Best Vacuums For Pet Hair In 2020/2021: Reviews, & Buyer’s Guide (Upright & Canister, Cordless & Stick, Robot, & Handhelds Vacs)



In this guide, we look at the best vacuums for pet hair.

We list the top vacuums across the upright and canister, cordless and stick, handheld, and robotic vacuum types.

Let’s take a look.


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)


Best Vacuums For Pet Hair

If you prefer, you can go straight to viewing the top vacuums of different types here:

Upright & Canister Vacuums

Cordless & Stick Vacuums

Handheld Vacuums

Robotic Vacuums


Best Upright & Canister Vacuums For Pet Hair: Reviews

*Note that some upright vacuums are lift off vacuums that can also be used as carry around vacuums for above floor cleaning with an extension hose.


Best Cordless & Stick Vacuums For Pet Hair: Reviews

*Note that some stick vacuums are 2 in 1, or 4 in 1 vacuums that can be converted into handheld vacuums.


Best Handheld Vacuums For Pet Hair: Reviews


Best Robot Vacuum For Pet Hair: Reviews


Best Shark Vacuum For Pet Hair: Reviews

  • Shark has a number of vacuums that could be used for pet hair, but the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum we listed above is one of the best options from our perspective (Based on performance, price, features, etc.)


Best Dyson Vacuum For Pet Hair: Reviews

  • The cordless range of ‘V Series’ Dyson vacuums are probably the best for pet hair


Best Vacuums For Pet Hair: Buyer’s Guide

Types Of Vacuums For Pet Hair

The main types are:

  • Upright and canister vacuums (which are usually corded)
  • Cordless vacuums (can be small handheld, or stick vacs)
  • Stick vacuums (usually cordless, and usually have 2 in 1 capabilities to be used as a full length stick vac, or a smaller hand vac with various attachments)
  • Handheld vacuums (usually small – can be corded or cordless)
  • Robotic vacuums


Which Type Of Vacuum To Get?

It really depends on your preferences.

Robotic and small handheld vacuums tend to have less power. The larger upright and cordless/stick vacuums tend to have more power.

Corded upright vacuums with an above ground hose function, or lift off capability might be the best for the home because you don’t have to worry about a battery running out of charge, but you get some versatility with both ground level and above ground level cleaning.

Cordless vacuums might be better for the car.

Robot vacuums obviously have the benefit of being automatic – you can even leave the house or go to work and allow them to operate while you are gone.

So, consider the main pros and cons of each type of vacuum, and balance them with your cleaning preferences and where you want to be vacuuming (which rooms in the house, whether you want to vacuum in the car or away from a power source, whether you want automatic cleaning, and so on) 


What To Consider With Pet Hair Vacuums Specifically

You may find robotic vacuums and small handheld vacuums aren’t as effective as the bigger more powerful vacuums with better suction and bigger thicker brush rolls.

If the vacuum does have a brush roll or power brush for deep carpets, upholstery and so on – make sure the brush is easy to clean clogged pet hair from, and make sure it’s actually removing pet hair from the areas you need.

Run over the areas with the most pet hair first, and see how much of the hair the vacuum picks up.

When you start using the vacuum, note how long the dust container takes to fill, and make sure it’s easy enough to empty and clean out.

But note, vacuums on their own aren’t the sole solution to removing and cleaning up pet hair. When there is a lot of hair, very thick hair, or very long hair to clean up, even the best vacuums may struggle to be effective.


Factors To Consider When Choosing Which Vacuum To Buy

Some of the main factors that you may consider in purchasing a vacuum are:

  • What type of vacuum it is
  • What range of surfaces it is intended for – low pile carpets, high pile carpets, hard floors, and so on
  • The price range
  • Whether it is a single vacuum, or a 2 in 1, or even 4 in 1 system
  • Whether it has ground level, and above ground level cleaning capabilities (like a lift off vacuum with an extendable hose for example)
  • Whether it’s corded or cordless
  • How long the cord is if it’s corded
  • What type of battery it has, how long it takes to charge, and how long it runs under the different cleaning modes. Does it come with a charger, battery, and charging dock?
  • How many cleaning modes it has, and what those cleaning modes are
  • What the controls are (buttons, or LCD screen), and where they are located on the vac (+ how they work)
  • How powerful the suction is (in comparison to other vacuums)
  • What type of motor it has (brushless?), it’s power, and it’s life time
  • What volume (in dB) does the vacuum run at
  • How big is the dust container, and how do you empty it
  • What type of brush or brush roll it has (and how easy it is to remove hair from the brush roll)
  • Whether it has rotating or swivel capabilities (both sideways, and up and down)
  • What the cleaning path is
  • Whether there are adjustable height settings, or whether the vacuum automatically adjusts it’s height
  • What filtration system it has
  • Whether the filters are washable
  • The allergen system it has
  • How much it weighs
  • What attachments and tools does it come with?
  • What is the warranty for and how long does it last. What are the conditions
  • What is the return policy and conditions

Note also that the different types of vacuums may have their own individual factors to consider apart from the above general ones. For example, robotic vacuums may have additional factors to consider such as:

  • Whether it’s just a vacuum, or whether it’s a 2 in 1 vacuum and mop
  • What height of incline it can climb (for carpet and flooring surface edges)
  • How powerful the vacuum suction is 
  • Whether it is hand remote controlled, or smartphone app controlled
  • What sort of remote it has – standard, or advanced
  • What Wi-Fi Connectivity it has – 2.4 GHz only or 5 GHz as well
  • Whether it is Alexa voice compatible, or Google compatible
  • Whether is has touchscreen buttons
  • Whether the vac can be automatically scheduled
  • What sort of brush it has – single brush, double brush, pet bar beater brush
  • Whether it cleans a single room, or multiple rooms
  • What surfaces it is for – most robo vacs are for thin carpets and hard surfaces, but not thick/plush carpets
  • How many cleaning modes it has
  • What cleaning modes it has (auto, spot cleaning, turbo/max suction modes etc.)
  • Whether it has object, and cliff sensors
  • What sort of navigation system it has – laser navigation system, camera navigation system etc
  • Whether it has side brushes for walls and edges
  • What it’s clearance height is
  • What it’s cleaning speed is
  • Whether it automatically docks and charges
  • + other factors


Robotic vacuum are automatic operating rechargeable battery vacuums. They operate on a pre determined cleaning pattern with navigation, mapping and guidance systems, and are limited somewhat by their wheels and climbing inclines (like rug edges, stairs etc.). Most robotic vacuums don’t handles thick or plush carpets well. They are much better on thin carpet or hard surfaces.

Robotic vacuums are light cleaning vacuums. They are mainly only for light/fine hair, low quantity hair amounts, and loose fur. They aren’t for thick hair, high quantities of hair and deeply lodged hair.

Consider this in your purchasing decision.

An upright vac gives you more flexibility, power, control and range.


Always Check Warranty & Return Conditions Before You Buy Or Order

When ordering or purchasing any vacuum, you want to be aware of and be satisfied with the warranty and return conditions before you buy. Get them in writing if possible. 

A few key things you’ll want to know are – which parts of the vacuum are under warranty and for how long, whether there is a full return policy and how long from date of purchase it is valid, and how shipping (and shipping costs) is managed.

A dedicated customer service line also helps (not just for warranty and return, but for any operation, set up or repair problems you might have with the vacuum).

The more money you spend on a vacuum, the more sure you want to be that your money is covered by both a good warranty and return policy.


Removing Pet Hair From Different Surfaces … Vacuums Alone Aren’t The Single Solution

We put together this guide on removing pet hair from different surfaces such as carpets, hard floors, clothes, furniture and home linen, washing machines, cars, and so on:

What we note is that vacuums alone often won’t help you completely remove or clean up pet hair (this is especially the case for less powerful or smaller vacuums like robotic vacuums and small handheld vacuums)

Reducing the amount of hair being dropped is an important step that will help – by regularly brushing your pet, or laying down covers and rugs that you don’t mind regularly brushing off and washing for example. And, you may often need other tools and hair removal methods in addition to a vacuum to help you remove pet hair effectively (especially in thick carpets, or surfaces that absorb a lot of pet hair). 


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You should always consult your own veterinarian, animal expert, or health care professional and follow their advice before making decisions on all matters.


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