Appliances best-vacuum-for-pet-hair

Published on March 19th, 2013 | by Patricia


Best Vacuum Cleaners For That Pesky Pet Hair

Oh, how we love our pets, but hate their shedding. Wouldn’t it be nice if that hair just….stayed on the animal? But of course it doesn’t, so we have to deal with it.

When you have a pet, the hair gets on everything – the couch, the bed, the furniture they don’t even sit on, and especially the floors. The best way to get rid of all that hair is by vacuum.

To tackle your home’s pet hair, you’ll need a vacuum that has powerful suction, and that can handle a huge amount of hair. It also needs a decent attachment for upholstery and curtains. Let me tell you, not all vacuums meet this criteria and be able to clean this much of hair.

Below I’ve assembled a list of my picks for best vacuum for pet hair. These machines are powerful and won’t be thwarted by extra long hair.

The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair for Carpeted Houses

Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away NV356EShark Navigator Professional Lift-Away NV356ECHECK PRICE

Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away Simply put, this vacuum means business. It has powerful suction and won’t break or lose suction due to pet hair. Getting pet hair out of carpets can be a special challenge, since the hair tends to stick to the fibers of the carpeting. But the Shark can handle it.

I think the really great thing about the Shark Navigator is that it is an incredibly powerful vacuum, but it is priced very reasonably. This is also relatively lightweight (for being a full upright vacuum), and the base swivels for very easy steering. It shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to assemble, and the same goes for cleaning it out – it’s really easy. Couple that with a true HEPA filter, and we’re looking at a high quality vacuum for a decent price.

Who would love this vacuum? Pet owners who need a seriously powerful vacuum because of their mostly carpeted flooring.

Who should avoid this vacuum? Anyone with mostly wood or tile floors. The Shark really shines on carpet, and you can get a great hard floor pet hair vacuum for a lower price.

The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair for…Everyone! (Almost)

Miele S7260 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum CleanerMiele S7260 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum CleanerCHECK PRICE

Miele S7260 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum Cleaner Now this is an expensive machine, but I can tell you from personal experience that a Miele won’t fail you. The Miele Cat & Dog Upright has some features that make it really stand out – it goes “flat-to-floor” so you can get further under furniture with less hassle; it has a 12-foot flexible hose for upholstery, ceilings, and curtains; it has carbon filters to help reduce odors; rubber wheels that won’t scratch floors.

Plus, what really sets this vacuum apart from the rest is that it’s an extremely powerful upright that is just as safe and effective for wood flooring as it is for plush carpet. The vacuum has adjustable power settings that let you easily transition from hard floors to carpet without changing attachments.

I would say this vacuum is for absolutely everyone, but for two things. First, it’s a bit heavy. If a heavier machine will give you trouble, then I’d suggest a canister model or a stick vacuum instead. Second, it’s really expensive. But if it’s in your budget, I can’t say enough good things about the Miele Cat & Dog Upright.

Who would find this is the best vacuum for pet hair? Anyone who can afford it.

Who should steer clear? Anyone who might have trouble storing or setting up a heavier vacuum, or those with stairs.

Best Hard Floor Vacuum for Pet Hair

BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum, 81L2TBISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum, 81L2TCHECK PRICE

BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum ( If you have mostly hard floors in your home, do I have a treat for you! The Bissell PowerEdge Pet is definitely a dream for those have hard floors and are looking for best vacuum for pet hair.

It weighs only 7.5 pounds, works like a charm, and is super affordable. If you have hard floors, you know that you don’t require hurricane-force winds to suck up the pet hair (usually). You just need something with good suction that is easy to use (because you use it frequently).

The Bissell PowerEdge fits the bill perfectly. It’s a sweeper style vacuum, and the v-shaped base ensures that pet hair gets sucked into the vacuum, and not brushed to the side. This vacuum doesn’t require bags, which makes the product an even better value since you don’t have to buy replacement bags.

A great feature on this vacuum that makes it perfect for pet hair is that it doesn’t have bristles. If you have pets and use a bristle vacuum you know that you have to clean hair from the bristles after each use. But not with the Bissell PowerEdge! No bristles means less hassle for you. That feature also makes it very safe for delicate wood flooring.

Who would love this vacuum? Anyone with pets who has exclusively hard floors (with some low pile rugs). If you have mostly hardwood floors, I suggest you check out my post on the best vacuum for hardwood floors.

Who shouldn’t buy this vacuum? Anyone with carpet. You really need a bristle vacuum with powerful suction to pull out pet hair from carpet.

The Best Vacuum for Cleaning Pet Hair Off Above-Floor Surfaces

Hoover Platinum Lightweight Upright Vacuum with Canister, BaggedHoover Platinum Lightweight Upright Vacuum with Canister, BaggedCHECK PRICE

Hoover Platinum Lightweight Upright Vacuum with Canister Here is a vacuum that has a little bit of everything. It’s a regular upright that’s perfect for vacuuming carpet, and it also has a canister component that is great for vacuuming upholstery, curtains, and even ceilings. It’s sort of a two-in-one type vacuum with the canister and the upright.

I have to say, however, that if you are looking for a true canister vacuum, look elsewhere because the canister on this model is really meant to be supplementary for your “above floor cleaning needs.”

Out of all the vacuums on this list, I think this one is best for cleaning pet hair off ceilings, fans, and all your nooks and crannies because of the light canister component. I also like that it uses bags, because I hate cleaning out bagless vacuums. So what’s the catch? Well, this isn’t the most powerful vacuum on my list. For that, check out the Miele.

Also, the roller brush on the base of the upright doesn’t have an off switch, so it makes me nervous using it on my wood flooring. I don’t think the bristles actually touch the wood floor…but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Who is this vacuum good for? Anyone who needs ultimate versatility in a vacuum for a variety of surfaces, and who has mostly carpet.

Who wouldn’t like this vacuum? Pet owners who need extremely powerful suction for multiple pets with tons of high pile carpet. You’d be better off with the Miele or Shark.

When you first brought that little ball of fur home, I bet you weren’t thinking about all of the vacuuming in your future – I sure wasn’t! But with one of these vacuums, your cleaning routine should go a little more smoothly and be a little more comfortable. Whether you’re vacuuming once a month, once a week, or every day, these vacuums have what it takes to conquer your regular household dirt, plus all the pet hair (and the sand and dirt the furballs track in). When you have a vacuum that actually meets your needs, it makes cleaning so much more pleasant.

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About the Author

I'm Patricia Baker, a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom. I enjoy researching and writing product reviews as a way to help other consumers (like myself) make informed decisions.

7 Responses to Best Vacuum Cleaners For That Pesky Pet Hair

  1. Adela says:

    Hello there,
    I have 4 cats and wanted an upright vacuum to use 2-3 times per week in between my more in depth cleaning. I have a central vacuum but I don’t always feel like taking it out. Of these 6 vacuums which do you recommend more. I have been researching this for the last month or so and there are so many reviews on so many vacuums.
    Thanks so much

    • Patricia says:

      Hi Adela,

      Thanks for stopping by. My suggestion for you is the Hoover WindTunnel T-series Pet Rewind Plus. I like the built-in carbon filter to eliminate pet odors, which is not available in most of models for pet hair.

      The Dyson is a fantastic choice, but consider its price and you already have a central vacuum, the Hoover is the winner.


  2. Hi Patricia,

    I can’t afford the expensive Dysons. I would love to get a pet quality roomba (I could run it every night and then the upstairs carpet would stay clean ) but, I don’t know if it really does as good as they claim.

    Any suggestions? I don’t really care whether it’s canister or upright – makes no difference to me.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Patricia says:


      I wouldn’t get a roomba for carpet. Although the manufacturers say it works well on carpet, it’s not likely the case. It should only be used on flat and smooth surfaces (like tile or hardwood)

      I think the Hoover WindTunnel T-series Pet Rewind Plus might be a good choice, for both money and quality.

      Hope that helps.


  3. nancy says:

    after 30+ yrs w/rainbow taps were finally blown & now w/o a vacuum. Prefer canister allowing easy under furniture cleaning, pet hair, attachments, long cord. Reliable & well built –
    Could you list the best performing on the market?


    • Patricia says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for stopping by. If you just want a reliable and well built canister vacuum then I suggest the Miele S2121 Olympus.

      On the other hand, to tackle pet hair then the Pet Lover Mighty Mite mentioned above is a good choice. I couldn’t recommend other models since I don’t have much experience with canister vacuum.


  4. Stephanie says:

    Hi Patricia,

    For as long as I’ve been alive, my mother, father, two sisters, and I have always had multiple pet dander/fur shedding pets at all times. See also; a dog, a cat, two rabbits, 3-5 parakeets, a parrot…etc simultaneously in the same house.
    The pet hair/dander combo was manageable with an average non-pet-friendly vacuum up until about 3 years ago when I got my second rabbit. My first rabbit has thick hair, but it was never really an issue with vacuum clogging because it came off easily with a brush. Now, my second rabbit has very thin hair, but a lot of it. And the issue is the shedding 6 months out of the year, and not being able to brush it because of the thin nature. It gets deep in my carpet, and with two or three cleanings of the floor, the vacuums break because it can’t handle the extent of my rabbits hair. I have had to try to fix three separate vacuums after only vacuuming a handful of times. The clogging and breaking of my vacuums time after time again is just not working.
    Now, I usually sweep the hard wood, but carpet is my main concern since it covers the majority of my house. As with Jody, I also can’t afford the expensive Dysons. What would you suggest? The wind tunnel listed above? I also plan to have more rabbits later on, so I want this to be the best bang for my buck that will last a reasonable amount of time, without breaking my bank. What do you think would be my best, yet practical and a fiscally sensible vacuum option?

    After a long ramble, I thank you for your advice.


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