The best pet vacuum of 2020

Lauren Corona

A quality pet vacuum won't clog, even if your pet sheds a huge amount.

Our dogs and cats are an important and beloved part of the family, but they shed hair and track in dirt, and they certainly don't clean up after themselves. Enter the pet vacuum, a type of vacuum cleaner designed for the cleaning needs of homes with pets.

Pet vacuums have stronger suction to clean up hair, dander, and dirt, plus many models have features that prevent hair from tangling in the brushes.

It's been a while since we ventured into the world of pet vacuums, so we've analyzed all the latest technology to bring you the best new models and some old favorites that still hold up.

Best pet vacuums of 2020

You're in the right place to see our top three favorite pet vacuums. Read on for more details about each.

    1. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Bagless Upright Vacuum
This powerful and reliable vacuum has returned to the top spot due to its excellent range of features.

    2. Hoover Power Drive Bagless Multi Floor Upright Vacuum Cleaner
An affordable model we love that's new to our top three. The advanced brush roll reduces the amount of hair that wraps around it and can clean deep into your carpet pile.

    3. Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Bagless Vacuum
Another of the very best pet vacuums on the market that still hasn't been surpassed and is, therefore, returning to one of our top spots.

What you need to know before buying a pet vacuum

You may first want to consider the type of pet vacuum you prefer. Upright pet vacuums are among the most common, though lightweight stick vacuums are gaining popularity. Some people prefer canister-style pet vacuums, but others find them less convenient to use.

Although corded vacuums have been the norm, cordless vacuums are catching up. Until recently, cordless vacuums were far less powerful than corded models and unsuitable for dealing with the extra hair and dirt that dogs and cats leave behind, but you can now find some quite decent cordless pet vacuums. That said, they still can't quite match corded models, which is why none of our top picks are cordless.

Pet vacuums need a quality brush head that can clean deep into carpet to remove hair, dirt, and dander. Ideally, it should be tangle-free so it doesn't get wrapped with loads of pet hair. The brush head should also be adjustable so your vacuum works on hard floors in addition to carpets.

If you choose a bagless model, the size of the dirt cup is important. You'll constantly be emptying a too-small dirt cup, which can be annoying when you're just trying to get on with vacuuming.

While you can find inexpensive pet vacuums for less than $100, most quality options cost between $120 and $500.


Q. Are pet vacuums really more effective at cleaning pet hair?

A. Yes, pet vacuums are designed to have impressive suction to make light work of pet hair. However, not all pet vacuums perform equally. This is more of an issue with medium-coated and long-coated dogs and cats than with short-coated pets, but if you find pet hair a problem around the home, a pet vacuum is likely to serve you better.

Q. Are bagless pet vacuums better than bagged models?

A. There's no real difference in performance between comparable bagged and bagless pet vacuums. However, many people find bagless vacuums more convenient, since there's no need to change bags when you empty the vacuum or buy new bags to replace the used ones.

In-depth recommendations for best pet vacuums

Best of the best: Dyson Ball Animal 2 Bagless Upright Vacuum

What we like: It's hugely powerful and extremely effective at lifting pet hair yet energy-efficient. The ball design makes steering a breeze. Has desirable features such as the tangle-free turbine and HEPA filter.

What we dislike: It's on the expensive side, though it's worth the money if you can afford it.

Best bang for your buck: Hoover Power Drive Bagless Multi Floor Upright Vacuum Cleaner

What we like: Stands out for its excellent performance at a reasonable price. It has a hugely effective low-tangle brush head and an extra-large dust container, so you don't need to empty as frequently.

What we dislike: Somewhat bulky and tricky to maneuver.

Choice 3: Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Bagless Vacuum

What we like: The TruePet motorized brush attachment works wonders on pet hair. The lift-away function is hugely convenient for stairs and other hard-to-vacuum places.

It has powerful suction and is effective on hard floors as well as carpet.

What we dislike: The brush is supposedly tangle-free but doesn't always follow through with that promise.

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.