Household

Best Robot Vacuum For Pet Hair: iRobot Roomba vs Shark vs SwitchBot vs Eufy

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Last Updated: July 3, 2024 | 16 min read | Leave a Comment

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Does it feel like you need to vacuum 24/7 to keep up with your dog’s shedding? A robot vacuum can help keep your floors spotless and knock one chore off your to-do list. Run a smart vacuum to do the heavy lifting while you’re busy doing other things. You can even schedule them to clean on a regular basis. There are dozens of products to choose from, but I’ve narrowed down the best robot vacuum for pet hair on the market by category. So you can tackle the never-ending pet hair and other debris they drag into the house. I’ve also compared all the products side-by-side to help you see the similarities and differences and provided a few budget-friendly starter options as well.

Best Vacuum & Mop ComboBest Runner-UpBest ValueBest For Large Homes
Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Self-Empty Robot Vacuum & MopiRobot Roomba i7+Shark IQ Robot R101AE Self-Empty SwitchBot S10 Robot Vacuum & Mop With Dual Stations
Shark Matrix UltaiRobot Roomba i7+Shark IQ Robot SwitchBot S10
View on Shark CleanView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

How To Pick A Robot Vacuum For Pet Hair

Sally the dog sitting on the carpet next to smart robot vacuum cleaner
  1. Price. Each vacuum is different and has various features and technology. For this reason, robot vacuums have a wide range of costs, so it’s important to choose the best option within your budget.
  2. Runtime. Consider how long the robot vacuum cleans before it has to recharge. If you have a large house, you should choose an option that covers more ground in every charge.
  3. Dustbin Size & Auto-Empty Features. The robot itself isn’t that big and can’t carry as much as a traditional vacuum. Some robots have a small dirt compartment that you have to manually empty. Home robots attach to a dock where they recharge, and some docks also have an emptying station to dump the debris they pick up. So, the ability to empty itself during or between cleanings can be a nice feature for some families.
  4. Ability To Vacuum Every Area. The pattern of the vacuum makes a difference in how effective it is at picking up every little crumb. If you have a home with lots of corners, nooks, and crannies, you need to pick a vacuum that can reach these difficult areas.
  5. Auto Recharge & Resume. If you have a large home or lead a busy lifestyle, you might want to consider whether the device can recharge and pick up where it left off.
  6. Recharge Time. Consider how long it takes to charge between cleanings. If you don’t have a large house, this might not be as big a concern for you as you might not need cleanings as frequently.

Remember To Secure Your Rugs

All of the vacuums I review work on carpet, hard floors, and tiles. If you have rugs in your home, you may need to pick them up or use carpet tape to help keep them in place. It’s essential to read the instructions carefully and ensure the vacuum won’t damage your flooring. You also want to remember to declutter your floors of obstacles before running the vacuum, including any loose cords, toys, blankets, etc.

Best Robot Vacuums For Pet Hair

I have chosen the best robot vacuums based on the factors above, which can vary depending on your needs and wants. I have also considered efficiency, technology features, value for money, and high customer ratings. Read my best robot vacuum reviews and see which one suits you and your needs.

Best Vacuum & Mop Combo: Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Self-Empty Robot Vacuum & Mop Review

Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Self-Empty Robot Vacuum & Mop

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If you want to pick up dirt and clean the floors from muddy paws, The Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum & Mop With XL Self-Empty Base is as good as it gets. The robot vacuums and sonic mops hard floors in one device. It also features strong suction power, self-cleaning, and an anti-hair brush roll that is great for cleaning up pet hair. It’s also equipped with Matrix Clean and Precision Home Mapping technology that uses a precision grid taking multiple passes, so it doesn’t miss any spots. You can also set no-go zones.

The Shark Matrix Plus empties itself into a bagless, self-emptying base that holds up to 60 days of dirt and debris. It uses clean edge technology that shoots blasts of air and corner recognition to remove debris from the edges of a room. You can clean on-demand or set cleaning schedules from anywhere. This smart vacuum and mop combo also pairs with Alexa and Google Home, so you can activate cleanings using voice control.

It has one of the longest cleaning times out of all the vacuums in my review and has a HEPA filtration system that captures and traps dust and allergens. The biggest con is the charge time is longer than others, but it shouldn’t need to charge in the middle of cleanings since it can run for an hour and a half. If you have hardwood floors, this 2-in-1 robot vacuum is a splurge but is the best bang for your buck and will keep your house feeling and smelling like new on a regular basis.

ProsCons
Recharges and resumes vacuumingThe most expensive vacuum in our review
Self-emptying dustbinLong recharge time (4-6 hours) compared to other robot vacuums
Mops at 100 scrubs per minute
SharkClean app so you can select specific areas to clean on demand
Maps out your floor plan, including rugs and carpeted areas
Vacuums for 90 minutes on one charge
3-year warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee
Comes with additional accessories and cleaning solutions

Price

First-Hand Experience With Shark Matrix 2-In-1

Georgie and shark matrix robot vacuum.
Photo by Sadie Cornelius for Canine Journal, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2024.

I tested out the Shark Matrix vacuum in our living room and kitchen which have hardwood floors and one area rug. It was easy to assemble out of the box and I was impressed with how fast the set up time was. It took only a few minutes for it to scan the rooms and make a footprint of the downstairs area.

I had vacuumed a few days prior to running the Matrix, so I wasn’t sure how much it would pick up. I was surprised it picked up quite a bit of dirt and hair. It navigated well around dining room chair legs, and under and behind an armchair and dining room table, scooping up clingy hair and stubborn dirt along the way. It’s relatively quiet compared to our Dyson (dogs slept through it) and pretty efficient too. It even went over a dog bone I accidentally left out. My husband and I both noticed how noticeably clean-smelling it was after one session.

The mop also worked well. We only asked it to clean the kitchen and it finished in 7 minutes without eating up any battery life.

Sadie Cornelius, Dog Mom, Writer & Creative Marketer For Canine Journal

Shark Matrix Self-Empty Robot Vacuum Review

Shark Matrix robot vacuum and app

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If you want the power of a Shark with the mapping technology of Matrix (minus the mopping capabilities), you might prefer this option. It has most of the same features as the Matrix Plus above but at a more affordable price point. The storage bin length is slightly shorter (45 days instead of 60), but it still has increased targeting areas and suction. For the price point, you’ll be impressed with the Matrix if you only need a vacuum rather than a mop to clean up any mess. This Shark product comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

ProsCons
Recharges and resumes vacuumingLong recharge time of up to 6 hours
Self-emptying dustbin that holds up to 45 days of dirtDoes not mop like Shark Matrix Plus
Great suction
SharkClean app so you can select specific areas to clean on demand
Maps out your floor plan, including rugs and carpeted areas
1-year warranty and 60-day money-back guarantee
More affordable than the Shark Matrix Plus

Price

First-Hand Experience With Shark Matrix

Shark matrix robot vacuum cleaner.
Photo by Michelle Schenker for Canine Journal, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2024.

We used to have a robot vacuum when they first came out about 12-15 years ago, but after it broke several lamps, I gave up on it. Wow, I cannot believe how far technology has come! Not only does the Shark Matrix Self-Empty Robot clean my house like a boss, but it also leaves all of my plugged-in devices in one piece! The self-emptying and recharging features are gamechangers.

My dogs barked at it at first, but they quickly got used to it. Now they just watch it with interest as it scoots on by, cleaning up all of their hair and dirt.

Michelle Schenker, Rescue Dogs Mom & Co-Founder Of Canine Journal

How Shark Robot Vacuums Work

Want to see the Shark Matrix in action? Check out this video that walks you through everything from the delivery, unboxing, setup, trial run, and cleaning process so you can get an idea of what to expect. Some cute dogs were supervising the whole thing (so if you have pets, they might enjoy watching too). Note: the setup process is similar for most Shark vacuum models.

Best Runner-Up: iRobot Roomba i7+ Review

iRobot Roomba i7+

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Our best Roomba for pet hair and other debris is the Roomba i7+. It has many of the same self-empty and laser features as the Shark, which is why I have chosen it for my runner-up. The Roomba is slightly cheaper and charges much faster than the Shark Matrix Plus. However, after comparing both items, reviews suggest the Shark options have better suction power and an extended warranty. This is why I think the Shark Matrix Plus trumps the Roomba.

This Roomba for pet hair includes a high-efficiency filter that’s ideal for pets and can vacuum an entire level of your home with innovative mapping technology. The only downside is it requires a bag and is the only vacuum in the review that does so. However, Roomba i7+ uses an AllergenLock bag, which means that it traps 99% of pollen, mold, and dust mites, helping to improve air quality. Daily runs of this vac can help reduce the amount of dog hair and mess on your floors and keep your home more allergen-free.

It has automatic dirt disposal, so it can return to the home station, empty its bin, and continue vacuuming without your help. You can also create “Keep Out Zones,” which are lines you can draw in the app on the virtual map to keep Roomba away from sensitive areas like your pet’s food dishes. The vacuum connects to Roomba’s app, so you can schedule it to clean an entire level of your home or specific rooms on demand.

ProsCons
Recharges and resumes vacuumingHigher cost than most vacs in this article
Self-emptying dustbin holds up to 60 days of dirtRequires bags for the base dustbin
App available to schedule a cleaning or turn the vacuum on
Maps out your floor plan and leaves nice carpet lines
Vacuums for about 75 minutes
Fully recharges in 75 minutes
1-year warranty
Allows you to create “Keep Out Zones”

Price

Best Value: Shark IQ Robot RV1001AE Self-Empty Review

Shark IQ Robot R101AE Self-Empty

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If the Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot with Matrix Clean Navigation and Roomba i7+ are too expensive, consider this Shark IQ Robot. It also has self-emptying capabilities, which I think makes it a great budget pick. The Shark IQ can run for up to 60 minutes, recharge, and resume vacuuming, and has an app to control the vacuum. It also has a self-cleaning brush roll that helps tackle pesky pet hair.

It has many similar features to the Roomba i7+. However, similar to the Shark options, it takes much longer to recharge (up to six hours, whereas the i7+ only takes 75 minutes). It has a smaller dustbin that holds up to 45 days’ worth of dirt, which is a smaller dustbin size than my overall winner and runner-up. If the long charge time doesn’t bother you, you may prefer this one since it is often less expensive and doesn’t require any bags in the base dustbin as the i7+ does.

ProsCons
Recharges and resumes vacuumingTakes 4-6 hours to recharge
Self-emptying dustbinRuns for 60 minutes (most competitors have longer runtimes)
App available to schedule a cleaning or turn the vacuum on
Maps out your floor plan and leaves nice carpet lines
The base dustbin is bagless
1-year warranty
More affordable price

Price

Best For Large Homes: SwitchBot S10 Robot Vacuum & Mop With Dual Stations Review

SwitchBot S10 Robot Vacuum & Mop With Dual Stations

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SwitchBot is my top choice for larger homes or those with a bigger budget looking for a premium robot vacuum for pet hair. This option offers 100% automated cleaning, thanks to the robot vacuum and mop combo. The dual station design makes cleaning up pet hair super easy and truly hands-free. The water station directly connects to your plumbing system, which refills the vacuum with clean water after every vacuum. This eliminates the need for manual water refilling and draining. Once the vacuum completes a cleaning schedule, it returns to the self-empty base, empties, and dries with hot air. You really can set it and forget it!

The base can hold up to 10 weeks’ worth of dirt thanks to its extra large 4-liter dustbin capacity. Not only does it refill the water after every clean, but it also cleans the water as it goes. It self-washes the mop thanks to the RevoRoll Roller Mop design and RinseSync, making sure it doesn’t spread dirt and mess around the home. This option is great for pet homes as it has powerful suction power and an anti-tangle brush. Plus, it has multiple cleaning modes that can adapt to your home and different surfaces, whether you have carpets or tiles.

This vacuum uses AI obstacle avoidance technology and can drive over small cables. It has low-light LED sensors, which means you can set it to clean during nighttime. This vacuum is voice command compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. It has a long run time of 220 minutes, which is the best battery life, and it takes up to four hours to charge. Yes, this option is more expensive than the others. But it has unique features that offer hands-free and exceptional cleaning for pet owners.

ProsCons
Dual stations for optimal cleaningExpensive
Cleanses water on the goSome users report customer service issues
Powerful suction and anti-tangle brushCan take up to 4 hours to charge
Large dustbin capacity of up to 10 weeks
Compatible with Alexa, Google, and Siri
Uses AI obstacle avoidance technology
Adapts to surfaces
Long battery life of 3.6 hours

Price

Comparison Table

Shark Matrix PlusiRobot Roomba i7+Shark IQ Robot SwitchBot S10Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim)iRobot Roomba 675iRobot Roomba 960
Price $399.99 $664.00 $411.10 $1,199.99 Check Amazon for availability $249.95
Dust Bin Capacity0.5 Liters0.42 Liters0.16 Liters4 Liters (base dust bin)0.6 Liters0.6 Liters0.82 Liters
Self EmptiesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Base Bin Storage60 Days60 Days30 Days70 Days
BaglessCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Runtime120 Min75 Min60 Min220 Min100 Min90 Min75 Minutes
Mop & VacuumCheckmarkCheckmark
Recharges & Resumes VacuumingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Schedule VacuumingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Vacuum Specific RoomsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Warranty3 Year1 Year1 Year1 Year90 Days1 Year1 Year
Money-Back Guarantee90 Days60 Days90 Days30 Days30 Days60 Days60 Days
Charge Time4-6 Hrs75 Min4-6 Hrs4 Hrs5-6 Hrs1-2 Hrs75 Minutes
Virtual Barrier WallsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
AppCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Compatible With Alexa & Google HomeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Mapping Technology*LasersvSLAMLasersLasersSensorsSensorsvSLAM

*Mapping Technology = Robot vacuums use various forms of technology to clean a space.

What About Eufy & Other Roomba Models?

The vacuums below didn’t make our top picks, but they are still worthy of your consideration because they may be more within your budget or have more important features.

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim) Review

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S

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If your dog hates loud noises, this may be the best robot vacuum for you. Designed to run no louder than a microwave, the Eufy 11S is also ideal for those with young children at home. However, this vacuum lacks many features that most higher-end robot vacuums include.

ProsCons
Recharges automaticallyNo app, remote control only
Vacuums for up to 100 minutesNot suitable for high-pile carpet
Quiet (only 55dB)It doesn’t self-empty, but its bin is 0.6 liters
No smart mapping technology
Not compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant
It takes 5-6 hours to recharge
Doesn’t resume vacuuming after recharging
Cannot set it to clean a specific room

Price

iRobot Roomba 675 Review

iRobot Roomba 675

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If you want something that’s slightly more budget-friendly but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of our top four picks, the Roomba 675 is a dependable robot vacuum. It’s suitable for those interested in a robot vacuum but don’t want to invest a ton of money. This vacuum works best in homes with lower-maintenance dogs who have short hair. The bristle-style brush roll can tangle longer pet hairs, so we don’t recommend this for households with heavy-shedding, long-haired dogs.

ProsCons
Recharges automaticallyNot suitable for homes with long-haired, heavy-shedding dogs
App available to schedule a cleaning or turn the vacuum onIt doesn’t self-empty, but its bin is 0.6 liters
Vacuums for about 90 minutesDoesn’t resume vacuuming after recharging
Recharges in 1-2 hoursCannot set it to clean a specific room
1-year warranty and 60-day money-back guarantee

Price

iRobot Roomba 960 Review

iRobot Roomba 960

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iRobot’s Roomba 960 is an older version but still a solid option at a good price point. It has a large, 0.82-liter dust bin to clean a larger home without emptying. Maintenance is easy for this vacuum, and it works well on all surfaces, including hardwood, rugs, high-pile carpet, low-pile carpet, luxury vinyl, linoleum flooring, tiles, and more. You might just need to use carpet tape to hold flimsy rugs in place.

ProsCons
Recharges and resumes vacuumingHigh price point
App available to schedule a cleaning or turn the vacuum onIt doesn’t self-empty, but its bin is 0.82 liters
Maps out your floor plan and leaves nice carpet linesCannot set it to clean a specific room
Vacuums for about 75 minutes
Recharges in 75 minutes
1-year warranty and 60-day money-back guarantee

Price

First-Hand Experience With iRobot

This is the first robot vacuum I purchased for my home, and I love it. I have a hound mix, and she sheds close to what a Labrador Retriever does. I also have two young kids who love to drop crumbs everywhere. So this vacuum has been a tremendous help. I wish I could set it to clean a specific room, but I knew I wouldn’t have that capability before purchasing it. It wasn’t until after I bought this vacuum that I realized how convenient that feature could be. I wasn’t confident I’d be a fan of robot vacuums, so I didn’t want to spend the extra money on that feature. But looking back, I wish I had invested in those higher-end features.

Kimberly Alt, Dog Mom & Writer For Canine Journal

Check out the video below to see the iRobot Roomba 960 in action. As you can see, it does a great job adjusting to furniture, toys, and my dog, who seems to enjoy watching.

3 Types Of Robot Vacuum Mapping Technology

As mentioned in our features to look for, the type of technology used can significantly impact the price tag. As with anything technology-related, the more advanced it is, typically the more it costs. There are collision sensors on the low end (which are more likely to drive over pet waste!) and lasers on the high end. Here’s how each works.

1. Collision, Wheel, Brush & Cliff Sensors

The basic and least accurate technology is collision, wheel, brush, and cliff sensors. This isn’t technically a form of mapping since the bot vac doesn’t map out your floor plan. Instead, the robot operates in a random pattern, bumping into things and maneuvering around the room. The sensors tell the robot when they are getting close to an object, and then the vacuum can slow down or change its path. Vacuums with this type of technology typically cost less. These vacuums may not get every inch of floor coverage, but if you run the vacuum regularly, it will most likely hit any missed space another time.

This type of technology is the most likely to run over pet waste and spread it around the home.

2. vSLAM

vSLAM stands for visual simultaneous location and mapping. It is an optical system that can identify furniture and room layouts to navigate a room efficiently. It won’t waste time vacuuming the same spot unless heavy dirt is detected. Vacuums with vSLAM technology can typically vacuum an area faster and more thoroughly than those with collision, wheel, brush, and cliff sensors. The downside is that these vacuums are generally more expensive and need some lighting to help them find their way. So, if you want to run your vacuum at night while you’re sleeping, you’ll need to leave some lights on so the vacuum can see.

3. Lasers

Vacuums with laser navigation can detect an object’s size and shape to help them maneuver a room. These vacuums are typically good at covering a space with high efficiency. These types of vacuums can typically operate well in the dark, so if nighttime vacuuming is your goal, a laser mapping vacuum is a good option. The downside is that these vacuums can cost more.

Frequently Asked Questions?

We know that some of our readers still have questions about robot vacuums and how best to remove their pets’ hair and grime from their homes. If you can’t see your question below, please ask us in the comments, and we’ll find the answer for you.

Are Robot Vacuums Worth It For Pet Hair?

If your pet sheds, even just a little bit, investing in a robot vacuum can make keeping your home clean much easier. Many modern robotic vacuums can handle dog hair thanks to powerful suction and anti-tangle brushes. Plus, with smart and schedule technology, you can manage and prevent it from building up in your home. As a dog mom who has a robot vacuum, I can honestly say it has made keeping my home fresh much more manageable.

Did you know that your dog’s diet can affect how much they shed? Head over to our guide on the best dog foods for shedding and how to improve their coat.

Do Robot Vacuums Avoid Pet Waste?

Unfortunately, all pet owners know (or will at some point) that Fido cannot always hold it in. If they poop in the room that your vacuum is cleaning, does it drive over it? This depends on the vacuum you choose and the size of the poop. Depending on how big the poop is, those with vSlAM or laser technology are less likely to drive over pet waste. The vacuum has to recognize it as an obstacle to avoid it. If it doesn’t, it drives over it and, you guessed it, spreads the pet waste all around the room. Check out this video showing you a robot vacuum dog poop fail.

Unsure About Robot Vacuums?

If a robot vacuum isn’t suitable for your household, or you are less tech-savvy, you can still go the traditional route and purchase a regular vacuum. Check out our guide to the best vacuums for pet hair, where we have selected various models depending on a variety of needs. Did you know that some cleaning products are toxic to your dog? Head over to our pet-safe cleaning products guide to see if you’re using the safest products for your pup.

Do you use any of these robot vacuums for pet hair? Perhaps you have another option in your home that we should know about. Please let us know in the comments below.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Kimberly has written about various dog-related topics, such as pet insurance, health conditions, treats, training, and more. She hunted down the best pee pads with the best performance and the lowest price. She consulted with other Canine Journal members to glean their personal experiences using pee pads for their dogs. Kimberly spent over 10 hours researching and writing this article. She works with a knowledgeable team to provide the most up-to-date information for their readers.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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