The Best Vacuums for Pet Hair in 2023, Tested by HGTV Editors
We love our pets. But cleaning up pet hair? Not so much. Browse our top list of vacuum cleaners, from handhelds to uprights, that will de-shed your home with ease.
Our Top Pet Hair Vacuum Picks
- Best Overall: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Vacuum
- Best Budget: Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Vacuum
- Best Upgrade: Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum
- Best Upright: Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Upright Vacuum
- Best Handheld: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
- Best Robot: Roborock S4 Max Robot Vacuum
- Best for Pet Stains: Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner
- Best for the Car: Shark WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum
Living with pets comes with a lot of positive benefits, like increased happiness and lower stress levels. But those sweet, four-legged roommates can also create a big mess. Every piece of upholstered furniture is suddenly a pet-hair magnet, and tumbleweeds can magically appear overnight. This is where a good pet vacuum cleaner comes into play. Not every vacuum is created equal, though — but you probably know that by now if you have pets. There are several important factors to consider when choosing the right one to efficiently de-shed your home. Carpet and area rugs will benefit from great suction and a rotating brush to pull hair out of the carpet fibers. Hardwood and tile require a vacuum specifically for floors and one that won’t just blow the hair around, creating a bigger mess. And if you have stairs, you should consider the weight of the machine.
How to Choose the Best Pet Hair Vacuum
Decide the type of vacuum you want, based on your home’s needs. From upright vacuums to robot vacuums to stick vacuums, there’s something for everyone — and every home. We found upright vacuums to be the best overall option for pet hair on a variety of surfaces, with handheld models as a solid supplemental cleaning device. Nowadays, vacuum cleaners can boast a variety of features that may or may not be useful for you and your home. There are a few features, though, that should be considered specifically for your pet hair problem.
Suction Power: The most important feature to look for is suction power. A vacuum with 12 amps is your best bet, but as long as special pet hair attachments are included, you’ll be able to tackle those hairy situations with ease
Dustbin or Bag: While bagless models are more convenient than their bagged counterparts, emptying a dust cup may irritate those who suffer from pet allergies. This is just personal preference, as either option will get the job done.
HEPA Filters: HEPA air filters are designed to remove at least 99.97 percent of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and other particulates 0.3 microns or larger. Pet hair or fur can collect pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens, so it’s important to remember what your pet’s hair is bringing into the house. This is an especially important feature if anyone in your household suffers from allergies.
Rotating Brush: As we mentioned above, a brush agitator is essential for homes with carpet or heavy-shedding pets. This can come on the vacuum itself or as an accompanying attachment.
Accessories and Attachments: Most, if not all, vacuum cleaners will come with some standard attachments like a crevice tool and an upholstery tool. Vacuums specifically for pet hair may even include specialized pet tools so you can conquer the sofa, ceilings, corners and more to pick up hair you can't even see.
When researching and testing, we've considered all of these factors, as well as customer reviews, and we've found options for every budget and need.
Engineered for homes with pets the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal is a great option for pet owners at a reasonable price. While it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of the newer models like laser lights and LCD screens, it handles pet (and human) hair extremely well and meets the basic requirements like decent battery life, powerful suction and cleaner heads that detangle hair to make it a great value for pet owners.
With a max output of 150 AW, this vacuum works well on both carpeted and hard floors. Our tester found that this vacuum even worked better than her older Dyson upright vacuum. This vacuum comes with five attachments: a Motorbar cleaner head, hair screw tool, crevice tool, combination tool and a mini soft dusting brush. Our tester especially liked the hair screw tool because it worked incredibly well removing stuck-in hair and debris on upholstered furniture.
It features three suction modes: suction mode 1, suction mode 2 and boost mode. Unlike the Detect models, this vacuum can’t automatically adjust suction when changing surfaces or in areas with more dust, so it’s up to the user to manually switch to boost mode when needed. While this model is rated for an up to 60-minute runtime, the battery usage isn’t quite as efficient and didn’t last quite as long in testing without the auto mode option. With the battery lasting about 30 minutes on the middle suction power mode, this vacuum would be great for spot cleaning and daily maintenance as a supplemental vacuum in a home that already has an upright one. For larger homes with a lot of carpet and pet hair, both of which might require boost mode (and more battery juice) frequently, opting for a V15 Detect or V15 Detect Absolute would be a better choice for a primary vacuum for whole-house cleaning sessions.
One con but not a dealbreaker is that this vacuum doesn’t feature a continuous vacuum mode, but this accessory clamp would also work on this model if you want to hack a trigger lock feature.
Our Editor Says: "I was impressed by the suction power and hair removal capabilities for a vacuum of its size and weight."
Offering powerful pet hair pickup with an affordable price tag, the Bissell Cleanview Pet Upright Vacuum conquers pet messes on hardwood, carpet, vinyl and tile with ease. The triple-action brush roll lifts, loosens and removes embedded pet hair, and its soft bristles work gently on hard surfaces to remove fine dust and debris while also keeping it contained with scatter-free technology. Swivel steering gets around and under furniture and other obstacles without a problem, while edge-to-edge cleaning capabilities pick up pet hair from one edge of the brush roll to the other. (This means you’ll spend less time cleaning.) Clean hard-to-reach areas with a 6-foot stretch hose and specialty tools including a corner tool and a TurboEraser tool. The multi-cyclonic suction system offers top-notch suction needed to grab pet hair, while a multi-level filtration system (with a washable filter!) helps trap dust and debris. Done cleaning? A bottom, easy-empty dustbin is quick and delightfully mess-free. And at just 13.5 pounds, it’s easy to carry up and down stairs or from room to room without breaking a sweat.
Our Editor Says: "This vacuum has great suction. It ranks right up there with more expensive vacuums I've tried."
From small to large homes with pets, kids, carpet, hard floors and everything in between, Dyson's V15 Detect model is a solid cordless vacuum that will satisfy the needs of most households. Plus, the suction power, battery life and bin size are sufficient for this model to serve as your primary vacuum for quick pickups and whole-house cleans. With suction power up to 230 AW, the V15 Detect is the second most powerful cordless vacuum Dyson offers. Our tester concluded this is the best vacuum she's ever used. She said, "In the past, I’ve needed an upright vacuum with my stick vacuum at times to get a truly deep clean, and that isn’t the case with this one."
The V15 Detect comes with seven attachments: Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, hair screw tool, digital motorbar, crevice tool, combination tool, mini soft dusting brush and stubborn dirt brush. It also comes with a charger, docking station and wand clip for attaching to the stick canister that can hold more tools for storage. The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head is one that sets this model apart from older Dyson models — this cleaner features a green laser that allows you to see microscopic dust on hard floors you might have otherwise missed. All of the cleaner heads work extremely well on human and pet hair on both carpeted and hard floors, meaning hairs don't get wrapped around the roller brushes. This vacuum features eco, auto and boost modes that allow for efficient battery use, especially in auto mode when the vacuum can increase power automatically when it detects heavier dust and debris. While the vacuum performed well on all surfaces, our tester did notice that the auto and boost modes were too powerful on her Ruggable rugs, but switching to eco mode worked well on those thinner rugs. In testing, we found that the battery life lasted for 79 minutes on eco, 40 minutes on auto and 15 on continuous boost mode. At .2 gallons, the dust bin does need emptying frequently, but since the point-and-shoot emptying process is so easy and mess-free, it only takes a couple of seconds and doesn't require touching any of the dust.
Our tester did note a few downsides but not deal-breakers when using this vacuum. This vacuum does not have a trigger lock or on/off button for continuous vacuuming, so you have to hold down the trigger manually for the entire cleaning session. At 6.8 lbs, this vacuum is on the heavier side, which our tester found a bit more cumbersome to maneuver than the Dyson V8 she previously used. The V15 Detect is still much lighter than an upright vacuum, though, so it should be comfortable to use for most people. While this vacuum comes with seven attachment tools that all work really well, the docking station and wand clip can only accommodate four storage spots other than the one on the vacuum, so you'll need a box or somewhere to store extra attachments.
Our Editor Says: "I was most impressed by the suction power and hair removal capabilities. This vacuum is no-nonsense and ensures a deep clean."
If you’re looking for a top-notch upright vacuum that specializes in sucking up pet hair, the Dyson Ball Animal 3 is a solid pick. With a max output of 290 AW, this vacuum goes from carpet to hardwood and tile with ease, with cleaning modes for every floor type. Our tester claims it has the strongest suction of any vacuum she’s tried, including both stick and upright models. In fact, the suction is so strong that it can take some effort to move across heavier-pile carpets. This vacuum comes with four attachments: a tangle-free turbine tool, stair tool, combination tool and pet groom tool. The turbine tool is great for deep-cleaning upholstery or car interiors, which our tester used on a dirty area rug and noticed that it made a huge difference. The coolest attachment for pet owners is the pet groom tool. Perfect for pets with medium or long hair, the tool removes loose hairs, dead skin and allergens directly from your pet. (This is probably best used on more calm, mellow pets.)The primary Motorcar cleaner head picks up long hair and pet hair fast with a detangling mechanism that our tester especially loved. Unlike some of the other Dysons on our list, especially cordless models, this vacuum features an on/off button for continuous vacuuming — a huge plus. The 1.7-liter bin size is another perk. It would take many full-house cleaning sessions to fill up. And our tester noted the ease of emptying; it empties by push-button so it’s easy to put the whole canister deep into the trash bin and release it without ever touching the dirt or having it escape back into your home.
Our tester’s main — and only — con is the weight and maneuverability of the vacuum. Because it’s heavy (17.3 pounds) with powerful suction, it can be difficult to push across carpets and rugs — and its weight means using it on stairs is prohibitively difficult. However, it comes with an attached wand-style tool with an extra-long, 15-foot hose which means you can leave the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs and work your way up with only the tool. While it’s heavy, our tester states that it’s so great at deep-cleaning that that effort can be worth it for big cleaning sessions.
Our Editor Says: "The Dyson Ball Animal 3 seems more suited to deep-cleaning sessions because it’s larger and heavier than the less-expensive stick vacuums we grab for quick messes. But it's significantly more powerful and does a better job with big messes: one kiddo spilled glitter and tiny beads on their carpet and the stick vacuums left sparkles behind, even after several passes; the Dyson Ball Animal 3 got it all."
If you already have a larger upright vacuum that takes care of your more extensive vacuuming jobs, but you want something for quick pickups, cars, furniture and raised surfaces, this cordless handheld might be exactly what you need. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium-Ion Vacuum has an easy-to-empty .14-gallon dustbin, a triple-level filtration system and a 17-minute battery life. Three specialized pet tools offer optimal cleaning for various surfaces: the motorized brush tool removes embedded dirt and pet hair, the upholstery tool cleans soft surfaces and furniture, and the crevice tool cleans hard-to-reach places. It also weighs just 3.5 pounds and is convenient to keep near a pet station where small, everyday messes are likely. (One editor keeps it feet from her cats’ litter boxes to pick up that infuriating litter scatter.) While this handheld is definitely smaller than most vacuums and still fairly easy to store, one con is the charging base is not wall mountable.
Our Editor Says: "It's so nice to quickly unplug and grab this handheld vac to clean something up in seconds without the process of unraveling a cord, plugging it up, lugging it around. It's the best for quick messes."
The Roborock S4's powerful suction on rugs and carpet, multi-level floor plan cleaning capability and unparalleled performance of pet hair removal make this vacuum our best robotic vacuum pick for pet hair. It offers a zone-cleaning feature that allows you to send the vacuum to one specific room or area that needs attention and then return it to the base when finished — no need for a full vacuuming session. A user-friendly app allows for floor plan customizations like setting up no-go zones, invisible walls and cleaning schedules. The vacuum even auto-adjusts its suction power to accommodate the surface it’s cleaning. Our tester noted that she distinctly heard a difference in the robot's sound as it transitioned from hardwood to rugs. As for pet hair, the Roborock snagged pet hair buried in carpets, tumbleweeds floating on hardwoods and stray bits of food next to the dog bowl. Overall, our cat- and dog-owning tester gave this two thumbs up and swears by it for a low-maintenance approach to keeping a clean home with pets.
Our Editor Says: "I thought we had the house professionally cleaned after the first time running it. Since we've started running it regularly, I can really see a difference in how clean my house is, specifically from a pet hair standpoint. I honestly wish we had this sooner."
Whether it's tracked-in mud or accidents, the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro handles tough pet messes thanks to its Pet Pro Cleanup System. The system includes an onboard pretreater to remove spots and stains, a 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool to remove pet hair, stains and odors from furniture and a removable brush roll cover for quick access to clean and maintain the cleaner. Need a professional-grade cleaning? Max Clean Mode uses 12 rows of rotating dual, dirt-lifter power brushes to remove deep, embedded stains, dirt and odors. If you’re looking for a quick yet powerful clean, Express Clean Mode delivers dry carpets in 30 minutes or less. The lightweight design (less than 18 pounds) and low-profile foot makes it easy to maneuver around and under furniture.
Our Editor Says: "I used it to remove muddy pawprints and senior dog slip-ups in a rug that I'd previously treated multiple times with spray cleaners and paper towels. This deep-cleaning machine handily removed the telltale shadows of my failed previous cleaning attempts and left my rug looking like new."
At just 1.4 pounds, the Shark WANDVAC combines lightweight portability with the suction power of a high-speed brushless motor. It features a tapered nozzle for easy debris and dust pickup and comes with two accessories — a duster crevice tool and a multi-surface pet tool — for tackling pet hair, upholstery and tight spaces. Without its attachments, we found it works best on hard surfaces (like hardwood floors) and low-pile rugs or upholstery. You’ll want to use the attachments for higher-pile rugs and softer fabrics to really pull up the pet hair and dirt locked in the fibers. Our favorite feature is the one-touch debris-emptying system that makes cleanup a breeze. It runs for almost 10 minutes on a full charge and takes less than three hours to juice back up, which is a much faster charging time than most cordless models. Although it’s small and takes up little space, it doesn’t conveniently mount to the wall. Luckily, the device itself is sleek and attractive enough to leave out in the open if you need to. Plus, we love that the charging dock offers onboard accessory storage — no stray or misplaced attachments!
Our Editor Says: "The one-touch debris emptying system is really nice. It kind of balls up all the hair and dirt inside the canister and just pops it out. It's also very easy to empty and clean the tiny, little filter."
How We Tested
Our team of editors tested a variety of top-rated vacuum cleaners in homes with one or more pets who regularly shed. We determined our top picks based on several factors including ease of use, maneuverability, weight, how it works on various surfaces (including upholstery, hard floors and carpet), how it handles dirt, pet hair, litter, food debris and more, plus the usefulness of the specified features and included attachments. We compared with other models we've tested and tried with similar specs and features to make our final decisions.