Best Vacuum for Pet Hair

Pet hair is a major problem for millions of Americans, and it can be difficult to remove from certain types of flooring without the right gear. In most cases, a good vacuum cleaner will do the trick with general dirt and debris, but pet hair presents a different problem altogether.

The best vacuum for pet hair needs to meet certain standards, whether you have hardwood, luxury vinyl, or Berber carpet in your home. It will need to have enough power to suit your needs, and a good filtration system is a must for most consumers. If you're in need of a vacuum cleaner that excels at removing pet hair, you’ve come to the right place.

How to find the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair

It’s not hard to find a vacuum that can pick up a little hair from hardwood. When you start bringing multiple flooring materials into the mix, things can get tricky. Plenty of consumers have picked up a slick cordless model only to be disappointed when the battery life isn't as advertised. Uprights and robot vacuum cleaners have their own set of issues as well, so here are some areas to keep in mind before you settle on a vacuum.

Pet Problems

The biggest piece of advice we can give anyone looking for a vacuum to pick up pet hair is to consider your pets first. Do you have dogs or cats? Long cat hair can foul up even the best vacuum cleaner if it isn't built to deal with it. Dog hair comes in all shapes and sizes as well, and some dogs are known to shed throughout all four seasons.

Understanding how big of a pet hair problem you have is the first step to finding the right system. Animals have been known to act a bit erratically towards vacuum cleaners as well. That’s something to consider when it comes to build quality, especially if you have a Roomba riding feline in your home or a dog that attacks vacs.

Design

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we're pleased to say that most modern vacuum cleaners are good-looking machines. When it comes to design, you need to consider the type of system along with its advantages and disadvantages.

  • Upright - Upright vacuum cleaners are the most powerful style. They provide homeowners with wide cleaning paths and can't have better filtration as you'll find plenty of bagged systems in this range. On the downside, they can be heavy and more expensive.
  • Stick Vacuum – This style of vacuum resembles a mini upright but is lighter and can also be considerably cheaper than larger uprights. Many models in this class are cordless and easy to use, although the dirt bins are smaller, and they aren't quite as powerful.
  • Canister Vacuum – Canister vacuum cleaners provide homeowners with the best of both worlds. The systems can have excellent suction and are more portable than uprights. While ideal for areas like stairs and hard flooring, they can be harder to store and struggle with some types of carpet.
  • Robotic- This is the newest style of vacuum cleaner you’ll encounter, and an excellent choice for hard flooring. While robotic vacuums can I have a hard time with thick carpet, they clean autonomously which frees you up to go about your day. Some models can even clean up after themselves and pick up where they left off if their battery runs low.
  • Cordless – A cordless vacuum cleaner can come in many forms although there aren't many cordless canister vacuums in the residential range at the moment. The main thing to consider with any cordless vacuum is the battery life and how much power it's able to provide you compared to a corded vacuum.

Those are the main types of vacuum cleaners available on the market today, with the exception of handheld vacs and central systems, which we won't be covering this time around. It's also important to remember that convertible or 2-in-1 vacuums can be found in the cordless, upright, and stick vacuum classes as well.

Portability or Power?

How a vacuum is designed can have an impact on this area, and one of the biggest choices you have to make is deciding between a cordless or corded vacuum cleaner. Below are the pros and cons of each style.

Corded Vacuums

Corded vacuum cleaners can hold more dirt and will always have more power going to cordless vacuum. In our experience, they also tend to last longer, although that largely depends on the brand and build quality. Most homeowners in the past didn't get rid of their old corded vacuums because they quit working; they simply wanted to upgrade.

This type of vacuum cleaner will be heavier than a cordless model. The cord can obviously be an issue as well, even if you never have to worry about running out of power. The overall selection of vacuum cleaners in this class is also somewhat smaller than what you’ll find on the corded side.

Cordless Vacuums

These vacuums are one of the big reasons people decided to upgrade from corded vacuum cleaners. Cordless models are convenient, lightweight, and very easy to store. You can drag them up and down stairs with ease or even transform them into cordless handheld vacuums if it’s a 2-in-1 system. Filtration is similar between these two styles, although you’ll find more high tech features on cordless vacuums.

On the downside, battery life can be an issue if you have a larger home. Some vacuums can clean for close to an hour continuously but tend to be expensive. Recharging times are important as well and quiet lengthy with some systems.

Battery Life and Charging Times

If you decide a cordless vacuum for pet hair is the best option for your home, there are hundreds of models available with a price point and style for everyone. While it's nice to have a wealth of options, you need to think about the battery life with a cordless vacuum and how long it will take that battery to recharge.

How large of a battery you need depends on the size of your home or how many rooms you need to tidy up on a daily basis. Recharging times typically range from 3 hours to over 6 hours, depending on the model, brand, and size of the battery. The runtimes vary just as wildly considering we've seen vacuums in this class with batteries that last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

Ease of Use

A vacuum cleaner isn’t a complicated machine, and it shouldn't be hard to use. Ease-of-use can mean many things in the vacuum cleaner world, but in our eyes, you want to think about comfort first and foremost.

Traditional upright vacuum cleaners may be easy to push on laminate or carpet but they aren't fun to drag up a flight of stairs. Heavy models can also be tough to use on thick carpet unless it's a self-propelled vacuum. A good set of wheels is an overlooked feature, and you should always consider the weight regardless of the style of vacuum. A convertible vacuum is nice, but not when the top half weighs 8 pounds detached.

If you have a lot of low furniture in your home, consider a vacuum geared for low clearance or a system with a flexible shaft. While those are still relatively new on the scene, there are plenty of creature comforts that can make your life easy. That includes autonomous robot vacuums or systems that are extremely easy to maintain.

Bins and Bags

This is where the big “bin or bagless” question comes into play. For decades, vacuum cleaner manufacturers only made systems that used bags. As new technologies in the upright and cordless worlds come into play, we started seeing more vacuum cleaners with dust bins or cups.

Bins can come in all shapes and sizes and are found on the majority of vacuum cleaners on the market today. Bin size is important for an obvious reason as you don't want to stop halfway through cleaning a room to empty a bin. Regardless of the size, that bin should be easy to remove and clean. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, and we've seen plenty of great vacuums ruined by a badly-designed bin system.

Vacuum cleaners that use bags in place of a cup or bin are tidier and ideal when you don't want to deal with the pet hair and dirt. You simply dispose of the bag when it's full and replace it instead of shaking out a bin over a trash can. This provides you with more of a sealed system, and some manufacturers use unique filtered bags as well.

HEPA Filtration

Filtration is a common feature with vacuum cleaners, especially ones designed for pet hair. It's also a feature that should be high on your shopping list if you have allergies. A vacuum cleaner with a good HEPA filter can make a huge difference in your household, and you'll find several models on our list with that feature.

There are several other forms of filtration found in this class of vacuum cleaners. Some simple systems will have a washable a pre-filter while others will have a slightly more complex 3 or 5-stage system. It’s a good idea to check on the availability and price of replacement filters beforehand as well.

Decibel Level

Vacuum cleaners have never been known for their silent cleaning capabilities; that's just a fact and a minor annoyance. Well, we think you'll be surprised by just how quiet some of the newer models can be. If noises are a concern in your household, you're going to want to keep an eye on the decibel levels.

The decibel rating tells you how loud a vacuum cleaner will be, and it's a specification they can be hard to find with some manufacturers. That said, if a machine is quiet, a company will use that as a selling point. On average, depending on the style of vacuum, you can expect the decibel level between 55 and 70dB.

What’s in the Box?

Nothing is more frustrating than buying something new, opening the box, and finding out that what's in the photo isn’t included. It's more common than you think with online shopping, and something as simple as a mistake with a photo can cause you a lot of headaches. Simply put, always check the contents list against model numbers and manufacturer’s listings when in doubt.

Every vacuum cleaner on our list will come with a few accessories. Vacuum cleaners built for pet hair tend to come with a few more attachments than other systems as well. This is an area where you need to consider the type of flooring you have in your home as certain tools are built for certain situations. A multi-tool may seem like a good idea, but it's no replacement for a powered brush head.

Crevice tools and small brushes are standard with most vacuum cleaners. Soft roller brushes and powerheads aren't quite as common, however and can raise the overall cost of the system considerably. Dyson and other manufacturers use this tiered approach with several of their systems, so it's a good idea to check on the included accessories before making a decision. Especially when some tools can cost half as much as the vacuum when bought separately.

Features

They're on a whole lot of things that we would call a flagship feature with vacuum cleaners, although there are a few things you want to keep in mind. Cord length isn't a feature on corded vacuums, but systems that rewind their cords are incredibly handy. The same goes for LED lights which allow you to find dust bunnies you might have otherwise missed.

There are switches and buttons that can make life easier as well. When dealing with multiple types of flooring, the ability to turn the brush head off for hardwood can be a lifesaver.  We were also big fans of any vacuum cleaner that offers consumers multiple levels of suction power. Both of those features are simple to implement but often overlooked by factors, both big and small.

Warranties 

Buying a product with a great warranty is important regardless of what it is or what it does, but it's especially true for vacuum cleaners. As these machines are known to bump into things and can occasionally be attacked by your pets, they need to be able to handle the rigors of daily life at a minimum.

Unfortunately, many vacuum cleaners only come with a standard one-year warranty from the manufacturer. While most will far outlive that mark, an extended plan is something you consider with high-end machines. The length of the warranty can vary depending on the style of vacuum as well, although it's rare to see any system with a warranty over 5 years.

When you're concerned about durability, looking into replacement parts is also a good idea. They can be harder to find on older machines and non-existent with some brands. If you're buying a cordless model, consider battery placement as well and whether it's fixed within the machine or removable. One is obviously much easier to replace than the other.

The Best Vacuums for Pet Hair

There are hundreds of vacuum cleaner manufacturers that claim they have the “best” system for pet hair, but only a handful of vacuums actually fit that bill. With that in mind, our list of the best vacuums for pet hair feature systems that can work with several types of flooring – not just one type. While some machines perform better on certain surfaces, we have included a style and size for everyone.

 Product                       Details

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean
  • Cleaning Path Width: 11”
  • Capacity: 0.4 gallons
  • Power: 30 foot cord
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate Cordless Stick Vac

LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate Cordless Stick Vac
  • Cleaning Path Width: 10.2”
  • Capacity: 0.1 gallons
  • Power: 40 minutes x2
  • Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 1/10 years

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum
  • Cleaning Path Width: 
  • Capacity: 0.5 gallons
  • Power: 33 foot cord
  • Weight: 14.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum
  • Cleaning Path Width: 9.84”
  • Capacity: 0.2 gallons
  • Power: 40 minutes
  • Weight: 5.9 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years

iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum

iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum
  • Cleaning Path Width: 7”
  • Capacity: 0.15 gallons
  • Power: 75 minutes
  • Weight: 5.9 pounds
  • Warranty: 2 years

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Bagless Upright

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Bagless Upright
  • Cleaning Path Width: 13.3”
  • Capacity: 0.55 gallons
  • Power: 35 foot cord
  • Weight: 17.4 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly Vacuum 31150

Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly Vacuum 31150
  • Cleaning Path Width: 
  • Capacity: 0.87 gallons
  • Power: 35 foot cord
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Warranty: 1 year

Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Vacuum Cleaner

Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Vacuum Cleaner
  • Cleaning Path Width: 15”
  • Capacity: 0.37 gallons
  • Power: 30 foot cord
  • Weight: 18.5 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

1. Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean 

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean

Cleaning Path Width

11”

Capacity

0.4 gallons

Power

30 foot cord

Weight

16 pounds

Warranty

5 years

The APEX Upright from Shark is one of those vacuums that prove looks can be deceiving. It doesn’t look as exotic as an upright from Dyson but is one of the more agile uprights on our list. It’s also of the best pet hair vacuums, and perfect if you need a high-powered 2-in-1 for your home.

This vacuum cleaner features two unique technologies from Shark with DuoClean, and Zero M. DuoClean is a dual brushroll system which utilizes two heads, one soft and one with bristles. This allows it clean hardwood, tile or carpet and pet hair won’t be a problem on any of those surfaces. Zero-M is used to keep your brushroll free from hair, so you’ll never have to break out the scissors again.

Shark designed this vacuum as a 2-in-1 with a powered lift-away feature. You can detach the canister in a matter of seconds and use the powerhead or tools to extend your cleaning reach. Stairs, couches, and carpet are no match for the Shark APEX DuoClean. While the cord doesn’t retract, it’s 30 feet long and sturdy.

As this is a sealed system, you can look forward to HEPA filtration, and both the pre and post-motor filters are washable. There are also lights on both the floor and hand nozzles, a small but nice feature to have. This system comes with a 12” crevice tool, Pet Power brush, and an upholstery tool. It tips the scales at 16 pounds and has a 0.4-gallon dust bin.

The Shark APEX DuoClean receives high marks in all the key areas as it’s easy to maneuver, powerful, and works on a variety of surfaces. The tangle-free tech is useful as well, although their selection of tools is a little underwhelming, given the price of this vacuum. You’ll get a 5-year guaranteed on parts and labor from Shark with this system.

Pros

  • Excels on carpet and hardwood
  • Self-cleaning head
  • Powered lift-away mode
  • HEPA filter

Cons

  • Mediocre tools

2. LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate Cordless Stick Vac 

LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate Cordless Stick Vac

Cleaning Path Width

10.2”

Capacity

0.1 gallons

Power

40 minutes x2

Weight

5.6 pounds

Warranty

1/10 years

Cordless stick vacuums can be hit or miss with pet hair outside of Dyson and a few select brands. While one of the newer vacuums on our list, the Cordzero A9 from LG is the only cordless in recent years to actually live up to the hype. It also has a feature that will make Dyson owners green with envy.

With dual heads, the LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate can remove pet hair from carpet, hardwood, laminate, and other styles of flooring. The Power Carpet and Power Punch nozzles do an outstanding job on low to medium pile carpet while the Power Floor nozzle handles hard surfaces. Having three powered heads with one stick vacuum is a huge advantage, but so is the ability to remove the battery.

Unlike most cordless vacuums at this level, you can remove the battery from the Cordzero. That’s ideal in case it ever goes back as there won’t be any trips to a repair shop. This system's battery is rated for 40 minutes, but you’ll get two of them with the A9 Ultimate package. That’s 80 minutes of continuous cleaning, and they recharge in around 3 ½ hours.

LG built this vacuum with ease of use in mind. There’s a switch to change power levels on the handle, and the filters are washable. The charging base is even unique as it’s designed to be mounted or functions as a stand. The Cordzero A9 has a 10.2” cleaning path and a 0.1-gallon dust bin. It’s lightweight at 5.6 pounds, and while it has a standard 1-year warranty, the motor is guaranteed for 10 years.

The LG Cordzero A9 Ultimate isn’t going to be for everyone due to its price, although it performs as advertised on hardwood and carpet. We haven’t seen any significant complaints on this model as its powerful and those extras more than make up for the increase in price compared to similar systems.

Pros

  • 5-stage filtration
  • 3 powered nozzles
  • Dual batteries
  • Wi-Fi with smart home integration

Cons

  • It’s expensive for a stick vac

3. Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum 

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum

Cleaning Path Width


Capacity

0.5 gallons

Power

33 foot cord

Weight

14.6 pounds

Warranty


Miele has been producing high-end appliances and machines for well over 100 years, and are a premium brand in the vacuum cleaner world. While all of their systems can tackle pet hair, the aptly named Miele Blizzards CX1 Cat & Dog vacuum is made for it.

Canister vacuums have always been an excellent option for pet hair, and the CX1 is certainly no exception. This bagless canister vacuum has a Miele Vortex Motor rated at 1,200 watts that’s capable of producing airflow up to 62 miles per hour. A 4-speed dial allows you to adjust the suction to suit your needs, but trust us when we say this system is not lacking in the power department.

Like most machines in this class, the CX1 comes with HEPA filtration. It’s not a “standard” system, however. They use a GORE CleanStream fine dust filter in conjunction with a HEPA lifetime filter, which captures up to 99.98% of allergens and dust. That filter will last for 20 years when properly maintained, and the Gore CleanStream system can actually clean itself automatically.

An exclusive hygienic emptying system and Push2open are two other highlights of the Miele CX1, but the accessories are also a significant feature and selling point.  This model comes with a crevice tool and upholstery brush along with a handheld mini turbo brush. As it’s geared towards pets, you’ll also get the SEB Electro+ Power Brush for carpet and their Parquet Floor Twister for hardwood flooring.

The Miele CX1 Cat & Dog Vacuum has the distinction of being the most expensive system on our list, but it’s arguably the best all-around machine for pet hair. Canister vacuums can be an acquired taste, although this one is easy to use and has an excellent filtration system as well. A standard 1-year warranty covers parts and labor while the motor and case are guaranteed for 7 years.

Pros

  • Powerful Vortex motor
  • Self-cleaning fine dust filter
  • 20-year HEPA filter
  • Outstanding tool set

Cons

  • The price tag

​​​​4. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum 

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum

Cleaning Path Width

9.84”

Capacity

0.2 gallons

Power

40 minutes

Weight

5.9 pounds

Warranty

2 years

While Dyson hasn’t been in business as long as other companies on our list, they are one of the first names consumers consider when looking for a new vacuum cleaner. The Cyclone V10 Absolute is our pick for the best cordless vacuum for pet hair, but also one of the top cordless models available on the market today.

As one of Dyson’s top models, you can look forward to a powerful digital motor featuring the company’s cyclone technology. The motor has a ceramic shaft that can spin at speeds up to 125,000 RPM, so it provides plenty of power and solid battery life across the board. That comes courtesy of a 7-cell lithium-ion battery which provides fade-free suction.

You can get up to 40 minutes of runtime with a soft roller or an hour with a non-motorized tool from the Dyson V10. Their Torque Drive head will drop those levels considerably, but that’s common with any cordless system using a powered head. This head has a DC motor in the brush bar, which does not disappoint with pet hair removal on carpet and rugs and has three power levels, which makes it suitable for various types of flooring.

The dust bin on the V10 is larger than other cordless models at 0.2 gallons, and it has a respectable cleaning path width at 9.84”. As you’d expect, it’s light with a weight of 5.9 pounds and won’t put you in a bind even when it’s in handheld mode.  Recharging times are noteworthy at 210 minutes, which is considerably quicker than other cordless stick vacs.

The V10 is a step below the new V11 from Dyson, but this one provides more bang for your buck thanks to the “Absolute” package, which isn’t available on their newest flagship. The Dyson Cyclone V10 strikes the right balance between price and performance and comes with a variety of tools, including a soft roller brush, mini motorized tool and the Torque Drive cleaner.

Pros

  • Soft and brush heads
  • Excellent battery life
  • Large bin
  • Lightweight and easy to use

Cons

  • The dust bin can be tricky to dump

5. iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum 

iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum

Cleaning Path Width

7”

Capacity

0.15 gallons

Power

75 foot cord

Weight

8.6 pounds

Warranty

1 year

iRobot made a name for themselves with their lineup of robot vacuum cleaners, and the Roomba is one of the top models available to consumers today. If you never want to push an upright again, the Roomba 960 may be the best vacuum for your home.

This popular robot is filled with high-tech features. It can return to its base and recharge when the battery gets low, but will also resume cleaning from where it left off. Want to sync up your robot with Google Assistant or Alexa? That’s an option, and there’s an official app from iRobot as well. This connected vacuum is smarter than other systems on our list and delivers 5x the suction of the 600 series.

One reason we chose this bot is the roller head. There are two multi-surface brushes that are rubber, not nylon, so they won’t damage floors or push dirt around. The filter system takes care of 99% of particles down to 10 microns while the dust and dirt go into a 0.15-gallon bin. With a path width of 7”, it can’t clean a wide area like an upright but its light and the bin is easy to dump, even if it isn’t self-cleaning like the s9+ or i7+ Roomba.

Visual navigation and smart mapping are standard on the Roomba 960. It can map multiple rooms with vSLAM and iAdapt 2.0, or you can schedule cleaning as needed. The auto-adjusting heads will handle a variety of surfaces while dirt detectors increase the power as needed. This robot is rated for around 40 to 60 minutes of runtime and recharges in 3 hours.

We chose the Roomba 960 due to the price point and an excellent array of features. It’s a little tall at 3.6” so some furniture may be an issue, but it has more than enough oomph to remove pet hair from hard flooring and low to medium-pile carpet. This particular package comes with a replenishment kit, which includes three filters, two side brushes, and an extra set of rubber brushes.  

Pros

  • Multi-surface cleaning
  • Excellent runtime
  • High-efficiency filter
  • Camera navigation & Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Too tall for some furniture

6. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Bagless Upright 

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Bagless Upright

Cleaning Path Width

13.3”

Capacity

0.55 gallons

Power

35 foot cord

Weight

17.4 pounds

Warranty

5 years

Dyson is an industry leader when it comes to cordless vacuums, and they are no slouch with traditional uprights either. While they have several models available, we feel that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the best choice for pet hair.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a rare machine that works just as well on hardwood and tile as it does on carpet. It can clean engineered flooring or an area rug with ease as well with as it can automatically adjust when transitioning from hard surfaces to carpet. It also has a large .55 gallon dust bin, so you won’t find yourself having to empty it halfway through the job.

Coverage won’t be a problem thanks to a sturdy 35-foot cord, and this is a sealed system like most of Dyson’s vacuums. You’ll get whole machine HEPA filtration from the Animal 2, but that’s far from its only trick. The top handle detaches for use with the hose and it’s incredibly easy to maneuver with the company’s Ball technology.

Consumers rave about how easy the Animal 2 is to use, although it’s close to 18 pounds which may be too hefty for some. The cleaning head is 13.3” wide, and while there’s no soft roller, this system can retract the brush roller as needed.  This version of the Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with a variety of tools that will help keep your home tidy. You’ll get an extension wand, combination tool, stair tool, motorized brush, and their popular tangle-free turbine tool.

Dyson claims this is their most powerful upright yet, and we’d have to agree based on all the positive reviews in regard to its power. It is a little louder and heavier than other models on our list, but a worthwhile investment if you’re looking or a high-quality system with plenty of tools. This vacuum cleaner comes with a 5-year warranty from Dyson.

Pros

  • Automatic floor level changes
  • Strong suction
  • Tool selection
  • 13.3” cleaning path

Cons

  • The weight

7. Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly Vacuum 31150 

Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly Vacuum 31150

Cleaning Path Width


Capacity

0.87 gallons

Power

35 foot cord

Weight

20 pounds

Warranty

1 year

Kenmore is known for making a lot of products, but may not be a name you think of when it comes to vacuum cleaners. The Kenmore Elite 31150 is one of the best vacuums for pet hair, and unique compared to other models on our list considering its AAFA certified.

Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters are a dime a dozen, and while they’re worth it, you may need something a little more stout if you have allergies or severe asthma. The Kenmore Elite 31150 fits that bill with an enhanced Triple HEPA filter, which is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Dander and dust will not be able to escape this bagged system.

Another perk of this vacuum cleaner is the 3D Inducer Motor. It makes use of the company’s Power Flow tech, which provides 20% more suction than a regular upright. It also has a beltless agitator and a 5-position height adjustment. It can handle hardwood or high-pile and even has an infrared dirt sensor with an LED that focuses on the dirt, and you can turn the brush roller off as needed.

You generally don’t find many tools included on an upright vacuum, but the Kenmore Elite has a unique tool for pet hair. The Pet Handi Mate is an air-driven roller brush designed to remove dander and pet hair from hard to reach places. The hose and extension add 10’ to your cleaning range as well. A combination brush and long crevice tool are also included with the Pet-Friendly Elite.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, the Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly is a fine option with plenty of power and an excellent array of features. While not automatic, the 5-level height adjustment is a plus along with the beltless design. It’s not the best option for hard surfaces due to a poorly designed exhaust vent but will keep your carpet clean and dander free.

Pros

  • AAFA certified
  • Height adjustment
  • Excellent on carpet
  • Wi-Fi with smart home integration

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Its 20 pounds

8. Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Vacuum Cleaner 

Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Vacuum Cleaner

Cleaning Path Width

15”

Capacity

0.37 gallons

Power

30 foot cord

Weight

18.5 pounds

Warranty

5 years

Most of the best vacuums for pet hair have one thing in common – the price. Extra power or high-tech features will increase the cost, but you don’t need a lot of bells & whistles if it’s a well-engineered system. The Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max won’t break the bank, and we think you’ll be surprised by its efficiency.

Hoover’s WindTunnel technology creates three channels of suction to help remove dirt deep within your carpet. It gets a boost from the cyclonic system, which provides constant suction thanks to 13 cyclonic chambers. Needless to say, it’s perfect for carpet of any kind and works well on hardwood thanks to a few simple but effective features.

This vacuum has seven levels of height adjustment, which is a half-dozen more than you’ll find on some models. That’s handled through a manual dial on the head, but there’s a switch on the handle that allows you to turn the head off completely. It has the widest cleaning path of any vacuum on our list at 15” and provides you with 15’ of reach with the hose and wand.

The WindTunnel 3 Max checks all the right boxes as it’s simple to use, has a wide cleaning area, and a brushroll switch that’s easy to access. The price is an obvious perk as well, even if the weight at 18 pounds may be a drawback for some. This vacuum comes with a Pet Turbo Tool, pivoting dust brush, crevice tool, extension wand, and a 3-year warranty.  

Pros

  • 15” cleaning path
  • 7-level height adjustmentThe price tag
  • The price tag
  • HEPA filter

Cons

  • Better options for hard floors

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do vacuums with higher amps have more power?

A: A vacuum cleaners amp rating only tells you how much electricity it uses, not how much airflow or suction the machine produces.

Q: Does a cordless vacuum have enough battery life to clean an entire home?

A: It depends on the size of your home and the type of flooring. On average, you can expect 20 to 40 minutes from most systems although the runtime drops with powered heads and intense cleaning modes.

Q: Do I need a special vacuum for pet hair?

A: Not with hardwood as you simply need something with good suction. Carpet is difficult to deal with, however, so you may want to check out a system from our list of the best vacuums for pet hair.

Q: Is a canister or upright vacuum better for my home?

A: It depends on the type of flooring. Canister vacuums can be just as efficient as a high powered upright, but are typically geared towards bare surfaces and rugs unless they have power brush heads. For carpet, an upright is typically your best choice.

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