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What is the best vacuum for cleaning pet hair? Which of these vacuums also works effectively and gently enough on hardwood floors? Hardwood floors need special are, and cleaning up pet hair can feel like a never-ending chore.
Since starting Modern Living 101, we've had the chance to test a handful of vacuums cleaners, some much better than others. Not all of them were effective on pet hair, nor were they all safe to use on hardwood.
In this post, we're going to talk about the vacuums that ARE great to use to clean pet hair on hardwood floors. To create this list, we looked at the following factors:
- The vacuums performance overall
- How much pet hair it collected in a single pass
- Whether or not the pet hair got tangled
- Usability features
Our Top Pick: Dyson Animal
According to our tests, the best vacuum for hardwood floors and pets is the Dyson Animal. It doesn't struggle with long pet hair, and does a great job on dander. It's an older Dyson model, which means you can find it on sale quite often. Overall it performed great on all our tests. It was able to suck up all types of pet hair without issue, and has super soft brushes that won't hurt your hardwood floors. Here's the full list.
5 Best Vacuums For Pet Hair and Hardwood Floors
- Five-year warranty for all parts.
- Super strong suction in the cleaner head, self-adjusts to get the deepest clean on hardwood floors.
- Lightweight and durable design.
- Has ball technology movement for easy handling during cleaning.
- Large dust cup
- Short hose extensions can be difficult for cleaning hard to reach areas.
- Too strong for thin rugs.
- Has issues staying upright while using the hose extension.
More About The Dyson DC41 Animal
The Dyson DC41 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner is an extremely powerful model that can pick up just about anything with its industry-leading suction.
It’s no match for hair, pet or human, and is able to handle large amounts at once without getting tangled or clogged.
This model, designed by Dyson, utilizes its cyclone technology. This means the vacuum itself won't lose suction over time, and has optimized suction power. It's suction capabilities are one of the things that makes a Dyson a Dyson. However, this one is specifically designed to effectively clean pet hair.
Not only is this vacuum effective and gentle on hardwood floors, it also is a great all-around vacuum cleaner that can be used on a low and high pile carpet, tile, and laminate as well.
Like most Dyson models, the DC41 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner comes with extra tools and attachments to help clean every surface and nook and cranny in the house. It also comes with a five-year warranty on all parts of the vacuum.
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- Weighs under twenty pounds makes it very easy to move around
- Retractable 25 foot cable
- Contains an air powered hand tool that helps remove pet hair from upholstery, carpets, and areas like stairs and corners of rooms.
- Short hose attachment can make cleaning a bit arduous and requires a lot of moving around and changing positions.
- Can be a hassle to empty without making a mess.
- The power cord retracting feature is nice, but can get stuck and requires some help to wind up nicely.
More about the Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Rewind
The Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Rewind Bagless Upright Vacuum is a fairly basic vacuum that does a lot for its price range. This model from Hoover is designed with an upright bagless system to ensure minimal clogging, especially when it comes to pet hair, and to keep the suction strong during every use.
The T-Series Windtunnel also comes with a plethora of useful features, including five levels of adjustable carpet cleaning, and a suction only foot pedal which turns off your brushes, makes it safe to use on hardwood floors. This feature is a critical reason why it's on this list. The brushes themselves aren't soft, but if they're not spinning, you can effectively use the vacuum on hardwood.
The vacuum itself is lightweight, coming in at only 16.5lbs. This made it very easy to use, move and store. Its a compact upright vacuum cleaner with features you normally only see in vacuums priced much higher.
One of our favorite features of the Hoover T-Series WindTunnel was its twenty-five-foot power cord, that rewinds itself back into the vacuum. It works most of the time, but if you're cleaning around a corner, it might get snagged and have to be straightened out manually but this is a minor issue considering the price of this vacuum.
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- Creates a customized floor plan and intelligently navigates
- You can set "no-go" areas within the app, to assign specific areas for the robot to avoid
- Alerts you when you need to clean the dust cup to avoid clogging
- Scheduled zone cleaning
- Sometimes gets stuck on socks and wires, and won't stop until the item is lodged in the brushes and you have to manually remove them
More About The Neato BotVac D7
When it comes to robot vacuums, you need to look for two things. 1. navigation ability, and 2. cleaning capability. A robot vacuum that only does one of those things effectively isn't going to be all that impressive. The Neato Botvac D7 is one of the smartest robot vacuums on the market, and a great choice if you're struggling to keep pet hair at bay on your hardwood floors.
When you first get the Botvac D7, it takes an initial scan of your home. After it has your floor plan mapped out, you get access to all of the zone cleaning and no-go line features within the app. With the press of a button, you can assign areas for the robot to clean, so you can isolate certain high traffic, or high pet hair areas to get cleaned more frequently.
If you have areas that you want the vacuum to avoid, within the app, just draw a line around the area you don't want the Botvac to avoid. This is useful for blocking off areas that commonly have things like wires, clothes, or toys laying around that the robot would otherwise get stuck on. The brushes of this vacuum are safe and effective on hardwood floors.
One of the key benefits to using a robot vacuum for pet hair is that you don't personally have to clean as often. When the robot goes, it does the work for you. Daily vacuuming can make a world of difference if you have a heavy shedding pet.
- Easy to pull out for quick cleanups
- Canister design is lightweight yet more powerful than an upright
- It has an automatic shut off feature that prevents the vacuum from overheating.
- This is a budget-friendly option, so the construction/quality fits the price
More About The Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum
The Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum puts a new spin on the typical vacuum model. A mixture between a Shop-Vac and a standard vacuum, this model from Eureka is a strong contender for all lightweight models.
Weighing in at only ten pounds, this Eureka 3870G Mite Canister Vacuum is very portable and great for picking up pet hair from all areas in the home. This small model can also be used anywhere you bring your furry friends, from the boat, garage, camper, etc, anywhere that pets may shed and leave a small mess behind.
Even though it is small in stature, this model is extremely powerful and works perfectly on hardwood floors and other hard surfaces to remove all pet hair, dirt, dust, and other debris. It has a twenty-foot cord which sadly, is not retractable, but the length makes cleaning easier and quicker since you don’t have to constantly look for a closer outlet as you move around.
Another useful feature is this models auto shut off ability. We have all been there where we are mad about a pile of pet hair that just won’t budge, and next thing you know that all familiar smell of an overheating vacuum hits, but this Eureka model has an auto shut off feature to prevent that overheating from happening, and helps extend the life of your vacuum, saving you money in the long run.
- Cordless design is super portable
- Easy to use
- Brush roll can be switched on and off to switch between carpet and hardwood floors.
- Fade-free lithium ion battery
- As with all cordless vacuums, you run the risk of it dying during use
- Does not fit under furniture very well.
More About The Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner BH50010
Hoover has been a well trusted and popular brand for years and its Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum BH50010 model stands up to that prestigious title. One of the first of its kind, the Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum is battery powered and bagless to make vacuuming pet hair easier, quicker, and less of a hassle for the pet owner.
A lightweight but powerful machine, the Linx Cordless is no match for pet hair and easily adjusts from carpets to hardwood floors for pet owners who have to deal with hair on all kinds of surfaces.
While it may be a bit too boxy to get under any low lying couches, the downsides of the vacuum and few and far between. Not only is it cordless, but it is also quieter, so it won't scare any pets in the process of cleaning up their mess. With no cord to worry about winding back up, it saves more time to cuddle with your furry buddy, and with its small frame, storage is no problem.
This vacuum is extremely popular and while it may be a bit pricey, it is definitely worth the investment.
What To Look For In A Vacuum For Hardwood Floors & Pets
If you're on this page, you need help finding a pet hair vacuum for hardwood floors. It's not easy to find a vacuum that both effective against pet hair and is also safe to use on hardwood floors.
Although the vacuums we recommended in this article are great in their own right, they aren't your only options. If you're the type of person who likes to do their own research, here are some of the things to look for when shopping for a pet hair vacuum for hardwood.
Pet hair can be tricker than dirt. It will accumulate quickly, and can often times get missed by some vacuums. You need a vacuum that has powerful suction and is explicitly designed with pet hair in mind, but is gentle enough to be used on hardwood floors.
Suction power is what makes or breaks a vacuum. A vacuum that can't suck up debris is useless. When looking for a vacuum, check for specifics about the suction. Does the company who makes the vacuum mention anything about the vacuum losing suction? Do they compare the vacuums power to other similar models? A vacuum company that isn't prepared to talk about the power of the vacuum is likely trying to pull a fast one.
Make sure you do your research, and read plenty of reviews before deciding to buy a vacuum cleaner.
Gentle Brushes, Or Brushes That Can Be Turned Off
With hardwood, you have to be careful because most vacuums with rotating brushes will scratch your flooring. You should choose a vacuum that can turn of the brushes for use on hardwood, or have brushes soft enough that they won't damage your floors.
Not all vacuums are designed to be used on hardwood floors, and you can whether they're a good fit by reading up about their brushes. Does the company mention a soft brush roll? Or brushes that can be shut off? These are the types of things that make a vacuum suitable for hardwood floors. Some vacuums will automatically switch between floor types, but be wary of this. Most of the time, this just means the height of the vacuum head is adjusted, NOT the type of brush, or whether or not the brushes spin.
One of the biggest features that makes a vacuum great for cleaning up pet hair is the brushes ability take up pet hair without getting tangled. You're always going to have some tangle issues, even on brushes that claim to be "anti-tangle", but anti-tangle brushes are still much better than regular ones.
The anti-tangle technology has to do with how the brushes are positioned on the roll to optimize for cleaning up hair. It's also an added bonus if the vacuum is either a convertible handheld vacuum, or has a handheld vacuum attachment with anti-tangle brushes for upholstery cleaning.
Another important factor to consider when shopping for a pet hair vacuum is the type of filter the vacuum uses. If you have issues with pet dander, make sure you get a vacuum with a good filter. If possible, check for a filter with an Anti-Allergen seal, or a HEPA filter. These types of filters block the most debris particles from getting into the air.
If you have allergies, this is especially important. The filter in your vacuum cleaner impacts your indoor air quality.
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