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Best vacuum cleaners for pet hair: top cordless and corded models

·13 min read
 (VAX)
(VAX)

Love your pet but hate finding their hair all over the house? Keeping sofas, hard floors and carpets free from fur is an ongoing battle with a four-legged family member running riot at home.

Tackling pet hair is one of the toughest jobs for even the best vacuum. The appliance needs to be have serious power to make lightwork of cleaning, while features including motorised tangle-free brushes, upholstery accessories and easy-clean filters make life with your beloved dog or cat much easier. For the worst tangles, we found the nifty Pikk-It invaluable for keeping our vacuum in pristine condition too.

It’s a matter of personal preference whether you plump for a stick, cylinder, upright, handheld or robot vacuum, so we’ve included our favourites in every category to help you choose. All were tested on pet hair on various floor types, furniture and of course, pet beds to see if they were up to the job. We also considered how easy each vacuum was to empty, the weight, battery life and the overall performance on other household dust and mess to ensure your house is spick and span.

Dyson v15 Detect Absolute

Type of machine: Stick

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.76L

 (Dyson)
(Dyson)

Confident your house is sparkling? This brand new cordless stick from Dyson could reveal the alarming truth. It comes with a futuristic eye-safe green laser to pinpoint dust invisible to the naked eye on hard floors and a miracle-working dust sensor that detects the amount of dirt and increases the suction power of the machine. It will even track exactly how much dirt you suck up, categorising particles and showing real-time results on the vacuum’s LCD screen so you know when floors are scientifically clean.

So far, so sci-fi? That’s not even the best bit for pet owners. This was easily the most powerful vacuum we tested with serious hair-sucking capabilities on even the deepest carpet. The new tangle-busting technology is second to none too. Even when our vacuum’s bin was almost full, we couldn’t find even the smallest trapped hair. The battery lasts up to an hour on the lowest setting - although a full recharge will take nearly five hours.

Yes, it’s on the heavy side and we’d have loved a continuous mode so we didn’t have to keep the trigger permanently pressed while cleaning. But trust us, your floors will never have been cleaner.

£599.99 | Dyson

VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 PET

Type of machine: Stick

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.6L

 (VAX)
(VAX)

We were seriously impressed by the performance of this cordless stick vacuum despite its reasonable price tag. It had no trouble switching between floor types and we found it fairly lightweight at 3.1kg and easy to manoeuvre. The stick whips off to create a shorter handheld, which worked a dream on pet beds and in the car thanks to a motorised pet tool that easily picks up even the shortest hair.

As with all cordless sticks, the bin needs emptying more often than with bigger uprights but it’s removable so is really easy to do. Even when it was almost full, the vacuum didn’t lose power either. Battery life isn’t bad on standard mode and clocked in at around 40 minutes, but if you have a really big house, you’ll probably need a quick top-up charge while you break for a cuppa. It takes three hours to return to full capacity but is ideal if you need a quick whip round to tidy up.

£199 | Vax

Samsung Jet 90 Pro

Type of machine: Stick

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.5L

 (Samsung)
(Samsung)

What’s better than an outstanding cordless vacuum that ticks all the boxes? Try one that mops as well. This brilliant all-rounder comes with a unique Spinning Sweeper that turns the vacuum into a mop with rotating wet pads and we were thrilled with our gleaming kitchen floor after use. It’s great for allergy sufferers too as Samsung claim the special HEPA filter and powerful suction capture a whopping 99.9999% of ultra-fine dust particles. Certainly it left our home spotless, picking up everything from the tiniest speck of dust to the most matted clump of pet hair. Usability can’t be improved on either. The telescopic wand extends to four positions to ease back pain, it holds power for around 45 minutes on the standard setting and it can be charged anywhere near a plug thanks to the secure charging stand. Easily one of our favourite cordless models.

£549 | AO

Proscenic M7 PRO

Type of machine: Robot

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.6L

 (Proscenic)
(Proscenic)

Not all robot vacuums are up to scratch when it comes to handling pet hair and only two we tested made the grade. This had a hefty 2700pa of suction power so managed to suck up everything in its path, automatically increasing the suction to max mode as soon as a carpet was detected and pulling out even embedded hair.

It has a clever laser navigation system to plan the best cleaning path and can be controlled by remote control, app or Amazon Alexa. On the app, it’s possible to establish no-go areas, room-specific cleaning and schedule cleaning jobs so you can set it to work when you’re out walking the dog. The battery is excellent too and it was a good two hours before ours returned to the charging station, though we needed the most powerful mode to deal with the worst pet hair and this drains the power quicker.

Better still, the Proscenic mops too and we felt particularly smug seeing our clean kitchen floor once it had worked its magic. It only has a teeny 110ml water tank so sadly won’t replace a good mopping from a real human but is great for in-between cleans. Our only complaint is the automatic dust collector is sold separately, so you’ll need to empty it by hand after every clean unless you spend extra.

£399 | Amazon

Gtech System K9

Type of machine: Upright & handheld

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.8L/0.4L

 (Gtech)
(Gtech)

This trusty appliance won’t be intimidated by even your longest-haired pet as we found it a whizz on both carpets and hard floors. The complete system comes with both a handheld (Multi MK2 K9) and an upright model (AirRam MK2 K9), so you can use it for a big weekly dust bust but also grab it for occasional touch-ups or to blitz the car.

It has plenty of thoughtful details to make cleaning a little less tedious including a useful carry handle, LED spotlights and an ejector arm on the AirRam to shoot hair straight into the bin. Rotating brush bars and serious suction pulled up even the toughest furball and we loved the removable scented cartridge that eliminated those tell-tale doggy whiffs.

The transparent dust bin on the Multi made it easy to see when it needed empty and there was no loss of power at all throughout cleaning. Both vacuums are on the noisy side and we would’ve liked a little more battery run time than the maximum 40 minutes on the AirRam so we could manage the whole house in one. Otherwise this is a top-notch two-in-one package that comes with Gtech’s astonishingly good customer service.

£349.98 | Gtech

Hoover H-FREE 300 Pets Cordless

Type of machine: Stick

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.7L

 (Hoover)
(Hoover)

This is a great option if you struggle to handle some vacuums. It’s one of the lightest (and quietest) cleaners we tested so you can whip round in a flash. We especially loved the fact you don’t have to hold down the power button as you clean. It has great suction and we found it very easy to swivel under the sofa or around corners to pick up every last bit of fluff, working particularly well on our hard floors. The stick handle detaches from the main body so you can use it as a handheld in smaller areas and the motorised pets brush worked noticeably well lifting stubborn hairs and on stairs. There’s a handy wall mount included but the vacuum also stands up entirely on its own, almost unheard of for a stick cleaner. However, it only works for 20 minutes on standard power and 40 on auto mode, so is better for touch ups than an intensive spring clean as it takes five hours for a full recharge.

£159.99 | Hoover

Shark Anti Hair Wrap TruePet IZ201UKT

Type of machine: Stick

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.6L

 (Shark)
(Shark)

We were completely smitten by this vacuum’s nifty hidden secret. The ingenious wand section bends in the middle to make cleaning under sofas and beds so simple we can’t understand why every vacuum doesn’t do the same thing. There’s plenty to tackle the moulting mutt in your life too – an LED light to seek out the smallest hair, a motorised pet tool to deal with shedding on your sofa and clever Anti Hair Wrap Technology to stop the brush roll furring up. It can be used as a handheld, has a boost mode for really stubborn dirt and has a decent battery charge, lasting up to 40 minutes without faltering. It’s on the heavy side but is still one of the best cordless models we tested, particularly good for pet hair on hard floors. An Anti-Allergen Complete Seal make it a great option for allergy sufferers too, trapping 99.9 per cent of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.

£379.99 | Lakeland

eufy by Anker HomeVac S11 Infinity Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Type of machine: Stick

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.65L

 (eufy)
(eufy)

Sick of vacuum batteries conking out when you’ve only managed half the house? In low mode, this stick cleaner kept going for 40 minutes before dying, but the real bonus is the fact it comes with a second battery. Keep that charged and it’s easy to swap and carry on if you’re really on a mission.

It’s very easy to use too with a lightweight design, attachments that clip on in seconds, LED lights to brighten dark spots and an extra-flexible head that navigated corners smoothly. This made it great for sucking up even those pesky pet hairs under the sofa while impressive suction made light work of even embedded hair. You do have to hold the power button as you go, which works well to preserve the battery but might not suit anyone who struggles with mobility in their fingers.

£279.99 | Amazon

iRobot Roomba i7+

Type of machine: Robot

Cordless: Yes

Dust capacity: 0.46L

 (iRobot)
(iRobot)

We didn’t know just how lazy we could be until we tested this amazing robot which really can be left to do all the hard work. It’s surprisingly simple to set up through its app and has clever smart-mapping capability to plan the floor of your home for quick and easy cleaning. It takes a few days for it to really figure out every crevice and corner but within a week, ours navigated the house like it had always been there.

Best of all, it remembers up to ten individual floor plans at once and can be operated by Alexa and Google Assistant so you can specify which room it should clean with just a voice command. This was so easy to use even our children loved calling it out to clean up if they made a mess – an almost life-changing development.

It has no problem automatically switching between hard floor, carpets and rugs and we were astounded to see pet hair posed no problem either, though we think longer hair may occasionally tangle on the brush. When it’s full, the Roomba simply heads back to the base where dirt is automatically (though noisily) sucked out and sealed in an enclosed bag, then whizzes back to finish cleaning. The app will give you a nudge when the bag needs changing - around once a month if used daily – so be aware there is an ongoing cost for replacement bags. But if you fancy cleaning up after your pet with zero effort, this is a no-brainer.

£799.99 | iRobot

BISSELL SmartClean Pet

Type of machine: Cylinder

Cordless: No

Dust capacity: 3L

 (Bissell)
(Bissell)

Calling all long-haired pet owners: this powerful bagless cylinder vacuum is specially designed to deal with even the most problematic pooch. Its powerful suction zoomed through even the worst hair, while the motorised floor nozzle prevented too much tangling round the brush roll. The appliance has automatic floor recognition to make it easy to switch between hard floors and carpet, LED headlights to spot hidden horrors and a handy two-position handle to clean under furniture.

It’s on the heavy side but wheels make it easy to pull around and the lengthy nine metre cord and three metre hose mean you don’t really need to move the cylinder very often. We also really appreciated the huge dirt bin which didn’t fill up with pet hair in minutes like other vacuums.

£249.99 | Currys

Dyson Small Ball Allergy

Type of machine: Upright

Cordless: No

Dust capacity: 1.2L

 (Dyson)
(Dyson)

If only an upright will do, you won’t go far wrong with this excellently priced model from Dyson. What’s surprising is just how light and easy it is to carry around the house compared to other uprights, while it steers around furniture with no effort at all thanks to Dyson’s famous ball technology.

It has three suction modes for different floor surfaces and all worked well even on the trickiest pet hair, although we did have to push it quite hard on some carpets. It never needed to go over the same area twice though and even when almost full, suction remained just as powerful so we knew it was picking up every last hair. It’s easy to empty with just one hand when it’s full and we found giving it a quick shake over the bin helped do the trick. Plus the entire machine is certified asthma and allergy friendly.

£199.99 | Dyson

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Pro Power Line

Type of machine: Cylinder

Cordless: No

Dust capacity: 2L

 (Miele)
(Miele)

This bagless cylinder vacuum is a great investment for any pet owner. It’s couldn’t be better on carpets with a no-messing hand-held turbo-brush to tackle all Fido can throw its way. Pet owners will also love the lifetime HEPA filter and the one-touch bin emptying with a huge capacity that doesn’t immediately clog with hair. The ingenious dust emptying system also separates finer dust particles from heavier particles and traps them in the self-cleaning filter, rather than engulfing you in a dust cloud when you empty the bin. The only niggle is that it’s on the large side and we found the suction a little too powerful on some carpets, but that was easily fixed by nudging the level down.

£399.99 | Argos

Verdict

Call us a sucker for gadgets but the Dyson v15 Detect Absolute bowled us over with its dust-seeking laser, LCD screen and truly astonishing anti-tangle technology that is a game-changer for pet owners. Honestly, it nearly made us look forward to cleaning the house. If you’d rather spend less cash, the VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 PET is a worthy substitute with great power that works wonders on every hair-covered surface.

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