Finding The Best Vacuum Cleaner For Pet Hair – A Comprehensive Buying Guide For 2023

In this era, cleaning has been greatly improved and made easier, thanks to the numerous powerful vacuum cleaners that have thronged the market.

Though, for pet owners, finding the best vacuum is still quite a challenge.

This is because all the brands promise the heaven in terms of cleaning, but how many of them actually deliver the expected results?

There are a number of important factors to consider before you invest in a new pet vacuum. In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how to find the best pet vacuum that’s ideal for you, your home, and your situation.

1. What Are You Cleaning?

Cat Lying on FloorThis is the first, and most important question you need to ask yourself.

Is your place big or small?

Do you have mostly wall-to-wall carpeting, bare floor, or area rugs?

Is it a high traffic area, implying a lot of dirt, or does it accumulate very little dirt?

Are you looking to just clean your floors, or do your furniture, upholstery and drapes require cleaning too?

Figuring out exactly what you need to clean is the first step in figuring out which vacuum you should buy. For example, one of the best pet vacuum for hardwood floors right now is the BISSELL PowerEdge 81L2T. Although it’s not as powerful as some of the other good pet vacuums out there, it’s lightweight (good for delicate hardwood), cost-efficient, and great at getting the job done. If you really are in the market for a hardwood vacuum, you might want to take a moment and check out our other guide on how to pick the best hardwood floor vacuum.

It’s a fact that most of the time, long-haired pets shed more than their short-haired cousins, thus the intensity of cleaning required can vary here too. Knowing what you need to clean, and keeping this in mind while you shop will help a great deal in deciding the specific features that work for you (model, type, attachments, extras, etc.).

2. Full-sized or Handheld?

All pet owners can attest to the fact that it’s close to impossible to confine certain pets, like a dog or cat, to a specific area all the time. This means that you’re going to find that pet hair just about everywhere, ranging from your beautiful couch/bed to the carpets and floors.

Full Sized Vacuum CleanerThis makes it necessary to have a cleaner that has the capability to clean in all affected areas. In order to accomplish this, you’ll have to make a choice between a full-sized machine, or a smaller, more portable one.

A full-sized upright or canister vacuum offers powerful suction and extensive features, while handheld vacuums offer the much needed portability and maneuverability. There are many advantages to using a lightweight vacuum for cleaning up pet hair. If portability is your main concern, stick with a powerful handheld that’s strong enough to deal with these kinds of messes, but lightweight enough to move around freely.

On the other hand, if you you’re looking for raw suction power to get rid of the tougher messes, a canister or upright is your best bet. Canisters tend to provide a bit more convenience and maneuverability than uprights, but they are not as powerful when it comes to pure suction power (although this is not always the case these days).

3. Suction Power

Strong Vacuum SuctionContrary to popular belief, suction power does not entirely depend on the level of power consumption.

A great suction power is achieved by a combination of many factors including the type of filter, the shape of the nozzle, and other features like the motor power.

Technologies like Cyclonic suction, Windtunnel, and Root Cyclone (found in various cleaners) can also enhance this feature.

The reason suction strength is so important for a pet vacuum is not only because it’s required for picking up hair particles of varying sizes, but also for making sure that the hair is properly brought into the dirt bag/cup and kept inside safely.

4. Corded or Cordless?

The best animal hair vacuum cleaners are usually the ones that are most portable and maneuverable (with reasonable consideration given to suction power), given that pet hair can be found in many places, and not just on floors.

Corded vacuums should have long enough power cords of at least 20 feet to allow for a larger cleaning radius. Even with a long cord, these corded machines still tend to confine you into a smaller area, and you may want to consider purchasing a cordless version if this is a big concern/issue for you.

Cordless vacuums make use of rechargeable batteries to run. This means you sacrifice a tiny bit of power for more convenience. Make sure to only look for the ones with batteries that can last long enough to avoid stopping in between cleaning sessions (which defeats the entire purpose of providing extra convenience).

The battery should also have a considerably short recharge time; having to wait 15 hours for a full charge that will only last 20 minutes can be quite frustrating.

Although cordless models give you the flexibility to move around as you clean, it is common for them to lose significant suction power when the battery runs low. Corded vacuums, on the other hand, are not affected by loss of suction due to a low battery.

5. Bagged or Bagless?

Bagged vacuums are better at holding dirt intact than bagless, and this is why people with allergies are advised to use them. They do come at an extra cost though, since they will require frequent replacement of dirt bags, unlike bagless vacuums that only require emptying and cleaning of the dirt cup/canister.

Right now, Miele’s C3 Cat & Dog is probably the best bagged vacuums out there for pet hair. But if you’re looking for the best bagless, then go with Dyson’s DC65 Animal Upright.

6. Filtration

A home with pets is more susceptible to airborne allergens mainly due to the pet dander that usually finds its way into the air. You need to find a cleaner with a good good filtration system that can keep the air pure and free from pet hair, dander, dust, and allergens.

Organizations and societies supporting people with Asthma and other allergies highly recommend the use of vacuum cleaners that are fitted with HEPA filtration. It’s not only ideal for people with Asthma and allergies, but also for anyone who values their health and the health of their family members.

7. Capacity

The capacity of a cleaner’s dirt bag or canister is a necessary factor to consider because it affects how much cleaning you can do before you have to stop and empty it.

Larger capacities are ideal if you have large areas to clean, or have areas that are more prone to collecting large amounts of dirt/debris. If you own a pet that sheds very frequently, then it’s advisable to find a top rated vacuum cleaner for pet hair that also has a large holding capacity. Smaller areas with lesser dirt can get away with a smaller capacity.

When looking at the capacity, keep in mind that a larger capacity also means extra weight, thus you should also consider how much weight you’re willing to put up with.

8. Weight

The weight of your cleaner will determine how easily and how fast you can move it from place to place without expending too much of your energy. Also note that a lighter weight vacuum is not always less powerful than a heavy one.

9. Extras

Pet Hair Attachment For Dyson VacuumExtra features, tools, and attachments are very important. The best pet hair vacuums are typically the ones that also come with crevice tools, nozzle tools, and brush tools that make it a lot more effective at cleaning stubborn messes. This is something that you have to consider if you want to get the absolute best pet vacuum for the money.

The revolving brush tool that comes with certain cleaners make it easier for long and ingrained hair to be pulled from the floor, carpet, furniture and many other surfaces.

For example, a good vacuum for dog hair should come with features or attachments that add to the cleaning capability of the machine, making it better for cleaning dog hair vs. cat hair.

Some vacuums also have a height adjustment feature that makes it easier to transition from carpeted surfaces to bare floor surfaces, and vice versa. Others have features that enable cleaning of all kinds of surfaces including both horizontal and vertical. An example of this kind of technology is the Riser Visor technology found on many Eureka Vacuums. These extra features are mainly what distinguish the perfect vacuum cleaner from “just another vacuum”.

10. Cost

The cost can differ greatly from model to model, and from store to store. It should be known that even though price corresponds with features and functionality, some cleaners may actually be cheaper yet more effective than their higher-end counterparts. If your goal is to get the best affordable vacuum, then you should do as much research as you can. Visit different stores, read vacuum reviews, look at customer feedback online, and be patient. Compare vacuum cleaners and determine which of the features above are most important to you to before making your decision.


Good research, and patience, will help you find that perfect vacuum you’ve been searching for without overspending.

And on that note, here is a comparison chart of the top 3 best rated vacuum cleaners for pet hair currently available to help get you started:

Top 3 Best Pet Vacuums (Classic & New) Comparison Chart 2023:

 Top 3 Pet VacuumsOverall Rating (1 - 10)PricePowerPerformanceWeightFeaturesCustomer Feedback
Shark Navigator NV356EShark Navigator NV356E Lift-Away






Hoover WindTunnel Pet Rewind UH70210Hoover WindTunnel Pet Rewind UH70210






BISSELL PowerEdge 81L2A Stick VacuumBISSELL PowerEdge Pet 81L2A Stick







*Click on any vacuum cleaner above to see customer feedback reviews and price on

For more information about a specific brand, check out: BISSELL, Eureka, Hoover, Miele, Shark, and Roomba.