Which is the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair?

Written by James Hall | 0 Comments| Last Updated: March 20, 2017

Cats can cause allergic reactions

One of the hardest jobs for a vacuum cleaner is picking up dog or cat hair – especially once it’s become trapped around carpet fibres. Keep reading to find out our four best vacuums for pet hair.

If you have a dog, cat or any other indoor animal that sheds, you may have found your current vacuum struggles to get the hair out from carpets. This can lead to an increased amount of allergens floating around your home, along with a general feeling of uncleanliness.

Fortunately, there are many pet vacuums designed with the power and functionality to pick up the majority of hair, leaving your home feeling cleaner and reducing allergenic particles in the air. If you or anyone else in your home suffers from allergies, this can make a difference to sneezing, runny noses and other reactions.

Best Vacuums for Pet Hair
Picture Brand & Model Type Info
Miele C3 Cat and Dog Miele C3 Cat and Dog Powerline Cylinder View Price
Dyson DC41 MK2 Animal Dyson DC41 MK2 Animal Upright Upright View Price
iRobot ROOMBA 880 Review iRobot ROOMBA 880 Cleaning Robot Robotic View Price
Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless Cleaner Handheld View Price

So what’s the difference between the best vacuum for pet hair and a “regular” model? The simple answer is removing hair requires two things – strong suction and a brush to stir up the carpet. While most models claim to have both, in reality there is a huge difference in performance between an average vacuum and one that excels at removing hair.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a list of our top four cleaners for removing pet hair below. As with all our vacuum cleaner reviews, we’ve considered a variety of factors – but with a bias towards models that are great for homes with pets. Before we get to the list, here’s a table of the top models followed by a quick overview of what to look for in these powerful models.

How to Choose a Dog & Cat Vacuum

Cats and dogs can cause unpleasant odours

Some vacuums are able to remove the typical pet odour at the same time as getting rid of hair.

We’ve written many guides for choosing different types of vacuums (see the menu at the top for more information), but here’s a brief overview of some of the primary considerations if you have animals in your home.

  • Budget. Pet vacuums tend to be more expensive, as they have strong suction and more efficient brush action – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bargains around (and a higher price doesn’t always equal better performance). Make sure you know your budget before you start looking.
  • Type. Vacuums come in several different types, including cylinder, upright and handheld. There are also robot vacuums, several of which claim to be able to handle animal hair. The right model for your home depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the house, the size of your pet, how much is shed, and the amount of suction power you need.
  • Breed of pet. While nearly all dogs and cats shed, some breeds shed more than others! Labradors, German shepherds, golden retrievers and Siberian Huskys, for example, are known to be heavy shedders, while poodles and chihuahuas amongst the least. If your pooch (or cat) is a heavy shedder, consider getting a more powerful pet hair vacuum with a larger capacity.
  • Filter type. An efficient filter (preferably a HEPA filter) is vital for a pet vacuum. A poor quality filter could allow allergens picked off the floor to be re-released into the air. This is a vital concern, as domestic animal allergens are the “second most important cause of allergy” in the UK (according to AllergyUK.org). Some models also come with filters for removing pet odours from the air, which can make a home environment much more pleasant.
  • Capacity. A pet hair vacuum cleaner should provide powerful suction to dig into carpets and remove as much hair and dander as possible. The downside to this is that the dirt bin can fill up quickly – especially if it’s small. Make sure you know the size of the model’s capacity before you buy.
  • Bagged or Bagless. Whether you want a bagged or bagless vacuum is a matter of personal preference, as both types of advantages. The best bagless vacuum for pet hair is probably the Dyson DC41 MK2 Animal (listed below), and provides excellent suction with the expense of bags. The downside to all bagless models, however, is that allergens can often be released when emptying the bin. Bagged models, such as the C3 Cat and Dog, prevent this by having automatic sealing mechanisms, which makes them more suitable for people with allergies.
  • Accessories. Some models come with an extensive set of accessories, and may even have a motorised hand tool. Others only include basic tools (such as crevice tools) – and some don’t have any tools at all. Try to think about the areas of your home that are difficult to clean, so you know which accessories are most important.

Note: A common question is “which is the best vacuum for dog hair…and is it different to cats?” While the hair of cat and dogs is very different, most models are built to excel at picking up any type – including humans! So any of the models listed below would be suitable for homes with either cats and dogs (or both).

The 4 Best Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair

Miele C3 Cat and DogMiele C3 Cat and Dog Powerline

One of the most popular cylinder pet vacuums is the excellent Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Powerline. It’s a 1200W model that’s built to remove both hair and odours, due to its TurboBrush feature and efficient filter.

While the 1200W motor is nothing to scoff at, Miele claims their technology outputs the power of a 2000W model, which is why it excels at getting stubborn hairs our of carpets.

Other features include a hardfloor brush, adjustable power settings and an “A” rating for cleaning performance on hard floors. It also comes with an additional turbo-head.

Reviews of the Miele C3 Cat and Dog Powerline have been almost universally positive, with the model achieving a very high average rating on shopping sites. One reviewer writes that the model makes short work of his Labrador’s excessive shedding, and that he can’t recommend it highly enough.

Another reviewer describes the model as the “Rolls Royce of Vacuum Cleaners.” She adds that it’s relatively quiet, and she could notice an immediate difference in the colour and cleanliness of her carpets – which you would expect from a vacuum cleaner for pet hair.

If you’re looking for a powerful cylinder pet vacuum, then the C3 Cat and Dog could be the perfect option. It removes hair far more efficiently than other models, and is also a bagged model which is important for people with allergies. Click here to read our full review of the Cat and Dog.

Overview:

  • Price Range: £££
  • Power: 1200W
  • Weight: 5kg
  • Dust Capacity: 4.5 litres
  • Filter Type: Washable

Key Features:

  • Excellent suction power
  • One of the best models for picking up pet hair
  • AirClean filter to remove allergens and odours

View Price

Dyson DC41 MK2 AnimalDyson DC41 MK2 Animal

The Dyson DC41 MK2 is a multi-cyclonic upright vacuum that, like the Miele C3 above, has been designed to excel at getting rid of pet hair. While there are newer models from the brand available, it’s still our pick for the top Dyson pet hair vacuum due to its excellent performance and reliable design.

It comes with a washable filter, for filtering of tiny allergens and bacteria, a hose that stretches up to 14.6 metres (making it perfect for large houses) and several accessories.

One thing to note is that the DC41 MK2 is a bagless model. This saves money on bags, but bagless models are often more difficult to empty without spilling dust. Fortunately, this model has a hygienic system for emptying the bin.

Reviews of the DC41 MK2 have been positive, with most reviewers (at the time of writing in June 2016) giving the model either four or five stars on shopping sites.

A reviewer writes that the model is just as powerful as her old DC12, but with a more compact and lighter design. While she mentions the tools aren’t as easy to store, she writes the DC41 is fantastic for picking up matted pet fur. Another reviewer writes that the vacuum makes dog hair “disappear.”

The Dyson DC41 MK2 is amongst the best vacuums for pet hair – especially if you’re looking for an upright model. It’s not cheap, and is quite a hefty machine despite the slimmer design, but in this case you get what you pay for. Click here for our full review of this excellent model.

Overview:

  • Price Range: £££
  • Weight: 7.7kg
  • Dust Capacity: 2.1 litres
  • Filter Type: HEPA

Key Features:

  • Powerful suction and excellent filtration
  • Long hose that stretches to 14.6 metres
  • Designed specifically for pets

View Price

iRobot ROOMBA 880 ReviewiRobot ROOMBA 880 Cleaning Robot

While you might expect the best vacuum for pet hair to be a cylinder or upright model, you shouldn’t overlook alternatives – especially robotic models. Robot vacuums can’t match others for suction power (yet), but they can clean regularly so you only have to worry about the “tricky” bits.

As you probably know, the iRobot ROOMBA range is the most popular on the market – and the ROOMBA 880 is the latest and best so far. We also think it’s probably the best pet hair vacuum if you want an automated solution.

It features 50% “better cleaning” than previous models, according to the manufacturer, which is vital for a robot pet vacuum. It’s also capable of cleaning dust, hair, dirt and other small particles from almost any type of floor – including carpet and laminate.

Reviewers of the ROOMBA 880 have praised the machine’s performance, with most giving four or five star reviews on shopping sites at the time of writing. A reviewer admits that there is still room for improvement, but writes that it is surprisingly effective at cleaning a home – including the hair from two cats. He also adds that the scheduling system makes it easy to keep the home clean.

If you’re set on getting a robotic pet vacuum, the ROOMBA 880 is probably the best option at the moment .While it’s not as powerful as a cylinder or upright, and it’s also expensive, it’s capable of getting up the majority of dirt, dust and pet hair from carpets and other floors.

You can read our full review of the iRobot ROOMBA 880 here.

Overview:

  • Price Range: £££££
  • Weight: 3.8kg
  • Filter Type: HEPA

Key Features:

  • One of the best robotic vacuum cleaners on the market
  • Can suck up pet hair from carpets
  • Scheduling mode

View Price

Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless Vacuum CleanerVax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet Cordless

We wanted to include a cordless handheld on this list, as they are convenient, relatively cheap and highly mobile. One of the best cordless pet vacuums is the Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator, which boasts a cordless design, crevice tools, powered turbo head (which is great for hair) and a 20 minute charge time.

Other features include an easy to empty bin, 18V battery and lightweight 1.8kg design, making this our pick for the best handheld vacuum for pet hair.

Reviews of the Vax Vax H85-GA-P18 have been positive, with reviewers praising the rotating brush and the 15-20 minute run-time on a single charge. Many have been impressed by how effectively the lightweight handheld model picks up pet hair.

If you want to keep your home clean from animal hair without an expensive, bulky new model, the Vax Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator could be the perfect option. It’s small and light, but still packs enough punch to get the job done, and is probably the best cordless vacuum for pet hair – at least if you want a handheld model.

Overview:

  • Price Range: £
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.3 litres
  • Filter Type: Washable

Key Features:

  • Convenient cordless vacuum
  • Excels at picking up pet hair due to the powered head
  • 20 minute charge time

View Price

Conclusion

If you’re starting to think your home will never be free from pet hair – don’t worry! There are some excellent pet vacuums available.

While the best vacuum for pet hair depends on your requirements, we think the #1 all round model is the Miele C3 Cat and Dog Powerline. It has strong suction and can really dig into carpets and remove any trapped hair. For handheld models, the Vax is a good option, while the Dyson is probably the best upright vacuum cleaner for pet hair.

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