Every pet owner knows that cleaning up pet hair is a challenge that never ends. No matter how often you clean your floors and furniture, there always seems to be more hair. Even though you love your pets, it can be frustrating and exhausting to deal with the constant clean-up required to keep your house free of their hair.

The solution is to find the best vacuum for pet hair. The vacuum that suits you must be right for your needs, including the number of pets you have, the quality of their hair, and the size of your home.

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to buying the best vacuum for pet hair. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know which features you need to keep your home looking good.


What to Consider When Buying a Vacuum for Pet Hair?

If you’ve been relying on a vacuum that doesn’t seem to be getting the job done when it comes to picking up pet hair, it may be because you haven’t looked for the right features and qualities before buying.

For example, a home with only one pet might not need as powerful a vacuum as one with many pets. For single pet owners, a standard vacuum might be sufficient for their needs. A home with many pets will probably require a high-capacity vacuum that can handle hair from multiple animals.

Likewise, you should consider the kinds of pets you have. Some breeds of cats and dogs shed more hair than others. We’ll go into more detail about these things later in the guide. For now, keep in mind that not all pet owners can use the same vacuum and get good results.


1. What Kinds of Pets Do You Have?

The first major consideration to keep in mind before you shop for the best vacuum for pet hair is the kind of pets you have.

As we mentioned above, some breeds of cats and dogs shed more than others. Here are some of the dog breeds that leave a lot of fur on floors and furniture:

  • Saint Bernard
  • German Shepard
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Akita
  • Chow Chow
  • Golden Retriever
  • Siberian Husky

Likewise, some cat breeds shed more frequently (and copiously) than others. Here are some of the worst culprits:

  • American Ragdoll
  • Siberian
  • Russian Blue
  • American Bobtail
  • American Curl
  • Chartreux
  • Cymrie

All dogs and cats shed, and shedding may be heavy at times. However, these breeds are the worst when it comes to shedding.

On a related note, you should consider whether the animals you own have long hair or short hair. Short hair is less likely to clog up your vacuum, while long hair can get tangled in other things.

Keep in mind, too, that dogs and cats aren’t the only animals that shed. Their fur might not be as noticeable, but guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits also shed and can add to the fur problem in your home. The takeaway here is that you need a vacuum that’s equipped to handle the volume and type of pet hair found in your home.


2. How Many Pets Do You Have?

The type of pets you own can affect the kind of vacuum you need, and so can the number of pets you have. A home with several pets that shed will require a stronger vacuum than a home with only one pet.

When there are many pets in your home, you are likely to have pet hair on your floors, beds, and furniture. Even if you don’t allow your pets to get lie on the sofa, you can still end up with a large volume of pet hair in the upholstery.

If you’ve had your pets for a while, you should have a pretty good handle on how much pet hair you can expect to find in your home. You can choose your vacuum accordingly. However, if you plan to acquire additional pets in the near future, you may want to take them into account before making a purchase.

Some vacuums are more effective than others. Your best bet is to look for a vacuum that can handle the amount of pet hair you have rather than settling for a less capable machine.


4. What Type of Flooring Do You Have?

The next thing to consider is the type of flooring you have in your home. There are vacuum cleaners on the market that can handle various floor types with ease. If your home has a mix of flooring, you’ll need to choose carefully, making sure that the vacuum you buy will work on all of them.

Picking up pet hair from ceramic tile, for example, requires slightly different technology than picking it up from wooden floors. It may be helpful to consider this list of flooring types as you evaluate potential vacuum cleaners:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Linoleum floors
  • Ceramic tile floors
  • Granite or stone floors
  • Concrete floors

Each type of flooring will need to be cleaned, and the challenges associated with each can be different. Naturally, you’ll want to choose a vacuum that is equipped to remove pet hair from the floor in every room of your home.


5. Do You Have Carpets and Area Rugs?

The next thing to consider is whether you have carpets or area rugs in your home. Some vacuum cleaners have multiple attachments to clean both rugs and various types of flooring.

You’ll also want to think about the specific rugs you have. A carpet with a relatively deep pile might be more difficult to clean that one with a short pile. Expensive area rugs may require specialized cleaning to protect them.

As you take an inventory of your rugs and carpets, check the manufacturers’ labels and cleaning instructions. Make a note of anything special that might be required to clean pet hair from your rugs and carpets.


6. Are You Taking Pets Along in the Car?

Do you regularly transport your pets in your car? For some pet owners, putting the dog in the backseat for a trip to the dog park or beach is a daily occurrence – and for them, pet hair on car seats represents a cleaning challenge.

If you do put your pets in the car frequently, you’ll want to consider how best to remove pet hair from your car. Make a note of the kind of seats you have. For example, are they upholstered in fabric or leather? Are the cushions removable?

Having a vacuum that you can use in your car as well as your home may be important to you. If it is, make sure to buy a machine that suits your needs.


7. Are Your Pets Sensitive to Loud Noises?

Some animals don’t mind the sound of a vacuum cleaner, but most pet owners would agree they are in the minority. You might not be able to completely eliminate vacuum cleaner noise, but if you have skittish pets then seeking out a quieter model may be important to you.

Because vacuum noise can be upsetting to pets, your research should include a comparison of vacuum cleaner noise levels before you buy a vacuum to deal with pet hair. It is not common for manufacturers to make a note of the noise level of a vacuum in the product description or packaging. For that reason, you may want to read customer reviews online to help you choose the best vacuum.


Types of Vacuum for Pet Hair

Even a casual perusal of the available vacuums in a department store or online shop reveals that there are many kinds to choose from. However, some vacuums are better than others for pet hair. Let’s review them and talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each type.


  • Upright Vacuum

Upright vacuum cleaners are popular among pet owners. As their name suggests, they stand upright; but many models have the ability to flatten out to allow you to clean underneath tables and furniture.

If your home has wall-to-wall carpet or area rugs, you might want to consider an upright vacuum. They are among the best vacuum cleaners for picking up pet hair from carpets. However, many models also work well on a variety of flooring.

  • Canister Vacuum

Canister vacuums consist of a canister with a long wand attached. The wand is used for vacuuming. As a rule, canister vacuums are more powerful than stick vacuums and more lightweight than most upright vacuums.

Canister vacuums do a good job of cleaning pet hair from rugs and carpets, but they also do a good job of wood, linoleum, and other types of flooring. They also tend to be more expensive than uprights or stick vacuums.

  • Stick Vacuum

Stick vacuums are slender and very lightweight. As a result, they have less suction power than upright vacuums or canister vacuums. Because they provide only light suction, they work best on bare floors, light carpets, and area rugs. They’re probably best for homes with just one pet or with pets that don’t shed much.

  • Handheld Vacuum

A handheld vacuum is just what it sounds like. It’s a small vacuum that you can hold in your hand. These small machines often pack a serious punch when it comes to suction power which can make them ideal for getting pet hair out of hard-to-reach places.

The price range for handheld vacuums is extensive. They can range from less than $50 to well over $250 depending on their power and features. These small vacuums are ideal for use on upholstery, corners, and in cars. They work well on rugs and most types of flooring, but they’re not recommended for cleaning pet hair from large areas.

  • Robotic Vacuum

Robotic vacuums represent the latest and greatest in vacuum technology. These small vacuums are designed to work automatically once you turn them on. These disc-shaped vacuums made a good choice for pet owners with varied flooring in their homes.

Many models can automatically detect changes in flooring types and adjust their suction power accordingly.

Another benefit of robotic vacuums for pet owners is that they can easily fit beneath furniture. You can program them to recognize area limitations, so they don’t cross thresholds or chase your pets from one room to another.


Best Vacuum Features for Pet Hair

Now that you know about the various types of vacuum cleaners available for cleaning pet hair, let’s review some of the features you may want to look for when you’re comparing models.

  • Pet Tools

Some vacuum models come with tools that are specifically designed to pick up pet hair. Some even have brush attachments that you can use to groom your dog.

If you want the ability to remove excess hair from your pet before it lands on your floors or furniture, then looking for a vacuum cleaner with pet tool attachments may make sense for you.

  • Strong Suction Power

You have probably already guessed that picking up pet hair requires strong suction. Some vacuum cleaners with strong suction power are ideal for people who own multiple pets or who have pets that shed a lot.

A vacuum cleaner with strong suction will pick up pet hair easily, pulling it out of carpet fibers and upholstery. It will also ensure that the pet hair it picks up makes it all the way into the canister or bag and doesn’t fall out of the hose.

As you compare suction strength, you may come across fancy terms like Cyclonic suction or root suction. These words usually indicate that a vacuum has the power you’ll need to deal with pet hair.

  • Multi-Surface Cleaning

Multi-surface cleaning is a must if your home has more than one type of flooring. Some vacuum cleaners work best on carpet or bare flooring. If you’ve got hardwood floors in some rooms, tile in others, and carpeting in others, you’ll need a vacuum that can handle every room of your house.

When you’re comparing vacuum cleaners, make sure to check the manufacturer’s description to see which surfaces the vacuum cleaner can handle. Their guidelines can help you choose the best option for your home.

  • Lightweight

One thing that is certainly true of being a pet owner is that you’ll need to be prepared to vacuum your home frequently. Pets never stop shedding, and the only way to stay on top of the pet hair is to vacuum on a regular basis.

For that reason, having a lightweight vacuum is ideal for many pet owners. It’s especially important if you have to carry your vacuum up and down stairs or out to your car. You should check the description to get the weight if you’re buying online. If you buy in person, you can simply lift the vacuum cleaner to see how heavy it is.

  • Long Reach Hose

Another feature you may want to consider is a long reach hose. Some bulky vacuum cleaners have a lot of suction power, but they’re not suited for reaching into tight corners or under furniture. A long reach hose can make these vacuums more versatile.

A hose attachment is perfect for cleaning underneath tables, chairs, and beds. It can allow you to get pet hair that’s collected in crevices and corners, and it’s also ideal for getting pet hair out of your couch cushions or car seats.

  • Bag/Canister Size

Finally, you should give some thought to the size of the vacuum cleaner’s bag or canister. It isn’t ideal to have to stop after each room you clean to empty the vacuum.

If you have a large home or a lot of pets, it makes sense to seek out a vacuum cleaner with a large-capacity bag or canister. That way, you can clean your entire home without having to stop. It’s also worth looking to see if the vacuum’s bags have an easy-removal system to prevent pet hair from falling out when you change or empty the bag.

As you can see, there are many features available to help pet owners cope with the pet hair in their homes. You’ll have to consider which features are best suited to your situation before buying a new vacuum cleaner.


Where to Buy a Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair

The final thing we want to include in our guide is some advice about where to buy a vacuum cleaner for pet hair. You have two basic choices: buying online or buying in person.

  • Buying Online

Buying a vacuum cleaner online isn’t as risky as you might think. Thanks to the prevalence of customer reviews, it’s easy to compare features and get a feel for what a vacuum is like before you buy it.

Amazon is the biggest online retailer and a good place to buy a vacuum cleaner for pet hair. When you’re reading reviews, make sure to heed those from verified purchases. Sometimes, unscrupulous manufacturers pay for reviews. Verified reviews are from people who bought the vacuum cleaner from Amazon.

Of course, there are other online retailers, too, including big box stores and department stores. Wherever you buy your vacuum online, make sure it’s a website with a good reputation.

  • Buying in Person

The other option you have is to go to a store – whether it’s a small, local vacuum or hardware store or a big department store – to buy your vacuum cleaner.

The advantage of buying in person is that most stores will let you try out a vacuum cleaner before you buy it. You’ll be able to get a feel for its size, weight, maneuverability, and power before you buy it.

Here again, make sure that you buy from a store with a good reputation and a good return policy. Most stores aren’t going to have a floor covered in pet hair for you to test the vacuum, so you won’t really know if it’s suited to your needs until you get it home. You want to have the option to return it if it doesn’t live up to your expectations.


If you own pets, you need a reliable vacuum cleaner to help keep your home clean. Choosing the right vacuum can help you control pet hair, minimize allergic reactions, and keep your family and your pets happy.

Image credit: Mieleusa