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Have a Pet Allergy? 5 Vital Features of Cordless Vacuums

Written by James Hall |

Dogs and cats can cause allergic reactions, so it's important to choose the right cordless vacuum.

One of the most common questions we get at is how to choose a vacuum if you have pets. This is especially important if you have an allergy, which is caused by protein floating on pet dander. Cordless vacuums are particularly difficult to choose for people with pet allergies, as they often have weaker suction and a bagless design (which we usually don’t recommend for allergies).

With that in mind, here are five things to look for in a cordless vacuum if you have a pet allergy.

1. Hygienic Emptying System

There’s no point diligently cleaning your home to reduce pet dander if you need to pull the collected allergens from the canister manually. This is a common problem with bagless vacuums, as hair and dust often gets caught.

Some cordless vacuums are built with a hygienic dust emptying feature. This usually involves a sliding system that pushes dust without you needing to touch it. It’s still important to empty the bin outside – ideally someone else should do it too – but this type of system can mean you don’t need to directly come into contact with the allergens. Any high-quality pet vacuum cleaner should have this feature.

2. High-Quality Filter

The most important factor when choosing a cordless vacuum for a pet allergy is a high-quality filter. The filter is the only thing stopping microscopic pet dander from being picked up by the vacuum and circulated around the home. This is why you may have worse allergy symptoms after cleaning if your current filter isn’t up to the job.

The “Gold Standard” of vacuum filters is the HEPA filter, but this isn’t found on most cordless vacuums. Instead, most use either a basic filter or cyclonic design to remove small particles. Filters can be confusing, so make sure you read our cordless vacuum reviews to get a better idea of how a particular vacuum performs.

3. Motorised Cleaner Head

A common complaint about cordless vacuums is they don’t have the suction power to remove pet hair and dander from carpets. While this is true of lower quality models, the best cordless vacuums now have decent suction and can handle most tasks.

But it’s not just suction that determines how effective a vacuum is at cleaning. It’s important to get a powerful floor head with a brush bar that digs deep into carpets. This, combined with strong suction, removes much more pet dander trapped in carpet fibres.

As a bonus, a mini-motorised tool is also useful for pet owners – especially if your dog or cat likes to sleep on the sofa!

4. Fast Charge Time

Many people are focused on battery run-time when choosing a cordless vacuum, but it’s easy to forget about the charge time. If you own a dog or cat that sheds a lot, you’ll probably want to do regular cleaning sessions to stay on top of pet dander and hair. This is difficult if the vacuum takes a long time to charge.

As a bonus tip, cleaning “little and often” is one of the best ways to relieve a pet allergy. As pet dander builds up in the home, it’s continuously stirred up by people walking on carpets or sitting on sofas. This is why allergies can be a problem even when your pet isn’t around. Instead of cleaning once a week, try to stay on top of pet dander by doing shorter cleans every day.

5. Boost Mode

When pet hair gets stuck in carpet fibres it’s useful to have a boost mode. This allows you to temporarily increase suction power at the expense of battery life. You probably won’t want to use this mode often – it can reduce run-time to around 5 minutes for most cordless vacuums – but it’s great as a “last resort.”

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