5 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair

Rigorous Testing Reveals Hairball Busters

Shaggy dog

Whether you have a dog or a cat, shedding is a common issue at home. It falls to the floors, hides behind doors, and lingers on upholstered furniture. It's everywhere.

A vacuum is typically the preferred weapon of choice when battling shed pet hair, but which one works the best?

We went to the professional testers for the answer.

Top-Rated Vacuums

To narrow down the list of their top picks, Consumer Reports® Magazine recently tested upright and cannister vacuum models and conducted a survey with their subscribers to determine typical usage and concerns.

To get the best test results, the magazine's technical team used shed fur from a Maine coon cat because "it's especially long and provides a rigorous test for the dozens of vacuums reviewed each year."

Testing criteria included agitator brush and belt endurance; handling — flexibility, weight, turning and overall ease of use; cord length; bin functionality —how often are bag or bagless models emptied; and noise level — too loud for pets?

Here are the top 5 rated upright vacuums based on Consumer Reports testing for pet hair performance:

Miele s7260 Cat & Dog

1. Miele S 7260 Cat & Dog

Receiving 72 points out of 100, this model from the high-end Miele brand scored the best overall points during testing.

The 22 pound upright has a 40-foot manual-wind cord and a bag, suction control and a full bag indicator. It performed "excellent" with pet hair on carpeting and bare floors, "very good" for noise and tool airflow. Handling received a "good" rating. Average cost is $649.

Miele s7210 Twist

2. Miele S 7210 Twist

Receiving 72 points out of 100, this model also from Miele scored very well during testing, with one notable  difference from the Miele S 7260 Cat & Dog model: it doesn't perform as well on bare floors.

The Twist has a bag, suction control and a full bag indicator, plus a swivel neck design for tighter turning. It performed "excellent" with pet hair and on carpeting, "very good" on bare floors, for noise and tool airflow. Handling received a "good" rating. Average cost is $450.

Kenmore Progressive 21714

3. Kenmore Progressive 21714

This Kenmore cannister model received 72 points out of 100 and features a full bag/bin indicator, has a HEPA filter and a retractable cord. This model excels at removing embedded dirt from carpets and performed "excellently" with pet hair, and on bare floors.

It received a "very good" rating for carpet performance and tool airflow while handling and noise scored a "good" rating. Average cost is $250 to $315.

Kenmore Intuition 28014

4. Kenmore Intuition 28014

With 67 points out of 100, the Kenmore is a 26 pound cannister vacuum with HEPA filtration, suction control and a retractable cord.

It performed "excellently" with pet hair, on bare floors and for tool airflow. The model received a "good" nod for carpeting, noise and handling. Average cost is $500.

Hoover Windtunnel

5. Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet UH30310

With a score of 65 points, this model from the Hoover brand is a light 17 pounds and a capable bagged upright that packs impressive cleaning and pet-hair pickup into a low-priced, lightweight package. The vacuum performed "excellent" with pet hair and on bare floors, "very good" on carpet, handling and tool airflow. Noise received a "good" rating. Average cost is $100 to $270.

While professional ratings are helpful when trying to figure out which vacuum may be best for you, it is suggested that you also review online user reviews before buying a product to get additional user feedback.

Check warranty, service and return policies before purchasing a vacuum so that you know what to expect in case you’re not satisfied.

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