Are you a pet owner who also wants a neat, fur-free home? If so, you understand how tedious cleaning up after pets can be. We love our fur babies, but we can’t say the same about the fluff they leave behind on our furniture.
Even if you don’t mind the sight of hair everywhere, someone in your home could be sensitive to it. There are many reasons why you should buy a pet-specific vacuum cleaner. Others often don’t have the capabilities to clean up hair effectively.
That’s why we’ve decided to show you our picks of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair. But first, let’s establish what you should be on the lookout for.
Standard Vacuums vs Cordless Vacuums
Many pet parents aren’t aware that there is a difference between ordinary vacuums and those for pets. This could be a reason why cleaning up after our animals is usually such a struggle. Using the former won’t be as effective on pet hair.
The main difference is in their build. Standard vacuum cleaners use a brush and hose mechanism.
A flaw is that the mechanism of traditional vacuum cleaner brushes isn’t designed to release hairs from carpets or material. Instead, as the brush rotates, it pushes the hairs even further into the fabric, which is ineffective in pulling them up and out.
Another problem is that traditional vacuums have no mechanism to prevent hairs from getting tangled inside. We’ve seen this happen so many times, and it never ceases to annoy us. When hair tangles as it’s being vacuumed, it can make a hairball which will clog your machine’s brush, and block the suction.
You’ll be left with a machine that makes noise, but doesn’t suck anything up, not even loose debris.
Pet-friendly cordless vacuums, on the other hand, use of brushes specifically designed to pull hairs out of fabric. They resist tangling and are often made with extra features too.
It’s also not uncommon to find cordless vacuums for pet-friendly homes with special filters that trap dirt and clean the air of allergens. You can use them as you would a standard vacuum, but you can’t use a standard one as you would one for pets.
What Do You Need in a Pet Vacuum?
There are factors that we can’t determine for you — like how much your pet sheds, or whether or not they’re an “inside” pet. A beast of a dog is sure to leave behind more hair than a little kitten, and you will have to base your decision on your circumstance.
That said, there are considerations we can point you to which will make a difference in the success of your cleaning. Ultimately, choose a vacuum you’re comfortable using, but make sure that it suits your needs. If you’re unsure where to start, keep the following in mind when you’re shopping.
1. Surface Area
How much of your home you need to vacuum will factor into the kind you buy. The size of your machine can impact how effective it is.
The larger your carpets or floors, the bigger you’ll want your vacuum to be. They’ll cover more ground in less time, and they’ll be easier to use. Don’t disregard storage though: it won’t help if you choose a vacuum that’s too big to stow.
Alongside the surface area, you’ll want to figure out how often you need to vacuum. If pet hairs are a persistent problem, you should go for a machine that works fast. These are often the bigger models too.
2. What Floors Do You Have?
Most pet owners look for vacuums that work on furniture and carpets, but that’s not always the case. It’s also a myth that a carpet vacuum is the best for pet hairs. It’s actually a matter of what the vacuum was built for.
Therefore, choose a vacuum that is designed for your flooring. Vacuums intended for hard floors will most likely be useless on carpets (and vice versa). This is because their brush heads are different, and won’t work on floors unsuited to their bristles.
If you have different floors in your home, there are two options. You could buy one that is a multi-floor vacuum, or you could invest in the necessary attachments, which we’ll discuss in detail in a bit.
3. How Much Does Your Pet Shed?
This is an important consideration because it ties into your vacuum’s capabilities. For pets that shed a lot, inside pets or multiple pets, you will need higher suction power.
But if it’s not a disaster when your pet leaves some hairs behind, you don’t need the big guns. A lighter, low-power machine should do the trick.
If you live with people who are sensitive to your pet’s hair, you will need a vacuum with a filter to clean the air around you too. HEPA filters are a common choice, but they’re not the only ones that effectively clear the air of allergens.
Which Vacuums Are Best for Pet Hair?
Beyond pet-specific vacuum cleaners, various builds could affect how you clean. This is largely dependent on your needs, so it’s not to say that one is superior over others.
Plug-in vacuums sometimes get in their own way and aren’t always suitable for out-of-reach places. So, we’ve chosen to focus on cordless vacuums. They’re convenient and work especially well on those hidden spots your pet might have claimed in your home.
These are the popular choice in cordless vacuums. They often have the same capabilities as traditional vacuums — just with less fuss. They also use less electricity and are easier to handle.
Plus, they’re sleek and take up little room. Think of them as a middle-ground between upright vacuums and handhelds.
- Most versatile.
- Lightweight and sleek.
- Battery operated.
- Often cost more.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for small cleaning tasks. They’re portable, simple to use and demand almost no effort on your part. Their greatest advantage is that you can easily use them to clean furniture, your car’s interior, or tricky spots.
Since they’re so compact, they cost less than other models. Additionally, they run on batteries so they’ll save you even more money.
- Not as powerful as bigger models.
- Not suitable for floors.
Vacuum Accessories to Look Out For
No matter the vacuum you choose, there are handy add-ons you should keep in mind. They’ll improve your machine’s efficiency, and make your vacuum more versatile. Some are standard to all vacuums, while others are extras you can purchase if you like. Pet owners should go for:
1. Upholstery Tool
These are used for various fabrics, be it thick and hardy or delicate. You can use them on couches, cushions, mattresses, and even your curtains. It’s a handy tool if you are a cat owner, or if your pets sleep in your bed or on your sofa.
2. Crevice Tool
These are designed to fit into corners or other tight spaces your machine can’t reach on its own.
They’re angled tools, so you can reach behind furniture. With this tool, all the places where your pet might have made an unreachable mess are accessible.
3. Extension Tool
As the name implies, this adds extra reach to your vacuum, so they’re also handy for inside pet owners. While a crevice tool covers odd spots you can reach with your arms, these extensions allow you to clean spots you can’t get to. They’re also excellent for cleaning underneath furniture or in higher places.
4. Other Accessories
- Dusting brushes: These assist with cleaning surfaces that are likely to gather dust, like shelves and cupboards.
- Brush rolls: An attachment that is made for deep cleaning carpets, if your vacuum is for hard floors instead.
- Motorized tool: In some machines, these allow you to use it as you would a handheld. In others, they supply extra power for stubborn dirt.
- Combination tool: Why not get the best of both worlds, with a handy tool that collects dust and reaches awkward spots?
Bag or Bagless?
There is no right answer to this because it’s entirely up to you. Bagged vacuum cleaners take more effort to empty and clean, and could send all your collected dirt into the air. Disposable bags are not great for the environment, but they require little-to-no maintenance.
Bagless vacuums, on the other hand, are less of an immediate hassle. Plus, they’re a green solution and save you money long term. However, the overall maintenance of your machine increases, because you will have to manually clean it, and keep tabs on how dirty it is.
For pet owners, our recommendation is to go by how often you clean. If your pet sheds a lot and your vacuum will fill up faster, bagless is a better option. It’s healthier for the air and the earth.
If you don’t vacuum so often, and won’t leave as much of a footprint, or if you have no allergies, then bagged vacuums will do just fine.
The Best Cordless Vacuums for Pet Hair of 2020
As we said, we prefer cordless here because they’re convenient. They’re powerful, efficient, and require less energy (electrical and from you).
To create this list, we’ve done hours of research. We focused on choosing recommendations based on quality, efficiency, and capabilities.
1. Tineco A11
This vacuum uses two batteries which gives it an hour’s run time. These two batteries charge simultaneously, which is handy.
It is sleek and lightweight and can be used as a handheld. This means it’s just as useful in clearing pet hair from your vehicle, as it is your floors and furniture.
Also, it doesn’t take up much room, and it has LED lights that help you in cleaning. Its dust bin (which is 0.6 liters), is transparent as well — another great feature that adds to this vacuum’s convenience.
This cordless vacuum has more features than most others and includes seven — yes, seven — attachments. There’s a standard crevice tool, two dusting brushes, and an extension hose. You can also look forward to a multi-angle tube and a soft crevice tool.
We love that the mini-power brush is effective against pet fur and works well on carpets. This vacuum is suitable for various surfaces, and we think it’s a prime cleaner.
It has a fully-sealed filtration system for collecting dirt and uses two filters for a boost in freshness. You also get a docking station for easy storage and charging.
- Two suction modes.
- Two batteries.
- Seven attachments.
- It’s loud.
Why We Love It
Weighing in at 5.5 pounds, this vacuum is extremely easy to carry, handle and maneuver. Its light weight makes it a versatile vacuum that you can use as a handheld or floor machine. If you spend a lot of time vacuuming, you’ll be at less risk of strain.
Two Suction Modes
We like that you can control how much power you use with this machine. For stubborn dirt, for instance, you can crank the suction to a higher setting, to give it a boost. This is useful for pet hair that sometimes won’t budge and could use an extra push.
You get an hour’s worth of battery life because this vacuum has backup power. It’s also helpful that you can charge both batteries at the same time. If you have a larger home or more to clean, this makes a world of difference.
We firmly believe that other manufacturers could stand to learn a thing or two here. Tineco is generous with its attachments, it’s almost unheard of in cleaning. Both the quantity, and quality, are excellent.
Keep In Mind
Users complain that this vacuum makes a lot of noise. This is not only frustrating to us but to pets, it’s even louder and potentially frightening. This could be a dealbreaker if your pet is sensitive to, or afraid of, loud noises.
|Dimensions||10.4 inches by 11.2 inches by 43.7 inches|
|Special Features||LED lights, two suction modes, two batteries|
|Accessories||Docking station, seven other accessories|
2. Shark ION F80
This vacuum has two rechargeable batteries, and they last longer than any other stick. This machine is suited for out of reach places, like under or behind furniture. It’s also excellent for indoor pets, thanks to its “MultiFLEX” technology.
This trademarked engineering means that your wand can bend. It assists in cleaning difficult spots, and also makes a big difference in storage.
It also uses “DuoClean” technology, making it a versatile machine that you can use on an array of surfaces. We love that it effectively removes hair, dust and other debris from carpets and hard floors alike. Plus, it has attachments that compliment this function.
Included are two brush rolls, that you can easily switch between. It also has a hand vacuum mode, which makes it even more useful in cleaning awkward spots. Additionally, it has three filters and easy-to-access fingertip control.
Its defining feature is that it gives you 80 minutes of battery power. So, it’s recommended for larger homes or deeper cleaning.
This feature makes it effective at cleaning carpets too. If you need to spend extra time cleaning up hairs, you’ll have enough power to do so.
- Long run time.
- Easy-to-use dust cup.
- MultiFLEX technology.
- No HEPA filter.
Why We Love It
Long Run Time
An hour and 20 minutes is a long time for a cordless vacuum to run. In fact, its battery has the longest run time on the market.
It’s perfect for pet owners who have large surface areas or homes to attend to. Its two batteries give you extra back up power too, so it won’t cut out unexpectedly.
Easy-To-Use Dust Cup
The dirt cup included in this vacuum is free of hassle. Emptying it is easy, quick and efficient. It detaches smoothly and has a release button that will dump your dirt for you.
We must note though, that the cup itself is quite small, so you’ll have to empty it often. However, we don’t think this is earth-shattering. It just emphasizes how compact this model is.
This vacuum is one of the best when it comes to cleaning behind and under furniture, or in other hard-to-reach places. Some other vacuums don’t accommodate for these spots that pets like to hang out in. But, this one takes care of it and reduces the effort you put into your cleaning.
Keep In Mind
No HEPA Filter
If you or your family have sensitivities to pet hair, this vacuum won’t help you fight off allergies. It doesn’t have the HEPA filter which clears the air of allergens.
|Dimensions||13.4 inches by 10.2 inches by 46 inches|
|Special Features||MultiFLEX technology, DuoClean technology|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, upholstery tool|
3. Dyson Animal V8
Our top spot goes to Dyson, who created its animal range with pet owners in mind. It’s an effective machine that gives you up to 40 minutes of battery life. It’s lightweight, versatile, and designed to penetrate difficult carpets to remove hair.
This device is powered by the unique Dyson V8 motor, one with more suction than other cordless vacuums. It’s also bagless, so depositing your dirt is faster and more efficient too.
You can convert this machine into a handheld — an impressive feature that we like a lot. It has a “MAX” mode, for when you need a boost, which is excellent for those pesky hairs that just won’t budge. There’s also the “Powerful Suction” mode, for longer bouts of vacuuming.
The “Direct drive” cleaner head is great for cleaning both hard floors and carpets and the whole-machine filtration is reliable. It comes with four attachments: a mini soft dusting brush, a combination tool, a mini-motorized tool, and a crevice tool.
Essentially, it’s got everything you need to maintain your home, no matter which (or how many) pets you have. It’s even certified as asthma and allergy-friendly, so you can rest assured that it won’t leave traces of pet hair behind.
- Pet-owner specific.
- Multi-floor machine.
- Attachments included.
- The dust bin is small.
Why We Love It
All pet vacuums are indeed specific to animal lovers, but this one stands out. Dyson created a powerful machine that’s not only for pet hair. It’s a versatile vacuum that will solve all your cleaning needs, from light dust to tough hairs.
We like that this machine’s default does well on both carpets and hard floors. You can also switch it to max if you need more suction for your carpets.
Thanks to the included attachments, you won’t have difficulty reaching those tight and delicate spaces. You can use them to clear your pet’s bed, basket, or special cushion. The crevices in chairs and couches won’t be out of reach either.
Keep In Mind
The Dust Bin Is Small
For all this vacuum’s wonderful features it falls short in its dust capacity. It’s a 0.14-gallon container, which is not bad but could be better. This is not a dealbreaker — you’ll just spend more time on maintenance.
|Dimensions||8.8 inches by 9.8 inches by 49 inches|
|Special Features||Handheld convertible, max mode, whole-machine filtration|
|Accessories||Combination tool, mini-motorized tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush|
4. Shark Pet Perfect II
We have to give Shark another spot here because it’s given you another impressive machine. Some handhelds aren’t designed for pets, but Shark has brought a nifty little vacuum that cleans up hair well.
It’s designed to remove traces of fur — be it stubborn or fine — from upholstery. Since it’s handheld, you can easily clean up your car, pet’s bed, or even curtains. It works extremely well on carpets too, in the case of small messes that need tidying.
This machine has some cool features. It contains a washable filter, which is always handy in pet-friendly homes. It also includes an extra-large motorized brush roll — the reason it works so well on upholstery and carpets.
You also get a crevice tool, dusting brush, and a convenient, wall-mountable docking station. The batteries are rechargeable.
- Works well on carpets.
- Motorized brush roll.
- Versatile storage.
- Short range.
- Battery may be unreliable.
Why We Love It
Works Well on Carpets
Handheld vacuums aren’t usually designed for floors, but this one is powerful enough to clean your carpets. This is so useful when you have to clean beyond pet hairs, like in the case of tidying small food pellets or litter grains.
Motorized Brush Roll
This attachment makes cleaning fussy hairs and dirt a breeze. It’s another feature that handheld vacuums tend to lack.
It’s helpful when it comes to cleaning tough fabrics. Shark makes it work, and we love it.
You can choose between mounting the docking station on your wall or leaving it to stand free. It can also fit on countertops if you’re not looking forward to installing it but still want it within reach. We love that it takes up little room, and its station can hold each of its attachments.
Keep In Mind
Sure, it’s excellent for tidying carpets, but at the end of the day, it’s still a handheld. It won’t be sufficient for cleaning larger areas, which may be a drawback in large homes.
Battery May Be Unreliable
Some customers have complained that the battery in this machine doesn’t do well. There’s a chance that it will cut out unexpectedly, or burn out with excessive use. So, take care of it.
|Dimensions||4.6 inches by 15.7 inches by 6.1 inches|
|Special Features||Washable filter|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, dusting brush, motorized brush roll, charging stand|
5. Bissell Bolt
Not every pet owner needs a machine with high capacity. This lightweight machine is sufficient for cleaning pet hair, without taking up too much room or using a lot of energy.
You get 25 minutes of run time, so it’s better suited for small homes and surface areas. It’s also flexible enough to fit under furniture and other tight spots that may be beyond your reach.
Another thing we like about it is that it has an extra large dirt cup (0.6 liters). So, it’s easy to clean and keep dirt off of your hands when you maintain it.
A special feature here is the “Advanced Pet Hair” brush roll. It’s suitable for both hard floors and carpets and uses rubber to effectively collect hair and dirt. You also get a “Pet Hair Nozzle” tool, specifically for removing pet fur from upholstery.
The “Scoop and Sweep” tool is an amazing addition that’s used for picking up pet litter, food, and even wood shavings. Lastly, you get a combination tool for dusting and reaching into corners.
- Extra large dust cup.
- Pet-specific attachments.
- It might clog.
Why We Love It
Extra Large Dust Cup
The dust cup has a lot of room, which is handy for people with pets who shed a lot. It’s also useful if you need to vacuum often, and don’t want to empty out the vacuum’s bin every day.
This is a great choice for people with limited room in their homes. It’s a lightweight and compact machine that can be stored easily. It also has a foldable handle, so you can store it out of sight.
We love that this vacuum has attachments that are made for pet owners. Want to go beyond removing hair from your carpet? The Advanced Pet Hair brush roll, Pet Hair Nozzle and Scoop and Sweep are must-haves for any pet owner.
Keep In Mind
It Might Clog
Though the dust cup is large, an excess of pet hair could cause the machine to clog. Don’t let this deter you, though. The advantages of this machine are worth the extra maintenance.
|Dimensions||6 inches by 10 inches by 44 inches|
|Special Features||Flexible handle, extra-large dust cup|
|Accessories||Advanced Pet Hair brush roll, Pet Hair Nozzle, Scoop and Sweep, combination tool|
|Tineco A11||Best For All Surfaces||120 W||5.5 lbs||10.4″ x 11.2″ x 43.7″||LED lights, two suction modes, two batteries||Docking station, 7 other accessories|
|Shark ION F80||Best For Indoor Pets||25.2 V||8.51 lbs||13.4″ x 10.2″ x 46″||MultiFLEX technology, DuoClean technology||Crevice tool, upholstery tool|
|Dyson Animal V8||Best For Allergies||115 a/w||5.63 lbs||8.8″ x 9.8″ x 49″||Handheld convertible, max mode, whole-machine filtration||Combination tool, mini-motorized tool, crevice tool, mini soft dusting brush|
|Shark Pet Perfect II||Best Budget-Friendly Option||18 V||4.92 lbs||4.6″ x 15.7″ x 6.1″||Washable filter||Crevice tool, dusting brush, motorized brush roll, charging stand|
|Bissell Bolt||Best For Small Tasks||14.4 V||5.8 lbs||6″ x 10″ x 44″||Flexible handle, extra-large dust cup||Advanced Pet Hair brush roll, Pet Hair Nozzle, Scoop and Sweep, combination tool|
Cleaning up after your pets doesn’t have to be a hassle. So long as you know the difference between a standard vacuum and a pet-friendly vacuum, tidying will be easy.
Effective pet vacuum cleaners are built to pull hairs from the fibers and fabrics that they cling to. The higher your machine’s power is, the more effective it will be at clearing pet hairs.
So, choose a vacuum that suits your household, health needs, and storage. This is dependent on the pets you have, your floor type and the size of your home. Our recommendations can’t predict this, but they conform to the needs of all pet owners.
So which one do you find the most appealing? Tell us in the comments. Feel free to tell us about your pets too. We’d love to hear all about them.