Clean Better: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Cordless Vacuum for Pet Hair

Pets can lower your stress and add immeasurable quality to your life, but they also add to your cleaning routine. A cordless vacuum for pet hair can be an essential tool to have in your home, but which one is right for your needs? Take a sweep through these options.

byThe Editors| PUBLISHED Apr 8, 2020 7:05 PM
Clean Better: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Cordless Vacuum for Pet Hair
You love your little fur ball—but not their fur. Getty Images

Pets are a beloved part of the family, but when it comes to cleaning up after them, some vacuums aren’t built to handle the job. Corded, upright vacs with bags are some of the strongest suckers on the market, which is why corporate and industrial cleaners always use them. But if you’re on the lookout for a lighter-weight cordless—and who wouldn’t be?—here’s what you need to consider before you click “add to cart.”

Our Mid-Range Pick
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Has an anti-clog roller and comes with two separate dog- and cat-hair friendly tools: a high-powered brush for especially sticky situations and a lighted crevice tool for crannies.

Have you ever spent a half hour painstakingly taking apart the roller brush on your vacuum so you can cut away long pet (and people) hairs? If you hate this chore as much as we do, you’ll be happy to hear that some vacuum brands are now including tangle-free rollers in their products. They work differently from brand to brand, but some include an extra “comb” that brushes the hairs from the roller so they can get sucked into the dust bin. Others have specially engineered bristles that resist tangles.

Another Solid Contender
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Converts to a feather-light handheld vac for sucking up fur on couches, stairs, and upholstery. On max power mode the battery doesn’t last very long, so we don’t recommend it for whole-house deep cleaning.

Pets get hair and other messes on…everything, not just your floors. So you may want to consider a convertible vac that can quickly transform into a handheld. Most stick vacuums are already somewhat lightweight, but anyone who has tried to hoist one up onto a couch cushion knows how unwieldy that can be. Convertible cordless—and corded—vacs are fairly common these days, so luckily you will have plenty of options to choose from if you go this route.

Anti-Allergy Hero
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This model sifts out 99.9 percent of dust and other particles and keeps them from blowing into the air around you—a huge plus if you or a family member suffer from allergies.

HEPA filters are the gold-standard for people with allergies. They’re used in home air purifiers, hospital HVAC systems, and even some vacuums. If you have people in your home who are sensitive to dander, pet hair or other allergens like dust mites, consider a vacuum with an upgraded filtration system and HEPA filter. They are often a bit more expensive than other models, but the investment in your health and comfort may be worth it.

An Affordable Pick
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A workhorse from a well-loved brand. It’s a tad heavier than slimmer models, but we like the oversized dirt-collection bin—fewer trips back and forth to the trash can to empty it.

One drawback of some cordless machines is their skinny dust bins. Small dirt-catchers are great for slimming down a vacuum’s profile and making it lighter to carry, but the tradeoff is that the bin fills up faster and may need to be dumped mid-job. If extending your uninterrupted cleaning time is more important than how much your vacuum weighs, consider one with a larger-than-average dust cup.

Also Consider

Entry-Level Option
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When it comes to vacs you often get what you pay for. That said, this model does have the basics plus a HEPA filter for pet dander and other allergens.
Our High-End Pick
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Specially designed for homes with pets, this beast has a 60-minute run time on a single charge, plus advanced, whole-machine filtration to help trap allergens.