Are you tired of using a heavy corded vacuum cleaner to clean pet hair? For maintaining a hair-free home, cordless models are far more convenient – as long as they can handle cat or dog hair. To help you choose, we’ve listed the best cordless vacuum cleaners for pet hair below.
#1 Pick: Dyson V11 Absolute
It features Dyson’s High Torque cleaner head, Soft Roller, and mini-motorised tools, so it’s suitable for cleaning pet hair anywhere in the home. The V11 also has excellent filtration, a lightweight design, and up to 60-minutes run-time.
Dogs and cats make wonderful companions, but they don’t make it easy to keep your house clean!
Aside from bringing mud, leaves and who-knows-what-else into your home, they also cover your floors and furniture with hair. Trying to keep pet hair under control can often feel like a losing battle.
While dogs and cats shed varying amounts, all pet owners need a high-quality vacuum cleaner. The right cleaner can make it quick and easy to remove hairs tangled in carpet fibres or stuck on upholstery.
The problem is that many pets shed continuously. For the worst offenders, owners may need to vacuum multiple times each week, or even daily. This can be time consuming – especially if you’re using a bulky upright vacuum.
That’s why cordless vacuums for dog and cat hair are becoming more popular. These convenient cord-free vacuum cleaners are great for whipping around your home to get rid of hair, dust and dirt. The lack of a cord and lightweight design means they are also brilliant for spot cleaning.
But which are the best cordless dog and cat vacuums? Can cordless vacs really match corded models when cleaning hair? And what features should you look for when buying? Let’s find out.
What to Look for in a Cord-Free Pet Hair Vacuum
Before we get to the recommendations, it’s important to know what to look for when choosing a pet vacuum. Some of the most important considerations include:
- Cleaning Performance. The most important factor when choosing a pet vacuum is its cleaning performance. While the effectiveness of the primary floor head is the main concern, don’t overlook the tools and accessories included with the vacuum cleaner. A high-quality pet hair attachment can make the difference between easy cleaning and a frustrating experience. Also, make sure the brush bar can be easily de-tangled – especially if your pet has long hair!
- Effective Filtration. Pet dander is one of the most common airborne allergens. If you suffer from a pet allergy, choosing a cordless vacuum with an effective filter is essential. Keep in mind that cordless vacuums usually aren’t as suitable for people with allergies, mainly due to their bagless design. The cordless models with the best filters release far fewer allergens during a cleaning session though.
- Odour Filter. Some vacuums come with an additional filter (often active charcoal) that can absorb pet odours. This is less important than an allergen filter, but may be something to keep in mind.
- Floor Type Performance. Not all vacuums perform the same on hard floors, laminate and carpets. Some are all-rounders, but many are better on one type than others. Make sure you take into account the types of floor in your home when choosing.
- Stair Cleaning. Stairs can be nightmare to clean with a traditional upright vacuum cleaner – especially if the steps are regularly coated with pet hair. This is an area that cordless vacuums often shine, as they are lightweight and easy to carry up the stairs. Not all cordless models are suitable though, so if you have stairs make sure you choose one with the tools and mobility to handle it. Alternatively, check out our page of the best vacuums for stair cleaning.
- Battery Run-Time. One of the most important considerations when buying a cordless vacuum cleaner is the battery run-time. This can range from less than 10 minutes up to an hour, depending on the model. The run-time you need depends on how you want to use the machine. For spot cleaning, a battery that lasts 15 minutes may be enough. If you want to clean the entire house without recharging, however, then you’ll need a considerably longer run-time.
Why do Vacuums Struggle with Hair?
Pet hair presents a particularly difficult challenge to many vacuums. If you’ve ever pushed around a vacuum cleaner for twenty minutes only to realise that your carpet is still covered with hairs, you probably already know this! Considering 40% of UK homes have some sort of pet, this is an issue that millions of people face.
The problem is that hair can become ground into carpets when people walk on them. Once hairs are tangled around fibres, they are difficult to remove through suction alone. This is why pet vacuums usually have a motorised tool that agitates carpet fibres.
Removing hair from hard floors is usually easier than carpets. Some machines tend to push hair around rather than sucking it up though. When looking for the best cordless vacuum for pet hair, make sure to choose a model that’s suitable for the type of floors you have in your home.
Which are the Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaners for Hair?
|Rank||Product Name||Type||Weight||Dust Capacity||Run-Time||Price Range||Read More|
|Dyson V11 Absolute||Stick + Handheld||3.05kg||0.76 litres||60 minutes||£££££||View Price|
|Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet||Handheld Only||1.8kg||0.3 litres||20 minutes||£||View Price|
|Dyson V8 Animal||Stick + Handheld||2.55kg||0.54 litres||40 minutes||££££||View Price|
|Shark IZ251UKT||Stick + Handheld||4.1kg||0.7 litres||80 minutes||£££||View Price|
|Bosch BCH6PETGB Athlet Animal||Upright + Handheld||3.3kg||0.9 litres||60 minutes||££||View Price|
|Tineco Pure One S12||Stick + Handheld||2.88kg||0.6 litres||50 minutes||£££££||View Price|
1. Dyson V11 Absolute
If you want the best cordless vacuum for pet hair – and don’t mind paying a premium for it – then the Dyson V11 Absolute is our top pick.
The V11 Absolute is the best in the Dyson cordless range for cleaning pet hair, as it comes with the new High Torque head that’s great for removing hair from carpets, the Soft Roller that easily picks up hair on hard floors, and the mini turbo tool for awkward locations. It also has a HEPA filter and Dyson’s Whole Machine filtration system, which is important if you suffer from pet allergies.
The V11 Absolute has all the features you would expect from a Dyson cordless, including both stick and handheld modes, powerful suction and a cyclonic design that prevents suction loss. The redesigned bin (first seen on the V10) has a larger 0.76 litre capacity, while the battery provides up to 60 minutes of run-time on its lowest setting.
It also has advanced features not found on other Dyson vacs, such as the LCD screen showing the remaining battery life in minutes, automatic suction adjustment depending on the type of floor, and Dyson’s most powerful cordless motor yet.
Most importantly, it provides outstanding all-round cleaning performance that raises the bar for cordless vacuums. It excels on both hard floors and carpets, while making quick work of pet hair. The mini-motorised tool is also useful for getting hair out of stairs, upholstery or car interiors.
The biggest drawback is the price. It’s one of the most expensive cordless vacs on the market, although this is understandable considering the power, quality of attachments, and advanced features. Some people also don’t like the trigger system – particularly for longer cleans.
Quick Summary: We think the Dyson V11 Absolute is the best cordless vacuum for pet hair – and pretty much every other type of cleaning too. It provides brilliant suction power, long run-time when in automatic suction mode, and a variety of tools (including two floorheads.) It’s pricey, but we don’t think you’ll be disappointed in its performance.
Tip: To learn more about the V11 Absolute, you may want to read our full review and our comparison of the Dyson V10 against the V11. We’ve also created an in-depth comparison of the V11 Animal, Absolute, and Torque Drive to help you choose the right version.
- Outstanding cordless vacuum
- Mini-motorised tool for pet hair
- Powerful suction
- Versatile vacuum with advanced features
- Type: Stick + Handheld
- Weight: 3.05kg
- Capacity: 0.76L
2. Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet
If you need a small cordless pet vacuum for spot cleaning, the Vax H85-GA-P18 could be the perfect option.
It’s a handheld vacuum with an 18V battery, 20 minute run-time and a lightweight design. Most importantly, it comes with a powered pet hair attachment that allows you to tackle stairs, upholstery and spot clean carpets with ease. The attachment has a rotating brush bar that stirs up carpet fibres to remove more hair and dirt.
This vacuum isn’t just great for dog and cat hair though. It excels at picking up dust, dirt and even larger debris such as cereal from almost any type of floor.
As the Gator Pet is a handheld vacuum cleaner, it doesn’t come with a floor head and isn’t suitable for cleaning large areas of floor. If you need a cordless vacuum primarily for getting rid of hair on sofas, stairs and the occasional patch of carpet, however, it’s a great choice. It’s also considerably cheaper than the other vacuums on this list.
Quick Summary: The Vax Gator Pet H85-GA-P18 is one of the best cordless handheld vacuums on the market – and it’s great for pet hair. The turbo tool removes far more hair than the average handheld, while the lightweight design makes it perfect for stairs and furniture. It’s also relatively cheap – at least compared to the full-size models on this list.
- 20 minute run-time
- Pet hair attachment
- Great for spot cleaning
- Type: Handheld Only
- Weight: 1.8kg
- Capacity: 0.3L
3. Dyson V8 Animal
If you like the look of the V11 but the price is too high, then the V8 Animal could be a good alternative. It’s a powerful vacuum cleaner with an excellent boost mode that makes quick work of dog and cat hair. Plus it has a longer run-time than the previous V6 range.
The V8 Animal comes with Dyson’s direct-drive cleaner head. This isn’t as powerful as the V11 Absolute’s High Torque Head, but is 150% more powerful than the older V6 Animal, which was already great for hair. This allows the V8 to dig into carpets and remove more dog or cat hair.
Aside from the direct-drive cleaner head, the Animal comes with combination, crevice and mini-motorised tools. The latter is useful for getting rid of hair on upholstery or stairs. Like all Dyson cordless models, you can quickly convert it to handheld mode when required.
Another great feature for pet owners is the filtration system. Unlike the V6 Animal, the V8 includes a post-motor filter along with Dyson’s whole machine filtration. It also has a long 40 minute run-time, which should be enough for almost any cleaning job.
The biggest downside to the V8 Animal is the price. It’s cheaper than the V10 and V11, but the V8 range is still a pricey vacuum cleaner, so it’s not for everyone. The Animal also doesn’t come with the soft roller floor head for hardwood floors that’s found on the V8 Absolute (although this increases the cost).
Quick Summary: If you’re looking for the best cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair without spending a lot of money on the V10 or V11 series, then the Dyson V8 Animal is our #1 pick. It’s still pricey, but provides excellent value and great pet hair performance. If your home has lots of hardwood floors, we recommend spending a bit extra for the soft roller cleaner head.
- Excellent performance for a cordless
- Mini-motorised tool
- Effective filtration system
- Type: Stick + Handheld
- Weight: 2.55kg
- Capacity: 0.54L
4. Shark IZ251UKT True Pet
Shark produces some great cordless vacuums with unique features. A good example is the IZ251UKT, which is a pet vacuum that provides excellent performance for a reasonable price.
What makes the IZ251UKT such a great model for pet hair though?
Like newer corded Shark vacuums, the IZ251UKT has a DuoClean floorhead. This means the floor head has two brushrolls, which do a great job of removing both large debris and smaller particles. The extra rotating bar also improves the vacuum’s pet hair pickup. In addition to DuoClean, the floorhead comes with Anti Hair Wrap technology to prevent pet hair getting caught around the brush roll.
Aside from its innovative floorhead, the IZ251UKT is built with a joint in the main tube. This technology – which Shark calls “Flexology” – makes it easier to clean under furniture. It also saves space in the cupboard.
Other features include a handheld mode, LED headlights, 80-minute maximum run-time due to two batteries, and several accessories. Unlike Dyson vacuums, you don’t need to hold down the trigger when cleaning. The Shark also includes a motorised pet tool that’s great for stairs, cars and furniture.
Most importantly for this article, the Shark is brilliant for getting rid of pet hair. The rollers can pickup large amounts of both long and short hair, while the pet tool is perfect for cleaning hair from awkward locations.
There are some drawbacks to this model though. A minor issue is that dirt and fluff can sometimes get caught when emptying the vacuum, as there’s no internal collar to push it out. It also topples over when left upright unless you use the folding Flexology system.
Additionally, the IZ251UKT can’t match the Dyson vacs when it comes to carpet cleaning. It’s still a capable vacuum on most carpets (and brilliant for hard floors,) but the brush bars don’t dig as deep as Dyson’s direct-drive head. It also struggles with thick pile carpets.
Quick Summary: If you want a lightweight cordless pet vacuum that’s versatile, powerful and great on hard floors, the Shark is one to consider. The turbo tool also makes quick work of pet hair in awkward places. Read our Shark IZ251UKT review for more information.
- Motorised tool for pet hair
- Great for cars, stairs and other awkward places
- Flexology system for cleaning under furniture
- Type: Stick + Handheld
- Weight: 4.1kg
- Capacity: 0.7L
5. Bosch Athlet BCH6PETGB Animal
The Bosch Athlet range is a popular choice for people looking for an upright cordless vacuum. As you’ve probably guessed, the BCH6PETGB Athlet Animal is the pet hair version of the vacuum, as it comes with a nozzle for pet hair.
Let’s start with the basics though. One of the advantages of the Athlet range is its long run-time, and the BCH6PETGB is no exception. It can last up to 60 minutes on a single charge, making it suitable as a whole-house vacuum cleaner – not just for spot cleaning.
Another advantage is the versatility of the vacuum cleaner. As it’s an upright vacuum, it can quickly clean large areas of floor, while the accessory kit allows for a handheld mode (more on that in a minute). The floor head is also designed to clean any type of floor, including carpets, hard floor and laminate.
For dog or cat owners, the BCH6PETGB is great for vacuuming pet hair. The “Pro Animal” brush has a specially designed brush bar that agitates carpet fibres to remove more hair. This can be quickly removed for cleaning or de-tangling. There are also multiple power levels, so you can boost suction power at the expense of battery life.
Like Dyson or Hoover cordless vacuums, the BCH6PETGB can be converted into a handheld mode via an accessory kit. The design of the handheld function isn’t as convenient as the V6 or V8 range, as you need to sling the vacuum body over your shoulder. It’s still a useful option to have though.
Quick Summary: The Bosch BCH6PETGB is an excellent cordless vacuum for pet hair. It’s great at getting hair out from carpet fibres, and has strong cleaning performance on all types of floor. We like that it comes with an optional “handheld” mode, although this isn’t as convenient as the V7 or V8 so the vacuum is less suitable for furniture or above floor cleaning.
- Long run-time
- Accessory kit for a semi-handheld mode
- Brush bar is great for pet hair
- Type: Upright + Handheld
- Weight: 3.3kg
- Capacity: 0.9L
6. Tineco Pure One S12
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Dyson V11 Absolute, then the Tineco Pure One S12 is definitely an option to consider. It’s a bit cheaper than the V11 (although still expensive), yet comes with similar features and excellent pet hair cleaning performance.
Like the V11, the S12 has a digital screen showing the power and remaining battery life. It also has an “Auto” mode that automatically adjusts suction power, although it does this by detecting the amount of dirt rather than the type of flooring.
Whether you’re in “Auto” mode or one of the other settings, the Tineco makes quick work of pet hair in carpets and hard floors. The vacuum also has a mini-turbo tool for pulling dog and cat hairs out of carpeted stairs and car interiors.
There are a few reasons why we rate the Dyson V11 Absolute above the S12 though. The S12’s bin emptying can be messy, as there’s no internal collar to force out dust and hair. It’s also not as effective on hard floors, although this is largely fixed by buying the separate soft floor head.
Even so, if the V11 Absolute is more than you’re willing to spend, then the Tineco S12 is almost as good for a cheaper price.
- LED screen
- Excellent suction strength
- Auto mode
- Mini turbo tool
- Type: Stick + Handheld
- Weight: 2.88kg
- Capacity: 0.6L
Cordless vacuum cleaners can make cleaning dog or cat hair much more convenient. While they might lack the raw suction power of traditional corded models, the best vacuums make up for this with effective brush bars, greater mobility and useful tools.
Our top recommendation for a cordless pet vacuum is the Dyson V11 Absolute. It’s pricey, but worth the money for its excellent performance and advanced features.
If you’re on a tighter budget but still want a versatile cordless, the Bosch Athlet Animal is a good alternative. The handheld mode isn’t as convenient, but it has a long run-time and can handle any surface. For spot cleaning, the Vax Gator Pet is a fantastic handheld.
Do you have any questions about choosing a cordless pet vacuum? Or do you think we’ve missed a model from this list? Let us know in the comments!