Best Cordless Vacuums for Pet Hair
Having a dog in your home is like having a love/hate relationship, you adore them because of their unconditional love but you hate them because they leave a lot of litter and pet hair!
Did you know that there are approximately 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats in the United States alone?
If you’re one of those pet owners I think you’re aware that one of the biggest challenges in owning one is of course pet hair! It’s all over the place – sofa, chair, bed, rugs, carpet, etc. and even more so during spring.
One the best tools to have is a cordless vacuum cleaner and while it doesn’t provide the same power as their bigger brothers the upright and canister, with the right attachments you can make quick work of pet hair minus the cord.
Enough talk, let’s look at 5 of the best cordless cleaners that’ll help you keep up with the amount of hair shed by your pet.
Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL 20-Volt
Hoover Linx Stick
Dyson DC59 MotorHead
Hoover Linx Pet Hand Vac
Shark Pet Perfect II Hand Vac
|Attachments||4" Flexi hose|
Pet hair cleaning tool
Mini motorized tool
Direct driven MotorHead tool
|Power Head Brushroll|
Pet Upholstery Tool
Deluxe Dusting Brush
|Length||11.9" + 4 foot hose||42"||48"||19.2"||18.1"|
|Battery||20 volt (Max) Lithium Ion||18 volt Lithium Ion||22.2v Nickel Manganese Cobalt/Li-ion||18 volt li-ion||18V Compact Lithium-Ion Battery|
|Charging time||5 hours||3 hours||3.5 hrs||3 hours||24 hours (initial)|
16 hours (afterwards)
|18 - 30 mins||15 mins (with the brush roll turned off)|
10 mins (with the brush roll turned on)
|20 minutes (normal)|
6 minutes (boost)
|10 - 30 mins||15 mins|
How to Choose One?
The first thing to look for is a pet hair tool and every manufacturer will have its own design. The most common tool for this is a motorized brush that “sweeps” up pet hair. Others brands will use agitation – Black & Decker uses this in one of their handheld models.
One advantage agitation has over a motorized brush is there is less maintenance involved in terms of dissembling and removing hair that gets caught on the bristles.
Handhelds are be great to use on upholstery and stairs but also consider getting a stick vacuum that has a brush roll to remove pet hair off floors because handhelds aren’t designed to cover such a large area. There are hybrids such as the DC44 or DC35 that can covert from a handheld to a stick vacuum but these will cost close to $400 but refurbished units are available for about roughly half of a brand new one.
Our pick: Black and Decker BDH2000FL 20-volt
A surprising pick but it is hard to ignore the features that make this one of the best vacuums for pet hair. Not only does it have a pet hair tool that’s effective based on consumer reviews, it also has a flexible hose that allows more control in cleaning upholstery which tend to have a lot of contours. It is also flexible enough to reach the tightest of crevices.
The pet hair tool found here doesn’t use any brushes and has no motor in it that adds to the battery consumption rather it uses agitation to scrub off hair then suction is used to pull it all into its dirt bin.
These two features alone are enough to bolt this to the number 1 slot here. It uses a lithium ion battery so there is minimal fading and memory loss, and it charges up in just 5 hours. Run time will be around 15-30 minutes which is enough for spot clean ups.
Old Reliable: Hoover Linx Stick
Have you heard of the term “If ain’t broke why fix it”? This term applies to the Hoover Linx Stick.
It’s been in the market for around 5 years but still gets great reviews, particularly from pet owners who love how this stick vacuum picked up pet hair.
Even on carpet this machine is capable of cleaning large bits of debris like cereal or pet food because it has an inlet that acts as a funnel for larger debris so pet owners will be pleasantly surprised that this machine will indeed be able to use this machine without worrying about the dreaded snow plow effect.
In terms of picking up pet hair, like what I’ve said this machine is fully capable of cleaning pet hair because it is equipped with a motorized brush and has pretty good suction. In CNet’s controlled lab test, the Linx Stick was able to pick up 100% of pet hair that was laid out on hardwood as well as low and medium pile carpet, outperforming other more expensive cordless vacuums like the Dyson V6 Absolute.
The downside though is the run time. This is where this machine shows it’s age, the most you’ll get from a full charge will be around 15 minutes and that’s with the brush roll turned off. When you turn it on to clean carpet, expect the run time to drop to around 10 minutes.
Versatility at a Premium: Dyson 59 MotorHead
Our previous pick here was the Dyson DC44 but a lot has changed since I’ve written that review, new products have out and one of them was the Dyson DC59 MotorHead (this is the same as the Dyson V6 MotorHead).
How is this version different from the DC44? Well the MotorHead is totally new machine from the inside out. First let’s look at the motor. The MotorHead is powered by the all new V6 motor also found in the V6 series. Dyson claims that this is the most powerful cordless vacuum.
If you look at numbers (this one has up to 100 air watts on tap), they are right but there’s a catch. You’ll have to use the max button which eats more juice than usual. At the default mode run time will be around 20 minutes but when you activate the max suction that number goes down to 6 minutes but it is nice to have that power on tap.
One how it performed on pet hair, well CNet’s test is a good benchmark and the MotorHead was able to pick up all of the pet hair scattered on hardwood, low and midpile carpet thanks to the redesigned brushroll.
But one downside to bristled brushes is that long strands of hair will wrapped around it and you will need to clean it periodically. The good thing is Dyson made the main floor tool transparent, so you’ll see if there is build up and removing the brush isn’t hard at all.
A Hoover for Pet Hair – Hoover Linx Pet BH50030
The Hoover BH50030 is a great budget alternative for folks looking a cleaner that they can use on stairs and upholstery. That’s because it has two attachments – the pet upholstery tool and power brushroll that will work great on both of these areas.
Although there is a little concern about the effectiveness of the pet upholstery tool as some consumers complained that it didn’t do well removing pet hair because instead of sucking it in, it rolls them around. Those same people used the brushroll instead and found it to be effective.
One great feature it has is the 25 degree pivot which makes it easier to roll back and forth without straining your hand and wrist. Also the attachments lock in place securely so there is no need to worry about it falling off.
Despite the great features and price, it didn’t go any higher than 4 because of the negative reviews I found regarding the pet upholstery tool not working as advertised. If there is a lot of pet hair to clean, it tends to push it around and not pick it up. It is still a very good product that would complement a Hoover stick vacuum (just in case you have one).
The Budget Pet Hair Cleaner – Shark Pet Perfect Hand Held
At just under $60 bucks, this hand vacuum is the cheapest of the 5. It got good reviews from a couple of big review sites – Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports. I’m not gonna lie to you, this influenced my decision to put this in here.
However because of these limitations it didn’t go higher.
First, the motorized attachment does not swivel and this makes it difficult to move this back and forth. You’ll have to use your hand and wrist to adjust the angle in order to maintain surface contact which can be straining.
Second, the attachment does not have a locking mechanism that “clicks” in place. Its locking mechanism isn’t as robust as the other vacuums listed here so it’ll fall of when you don’t attach it properly.
Third, it takes too long to charge (16 hours) because it uses a nickel cadmium battery. Run time varies and according to reviews it goes for around 15 minutes but if the motorized brush is used that goes down.
On the plus side, it only costs less than $60 so this easily costs almost 50% less than the other products featured here. This would be great for people who don’t have a lot of pets at home because it’ll have some trouble cleaning a thick layer of hair.
These vacuums will help you clean up small pet hair messes before they pile up into a huge mess. Take note that all of the vacuums with the exception of the Dyson and GTech are meant to be used on upholstery for quick clean ups.
None of these machines will be fully capable of deep cleaning carpet, the GTech AirRam is the closest thing to a deep cleaner in this group but it won’t match a corded upright in terms of suction power.