The 10 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair of 2022, According to Our Testing

Out of 37 models, the Kenmore Pet Friendly POP-N-GO Bagged Canister Vacuum is our favorite because it’s effective, versatile, and allergen-trapping.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

RSP_GroupShot_RM_2505

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Living with pets is great, but it often requires taking extra steps to keep your home clean and fur-free.

When shopping for a vacuum for pet hair, Thomas Johnson, MD, board-certified allergist and immunologist at Allergy & Asthma Care of Florida, says “the overall goal should be to find a vacuum that effectively removes the allergen from the surface being cleaned without leaking around the collection system (which would allow the allergen to become airborne again).” In fact, Dr. Johnson says allergen particles can linger in the air for days or even weeks after being disturbed. That’s why it’s important to look for a vacuum cleaner that won’t release particles back into the air.

You also need to make sure the vacuum you choose is one you’ll actually be inclined to use regularly. Angela Brown, CEO of Savvy Cleaner, says to “choose a vacuum that has strong suction but is lightweight enough that seniors and kids can push or maneuver the vacuum. This way, anyone in the home can help with pet hair removal.”

We tested 37 vacuums for pet hair in our Lab and evaluated each based on its effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, portability, noise level, ease of setup, and value. Our top pick, the Kenmore Pet Friendly POP-N-GO Bagged Canister Vacuum, was extremely effective at removing both pet hair and kibble, particularly on carpeted and upholstered surfaces. We also like that it has a sealed bag and a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to trap allergens and keep them from being released back into the air. Plus, it comes with an attachment for cleaning just about anywhere.

Keep reading for more of our recommendations for the best vacuums for pet hair.

Best Overall Vacuum for Pet Hair: Kenmore Pet Friendly POP-N-GO Bagged Canister Vacuum

5
Kenmore Pet Friendly Pop-N-Go Canister Vacuum

Target

Who it’s for: People who want a vacuum that traps allergens and comes with many attachments.

Who it isn't for: People who are set on having a cordless or bagless vacuum.

Kenmore’s multipurpose canister vacuum earned high marks across the board in our testing, especially for its ability to pick up pet hair. The vacuum removed all four ounces of pet hair from the carpet and all two ounces of pet hair from an upholstered dog bed, picking up large clumps in just a single pass. It makes quick work of even the biggest messes: The hair didn't get tangled around or stuck to the brush roll in our testing. It struggled a bit to clean hair from hard surfaces, according to our testers, but it was able to pick up almost all of the kibble, leaving only a couple stragglers behind. Plus, we found this vacuum to be very quiet during our testing, even on the highest suction setting.

This is a canister vacuum, so it has a hose connecting the main unit to whatever attachment you choose, whether it be the Pet PowerMate brush, the upholstery brush, or the telescoping wand (which is great for reaching curtains and drapes). We found the canister to be easy to carry with one hand, and the long retractable cord gives plenty of leeway to cover a mid-sized room without having to change outlets. Plus, the onboard tool storage makes it easy to tuck everything neatly into a closet until your next cleaning.

The HEPA filter traps irritants and the cloth bag seals in all particles, preventing pet allergens from releasing back into the air. Simply toss the sealed bag directly into the trash when it’s full for dust-free emptying. (It comes with two bags in the box, and you can purchase more separately when you run out.)

One thing to note: Depending on where you buy this vacuum, the color and cord length will vary. The blue vacuum has a 26-foot cord, while the purple vacuum has a 28-foot cord—but the manufacturer confirmed that they are both the same model, just different colors.

Overall, this vacuum costs a bit more than the median price of all the vacuums we tested, but we think it comes at a reasonable price point for a canister vacuum that’s designed to clean pet hair from your entire home.

Product Details:

  • Type: Canister
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Cord Length: 26–28 feet 
  • Dustbin Capacity: 2.5 liters
  • Attachments: Long crevice tool, Pet PowerMate brush, upholstery brush, bare floor brush, telescoping wand 

Price at time of publish: $319

Kenmore Pet-Friendly Pop-N-Go Bagged Canister Vacuum

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Budget Vacuum for Pet Hair: Eureka PowerSpeed Turbo Pet Cord Rewind Vacuum

4.7
Eureka PowerSpeed Cord Rewind Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Home Depot

Who it’s for: People who want an affordable upright vacuum that comes with a variety of attachments.

Who it isn't for: People with pet allergies who need a bagged vacuum with a HEPA filter.

At a fraction of the cost of our best overall pick, the Eureka PowerSpeed Turbo Pet Cord Rewind can tackle pet hair on carpets, hard floors, and upholstery. In our tests, it picked up 80 percent of the pet hair from the carpet and all of the pet hair we added to an upholstered dog bed—although it was slightly less effective on hard flooring. It also picked up kibble very easily on both surface types. Testers found that it did pull a bit on the carpet fibers, which leads us to believe that it’s best to stick to the lower suction settings, particularly if you have high-pile carpets (or a carpet with tall and loose fibers).

One standout feature of this vacuum is its LED headlights, which make it easy to spot dust, debris, and hair that you might otherwise miss. The vacuum comes with plenty of attachments, including a pet turbo tool, all of which can be stored on board. One tester says the pet turbo tool is “very high powered and left almost no hair on the couch.” Plus, the 25-foot cord gives you ample space to maneuver around the room without changing outlets, and it retracts with the push of a button for easy storage. If you want to reach draperies or shelves, this pick comes with a 10-foot extended reach hose—a unique feature for an upright vacuum. One thing to note: Although the washable filter and bagless design make this vacuum easy to maintain, it’s not the most effective at containing pet allergens

Product Details:

  • Type: Upright 
  • Weight: 12.3 pounds
  • Cord Length: 25 feet 
  • Dustbin Capacity: 2 liters
  • Attachments: Pet turbo tool, crevice tool, upholstery tool, dusting brush

Price at time of publish: $98

Eureka PowerSpeed Turbo Pet Cord Rewind

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Splurge Vacuum for Pet Hair: Dyson v15 Detect Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

4.6
Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Target

Who it’s for: People who want a lightweight stick vacuum that can easily adapt to different surfaces.

Who it isn't for: People who want a vacuum for whole-home cleaning.

It’s no surprise that the Dyson V15 Detect is a cordless vacuum with countless advanced features and attachments. But our testers were impressed with its ability to pick up pet hair, especially considering its size. This vacuum collected about half of the pet hair from the carpet in our testing and all of the pet hair from the upholstered dog bed (with the help of the hair screw tool for the latter). Testers found it easy to empty, and the digital motorbar head automatically detangles and clears hair from the brush bar. Other advanced features include a mode that automatically adjusts suction power across different floor types, laser illumination that reveals microscopic dust you’d otherwise miss, and an LCD screen that shows what’s been sucked up.

This vacuum ran for the duration of our testing without dying (the brand claims the click-in battery has a 60-minute runtime), but it might not be the best choice for cleaning your entire home in one shot. It’s also worth noting that you’ll have to keep your finger on the “on” button throughout your cleaning session. But its slim build and lightweight construction make this model ideal for sliding under furniture, while the many attachments allow it to adapt to different surfaces, including upholstery. If you can swing it budget-wise, the V15 is a great cordless vacuum for pet owners that’s well worth the price.

Product Details:

  • Type: Cordless stick
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Cord Length: N/A
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.76 liters
  • Attachments: Laser slim fluffy cleaner head, digital motorbar, hair screw tool, crevice tool, combination tool, mini soft dusting brush, stubborn dirt brush

Price at time of publish: $750

Dyson V15 Detect

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Upright Vacuum for Pet Hair: Innova NEU700 Upright Vacuum with Whirlwind Anti-Tangle Technology

4.4
Innova Upright Vacuum

Eureka

Who it’s for: People who want a powerful upright vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Who it isn't for: People who want a compact vacuum that’s easy to store.

Our testers were immediately impressed by how sturdy and powerful this mid-priced vacuum cleaner was. It was able to suck up all of the kibble and pet hair from every surface in just two passes on the highest setting, and it removed almost all of the hair and kibble on the quiet setting, too. There are different settings for hardwood and carpet, and the vacuum comes with a few attachments, including a motorized pet tool that breaks up hair within the brush to prevent tangles and clogs. It also has a HEPA filter to trap allergens and prevent them from releasing back into the air.

This upright vacuum for pet hair easily glides around furniture and has a 30-foot cord so that you don’t have to be near an outlet during use, and the LED headlights illuminate the path. However, we found it a little heavy to carry, so going up and down stairs might be a challenge. Its bulky build also makes it a bit difficult to store, so people with limited closet space might want to consider another option.

Product Details:

  • Type: Upright
  • Weight: 16.5 pounds
  • Cord Length: 30 feet
  • Dustbin Capacity: 2.3 liters
  • Attachments: Crevice tool, two-in-one dusting brush, motorized pet tool

Price at time of publish: $249

Innova Upright Vacuum

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Cordless Stick Vacuum for Pet Hair: Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.8
TINECO PURE ONE S15 PRO CORDLESS STICK VACUUM CLEANER

Tineco

Who it’s for: People who want a smart cordless vacuum with attachments for different tasks.

Who it isn't for: People who are not in a position to spend a lot on a vacuum or people who want a no-frills model.

Cordless vacuums often struggle to compete with the suction power of upright or canister vacuums, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for the Tineco Pure One S15 Pro. In our tests, this model was able to pick up everything (all the kibble and pet hair!) in just a few passes when on its highest setting. And on top of that, testers found it easy to maneuver with one hand—especially since it glides from carpet to bare floors with ease.

The S15 Pro comes with no shortage of advanced features. It’s WiFi-enabled and connects to a smart app where you can track your cleaning progress, adjust settings, and more. It even has voice prompts that guide you through the cleaning process (although these can be turned off). There is a touch bar along the handle that allows you to adjust the suction strength, as well as an LCD that gives you real-time alerts when any debris is detected and once again when the debris is cleared up. Tineco’s stick vacuum also boasts five layers of filtration (including a HEPA filter) and an anti-tangle brush that keeps the brush roll from getting clogged with hair.

This cordless pet vacuum comes with a freestanding charging base that keeps the vacuum standing upright—and it doesn’t require any installation. Although the vacuum has a trigger that’s supposed to allow you to empty the dustbin without getting messy, testers note that they did have to remove some of the hair from the bin with their hands. Those who prefer a simple, straightforward vacuum cleaner would be better off with another model, but otherwise, the Tineco Pure One S15 Pro has everything you could want in a cordless vacuum for pet hair.

Product Details:

  • Type: Cordless stick
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Cord Length: N/A 
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.47 liters
  • Attachments: Mini-power brush, two-in-one dust brush, crevice tool

Price at time of publish: $599

Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Real Simple / Dera Burreson

Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: BLACK+DECKER Furbuster AdvancedClean+ Handheld Vacuum for Pets

4.5
Black & Decker Furbuster

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a compact vacuum for cleaning furniture, car interiors, and other small areas.

Who it isn't for: People who want a vacuum with many different attachments.

This tiny but mighty handheld vacuum cleaner picked up all the pet hair from the floors and upholstery in our testing, and it took just a few passes to suck up all the kibble. We think it’s a great vacuum for cleaning upholstered furniture and car interiors, thanks to its cordless, portable design that allows it to go with you wherever you might need it. The handheld vacuum comes with just two attachments: a motorized pet brush and an extra-long crevice tool. The pet brush is designed to lift stubborn pet hair without tangling, while the extra-long crevice tool lets you get between cushions, under car seats, or any other hard-to-reach place that could probably use some attention.

The Black+Decker handheld vacuum for pet hair only has two speed settings, but they both got the job done in our testing. When you’re done cleaning, simply press the button and empty it over the trash can. Keep in mind that handheld vacuums are not designed for whole-home use, so this model won’t replace an upright, canister, or cordless stick vacuum. (Although it does have an impressive dustbin capacity given its size.)

Product Details:

  • Type: Handheld 
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Cord Length: N/A 
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.76 liters
  • Attachments: Extra-long crevice tool, motorized pet brush

Price at time of publish: $99

Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvanceClean+ Pet Hand Vacuum

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Canister Vacuum for Pet Hair: Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Canister Vacuum

4.5
Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Canister Vacuum

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a high-end canister vacuum for tackling a variety of cleaning tasks.

Who it isn't for: People who are looking for a canister vacuum that uses bags.

Canister vacuums are ideal for cleaning your entire home, as they have powerful suction and tend to come with many attachments for various surface types—and the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine is no exception. In our testing, it picked up all of the pet hair and was able to suck up most of the kibble in just one pass. This vacuum allows you to choose between one of four suction power settings depending on your mess.

Unlike our best overall pick, this canister vacuum is bagless, which means you don’t have to worry about buying replacement bags. And though it might not seal the contents as well as a bagged vacuum, it is designed to minimize the number of particles released back into the air. This is thanks to the HEPA filter and fine dust filter, which separates fine and coarse dust so that the former isn’t released back into the air when the bin is emptied.

The canister vacuum for pet hair comes with multiple attachments, including a handheld mini turbo brush, an upholstery tool, a crevice tool, and more. Testers found the base unit a bit hard to push on carpet, but fortunately, the stretch hose ensures that you don’t have to be right next to the unit the entire time you’re cleaning.

Product Details:

  • Type: Canister
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Cord Length: 21 feet
  • Dustbin Capacity: 2 liters
  • Attachments: Upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle, parquet twister floorhead, handheld mini turbo brush, electro plus floorhead

Price at time of publish: $949

Miele Blizzard CX1

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Pet Hair Vacuum for Hard Floors: Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum

4.4
Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum

Shark

Who it’s for: People who want a lightweight canister vacuum that works best on hard floors and short-pile carpets.

Who it isn't for: People who want a canister vacuum with as many attachments as possible.

This compact canister vacuum from Shark packs powerful suction into a small package. We were particularly impressed with its ability to clean hard surfaces and low-pile carpeting in our testing (it wasn’t quite as effective on medium- to high-pile carpets). Unlike bulkier canister vacuums, the Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum moves with you: “I am not a fan of canisters as it seems like too many pieces, but I will say [on] this one the cord comes out [easily] so the canister moves easily with you,” says one tester. Plus, the flexible wand allows you to get under furniture and reach high shelves.

This is a bagless vacuum cleaner, but it does come with multiple levels of filtration, including a HEPA filter to seal in allergens and prevent them from becoming airborne. We found it easy to empty using the release button, too. Oftentimes canister vacuums come with an overwhelming number of attachments, but Shark keeps it simple on this model with the PowerFins nozzle (the main brush roll attachment), a pet crevice tool, and an upholstery tool.

Product Details:

  • Type: Canister
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Cord Length: 25 feet 
  • Dustbin Capacity: 1.8 liters
  • Attachments: Pet crevice tool, upholstery tool, PowerFins nozzle

Price at time of publish: $400

Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Pet Hair Vacuum for Carpet: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.5
Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an easy-to-maneuver vacuum for cleaning embedded pet hair from carpets.

Who it isn't for: People who want a cordless vacuum that can stand up on its own.

One tester says the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal is “everything you could wish for—light, easy to lift, steerable head for various angles.” In our testing, this cordless stick vacuum worked best on carpeted surfaces. Testers also note that it’s easy to switch between the numerous attachments included with this model, and its lightweight design means you can lift it to clean high places (try using the mini soft dusting brush for delicate fabrics like drapes). It even converts to a handheld vacuum cleaner for cleaning car interiors and upholstered furniture. When it’s time to empty the dustbin, you can release the contents with a push of a button—although our testers did have to remove the last bits of hair with their hands.

We think this stick vacuum would be a great fit for anyone with limited mobility because it's easy to push and maneuver, unlike some heavier upright and canister vacuums. “I could carry this vacuum with me all day and not be bothered,” says one tester. Just note that it does not stand up on its own (even if you try to lean it against a wall), and it only comes with a wall-mounted dock as opposed to a freestanding one.

Product Details:

  • Type: Cordless stick 
  • Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Cord Length: N/A 
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.76 liters
  • Attachments: Motorbar cleaner head, hair screw tool, crevice tool, combination tool, mini soft dusting brush

Price at time of publish: $550

Dyson Cyclone V10

Real Simple / Rachel Marek

Best Lightweight Vacuum for Pet Hair: Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum

4.5
Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an affordable cordless vacuum that’s easy to carry and maneuver.

Who it isn't for: People who want a vacuum that can also clean upholstered furniture.

If you’re in the market for a lightweight vacuum for pet hair but don’t want to shell out an arm and a leg for a Dyson or other similarly priced models, the Hoover Onepwr Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum is a great lower-priced option. Testers found this vacuum to perform particularly well on carpets, especially for pet hair. Some hair got tangled around the brush roll, but since it’s removable, you can easily clean it.

The trade-off of its price is that it does not come with any attachments, so this vacuum won’t be able to clean upholstery or reach into crevices. But it’s very lightweight and easy to maneuver, thanks to the swivel-head design. And unlike many other cordless vacuum cleaners, this one from Hoover stands upright on its own. We think it would be a great choice for a small apartment or for anyone who might have trouble carrying a heavier vacuum. “This was a vacuum I wouldn't have minded hauling around the house and up and down stairs,” says one tester.

Product Details:

  • Type: Cordless stick
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds
  • Cord Length: N/A
  • Dustbin Capacity: 1 liter
  • Attachments: None

Price at time of publish: $210

Hoover Onepwr Evolve Pet Cordless Vacuum

Real Simple / Dera Burreson

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Kenmore Pet Friendly POP-N-GO Bagged Canister Vacuum because it is extremely effective at removing pet hair from carpet and upholstery. Plus, it comes with a wide variety of attachments for different cleaning tasks, all of which can be stored on board. And for those who suffer from allergies, the HEPA filter and bagged design prevent allergens from releasing into the air when emptying.

For a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Eureka PowerSpeed Turbo Pet Cord Rewind—an upright vacuum that was nearly as effective as our best overall pick. It comes with several different attachments, including an extended reach hose.

Our Testing Process

To come up with this list, we tested 37 vacuums (all of which are designed to tackle pet hair) in our Lab and evaluated them on effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, portability, noise level, ease of setup, and value.

First, our testers timed how long it took to get the vacuum up and running from the moment the box was opened, taking note of how easy or difficult the assembly was. For cordless models, we also charged the vacuum before the first use.

Next, we turned each vacuum to its highest setting and used a decibel meter to measure the noise output. We also took the decibel reading of each vacuum on its “quiet mode,” when applicable. (The Innova Upright Vacuum impressed us with its performance on the quiet setting.)

To test each vacuum’s ability to clean kibble on different surfaces, our testers spread 1/4 cup of dog kibble on both medium-pile carpet and a bare luxury vinyl tile (LVT) floor and used the vacuum to suck up the kibble on each surface. We took note of how many passes were required to clear the debris and whether any additional attachments or settings were necessary to get the job done. And as soon as one surface was completely cleaned, testers moved on to the next, considering how easily the vacuum transitioned from bare floor to carpet and vice versa. Finally, our testers emptied each vacuum’s dustbin into a garbage can or removed the bag, noting how simple the process was.

To test each vacuum’s ability to remove pet hair from different surfaces, we sprinkled four ounces of hair on both floor types, making sure to push some of the hairs into the carpet fibers. Our testers used each vacuum to clean the pet hair and weighed the final amount of hair collected. For vacuums with upholstery attachments, we cleaned two ounces of pet hair from an upholstered dog bed and weighed the final amount collected. We also made sure to test any pet-specific attachments in this portion of the testing, too.

Finally, our testers checked the brush roll for signs of tangling and attempted to remove the hair, whether by hand, with scissors, or with a provided tool. For vacuums with washable filters (such as the Eureka PowerSpeed Turbo Pet Cord Rewind), we removed and cleaned the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Throughout our testing, we paid special attention to each vacuum’s battery life (for cordless models), weight and ergonomics, filter type, and other features and accessories. After all evaluations were complete, our testers received the retail price of each vacuum and scored its overall value considering its price and performance. We plan to send these vacuums out with real-world testers for long-term use and will follow up with further insights.

How to Shop for Vacuums for Pet Hair Like a Pro  

Type

Vacuums, including those designed for pet hair, come in several different styles, each with different intended uses.

  • Upright Vacuums: These are your traditional, self-contained vacuums, usually featuring a brush, a hose, a bag or dustbin, and a motor all in the same body. Upright models make great vacuums for pet hair, thanks to their motorized brushes that effectively pick up fur and dander. Upright vacuums are particularly well-suited for carpeted surfaces and often come with attachments for upholstery, too. However, they can be bulky and difficult to maneuver, and they have to stay plugged into an outlet. 
  • Cordless Stick Vacuums: Cordless vacuums have become increasingly popular for obvious reasons—they make it so that you don’t have to struggle with a cord as you clean, and their compact, lightweight design is great for maneuvering around small spaces or sliding under furniture. For example, our best cordless vacuum pick, the Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner, weighs under seven pounds. Unfortunately, they can be a bit pricey and, since they’re battery operated, they have limited runtimes. For those reasons, cordless stick vacuums are better for small spaces or messes, as opposed to whole-house cleaning. 
  • Handheld Vacuums: A handheld vacuum cleaner is a convenient option for cleaning up small messes and removing pet hair from upholstery or even car interiors. However, they’re not designed to have the same power and capacity as full-sized models. 
  • Canister Vacuums: Canister vacuums have a hose connecting the main unit (which houses the motor and dustbin) to the brush attachment. Compared to upright vacuums, they’re more efficient at cleaning hard surfaces, stairs, and hard-to-reach places. Many canister models have extendable wands for cleaning drapes and curtains, as well as special attachments for upholstery—but they’re bulkier than upright vacuums and can be more expensive. 

Bagged vs. Bagless

Some vacuums collect dirt in a bag, while others use a dustbin. Bagged vacuum cleaners tend to hold more dirt and release less dust into the air when you throw them away, making them a great option for those with allergies. Our best overall pick, the Kenmore Pet Friendly POP-N-GO Bagged Canister Vacuum, is the only bagged vacuum on our list. Bagless vacuums, on the other hand, are still easy to empty and they don’t require you to purchase replacement bags down the line. Bagless vacuums usually still come with filters, like HEPA filters that trap particles and keep them from blowing back into the air, which will either need to be cleaned or replaced periodically.  

Attachments and Accessories 

In addition to the main brush, most vacuums come with several basic attachments, such as a crevice tool, an upholstery brush, and a dusting brush. Many vacuum cleaners for pet hair include a pet-specific attachment designed to pick up pet hair. You’ll also find telescoping wands that help you to clean drapes or curtains, as well as “turbo” tools for stubborn messes.

Brown suggests looking for a vacuum with a “handheld attachment that can easily be removed from the base and used in vehicles, on stairs, on furniture, and hard to reach places where pet hair could be blown by open windows, doors, or HVAC units.”

Price 

The vacuums on our list include everything from handheld to canister models, and each type comes at a different price point. We tested models ranging from under $40 to nearly $1,000, but the median price of all the vacuums we tested is $249.

More Vacuums for Pet Hair to Consider

Shark Navigator Pet Upright Vacuum With Self-Cleaning Brushroll: Our testers found this upright vacuum to be very effective on both hard flooring and carpet, but did have a hard time emptying the dustbin, as some of the pet hair got stuck inside.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Pet Hand Vacuum: This is another great handheld option that is effective on all surfaces. However, we don’t like that you have to remove the filter before you can empty the dustbin.

Questions You Might Ask 

How often should pet owners vacuum? 

If you have pets, you’re going to have to vacuum more frequently than you would otherwise—although most pet owners will tell you their furry friends are well worth the trade-off. Brown recommends vacuuming daily and keeping a vacuum on each floor of the home for easy access. 

Does vacuuming help reduce pet allergens? 

On top of turning your couch into a fur magnet, pet hair acts as a vehicle for allergens, including dander, skin flakes, saliva, and urine, all of which can trigger allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

Dr. Johnson says, “carpets are a major source of pet allergens for those that have pets at home, but upholstered furniture and bedding materials are important as well.”

That’s why it’s so important for pet owners to vacuum regularly. Daily dusting and vacuuming of carpets, upholstery, and draperies can help reduce pet allergens in the home, as can using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. If cleaning every day isn’t realistic for you, concentrate on keeping the bedroom allergy-free, especially for any member of the household with pet allergies.

Do you need a pet vacuum? 

If you have carpeting, a vacuum designed specifically for pet hair can make a big difference. “Pet allergens are light and sticky,” says Dr. Johnson. “Furry-pet-owner’s clothing can transfer allergens to places that don’t have a pet.”

Because of pet hair’s ability to become deeply embedded into carpet, a vacuum with a brush roll designed to lift hair from medium- to high-pile carpet can come in handy. Pet vacuums often come with attachments for cleaning upholstery, too, and they typically have HEPA filters to keep allergens from blowing back into the air.

And because pet vacuums are designed to take in large amounts of hair, they’re less likely to clog and their brushes are less likely to tangle. Overall, a pet-specific vacuum is a great investment for people with pets—although you may be able to find attachments for your existing vacuum that can help you achieve similar results.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To come up with this list, we tested 37 vacuums for pet hair in our Lab and evaluated them on effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, portability, noise level, ease of setup, and value. For expert tips on how to choose the right vacuum for pet hair, Melanie consulted Thomas Johnson, MD, board-certified allergist and immunologist at Allergy & Asthma Care of Florida, and Angela Brown, CEO of Savvy Cleaner

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles