5 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair

5 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair

Rigorous Testing Reveals Hairball Busters

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 70 vacuum models and conducted a survey with 5,000 magazine 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:

1. Miele S 7210 Twist

upright vac Miele S7210 Twist

Receiving 73 points out of 100, this model from the high-end Miele brand scored the best overall points during testing. The Twist has a bag, suction control and a full bag indicator, plus a swivel neck design for tighter turning. It performed "excellently" 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.

2. Miele S 7580 Bolero

upright vac Miele S 7580

With a score of 72 points, this second model from the Miele brand also has a bag but testing showed it was a bit more difficult to handle, compared with the Miele Twist. It is also costs twice as much, but comes with a HEPA filter, offers suction control and has a full bag indicator. The vacuum performed "excellently" with pet hair, "very good" on carpet and bare floors, and for noise and tool airflow. Handling received a "good" rating. Average cost is $800.

3. Panasonic MC-UG775

upright Panasonic MC UG775

With 71 points out of 100, the Panasonic features a full bag indicator and a HEPA filter, but does not come with suction control. It performed "excellently" with pet hair, on bare floors and for tool airflow. The model received a "very good" nod for carpeting, while noise and handling received a "good" rating. Average cost is $500.

If you’re interested in a lower cost, lighter weight version of the Panasonic, their MC-UG693 model received 67 points out of 100 and while it has suction control, it does not feature a full bag indicator or have a HEPA filter. It performed "excellently" with pet hair, on bare floors and for tool airflow. Consumer Reports gave it a "good" rating for carpeting, noise and handling. Average cost is $200.

4. Hoover WindTunnel Anniversary Edition

upright vac Hoover WindTunnel Anniversary Edition Bagged U5491 900

This affordable model received 70 points out of 100 and is available with either a bag (U5491-900) or without a bag (U5786-900). These models do not have suction control, but they feature a full bag/bin indicator and come with a HEPA filter. Both models performed "excellently" with pet hair, on carpeting, and on bare floors. They received a "very good" rating for tool airflow while handling and noise scored a "good" rating. Average cost for bagged is $115, bagless is $160.

5. Dyson DC28 Animal

upright vac Dyson DC28 Animal Airmuscle

Scoring 68 out of 100 points, this popular brand is bagless, features a full bin indicator and has a HEPA filter. Consumer Reports notes that the brand is one of the more reliable when it comes to upright models. The “Animal” performed "excellently" on bare floors, and "very good" with pet hair, on carpeting and for tool airflow. It received a "good" rating for handling. Average cost is $500.

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.