Whether you just have one feline or canine companion, or several pets, you’ve likely found yourself having to battle pet hair and allergens at some point. Fur can be especially difficult to remove from carpets, but even if you have hard flooring you likely still have to spend ages hoovering your furniture, curtains and of course, pet beds. If you regularly take your dog on trips in your vehicle you’ll also need an effective, versatile pet hoover to keep it valet-clean.
Our Recommended Best Pet Vacuum Cleaners
These days consumers have the luxury of choice, although it can still be very easy to make the wrong one. We’ve put together a few of our top pet vacuum cleaner picks below. In order of most to least expensive:
Dyson V10 Total Clean
Design & Accessories – Most advanced cordless vacuum cleaner on the market. It’s bagless and Includes a plethora of accessories, including a direct drive cleaner head for carpets and mini motorized tool for stairs and upholstery, both of which are capable of picking up pet hairs.
Usability & Performance – The HEPA filtered V10 is very lightweight and efficient for a battery powered hoover, with three suction modes depending on your needs. It can be used as both a ‘stick’ hoover and a handheld which makes it ideal for floor to ceiling cleaning.
Value – The Dyson V10 Total Clean is the company’s flagship model and the price reflects this at just under £500. However, you are paying for practicality and a cordless hoover that has the ability to not only clean your home and vehicle but tackle pet fur as well. You can also choose the ‘Animal’ model which is cheaper and has fewer accessories, though includes the direct drive cleaner head for carpets.
Philips PowerPro Ultimate
Design & Accessories – Very modern looking cylinder hoover that is bagless and features HEPA13 filtration for allergy sufferers. It features two heads (one for various flooring types, and another for hard floors), a 2-in-1 brush tool and a crevice tool.
Usability & Performance – It’s a large cylinder vacuum but is easy to manoeuvre around the house due to its large wheels and 11-meter radius. At 650 watts the PowerPro is energy efficient while still providing powerful suction. It does lack a roller brush so it’s not the best for pet hair but still does the job due to its efficient air flow and cleverly designed tools.
Value – At a little under £300 The PowerPro Ultimate is an expensive cylinder vacuum cleaner, but it’s helped a lot of people with allergies to find relief. It’s a good choice if you have pets, but don’t have too much of a problem with embedded fur.
Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog
Design & Accessories – Simple in design, but very well made, the C3 Cat and Dog is a cylinder vacuum cleaner with an 11 layer filtration system (including a charcoal exhaust filter for odours), and a number of pet fur specific attachments. These include a turbo brush head and mini brush tool for carpets and upholstery, as well as a crevice tool, upholstery tool and dusting brush.
Usability & Performance – The new C3 has an 890-watt motor that is capable of producing a surprising amount of suction for all your cleaning needs. It has 6 suction settings, a 4.5-litre bag and built-in integration for your mini attachments. It’s also very efficient at removing pet hair from your floors, furniture and vehicle.
Value – Priced at just under £270 and with the option to extend the 2-year warranty to 8 years, the C3 Cat and Dog offer value as it should last you a long time. Additional attachments are also available for purchase.
Shark Lift Away True Pet
Design & Accessories – Innovatively designed to offer the convenience of an upright, but with the ability to have the main unit ‘lifted away’ from the wand, the bagless True Pet also has the same versatility of cylinder vacuum cleaners. The main head features a motorized brush, but also included is a mini motorized brush, 2-in-1 duster/crevice tool and an upholstery tool.
Usability & Performance – The Shark Lift away is unique but has been very favourably received by the majority of purchasers. It can be used for floor to ceiling cleaning (with the ability to easily reach under furniture when you lift away the unit), but really does excel at picking up pet hair of all kinds. The design takes some getting used to, but is a pleasure to use once you do.
Value – Sitting at just under £200 the Shark Lift Away True Pet is the cheapest of our recommendations, but should be considered seriously as it does what it sets out to do. It’s also backed by a standard 5-year warranty which is almost unheard of.
What are Pet Vacuum Cleaners?
Pet vacuum cleaners, as you would assume, are specifically designed for homes with pets. While they are very similar to normal hoovers in functionality, there are three important factors that make them stand out:-
It’s estimated that one in two people in the UK suffers from allergies; the most common being pollen, followed by house dust mites and pets. While some people might only have minor symptoms to these allergies such as sneezing, a runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, congestion and so on, there are those who suffer from much worse which includes rashes, eczema and even difficulty breathing – the last symptom is especially an issue if it affects asthma sufferers. Although cat allergies are more common than dog allergies (most likely due to their allergens being more sticky), they are all caused from a reaction to the proteins found in the animal’s saliva, skin cells and urine.
This is why when you choose a pet vacuum cleaner it’s important to choose one with adequate filtration. Most top of the line vacuum cleaners come with HEPA filtration, but it’s the HEPA13 filter in particular that works especially well for capturing allergens. Of course, this depends on how sensitive you are. Some pet hoovers use micro fibre filtration which can still be very effective, and some also include a charcoal filter to capture pet odours.
- Suction Power
Although the EU has now limited power of all newly manufactured vacuum cleaners to 900 watts, technology has allowed them to still have as much or more suction than their predecessors. The main reason for this is due to how efficiently the vacuum cleaner uses its air flow to create suction using the floor heads or additional attachments. It’s always important to read user reviews and check videos to find out whether a model lives up to its marketing hype. This is why we like to purchase all of the vacuum cleaners we review (see our best pet hoovers below) to give consumers the information they need to make smart decisions.
- Pet Specific Attachments and Versatility
Following on from the last point, while suction is vital to be able to clean your home and vehicle thoroughly when it comes to embedded or trodden in pet hair (not to mention dirt), it’s the attachments that make a difference. The hair has a horrible habit of becoming interwoven with fabric which can make hoovering seem pointless. What makes pet vacuum cleaners more efficient at removing the hair are the roller brushes (or beater bars) – both on the floor heads for carpets and the mini attachments that can be used for stairs and upholstery. Some of these are motorized, while others rely on the suction alone to spin the bristles as you clean.
These roller brush tools contain bristles that rotate and capture the hair which is then sucked up into a dirt receptacle or hoover bag. The air goes through the pre and post motor filters and is expelled from the exhaust leaving behind air that is more hygienic as you clean.
What Type of Pet Vacuum to Buy?
Now there are a huge number of pet specific vacuum cleaners on the market, many of which simply don’t live up to the sales spiel. This is why it’s important to read user reviews, and also carefully consider what you will be using the hoover for before you buy. When purchasing a pet vacuum that will last years, it’s a good idea to perform your due diligence and spend more money to get a quality unit. After all, a clean home leads to a better state of mind in addition to better health. There are three main types of pet hoovers to choose which are upright, cylinder and ‘stick’.
The upright hoovers are heavier and are best utilized for carpeted homes without the need to vacuum stairs or upholstery; cylinder vacuum cleaners are typically lighter and more versatile for a wide range of cleaning needs; and ‘stick’ hoovers are often very light, cordless and can be used for a wider range of floor to ceiling cleaning applications (i.e. the Dyson V10).
Another consideration to make is whether you want a bagged or bagless model. In the past, bagged models had better filtration and better-eliminated allergens, but HEPA filters and modern technology means this is no longer the case. The only concern you may have with bagless models is releasing some dust back into the air when you empty it, and that they will need to be emptied more often. However, many people still prefer them as they don’t need to worry about purchasing bags and the hoovers that are bagless are typically lighter. It all comes down to preference and budget, but in the end, as long as the vacuum performs as it should then it shouldn’t matter one way or the other.