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 have the cleaning performance to handle cat or dog hair. To help you choose, we've listed the best cordless vacuum cleaners for pet hair below.
Dogs and cats might 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.
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 great for spot cleaning.
But which are the best cordless dog and cat vacuums? 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 that 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 they 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 many people face.
The problem is that hair can become ground into carpets when people walk on them. Once hairs become 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 V8 Animal||Stick + Handheld||2.55kg||0.54 litres||40 minutes||££££||View Price|
|Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet||Handheld Only||1.8kg||0.3 litres||20 minutes||£||View Price|
|Dyson V6 Absolute||Stick + Handheld||2.7kg||0.4 litres||20 minutes||££££||View Price|
|Gtech Air Ram MK2 K9||Upright||3.5kg||0.8 litres||40 minutes||£££||View Price|
|Bosch BCH6PETGB Athlet Animal||Upright + Handheld||3.3kg||0.9 litres||60 minutes||£££||View Price|
1. Dyson V8 Animal
Our top-rated cordless vacuum range is the Dyson V8, so it's probably no surprise that the Animal version heads our pet hair list. 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. Dyson claims this is 150% more powerful than the V6 Animal, which was already great for hair. This allows the V8 to dig into carpets and remove more dog or cat hair in shorter time.
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. The V8 range is the most expensive cordless available at the moment, 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, the Dyson V8 Animal is our #1 pick. It's expensive, but if you buy it you won't be disappointed. If your home has lots of hardwood floors, we recommend spending a bit extra for the V8 Absolute, as this includes the excellent soft roller floor head.
2. Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet
If you need a small cordless pet vacuum for spot cleaning rather than getting rid of hair throughout your home, 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.
3. Dyson V6 Absolute
If you like the look of the V8 Absolute but the price is too high, the Dyson V6 cordless vacuum range could be a good alternative.
In particular, the V6 Absolute is the best in the range for cleaning pet hair, as it comes with the most powerful direct-drive cleaner head, mini-motorised tool and a hard floor tool. It also has a more effective filter than other models in the V6 range, which is important if you suffer from allergies.
The V6 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 biggest drawback of the V6 Absolute is that it's expensive. In fact, it's almost as pricey as the V8 Animal (although less than the V8 Absolute, which is the comparable model).
If you're on a tighter budget, the V6 Animal is still a great vacuum cleaner. The brush bar isn't quite as powerful and it doesn't come with a hard floor tool, but for getting rid of hair it's one of the best around. Keep in mind that the V6 Animal doesn't include the more efficient filter system though.
Quick Summary: If you want a cordless pet vacuum with a hard floor tool but don't want to pay for the V8 Absolute, the V6 Absolute is a great alternative. While it's not quite as powerful as the V8 series, it's still one of the best vacuums for getting rid of pet hair. It also has excellent filtration, a hard floor tool and mini motorised attachment.
4. GTech AirRam MK2 K9
The original Gtech AirRam was one of the most iconic cordless vacuum cleaners, and the newer Mk2 improves on it in a number of ways. What many people don't realise is that there is also a Mk2 K9 version specifically designed for people with pets.
Unlike pet vacuums from other brands, there isn't that much difference between the K9 and standard models though. Both are built with Gtech's AirLOC system, which creates a stronger seal to pickup fine dust as well as larger debris. The vacuum is also lightweight, has a reasonably large 0.8 litre capacity and is designed to clean along the edges of walls.
The Mk2 K9 is great for getting rid of pet hair on carpets though, as it has a stronger brush bar than the original AirRam for greater agitation of carpet fibres. It also comes with a fragranced filter that helps to remove pet odours.
One thing to note about the AirRam Mk2 is that it's designed for floor cleaning only. It doesn't come with any tools or attachments, so it's not suitable for cleaning sofas or high up locations. The lack of a hose also means it's difficult to use on stairs. For floor cleaning, however, it's one of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair.
Quick Summary: If you want a lightweight vacuum for cleaning pet hair on carpets, the Mk2 K9 is a great option. It's one of the simplest vacuums to use, and the AIRLoc system means it can tackle debris of any size. The lack of tools or hose means it's only suitable for floor cleaning though.
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 V6 or V8 so the vacuum is less suitable for furniture or above floor cleaning.
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 V8 Animal. It's pricey, but worth the money for its excellent performance.
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!