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A hand vacuum sucks away pet hair in a few seconds, and it’s a great addition to the busy household where dogs, cats and other pets are beloved members of the family.

While we do indeed love our furry friends, they tend to shed a lot of hair. Every day. With a handheld vacuum you can easily keep your home neat and clean, but not all of them pick up pet hair efficiently.

Being pet owners ourselves, we’ve been fighting the never ending battle against pet hair for more than a decade already. We’ve tried anything from lint rollers to brushes, but the most efficient tool is a hand vacuum with a motorized brush attachment.

Our top picks that’ll make you win the battle against pet hair

While most handheld vacuums are great little helpers for spot cleaning and effective against dust, debris and breadcrumbs, you need a little more power to remove stubborn pet hair from your furniture.

We’ve been reviewing different hand vacuums for pet hair for more than a decade, and based on real experience we believe these are the most important factors to consider:

  • Powerful suction
  • Motorized brush attachment
  • Spacious dirt bin
  • Ease of use
  • Decent battery life

The reason for “decent battery life” is that you only rarely use a hand vacuum for more than a few minutes at a time. So you don’t need to shell out extra money for a model with a bigger battery. Lithium batteries are particularly expensive, and all it does is giving you a few extra minutes of run time.

We do also recommend a few corded handheld vacuums for those who find it inconvenient to recharge the battery between every use.

Best overall hand vacuum: BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean+

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum for Pets
Editor’s choice

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean+

  • Efficient rubber brush attachment
  • Extra long crevice tool for hard-to-reach areas
  • Large dustbin with one-touch empty feature

The BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean+ is our number one choice against pet hair.

It works really well on furniture as well as small area rugs, but due to the extra long crevice tool you can use it for practically all purposes around the house. The long crevice tool grants you an extended reach so you can get under the furniture and vacuum any hard-to-reach area without breaking a sweat.

The dust bin is spacious and easy to empty with a single press of a button, and you can empty it using one hand only. The contents of the dust bin is simply ejected from the bottom of the hand vacuum, and afterwards you simply click the lid back in place without directly touching the dust.

With this hand vacuum you’ll have two speed settings available, and the Powerboost mode enables you to pick up even the most stubborn pet hair.

Specifications:           

  • Battery type: Lithium-Ion
  • Power: 20V
  • Product Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Includes: Crevice tool, motorized brush tool

Best affordable hand vacuum: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 Handheld Vacuum with cord
Best value

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use – no maintenance needed
  • Rubber nozzle loosens pet hair from any surface

Most hand vacuums are cordless, but the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is different. It has to be plugged in, but in return you pay a much lower price and never have to worry about keeping the battery charged.

This is a great little hand vacuum for pet hair, as it comes with a rubber nozzle that works extremely well on any fabric. Simply run it over the surface like you would do with any other hand vacuum, and watch how the little rubber dots attract the pet hair.

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser comes with a small crevice tool too. It works very well for spot cleaning around the house, and despite the size it’s actually quite powerful.

With the 16-foot power cord you’ll get a great reach without having to plug it in and out all the time.

Specifications:           

  • Power: Corded
  • Product Weight: 5 lbs
  • Includes: Crevice tool, rubber nozzle

Best premium pick: Bissell Multi Auto 19851

BISSELL Multi Auto 19851 Hand Vacuum

Bissell Multi Auto 19851

  • Very high performance on most surfaces
  • Motorized turbo brush works great against pet hair
  • 2-foot long extension hose extends the reach

If you’re looking for that extra something, the Bissell Multi Auto vacuum could be your best option of them all.

This handheld vacuum has been specifically designed for use in a car, but it does actually have a few advantages that makes it great against pet hair as well. One being the motorized turbo brush attachment, which agitates the surface and loosens any pet hair before sucking it away.

The Bissell vacuum makes use of a powerful suction to pick up pet hair as well as dust effectively, and with the 22-Volt lithium-ion battery you’ll get plenty of power to get the job done in less time.

While it comes with a multi-functional crevice tool, there’s also a 2-foot long extension hose built into the vacuum. This allows you to reach any narrow space imaginable, and you’ll have no trouble cleaning your entire house and car without having to bend into awkward positions.

Specifications:           

  • Battery type: Lithium-Ion
  • Power: 22V
  • Product Weight: 4 lbs
  • Includes: Crevice tool, upholstery tool, motorized brush tool, 2-foot extension hose

Best lightweight hand vacuum: Shark WANDVAC WV201

Shark WV201 WANDVAC compact hand vacuum in a charging dock

Shark WANDVAC WV201

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to grab and go
  • Quick-access charging dock

Even small pets can make a mess, although at a smaller scale. With the Shark WANDVAC you can easily have a vacuum standing by and at your disposal whenever the need arises.

With this hand vacuum you get a charging dock where it clicks into place and automatically starts charging once it’s docked correctly. The charging dock also holds the attachments included with the vacuum, so everything is well organized and easy to access.

There’s a special pet hair attachment included too, and we thought it worked very well on our furniture and area rugs. It doesn’t have a motorized brush, but instead it grabs and separates the fibers and loosens any hair, dirt, dust and debris.

The handheld vacuum weighs just 1.4 pounds on its own, which means that even kids can easily use it.

Specifications:           

  • Battery type: Lithium-Ion
  • Power: 20V
  • Product Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Includes: Crevice tool, upholstery tool, pet hair brush

Also great: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951

Shark CH951 UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ black and yellow hand vacuum

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951

  • Powerful suction
  • Efficient rotating brush for pet hair
  • Dirt ejector makes it easy to empty the dirt bin

Not only does the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ hold the coolest name of this review article, but it works surprisingly well too.

The cyclonic suction system is not only for show, but enables a surprisingly powerful suction that’ll pick up any kind of dust and dirt from any surface.

If the main target is pet hair, simply attach the motorized brush and put the vacuum to work. We found it highly efficient on cushioned seats and area rugs, where the rotating brush was able to agitate the fibers and lift up dust and dirt. Stubborn pet hair was easily picked up too, and to our surprise it doesn’t seem to get stuck on the rotating brush at all.

If cleanliness is important to you, the dirt ejector is a nice touch. It enables you to simply eject the contents of the dirt bin by pressing a button, and you don’t have to touch any of it directly. Simply close the lid by pressing it back in place, and you’re back in action within a few seconds.

Specifications:           

  • Battery type: Lithium-Ion
  • Power: 10.8V
  • Product Weight: 2.8 lbs
  • Includes: Crevice tool, upholstery tool, motorized brush tool

Also great: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 2390A

  • Powerful brush attachment
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery included
  • Easy to use

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser hand vacuum takes care of the mess and fur stuck around your furniture and carpet. It features a rechargeable 14V lithium-ion battery, giving you 17 minutes of run time on a full charge.

One of the things we like most about this handheld vacuum, is how easily it reaches around corners, into crevices and in between cushions. It also has great filtration for dust particles, so it doesn’t whirl out dust when you’re using it.

The large bin included in this model holds more dirt, lessening the amount of emptying and cleaning you have to do between uses. The bin is also easy to clean, just detach it from the vacuum turn it upside down over a garbage can.

We also like that it comes with a special set of pet tools, that effectively help you remove pet hair from most areas around your house. The motorized brush is great on area rugs and other places, where hair tends to get stuck. There’s also an upholstery tool included, that’ll help you pick up any type of dust and dirt from your cushioned seating areas.

The lithium-ion battery offers great longevity and it can be recharged many times without losing capacity.

Specifications:           

  • Battery type: Lithium-Ion
  • Power: 14.4V
  • Product Weight: 4.85 lbs
  • Includes: Crevice tool, upholstery tool, motorized brush tool

Also great: Shark Pet Perfect II SV780

Shark Pet Perfect II SV780

Shark Pet Perfect II SV780

  • Powerful brush head
  • Great accessory pack
  • 18 Volt battery – more power than other models

Cleaning after your pets won’t be hard with the Shark Pet Perfect hand vacuum. It comes with a powerful 18-Volt NiMH battery, that’ll give you between 15 to 20 minutes of run time on a full charge.

Its dust cup capacity is up to half a liter and there is no need for constant emptying of the dust cup. You only have to dump the dirt and dust collected and rinse with cold water occasionally. Don’t forget to air dry before placing the dust cups back into the hand vacuum. The same thing goes for the filter of this vacuum.

The Shark Pet Perfect hand vacuum is lightweight and comes with a deluxe charging stand that can be mounted to your wall. The stand is able to hold all the additional accessories that come with the hand vacuum, so you don’t have to worry about storage of the vacuum and its additional parts.

Like all the other handheld vacuums mentioned on this list, this model also includes different useful tools that will aid you in cleaning your house properly. It includes an extra-large detachable motorized brush that helps pick up pet hair easily. Because it is extra large, it would also help clean the area fast before the battery is depleted. There’s also a crevice tool and a dust brush included, that’ll increase the versatility of the vacuum.

Specifications:

  • Battery type: NiMH
  • Power: 18V
  • Product Weight: 4.92 lbs
  • Includes: Crevice tool, dusting brush, motorized brush head, charging stand

Things to consider when buying a hand vacuum for pet hair

What we have mentioned in this article are only some of the best out there in the market. There is a wide range of options available that would suit your budget, need, and taste. You just have to know what research you have to do before choosing. If you are a beginner and do not know what you should look for in a hand vacuum aside from your preference and budget, well, this is a good place to start. There are only four main things that we want you to take note of before making your purchase.

Run time

One of the first things that you should look at in a hand vacuum is the run time. Since most models are cordless, hand vacuums won’t last longer than 30 minutes. Most of them only last between 15 to 17 minutes. You should be able to identify if you’ll be using it only for a quick pick up of the dirt and the mess your fur kid made or would you use if for longer periods of time for deep cleaning. If deep cleaning is your aim, you should look for a hand vacuum with a longer run time or consider a vacuum with a cord.

Suction Power

Another important thing to look into is the suction power. Since pet hair is a bit tricky to pick up, the vacuum that you’ll have to choose should have a stronger suction. To know if your suction is enough, check the electric current (amp) or the volts on the specifications. It should not be less than 12 amps or 10V to make sure that the suction power is enough to clean the pet hair.

Specialized Tools

Additional tools are always a plus for easy cleaning. A motorized brush at the head of your hand vacuum increases your speed and efficiency in cleaning up pet hair. The brush aids in picking-up and suctioning in the pet hair especially on your furniture with a soft surface like your bed and couch, or even on your carpet. Other additional tools also that help suck in dirt, dust and pet hair on hard-to-reach areas are a great addition especially if you decide to do a thorough cleaning in your home.

Ergonomic Design

Handheld vacuums would greatly rely on your hand for support. Make sure that when you purchase your very own hand vacuum that it would be comfortable for your hand. Check the size of the item and also the weight so you’ll be able to avoid strains on your wrist.

There are also hand vacuums that only works if you press down the power button, avoid those hand vacuums as it can be uncomfortable. It can also be inconvenient especially if you need to move around the vacuum a lot. Hand vacuums like this would only be great if you are doing a quick pick-up like fallen food on the floor or litter that has gone out of the litter box.

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