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The best vacuum cleaners for pet hair

Got furry friends? These vacs don't suck at removing pet hair from carpet and upholstery

best vacuums for removing pet hair Sebo Airbelt K3 Premium Shark Rotator Speed NV600ANZMN31 Bosch GL
Last updated: 10 September 2019

Ah pets. They give us so much: unconditional love, affection, companionship, entertainment – and hair.  So. Much. Hair. 

Short of getting a non-shedding or hairless pet, a good vacuum is your best defence against the seemingly never-ending clumps of hair that accumulate in pet-friendly homes. But not all vacuums are up to the challenge. 

We've sifted through CHOICE's extensive testing data to find three of the most hair-raising vacuum cleaners from the top, middle and bottom price points of the market. 

Remember though, not all vacuums are created equal. Check our detailed barrel and upright vacuum reviews before you buy to make sure you don't end up with a dud. 

CHOICE tip: Thinking of splashing out on a Dyson? They do perform well, but there are others that perform better for a lower price. Our experts have answered the question you've no doubt been asking: Should I buy a Dyson?

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The cheap and cheerful


  • Price: $299
  • Pet hair removal score: 100%

This budget beauty scores a perfect 100% for pet hair removal, and a very respectable 85% for complete carpet cleaning. It's a fairly basic model, though, and doesn't come with the various bells and whistles you'd expect from a higher-end vacuum, such as a turbo brush or power head. Only two tools are supplied and it has no on-board storage. However, our expert tester found no particular bad points to comment on.

Shark Rotator Speed NV600ANZMN 31

The mid-range marvel

Shark Rotator Speed NV600ANZMN31

  • Price: $399.99
  • Pet hair removal score: 100%

This mid-priced Shark upright vacuum is a whizz at removing pet hair, scoring a perfect 100% in our pet hair removal test. It comes with a good range of tools with on-board storage for all of them, and a washable HEPA filter. Plus it's bagless so you won't need to keep forking out for vacuum bags. 

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The pricey performer

Sebo Airbelt K3 Premium

  • Price: $1299
  • Pet hair removal score: 100%

For this price, you'd expect excellent performance, and the Sebo certainly delivers when it comes to removing pet hair. It comes with a good range of tools on board, including a crevice tool, upholstery tool, power head and dusting brush to help you deal with all the hair your pet leaves behind. Our expert testers couldn't find any bad points to comment on. 

Vacume Testing Matt T-0S0A0901

CHOICE tester Matthew puts each vacuum through its paces.

How we test

Here at CHOICE we're sticklers for detail so we use real pet hair for our testing. We get our pet hair from Woof Cat & Dog Grooming in Bondi. 

Our tester embeds cat hair in carpet and then vacuums it to a set pattern and speed. The score is calculated based on how much hair is left behind after the test. 

Still curious? Here's exactly how we test vacuum cleaners here at CHOICE.

Dishonourable mentions

Don't assume that any vacuum that has the word 'animal' in the name is going to ace cleaning up Fido's fur. Here are some speciality 'pet' vacuums that performed worse than regular vacuums, along with their pet hair removal scores:

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