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Best Vacuum for Pet Hair for 2024

Pets are great, but their hair all over the place is not. These are the best vacuums for cleaning up pet hair.

Chris Wedel Home Tech Editor
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to stay online tricky — not to mention making my homestead smarter. However, by utilizing his years of experience in the tech and mobile communications industries, success is assured. When not conquering the outdoors and testing new gadgets, Chris enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes, camping, and hanging out with his family.
Expertise Smart home devices, outdoors gadgets, smartphones, wearables, kid's tech, and some dabbling in 3D printing Credentials
  • Covered the mobile and smart home tech space for the past five years for multiple large publications.
Chris Wedel
11 min read
$620 at Amazon
Dyson V15 Detect
Best overall cordless vacuum for pet hair
$520 at Walmart
iRobot Roomba J7 Plus
iRobot Roomba J7 Plus
Best overall robot vacuum for pet hair
$33 at Amazon
Black+Decker Dustbuster Advanced Clean being held near a colorful rug
Black & Decker Dustbuster Advanced Clean
Best handheld vacuum for pet hair
$310 at Amazon
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Vac with the brush attachment cleaning pet hair from a couch.
Shark Rocket Pet Pro
Best value cordless vacuum for pet hair
$409 at Amazon
iRobot Roomba I3 Plus sweeping up hair along the edge of a book case
iRobot Roomba i3 Plus Evo
Best value robot vacuum for pet hair

What is the best vacuum for pet hair?

We love our pets, but the hair, dust and other debris that these furry friends leave behind is not so great. This is why some of the best vacuum manufacturers have dedicated so many resources to creating robot and stick vacs that are specially tuned to try and collect as much of the mess pets leave behind as possible. We've spent hours testing dozens of vacs from cordless to the robotic variety to find the best vacuums for pet hair so you can enjoy having your pet in your home but not their hair. At the top of this list is the Dyson V15 Detect, which also happens to be one of the overall best cordless vacuums for 2024.

But if you're like me and your pets shed faster and more than you have the time to spend constantly cleaning, then you'll likely be interested in one of our top-rated robot vacuums. For that category, you need look no further than the iRobot Roomba J7 Plus. If you prefer to explore even more options, we have several picks proficient at pet hair removal for you to consider in a range of prices to help you find a great vacuum for cleaning up pet hair at home.

Best vacuum for pet hair for 2024



  • Laser guide helps to find hair and debris
  • Great for cleaning more than just pet hair
  • Easy to remove and empty the dustbin

Don't like

  • Expensive
  • Laser is less effective in bright environments

Dyson is one of the most well-known brands of vacuums on the market today, so it's no surprise that it would be on this list. Aside from being excellent at picking up loads of pet hair from a variety of floor surface types, the Dyson V15 Detect also managed to suck up 88.4% of sand from our midpile test carpeting and 95.3% from low-pile carpeting.

Part of what helps this vacuum get as much debris from your floor and into the easy-to-dump dustbin is the "Laser Slim Fluff" cleaning attachment. It projects a green laser onto the floor as you clean to help illuminate as much debris as possible so you can ensure you are removing everything. While we found that this unique system worked very well on hardwood flooring, the feature is ineffective on carpeting and in brightly lit rooms.

One of the other downsides to the Dyson V15 Detect is the price. With a regular price of $750, right now on Amazon you can pick it up for $610. Sure, this is a pretty hefty discount, but it's still quite a bit of money for a vacuum. However, Dyson has done a lot to try and ensure you get as much bang for your buck from the V15 Detect. Another unique feature of the vac is the display on the handle that shows the ratio of debris collected by particle size. This way you know you are getting even the tiniest of dust bunnies picked up to keep your floors pet hair free.

Brian Bennett/CNET


  • Excellent obstacle detection
  • Great at avoiding pet waste

Don't like

  • No built-in mop
  • Pricey

Like Dyson, Roomba has been synonymous with robot vacuum cleaners for years now. While the Roomba J7 Plus isn't the newest model, it is still highly regarded as one of the best robot vacuum cleaners for pet hair on the market today. Though the robot vacuum still commands a high price tag, it does its best to earn its keep in your home with some great features that help ensure that no pet hair escapes.

Along with seeking out and picking up pet hair from your floors, the AI-powered cameras and sensors are tops at avoiding obstacles and the fear-inducing pet defecation that can, at times, end up in the path of a robot vacuum. With the iRobot Roomba J7 Plus and its host of smart sensors, it will dodge the stinky mess and keep on getting the rest of the debris on the floor.

While the Roomba J7 Plus does not offer a built-in mop to shine up your floors, you won't have to mess with emptying the dustbin each time it finishes picking up all the hair your furry friend left behind. The docking station that recharges the vacuum is also where the J7 Plus self-empties the debris it picks up so it's ready to go again the next time it's called upon.


  • Very lightweight
  • Easy-to-empty dust bin
  • Strong suction power

Don't like

  • Lengthy charging time

Sometimes, the mess that needs to be picked up doesn't require a heavy hitter like a robot vacuum or your full-size cordless vac. For these times, using one of the best handheld vacuums to quickly take care of the ball of fluff is the best solution. We recommend the Black & Decker Dustbuster Advanced Clean vacuum.

At less than 4 pounds, this balanced and compact vacuum is easy to carry with you from room to room and suck up those little messes. With the included attachments, crevice tool and flip-up brush, you'll be able to reach those bits of debris behind the couch, in the couch cushions and other tight spots. In our lab testing, we found the Black & Decker Dustbuster Advanced Clean was more than capable of getting both the larger pieces of test debris as well as the small sand particles, all of which are easily discarded from the dustbin when you're done cleaning.

Unfortunately, this vac's battery life is not long and it takes up to six hours to get it back to full when placed on the included wall-mounted charging base.



  • Self-cleaning brush roll is great for pet hair
  • Strong suction
  • Can handle various flooring types

Don't like

  • Runtime isn't the best

Though the Dyson V15 Detect may be the best cordless vac for cleaning pet hair, the price can be a deterrent for many. For those looking to save a bit of cash and still get the convenience of a cordless vacuum, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro is our pick for best cheap vacuum for pet hair.

The Rocket Pet Pro scored well in our lab testing by cleaning up all of the large test particles from hardwood, low-pile and midpile carpets. In the sand test, the Rocket Pet Pro once again cleaned up all the sand from the hardwood floor and averaged about 70% of the sand from the carpets.

Runtime for the 7.17-pound cordless vac isn't terrible, but at only 40 minutes max, it could be better. What isn't a letdown is the Shark Rocket Pet Pro's ability to avoid pet hair tangles around the brush. Shark is implementing a self-cleaning brush roll that removes the hair from the brush while you're cleaning so it can be stowed in the dustbin until you finish your rounds.



  • Good price
  • Self-emptying base station
  • Limited brush tangles

Don't like

  • No mop feature
  • Lacks sensors to avoid pet waste

Getting an excellent robot vacuum that is going to pick up all the hair left behind by your pets doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money. The iRobot Roomba i3 Plus Evo is a perfect example of this, as it can intelligently make its way through your home, picking up pieces of debris without issue. The unique brush system does a solid job of avoiding tangles so it can continue cleaning at full force.

Once the robo vac has finished cleaning, it will return to the base station to recharge and empty the onboard dustbin on its own. This prevents you from needing to empty it each time, so it can be ready to clean again. The Roomba i3 Plus Evo scored well in our lab testing, with about a 78% average score across hardwood, low-pile, and midpile carpet surfaces picking up both large and small grains of debris. You may also miss not having a mopping function on the robot vacuum, but if you can get by without that, the i3 Plus Evo is a winner.

Factors to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner

Vacuum type: Robot vs. cordless stick

A selection of cordless stick vacuums on a hardwood floor

Cordless, handheld, or robot we've tested dozens to find the best vacuum for pet hair on the market.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Floor care is a broad category these days with seemingly a tool dedicated to nearly any way you want to get your floors sparkling. While there is still a place for a plug-in style vacuum, but with advances in battery technology, wire-free devices are far more convenient.

When considering a cordless stick-type vacuum, you will get the best results when using it on hard surfaces. This is mostly due to the fact that the cleaning head is much lighter than that of a cord-style vac and struggles to stay pressed to the surface. But that lightweight is exactly what makes these devices so great. Being able to easily move from room to room, literally cleaning from top to bottom, you can get much more done. An excellent cordless vacuum can be the perfect tool to get pet hair picked up from all over the house, and it won't wear you down in the process.

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Vac with the brush attachment cleaning pet hair from a couch.

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Vac offers a lot of powerful cleaning features for a decent price.


For some, even the effort required to use a cordless vacuum can be too much or requires time that isn't available. In these instances, getting one of the best robot vacuums can really be the ticket. These devices are the ultimate time-saver and multitasking products, allowing you to free up your time to do other things. However, there are some areas the robot vacuum can't go, like on the couch. So, there are limitations to this type of vacuum, too.

Cost and value

Deebot Osmo T8 upclose and on hardwood floor

The Deebot Osmo T8 from Ecovacs is a vacuum that is highly capable of doing a great job of cleaning up your home without being overly expensive.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Whether something is expensive or not is largely in the eye of the beholder. Though we do offer what is considered to be value options on this list, you are still looking at a minimum of a few hundred dollars to get a great vacuum for pet hair. That is the out-of-pocket cost, then you have to consider the cost of your time.

Using a stick vac will require you to physically be involved in the cleaning process by walking around and pushing the vacuum around to pick up the mess caused by your pet. Whereas a robot vacuum will cost you more than most cordless vacuums, you won't have to be involved in the cleaning process nearly as much. This is what is considered a value proposition. If saving $100 or more upfront is the most important thing to you, then look at the lower-cost items on this list or save even more money with a product from our best cheap vacuums list.

But if time is more important to you, then picking up a robot vacuum, which is usually more expensive than cordless options, is the way to go. You'll have trade-offs with this style of vacuum compared to a stick vac, but you can utilize the time saved for other things.

Floor type

A white Dreametech DreameBot D10 Plus robotic vacuum cleaner scoots across carpet and hardwood floors, sucking up debris as it goes.

These vacuums are all designed to handle different flooring types, but may not be as effective on carpets.


Most homes today have multiple types of flooring, from wood and tile to carpets and rugs. Each of these surfaces can pose different problems for floor cleaning devices. However, typically, the hard surface types tend to be the easiest to clean up for both cordless and robot vacuums.

Carpets and pet hair go together really well, but makes it more difficult to clean. While you can usually get all the dirt and other loose debris out with relative ease, pet hair gets intertwined with the carpet fabrics and requires more power to remove. Cordless vacuums are very versatile in where they can be used, but the design of the brush head can sometimes be less effective at cleaning hair from carpets since it is so light. However, stick vacs are excellent at cleaning up hard surfaces.

Robot vacuums tend to offer similar or better cleaning results on carpet, but in order to keep the devices as small as possible, they tend to be more underpowered than a stick vacuum. Regardless of that, robo vacs do excellent on hard surfaces and can be a solid all-around choice if it works for your home's flooring setup.

How we test vacuum cleaners at CNET

The black and green Bissell IconPet cordless vacuum in the process of cleaning the test carpets at CNET's product-testing lab in Louisville, Kentucky.

Here at CNET we put all of our vacuums through multiple rounds of testing to ensure we offer the best advice to you.

Ry Crist/CNET

How we test robot vacuums

Our method for evaluating robot vacuums is straightforward, yet grueling. There are two types of tests we run. The first trial is to figure out how well a robot covers the floor while it's cleaning. We built an industry-standard testing room as specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission just for this purpose. The IEC is an international standards body responsible for managing robot vacuum testing procedures, among other things, for vacuum manufacturers.


We watch what robot vacuums do inside the test room closely.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Inside this room are objects designed to simulate typical obstacles a robot vac encounters for navigation as it cleans. These obstacles include wall edges, table and chair legs, couches and other furniture, and so on, plus bare tile and hardwood floors, as well as carpet. We mount LED lights to the top of each vacuum cleaner. The dimensions of the lights correspond to the measured nozzle width of each particular robot vacuum we test.

As robots move through the room while cleaning, an overhead camera captures a long-exposure image of the entire room in low light. That photo will then have a light trail, created by the LEDs, that shows the exact areas where the robot traveled (and its nozzle position) during its runtime. We can also see areas of the floor where the vacuum may have missed or gotten stuck. You can see the navigation results of all the robot vacuums in our test group in the gallery below.

The second type of test reveals exactly how much physical debris a vacuum is able to pick up off of the floor. To mimic dirt of small particle size, we use a mixture of play sand and landscaping sand. For bigger particle soil, we use grains of uncooked black rice. Robots then run in straight line mode across three types of flooring (low-pile carpet, medium-pile carpet and hardwood bare floors).


We test robot vacuums on three types of floor surfaces.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We control for the specific nozzle width of each vacuum, too. We constructed an adjustable tool to soil our test floors. It lets us lay down a strip of a precise area of soil to match the nozzle dimensions for every robot. The mass of soil isn't chosen at random either. We measure a proportional amount that's related to the flooring material, type of debris, plus each vacuum's nozzle width.


Our custom-built tool lets us match soil area to a robot vacuum's nozzle width.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We conduct three cleaning runs (at minimum) on each floor type. We also perform cleaning tests with sand and rice separately. That comes to at least 18 tests per robot vac. We weigh the robot's dustbin both before and after each run. From there we can calculate the percentage of debris pickup for every cleaning run and the average amount of soil a machine manages to remove. Additionally we run anecdotal (visual) pet hair tests for each robot, on all three floor types.


We test for cleaning prowess for small particles (sand) and larger particles (black rice).

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Our rice-based, medium-size particle test didn't show enough differentiation between each cleaner, which says they can all handle larger particles without trouble. For fur removal for pet owners, we judged anecdotally.

How we test cordless vacuums for pet hair


We run tests in a straight line across all three floor types.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Just like in robot tests, the width of the test bed is proportional to the vacuum's nozzle width. We measure this width ourselves. We also use nozzle width, plus the flooring type, to calculate the soil density for each test, per IEC guidelines. We use the same soil types here as well; sand, rice and pet hair. We perform three runs (at minimum) on each floor type. We also test suction power with sand and rice separately. That comes to at least 18 tests per vacuum. We weigh the vacuum's dust bin both before and after each run.

From there we can calculate the percentage of dirt and debris pickup for every run and the average amount of soil a vacuum manages to remove. Additionally, we run anecdotal (visual) pet hair tests for each vacuum, on all three floor types to help us select the best cordless vacuum.

Pet hair vacuum FAQs

What makes a vacuum cleaner good for pet hair?

A lot goes into making a good vacuum, but for getting pet hair picked up, it needs a few extra features. First, a good pet hair vac should have strong suction and an efficient cleaning brush. These two things work together to scrape the hair from the flooring, especially the carpet, and then pull it off the brush and into the dustbin. Another feature that helps this process work fluidly is a brush that's engineered specifically to reduce the chances of it getting tangled in hair.

Which vacuums have the strongest suction?

Suction power for robot vacuums and stick vacs is calculated differently, making it challenging to compare head-to-head. However, you can use each type of measuring method to help inform you how much suction each style of cleaning tool offers. Robot vacuums use units of Pascal or "Pa" to indicate the suction power for these devices, with a range between 850 and 12,000 PA, with most averaging between 3,000 and 6,000 Pa.

For stick vacs, the standard unit of measurement is air watts, or "AW," to give consumers an idea of the vacuum's suction power. AW combines water lift and airflow methodologies and is recognized by the American Society of Testing and Materials.

What is the most reliable vacuum cleaner?

Each vacuum style can offer long-term cleaning ability should you properly maintain your machine. This includes removing clogs and periodically giving the vacuum a deep clean. Generally, especially for cheap stick vacs, fewer things can go wrong and cause the unit to become less reliable. Robot vacuums rely on sensors and more moving parts to properly clean your floors. Then there's an app and other software aspects that can sometimes cause issues. This is not common, but it is something to be aware of.