The upright, canister, handheld, and stick vacs efficiently pick up what your pet leaves behind.
As far as we know, there's no vacuum known as the Golden Retriever Fur Reliever, but there are many vacuums sold with fuzzy claims and "pet" in the model name. Do they function?
Fine, some are capable vacuums overall, but others are good at pet-hair pickup and little else. To test such claims, Consumer Reports created a tough pet-hair test for full-sized upright and canister vacuums.
First, technicians take 5 grams of long, feathery hair from Maine Coon cats and scatter, stomp, and smash it into the medium-pile carpet. Then they make numerous passes with the test vacuum to see how much of the hair it picks up. Vacuums that rate an Excellent collect all the pet hair in a bag or bin. Average vacuums leave behind visible patches, or fur becomes entangled in the brush.
Consumer Reports also test smaller vacuums such as stick and handheld models for pet-hair pickup. But since we don't expect them to accomplish the deep cleaning of a full-sized vacuum, we use half as much cat hair for the stick vacuum test. And with handheld vacuums, we use even less. In other words, we design our tests to challenge the cleaning capabilities of each kind of vacuum we rate.
Upright vacuums are a good selection if you have a lot of carpet and area rugs in your home because they tend to be better than canisters at carpet cleaning. Here are three best vacuum cleaners for dog hair that excel at picking up pet hair.
- Dyson Ball Animal 2
- Kenmore Pet-Friendly CrossOver 31220
- Miele Dynamic U1 Cat&Dog
If you have stairs in your house, a canister may be the best pet vacuum for you. This configuration is easier to utilize on stairs because the weight is distributed between the powerhead and the canister, and it's convenient to carry from one level to another. Here are three top canister vacuums that excel at picking up pet hair.
- Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly UltraPlush 81714
- Miele Compact C2 Electro+
- Miele Complete C3 Margin
Stick vacuums are great for fast messes, and their cleaning power has been improving in recent years. They're lightweight and easy to remove from a closet. Most also ace our pet-hair test. Here are three top stick vacuum cleaners for pet hair that excel at picking up pet hair.
- Bissel Air Ram 1984
- Shark Apex DuoClean Corded
- Tineco Pure One S12
Handheld vacuums aren't intended for heavy cleaning, but they're a good selection if you're whisking up cereal from under a high chair or off the floor mats in your car. Few can eliminate pet hair, but these two are notable exceptions.
- Black+ Decker Flex BDH2020FL
- Shark Ion W1 WV201