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For so many of us, our pets are an absolute treasure in our lives. But if there’s something else that pet owners can unanimously agree on is that getting rid of pet hair is a literal chore—you find it all over your carpet, clothes, bed and the couch. It’s even more frustrating when your vacuum can’t pick up the fur and dander around your home, which means you need to upgrade your vacuum cleaner to one that specializes in cleaning up after your dogs and cats.
What’s the Difference Between a Pet Vacuum and Regular Vacuum?
Pet vacuums are different from regular vacuum cleaners because they are designed specifically with pet-centric features and accessories that can more effectively deal with pet hair removal. With pet vacuums, you’ll find they have more powerful suction and uniquely designed bristles and filters so that hair doesn’t get stuck and clogged at the bristle. Pet vacuums can also come with more advanced filtration to capture allergens and particles from pet dander.
But be careful of the slick marketing applied to vacuums: you may come across one that has flashy language about picking up all the fur even though it possesses little to none of the necessary components to get the job done. Check out our guide on what things to consider when purchasing a pet vacuum.
5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Pet Vacuum
1. Bagless or Bagged? Depends on Your Preferences
Whether you go for a vacuum that has a dust cup or bags, it doesn’t make too much of a difference in picking up pet hair. But, if you’re someone who suffers from allergies, emptying a bagless vacuum cleaner could lead to dust flying around in the air, which might irritate your senses. However, bagless vacuums are easier to empty as opposed to replacing a bag every time you clean your house.
Performance-wise, either bagged or bagless vacuums would make a great choice for pet hair and will come down to personal preferences.
2. Look for Strong Suction Power
Suction power is typically what you want to focus on when purchasing a vacuum to pick up all the pesky fur and dust. Usually, the bigger the vacuum, the more likely it’ll have a stronger suction power. And of course, the stronger the suction power, the more pet dander and fur that’ll be gone from your home. You’re going to want to look for a vacuum that has 8-12 Amps or a power rating of around 200 air watts (AW).
3. Choose a HEPA Filter
Any pet vacuum worth its salt will have a good filter to capture allergens and pet dander. Keep an eye out for HEPA filters because they’re supposed to remove 99.97% of pollen, dust, bacteria and mold. Plus, this will help get rid of any lingering pet odors.
If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, it’s a high priority to pick a vacuum with advanced filters.
4. You’ll Need Pet Brushes & Attachments
First off, a key feature or attachment of a pet vacuum will be a rotating brush. These specific brushes will help pick up and remove pet hair that’s deep in your carpets, rugs and couches. If a vacuum you want doesn’t have this component, steer clear of it and look elsewhere!
To differentiate between falsely marketed pet vacuums and real pet vacuums, you’ll have to see what accessories come included with your potential purchase.
Some essential pet brushes and attachments include:
- Crevice tools for hard-to-reach places
- Turbo nozzles
- Dust brush tools
- Pet groomer
- Lint brush attachments
These accessories are designed to pick up pet hair in areas like the living room corners, staircases and upholstery.
5. Pick a Vacuum That Works for Your Floors
When selecting a vacuum, keep in mind the flooring in your household. Some vacuums work well with cleaning pet hair from both carpets/rugs and hard floors, while others are more specialized for one or the other.
- For just hardwood floors, the key is in the suction power, so you don’t end up blowing all the dust and pet hair around rather than sucking them up.
- For carpets, as noted above in the attachments section, it’s important to have a rotating brush so you can comb out the hair from within the carpet fibers.
While it used to be that canister vacuums are better for hardwood floors because of its strong suction power, and upright vacuums do better for carpets, the difference in performance is not substantial anymore due to advancements in technology. There are hoses and attachments that you can add to upright vacuums to achieve the same maneuverability that canister vacuum cleaners provide.
How Do I Get the Best Deals on Pet Vacuums?
1. Wait for Sales
Retailers will usually hold sales for vacuums during certain times of the year, with some discounts being better during certain months. Knowing when to shop can help you score amazing deals on the vacuum you’ve always wanted.
- Spring: The overall best time of the year for vacuum sales will typically be during the Spring, from March through May, as people start their spring cleaning. Newer vacuum models are also released towards the beginning of the year, so you can expect retailers to make room for new models by slashing prices on older inventory.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday: These are the busiest shopping days of the year, and for good reason. You can often find deep discounts on pet vacuums, but competition can be fierce and stock will be limited. Many retailers have been announcing Black Friday sales earlier every year, so start your shopping early to make sure you can score a vacuum on sale.
2. Utilize Price Matching
Most major retailers nowadays have a price matching or adjustment policy, and this only works to benefit consumers. If you happen to spot a great deal in-store, check to see if it’s cheaper online. You can ask a store associate to price match the product. Popular stores that carry vacuum cleaners like Best Buy and Target will even price match most products you find on Amazon.
3. Sign Up for Store Promos
While some of us may not be fans of signing up for store marketing emails, this can actually be a great way to score some great deals or get notified about a special promotion. Some stores offer a discount on your next purchase just for signing up with your email, which can be just as good as the sale price elsewhere.
Tip: Create a separate email for all of your store newsletters and promotions, so it won’t clog up the inbox of your primary email.
4. Consider Floor Models
Floor model vacuum cleaners are usually highly discounted and will come with a warranty if you ever experience technical issues. This can be a great way to score amazing discounts on high-end vacuum brands such as Miele or Dyson.
5. Set up a Deal Alert
When you set up a Deal Alert with Slickdeals, we notify you instantly when the item goes on sale. You can can even customize your Deal Alert to the brand, specs or store you want. Never miss a sale again when you sign up for deal alerts!
The Best Pet Vacuums To Buy
Here are the best pet vacuums you can purchase depending on by price range:
Pet Vacuums Under $100
- Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum – Reg. Price: $72.99
Though it’s handheld, this Bissell cordless vacuum packs the power you need to do quick pick-ups around the house. It has a triple filtration system, and it includes three attachments: a crevice tool for those hard-to-reach areas; a motorized brush tool to get those deeply embedded fur; and an upholstery tool to vacuum furniture. It has a decently sized dust bin that’s easily removable to dump dirt out.
- Eureka Lightweight Powerful Upright Vacuum – Reg. Price: $79.99
A budget-friendly vacuum that has everything you’re looking for. It’s lightweight but sturdy, and it has great suction power with several attachments. This model has 5 levels of height adjustments to clean up all kinds of flooring and carpet as well. Plus, you got a decent filtration system that’s easily washable. Just be sure to clean the brushes to avoid clogging the canister.
Pet Vacuums Under $200
- Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum – Reg. Price: $154.99
This Bissell vacuum has a cool swivel function that makes it super easy to clean around every corner of your home, whether you have carpets or hardwood floors. The triple action brush roll is sure to get all kinds of pet hair, and the fact that it has a retractable cord that can be pushed with your foot is a cherry on top. This is one of the best pet vacuums you can spend your hard-earned money on.
- Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum – Reg. Price: $199.99
One of the best things about this Shark Navigator is its completely sealed anti-allergen technology with a HEPA filter, so if you find yourself sneezing a lot from your pet fur, this is going to help minimize that. It comes with a Pet Power Brush and a crevice tool for all your needs. Reviewers have also noted how great of a suction power this Shark vacuum has, which is exactly what you’re looking for in a solid pet vacuum.
Pet Vacuums Over $400
- Dyson Ball Multi Floor Upright Vacuum – Reg. Price: $445
There’s no doubt that this is a pricey vacuum cleaner, but you get what you pay for with its powerful suction power, lifetime washable HEPA filter, multiple accessories, huge removable canister and easy mobility with the “ball technology.” Do be aware that it is quite heavy, and that users note it doesn’t work too well on high-pile carpet.
- Shark Vertex Lift-Away Upright Vacuum – Sale Price: $429.99 | Reg. Price: $499.99
We’re big fans of Shark vacuums over at Slickdeals, and this vacuum proves why. It’s advertised as Shark’s most powerful cleaner. The DuoClean PowerFins—a dual-brushroll system— prevents pet and human hair from being tangled up and helps polish up your floors. Plus, like the Shark model above, it has a completely sealed HEPA system that’s perfect for those with pet allergies. It also includes a self-cleaning pet brush, and a pet crevice tool to fill all your cleaning needs.
- Miele Classic Bagged Canister Vacuum – Reg. Price: $699
Though pricey, Miele is a recognized name in quality vacuums because of its high-quality build and exceptional performance. This bagged pet vacuum has 6 suction power settings and ultimate filtration to help clean the air and neutralize pet odor. It also comes with a variety of accessories to get rid of stubborn pet hair, including crevice tools, dusting brushes and upholstery tools. Users noted that it’s a great vacuum for dog hair and thick carpeting, which is a plus for pet owners.
Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
- ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner – Sale Price: $127.54 | Reg. Price: $159.99
If you’re someone who hates having to vacuum up pet hair every few days, try this ILIFE robot vacuum that’s specifically designed for picking up fur, along with other dirt and debris. There’s no roller brush, so it avoids tangling up pet hair. The minimal noise is great for not scaring your cat or dog. So many users note how surprised they are with the efficiency of this thing that you might want to find out yourself. With all that extra time you save from vacuuming, you can have more time to play with your furry friend.