Best Vacuum for Allergies and Pet Hair: The Best Models Available

best vacuum for allergies and pet hair

You've finally had enough, but what is the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair? The first step was admitting you are losing this war. You know it's past time to invest in a solution. You're probably tired of having a runny nose, and that scratchy feeling on your eyeballs, right? Had enough of that ever-present layer of cat or dog hair on everything you own? You clean and vacuum but this is a neverending battle. It's time to buy a new vacuum, but with so many choices out there, finding the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair isn't easy.

How do you know which one to buy? Which one does the best job? Which one will last the longest? Ideally, we'd all love to make a purchase that will last a lifetime. Choosing the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair can translate to an improved quality of life, so this is important.

Features of the Best Vacuum for Allergies and Pet Hair

woman blowing her nose in tissue paper

What features should you look for first when you are shopping for the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair?

  • Suction power

The first feature to look at will be suction power. It should be able to remove hair from smooth floors and on a carpet. A good vacuum should also be able to clean the edges and corners of a room. Once you suck up the hair, the ease of discarding it is essential. Although most people have moved on to bagless varieties, some still prefer removing and replacing vacuum bags. People with allergies may prefer to use bags since there is less possibility of stirring up dust.

  • Carpet-height adjustment and weight

Another feature is the carpet-height adjustment. Consumer Reports states that a manual adjustment is preferable to an automatic system. This feature allows you to be sure you are getting the right distance between the vacuum and the flooring. A vacuum with a beater brush will effectively pull out hair embedded in carpeting, but they can ruin hardwood floors. Lastly, the overall weight of the vacuum will be vital if you have any difficulty with mobility. The weight could be a primary determining factor as well.

  • HEPA filters

Some models feature a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or other air filters. These filters screen out microscopic pet dander, dust mites, and other harmful particles as you vacuum. The filter means cleaner emissions and better respiration for you. That's certainly going to to be a necessary feature for the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair.

  • Attachments

If the vacuum has sufficient power, then the attachments generally will as well. An upholstery tool and crevice attachment will help you get the pet hair wherever it ends up in the home.

  • Cord or cordless?

Cordless vacuums, like cordless power tools, tend to have less overall power. However, the tradeoff is the convenience of moving around without the cord getting in the way. If you can sacrifice some power for the freedom from a cord, then you may want to choose a cordless model.

Where is the Best Place to Buy?

woman with laptop and amazon box holding a credit card

The best vacuum for allergies and pet hair is available with a few clicks on your computer. However, buying at a local store is always encouraged, and you can occasionally find sale prices that will beat online retailers like Amazon.

What will it cost?

The best vacuum for allergies and pet hair ranges in price from just $100 on up to over $1,000. A higher price sometimes translates to better quality and longer-lasting durability. However, that's not always the case.

How We Made Our Selection of Vacuums

As we noted, we utilized Consumer Reports to help us select our choices of the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair. We also scanned hundreds of customer reviews on Amazon to see how they compared with Consumer Reports. We included only those vacuums with high ratings for pet hair. The price was less important than the overall product rating so we can ensure these are among the best on the market today. We looked at full-size upright and stick vacuums rather than smaller hand-held models or automatic robot vacuums.

Best Vacuum for Allergies and Pet Hair: Our Top Picks

After researching some of the best choices, we settled on several to highlight. We ask that you keep in mind that vacuum cleaners seem to be a favorite for critics. As such, customer reviews tend to be more negative compared to some other products.

3.9 out of 5 stars

Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Pet Bagged Corded Upright Vacuum UH30310
  • P.A.W.S Pet Approved Windtunnel system with Windtunnel Technology removes embedded dirt and minimizes blowback and scatter on carpet
  • Activated Carbon HEPA Media Bag filters and traps 99.9-percent of dust and pollens down to 0.3 microns and carbon absorbs household orders
  • One Touch bag door release gives you fast and easy access to the bag. Powerful Reach - 30-foot cord extends room-to-room without the hassle of unplugging
  • Clean-Drop Bag system is a simple one touch that releases the full bag directly into the trash, so you never have to touch the dirty bag.On/Off Brushroll - push button to easily transition from carpet to hard floors
  • On/Off Brushroll - push button to easily transition from carpet to hard floors; Bag capacity - 2.9 Liters

At the low end of the price range is the Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet UH30310. At 17 pounds, this is a reasonably lightweight model. Note: This vacuum uses HEPA media bag filters which use activated carbon. Although it has a moderately low price, it received a decent product rating at 65 out of 100 on Consumer Reports. The main drawbacks are that it is somewhat noisy and has no means to adjust the suction.

This vacuum has impressive suction power that works with attachments and on carpet or bare-flooring. Emissions were low, meaning fewer allergens are left behind in the home. It uses a 29-foot manually winding cord, and the carpet brush can be turned off with a push button as you move from carpet to hardwood floors.

The Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet UH30310 ranges in price from $103 to $170. Customers on Amazon give it 3.9 out of 5 stars.

3.8 out of 5 stars

Kenmore 31140 Pet Friendly Lightweight Bagged Upright Beltless Vacuum with Pet Handi-Mate, Triple HEPA, Telescoping Wand, 4-Position Height Adjustment, 3 Cleaning Tools and AAFA Certified-Blue/Silver
  • BAGGED UPRIGHT VACUUM: Remove pet hair, dust and more with this lightweight multifloor, multi-surface designed vacuum for use in your home, den, or kitchen with a wide sweeper path
  • PET HANDIMATE: Air driven turbine spins roller brush to high RPM easily removing dander, stubborn pet hair and other debris off furniture, stairs, car and van seats
  • TRIPLE HEPA FILTER SYSTEM-AAFA CERTIFIED: Enhanced HEPA filter system traps 99.7% of debris, trapping dander and dust inside the vacuum reducing allergy-induced pollutants in the room
  • ENHANCED CLEANING: At only 19.5 pounds this lightweight unit includes a 2-motor system excels in suction strength. 4 height adjustments provide optimal airflow and cleaning efficiency for any surface
  • 3 ATTACHMENTS-ALUMINUM WAND : Flexible hose and wand lengthens to extended reach of 10'. Dusting brush, crevice tool and second bare floor tool for convenient cleaning transitions

This vacuum weighs a little more at 20 pounds and has a relatively low price. The only drawback from Consumer Reports is the manual adjustment for pile height. There is a suction adjustment to protect your drapery or other items from getting damaged. The model gets high marks for removing stubborn pet hair from carpeting and smooth surfaces, and it's easy to turn off the carpet brush as you move between surfaces. It comes with accessories like a power brush, upholstery tool, dusting brush, and a crevice tool. Consumer Reports gives it a rating of 71 out of 100.

This vacuum filters out microscopic particles using the HEPA certified filtration and vacuum bags. It may be relatively noisy. The Kenmore Pet & Allergy Friendly 31140 ranges in price from $153 to $180. On Amazon, customers give it a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Customers offered a wide range of very poor reviews and also very high reviews. The main complaints are about poor maneuverability due to the weight and a short attachment hose length of two feet.

4.3 out of 5 stars

Shark Rocket DeluxePro Ultra-Light Upright Corded Stick Vacuum, Bordeaux
  • No loss of suction
  • Powerful 2-in-1 vacuum deep cleans your carpets and hardwood floors
  • Perfect for quick pick-ups; Cord length: 30 feet
  • Designed to clean everywhere with the included attachments.Rinse both with tap water until the water runs clean, then air-dry completely and insert back into your vacuum
  • Included attachments: Duster Crevice Tool, Pet Multi-Tool, Hard Floor Hero, Wall Mount

This product is a stick vacuum and as such looks very thin, but it has plenty of power, maneuverability, and versatility. It converts to a hand-held size for use in lots of hard-to-reach situations, from stairs to on furniture. Use the Pet Multi-Tool to remove deeply embedded hair. It has LED lights to help navigate in dark spaces and a 30-foot cord.

The best part is a weight of just 9.2 pounds, so it's perfect for anyone who has difficulty getting around. It has a relatively small chamber that collects the dirt, so it will need emptying more frequently, but it's easy with one step. Consumer Reports rates it higher for carpeting, but it works great on bare floors too. The Shark brand of stick vacs received the highest marks for long-term durability as well. It has an overall Consumer Reports rating of 78 out of 100.

The Shark Rocket DeluxePro TruePet HV322 ranges in price from $179 to $280. Customers on Amazon rate the HV322 model at 4.3 out of 5 stars.

4.1 out of 5 stars

Kenmore Elite 10441 Pet Friendly 25V UltraLight Cordless Complete Super Stick Vacuum Cleaner w/Pet PowerMate, HEPA, Telescoping Wand, Hand Vac, 2-Motorized Brushes, Rechargeable Battery
  • CORDLESS STICK VACUUM: At 6 pounds, this versatile carpet and bare floor cleaner, with 2 motorized brushes, makes removing pet hair, cleaning up messes and eliminating dirt and dust quick and easy
  • PET POWERMATE: Motorized attachment lifts stubborn pet hair, dander and dirt quickly from surfaces. Unique design eliminates hair from tangling around the brush
  • DETACHABLE HANDHELD VACUUM: Converts to a powerful hand vac for versatile cleaning of furniture, stairs, car interior, and tight spaces
  • TELESCOPING WAND: Adjustable wand lengthens and shortens for daily clean ups to hard-to-reach areas
  • 5 ACCESSORIES: Pet PowerMate, under-appliance tool, crevice tool, dlx multi-position dusting/ceiling fan brush, and battery pack

This option is another stick vacuum with lots of versatility. It converts from the stick vac to a handheld vacuum, so you can reach just about anywhere. Attachments let you vacuum in the tightest of spaces, including underneath appliances. This unit uses a rechargeable 25-volt lithium-ion battery. You'll need a place to hang the wall-mounted docking station. It has a high-tech look and a high-tech function with the LED dirt sensor to find hidden dirt.

This stick vacuum is exceptionally light at just six pounds. It receives the highest marks from Consumer Reports for getting dirt and pet hair in tight spaces and around edges. They give it an 82 out of 100 rating. It seems to work better on smooth floors rather than carpeting. It features plenty of attachments, including a pet brush, telescoping wand, rotating dust brush, under-appliance tool, and crevice tool.

The Kenmore Elite Complete 10441 ranges in price from $255 to $300. Customers on Amazon rate it at 4.1 out of 5 stars.

3.8 out of 5 stars

Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet Friendly Bagged Upright Beltless Vacuum w/Pet Handi-Mate, Triple HEPA, 3D Inducer Motor, Telescoping Wand, 5-Position Height Adjustment, 3 Cleaning Tools & AAFA Certified-Black
  • BAGGED UPRIGHT VACUUM: Remove pet hair, dust and more with this multifloor, multi-surface designed vacuum for use in your home, den, or kitchen with a wide sweeper path
  • PET HANDIMATE: Air driven turbine spins roller brush to high RPM easily removing dander, stubborn pet hair and other debris off furniture, stairs, car and van seats and out of your vehicle
  • TRIPLE HEPA FILTER SYSTEM-AAFA CERTIFIED: Enhanced HEPA filter system traps 99.7% of debris, trapping dander and dust inside the vacuum reducing allergy-induced pollutants in the room
  • POWERFUL CLEANING: 3D Inducer Motor combines power of 3 motors that give you 20% more air power than a conventional vacuum while never loosing suction. The Beltless Agitator reduces maintenance and repairs
  • 3 ATTACHMENTS-EXTENDED REACH: Flexible hose and lightweight aluminum wand lengthen to reach 10'. Dusting brush, crevice tool and second bare floor tool for convenient cleaning transitions

For a model called an "elite," you would expect a lot. This one doesn't disappoint if you want power and don't mind that it's somewhat heavy at 21 pounds. One would expect lower ratings for noise and handling, and that appears to be the case on Consumer Reports. However, the only negative reported is a manual carpet pile height adjustment, which again, is not a negative since manual adjustments tend to work better anyway. The powerful suction from the two-motor system operates the attachments with ease, but the suction-control protects your draperies. Turn off the carpet brush easily to protect your smooth floors.

In addition to the power, allergy sufferers will appreciate the triple HEPA air filtration. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America certifies this model. An LED dirt sensor lights up to tell you where to focus your cleaning. The 35-foot cord helps you get around large rooms. The biggest negative associated with this model is that the attachments don't seem to work that great for getting stairs and tight places. The pet Handi-Mate attachment can become clogged up with hair, requiring manual removal from around the brushes.

The Kenmore Elite Pet & Allergy Friendly 31150 ranges in price from $210 to $320. Customers on Amazon rate it at 3.8 out of 5 stars.

4.1 out of 5 stars

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
  • The most powerful suction of any cord-free vacuum. Tested to ASTM F558, against cord-free stick market
  • Up to 60 minutes' run time when using a non-motorized tool. Cyclone technology : 14 concentric cyclones. Filtration : Advanced whole machine filtration
  • Lightweight and versatile, to clean right through the home. Instant-release trigger means battery power is only used while it's cleaning. Requires charging for 3.5 hours minimum before first use
  • Up to 40 minutes of fade-free power with the Soft roller cleaner head (in Suction mode I). Engineered to pick up both large debris and fine dust
  • Torque drive cleaner head - our most powerful yet. Up to 20 minutes of fade-free power (in Suction mode II). Drives stiff nylon bristles into carpets to capture deep-down dirt

The Dyson models are expected to deliver excellent suction, and this one doesn't disappoint. The company boasts it is the most powerful suction of any cordless vacuum. According to Consumer Reports, the model excelled at collecting dust and pet hair from smooth surfaces and on the carpet. It offers HEPA filtration to trap allergens. Consumer Reports gave it an 89 out of 100 rating. However, they also noted this stick model might not be strong enough to replace an upright vacuum completely.

As with the Kenmore Elite Complete, you'll need to provide some wall space for the docking and charging station. The company claims you can get up to 60 minutes of action on a full charge. The time might be significantly less (25 minutes or less) if you use the motorized floor tool attachment and run the machine on the highest power setting. You can transform this stick vac into a handheld vacuum for smaller spaces. The biggest negative is that this model can be very noisy, which you would expect given the high rate of power. A model that is rated for less noise but also significantly lower power is the Dyson V8 Absolute.

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute ranges in price from $500 to $700. Amazon customers rated it at 4.1 out of 5 stars.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Miele Cat and Dog U1 Dynamic Upright HEPA Vacuum Cleaner with STB101 Turbo Brush Bundle - Includes Miele Performance Pack 16 Type U AirClean Genuine FilterBags + Genuine AH30 HEPA Filter
  • Bundles Includes - Miele's AH30 U Performance Pack - Comes With 16 Genuine Miele U Airclean FilterBags, 1 Genuine Miele HEPA Air Clean Filter AH-30 and 4 Pre-Motor Protection Filters
  • Made In Germany and Made To Last - The Miele Cat and Dog has a 20-Year Average Life-Span - Miele's Amazing 1200-Watt Vortex Motor Provides Amazing Suction and Power
  • No More Belt Changes or Breakages! The Miele U1 uses a Separate Motor to Power the Brushroll which can sense a Brushroll Obstruction and Prevent a Belt Breakage and is powerful enough to turn the Brushroll Thousand of Rotations Per Minute for Aggressive Carpet Cleaning
  • Sealed System Construction with True Active Air Clean Filtration - Perfect for anyone with Pets
  • Comes with Miele STB101 Mini Turbo Brush - Perfect for Cleaning Upholstery and Carpeted Stairs - Comes With Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush + Upholstery Tool

The Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog vacuum upright might be perfect for people concerned about allergens. The company claims the filter bags and HEPA filters remove 99.9 percent of dust, allergens, and dirt. That's hard to beat. Also, charcoal filters help screen out the pet smells. There is a mini turbo brush attachment to get out stubborn pet hair from furnishings. Consumer Reports rates this one at 72 out of 100. The only negative they mention is the automatic carpet-height adjustment.

This vacuum is one of the heavier ones at 22 pounds. However, it swivels at the power head which makes it much easier to maneuver. The maneuverability is still one of the lower ratings on Consumer Reports. LED headlights help you spot dirt in dark areas, and this model offers suction control to prevent damaging draperies. Although this vacuum has a relatively high rating, this German brand didn't get the highest marks for reliability over three years.

The Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog ranges in price from $550 to $650 and Amazon customers rate it low at 3.5 out of 5 stars.

4.6 out of 5 stars

Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister HEPA Canister Vacuum Cleaner with SEB236 Powerhead Bundle - Includes Performance Pack 16 Type GN AirClean Genuine FilterBags + Genuine AH50 HEPA Filter
  • Bundles Includes - Miele's AH50 GN Performance Pack - Comes With 16 Genuine Miele GN Airclean FilterBags, 1 Genuine Miele HEPA Air Clean Filter AH-50 and 4 Pre-Motor Protection Filters
  • Lightweight, Quiet and Powerful Thanks to Miele's Amazing 1200-Watt Vortex Motor / Made In Germany and Made To Last, The Miele Marin has a 20-Year Average Life-Span
  • AirClean Sealed System Construction, Perfect for any Allergy or Asthma Sufferer
  • Comes with Miele SEB-236 Powerhead - Great For deep cleaning and restoring crushed carpet nap on all types of carpeting. Also perfect for picking up large amounts of pet hair from carpet
  • Comes with Miele SBB300-3 Parquet Floor Brush - Designed to go flat under baseboards, low under furniture, tight up against kick jams and around chair legs. With a 90 degree twisting rotation there not many places this floor brush can't go!

This model is a canister vacuum that looks like it came from the 60s. It is much more expensive than other vacuums we've highlighted but is rated very highly in most areas. Consumer Reports gives it 75 out of a possible 100. It has tremendous suction power, excels at cleaning on carpet and smooth surfaces, and is quieter than many upright vacuums. The 24-foot cord is retractable. It uses filter bags, which may be a good thing for allergy sufferers.

The Miele Complete C3 Marin features the usual attachments: an upholstery tool, dusting brush, telescopic wand, and a crevice tool. An electrobrush powers through the carpeting and the "Parquet Twister" attachment is perfect for hardwood floors. Nevertheless, the vacuum loses points for lack of maneuverability. If you are looking for a vacuum that will knock the heck out of pet hair, this may be one of the best. The Miele brand is one of the top rated canister vacuums on Consumer Reports.

The Miele Complete C3 Marin ranges in price from $1,099 to $1,200. Amazon customers rate it at 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The Best Vacuum for Allergies and Pet Hair

Product

Details

Rating

Price

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet UH30310
  • P.A.W.S Pet Approved Windtunnel system with Windtunnel Technology
  • Activated Carbon HEPA Media Bag
  • One Touch bag door release
  • 29-foot cord
  • Clean-Drop Bag system
  • On/Off Brushroll button

3.9 out of 5.0

Kenmore Pet & Allergy Friendly 31140
  • 2-motor system
  • Power Flow technology
  • Triple HEPA filtration
  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America certified
  • Dusting and crevice tool
  • 4 height adjustments
  • LED headlights
  • 30-foot cord length

3.8 out of 5.0

Shark Rocket DeluxePro TruePet HV322
  • Ultra-lightweight at 9 lbs
  • Convertible into a handheld vacuum
  • Hard Floor Hero
  • Pet Multi-Tool
  • Powerful LED lights
  • XL-capacity dust cup
  • Advanced swivel steering

4.3 out of 5.0

Kenmore Elite Complete 10441
  • 2 motorized brushes: microfiber and bristles
  • LED Dirt Sensing technology
  • EasyCut technology
  • 25-volt lithium-ion battery
  • 180° swivel steering
  • Advanced HEPA Clean Air technology

4.1 out of 5.0

Kenmore Elite Pet & Allergy Friendly 31150
  • 3D inducer motor
  • Triple HEPA filtration
  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America certified
  • Infrared Dirt Sensor technology
  • 5 height adjustments
  • Dusting and crevice tool, pet handi-mate, and telescoping wand
  • 35-foot cord length

3.8 out of 5.0

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
  • 14 concentric cyclones
  • Advanced whole machine filtration
  • Instant-release trigger
  • Fade-free power
  • Torque drive cleaner head
  • Dyson digital motor V10

4.1 out of 5.0

Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog
  • Swivel neck technology
  • Automatic height adjustment
  • AirClean 3D Efficiency U filter bag
  • Rotary dial speed control
  • Active AirClean filter
  • LED headlight

3.5 out of 5.0

Miele Complete C3 Marin
  • Six stage variable speed motor
  • Height-adjustable electrobrush with LEDs
  • Automatic speed setting
  • Thermal protection
  • HEPA AirClean filter
  • Electro premium electro brush
  • 24-foot retractable cord

4.6 out of 5.0

Have we determined the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair? As you can see, numerous choices provide a great solution. If you are looking for something lightweight and easily maneuverable that will still have lots of suction, consider a stick vac. If you want something powerful that will blow away the pet hair and dander while cleaning the air, you might prefer an upright or canister vacuum. Do you prefer bagless, or would you prefer to replace bags? Whatever your preferences, there is an excellent vacuum for you. Investing more money may not necessarily result in a better vacuum, so pick the one that you think will apply best to your specific needs.

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