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Best vacuum cleaners for pet hair

These vacs don't suck at removing cat and dog hair from carpet and upholstery.

puppy sitting next to vacuum cleaner
Last updated: 15 June 2021

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.

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.

But remember – not all vacuums are created equal. 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?

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Cheap and cheerful


  • Price: $349
  • Pet hair removal score: 100%

This budget beauty scores a perfect 100% for pet hair removal, and an impressive 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 onboard storage. However, our expert tester found no particular bad points to mention.

electrolux pure d9 green pd91 green

Mid-range marvel

Electrolux Pure D9 Green PD91-GREEN

  • Price: $599
  • 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 with onboard storage for all of them, and a washable HEPA filter. Our expert tester rated it as very good for ease of use. 

Oh, and it comes with a very long power cord (11.5m) so you can knock over most of the vacuuming without having to stop to change power points. 

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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 onboard, 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 mention. 

dyson v11 outsize

Special mention: Bonus pricey performer

Dyson V11 Outsize

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

Dyson's V11 Outsize retails for the same amount as the Sebo Airbelt K3 Premium. But does it deliver the same suck for your buck?

The Dyson received a perfect score for pet hair removal, but scored lower for all other tests than the Sebo. Where the Sebo achieved 'excellent' and 'very good' scores for the complete carpet clean and quick carpet clean tests, respectively, the Dyson didn't quite keep up, scoring nine percentage points lower on each test. Our expert tester also rated the Sebo as better for ease of use.

If you're lucky enough to have $1300 to drop on a vacuum, check our vacuum cleaner reviews to compare the two before you buy to make sure you're spending your money wisely. 

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.

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:

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.