We use our vacuums for everything these days; from curtains to hardwood floors and your regular carpet, too. So the chances you already have a multipurpose vacuum is pretty likely. When you have a pet, though, you have specific needs and finding a vacuum that meets those needs is crucial to maintaining a clean and healthy home. In your search for a vacuum, it becomes clear very early on that not all vacuums were not created equal.
We reviewed dozens of Pet Vacuums to identify the best of the best. We began out search by narrowing the very wide range of vacuums to those who are specifically designed to tackle the unique problems of pet owners. That means they will have a feature (or ideally, more than one) that addresses pet hair or air filtering for allergies to pet dander.
Check out the best of the best for pet vacuums, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet
While we did our research on pet vacuums, one brand stood out among the rest and one model stood out among that brand. The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum has both a pet hair brush attachment along with a pet-multi-tool that will insure pet hair is a problem of the past!
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Pet Vacuums for 2018
|Editor's Choice||Pet Vacuums||Rating|
|Top Pick||Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum||4.5 stars|
|Runner-Up||BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner||4.2 stars|
|Best Budget Buy||BLACK+DECKER Airswivel Ultra Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner||4.0 stars|
|Best Cordless Upright Vacuum||BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES PRO Cordless Lithium 2in1 Pet Stick Vacuum||4.1 stars|
|Best Lightweight Cordless Vacuum||Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum||4.4 stars|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum
The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum has so many bells and whistles, you may need to read the user’s manual to find them all. The base is removable and bagless, allowing you to sweep, dump and repeat as many times as you need to without replacing a bag. It comes with several attachments that will help your pet-friendly home: a TruePet motorized brush and a pet multi-tool along with the more standard duster crevice tool and the Hard Floor Hero, allowing you to switch from carpet to hard floors in a jiffy.
This vacuum is sealed with an anti-allergen technology so as to prevent pet dander from being released or agitated back into the air. It also has a HEPA filter which will ensure those pesky allergen particles are trapped and your air is safe.
With a price tag of $250, this is certainly not a cheap vacuum, but with that price tag and still an Amazon rating of 4.5 with over 1500 reviews, you know it’s worth the money. For any product to have that high of a rating with that many reviews is impressive, but vacuums typically don’t get as high a ratings as most other products on Amazon, which truly makes this a crowd-pleaser.
Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum Key Features:
- Anti-allergen complete seal technology and HEPA filter
- LED lights, swivel steering
- 30 ft cord length, fingertip controls
Our Runner Up Pick: BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
If you struggle keeping your hardwood floors free of pet hair, then look no further than the BISSELL Poweredge Pet Vacuum!
The BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner is designed for hard floors, so this will only work for you if you have a home where those hard flooring is primarily the case. But if you have tile, hardwood, linoleum or laminate this vacuum is certainly worth your time and money. If you utilize area rugs, don’t worry; as long as they are low pile, this vacuum works on them, too, no problem!
The V shaped swivel head will direct debris into the path of its powerful suction and twisting from side to side makes all your vacuuming so much easier that you may use it multiple times a day. This vac has all you need for vacuuming your floors so no attachments or hoses are needed, making this just about the most convenient vac on our list.
If you’re still having doubts, let us ease your mind with some numbers. There are over 6,600 reviews on Amazon giving it a rating of 4.2 and for just under $70, this hard floor vacuum is an unquestionable value.
BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner Key Features:
- Bagless, easy empty dust cup
- 20 ft power cord, 11.35″ cleaning path
- V shaped swivel head
Best Budget Pick: BLACK+DECKER Airswivel Ultra Lightweight Upright Pet Vacuum
The Black+Decker Airswivel Ultra Lightweight Pet Vacuum is your budget-friendly weapon against pet hair!
At only 8.8 pounds, the BLACK+DECKER Airswivel Ultra Lightweight Upright Pet Vacuum is one you won’t mind carrying from room to room or pushing all over your house. And with its 2 liter dust cup and 25 ft power cord, you can vacuum a lot of floor before you need to take a break to empty it.
The ergonomic handle makes it comfortable to handle and the swivel head makes it easy to maneuver. With its 6.5 foot hose and pet hair accessory tool, you can use this vacuum on any surface that gathers pet hair and with the base’s 12″ cleaning head, you’ll spend less time being twice as effective!
This lightweight vacuum is an effective one that can really save you some cash; you can pick one up from Amazon for just around $45. And if the reviews are any indication, you’ll be thoroughly impressed by the suction.
BLACK+DECKER Airswivel Ultra Lightweight Upright Pet Vacuum Key Features:
- Lightweight: 8.8 lbs
- 6.5 ft hose, 25 ft power cord
- 2L dust cup
Best Cordless Pet Vacuum: BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES PRO Cordless Lithium 2in1 Pet Stick Vacuum
Meet the only cordless vacuum you’ll ever need in the BLACK+DECKER’s Pet Stick Vacuum!
The BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES PRO Cordless Lithium 2in1 Pet Stick Vacuum is a multi-purpose vacuum that will allow you to vacuum anything your pet comes in contact with and more. Its lithium battery lasts up to 60 minutes of continuous use between charging and its Grab+Go canister allows you to detach the canister and turn the upright stick vacuum into a portable, handheld canister vacuum; so just grab it and go wherever you need.
This vacuum has several innovations that combine in its SmartTech. The AutoSense feature adjusts the suction to transition from hard floors to carpet without any extra effort on your part, the BatterySense shows the remaining battery life, and the FilterSense alerts you when the filter needs cleaned.
With all of these convenient features, it’s no wonder it’s Amazon’s Choice for “cordless vacuums for pet hair” and that 80% of the reviewers have rated it either 4 or 5 stars.
BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES PRO Cordless Lithium 2in1 Pet Stick Vacuum Key Features:
- Cordless, Grab+Go Canister
- Includes 6-inch nozzle, crevice tool, upholstery brush and pet accessories: 9” pet crevice and 5” pet brush
- Anti-Tangle rubber bristles lift dog hair deep in
Best Handheld Pet Vacuum: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
For the small job or the big, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is the handheld vacuum to take on your battle with pet hair
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum uses a multi-layered filtration system to make sure that all that pet dander it removes from your home isn’t released back into the air. The nozzle of this vacuum has specialized rubber bristles that are especially effective at grabbing hair while its 4 amp motor uses plenty of power to suck those newfound hairs into its bagless dust cup, which can hold .78L before needing emptied or cleaned. It is a small but convenient 5 pounds with a 16 foot cord, giving you portability even with the cord.
This handheld vac is listed as Amazon’s choice for “Pet Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair” with over 5,000 reviews, 80% being 4 or 5 star, which means you can buy this handheld with confidence in your satisfaction. And if nothing else, it’s an absolute steal at under $30!
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum Key Features:
- 2 specialized nozzles included
- Multi-layer filtration system; Cyclonic Cleaning System
- .78L dust cup, 16 ft power cord
Who Should Buy a Pet Vacuum
The long and short answer to this question is pretty simple: anyone who has pets should have a pet vacuum. Mainly dogs or cats but any furry animal will likely require a bit of extra vacuum love. You may find you just lucked into a vacuum that handles the filtration necessary and removes hair thoroughly, but chances are you didn’t think of those things before you adopted your dog or cat. For appearances and cleanliness, you’ll want to remove the hair from your floors and furniture. Animals, especially those who go outside, bring in a lot of filth that you wouldn’t want lingering with their hair.
Another reason you may need a pet vacuum is if a family member develops an allergy or sensitivity to animals. In that case you’ll want a pet vacuum that addresses air filtration to rid your home of the pet dander that will keep you family member sneezing.
Check out the best of the best for pet vacuums, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet
Important Features to Consider
A pet vacuum should do several things better than a standard vacuum. Here’s what to consider when selecting a pet vacuum:
- Attachments. When it comes to important features for your pet vacuum, attachments are where you should start your elimination process. You’ll want an upholstery brush if you’re planning on getting all the pet hair out of your furniture and a hose or extender attachment. Pet hair gets on everything and you should be able to reach it all with your vacuum. If the vac comes with some sort of specialized pet brush, you should make sure it’s of good quality.
- Robots. Ah, the wave of the future! Theoretically, you should be able to buy a good robot vacuum then program and forget about it. It’ll run while you’re out of the house or sleeping and you can empty the dirt tank when you get to it. (Daily, probably.) But keep in mind while weighing it as your option it can often get stuck on items you may not expect so you will have to always have your floors clear for the robot; otherwise it could get stuck and do absolutely nothing that day.
- Battery life (if applicable). If you have a portable pet vacuum, you’ll want to check into how long the battery life is before purchase. If you get a robot who should be doing the whole house but only has enough battery life for 45 minutes, there’s a good chance that won’t complete what you’d like done. And if you get a handheld or stick cordless, you’ll want to make sure there is enough juice for you to get the places you intend.
- Corded vs. cordless. If you have a ranch style home all on one floor, there’s a very good chance a corded wouldn’t bother you in the least. In fact, you may want to make sure the cord is super long so that you can go all over your house. But if you’re planning on using your vacuum on multiple floors, you may want to get one that won’t trip you up while climbing those stairs.
- Specialized for all types of flooring. Tackling each different type of flooring in your home could be as simple as having the appropriate attachments. But keep in mind that having a different attachment for every little job means you’ll need to find a place to store them. So you want to make sure you have a plan for both your hard floors and your carpeted areas – and all their attachments, because not all floors are the same and your vacuum needs to transition as you do.
- HEPA filter. If your motivation for getting a pet vacuum is allergies, then you’ll want to make sure that the pet vac you choose has a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to catch the dander and prevent it being released into the air. You’ll also want to weigh the frugality of the reusable filter with the convenience of the replaceable filters. The reusable filters are washable and you can use them sometimes as long as you own the vacuum. Others you’ll need to replace according to the recommendations. (But you’ll probably just be able to tell by looking when it needs replaced or washed.)
- Sealed. A sealed system is especially important if the reason you need a pet vac is for allergies. You want to make sure the vacuum is sealed throughout so that every step of the process those particulates and that dander are locked away. Otherwise, those microscopic buggers will likely be breathed in and cause all kinds of problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
A pet vacuum can be any type of vacuum that is designed to address the special needs of cleaning a house with a pet. Those special needs may be plentiful, but the big two are the most commonly addressed issues. First, the vacuum should make an extra effort to rid your home and all of its surfaces of pet hair. Typically this means there will be pet attachments (brushes, mostly) to a more streamlined vacuum but there are others that use a pet-friendly design in their base model.
The second matter a good pet vac will tackle is the allergens pets can introduce to your house. And since those particulates are ultra fine and invisible to the naked eye, your best bet for getting rig of them is to suck them up into a vacuum with a sealed, high efficiency filtration system.
Besides picking up a vacuum on our list that has an upholstery brush, you have a few options for getting rid of that pet hair. You can put on rubber gloves, and run them quickly under the water, dampening the gloves and then run your hand all over the fabric, gathering the pet hair as you go. Or you can spray the furniture with a 50/50 combination of fabric softener and water directly onto the furniture and then wipe it off.
For wood furniture, you’ll want to use furniture polish or dusting spray to eliminate the static that can cause hair to cling. The spray will delay static build up again for a while and put off another removal effort for you. Lint rollers will work for most every type of furniture, so keep that in mind, too.
This just depends on what vacuum you decide to purchase. Most pet vacuums have a transitional attachment or an ability to operate effectively on hard floors of all kinds. You can use most, if not all, hardwood and tile vacuums interchangeably, but the carpet vacuums often use a different kind of brush and will need changed out to be used on a hard floor. The most common type of vacuums have transitions.
Even if the vacuum doesn’t have an attachment, though, they may have height adjustments that can be made to lower the brush for your hard floors. And some (although fewer) have an ability to turn the brush off so that it won’t send particles flying across the floor before they can be sucked up.
The bottom line is that the better the air intake, the more effective your vacuum will be at picking up dirt and grime. A high powered suction will get particulates and dander from corners and deep down in the carpet fibers while a softer suction could be getting just the visible. There is a decently complicated formula to calculate suction, or rather the Air Watts. You use the airflow and the water lift and a standard 0.117254 all multiplied together. Generally, though, you can make a rough estimation of the suction power based on the watts. Because of that, this is the number manufacturers most provide. (Although that’s not always the case so don’t take the wattage as a clear sign of suction strength.) Anything under 1600W is generally looked at as overkill.
The reality is, though, suction doesn’t matter as much as the brush. So while you want to have an effective suction, don’t skip that pet brush attachment in lieu of the the stronger suction. And while that motor power is important, it won’t mean anything if the attached brushes can’t pull their weight.
Other Pet Vacuums We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other pet vacuums and even though they didn’t make our 5 best pet vacuums list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your home. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Canister Pet Vacuums
This canister has 2 motors to make sure you’re getting maximum suction power and with its Pop-n-Go bare floor brush, you can transition from hard floors to carpet in a snap.
- 2-motor system for added power
- 2 floor nozzles for hard floors or carpet
- 28 ft power cord
This canister pet vacuum is designed to deal with your plush carpet so you can get the pet odor and hair out of even the thickest carpet.
- 30% easier push/pull with swivel head
- 4 cleaning tool attachments
- HEPA filter, cord rewind and telescoping wand
This powerful canister vacuum will certainly provide the necessary suction and with all its attachments you can kiss the pet hair goodbye.
- 6 suction control settings
- 18 ft power cord, 7 ft hose
- Active AirClean filter captures 99.9% particulates
Cordless Pet Vacuums
This is the perfect vacuum for the little pet hair jobs so you can grab and go, quickly sweeping up a couch before company comes.
- Handheld OR stick vacuum
- Washable HEPA filter
- 1-year warranty
The ultimate in “hands-off” sweeping is a robot vacuum and you’ll love the life of it’s battery; you’ll get a lot more than one room done between charges, that’s for sure!
- Self-charging when battery is low (>90 minutes)
- Programmable schedule with remote control
- Automatic clean-all mode with one touch
This little robot is great for catching the pet hair “tumbleweeds” that hide under your couch; because not having to move a piece of furniture to vacuum is a true thing of beauty.
- Dual rotating brushes with HEPA filter
- 2.4″ thin for low clearance furniture
- 2 hours of wireless cleaning between charges
This robot vac is one that will both grab all that pet hair and keep those allergens trapped within.
- Rotating brush with HEPA filter
- 2.9″ thin for low clearance furniture
- Anti fall sensors and Smart self-programming
You can be confident you’re getting all the hair you can see, and all you can’t with this portable vac.
- Cordless, LED light, and 3 tool attachments
- 3-4 hr charge and 20-25 minute continuous use
- Stainless steel washable HEPA fitrer
Upright Pet Vacuums
This Bissell is a whole house vacuum with special pet-friendly attachments that make it an effective tool against animal hair.
- 3-year warranty
- Dirt-filter indicator light and Easy dump dirt tank
- Includes pet TurboEraser tool and pet hair corner tool
A little more lightweight than other Bissells, this vacuum will get used more because it moves so easily and does so much.
- 2 color options
- Includes a multi-surface pet brush roll and pet hair strainer
- Works on wet and dry floors
This Bissell vacuum was designed to fight the war on pet hair and arming yourself with this will certainly help turn the tides in your favor.
- Patented Cyclonic Pet Hair Spooling system for hands-free emptying
- Optional Pet tool bundle with extra pet hair attachments
- 8 ft hose, 30 ft power cord
This bagless vacuum cleaner is one you can use all over your house and the attachments will make getting the pet hair up a cinch.
- Suctionchannel provides stronger suction
- Pet Turboeraser tool to vacuum pet hair tangle-free
- Smartseal Allergen system and optional Febreeze filter
This lightweight vacuum comes with plenty of power and attachments to get that pet hair up without you needing to break a sweat.
- 10 ft hose and 25 ft power cord
- Spin4pro Premium Brushroll for carpet or hard floors
- Includes 2-in-1 crevice & dusting tool, powered stair and upholstery tool
For a lot of people this is the original when it comes to pet hair cleaning; its bagless design, easy swivel and surprisingly light weight makes it great for whole house coverage.
- Tangle-free Turbine tool
- 25% more power driving bristles deeper into carpet
- 5 year parts and labor warranty
This vacuum has an attachment for virtually anything you’ll need and focuses on all things pet.
- 6 color choices
- 8 foot stretch hose and 27 ft power cord
- PET Power Paw Turbo Nozzle attachment, Pet dusting brush and crevice tool included
This vacuum will help you take on pet hair and dander and use its pet plus attachments to make it a breeze.
- High intensity LED headlights
- Removable and washable filter
- Compatible with Hoover App for customization
This bagless pet vac will have your house so clean, you won’t even be able to tell you have a pet.
- Folding handle for easy storage
- Cord rewind for its 25 ft cord
- Includes a Air Powered Pet Hand Tool, Pet Upholstery Tool, 12 inch Extension Wand and a Crevice tool
This vac will help your home become a safe place for those of your family who suffer allergies.
- 5 position height adjustment for all types of floors
- HEPA filtration system
- Pet handi-mate tool, combo dust and crevice attachment included
This vac has puppy right in the name and offers you the choice between 5 brush modes, allowing you to transition from each type of floor or upholstery in your home.
- Detachable handle stick
- Removable and washable filtration components
- 1-year warranty
This stick vacuum is corded but so lightweight you will have no bothers moving it from room to room.
- 2x capacity dust cup
- Pet multi tool and Hard Floor Hero attachments
- Lightweight, less than 9 pounds