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Best vacuum cleaners for pet hair

If you live with furry friends, the right vac can be essential for picking up the hair they shed.

labrador puppy with pet brush and vacuum cleaner
Last updated: 24 May 2023

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

Short of getting a non-shedding dog or hairless cat, 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.

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. Sixteen products in our most recent test specifically reference pets, but their ability to deal with pet hair varied.

Here are some specialty 'pet' vacuums that performed worse than some regular vacuums, along with their pet hair removal scores:

Also worth mentioning is the Big W Contempo Compact Vacuum Cleaner 1800W barrel vac, which scored just 20% for pet hair removal – by far the lowest score in our tests. You'd almost be better off picking up the dog hair tumbleweed by hand. 

"If you're a pet owner looking for a vacuum that'll blitz the pet hair, look for one that has a powered head and opt for a bagged, rather than bagless model," says CHOICE vacuum expert Adrian Lini

Three of the best vacuums for pet hair

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

They're not the only high-performing fur-busters we've tested, but they'll give you an idea of what's on the market. 

And remember – not all vacuums are created equal, and a vacuum that scores well for pet hair removal might bomb out on our other tests. Read 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?

bellini pet bagless upright vacuum cleaner bv3a

What a bargain: Perfect pet hair removal for under $100.

Cheap and cheerful

Bellini Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner BV3A

  • Price: $99
  • Pet hair removal score: 100%

This budget beauty scores a perfect 100% for pet hair removal, and a very respectable 72% for complete carpet cleaning. 

Considering its low price, it actually comes with a fair number of accessories, plus on-board storage. It's also nice and easy to empty the bin and remove the filter for cleaning.

Our experts found that it didn't perform very well at cleaning corners and along edges, so bear that in mind if you're looking for a cheap vacuum for your pet-friendly home. 

Read the full Bellini Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner review

electrolux ultimatehome 700 bagless cleaner efc71622gg

The Electrolux model is great at removing pet hair and also comes with a washable HEPA filter.

Mid-range marvel

Electrolux UltimateHome 700 Bagless Cleaner EFC71622GG

  • Price: $499
  • Pet hair removal score: 100%

This mid-priced Electrolux barrel vacuum is a whizz at removing pet hair, scoring a perfect 100% in our pet hair removal test. It comes with variable power, a good range of tools, and a washable HEPA filter. 

It's not perfect, though – it's lacking on-board storage for its many tools, and it's only OK at cleaning corners and edges. 

Read the full Electrolux UltimateHome 700 Bagless Cleaner review.  

wertheim 7 series w9000

The Wertheim 7 Series vacuum isn't cheap, but it won't disappoint.

Pricey performer

Wertheim 7 Series W9000

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

For this price, you'd expect excellent performance, and the Wertheim certainly delivers when it comes to removing pet hair. 

It comes with a good range of tools onboard, including a crevice tool, upholstery tool, power head and dusting brush to help you deal with all the hair your pet leaves behind. It has variable power and a washable HEPA filter. 

It's a bit tricky to store when using the power head, which means our experts marked it down somewhat on our ease of use assessment. 

Read the full Wertheim 7 Series W9000 review

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, Sydney. 

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

Still curious? Read more about how we test vacuum cleaners at CHOICE.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.