Top 8 Best Pet Hair Vacuums for Oct. 2018 – Plus Buying Guide

Shedding is natural for our furry companions and getting rid of all that hair is a lot tougher than a novice pet owner would think – the first line of defense is a vacuum specifically designed to clean pet hair. As a backup for those with tiled or wooden floors, you could then follow up your cleaning process by using a high-quality steam mop.

Most normal vacuums simply aren’t designed to effectively suction pet hair – whether they’re hand-held models, heavy-duty uprights or even high-powered central systems. You need to carefully evaluate each of their features to determine the top vacuum from the pet hair brands available and match them with your unique needs and preferences. The mantra is to choose a machine with the suction, filters, and tools to handle high volumes of pet hair.

There are several options you will want to consider – these can include upright vacuums, canister vacuums, and all-around vacuums. Canister vacuums usually offer greater maneuverability over close edges compared to the upright vacuums. There are also some great cordless stick vacuums such as the Bissell Bolt XRT Pet 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum which do a great job on pet hair.

Before moving on to the list of best vacuums for households with pets, the Groom+Style team wanted to point out the review we have completed on the best air purifiers. Air purifiers can be used as another tool in your arsenal to combat your furry friend’s tendency to shed hair all over the place – especially if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies.

The Animal 2 is new from Dyson. It replaces both the DC Animal 1 and the Cinetic Big Ball Animal which previously sat at #1 on our rankings. Dyson claims to have research showing that the Animal 2 has the strongest suction of any pet hair vacuum on the market. Whether that’s true or not (and we have no reason to doubt them), this baby can suck up dirt and pet hair with the best of them; with an impressive 270 air watts of suction, the Animal 2 is the company’s most powerful pet hair vacuum ever.

Another reason for its outstanding performance is Dyson’s “Radial Root Cyclone” technology, which we don’t pretend to fully understand, but creates powerful circular air movement inside the machine, leading to outstanding suction. And a third reason is a self-adjusting cleaner base plate, which ensures the vacuum head maintains close contact with the floor or carpet (getting much deeper into carpet piles) and lets the powered air be used for its designed purpose instead of leaking out.

This Dyson isn’t just for floors, though. It has a tangle-free turbine tool, which uses heads that rotate in opposite directions to make sure the vacuum grabs all of the matted hair that collects on couches, chairs, beds and even clothing. There’s also an optional grooming tool which attaches to the Animal 2, allowing you to remove the loose hair from your long-haired Snoopy before the hair has a chance to lodge itself somewhere else.

“Isn’t there a decent, cheap pet hair vacuum out there?” Yes, there is, even though we’re not quite sure we understand its name. This Eureka model comes in at a very affordable price; it uses the company’s multi-cyclonic technology, plus a design which limits twists and bends in the air path, to provide enough suction to collect most stubborn pet hair – particularly on carpets.

The Groom+Style review team doesn’t consider this Bissell model a bargain since it’s considerably more expensive than the Eureka. But it’s considerably less expensive than the Dysons, Sharks and Mieles of the vacuum world, and has the added benefit of one-touch, “lift-off” technology which lets you use the Pet Hair Eraser as either a standard upright or as a canister model for easy portability.

For this price, you won’t get a HEPA filter, but the Bissell Smartseal allergen system (interestingly, with a Febreze filter) is quite good at trapping smaller particles while giving the air a clean scent. We also liked the machine’s tangle-free brush roll and its cyclonic pet hair spooling system, which pulls all of the hair into the dust container so you don’t have to “touch the yuck” – as Bissell so politely explains it. There’s also a nice selection of special pet hair tools, including a TurboEraser attachment that sucks the hair out of thick carpet, stairs and upholstery.

Miele is one of the prestige names in the vacuum industry, and it has the prices to prove it. This model is the most expensive (and the heaviest) of all the pet hair vacuums on our list, and while it has huge suction power and does a terrific job at collecting the most stubborn clumps and stray hairs, we’re not sure it’s worth more than the Dyson Animal 2.

The operation of this machine is as convenient as you’d expect from a Miele product; its cool “swivel neck” technology lets you steer the machine just by twisting your wrist, and the body of the vacuum can be lowered down to the floor to get all the way under furniture. A handheld turbo brush comes with this model. One more plus: the always-solid Miele construction and engineering.

Filtration is via an “SF-AA30 Active AirClean” system with activated charcoal which removes pet odor from the air as well as allergens; it works almost identically to HEPA filtration, but you can also buy an optional HEPA filter if you’d like. The review team considers the U1 Cat and Dog to be a better choice for pet owners than the Miele Twist that some “experts” recommend because the Cat and Dog has the Active filtration system while the Twist has a lesser, standard AirClean filter. Dirt collection is in self-sealing bags.

Getting a vacuum cleaner with the whole package is not always an easy affair – although you will always get what you pay for. The Dyson DC25 Animal is one of those cleaners that will offer you very good value for money. The Dyson brand of vacuum cleaners is one of the most popular around and an industry workhorse which makes the DC25 a perfect choice and a top vacuum especially for those with pets. The all-around DC25 Animal vacuum is much smaller in size and also quite compact. The ease of use and maneuverability means you can vacuum virtually everywhere in your house. You do not have to move the furniture around when cleaning the house. The DC25 Animal certainly makes the process of getting rid of the pet fur a lot easier.

If you are a fan of LG and its innovative electrical and electronic products, then you will certainly love the LG’s LcV900B canister vacuum. It’s one of the best vacuums for pet fur and here is why. The innovative Kompressor feature means you can pick up thrice as much dirt as in other models before the cleaner is emptied. This is a huge performance advantage over many of the industry brands. You can also cover a greater surface area when cleaning thanks again to its innovative DualForce suction technology. With the retractable cord, you can easily reach the farthest of places on your floor. With its ultra-lightweight, extra powerful suction, bagless feature, ease of use, and good quality ergonomic design, the LG’s LcV900B canister vacuum cleaner offers one of the best options for pet fur removal in the house. Buying Guide – Things to Consider When Deciding on What Vacuum to Buy

Canister vacuums (those with a wheeled body that’s pulled behind the user with a long hose) will generally offer more flexibility and maneuverability with a separate hose allowing users to reach under couches and tables. The main negative is having less control over the canister – picture it banging into walls and furniture as you pull it along behind you.

This is another confusing element when it comes to the choice of vacuum cleaners. A vacuum “ with a bag” will store the collected dirt and dust and you will have to purchase a package of bags when buying the vacuum – as they typically have a limited lifespan and will need to be replaced. Bagged vacuums generally have a cheaper upfront cost, but higher ongoing costs.

The bagless vacuum, on the other hand, will save you the inconvenience of having to purchase bags for your cleaner. Emptying a bagless vacuum is much nicer as you do not have to touch a dirty bag, and retrieving those accidentally vacuumed earrings is also easier. The tradeoff is a much lower ongoing cost (no need to buy replacement bags) vs. the higher initial outlay.

The HEPA feature (which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air) is a very important function, which many modern vacuum cleaners now have, and is responsible for filtering out particles (pet fur and dander, for example) in the air leaving your home free of allergens. The HEPA is usually replaced on a regular basis based on the manufacturer’s recommendation – although some vacuums like the #1 Dyson have Non-washable lifetime HEPA filter, and the Shark and Hoover vacuums on our list have washable filters.

It can be difficult to compare models in this regard, since suction is measured by several different metrics and the ones that manufacturers are likely to boast about don’t really tell you much about the actual suction. For example, watts, amps and horsepower tell you about the amount of power the motor uses or puts out. They’re usually not useful measurements when it comes to suction, because they don’t measure how efficiently the vacuum uses the power it consumes.

The key figures to look for are CFM (cubic feet per minute) or AW (air watts). CFM measures how much air a vacuum takes into the collection bin or bag during a minute of use. AW is the best measure of all, representing the amount of power a vacuum actually uses to pull dirt through the nozzle. The higher the number, the more suction a machine provides. A big number matters even more when a vacuum has a HEPA filter, because it requires extra suction to pull dirt through a filter with tiny openings.

There’s no “right” AW number, and the type of work you’ll be doing (and the filter on your machine) will determine whether the suction you need has to be exceptional or simply decent. However, a good rule of thumb is that an upright should have at least 100 AW of suction, and a canister needs at least 220 AW because it has to pull dirt all the way through a hose.

It’s a much easier task to remove a short-haired pet’s loose fur from a hardwood floor, than it is to suck out what seems like “half a cat” from a carpeted cat tree or the deep folds of an upholstered couch. That’s why it’s important to consider where (and what) you’ll be vacuuming before choosing a machine. A vacuum with incredible suction – and a price tag to match – could be overkill for routine jobs.

If Fluffy or Fido routinely sheds (and sheds…and sheds…) anywhere and everywhere, be sure the pet hair vacuum you choose performs equally well on floors, carpet, upholstery and in cars (if you regularly take your pet for rides), has strong suction, and comes with appropriate tools to deep clean fabrics and can get into cracks and crevices.