Best Vacuum for Pet Hair – 2017 Guide

If you are a pet owner like me, looking for the best vacuum for pet hair is not always easy. One thing I look for in a vacuum is not only consistency but reliability in the long run. As a pet owner, I find myself having to clean up tufts of hair more often than not, and in order to have a clean house, I need a vacuum that I can rely on to get the job done time and time again. The issue was that I did not have a vacuum that was as efficient as I wanted and the limited ability of it to perform consistently led me to want to find a solid vacuum.

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What I am going to do today is look at some of the best pet vacuums on the market. These vacuums ranked near the top of the list out of many vacuums that I had researched prior to this compilation. When factoring in my needs, which mainly are getting out pet hair consistently and being able to handle multiple areas without getting clogged, I came across five vacuums that I noted as potential winners.

In a hurry? For your convenience, here’s a link to the top selling pet vacuum cleaners on Amazon.

These vacuums are some of the best, at least in my own opinion, of what pet owners should be looking for in a vacuum. My top choice is the one I ended up going with and hopefully, it can sway you to think the same. After all, nobody wants their house or apartment to look messy, especially with pets.

Top Selling Vacuums for Pet Hair in 2017

Name/ImageLearn MoreBrandRatingWeight (lbs)Features
Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog

Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog

view pricesfull reviewsMiele5 Star Average Rating 19.4Airclean sealed system, 6 speed settings controlled with a foot switch, Electrobrush plus mini Turbobrush
Dyson V8 Absolute

Dyson V8 Absolute

view pricesfull reviewsDyson5 Star Average Rating 5.8Up to 40 minutes of powerful fade free suction, 50% quieter than the V6, Max power mode for more difficult vacuuming tasks
Shark Rotator Lift-Away True Pet

Shark Rotator Lift-Away True Pet

view pricesfull reviewsShark5 Star Average Rating 15.4Powered lift away mode, fingertip controls and LED lights, dynamic swivel steering
Shark Rocket TruePet

Shark Rocket TruePet

view pricesfull reviewsShark4.5 Star Average Rating 8.6Quick release foot pedal for floor to ceiling cleaning, large dust cup and LED lights
Hoover WindTunnel UH70210

Hoover WindTunnel UH70210

view pricesfull reviewsHoover4.5 Star Average Rating 17.85 position carpet height adjust, folding handle for easy storage, 25 feet cord with cord rewind

Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog

miele complete c3 cat and dog canisterAt the top of my list sits Miele’s latest and greatest vacuum, the C3 Cat & Dog vacuum. When compared to bigger name brands such as Hoover, Dyson, and Shark, Miele typically does not come to name. However, they are not to be forgotten about, especially when considering the C3. This vacuum does it all and as an owner of a cat, my house has never looked cleaner.

This vacuum features an impressive motor that not only features six speeds, but has easy to use foot controls, meaning constantly bending over to adjust the vacuum is not an issue.  The C3 is extremely quiet when running and can go over a series floors such as tile, hardwood, carpet, and even rugs. I have never quite had such an efficient vacuum before.

The suction power of this vacuum is provided by the Electro Plus electric brush, which is pretty powerful and with it being able to get deep into the carpet, it has absolutely no problem absorbing any pet hair. The Electro Plus is certainly a feature that was very much needed for a pet vacuum.

In addition to the powerful suction ability, this vacuum is extremely mobile and can easily get around corners and furniture without much hassle. This is something I find very convenient given the fact that if a pet is beneath and I do not see them, then I can easily steer out of the way to avoid them.

Cost, however, is the biggest deterrent for many potential customers, but I will be the first to say that it is beyond worth it. Personally, when I buy something at a high price, I do so for the consistency and reliability of the product rather than just for flashy looks or a name brand.

Despite the cost, I would definitely recommend this product as it will last you for years and that is not something many vacuums can do, especially when filtering through cat or dog hair on a weekly or even daily basis. When up against other vacuums, especially those made for pets, nothing really compared to the C3, and I matched it against Dyson, Shark, and Hoover.

All in all, I highly recommend the C3 Cat & Dog vacuum. There are many great features that the C3 has to offer including the Electro Plus electric brush, the six speeds motor, and the ability to navigate rather easily. As a user, I could not be any more satisfied than I am with Miele’s latest product.

This vacuum is by far one of the highest rated pet vacuums on the market so far and I can clearly see why. The time it takes to clean the entirety of the house is no longer an issue because the C3 gets everything on the first go. Even though the initial cost may be a factor, I would not let that deter you from this vacuum. In the long run, the C3’s durability and consistent performance make this a must buy.

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Dyson V8 Absolute

dyson v8 absoluteWhen I think of Dyson, I know that I will be getting a quality product and the V8 Absolute is no exception to that. Off the bat, the bagless, cord-free vacuum received full attention from me because I am all about convenience when cleaning. Not only is the cord-free a nice step forward for Dyson, but the digital motor helps give this vacuum all the extra kick that it needs. Compared to most vacuums on the market, the Dyson V8 Absolute has to rank up there as one of the best pet hair vacuums.

At just a little under six pounds, the V8 Absolute is also one of the lightest vacuums you will find. Because of this, it makes the V8 a lot easier to carry around and it can transform into a handheld vacuum when needed. The fact that this vacuum is so versatile in what it can do makes it a big sell to me personally.

When cleaning, I find it easier to use less equipment and since the V8 can act as a regular sized vacuum or become a handheld make it all the better to use, especially when cleaning up after pets. Even for those of you who may hate cleaning, the V8 is a surefire way to make sure that the time spent cleaning is for once well worth it.

The one downside to the V8 Absolute is indeed the cord-free feature. The battery life is significantly better than most cord-free vacuums, averaging out at around 40 minutes, but it still can be a hassle for those with larger or dirtier areas.

Certainly, cordless or even wireless technology is still somewhat new in the eyes of advancements, so it may take some time for users to get used to them over conventional vacuums. The cordless feature, while nice, can make things a bit aggravating due to having to charge the V8. While this complaint is not mentioned nearly as much, some users did say that the V8 does not feature a flex hose, making it harder for them to clean corners and even cars.

In the end, the Dyson V8 is a solid choice among most of the vacuums out there. To me, it definitely ranks as the best bagless vacuum for pet hair. It does have a few issues, such as the need to charge it, but this has been addressed with a somewhat longer battery life. Still, many users feel conflicted on whether or not to use a cordless vacuum because of the inconvenience it may or may not cause.

The versatility, however, is a huge selling point to me is and I think that may triumph most of the concerns I personally have. That said, this vacuum is not perfect and if it does not include the flex hose as indicated by some users, then that could be a deterrent, but it seems like a small complaint. For pet hair, I think the V8 Absolute has to be near the top.

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Shark Rotator Lift-Away True Pet

shark rotator powered lift away true petThe folks at Shark are still pushing their way to the top and I think the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away True Pet lets that be known. This vacuum is known for its powered lift-away mode which allows for easy access under couches, tables, and any ordinarily harder places to reach with other vacuums. This flexibility really sets it apart from many of the vacuums on the market, especially when factoring in the pet hair that is left behind. The True Pet is Shark’s first vacuum to feature a 3-in-1 lift-away which makes it much easier to clean from the floor to the ceiling.

One outstanding feature of the True Pet is its ability to retain allergens, which many customers have agreed is a top selling point for them. In an environment with pets, allergies are bound to be high, but the True Pet makes sure to contain any dirt and dust. To me, this makes the True Pet a true contender for the top of my list.

Like most Shark vacuums, the True Pet offers dynamic swivel steering, which works well with the powered lift-away mode. This flexible movement is truly one of the strengths of this vacuum, which makes an ideal fit for an environment with many pets.

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In addition to the great navigation, the True Pet is a very quiet and adaptable vacuum. Even when cleaning different surfaces, such as hardwood, the True Pet still remains relatively quiet, and this helps for a quieter working environment.

The hose has been seen as somewhat of a downside about the True Pet. Despite the vacuum have a 3-in-1 feature to make it easy to clean from floor to ceiling, the stiff hose has been seen as an issue. With a stiffer hose, this makes corners, crevices under low to ground furniture, and anything else that may be hard to reach, a tad difficult. This is one of the reasons why I do not know that I can say the True Pet is the best on the market, but a stiff hose is certainly a hefty limitation.

Even though Shark still may not be a household name just yet, they are still putting out quality products. The Shark Rotator Powered-Lift Away True Pet is just an example of their latest and greatest, and especially when it comes to Shark vacuums for pets. The powered lift-away along with the swivel steering makes this a big sell to me in terms of flexibility and navigation. Not to mention the 3-in-1 lift-away makes it a lot easier to reach the harder spots such as under furniture.

While the True Pet really does wonders for pet hair and all kinds of allergies across the board, it does have its limitations with the hose. A stiff hose makes those harder to reach places even harder and I can see how that would be frustrating over time. Still, the True Pet is a solid choice, even if it may not be my exact top pick.

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Shark Rocket TruePet

shark rocket true pet wired ultra lightShark’s products have really impressed me in a way that they made this list twice. The Shark Rocket TruePet is a bit different from their Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away True Pet in that it focuses more on power speeds.

One of the first things the Rocket offers is two different power speeds, one for the bare floor and one for high-pile carpets. The speeds along with the TruePet Motorized Brush make for an efficient vacuum that not only works well on different types of flooring but sweeps up dirt and grime effectively as it switches from hardwood to carpet.

The Shark Rocket has an interesting addition in the headlight. While most vacuums do not have lights or even headlights, the Rocket offers LED lights on both the hand and nozzle. This makes the darker areas under a couch or recliner much easier to see without actually having to move the furniture. Whether or not this feature is a main seller remains to be seen, but it is helpful for many users.

The Rocket is also lightweight, sitting at just under nine pounds. Like the Dyson V8 Absolute, the Shark Rocket TruePet has an ability to be used as either a stand-up vacuum or a handheld. This sort of efficiency definitely is a big sell to me because if I can use one piece of equipment for multiple jobs, I find that it makes a cleaning a lot easier.

With pets that go all around the house, I definitely need something that is not too heavy and that has a great suction ability like the Rocket. Though the Rocket is lightweight, it still picks up a great amount of hair and may be the best vacuum for dog hair according to multiple users.

shark rocket true pet can be handheldWith the good comes the bad and while Shark typically avoids a lot of problems, the Rocket does have its flaws. One of the biggest complaints I have read is that the Rocket TruePet seems to be less powerful than other Shark products, including the Rotator TruePet. Some users have said that they have had to clean an area of a dog or cat hair multiple times, though these cases seemed rare. Others, however, said that the vacuum is unable to stand on its own and whether this is due to the lightweight nature of the vacuum was not specified.

Even despite some problems here and there, the Rocket TruePet packs a punch with its versatility from a stand-up vacuum to a handheld. I do not know if I would rank it above Shark’s Rotator TruePet as I think there are a few better vacuums out there.

That said, the Rocket adds a nice touch with the two speeds that seemingly work well on both hardwood floors and carpet. While the RocketTrue pet does not top my list, it certainly seems to be a capable pet vacuum, and I still think it is worth a look if you are in the market for a cheaper vacuum.

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Hoover WindTunnel UH70210

hoover vacuum cleaner pet tseries windtunnelHoover has been on the vacuum market for a long time and it should come as no surprise that they made this list. The WindTunnel UH70210 is one of the cheapest options out on the market and despite that, it is still a quality vacuum and is bagless.

The WindTunnel offers multiple ways to adjust the height of the vacuum, making it easier to work in different areas and spaces. While working in tight spaces or even on the seats of furniture, the WindTunnel includes a pet hand tool that can be used in those areas that a vacuum cannot reach. The WindTunnel, as indicated by the name, has a great suction power.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I have seen for the WindTunnel is the cord rewind feature. The vacuum features a 25’ cord, which can be rewound with the tap of a pedal. For most corded vacuums, retying the cord or trying to get it unstuck is a major hassle, but Hoover finally corrected the error of so many other vacuums by addressing this issue.

Once the pedal is touched, the cord neatly tucks away inside of the vacuum, leaving even less clean-up when you are done with it. Not many vacuums offer that and in fact, some have even switched to cordless over time just to avoid the issue. I can say from personal experience that continually chasing down and wrapping a vacuum cord is a tiresome process, but Hoover makes it easy.

The reviews for the WindTunnel, while mostly positive, are a little more divisive than the other vacuums on this list. The biggest complaint I’ve seen is that the vacuum does clog quite often, which can be a nuisance to pet owners with animals that constantly shed.

In addition, the brush has received criticism for not working, or at least not working efficiently over time. To me, if a vacuum cannot sustain its performance over the span of months or even years, then it becomes a little suspect to me. Granted, this is not the case with all WindTunnel vacuums, but the fact that I have seen it posted multiple times does raise some concern for me personally with the vacuum.

The negative reviews of the Hoover WindTunnel may sway some potential customers from buying the vacuum, but I am here to say that it should not. Even though it may not be as powerful or flexible as some of the other vacuums on this list, the WindTunnel is cheap and offers multiple ways in which it does exceed other vacuums. The suction power has been noted as great by multiple users and the cord rewind is a feature I just simply do not see in a lot of other vacuums.

Even though the WindTunnel has issues with clogging and a sometimes malfunctioning brush, these are issues that can easily be fixed. All in all, the Hoover WindTunnel UH70210, while a solid vacuum, does not reach the top of my list because of some of those concerns.

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How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair

Cleaning up after pets is not always what we enjoy doing, but that does not mean it needs to be difficult. When considering what type of vacuum you need, think about your situation. If you have one pet, such as a cat or dog, then maybe you are in the market for something not so advanced.

Maybe you have multiple pets or even a pet that sheds like crazy. If that is the case, then maybe just a basic pet vacuum will not get the job done. The guide below should help you determine which vacuum is right for you.

Upright

hoover vacuum petUpright vacuums, for the most part, are rather lightweight which make them easy to carry around a house. Some even offer swivel steering which makes the vacuum avoid fewer obstacles in its way and provides a complete job.

Typically, upright vacuums have a tremendous suction force which would work well in an environment with either multiple pets, or pets that shed quite frequently. Even if there is only one pet, upright vacuums will still make cleaning a little bit easier. Some upright vacuums are manufactured with a cordless build, while others are corded.

The only reason downside to these vacuums is despite the swivel steering, not all feature this making it harder to turn a corner and work around furniture. Even still, upright vacuums work well on all surfaces and some do not require bags to function. This can be seen as a major positive for those pet owners who are looking for something effective.

For the harder to reach areas, upright vacuums do have a hose feature, but sometimes the hoses can be rather suspect as some users have had trouble with the hoses being stiff. Either way, uprights are a cheaper alternative to most pet vacuums out there.

Hand Held

shark rocket upright handheld modeIn larger areas, handheld vacuums have a clear disadvantage. However, when working with pets, handheld vacuums make for a rather interesting buy because of their smaller size. If you have a pet that constantly sheds in one area, or on a couch, for example, a traditional vacuum would not be able to be used. You could use a hose from a regular vacuum, but in most cases, a handheld vacuum will be far superior.

Since a handheld vacuum is not generally capable of sucking up dirt, grime, and hair from larger areas, this makes it ideal for the harder to reach places that your pets may go to. Handheld vacuums are generally not recommended for areas such as living rooms or bedrooms if the goal is to clean the entire area.

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In some instances, these vacuums work well with curtains which are where a hose on a regular vacuum may have an issue since the suction force would be greater.  These vacuums are not well known for their suction force, which in this case in a good thing since most of the surfaces they will be working on do not require a lot of suction.

Robotic

irobot roomba 650 roboticWith the rise of the Roomba and Neato automated vacuums, sometimes cleaning pet hair has really never been easier. These types of vacuums work off of a charging dock and when they are done, return to it so that they can refresh their batteries. That can be a gift or curse to some pet owners as the charging times do vary from either a short waiting time to a much longer time.

The navigation can also be a problem if the vacuum gets stuck on something such as under a couch, table, or recliner. There is also the issue of some robotic vacuums that cannot reach corners due to their shapes and builds.

That said, robotic vacuums have become a mainstay in most homes with pets. Most typically do not have a problem picking up hair and with these vacuums being able to be programmed for a certain time daily if needed, that makes them even more efficient in making a clean house or apartment.

The downside is that some cheaper models only work in one room, but the more expensive models feature multi-room navigation systems. Robotic vacuums are a nice choice and offer consistent scheduling, but can get expensive.

Canister

miele complete c3 for petsCanister vacuums are a nice touch for pet owners given their versatility between hardwood flooring and carpet. Typically canister vacuums have a slender hose-like portion attached to a smaller area where the dirt and hair are stored. This is a break away from the tradition looking vacuum, but because of this, it makes it more mobile, meaning it works great on stairs and other areas where pets may reside.

The navigation with canister vacuums is top notch and they are extremely quiet when in use. This makes it easier to have a quiet working environment that does not scare away your pets.

However, canister vacuums are expensive, even more so those that are specialized for pets. There are a ton of nice features that some canister vacuums offer such as HEPA filters, but many users feel that these vacuums fall way out of their budget.

Not only are canisters, for the most part, expensive, but they are heavier too, making them less agile while in use. Still, these vacuums do get the job done, and with pets, they make the harder corner and underneath the low to the ground furniture easy to get to. These vacuums are recommended, but expensive.

Bagless

dyson v8 absolute baglessWhen looking at whether or not to buy a bagless vacuum, the question is this, how often do you want to clean? As indicated by the name, bagless vacuums do not feature a bag, meaning that their holding capacity is much greater compared to vacuums with bags.

Even with holding more than other vacuums, bagless vacuums are some of the cheapest options out on the market. Many canister and upright vacuums feature a bagless function, but not all. Bagless vacuums are also known for their ability to cover wider areas as they are not as held back by space limitations.

The biggest issue to date with bagless is changing the filter. On some vacuums, the dust container can easily pop out and be washed, but on other vacuums that are harder to take apart, this can be a challenge for some owners. While bagless vacuums do cover larger areas quite well, one issue among pet owners is that these vacuums do not always sweep up hair consistently. This issue has not come up all that often, as it can depend on how much hair it is sweeping up, but it does seem like more hair can be missed at times.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this list was able to point you in the right direction as far as a vacuum. In the end, the type of vacuum you need will depend on your situation and what you feel best suits not only the cleaning factor but your budget as well.

However, if you think durability and longevity are attributes you would like to have in a pet vacuum, then perhaps spending a little more is necessary. Whatever it is you decide, know that there is no wrong answer among these types of vacuums as it all depends on what you’re using it for.

miele complete c3 cat and dog is my top pickIn conclusion, Miele’s Complete C3 Cat & Dog tops the list for me. There were just so many positives about the C3 that I truly felt it was the one I needed in order to tackle the pet hair around the house. While the others on the list were just as good, some had areas of concern that made me not pull the trigger on them. With my house, I needed something that could meet the demands of my pets and the C3 does just that.

The feature that impressed me the most was Electro Plus electric brush as it dives into the carpet to get the buried hair or dirt. The mobility was also a big selling point for me as there are quite a few obstacles in my way while cleaning, including the pets. The fact that I can navigate this vacuum without running into anything is great and I think that plays a lot into the flexibility of the vacuum’s build.

For your convenience, here’s a link to the top selling pet vacuum cleaners on Amazon.

Even though the C3 had some competition, I had to go with it in the end. It provided me a lot of what I was in the market for as a pet owner and so far, it has lived up to every one of my other expectations. This is not to say that the other four vacuums are not worth buying, it just depends on what your current needs are. I needed something I felt would last and could get rid of any excess cat hair.

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