This post was most recently updated on July 24th, 2019
All dog owners know the struggle of getting the fur out of the carpet and furniture crevices. Sometimes, lint rolling isn’t enough, especially if you have a notorious shedder at home. This led me to hunt for the best vacuum for dog hair that can clean dander and pet hair fast.
Bagless Vacuum with
Unlike the usual vacuums we use at home, those made for dog hair have more suction power. Also, it has special filters that will trap the hair and prevent it from billowing back to your home.
MY TOP PICK: Shark Rotator Professional Upright Bagless Vacuum
Product Name: Shark Rotator Professional Upright Bagless Vacuum
Product Description: Do you prefer a HEPA filter? If so, you shouldn’t miss the Shark Rotator Bagless Vacuum. It has an anti-allergen Complete Seal Technology paired with a HEPA filter that traps up to 99.99% of dust and dirt. It also has a Lift-Away button that lets you access a hand-held wand straight from your upright vacuum. With that, this works both as an upright and a canister type! I personally like the advanced swivel steering technology and LED headlights. It’s total control with added safety.
Accessories & Attachments
Also, this vacuum has a long hose (8.4 feet) which lets you clean around the house without the need to pull the vacuum whenever you move. The XL size dust bin also lets you clean dog hair without the need to empty it multiple times.
This vacuum weighs 15 pounds and comes with a long 25-feet cord. Also, this is surprisingly quieter than I expected it to be. It’s not totally quiet but it doesn’t freak my dogs like my old model. Also, you can easily rinse the dust bin and filters so you don’t have to buy replacements every single time.
✔️HEPA filter + anti-allergen complete seal technology
✔️Lift-Away button to access a hand-held wand vacuum
✔️Quieter than most upright vacuums
❌It’s a bit challenging to get the hose off
Bissell CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass
If you’re looking for a vacuum that can suck out all the dog hair in just one pass, I highly recommend the Bissell CleanView Bagless vacuum. It spots a multi-cyclonic system that provides powerful suction levels. This also separates the debris from your filter so you no longer have to clean it many times during use.
Its OnePass technology ensures that dog hair is removed in just one pass. It also has a multi-level filtration system that can remove allergens, dander, and other tiny air particulates.
This Bissell vacuum uses a primary Pre-Motor foam filter that’s highly washable. Anyway, it’s recommended that you change the filter every 3-6 months for the best results.
This vacuum comes with a Turbo Brush and a 25-feet cord. And since it has a bagless design, you don’t have to purchase bags just to get this to work.
Overall, this vacuum weighs 15 pounds and has a 2-liter dirt tank that’s more than enough for intense shedding.
Based on my own experience, this is amazing in sucking dog and cat hair. I just find the hose a bit short but you can easily fix it with a wand attachment.
Vacuum for Dog Hair Buying Guide
Personally, it’s a challenge to choose from the dozens of vacuums out there in the market. Each one has its unique features and the promise to clean pet hair in a snap. To be realistic, I suggest that you weigh on the following points first before placing a purchase:
Bag vs. bagless
This is the first question I had in mind when I started browsing for a vacuum to manage the intense shedding of my Great Pyrenees.
Both bag and bagless vacuums are useful. Both can have the same performance, capacity, and power. It’s just that they collect dirt in a different vessel. Here’s the difference:
A vacuum with a bag uses a plastic bag as a container for the dirt. Basically, the bag will be placed inside the vacuum and you’ll empty it afterward. You have the option to throw the bag away or recycle it for further use. Bag vacuums are much cheaper than bagless once but it has a higher ongoing cost since you’d need to replace the bags every month or two.
A bagless vacuum removes the need for bags. The only issue with a bagless vacuum is that the dog hair might billow back if emptied haphazardly. Although it requires a higher upfront investment, it has lower ongoing cost.
Types of vacuums
There are 3 major types of vacuum for dog hair: upright, canister, and handheld. Below are the differences and pros and cons of each one.
An upright vacuum is a traditional type with the handle on top and a suction head at the bottom. The middle part which is upright is where the dirt is deposited for disposal.
Upright vacuums are easy to maneuver and you don’t have to think of parts trailing behind. It’s also easier to store and may come with a telescoping hose that allows you to clean under tables and elevated areas.
On the other hand, canister vacuums are those with wheeled bodies and a long hose. The canister is pulled behind which offers better maneuverability and cleaning flexibility. The issue with canister vacuums is you don’t have control over the canister. It can bang on your furniture while pulling it along.
Like what the type indicates, handheld vacuums are easier to maneuver. It’s also lightweight and ideal for small homes or apartments with dogs. Most handheld vacuums have bagless designs which make it more affordable both in the upfront and ongoing cost.
It’s also a quicker to set up and the best choice for households that can’t afford either an upright or a canister type.
Major types of vacuum filters
Now that you have an idea about the design that you need, it’s important that we look inside the vacuum. The main component here is the filter. Here, I’ll discuss the main filter and the additional cleaner filters you can choose from.
Take note that each one of these filters works based on the area you’re cleaning and how heavy your dog sheds. Basically, there are two types of filters that you can find in your appliance:
-Primary filters are the main filtering systems that suck in the air and traps dirt before releasing the air back to the environment. This can be paired with a secondary filter to boost the cleaning or deodorizing power of the vacuum.
-Secondary filters are the next system installed after the primary filter. This is usually used to clean the air even better before releasing it back to the environment. Secondary filters serve a specific purpose. It can be for trapping allergens, dander, microbes, or bad odor.
This type of filter is disposable and has to be replaced periodically to maintain the optimal function of the vacuum.
Still, cartridge filters are very easy to replace since it’s usually fitted using rubber casings. This allows you to slide the new filter softly into the vacuum cleaner.
A cartridge filter can both be a primary or a secondary filter depending on the model of the appliance.
Cloth filters aren’t usually used on dog hair vacuums. It’s often installed in large vacuum cleaners used in industrial purposes.
Cloth filters are washable and very tough against wear and tear. This can be used many times before requiring a replacement.
Most vacuum nowadays uses disk filters as the primary filtering system. It’s like a coffee filter but made from paper or cloth. Usually, you can find this type of filter on cordless models or robotic vacuum cleaners.
Take note that disk filters are more expensive than other primary filters due to its construction. Also, it can only last low to moderate amounts of dog hair before the need to wash or replace it.
Foam filters used to be a primary filter but are now commonly used as a secondary system. This can trap dirt, dust, and tiny particles before releasing the air back to the environment.
Foam filters are highly washable and reusable. Still, you should refer to the manufacturer’s note about the lifespan of a foam filter as this can crumble over time. Anyway, foam filter replacements are the cheapest of all types.
There are many secondary filters released in the market in the past years. Each one has a specific purpose to complement the function of the primary filter. For dog hair, you may need one of these to ensure that you’re catching all the fur:
HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter is probably one of the most popular cleaner filters nowadays. It can filter particles as small as 0.3 microns which is equivalent to about 99.995% of all air particulates.
With this filtering level, a high-quality HEPA filter can suck out pathogens, allergens, and all the dog hair lying around your floor. This is also the top choice of people with asthma and respiratory allergies.
ULPA or Ultra-Low Penetration/Particulate Air filter has a similarity with HEPA. This is commonly used on cleaning rooms of pharmaceutical labs and other controlled environments. It’s rare for household vacuums to have ULPA filters and if you find one, it will cost a lot.
ULPA filters can sieve up to 99.999% of air particulates as small as 0.12 microns. This is more powerful than HEPA filters, so to speak.
Allergen filters are made to trap very small particles than can trigger allergic reactions. If you already have a HEPA filter, there’s no apparent need for this additional layer of filtration. Besides, the filtration level of so-called allergen filters doesn’t exceed with that of HEPA.
MicroFresh is actually the substance added to the filters (which can vary in material and design). This is used to sterilize the air before it exits the vacuum. Some manufacturers incorporate MicroFresh filters on their dust bags, thus hitting two birds with one stone for bag vacuum users.
Pet filters are new types aimed to pick pet hairs and deodorize the air by getting rid of pet smell. Usually, baking soda is added to the filter to make this possible.
Washable filters are made to last longer even after multiple washing. Although it can be a bit expensive, it will reduce the ongoing cost of using a vacuum.
Scented filters add a pleasant whiff to the filtered air once it exits the vacuum. This is helpful, especially if your pet is spreading the notorious ‘doggy smell’. You can choose the scent that you like but take note that this, too, will need replacements over time.
Top considerations when purchasing a dog hair vacuum
Aside from the vacuum type and filter types, I also deem it necessary that you consider the following points before putting your money on a dog hair vacuum:
-Performance and power
It’s a no-brainer that your choice of vacuum should be able to pick up even the tiniest dog hair in the air. The suction level of a vacuum is measured differently based on each brand’s metrics.
Performance and power will deal with how much air gets to be filtered per minute. Take note that the suction power matters so the dirt will be pulled up to the filters and not just within the hose.
It’s not just about the amount of air that enters the vacuum at a time. It’s more of how much dirt is removed from the air. Sure, speed is precious, but you should also consider filtration efficiency (see filters).
The key here is to check the CFM or Cubic Feet per Minute. Some would use AW or Air Watts.
CFM is the amount of air that enters the collection bin every minute. The higher the CFM the higher the suction power of the vacuum becomes. Anything around 50 to 100 CFM is ideal for household settings.
As for the AW, it represents the amount of power the vacuum uses to pull the dirt through the vacuum nozzle. Again, the higher the AW gets, the more air gets sucked into the vacuum.
The rule of thumb is at least 100 AW for upright types and 220 AW for canister types.
Capacity is a matter of how often you’d need to empty the bin or bag during use. A large bin is ideal for large homes and if you have a dog that sheds a lot.
Sizing up your dog hair vacuum properly is important so you won’t have to empty it after a few minutes of cleaning. A 2-liter dust bin should be enough for average shedders.
Still, a larger bin also means larger equipment. It will also cost more.
-Type of surface to vacuum
Always consider the area you’re vacuuming. Is it a hardwood floor? Carpets? Here’s what I recommend:
For hardwood floors, canister vacuums are the ideal choice. This is less likely to scratch your floor like what some upright models would do.
If your house is carpeted, an upright vacuum will save you from the hassle. An upright vacuum has a direct suction contact and a larger vacuum base. Upright vacuums offer more cleaning power to fur-mired carpets, especially high-piled ones.
Solid floors like tiles need a large vacuum base to suck all the debris efficiently. Unlike carpeted floors, dog hair can easily move around a tiled floor. You need a high sucking power and a large base regardless of the vacuum type.
Like tiled floors, linoleum or laminated floors let fur and dander flutter around. It’s best to choose a large vacuum base but one that doesn’t chafe the floor. An upright type would be ideal since the wheels of canister vacuums may cause scratches on the floor.
You’d probably want a pet hair vacuum that comes with a few accessories. These additional tools will extend the functionality of your appliance beyond sucking out dog hair in your home.
Here are some of the very useful accessories and attachments I recommend:
This will let your brush off bookcases, blinds, and hard-to-reach areas while keeping the sucking motion working. It’s like sweeping and vacuuming at the same time.
This tool has a thin and angled tip that lets you suck out dirt from tiny crevices like the back of your cabinet, bed, and other furniture. As you know, these spots are notorious for hiding clumps of dog hair.
This telescopic wand lets you use a longer tube to reach corners and other hidden spots in between your furniture.
Does your dog love to stay on your bed? If so, you need a mattress tool attachment to remove hair that’s stuck on your mattress. It has a wide base and texture pads for efficient cleaning.
No one wants a vacuum that’s a pain to move around the house. A canister vacuum allows better maneuverability over upright types. However, the canister itself can be difficult to transport or move around a small space.
Upright types, on the other hand, let you move the entire vacuum without pulling any parts. Still, you’ll need attachments to use it on hard-to-reach spaces.
For most homes, weight isn’t really an issue as long as the vacuum cleans up dog hair. Still, you may want a lighter one so you can bring it around the house.
A manufacturer that provides a decent warranty, say one-year, is a good choice. Some would even offer a limited lifetime warranty on several parts of the appliance. The warranty terms will ensure that your unit will be replaced or repaired within the covered period.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are pet vacuums better?
A: Some manufacturers market what they call as pet vacuums. Although this might work, it’s not at par with what upright or canister vacuums can offer. Besides, you would want a vacuum that you can use all around the house, not just for your dogs’ dander.
Q: What vacuum is best for hardwood floors and pet hair?
A: Both a canister and upright vacuum are ideal for hardwood floors mired with pet hair. Just make sure that you get the right filter for efficient cleaning. Above, I’ve discussed filters and clean filters comprehensively.
Q: Are bagless vacuum cleaners better than bagged?
A: Bagged vacuums let you collect dirt and dispose it off easily. The only issue here is that you’d have to purchase the bag replacements. Bagless vacuums might be a bit challenging to empty but it can work without the need for the bag.
The best vacuum for dog hair will help you manage the intense shedding of your dog. Just make sure that you get the right one based on the aspects I discussed above. What do you think of my personal picks? Do you have a recommendation? Feel free to let us know below.