dealing with pet hair, sweeping is unlikely to be the best way to clear it from your hard floors. Sweeping tends to kick things into the air, so you will find hair settling again after you have swept. Also, it can kick allergen-causing dander into the air.

A microfiber dust mop, which draws hair and other debris to it like a magnet can be a good option, but if you are dealing with pet hair, you may find you need to clean the mop head very frequently.

That is why, when it comes to pet hair on hard surfaces, vacuuming is best. You probably won’t need the same level of suction as for carpet, as pet hair does not cling to hard surfaces in the same way that it clings to carpet. But ensure you have a vacuum that does not have a beater bar, as this can easily damage your hard floor.

Most pet hair vacuums for carpets will have a beater bar, as this is essential for picking up hair on carpet. Good quality, multifunctional pet hair vacuums will enable you to disable this for hard floors.

Are Bagged Or Bagless Vacuums Better For Allergies?

Bagged or bagless should make little difference to allergy sufferers. Both types of vacuum cleaner send dirt and debris into an airtight space, just one is within a bag and the other is within a canister. So, the question of allergen release emerges when it comes to emptying.

In theory, you can minimize the amount of dust you breathe in with a bag, as you either change a disposable bag or you can effectively empty the bag into a larger disposable bag. Now, imagine pouring the contents of a canister into the bin. It is much easier to imagine a dust cloud coming out, and you inhaling it.

However, most bagless vacuum cleaners are designed to be easy to use, with the airtight compartment maintained until you are ready to empty its contents appropriately. These days, there should not be much difference for allergy sufferers between a bagged or a bagless vacuum cleaner.

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The Verdict

Pet hair represents a singular cleaning challenge, because cat and dog hair just seems to have a way of clinging to everything with an iron grip. Your old, budget vacuum cleaner may well not be up to the task.

You need a vacuum cleaner that is powerful and gives enough suction to break the hold of the hair, and one that also has features, such as a beater brush for the carpet to help lift the hair up. You also need a range of attachments, as we all know that pet hair manages to get on everything, not just the floor.

Anyone with a pet allergy will want their vacuum cleaner to also feature a HEPA filter, or something equally effective, to ensure the allergen dander, which is attached to pet hair, does not get released into the air as part of the vacuuming process and result in worsening rather than improving allergens.

All six of the vacuum cleaners on our list have what it takes to deal with pet hair in your home. There are many others on the market as well. Use our buying guide to help distinguish which machines are up for the job.

Now that you know more about pet-friendly vacuums and how to choose the best ones, tell us in the comments about your pet hair cleaning triumphs and tribulations. What has or hasn’t worked for you?

Yvonne Kohano

About Yvonne Kohano

Yvonne Kohano never met a remodeling project she didn’t like – almost. Ditto on tools to keep things looking great. She is a fiction author of romantic suspense and psychological thrillers, book/business coach for creatives, and nerdy student of human behavior and the natural world.

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