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Best Vacuum for Pet Hair: Dyson Vs Shark Vs Electrolux vs Eureka vs Bissell

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Dog sitting next to vacuumLet’s face it: hair is part of the bargain when you decide to become a pet owner. While you can try to cut down on shedding by feeding your pup a high-quality food and brushing him or her more often, it’s still no substitute for a good, quality vacuum cleaner to keep the mess contained. However, not all vacuums are created equal, and part of keeping clean means choosing a device that’s up to the task. So what is the best vacuum for pet hair? We’ve taken a look a some of the best picker-uppers in the business and share our top three favorites in this article.

Our Choices For Best Pet Hair Vacuums

Pet Vacuums vs. Regular Vacuums

You may be asking yourself why you need a vacuum specifically for pet hair. While regular and pet vacuums look and have many, if not all, of the same outward features, pet hair vacuums boast certain enhanced attributes that make them more capable of handling a higher volume of hair and dander. Three things that make them more suited for handling your household are:

  1. Enhanced suction.
  2. Tailored tools and accessories.
  3. High-performing filtration systems.

What to Consider When Choosing a Pet Hair Vacuum

Before choosing a pet hair vacuum, think about what type of vacuum would work best for your home and needs. Just like regular vacuums, there are different sizes, styles, and performing powers for pet hair picker-uppers. The three main types of vacuums you’ll encounter are upright, canister, and stick vacuums. The style you choose will depend on the size of your space, how much hair and dander you’re dealing with, and what you’re willing and able to pay.

Upright Vacuums

For large carpeted areas, the upright typically wins for easy use and maneuverability. It’s more compact than a canister vac, yet less so than a stick. So it falls right in the middle when you’re considering storage. Until recent years, uprights were less productive on multiple surfaces (i.e. tile, hardwoods, etc.) but with increased attachments and suction capabilities, they are now a top option for vacuum shoppers.

Canister Vacuums

For overall cleaning of various surfaces — from carpet to hardwoods — canister vacuums are typically the best choice. On many, you can turn on and off suction cycles depending on the type of floor you’re covering. The largest and most bulky of the three options, canister vacs definitely need more storage space and can be a little more of a pain to drag around, especially up and down stairs.But their overall cleaning power and ability to access tight spaces make them a great option.

Stick Vacuums

If you have a large home and multiple pets, a stick is probably not the best choice, yet for small spaces and small messes, a stick vacuum can be a lifesaver. These slim, upright vacs take up very little space and are often battery charged (no cords!). So while you may only get a certain number of minutes vacuuming time on one charge, you don’t have to deal with dragging around a pesky cord. Many stick vacuums also have a built-in hand-held vac that detaches from the main vacuum to make even the smallest messes easy to access and clean.

Bag Vs Bagless Vacs

Within each of these three main types of vacuums, you also need to consider whether you want a vacuum that requires a bag, or one that is bagless. While bag vacs contain the dirt, hair, and dander more efficiently, they also add an increased expense and aggravation to the cleaning process. A few pros of most bagless vacuums include:

  • Saving money: With bagless options here are no bags to buy.
  • Eco-friendly: Bagless vacs are easier on the environment as they don’t put another unnecessary bag in the landfill.
  • Easy to empty: Today’s canisters are so easy to empty that you won’t even miss the bag.
  • Transparency: You’ll know when your vacuum isn’t doing its job because you can see what it’s picking up (or not capturing at all).

Read about the Best Dog Shedding Brush

Best Canister Vacuum: Eureka 3684F Mighty Mite Review

Eureka 3684F Mighty Mite View on Amazon

The Eureka 3684F canister vacuum has a powerful brush roll to help deep clean your carpets and get every strand of pet hair (or almost – we are not prepared to make a guarantee about all those pesky, wiry hairs 😉 ). A set of tools is provided as well for places like stairs and upholstery. It’s great for cleaning your home and the inside of your car (if you take your pet on car trips often this can be handy!). It is also reasonably priced at $75.60 .

Pros

Cons

  • Great for homes and cars
  • Lightweight
  • 20-foot cord
  • 1-year warranty
  • Special pet hair attachment
  • Not cordless so this may be a hassle for car cleaning

Best Upright Vacuum: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Review

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away View on Amazon

This upright is actually not designed as a pet-specific vacuum, yet its features put it right up there with some of the best for the hairiest jobs as well as the “normal” messes. Portable, lightweight, and affordable, this vac is a serious contender for your pet-cleaning needs. The biggest complaints with this machine are mainly construction-based; when it comes to the Shark Rotator’s performance, however, the results are unquestionable. For a pet vacuum that delivers on both price — $199.99  — and performance, you can’t go wrong with the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away.

Pros

Cons

  • 3-year warranty
  • Great suction
  • Detachable canister for convenience
  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology locks in 99.9% of contaminants inside vacuum
  • HEPA (or high-efficiency particulate air) filter traps dust particles that most vacuums would re-circulate back into the household
  • Small reservoir fills quickly and requires you to empty often
  • Top-heavy design can make the machine unbalanced when using attachments
  • Detachable functions are a bit awkward to use

Best Stick Vacuum: Bissell 1954 Bolt Lithium Ion Pet Review

Bissell 1954 Bolt Lithium Ion PetView on Amazon

This vacuum does a great job of sucking things up that normally you can only get with a broom and dustpan. And, like other stick vacs, this little guy is a grab and go convenient picker upper! The vacuum includes attachments and even separates into a hand-vac option. The structure bends in the middle to make it easy to vacuum in between tables and chairs, and is currently $149.00 .

Pros

Cons

  • Sucks up debris in tight spaces and along edges well
  • Easily cleans around furniture legs and area rugs
  • Swivel head
  • Dirt cup is easy to empty
  • Battery operated
  • Made for all floor types
  • 2-year warranty
  • Emptying the cup requires more work than the press of a button

Canister Honorable Mention: Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus AllergyView on Amazon

This Dyson vacuum not only helps with pet hair but is also great for those of you with allergies. It has a strong suction, and there is no filter to wash or replace. It has many adjustments to get pet hair out of corners and other difficult to reach places. The downside? The price is pretty hefty, , which is why it is our honorable mention.

Pros

Cons

  • 5-year parts and labor warranty (when purchased from an authorized retailer, including amazon.com)
  • Turns on a dime to access hard-to-reach areas
  • 35 ft cord
  • Tangle-free Turbine tool ensures that hair won’t tangle around a brush bar
  • Weighs almost 20 lbs
  • Expensive

Stick Honorable Mention: Electrolux Ergorapido Power Ion

Electrolux Ergorapido Power IonView on Amazon

The Electrolux Ergorapido Power Ion is another one of the top vacuums for pet hair. This sleek, slim vac is both an upright and a hand-held, depending on how you choose to use it. Also, it packs quite a punch for its size and is cordless so you can use it anywhere. All while costing $154.89 . Overall, this stick model is a steal for the price and performance. Just be prepared to replace the batteries sooner rather than later.

Pros

Cons

  • Combination stick and handheld vac in one
  • Energy-STAR rated appliance for energy savings
  • Cordless and bagless design
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • 2-year warranty
  • Doesn’t stay charged for longer than 35 minutes at a time

The Best Way To Vacuum

Did you know there was a proper way to vacuum? Watch this video to learn how to get your floors even cleaner, especially if you pair these tips with a new pet hair cleaning machine like those recommended above.

You Have Options With Pet Vacuums

It’s recommended that if you have a pet, you should vacuum in high traffic areas daily. As with most gadget options, there is not a one size fits all solution for pet fur vacuums! We hope this guide helps you get on the right track so you can enjoy a hair-free home with you furry friend!

Does your dog shed a lot year round or just seasonally?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.

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12 Comments on "Best Vacuum for Pet Hair: Dyson Vs Shark Vs Electrolux vs Eureka vs Bissell"

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Sheltie Lover
Sheltie Lover
I have a Dyson DC39 which I purchased after my original Dyson died after 10 years. Well this new one has put me off Dyson for life. It’s barely lasted 3 years and it’s on its last legs. I have one hairy dog (sheltie) and I find it doesn’t pick up the fur especially on carpet. It just kind of moves it around, then you have to physically lift the head of the vacuum and place it directly above the little pile you’ve made, and even then it doesn’t always lift it. I’ve cleaned the filters, even bought a new… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Sorry your Dyson doesn’t work well. We have a Shark vacuum and are super pleased with it. Perhaps you could look into that brand of vacuum? Best of luck!!

Steve May
Steve May
Please help! We have carpet, 2-3″ long hair on dogs, and rake daily prior to vacuuming. Our Dyson DC39 Animal lasted a record 4 years (with one $150 replacement powerhead) only because I disassembled it every 4-5 1400 sq ft uses to clean the beater bar/motor. When the 2nd powerhead died I bought the $450 Dyson Cinetic – dead and returned in 1 month – friction between spinning motor output and stationary beater motor housing actually started melting the plastic! Bought the $300 Shark Liftaway. This one cannot be disassembled and is junk after 6 weeks. Hoping to avoid the… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

My brother, sister and soon to be in-laws all have Shark vacuums. They all have inside dogs (two of which are labs so they shed a lot). My sister has had her vacuum for 4+ years, my brother 3+ years and my in-laws about 2 years. They’ve had no problems with them and have been pleased. I also have a Shark vacuum but we do not have a dog at the moment (hoping to get one soon!), but I’m sure it would perform well if we did. Hope this helps!

Junaid Khan
Junaid Khan

Great! I use Dyson V6 Trigger. Should I use it for my cat?

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

If you already own the vacuum then yes, you should use it to clean up the cat hair in your home. We do not suggest using the vacuum directly on your cat though.

L Pettit
L Pettit
I have had an old Dyson DC65 (that was made with metal parts, no ball, and easy to operate) for years. When it died I purchased top of the line new DC65 just out that day (February 2015). I returned it March 2015 because it is totally cheap plastic, could not stand up without a very hard jerk upwards, taking the wand off or on took at least 10 minutes and its ball caused my and my husbands arms to hurt. When I took back the vacuum the manager said I had the same complaints as some others returning the… Read more »
Al
I have had a Shark Navigator Lift Away for while. I have never had a Dyson but I can say the following: 1) Suction is strong 2) Canister looks bigger than you should use – dirt starts going into the area it should not be in. 3) The “sponge” filter does get dirty rather quickly. I have not found them in stores I can conveniently access so I usually clean them and found that I have to vacuum the filter after every vacuuming session … or risk literally smelling the outgoing air from there. I am not too happy about… Read more »
Janis Williams
Janis Williams

I wondered what other vacuums you tested. It might be helpful to some if you mentioned the “losers”. Did you test the Shark “Rocket” vacuum? Would you consider it an upright or a stick? It would have many of the same “Cons” that the Navigator has, except it has a nice, long cord. But it would also have many good “Pros”, too, and it’s a bit less expensive than the Navigator. Thanks for your great research and article.

Michelle Schenker
Admin
Michelle Schenker

All good points. Thanks Janis for your input.

Evan Ropp
Evan Ropp

I use the Dyson DC19 Animal and I am quite happy with it.

I always tell people there are three categories that one needs to consider in order to reduce shedding:

1. Food – A proper diet will make a world of difference
2. Supplements – Proper supplements (which can be taken care of with a healthy diet) such as oils and fatty acids will improve the coat and reduce shedding.
3. Mechanical – This is most important during spring and fall, but brushes (like Furminators) and vacuums will help reduce the amount of hair during shedding seasons.

Great article Sara!

Thursday Next
Thursday Next

I love my Dyson Animal too!

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