To help you find the Best Robot Vacuum For Pets, we spoke to 12 pet owners and pet-care entrepreneurs about their favorites. Read on for the ten robot vacuum cleaner options they recommend, any of which will help you keep a clean home without even thinking about it.
To have a pet is to have an endless source of unconditional love — and an unyielding amount of loose fur. An additional member of the household, no matter how small and cuddly, always adds more housework. While there are many traditional vacuums that can do the job, an easier way to manage constant shedding (and dirt tracking) is by programming a robot vacuum to do a daily sweep for you. The hardest part of this process is picking the right robot vacuum for your home. If you have carpeting or rugs, you need a model with more suction. If you have a bigger home, you want a model with a long battery life. And if you have a skittish pet who might be wary of a seemingly sentient machine, you need a quieter model.
Best Robot Vacuum For Pets
Best overall robot vacuum for pets
This is the all-star robot vacuum recommended by pet-care experts across the board. Canine behavior expert and trainer Shelby Semel recommends this vacuum to her clients because of its zoning feature. “You can block off and control sections of a room from your phone,” she explains, marking virtual no-go zones for the vacuum to avoid. Ryeon Kim, co-founder of pet e-commerce retailer Little Beast, also loves the vacuum’s ability to focus on specific areas in a home. “I use the app to move the vacuum around and spot clean,” he explains. Dr. Jamie Richardson, veterinarian and chief of staff at veterinary start-up Small Door, got this model when she was living beachside in Bermuda with her dogs. “There was a lot of sand all over my house, so I found myself vacuuming nonstop,” she said. With all the sand in her home, she loved the D-shape of the vacuum because it got into all the nooks and crannies of each room. All Botvac models D6 and up feature the Spiral Combo brush, which is designed especially to pick up pet hair on most surfaces.$600 AT AMAZON
Best less expensive robot vacuum for pets
“I wanted to treat — yes, treat — myself to a robot vacuum, but not drop a considerable amount,” Britt Smith, the content and community manager at cat food start-up Smalls, says. On her budget, she wanted to prioritize two features: battery life and surface versatility. This robot vacuum has a 90-minute battery life (plenty for most New York City apartments) and handles rugs, tiles, and hardwood floors in Smith’s home equally well — very handy because her cat leaves hair everywhere. This older model doesn’t have app features or Wi-Fi compatibility like the other Roombas, but her cat tolerates it and it’s affordable, and that’s good enough for Smith. Dog trainer Annie Grossman, who uses Roombas in her dog training facility, agrees. “I don’t care if my vacuum has Bluetooth,” she says. “In fact, I’d rather it not talk to me.” She loves the lower-tier Roombas because they pick up after a dozen excited dogs without complaining.FROM $234 AT AMAZON
Best even-less-expensive robot vacuum for pets
You don’t have to pay a lot for a sleek, high-tech model. Art director and long-haired cat mom Minha Khan loves this affordable robot vacuum because, at 2.85 inches tall, it’s slim enough to slide under the couch. “My cat tracks litter and sheds everywhere, so I love that the vacuum reaches areas that my stick vacuum can’t,” she explains. Premium features include self-charging, an infrared sensor, and a glass top cover to protect against scratching and damage. (Strategist writer Liza Corsillo, who also loves this model, called it the “robot vacuum that helped me avoid couples therapy.”)$210 AT AMAZON$220 AT EUFY
Best affordable robot vacuum for pets with Wi-Fi-compatibility
If you want Wi-Fi, Google Home, and Alexa compatibility at half the price of iRobot’s newer models, this one’s for you. “We had the Roomba around the office back in 2013 to clean our puppy play area and I was so mesmerized by it that I ended up buying one for my apartment after that,” says Stacie Grissom, director of content at Bark. Because she brings home a lot of toys from the company’s toy workshop, there’s a constant stream of fluff on her floor. “The Roomba busily cleans up toy fluff I’ve missed from the night before while I’m at work with [my dog] Pimm, but is quiet enough not to drive Pimm crazy if I turn it on while she’s home,” she says. She considers the customer service at iRobot to be a top feature, noting that they sent a replacement battery when her vacuum was acting up. It runs for 90 minutes fully charged and features iRobot’s patented dirt detection technology, which allows the vacuum to detect dirtier areas in your home that require extra TLC.$230 AT BEST BUY
Best self-emptying robot vacuum for pets
Winnie Au, a photographer who regularly features dogs in her work, wanted the iRobot Roomba s9, but couldn’t justify the $1,200-plus cost. So, she went for the next best thing that’s more than a quarter cheaper: the i7+. Though she has had other Roombas before, she was always annoyed by the need to empty the vacuum after every usage, which fills up easily. In her opinion, she says “it defeats the purpose of having a Roomba.” But this new model does it for you — after each cleaning session, the vacuum empties the dirt into a disposable AllergenLock bag located inside the charging dock. The bag holds 60 days worth of vacuuming, so you don’t have to do anything but stare pleasingly at the map of your home on the iRobot HOME app, which the vacuum learns as it vacuums your home. (Au’s home has stairs, and this vacuum can memorize multiple floor plans.) The i7+ syncs with the Braava Jet M6, so if you have both like Au does, you have a daily cleaning team to replace the need for a professional housecleaner.$799 AT AMAZON
Best robot vacuum for pets on hard floors
“It’s basically a glorified Swiffer,” says Au. “You can put Swiffer pads on it, or you can get the non-disposable pads if you hate throwing stuff away.” She loves it because you can put both dry and wet pads in it, so that it can dust or mop your floors. Her basset hound is scared of loud noises, but the Braava is noiseless and unobtrusive. “It’s very quiet,” Au says, “It just kind of moves around.” By programming it to run daily, Au has been able to limit her handheld vacuuming — and spooking Clementine — to once a week.$449 AT AMAZON
Best less expensive robot vacuum for pets on hard floors
This budget-friendly robot vacuum does almost everything — and lasts up to 120 minutes fully charged. Kate Jaffe, Pet Trends Expert at Rover, considers the slim 2.7-inch tall vacuum to be the best value for your wallet due to its array of accessories: a high-efficiency filter, four side brushes, cleaning brush, remote control, charging dock, and an adaptor. And while it does work on carpet, if you buy the additional water tank and cleaning mop attachment, you can transform the vacuum into a wet mop.$190 AT AMAZON
Smartest robot vacuum for pets
“This is a favorite robot vacuum that my colleagues love,” Winson Wong, head of Mars Petcare’s Kinship Labs and dog dad, says. The auto-adjust cleaning head allows the robot vacuum to glide over different surfaces, but what really makes it smart is the mapping technology — the vacuum maps and tracks the location it cleans, and you can view its progress on the iRobot HOME app. Despite its powerful suction, the vacuum’s battery life lasts up to 120 minutes, and it recharges automatically at its dock (and will go back to cleaning unfinished spots once fully charged). The only thing you need to think about is cleaning the high-efficiency filter once in a while (especially when it clogs up with pet hair).$495 AT AMAZON
Best robot vacuum for pets scared of loud noises
If your pet is scared of fireworks and loud sirens, you will want the quietest robot vacuum possible — even if your pet is in another room while it’s running, and especially if you’re not home. “Stressing your dog out when you’re not home and they have no one to protect them can honestly have lasting effects,” Semel explains, which is why she recommends this robot vacuum to all her clients with skittish dogs. But don’t be deceived by the S6’s hush: It has enough suction power to lift AA batteries, and has a mop setting, too. Like other high-end robot vacuums, it maps, recognizes, and saves the layout of specific rooms in your home.$650 AT AMAZON
Best robot vacuum for heavy shedders
This Neato model is another favorite of pet owners dealing with a lot of fluff, including Erica Cerulo, Of a Kind co-founder, who shares her home with her black-haired bunny, Ash, who has free reign over the entire house. Bunnies experience seasonal shedding from spring to fall, and Ash’s black fur is particularly noticeable at home. She also loves the intentional D-shape, which allows it to clean even the tightest corners. “Otherwise, you end up with dust bunnies!” Cerulo says. Cerulo’s had her Neato for six years, and only recently sent it in for repairs for the first time — she does not want to part with it, even though it may have eaten her bunny’s tail. Tiziana Agnello, founder of status dog bag brand LoveThyBeast, bought this for her grandmother, who is in her 80s and has a Pomeranian who sheds a lot. “She’s stubborn like me, and she didn’t want to move out” of her home and into an assisted-living facility, Agnello says. So, a year and a half ago, Agnello programmed the Neato to run twice a day in her grandmother’s tile and wood-floored home. “She has a caretaker, but she wants the floors cleaned thoroughly twice a day, and the Neato does it for her,” Agnello says.FROM $1,129 AT AMAZON
Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new vacuum.https://www.youtube.com/embed/BO-4WsRd8oY?rel=0
Deciding on the perfect vacuum for your home can be tricky. There are a lot of styles, functions and high-tech features to choose from. So which one is right for you? This guide has been created to make your vacuum shopping experience as easy as possible. So let’s dive in!.Shop Vacuums
There are a few different types and styles of vacuums that we are going to address in this buying guide. We are sure you will find just the one to fit all of your cleaning needs.
This style of vacuum is going to be the most popular type of vacuum that can be found in many households today. It’s the best go-to vacuum for removing dust and dirt from carpeting, and is able to clean large areas of carpet quickly. They also work well on area rugs and hard floors.However, it is good to note that not all upright vacuums can be used on hard floor surfaces, since doing so might cause damage to some floors and vacuums. If this is an important factor it’s smart to do research on the brand of vacuum you are looking into, to make sure it works well on hard floors too. A brush on/off switch is recommended, as it will help protect the finish on bare floors.Some other things to look for when deciding on your upright vacuum are onboard attachment, bag-less or not, and the weight of the unit. Upright cleaners come in a variety of styles and sizes, each varying in weight. Some uprights include edge cleaning, which picks up dirt under the entire area of the head. This is a helpful feature especially when cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting. Suction control is another useful feature to look at when cleaning draperies and upholstery.Shop Upright Vacuums
Canister Vacuums are portable and easy to use. They are well suited for people who clean a variety of surfaces but are most popular for those who have little carpeting and like to vacuum their hard surfaced floors. They tend to be lighter than other vacuum designs, plus they have a highly maneuverable power head that can reach tight spots with ease.Canister vacuums have the motor and bag in a separate unit, which is usually mounted on wheels to help with maneuvering. The canister itself is connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose. By using a revolving brush system or brush agitator, it can dislodge dirt particles from the carpet so they can be picked up easily; this comes in handy when picking up things like pet hair. Without a built-in revolving brush, canister vacuums use straight suction to clean. Most canister vacuums have a bag that needs to be replaced, however there are bag-less models available, which eliminates the additional cost of buying dust bags.Bottom line, this style is perfect for vacuuming hard-to-reach spots and furniture; it’s also great for cleaning cars and drapes as well.Shop Canister Vacuums
Handheld & Stick Vacuums
These types of vacuums are the smallest and lightest options available, they are often cordless and operate on batteries. They also offer lots of convenience when it comes to a variety of cleaning tasks around the house.Handheld vacuums are perfect for cleaning closets, vents, blinds, upholstery or car interiors, and made mostly for above-the-floor cleaning. They’re best used for tasks such as cleaning up small spills, getting cobwebs out of corners or vacuuming dirt out of windowsills.Stick vacuums are very similar to upright vacuums. The design is the same, but stick vacuums tend to be a lot lighter in weight and usually do not come with any attachments. If you have a multilevel home, a stick model vacuum is great to keep on the second floor and eliminate the need to carry your main one up and down the stairs. Not to mention, there are certain models out now which have been designed with handheld features, making it easy to clean stairs, ceiling fans and more.Shop Handheld & Stick Vacuums
Robot cleaners are completely hands-free, battery-operated vacuums. They seek out and suck up dirt, debris and dust from carpets and hard surface floors. They are a great choice for light, daily cleanings and extremely popular with pet owners, allergy sufferers, busy households, or just anyone who wants their floors to stay constantly clean.A robot vacuum is self-propelled and programmable, so you don’t have to do any extra work when it comes to vacuuming. These nifty gadgets use sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs, while smart enough to still easily clean underneath furniture. If you’re someone who simply does not have enough time to vacuum regularly, a robot vacuum can help you solve this problem.Shop Robot Vacuums
Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums
Commercial and garage vacuums are often referred to as shop vacs. They offer extra power when it comes to professional-sized messes. These vacuums are the perfect type when it comes to cleaning up things such as sawdust in basements, dirt and water in garages, or any other mess, wet or dry. Many labor workers use them on job sites as they can handle that kind of debris. To choose the right commercial or garage vacuum, one must think about how they will use it and where it will be stored.Smaller models will be easier to move around, but they will not be able to handle larger messes.Shop Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums
Carpet cleaners come in a variety of different styles ranging from uprights to portable spot cleaners, even smaller handheld carpet cleaners, all of which are capable of cleaning and disinfecting furniture, drapes or rugs.Even if you vacuum your carpets pretty regularly things such as dirt, pet dander, bacteria and dust mites remain deep in your carpet’s fibers. To fix this issue, carpet cleaners use moisture and heat to loosen the dirt and stains that a regular vacuum can’t suction. Not to mention, they can also disinfect carpets by killing unwanted germs. If you’re looking for a deep clean, a carpet cleaner is your best bet.Steam cleaners have become very popular in recent years because they are considered the healthy and “green” alternative to cleaning. Many steam cleaners look like upright vacuums, they have a large tank that dispenses hot water with a cleaning solution, while another tank holds the dirty water. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies and chemical sensitivities, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to deep clean a variety of surfaces without aggravating allergy symptoms. You and your family can live healthier and breath better by using a steam cleaner on a regular basis.Shop Carpet/Steam Cleaners
Central Vacuum Systems
Central vacuum systems are the most durable options available. Although they may be a bit more expensive up front, the lack of maintenance and longer lifespan often make up for the cost and then some. Unlike traditional vacuums, the motor and collector of a central vacuum system is installed into the home, typically in the basement or garage. From there, vacuum piping runs through walls, crawlspaces, or other out of the way areas of the home to floor or wall-mounted inlet valves in a handful of locations around the house. By attaching a hose to these inlets, like those used by canister vacuums, you’re able to vacuum all of the areas of your home without lugging around a heavy canister or upright vac. The hoses are typically 30 feet long, allowing you to vacuum multiple rooms from a single inlet. These systems also offer all the same kinds of attachments you’d find on traditional types of vacuum cleaners, from wands to crevice tools to pet brushes.Installing a central vacuum system offers a number of benefits over traditional models. In addition to their longer lifespan, central vacuum systems also provide far greater suction capabilities when compared to other types of vacuum cleaners. More powerful motors translate to greater cleaning potential, allowing you to pull more particles out of thick carpets or upholstery.
Central vacuum systems are also significantly quieter than their portable counterparts. Without the motor roaring next to you as you clean, the only sound is that of fast-moving air. Additionally, central vacs promote cleaner air quality by extracting and containing dust particles, allergens, and other contaminants, whereas other types of vacuum cleaners can end up releasing their smaller particles back into the air, often when being emptied.There are a handful of qualities to look for when deciding between central vacuum systems. First and foremost, you want to be sure to use a trusted brand. While you may save a few dollars opting for a cheap system, you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run with service calls and/or a shorter lifespan. For the best indicator of suction strength look at the Air Watts specification, with higher numbers signifying stronger suction. You also need to make sure the system offers enough suction to cover every corner of your home. Choosing a model that boasts a coverage area greater than the square footage of your home is a good idea as these numbers are calculated with perfect conditions in mind.Lastly, you’ll need to decide between bag systems, those that use filters, a hybrid of the two, or a cyclonic system.
Bagged systems use a bag inside their collector canister to contain debris. Although they don’t require outside venting, using a vent will reduce noise and odor. Filter systems similarly don’t require venting but benefit from it. These systems use one of a handful of filter types to protect dirt from contaminating clogging the motor, filing a canister or bag that needs to be emptied every three to six months. Cyclonic systems are the only ones that require outside venting. Most of the dirt is captured with the canister with a small percentage of tiny particles venting outdoors. Hybrid systems, those that use filters and bags are a great choice. They help keep the motor running clean and offer an easy to dispose of container for debris.Shop Central Vacuum Systems
Useful Features to Consider
Before settling down and picking a vacuum that will work best for you, take a look as some additional features that may be important or become important long-term:
Bag-less designs probably offer the utmost convenience by allowing you to simply detach the container unit from the vacuum. You can then quickly dispose of any dirt inside, without having to pull out and replace a bag. However, bag designs are still nice because they can usually keep dust contained a lot better, since the bag itself seals the dust away. This prevents any further messes from occurring when cleaning out your vacuum. Not to mention, if allergies are a concern the bag is definitely a smarter choice.
If you have a combination of hard surfaced floors and carpets, or lots of hard floors, a multi-surface vacuum is the best way to go. Multi-surface vacuums allow you to turn the brush roll on and off, so you can avoid scratching your hard floors when transitioning from carpets.
Filters are a must-have for anyone who is sensitive to dust or pet hair, as well as allergic to pollen. HEPA filters are considered to be the best because they remove particles such as dust, dander and allergens from the air. Some vacuum models feature a filter that needs to be replaced regularly, while some have started to include reusable filters that allow you to remove, clean and replace the same filter as necessary. Reusable filters would be the ideal kind to use, as they are a great money-saving option.Shop Vacuums
Vacuum Accessories & Attachments
If you’re looking to do more than just vacuum the floors around your home, you may need to consider certain vacuum accessories and attachments. In order to properly clean drapes, sofas and chairs, dust shelves, and get to all the nooks and cracks in your home, you’ll need the right attachments.A crevice tool is great for cleaning corners and tight spaces. A dusting brush can be used to gently dust shelves and tables, as not to scratch them. An upholstery tool is perfect for vacuuming your furniture without causing any damage. Turbo brushes can offer a deeper clean for longer carpets.
The Main Vacuum Types
There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.
Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.
These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.
While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.
5. Autonomous / Robot
Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.
If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.
Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.
To Bag or Not To Bag
The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.
If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.
If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.