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So what makes a good vacuum for pet hair? One that will keep on top of those pesky hairs, and while some models are good all rounders, others are made specifically to excel in picking up shedded cat & dog hair
Giving a one size fits all answer to the best vacuum for pet owners is not always going to return the perfect answer for everyone's requirements. After all, every company is advertising theirs as the best one to buy, and it leaves you wondering which one is telling the truth.
Plus, you have so much else to take into consideration – things like your budget, the type (cordless, upright, cylinder or even robot) as well as what surfaces you need to tackle.
To help make things easier for you, we have put together this guide, detailing the key features you should be looking for when buying a vacuum cleaner for pet hair.
If you are in a hurry, here are our two top selections, both of these models are corded uprights and both are from Shark who simply excel at pet vacuums not to mention both have superb filtration so if you are an allergy sufferer these do an amazing job at retaining 99.9% dust particles and pet dander for example.
- What You Need to Consider When Buying a Pet Vacuum
- Best Vacuum for Pet Hair UK ( In Order)
- 1. Shark TruePet NZ801UKT Powered Liftaway
- 2. Shark Truepet NV601UKT Upright Vacuum
- 3. Miele C3 Cat & Dog Powerline Cylinder
- 4. Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vac
- 5. Shark HZ400UKT Corded Stick Vacuum
- 6. ILIFE V3s Pro Robotic Pet Vacuum
- 7. Dyson V7 Animal Cordless Vacuum
- 8. Holife Handheld Pet Hair Vac
- 9. Gtech AirRam K9 - Mk2 Pet Hoover
- 10. Neato Robotics D5 Robotic Pet Vac
- 11. Dyson DC40 Animal Pet Vac
- 12. Bosch BCH6PETGB Athlet Pet Vacuum
- 13. Shark IZ251UKT Cordless Stick Vacuum with Anti-Hair Wrap
- Other Recommendations
- Worst Buys
- Other Tips for Removing Pet Hair
- It's a Wrap
1. Editors Pick
Shark TruePet NZ801UKT Corded Upright
2. Budget pick
Shark TruePet 601UKT Corded Upright
What You Need to Consider When Buying a Pet Vacuum
Before you go out to buy your new pet vac, there are a few things that you first need to take into consideration. Take a look below and see what your perfect model contains. Click to expand each section.
Types of Pet Hair Vacuums
Cordless Vacuums for Pet Hair
Cordless vacuum cleaners as a rule have never been up to the job at tackling pet hair effectively, however, recently models such as the Dyson V11 and the Shark ICZ160UKT are certainly giving their corded counterparts a run for the money.
You will though need to dig a bit deeper into the budget to get something that does the same quality of job as a corded model, to the tune of £400-£500.
Cylinder Vacuum for Pet Hair
Cylinder vacuums are light and easy to use, great for getting under furniture and give you a bit more flexibility around the home. However with Shark now offering their upright range with Powered Lift-away, you are getting all the power of an upright vacuum, with the flexibility you get with a cylinder.
In my experience the only cylinder vacuum that really tackles hair efficiently are Miele.
Upright Hoover for Pet Hair
The upright vacuum is one of the most popular choices, and they do make pretty great additions to your cleaning schedule, not just for pet hair. In most cases they have a lot more power than other forms of vacuum cleaner, meaning that their suction usually reaches right down to the roots of your carpet – perfect for deep cleaning and homes with multiple pets.
Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair
Only really designed as a second vacuum in the home and one thats on hand for quick spills, mainly in and around the kitchen, that said there are a few models that have good agitation that can deal with removing pet hair from furniture, curtains, stairs and your car.
Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
Unless you are spending some serious money you simply don't get the deep clean and hair pickup you get from any of the above types of vacuum cleaners. Whilst we do feature a couple of robot models here, my advice unless you have small pets that moult small amounts of hair. Stick to one of teh above.
You also need to think about the type of floor you have and whether or not your vacuum has been designed to deal with it. Some vacuums are great at handling all floor types, while others are more suited to specific ones.
Without doubt if you have a lot of hard floor and tiled surfaces, a model with a soft roller is a must, so models such as Dyson V range ( not all variations so do check) and the Shark models that come with Duoclean floor heads are my suggestions, like the Shark NZ801UKT featured in this guide.
The good thing about the latter, is that models with Shark Duoclean floor heads as you may have of guessed has two rollers, a soft roller for hard floors and a powerful brush roller for carpets.
Furthermore if your home has real mix of carpet and hard floor then one of these Shark models would certainly be my recommendation as unlike the Dyson V range for example you don't need to keep changing the head from soft to brush when your floor type changes.
If you have lots of furnishing, rugs, stairs etc, you will want a model that comes ideally with a small pet attachment to tackle pet hair head on, but we have you covered there as all models featured in the best vacuum for pet hair guide ticks that box.
You should take the time to set yourself a budget. This will narrow down your options, but it also means that you have a better idea of what you should be looking for. It is important to remember that the amount you spend does not always reflect the quality of the vacuum cleaner you buy.
There are many budget models that give a good performance on pet hair, and just as many high-end ones that have hardly any power or suction.
Here is a quick rundown of the price boundaries:
The features that a pet hair vacuum has to offer should also influence your choice. There are a few important ones that you should look out for and weigh up before you make a purchase. Here they are, along with a little more about them.
Suitable for allergies and a HEPA filter. These two things are ideal for those who suffer from asthma or allergies, and they can make the task of vacuuming a much smoother one. A HEPA filter is hospital grade, and it is phenomenal when it comes to trapping even the smallest allergen particles.
A HEPA filter is a guarantee that your vacuum is suitable for allergy and asthma sufferers. There are other filters on the market, and many of them are good, but you won’t find that they are as effective as a HEPA.
Bagged or Bagless
Bag or no bag – it’s a common question that those going to buy a new vacuum have, and there are good arguments for both sides. Here are the pros and cons of using a bag in your vacuum cleaner.
- It's more hygienic as all of the dust and grime is stored in an airtight container, which is also good for those who have asthma or allergies.
- It’s easy to dispose of. All you need to do is remove the bag from the vacuum and throw it away, there’s no hassle or any fear of the canister blowing dust in your face.
- It is expensive. The bags are not cheap to buy, and the additional cost can really add up over time.
- Decreased suction. As the bag fills up, you may realise that the suction of your vacuum decreases, providing you with poor performance. This can be rectified by changing the bag before it is full, but this does add to the expense.
Here are the pros and cons of going bagless instead.
- It’s cheaper than using a bag. The fact that you don’t need to spend money on new bags for your vacuum can save you a little cash in the long run.
- It has good visibility. Most bagless vacuums have clear canisters, so you can see what you are picking up, which is great for avoiding sucking up small objects.
- It’s also easier to maintain. Due to the fact that the canister tends to be clear, you can see when it is about to fill up so that it can be emptied, leaving it effective and fully functional at all times.
- If the filter in your vacuum breaks, it can be costly to repair if it is not under warranty, same with other parts of your vacuum.
- It is also quite messy when you empty it, as there is nothing to stop the dust from flying out, and if you drop it, you can end up creating, even more, mess for yourself to clean up.
In a home with pets, attachments are just the thing you need to keep everything clean and free from pet hair. Here are some of the top attachments to look for:
You will find these on most pet specific vacs – either on the main head or as an attachment. These are ideal for a home that deals with pet hair because of the way they are designed. It is a long tube with a brush spiral around it that grabs dog hair and fur from the carpet as you vacuum.
They are very easy to clean and incredibly effective, making them one of (if not the) top attachment for tackling pet hair . They even pick up human hair, leaving your floors with amazing results.
The Pet Contour Tool
This is a handy tool that is able to remove cat & dog hair from some of the most difficult places, such as upholstery and stairs. It is powerful and flexible, which is part of what makes it so effective.
The turbo tool is probably one of the most common pet specific tools you are likely to find. It is powerful and ready to get all of those difficult areas, like your stairs and upholstery. It often features a claw at the front to bring up even the most rooted dog & cat hair, which is ideal for those who live in a multi-pet household. They are also great for curtains and the interior of your car.
The 3-in-1 Tool
This is one of the most underrated tools on the market. It can turn itself into a crevice tool, dusting tool, and an upholstery tool. Sometimes, you will find this attachment without the latter, but all three will give you the best result.
The crevice tool is perfect for reaching those difficult corners where pet hair balls up, while the dusting tool provides a gentle clean for tables and other hard furniture (if you have a dog that moults like mine you will need to vacuum your tables). The upholstery tool is a great added bonus for your home and your car – making cleaning that little bit faster.
Pet Specific Vacuums vs All Rounder’s
There is a lot of debate over whether pet vacuums or regular ones are best for tackling pet hair. A lot of the issues stem from the fact that some manufacturers will label a standard vacuum as a pet one, leaving you with a product that cannot cope with the task at hand.
Here are the top features that a pet hair vacuum cleaner should have:
- Powerful suction
- A filtration system (preferably HEPA)
- A totally sealed unit
- Attachments that are pet-specific
- Powered Rotating brushes in the main head for maximum pet hair collection
A standard vacuum will not normally have the same level of suction that a pet vacuum offers, and their filtration systems tend to be subpar or non-existent – making them less suitable for those who suffer from pet allergies or asthma.
If you have pets and need to collect as much hair as possible, powerful suction is key to a clean and efficiently cleaned home. The special attachments also show that the manufacturer has designed this vacuum with pets in mind as opposed to just sticking a label on it.
One of the other issues when it comes to looking at pet hair vacuums compared to regular ones is how easily they get clogged.
Much of the time, you will find that a regular vacuum simply cannot cope with the amount of hair that it is sucking up, and it will become clogged very easily – resulting in a lack of suction until you clean it out.
Pet hair vacuums, on the other hand, are less likely to become clogged and will take a lot more time (and pet hair) to do so. While it is recommended that you have a quick sweep before you vacuum in order to maintain its health, a pet hair vacuum can usually cope with heavy duty hair removal when needed.
Price can be a little bit of an issue. Manufacturers tend to market pet specific vacuums at a higher price than regular ones. While it is possible to find budget pet vacuums, they are not usually as readily available as standard ones.
Shark have recently released Anti Hair Wrap technology, and having tested this out for myself can vouch for how effective this tool is.
Best Vacuum for Pet Hair UK ( In Order)
7. Dyson V7 Animal Cordless Vacuum
Another great pet vacuum from Dyson
The best cordless pet hair vacuum is never easy to find, but like the V11 above Dyson V7 Animal is another great cordless model that tackles pet hair efficiently
I own a dog that sheds a lot. Think husky fur but ten times worse, and as a result, I really needed a vacuum cleaner that could cope with sucking up an entire dog made from fur regularly.
What I found with this stick vac is that the suction is incredibly powerful, picking up fur and fluff with no issues and without getting clogged - ensuring that the home could be cleaned quickly and efficiently.
The brush bar gives carpets a really deep clean, and both power modes work excellently to ensure that your floors are left in the best possible condition – whether they are hard or carpet.
It can even convert into a handheld so that you can clean the stair efficiently, as well as your furniture and inside your car, which you need if you have pets. With compact storage and a range of tools, it has everything you need to tackle pet hair.
The Not So Good
The dust canister can be a little small, which means that it needs to be emptied more frequently when in use.
- Power: 100 watts
- Run Time: 30 mins
- Charge Time: 3 hours
- Weight: 2.3kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.5L
- Battery Voltage: 21.6v
- Noise: 72db
Our pick as the best Dyson vacuum cleaner for pet het is a powerful machine that ensures that your home remains free from pet hair and without the machine clogging up - even if you have a really fluffy pet.
While the canister does need to be emptied more regularly, it is still a good size considering the lightweight and compact build of the machine. It really is surprising how much power it can offer, and the running time is really good as well, so you can keep your home in perfect condition.
Q: How long does the Dyson V7 take to charge?
A: With a full charge, the V7 runs for about thirty minutes on its standard power settings. This may not seem like a particularly long time, but if it takes you longer than that to vacuum your house you're going to want a bigger vacuum anyway.
Zanussi ZAN1910UEL Cyclone Classic Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
This cheap vacuum cleaner may claim to be one of the best, but it is certainly not one of the most effective pet vacuum cleaners. The suction is not as powerful as you would expect from a pet vacuum cleaner, and the filters need to be changed on a more regular basis than other models.
While the stair tool seems to work amazingly, the vacuum itself blocks very quickly, losing suction and efficiency until it is cleaned out. This can take a lot of time and effort when it comes to taking it apart and putting it back together again.
VAX C86-AW-Phe Air Silence Vacuum Cleaner
This machine from Vax is quite heavy and bulky when it comes to lifting and handling it, which can be off-putting for some. While the suction is good, it is very difficult to move across the floor, and is definitely not suitable for deep carpets as it often stops working when it reaches thick areas.
It is also very bulky to store, and has an incredibly short power cord. The attachments are good and very effective, but they are difficult to change and need to be stored separately as there is no onboard storage available for this model.
Other Tips for Removing Pet Hair
Of course, if you find yourself stuck, there are other ways to remove pet hair from your home. Here are a few of our nifty alternative tips and tricks:
This works wonders on hard floors. All you need to do is drag them along and collect the hair as you go. Move it all into a pile ready to scoop up with a dustpan and brush. The reason you use the squeegee instead of a broom is that the squeegee is more effective at picking up hair and dirt. You will be amazed by how much more it can collect.
A hairbrush is a great way to remove stubborn [et hair from your carpet or upholstery. The long bristles are ideal for reaching deep into the material of your carpet and bringing up all of the embedded fur. It can be done with a brush that is wet or dry, and proves to be an effective method of making things a little easier on your vacuum cleaner – or as an alternative when you find yourself without one.
Sellotape and lint roller
You’d be surprised what tape and a lint roller can do for your carpet and rugs. The tape can be used to pick up debris and dirt using the stick side, which is a great quick fix. Similarly, the lint roller can be rolled across the carpet to pick up any hair and fluff on your floor – another way to quickly spruce up the appearance of your floors. These methods can even be used on wood floors if they are in need of a quick once over.
Damp rubber gloves
This is a great way to get hair off your furniture and upholstery without the use of a vacuum. You will find that it picks up a lot of hair, and it doesn’t take too long to do. Just make sure the gloves are damp and not wet before you run your hands across your furniture. You can even spray a little fabric softener with the water for a refreshing scent and softer cushions.
For more information on pet hair removal, read our detailed article here.
It's a Wrap
We all love our pets and we definitely should! Once we decided to become a fur parent, we are aware of the responsibilities that we have to take on and the additional work we have to put in – which includes getting rid of all the pet hair around the house and even the car.
Some vacuum cleaners seem to be very powerful yet it doesn’t have enough capability to suck in all the pet hair. This proves to be very annoying especially if you’re just too tired of cleaning and you expect your vacuum to do the job for you.
The models above listed in our best vacuum for pet hair guide above are made with a special feature to get rid of all those dog hairs scattered around your home in addition to doing a great job in cleaning the rest of the place. Check our site regularly for more updates and if you have more questions or if you believe that we missed some details, please leave a comment below and we’ll try our best to answer right away.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.