If you have a pet or a frequent four-legged visitor then the best vacuum for pet hair could come in mighty handy. In fact, having one of these around the home will quickly turn into your go-to for vacuuming the carpet after they’ve explored the house with muddy paws or sat on the couch next to you all afternoon as they take shelter from the elements outside.
When it comes to finding a vacuum for pet hair only the best will do. Granted, there’s plenty to choose from. Whether you want a cordless vacuum cleaner to quickly take up and down the stairs, or a corded model with a large bin capacity for a deep clean of your open-plan living space, we can confidently say that you will find the best pet vacuum for you. You might even find that the make and model you opt for is the one which you use for everyday cleaning around the home, since many nowadays even convert to a handheld vacuum.
Sure we like to aim high but we like to deliver so have taken it upon ourselves to test all the vacuum cleaners in this guide. We’ve considered every last detail from the suction to pet tools, cord length to canister capacity and how they’ve just generally gotten on taming the stray hairs around the home.
Keep scrolling to see which pet vacuums made it to our top seven list. Each vacuum cleaner you see has been tested in the homes of one of our writers, so you’re hearing first hand how the machines have performed. If you’re looking for just a regular vacuum without the pet credentials then it would be totally worth checking out our best vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) guide, too.
Best vacuum for pet hair 2022: the list
The Dyson Animal Ball 2 has to be one of Dyson’s most powerful vacuum cleaners. With great power, you’ll need a big ball to help move it around – the brand have really thought of everything.
Big ball and power
The ball underneath makes it easy to manoeuvre this vacuum cleaner at speed, moving around the legs of furniture or dodging obstacles which cross your path across all floors. Powered by 305AW of energy it’s one of the most powerful of motors we’ve seen yet which will make light work of those tough tasks.
Floorhead and attachments
The self-adjusting floorhead will automatically raise and lower to seal in suction which some may say makes it hard work to push around, but we say it removes pet hair and other messes a treat.
For more detailed cleaning, the Dyson Ball 2 has a combination tool (crevice tool and brush), stair tool, and the tangle-free turbine tool. There’s only enough space on the unit to store just one tool, though, so keeping the others within easy reach may not be easy.
The bin is ejected from the front for easy and mess-free emptying. And the washable HEPA filter makes the Ball 2 asthma and allergy-friendly, too.
If it’s a cordless pet vacuum you’re looking for then we can vouch for the Bissell ICONpet. Whilst it didn’t exactly deliver to our (very) high standards on carpet, it was perfect for hard floor surfaces and rugs. It’s one which is also proving mega popular with our Homes readers, too.
Thoughtfully there are three different modes for cleaning the various flooring around the home; Max, Everyday and Quiet. As with other vacs, the more powerful the setting the more battery you run through. Although it may be tempting to use the Quiet mode whilst vacuuming around your pets, the suction is pretty minimal so best to use this setting for less embedded hair.
Once you’ve transformed the vac into a handheld, you can attach the LED Crevice Dusting Brush Combination Tool or Motorized Brush Roll Tool for cleaning tighter spaces.
The floorhead has LED lights which not only look good but also show up the debris in front of you, even in low light. The SmartSeal Allergen System will provide relief to allergy sufferers in the house, too, since it keeps all the dust (and fluff) sealed inside the vacuum.
The Roborock H7 is one of the most recently released vacuum cleaners to be featured in this guide. It replaces the H6 which won countless awards for its high-rate polymer lithium-ion battery pack battery and its thoughtful accessories.
Battery and power
Much like the Dyson, the H7 will automatically adjust its suction to suit the surface it detects. there are also three cleaning modes – Eco, Standard and Max – which you can choose from depending on exactly what it is you’re vacuuming, or if you want to preserve the battery life.
Our reviewer found that while it can last up to 90 minutes at a time (30 minutes longer than Dyson) when cleaning with the floorhead it’ll last for 60 minutes on Eco, 30 minutes on Standard and just 8 minutes on Max. It’ll also perform much better on carpet than on hard floor surfaces.
The H7 comes with a suite of attachments which come with a rather unique magnet which attaches to either the dock or other surfaces. This is a really great solution to storage since many cordless and even upright vacuum cleaners do not come with enough (if any) on-board storage.
Attachments included: crevice tool, during brush, dust bag holder, motorized mini-brush, multi-surface brush, and flex tube.
It’s really REALLY quiet so if you have a pet which is either too interested in or alarmed by vacuum cleaners then this is a good choice for you. It also features a HEPA feature which is not only good news for pet owners, but allergy sufferers also.
If it’s power and the convenience of cordless that you need to keep on top of the fluff, fur and dirt then the Dyson V11 Animal is what you need.
Although not as powerful as the Dyson Ball Animal 2, the V11 has 185AW of power which is up to twice the amount of suction when compared to other cordless vacuum cleaners.
Together with the three cleaning modes – Eco, Auto and Boost – which are displayed on the LED screen, you’ll get the right balance of power and runtime just where you need it.
The brush bar on the floorhead will spin up to 60 times per second driving into the deepest pile carpet to remove dirt, and fine filaments will capture fine dust from hard flooring. The Dyson V11 Animal also comes with a combination tool, crevice tool, stubborn dirt brush and mini motorized tool which comes in useful when converting the vacuum cleaner into a handheld.
Dyson promises 99.97 filtration which is an amazing result for allergy sufferers. The cannister is also easy to empty, without running the risk of dust going anywhere. What would be beneficial, however, is the addition of a second battery for even more run time.
If there’s one job which needs to be done regularly in the home with resident pets it’s vacuuming. A robot vacuum will do it for you, and the iRobot Roomba j7+ is our favorite so far for the job.
Power and suction
The Roomba j7+ replaces the earlier i7+ model, so it shares very simular spec. It has the same suction which, although is not the most powerful, it is good enough for regular cleans. For more stubborn pet hair you may need to unleash your upright or cordless vacuum.
Amongst a line-up of pretty impressive technology, the Roomba j7+ is equipped with PrecisionVision Navigation which recognizes objects and avoids obstacles such as pet waste and charging cords. The app will give you a summary of those obstacles avoided which you can choose to set as no-go zones, mark as temporary or instruct the j7+ to revisit.
As with most robot vacuum cleaners nowadays, the Roomba j7+ will return to base to self-charge or empty when required. Establishing any Keep Out Zones could only be done after a smart map was made, so you’ll want to watch your robot the first few runs when operating in any sensitive areas.
I / we are a big fan of the Hoover Telios. It’s a fantastic work horse which will suck up anything, and everything if given the chance.
Being mains powered which may put some off, despite its 10 metre-long cable, means that you’re going to get some impressive suction. When in use you’ll see that the pile on your rugs and carpets is being lifted. Whereas on hard floor the visible crumbs and dirt do a disappearing act. The dust bunnies on said hard floor, however, tend to try and scarper so although going after them with the Hoover Telios is an option you may have more luck with a dustpan and brush in this scenario.
Because there isn’t much high end tech with this vacuum cleaner, what you see is what you get. The floorhead will suck up pieces of rubble, small stones and clumps of mud which will all go directly into the bag. You will notice that suction drops in power when the bag is almost full so to maintain it, just change the bag over.
There are three attachments which come with this vacuum cleaner which are all stored on-board. It comes with a furniture nozzle, dusting brush and crevice tool which are all useful in helping to combat out-of-control pet hair.
The filter will need to be cleaned after every five bag changes to keep it working at its best.
As featured in our best handheld vacuum cleaner (opens in new tab) guide, the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld Vacuum is a top option for versatility. By this we mean homes with pets and those hard to reach areas such as down the sides of car seats.
Power and suction
It’ll run for about 10 minutes which, okay, isn’t ground breaking but is long enough to suck up any rogue cereals or pet hair. The suction isn’t affected when the battery is running low.
You can use the main body of the handheld vacuum cleaner without any attachments. Or you can use one of the three attachments – crevice tool, dusting brush and motorised pet tool – which can all be easily interchanged. There isn’t any on-board storage so the attachments will need to be stored separately, somewhere you can easily get to.
This handheld vac is on the more noisy end of the decibels so if you have a pet which is easily alarmed it may be best to chose your vacuuming time wisely.
Do you really need a special vacuum for pet hair?
A vacuum cleaner for pet hair tends to come with a separate attachment for tackling pet hair. They will also have a HEPA filter which are designed to remove 99.9 per cent of dust, pollen, mold bacteria, pet dander and other airborne particles which is a great result for allergy sufferers.
How we test vacuum cleaners
The vacuum cleaners for pet hair you see featured in this guide have all been tested in one of our editor’s homes, either in the UK or US. We consider them one of the most essential home appliances you should have nearby, and isn’t one which should be taken for granted. We have always judged them not just on their price tag, but what it is exactly that you get for your money as sometimes you do get what you pay for.
We measure factors such as how easy the vacuum cleaners are to set up, the run time on each setting (if there is more than one setting), the suction power in lifting crumbs, dust and general dirt and just how this performance is affected on the various flooring throughout the home. In this instance, taming pet hair has been a consideration which has been at the front our minds. They can help to tackle fly-away across our floors, not to mention on our soft furnishings and in tricky places of the car interior. Looking out for anti-hair wrap, or a brush bar which doesn’t get caught up in hair, is a massive bonus when honing in on the most suitable pet vacuum cleaner, too.
In this guide you would have read through a total of seven products. This by no means limited to the number of vacuum cleaners we have tested. Over the years we have tested plenty (probably almost 100) of robot vacuum cleaners, upright vacuum cleaners, handheld and stick vacuums all in the same manner so we can draw comparisons. We test each vacuum cleaner for a minimum of two months and use them as our main vacuum cleaner in the house to give you, our readers, a real life example of exactly how they will perform. In some instances, we are gifted the vacuum cleaners which means that we can continue to use the product so we’re also testing it for longevity. After a year-or-so we’ll revisit the review and update it with just how well (or not well) the vacuum cleaner has stood against the test of time.
Alongside the written word in our reviews, we’ve also tried to film short video clips of the vacuum cleaners in use. This shows a real time of the product performing, mainly sucking up what lies in front of it. For the purpose of testing, some foods and other general household dirt, would have been purposely ‘spilt’ on the surfaces to replicate any possible scenario.
Due to how and where we test vacuum cleaners, not all attachments may have been reviewed. We are explicit about this when writing up our reviews so we maintain our transparency. There may, on occasions, be a scenario that the product is tested by a couple of members across the Homes teams wo have the ability to attach other attachments. Should this happen the reviews will reflect this.
What is the best vacuum for pet hairs to buy?
So to recap… if you want to make a snap-purchase then we would totally recommend buying the Dyson Ball Animal 2 (opens in new tab), right now. It WOWed us during testing. And it must be one of Dyson’s most powerful vacuum cleaners yet, which is great news for busting pet hair out of the carpet.
Prefer the freedom of cordless? We love the Bissell ICONpet (opens in new tab)which is also proving mega popular with our Homes readers right now, so we can all vouch for its effectiveness.
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