The 5 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair in 2021


What else we tested

Image of multiple vacuums standing upright in the corner of a room - best pet vacuum 2021

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We tested 13 vacuums for this guide. These are the ones that didn’t make the cut.

What else we recommend and why:

Bissell MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet, Model 2852: This and the Bissell CleanView Swivel Rewind were the best upright vacuums we tested. We decided to include the CleanView Swivel Rewind because it’s more affordable and did a better job of picking up pet hair. Still, if you find the MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet on sale for cheaper, consider picking it up, especially if your home is heavily carpeted.

Bissell ICONpet Edge, Model 2894A: The ICONpet was easy to use, had one of the longest battery runtimes, and charged the fastest. It also did a great job of sucking up cat litter and flour on furniture in its handheld configuration. Emptying the dustbin was mess-free. However, it left behind 23% of the pet hair on carpet and furniture. 

Dyson V15 Detect: At $700, this is the most expensive model we tested. It has a bunch of fancy, high-end features, such as a screen that gives you a rundown of what size and how much particulate matter it sucked up. It did a great job of cleaning all of the surfaces, except it left behind traces of pet hair on carpeting and furniture. I liked that the battery charged in under four hours, but it only lasted for eight minutes on top power. I also found the unit was tiring to hold in handheld mode, and I didn’t like that I had to keep the trigger depressed for it to run.

Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins, Model AZ2002: The suction and rollers were so powerful with this upright vac that I felt like I was trying to rein in a shark. It excelled on carpet and hardwood. It was also easy to use. The biggest negative was the large dustbin was hard to empty without sending particles flying.

What we don’t recommend and why:

Black+Decker Dustbuster, Model HHVK515JP07: This handheld was easy to use, affordable, and had one of the longest battery runtimes. However, it didn’t do a good job of cleaning on any surface. It appears to have a loose flap leading into the dustbin, which caused a lot of the debris it sucked up to just fall back out onto the floor.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser: After testing this corded handheld vac on carpeting and hardwood, I gave up on it. It’s just not pleasant to use. The head has a narrow opening so cleaning a mess takes several passes. Cheerios clogged it. Flour would come pouring back out of the head after I turned off the power, and it was hard to stay clean when disposing of debris.

Black+Decker Spillbuster Portable Carpet Cleaner: In all fairness, this cordless handheld is designed for cleaning up wet messes. This is a guide for vacuums that clean up pet hair, a dry mess. It did not do well in our tests, but if I ever write a guide about the best vacuums for pet waste, I look forward to putting this vac through its paces.

Shark Vertex Ultralight DuoClean PowerFins, Model HZ2002: This corded stick vacuum showed promise, initially picking up all of the materials except flour. As I used it more, I noticed that debris was escaping from the dustbin. This was a dealbreaker.

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