Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
Ask any pet owner and the biggest headache for them would be cleaning up pet hair off carpet and upholstery.
But what happens during those in between days when you don’t bring out your upright because you’re just too busy with work or with life to manually vacuum up these messes.
These robot helpers will do the work for you while you are away at work.
All these have scheduling features that allow you to set a time of the day that they’ll automatically clean your home.
And help you keep up with the pet hair shed by your pets.
To help guide you through this article you can click on the links here:
- Comparison Chart
- How to Choose a Robot Vacuum for Carpet
- Tips on Maximizing the Full Potential of a Robot Vacuum
- Our Pick Neato BotVac 80
- Bristle-Less: Roomba 880
- WiFi Ready: Roomba 980
- Neato for Less: Xiaomi Robot Vacuum
- Point and Nav: Samsung VR9000
- To Wrap It Up
These machines aren’t perfect. But I’ll give you some practical tips on how to maximize functionality so make sure to read the whole article.
Without further ado, here are the 5 best robot vacuums for pet hair for hardwood or carpet.
Neato BotVac D80
Xiaomi Robot Vacuum
|Battery type||Nickel Metal Hydride||Nickel Metal Hydride||Lithium ion||Lithium ion||Lithium ion|
|Charging time||N/A||3 hours||N/A||N/A||160 minutes|
|Run time||1 to 1.5 hours||4 hours||2 hours||2.5 hours||60 minutes|
(100 minutes on silent mode)
|Full bin indicator|
|Cleaning sessions per week||7||7||7||Unlimited||7|
|Weight||9 pounds||8.4||8.4||8.4||10.5 pounds|
|Warranty||1-year on robot|
6 months on battery
|1-year on robot|
6 months on battery
|1-year on robot|
6 months on battery
|1 year More info||1 year on robot|
10 years on motor
The first thing to look at is the brush roll design.
It has to have a brush roll
Any competent pet hair cleaner should at least have a bristled brush that can pick up pet hair and dust bunnies scattered around.
Neato’s brush roll is one of the most effective designs in the market. Is it uses a combination of a bristle and squeegee. The bristle is effective at pick up pet hair while the squeegee will sweep up larger bits of debris like pet litter.
I’d like to caution in to tamper your expectations though as these cleaners will not replace a full sized vacuum.
These machines won’t be able to deep clean. And the main purpose is to free up your time by doing the everyday cleaning for you.
It is a significant investment as you will need to spend at least $300 to buy a decent model.
Because robot cleaners are expensive people expect it have the intelligence to do the cleaning for them. The reality is while robots have evolved and clean better that ever before, it won’t be as smart as humans in terms of obstacle avoidance.
Letting a robot run in a room with wires, scattered toys and junk all over the place is a recipe for disaster.
So here are some tips to maximize it.
1. Remove or tidy up wires
Wires is the kryptonite of any robot vacuum with a side brush.
If there are any wires laying on the floor, chances are it’ll stop the robots on its tracks.
So before running any robot make sure tidy them up or better yet get them out of the way.
2. Clean area rugs separately
If you have area rugs laying around, it’ll be best if you clean it separately.
Robots are allergic to light area rugs with tassels on the sides. These loose pieces of thread can wrap up around the side brush or brush roll.
The only exception for not removing area rugs is when it’s heavy and it does not have any tassels on the sides.
3. Take off the chairs
Robots can go around chairs but the problem is these can reduce efficiency.
In some cases the robot traps itself around the legs. So the best solution for this issue would be removing the chairs.
It doesn’t take long and the rewards far outweigh the benefits of a cleaner floor and more efficient robot.
First they have added a side brush, hallelujah!
This omission has been one of the biggest complaints by consumers when they’ve used the Neato Robotic products and they’ve finally added one.
This improves edge cleaning and when you add the wider motorized brush.
You have a more efficient cleaning machine that will pick up a lot of pet hair particularly on bare floors.
Navigation also gets an upgrade thanks to the brand new QNX operating system that improves its robots capability to avoid objects altogether. But the laser based navigation system is not perfect.
Since it cannot “see” objects, only “feel” it, it will bump onto overhanging obstacles out of the line-of-sight of the laser sensor.
An upgrade from the BotVac 80
This particular model is an upgraded version of the BotVac 80. It is equipped with a more powerful motor and an upgraded motorized brush that is better at picking up pet hair on both hardwood and carpet.
Both the D80 and D85 are the same machine. But they different in what accessories it comes with.
Unlike the Roomba, this does not come with a remote control so you have to schedule this directly on the robot itself.
While other robot cleaners use a bristled or squeegee brush for agitation, engineers from iRobot took another direction and designed a brand new system called the AeroForce extractors that has eliminated the need for bristles all-together.
No bristles means less maintenance
This means you’ll spend less time removing pet hair caught up on the bristles. But if you live with someone with longer hair you’ll still have to clean this up.
Even if Roomba cleans this to be maintenance free, it really isn’t. You’ll have to clean up long hair that may wrap around the extractors.
Better option than a Roomba 780
This is a much better option than the Roomba 790 if you’re looking to clean pet hair.
Like the Roomba 700 series, this vacuum still uses a random pattern that will take longer to clean a room. The random pattern also make this prone to bumping furniture and expect some minor scrapes here and there.
If you’re concerned about this, you’ll be better off with a Neato.
Newer Roomba robots
It’s been a few years since I’ve written this article and iRobot has since introduced new products. These include the Roomba 960 and 980 that have the new navigation system in tow. The new navigation is much more efficient but it’ll be more expensive.
It does come with a remote control that uses infrared signal so you don’t need to aim it at the robot for it to work.
This means you can download an app into your smartphone and use it to control this machine as long as you have internet access and a router at home.
This is a great leap forward because it allows users to turn on their robots even when they are not at home.
Another improvement would be navigation
Instead of using a random cleaning pattern, engineers at iRobot overhauled the system that once used an infrared and object sensors as its main navigational aid.
The 980 now integrates a camera to the navigation system. And instead of a random cleaning pattern, it now uses a predictable back and forth grid pattern which is more efficient.
This machine still retains the same extractors found in the 880 and will provide better pet hair cleaning performance than the 880 on carpet. It still lags behind the BotVac 85 and D85 so I cannot rank this higher.
Even the scaled down version, the D5 costs almost $500. I’m a big fan of Neato. Their products are great, even better than a Dyson 360 Eye in my opinion.
But their products are still expensive when you compare it to Xiaomi.
The MI robot has a similar feature set as a Neato BotVac. That means it has the same laser-guided sensor on top, combination brush roll, SLAM algorithm and a smart phone app that allows you to control the robot remotely even from your work place.
To give you an idea how this robot vacuum performs.
Watch this video where I test it cleaning 70 grams worth of oats and baby powder…
Take note that when I did the second test I’ve upgraded the firmware which resulted in a more thorough cleaning performance.
One of the biggest downsides with this product is the bin which is only around 0.45 liters big. And if you have a lot of pets, you may want to consider using this as a maintenance cleaning tool in between cleaning sessions to keep hair from piling up.
The combination brush as you’ll see below will be a good job picking up pet hair on carpet and bare floor. So pick up should not be an issue. And according to Engadget this robot has actually more power than the Roomba 980.
It comes with some really cool features that only found in this robot that may entice you to even consider it.
At first glance, this machine looks like a Duracell battery because of the gold cylinder on top that actually houses the vacuum motor.
When you look closely at the dirt bin, you’ll see a cyclonic filtration system not commonly found in robot vacuums.
The only other robot cleaner with this functionality is the $1200++ Dyson 360 eye.
While this feature supposedly should make this a better performing cleaner compared to a Roomba or Neato, it still could not surpass it based on reviews and controlled tests.
It did a better job than the Roomba 880 in cleaning pet hair. But it wasn’t able to beat the Neato BotVac.
The presence of the cyclonic system also increases the height. This means it will have a hard time fitting under furniture lower than 5.3 inches.
One of the neat features of the VR9000 is the pointer navigation system.
In manual cleaning mode you can use the laser pointer and point where the robot will go next. This is easier than pressing arrows in my opinion.
It has a wide 12″ cleaning path which is 5 inches more than the 880. But it doesn’t have any side brushes.
Samsung utilizes a camera based navigation with bumper sensors to avoid obstacles. It has a more efficient back and forth pattern compared to the Roomba 800 series.
But it isn’t smarter than a Neato BotVac or Xiaomi because it does not tract it’s position. It’ll just clean an area until battery is low.
I’ve recorded a video of the Samsung PowerBot in action. It’s not the same robot.
But both have the same camera and sensors stuffed in so it’ll navigate pretty much the same.
The biggest drawback of the VR9000 is the price, it was over $700. But the price has come down to Roomba or Neato.
This machine easily doubles the price of the BotVac 80 and is a few hundred dollars more expensive than the Roomba 880.
It does come with a 1 year warranty on the robot and get this, 10 years for the motor so there is some peace of mind.
These are the 5 best robotic vacuums that’ll help you clean pet hair so it doesn’t pile up on carpet.
Keep in mind that robot vacuums will not replace an upright and deep clean carpet. But it’ll help keep dirt from piling up so you’ll won’t have to bring out the upright as often.
Roomba 880’s counter rotating extractors are great because it literally pulls pet hair off bare floor and carpet. It does not have any bristles so there’s less maintenance. If the 880 is too expensive then opt for the cheaper 860.
I’m a big fan of Samsung appliances but not a big fan of their robot vacuums. Their robots are too tall and over engineered and doesn’t function as well as the other on this list.
What’s great about these autonomous cleaners is that they at least keep pet hair from piling up. The biggest advantage would be the ability of these machines to go under furniture.
If you have any other suggestions, please let me know by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you.