Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair - Best Pet Hair Handheld Vacuum

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The best handheld vacuum for pet hair: best products of december 2020

The Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Best Products of This Year

Every experienced pet owner knows how much of a pain pet hair is to clean up. It can get everywhere in the house, even in the most unexpected places like the pantry, the curtains, and your coat pockets. Worse, pet hair doesn’t cooperate very well with vacuum cleaners, at least the ones that aren’t specially designed to handle pet hair.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to find the best handheld vacuum for pet hair online. Available in many different shapes, sizes, and prices, the web ought to be the first place to look for a new vacuum if you have pets in the house.

But with so many choices, some people— especially new buyers— are understandably overwhelmed. This article will make your shopping process easier!

Best Handheld Vacuums for Pet Hair Reviews

There is a huge market for pet hair vacuums and you can find hundreds of models from every brand imaginable with a single internet search. And just like shopping for any popular product where there’s tons of options to pick from, buying hesitation is a real issue. 

Just like every consumer, I know first-hand how frustrating and anxiety-inducing it is not knowing which model to put money down for. So to make it simpler for you, I have collected a range of some of the best pet hair handheld vacuums for you to peruse.

In case you’re nervous about the recommendations, rest assured that my colleagues and I have ensured that only the products that got great feedback from consumers are selected.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 30 hrs of research

Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Why is it better?

 Back-mounted LCD panel

 Good battery life

≫ Versatile performance, good with pet hair

 HEPA filtering system

 Comes with many accessories

 
96/100
our score
25
Researched Sources
1200
Reviews Considered
30
Hours Researching
35
Products Evaluated
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Products

Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Rating
96
Check Price
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Suction power
97%
Maneuverability
97%
For stairs
96%
For cleaning up hair
95%
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Products

Runner Up: Shark Rocket DeluxePro Ultra-Light HV322

Rating
93
Check Price
ShopCheck Price
Versatility
94%
Suction power
93%
For hardwood floors
93%
For cleaning up hair
93%
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Products

Best Budget: Bissell AeroSlim Lithium Ion Cordless Handheld Vacuum, 29869

Rating
93
Check Price
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Easy to use
97%
Light weight
96%
Easy to clean
92%
Suction power
88%
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Products

Best Corded Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1

Rating
95
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Durability
96%
Battery life
96%
Suction power
95%
Versatility
94%
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Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A

Rating
96
Check Price
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Easy to use
98%
Easy to clean
96%
For cleaning up hair
95%
For stairs
95%
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Products

Best for Stairs: BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FL

Rating
90
Check Price
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For stairs
91%
Suction power
90%
For cleaning up hair
90%
Quality of material
90%
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Products

Best High Dust Cup Capacity: Shark ION P50

Rating
94
Check Price
ShopCheck Price
Maneuverability
96%
Light weight
95%
Easy to use
94%
Suction power
92%

Best Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Dyson V11 Torque Drive

96%
Suction power
97%
Maneuverability
97%
For stairs
96%
For cleaning up hair
95%
BEST OFFER FOR TODAY
BUY IT ON AMAZON

Pros:

≫ Back-mounted LCD panel

≫ Good battery life

≫ Versatile performance, good with pet hair

≫ HEPA filtering system

≫ Comes with many accessories

 

Cons:

≫ Expensive

Dyson’s latest vacuum— the Dyson V11— has become a great hit among consumers ever since its debut in March, 2019. It serves as Dyson’s front-line model and is equipped with all of the company’s latest technology. That includes a new motor, smart sensors, and a new color LCD screen mounted at the back of the vacuum.

But before we get into the nitty gritty of one of the best portable vacuums for pet hair, it’s worth noting that there are 3 variants in the V11 family: The Animal, the Torque Drive, and the Outsize. The reason why I choose the Torque Drive rather than the Animal is because the latter doesn’t offer any pet-specific features despite its name. Torque Drive has every feature the Animal version has and more, thus, I believe it provides a bigger bang for the bucks.

This vacuum does excellently in performance tests on both bare floors and carpets. The new Dyson Digital Motor provides it with enough suction to handle numerous cleaning jobs, light and heavy duty alike. We have received positive feedback from consumers, indicating that this vacuum can deal with dust, dirt, and an assortment of debris well. As a matter of fact, suction is reportedly good enough on the V11 that it can swallow whole LEGO bricks.

The V11 Torque Drive doesn’t disappoint with its pet hair performance, either. On bare floors, it will clean up all hints of pet fur quickly and efficiently. Its effectiveness takes a small hit on carpets and you would see some left-over hair in the piling. Nonetheless, for a stick vacuum, this is quite impressive.

You can adjust its performance level quite flexibly using the 3 cleaning modes it has: Eco, Auto, or Boost. When tuned to Eco Mode, the vacuum will throttle down performance in favor of longer battery life. 

Boost Mode is the complete opposite in that power is boosted to the max with little regards for battery power. This mode can help immensely if you’re dealing with a tough cleaning job such as vacuuming up a big mess (like spilled cooking on the kitchen floor.) If you have plush, thick carpets to clean, Boost Mode is going to help, too.

It’s in this mode that many customers consider it to be the most powerful handheld vacuum for pet hair.

Auto Mode is what I would recommend for most days. In this mode, the vacuum will automatically adjust its power depending on the floor type it’s on.

In spite of the high performance, the V11’s battery life is solid and will suffice for most homes. Each full charge takes an average of about 1.15 hours of continuous cleaning to run out. In Boost Mode, due to ramped-up power use, the battery would last only about 10 to 12 minutes.

The most remarkable aspect of the V11 is its design. Although it is a stick vacuum in its full form, it can be converted into a smaller handheld in seconds. The reduced size is going to make it easier for you to clean tight corners and spaces like  car interiors or crevices. Corners and crevices are one of the places where pet hair is collected most densely, so this plays to your advantage.

But the most exciting feature design-wise of this best powerful handheld vacuum for pet hair is the LCD screen mounted on the back. It can show you all of the vacuum’s vital data like remaining battery charge and current cleaning mode. If the vacuum runs into any issue, it will also display messages and troubleshooting advice.

The vacuum’s filtration system is made up of a single lifetime HEPA filter. Unlike cheaper vacuums that require you to change the filter once every couple of months, the V11’s filter can last through the vacuum’s service life. The only maintenance it needs is a cold water wash and 24-hour air dry period thereafter.

Dyson includes a lot of accessories with the V11 Torque Drive. Without counting the primary Torque Drive floor head, you get a mini motorized brush roll, a combination tool, a crevice tool, a mini dusting brush, and a stubborn dirt brush.

Take special note of the mini motorized brush roll. It’s the tool to go for when you have to clean pet hair on upholstery and other upholstered surfaces.

The only mentionable issue to this vacuum is that it’s quite an expensive purchase. At well over $500, this vacuum is going to be an investment that will demand some consideration before making a decision. But considering its performance and unique design, if you want the cutting-edge tech and don't mind spending some extra to get it, the V11 Torque Drive is going to satisfy.

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Runner Up: Shark Rocket DeluxePro Ultra-Light HV322

93%
Versatility
94%
Suction power
93%
For hardwood floors
93%
For cleaning up hair
93%
BEST OFFER FOR TODAY
BUY IT ON AMAZON

Pros:

≫ Affordable

≫ Hi-powered suction

≫ High pet hair pick-up rate

≫ Tangle-resistant brush roll

≫ Convertible design

≫ Long power cord

Cons:

≫ Heavier than advertised

≫ Bad weight balancing

The Shark Rocket HV322 may not have all of the bells and whistles of the Dyson V11, but it covers all of the basics well. It can handle pet hair just as well as the more expensive vacuum, along with common household dirt. And of course, being drastically cheaper than the V11, it’s worth considering if you don’t want to spend too much on a new vacuum.

Suction power is derived from its 500-watt motor. Air flow is strong enough to lift stubborn dirt, heavy debris, and pet hair from carpets (even the high-pile sorts.) It’s to be expected that if the vacuum performs well enough on carpets, it would also do a commendable job on bare floors. And I’m happy to report that the HV322’s bare floors performance is rated positively among consumers.

The brush roll has 2 speed settings, a Low Mode and a High Mode. Low Mode is ideal for bare floors, while High Mode is good for cleaning thick carpets.

HV322’s TruePet floor head serves a crucial role in the vacuum pet hair-sweeping ability by having a tangle-resistant design. Nonetheless, keep in mind that the HV322’s TruePet brush isn’t totally fool-proof. Don’t expect the floor head to be able to prevent jams from happening. What it will do is reduce the instances of jamming. 

I found the same thing applies to all other vacuums that are touted to have a “tangle-free brush”. I’ve tested a lot of pet vacuums that use this term in their marketing material and almost always they don’t live up to their promises.

Though performance is fair, one of the biggest complaints regarding this vacuum lies in the design. Despite being marketed as an “Ultra-Light”, the HV322 is quite heavy for a stick vacuum. It weighs about 8.6 pounds when fully assembled. 

To put it in perspective, the V11 Torque Drive weighs 6.68 pounds. Certainly, the HV332 is not excessively heavy and most people will find the weight manageable, however, describing it as an “Ultra-Light” is a bit deceiving.

Another issue of this vacuum is the weight balancing. This vacuum is notorious among users for being top-heavy. Your hand and wrist may tire quickly while using this vacuum, especially over a long period. It goes without saying that if you have arthritis, this vacuum wouldn’t be pleasant to use for this exact reason.

Fortunately, the Shark HV322 is a convertible stick vacuum. By removing the front suction stick, it becomes a decent Shark handheld pet vacuum. In my opinion, it’s far more comfortable to use in this form with the extra weight at the front offloaded.

HV332 is a corded vacuum and so uses a 25 feet power cord. This is ample length to cover medium to large-size houses and apartments. Other than the motor, power is also routed to a series of LED headlights at the front of the floor head. It can provide illumination for clean-ups in dark spaces such as the attic or beneath furniture.

The capacity of its dust cup is quite small, only able to hold 0.42 dry quarts. If you have a large home, it’s possible that the dust cup could fill up before you finish a cleaning session.

Unlike the Dyson V11, the HV332 does not have a HEPA filter. Rather, it uses a conventional washable foam filter. Normally, this would’ve gotten a downvote from me. But considering the affordable price the vacuum starts at, I can’t really fault Shark for not including a HEPA filter. These are known to be more complicated and costly to manufacture.

The company recommends washing the filter once every month. Since the filter is known to get dirty quickly, I recommend that you keep an extra set of filters at hand just in case. Filter replacement kits are available on Amazon and fortunately aren’t very costly.

The Shark HV322 comes with 2 pieces of accessories: a duster crevice tool and a Pet Multi-Tool. The former can help you clean up dust, dirt, and accumulated pet hair inside of tight corners. Meanwhile, the latter is designed to pick up pet hair on upholstery and draperies.

Though the Shark HV322 is by no means perfect, its performance and affordability make it good-value and one of the best handheld vacuums for pet hair to consider if you think you can overlook its flaws.

   ➜ RELATED: What Is The Best Shark Vacuum On The Market? 9 Best Shark Vacuums Reviews

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Best Budget: Bissell AeroSlim Lithium Ion Cordless Handheld Vacuum, 29869

93%
Easy to use
97%
Light weight
96%
Easy to clean
92%
Suction power
88%
BEST OFFER FOR TODAY
BUY IT ON AMAZON

Pros:

≫ Affordable

≫ Good performance for the price

≫ Can deal with pet hair well

≫ Highly portable

≫ Durable filters

Cons:

≫ Small dust cup

≫ Large debris performance is subpar

Chosen for its feather-light weight of a meagre 1.23 pounds, the Bissell AeroSlim 29869 is a suitable vacuum for quick clean-ups. Its small size also makes it a good vacuum for confined spaces such as the car. Available for a relatively accessible price, this vacuum is a good choice if you value compactness in an affordable package.

Performance on bare floors is good against pet hair, dust, dirt, and small debris like rice or kibbles. The vacuum doesn’t perform very well with large debris the size of cereal pieces, however. This could be a problem if you use large-size cat litter, which could potentially clog up the vacuum’s airway.

On both low-pile and high-pile carpets, the AeroSlim has a decent hair pick-up rate. But just like on bare floors, don’t expect it to be able to deal with debris lodged inside of your carpeting.

The selling point of this best portable vacuum for pet hair is in the lightweight, 1.23 lbs body. As a result of its low weight, the AeroSlim is highly mobile. You can easily carry it from one room to another, vacuuming as you go without feeling any significant fatigue like with heavier handhelds.

One of the few disappointments that I got with this vacuum is its dust cup size. It can only hold about 0.046 dry quarts, which, even for a handheld is pretty terrible. Even for small cleaning tasks, the vacuum’s dust cup would fill up very quickly. Furthermore, the vacuum doesn’t have a fill-up indicator to tell you when it needs to be emptied. You’re going to have to eyeball the whole thing.

This vacuum also has the advantage of being cordless. There’s virtually no range to the AeroSlim. All it’s limited by is the remaining charge in the battery.

Speaking of batteries, the Bissell AeroSlim is powered by a Lithium-ion cell. Li-ion is the same type of battery found in advanced electronics like smartphones. It can carry more charge and has greater durability compared to older battery techs. 

Regrettably, due to the small size of the vacuum, the cell found inside of the AeroSlim is “mini-sized”. Each full charge lasts for about 13 minutes. Once the battery’s dried up, you need to hook the vacuum up with a power outlet for 190 minutes for it to recharge.

This is the reason why I described this vacuum as a “quick-cleaner”. Not because it doesn’t have the performance for serious works, but more because of its fickle battery life.

You can keep track of the remaining battery life by keeping an eye on the 3 indicator lights on the vacuum’s body. They will gradually blink away as the charge lowers.

The vacuum doesn’t come with a HEPA filter. Instead, it uses a lint screen and a foam filter. According to experienced users, the filters are very durable and as long as you keep them well-maintained, they shouldn’t have to be replaced. Just in case they do, though, a replacement kit is sold on the company’s website.

Accessories include a single combination tool. It combines the function of a crevice tool, an extension wand, and a dusting brush together into a single package. You can use its crevice function to clean tight corners around the house. When needed, you can deploy the soft bristle brush, which enhances efficiency on upholstery and other sensitive materials.

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Best Corded Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1

95%
Durability
96%
Battery life
96%
Suction power
95%
Versatility
94%
BEST OFFER FOR TODAY
BUY IT ON AMAZON

Pros:

≫ Highly affordable

≫ Excellent pet hair pick-up rate on several kinds of surfaces

≫ Design is lightweight and compact

≫ Large dust cup

≫ Has HEPA filtration

Cons:

≫ Short power cord

≫ Cannot clean crevices and corners

≫ Bad air vent placement

To be frank, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld 33A1 doesn’t look attractive. The suspiciously cheap price (sub-$50) can make most buyers pause, too. But most people who have given it a chance reported that this vacuum has more substance than it looks, and price would suggest.

This best mini vacuum for pet hair has the suction required to effortlessly suck up clumps of hair on hardwood and other kinds of bare floorings. But had it not been for its flawed air vent placement design, the vacuum would’ve gotten full points for this section. The 33A1 has 2 air vents situated on either sides of its body that continuously blow dust, debris, and pet hair away as you clean. This is an issue that has been reported by virtually all users.

The Bissell 33A1 doesn’t have a brush roll like the Dyson V11 and the HV322 to enhance carpet performance, but the vacuum’s rubber nozzle is sufficient. Tests showed that it can efficiently clean up both surface and deeply-buried pet hair from thick carpets.

Where the vacuum performs best is neither bare floors or carpets, however. The majority of customers agreed that the 33A1 has a notable affinity for upholstery. According to reviews, the 33A1 can make short work of pet hair on delicate materials like textile, fabric, and suede leather without damaging them. Thus, this vacuum can serve well as the best furniture vacuum if you need it to.

Moving onto design, the 33A1 conforms to the 2 core epithets of handheld vacuums well: lightweight and compactness. The vacuum weighs about 5 pounds and measures 10 inches. Its curved handle makes the vacuum easy to hold, carry, and maneuver. The ergonomic design of the handle also means greater comfort, as well.

However, due to its wide-mouthed design and lack of a crevice nozzle, the 33A1 doesn’t do so well at cleaning corners and crevices.

Since it is a corded vacuum, the 33A1 comes with a short 16 feet power cord. It’s still good for a number of tasks, but mobility is more limited. If you have a large staircase to clean, the cord could become an issue.

My favorite detail of this vacuum must be its dust cup. Generous at 0.7 dry quarts, if your pet sheds heavily or you have numerous pets to clean after, the large dust cup of this best small vacuum for pet hair is a big plus.

Filtering is excellent with a double-layer filtration system consisting of a HEPA filter and a mesh filter. It’s quite surprising how this sub-$50 is equipped with this grade of filtering system (but no one’s complaining.)

Accessories are lackluster with a rubber nozzle and a hard nozzle. The flexible rubber nozzle is found to be particularly good at picking up pet hair on upholstery, carpets, and stairs. On the other hand, the hard nozzle excels at taming pet hair on bare floors such as hardwood and vinyl.

It’s unfortunate that Bissell didn’t include a crevice tool or a similar implement with the 33A1. It would’ve rounded up the vacuum’s performance nicely.

On the basis of price alone, this vacuum is nearly unbeatable as a best handheld vacuum for pet hair. It costs a fraction of the Dyson V11, half the price of the Shark HV322, but performs just as good when it comes to pet hair. A great buy if you’re looking for a vacuum in the cheap.

   ➜ RELATED: Looking For The Best Bissell Vacuum? Here’s A Complete Review Of 20 Bissell’s

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Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A

96%
Easy to use
98%
Easy to clean
96%
For cleaning up hair
95%
For stairs
95%
BEST OFFER FOR TODAY
BUY IT ON AMAZON

Pros:

≫ Relatively affordable

≫ More updated design (compared to the 33A1)

≫ Good pet hair performance

≫ Large dust cup

≫ Comes with some accessories

Cons:

≫ Short battery life

≫ Lacks HEPA filtration

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A is the upgraded version of the 33A1. The short power cord found in the 33A1 is removed, making space for an onboard Lithium-ion battery. The newer vacuum also has an updated design that looks more appealing and has had all of the design-related issues like bad air vent placement fixed.

To seal the deal, performance is about as good as the older version and for all of the upgrades, the 2390A remains firmly in the affordable price range.

Let’s begin first with the performance. My own tests and customer reviews all cast the 2390A in a favorable light when it comes to pet hair. On bare floors as well as carpeting of various heights, the suction flow of this best handheld vacuum for pet hair has no problem removing them.

Other than pet hair, this top rated handheld vacuum for pet hair can deal with other kinds of household detritus like dirt and dust acceptably well. Nevertheless, because this vacuum is designed specifically for pet hair, don’t expect high efficiency from this vacuum when it’s used for anything other than pet hair. Notably, it shouldn’t be used for debris cleaning. The vacuum is known to clog up when it sucks in large debris.

When it comes to design, the newer 2390A has its predecessor beat both in terms of aesthetic and engineering. It’s undeniable that the 2390A has a more modern and attractive body design than the 33A1 with its sleek lines and bright colors. The newer design also benefits from a substantial weight-cut, weighing just 2.6 pounds compared to the 5 pounds of the 33A1.

The air vent issue in the 33A1 has been fixed in this model. Instead of having side-blowing air vents that could push dirt and pet hair away, the air vent in 2390A faces upward. Personally, I think this “patch” alone makes the 2390A worth buying more than the 33A1. It would certainly make vacuuming less frustrating.

Bissell didn’t revise the dust cup, thankfully. The 2390A still has a generously-sized 0.7 dry quarts dust cup.

Unlike the earlier vacuum, the 2390A is not limited by its power cord thanks to its cordless design. The Li-ion battery in the vacuum can provide roughly 15 - 16 minutes of run time. For a handheld, this is a pretty solid number.

What I (and many others) don’t like when it comes to the battery is the unusually long charging time. The 2390A needs about 8 hours on the charging plug to return to full capacity.

Filtering is done by a three-part filtering system. The main part is the felt filter sitting inside of a filtering basket. Their combined job is to take out particles both small and large, preventing them from leaking back into the room. A felt filter is positioned at the very back of the vacuum to provide one last round of filtration before the air is vented.

I have two problems with the filtration system, though. First is that there’s no HEPA filter. This is quite puzzling, considering how the older 33A1 comes with one. Secondly, the recurring maintenance cost for the filtering system is quite big. Many users have criticized the expensive price tag of the 2390A’s filter replacement kit.

The selection of accessories is far more expansive in the 2390A than the 33A1, too. You get 3 tools in the box: a motorized brush tool, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool.

The motorized brush is to be used for most jobs like hardwood or carpet cleaning. You can use the upholstery tool to tackle pet hair on your furniture or even clean up your pets’ beddings. The crevice tool offers this Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld a modicum of potential in tight corners and crevices, unlike the 33A1 which is completely incapable of it.

I think the price is also a significant “feature” of this vacuum, too. Despite the all-around upgrades, the 2390A costs around $70, which is still very much in the “budget” realm. If you’re looking for an affordable vacuum and don’t mind spending some extra, the 2390A is an overall better choice than the 33A1.

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Best for Stairs: BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FL

90%
For stairs
91%
Suction power
90%
For cleaning up hair
90%
Quality of material
90%
BEST OFFER FOR TODAY
BUY IT ON AMAZON

Pros:

≫ Portable

≫ Versatile cleaning performance, can pick up pet hair on many kinds of surfaces

≫ Lightweight, compact

≫ Flexible suction hose grants better mobility

≫ Large dust cup

≫ Shipped with many accessories in the box

Cons:

≫ Doesn’t clean other things than pet hair well

≫ Short battery life

≫ Lacks HEPA filtration

If you own a multi-story home, chances are high that the stairs are one of the most pet hair-ridden places in your home. As a pet owner myself, if there’s one thing that my dogs love doing is bouncing up and down the stairs. So for those who can relate to this problem, I would recommend the BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FL. Its design, performance, and wide variety of useful tools makes it quite the model best handheld vacuum for pet hair on the stairs.

At first, I was quite hesitant to review this vacuum since it lacks a brush attachment. Fortunately, it has a pet hair tool with a bristle brush to make up for the omission. With this tool attached, the BDH2020FL can pick up the majority of pet hair from many different surfaces. Be it hardwood, thick carpets, or upholstery - most customers have no problem with this vacuum’s pet hair capability. 

With its multi-surface cleaning ability in mind, regardless of what kind of material your stair treads are made from (hardwood or carpet), this best vacuum for pet hairs would be able to clean on them.

Stair vacuums need to have good corner-cleaning ability to pick up all of the collected gunk at the base of the riser or the skirtboard. All customers and independent tests reported the BDH2020FL to be excellent in this department. Using the included crevice tool, narrow gaps and tight corners can be cleaned without much fuss.

When it comes to dealing with dust and debris, the BDH2020FL doesn’t perform nearly as well as it does with pet hair. It can clean adequately on bare floors, but its carpet performance against these types is mediocre at best.

It’s not for this vacuum’s performance that I chose it for this position, though. It’s actually the design that seals the deal. 

The BDH2020FL weighs 3 pounds and the whole body is about the size of a basketball. Transporting it up and down the stairs shouldn’t pose too much of an issue. And considering its low weight and compact size, I’m quite confident that this vacuum can be used by anyone, kids included.

The BDH2020FL uses a flexible suction hose instead of a suction wand. This improves its versatility and mobility drastically. You can leave the vacuum on the stairs and use the hose to clean instead of having to drag the entire machine around.

The dust cup has a good size with a maximum capacity of roughly 0.52 dry quarts. Unless your pets shed a lot, you don’t have to worry about running out of space mid cleaning session. Customers have also praised this best mini vacuum for pet hair’s ease of emptying.

Battery life is concerning. With 15 minutes of average cleaning time and a charging time of 4 hours, you will not be able to clean a large area using this vacuum. So plan your cleaning session wisely. This is the only issue I have with the BDH2020FL.

It doesn’t look like the vacuum comes with a HEPA filter. But aside from a washable foam filter, this best portable vacuum for pet hair has a cyclonic filtering system. Aside from improving filtration efficiency against dust and dirt, the cyclonic filter can reduce the chance of the filter clogging up while dealing with big messes.

Accessories are plentiful. You get a 2-in-1 nozzle/flip up brush, a crevice tool, and a pet hair brush. The 2-in-1 tool combines the function of a suction nozzle and a stiff bristle brush. You can use this tool for dusting furniture and other hard surfaces. Both the crevice tool and the pet hair brush have been discussed earlier in the segment, so I won’t bother you with them here.

BLACK+DECKER vacuums are known to be pretty costly, but the BDH2020FL is quite affordable. It’s not too cheap, but not expensive, either.

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Best High Dust Cup Capacity: Shark ION P50

94%
Maneuverability
96%
Light weight
95%
Easy to use
94%
Suction power
92%
BEST OFFER FOR TODAY
BUY IT ON AMAZON

Pros:

≫ Convertible design

≫ Can serve as a pet vacuum and a household vacuum concurrently

≫ Good battery life and recharging time

≫ Swappable battery

≫ HEPA filtration

Cons:

≫ Quite heavy

≫ Pet hair can occasionally tangle up the brush roll

If you’re a pet owner who owns several dogs or cats, you’re going to need a best handheld vacuum for pet hair with as big a dust cup as possible. Such a vacuum would further help if you own animals with long hair who shed continuously like golden retrievers or huskies. And I believe you would find such a vacuum in the Shark ION P50.

Before we begin, some clarification about the design is needed. The ION P50 isn’t a handheld vacuum per se. In its full form, this vacuum actually meets the requirements to be categorised as an upright vacuum. However, Shark integrates this vacuum with the company’s unique “Lift-Away” design. Basically, it allows you to detach the vacuum’s body and uses it as a handheld canister vacuum.

After some pondering, I don’t see why it can’t be considered as one of the best pet hair handheld vacuums.

Getting into the vacuum’s performance, the ION P50 lives up to its upright moniker pretty well. The vacuum can deal with pet hair on bare floors, low-pile and high-pile carpets with efficiency. 

Though the majority of pet hair would be cleanly sucked up, some users noticed that a good portion of the hair gets stuck on the vacuum’s soft brush. Therefore, make sure that you check the brush and untangle any knots daily to prevent damage.

In addition to being a pet vacuum, the Shark ION P50 can fulfill the job as a normal household vacuum pretty well. It can do dusting and pick up both small and large debris from common surface types.

If you’re a cat owner, you can take advantage of the vacuum’s effectiveness against large debris to clean up cat litter, too. For this reason, the ION P50 isn’t a shabby vacuum to also put into the best handheld vacuum for cat hair category, either.

The cleaning mode is adjustable with 2 presets: a “Floor” mode and a “Carpet” mode. 

Additionally, Shark also has an “ION Boost” mode. It’s similar to a “Maximum suction” mode in other vacuums. When enabled, the motor will draw as much power as it can from the battery for increased power output. Useful for when you have to clean your dense carpets or your pets’ dirty, hair-ridden beddings.

Like I said, the ION P50 is a full-size upright vacuum when fully assembled. In this form, it weighs a hefty 12.13 pounds. Still, if you need to carry it around, the carrying handle on the vacuum can make it easier for you.

What set it apart from other uprights is Shark’s “Lift-Away” design. You can decouple the canister from the vacuum and use it separately. The canister itself only weighs 3.31 pounds, which is in-line with the average weight of some other best handheld pet vacuums we featured earlier in the article.

All of the components that are impactful to the vacuum’s performance are present in the canister (motor, dust cup, and battery.) Thus, there will be no change in performance between using the vacuum in its full form or using it in its Lift-Away form.

The dust cup is 0.55 dry quarts in size and has a maximum fill line marked on the cup to tell you when you have to empty it.

Unlike previous vacuums, the ION P50’s beginning as an upright means that there’s far less emphasis on making it compact or lightweight. Therefore, Shark can put a larger battery into the vacuum without fearing it to become overweight. This makes the vacuum’s battery life very good, netting 23 minutes using ION Boost mode and up to 57 minutes during normal operation.

Recharging time is decent. The ION P50 only needs about 3 - 3.5 hours to return to a full charge.

One of best features of the ION P50 must definitely be the removable and swappable battery. Say, while you’re vacuuming and your vacuum runs out of battery charge, if you have a spare battery pack, you can just swap out the drained one, put in the full cell and continue as you were. This feature essentially means that the vacuum’s run time is unlimited as long as you have a spare cell lying around.

If you feel like the run time of one cell isn’t enough, you can purchase ION Power Cores (XBAT200) from Shark. The only unfortunate thing is that each cell costs a pretty penny. Nonetheless, the extra time saved is going to be worth it if you have a large home or apartment to clean.

Filtration is handled by a HEPA filter and 2 pre-motor filters. All of them are washable and do not need to be replaced as long as you maintain them properly.

The Shark ION P50 comes with a lot of different accessories. Beside the primary floor head with a stiff bristle brushroll, there’s a soft brushroll (for hardwood), a hard bristle brush, a crevice tool, and an upholstery tool.

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What Are the Problems Pet Hair Can Cause for Vacuum Cleaners?

Pet hair is one of the toughest things that a vacuum cleaner can clean up. It pushes the limits of all the components inside the machine.

Because of its fibrous nature, pet hair can tangle up with the vacuum’s roller. When it does, the vacuum will feel difficult to move around. If you don’t untangle the hair, there’s a chance that the belt (the part that pushes the roller around) could snap! Your vacuum would be totally disabled without a roller belt.

Often, replacing the belt is simple and cheap. Nonetheless, there are many vacuums on the market that don’t allow you to fix the belt. In this case, you would have no other choices but to replace the entire vacuum.

Aside from the roller and its belt, pet hair stresses the vacuum’s filter, too. The filter can get dirty very quickly while vacuuming pet hair. This doesn’t just reduce the suction power of the vacuum, but it would also make the vacuum smell like a wet dog/cat. 

That’s yet to take into account the fact that a dirty filter can be dangerous to keep on using. Harmful pathogens, parasites, and allergy-evoking pet dander could be released back into the environment.

Last but not least, balled up pet hair can clog up the vacuum’s suction hose. It’s usually pretty easy to dislodge, but it’s an annoyance regardless.

What Is the Best Handheld Vacuum For Pet Hair? What Makes Them Different From Traditional Vacuums?

The best rated vacuum for pet hairs typically comes with a variety of accessories to make vacuuming hair easier. What you get varies from one model to another. But usually, you would get a hair-resistant brush roll. At the very least, you would get a brush attachment for picking up pet hair on upholstery and other damage-prone surfaces.

Many pet hair vacuums also come with HEPA filters. This is currently the best filtering system available. It’s so good at filtering, in fact, that HEPA air filters are employed in hospital wards to keep the air clean. I’ve mentioned in the previous section how pet fur can carry many dangerous pathogens and parasites. Well, a vacuum equipped with this filter can definitely keep them in check.

Recently, many manufacturers have started to upgrade their HEPA filters to make them more suitable for pet hair. By having an extra layer of activated carbon inside the filter, these best pet hair handheld vacuums gain the ability to eliminate odors.

Conclusion

With all that said, I hope you have found the perfect best handheld vacuum for pet hair with this article. 

For most people, though, I’d recommend that the first product— the Dyson V11— is the way to go. If you’re willing to spend big on a vacuum cleaner, I’m quite certain that this vacuum could live up to your expectations. Innovative design aside, its powerful performance and excellent filtering system are worth it for the premium price.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • 01. What Do I Do If My Pets Are Afraid Of Vacuum Cleaners?
  • This is a common enough condition that it got a name of its own: Zuigerphobia— fear of vacuum cleaners. Both cats and dogs are afraid of vacuum cleaners due to their loud noise, weird shape, and strange smell.

    This condition can make your pets become anxious and jittery when you turn on or even bring out the vacuum. If distressed enough, they could even attack your vacuum! This could harm the vacuum, your pet, and even yourself.

    There are plenty of ways to help your pets get over their Zuigerphobia. But it mostly boils down to training and adaptation.

    Buying a quieter, less intimidating vacuum could also help alleviate your pets’ anxiety.

  • 02. How Often Do I Need to Vacuum?
  • It all depends on the kind of pet you have and the time of the year. If you have high-shedding pets, you would have to vacuum nearly every day to keep the house pet hair-free. For low-shed pets, you may only need to vacuum once or twice a week.

    But then you have to also take into consideration the time of the year.

    Many pets have shedding seasons. It’s common among dogs and cats alike and typically happen during the spring and the fall. 

    During the spring, to prepare for the hot summer months ahead, your pets would shed their coat to keep themselves cool. When fall comes around, the lighter summer coat is shedded to make way for a heavier, thicker “winter coat” that would keep your pets warm.

    When these months roll around, you would need to up your ante by about two times to keep up with all of the excessive sheddings.

    Then there’s the issue with the tick and flea season. Unlike shedding seasons, which are merely nuisance at best, this can be a health hazard. These hair-borne parasites can harm the health of both your pets and your family. Bring out your vacuum during these times and sweep up as much as you can to prevent ticks and fleas from leaping around the house.

    Although these parasites can infect your pets anytime, they tend to become more active during the warmer months beginning in March. It’s because of this that getting a vacuum with a good filtering system (HEPA) is so important.

  • 03. Are There Any Other Kind Of Pet Hair Vacuum Beside Handhelds?
  • Most definitely. On the market currently are 5 popular kinds of vacuum cleaners, handheld included. 

    So overall, there are 4 other notable vacuum designs, all of which have a pet variation among them: upright, canister, stick, and robot vacuums.

    Each type provides different advantages and disadvantages. You can discover more about the other types down below.

    • • Upright Vacuums: Uprights are the “traditional” type of vacuums. They are known to be powerful, have a wide cleaning path, spacious dust cup, and maneuverable. These are the vacuums to go for if you want maximum power and don’t mind its weight and bulk. However, the downsides are that uprights are notorious for being heavy, bulky, and noisy.
    • • Canister Vacuums: The primary component of a canister vacuum is, expectedly, the canister. It contains all of the important parts like the motor, the dust cup (or the dust bag compartment), and the filtering system. 

    To clean with it, you usually have to connect a flexible hose and suction wand to the canister. They’re more flexible, versatile, and more maneuverable than uprights, but they’re not as powerful. Most canister vacuums on the market are expensive, too.

    • • Stick Vacuums: We have featured a lot of stick vacuums in this best handheld vacuum for pet hair review. They’re immensely lighter and more compact than uprights, tend to be more mobile than canister vacuums. Nonetheless, they usually have less raw performance to spare than both previous types. 

    A unique ability stick vacuums has is the ability to convert to a handheld vacuum when needed.

    • • Robot Vacuums: Robot vacuums are the newest type of vacuum on the market. All you need to do is press a button on the robot or its remote control (more expensive vacuums have smartphone apps) and it would clean the house for you, no manual inputs required.

    Despite the promise of convenience, robot vacuums— even the most modern and expensive kinds— are still fairly buggy and glitchy. They also won’t be able to clean 100% of the house. Therefore, they’re still considered to be “supplementary” vacuums and shouldn’t be wholly relied on to clean the house.

  • 04. How Often Do I Need to Maintain the Vacuum?
  • Pet hair vacuums (and all modern vacuums) are designed to be as low-maintenance as possible. But in spite of the manufacturer’s goal, it’s not always the case. Some models will require you to pay more attention to them than others.

    As a result, it’s best that you give your vacuum a general check-up once a month to be on the safe side. This includes checking and cleaning the filter and inspecting the suction hose to see if there are any clogs.

    You should practice emptying the dust cup daily. Even if the cup isn’t filled up to the brim just yet, it’s still better that you empty it after vacuuming to prevent clogs from forming. Give the vacuum an occasional wash to clear all of the dirt and gunk, too.

    But one critical part of a pet vacuum that you should inspect frequently is the brush roll. See if there’s any hair that’s stuck inside of the brush and tangled up in the bristle or not. Like I said, tangled hair in the brush could lead to the brush becoming jammed, snapping the drive belt and breaking your vacuum.

  • 05. Should I Get A Pet Hair Vacuum Even If My Pets Don’t Shed A Lot?
  • In brief: Yes.

    All animals shed their fur, but each breed will shed differently.

    For example, some dog breeds like Golden Retriever, Alaskan Malamute, and German Shepherd shed very regularly. If you own one of these breeds, it’s not unusual to have to bring out the vacuum daily to sweep up all of the sheddings. For these breeds, you will need the help of a dedicated best handheld vacuum for dog hair.

    On the other hand, there are many dog breeds that don’t shed often. Some examples would be Miniature Schnauzer, Poodle, Scottish Terriers, and more.

    The same thing can also be said for cats. Cats like Persian, Himalayan, American Curl, and Siberian cats would shed a lot of hair around the home. Conversely, Bengal, Siamese, or Cornish Rex cats aren’t as high-maintenance.

    But like I said, although they don’t shed regularly, low-shedding pets do drop their hair. You will still find some stray pieces on the furniture, the carpet, and the floor after a while. Thus, a best handheld vacuum for pet hair would still do you good regardless of whether you have low or heavy-shedding pets.

Joseph  French
At TheKingLive, we take the highest responsibility in the quality of our content. All the reviews are neutral and honest; therefore, you can rest assured about their integrity. When visiting the website, if you need to be even more informed and sure about what you want to buy, you can read Joseph French’s articles. Joseph is one of our leading writers at TheKingLive, who writes reviews about every product you can think of being around your house. He has been devoting his time to get high-quality experiences and knowledge about home and garden improvement products and do-it-yourself advice to deliver the most delicate content in every article published to our readers.

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