best vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Best Vacuum Cleaner For Pet Hair 2020: Cat & Dog Owners Guide

In a hurry? Best Budget Choice: Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator | Best Overall Choice: Harry Hoover HHR200

best vacuum cleaner for pet hairIf you’re a pet owner, cleaning your house and removing all the pet hair can be a never-ending task. If you have carpeted floors, getting the hair out of the fine fibres can be quite exhausting.

Equally, hard surfaces such as wood and tile are also challenging when it comes to pet hair. The hair sticks out like a sore thumb on hard flooring, and sweeping several times a day quickly becomes tiresome.

What you need is a vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed for dealing with pet hair. The best vacuum for pet hair will make it easier for the hair to be removed, and will also allow you to vacuum less than usual. Designated pet tools are also a must for dealing with carpet, hard floors, and upholstery.

The following are three vacuum cleaners that seem promising in this regard and have special features that specifically attack stubborn pet hair.

These models are very popular among pet owners, and when you read on you will find out why.

Top Rated Pet Vacuums Of 2020

 NameImageLearn MorePriceWeight (kgs)
Best Overall

Harry Hoover HHR200

Best Overall
numatic harry hhr 200 11view prices
Read Review



Best Budget

Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator

Best Budget
vax h85 ga p18 gator handheldview prices
Read Review



Best Upright

Shark DuoClean
Powered Lift-Away

Best Upright
shark duoclean powered lift away uprightview prices
Read Review



Best Cordless

Shark DuoClean Cordless

Best Cordless
shark cordless duoclean pet hairview prices
Read Review



Dyson V8 Animal

dyson v8 animal cordlessview prices
Read Review



Harry Hoover HHR200 – Best Overall Pet Vacuum

numatic harry hhr 200 11You may be familiar with Henry Hoover, but did you know that Numatic produces a whole range of vacuum cleaners designed for different purposes? Harry Hoover HHR200 has a number of extra features that make it ideal for dealing with pet hair and odours.

Along with the usual Henry Hoover features such as powerful suction and large dirt capacity, Harry also has a motorised cleaning head, which is called the HairoBrush. He also has an activated charcoal filter which absorbs pet smells and stops them coming back into your room.

HairoBrush: This is one of the features that distinguish Harry from the rest of the Numatic vacuums and make him the ideal choice for pet hair. The HairoBrush is larger than the standard vacuum heads and it is motorised, making it ideal for removing pet hair that is caught deep inside the carpet. The Hairobrush can also be used for removing pet hair from upholstery and carpeted stairs.

Activated Charcoal Filter: Another benefit of Harry is the addition of an activated charcoal filter. This is a special filter that deals with smells that go into the vacuum. It absorbs pet odours and stops them from escaping back into the room. The only downside to this is that the charcoal filter replaces the HEPA filter from other models. HEPA filters are ideal for capturing allergens, so if you suffer from pet or dust allergies you may need a model that has one.

harry hoover hairobrushPowerful Suction Performance: Harry has a power output of 620 watts which is in line with most of the Numatic range. This gives him powerful suction which is essential when dealing with stubborn pet hair. Harry can handle most cleaning jobs with ease, and he has two power modes. ‘Hi’ mode is great for cleaning up pet hair from hard surfaces such as wood and tile, while ‘Lo’ mode is good for carpets where a higher suction may be too powerful to move the vacuum.

Friendly and Unique Design: All Numatic vacuums are brightly coloured and have the classic Henry Hoover smile, and Harry HHR200 is no different. He is bright green in colour and his cheery face adds to the uniqueness. The face can actually be removed from the vacuum, but in all honesty, why would you want to? Vacuuming with Harry feels like you are vacuuming with a friend.

Large Dust Capacity: Harry uses Numatics own HepaFlo bags, which are designed to keep dust and allergens inside the bag. These bags come with a self-seal, so when it is time to change it the chance of dust and dirt escaping is minimal. This is a big difference from some cordless vacuums where a cloud of dust covers the room as you empty the canister.

Pros Cons
All the features of Henry with added extras for dealing with pet hair No HEPA filter
HairoBrush attachment is one of the best pet hair cleaning heads on the market The strong suction and heavy weight can make it awkward to use at first
MicroFresh filter contains activated charcoal for removing pet odours

Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away – Best Upright Pet Vacuum

shark duoclean powered lift away uprightA unique, powerful and effective vacuum cleaner for pet owners, the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away has several things to offer. At first look, it’s a traditional, upright vacuum cleaner. But the device has many other things going its way. It easily removes pet hair from thick, carpet fibres, tricky corners and hard to reach areas in your house.

It also has the power of efficient design and swivel steering technology, allowing it to give your home an all-around cleaning. It has a special motorised brush which is designed especially to remove pet hair. The following are the features that I thought were of the most value:

DuoClean Technology: The device has two unique brush rolls which can work simultaneously, allowing it to glide smoothly from carpet to hard floor without stopping or needing a change in settings. The soft brush roll can contact hard floors directly and remove stuck-on dirt while also trying to restore the shine of the floor. The second bristle bar is for carpet fibres. It goes deep into the fabric, removing the minutest particles of dirt and fine hair.

Triple Particle Cleaning: The device is also useful for cleaning three kinds of messes. It easily removes small and large messes, as well as stubborn, stuck-on dirt that refuses to go away otherwise.

Lift-Away: This is one of the most enduring features of the device. If you’re finding the traditional, upright vacuum cleaner limiting to use, you can easily convert the device into a handheld vacuum, with just a click of a button. It has a lightweight, detachable pod which can make the vacuum cleaner handheld and easily portable. This is especially helpful if you want to carry the cleaner down to the garage, for instance, to give your car a quick do-over. You can also clean stairs, tabletops, etc. with complete comfort and satisfaction.

Powered Lift-Away: Not only is the pod detachable, but it also has its own power which is focused on the brush roll. The direct power allows the brush roll to rotate without any external suction. Unlike other vacuum cleaners that rely on suction alone, the detachable pod works effortlessly without the baggage of a cord and can be used to clean areas that are otherwise hard to reach.

Designed for Homes with Pets: It is designed perfectly for homes with pets. The motorised pet brush is designed such that it goes deep into your carpet fibres to get even the most stubborn pet hair out with complete ease. This is not only the best Shark vacuum cleaner, but it is also the best vacuum for pet hair in the UK.

Easy to Use: It is extremely easy to use owing to the swivel steering technology. The handle is designed such that it can be manoeuvered easily and with great comfort. There are also built-in LED lights which allow you to throw light on dust particles and hair hiding in dark crevices.

All Round Cleaning: The cleaner allows you to get to all the nooks and corners of the house. It can even be extended to reach above-the-floor surfaces, like curtains and light fittings. It also comes with handy accessories like dusting and crevice tools. It also employs an anti-allergen technology which uses HEPA-filtration to keep even the finest dust particles out of your home.

Pros Cons
Detachable Lift-Away canister which converts it into a portable cleaner On the expensive side (although it is on deal a lot of the time)
DuoClean cleaning head for a more effective and efficient clean Smaller dust capacity than a bagged vacuum - may need to empty more often
Excellent at dealing with embedded pet hair

Shark DuoClean Cordless – Best Cordless Pet Vacuum

shark cordless duoclean pet hairAn easy and convenient way to get all the stubborn pet hair out of your carpets and crevices in your home, the Shark DuoClean Cordless is an absolute delight for pet owners. Its cord-free cleaning offers freedom of a whole other kind. No longer do you have to stay tethered to a wire and look for plug points in the room.

It is good for all kinds of surfaces, carpets or hard floors. It also has special attachments that are built specifically to get stubborn hair and dirt out of surfaces and give your home a clean environment. The following are some of the features of the product which seem to be of the most use:

DuoClean Technology: The device has two unique brush rolls which work together to give a deep clean. The brushes work together to remove at least three kinds of messes — large and small messes, as well as stubborn, stuck on dirt. The soft brush roll works on the hard floors and restores the original shine of the floor, while the thicker bristle is perfectly suited to get the dirt out of thick carpet fibres.

Carpets to Hard Floors: The presence of the two brushes and the fact that they can work simultaneously means that the device can move from carpet to hard floors without any hindrance. You don’t have to stop and change the settings or the brush head. The device can just move seamlessly from one surface to another, without stopping. This is especially helpful since it is cordless so you can quite literally clean the whole house in one cleaning session.

All Round Cleaning: The device utilizes a technology called ‘Flexology’, which allows the wand to bend the way you require it to. It can reach underneath low-lying furniture, hard to clean corners and crevices and even surfaces above the floor without any trouble. The wand can be extended with an easy, quick release option which is perfect for cleaning high curtains and light fittings.

Ideal for Pet Owners: The motorised pet power brush is designed especially for stubborn hair. You can use this brush in the unique handheld mode, which the device can easily be turned into. Clean stairs, furniture and even your car with this powerful cordless hand vacuum.

Reach Anywhere: ‘Flexology’ allows this device to reach anywhere. It can bend to reach underneath a sofa, saving your back while doing it since it does the bending for you. With one click, the quick release wand can also be extended to reach higher surfaces above the floor. Besides, the hand vacuum mode ensures you can get better control when cleaning stairs, tabletops, etc. Because This Shark is so light, it is one of the best vacuums for stair cleaning.

Store Anywhere: The device can also be stored anywhere with ease. Since it is cordless, there is no hassle of untidy power cords taking up space. It is also completely free standing and does not need wall support or storage hooks to be stowed away. But the most important feature is the flexi wand which can be halved in size with only a single click. You can park the vacuum cleaner anywhere with ease.

Charge Anywhere: Since the vacuum cleaner is cordless, of course, it needs to be charged every now and then. The device comes with removable, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can be charged anytime, anywhere. Other corded vacuums are limited to specific charging stations. With the Shark DuoClean Cordless, you can simply charge the battery in situ or remove the battery and charge it elsewhere, using any outlet in your home. You can also purchase additional batteries to ensure the charge does not run out mid-clean. The cleaner lasts 22 minutes with a charge time of 3.5 hours. It weighs 4 kgs.

Pros Cons
DuoClean cleaning head for excellent performance on carpets and hard floors 22-minute run time is shorter than other cordless models
Flexology technology allows you to easily clean hard-to-reach areas Needs to be cleaned more often that a bagged vacuum
Very versatile - can convert into a handheld cleaner

Dyson V8 Animal – A Great Option For Pets

dyson v8 animal cordlessA powerful cleaner that comes with a variety of tools to give your home all-around cleaning, the Dyson V8 Animal is a satisfying cleaner for pet owners. Its bristles go deep into the carpet fibres to remove even the minutest particles of dust and dirt.

The machine also captures allergens and lets out air that is cleaner than when you originally started vacuuming. It is powered by a nickel cobalt aluminium battery which delivers suction for up to 40 minutes, depending on the tool you’re using. The following are some of the features I found useful in the course of my research:

Direct Drive Cleaner Head: The cleaner head is powerful and drives the bristles deeper into the carpet and its thick fibres to ensure all the dirt gets pulled in. It claims to have 150% more brush power than its predecessor, Dyson V6 Animal vacuum.

Whole Machine Filtration: The whole machine filtration technology allows the device to capture even minute allergens and release a cleaner, more breathable air. This is a great feature to have if you or anybody in your home is prone to allergies.

Battery Life: The device is cordless and provides up to 40 minutes of suction power without fading. The battery runtime could be up to 25 minutes when used with the motorised floor tool attached. It is powered by a new nickel cobalt aluminium battery that can be charged with ease.

Hygienic Dirt Ejector: The device is extremely easy to clean out. You only have to click a single button to eject all the dirt without coming in contact with the dirt. Just release it into a dustbin and you can forget all about it.

Tools: The device comes with several handy tools that are useful for making your home spotless, like the direct drive cleaner head, mini motorised tool, docking station, combination tool and rigid crevice tool.

Pros Cons
Up to 40 minutes of fade-free suction power Battery cannot be removed to be charged
Lot's of tools and attachments for any cleaning tasks - great for pets Smaller dust capacity than a bagged vacuum - may need to empty more often
Whole machine HEPA filtration - great for allegies

Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Handheld – Best on a Budget

vax h85 ga p18 gator handheldThe Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator is a cordless handheld vacuum that has been specifically designed for pet hair. A handheld model is good for a quick clean-up of pet hair, but it will never replace your main vacuum. I wanted to include this as a cheaper alternative for those who want to tackle the pet hair in their home, but are not ready to replace their main vacuum cleaner.

The Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator is portable, convenient, and will give you up to 20 minutes of cleaning time. It has a powered turbo cleaning head which is ideal for lifting stubborn pet hair, and the easy to empty dirt bin allows you to quickly get back to cleaning. This is the top performing handheld for pet hair, and now we’ll look at some of the features and benefits.

Cheap Price: The main benefit of the VaxH85 Gator is the price. This costs a fraction of the other models on this page, meaning you can easily purchase this as a second vacuum just for pet hair. Even though it is cheap, it still has powerful suction and a few tools to aid you in your pet hair removal.

Cordless Convenience: Cordless handheld vacuums like this Vax are ideal for quick spot cleans. If you notice a clump of pet hair on your carpet or sofa you can quickly clean it up without the hassle of having to take your main vacuum out. Although the 20 minute run time may seem short, you have to remember that this is not designed to clean your whole house. For quick clean-ups of pet hair, 20 minutes is a sufficient amount of time.

Motorised TurboTool: The Vax H85-GA-P18 features a motorised TurboTool, which is great for lifting pet hair from carpets and upholstery. The TurboTool has a wide nozzle, meaning you can clean more surface area which saves battery life. This Vax handheld also comes with a crevice tool, allowing you to clean hard to reach areas with ease.

Ideal for Stairs: Thanks to the size and convenience, the Vax Gator is ideal for cleaning your stairs. It means you can avoid having to dangerously balance a heavy upright or cylinder on your stairs, and the motorised tool will lift any ground in dirt and hair.

Easy Empty Dirt Bin: The dirt bin is 0.3 litres so while it isn’t huge, it is good for a handheld vacuum and it helps to keep the weight down. It shouldn’t take too long to empty thanks to the easy empty dirt bin, simply hold the vacuum over your bin and press the release button. It may be a good idea to empty it into an outside bin to avoid a cloud of dust filling your room.

Pros Cons
Built in crevice tools for cleaning difficult, hard to reach areas Hair tends to get tangled in the brush bar
Powered turbo head cleans upholstery and pet hair effortlessly Heavier than other handheld vacuums
Gator mouth technology makes it easier to empty without any mess

What to Consider Before Buying A Pet Hair Vacuum

So far I have touched upon the special features of each of the products I have picked out as options. You and I, both, are in a better position to make a decision now, yet there are still many things you may want to consider before making a decision. What are the things you need to deliberate upon to make a more informed decision? The following is a general checklist you can use to see if the vacuum cleaner you’re looking at is a good fit for you or not.

Here are some generic questions:

  • What are your specific requirements? The vacuum cleaner you eventually purchase should fit your specific requirements over anything else. What may work for somebody else may not work well for you. So think about the criteria you want to set and decide if the vacuum cleaner is a good buy. Does your upholstery need specific care? How much do your pets need to be cleaned up after? Is anyone in your home allergic to dust?
  • How heavy is it? You need to account for the number of levels in your home, how much weight can you personally carry and how convenient do you need your cleaning to be? Most upright, traditional vacuum cleaners are powerful but also tend to be heavier. If you can find a lightweight vacuum cleaner that is powerful, consider it as an option.
  • Is it cordless? A cordless vacuum cleaner provides you with the freedom of taking the cleaner around without being limited by a power cord. There is, however, a chance that the vacuum cleaner will run out of battery mid-clean. If your vacuum cleaner is corded, you need to consider how long the cord is and how much flexibility it can provide if you’re cleaning a large area.
  • How good is the filtration? Any good vacuum cleaner should have an effective filter, especially if you are dealing with pet hair. It should be able to pull even fine dust particles in. While some vacuum cleaners have an anti-allergen technology and HEPA filtration, even if the vacuum cleaner checks the basic standards of filtration off the list, that’s a plus. Of course, if you are prone to allergies, you should probably look for one that specifically employs an anti-allergen technology.
  • Is the cleaner bagged or bagless? There are both varieties commonly available in the market and both have their pros and cons. If a vacuum cleaner is bagged, it seals off all the dirt for you so you don’t have to be exposed to it even when you’re cleaning it. With a bagless vacuum cleaner, you will have to clean out the dirt into a container yourself and there’s a chance you will be exposed to the dust. But it does reduce the added hassle of changing the bags every now and then.
  • How noisy is it? Any vacuum cleaner is bound to make noise. But if it is only noise and no power, you might as well get rid of it. If you can find a quieter alternative that creates a powerful enough suction, you should consider it as an option.
  • Own a pet? If you have a dog or cat you should look towards a motorised brush head to keep stubborn pet hair under control, there are plenty of models available including cordless models

While those were some generic questions you should ask yourself to create a checklist, the following are some specific ways to pick out a good vacuum cleaner from the rest.

Read More: What is the best vacuum cleaner in the UK?

What Is It Good For?

A sales pitch for a vacuum cleaner will describe several uses. But how useful is it to you, specifically? The following are some basic features that any decent vacuum cleaner must have:

  • Clean Corners and Crevices: Any good vacuum cleaner should be able to reach tricky areas that are otherwise hard to clean. This includes getting into awkward corners or dark crevices where dust and dirt keep collecting in layers. It would be helpful if the vacuum cleaner has suitable onboard tools to accord it this versatility. Tools like the dusting tool, crevice tool, etc. and even add-ons like an extendable hose are great additions.
  • Clean Different Surfaces: Any good vacuum cleaner should be versatile enough to work on different surfaces. It should glide easily from carpet to hard floor, preferably without needing any changes in the settings. Often, vacuum cleaners lose suction when moved over different surfaces. This not only breaks the flow of cleaning but also makes the whole process longer and more tiring. A motorised brush has a better chance of cleaning carpeted floors and thick carpet fibres.
  • Get Underneath Low-Lying Furniture: A good vacuum cleaner should also be flexible enough to get underneath low-lying furniture, like the sofa, to be able to clean surfaces that are hard to reach. If the wand is flexible enough to bend, that’s an added bonus, since it saves your back. It would also be useful if the vacuum cleaner could be converted into a handheld vacuum to clean mid-level surfaces like tabletops, lamp shades, stairs, etc.
  • Above-the-Floor Surfaces: You will need to clean above the floor surfaces frequently too and a vacuum cleaner should have the ability to extend and clean high curtains, alcoves high up in the wall, light fittings, etc. Ideally, the vacuum cleaner should have a quick release extension to get to higher, above-the-floor surfaces.
  • Filtration: The idea of vacuuming is to get the finer dust particles out of your home. Naturally, filtration is a very important feature for any good vacuum cleaner to have. It should be able to suck in fine particles and also keep them from going back into the air via the exhaust. Even if it does not offer HEPA filtration, a vacuum cleaner should at least meet the basic standards of filtration.

How Much Will You Have to Shell Out?

Before going any further, you need to decide how much you are willing to pay for a vacuum cleaner. There may be several cleaners you like but are outside your price range. Figure out what makes these cleaners more expensive. Are there extra features that make it more costly? Are these extra features useful to you? These are questions you will have to keep asking yourself in order to decide the right value of a vacuum cleaner.

You should also be clear of how frequently you’ll be using the cleaner. If you’re only going to use it once a month, does it make sense to buy a very expensive one? Fix a budget with all these questions in mind. Fixing a budget will also help you narrow down your search.

What Does It Do Differently?

Described above are the basic features any vacuum cleaner should have. But now I would like to focus on the specific special features of the three vacuum cleaners I have listed. Take a look at the specific, unique features and decide which one suits you the best.

For Pet Owners

A feature that’s common for all three products, the vacuum cleaners are good buys for pet owners. Both the Shark vacuum cleaners I have mentioned have motorised pet power brushes to give a wholesome clean and pick up even the finest particles of hair. The Dyson V8 also has a powerful brush that gives even thick carpet fibres a deep clean. All three have efficient tools and add-ons to make the cleaning process an all-around success. Of course, to minimise pet hair in general, it’s advised to regularly groom your pet and invest in a comfortable dog crate or cat bed to stop them from sleeping on the furniture.


This feature is only available in the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away. This unique technology allows a lightweight detachable pod on the otherwise upright vacuum cleaner to become a portable hand vacuum. This is useful to clean various different surfaces like stairs, tabletops and even the carpets in your car. What makes it even more useful is the powered Lift-Away option which allows the brush rolls to rotate even without suction. Most other devices rely on suction for power but the brush head on this one works on its own.

LED Light

The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away also has an in-built LED light in the vacuum head which allows you to see dust and dirt particles hiding away in dark crevices. The powerful LED light ensures no dirt can get away.


The Shark DuoClean Cordless and the Dyson V8 are both cordless vacuums. While the Shark DuoClean has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the Dyson has a new nickel cobalt aluminium battery. Between the two, the Dyson seems to have a longer runtime, with the battery going up to 40 minutes when not being used with the attachable tools. The runtime of the Shark DuoClean is 22 minutes.


At 2 kgs, the Dyson V8 Animal is the lightest vacuum cleaner of the ones I have mentioned. The Shark DuoClean Cordless follows at 4 kgs and finally, the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away is the heaviest at 6.1 kgs.


The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away provides HEPA filtration, which is great to have if you are prone to allergies. The Dyson V8 also offers whole machine filtration, which captures allergens and ensures a cleaner air is released out of the exhaust.

Final Thoughts

shark duoclean powered lift away uprightFrom all the assessments made so far, it seems the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away wins hands down. Not only does it offer the power of a traditional, upright vacuum cleaner, it also provides the flexibility of converting it into a handheld vacuum.

As a vacuum cleaner for pet owners, it provides a motorised brush designed specifically for picking up pet hair. While the other cleaners have their merits too, the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away offers many more features that make it a great buy. I can fully recommend this as the best vacuum for pet hair in the UK.

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