Best Vacuum for Pet Hair & Dog Hair in 2018

Pet hair vacuum cleaners are very important pieces of household cleaning equipment since they can easily cut down the entire cleaning process in half. This is even more useful if you have pets in your home. As you may already know, dogs have this peculiar but natural tendency to shed their pet hair. Unfortunately, most of the time their shedding is just so severe that you’d not get strands, but balls of pet hair on your carpet and furnishings. Rather than individually picking these strands and balls of hair up, you will want to use the best vacuum for pet hair instead. Our product review team has researched the best vacuums for dog hair currently available:

best vacuum for pet hair

Best Vacuum for Pet Hair Buying Guide

Picking the best vacuum for pet hair is important in maintaining the cleanliness of your home. Not only that, but you can also ensure the health of everyone in your family, especially those with known allergies. Having the best vacuum for pet hair is even more critical when you perform any hair clipping at home as well. However, knowing how to buy a pet vacuum is just one aspect of managing pet hair in your home. Equally important is knowing and understanding the need for such cleaning devices and why an ordinary vacuum cleaner simply won’t cut it. Knowing the different types of pet vacuum cleaners is also crucial to gaining a better understanding of what you need to choose for your home. It is also important to consider the following factors before you eventually settle on a particular product.

For further products, also read our line up of the best dyson pet vacuum cleaners.

pet vacuums vs regular vacuums

Pet Hair Vacuum vs. Regular Vacuums

A lot of folks actually don’t think it’s necessary to get a dedicated vacuum for pet hair as long as you already have an existing standard vacuum cleaner. While a standard hoover can be used in certain circumstances, there are a few reasons why pet vacuums are a must.

A few reasons why you should invest in a pet vacuum include:

  • These gadgets are specially designed for sucking out and pulling out pet hairs and debris that may have interwoven into the fibers of your upholstery and carpets. This often means that they have a much more powerful vacuum. And if this is not the case, then they have specialty attachments that allow them to do so.
  • As explained above, the special attachments that are found in pet vacuums are what really set them apart from conventional vacuums. For example, conventional units come with a standard soft-hair brush and hose layout that simply agitates the dust particles before these are vacuumed by the hose. On the other hand, some of the best vacuums for pet hair will come with silicon brushes that allow for more effective sucking of dirt, debris, and pet hair.
  • Pet hair vacuums also have significantly enhanced filtration systems that are more efficient in the removal of pet dander from the air that has been expelled from the unit. Generally, this gives it better performance when it comes to keeping your room air relatively free from allergens and other contaminants. 

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What to Consider when Buying the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair

Cleaning up your home of pet hair can be a very tedious task, especially if the follicles have been embedded into the fabric of your upholstery or even carpet. That is why it is essential that you know how to buy the right pet vacuum for your home. Here are some of the things that you need to consider.

  • Size of your home 

This is one of the most important considerations you will ever need to think about. Larger homes will typically require larger devices with longer power cords to help speed up the cleaning process. Basically, an upright should be your top pick.

If you live in a smaller house, getting a large cleaner will take up a lot of space. Additionally, moving about in a cramped space with a large device is simply not the most convenient. So, get something that is smaller. Handheld units and ultra-portables should be excellent.

  • Type of floor that you have 

Cleaners are specifically designed for a specific type of surface. If you have relatively flat, smooth, and even surface such as hardwood, vinyl, and laminated floors, even a brushless unit would suffice. Just make sure it has a powerful suction to pull all those dirt. However, if you have mostly carpeted flooring, a unit with brush attachments coupled with powerful suction should make things a lot easier for you.

  • Other items that you may want to clean 

You may also want to consider other items that you may want to clean. For example, if you always bring your pet with you on your travels, getting a handheld cleaner can help you remove debris and dog hair from your car. You may also need to look at how you intend to remove follicles from your curtains and other similar objects. An extendable arm attachment should come in very handy.

  • Preferred type of pet vacuum cleaner 

Although we’ll have a separate section on this matter, it should suffice to say that your preference for the type of pet vacuum cleaner should also be a consideration when choosing the best vacuum for pet hair. You may choose from an upright, a handheld, or even a canister.

  • Cordless or corded? 

Corded units provide you with consistently powerful suction so you will be able to effectively remove any follicle, debris, and dust present in your home. The downside, unfortunately, is that it may have a very limited reach because it will be entirely dependent on the location of your electrical outlets. You may choose a rather lengthy cord but you also run the risk of kinking or getting entangled with your pieces of furniture.

Cordless units are very portable. They can be used virtually anywhere since there are no cords to literally tie them down. Sadly, depending on the power of the battery, you may experience fluctuations in the power of the vacuum itself. That is why some would actually recommend getting both a corded and a cordless unit. Now, if you can get a hybrid – a corded upright with a detachable cordless handheld unit – then problem solved.

  • Filters 

As much as possible, get one that has an integrated HEPA filter because this helps remove microscopic particles from the vacuumed debris. Different manufacturers may provide different filtration systems, however. So, you may have to check each one out and choose a unit that can best give you cleaner air.

  • Attachments 

There are a variety of attachments that typically come with modern pet vacuums. However, the most important should be the pet brush mechanism. You can look at it as similar to your hand rake which is a lot better at really pulling out pet hair embedded into your carpets and other upholstery. Other attachments you might want to consider include a crevice tool, an extension tool, a dusting tool, an upholstery tool, a mattress tool, a blind or ceiling fan tool, and various brushes.

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Types of Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair

The type of vacuum cleaner you’ll need can depend on a variety of things: the size of your home, the surfaces or objects you need to clean, and more. To help you decide, here are some of the more common types of vacuum cleaners.

  • Uprights – These are your traditional everyday vacuums. Uprights are popular because they provide ample coverage in less time and are excellent for people with back problems. Finally, uprights are considered to be the most powerful among the different types of vacuum cleaners.
  • Canisters – Canisters are variations of the upright. The difference is that the cleaning nozzle is attached to a wand, which is then connected to the vacuum unit. These are more portable than uprights and allow for greater maneuverability. Unfortunately, dragging the vacuum unit can be particularly frustrating for some.
  • Sticks – Sticks are just skinny uprights. These are taller and slimmer than conventional uprights and are designed to address the heavy weight of the upright. Unfortunately, because of its significantly smaller size, it may not be as powerful.
  • Handhelds – These are highly portable units that are either corded or cordless. These are perfect for quick and light surface cleaning, although some models can come with powerful motors as well. However, it still pales in comparison to an upright.robotic vacuum
  • Robotic – More homes are using these types of cleaners. Simply turn them on and it does the job by itself. Sadly, it cannot really provide you with the deep-cleaning properties of uprights or canisters.

There are many ways you can manage your dog’s shedding. However, cleaning it with the best vacuum for pet hair remains one of the most effective ways. Understanding the need for such devices is crucial to determining the best vacuum for pet hair you’ll need for your home.

Best Vacuum for Pet Hair FAQ

Q:  How often should I vacuum my home?

A:  When it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of your home, vacuuming is a very important task. While everyone knows the importance of vacuuming your home, the more important question is usually related to the frequency of cleaning.

Sadly, there are no fast answers, as everything usually depends on a variety of factors. For instance, if you have a home that is virtually protected from outside elements – the doors and windows are always closed or the air conditioning is always on – then vacuuming might not really need to be very frequent. A once-a-week cleaning should suffice, with daily dusting, of course.

However, if you have open doors and windows and your house is located in an area where dust is known to collect over time, then vacuuming every day is a must — whether you live alone or with kids and pets.

Other factors you have to consider will be whether you have family members that require protection from dust, pollen, or any other allergen. If you have pets, dander can be a potential problem, especially if someone is allergic to it. Using the best vacuum for pet hair can help you get rid of these allergens off of your surfaces.

If you have a home that is frequented by other family members, guests, visitors, or kids, then you’ll definitely want to invest in the best vacuum for pet hair. Daily vacuuming is a must for areas of your home that people are in often. If there’s not a lot of foot traffic, then once weekly cleaning is enough.

Q:  How long does a cordless unit take to completely recharge?

A:  The good thing about a cordless pet vacuum is that you can use it almost anywhere, even in places where an electrical outlet is not available. However, the only issue with a cordless pet vacuum is that your cleaning activities are severely limited to the capacities of their battery life, as well as the power requirements of their motor. Generally, the more electrical energy your motor requires, the greater its need is for a really large-capacity battery.

So, how long do you need to recharge? That actually depends on the design and capacity of the battery. There are pet vacuums with batteries that have low capacities, yet take several hours to recharge completely. There are also pet vacuums that come with high-capacity batteries, yet only require about 60 to 90 minutes or so of recharging. Everything is dependent on the kind of battery technology employed within the pet vacuum, as well as the charging mechanism that’s integrated into the design of the cordless unit.

Q:  Do cordless pet hoovers come with a docking station?

A:  Some cordless vacuum cleaners (like some of the best vacuums for pet hair above) do come with docking stations. These provide one of the easiest ways to recharge a cordless unit as it is as simple as docking it into place, making sure that the pins are aligned correctly, and voila! You’re good to go. Some pet vacuums even come with wireless connectivity that utilizes a dedicated app in your smartphone to tell you if it’s done recharging. Others come with automatic shutoff features that help to cut power to the charging base, saving your unit from possible overcharging.

vacuum cleaners for pet hair

In many ways, some cordless pet vacuums that come with docking stations or charging bases give you a base upon which to display or mount your unit. It also serves as a nifty organizer.

Q:  What is a HEPA Filter?

A: High-Efficiency Particular Air or HEPA filters are specially designed with randomly and loosely interlaced fibers to filter particulate matter that are at least 0.2 microns in diameter. This allows it to remove a large number of air particulates. Some studies say it can actually remove up to 99.9% of impurities in the air, although a more acceptable figure would be somewhere in the range of 99.7 to 99.8 percent.

However, its ability to remove particulates including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and certain viruses in the air is if it is able to maintain its integrity. The only way this can be maintained is if no significant changes in the way HEPA filter have been designed occur.

Q: Are HEPA Filters Washable?

A: The washing of a HEPA filter is generally considered a big no-no since mechanical forces can change the delicate structure of the fibers of the filter itself. If such structural changes occur at the microscopic level, there is a good chance that larger gaps or holes can be produced in the filter. It is through these large holes that air particulates may pass through instead of being filtered out and sent into the collection chamber.

It’s like having a fishing net that is designed to catch bigger fish so that smaller and younger fishes will still be able to go through the holes. Sadly, because larger holes have been created, larger fish also tend to escape. The same thing happens with HEPA filters that have been damaged. They get larger holes which render them ineffective in trapping particles that can bring harm to you and your family.

The good news is that there are now HEPA filters that are designed to be washable.  If the manufacturer of your pet vacuum says that you can wash the HEPA filter, then perhaps you can. However, a more important question would be how you should wash it and up to what extent can you keep on washing it to retain its full functionality.

Q:  How often should I replace my pet vacuum belt?

A:  The frequency of replacing your pet vacuum belt actually depends on a host of variables. For example, if you’re using it very often across really dirty surfaces, you can expect to change your pet vacuum belt more frequently, say every month. Otherwise, you can replace it every 3 to 6 months. It also depends on the construction of the pet vacuum belt as there are those that are easily worn and some lasting up to a few years without replacing.

Technically, there are a few signs you can look for that will tell you it’s time for a new pet vacuum belt.

First is if you’ve got a really noisy pet vacuum. While pet hair vacuum systems are generally less noisy than standard domestic or even commercial-grade vacuums, you will still be able to notice a difference in the way the motor sounds. That is why it is always best to familiarize yourself with everything about your unit so you’ll be in a much better position to identify if there’s a change in its performance over the course of time.

Second, you notice that your vacuum for pet hair and other particles are simply not picking up what they were able to previously. This is almost always an obvious sign that you may have to replace the vacuum belt real soon.

Q:  If a pet vacuum has a more powerful motor, does that mean it has more suction power?

A:  There is this notion that a more powerful motor equates to more suction power. Unfortunately, the power of a pet vacuum is just one of several variables that can have an impact on the ability of the vacuum to clean a variety of surfaces.

When one talks about power in a motor, most folks think about its horsepower. Sadly, this rating is largely for marketing purposes only. It doesn’t really have an impact on the performance of the vacuum cleaner in the real world.

dog with the vacuum cleaner

If you think of motor power in terms of wattage, then you are only referring to the overall electric consumption of your vacuum cleaner within a given unit of time. For instance, if a vacuum is rated 1000-watts, it only means you will be using 1,000 watts every hour.

The same is true with amperes or amps. This rating basically relates to the maximum amount of energy or electric current that is utilized by the electrical components of the pet vacuum during operation. As such, it clearly doesn’t point to suction power.

So how do you know that you’ve got the right motor? Well, you will need to look at two very important parameters or ratings: water lift and airflow. These two ratings are very critical as they give you an idea of just how powerful the suction mechanism of a pet vacuum is. Water lift is the ability of the pet vacuum to pick up debris from a surface while airflow refers to the ability of the pet vacuum to move the ‘lifted’ debris into the dust bag. Together, they form the most crucial parameters to determine suction power in a pet vacuum.

Sources

  1. Are HEPA Air Purifier Filters Washable and Reusable?, DoItYourself
  2. How to Know If the Vacuum Belt Needs to Be Replaced, GoVacuum
  3. Understanding Vacuum Cleaner Specifications, BestVacuum
Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!
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