Looking for a cordless vacuum that can easily suck up pet hair? In this guide, we’ve listed our top picks for the best cordless vacuum for pet hair, along with tips for choosing the right model for your home.
#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!
In fact, many pet owners need to vacuum multiple times each week (or even daily) just to keep pet hair under control. This can be time consuming – especially if you’re using a bulky upright corded vacuum.
That’s why cordless vacuums for dog and cat hair can be a great choice. 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 also means they are also brilliant for spot cleaning.
But which are the best cordless dog and cat vacuums? Can cordless vacs really match the performance of corded models when removing hairs that are tangled in carpet fibres? And what features should you look for when buying? Let’s find out.
What to Look for in a Cord-Free Pet Hair Vacuum
There are many cordless vacuum cleaners on the market, but most struggle with pet hair. This is because they typically lack the suction power and brush bar strength of corded vacs.
Fortunately, there are some excellent cordless pet vacuums available. But it’s important to know what to look for when choosing a pet vacuum to avoid buying an expensive dud.
- Cleaning Performance. The most important factor when choosing a pet vacuum is its cleaning performance and ability to tackle pet hair. When buying a cordless pet vacuum, the three essentials are strong suction power, an effective primary floorhead, and a motorised pet tool. Any tool without a powered brush bar is likely to be less effective at untangling hair from carpets. 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. Make sure you take into account the types of floor in your home when choosing.
- Stair Cleaning. Vacuuming stairs can be a nightmare with traditional upright vacuum cleaners – especially if the steps are regularly coated with pet hair. The best cordless vacuums for stairs have a handheld mode and motorised pet tool, which makes cleaning much more convenient. 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 (and recharging time.) Battery life can range from less than 20 minutes up to an hour, depending on the vacuum cleaner. Keep in mind that you’ll often need to use the highest suction setting when cleaning stubborn pet hair, which greatly reduces battery run-time.
Why do Vacuums Struggle with Hair?
Pet hair is a difficult challenge for 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|
|Dyson V7 Trigger||Handheld Only||1.38kg||0.54 litres||30 minutes||££||View Price|
|Shark IZ251UKT||Stick + Handheld||4.1kg||0.7 litres||80 minutes||£££||View Price|
|Dyson V8 Animal||Stick + Handheld||2.55kg||0.54 litres||40 minutes||££££||View Price|
|Shark HandVac CH950UKT||Handheld Only||1.39kg||0.45 litres||10 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 cordless stick vacuum 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 and fine dust 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, several power settings, 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 lithium 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 wall mount, 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, turbo brush, and dusting brush.) 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. Dyson V7 Trigger Handheld Pet Vacuum
If you need a handheld cordless pet vacuum for spot cleaning, the Dyson V7 Trigger could be the perfect option. The V7 Trigger performed well in all of our tests, including cleaning pet hair on both carpets and hard floors.
It’s a powerful handheld vacuum with a 30 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. This mini motorised tool has a rotating brush bar that agitates carpet fibres to remove more hair and dirt.
This vacuum isn’t just great for dog and cat hair though. We found it to be effective at picking up dust and dirt from almost any type of floor or surface. Our tests also showed the V7 Trigger is great for cleaning stairs and car interiors (although it’s too bulky to get under car seats).
As the V7 Trigger 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 built with the same motor as the full-size Dyson V7, which is why it generates such strong suction power.
Quick Summary: The Dyson V7 Trigger is one of the best cordless handheld vacuums on the market – and it’s great for pet hair. Our tests showed the turbo tool removes 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.
- 30 minute run-time
- Pet hair attachment
- Great for spot cleaning
- Type: Handheld Only
- Weight: 1.38kg
- Capacity: 0.54L
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 cordless stick 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 cordless stick vacuum 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. Shark HandVac CH950UKT
If you’re looking for a cheaper handheld cordless pet vacuum than the Dyson V7 Trigger, then the Shark HandVac CH950UKT is one of our top recommendations. We didn’t think it was quite as powerful as the Dyson during our testing, but it still did a great job at removing pet hair and provides excellent value for money.
The Shark CH950UKT is one of the few vacuums in its price range to come with a powered turbo tool. We found this tool to be effective at removing pet hair on hard floors, dog or cat bedding, and upholstery, making the Shark a useful tool to have in home. It also comes with an extra crevice tool for cleaning tight locations, although this is too short to be much use.
Another advantage is how easy the Shark is to use. The dust bin doesn’t need to be detached for emptying, which speeds up the process. This is important, as the 0.45 litre dust container fills up quickly with hair and dirt. It’s also a lightweight vacuum that’s perfect for quick clean ups.
There are a few drawbacks to this model though. We found the long, rigid design can feel clunky to hold compared to sleeker handheld vacuums. It also only has a 10-minute run-time, which is the shortest on this list, and the turbo tool can be tricky to use at awkward angles.
Despite these issues, our testing showed the Shark is a brilliant vacuum for spot cleaning pet hair. It’s never going to replace a full-size vacuum, but is a useful tool for managing hair between longer cleans.
Quick Summary: The Shark HandVac CH950UKT Pet is an excellent cordless vacuum for pet hair. The turbo tool is great for getting hair out from carpet fibres, and it provides strong cleaning performance on all types of floor. It’s also lightweight and easy to use, although the 10-minute battery run-time means it’s only suitable for spot cleaning.
- Powered turbo tool for pet hair
- Cheaper than the Dyson V7 Trigger
- Strong suction for a handheld
- Type: Handheld
- Weight: 1.39kg
- Capacity: 0.45L
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 Shark IZ251UKT is a good alternative. It’s not as powerful as the Dyson, but also comes with LED headlights and the new Shark anti hair wrap technology. For spot cleaning, the Dyson V7 Trigger 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!