In this Guide
Any pet owner will tell you just how much of a chore it can be when you are trying to getting rid of pet hair. It gets even worse if you have someone in the house with allergies. But it doesn’t have to be that rough.
We scoured through the internet and after careful consideration of all factors that make up a good vacuum cleaner for pet hair; we present to you our roundup of 3 of the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair. Oh, and don’t forget to pick one with more suction power depending on whether your pets shed a lot of hair.
|Miele Classic C1||Bissell Cleanview Upright||SharkNinja Canister|
|Our Rating: 4.7|
|Our Rating: 4.3|
|Our Rating: 4.2|
1. Miele Classic C1 Limited Edition Canister Vacuum Cleaner- Best Value
Miele has developed a reputation for creating canisters that sell. In fact, some of their canisters such as the Miele Classic C1 have had to come back on a limited run just to keep customers happy. FeaturesThe Miele Classic C1 is a limited edition vacuum cleaner with a full-sized capacity and a great value for money considering its features. Its lightweight skeleton design makes it pretty maneuverable. Recommended for use with all hard floor and low pile carpet surfaces, this vacuum cleaner is a decent pick for getting rid of pet hair any day. For stubborn pet hairs on your carpet and surfaces, the Miele Classic C1 comes with a variable speed vortex motor that lets you increase the power level for better performance.Pros:Speaking of performance, the Classic C1’s easy adjustability makes it a perfect fit for cleaning both hard floor as well as low-pile carpets which is great. Thanks to the foot switch you can switch from hard floor cleaning to low-pile carpet mode easily. In fact, since the unit comes with a motor protection filter and an AirClean exhaust filter, you can expect the filtration performance on this unit to be pretty impressive.Cons:The first downside with the Miele Classic C1 is the fact that it doesn’t come with a warranty. Plus it’s on a limited edition meaning it won’t be available for long. You also have to be careful of the resistance it offers when switching from carpet mode to the hard floor mode.
2. Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner- Bestseller
If you are searching for a vacuum cleaner with a powerful suction system capable of getting rid of all the pet hairs in your home, the Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner is a decent pick and for a good reason.FeaturesFirst, it comes with a one pass technology system that is not only innovative but also quite capable of getting rid of dirt and hair embedded deep in your carpet. With a multi-level filtration system, this machine can trap most of the fine debris plus the filter is washable which a double win is. In fact, unlike most vacuum cleaners that allow dirt particles to pass through the vacuum motor, this one is designed to prevent dirt from escaping thus preserving and extending the lifespan of your vacuum motor.ProsIts first major advantage is the fact that it is a lightweight vacuum cleaner. It also comes with a TurboBrush tool that you can use to vacuum hard to reach spots such as the stairs and in between the cushions of your couch. Other accessories included in the unit such as the dusting brush come with soft bristles that are ideal for gently brushing away hair and dust from lampshades, upholstery, and curtains without ruining the fabric. For peace of mind, you get a 2-year warranty. Now that’s what convenience is all about. ConsEven with close to 70 percent of the reviews giving the Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner a whopping 5-star rating, there are still a couple of deal breakers you might need to know about. To begin with, some users complain that it has a short hose that will require you to bend most of the time while cleaning. Plus, since the vacuum itself is lightweight, it tends to fall over when you stretch the hose too far. However, among its accessories is a 25-foot power cord that you can add to the 6-foot hose to extend your reach while cleaning.
3. SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum- Best Quality
Lastly, let’s check out the SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum.FeaturesThis one is a solid pick for those who want to get rid of pet hair in those hard to reach areas under the couch simply because it comes with a detachable canister and a spinning brush roll. Whether you want to use it on a hard floor or carpet floor, the SharkNinja Canister Upright Vacuum is a beast when it comes to picking up debris and pet hair on the floor. You also get easy controls at your fingertips allowing you to easily switch from one cleaning mode to the other.ProsAlthough it one of the more expensive options on our list, it totally worth the money thanks to the lifetime warranty and the HEPA filter that traps up to 99.9 percent of dust and allergens. Simply put it’s a decent pick for those who have pet allergies as well. With easy controls and a TruePet motorized brush specifically designed for pet hair cleaning on all surfaces, there is simply no reason to skip on this vacuum cleaner.ConsWe have already mentioned that its bit pricey, however, some users complain that it is heavy and cumbersome making it hard to maneuver when you need to clean for long periods of time.
Our 2018 Picks
We have updated this article, please see above for our 2019 recommendations
We’ve created this site to help allergy sufferers and pet owners find cleaning machines that can reduce allergens easily and effectively! Our expert reviewers have compared dozens of vacuums to find the ones that work the absolute best for reducing allergens and conquering pet hair!
Here on our home page, we’ve rounded up all our favorites. Below, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each, as well as links to our more specific guides, like the best pet allergy vacuums for cars, stairs, and other specific needs!
To get started, here’s a glance at our top three!
|Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor||Dyson Ball||Miele C1 Titan|
|Our Rating: 4.8|
|Our Rating: 4.2|
|Our Rating: 4.2|
If you suffer from pet allergies, or know someone in your life who has allergy symptoms around your pets, you know how important it is to have a great vacuum. A proper vacuum can mitigate allergy symptoms by reducing fine dust and dander in your house, which lesser vacuums would either miss or spit right back out into your air!
However, many vacuums that are marketed as “pet” or “allergy” models aren’t actually up for the task. Nobody has the money to waste on a vacuum that turns out to be inadequate, but it can be a real hassle to sort through all the different makers and models on the market.
Our guides will help you learn about all the key features which make a vacuum effective in reducing allergens. We’ll show you which aspects of a vacuum make it good for cleaning up after pets, and talk you through figuring out your own needs.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into some reviews!
Best Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner Reviews 2018
- Miele Complete C2 Limited Edition Canister
- Dyson Animal Upright
- Miele Classic C1 Titan Canister
- Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister
1. Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor
Our budget pick is still a top-notch vacuum for living with pet allergies! It’s made by Miele, our all-around favorite vacuum maker right now. This isn’t actually the least expensive canister vacuum Miele has to offer, but we still think it’s the best budget buy! It gives you a lot more versatility than their entry-level Olympus model without raising the price more than $75. This C2 canister will do a great job on any hard floors, and up to medium-depth carpeting.
One reason we’ve recommended this C2 model as our budget pick instead of the cheaper C1 Olympus is that it comes with two floor attachments instead of one! That makes it more versatile, and more of a bargain!
The first floor attachment you get is an air-powered turbo brush. It works really well on low to medium-pile carpeting, and it’s superb at beating out rugs. Unless you try to use it on really deep pile, it doesn’t get stuck or bogged down. Instead, it easily collects pet hair and dust
The other floor head is a versatile tool for hard surfaces and rugs. It switches conveniently between the hard floor setting, which has protective brushes, and the rug setting, which has a metal gliding plate to help you skim along your rugs without scraping them or getting stuck.
Both floor heads are super ergonomic, and they swivel very well at the joints. That’s something we really appreciate when we’re cleaning up after pets, since it lets you get under furniture and into tight spots easily.
This C2 vacuum has an active filtration system inside the canister! It’s exactly what you need for dealing with allergens. The air system is completely sealed, and the filters capture 99.9% of particles in the combined filter bags.
We think Miele’s combined filter bags are one of the best features on the market right now. They’re simple, convenient, and effective. You only have to change one component, and the bags seal themselves as they’re removed. They’re the best we’ve seen at containing pet dirt and fur, and they’re much more convenient than bags of the past.
It’s extremely quiet. The C2 series vacuums are acoustically-sealed, which makes them much quieter to use than other canisters. Compared to something lighter like a Dyson, they’re much more pleasant to be around.
You can also adjust between six different motor speeds as you clean. That makes it easy to choose the level that suits what you’re cleaning. You can go gentle on curtains and upholstery or turn things to max to grab cobwebs or tackle carpeting.
Three attachment tools complete the package. There’s an upholstery brush, crevice tool, and dusting brush. All the attachments are well-made and easy to use.
It’s nice and compact. The C2 Series canisters have smaller bodies which are more convenient on stairs and in other tight spots. Even though this is a small vacuum, we love that you can store the attachments inside!
This one has a 33-foot radius, and automatic cord retraction.
We also appreciate the little touches like bumpers around the sides and rubberized wheels to protect nice floors and woodwork as you clean.
It’s a Miele! That means quality and durability. These vacuums are made entirely in Germany, and they have a great reputation for reliability. The extension wand is made from rugged metal, and the casing on the canister is super dense plastic. It’s much better than Dyson or Bissell canister shells. The motor is covered by a 7-year warranty, and the rest of the vacuum is covered by a 1-year warranty.
It’s not HEPA-certified. While the filtration system meets Miele’s own high standards, it’s not technically tested by the HEPA institute. We think it’s mostly a difference of formality, since both filter types remove 99.9% of airborne particles. If you want the HEPA certification, look at either the Dyson Ball or the Miele Titan below!
It’s the cheapest vacuum in this guide, but it’s still more expensive than other vacuums out there. We think this is the least you can pay for a truly capable pet allergy vacuum, though. Cheaper canisters just aren’t reliable or durable long-term.
***On a super tight budget? See our Best Pet Allergy Vacuums Under $100 guide! Links below.
Try the Olympus if you want to save some more money, and don’t need any carpet capabilities!
You’ll also have to factor in the cost of the bags. However, we think bags are a very worthy investment for someone with severe symptoms that could be aggravated by emptying a bagless vacuum.
This one can’t do a great job on deep carpeting, since the roller brush is only air-powered. If you have deep carpets, look at one of the more expensive Miele’s below!
2. Dyson Animal Upright
This Animal model from Dyson is one of the most popular vacuums on the market right now. We think it’s a good option for folks with allergies who like uprights! It’s ideal for homes with mostly carpeting. However, it’s versatile enough to do a good job on hard floors too! We’ve been fans of the original Ball Animal model for a while and we’re super excited that this new “2” model is on the market!
Dyson advertise that this has the highest suction of any upright vacuum on the market!We can’t verify their results, but suffice it to say that this does have crazy good suction! It uses Dyson’s cyclonic system, which is both more powerful than traditional vacuum systems and more effective at separating particles and keeping dirt and fur away from the filters.
As a result, you get power which is higher to begin with, and which stays high because the filters aren’t choking the vacuums air feed. Overall, it’s a superb suction system, which reviewers were thrilled with. Many reviewers found that it pulled out lots of dust and hair from carpets they’d just cleaned with their old machine! We don’t think you’ll find anything lacking in the power department!
The main suction head for vacuuming your floors is both air-powered and self-adjusting. It has a wide turbine inside, like other upright vacuums. The brush head spins via air power, but it still scrubs about as well as any motor head (aside from Miele’s). This new version does a better job than the last generation at staying un-stuck, which was the major flaw in the design.
It adapts to your floors automatically as you vacuum to create a tight suction seal. So, it’ll lower itself down on hard floors, or lift slightly up to keep the machine moving across carpets.
This is also one of the most maneuverable upright vacuums we’ve ever reviewed! It’s all based around Dyson’s ball system, which makes for easy steering in a very tight radius. You can turn quickly around furniture, and swivel in tight spots much more easily than with uprights of old. It’s super light, too!
It comes with a standard set of attachments: a dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery brush.
This Animal model also comes with an air-powered turbine tool for scrubbing pet fur and dirt off of carpeted stairs or furniture upholstery! The Miele upholstery tool is simply a piece of velour, which works well, but can’t scrub like this one.
The turbine tool is marketed as tangle-free, and we’ve found that it’s one of the only ones that lives up to that claim! The main floor suction head also does a great job at staying free of tangles. In the case that you need to remove hair, Dyson have a nifty roller bar design which slides out, so you don’t have to spend the day with a pair of scissors trying to cut hairs off the roller.
It’s all airtight, with a sealed system and HEPA-grade filtration. That’s exactly what we look for in a pet allergy vacuum! The Dyson will capture fine allergens without releasing any into your air. Many buyers noted the lack of smell or dust in their air after cleaning!
It’s bagless, with a dust chamber that features a sanitary trapdoor disposal system. You just lower it into the trash can and release the bottom of the canister. The upright format offers a lot more room for pet hair than the Miele canisters, too!
Since it has no bags, and comes with a washable filter, there won’t be any replacement costs for this machine!
It’s covered by a 5-year warranty.
It’s mostly plastic. That’s pretty disappointing for something that’s on the more expensive end of the upright spectrum. We haven’t seen any complaints about durability with this new model, but durability has been a problem with the older Dyson’s. In any case, it doesn’t feel as reassuring or reliable as the Miele’s.
The new version’s floor head does a lot better on thick carpeting than the original model. However it can still get stuck in deep pile, especially shag-style carpeting. The Miele Titan is a better choice for deep carpets.
Since you can’t adjust the suction, it’s a bit less user-friendly than Miele’s. If the self-adjusting head doesn’t do the trick on your flooring, there’s not a lot you can do to improve the situation.
The floor head has been redesigned to have a lower profile than the original model, but it still can’t reach under low furniture easily. You probably want a canister vacuum if you’re planning to vacuum under lots of low furniture that can’t be moved.
If you have severe allergy symptoms, you may find that the bagless design doesn’t work for you. It will inevitably release some dust in the air around your trash can as you dispose of the collected dirt and fur. If you can empty it in the garage, or if you’re not the allergy sufferer, it might be a convenient, cost-saving feature. Otherwise, we recommend one of the bagged Miele’s.
For the price, the Dyson doesn’t have great ergonomics. The power cord has to be manually wrapped. The floor head doesn’t have a standard foot lock so it’s tricky to get in and out of storage mode. The extension wand is also tricky to realign when you’re going from accessory mode to the standard upright mode.
3. Miele Classic C1 Titan
Our top pick for the average buyer is Miele’s Classic C1 Titan! It’s Miele’s least expensive canister option that can handle absolutely any flooring type. We think it’s an excellent choice for pet owners and allergy sufferers who have both carpets and hard floors to keep clean. It’s ergonomic, effective, and HEPA-certified. We think it’s the best you can do without spending close to $1000 for our ultimate recommendation below.
This Titan unit comes with two floor heads, just like the C2. In the Titan’s case, both tools get a big upgrade! There’s one head for cleaning carpeted floors and rugs and another for all your hard floors.
The carpet head on the Titan has a motor brush, which is a huge advantage over the air-powered turbines on the C2 and the Dyson. It’s more capable on deep carpets, and it can’t get stuck as easily. This one can be used on anything from flat-weave rugs to deep-pile carpeting, and it simply doesn’t get stuck! It’s the better choice for people with lots of carpeting, especially if it’s on the deeper side.
The Titan comes with a better hard floor tool, too. Unlike the tool that comes with the C2, you can’t use the Titan’s Parquet Twister on rugs, but the motor brush can handle those. Instead you get a dedicated hard floor brush. It has thick, natural bristles that keep nice wood floors safe, which could be scratched by the stiff, synthetic bristles on Dyson vacuums.
Even though it’s designed for floors we’ve also found that the Parquet Twister tool works great on paneling and wainscoting! Those are spots where dust and allergens can accumulate, and this floor tool is the most efficient, protective attachment we’ve found for cleaning nice woodwork quickly.
Aside from the floor heads the Titan comes with the same set of three attachments as the C2: a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an upholstery tool with a velour strip for catching pet hair.
As with the C2 unit, the Titan has super quiet adjustable suction. There are 6 settings to choose from, and they each have a little graphic on the dial to help you pick the right one for the task at hand: curtains, tile, etc.
Between the motorized floor head and the adjustable suction, this is a much better choice than the Dyson for expensive or particularly deep carpets which can get torn up by really aggressive vacuums that can’t be turned down.
It has most of the same conveniences as the C2: there’s a fully retractable cord, ergonomic foot buttons for the power and cord retraction, and hand controls for the power brush. The Titan also has rubber wheels to protect your flooring.
The Titan has combined filter bags like the C2. They seal themselves when they’re removed, and they’re easy to change. The key difference is that the Titan comes with HEPA-certified filters, while the C2 does not. There’s not a world of difference between the two, but the HEPA certification is always nice to have.
As with any Miele, the Titan is very durable, with high-quality parts all over. It has a metal wand, a super well-made hose, and very sturdy plastic housing. It feels much better-made than the Dyson for roughly the same price. That’s German manufacturing for you! This one has a 7-year motor warranty, and a 1-year warranty on everything else.
As with any Miele, you’ll have to pay for bags, which can get pricey. We suggest buying them in bulk and stocking up.
Even though it costs about $200 more than the C2, this Titan is actually from the C1 series. That means it lacks a few little features and conveniences that the C2 series offers. This C1 series model doesn’t have the bumper around the sides, it’s slightly larger overall, and you also can’t store the attachments inside the casing. However, the Miele’s with the C2’s features and a motorized brush are quite expensive. If you want the lot, we suggest you bite the bullet and go for the Cat And Dog below!
4. Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog: our ultimate pick
If you can afford to make a serious investment up front, we think this Cat & Dog vacuum is the absolute best on the market for allergy sufferers and pet owners. It’s specifically designed to tackle pet allergies and animal messes, and it has top-of-the-line features. This has all the little conveniences we love on the C2, rolled into an even better package with a power brush, turbo tool, and everything you could need to keep allergens at bay.
This one has a roomier canister body than the C2, so it has a bit more room in the dust bags for hair and dirt!It’s ideal for homes with multiple pets, or pets that shed profusely. It’s about the same size as the C1 Titan canister, but it packs in compartments for the accessories and some extra footswitches into the same area!
The C3 series gives you an extra 6 feet of cleaning range over the Titan or the C2, as well!
Like the Titan, the Cat & Dog comes with both the Parquet Twister attachment and a motor brush head for carpets and rugs. We think this one’s a cut above the Titan on carpets because it has an even better electric brush head!
This tool has five different height settings, while the Titan has just one. That makes it much easier to find the sweet spot for your specific carpets and rugs! Overall, this power head does a great job on any carpeted floors. It’s not as aggressive as a Dyson can be on delicate fibers, but cleans even better! That’s why control is sometimes better than sheer power.
Just like on the Titan, the Parquet Twister head that comes with the Cat & Dog gives you lots of swiveling versatility. It fits under furniture, around corners, and on stair steps easily. The thick natural bristles do an excellent job of protecting floors and woodwork as you clean, and they’re perfect for wainscoting as well.
The Cat & Dog comes with the same three accessories as the Titan: a dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery brush. However, it also comes with a mini turbobrush for scrubbing furniture, curtains and carpeted stairs of pet hair!
It’s a lot like the tool that comes with the Dyson, and it’s a nice addition to your toolbox on this model. It’s ideal for pet beds and other tricky, stuck-on spots where hair and allergens can accumulate.
The filtration system has an activated charcoal panel in addition to the filter bags. It removes pet odors from the air as you clean, which is ideal for getting that doggy smell out of pet beds and couches. It can be replaced as needed, just like the filter bags.
The Cat & Dog has the all-around bumpers on the canister, just like the C2. They’ll keep your walls and woodwork safe if the canister bumps into them.
This one’s also completely acoustically-sealed, like the C2, while the Titan is not! The noise level alone makes this the most enjoyable vacuum we’ve used that features so much suction power and versatility!
As we mentioned earlier, the Cat & Dog model has some extra footswitch controls instead of a dial, for choosing between motor speeds. They’re the same speed options as the Titan and C2, but the footswitches make it even easier to adjust while you’re cleaning, without bending over!
It’s built to last for years and it will! The Cat & Dog is the most solid vacuum we’ve ever come across, with thick plastic and metal components, and a pretty much indestructible motor. Buyers report that they’ve been using these for years with no issues at all.
Even though it’s specifically designed for pets, the Cat & Dog’s filters aren’t HEPA-certified. They’re Miele’s own AirClean set. However, the difference is in name only, since both filtration types remove more than 99% of airborne particles. If you’re set on having something HEPA-certified, you could swap the odor filter for a HEPA panel. We don’t think you’ll notice any difference, though, and you’d also lose the odor control feature.
This is a very expensive vacuum. We think it’s the best on the market right now, but if you don’t have multiple pets or severe allergy symptoms, you might not want to pay close to $1000 for your cleaning machine. The Cat & Dog is a good investment to make in your health, but it’s a steep purchase!
Now that we’ve taken a close look at all of our recommendations, which should you choose?
The Miele C2 Special Edition is our top pick for buyers on a budget. For $100 less than the Dyson, you get a very capable canister vacuum with an ergonomic, compact design and two dedicated flooring heads. This can do a good job on any hard floors or low to medium carpeting. The filter bags are much better than less expensive canister vacuums at trapping and sealing in allergens, and the whole design is super ergonomic and effective. We think this is the least you can pay for a vacuum that’s truly great at reducing pet fur, dirt and allergens. However, it doesn’t have HEPA-certified filters, and it doesn’t have a motorized brush. You won’t want to use this on deep carpeting.
The Dyson Ball Upright is our recommendation to people who prefer upright vacuums when cleaning up after pets. It’s the most maneuverable upright vacuum we’ve come across to date, and it has spectacularly powerful suction. It has HEPA filtration, and a very roomy canister for collecting dirt and hair. On the downside, it’s not good on deep carpeting, and it’s not as safe for nice wood flooring as the Miele’s. The bagless design may also be less ideal for those with severe allergy symptoms.
The Miele Titan is our top pick for the average buyer. It’s better than the Dyson or the C2 on carpeting, and it’s versatile enough to handle pretty much any surface. It’s not quite as refined or ergonomic as the Cat & Dog, but unless you want to spend nearly $400 more, we think the Titan is the best you can do! It has HEPA-certified filters, a powered carpet head, and all the accessories you really need to manage pet allergies in a home with lots of different flooring types. It’s not as quiet, refined, or versatile as the Cat & Dog, though.
The Miele Cat & Dog is the best vacuum here in practically every regard. It’s the quietest, the most ergonomic, and the most versatile. It works well on all flooring types, and given all the tools and suction settings you can cater it to just about any surface. It’s the only one that controls animal odors, and the filter bags are the largest of the Miele’s. The big downside is the price. At close to $1000, this is a very expensive buy.
columns: cost, bagged vs. bagless, type (canister or upright)
Top Vacuums for Dog Hair Buying Guide
Depending on which type of vacuum you’re looking for, and how you’re planning to use your cleaning machine, there are lots of specific factors you’ll want to think about. You’ll find more specific buying guides in our smaller guides, which you’ll find below!
However, there are a few key things you want to look at in any vacuum when you’re dealing with pet allergies! Here’s what you need to consider before you make any decisions regarding your new purchase.
The Filter System
The most important thing that sets a pet allergy vacuum apart from your standard dust buster is the filtration system. The key reason allergy sufferers look for special vacuums in the first place is because standard vacuum cleaners only filter out large particles. They send all the fine, microscopic dust and dander back into your air. It’s that small matter which really aggravates allergies!
To properly deal with pet allergens, you need a machine with fine filters that can remove even the finest dust and dander particles from your home. Vacuums with sophisticated filtration systems are generally more expensive, but you won’t solve your allergy problem without these features!
In general, HEPA-certified filtration is what you’ll want to look for. However, some companies (like Miele, and other European makers) have their own proprietary systems that meet a lot of the same criteria. In any case, you want a set of filters that can remove at least 99.7% of debris from the air.
Some people are bothered by pet odors as well as particulate matter. If you’re one of those people, or if you’re living with one, look for a vacuum that has odor filtration as well as particulate filtration!
Suction power is super important when it comes to coping with allergies. Of course, you want suction power in any vacuum you buy. When it comes to allergies, though, you need something with the sheer power to collect the fine dust particles from the floor which less powerful vacuums leave behind. You also want something that can reach into cracks between floorboards and to the bottom of carpet fibers to collect the dander and fine hairs which pets leave behind. They often get ground in, and a really powerful vacuum is the best way to dislodge them. So, be prepared to spend a little more for something that can collect absolutely every allergen in your home, no matter how small or how ground-in.
Bagged vs. Bagless
Once you’ve sucked up all the fur, dust, and dander in your home, you’ll need to decide how you want to deal with it!
Both bagged and bagless vacuums can work well for collecting pet allergens, but in general, we think bagged vacuums are better for keeping those allergens contained. They keep hair and fine dust sealed inside where it can’t affect you. That makes it easy to simply remove the bag and throw it in the trash without releasing anything.
If you have only mild symptoms, or if you’re not the allergy sufferer, you may find that a bagless vacuum works well. You’ll save money on bags, too! Some people find tricks for emptying bagless chambers with less of a dust cloud, like wrapping a trash bag around the end before releasing the trapdoor.
However, if you have severe allergies and will be the one using the vacuum you may find that emptying a bagless chamber releases fine allergens into the air in or around the trash can, which will set off your symptoms. That’s why we think most people ought to choose something with a good system of bags inside.
Whenever you’re buying a vacuum specifically to deal with pets, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll need lots of features to deal with fur! Let’s go through them from the ground up:
First, you’ll need floor attachments that work really well on fur that’s on your floors.
That means a tangle-free carpet head, preferably with a motorized brush. You can get away with air-powered brushes on low to medium carpeting, but motor brushes always do a better job! They also stay tangle-free more reliably.
For hard floors, look for attachments with brushes that have gaps in the bristle, so that you suck up the hair rather than pushing it around. Look for a low-profile attachment that will help with edges, nooks, and crannies where dust and fur balls can hide. You want something with good side suction, and lots of swivel capacity to get into tight spots.
If you have carpeting or rugs, you absolutely need a floor head with a beater brush. You can use air-powered brush heads on low to medium-pile carpeting, but flat attachments can’t agitate all those ground in allergens up into the vacuum. You need a moving brush attachment to get the dead skin flakes and other pet debris loose from carpet and rug fibers.
Sealed Air Systems
You should only consider vacuums with sealed air systems when you’re shopping. Not only do these machines have better overall suction, but they’re tested to completely contain allergens and fine dust while you’re cleaning. Using anything without a completely sealed system can be a nightmare for allergy sufferers!
Finally, cleaning up after pets is a tough job. Make sure you invest in a vacuum that’s up to the task! It’s best to have something with as many metal parts as possible, with as little plastic as possible. For plastic components, look for tough, sturdy plastic that’s thick and heavy enough to handle being used several times a week.
Our other guides:
If you have something more specific in mind for your new pet allergy vacuum, check out our other guides! We’ve come up with a few focused guides that will help you find exactly what you’re looking for! Click on any of the links below to see the full articles.
We’ve been fans of Dyson’s V series for years now, and especially these all-in-one cordless Animal models. We’re thrilled to be able to review the new V8 version! It’s even better than the last edition, the V7, and it doubles your cleaning time! That addresses the biggest flaw we’ve experienced with these cordless vac’s–the cleaning time. In the past, they rarely got beyond 15-20 minutes of normal use out of each charge. Now, this new version is rated for up to 40 minutes! It doesn’t last quite that long with the motor brush turned on, but the point is that this edition runs twice as long as the last. The V8 Animal edition is a capable stick vacuum that can clean both carpets and hard floors, and it’s easy to convert to both handheld and stick formats. It’s one of the most portable vacuums we’ve ever used, and it’s ideal for people who clean frequently in stages rather than all at once. It’s also perfect for folks with pet allergies, since it’s HEPA-certified!
Read the full review, and see more of our cordless picks here!
Shark vs. Dyson
Shark and Dyson are two of the biggest names in the vacuum business, and a lot of their marketing materials and models are designed specifically to compete with each other. Dyson ads show off all the science behind their designs, as a way to justify the steep prices. Shark ads focus on all the features they pack into their vacuums, and claim to offer Dyson-level performance at a fraction of the cost.
Since so many buyers are interested in getting the straight dope on these two top brands, we decide to put together a comparison guide! It shows you each brand’s flagship vac’s, and stacks them up in head-to-head matchups to see what the real differences are!
One of the obvious vacuums to feature is the Shark Navigator LiftAway Professional! It’s Shark’s best-selling vacuum, and their main claim to fame. While it’s not a premium machine by any stretch, it’s a surprisingly good choice for places with lots of stairs, and for folks who need to clean lots of different floors on a budget. It’s a sealed-air system, and it has HEPA filters built in. The lift-away canister is great for cleaning on landings and other awkward spots where it’s hard to find a safe place to rest your vacuum.
Check out the full review, and the rest of our Shark and Dyson recommendations here!
When it comes to quick pet pickups, there’s nothing better than a handheld vacuum. They’re also our go-to machines for cleaning in the car. The one downside for folks with pet allergies is that the vast majority of handheld vacuums have bad filtration, which means they spew fine allergens at you while you’re trying to clean! We’ve put together a guide with a few recommendations that do a much better job of containing allergens.
Our all-time favorite is the Dyson V6 Trigger. It’s the most powerful handheld unit we’ve found so far, and even though it doesn’t have as many tools as some other models, it has the sheer power to clean just about anything. We especially like how you can store the attachments right on the nozzle, and just move them into action position when you need them. This is one of the most expensive handheld machines on the market, but its filtration and suction power make it worthy of any allergy sufferer!
You can find our full review of the Trigger and the rest of our handheld picks here!
From looking at our recommendations here on our homepage, you might be starting to think that you can’t afford a good pet allergy vacuum. Don’t worry! We chose the vacuums we think are the best overall for people with pet allergies, but there are some decent options out there for a lot less money. They might be less ergonomic or versatile than our top picks, but they have the basic features you need to reduce pet allergens in your home.
One of our favorites is the Bissell OnePass, which is a simple, cheap upright vacuum with lots of power. It’s a very inexpensive solution for people who have lots of carpets, and need to clean them well for under $100. It doesn’t have HEPA-grade filters, but it has washable foam filters that do a better job than other cheap machines at keeping allergens inside the dust chamber. This thing packs lots of cyclonic suction into its vacuum chamber, and it has a very effective powered brushroll for scrubbing pet fur and dander out of carpets and rugs.
Our full, in-depth review, along with all our other picks for under $100, can be found here!
Stairs are a real pain to clean, especially when you’ve got animals in the house. Sadly, when you or a family member have allergy issues, you can’t afford to skip any spots in your living space! Huge amounts of dust and dander can be ground into stairs, especially carpeted stairs. So, if your home has lots of them, you need to find a vacuum that makes cleaning easier! We’ve put together a whole guide devoted solely to dealing with pet allergies on stairs!
A favorite machine of ours for stairs, especially those with carpeting, is the Shark Rocket TruePet! It’s from their ultra-light series of convertible stick vacuums. This model has a bigger dust cup, an extra scrubber brush, and headlights to make it more suitable for pet owners. The extra room in the dust chamber really comes in handy when you’re sucking up lots of pet hair. The smaller scrubber brush is an ergonomic alternative to the larger carpet head for vacuuming carpeted steps and furnitures. Best of all, you can adjust the length of the wand, and use the motor head at any length! That makes it a cinch to vacuum steps, no matter what height you are.
If you travel with pets on a regular basis, and need to keep allergens out of your car, it’s worth your money to pick up a dedicated car vacuum. These gadgets are much, much easier to use than dragging a full vacuum out to the driveway, finding an extension cord, and so on. They’re handy for anything from vacuuming between the seats to dusting the dash. As with any hand vacuums, though, you have to be careful to find the ones with the right filtration features to help with your allergies! Our guide has a few great options for you.
One of them is Black & Decker’s Lithium MAX Pivot model. It’s got three different stages of filtration, so you should have no problem trapping allergens in this thing! The batteries last longer than other cheap hand vacuums, and the pivoting nozzle is one of the best we’ve ever reviewed for cars. It fits between seats, covers ground quickly, and has the attachments right onboard.
Find more details in our complete review of the MAX Pivot, and have a look at the rest of our car picks here!
In a lot of homes, upright vacuums are too unwieldy and awkward to be much good at chasing down pet allergens. Canister vacuums are far better at cleaning under furniture, in tight spots, and on different flooring types. We’ve included a few in our main picks on this page, but you can find even more canister recommendations in our dedicated guide!
Dyson’s Animal series of canister vacuums are the best-selling on the market today, so it would be absurd to ignore them in our guide! The last few versions of the Animal canisters were pretty good, but they got bogged down in carpets quite easily and they were less than durable. The latest update to the series seems much better! It has HEPA filtration, Dyson’s Ball steering system for maneuverability and tons of suction.
See how it fares against the competition, and check out the rest of our canister picks here!
Hardwood floors seem like a walk in the park to clean, right? Not so fast! As anyone who’s lived with pets on hardwoods knows, they can be just as difficult to manage as carpets. A lot of vacuums are made of hard plastic, with features like nylon bristles and bare plastic wheels. They can scratch and scuff hardwoods as you clean. Plus, while we all think carpets require the most suction power to clean properly, you actually need lots of suction to pull up ground-in hair and dirt from between floorboards. Powerful but protective vacuums are hard to find! That’s why we put together a whole guide just for hardwoods! We’ve recommended machine for folks with only hardwoods, as well as for people who have a mixture of flooring types.
Miele’s entry model in the C1 series has long been our favorite canister option for cleaning up after pets on hard floors. These canister vacuums are more affordable than other Miele’s, and if you don’t have any carpets to clean, there’s nothing we don’t love about them!
We’ve considered Miele’s Olympus our go-to recommendation for folks with only hard flooring, but the latest edition to the C1 series is now on the market! We think this model, which is meant to replace the Olympus, deserves even more praise. It has all the same great features, in a more streamlined package and with more power under the hood.
The Pure Suction editions of the C1 series have parts made in Germany, but are assembled in China. While most Miele’s are built entirely in Germany, these models are an affordable option for folks who want a Miele but can’t afford to spend lots of money. We haven’t run into any problems with durability, and Miele’s H1 Quickstep has been assembled in China for a few years now. We’ve been using that stick vacuum without any complaints, so we expect the Pure Suction’s to hold up as well as any other Miele.
Check out the full review and see how the Pure Suction stacks up to our other Hardwood recommendations here!