8 Best Handheld Vacuums for Pet Hair 2022: With Reviews

Last Update:

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Learn more

best handheld vacuum for pet hair

We all love our pets, and we accept that they will shed and get fur everywhere.

What we don’t always like is having to clean it up for guests or our own sanity.

It can be a chore to have to lug out the large upright from the closet just to clean a spot on the sofa for the in-laws to sit on their surprise Saturday visit.

Instead, you may wish to invest in a handheld vacuum.

These smaller models are powerful enough to lift and remove pet hair from any surface and reach places the large upright and its flex hose cannot.

This article will examine the best handheld vacuums for pet hair and review each of them for you.

We will also discuss proper care and maintenance as well as a buyer’s guide to help you select the perfect model for your needs.

The Best Handheld Pet Hair Vacuums 2022

The best handheld vacuum cleaners for your pets and their fur come in all shapes and sizes.

  1. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum. A handheld designed specifically for pet hair.
  2. BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Flex Vacuum. A compact and powerful vacuum for every day messes.
  3. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Vacuum. More power, better suction and pet specific accessories.
  4. BLACK+DECKER 16v Cordless Dustbuster. Stylish and powerful with built-in accessories.
  5. Homasy Wet or Dry Cordless Vacuum. Capable of cleaning any mess with power and precision.
  6. BLACK+DECKER 20v Cordless Dustbuster. Even more power and suction from a trusted brand.
  7. Dirt Devil Scorpion Corded Vacuum. Simple, efficient and great suction.
  8. HOTOR 12v Corded Automotive Vacuum. The best handheld vacuum for keeping your car pet hair free.

Do You Need a Handheld Vacuum for Your Pets?

While there isn’t a law or regulation that mandates you must own a handheld vacuum if you own any pets, it is still a good idea.

Handheld vacuums, especially those designed for pet hair, make life a lot easier.

Not only do they keep our furniture clear of pesky fur, but they also help in other areas around the house. You will find more uses for your pet hair specific vacuum than you thought possible.

Most will also include accessories that make it easier to get under the couch, between the cushions, along baseboards and in corners. Further below we will cover some places pet hair likes to hide that you may be missing.

Suffice it to say, that while you may not need a handheld vacuum to clean up after your pets, your furniture, edges and even car will thank you for it.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing a Great Handheld Vacuum for Pet Hair

best handheld vacuum buyers guide

A lot of brands and models will make the claim they are made for pet hair, but just because some loose hairs get collected in the suction path, doesn’t mean it is a good handheld.

Below are several factors worthy of your consideration before you set out to buy your next handheld vacuum.

Corded or Cordless

What type of power supply do you prefer? Most models will come in a cordless design. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries last long and perform well.

However, corded vacuums can produce more power and you won’t have to worry about recharging or purchasing new batteries all the time.

Filtration

Filtration is generally left up to the large upright models. They collect more dirt, dust and debris and move more air. However, those sensitive to things like pet dander, pollen and even dust mites may choose to find a handheld with HEPA filtration.

Suction Power

Suction power is only half the battle when it comes to pet hair or long hair. As any pet owner knows, some hairs seem to cling on to our furniture for dear life.

Regardless of those renegade hairs, you still need powerful suction. Measured in pascals (pa) airflow suction can fall between the very low (about 700pa) to the very high (25000pa).

Handheld units will tend to be in the 6000 to 12000pa range, which is good enough for most debris, including pet hair.

Accessories

Pet hair vacuums are known for their accessories. Rubber brushes, bristle brushes and even crevice tools all play a part in removing unwanted pet hair from our homes. However, there are two things to consider.

First, not all handheld models come with accessories. Second, the ones that do often charge more for the additional pieces. You need to consider which accessories you need, which ones you just want and which ones you can live without. It will narrow your choices down a lot.

Warranty

Warranties in the handheld vacuum market are hit or miss. You will generally find one and two year warranties the most. However, there are a few that have 5 or even 10 year warranties out there.

The important thing is not just how long the warranty stands, but what it covers and how easy (or difficult) it is to make a claim. Read all the fine print before you buy so you know what is required on your end and what you can expect from theirs.

Price

Finally, the price will also play a factor in your decision. You may not need to shell out hundreds of dollars for the high-end, ultra deluxe, super duper extravagant model (yeah, it’s on our list). But you might.

Homes with a single pet may be able to get away with a cheaper model that does its job just as well (it is on our list, too). Those with multiple pets, though, may find a need for more expensive and deluxe style vacuums.

Reviews of the 8 Best Handheld Vacuums for Pet Hair

Without any more fanfare or ado, let’s get to the reviews.

You now know what it is you need to look for.

Browse through the following list and find a great handheld pet hair vacuum for you and your home.

1.BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless

When it comes to pets, Bissell knows a thing or two. The Pet Hair Eraser is easily the best model on the market right now. This battery model is upgraded, so be careful when you order. The previous model had a Nickel Metal-Hydride (NiMH) battery pack that wasn’t as powerful or long lasting.

This model has a lithium-ion battery pack to run for a continuous 15 minutes. This is plenty of time to clean your entire sofa and baseboards on a single charge. It also comes with some of the best pet cleaning tools out there.

The crevice and upholstery tools are pretty standard but you’d be surprised how many fur balls these things can suck up, especially around the edges and overhead.

The key note tool for this model, though, is the mini motorized cleaning brush. Complete with a brush roller, the spinning roller will clean upholstery to like-new status. Pet hair, even those embedded in the couch and chair fibers are lifted away.

There is three-stage filtration, but none of them are HEPA rated. You won’t have to worry about dust and debris reentering your room after cleaning, but it won’t stop in-home allergens.

Power TypeLithium-ion battery pack
HEPA FiltrationNo
Included AccessoriesMotorized brush tool, upholstery tool, and crevice tool
Warranty1-year
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

2. BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Flex Vacuum

If you enjoy doing your vacuuming with a lot of power and cleaning with an alien spaceship, then we have the model for you! This Black  & Decker handheld has a lot of power, regardless of how funny it looks.

The powerful motor creates suction that can lift a throw pillow, and is gentle enough to use on suede. The 4-foot flex hose stores wrapped around the machine, but is flexible and strong enough to go between cushions as well as under your stove.

The built-in crevice and brush tool are handy as all you have to do is extend them. The crevice tool hides inside the cleaning head tip and the brush folds out of the way and snaps into place when needed.

You also get the pet hair brush with this kit that works well on all upholstery as well as your dog. The rubber nibs will loosen and lift hair from any surface.

There is an upgraded option that includes everything listed here plus an adjustable stick vac cleaning head. However, this upgrade will run you about $75 more.

It used to be the exclusive way to get the pet tool, but now that is included in the base package, so there isn’t a real need for the upgrade here.

Power TypeLithium-ion battery pack
HEPA FiltrationNo
Included Accessories2-in1 brush and crevice tool, pet hair tool
Warranty2-years
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

3. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Vacuum

Bissell returns to our list with the corded version of the Pet Hair Eraser. This model has a lot more power but also lacks a bit of capacity and versatility. With the suction power and small stature, though, you will clean your couches and chairs like a bat out of hell.

The 16-foot power cord is fairly long for a handheld model of this size. While the unit is small (it looks like a hungry hungry hippo with a bigger tail), it packs a lot of punch. The two tools allow you to clean virtually anywhere.

The rubber ribbed tip will lift and loosen stubborn hairs on your upholstery or in your car. The little crevice tool is cute, but functional. It just doesn’t have a very long reach. It is ideal for getting around table legs and under the edge of your cabinets, though.

Again, we find the three-stage filtration but it isn’t HEPA rated. You will also find that this model comes with a package deal. For about $10 more you can get a second filter included.

The main problem, though, is that is how much the filters cost, so it isn’t that great of a deal, except you get your second filter right away.

Power Type110 – 120v corded
HEPA FiltrationNo
Included AccessoriesRubber pet hair tool, crevice tool
Warranty1-year
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

4. BLACK+DECKER 16v Cordless Dustbuster

Black & Decker are also returning to the list (and will again, wait for it) but this time with a more tame and normal looking vacuum. This handheld uses a fade-free lithium-ion battery that uses 16 volts of power to create the suction.

It is great for quick clean up and spot cleaning your furniture. Once charged, the battery will maintain the full charge for up to 18 months. Though, if you only clean every year and a half, there are other things you need to worry about more.

The accessories are pretty tame, you get a single tool, but it has two ends. The crevice tool attaches to the machine to get you into hard to reach areas or for overhead cleaning.

If you need more scrubbing power, though, you can flip down the brush tip and clean your chairs and sofa.

The battery life is pretty decent, but we would like to see it last a little longer. On a full charge you get about 12 minutes of continuous cleaning. This is plenty good for going around the baseboards in a room or two, or for deep cleaning your couch, but not much else.

Power TypeLithium-ion 16v battery
HEPA FiltrationNo
Included Accessories2-in-1 brush and crevice tool
Warranty2-years
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

5. Homasy Wet or Dry Cordless Vacuum

One thing we pet owners know is that not all messes created by our furry friends are always dry. Homasy has a handheld vacuum that can clean up wet or dry messes and it won’t ever complain. At least, not as much as you do about cleaning up after that wild cat of yours.

For the style, this little guy has a lot of power, it will reach up to 8000pa which will get the most stubborn dirt and hairs. You also get the benefit of washable filters (two are included), and of course, the accessories.

The crevice tool and upholstery brush are fairly standard. The crevice tool is pretty short, though, so be mindful of that. However, the king of the show is the rubber jar attachment.

This is what you put on when you want to clean up wet messes. It doesn’t store the water (we will pretend it’s water), but creates a unique suction that lifts the liquid from the floor or table.

The warranty isn’t the best, but customer service is pretty easy to get a hold of. You probably won’t need to contact them, though, this unit may not yet be a household name, but it is rugged, durable and performs well enough that it soon will be.

Power TypeLithium-ion battery pack
HEPA FiltrationNo
Included AccessoriesCrevice tool, brush tool, rubber jar tool (for wet messes)
Warranty1-year
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

6. BLACK+DECKER 20v Cordless Dustbuster

Black & Decker makes another appearance here (we told you it would) and this model is very similar to the 16v Dustbuster model. However, this one comes with a much stronger 20v lithium-ion battery pack.

Just like the other Dustbuster, this model features the cyclonic suction to help keep airflow at a maximum. Along with the 20 volt battery pack, this model is also a sleek, stylish black.

The accessories are also attached and include the crevice and brush like the other models. To use the crevice tool you simply pull it from the nozzle until it clicks in place. The brush flips down to lock in place (crevice tool must be retracted first).

Black & Decker doesn’t disappoint with their power, engineering or warranty. The 20 volt model creates a lot of airflow and suction power. It is lightweight, too, making overhead cleaning much easier.

The 2-year warranty isn’t the best in the world, but it is above average for this style of vacuum. And of course, since it is Black & Decker, they stand behind their products and are easy enough to get in contact with when needed.

Power Type20v lithium-ion battery
HEPA FiltrationNo
Included Accessories2-in-1 crevice and brush tool
Warranty2-year
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

7. Dirt Devil Scorpion Corded Vacuum

Dirt Devil has been around long enough your grandma knows the brand. The reason they have been around so long is they make quality products that do what they say they will do. The Scorpion is no different.

This corded model can lift a lot of debris and stubborn pet fur is no match, either. It has a unique design (though it doesn’t look like a spaceship, unfortunately). Cleaning baseboards, tables, chairs and even in the car are no problem.

That hard to reach area can easily get cleaned with the flip down crevice tool that is built into the casing of the machine. There isn’t a brush tool, though, which can make those embedded hairs in your upholstery even more stubborn.

This model does come with a 3-year warranty, though, and with only a 3-pound weight, you can clean ground level, furniture and above head without fatigue or strain.

Power Type110 – 120 volt corded
HEPA FiltrationNo
Included AccessoriesBuilt-in crevice tool
Warranty3-years
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

8. HOTOR 12v Corded Automotive Vacuum

If you like accessories, this is your model. The HOTOR corded handheld vacuum is the only one on this list specially made to get pet hair out of your car. The plug is a 12-volt plug that fits your lighter or 12v power socket.

It has enough power to deep clean your car seats and floors as well as the mats and that sticky gunk in the cup holder. Unless you have a 12-volt adapter in your home, though, you won’t be cleaning baseboards and couches.

It does come with the most accessories, too. You get a long flex tube nozzle that has a crevice tool tip to get between the seats and down in the cup holders. The plastic extension hose is rigid and perfect for getting along the armrests and seat backs.

You also get a brush tool so you can scrub those pet hairs from the back seat, too. There are also two filters included and they are HEPA rated. Plus you get a mini cleaning tool to brush off the filters and keep the vacuum clean.

Finally, there is a carrying bag to put everything in and toss in your trunk. We told you there was a lot!

The 1-year warranty isn’t the longest, but it might be one of the best otherwise. If anything goes wrong with your machine, HOTOR will refund your money or send you a new vacuum, and you don’t even have to send the broken one back or pay for shipping.

Power Type12v corded
HEPA FiltrationYes
Included Accessoriescleaning brush, extra filter, long nozzle, flex nozzle, upholstery brush, carrying bag
Warranty1-year
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

Vacuuming Your Pets

Anyone that has a pet and a vacuum has thought at least once about putting the two together. Why not? You can get the pet hair right from the source, right?

Well, a lot will depend on your pet and the vacuum you are using. If your pets are scared of the vacuum, it may be more of a chore that it is worth. However, well tempered cats and dogs may benefit from being vacuumed.

The bottom line, though, is that if the vacuum is gentle enough (no powered brush roller, for example) and your pet enjoys the experience, there is no reason you can’t vacuum your animals. Just be extra careful with your hamsters, please (We are kidding, don’t vacuum your hamster.).

Care and Maintenance of Your New Handheld Pet Hair Vacuum

maintenance of handheld vacuum

As with any appliance or machine, your new handheld vacuum will need care and maintenance. It is easy to overlook this process because we don’t use them every day. However, this makes it more critical to properly care for our vacuums.

There aren’t a lot of steps and most owner’s manuals will have a section devoted to procedures and timelines for their products. What you need to know, though, is right here.

  • Wash the washable parts. Even if the manual says that the dust cup is dishwasher safe, avoid it. Wash your parts by hand to avoid damage, warping or cracking.
  • Check the filter regularly. Most handheld units will have you remove the filter to empty the dust cup. While it is out, clean it off too. If it is washable, rinse it out and let it dry completely. If it is not, inspect it for major clogs, holes or damage and replace with a new one as needed.
  • Wipe the housing and casing. You want to avoid letting dust and debris build up on the machine or in its exhaust vents.
  • Check the cord (if equipped) for knots, kinks, damage or frays. Make sure you also check the plug prongs to ensure they aren’t bent, cracked or even missing.
  • For battery models, check the entire set up. This includes the battery itself, where you want to look for swelling, denting or corrosion. Also check the charger, it’s power cord and plug as well as the contacts on the charger base and battery.

Where Pet Hair Hides

Pet hair is sneaky and it will end up everywhere in the house. It’s almost as bad as your wife’s hair about getting into places you have no idea how it got there. So where does pet hair hide when it is no longer on your pets?

You already know the basic places such as your floors, furniture, along the baseboards and snug into corners. But there are other places to check on a regular basis, too.

Under everything. This includes the couches, futons and beds. But don’t neglect the things you may not think about often, like your stove and refrigerator. Pet hair likes dark places and will get under everything that isn’t bolted flush to the floor.

Don’t forget to check your clothing. Pet hair likes to cling to things and especially things that leave the house with you in them. Check your closets first, since the hairs can get in through the closet doors which never shut properly anyway.

You also want to check your dresser and wardrobes (you do have a wardrobe, right?). Every time you move, it can kick up little hairs and when you open a drawer or door, the hairs will find a way inside, multiplying and breeding like little hairball rabbits.

Finally, you want to look up. That’s right, any high place will also have pet hair. This includes (but is not limited to) bookshelves, window sills, window dressings (even that curtain rod, check it, too). You will even want to check your ceiling fan and floor fans and clean off the grates and blades as needed.

The best way to take all this on? A handheld vacuum, of course. They can reach and get to places that you can’t take a standard upright and they are light, powerful and easy to use. You have picked a model out from the list above, right? Go buy it now before you get buried in pet hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

best handheld vacuum faq

When making a new purchase you will have questions. Most of us do. Here are some of the most asked questions and our answers.

If you have a question about pet hair handheld vacuums that isn’t on this FAQs, just use the comment section below the article.

Q. Why does my dog shed so much?

  1. There are a lot of reasons that pets shed a lot. Sometimes it is as simple as the breed. Shepherds, collies and retrievers, for example, shed year round and shed a lot. Other factors, though may be more serious.

Stress can cause excessive shedding and so can a bad diet. If your pet has started shedding more, it could also be the climate. Huskies shed a lot more in the spring and summer than in the winter.

However, if the shedding is unbearable or excessive even for the breed or time of year, have them checked out at the vet. There could be more below the surface than you realize.

Q. How often do I need to vacuum with pets?

  1. Your standard upright vacuum doesn’t need an extra workout just because you have pets. A regular weekly vacuums schedule is just fine.

However, it is wise to have a handheld vacuum to use on an as-needed basis for spot messes or unexpected company. You have looked at the reviews of the best handheld pet hair vacuums in this article, right?

Q. Is a corded handheld vacuum better than a cordless?

  1. This will always be up for debate. The answer is what suits you the best. Corded models generally have more power. They create more suction and don’t have to stop to recharge.

However, cordless models aren’t tethered to the wall and can go anywhere without rope limits. You have to decide if you need more power or more versatility. When you answer that, you will know which type is better for you.

Q. Will vacuuming kill fleas?

  1. Unfortunately, no. Vacuuming alone will not kill fleas. What it will do, though, is trap those little monsters in the dust cup until you are ready to empty it (which should be right away). If you are vacuuming for fleas, you shouldn’t open or empty the dust cup inside. Emptying into a sealable bag and tossing it into an outside container is best. We aren’t telling you to walk down the block and use a neighbors trash can for this, but we aren’t not not telling you, either.

Conclusion and Top Pick for Vacuuming Pet Hair

Cleaning up pet hair in your home is an awful chore, there is no way around it. The best thing you can do is have the right tools for the job. While upright vacuums have their place, handheld models are more adept at cleaning all the places pet hair likes to hide.

This article showed you everything you needed to know about choosing the best handheld vacuum for pet hair.

We also showcased the 8 best models for you to choose from.

If you are still on the fence, take another look at the top pick.

The BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Vacuum has the power, versatility and performance you need. It also has pet hair specific attachments to make the task much easier.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

Leave a Comment

3 × 4 =