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The best robot vacuums for pet hair: Expert tested

Ditch your handheld vacuum and let one of these top robot vacuums for pet hair from iRobot, Roborock, and more suction it all away.
Written by Elizabeth Mauder, Editor and  Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ | Best robot vacuum for pet hair overall
Roomba j7+ vacuuming on tile.
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+
Best robot vacuum for pet hair overall
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Eufy X8 Pro | Best robot vacuum for pet hair on carpet
The Eufy X8 Pro on carpet
Eufy X8 Pro
Best robot vacuum for pet hair on carpet
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Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo Complete | Best robot vacuum for pet hair for multiple flooring surfaces
Deebot X2 Combo Complete
Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo Complete
Best robot vacuum for pet hair for multiple flooring surfaces
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Narwal Freo X Plus | Best robot vacuum for pet hair for hard floors
Narwal Freo X Plus robot vacuum and mop
Narwal Freo X Plus
Best robot vacuum for pet hair for hard floors
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Shark ION AV751 | Best budget robot vacuum for pet hair
Shark ION AV751 vacuuming a rug.
Shark ION AV751
Best budget robot vacuum for pet hair
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Roborock S8 Pro Ultra | Best robot vacuum and mop combo for pet hair
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra and two dogs.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Best robot vacuum and mop combo for pet hair
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If you have dogs or cats, you're likely too familiar with having hair everywhere, but it doesn't have to be that way. As a robot vacuum reviewer, pet hair is one of my pet peeves, so evaluating how a robot vacuum performs against it is one of the main characteristics I look for when testing these robots. 

Whether you have one furbaby or more, the fur dust bunnies in your house can be terrifying. The only thing that keeps my floors clean without manually vacuuming daily is a great robot vacuum to tackle the task for me.

Also: The best robot vacuum mops you can buy

What is the best robot vacuum for pet hair right now?

Since there are so many robot vacuums, you may wonder which is best for your home. we've tested dozens of robot vacuums at home and through everyday life, and our top robot vacuum choice to tackle pet hair is the Roomba j7+ due to its self-emptying dust bin and iRobot's Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P. guarantee). However, several other robot vacuum options are worth considering depending on your floor type and how much your pet sheds.

The best robot vacuums for pet hair of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Self-emptying
  • Intelligent
  • Smart Mapping technology
  • User-friendly app
  • Loud when it self-empties
More Details

One of our favorite robot vacuums is the Roomba Combo j7+. Many robot vacuums come and go through my home for testing, but this one earned a permanent spot.

Part of why it's so loved is because it can handle all of the pet hair on our floor, whether it's been just a day or several days since it last ran. The robot self-empties as soon as the dust bin is full instead of waiting until the end of the job, like other robot vacuums. If it is peak shedding season, it's common for the j7+ to empty four or five times during a single job, never leaving any pet hair behind.

Review: Roomba j7+: A life-changing robot vacuum

In addition, it's simply an intelligent robot. The j7+ comes with the P.O.O.P guarantee, an innovative promise from the manufacturer that the robot vacuum will avoid pet waste instead of creating accidental smearing, or iRobot will replace your robot at no additional cost. This means the robot vacuum is also good at avoiding pet toys, shoes, cords, and other household objects. 

Customers agree, touting the vacuum's ability to navigate obstacles and deliver clean floors. One reviewer commented, "The AI never ceases to amaze me. This thing makes decisions about which room to vacuum next (unless you tell it to vacuum a specific room), goes around wires, and I hear even pet poop (I don't have that problem in my house). It's very good at suction and goes slow enough to do a bang of a job cleaning the carpet."

Roomba j7+ features: P.O.O.P. -- pet waste avoidance | PrecisionVision Navigation | 3-stage cleaning system | Clean Base automatic dirt disposal | Price: $525

Pros & Cons
  • Dual 4000Pa suction
  • Self-emptying
  • No obstacle avoidance
More Details

The Eufy X8 Pro is a midrange two-in-one machine that keeps my carpets and rugs clean. The Dual TurboCyclone Suction has four different settings, and paired with the BoostIQ, the robot intelligently ramps up the suction when it encounters soft flooring. Dog and cat hair was easily lifted away, leaving behind beautiful carpet lines in its path. 

Review: I tested the world's first robot vacuum with twin motors for extra suction power, and they actually work

The X8 Pro is equipped with iPath Laser Navigation, so it will map your home and clean it in efficient rows, but it isn't equipped with object detection. If you can live with picking up your floors before the X8 Pro runs, you'll be impressed with its cleaning capabilities. 

Pet owners rave about the X8 Pro's cleaning ability even without object detection. One customer said, "I'm thrilled with this purchase. I can walk around in socks or bare feet comfortably, and when my fam stops by unannounced I don't have to rush to clean up or be embarrassed that I can't keep up with all the things."

Eufy X8 Pro features: Dual TurboCyclone Suction | iPath Laser Navigation | BoostIQ | Price: $400

Pros & Cons
  • Cordless vacuum, robot vacuum, and mop in one
  • 8,700Pa suction
  • Dual oscillating mop heads
  • Object avoidance could be better
  • Pricey
More Details

If you're looking for a powerhouse robot vacuum and mop, the Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo Complete is the machine for you. This 3-in-1 machine has 8,700Pa of suction power, dual rotating mop heads, a cordless vacuum for quick cleanups, and an Omni Station that does your dirty work. You can use the cordless vacuum to pick up pet hair from your area rugs or clean up crumbs from your couch, then set it to charge on the Omni station and watch as the contents of its dustbin automatically empty into the dust bag within. 

Review: This robot vacuum and mop combo is the most convenient one I've ever used

The AI-powered Robot intelligently navigates your home and recognizes your soft floors, carpet, and rugs versus tile, hardwood, or laminate. The mop heads can lift 0.60 inches, easily keeping your rugs dry during cleaning.

The Deebot X2 Combo Complete has easily kept up with my three (messy) kids and my mutt mixed with some of the hairiest breeds -- Husky, Golden Retriever, Coonhound, and German Shepherd. I think that should speak for itself. As a robot vacuum and mop, you can rest assured that your pet's hair will be vacuumed while the dirty paw prints are washed away. 

Customer reviews agree with my assessment: "The Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo engineers, designers, and programmers did their homework and then went out and built an incredible, not just vacuum but a solidly built system that shines in its accomplishment."

Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo Complete features: 15mm Auto Mop Lifting | Dual laser LiDAR navigation | OZMO Turbo 2.0 Spinning Mopping system | 210 minute runtime | Cordless vacuum | Price: $1500

Pros & Cons
  • Excels on hard floors
  • 7-week dust storage
  • Zero-tangle brush design
  • Doesn't mop thoroughly
  • Not great over carpet
More Details

The Narwal Freo X Plus is a $400 robot vacuum that excels at picking up pet hair from hard floors. Its innovative brush design directs hair and debris to one side, preventing tangles altogether. Though the Freo X Plus doesn't have a self-emptying dustbin, its unique dust compression technology allows for up to seven weeks of debris storage before emptying.

Also: I test robot vacuums for a living - the Narwal Freo X Plus is the best you can get for $400

Though it performs very well on hard floors, the Narwal Freo X Plus' carpet performance could be improved, and its mopping function is more suitable for light or maintenance cleaning rather than deep scrubbing of stubborn stains. 

Overall, the Freo X Plus performs exceptionally well compared to other midrange units, often matching the capabilities of more expensive models. One buyer says, "Don't know how I lived without this! The unit is surprisingly quiet, incredibly efficient and thorough, and remarkably smart."

Narwal Freo X Plus features: Debris compression to go 7 weeks before emptying dustbin | 7800Pa Suction | Obstacle avoidance | Price: $400

Pros & Cons
  • Simple
  • Small charging dock
  • Strong suction
  • No mapping capability
  • Can't self empty
More Details

If you're looking for a simple, straightforward robot vacuum that can tackle your home without the fancy bells and whistles, the Shark ION AV751 is for you. This is one of the easier robot vacuums to use -- you hit the clean button on the machine, and it goes to work. But don't let the simplicity fool you; this machine could suction up everything in its path. It doesn't automatically empty, and it doesn't map your home, so it just bumps around cleaning, but it simply gets the job done. 

Review: Shark ION Robot Vacuum AV751 review: Great suction for a cheap vac

You may have to pick the Shark ION up and place it in the room you want it to clean, but I exclusively used this robot vacuum for several weeks, and it kept up with all of my pet hair and dirt. 

This is a pretty popular Shark robot vacuum, and it maintains a high rating despite its popularity, which speaks volumes of its performance. One buyer commented, "With a Basset hound, it does an amazing job of keeping the house livable in between my own vacuum/mop jobs. I'm a firm believer in doing a deep clean with a larger vacuum, but with this running in between, my house is HUGELY improved."

Shark ION AV751 features: Tri-Brush System | Cliff detection | 120 minute run time | Price: $160

Pros & Cons
  • 6,000 Pa suction
  • Reactive 3D Obstacle Avoidance
  • Self-cleaning mop head
  • Expensive
More Details

If you're completely fed up with the mess your pet's fur makes in your home and are ready to buy the very best robot vacuum money can buy, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is your machine. This is a hands-free experience -- it's self-emptying, self-drying, self-washing, self-refilling, and self-cleaning. It also has dual rubber brushes and VibraRise 2.0 scrubbing technology to clean your floors.

Review: Roborock S8 Pro Ultra: This 2-in-1 vacuum can do just about everything

Pet hair doesn't stand a chance against the 6,000Pa suction power, and thanks to those dual rubber brushes I mentioned, hair doesn't get tangled up and clogged. I love the straightforward simplicity of two-in-one machines, and the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is no different. The per hair dust bunnies haven't stood a chance in my home against it.

Reviewers love how reliable the S8 Pro Ultra is and how well it cleans. One said, "This robot has been excellent. It vacuums and scrubs the floors better than my previous separate robots! It maps everything well, rarely gets stuck, doesn't miss anything, and leaves the house feeling clean! I run it automatically 3 days a week and use the Roborock liquid cleaning solution added to the water tank. I couldn't be happier!"

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra features: Dual rubber brushes | VibraRise 2.0 scrubbing technology | Hands-free docking station | Price: $1400

What is the best robot vacuum for pet hair?

With thousands of hours of testing, the Roomba j7+ is the best robot vacuum to handle pet hair. Its ability to navigate my home easily, to self-empty as needed throughout a job, and its promise to avoid pet waste make this my top pick.

See how it compares to other models we use to keep up with our pets. 

Best robot vacuum for pet hairZDNET's takePriceSuction powerFunctionalitySelf-emptying dustbinBattery life
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+Best overall$900N/AVacuum and mopYes180 mins
Eufy X8 ProBest for carpet$4004,000PaVacuumYes100 mins
Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo CompleteBest for multiple floor types$1,3008,700PaVacuum and mopYes210 mins
Narwal Freo X PlusBest for hard floors$4007,800PaVacuum and mopNo, 7-wk storage254 mins
Shark ION AV751Best on a budget$240N/AVacuumNo120 mins
Roborock S8 Pro UltraBest 2-in-1$1,4006,000PaVacuum and mopYes180 mins

*Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which robot vacuum is best for you?

There are hundreds of robot vacuums, so how do you know which is best for you? Here's a quick breakdown: 

Choose this robot vacuum mop...If you...
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+Want the best robot vacuum to handle all of your pet hair. It's intelligent, has strong suction power, and will avoid pet accidents.
Eufy X8 ProNeed a robot vacuum that can successfully tackle a lot of carpets and/or rugs.
Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo CompleteHave multiple flooring surfaces throughout your house that must be vacuumed and mopped.
Narwal Freo X PlusHave primarily hard floors throughout your house and very limited carpet/rugs.
Shark ION AV751Want a simple, straightforward robot vacuum without all the bells and whistles.
Roborock S8 Pro UltraWant a premium robot vacuum and mop machine that can keep up with all the pet hair and paw prints scattered throughout your house.

Factors to consider when choosing a robot vacuum:

While trying to determine the best robot vacuum, I kept several factors at the forefront of my testing and research, which can also aid your search.

  • Floor types: Some robot vacuums are equipped to work with certain floor types, like carpet or hardwood. Others may be able to accommodate other floor types, like stone or marble. Before you buy, consider the types of flooring in your home and which vacuum is most appropriate.

  • Mapping: For full automation, your robot vacuum must have a mapping feature to navigate each room. You also want to consider an obstacle avoidance feature that can avoid things like furniture, wires, and even pet waste. This feature is a must-have in my home with strewn about.

  • Battery: A robot vacuum is hardly worth it if it doesn't have the battery to keep it going. Consider the battery time before choosing the best robot vacuum to ensure it has enough power to clean your home. If you select a robot vacuum with the technical capability to pause its job, return to the charging base to refill its battery, and then resume the job where it left off, this may not be as big of a factor as others on this list. 

  • Connectivity: Many of the best robot vacuums offer voice control, some even with Alexa. Others may feature an app that allows you to control your robot from afar, set schedules, track progress, and control the machine's efforts. If you're hoping for voice activation rather than using an app, check and see if the machine is compatible with the home assistant of your choice. 

How did we test these robot vacuums for pet hair?

ZDNET has several robot vacuum reviewers that have tested over 50 units thus far. We conduct tests in real homes with real challenges and in a controlled lab environment for comparison.

Also: How we test robot vacuums at ZDNET in 2024

Here's what we consider when testing robot vacuums and mops at ZDNET:

  • Determine evaluation criteria: For our key evaluation criteria, we consider how robots perform by assessing their suction power, navigation, mapping, and battery life. We also assess the user experience, the robot's versatility, longevity, and whether it delivers on its specifications.
  • Unboxing: During this process, we assess the packaging and setup experience and note any accessories and unique features.
  • Testing environments: We test the robot vacuums on different floor types (like carpet and hardwood) and see how they navigate various obstacles to test performance.
  • Performance metrics: We test suction power with various debris types and assess obstacle navigation and mapping accuracy.
  • Extra features: When testing robot vacuum and mop combinations, we evaluate their effectiveness at removing stains and overall cleaning quality. We also check how unique features work, like obstacle avoidance and recognition, extendable mop pads, etc.

To top it all off, we gauge the device's longevity and long-term performance by using it over the course of a few months. Our review timelines vary, but we typically test robot vacuums for about a month before reviewing and keep our reviews updated while the device is available.

How often do you have to empty robot vacuums?

Four of the five vacuums on this list are self-emptying, so you don't have to worry about manually dumping the dust bin after every use. However, there are many on the market that you need to manually empty. How often you empty your robot vacuum dustbin depends on how much dirt, debris, and pet hair you have in your home. It's good to be realistic about your home's needs and proactive about emptying so your vacuum can continue suctioning up as much dirt as possible during its job.

The self-emptying robot vacuums are typically emptied into a dust bag stored in the base station. The dust bags vary from one brand to another, but you can typically get around 60 days' worth of dirt and debris before needing to change the bag out.

Are there reccurring expenses for robot vacuums?

Most robot vacuums encourage you to replace the filter, rollers, and side sweeping brushes periodically to keep it performing optimally. Additionally, if your robot empties into a dust bag, it must be replaced every couple of months. Finally, some robot vacuum mops require a mop-cleaning solution that must be repurchased throughout the robot's lifetime.

Can robot vacuums avoid pet accidents?

Robot vacuums are becoming increasingly intelligent with each new device, and they can now avoid various objects in your home, including pet waste. iRobot and Roborock are two robot vacuum companies claiming their devices can identify and avoid running over pet waste.

Are there alternative robot vacuums for pet hair worth considering?

There are a lot of great robot vacuums on the market, so I obviously couldn't include every single one. Here are a few other worthy contenders:

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