9 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair of 2020, According to Cleaning Appliance Pros
You love everything about your pet, but one thing that isn’t so great: Finding his fur all over your house. One of the the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab’s most frequently asked questions is, “What’s the best vacuum to get rid of pet hair?” That’s because removing pet hair is one of the toughest challenges vacuum cleaners face. This is especially true when static electricity makes dog hair and cat hair cling so tightly to fabrics, like carpeting and upholstery, that no amount of brushing or suction power seem to pick it up.
In the GH Cleaning Lab, we test all kinds of vacuums to find the best ones, including handheld vacuums, stick vacuums, canister vacuums, HEPA vacuums, and much more. We put our vacuums through rigorous testing that follows ASTM industry standard test methods: We set out a standardized gamut of messes on a range of flooring from hardwood to deep pile carpet to vinyl.
In the Lab, each vacuum model is tested exactly the same way, but we also get consumer feedback on each vacuum’s ease of use, including maneuverability, changing the bag (or removing the dust cup), and controls. Perhaps most importantly, every vacuum we evaluate gets tested on “pet hair” — a.k.a. fine rayon fibers that we apply to test carpeting in a uniform way. Here are the best vacuums for picking up pet hair:
- Best Bagged Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair: Miele Dynamic U1 Maverick Vacuum
- Best Value Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair: Eureka FloorRover Upright Vacuum
- Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair: Amarey A900 Robot Vacuum
- Best Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair Allergies: Kenmore Pet Friendly Upright Vacuum
- Best Bagless Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Upright Vacuum
- Best Canister Vacuum for Pet Hair: Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum
- Best Stick Vacuum for Pet Hair: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Vacuum
- Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum
- Best Vacuum Attachment for Pet Hair: Dyson Groom Tool
How to find the best vacuum for pet hair
To help any vacuum do a better job at removing pet hair, our cleaning pros recommend giving fur-covered carpets and couches a spritz of an anti-static spray, like Static Guard, before vacuuming to help strands come up easier. Then, there are a few features to look for in a vacuum specifically for pet hair:
- Rubber trim and raised “fingers” on floor nozzles and attachments that help zap static and break the bonds so fur comes up more easily.
- Tangle-free brush rolls put an end to clipping long strands of hair (from pets or humans!) that get twisted around the brush.
- Easy-to-empty dust cups for inevitable and frequent dumping as you vacuum. Keep in mind that filters on newer vacuums trap more odors to eliminate smells in the vacuum and the room.
Below are the top-performing vacuuums that performed best on pet hair in Labs tests, plus ones with features perfectly-suited to tackle stubborn fur:
Dynamic U1 Maverick Vacuum
This Good Housekeeping Seal star is ideal for pet owners that also suffer from allergies or asthma since its self-sealing bag keeps debris out of the air. It also has a HEPA filter, which traps even the tiniest particles, including pet dander. It received top-scores in our pet hair pick-up test and basically every other test we put it through. Plus, it comes with all the accessories you need to get the whole house spotless, like an upholstery tool, a crevice nozzle, and a dusting brush.
Eureka FloorRover Dash Lightweight Upright Vacuum, NEU526
This affordable champ is an updated version of a previously tested model that had a near-perfect score in our pet hair pick-up tests and it comes with a a Pet Turbo Brush, specifically designed to get rid of pet hair from bedding, floors, stairs, and upholstery — not an attachment you often find at this price point. Our consumer testers loved how easily it was to maneuver in tough-to-reach places.
A900 Robot Vacuum
Robot vacuums often struggle with pet hair, but this budget-friendly Amarey A900 was the top scorer for pet hair pickup among our best performers. What especially impressed us was that any hair that got did get stuck in the brush was easy to remove. Its slim 2.75” design lets it glide under beds and low furniture to clean the hard-to-reach places pet hair seems to settle. And with four different modes, including spot and edge cleaning, you can send the Amarey out to tackle just the problem areas before guests arrive. The auto mode adjusts suction for different floor types, increasing suction when it detects carpet. In our tests, the Amarey was quiet and cleaned for up to two hours before returning to its charging dock.
Kenmore Pet Friendly Upright Vacuum
Pet hair is an annoyance for most pet owners, but if you or someone in your family happens to be allergic to pet hair, it can also be a serious health issue. This upright Kenmore has all the extras to keep pet hair where it belongs — inside the vacuum. Certified by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA), this Kenmore passed AAFA tests for low emissions both while vacuuming and when changing the bag and while we haven’t tested this specific model, Kenmore vacuums do well in our performance tests, we know and trust the rigid standards of the AAFA, and are impressed with their certification criteria. This vacuum maintains its performance even as the bag fills and clogs with dirt and it’s loaded with features like a powerful motor, a five-position adjustable height nozzle for easier pushing across all carpet styles and an air-powered hand tool with a rotating brush to more easily remove stubborn pet hair from upholstery, bedding, and stairs.
Pet Hair Eraser Upright Vacuum
This Good Housekeeping Seal star is our Lab go-to because it comes fully stocked with features that’ll suck up every last bit of pet hair. A tangle-free brush roll, a light to find hidden messes, and a detachable canister are all included. To minimize the mess when emptying the canister, Bissell has a technology that “spools” the hair inside the canister, so it comes out as one easy-to-remove mass instead of individual strands. We also like that it works great on both carpets and bare floors.
Classic C1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Miele vacuums always top our Lab tests for performance and this model is designed for cleaning up after cats and dogs. It’s especially great if you’re worried about pesky smells, since the powerful Good Housekeeping Seal star features an Active AirClean Filter to help neutralize any lingering pet odors. It also comes with a super-useful Flexible Handheld Mini Turbo Brush attachment for cleaning upholstery, stairs, and other tight spaces.
Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Vacuum
Dyson’s super-lightweight model received perfect scores in our pet hair pick-up tests. And since it’s cordless, you’ll never have to worry about you (or your pets!) tripping over a power cord! The cordless stick vacuum was great at picking up pet hair on carpets and floors and it converts into a hand vac allowing you to easily tackle furniture, too.
Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum
Don’t want to buy a whole new vacuum? This small-but-mighty Bissell (less than four pounds!) is perfect for quick pet-hair fixes. We like that it’s designed with a rubber nozzle to help lift stuck-on hair and that it’s easy to maneuver around chair arms and stair treads to get every last piece.
If you’re already a Dyson owner, consider adding this unique grooming tool to your cleaning arsenal to create a next-level hair vacuum. It brushes your pup and removes loose hair, sucking strands right into the vacuum itself.
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