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8 Best Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair and Stains

Want to effectively pick up what your furry friends are putting down? Here are some of the top-rated vacuum cleaners for pet owners.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Dogs laying near a vacuumIvan Ozerov/Getty Images

Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner for Pets

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, nearly 62 percent of households in the U.S. have at least one pet. And of those millions of animal-lovers, a large number suffer from allergies caused by sensitivity to the proteins found in pet dander. The rest are just tired of removing pet hair from furniture and clothing every day.

Keeping up with the messes your cuddly beasts leave behind is an ongoing challenge, one that requires a vacuum to fit your pet-and-home-specific situation. A lovable basset hound presents unique odor issues, while an elegant Persian cat sheds enough fur in one week to knit a sweater.

Whether your four-legged family member is a dog, cat, rabbit or llama, try to choose a vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce allergens, as well as one that has super sucking power. We recommend at least 100 air watts (AW) for uprights and 220 AW for canisters. From bagless to stick-style to handheld to smart robovacs, check out our list of the best vacuum cleaners for pet owners.

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Hoover PowerDash per vacuum

Best Spot Cleaner

If you have a particularly nasty pet stain, reach beyond the traditional vacuum cleaner. The space-saving, high-performance design of the Hoover PowerDash Pet Compact Carpet Cleaner makes short work of even the most troublesome pet stains. Its slim design puts storage woes to rest, while the new PowerSpin Pet Brush Roll makes sure wayward pet hair disappears. HeatForce™ power helps carpet dry in record time.

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Best Bagless Vacuum

Save money and go green when you buy the Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless ($100). The triple-action brush roll gets down deeply into carpets, while the scatter-free technology keeps flying debris in check. The vacuum comes with a specialized tool for removing pet hair from corners (where fur likes to collect) and an easy-empty, one-liter dirt cup that’s mess-free. The bagless design makes this vacuum easy to clean.

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Best Stick Vacuum

Along with its impressive suction power and space-saving design, the Dyson V8 Animal Pro+ ($450) cordless stick vacuum lives up to its slogan: It’s engineered for homes with pets. As one satisfied reviewer on the Dyson web site explained, “I own a dog who sheds pretty badly. And live in an apartment. This thing keeps both my hardwood floors and my carpeting clean and spotless.”

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Best Handheld Vacuum

Pet owners know molting hair and surprise messes come with the territory. That’s why we recommend the Black+Decker Cordless Pet Handheld Vacuum ($92) — a compact and cordless handheld vacuum featuring motorized, anti-tangle rubber bristles to lift stubborn pet hair. The battery indicator tells you how much power you have left, and the extra-long crevice tool extends your reach into places you didn’t know pet hair could go!

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Best Robot Vacuum

Don’t want to deal with your pet’s never-ending shedding? There’s a simple solution: Program a robot vacuum to do it! Yes, the Neato BotVac Connected robot vacuum ($550) with laser mapping and navigation sits at the higher end of the price spectrum. But it works on pile carpet, hardwood floors, ceramic tile and vinyl floor coverings. Plus, its U-shaped design tracks down pet hair that round robots miss. All that makes the BotVac D7 worth its premium price tag.

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Best Budget Canister Vacuum

Let’s face it, pet hair gets absolutely everywhere — into corners, under couches, on dog beds and even in cat trees. Tame unruly fluff with the affordable and practical Eureka Mighty Mite. The lightweight canister weighs around nine pounds. It comes with a 20-foot cord, seven-foot hose, two extension wands, a bare floor nozzle, a combo and a crevice tool, plus a blower port to expel debris from the garage or workshop. That’s a lot of vacuum for the Benjamins!

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Best Upright

The upright Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro vacuum is an outstanding option for cleaning bare surfaces like laminate, hardwood and stone, yet it works just as well on carpeting. The Navigator’s swivel steering lets you maneuver around furniture and other objects with ease, and the HEPA filter traps up to 99 percent of dust and allergens. With a push of a button, the canister lifts away to clean hard to reach places.

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Best Car Vacuum

Your dog loves going for rides in the car, but you know what a pain it is to clean up the interior afterward. When a lint roller just won’t cut it, there’s the Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac ($117). Portable and lightweight at four lbs., its “True Pet Motorized Brush” attachment is the real deep-cleaning rock star here. A car vacuum will keep your interior looking tidy even after transporting the fluffiest passenger.

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All prices and links were current as of publication.

Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a culture and lifestyle writer, reviews expert and DIY enthusiast covering everything from pests to painting to pool cabanas. Based in a medieval hill town in central Italy, when Toni isn’t documenting her travels around Europe, she’s tending her garden or honing her clay-court tennis game.