Owning pets is a national obsession. You walk the dog and gush about the exploits of your pooch or you sit with your friends and share the silly cat photos on your phone. Pet ownership is a delight; it’s amazing for teaching children compassion and for healing stress-filled adults. Nothing is better than seeing your dog so happy to see you, even though you only left 5 minutes ago to get a paper from the shop.
But, then, Spring comes around, the weather warms up and little Mitzy leaves a cat shaped hairball on your gorgeous shag pile. The kids take Skip the Labrador to the beach and suddenly your hard wood floor is a desert of drifting sand. Keeping a tidy home could start to seem like a thing of the past.
Thankfully, some clever technicians have gathered together some ingenious contraptions that mean we can celebrate the love of our menageries whilst maintaining our house-proud standards. The question is what sort of pet vacuum cleaner is best for you? There are many vacuums out there that claim they are especially engineered for your pets – but do they really cut it? Let’s guide you through the best vacuums on the market for dealing with your pet’s mess.
My #1 Recommendation
Let’s get straight to the point – if there was one vacuum cleaner that you should buy, if budget was no problem – it is the Dyson V6 Animal. Sometimes you just must trust the name and Dyson is the technical innovator leading the field of vacuum cleaner design. This flexible stick cleaner gets you to the places where the hair and dirt will pile and with the power you need. The cyclonic suction will make sure you have the most amazing suction.
If your budget is a little smaller choose the Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-Light Upright HV322. The TruePet technology is specially designed to prevent pet hair clogging and provide consistent, strong suction.
Types of Vacuums
There are four primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function:
Handheld cleaners are smaller and suitable for inaccessible places such as the stairs and maybe even the car. Reduced size means reduced suction and coverage but you get all the flexibility you need to pick up the pesky debris that refuses to be captured.
As the name suggests, this vacuum cleaner is an ergonomic design. In simpler terms, it is designed so you can clean without having to bend down. Usually quite sturdy machines, these upright cleaners are often preferred because you can push them easier around large spaces. With a higher head area and some nifty LED light features – it is easier to pick up large and small debris. The problem? Getting into small spaces and the stairs, of course.
A stick cleaner looks like a skinny upright cleaner. This means that you get to stand upright and push your cleaner around without a bad back. The cleverness of the stick cleaner is the flexibility to get into those smaller spaces. This means you can have all the convenience of the upright even if you have a cluttered room with lots of corners.
A canister cleaner is the form of cleaner that you pull around behind an extendable pipe. The cleaners are easier to pull around difficult spaces and get into small areas. They are also lighter and easier to pick up and carry and often come with accessories for different areas of the house.
How to choose a vacuum for pet hair
When buying your vacuum cleaner, especially if you have pets, there are many considerations. Budget is bound to be a major consideration. How much are you willing to spend to counteract the hair, mud and debris of pet ownership? A high-priced cleaner does not necessarily mean it will do the job better than its cheaper counterparts. So, set a reasonable price you would like to pay but be prepared to look closely at performance reviews to see if you are getting value for money.
You also need to consider the size of the cleaning space and the type of flooring you are cleaning. Do you have carpet, hard floor, lino or a mixture of all these surfaces? Do you have room for a beast of a machine or do you need something powerful but more compact? Do you need the option of going up a flight of stairs? What about the car?
Embedded pet hair in long corded carpets is one of the greatest challenges a vacuum cleaner can face. The hair left behind by inferior cleaners can leave a shadow of dirt over the carpet, no matter how many times you roll over it. Dirty hair also leaves odour in the carpet, which can linger in the house even after vigorous cleaning.
Carpet cleaning needs high suction, a well-designed brush head and a means of dealing with the odour. Realistically, your vacuum cleaner engineer also needs to have considered that hair clogs up and that your machine needs to combat this with some clever design. You are likely going to find a bagless cleaner with cyclonic airflow is going to deal with this much better than a standard suction cleaner.
Hardwood flooring is most tricky in the corners. Look carefully at the accessories that come with the vacuum cleaner, which will help you get into the nooks and crannies. This might suggest that a canister cleaner is best for the hardwood floor but there are some nifty designs where an upright cleaner turns into a lift away canister cleaner. Just imagine the ease of dealing with the stairs when you can transform your cleaner!
Finally, you need to consider the technicalities – how much filtration do you need. Great filtration is essential for pet hair removal and maintenance of the air around the cleaner. Do you have people in your household with allergies? Then, filters are an absolute must for you. You should also consider the accessories you want – whether you want battery control, suction control, height adjustability or accompanying accessories.
Best Pet Vacuum Cleaner for the Money
If you have an endless budget then there are some super-machines with superhero claims that can really sort out your carpets. But, not all of us can afford to pay the same price for a vacuum cleaner as we would for a second-hand car. So, sometimes the question we need to know the answer to is: which vacuum will give us the best performance within our budget? Sometimes paying less actually gets you a better cleaner – just because you don’t need some of the more extravagant features of those mighty models. So, here are the best vacuum cleaners for the price you can afford to pay.
Shark Portable Handheld
This compact design can be stored easily and carried for hours – at a wonderful 3.7lbs. This is a vacuum cleaner that does the job you need and still comes in under $100, and cheaper still if you buy a refurbished model. The features you should expect include:
- Suction technology that never loses its power
- A trade-marked “TruePet” motorised brush, intended for lifting pet hair
- An easy to assemble, and dissemble, design for ease of storage
- An easy to empty dust cup – which is small but good enough for a single clean.
Bissell 1831 Cleanview Upright Bagless
Here is another vacuum cleaner that comes in under $100. This no-frills cleaner will clean your carpet but without some of the accessories that you might have become accustomed to. But, you can still enjoy:
- High suction that is promised to offer a “one-pass” clean – why should you have to keep pushing and pulling at your floor?
- A multi-cyclonic suction system – so it never loses power
- Lots of filtration – to make sure the air stays clean around the cleaner – reducing household dust and allergens
- A 25-foot power cord, so you don’t have to keep changing sockets.
Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Upright
This vacuum cleaner has a lot to live up to! It is a Hoover – the very name is synonymous with cleaning your floor. Second, it calls itself WindTunnel – surely this beast must have some mighty suction in this case. It is a little more expensive than the other two in this category – at $129.99 – but remember this is value for money for what you get – and you get a few extras with this Hoover. It promises:
- A multi-floor brush roll for the best cleaning of carpets and hard floorings
- Extended reach of up to 16 feet – with some accessory hoses
- Plus 25 feet of power cord that retracts at the speed of light – or so it seems
- Multi-cyclonic technology that ensures you keep your suction
- Allergen blocking technology, HEPA media filter and odour absorbing carbon – making this perfect for pet owners
Best Pet Vacuum Cleaner for Under $200
If you have a little more money to spend and wanted something with a bit more bang for your buck, then these cleaners offer you more. A pet vacuum cleaner under $200 is still a bargain price but means you get some quality features.
Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-Light Upright
This company know how to name a vacuum cleaner. You expect stealth and power and futuristic technology… amazing. This cleaner is slim in design and comes with special features, such as:
- Being only 9lbs. This versatile cleaner – that converts into a handheld for dealing with the cobwebs on the ceiling!
- A special hard floor attachment that comes with a microfiber pad that picks up fine dust from bare floors
- The trade-marked TruePet brush for deep cleaning
- An LED light on the machine head that helps you spot all debris – this is a quirky feature that is really helpful – and the kids love it too!
Shark Navigator Lift Away Professional Microfiber
Shark are a great brand for an affordable yet quality vacuum cleaner. This upright cleaner comes packed with features, including:
- An upright yes, but mixed with a handheld – with one press of a button you can pull the canister away to get into hard to reach places – hence the name – lift away
- A dust away hard floor attachment with a couple of microfiber pads for picking up troublesome fine dust off hard floors
- Anti-allergen technology – guaranteed to trap 99.9%! Impressive!
- A versatile 17lbs keeps this upright cleaner light enough to be a hand-held too – so great for cleaning the upholstery and the curtains, as well as the carpet.
Dyson V6 Trigger Cordless Handheld
Dyson are a big name and so you pay a little more for the name and the innovation. $200 for a handheld might feel steep – but what do you get for your money?
- A V6 digital motor – with the promise that it won’t get chugged up with dust like conventional motors – and as powerful as most uprights
- A two-tier radial cyclone means added airflow and suction – so, fine dust is history!
- Cordless – with up to 20 minutes of suction – this makes cleaning your carpet a little more effortless, as there is none of this power supply swapping
- Ergonomic design – it comfortably fits into your hand! It’s Dyson – you have to expect attention to detail.
Shark Rotator Professional Lift Away
Professional, you say? Well, does this mean you get something that can deal with the workplace, handled by the experts – all for under $200? It seems a stretch – but this is what Shark offers:
- The same lift away technology as its colleague – with the ability to lift away the canister to get to hard to reach places
- The same promise of 99.9% allergen and dust capture
- The same LED lights to show up the dirt – but now they add in an advanced swivel steering – which gives comfort to your vacuuming drive
- Premium Pet Power Brush – sounds impressive – and it really does pick up the pet hair and offer a deep clean to all surfaces – so professional might seem a stretch – but it is as good as, as far as we can tell.
Best Pet Vacuum Cleaner for Under $300
It is highly likely, in the world of vacuum cleaners, that you do in fact get more reliability and performance when you invest a little bit more. If the cleaner lasts longer and continues to perform years after the cheaper models, then it is more sensible to invest that little bit more. If you feel you have the budget to stretch, here are some impressive vacuum cleaners that come in for under $300.
Hoover Professional Bagless Upright
This vacuum cleaner really does look the business. It comes with a pack of accessories and a sturdy design. But, what else do you get for your budget?
- FloorSense Technology is impressively smart! It has micro-sensors that detect when the vacuum cleaner is on a certain floor type. I know, clever, right? The machine will change the speed of the brush roll for the best results.
- It comes with the dirt capacity meant for the professional setting – and a deep cleaning power that can clean high traffic areas – so a much better claim to the professional title!
- Multi-cyclonic technology and WindTunnel Surge technology gives you guaranteed super suction at all times.
- It is compatible with the Hoover App that allows you to customise and maintain your cleaner for the best performance – now this alone must be worth the extra cash for the accessory geek!
Shark Rocket TruePet with DuoClean
So, the obvious question is: what is DuoClean. This is the feature that makes this a little more expensive than its colleague of the same name. Well, this DuoClean technology means:
- You get an additional soft brushroll to help pull in that really big dirt and dust but also creates friction with the floor for the ground-in dirt
- It is a powerful motor – that never loses suction and gives a deep clean to your carpets
- Plus, it means you get all the other TruePet features – such as a motorised brush and extendible under appliance wand for your upholstery
- And, it is still light enough to carry without effort – wow.
Prolux Upright Sealed H-Grade Allergen
H-grade? Well, this refers to HEPA standards, which reflects this vacuum cleaner’s ability to get rid of the dust and allergens in the air – something that is crucial with pets. This is pretty normal for most pet vacuum cleaners, so what makes this machine stand out?
- It’s amazing 1960s retro design makes this look like a professional cleaner that is up to the job of the hardest dirt it will face.
- A floating head and steal brush roll is designed to deep clean – along with a 12 AMP motor – this is a powerful machine.
- It comes packed with accessories – including a crevice tool, upholstery tool, hard floor tool – pretty much everything you need for every floor and more.
- 30-foot cord and LED lights to help you see the dirt – now these are useful features!
Best Vacuum for Pet Hair for Under $500
So, we are into the category of cleaners that are awash with features and super-human-like claims – but if you have pets that shed hair at the rate of an animal-a-day, then it could well be worth the investment in one of these heroic machines.
Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away TruePet
Shark, as a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners, deserves the multiple entries into these “best of” reviews. Shark knows how to create a cleaner that does the business – and a lot of this must be to do with the TruePet head. But, what else does this more expensive model have?
- An up-right cleaner with lift-away capabilities – which still keeps the brushroll spinning for pet hair removal from drapes and upholstery
- A hard floor attachment with a washable microfiber pad that is pretty impressive at picking up some monster dirt and debris
- 9% capture of dust and allergens with an extra-large canister for a professional clean in your home. So, you know, clever stuff.
Dyson V6 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum
With Dyson, you get the slimmed-down design for easy storage and with no loss of power from this mighty machine. This vacuum cleaner is worth the investment for its:
- Ability to pick up 150% more pet hair than its direct competitors – due to its brush bar power
- Direct-drive cleaner head – this helps with the deep clean of your carpet, which drags dirt from the deepest recesses of your lush pile.
- An additional mini-motorised tool helps you to remove hair and ground in dirt from the most inaccessible of corners and crevices.
Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum
Dyson really do dominate this price bracket. Is it worth paying the extra for the technical innovation and stylish brand identity? Well, let’s look at what the V8 offers:
- A stunning design, with a nickel shine – if looks are important than this is the machine you should go for – just look at the slim head that promises to get into all the nooks.
- Suction power without compare – 15 radial cyclones across 2 tiers that work together to really pull out that dirt from the deepest places.
- 20% more suction than the V6 but with all the same features!
- A max-power mode… just in case you don’t need all that suction, you can switch on the power, and then switch it off when your arm aches…
Best Pet Vacuum Cleaner for Those with an Unlimited Budget
There is a brand name that is missing from these lists that really deserves the crown for the king of the vacuum cleaner. Miele are known to produce the best luxury cleaners on the market. Walk the aisles of the supermarket and ask any patron which is the best brand of cleaner – and they are likely to say Miele. The issue? You pay for the quality – is it worth it? – well, we think so.
Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Do you have nearly a $1000 for a cleaner that looks like it should come from the bargain bin? Not convincing you of the value and desirability of the Miele cleaner? Well, here is why you should consider it:
- Six speed variable suction – yes – you get to switch on and off the power for the needs of the carpet you are facing.
- A sealed system that makes sure the air around the cleaner stays perfectly clean – allergens are no longer even an issue with this machine!
- Integrated accessories that are simple to use and effective – including an electro brush and a mini turbo brush.
- As close to a professional carpet cleaner tool that you can get for your home – a machine to dream about for all household cleaning personnel!