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Best vacuums for pet hair 2023: Cleaner house, better for allergies

As much as we all love our pets, their hair can be a real problem around the house. From making a mess to carrying dead skin, that can be the cause of allergies, pet hair needs to be removed thoroughly. Not all vacuum cleaners are built equally, but here we have the best vacuums for pet hair – those we’ve tested and found capable of removing fur properly.

To test, we use cat hair, as it’s far thinner than dog and human hair, so it can get caught in the carpet and furniture fibres more easily. All of the vacuum cleaners we’ve listed here passed this test with flying colours.

We don’t just focus on this, though. A vacuum cleaner should be able to remove all types of dirt, so we’ve also only listed cleaners that performed well in our regular tests, too.

To hit various prices, we’ve listed vacuum cleaners at a wide range of prices, including both corded and cordless models.

How we test

Learn more about how we test vacuum cleaners

Every vacuum cleaner that we test goes through exactly the same tests. We use both real-world tests and technical measurements to tell the good from the bad. First, we measure suction power in Air Watts (AW), which is a combination of suction and airflow. This lets us compare the raw power of each cleaner.

Actual performance depends on a lot of factors including the quality of the accessories and the ability of a vacuum to agitate dirt. For that reason, we take before and after pictures of dust collection on carpet, hard floors and with pet hair.

We don’t weigh the before and after results, as this test is notoriously difficult to do properly, as vacuum cleaners will pick up fibres from the floor that will add to the weight collected. And, without a super-sensitive set of scales it’s impossible to measure fine differences between machines.

If you want to learn more, please visit our detailed page about how we test vacuum cleaners.

Dyson V15 Detect

The best cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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  • Laser highlights dirt on hard floors
  • Anti-tangle heads
  • Smart automatic mode
  • Tonnes of accessories


  • Laser only works on hard floors
  • Expensive

The king of the cordless vacuum cleaners, the Dyson V15 Detect is great for all jobs, including pet hair removal. Core to its success are the clever floor heads, including the laser-powered hard floor model.

This shines a green laser onto the floor, highlighting all dust, including pet hair. Using it around our house, we found that floors that looked clean with the naked eye were covered in pet hair with the laser turned on. For carpets, there’s an anti-tangle head (no laser here), which won’t get clogged with hair; the same technology used for the mini tool that makes short works of sofas and carpet.

In our pet hair tests, the Dyson V15 Detect was flawless, picking up all mess and not getting anything tangled around any of its tools. It was a similar result with our regular hard floor and carpet tests.

With a maximum power of 290AW in boost mode, the Dyson V15 Detect is the most powerful cordless vacuum cleaner that we have tested. For the most part, it can be run in its automatic mode, using a dust sensor to detect how dirty an area is and adjusting power on the fly. That’s clever and means that the vacuum only ever uses the right amount of power for the level of mess.

Based on automatic mode, we estimate that you’ll get around 40 minutes of cleaning time. Given how powerful the vacuum cleaner is, that’s enough to clean an average house on a single charge. This really is a cordless vacuum cleaner than can replace a plug-in model.

If you’re after the ultimate performance for all cleaning jobs, then this is the vacuum cleaner to buy.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Dyson V15 Detect review

Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet NZ850UKT

The best upright vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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  • Clever control placement
  • Excellent cleaning
  • Lift-away mode is powerful


  • A little bulky in upright mode

The Shark NZ850UKT is our favourite upright vacuum cleaner for use on practically every surface.

Its suction is especially powerful, with a measured 260AW on hard floors, which is a chunk ahead of the majority of cordless cleaners on their maximum setting While the NZ850UKT may not have the portability of a cordless cleaner, it has the benefit of being able to use all 260W for as long as you need to, as opposed to for a matter of moments.

Such powerful suction inevitable translated into excellent performance across both carpet and hard floor environments, with it picking every piece of mess we encountered in a single pass, including effortlessly dealing with pet hair. For dealing with more detailed cleaning, there’s the handy Lift-Away mode, where the central cylinder lifts out. This proved especially handy for getting in those hard to reach places.

The design of the NZ850UKT is a refinement to what was found on the older NZ801UKT, with controls being moved to the top of the handle to be within easier reach. Fine tuning has also been undertaken in other places, too. The NZ850UKT also allows accessories to clip on more easily to the on-board clips, and the hose doesn’t spring out and wave around, like it did with last year’s model – it now locks firmly into place.

This cleaner also retains the DuoClean floorhead found on other Shark cleaners which offers both a soft roller and a carpet brush for all in one cleaning. It’s a handy addition which keeps things easy, and also, with Shark’s Anti Hair Wrap tech bundled in, it means no hair should get caught around the head. In our testing, we definitely get any hair wrapped around the roller, and the NZ850UKT perfectly removed all of our combed in pet hair.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Read the full review: Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet NZ850UKT review

Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner CZ500UKT

The best cylinder vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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  • Powerful
  • Cleverly placed controls
  • Excellent build quality
  • Flexology makes cleaning under furniture easy


  • A little cumbersome to store

If you’re looking for a small cylindrical vacuum cleaner you can use for clearing up mess left by your pets, the Shark CZ5500UKT is a marvellous option.

Admittedly, this is a good-looking vacuum with a small black frame with plenty of curves and rose gold details around it. In addition, at 7.99kg, it is pretty heavy, but it’s worth noting that mass is spread across all of the vacuum’s components – the cleaner body, tools and wand. Breaking it down reveals the actual mass of the body is half the total, which we found made it relatively easy to lift. This is a wheeled pull-along vacuum that also comes with one of Shark’s DuoClean heads, like on their upright options, which means it’s good for operating on both hard floors and carpets alike, and the fact it’s got Anti Hair Wrap tech built in means this cleaner won’t be getting any hair caught in the floor head.

During testing, the CZ500UKT proved remarkably easy to push around, and with no real bulk around the wand, it’s also easy to use it basically anywhere, including underneath furniture, which is an area some cleaners struggle to get under. The fact there’s a 9 metre power cable is also handy, given how far it can allow you to go with the cleaner, too. Controls are kept within easy reach on the back of the handle, which is especially useful, and it’s easy to do more detailed jobs too, as you just pop the floor head off using the foot-powered eject button, and can use the floor and the wand in tandem for more focused jobs. There’s very little need to bend down to use the CZ500UKT, apart from to plug it in really.

You also get a good selection of tools, notably a crevice tool and brush and a mini-motorised pet tool, which is great for getting hair and the like out of stairs and furniture. These tools can also be carried on the back of the cleaner too, so they stay within easy reach. A 1.6 litre bin capacity is pretty good too, which conveniently lifts out and flips open at the front/ To go with it, there is also a pair of washable filters that will inevitably collect a load of dust and debris on your cleaning tasks.

This Shark cleaner also has plenty of raw power, with a huge 227.8AW output on standard mode, and a massive 284.42AW on Max mode, putting the CZ500UKT in line with its upright cousins. Those impressive numbers are also backed up by some pretty good real world performance in dealing with flour on carpets in a single pass, as well as with rice on a hard floor in both standard and max power modes. Of course, pet hair was removed perfectly.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Shark CZ500UKT

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute

The best slim cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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The Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute is, in effect, a smaller and lighter version of Dyson’s top-end V15 model. As a result, it packs in all the tech that makes the V15 one of the best overall vacuum cleaners, including the ingenious dust sensor and laser-powered floor head that needs to highlight exactly where you need to clean – especially handy for making sure you every get last piece of pet hair, as well as more general dust and debris, too.

There is also a standard carpet floor head on offer too, which doesn’t come with a laser, but has an anti-tangle head, meaning that little to no hair got stuck around the brush in our testing. Similar anti-tangle tech is also in the small motorised tool bundled with the V12, which is ideal for removing pet hair from sofas, carpeted stairs and other soft furnishings.

At 2.4kg, it’s quite a light vacuum, so we found it easy to carry around. This is the first regular Dyson cordless cleaner that we’ve tested that doesn’t have a trigger. A single on/off button is used instead, which is good news for anyone that’s struggled to continuously hold a trigger.

The V12 also comes with a 0.35 litre bin which may seem small, but is in actual fact a fine size for a standard clean, at least in our testing. It uses Dyson’s ejection slider, so dust can be pointed at and slid into a main bin for emptying, preventing dust from flying back out.

In our testing, the V12 dealt with pet hair exceptionally well, leaving no traces when we went over it with the cleaner, and it also sucked up all the flour and rice we chucked down on carpets and hard floors with ease. This is also a vacuum with some rather powerful suction too, be it either in manual mode when you choose which power mode is best, or in automatic mode, where the V12 will adjust its power to suit whichever surface you happen to be cleaning.

We measured it at a top-end of 209AW, which is huge for a cordless cleaner, and shows that this vacuum can cope with debris of any size.

Dyson’s smaller flagship cleaner also managed to last for 25 minutes on automatic mode which should be enough for you to clean a small house or average-sized flat in one fell swoop before chucking it back on charge.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute review

Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away & TruePet ICZ300UKT

The best upright cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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  • Very flexible
  • Replaceable batteries
  • Great selection of tools


  • No onboard tool storage

If it’s the usability of a standard upright vacuum combined with the convenience of a cordless that you’re after to help you deal with the icky task of clearing up pet hair, look no further than the Shark ICZ300UKT.

It should be well up to the task of dealing with pet hair as a cordless cleaner that matches the all-out power of its corded siblings. This became evident when we measured the ICZ300UKT’s suction output on its high mode, where it posted a result of 185AW.

In addition, it dealt with pet hair with ease with a single sweep required for carpet with the vacuum cleaner on medium power. In our regular tests on carpet and hard floors, Shark’s cordless beast performed flawlessly. Its brilliant performance isn’t just down to the potent suction levels, but the clever DuoClean floor head.

Combining a brush bar and a soft roller, the head can cope with both hard floors and carpets without having to make a change. That can make cleaning faster for homes with mixed floor types. Of course, the head also has Shark’s Anti Hair Wrap tech, so it didn’t get clogged with hair in our testing. This technology is also included in the mini motorised tool, which can make short work of pet beds, sofas and the like.

At 6.2kg, this isn’t the highest vacuum in the world, but it doesn’t need to be carried as much as a regular cordless cleaner, and in upright mode doesn’t feel too heavy. This design has the added advantage that the vacuum cleaner can also stand upright by itself.

When you do need a bit of detail cleaning, the vacuum cleaner has Lift-Away mode, where the central cylinder lifts out. That makes for a mode nimble cleaner, for cleaning stairs or getting in to pet beds.

We found the controls to be especially simple to operate with their relocation away from the handle to where your thumb rests proving especially intuitive. Its 0.6 litre bin also proved to be enough for a thorough clean, and the addition of a lot of tools and the flexibility of Shark’s Lift Away function makes this a great cleaner to use around the house.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away & TruePet ICZ300UKT Review

Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual Pet & Car

The best hygienic cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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  • Dual batteries
  • Good range of accessories
  • Simple to use


  • No wand
  • Won’t fit under low furniture

The Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual Pet & Car is a clever cordless vacuum cleaner for dealing with pet hair and other general debris.

As the name suggests, it’s part of VAX’s ONEPWR line of products, which all use the same batteries – examples of other products in the line-up include the Vax ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vac and the Vax ONEPWR Glide. This means that you won’t need to buy separate batteries for each product, as if you’ve already got a ONEPWR compatible device, you can just swap the batteries from one device to the other.

Battery life here proved to be rather good, with the pair of 4Ah batteries lasting for a touch over half an hour each on standard power, and 11 minutes on boost. In standard mode at least, this means you’ll be able to get an hour’s worth of cleaning, which should be enough for you to tackle a larger home.

The OnePOWER Edge Dual Pet & Car takes the form of a standard upright cleaner and it’s remarkably easy to push around and operate, given it’s a case of just putting a battery in, turning it on, and away you go. It comes with quite a bulky dust bin though which means you won’t get it all the way underneath sofas and some chairs with this cleaner.

There’s a shedload of tools to use with this Vax candidate including a motorised pet brush and dusting brush as well as an extendible crevice tool. Also, if you grab this vacuum from Vax directly, they also provide yet more tools – an angle tool which is great for getting on top of cupboards a , a radiator tool, textile tool and a tech tool for cleaning keyboards and touchscreens.

Bristles on the motorised tools (mini and floor) have an antimicrobial coating on them, which prevents them smelling or from anything nasty growing in them. From a hygiene perspective that makes this a great tool for dealing with pet hair.

It’s worth noting that the ONEPWR Edge Dual isn’t short of grunt either. In testing, we measured to have a max suction power of 148W on boost mode so even the biggest spills shouldn’t be an issue. Even in regular mode with just 42AW, it dealt with spilled mess with ease on both carpet and hard floors, although a burst of boost mode did help deal with some of the tougher mess that was left from initial passes.

Our one minor complaint is that the floor head isn’t an anti-tangle one, so you’ll have the occasional messy job of having to cut away pet hair.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full review: Vax ONEPWR Edge Dual Pet & Car

Bissell SmartClean Pet

The best large cylinder vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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  • Very powerful
  • Adjusts power on the fly
  • Excellent dirt pick-up
  • Large bin


  • Large
  • No mini motorised tool

The Bissell SmartClean Pet isn’t the smallest of cylinder vacuum cleaners, but it sure is a powerful one. It weighs just a smidge under 10kg, and comes with a 3 litre bin and a wide floor head so you can clean large areas in a jiffy. The fact there are also some large wheels on the bottom makes it adept at moving around too; as much as it’s heavy, it’s not a difficult cleaner to manoeuvre. In addition, the point for this being a brilliant vacuum for larger homes is also reflected with its three metre hose which should allow you to reach to the top of the stairs while leaving the cleaner at the foot of them.

The core tool with the SmartClean Pet is its motorised brush, which works great on both hard floors and carpets. It is also an anti-tangle brush, being designed to stop hair wrapping around it, and in testing, we didn’t have to cut hair away from the roller once, making it great at dealing with pet hair.

This is a powerful cylinder cleaner: thanks to the 227AW of suction on offer that translated to practicallly flawless cleaning on both carpets and hard floors, and with perfect pet hair removal in our carpet test.

To help you out, Bissell also provide a decent selection of tools including a brush and crevice tool, although the lack of a motorised brush for upholstery is odd given this is a vacuum aimed at pet owners. If you want to deal with pet beds and sofas, a different vacuum cleaner or a cordless one to accompany this cleaner would be useful.

Review: David Ludlow
Read the full review: Bissell SmartClean Pet review

Miele Triflex HX2 Pro

The most flexible cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair
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  • Flexible design
  • Dual batteries
  • Powerful cleaning


  • Slightly fiddly to move between modes
  • Awkward to change rollers

The Miele Triflex HX2 Pro, is a super flexible cordless vacuum cleaner that can work in three different configurations: a standard upright cleaner, as a stick vacuum when in Reach mode with the wand attached to the end of the handheld unit. and also as a handheld cleaner on its own. It is a bit of a faff to change modes, as it requires a lot of plugging and unplugging attachments, but it’s worth it for the flexibility on offer.

A 0.5 litre bin is enough to handle an entire house clean, and there’s also a handy dial on the top for releasing dust from the filter to keep everything in tip top condition. It may only come with a single floor head, but the HX2 Pro’s head features three rollers that allowed it to deal with both hard floors and carpets in one go. To help you clean properly, Miele also provides a marvellous range of attachments for dealing with dusting, crevices, and upholstery so you can get a rounded clean. It would be better if the brushes were anti-tangle; as it stands, hair will have to be cut away manually from time to time.

In testing, it offered a good level of suction, with a max level of 143AW on the cleaner’s max power mode. With numbers like that, it’s able to mix with the best cordless vacuums we’ve tested. It managed to deal with all kinds of hair especially well, alongside good performance in picking up rice on hard floors and flour on carpets. A noise level of 70.2dB also sits at about average for a vacuum, and wasn’t too noisy that it disrupted any conversations that were going on while we cleaned.

Miele’s claims of 120 minutes of battery life seem a little optimistic for normal use, especially given that’s using the HX2 Pro with both batteries and on the lowest power mode. From our testing, a claim of 40 minutes on the cleaner’s Regular mode seems about right.

This vacuum cleaner managed to effortlessly remove pet hair from carpet, as well as flying through our regular tests. If you want a super flexible cordless vacuum cleaner then this is the one to buy.

Reviewer: David Ludlow

Full reviewMiele Triflex HX2 Pro

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What accessories are needed for pet hair removal?

A motorised floor brush is an essential, as it agitates and loosens pet hair in carpets. For sofas and soft furnishings, look for a vacuum cleaner with a mini motorised tool.

Is suction power important for a pet hair vacuum cleaner?

Suction power is important in so much as it helps a vacuum cleaner remove dirt, but a motorised brush is more important. Vacuum cleaner that operate on suction alone are not very effective at removing pet hair.

Will removing pet hair help with allergies?

Yes. Most people are allergic to a pet’s saliva or dead skin cells, which attach themselves to the pet hair. Removing the hair, removes the allergens also.

Should I get a corded or cordless pet vacuum cleaner?

Either will do the job: corded cleaners have the advantage that they can keep running and are slightly more powerful; cordless models are more convenient, particularly if you want to clean other areas, such as your car.

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