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!
There are 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats in American households and those numbers will continue to grow.
What do those numbers mean?
These numbers simply mean that a lot of people are at risk to have asthma or any respiratory ailment. Exposure to pets and contaminants from these furry creatures increases the risk.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges a pet owner has would be cleaning up pet hair.
It’s all over the place – the sofa, bed, chair, rugs, carpet, etc. And we’re not even talking about shedding season!
One of the best tools to clean up pet hair would be a cordless vacuum because it will literally clean anywhere. It won’t have the same power as an upright or canister. But portability more than makes up for it.
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.
To help guide you through this article I’ve prepared a table of contents section…
Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL 20-Volt
Hoover Linx Stick
Dyson DC59 MotorHead
Shark Pet Perfect II Hand Vac
|Attachments||4" Flexi hose|
Pet hair cleaning tool
Mini motorized tool
Direct driven MotorHead tool
|Length||11.9" + 4 foot hose||42"||48"||45"||18.1"|
|Battery||20 volt (Max) Lithium Ion||18 volt Lithium Ion||22.2v Nickel Manganese Cobalt/Li-ion||22v Li-Ion||18V Compact Lithium-Ion Battery|
|Charging time||5 hours||3 hours||3.5 hrs||N/A||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)
|Approx. 30 mins||15 mins|
The first thing to look for is a pet hair tool and every manufacturer will have its own design.
Pet hair tool
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 big advantage agitation has over a beater bar would be the time needed for upkeep. You’d need to remove the motorized brush and cut off hair and dander build up.
This will take time but these tools are far more efficient so there is a give and take here.
Handhelds are great for upholstery and stairs. But if you also need it to clean floors then I’d recommend something with detachable tools.
For those looking for a corded stick with the same type of versatility, you can have a close look at the Shark Rocket.
A surprising pick but it is hard to ignore the features that make this one of the best vacuums for pet hair.
Unique pet hair tool design
It utilizes a unique round shaped pet tool that consumer’s say is effective in cleaning pet hair.
Add the 4 foot flexible hose you have a versatile cleaner that can clean almost any nook and cranny.
Note: Black & Decker has an upgraded version of this called the BDH2020FL. It has the same features as the BDH2000FL. But with a bit more power and a larger bin.
If you need the extra reach or clean small areas inside the kitchen or living room then the BDH2020FLFH would be a good option because it comes with an extension wand. But this will only work on bare floor.
These two features alone are enough to bolt this to the number 1 slot here.
Minimal power loss
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.
The power and portability with interchangeable tools make this a great option in small homes. It’ll do well in a large home that needs an occasional spot cleaning.
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.
Great for floors
This stick vacuum is capable of cleaning large debris like cereal or pet food because it has an opening at the middle that funnels these types of dirt towards the brush roll.
That same brush roll works pretty well on surfaces like hardwood and low/medium pile carpet.
Tests say this vacuum performs
CNET did a controlled lab test and reported that the Linx was able to pick up 100% of pet hair on these surfaces.
It even outperformed more expensive products like the Dyson V6 Absolute.
Among the “mid level” stick options this is the best in cleaning different surfaces. But its not all roses and peaches with this product.
Even with the brush roll turned off this vacuum will run for a maximum of 15 minutes. With the beater bar on that goes down to 10 minutes.
Only a floor cleaner
Also this product is strictly a floor cleaning machine. It does not have any hose or tools for above the floor cleaning.
Hoover does have a newer product called the Air Cordless that somewhat solves this lack of flexibility.
Power could is another issue that limits how this product cleans. It will have some issues picking up really fine dust on carpet but that shouldn’t be an issue on bare floor.
Plastic quality is also a big concern – especially the part that connects the handle and body.
According to reviews this is a weak link in the construction. Even if this comes with a two year warrant, it doesn’t cover wear and tear items.
Since I’ve featured the DC44 Dyson has unveiled several new products.
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.
Lots of power
It comes with the all new V6 motor found in the V6 line. 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.
It also comes with the updated brush roll that has 75% more agitation than the original DC59 brush roll.
Great for pet hair
The added agitation was evident in CNET’s cleaning test where it picked up 100% of all pet hair scattered on hardwood and carpet (low and mid pile).
The biggest downside to a beater bar would be cleaning off pet hair wrapped up. It isn’t a difficult task but it does take time.
Over the past couple of years alone it has unveiled several new products, some with never before seen features.
Their latest product is the Hoover Cruise.
Same blueprint as a Dyson
It follows the same blueprint as a Dyson – interchangeable tools and a detachable wand to give it a level of flexibility to use on floors and upholstery not found in a lot of products.
If a Dyson is too expensive for you then you have to look at this as an alternative.
Now let’s look in detail how this compares to the original.
How does this differ from a Dyson?
First have a look at how the floor tools differ…
Both of these tools have their own motors but the Dyson would provide more agitation and has the fine bristles for picking up dust.
Also what’s lacking in the hoover are padding strips that protect floors from scuff marks.
Compared to the newer brush roll found in the DC59 MotorHead the Hoover is slightly narrower (9″ vs 9.8″).
The Hoover Cruise also has a slightly smaller bin (0.4 vs 0.45 liters).
It wouldn’t match a Dyson in terms of cleaning performance or in refinement but it will still provide a level of cleaning that isn’t a reflection of the price difference.
The Shark Pet Perfect handheld vacuum is an ideal tool for cleaning pet hair on upholstery.
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 will vary based on reviews. It can go long as 15 minutes but that’s without the motorized brush.
On the plus site it costs less than $50 so this product is really cheap or around 50% less than a Black & Decker and Hoover.
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 it piles up into a huge fur ball.
The Black & Decker BDH2020FL would be the best portable option because of the hose and pet hair tool that allows you to really dig in and scrub fabric upholstery.
Hoover Linx is a great option if you’re just looking for a floor cleaning tool – bare floor or carpet. Even with the old tech NiCad battery and limited run time, it does a pretty good job and has been a top selling stick vacuum for years.
If money were not an issue and you value cleaning performance over anything else my hands down choice would be the Dyson DC59 MotorHead.
Remember that Dyson has around 10 variants in their V6 product line and you can select one based on what your need is.
The DC59 and V6 are the same machine but with a different floor cleaning attachment. The V6 comes with the newer bristle brush that has more agitation so expect to pay more.
For example, if your home does not have any carpet, you can opt for the V6 Fluffy. Or go with the next step up which is the V8 that has the latest cordless technology Dyson has to offer.
But if Dyson is too expensive then go with the Hoover Cruise. It’s got a similar blueprint as a Dyson so it brings in the same level of versatility but only with less power and refinement. But it costs much less.