Need a great upright vacuum to clean up after your pets? Want the best vacuum for handling pet hair? Pet hair, dander, fur, skin and feathers are a constant source of dust, dirt and allergens and challenge to clean. To most effectively clean your home, you're going to need super strong suction to remove your pets' shedding. Here are five of the best upright vacuum cleaners that I found that specialize in pet hair.
(If you are looking for a powerful handheld vacuum, here's our recommendations for the Best Hand-Held Vacuum Cleaners For Pet Hair Suction.)
WHICH UPRIGHT WILL WORK FOR ME?
Whether you need to clean deep carpets, tight stairs or delicate bare wood floors, these powerful pet vacuums are all excellent machines but they have different features that are appealing to different customers as I have tried to detail below.
In choosing a vacuum cleaner, you need to choose how much suction power and features you want vs. ease of use and weight of machine. All of the machines here have been chosen for having the best cleaning ability for the type of machine they are, but a lightweight stick is not going to have the power of a hefty machine. If you have a lot of carpet or deep pile rugs, you will need more suction power than if you have uncarpeted floors. If you have lots of stairs or lots of furniture, make sure to focus on maneuverability and how easy it will be for you to use the machine in your home.
Best Pet Upright Vacuum Number 1: Shark Powered Rotator Professional Lift-Away Tru-Pet Vacuum Cleaner (NV752)
The Shark Powered Rotator Lift-Away Tru-Pet is one of the best all around machines for pet owners, with a nice balance of power and convenience.
If you want the ease of using a canister vacuum but wish it had the power of an upright, the Tru-Pet may be your perfect vacuum. The Powered Rotator is the transformer of vacuum cleaners and with its wonderfully flexible design, it can clean your whole house easily. You can use the vacuum in three basic ways: 1) as an upright vacuum, 2) as a canister vacuum, and 3) if you need the flexibility of a simple hose, just add the detachable wand to the hose and reach those difficult to clean spots easily.
But the Tru-Pet goes even further. Remove the canister, and the Tru-Pet has an extra-low frame that can get under most sofas and tables. Don't you love seeing the vacuum being moved straight under that table?
The Tru-Pet is not just convenient, it also has great suction power, picking up every bit of pet hair, dust, and dirt from your carpet and then sealing it up with its Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA capturing 99 percent of dust and allergens. Dirt and dust is captured within Tru-Pet's dirt canister that contain two foam filters that hold the fine particles. Customers caution that the first time you vacuum with a Shark Rotator Lift-Away you will be shocked at the amount of pet hairs, dust, and actual dirt you find in the dust cup.
The vacuum includes a bunch of tools, including one for dusting bare floors with microfiber pads, the Hard Floor Hero! Additionally, the Tru-Pet comes with a two-sided furniture tool, a stretch hose, a crevice tool, and a premium motorized pet hair power brush.
The Tru-Pet Power Brush is itself motorized.
The Shark Powered Rotator Lift-Away Tru-Pet vacuum is an effective, versatile, and very fairly priced vacuum that is very popular and well-liked. Three of my favorite features are the placement of the controls on the handle of the vacuum (It has a floor setting and two carpet settings!), the large dust cup capacity (1.5 quarts), and the front LED lights on all major attachments.
For additional Tru-Pet attachments and supplies, check out this page.
Best Pet Upright Vacuum Number 2: Shark Powered Rotator Lift-Away Professional Vacuum Cleaner (NV356E)
The Shark Powered Rotator Lift-Away Professional has some similar features to the Tru-Pet above, but on a more modest scale. Don't let the word "modest" detract from this fine vacuum. The Lift-Away Professional is the most popular and highest rated upright vacuum on Amazon, with almost 10,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Model NV356E is the one you want if you have pets, as its attachments include a Hard Floor Hero that has large microfiber pads to pick up that stuck-on floor dust you normally need a mop to pick up, and a Pet Power Brush that inhales pet hair on furniture and stairways and also removes pet dander from those surfaces. The Dusting Brush will help you clean hard-surface furniture and the 8-inch Crevice Tool is super for picking up pet hair that collects along the corners of your floors and walls.
Note the Hard Floor Hero attachment!
Best Pet Upright Vacuum Number 3: Dyson Ball 2 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner
The Dyson DC65 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner is the most popular of the Dyson vacuums on Amazon, and it has recently been updated as the Dyson Ball 2 Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner. Claiming the "strongest suction of any motor," a solid body, suction to burn, and a permanent, washable HEPA filter.
This Dyson is especially suitable to families with pets because of its kinetic cyclone technology, one that pulls airborne particles, like dander and dust, into the vacuum as you use it, so that these particles are not left in the air. By replicating forces far more powerful than gravity, dust and debris get spun directly into the canister as opposed to lingering in the air stream.
This is accomplished via powerful centrifugal forces created by cyclones present inside the vacuum cleaner. By using cyclones, far more powerful than gravity, dust and debris are spun directly into the canister as opposed to lingering in the air stream. This allows users to have consistent, yet powerful suction with each and every use.
The Dyson Ball Technology allows for easy handling of this vacuum and the brush bar has been re-engineered to have stiffer, shorter brushes, that cover the complete front strip of the bar. Raising the brush bar further assures that bristles will not come in contact with hardwood floors.
The Dyson Ball 2 Animal Upright Vacuum has a self adjusting cleaner head that allows the vacuum to roll from carpet to wood smoothy and effectively without losing suction.
The Dyson Animal Ball 2 comes with the Dyson Tangle Free Turbine, one of the most useful tools if you and/or your pets have long hair. You will not have to unwind or cut the hair out of this attachment by hand!
The Dyson Animal 2 also has a nice long attachment to reach ceiling corners and under furniture.
Another Dyson you may want to consider is the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal or the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal And Allergy. The Dyson Cinetic Energy actually breaks down the dust and fibers and keeps them spinning so they don't clog your vacuum. It obviates the need for a filter, which you would need to clean periodically.
Best Pet Upright Vacuum Number 4: Shark Rocket TruePet Ultra-Light Upright
If you are looking for a vacuum that is super light and super powerful, the Shark Rocket Tru-Pet Vacuum may be the perfect vacuum for you. The Shark Rocket is an ultra-light vacuum weighing in at less than 9 pounds, compared to the 15 to 17 pounds of a standard vacuum. But it does rival the power of a traditional upright vacuum. It cleans bare floors beautifully (even those with uneven tiles) and, for carpets, it has a TruePet Motorized Brush, similar to the one used on the Shark Tru-Pet, above.
Check out the search lights at the front of the vacuum, below!
Being so lightweight and having a quick release foot pedal and wand, the Shark Rocket offers many of the benefits of a hand-held vacuum but with the serious power of an upright. It has a motorized hand tool that pivots and bends like one of those fancy men's razors to cover curves in your furnishings or your stairs. It comes with a large sized removable canister that collects all the dust and debris so that you can toss the mess out easily after after vacuuming. The Shark Rocket Tru-Pet Vacuum gets excellent reviews from folks who have bought and tried it. If you need something light and easy, this is the choice for you.
Best Pet Upright Vacuum Number 5: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Of course, there's a Hoover among the top five pet vacuums, but this particular Hoover Linx is a sleek, modern Hoover that's light weight (10.5 pounds) and cordless! The Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum operates on an 18 volt lithium ion battery, a feature that has a two-year warranty. (Don't store the battery in the charger!) And one of the neatest features of the Linx is that it has a battery power reader so that you know when it's getting low - I hate it when I'm all ready to do a cleaning and one-minute after I start, the vacuum battery dies....
Pet owners are so pleased with the Linx. They love the way it handles, with great maneuverability (swivel base), the low profile base (making it easy to get under furniture), the brush rollers on the sides of the base, the flip button handle switch from carpet to floor, and mostly, the wind tunnel suction so great for sucking up pet hairs. Oh, did I mention, the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner is also bagless? This is a great machine if you have mostly un-carpeted floors or you need something for quick cleaning. The Linx does have a switch for carpet vacuuming which works pretty well if your carpet is mat-like thin, perhaps a rug that you might use in the kitchen.
I own a Linx Cordless, and I do, kind of, love it. It handles super easily. One small annoyance is that the dirt canister fills up rapidly, so you have to empty it frequently if you're vacuuming up hefty amounts of dust, or cat or dog fur from your floors. Just a warning: if you don't empty it often, it will, of its own volition, cough the fur back up onto your floor.
So, do you agree with my picks for the best upright vacuum cleaners for pet hair and homes with cats and dogs? Do you own any of the vacuums I have mentioned in this article? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.
Reducing Pet Hair: I recently tried the Magic Pro Deshedding Tool for Dog Hair. It is making a noticeable difference in the amount of dog hair I'm finding flying around the house. So you may want to check it out and see if it works for you. Other great de-shedders and other grooming tools are in my blog 10 Best Grooming Products For Your Dog.
If you use one of these vacuums AND a de-shedding tool, your floors will be clean enough for your dogs to want to sprawl all over it like this little cutie.
Image: Via reddit.
That's the buzz for today!
Originally published on November 2012 and updated frequently. Last updated January 2018