Just got back from our 2 weeks trip to Vienna, and I’m already back in business, thanks to my 2 year Scottish fold (Bob) which I’ve left in the company of my five year old Golden Retriever (Carla), under the adult supervision of one of my friends (I will not nominate him, at his request), which did absolutely nothing even remotely related to cleaning. So basically now I’ve got pet hair everywhere: on the couches, in the carpets, on the drawers, even on the ceiling fans (I guess Bob is more athletic than I thought). A while ago, I was talking about pet owners and how they could clean their homes in general. Now, I going to get in more dept, and reveal what is the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair at the moment. I have in fact several options which I’ve arranged in no particular order in the table bellow (I’ll cover my favorite one later on this article):
Building the perfect vacuum for pet hair
Today, cleaning has been greatly improved and has become much easier, thanks to the numerous powerful vacuum cleaners that are now available on the market. Though, for most pet owners, finding the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair cleaning needs is still quite a challenge. This is mainly because there are so many brands that promise the heaven in terms of cleaning but how many of them actually deliver the promised results?
There are several factors we need to consider before building the perfect pet vacuum. Below is a comprehensive with these factors that will help us to imagine how would it be like to use such a tool.
What are the areas you want to clean?
This is the most important question you should ask yourself. What type of floor you have? Do you have area rugs, or is your floor carpeted wall-to-wall? Does it accumulate very little dirt, or is it a high traffic area, implying lot of dirt? Does the area have furniture also, or does it need cleaning of the floor only, drapes and upholstery among others?
It’s a fact that most of the time long-haired pets shed more hair than their short-haired cousins, thus cleaning intensity may vary here too. Understanding what you need to clean, and keeping it in mind will help you buy the best cleaner for pet hair. When it comes to deciding on specific features, always think what’s best for your flooring in terms of type, model, attachments, and various other extra features.
Full-sized or Handheld Vacuum?
It’s very difficult to confine your pet to a specific area all of the time. This means you’ll find pet hair almost everywhere in your house ranging from floors and carpets to your beautiful couch/bed. A canister or a full-sized upright offers a powerful suction and wide range of features while handhelds offer the much needed portability and maneuverability. They can clean pet mess in all affected areas. Canisters tend to provide more maneuverability and convenience than uprights, but they’re usually not as powerful as uprights, although this is not always the case. If portability is your main concern, you would want to stick with a powerful handheld vacuum that’s designed specifically for cleaning pet messes.
How much Suction Power?
Contrary to popular belief, vacuum’s suction power does not entirely depend upon its power consumption. It depends upon many factors such as the shape of the nozzle, the type of filtration, and many other features such as motor power. Latest technologies like Windtunnel, Cyclonic suction and Root Cyclone found in many vacuums greatly enhance the suction power of a vacuum. The reason why suction strength of a vacuum is so important is not only because it’s necessary to pick pet hair of varying sizes, but also for making sure that hair and other mess is properly brought into the dirt cup/bag and kept inside.
Corded or Cordless?
The best vacuum cleaner for pet hair should ideally be as maneuverable and portable as possible. It should also have sufficient suction power, given the fact that pet hair is found in so many places. Corded vacuum cleaners should have relatively long power cords of at least 20-25 feet, to allow for a larger cleaning radius. Even vacuums with 30ft cords can confine you to a limited area, especially if you have a large house, so you may want to consider buying a cordless version if this is a big issue/concern for you. All cordless vacuums use rechargeable batteries to run. This means that in most cases, you may have to sacrifice a bit on their suction power for more convenience (there are exceptions though). You should look for ones with batteries that can last long enough to avoid unnecessary stopping between the cleaning sessions. Their battery should also have a considerably short recharge time; having to wait for 10 hours for a full charge that may last for just 30 minutes can be quite frustrating. Although cordless vacuum cleaners give you the flexibility to move around as you clean, it’s common for them to lose some suction power when the battery runs low (but not always). Corded vacuums on the other hand, are not affected by any loss of suction due to a low battery.
Bagged or Bagless?
Bagged vacuums are usually better at holding the diet intact. This is the reason why people with allergies are usually advised to use them. They might be slightly expensive, since they require more frequent replacement of their dirt bags, unlike bagless vacuum cleaners that may only require cleaning or emptying of the dirt canister/cup.
Homes with pets are more susceptible to various airborne allergens mainly due to pet dander that may ultimately find its ways into the air. The best vacuum cleaner for pet hair should have a perfect filtration system that can keep air pure and free from animal dander, hair, allergens and dust. Societies and organizations supporting people with various allergies and asthma highly recommend the use of vacuums fitted with HEPA filtration. These vacuums are ideal for all those who value their health as well as of their family members.
The capacity of pet vacuum cleaner’s canister or dirt bag is also an important factor to consider as it affects how much cleaning you will be able to do before you have to stop to empty it. Vacuums with larger capacities are best if you want to clean larger areas, or are more prone to collecting huge amounts of debris/ dirt. If you’ve a pet that sheds frequently, such as my lovely Carla, then it’s advisable to find a vacuum with a larger holding capacity. Smaller areas with less amount of dirt can easily get away with a much smaller capacity. When looking at vacuum capacity, you should also remember that larger capacity means more weight, thus you’ll have to consider how much more weight you’re willing to put up with.
Speaking of weight, this attribute will ultimately determine how fast and how easily you can move it from place to place without spending too much of energy. These days, some lighter vacuums are more powerful than heavy ones, you just need to make an informed decision, and that is why I am here to help.
The best vacuum cleaner for pets should have many extra features. They’re a matter of great importance when choosing one for your needs because they help optimize the pet vacuums cleaning abilities. Extras features such as nozzle tools, crevice tools, upholstery brushes, and brush tools add a lot of value when it comes to cleaning stubborn messes. I’ve covered some time ago most of the features you might find in a vacuum cleaner. A good pet vacuum should come with attachments that add many cleaning capability features to the machine, thus making it more ideal for removing pet hair. I’ve also talked about all the vacuum cleaner attachments one may get, make sure you check it out. For instance, some vacuums come with a revolving vacuum brush tool that makes it easy for you to pull out engrained pet hair from carpets, floors, furniture or any other surface.
Some vacuum cleaners also have a height adjustment feature that makes it easy to transition from bare floor surfaces to carpeted surfaces, and vice versa. Others have features that help cleaning all types of surfaces including both vertical and horizontal. These extra features are mainly what distinguish the perfect vacuum cleaner for pet hair from “just another vacuum”.
The cost of vacuum may differ from model to model and store to store. Usually their price corresponds to their functionality and features. Many vacuums are cheaper but more effective than their higher end counterparts. This article helps you to skip the extensive research, stores visiting, and patiently compares all the above features before making the final decision.
Good research, and some patience will definitely help you find the perfect vacuum cleaner without overspending. Here are my top picks of the best vacuum for pet hair:
Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog
First of all, I will a bit subjective with this vacuum cleaner, since I own it. I will also do a review on it, most probably after new year’s eve. Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog (former S7260) is a upright vacuum cleaner that’s specifically designed for cleaning after pets. It is equipped with a turbo brush nozzle to ensure deeper cleaning. It uses rotating brushes that cope really well with pet hair. The vacuum also uses bags, which I really like, as I’m a comfy and I don’t like to clean dirt cups. The bags themselves are a great addition, as it helps you perfectly contain the dirt. Another plus, you won’t have to empty them too often as each bag can hold a whooping 1.6gal (6L). A refill pack includes four bags, an air clean filter and a motor filter. You may need a new pack every six to eight months, depending on how much you clean. It also includes some replacement filters. The bag in the vacuum is hidden right behind its plastic front. You can easily open the door and remove this self-sealing bag with only one hand. Get a good price for the Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog.
The Miele Dynamic U1 has storage for various accessories such as upholstery brush, crevice nozzle, and a dusting brush. It’s built right into the rear of the vacuum, so they wont’ get accidentally knocked when not in use. The vacuum has a 39 ft. cable that you will have to unwind to reach the hose. It’s telescopic hose that has a huge 14.5m reach, which is much better than other vacuums on the market. Even though it weights 21 lbs, it’s easy enough to carry around thanks to its sturdy handle at the rear. Overall, it one of the best vacuum cleaners out there, and I’m glad I own one. Here’s my review of this Miele.
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy Bagless Upright Vacuum
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball comes with Root Cyclone™ technology that captures more dirt and microscopic dust than any other vacuum. It develops centrifugal forces that generate up to 100,000 times more gravity that flings dirt and dust straight to the bin. The Cinetic technology allows you to use it without ever thinking about filters. The machine has no bag and does not lose any suction. The vacuum is made using ABS and polycarbonate – the same material used in crash helmets and riot shields. Each of its components is tested to survive real life shocks. It has been duly certified as asthma & allergy friendly™ by the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America. Check out a lovely offer for this Dyson.
The vacuum comes with nice assortment of attachments (soft dusting brush, stair tool, combination tool, stiff bristle brush, tangle-free turbine, Zorb carpet maintenance powder, multi-angle brush) for vacuuming lamp shades, ceilings, stairs, and many other hard to reach areas. The ball technology is a nice touch, and the Cinetic Big Ball is the top of the line in Dyson’s full uprights. I really like this product, especially for its powerful suction force. I also like the way it looks and fells, I’ve recommended it to dozens of customers, and not one of them returned with complaints. Check out my complete review of this vacuum.
Bissell 1305 PowerGlide Pet with SuctionChannel Technology
The Bissell 1305 PowerGlide is one of best budget vacuum cleaners for pet hair. It’s a light weight that can be easily maneuvered thanks to its ultra smooth swivel steer. It uses Suction Channel technology that provides 9x multi-cyclonic suction which ensures a powerful air flow that will make your floor cleaner. Another key feature of this vacuum is its Pet TurboEraser. It uses a special paddle-like rubberized brush to suck pet dirt and hair. It has a 8.5 watt motor which is not that big, but the intelligent use of technology makes it efficient. And is much cheaper than you would think.
The vacuum has medium-to-low size cup with a capacity of 0.26 gallons. Being a bagless vacuum, you’ll have to empty it more often, but you can do that with a mere push of a single button. Its multi-level filtration system keeps your home safe from allergens. It comes with several other accessories such as a crevice tool and an expandable hose. If you want more flexibility, you can also order more tools. It is equipped with 27 ft. power cord, and is not noisy. Even if you have lot of hair to clean or don’t own a pet, this vacuum would work for you. It’s light and packed with lot of power, so you can easily clean your home like no other (all rights are reserved for this rhyme). Check out my full review of the Bissell PowerGlide.
Kenmore Elite Upright Bagged Vacuum Cleaner
Kenmore is a trusted name in the homes of more than 120 million Americans. Kenmore Elite Upright Bagged Vacuum is one of the best performing upright vacuums. It comes with an unique motor, equipped with a patented high power 3-D inducer fan that moves 20 percent more air than any conventional motor. It has a belt-less Direct Drive 3-Motor system that ensures powerful cleaning with no belts to change every now and than. The HEPA filter is 40% larger than its previous version, which ensures better filtration and lesser air restriction inside the machine. Its on-board Pet HandiMate picks up all kinds of pet hair. It also features an unique reach-out telescopic aluminum wand. This vacuum is also certified with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Check out this deal for the Kenmore Elite vacuum.
The dual wall design with additional vents around its dust bag helps maintain adequate air flow as dirt accumulates. Its LED headlight, and Infrared Dirt Sensor will alert you of any dirt you can’t see. Its Pet HandiMate attachment comes with four height position adjustments. You’ll also get other on-board accessories such as the crevice tool and the Pet Handi-Mate hose. Its 35 ft. power cord is one of the longest among vacuums, and helps you travel longer distances without switching plugs. Read more about Kenmore Elite Upright.
Shark Rocket TruePet
The Shark Rocket is a corded, lightweight in-hand vacuum. It’s handheld portion weights 4.2 pounds, including the primary motor, the bin and the power cord. Its attachments add weight, but you can haul it easily around your house. The vacuum has two cleaning modes and has a button that helps you to switch between them. Mode I is for delicate rugs and bare floors, whereas Mode II is best for cleaning carpets. The second mode automatically activates the brushroll on the floor nozzle that agitates the carpet for a much deeper clean. Here’s a great deal on Shark Rocket Truepet.
In order to make power cord a less nuisance, Shark gives you two simple options for storing it: with its hand held potion detached and hooked onto the base of floor nozzle and extension tube, or locked into the wall dock. The vacuum comes with lot of attachments like the pet upholstery tool, a dusting brush, a dust-away tool, the crevice tool and a floor nozzle. Dust-away tool has a removable microfiber pad. Overall, a great vacuum to have around dogs and cats. Read more about the Shark Rockets.
Concluding, I hope you’ll find these models to be exactly what you needed. But if you have other type of vacuum cleaners in mind that you believe to cope better with pet hair, please don’t hesitate to comment bellow. In the end, I’ll leave you with some furry friends (too bad they aren’t pet material) I’ve spotted in Vienna Zoo, for which the vacs presented above would also do a great job:
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First of all, I wanted to thank you for helping me choose. After 2 days of hard searching, I’ve found this page and picked my next vacuum in 30 minutes! FYI, I’ve chosen the Mile, they said it will arrive tomorrow. I can’t wait, I’m so excited. I have a question regarding the purchase. I want to know if the package also contains the warranty certificate. My best friend bought a similar vacuum for Costco, and she didn’t get it. She also lost the receipt, and now she has nothing at hands, in case it breaks.
Jason Roberts says
If you ordered via Amazon, you will definitely receive a warranty certificate in the box. If your friend bought the appliance recently, she can go back to Costco and ask for both the receipt and the warranty certificate.
I also own a Scottish fold, and have been searching for a good vac, since my cat is loosing hair like crazy! I recently move together with my boo, and his dog is also shedding. I would buy the latest cordless Dyson, the V6. I’ve been searching for a review of this model on your site, but couldn’t find any. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this choice of mine.
Jason Roberts says
I’m planning to do a review of this model sometime next week. Stay tuned!
I’ve got a 5yr old bearded collie, she has an exceptionally long hair. Thus, I need a vac that is good with this type of hair. Which would you recommend?
Jason Roberts says
All vacuums from my top would do just fine when faced with long hair. Either the DC65 (respectively the latest Cinetic Big Ball) or the Miele S7260 (re-branded as Dynamic U1 Cat& Dog) are very good at sucking long hair without any clogging danger.
Ramie Leibnitz says
I moved to Paris, France and need a good vacuum cleaner for our small apt. We have hardwood floors, area rugs, one kid, a dog, and a cat. I was all set to get the Shark Rocket TruePet, but I can’t find it on the Amazon.fr website! I need something that will plug into the French electrical system without getting fried (like my desktop computer…). Any advice?
Jason Roberts says
As you’re in Europe, you may notice the lack of uprights. Europeans use smaller compact canisters. I would go for a Philips or a Bosch canister. These are incredibly powerful, some ever reach 400AW. If you have the budget, also check out Dyson’s offer. One thing’s for sure, buy the appliance that fits the French Electric System.
Deanna R. Jones says
Thanks for the tips! These seem like great features to look for in a vacuum to clean up pet hair. I have a rather unique situation though. There isn’t any carpeting in my house, so it’s all tile and hardwood floors. My cat sheds a crazy amount of hair on the floor, so I have to sweep it all up. What are features that I should look for in a vacuum that will suck up all of the cat hair without causing damage to my hardwood floors? I want to keep my cat’s hair off of the floor, but I also want my nice wooden floors to be in good condition.
Jason Roberts says
You could take a look at the latest Dyson V6, it has a brush roll that definitively fits your lifestyle. It’s called the soft roller, and is designed to protect hardwood floors while handling dust, debris and pet hair.
Joanna S. says
So this is going to be odd, but we have 4 house pigs that track in dirt, dust, and mud constantly. We’ve tried all types of vacuums and we end up using a Shop Vac to get up the dirt and dust. Is the Shark AH401 or the AH452 a good vacuum that can handle daily use of dust and dirt? We have all tile floors except a few area rugs that we’ll need to clean up after 4 pigs, 2 dogs, and 1 cat daily. I don’t want a vacuum that blows the dog hair just over to another area. I need something that can continue to pick up the dust, dirt, mud, and dog hair and not lose suction. Is this a good choice?
Jason Roberts says
Unfortunately, I don’t think the Powerhead could handle such chores. A shop vac is, I’m afraid, you’re best choice, especially if you’re planning to hold on to the unit for more than a few months.