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The 6 best vacuums for pet hair: Dyson isn't your only option

What is the best pet hair vacuum? ZDNet chose the BISSELL CleanView Rewind Pet Vacuum Cleaner as our top choice because of its powerful suction, scatter-free technology, and wide range of pet-hair removal tools We researched and compared pet hair vacuums by pricing as well as features such as pet hair removal tools, ease of use, and reviews to come up with our No. 1 pick and several other honorable mentions.
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Written by Michelle Honeyager and  Sean Jackson on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Pets enrich our lives in many ways, but most people would agree that constant shedding is not one of them. Especially if you have multiple pets, it's important to find a vacuum that is made to handle all that pet hair.

Pet hair vacuums are a must because they tend to have added tools specifically for cleaning pet hair, are designed in ways so they do not clog up with pet hair, and boast other features that pet owners will love.  

Below you can read about the top vacuums for cleaning pet hair. We selected these cleaners based on price points, power, and pet hair features in particular.   

cleanview-swivel-rewind-pet
Bissell

Specs:

  • 25-foot power cord
  • 8 amps of power 
  • 6-foot hose length 
  • 13.5-inch cleaning pathwidth
  • 1.0L dirt cup capacity
  • 13.65lbs

The CleanView by BISSELL has a number of features explicitly focused on cleaning up pet hair. It has a visible Triple Action Brush Tool that loosens pet hair. Cord Rewind makes putting the machine away a breeze. The large tank empties with a press of a button and has a clear design to show when it is full.  

Pros:

  • Bagless
  • It has multi-level filtration and is MultiCyclonic
  • Scatter-free technology helps so that debris does not scatter on hard floors 
  • It has a wide range of tools like the Pet TurboEraser Tool, Dusting Brush, Crevice Tool and Extension Wand 

Cons

  • While fairly slim and lightweight, people with small, full rooms may want to choose a stick vacuum model instead
  • Some reviews have stated the hose length feels too short
eureka-powerspeed-bagless-upright-vacuum-cleaner-pet-turbo
Amazon

Specs:

  • 25-foot cord
  • 8-amp motor
  • 10-foot extended reach hose
  • 12.6-inch cleaning path
  • 2.1L dust cup
  • 12.3lbs

The EUREKA PowerSpeed is another vacuum with a clear, bagless canister. If you're looking for a budget option, then this is an affordable range. It's also designed for pets and comes with a pet turbo tool. 

Pros:

  • It has an LED light that helps you see dark corners and crevices 
  • Five separate height adjustments
  • Bagless easy empty canister
  • Pet turbo tool, crevice tool, upholstery tool and dusting brush

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say the hose can get clogged
  • A few reviewers stated the suction tended to be weak on their model
dyson-v8-animal-cordless-stick-vacuum-cleaner
Amazon

Specs:

  • V8 digital motor with 110,000rpm 
  • 5.63lbs
  • 0.14-gallon bin
  • 9.8 inches high, 49 inches long and 8.8 inches wide
  • It charges for five hours and runs for up to 40 minutes 
  • 115 AW on MAX mode 

Those who have small rooms with many pieces of upholstery may want to invest in a stick vacuum. This model charges, and then you can use it cord-free. It's hard to believe a stick vacuum could handle a home with pet hair, but this model was made for the task.

Pros:

  • 2-Tier Radial cyclone and whole machine filtration makes it tough on pet fur
  • Switches to handheld mode, with an additional crevice tool
  • Switch between two modes for different levels of cleaning
  • Attachment allows you to reach high places
  • Washable lifetime filter 

Cons:

  • Using the more powerful modes shortens the amount of time you can clean between charging: the higher MAX mode can be used for up to seven minutes 
  • Much higher price point than most more conventional vacuums
  • Naturally the bin on stick models is much smaller than more average vacuum models
hoover-power-drive-uh74210pc
Amazon

Specs:

  • 30-foot cord
  • 120V/ 11A motor
  • 9-foot hose length
  • 11.5 inches depth, 45 inches height and 12.75 inches width
  • 1.5L dirt cup
  • 16lbs

This model also has a clear canister for easy emptying. A strong feature of the machine is its swivel steering. This model also comes with a more powerful motor than others on the list.

Pros:

  • The cord is longer than many standard models by five feet
  • It has two motors, is MultiCyclonic and packs a lot of power for picking up stubborn pet hair
  • Swivel steering makes it easy to use
  • Advanced action brush roll helps reduce hair wrap, which you can turn on and off for different surfaces
  • Includes multipurpose pet tools 

Cons:

  • At 16lbs, it's a bit on the larger size by modern vacuum standards 
  • Price is a bit higher than similar models
BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum 2390
Amazon

Specs:

  • 14.4V lithium-ion battery powered
  • Three-stage filtration
  • Bagless with 0.7L dirt cup capacity
  • 3lbs

Sometimes all you want is an easy handheld model to clean up the dirt your pet tracks in or pick up a small area your pet shed its fur in, such as after they have been brushed and if you need to spot clean your car. That's where the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum comes in. It's battery-powered and cordless for the easiest use.     

Pros:

  • Even though it's handheld, it comes with multi-use tools like a crevice tool, an upholstery tool and a motorized brush roll tool 
  • The clear canister is easy to empty and see when it's full

Cons:

  • It has a run time of up to 17 minutes, so only meant for quick touch-up jobs
  • It has a filter you'll need to replace, and the model does not have a clean filter indicator 
bissell-multiclean-allergen-lift-off-vacuum-with-hepa-filter-sealed-system-31259
Amazon

Specs:

  • 25-foot power cord
  • 7-amp motor
  • 7.2-foot hose length
  • 11.75-inch cleaning width
  • 0.75L dirt cup capacity
  • 15.7lbs

Do you love your pets but also have guests over here and there who are allergic to animals? Then you might want to look into a model like this one that focuses on clearing pet-related and other allergens out of your home.  

Pros:

  • Allergen cleaning powerhouse with SmartSeal Allergen System + HEPA traps 99.97% of dust and allergens 
  • Multi-use tools like the combination crevice tool and dusting brush, plus has Pet TurboEraser Tool
  • MultiCyclonic
  • LED headlights for seeing in dark corners and crevices 
  • One-touch clear canister emptying feature to avoid touching allergens 
  • A removable canister makes for a handheld, more portable option
  • A small swivel foot fits between furniture easier
  • Tangle-free brush roll 

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive models on the list
  • Reviewers state it can be hard to replace the filters
  • One review stated it was too heavy for them, and at nearly 16lbs, it's one of the heavier units on the list  

Which is the best pet hair vacuum?

Our best overall pick is the BISSELL CleanView Rewind Pet Vacuum Cleaner. We selected it because it has the most pet-friendly features for the fairest price point. The powerful motor, clear canister and Pet TurboEraser Tool help you beat those piles of fur that tend to accumulate in a home with pets before you know it.  

Best pet hair vacuums 

Price

Power

Weight

BISSELL CleanView Rewind Pet Vacuum Cleaner

$105

8-amp motor

13.65 pounds

EUREKA PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Pet Turbo

$99

8-amp motor

12.3 pounds

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

$349.99

V8 digital motor with 110,000rpm

5.63 pounds

Hoover Power Drive UH74210PC

$149.99

120V/11A motor

16 pounds

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum 2390

$72

14.4V lithium-ion battery-powered

3 pounds

BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Vacuum with HEPA Filter Sealed System 31259

$257

7-amp motor

15.7 pounds

Which is the right pet hair vacuum for you?

Different machines are best for different needs. Review the situations below to see which products make the most sense for you:

If you have multiple pets and/or pets with thick coats: Dogs with thick double coats, multiple pets or pets with long hair will require the heaviest duty machines. Look for vacuum cleaners that have powerful motors, clear bins so you can see when they are full and large dirt cap capacities. Off our list, the Hoover Power Drive would be a good option, with BISSELL CleanView and EUREKA PowerSpeed as other good options. 

If you have small, tight room spaces: Stick vacuums like the Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner were made for these types of situations. If a stick vacuum isn't for you, look into a vacuum with a swivel head for easy steering and plenty of multipurpose pull-off tools to get into tight areas, like the Hoover Power Drive. The BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum might also be a good choice if you have the tightest spaces to clean up.      

If you have mobility concerns: Look for a very lightweight vacuum. This might be another situation when the stick vacuum models work. Handheld models are also perfect for many people with limited mobility.  

If you or someone you know has pet allergies: Get an internally sealed vacuum, so it doesn't spread allergens and has a HEPA filter. On our list, the BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Vacuum with HEPA Filter is a good choice for people with allergies.   

If your pets are on the furniture often: Make sure to get a vacuum with a strong upholstery tool to help clean stubborn hair off of fabrics. BISSELL is known for its Pet TurboEraser Tool, which has a rotating brush inside the attachment piece to help pick up stubborn pet hair.   

Choose this vacuum for pet hair…

If you want or are…

BISSELL CleanView Rewind Pet Vacuum Cleaner

Best pet hair vacuum removal 

EUREKA PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Pet Turbo

Best budget pet vacuum cleaner

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Best Dyson vacuum cleaner for pet hair 

Hoover Power Drive UH74210PC

Most powerful pet hair vacuum cleaner

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum 2390

Best rechargeable handheld pet vacuum 

BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off 

Vacuum with HEPA Filter Sealed System 31259

Best pet hair vacuum allergies 

How did we choose these pet hair vacuums?

We chose these products based on a number of criteria like vacuum features, ease of use, and reviews quality. 

Those features entailed:

  • What about the product that made it suitable for pets: Our first consideration was how the design made it ideal for pet hair and other pet-related debris. Ideally, the product needed to contain some multipurpose tools that specifically helped pick up pet hair. Ideally, the product should have also had technology that helped avoid clogging and tangling from pet hair. It should have also been durable with a powerful motor to get plenty of suction for even the most stubborn and coarse pet fur types.    
  • Features that helped with ease of use: We also considered how easy the product was to use. Multipurpose tools like upholstery cleaners are also factored into this section. Proverbial bonus points went to swivel steering features, models that converted into handheld options and attachments that helped you get to hard-to-reach places. Clear models that show you when the canister is full were also important to avoid clogging from too much pet fur in the machine. Long power cords and hoses were also a plus.      
  • Online reviews: We were also careful to make sure these products had strong reviews online. No vacuum model on the list had a lower rating than 4.3 on Amazon at the time of writing.
  • Price: Another strong consideration was the price. For instance, one of the reasons our top pick was the BISSELL CleanView Rewind Pet Vacuum Cleaner was because it had a decent price point at just over $100 and still a good number of features at the price point. 

What makes pet hair vacuums different from regular vacuum cleaners?

Pet hair vacuums are designed all the way around to work effectively with a large intake of hair. One top feature is that these products usually have a no-tangle roller to avoid hair clogs. Large see-through canisters often help you know when the machine is full to avoid pet fur backup. A wide variety of multipurpose tools help you clean pet fur, dirt and dander off of different surfaces. Multi-level filtration, multiple motors and MultiCyclonic designs help keep suction strong even in the face of piles of pet fur. These products also tend to feature larger canisters and dirt cap capacities so you can vacuum bigger messes for longer.  

How does a HEPA filter help with allergies?

HEPA filters work by pushing air through a fine mesh, which then traps small particles like pet dander, dust mites, pollen and smoke. That's why a HEPA filter can work so well if you have to clear up pet allergens: it can help trap and clear up pet dander.  

What does the AW rating mean?

AW stands for air watts. An air watt measures how many watts are used to carry air through a vacuum cleaner. It's a measure that tells you how strong the vacuum's suction power is. On canister vacuums, 220AW+ is an excellent rating, and over 100AW is great for other types like stick vacuums. Suction is a strong consideration for pet hair vacuums since strong suction can help you get fur off of surfaces much easier. Many specs don't list the AW rating instead of listing other power-based specs like motor power, so don't worry about AW ratings too much.  

How can stick vacuums pick up all that pet hair?

A good stick vacuum will have plenty of suction to handle pet hair with ease. Added features like powerful motors, two-tier radial cyclones and whole machine filtration, like on the Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner, make it powerful enough to handle stubborn pet hair. 

However, the bin and dirt caps will naturally not be as big as a canister vacuum, which is a point to consider when comparing canister and stick vacuums. Stick vacuums also tend to be more expensive.  

Are there alternative vacuums worth considering?

Other strong products could be good choices but didn't quite make the list because of price, dirt capacity, online reviews or not as many pet hair features. 

Some of the honorable mentions include:

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