Loving your canine companion is easy, but what most dog owners don’t love is the unsightly dog hair that inevitably gets tangled up in carpets and embedded into furniture.
This is where the best vacuums for dog hair can really make your life easier: you simply won’t be able to clean your home effectively without one.
Or — even worse — you’ll be forced to vacuum every single day in a bid to keep those hairs at bay.
No, thank you.
There are some amazing dog hair vacuum cleaners on the market that can make removing even the most stubborn hairs a breeze.
Let’s find out more…
- 7 Best Vacuums For Dog Hair
- What To Look For In An Effective Pet Hair Vacuum?
7 Best Vacuums For Dog Hair
We’ve chosen an array of vacuums — some upright, some canister, some handheld — and have tried to represent a variety of budgets.
It’s worth noting, however, that generally you get what you pay for with vacuum cleaners. It’s best to look on them as an investment in terms of both time and money.
Buying the best vacuum for pet hair won’t only save you time as it allows you to clean quicker, more effectively and less regularly, but will also be cheaper in the long run — good models tend to last a long time and won’t need to be used every day.
Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner
I mean, the clue’s in the name, right — ‘Animal Complete’!
Dyson are renowned the world over as innovators and manufacturers of some of the best vacuum cleaners in the world, and the Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner is one of their finest vacuums to date.
It uses Dyson’s patented radial root cyclone technology to generate even more efficient airflow to extract hair and dirt through a super high-speed circular path and generate even greater suction power.
This vacuum sucks up dog hair with ease on both hard and carpeted floors. It intelligently detects when the floor surface changes and automatically adapts accordingly. This eliminates the need for you to manually change the settings and allows the vacuum to minimize air leaks and retain maximum suction power.
‘Lifetime’ HEPA filters make this a hygienic vacuum that will remove allergens as it cleans and prevent them from re-entering the air. The filters are removable and washable so you can keep using them indefinitely without having to replace them.
Manoeuvring the Dyson Animal Complete is effortless thanks to Dyson’s ball technology. The cleaner head uses a ball to rotate rather than a wheel, which allows for greater freedom of movement when steering the vacuum around obstacles or for difficult to reach areas. This ball also houses the vacuum’s motor.
The powerful high-tech brush bar is armed with short, stiff bristles to penetrate deep into carpets and remove the maximum amount of dog hair and dirt, but without compromising performance on hard floors.
The Dyson DC65 Animal Complete also comes with some fantastic accessories for vacuuming dog hair:
- Tangle free mini turbine tool: works by using two brushes on counter-rotating heads which simultaneously beat dog hair out of carpet fibres and create powerful airflow to suck it up efficiently – without allowing the dog hair getting tangled up around the mechanism. This works excellently for cleaning upholstery and for shifting stubborn dog hair from carpets.
- Multi angle brush which twists to reach areas that are hard to get to
- Special stair tool for removing dirt and debris from your stairs
- Soft dusting brush for more delicate fabrics
- Excellent performance on dog hair, and all dirt and debris
- HEPA filtration
- Extra long 32 foot power cable gives great range
- Durable and high quality design requiring little maintenance
- Runs quietly
- No need to replace filters
- Bagless, simply empty the container by pressing a button
- Reasonably small
- Easy to manoeuvre
- Great customer care
- Comes with 5 year warranty
- This is an expensive vacuum, but it is very effective
- May be a little heavy for some users at just over 27 lbs
- The ball design can prevent access to some hard-to-reach spaces under furniture
Read more: our full review of the Dyson DC65
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet NV752
Like all the vacuums in our dog hair vacuum review, the Shark TruePet is bagless and uses a canister to contain hair and dirt, but the canister is a key component to the Shark’s ability to be one of the best vacuums for dog hair.
Not only is the TruePet an outstanding upright cleaner, it also doubles up as a truly portable vacuum thanks to its clever powered lift-away feature.
The canister can be completely detached from the base, leaving only the wand attached. As this removes the weight of the base it turns the TruePet into a lightweight and truly portable vacuum that you can carry with ease to clean awkward spaces like stairs and furniture.
When in this mode it continues to use the main motorized cleaning head with rotating brush bar to retain its powerful performance.
When used as a conventional upright vacuum, this vacuum almost gives the impression that it is self propelled. It has great manoeuvrability, weaving round obstacles with ease — it can even reach all the way underneath the couch or bed effortlessly.
Along with a regular filter, a HEPA filter in this sealed system effectively traps those irritating allergens and keep them firmly locked out of harm’s way. As with the Dyson above, these high-quality filters are washable and can be re-used.
There are three different settings for thick carpets and rugs, low pile carpets, and hardwood floors. The different settings adjust both the height and the brush bar rotation speed appropriately, and the motorized brush bar has really firm bristles which make it very effective for agitating carpet and removing dog hair.
All the controls for the Shark Rotator TruePet are at your fingertips on the handle, so changing between settings is painless. The cleaner head and handle come equipped with bright LED lights for better visibility – this is particularly handy when hunting for stray dog hairs underneath furniture or when using attachments.
The attachments and tools are another huge plus point for this vacuum:
- TruePet Mini Motorized tool: a handheld attachment that uses vigorous motors to power the sturdy brushes, and is amazing for getting pet hair off everything from car seats to stairs and curtains.
- Hard Floor Genie attachment with a washable microfiber pad: allows you use both the suction and the cloth combined to pick up the maximum amount of fine dust particles and larger debris simultaneously on bare floors.
- Excellent suction power that never diminishes
- Effectively removes dog hair and grime
- Canister has a large capacity
- Conveniently long 30 foot power cord
- Lightweight and portable thanks to lift-away design
- More affordable than other brands yet still gives excellent performance
- Upright mode has good manoeuvrability
- Reaches hard to get to spaces easily
- Motorised brush bar continues to spin when used as a canister vacuum
- VIP lifetime service guarantee
- Suction doesn’t work quite so well on hard floors as carpet
- Not enough room to store all the tools on board the machine
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
If you can’t afford to invest in an upright dog hair vacuum, this neat little handheld vacuum can still make your life easier at a fraction of the price.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser has a flexible rubber nozzle that hugs the contours of upholstered furniture and the curves of your stairs to suck up the maximum amount of dog hair from these most tricky of spaces.
The flexible nozzle has rubber teeth which agitate carpet pile and fabric to loosen dog hair and dirt, and the vacuum creates powerful suction to inhale the dislodged debris.
Although it is most effective at cleaning upholstery and stairs, the Bissell also comes with an interchangeable hard nozzle which performs well on hardwood or tiled surfaces and floor too.
Like all the best vacuums for pet hair, this handheld vacuum comes equipped with a HEPA filter, plus an additional screen and a post-motor filter as part of its multi-level filtration system. This serves to eliminate the largest amount of allergens possible and keep them safely contained. The HEPA filter itself is not washable, but it the dust can be gently beaten out of it every so often to extend its life before requiring replacement. The screen can be rinsed clean in cold water.
This petite handheld vacuum is extremely lightweight and portable, making it perfectly suited to the task of cleaning pet hair from awkward spaces.
Unlike many other handheld vacuums, it has a power cable which allows for increased power to the bagless cyclonic system. This gives you the added peace of mind of knowing you’re not going to run out of battery power halfway through a vacuuming job.
The dirt container can be easily separated from the motor using the release lever, and the contents emptied straight into the trash.
- Very lightweight – weighs around 4 lbs
- Flexible rubber nozzle is very effective for removing dog hair
- Comfortable, ergonomic design
- Great for carpets, upholstery and stairs
- Wallet friendly – very affordable
- Can be used on tiled, hard wood or any bare floor surfaces thanks to its hard nozzle
- Strong suction
- Multi level HEPA filtration
- 16 foot power cord which can be neatly stored
- Dirt container is easy to empty
- Fantastic performance for the price
- 1 year warranty
- Not appropriate for large surfaces
- Less efficient on hard surfaces and will sometimes blow hot air and raise dust clouds on this
- HEPA filter needs to be replaced from time to time
Hoover WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Vacuum Cleaner
Hoover is one of the heavyweight players in the vacuum business, and the Hoover WindTunnel 3 Pro Pet Vacuum is up there as one of the best vacuums for dog hair on the market right now.
With its inventive WindTunnel suction technology, this bagless corded vacuum is a strong contender to high end Dyson models, but at a much more moderate price.
Hoover’s trademarked WindTunnel Technology uses not one, but three channels of suction which draw up air into the machine, diffusing the suction more effectively along the cleaner head and therefore giving great dog hair and dirt pickup along the entire length to suck up the maximum of deeply ground in grime, as well as surface debris.
The brush bar has 5 different height settings to accommodate different depths of carpet pile that can be easily selected via a dial, and the brush can be completely deactivated using a pedal switch when vacuuming hard floors to ensure that there is no loss of suction.
The cleaner head also has an LED light to help you see you way to a better clean in darker spaces.
The Pro Pet provides three levels of air filtration for maximum performance, and features both a washable standard filter plus a replaceable HEPA filter with an additional carbon layer to filter even tiny micro particles and absorb unpleasant doggy odors and leave your home smelling fresh.
When it’s time to change the HEPA filter (the filter should last for up to two years) a little signal lights up to let you know. There is also a handy warning light to indicate if there is a problem with the machine.
A special ‘Pet Tool Pack’ includes all the accessories you need to rid your home of dog hair:
- Pet Turbo Tool: an air driven attachment with rubber blades on the brush bar instead of bristles to stir up as much dog hair as possible from problematic stair areas
- Pet Upholstery Tool: can be used on upholstery and more delicate fabrics with its rubberized bristles
- Telescopic Extension Wand: extendable up to 12 feet for high ceilings
- Crevice Tool: for those hard to reach areas and skirting boards
The 27 foot long power cable with automatic rewind also makes vacuuming a large space less of a chore, and you’re less likely to get tangled up in the process.
The capacity of the Hoover Pro Pet’s sturdy transparent canister is large, so it can be emptied less often. It is easy to see when the canister on this vacuum is full, and as it opens from the lower end making emptying it a clean and easy task. When you put it back in place it latches firmly onto the rest of the unit.
- Affordable price compared to high end competitors
- Powerful and versatile on many different surfaces
- Length of power cord and extension wand give good reach
- Strong suction successfully removes dog hair and gives deep clean
- HEPA, plus carbon filtration
- Practical retractable power cable
- 2 year limited warranty
- Very easy to use, simple maintenance and easy to empty
- Useful indicator lights
- At 24 lbs it’s heavier and less manoeuvrable than other vacuums
- Less robust and durable than some more expensive pet hair vacuums
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E
We’ve already taken a look at Shark’s specially designed pet hair vacuum in this review (Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet), and although it’s not exclusively intended for vacuuming dog hair, Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Dust-Away is also worthy of a place on our list of the best vacuums for dog hair.
The Shark NV356E uses the same nifty ‘Lift-Away’ technology that turns it from a bagless upright vacuum to a handheld cleaner as the TruePet, but unlike the TruePet it’s not possible to use the motorized nozzle when in this mode.
It also features the same steady and powerful suction technology, HEPA filters, sturdy short bristle brush bar, and a very similar ‘Dust Away’ attachment with microfiber duster pads for hardwood floors included in the lower price.
It comes with a Pet Power Brush attachment — a slightly more simple version of the TruePet Mini Motorized Brush which is still nevertheless effective — along with a dusting brush and crevice tool.
Another area where it differs from the TruePet is the rotation technology — it uses a slightly more basic version of this which gives a more limited swivel movement, making it slightly less maneuverable. In addition it has no light, so visibility is poorer in dark places such as underneath furniture.
On the plus side this vacuum performs a little better than the TruePet on hard floor surfaces like wood and tile, and the suction level is more adjustable, making it a solid all-round vacuum with some great features for removing stubborn dog hair.
- Cheaper than the Shark TruePet but still with many similar features
- Versatile, good all round vacuum
- Extra large dust container
- Converts to handheld unit
- 30 foot long power cord gives good range
- Effective for removing dog hair from carpet
- Comes with Pet Power Brush for cleaning stairs and upholstery
- Excellent adjustable suction
- Relatively lightweight and easy to handle
- Performs well on hard floor surfaces
- Can be noisy
- Not quite as effective as the Shark TruePet on dog hair, but better on hardwood floors
- Design is a little top heavy when using the hose
- Slightly narrow cleaning path means cleaning large areas takes more time
Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum
It’s another Bissell, but this time the more expensive upright version.
On looks, the Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser sure makes a statement, but behind the hip, brightly colored appearance is a serious state of the art dog hair vacuum.
The uniquely designed brush roll is broad and has an extra large diameter and special bristle design to pick up even the longest pet (and even human) hairs without them getting tangled round it – if hair starts to wrap round the brush roll, it just requires a few passes on clean carpet to release any trapped hairs.
The height of the cleaner head is adjustable via a dial with 5 different height settings to suit many different levels of carpets, and when using the vacuum on hard surfaces, the brush roll can easily be turned off for better cleaning and minimum loss of suction.
It also features a protection system which alerts you to any large debris which may require manual removal. The brush roll is also easy to remove for additional cleaning.
To further prevent dog hairs clogging up the vacuum, the machine uses a patented cyclonic pet hair spooling system which uses strong suction to pull the maximum dirt and dog hair into the machine and spin it into a clump to prevent it getting stuck in the 1.5 liter capacity container bin.
Emptying the container is simple, just hold it over the trash can and push the button to release the base and unload the dirt and hair without needing to touch it.
Although the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum doesn’t have a HEPA filter, it still offers very effective filtration thanks to its tightly sealed multi filter system which ensures that all the air is passed through the filters before being pushed out of the vacuum, preventing air leaks and keeping the maximum amount of nasty allergens safely trapped in the dirt container.
This system uses three filters: 2 washable foam filters situated before the motor, plus a Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator filter after the motor which uses a felt layer to leave a trail of freshly scented air behind you as you clean.
This sealed multi-cyclonic system also allows for excellent suction, and the Pet Hair Eraser puts all that suction power to good use. When using the upright in floor mode, the suction path bypasses the hose to take the shortest distance from the floor to the canister.
Changing the mode to use the hose with tool attachments is done by turning a dial, which effectively redirects the suction power.
There are a variety of practical tools that can be fixed to the wand or directly to the hose:
- Pet TurboEraser tool: has an air driven rather than motorized brush roll, but it is nevertheless very efficient at removing embedded dog hairs from furniture and carpeted stairs thanks to its own mini Tangle Free Brush Roll
- Dusting brush: great for cleaning shelves and door frames
- Crevice tool: comes complete with a battery powered LED light to illuminate tricky spaces so you won’t miss dirty spots
This is not the lightest vacuum, but thanks to its swivel head design it is very maneuverable and can navigate obstacles easily with a twist of the wrist, and the broad cleaning head cleans almost as well on the edges of the vacuum head as it does in the middle.
- Solidly built and easy to assemble
- Does an excellent job of picking up pet hair from carpets and upholstery
- SmartSeal Allergen System helps capture allergens
- An excellent odor eliminator
- The tangle free brush roll and cyclonic spooling system ensures hairs don’t become wrapped round the brushroll
- Long, 30 foot power cable gives good reach
- Mid-range, affordable vacuum
- Great performance for the price
- 5 year limited warranty
- The hose and wand are a little short for large rooms
- Filters need to be replaced
Dyson V6 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum
Most cordless vacuums don’t have what it takes to tackle dog hair, but the Dyson V6 Animal Cord-free Vacuum definitely makes the grade.
With a stylish, modern design the V6 Animal is easy on the eye, and it’s compact enough to be stored away with ease without taking up too much space.
One of this vacuum’s biggest (and perhaps most obvious) perks is the fact that it is cordless and lightweight, meaning you can take it with you anywhere in the home with ease without having to worry about being close to a power socket or tripping over a cable. Instead it is powered by a rechargeable battery.
The vacuum is operated via a finger triggered power button which must be permanently depressed in order for the machine to function. This means that the battery won’t run down unnecessarily when you leave it running, and it serves to extend the battery life.
The V6 Animal is supplied with a docking station which can be neatly mounted on your wall or inside a cupboard — simply slot the vacuum into the dock to recharge it between uses. The dock can also be used to house two cleaning attachments, helping keep things orderly.
Each battery charge lasts around 20 minutes — depending on how you use the unit — so if you have a large home this may not be the most practical vacuum unless you use it for small on-the-spot jobs.
For smaller homes and apartments, however, 20 minutes should give you enough time to give your home a good once over. If you do live in a large home, you might still want to consider this vacuum as a convenient accompaniment to your regular vacuum.
Despite the Animal’s small size and battery power, it doesn’t compromise on performance when it comes to vacuuming dog hair.
A surprisingly formidable digital V6 motor spins incredibly fast (up to 110,000 rpm), and coupled with Dyson’s two tier radial cyclone system which uses two small cyclones to make air travel faster, this creates extremely powerful suction and helps filter fine particles.
The high tech cleaner head features ‘direct drive’ to push bristles deep into carpet and effectively agitate the fibers to remove dog hair and dirt. The powerful brush roll is armed with stiff nylon bristles for carpeted surfaces, and it also works well on hard floors.
There’s even a Max boost button to give the Animal that extra oomph required for carpets with super deep pile, although this does use the battery power more quickly (it can be used on this setting for up to six minutes before needing a recharge).
Filtration relies on the completely sealed radial cyclonic system to remove larger debris, combined with a washable lifetime post motor filter to trap fine particles.
This vacuum gives good reach thanks to the light aluminum meter long wand, so sucking up cobwebs from ceilings is hassle free.
The V6 Animal can also be used by attaching the tools directly to its body, which converts it into a compact handheld machine ideal for vacuuming the stairs, upholstery and other nooks and crannies in the home, or even vacuuming up dog hairs from inside your car.
Like the main cleaning head, the powerful small motorized tool has rigid nylon bristles to thoroughly attack and remove pet hair and other dirt. In addition there is a slender crevice tool and a dusting brush.
Lightweight — it weighs an amazingly tiny 5 lbs — and well balanced, the Dyson V6 Animal is easy to manipulate even when tipping it to vacuum higher up areas and tricky spaces, and ball-based steering mechanisms on the motorised head make it fuss free when steering around furniture and other obstacles.
- Versatile and works well on all floor surfaces, corners and edges
- Tackles pet hair efficiently
- Lightweight, maneuverable design
- Hygienic when emptying the dust container
- Ideal for a rapid clean
- Suitable for the elderly or those with limited mobility
- Converts to a handheld vacuum
- Efficient motor with powerful suction
- Cordless design
- Performance justifies the price
- No need to replace the filters
- Comes with a range of practical tools
- 2 year warranty
- Battery only lasts 20 minutes
- Comparatively expensive
- Requires constant pressure on the trigger button to function
What To Look For In An Effective Pet Hair Vacuum?
A vacuum cleaner can be an expensive piece of kit, so you don’t want to fork out for one only to discover that it’s no match against your pooch’s shedding.
Shedding is natural, but some of the worst shedding breeds — Labs, Huskies and Golden Retrievers, for instance — shed more than others, and many owners of these hairy hounds can get frustrated with the amount of housework that comes with owning their beloved pets.
Pet hair, dirt, dust and allergens can cause allergic reactions and other unwelcome symptoms, so keeping floors and upholstery free from dog hair is important for your family’s health too.
Thankfully those endless hours spent relentlessly vacuuming to remove fluffy dust bunnies ground into carpets doesn’t have to be the price you pay for life with your pooch.
The truth is that only a select few machines can really categorize themselves as useful pet hair vacuums or hoovers — most simply aren’t up to the job.
These specialist machines are usually blessed with a few stand-out features that make them your weapon of choice in the fight against pet hair.
Here’s what to look for:
In the days before Dyson, most vacuum cleaners worked by collecting hair, dirt and dust particles in a removable bag that had to be replaced with a new one when it became full.
These days bagless vacuum cleaners are the most popular choice, however — there is no need to spend extra cash on replacement bags, and in most cases they are more effective for removing pet hair.
Most vacuum cleaners that use a container or canister rather than a bag, work by drawing in dirty particles using a high speed fan to generate a powerful centrifugal force that separates hair and larger dust and dirt particles which fall into the container, after which the air is pushed through a filter to trap the finer particles.
This cyclonic suction process produces extremely high levels of suction, perfect for sucking up those pesky pet hairs. Dirt collected in the container can then simply be emptied effortlessly into the dustbin.
Bagless vacuums have the added benefit of making it easy to see when the container is full and needs emptying too.
These types of dog hair vacuums require a filter to function efficiently. So let’s talk filters.
Vacuum cleaners have at least one filter, and many models have more depending on the design.
Filters are fabric, paper or soft plastic cartridges which have a surface covered with miniscule holes. These holes allow air to pass through the filter, but not larger particles (all the dirt and hair that gets sucked up by the vacuum).
Primary filters trap the largest proportion of dust and dirt from the air that the vacuum sucks up. With a bagless vacuum the container acts like a primary filter as well, using the different weight of the particles compared to the air to keep air circulating but letting the larger particles fall into the collection area.
Secondary filters act to filter the air even further, removing finer particles and fibres from the airstream to prevent them clogging up the internal workings of the vacuum, and stopping them from being expelled back into the external environment when the air is forced back out of the machine.
These filters are crucial for removing not just dirt, dust and pet hairs, but also for keeping your vacuum in good working order.
Certain filters can also help eliminate unpleasant pet odors too, to leave your home as fresh smelling as possible.
When you have a dog who sheds, it is also incredibly important to filter pathogens, allergens and particles that cause asthma when you vacuum, as these can cause respiratory or other health issues.
This is where HEPA filters come into play. HEPA is an acronym for high efficiency particulate air, and HEPA filters are made of super fine fibres to capture up to 99.97% of harmful allergens — making them pretty much essential for effectively removing pet hair, particularly for people who are allergic or asthmatic.
For filters to work successfully, the vacuum cleaner should have a completely air-tight design to ensure no air is released back into the atmosphere before it has been thoroughly cleaned. Filters should always be maintained to ensure that they are functioning correctly, and may need to be replaced over time.
The vigorous beating and brushing action of the brushes in the cleaner head of a vacuum are crucial for loosening dog hair and other debris from the floor surface to allow them to be sucked up more effectively by the machine.
This is even more important if your home is carpeted or if you have rugs, as hairs, dirt and dust can work their way deep into the carpet and be difficult to remove.
Brushes are rows of robust bristles driven by a powerful motor which revolves them at high speeds to agitate carpet fibers and pull embedded hair and dirt up and away from the floor and into the intense air suction of the vacuum.
The best vacuum cleaner for dog hair will be equipped with an aggressive brush to cope with stubborn pet hair.
Types of brush vary depending on the vacuum design. Most designs feature two rows of bristle brushes, and the speed of rotation can vary — the higher the rotation speed, the more effective the brushing action.
The brushes are fixed to a bar made of metal or plastic and can be either round or contoured. The number of bristles on the brush should also be taken into account, as along with a fast rotation speed, the maximum amount of bristles will provide the most effective agitation of carpet fibers.
Ease of Use and Weight
Aside from how a vacuum cleaner functions, it must also be appropriate for your home.
Every home is unique, and pets have their favorite places in each one — sometimes in areas that are less than easy to reach.
If your dog loves to snooze on the couch your vacuum cleaner should have the right accessories to easily clean upholstery, or be hand held to reach difficult areas.
If your home is small, a smaller size vacuum may be more suitable for you, and if you have lots of stairs you may wish to choose a lightweight or convertible model that’s either cordless or with a long cord that you can lift and carry around easily.
Likewise, if you have lots of furniture or other obstacles in your home, you’re going to want a vacuum that is easily manoeuvrable so you can clean around them without effort.
The type of flooring you have should also be taken into account, as some models are more effective on carpets than wood floors, and vice versa.
When dogs shed hair it gets everywhere — not just on floor surfaces.
The best vacuums for dog hair come equipped with a selection of accessories to remove pet hair from upholstery and difficult to reach spaces, like skirting boards, car seats and curtains.
Vacuum cleaners that feature upholstery nozzles with turbine driven revolving brush rolls are ideal for effectively cleaning pet hair from furniture.
Thin nozzles are perfect for getting into nooks and crannies that you can’t otherwise reach, and they rely on powerful suction to suck up the maximum of hair and other debris.
Phew — that’s our complete guide to the best dog hair vacuums and cleaners on the market today!
What’s your favorite choice?