Find the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair in 2017

Lab puppy on furnitureWe love our pets but not the hair they leave on our floors and furniture. If you’re a pet owner you know having a good vacuum to clean up after them is essential. Pet Hair HQ is here to help you find the best vacuum for pet hair for your home today.

Premium Vacuums  |  Mid-Price Vacuums  |  Budget Vacuums

All of these vacuums are great for dog hair and many are equally good for cat hair. But if you have a cat it's probably a good idea to narrow your choice down to one of the vacuums with a HEPA filter. Cat dander is more of an airborne problem than dog dander and a HEPA will catch more of it.

With all the vacuum cleaners for pet hair available today it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide between the various modelsfeatures, and prices.  The great news for you is we have spent many months reviewing cleaners and checking out everything there is to know about the best vacuums for pet hair in 2017.

We can save you a lot of time and effort and help make this decision as easy as possible.

 

Product Comparison Tool exampleHelpful Comparison Tool

We find it helpful to be able to see the key features of different products side by side. So we've done the time-consuming job of gathering all the most crucial data to create this user-friendly comparison tool.

Just drag and drop any combination of vacuums you like onto this table and compare their most important features side by side.

Compare Best Selling Vacuums for Pet Hair in 2017

Name/Image: Brand:Rating:Type:Price:Power:Capacity:Filter:Key Tool:Cord:Battery:Weight:Storage:Warranty:

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  • Rocket HV382 TruePet with DuoCleanRocket HV382 TruePet with DuoClean
  • Rotator NV752 Powered Lift-Away TruePetRotator NV752 Powered Lift-Away TruePet
  • WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Bagless UprightWindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Bagless Upright
  • Ball Animal 2 UprightBall Animal 2 Upright
  • Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick VacuumNavigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum
  • PowerGlide Pet Vacuum 1646PowerGlide Pet Vacuum 1646
  • Linx BH50010 Cordless Stick VacuumLinx BH50010 Cordless Stick Vacuum
  • V6 Animal Cord FreeV6 Animal Cord Free
  • C3 Complete Cat and DogC3 Complete Cat and Dog
  • Mighty Mite Pet Lover (F3684)Mighty Mite Pet Lover (F3684)
  • Cinetic Big Ball Animal CanisterCinetic Big Ball Animal Canister
  • Progressive Canister Vacuum 21614Progressive Canister Vacuum 21614

Rocket HV382 TruePet with DuoClean

Shark 4 Star Average Rating StickMid-Price600W0.25 gallons2 washable, non-HEPATruePet Motorized Brush30 ftn/a9.9 lbsWall mount5 yearsview pricefull review

Rotator NV752 Powered Lift-Away TruePet

Shark5 Star Average Rating UprightMid-Price1200W0.82 gallonsHEPA with complete sealTruePet Motorized Brush 30 ftn/a15.4 lbs46"(h) x 12"(w) x 13"(d)7 yearsview pricefull review

WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Bagless Upright

Hoover4 Star Average Rating UprightBudget1400W0.37 gallonsCarbon and HEPA filtersPet upholstery tool and pet turbo tool27 ftn/a17 lbs.34.25"(h) x 12.5"(w) x 16.5"(d) 2 yearsview pricefull review

Ball Animal 2 Upright

Dyson4.5 Star Average Rating Upright (bagless)Premium1400W0.55 gallonswhole machine HEPA filtrationTangle Free Turbine Tool35 ftn/a17.4 lbs42”(h) x15.4”(w) x13.4”(d)5 years view pricefull review

Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum

Shark4 Star Average Rating UprightPremium14.4v nickel metal hydride battery 0.29 gallons non-HEPA, foam and mesh filter Motorized 2-speed cyclonic brush designed to lift pet hair 15 min run time7.5lbs10.5 x 9.6 x 46 inches 1 year limited view pricefull review

PowerGlide Pet Vacuum 1646

Bissell4 Star Average Rating UprightBudget1200W0.26 gallons2 x washable, non-HEPAPet TurboEraser27 ftn/a16.3 lbs35”(h) x 12”(w) x 14”(d)5 years view pricefull review

Linx BH50010 Cordless Stick Vacuum

Hoover4 Star Average Rating StickMid-Priced18v Lithium Ion batteries0.23 gallons non-HEPA Cyclonic filter technology no added tools or attachmentsRun time : 15-20 mins; Charge : 3 hours7.3 lbs 24.8 “x 10.4” x 8”2 yearsview pricefull review

V6 Animal Cord Free

Dyson4.5 Star Average Rating StickPremium21.6v, 2100 mAh0.10 gallonsnon-HEPA, certified asthma and allergy-friendly filtermini motorized pet tool run - 20 min; charge - 3.5 hours4.87 lbs wall mount, 47.6” x 9.8” x 8.18”2 yearsview pricefull review

C3 Complete Cat and Dog

Miele5 Star Average Rating Canister (bagged)Premium1200W1.18 gallons Miele HEPA Active Air Clean filter (a HEPA filter with charcoal layers for eliminating odors)Hand held Turbo Brush head 24.6 ft 12 lbs19.2”(l) 8.9”(w) x 10.8”(d)7 years (casing and motor)view pricefull review

Mighty Mite Pet Lover (F3684)

Eureka4 Star Average Rating CanisterBudget1400W0.65 gallonsHEPA Eureka PET Power Paw tool20ft8.6 lbs17.5”(l) x 11.3”(h) x9”(d)1 year limited view pricefull review

Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister

Dyson4.5 Star Average Rating CanisterPremium1400W0.42 gallonsHEPA, filter-less filtration systemturbine tool for pet hair on floors/furniture21.3 ftn/a17.64 lbs15.7”(h) x 13.7”(w) x 12.1”(d)5 years view pricefull review

Progressive Canister Vacuum 21614

Progressive Canister Vacuum 216144 Star Average Rating Canister (bagged)1320 Watts0.79 gallonsHEPAPet Power Mate28 feet 23 lbs1 year limitedview pricefull review

A new vacuum is an investment in your home and yourself

Get the best vacuum for pet hair now and you will minimize the amount of time you spend cleaning up after your pet, freeing you up to do the things you want to do.

You’re going to be using your new vacuum on a regular basis for the next few years, so it’s essential that you make the right choice now. And that’s why we’re here!

Which type of vacuum is right for you?

If you want more help deciding which is the best style vacuum for you why not check out our handy Buyers Guide at the bottom of this page, where we go into more detail about the various vacuum types, with tips to help you decide which style is right for you.

As a quick guide it breaks down like this:

Upright Vacuums - Great for mid sized to larger homes with a lot of carpeting. 

Canister Vacuums - Increasingly used in small to mid sized homes with a mix of flooring types.

Stick Vacuums - Cordless vacuums great for apartments or for spot cleaning larger homes 

We categorize the best vacuums for pet hair we review into either Budget (Under $150), Mid-Range (Under $350) or Premium ($350+). Prices fluctuate and vacuums are often on offer so it’s worth checking on the links in the reviews to see the latest discounts.


Best Upright Vacuums for Pet Hair

This is the classic vacuum that our grandparents used and to this day it's still the most popular style of vacuum.

Of course a lot has changed over the years and the technology has improved enormously - particularly when it comes to cleaning up the mess left by our pets.

Here are 3 of the best upright vacuums for dog hair on the market today​.

Hoover WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet

Best Budget Upright

Best Vacuum for Pet Hair WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Bagless Upright

What we love

  • HEPA filter
  • Powerful suction
  • Retractable cord
  • Light indicate when filter need to be cleaned

Could be better

  • Some find it awkward to manouver
  • Washable filter can take some time to dry

Performance

Hoover is a brand synonymous as one of the pioneers of vacuums and while others may have overtaken them in terms of innovation (Dyson for example), Hoover is still a brand you can trust. And the WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Bagless is no exception.

This vacuum has suction power way above what you’d expect from a budget cleaner.

WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Bagless Upright

It has a 27-foot retractable power cord and a 10-foot extension tube so it will clean a large area from one plug point. You can turn the brushrollon and off with the flick of a switch when you move between different floor surfaces and there is a 5-point height adjustment, so you can find the right level for different thickness of carpet.

The cleaner performs okay on all surfaces, although like most general-purpose vacuum cleaners at the lower end of the market it does seem to struggle a little on hard wood or bare floors, leaving larger pieces of food debris behind.

Some people have said they find it a bit awkward to maneuver but I didn’t find this. The dust cup can hold around 0.37 gallons of dust and debris, which seems to be about average for modern bagless upright vacuums.

The Pet Turbo tool is effective on upholstery, although I found it can require a bit of elbow grease to get all pet hair up.

One of the main reasonsthe Hoover WindTunnel 3 gets onto the list as our best budget vacuum (over the very good Bissell 1646 – reviewed here) is that it has HEPA filtration. This cleaner actually has 2 filters. The first is a washable, reusable filter and the second is the HEPA filter with a carbon layer. These filters combine very well and it’s great to see a budget vacuum including an effective HEPA filtration system.

Verdict

The WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet is a great budget upright cleaner. The pet upholstery tool does require some effort to get every hair up and the build quality is what you’d expect from a budget cleaner. But with great suction power, good all-round cleaning ability this is a great option for anyone on a limited budget looking for a cleaner with a HEPA filter.


Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet NV752

Best Mid Price Upright

Shark Rotator NV752 Review Image


What we love

  • 3-in-1 versatility
  • Great value for money
  • HEPA anti-allergen seal technology
  • Large dust cup
  • 7-year warranty

Could be better

  • The manual winding of the 30-foot cord

Performance

Shark produce some great vacuums that won't break the bank. The Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet is competitively priced and performs as well as, if not better than some of the more expensive vacuums available on the market. This is a 3-in-1 cleaner and can adapt to its surroundings with very little effort. The 12-inch wide nozzle covers a large area but it’s still narrow enough to get into those hard to reach areas. And the portable Lift-Away feature means you can go from floor to shelves to ceiling.

With all of its power and suction capability, the Shark Rotator operates at a relatively quiet 81 decibels. I was able to hear the phone ringing and could also keep a (selective) ear on the kids. Dust bunnies can’t hide thanks to the no-loss suction power technology and the LED lights on the front put an end to any of them playing ‘hide-and-seek’. Let me be the one to warn you though; when you see just how much pet hair and dirt your other vacuum has left behind you will probably have a small to mild panic attack.

Shark Rotator NV752 Images

The dust cup is much larger than average and unlike some vacuums, you don’t need a degree to remove it.​

The Shark NV752 has a bottom-empty design and the top also opens. There are loads of attachments and tools including a mini motorized brush, a pet upholstery tool, a hard floor genie, a dust brush and crevice tool and there’sa convenient caddy canister and accessory bag.

The vacuum has three different height settings; for low pile rugs and mats, thick carpets, and bare floors.While the vacuum had no problem sucking up the finer particles I had to give the floors a once over with the broom to get rid of the bigger bits of dirt. I felt the vacuum didn’t work as well on hardwood flooring but it seems to be a common problem across all makes and models.

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet NV752 can’t be beat when it comes to its filtration system. In fact, it’s better than a lot of vacuums that go for double the price. Not only does it have an HEPA filter, it also comes with ‘Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology’. What this means is zero chance of escape for dust and allergens.

Verdict

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet is a 3-in-1 vacuum that can be used in large carpeted areas, in hallways and in rooms with mats or rugs. It gets into those hidey-hole crevices where pet hair settles and the award-winning anti-allergen seal technology gets rid of 99.99% of dirt and allergens, which is great news for those of you with pets, and or allergies. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

It’s not perfect but it’s pretty darn close, and in my opinion this is probably the best value for money vacuum cleaner on the market.


Dyson Ball Animal 2

Best Premium Upright


What we love

  • Incredible Suction
  • Powerful motorized brushroll
  • 'Whole machine' HEPA filtration
  • Tangle-free Turbine tool for pet hair
  • Large cleaning head

Could be better

  • Too much suction for shag pile and light scatter rugs
  • Some larger debris gets pushed away 

Performance

Dyson revolutionized vacuum design with their cyclone technology. But that was a good few years ago and since then other manufacturers have caught up and developed their own form of high suction technology.

So, is Dyson still No1 for suction? You bet. When it comes to pure suction power there is still nothing that can beat a Dyson Vacuum! To be honest for some people the suction power is too good and makes it very hard to push the vacuum over very deep pile (like shag pile) carpets – unless you're built like a WWE wrestler!

Dyson Turbine Brush for pet hair

Of course, suction isn’t the only thing that makes an effective vacuum. The design of the cleaning head also plays a huge part in lifting dust, hair and debris and Dyson have designed a cleaning head that really gets the job done.

The motorized brush bar on the Animal 2 is 20% more powerful than the Animal and really gets deep into carpets. It can drag out those low-lying dog hairs that have got themselves entwined in the weave.

The brushroll on this cleaner has been designed with pet hair in mind and does a very good job of ensuring hairs end up in the dust cylinder with few if any getting tangled on the roller.

This is combined with what is the stand out feature of this vacuum for us pet owners - the tangle free turbine brush. This cleverly designed extension tool is brilliant for clearing dog hair from furniture and is ideal for using on stairs. This is the best tool of its type on the market.

The Animal 2 can hold a better than average 0.55 gallons of dust and debris and the vacuum also has what Dyson call ‘Whole machine HEPA filtration’ which means that none of the air, dust etc that is sucked into the machine leaks out until it has been filtered through the HEPA filter. This makes the Dyson Ball Animal 2 a very good choice for those who are keen to reduce the amount of pet dander and other airborne allergens in their home. It has been approved by the American Asthma and Allergy Association and some people even claim they can smell the fresher air in their home after they’ve used the cleaner.

Verdict

This cleaner has cleaning power to spare. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a premium product but worth every penny and will probably get more pet hair out of your home than any other similar sized vacuum on the market. But if you have wall to wall shag pile carpets or lots of light scatter rugs then you may find the incredible suction too much – even on the lowest setting. For everyone else this cleaner is guaranteed to keep your carpets and furniture pet hair free.


Best Canister Vacuums for Pet Hair

Canister vacuums are perfect for smaller homes or in areas where you have a lot of furniture. The attached hose makes it easy to clean upholstery as well as floors.

Eureka Mighty Mite Pet Lover (3684F)

Best Budget Canister

Eureka Mighty Mite Pet Lover


What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Large capacity
  • HEPA filter
  • Pet tool works well
  • Good suction

Could be better

  • Not great for carpets
  • Short power cord

Performance

This compact, lightweight little powerhouse from Eureka is a great budget cleaner, particularly for pet owners with bare or hardwood floors and limited storage space.

Weighing under 9 pounds the Mighty Mite Pet Lover is easy to maneuver but can suck up animpressive 0.65 gallons of dust before the bag needs to be emptied.

Bagged vacuums have traditionally been considered a better option for people with allergies as the bags tend to trap more dust. This vacuum takes a belt and braces approach by also including a HEPA filter to trap any particles that manage to escape the bag.

If you have a pet and you like the sound of the Mighty Mite be sure to get this purple 3684F version. I know some people have bought the yellow version thinking the only difference is the color but it isn’t.

Eureka Mighty Mite Pet Lover

For a start this vacuum has a slightly wider cleaning path (11 inches, the 3670G is 10 inches) and it also has the ‘Pet Power Paw’ attachment. This great little tool has a motorized beater brush to help extract hair from upholstery and carpets. This works very well although we did notice longer hairs can get tangled.

The main cleaning tool works very well on tiles or wooden floors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any brushroll and relies on suction alone to pick up the dirt. As a result, the Mighty Mite struggles on carpets and unfortunately you won’t get the best clean on anything other than the thinnest pile carpets.

Now you might be thinking ‘I could use the ‘Pet Power Paw’ attachment for my carpets’. You could but this tool is only a few inches wide so if you’ve got a large carpeted area it would take an awful long time to clean.

Verdict

This is a powerful budget canister - easy to move around and easy to store. It isn’t perfect and the performance of the main cleaner head on carpeted areas does let it down. The Pet Power Paw tool is great but too small to realistically clean large areas of carpet. Even fully carpeted stairs would probably get very frustrating.

For anyone living in a small home or apartment with minimal space and mainly hardwood or tiled floors the Eureka Mighty Mite 3684F Mighty Mite Pet Lover comes highly recommended.


Kenmore Progressive 21614

Best Mid Price Canister

Kenmore Progressive 21614 Canister Vacuum

What we love

  • Excellent Suction
  • Cleaning power for deep pile carpets
  • HEPA filter
  • Excellent pet hair tools
  • Stair grip

Could be better

  • It may be a little heavy for some
  • It’s loud

Performance

If you’ve decided against the Eureka 3684F because of its poor performance on carpets you might want to up your budget a bit and consider this great offering from Kenmore. The Progressive 21614 canister is a bagged canister that works extremely well on carpet. In fact, the thicker the carpet, the more this vacuum comes into its own.

The first thing I will say about the Kenmore Progressive is that I love the color! (Okay, that’s not the most important thing in a vacuum review but it is a lovely color).

Kenmore Progressive 21614 Canister Vacuum Cleaner

But more importantly the performance, for the most part, matches the looks - particularly on deeper pile carpets. It has very powerful suction for cleaning deep down, has a HEPA filter to keep allergens at bay and comes with a couple of tools that make removing pet hair a breeze.

The first and most important tool is the Pet PowerMate. It’s designed with a small rotating brush to help extract pet hair from any surface. This tool works extremely well and combined with the amazing suction of this vacuum means your home should be pet hair free in no time.

In addition to the Pet PowerMate you also get a Pet Upholstery Tool. This clips onto the front of the dusting tool and is designed to help you clean pet hair from more delicate surfaces and fabrics.

You can adjust the height of the cleaning head to suit the floor surface you’re vacuuming, which is great and it will clean up to the edge of the room. It also has a stair grip feature, which keeps the cleaner in place when you are cleaning the stairs.

This is a substantial cleaner, weighing in at 23 pounds, so it is not for the faint hearted or less physically able. The machine and the cleaning hose are quite bulky and you need to give it a good tug to pull it along behind you. On top of that the strong suction means it can sometimes take a bit of effort to move the cleaning head back and forth over the floor.

Verdict

This is a beautiful blueberry beast of a machine that is well equipped to take on the pet hair challenge. We particularly recommend this vacuum for its exceptional performance on deep pile carpets – in fact it is one of the best you can buy for that job. With it’s HEPA filter system I would recommend this canister vacuum to any pet owners, but particularly those struggling to keep those deep pile carpets pet hair free.


Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal

Best Premium Canister

Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister

What we love

  • No-topple ball design for self-correcting movements and easy cleaning
  • HEPA filtration system
  • No need for changing/washing filters or bags
  • Great attachments for removing pet hair
  • Articulating wand handle for versatile movements
  • Primary cleaning head has different bristles for carpets and hard floors
  • Auto rewind cord

Could be better

  • Expensive, but if you want a machine to last for a long time, it will pay off in the long run
  • Some might find the power cord too short

Performance

There is no doubt Dyson lead the way when it comes to thinking outside the box (or should that be bag?) of vacuum cleaning technology.

While other manufacturers are busy working on making their HEPA filters as efficient as possible, Dyson decided the Cinetic Big Ball Animal canister could do without one – and instead they turned the entire vacuum into one big HEPA filter.

The issue with any filter is that the more dust particles it collects the less air can easily flow through it and the less suction that can be achieved. So, for this cleaner, Dyson decided to create a vacuum that was so air tight that once sucked into the vacuum dust particles and allergens would stay there. This whole machine filtration system means no filters to clean and no loss of suction power.

The Cinetic in the name comes from what Dyson are calling Cinetic tips. There are 36 of these tiny cone-like shapes that gather microscopic particles of dust and debris from the airflow that passes over them and deposit them into the canister. I don’t claim to understand exactly how it works, all I know is it makes the Cinetic Big Ball Animal a brilliant cleaning machine, that never loses suction power and works well to keep the air in your home free from pet dander and other allergens.

Of course, suction power alone is not enough to make an effective vacuum cleaner and the Dyson’s carbon fiber turbine head makes sure that very little, if any, dust or pet hair escapes. There is also a very versatile pivoting attachment especially for cleaning hard floors and of course it has the brilliant Dyson Tangle-Free Turbine Tool to pick up those stubborn pet hairs.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum

I must say that in addition to being an amazing piece of technology this is also agreat, user-friendly machine to clean with. The ball design means you can pull it in any direction and it will never fall over, the tools are a pleasure to use and emptying the canister is a simple, hassle free process.

Verdict

This is an amazing vacuum cleaner - powerful, versatile and great at clearing up pet hair. This is an innovative, well made, vacuum cleaner for people who want the best deep clean they can. Of course, this kind of cutting edge technology inevitably comes at a price, which may put it out of reach for some people. But this machine will provide many years of excellent service and for those who can stretch to it.


Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog

Best Premium+ Canister

Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog

What we love

  • HEPA Active AirClean filter with charcoal gets rid of odors
  • Lightweight for carrying around and compact for storage
  • A quiet cleaner, ideal for skittish pets
  • The handheld TurboBrush removes pet hair from carpets and upholstery
  • The different cleaning heads work well on different  floor types

Could be better

  • Expensive

Performance

If we were to compare vacuums to cars the Miele C3 Complete Cat and Dog would be the Rolls Royce of canister vacuums made specifically for pet hair. The price tag is fairly steep, but if you have high quality flooring you want to protect or just appreciate the finer things this is a premium product that is worth every penny.

Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Cleaning Power

Miele’s range of vacuum cleaners is in accordance with the EU’s new regulations on power consumption. So while it might has 1200 watts of power, the suction is just one part of what makes it such an effective cleaner.

There are 2 cleaning heads; the Miele AirTeQ head for floors and the Turbohead for carpets. You can also change the brush-lengths on the main cleaning head with your foot if you don’t want to switch between the different heads.

At 73 decibels the C3 is one of the quietest vacuums on the market and is an excellent choice if you have light sleepers or skittish pets in the house. I have both, so I really appreciate just how quietly the Miele runs. The ‘pet’ de résistance is the STB 101 handheld TurboBrush that allows you to control the force you’re using when removing those stubborn pet hairs from carpets and corners.

The vacuum weighs around 10.8lbs and is a manageable weight to carry up stairs or from room to room while the telescopic wand means you can easily adjust the length. In terms of maneuvarbility,there are castor wheels that rotate and pivot as you move, the wheels are gentle on your surfaces and there is also the Parquet Twister. Easy accessibility means no more dust bunnies around the house.

The vacuum can holda huge 1.18 gallons of dry material and there is a strip on the canister that changes color when the bag is full. It’s easy to empty and the self-sealing HyClean bags mean no mess and dust clouds. The Miele HEPA Active AirClean filter has activated charcoal which works to eliminate all sorts of odors and the high-quality filter removes and captures 99.99% harmful particles and allergens.

There are loads of attachments and tools and most can be stored inside the canister, saving you space and keeping everything together in one place.

Verdict

Obviously this particular vacuum isn’t in everyone’s budget, but if you have high quality flooring that you want to protect the money, appreciate quality and have the budget then the Miele C3 is the vacuum for you. It’s versatile and works extremely well on different surfaces inside your home. It’s built to last so you’ll have it for years and you won’t have to keep buying additional bits and pieces. If you’re thinking about upgrading and have the means you’re not going to get any better than this.


Best Stick Vacuums for Pet Hair

Stick vacuums are ideal for apartments or for quick spot cleaning.

Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless SV1106

Best Budget Stick

Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum SV1106



What we love

  • The price
  • Large dust cup
  • Lightweight and easy to use around the house
  • Easy storage

Could be better

  • No HEPA filter

Performance

Shark are rapidly becoming one of the world's best vacuum brand. The Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum is a cordless, bagless stick vacuum at a very good price. There are no bells and whistle on this model but it is ideal if you are looking for a vacuum that can clean quickly and effectively.

For such a small vacuum, the Shark Navigator has a strong suction that cleans up small particles and pet dander while the cleaning head with the motorized brush catches onto fine pet hair. There are 2 speeds; one for hard floors and the other to handle carpets.

There are no attachments and no dedicated pet-hair tool but after using it I found the brush head is very effective and gets the job done. The swivel action and compact design allows you to move around furniture and corners, and go where no other vacuum has gone before. It is lightweight and can be carried from room to room.

The Shark Navigator Cordless Vacuum has a base charger and it recharges in a small amount of time. Thanks to the replaceable battery the vacuum is one of the more cost-effective options on the market.

Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum SV1106

The dust cup is a generous size ay 0.29 gallons), given the size of the vacuum itself and you should easily be able to do quite a bit of cleaning before having to empty it out. It is easy to release and replace with minimal mess or fuss.

The stick vacuum is able to clean hard floors and carpet although it battled a little with,particularly shaggy carpets. Switching between the different surfaces is easy to do, without having to bend down or fiddle with buttons.

As far as filtration goes this model doesn’t have an HEPA filter. If asthma and allergies are a concern then it’s better to spend a bit more and get a vacuum with a more sophisticated filter system.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a budget price cordless cleaner that can cope with pet hair on various floor surfaces then this is the vacuum we’d recommend. It’s easy to use, to store and with it’s replaceable battery it should give you years of great service.Unfortunately it’s not ideal for people with allergies or asthma as there is no HEPA filter.


Shark Rocket TruePet with DuoClean HV382

Best Mid-Price Stick

Shark Rocket Pet Hair HQ review


What we love

  • TruePet Motorized Brush Tool
  • Great Suction Power
  • Lightweight
  • Brushroll 'garage' for easy detangling

Could be better

  • Long hair can tangle on brushroll
  • No HEPA filter

Performance

Shark is a well-respected brand of vacuum and their Shark Rocket with DuoClean is a hugely popular ultra-light upright vacuum – in fact the HV382 ‘TruePet’ is the bestselling vacuum with ‘pet’ in the name on Amazon right now. Whether it should be classified as an upright or a stick vacuum cleaner is something only us vacuum geeks will argue about. The only thing that matters to everyone else is how well it works!

Shark Rocket DuoClean System

The Shark Rocket HV380 series is an upgrade to the very popular HV320 and there are 3 models to choose from – the HV380, HV381 and HV382. These vary in the color and the attachments that come with them. But the one of most interest to us as pet owners is the HV382, which comes with the TruePet Mini Motorized Brush – a great tool for cleaning up pet hair from upholstery, stairs etc.

The main cleaning head has 2 brush rollers (that’s why it’s DuoClean!). There’s a soft brush roller in front of a stiff bristle roller which is designed to ensure the cleaner picks up a wider range of particle sizes. They’ve even given us a handy graphic to show how it works.

While we’ve found this brush head system is very good it isn’t specifically designed with pet hair in mind. It’s very good at picking up short hairs but if you have a long-haired dog (or child for that matter) you will probably find those longer hairs get tangled around the brushroll. But, if you do need to de-tangle hairs Shark have added their very useful ‘brushroll garage’, a ‘door’ that gives you access to the brushroll without having to turn the cleaner upside down.

This is a very versatile cleaner. The handle detaches to become a powerful handheld Dust-buster so you can use it to clean anywhere. And as a handheld it works well. The motor is in the handle so unlike some cleaners you get the same suction power whether you use it as an upright or handheld. Of course, having the motor in the handle does mean that when you’re using it as an upright the cleaner can feel a little top-heavy. This is not an issue for most people but if you have weakness or pain in your wrist or arms this would not be a great vacuum.

Verdict

The Shark Rocket TruePet with DuoClean is a versatile, powerful, lightweight vacuum cleaner. It is a shame that longer hairs get tangled around the brushroll and while the ‘brushroll garage’ makes clearing the tangles more convenient if you have a dog with long hair you may want to look elsewhere.

That said many owners of short hair dogs will love this cleaner. Most people will find it easy to maneuver and will love the versatility and suction power of the handheld unit and the cleaning power of the TruePet Motorized Brush Tool.


Dyson V6 Animal Cord Free Vacuum

Best Premium Stick

Dyson V6 Animal Cord Free Vacuum


What we love

  • The trigger button preserves battery life
  • The wand is detachable for close-up cleaning and can be extended for maximum reach
  • Lightweight
  • It’s suitable for hard floors, carpet, furniture, windowsills, cabinets, and shelves
  • The filter system isn’t HEPA however it is asthma and allergy-suitable

Could be better

  • The small dust cup needs to be emptied regularly

Performance

As you'd expect from Dyson the V6 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum is sleek and stylish with a slender wand, compact handle, an easy to access dust cup and a transparent cleaning head at the bottom.

The V6 is a powerful and versatile stick cleaner. It has an extreme suction function for long, shaggy carpets. And the “Direct-Drive” cleaner head drives the bristles deep into the carpet fibers for hidden dirt and pet-hair. The “brushroll” design on the cleaning head is suited to hardwood floors.

Not only is the Dyson V6 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum cordless, it’s also very light, which means it is easy to carry around. Instead of an on/off switch the vacuum has a trigger which means the battery is only ever in use when the vacuum is actually in cleaning mode.

The multi-use wand can be removed and the V6 can be used as a hand-held vacuum for close-up cleaning in cars, cabinets, windowsills and down the back and sides of sofas. It can also be extended to its maximum length for usually unreachable cobwebs.

At only 0.10 gallons the dust-cup on this particular model is small and one clean of a small apartment would probably see you needing to empty it.

Dyson V6 Animal Cord Free Vacuum Cleaning Power

It’s a great vacuum for hardwood floors and carpets because of the Direct-Drive cleaner, super suction, and bristle layers. There’s no place for dust bunnies to hide and pet dander doesn’t stand a chance.

The Dyson V6 is a high quality, premium product with a lot of attachments and tools for expert cleaning. The V6 has an asthma and allergy-friendly filtration system and is ideal for homes with a lot of pets.

Verdict

The Dyson V6 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum is a great investment for dusting, upholstery cleaning and pet-hair removal but its small dirt cup makes it less than ideal for larger homes.

On the other hand, if you’re in an apartment or medium-small home, you’ll appreciate its compact size and wall-mounted docking station. You can reach for it whenever you need and it’s always charged.



Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

Buying a vacuum cleaner is an investment in your home and yourself. Making the right choice now will make it much easier to keep your home clean, fresh and pet hair free. These are the things you need to consider before deciding which is the best vacuum for pet hair for you.


Your Home

Flooring

Dog sleeping on carpet

If your home has all hardwood flooring, then you can immediately narrow your choice down to those vacuums that are designed for hard surfaces.

On the flip side, if your home is wall to wall carpet in pretty much every room again your choice is also straightforward. Of course, for many of us it’s not that simple.

Most people’s homes are probably a combination of surfaces - hardwood floors, kitchen tiles, rugs and carpets. Luckily manufacturers understand this and there’s a wide selection of pet hair vacuums that do a good job of all-round cleaning.

Upholstery

Now is also a good time to think about what accessories and attachments you might like with your new vacuum.

Do you have upholstered furniture that your pet lies on? (even if they’ve been forbidden!)

Do you want to vacuum the car? What about your curtains?

Most of the top vacuum models include attachments that will do these things or you could do what some people do and get a small handheld for tackling those jobs.

Dog hair on sofa

Space

A cluttered room for vacuuming

You want a vacuum that you can move easily around your home so you can do the cleaning with as little trouble as possible.

Obviously, you have to move furniture to vacuum under and behind them but do you also have big open floor spaces? (In which case you want an upright).

Or is there a lot of furniture filing the space in each room? (A canister might suit you better)

​The Vacuum

Power

The deeper your carpets and the more soft-furnishings you have the more powerful the cleaner you’ll need to shift that pet hair. Canisters are often rated as more highly powered than uprights. But that doesn’t mean they actually are more powerful. Canisters need more power to achieve a similar level of performance - an upright with the same power as a canister will easily out-perform it.

If you’re buying a cordless vacuum the important things to look for are how long it takes to charge (some can take 12 hours!) and how long you can clean for before a recharge – having a vacuum that runs out after 15 minutes is going to be useless if you have a whole house to clean. Unless you’re super quick or your home is already super clean before you start (mine never is)

Dirt Capacity

You need to make sure the dust capacity is big enough for your home. It’s common sense. If you have a large home, or a very hairy dog, you need a large dust capacity – unless you enjoy emptying the vacuum every 10 minutes!

Weight

Manufacturers try to make their vacuums as light as possible but some are heavier than others. If you have any health problems or mobility issues, then look for the lighter ones. The last thing you want is for your chores to affect your health.

Hose Length

You need to be able to reach into those awkward places and clear the spider webs from the ceiling so if you have tall rooms check that the hose is going to be long enough to reach the ceiling.

Cord Length

You don’t want to have to keep plugging and unplugging the vacuum. The longer the cord the better. A retractable cord is even better. Makes putting away the vacuum that much quicker.

Filter

HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter) trap 99.97% of particles like bacteria, pathogens spores and especially important for pet owners – dander. A HEPA filter is especially important for people with dust allergies, asthma, COPD or other respiratory conditions. If you want to minimize allergens in the air in your home you should go for a vacuum with a HEPA filter - filters labelled ‘HEPA-Style’ or ‘HEPA-like’ or ‘Anti-allergen’ are not as effective.

Storage

If storage space is an issue we’ll give you the dimensions of each vacuum so you can make sure the vacuum will fit in the space you’ve got.

Bagless or Bag

Years ago, all the best vacuums had bags. Once it got full you’d just throw it away and fit a new one. People liked the bags because they had filters on them which was supposed to keep the air cleaner when you were vacuuming.

Today the bagless versions are much more popular. You don’t run the risk of running out of bags and all the best vacuums are now fitted with high quality filters (like the HEPA filters) - so the air emitting from the vacuums is much cleaner.

Of course, there is still a place for the bagged vacuums and some people still prefer the fact that there’s much less mess and dust when you empty the vacuum. If you have a dust allergy then a vacuum with a bag is probably the better choice for you.

Personally, I use a bagless. The cylinder is usually transparent and I love the fact that I can see how much dust and dirt I’ve cleaned up. There’s something very satisfying about seeing it fill up (Or is that just me? J)

Accessories

What tools come with your vacuum to make cleaning those hard to get at places easier?

Warranty

Manufacturers don’t like losing money so they tend to warranty their products up to the point they are pretty confident they won’t break down. Longer warranties often mean better build quality as a rule of thumb.

Your Budget

There are some great vacuums with lots of fancy features and it’s easy to get carried away. So, set yourself a realistic maximum budget and try to stick to it.

The cost of a vacuum doesn’t always equate to quality - Just because a vacuum costs a lot of money it doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best - but it’s fair to say cheap vacuums are not going to last as long or do as good a job as the more well-made vacuums. A vacuum cleaner is an investment and spending a little more now will save you money in the end.

If you are just starting out, trying to get everything together for your first home or money is just very tight right now then go for a budget vacuum. It might take a bit more effort to clean your home but it will do the job for a year or two.

The mid-range vacuums are going to do a much better job of cleaning pet hair than the budget models and will give you good service for much longer. Mid-range is the biggest section of the market and there is a lot of competition from manufacturers for your business. They put a lot of time and effort into making these vacuums as efficient and high quality as possible. That’s not to say there aren’t some poor vacuums in this range but so be sure to check out our reviews.

The premium range is where the world class vacuums and cutting edge technologies live. If you have the budget and love either extremely well-made things or the latest gadgets then you can increase your budget and get a premium vacuum.

Unless money is very tight now you should think of buying a vacuum as an investment not a short-term solution. Get a good one now and you can enjoy trouble free cleaning for years. Most people don’t enjoy cleaning and a wise investment in a good quality vacuum now will save you time and money in the long run.

Type of Vacuum

​Different types of vacuum are better suited to different situations

Now of course sometimes you’ll just have a personal preference. Some people like using uprights, some prefer canisters, and others like a ‘stick’ style vacuum. And if you have a preference go for it. At the end of the day you’ll be using it for the next few years so you need to be comfortable with it. If you have no preference and you want some guidance these are the things you need to think about.

10 or 20 years ago it was a general accepted that upright vacuums were the best option for cleaning pet hair. But technology has moved on a lot since then. Canister and handheld vacuums have improved a lot and now you can base your choice on the vacuum type that best fits your home and preferences.

I'll talk about handheld and robotic vacuums later but for now I want to outline the 4 types of vacuum that most people use as their main cleaner.

Upright Vacuum Cleaners

The upright is still the most popular type of vacuum. They are quick and easy to use when you have a large space to clean.

Canister and handheld vacuums designed for pet hair are much more powerful than they used to be and more than capable.

But if you have particularly deep carpets or a particularly hairy pet, or one that brings a lot of mud into the house, then you probably want the extra muscle and suction power that you get from an upright.

I’d also recommend an upright if you have back problems (link to blog post).

You pull a canister behind you so people have more of a tendency to stoop when using that type of cleaner. Because you push the upright in front of you it’s easier to maintain a much better posture.

Benefits

  • Cover a lot of floor quickly
  • Easy to use
  • Deep cleaning power
  • Best for people with posture issues

Downsides

  • Not great for small or cluttered areas

Right for you?

A canister vacuum is a good choice for you if you have lots of awkward places to get to or narrow stairs or you would also like to use it for vacuuming the car.

Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Canister vacuums have been popular in Europe for some time but are now being used more and more in American homes. They come in a variety of dust capacities and you can choose the size that matches the needs of your home.

The big advantage of canister vacuums is that they’re light and easy to manoeuver. The flexible hose makes it much easier to get into those nooks and crannies. It also means you can use a canister for vacuuming your car, the furniture or the curtains. Canisters are also much better than uprights for cleaning carpets on stairs. I find it does take longer to clean a large area with a canister than it would with an upright but if space is tight or you have a lot of hard to get at areas then the canister is probably a great choice for you. This flexibility and convenience is one reason canisters are becoming increasingly popular.

What we love

  • Light and easy to manoeuver
  • Can access awkward spaces
  • Easier to clean stairs

Could be better

  • Takes longer to clean large areas of floor

Right for you?

A canister vacuum is a good choice for you if you have lots of awkward places to get to or narrow stairs or you would also like to use it for vacuuming the car.

Stick Vacuum Cleaners

Stick Vacuums are basically slimmed down uprights without the added attachments you often get with an upright. They are halfway between an upright and a handheld. Stick vacuums are also often cordless, which adds to their convenience. Sticks don’t generally tend to be as powerful as their upright counterparts but the best ones specially designed for pet hair are powerful enough. These vacuums are much lighter than a full blown upright and are great for people who would otherwise struggle to cope with a heavy upright or canister. But bear in mind that the cordless versions have batteries and are generally a little heavier than the corded stick vacuums. Also, being slimmer, they take up less room and are a good option if you’ve only got tall thin storage space.

What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Cordless versions very convenient
  • Good option if storage space is limited

Could be better

  • Battery life can be limiting

Right for you?

A stick vacuum is a good choice for you if you don’t have a large area to clean or have difficulty lifting. The cordless versions are great for taking out of the house to clean an RV or boat.

Convertible Vacuum Cleaners

Can’t decide between a canister and an upright? Thinking you might like the convenience of a stick but also need a handheld? Then you are in luck. Convertible vacuums are able to transform from one type to another with a few clicks. Vacuums like the Karcher VC5 Premium can be an upright, a stick and a handheld. While the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away is an upright that converts into a canister. So if you want and upright and a handheld for detailed work the Karcher might be just the vacuum you need. Or if you love the speed of an upright but you also regularly vacuum the stairs and would like the flexibility of a canister, then the Shark Rotator Pro Lift Away might be the perfect vacuum for you.

What we love

  • Incredibly versatile
  • Get the benefits of more than one vacuum
  • Lots of attachments

Could be better

  • Require some assembling and disassembling to use.

Right for you?

A convertible vacuum is a good choice for you if you want flexibility and convenience and don’t want to buy more than one vacuum.

Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

Pet hair has a habit of settling in all sorts of awkward places and that’s where handheld vacuums come into their own. These light portable vacuums are perfect for getting into difficult areas as well as cleaning upholstery, curtains and your car. These are a great cleaner to get if your main vacuum doesn’t have many attachments or you don’t want to drag out the main hoover every time you spot a mess. Many of these vacuums are cordless so you can use them to clean a boat or RV. Some even come with a fixture for attaching it to the wall if storage space is an issue.

What we love

  • Light and portable
  • Vacuum anything, anywhere
  • Great for quick spot cleaning
  • Very little storage space needed

Could be better

  • You will need another vacuum for deeper cleaning

Right for you?

A handheld vacuum is a good choice for you if you have no room to store a vacuum or you want the flexibility to quickly clean up a small mess without getting the large vacuum out or you want to use it to vacuum the car.

Robotic Vacuums

The robots are coming! I love these little things but they’ll need to get a bit better at deep cleaning carpets if they want to take over the world.

When robotic vacuums first came on the market they were little more than an expensive gadget to impress your friends. Now they’ve grown up and the best robotic vacuums do a pretty good job of keeping your floors clear of dust and debris. Some robotic vacuums are very good for cleaning pet hair but you might still want to supplement the robot with a thorough clean with a more powerful vacuum every so often. You’ll need another vacuum anyway to do stairs and upholstery. That said, if you’re not a fan of vacuuming these bots are a godsend. They will keep on top of day to day cleaning and reduce the number of times you need to get the main vacuum out!

What we love

  • Floors stay cleaner longer
  • Very little storage space needed
  • Frees you to do other things

Could be better

  • Will probably still need another vacuum cleaner

Right for you?

A robotic vacuum is a good choice for you if you don’t have a pet that sheds too much and you love the idea of doing less vacuuming yourself.

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Now you’ve probably got a good idea of which type of vacuum you’d prefer you can check out our reviews section to find the vacuum that’s right for you.

If you have any thoughts about Guide to the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair 2017 or would like to ask me a question, please get in touch through the comments below or via the form on the contact page.​

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