You love your pets. But, as any pet owner knows, perhaps the most challenging part of pet ownership is cleaning up after them. You can spend hours every month vacuuming up loose hairs, pet dander, or cleaning up after messes they've made on your floors. Fortunately, vacuum makers know these trials and tribulations well, and have designed vacuums to meet your specific needs.
Every great pet vacuum needs to have the following two things:
The first necessity: a high quality brush to remove hair from floors and furniture. As you've probably experienced, pet hair often gets tangled up in fabric fibers and upholstery. No matter how great your vacuum's suction is, it's not going to pull up much pet hair without a good brush.
The other critical feature all pet vacuums must have is a HEPA filter. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) is air that is saturated with small particles like dust, pet dander, and other allergens as small as 0.3 microns. These tiny particles can pose problems for pet owners because they often bypass traditional vacuum filters. a HEPA-certified air filter helps the vacuum trap 99.9% of these particles, ensuring your air home quality stays high and your allergies stay down.
Those two features work in tandem to stir up deep-set pet hairs and dander, while ensuring even the tiniest particles stay trapped in the filter and canister. So if you own one or multiple pets, you owe it to yourself to try a vacuum specially designed for that very purpose.
HOOVER WINDTUNNEL 2 WHOLE HOUSE
SHARK NAVIGATOR LIFT-AWAY PRO
DYSON BALL ANIMAL 2
HOOVER WINDTUNNEL MAX
HOOVER LINX SIGNATURE
All the vacuums on this list are all great machines, most of them come with a HEPA-certified air filter and a powerful brush system. Beyond that, the main difference in price is between build quality, style, and ease-of-use features. Without further ado, here's 5 of the best vacuums for pet hair currently on the market.
You might be skeptical about whether or not you really need a pet-specific vacuum. The Hoover WindTunnel 2 is a great jumping off point to experience the differences firsthand and see for yourself. Between its dual filter system, adjustable settings for multi-surface cleaning, and unbeatable price point - you really can’t go wrong.
For starters, the Pet Rewind has an additional carbon filter that helps absorb pet dander and keep your home smelling fresh. The carbon filter is also washable, which saves you on costly replacements down the road and extends the longevity of your HEPA air filter. Add in Hoover’s patented WindTunnel technology which helps reduce dust scatter, and you have a vacuum that eradicates pet dander and allergens.
In addition to the pet features of WindTunnel 2, the Hoover WindTunnel series offers great flexibility for cleaning a variety of surfaces. The vacuum has 5 adjustable height settings to ensure maximal suction from hardwood to shag carpet, however it does require manual adjustment which can take a minute when switching floors. The rotating brushes can also be shut off with a foot pedal to protect your hard surfaces from scuffs and scrapes.
The dirt cup has also been designed to open at the bottom, which makes it a bit easier to clean out hair clumps and dirt without making a mess around your trashcan. Add in the lengthy 25 foot power cord, and you have a reliable, efficient answer to the question of “What to do with all this pet hair?”
All-in-all the Hoover Pet Rewind lives up to its name - it’s great at pulling up pet hair and the filter system does a great job of removing pet allergens and dust. It does lack some suction compared to truly high-end pet vacuums, but delivers an unparalleled clean for its price point.
All the vacuums on this list do a great job with pet hair on your carpets and floors, but sometimes you need a little more versatility to handle uneven surfaces and hard to reach places. Enter the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional. Between open floors, curtains, stairs, and even vehicle upholstery, this versatile vacuum has your needs covered.
For flat flooring, the Navigator Lift-Away Pro has all the features you’d expect: a HEPA air filter, variable suction, and a powerful anti-allergen seal that traps in 99.9% of fine particles like dust and dander. Add in a 30 foot power cord and Shark’s extra large dust bin, and you’ll get a fantastic deep clean with less time wasted emptying dust.
But when it comes to cleaning uneven and high up surfaces - somewhere most upright vacuums struggle - the Lift-Away absolutely shines. One push of a button and the handle and motor detaches from the base and transforms into a highly versatile canister vacuum.
The Shark Navigator also comes with a variety of attachments to fit your exact cleaning needs. Between the premium pet power brush, the crevice tool,and the bare floor dusting pad, there’s no job you won’t be able to tackle. Since the canister hose converts directly from upright mode, it is a little on the short side for reaching the highest surfaces. Beyond that, you’ll find this vacuum should be able to handle pretty much any situation you throw at it.
The Shark Navigator Lift Away Professional is a high quality, highly versatile machine and one of the overall best vacuums for pet hair - and hardwood floors, and curtains, and shag carpets. With its huge tank capacity, you’ll be able to clean an entire 3-4 bedroom house without stopping to empty. Again, we wish the lift away canister hose was longer, but beyond that it’s everything you could ask for.
Time to call in the big guns.
Seriously, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Total Clean Upright is some serious heavy duty firepower. Tipping the scales at 17 pounds, it’s a serious piece of machinery, with all the engineering precision Dyson is known for.
Let’s take a look under the hood:
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 gets it’s power from Dyson’s radial root cyclone technology. That’s that big ball sitting right at the base of the unit, and that’s where the heavy lifting is done. The radial root cycle gets its efficiency by improving airflow through the spherical shape, which reduces turbulence and maintains air pressure. In everyday language, that means you get the most powerful suction possible.
The self-adjusting baseplate ensures the unit stays low to the ground, no matter what type of flooring. This gives the Dyson Ball an unparalleled seal, which traps in pet dander and gets down to the roots of your carpet fibers. And of course, it has the HEPA filter so those particles stay trapped in the dust container. The container itself is fairly large, but this thing has so much suction you’ll be surprised at how fast it fills, especially on your first use.
What sets the Animal Complete apart from the regular Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright is in the attachments. The Animal Complete also comes with a:
What else is there to say, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the creme de la creme of vacuums for pet hair. Sure, the price is steep, but it’s a solid machine and comes with a 5-year warranty for parts and labor to keep things running smoothly. This vacuum truly is best in show.
Does this name sound familiar to you: The Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House ?
It should, because we already recommended its bagless brother one of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair. This model has many of the same excellent features of the bagless version at the same excellent price point, which means the only decision you need to make is: bagged vs bagless.
Most modern vacuums have gone the bagless route to reduce overall size and save money on fresh bags over time. However, bagged vacuums offer a couple useful benefits to pet owners. Firstly, all vacuum bags are made of HEPA media, which further helps to trap in those tiny problematic particles and helps keep your air fresh.
The other main benefit of using a bag vacuum is in cleanup. Bagless vacuums typically require you to scoop out dirt and debris from the dust container, which puts you in direct contact with pet allergens and can also stir more particles into your airways. Bagged vacuums are great for pet owners with allergies by avoiding this whole process and simply tossing the dirty bag in the trash bin.
In addition, the bagged upright has an easy-to-remove brushroll. This helps deal with the inevitable pet hair tangles quickly, and makes cleaning or replacing the brushroll a breeze. And the extension wand, crevice tool, pet upholstery tool, and air-powered hand tool help you tackle any mess your pets can throw at you.
So if you’re especially sensitive to dust or pet hair, it might make sense to give the WindTunnel Bagged Upright a try. It’s an excellent vacuum for pet hairs and high-pet households, at an excellent price.
If there’s one core philosophy to good design, it’s this:
Good design isn’t overly complicated or contrived; it’s simple and streamlined to a single purpose. And the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum is most definitely elegant. It’s sleek, cordless, bagless, and at only 11 pounds, it’s incredibly responsive and easy to move around.
But don’t let that light stature fool you - the Hoover Linx Signature Cordless Stick still packs a punch. It’s powered by an 18V lithium-ion battery that delivers constant power, so you don’t lose suction over time. The powerbrush with edge cleaning bristles gets pet hairs deep into carpets, and retracts with the push of a button for hardwood floors.
The Linx Signature has a wide 11 inch head, but the body is a slim 8 inches by 11 inches. It also has a swivel head and an extreme recline handle, which means it easily reaches under couches and into closets to get that hard to reach pet hair. It’s fast and surprisingly powerful for a cordless vacuum. The canister also opens from the bottom to minimize contact, and takes about 30 seconds to empty and replace.
That said, the one downside is battery life. It’s a little short, at around ~20 minutes per charge. That may sound short, but the Linx really does cover a lot of ground quickly because of its maneuverability and flexibility. It does come with a the rechargeable lithium ion battery and charging cord, and takes about 2 hours to a full charge so you won’t have to wait long.
The Hoover Linx Signature Stick is a fantastic vacuum cleaner for small, 2-3 bedroom homes with children or pets. It may have a short battery life, but it cleans deep and moves quickly. And above all else: it’s elegant.
So if you're looking for the best vacuum for pet hair to keep up with your high-speed household, try one of these highly-rated models.
The bagged/bagless Hoover WindTunnel are fantastic budget options, the bagged especially if you suffer from allergies.
The Hoover Linx is also a great cordless vacuum for smaller households with pets.
The Shark Navigator Lift Away is incredibly versatile to get pet hair out of your delicate, hard-to-reach, or elevated surfaces.
And lastly, the Dyson Animal Complete Upright is the highest quality performance for the toughest jobs.