10 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair and Hardwood Floors

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best vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floors

Cleaning up after your pets, their shed fur and doing your best to clean your hardwood floors can be a daily chore.

However, with the right vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floors, it doesn’t have to be that tedious.

Some models, like robotic vacuums, can even do the work for you, even if you aren’t at home.

More traditional vacuums may give you more control, though.

But either way, you need a vacuum that can keep your floors clean and your home looking presentable.

This article will take a look at the best vacuums for the job and give you advice on what to look for.

Before you pull out your card or mash that Buy Now button, make sure you read through to find out the ideal vacuum to meet your needs.

The Top Pet Hair and Hard Flooring Vacuums

The best vacuums for pet hair and hard flooring isn’t an easy list to compile. We did it for you anyway, though. Take a look.

  1. Best Robot Vacuum ChoiceiRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum. “The robot vacuum with wireless connectivity and self-sufficient cleaning.”
  2. Best ValueHoover UH72625 WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Upright Vacuum. “A powerful upright packed with features.”
  3. Best Pro Choice –  Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum. “When you need maximum power, deep cleaning and a lot of features.
  4. Best Budget Vacuum for Pet Hair and HardwoodBISSELL Cleanview Swivel Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum. “Attachments and filtration to take on an army of fur balls.
  5. Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Cordless Stick Vacuum. “A battery powered vacuum that lets you clean anywhere.
  6. BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Vacuum. “The only upright with specialized tools specifically for pets and hardwood.
  7. Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum. “The power of a Dyson and the convenience of a battery powered stick vacuum.”

Scroll down to read reviews of the Top 10.

Do You Need a Specific Vacuum for Pet Hair or Hard Flooring?

When we consider our vacuums (or the idea of buying one) we don’t generally think in terms of specific floors or duties. We think of an appliance that cleans our floors and helps keep our upholstery and cars dirt free.

However, depending on the type of floors (and to some extent the upholstery material) in your home, you may need a specific type of vacuum.

Hardwood floors are susceptible to scratches and marring. For this reason having a vacuum with either soft bristled rollers or powered cleaning heads that can be shut off is imperative. 

Pet hair also requires a specific cleaning ability. You want a vacuum that removes fur stuck into carpet fibers, along baseboards and without blowing it around hard flooring.

As long as your chosen vacuum meets some minimal standards and has some abilities for deeper cleaning, you can clean pet hair, hard flooring and much more.

A Buyers Guide: Choosing the Best Vacuum

choosing the best vacuum

Deciding on the perfect vacuum for your needs doesn’t have to be a chore in itself. The following factors are worthy of deeper consideration.

Floor Types

Hard flooring comes in many styles. From vinyl and laminate planks to marble tiles, hardwood and even cork. While almost every vacuum on the market is adept at cleaning carpeting, not all of them are able to clean hard flooring.

Some models can scratch hard floors, leave mars behind or even damage planks and grout. Knowing the limits and abilities of the vacuum is important in your purchase decision.

Motor

The motor of any vacuum is the heart and soul of the machine. Regardless of what type of cleaning heads or accessories the vacuum has, if the motor is weak, it won’t work for you.

Most vacuums measure their suction power in pascals (pa). This, basically, is the force of air movement created by the motor. Just because a vacuum has a high pa doesn’t mean it has great suction, though it is a general indicator. For pet hair you want a vacuum with at least 1200pa. Anything over 2000pa is great for all flooring.

Filtration

Filtration can also be a deciding factor. Not every vacuum has HEPA filtration. You may or may not need it, though. Smaller vacuums like robots and stick vacuums may not have HEPA filter (though some do). However, these models aren’t designed to be your primary vacuum.

Standard uprights and larger models should have HEPA filtration. HEPA filters help reduce in-home allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and mold.

Extraction Methods

Extraction may be one of the most important factors in your vacuum. How does it lift the dirt and debris (or pet hair) from your floor surfaces? Bristled rollers are the most common, but can easily become tangled with hair, strings and carpet fibers making them higher in maintenance and less effective until cleaned.

Vacuums with straight suction are decent on hard floors and top layers of carpets, but won’t get a good deep clean in most cases (there are exceptions). The other option is to find a model with a powered cleaning head that has bristled rollers that can be turned on or off.

Containment Options

Containment options come down to bagged or bagless. Bagged models generally go a lot longer between changes, but can lose suction as the bag fills with debris. They also have a built-in recurring cost as you have to continuously buy more bags.

Canister models have a plastic collection bin that needs to be emptied often, but they have less air flow blockage allowing more suction power. While their maintenance is a bit higher and more frequent, they tend to last longer and be more powerful.

Power Supply

Do you wish to have a power cord and change outlets as you move around your home, or do you want to rely on battery power that may or may not last the entire cleaning time? Most stick and all robotic vacuums are battery powered.

A recharge of the battery can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, and the battery may run for an hour or two. However, these models are more versatile and can go more places with ease.

Corded models tend to be more powerful, but you are limited in range to the length of the cord. If your home has sparse outlets (or the outlets you do have are full), this may be a more difficult choice for you.

Price and Warranty

Finally, the price is going to be a huge deciding factor. You will want to find a vacuum that will perform well for your floor types and needs, but one that allows you to stay within your budget.

You will also want to check the warranty. Coverage terms, claim responsibilities and coverage duration will all vary from vacuum to vacuum. Make sure you understand the warranty and what is or isn’t covered before you buy.

10 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair And Hardwood Flooring

Below are the 10 best vacuums for pet hair and hardwood flooring, each reviewed and compared for you. Read through the list and find the model that will suit you and your home the best.

1. iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum

Roomba robotic vacuums have been a staple in homes for over two decades. The 600 series saw a lot of advancements that led to larger changes in future models. However, this affordable 690 model is the best of the 600 series line up and offers plenty of cleaning power.

The suction and 3-stage cleaning ensure that your entire home is cleaned whenever you want. The soft bristle roller doesn’t scratch or mar surfaces and is powerful enough to agitate low and medium-pile carpeting.

You also get the use of wireless communications. This opens up the robot to make use of the iRobot Home app, a free download from android and iOS stores. The app gives you full control over the robot, including scheduling cleaning sessions, alerts and monitoring capabilities.

Because it connects to your home network, you can also use voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices.

The robot doesn’t have advanced navigation methods and instead relies on drop, bump and infrared sensors to detect dirt, avoid falls and walls. It is a random and sporadic cleaning pattern but it will, eventually, cover the entire floor.

The battery will last for about 90 minutes of cleaning time, and takes about 3 hours to recharge. Once the battery falls below 15% charge, it will return to the charging station on its own and recharge. However, you will need to manually restart the cleaning if there is more work to do.

ProsCons
Scheduled cleaningDoes not resume cleaning after stopping to recharge
Mobile app and Alexa voice command controlsNo HEPA filtration
Low maintenance 
Affordable pricing for all budgets 
Simple set up and use 

2. Hoover UH72625 WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Upright

The Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max is an ideal vacuum for suction power and whole-home cleaning. While it isn’t a list-away model or extremely lightweight, it does come with everything you need to clean all of your floors and free your home of shed pet hair.

This model has a high powered motor and produces a lot of suction using a cyclonic airflow system. Even when the collection canister begins to get full, you won’t lose suction. Not only that, but you also get HEPA filtration to help you reduce in-home pollutants and breathe easier.

With a 30-foot power cord, you don’t need to search for outlets that often. It also has incredible reach with a 15-foot flex hose. You can clean overhead, furniture and even inside your car all with the same machine.

This model also offers you all the tools you need to get the most out of your cleaning time. The pivoting dusting brush is ideal for high spaces, ceiling corners and ceiling fans. The crevice tool can be used to get between seat cushions, or along baseboards and in corners.

The best tool, though, is the motorized pet brush. This handheld tool allows you to clean cushions, furniture, stairs and the car to remove fur, hair, strings and anything else in its path.

When it comes to hardwood floors the powered cleaning head adjust to 7 different levels and with a push of a button you can stop the brush roller so you don’t scratch your hard flooring surfaces.

ProsCons
Multiple tools for whole-home cleaningNot a lightweight vacuum
Powerful suction at all timesCan be difficult to push on thick carpets
HEPA filtration 
7-position cleaning head 
On/Off brush roller 

3. BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Pet Bagless Upright

The Bissell Cleanview is a pet-focused vacuum with plenty of suction and specialized tools to make cleaning your home easier. With this upright model, you won’t have to worry about pet hair on your floors, upholstery or stairs.

Cleaning overhead isn’t easy, but you can use the flex hose and tools to clean curtains or in hard to reach areas such as between furniture or around chairs. It does come with a HEPA filter to help eliminate pet dander and other micro pollutants from your air, though.

The brush roller uses three different types of bristles and all of them are soft enough to use on most hardwood floors. If you have softwood or laminate planks, though, you may need to test in a small area first to make sure the stronger bristles won’t leave marks behind.

The mini powered cleaning head works wonders on stairs and upholstery, even in your car. You can reach difficult areas or concentrate on pillows, cushions and seats to get all of the pet hair removed.

Maintenance for this model is moderate. The dust bin is a little below average capacity at 1 liter. It will need to be emptied often. However, cleaning the rest of the machine is fairly simple and even the brush roller only takes a few minutes to detangle or remove wrapped hair and strings.

ProsCons
Triple-action brush roll for any floor typeLow capacity dust bin
Lightweight and portableFilters don’t last very long
Easily cleans stairs and furniture 
Doesn’t scratch hardwood floors 

4. Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Cordless Stick

If you want power, performance and the freedom of power cords, the Shark Navigator is the model for you. This lightweight vacuum has a swivel head, great suction and a long-life battery.

When it comes to floors, this vacuum can clean them all. You can easily transition from carpet to hard flooring with the press of a button. Located on the cleaning head is a foot button that turns the brush roller on or off for floor selection.

The collection bin has an easy empty bottom opening. You only need to remove it from the frame, take it to your trash can and drop the bottom to let the contents fall into the trash bag below. The filter is not HEPA rated, however, so it doesn’t improve the in-home air quality, but it is good enough to keep the motor clean and traps all the dust and debris that passes through.

The battery itself takes about 4 hours to charge, which is normal for a battery of this capacity. You also get about 30 minutes of cleaning time per charge. This can dwindle quickly if you don’t run complete cycles on the battery at least once a month.

Allowing the battery to drain completely once a month will reset the lithium-ion “charge memory” that builds up in these types of batteries. After a complete drain, allow the machine to charge completely before use. This will help prolong the life of the battery.

This cordless vacuum for hardwood provides great value.

ProsCons
Great suction for pet hair collectionBattery life could be better
Brush roller can be turned offNo tools or hoses
Swivel head gets around furniture easily 
Easy empty collection bin 

5. MOOSOO Cordless 4 in 1 Handheld Stick

The MOOSOO brand is an up and coming name in the floor cleaning market. You may recognize a lot of their designs as they tend to mimic Dyson and Hoover. However, MOOSOO imitates the greats at a much more affordable price.

The 4 in 1 model is a stick vacuum with a lot of suction. Using cyclonic air flow, you don’t have to worry about losing suction power when the collection bin gets full. The HEPA filter also reduces bad air in your home while you clean.

The soft brush foam style roller agitates carpet and sweeps hard flooring without scratches. It also has the ability to become a handheld so you can clean your furniture, take it out to your car or clean overhead.

The included tools aren’t the best or very noteworthy, but they do come in handy when getting under cushions or in hard to reach corners, overhead or around small spaces.

While the suction power could be a bit better, maintenance is low, performance is high and the battery lasts about half an hour. It does take longer to charge than the Shark Navigator model (about 5 to 6 hours) but it is a more versatile machine.

ProsCons
Soft roller for all floor typesLong recharge time
Hand held mode allows for cleaning overheadTools aren’t special
Battery holds charge for up to 3 years 

6. Eureka NES210 Blaze 3-in-1 Swivel Lightweight Stick

For those that don’t want to have to worry about recharging batteries but still want a multi-functional vacuum, the Eureka Blaze might be the answer for you. This 3-in-1 model cleans your floors, furniture and some overhead cleaning.

The stick vacuum handle is removable as is the cleaning head. You can use any combination to create a floor cleaning vacuum or handheld vac for cleaning stairs, furniture or your floors. In floor mode, the stick vac produces a lot of power and has a suction-only cleaning head so you can clean hardwood floors without worry of scratches.

The large wheels help the cleaning head roll on any surface and won’t leave marks behind. If you remove the cleaning head you can use the stick handle to clean some overhead areas. While you won’t be able to clean off ceiling fans or tops of bookshelves easily, you can get corners and curtains.

The pure suction power is strong enough to remove all but the most stubborn pet hair from your floors and couches. The long cord provides constant power and gives you plenty of room to move around your home.

ProsCons
High suction for a small unitDoesn’t clean over head easily
Affordable option for any budgetNo HEPA filter
Won’t scratch or mar hard surfaces 
Converts easily 

7. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld

In what may be the smallest corded handheld vacuum ever made, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser has one job and it does it well. This small, compact and powerful hand vacuum loosens, lifts and removes pet hair and debris from any surface.

The motor is pretty powerful for its size and uses cyclonic air flow to help increase suction power. It also comes with two nozzles to help you clean up after your pets.

The crevice nozzle extends out to pick up food, debris, litter and other larger particles. It is also handy for getting between the seats in your car and other small, hard to reach areas. The rubber, ribbed nozzle is ideal for upholstery.

The rubber nubs grip hair as you pass over and allow the suction to pull the lifted hair and fur into the collection bin. While the collection bin isn’t very large, it will hold plenty of fur.

This vacuum won’t replace any other vacuum you have in your closet, but it saves a lot of time and frustration when needing to clean off the couch for visitors or to quickly pick up spills and messes our pets are known to create.

ProsCons
Includes 2 nozzles for pet clean upHandheld only
Cyclonic airflow for increased suctionNot large enough for whole-home cleaning
Powerful motor 
16-foot power cord 

8. BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright

If you are looking for a specialty vacuum specifically made just for pets, you found it. The Bissell Cleanview Pet not only has the power and performance to clean up after our furry friends, it comes with tools specifically designed to collect hair and debris from anywhere.

Like other Bissell corded uprights, there is plenty of power in this motor. On carpet and hard flooring, the triple-action brush roll agitates carpet, sweeps hard flooring and collects even the most embedded pet hair.

For your furniture, the extra long flex hose gives you plenty of slack to get the entire couch. Combine that with the specialized tools, like the triangle corner tool and pet hair has nowhere to hide.

The 27-foot power cord is long enough to clean an entire room from one outlet. When you are done cleaning you don’t have to spend time wrapping the cord, either. It comes with an automatic spool to keep the cord contained and hassle-free.

ProsCons
Specialized pet cleaning toolsNo HEPA filtration
Automatic rewind cord housing 
Powerful suction power on any surface 
Triple-action cleaning head 

9. Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick

The Dyson V8 Animal is the cordless vacuum for pet hair that the MOOSOO vacuum in this list is modeled after. The Dyson cyclonic airflow and suction is prevalent here and you won’t ever lose suction, regardless how full the collection bin is.

This model comes with a motorized cleaning head that is ideal for all flooring surfaces. You can always turn it off, but even when left on, it won’t scratch most surfaces. The HEPA filtration and large collection bin cut down on maintenance time, too.

With this vacuum, you can easily clean all the floors, area and throw rugs, stairs, care and furniture you own. The battery lasts a long time, too. With a 4 hour recharge and up to 40 minutes of cleaning time, you can clean most, if not all, of your home in a single charge.

Above head cleaning is possible, but not the easiest. The motor and air flow are set perpendicular to the handle making it a bit awkward to hold overhead for long periods. However, it is fast and strong so you won’t be in awkward positions for long.

These shortcomings have been addressed in later models, but at this price point, almost everyone can finally afford to own a Dyson.

ProsCons
HEPA filtrationCan be awkward to hold
High, no-loss suction power Battery life is only about a year
Easily converts to handheld 
Cleans all surfaces without scratches 

10. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright

If you want the most suction power and deepest cleaning vacuum, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 makes a strong case for the spot. This vacuum uses the Dyson cyclonic airflow and powerful motor to get deep into carpet fibers as well as hard flooring to give you the deepest clean possible.

The Ball is easy to maneuver and comes with an auto-height adjustment cleaning head. It seals to the surface, regardless of type, to give you the perfect mix of suction and airflow to get as clean as possible.

The vacuum also boasts a sealed HEPA filtration system that keeps all of the micro particles in the machine and not in your floors or air. The long flex hose and powered handheld mini tool allows you to clean and refresh your upholstery while removing all pet hair in sight.

While it is difficult to clean stairs and overhead, some reach is possible to help you clean curtains and dust on higher levels. With the extension wand and various tools you can get far under furniture or in corners above your head. Don’t expect to clean ceiling fans or the tops of high shelves, though.

ProsCons
Sealed HEPA filtrationNot the best overhead cleaning
Most powerful upright on this listCan be heavy and awkward to push on thick carpet
Automatically adjusts to floor type and height 
Motorized mini brush for deep cleaning furniture 

Proper Care and Maintenance of a Vacuum

Taking care of your vacuum is a regimen you need to get used to. It may not be fun but with the cost of vacuums today, it has a huge return. With proper care your new vacuum can last for years, with some models performing well for over 20 years or more.

Cleaning and maintenance doesn’t have to take long, but you should get in the habit of performing the following actions:
  • Check the collection bin or bag after every use and empty or replace as needed.
  • Remove and inspect the filter at least monthly. Clean off, wash (if able) or replace the filter as needed. Replacement should be done every 90 to 120 days.
  • Inspect the power cord (if equipped) for kinks, binding, knots and frays before you plug it in.
  • Inspect the brush roller, air intake and collection ports, hoses and exhaust for debris and dust build up. Clean off as needed.
  • Wipe the machine with a lint-free cloth to remove dust and grime.
  • Inspect the wheels and axles for hair or string wrapping and remove when found.
  • Check all accessories, side brushes, extension wands, crevice tools etc. for wear, tear clogs or damage. Replace as needed or stop using to prevent more damage.

Should You Use a Vacuum to Clean Hardwood Floors?

use vacuum to clean hardwood floors

Most of us grew up watching our parents and grandparents spending all day cleaning the floors. Back when chore day really was a whole day.

First they would remove all the rugs and hang them (or beat them) then vacuum the carpeted areas. Next, they would sweep the hard floors, fill a bucket with hot water and cleanser and mop the floors. Usually ending with blocking off the area so no one walked on it until it was dry.

Today, though, we have appliances to assist us in this chore and it only takes an hour or two. One vacuum can clean the carpet, area and throw rugs as well as the hard flooring. While it may not mop for us, the cleaning process is streamlined and simple, as long as you are careful.

Hard flooring has some limitations and a few drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is how easily a lot of the surfaces can become scratched or dulled. Constant use of a bristled brush roller can scratch the sealant or top layer of the floor. These scratches can show, hold dirt or even make the floor appear dull.

Using a vacuum on hardwood floors makes a simple chore even easier and faster. However, you need to be aware that there is potential for damage or marring. If your vacuum doesn’t have a power cleaning head that can be shut off, you need to ensure that the bristles are soft instead of stiff.

If your roller is full of rubber paddles, soft bristles or you have foam rollers, then cleaning your hardwood floors will be no issue. Otherwise, you may be better suited using the broom and dustpan like dear old grandma taught us.

Alternatives to Cleaning Pet Hair With a Vacuum

We love our pets and they quickly become part of our families. However, our furry friends shed their hair and it can build up around the home quickly. The main problem is that it doesn’t just fall to the floor.

Somehow, those little clumps of fur end up in the oddest places. Many of which, such as the tops of bookshelves, the tops of curtain rods or even the back of the couch, may not be suitable for a vacuum to get to.

No matter where the fur ends up, you have options to clean it out, even if your vacuum can’t reach or the tools are ineffective.

  • Extendable dusters. Dusters are great at getting in hard to reach areas, such as under our electronics, the ceiling fan or high on bookshelves. Even if it doesn’t trap all the hair you can knock it to the floor.
  • Tape. If you have stubborn hairs on your clothing, or odd places such as the back of your couch, you can use tape to stick the hairs to for removal. You can also employ the use of a lint roller to remove the hairs if wrapping tape around your hand is difficult.
  • Canned air. If you can’t collect the shed fur, you can move it to a place where it is easier for the vacuum to get to. Using canned air you can blow the area free of hair, pushing it to a lower level or even the floor.

FAQ about Hardwood and Pet Hair Vacuums

pet hair and hard floor vacuums faqs

Here I will answer some of the more common questions asked about vacuums and cleaning pet hair and hardwood floors.

Q. Are robotic vacuums better than upright vacuums?

  1. Since the original iRobot Roomba was introduced in the 1990s, robotic vacuums have grown in popularity and power. Now the Roomba can even handle pet hair. The main problem is that these vacuums were never designed to replace your standard upright. Instead, they are seen as a maintenance vacuum, running daily or near daily to keep your floor presentable between major cleanings with your upright.

That being said, recent models such as the Roomba s9+ and Neato D7 are as powerful and capable as upright models. Still, these models are quite expensive and it will be some time before a robot is affordable and capable of fully replacing an upright model.

Q. Should I have multiple vacuums to clean my floors?

  1. You don’t need multiple vacuums (though you can if you want to specialize your floor care routines). Most homes have a single vacuum that can clean all of their floors. It is also quite common to own a powerful upright model and a robotic vacuum for maintenance cleaning.

Q. Are bagless vacuums stronger than bagged vacuums?

  1. When bagless models first started appearing they had less suction power and smaller motors than the bagged counterparts. However, today we find bagged and bagless vacuums on equal footing in terms of power, suction, versatility, filtration and cleaning prowess. Neither is better than the other, as a whole, but specific models may be more capable than others.

Q. What is the best time of year to buy a new vacuum?

  1. Many retailers, manufacturers and vendors use early to late Spring to offer sales (Spring cleaning season). Between the months of March and early May you will find the best deals on vacuums and household cleaning items.

Conclusion

Choosing the best vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floors can be a challenge. There are a lot of brands and types to wade through. Hopefully this article has helped you narrow your choices and given you enough information to consider before you buy.

If you aren’t sure where to turn, we offer you another chance to look at the iRobot Roomba 690. This robot vacuum can clean hardwood flooring and collect pet hair from any flooring surface. With wireless communications, you can create schedules and have the robot clean at any time, on any day.

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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.

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