Best Pet Vacuum

If you’re looking for the best pet vacuums for cleaning up pet fur, dog hair, and cat hair, or for getting pet hair out of carpeting, upholstery and curtains, check out our list of the seven top vacuum cleaner picks you can buy today.

We’ve done the research and compiled specs, test results and first hand pet owner experiences to bring you the top performing vacuums for pet hair with carpets, hardwood floors and the best handheld vacuums for pet hair. Our top pick, the Shark Rotator Powered TruePet upright is a bagless vacuum that works for pet hair in carpet and on hardwood floors, too.

Top 7 Best Pet Vacuums Compared

 #1  Shark TruePet Upright  Pet Vacuum

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: A full sized vacuum that packs a class-leading 1.5-qt dust cup and a built-in true HEPA filter to seal in dust and allergens.. It’s great for households that need a powerful upright vacuum that can withstand the rigors of pet clean up on carpet and hardwood floors alike.

Pros
  • HEPA filter
  • 6-foot hose attachment
  • Swiveling dynamic steering
Cons
  • Not as mobile as handhelds like the Bissel Pet Hair (our #2 pick)
  • Filter requires periodic replacement to avoid loosing suction
  • Can be harder to push around than some other handhelds

This upright vacuum for pet hair has both a floor-going brush head and canister mode options available, making it one of the most versatile all-in-one corded vacuums for pet hair on the market. Its six foot hose is long enough to get pet hair out of corners, couch upholstery, and curtains, and its fully sealed HEPA filter system is a boon for allergy sufferers.

With this sealed filter, it claims to sequester 99.9 percent of dust and allergens, and unlike unsealed vacuums, doesn’t let any fine dust escape from the vents. A bagless design, the dust canister is built in and easy to empty. It holds 1.5 quarts, so many won’t need to change it more than once a month. Dynamic swivel steer makes this upright pet vacuum easy to maneuver on carpet, though with its lifting and rotating brushes it does have more friction than you may be used to when used as for hardwood floors. You can also look at the best robot vacuum.

 #2  Bissel Handheld Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A handheld vacuum with specialized nozzles for grabbing up pet hair from carpets, and upholstery. It’s great for those looking for a pet hair vacuum for stairs, couches and cars.

Pros
  • Specialized pet hair grabber
  • Multi-level filtration
  • Lightest vacuum for pet hair on our list
Cons
  • So specialized for hair that it’s less effective for loose dirt
  • 16’ cord limits portability
  • Replacement filters somewhat costly

This handheld pet hair vacuum is a super lightweight–under 4 lbs– solution designed for getting pet hair up from couches, seat cushions, curtains, carpets and stairs. Assuming you can park within easy reach of a 120V household outlet, this can work as a pet vacuum for car upholstery, too. Thanks to its rubber pet hair scraper nozzle, it gets the hairs other vacuums can’t. Even pet hair that’s firmly stuck to velour or cloth car seats comes up easily with this Bissel handheld.

Those looking for an all-purpose handheld vacuum may find the Bissel Pet Hair Eraser a little too specialized, on the other hand. While its rubber pet hair scraper nozzle is removable, the exhaust fans on either side of the unit can sometimes blow away looser dirt. Compare it to the best Dyson vacuum.

 #3  Bissel Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Vacuum

Award: Best Hardwood Floors

WHY WE LIKE IT: Triple action brush roll and a maneuverable tilting and swivel head make this one of the best upright pet hair vacuums on the market, as well as being a relative bargain compared to the Shark TruePet (our top pick.)

Pros
  • Edge to edge cleaning
  • Maneuverable swivel head
  • Fine brush for pet hair on hardwood floors
Cons
  • Slightly smaller 1.0-liter dust cup
  • 27’ cord slightly shorter than that of the Shark TruePet at 30’
  • Periodic cleaning of filter needed

While it may lack the sealed HEPA design of the Shark TruePet upright (our top pick) this Bissel upright vacuum for pet hair performs as well as the more expensive TruePet when it comes to getting up pet hair from carpets. The maneuverable Swivel Pet especially excels at getting around furniture and under couches. It weighs under 20 lbs and features a tilting and swiveling head with edge-to-edge cleaning capability.

The brushes and rollers of this vacuum are specialized to pick up hair, which standard vacuums often miss. It uses a multi cyclonic suction system that promises less than 5-percent loss of suction when the dust filter is loaded. The filter itself is washable, and in addition to keeping it clean, owners are advised to periodically clean out the housing to prevent the belt from getting jammed. That’s a good tip for any vacuum cleaner.

 #4  Bissel Cordless Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum

Award: Best Handheld

WHY WE LIKE IT: The most portable pet hair vacuum on our list, with a 14V lithium ion rechargeable battery offering over 15 minutes of run time per charge. It’s great for those looking for a pet hair vacuum for the car or furniture.

Pros
  • Cordless
  • Cordless pet hair vacuum
  • Triple-layer filter
Cons
  • Limited run time compared to the plug-in Bissel handheld (our #2 pick)
  • .7-liter dust bin may have to be emptied often
  • Not as effective as the Swivel Pet (our #3 pick) on carpet

This Li-Ion battery-powered pet hair vacuum provides cleaning performance similar to the Bissel handheld pet hair eraser, albeit with a slightly smaller .7-liter dust bin, but it gives you much more freedom of mobility thanks to its lack of a cord. This cordless handheld pet hair vacuum is great for getting pet hair out of car upholstery and from hard-to-reach crevasses, carpeted stairs and drapery. It comes with interchangeable specialized pet hair tools matched for different surfaces. Included is a narrow plastic crevice tool, a motorized brush tool that actively picks up the hairs, and an upholstery tool that works well on fine fabric surfaces.

Run time is, naturally, limited compared to the plug-in version. The Li-Ion battery gives you about 17 minutes on a full charge, but takes about two to three hours to charge on a 120V home outlet. You can also compare it to the best robot vacuum and mop.

 #5  Dirt Devil Razor Pet Vacuum

Award: Lightest Weight

WHY WE LIKE IT: The lightest upright vacuum on our list of pet vacuums, the 12-lb Dirt Devil Razor pet boasts a 10’ reach with its flexible extension tube and Turboclaw pet tool. It’s especially great for pet household with multiple floors.

Pros
  • Best suction
  • Multiple surface rollers
  • Triple filter promises no loss of suction
Cons
  • No true HEPA filter
  • Not sealed as with the Shark Rotator (our top pick)
  • More top heavy and harder to maneuver than the Bissel Clearview (our #3 pick)

A lightweight, sub 13-pound upright vacuum with a 25-foot cord and a standard 10-foot extension tube to reach difficult and out-of the way crevasses, the Dirt Devil Razor Pet is a solid alternative to upright pet vacuums from Bissel and Shark. It lacks the Shark TruePet’s sealed HEPA filter, but is also less expensive.

Compared to the Bissel upright, the Dirt Devil performs similarly, with a few trade offs. The RazorPets’ power cord is shorter, but the reach of its extension tube is longer. The RazorPet has a dedicated “Turboclaw” pet hair roller attachment, but lacks the option to adjust the floor rollers for different surfaces. In addition, the floor suction head isn’t as specialized for pet hair pickup, though it does have a triple filtration system that, as with the Bissel, promises no loss of suction. The best air purifier for pets will also help keep your home clean.

 #6  MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum

Award: Best Cordless

WHY WE LIKE IT: Cyclone suction and a true HEPA filter distinguish this versatile cordless upright handheld vacuum.. It’s great for those with pet hair in the car or in the house.

Pros
  • HEPA filter
  • 30-45 min battery life
  • 4-in1 floor and surface vacuum
Cons
  • Smaller dust cup than the Bissel Cordless (our #4 pick)
  • Floor brush not as maneuverable as with the Bissel upright
  • Not as comfortable as a floor vacuum compared to the uprights on our list

The appeal of the MOOSOO Cordless 4-in-1 pet vacuum is its versatility. This cordless vacuum is lightweight, coming in at just under 3.5 pounds, yet has powerful 10Kpa suction– more than the Bissel Handheld (our #4 pick) along with a HEPA filter and pet hair-specific attachments. The floor cleaning brush is motorized and mounted at the end of an approximately 40” tube, and works as a pet hair vacuum for hardwood floors, tile and carpeting alike, although some, especially taller people, may find it uncomfortable to use as a floor vacuum due to the limited reach.

Being cordless, the MOOSOO pet vacuum is convenient to use as a car and home pet vacuum, and you can take it easily from room to room and get dirt and pet hair off of carpet, flooring, upholstery and drapes. The HEPA filter traps 99.9 % of dust, providing real benefit to allergy sufferers, though the filter must be changed every 3 months or so. A trait that the best vacuum cleaner for carpets should all have.

 #7  Eureka NEU202 Vacuum

Award: Largest Capacity

WHY WE LIKE IT: This upright pet vacuum is well suited to larger cleaning tasks, since it has a class-leading 3.8-liter dust cup capacity, as well as a broad 12.6-inch sweeping path and an 8’ reach. It’s great for those looking to cover more area without stopping.

Pros
  • Built-in lights
  • Roller height adjustment for different floor and carpet types
  • Pet turbo brush with 8’ reach
Cons
  • Shorter cord than with the Shark TruePet
  • Less suction power (8 Amp vs 10 Amp) than the Bissel upright
  • Less suction power at hose than the MOOSOO (our #6 pick)

The NEU202 from Eureka is not a dedicated pet-hair vacuum, but as an all purpose household vacuum it does a good job with pet hair thanks to its adjustable rollers and included Pet turbo brush with an 8’ reach. Among the lightest upright vacuums on the market, it’s lighter than the Bissel upright, and weighs about the same–12 lbs–as the Dirt Devil Razor Pet.

The Eureka is great for different carpet lengths, since you can adjust the height of the rollers. It also has different surface attachments specialized for fabric upholstery, a pet turbo brush and a crevice tool. It doesn’t have as much suction power as the 10-amp Bissel upright or the MOOSOO cordless, but the suction at its floor rollers is more than adequate for most forms of carpeting and hard flooring.

How we decided

In choosing the best pet hair vacuums for hardwood floors, household furniture, carpets and upholstery, we selected a mix of cordless and plug-in, handheld and upright pet vacuums. For the upright models, in looking for those that worked best on pet hair, we narrowed it down to only those with a dedicated, powered pet-hair collecting brush or roller. To really make sure we found the best vacuums for pet hair, we looked at models that included a cyclonic filter bypass, so as not to become clogged instantly, and at least 8 Amps of suction power.

For cordless models, we included only those battery-powered pet vacuums offering at least 15 minutes of run time and weighing less than five pounds. As a bonus, to find the best pet vacuums for allergy sufferers, we selected upright and cordless models equipped with HEPA filters. Speaking of cleaning up after pets, the best mop and best all purpose cleaner also helps.

To check out pricing and specs, have a look at vacuum cleaners on Amazon.com.

Pet Hair Vacuum Buying Guide

The Most Important Features

  1. Pet Hair Roller Attachment
    The pet hair pickup tool is what distinguishes the pet vacuum from the everyday ordinary vacuum. Most vacuum cleaners have trouble with pet hair, even if they have really strong suction for other things. You may have experienced this while trying to get pet hair up from car seat upholstery using a gas station’s vacuum.
  2. Filter Type
    A good three-stage or HEPA filter is a must for a pet hair vacuum. This not only helps trap the hair and dander inside the vacuum but prevents hairs from getting caught between the belt or motor mechanism and the nozzle, causing the vacuum to lose suction. A sealed HEPA filter, as on our top pick, the Shark TruePet, is important when looking for a pet vacuum for allergies.
  3. Handheld vs Upright
    Upright vacuums are generally best for larger cleaning jobs, and the best upright vacuums for pet hair and hardwood floors as well as carpet can clean shedding and lint from the flooring of a whole house in one go. Handheld vacuums, like the Bissel Li-Ion (our #4 pick) are great for more specialized tasks like getting pet hair out of couches and other furniture upholstery and for cleaning drapes and vacuuming pet hair out of cars.
  4. Cordless
    A cordless pet vacuum lets you vacuum up pet hair your car more conveniently as well as giving you the freedom to move from room to room in your house without worrying about a place to plug in. On the other hand cordless battery powered pet hair vacuums tend to only run for less than half an hour per charge, so if you have a long vacuuming task a plug in handheld pet vacuum may better fit the bill.

Pet Vacuum FAQs

Does pet hair clog up these vacuums frequently?

Specialized vacuums for pet hair, like the Shark TruePet or the Bissel Pet Hair Eraser, have a mechanism that routes debris and pet hair into a filtered compartment out of the way of belts, brushes and motor housings. Thus, while hair won’t cause them to jam as might happen with a “non pet hair” standard vacuum, you do have to change filters occasionally.

For pet vacuums with filters, how often do they need to be changed?

It varies by brand, but on average the filters in pet vacuums need changing every 3 to 4 months in the case of the HEPA filters found in the MOOSOO cordless (our #6 pick) and the Shark TruePet upright (our top pick). Others like the Dirt Devil Razor Pet (our #5 pick) don’t specify how long their filters last, but do suggest washing the filters periodically.

Bagless versus bagged, what model should I choose?

When it comes to containing dust, dirt, and pet hair, upright vacuums offer two separate approaches: bag and bagless designs. Upright vacuums with bags are better at containing the dust and dirt you vacuum up, which is good for people with allergies or for ensuring dirt from pets such as dog hair, cat hair pet fur, mites, etc. don't escape when emptying the vacuum. However, buying and replacing bags regularly can get annoying and expensive after a while. Bagless upright vacuums are much more convenient. Simply detach the container unit to empty the dirt from the vacuum and replace it after. Which model makes the best vacuum for pet hair depends on what you prioritize: convenience or function.

Should I purchase a canister vacuum or an upright?

Since there is no limitation to the engine's size, canister vacuum cleaners are more powerful than upright vacuums. They have better suction and flow rate, which makes them great for cleaning up mess on bare and hard floors. The best canister vacuum comes with a variety of tools, from crevice nozzles, upholstery brushes, and even mechanized accessories perfect for getting out pet hair and dirt on rugs and carpets. On the other hand, the additional accessories mean that there is usually some assembly required before cleaning, and they can be harder to store than upright models. Plus, some people prefer to push the vacuum ahead of them instead of dragging a canister model behind. Either way, the best vacuums for cleaning your home depends on your requirements. For lightweight and easy to store models, you could take a look stick vacuum cleaners. But, for deep cleaning, sucking up mites, dirt, dog fur, and getting up matted pet hair best check out our list above: the top seven vacuums for pets.

Also why not check out:

Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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