Best cordless vacuums for cleaning pet hair
If your pets keep leaving hair behind after a snooze on the sofa or a roll on the carpet, you’re sure to want a vacuum cleaner that can keep on top of all the shedding.
Shopping for a cordless vacuum cleaner that’s great at cleaning up after your pets can be tricky, though. It’s hard to know what’s good, especially when specialised pet models are often more expensive and not always better than non-pet models.
In fact, our independent lab tests have found that only one in four cordless vacuums for pets have hair-sucking power worth shouting about.
We’ve shortlisted the top five cordless vacuums that blew us away with their ability to whisk away pet hair in a flash - and not all of them are pet vacuums.
Read on to find out our picks, what you get with a pet vacuum and how to remove pet hair from your home effectively.
Top five cordless vacuums for pet hair
Do you really need a specialist vacuum for pets?
When you’re shopping around, it’s easy to be drawn towards vacuums that have‘pet’ or ‘animal’ in their names - and why wouldn’t you be? You want the right tool for the job.
But our expert cordless vacuum cleaner tests have found that only opting for specialist pet vacs can lead you to miss out on some of the best appliances available.
In fact, at the time of writing, 71% of the cordless vacuums that score the full five stars for pet hair cleaning in our tests are not pet hair vacuums, so don’t restrict yourself by thinking these are the only ones capable of sweeping up those pesky hairs.
It’s also important to remember that most specialist pet vacuums are almost exactly the same as standard vacuums in terms of design and performance. The differences are usually only down to the accessories that are included and the price.
Pet versions of vacuums often come with a motorised pet hair tool accessory and cost around £50 more than the standard version. Prices do jump around, though, so make sure to compare prices before you buy. You may end up landing one or two extra accessories with the pet version for the same price you’d pay for the standard vacuum.
Features to look out for in a pet vacuum
- Motorised pet hair tool - Most pet vacuums come with an additional motorised pet hair attachment, which is essentially a miniature version of the main floor head that’s handy for cleaning furniture. They aren’t suitable for use where most pet hair collects, though - the floor.
- Crevice tool - Most cordless models come with a crevice tool, which is not only handy for reaching into gaps between cushions on your sofa, but also around the edges and corners of rooms where pet hair often accumulates.
- Upholstery brush - A solid but manual-intensive alternative to a motorised pet hair tool. An upholstery brush is designed for lifting fluff from sofas, but it can be used for sucking up pet hair, too - it’ll probably just take a little more effort.
- Allergen retention - Keeping dust and fluff locked in the dust container is extra important when pet hair, and other bits of dust and fluff creep into your home. Claims around HEPA filters and allergens can be misleading, which is why our lab tests find out which vacuums will have you breathing in fine dust particles and which ones won’t.
- Noise - If your pet gets nervous or excitable when a noisy vacuum cleaner starts whizzing around the home, you’ll want to find one that keeps noise levels at a minimum during cleaning. No vacuums are truly silent, but our score each model for how quiet it is and recommend ones that aren’t too loud.
Top tips for cleaning pet hair
Even if you use one of the best vacuums for pet hair, it can feel like an endless battle keeping on top of it. Below, we’ve listed a few useful tips that can help stem the tide:
How we find the best vacuums for pet hair
At Which?, we’re dedicated to finding the best and worst cordless vacuums so you know exactly what you’re getting before you part with your money. We do this by putting every cordless vacuum we review through a series of robust, independent lab tests.
We comb an exact blend of real dog and cat hair into our test carpets, and accurately simulate a scenario of using a vacuum to suck up pet hair that’s matted into your carpets at home.
We time how long it takes to sufficiently remove the hair and any additional time required to clean the vacuum after use, to determine how efficiently it deals with the pet hair. The most efficient vacuums score the full five stars for pet hair removal, while those that struggle or even fail to pick up the hair at all receive one star.