portable pet hair vacuum

Are you looking for the best portable pet hair vacuum or the best vacuum for stairs and pet hair to help you in your mission to get rid of all that annoying pet hair?

Do your pets spill food pellets on the floor and drag dirt and grass inside? Do you need a portable pet hair vacuum to help you with small cleanups?

You’re in the right place! And let me be clear about something:

This is NOT a lame listing of available hand vacs in the market. Instead, I’ve analyzed hundreds of user reviews and interviewed pet owners to discover the best portable pet hair vacuum right now.

Let’s dive in!

portable pet hair vacuum

1. Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac (HV292)

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​I’m sure many of you know that Shark vacuum cleaners are among the best that there is. So, when they set out to design a handheld vacuum that’s the best for pet hair and all the fine dust and other mess that they carry with them, they’re going to deliver. The Shark Rocket Hand Vac is not the cheapest but is far from being the most expensive that you’ll get. Among corded handheld vacuums, this model falls into a very reasonable price range. With the brand’s reputation for quality and some great features, this model is extremely good value for money.

It’s an absolute pleasure to use, weighing only 3.7 LBS with an excellent handle, you can whip it out and get the job done in no time. The TruePet motorized brush gives you the cleaning power of a large pet hair vacuum in a super convenient handheld machine. It has a 15 FT power cord that gives you a great range within to work. It’s bagless and the filters are washable, so there are no maintenance costs. What’s more, the dust cup is designed for easy, dust-free emptying.

Along with the TruePet motorized brush, you also get a wide dusting tool and crevice tool as part of the standard accessories. The powerful 400W motor maintains its suction constantly and you’ll never experience a loss of suction. With a 1-year warranty and the service backup of an established brand, the Shark Rocket is a fantastic handheld pet hair vacuum at a price that will fit into almost anyone’s budget.

​2. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

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This is the cheapest cordless handheld pet vacuum of the lot. While it’s cheaper than the (already reasonably priced) Bissell Bolt, it actually has some more impressive features.

Unlike its more expensive brother, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser has a motorized roller brush which means you’ll require less effort when removing pet hair from your carpets and furniture. It also has an upholstery brush that you don’t get with the Bissell Bolt. So why is this one cheaper then?

There’s only one area where the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser doesn’t match up to the bolt – this is in the battery. The battery and charger make up quite a large part of the price of cordless machines. This model doesn’t fair as well as the Lithium-ion battery on the more expensive Bissell model. With this one, you’ll get a rated working time of 15 minutes.

Despite the slight compromise of a shorter working time, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is well worth its very low price. It has the same 1-year warranty as the more expensive model and is certainly worth buying.

​3. Dyson V6 Top Dog Handheld Vacuum

Dyson V6 Top Dog

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​Before you gasp at the price and move along, take a look at why the Dyson V6 Top Dog handheld pet vacuum is so highly rated. Firstly it’s a cordless vacuum which always pushes up the price a bit. Even then, you may be wondering why you’d want to pay so much more for this pet hair vacuum when there are much cheaper options available. The Dyson brand is one of the most respected brands and there are many who are prepared to pay more for this. It’s not just the name that makes this a superior machine, its value really stands out when you look at the engineering that has gone into this machine.

The Dyson digital motor is designed to deliver powerful suction that will outperform almost any other vacuum and give you the most from your battery. Spinning at an almost unbelievable 110,000 RPM, this little beast has the suction to remove not just pet hair, but also the fine stubborn dirt that creeps deep into your upholstery and carpets. When you combine this suction power with the mini motorized tool that’s designed to remove pet hair, you get unrivaled cleaning abilities. With all this power from a battery vacuum, you may think that you’ll be sacrificing working time because the battery can’t keep up with the machine’s ability. This is quite the opposite, the Dyson V6 Top Dog has a strong battery that gives you up to 20-minutes working time – better than almost any other cordless handheld vacuum. The trigger switch means that the motor shuts off instantly when you release it, further increasing your battery time. It has a max power mode that will boost the suction for six minutes, giving you extremely powerful suction without losing unnecessary battery time.

Dyson’s two tier cyclone system is one of their key features. This suction system removes most of the fine dust and allergens from the air before it reaches the filters. The result is pure, allergen-free air without clogging up the filters – less hassle and maintenance. It has an easy release dust cup, similar to that on the Shark Rocket – this gives you easy emptying of the dust cup without releasing all the dust into the air. The impressive range of accessories includes the motorized tool; combination dusting and upholstery tool; a hard bristle brush for stubborn dirt and a crevice tool. The Dyson promise of high-quality, super good looks and an impressive array of extras and features, make the Dyson V6 Top Dog handheld pet vacuum just about the best that money can buy. Like the name suggests, this is the top dog of pet vacuums and it comes with a 2-year warranty.

​4. Bissell Bolt Hand Vac+Fur-Get-it-Brush 

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​Okay, so not everyone has the type of money to spend on a handheld vacuum that you’ll be spending on the Dyson V6 Top Dog. If you enjoy the convenience of a cordless machine and want an affordable, quality item that is capable of handling the needs of a pet owner, Bissell is a good brand to look at. They don’t offer all the sophistication of the more expensive brands but give you great quality and a reasonable spec level at a price that makes them affordable enough for anyone.

The Bissell Bolt Pet handheld vacuum comes with a pet hair removal brush. It’s not a motorized brush, so you’ll be moving it back and forth a bit to get rid of all that hair – but it will get the job done. Along with the pet hair nozzle, you also get a crevice tool. The 16V lithium-ion battery gives you a pretty impressive 25 minute working time. At first, you may think that is far better than the 20 minutes specified time for the (much more expensive) Dyson V6 Top Dog. Though, if you look at it more closely, it can’t really be compared. The more expensive Dyson model is way more powerful and has a motorized pet brush, this means that it’s going to take a fair deal longer for the Bissell Bolt to achieve the same results. You’ll get less done in the same amount of time using the Bissell machine. though this is a small compromise to make if you consider how much cheaper this one is.

It has a large 0.6L dust cup so you won’t need empty it too often. The filters also have an easy clean turn fitting mechanism. For a basic handheld pet hair vacuum, you can’t go wrong with Bissell Bolt. It’s affordable, convenient and comes with a 1-year warranty.

5. BLACK+DECKER HLVA325JP07 Lithium Pet Hand Vacuum

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We all love our pets, but not the mess resulting from their playfulness. Our furry ones have a way of uncontrollably shedding lots of hair on furniture and delicate upholstery.

Stubborn hair caught within carpets and furniture also has no answer to the vacuum cleaner’s anti-tangle rubber bristles. The wall-mounted charging base also makes it possible for you to mount on the wall for functional purposes, but you have to make sure if the option is provided with your model. Otherwise a countertop charger would be the other option.

Mixing power with care, this feature provides a dual-speed mode, thus enabling you to make the appropriate choice between delicate materials and sterner stuff requiring a power boost. A charge time of about 5-6 hours would provide you with a run time of 10 – 15 mins.

Loss of power due to a rundown battery is also taken care of with this battery sense feature that keeps you aware of the battery levels. Filter cleaning is simplified as the filter alert lets you know when to clean it for proper maintenance. This hand vac has a pull-out extendable crevice tool for hard to reach areas, along with a Push-In brush for dusting and cleaning upholstery.

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

The old vacuum cleaner has “bitten the dust” and you need a replacement.  One quick look online is all it takes to realize that choosing a new machine might be more challenging than you thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” when perusing vacuums online or in magazines and end up with a machine that is either too much or not enough, or just doesn’t fit your needs.

We’ve put together a few questions for consideration to help focus your search efforts before purchasing that new vacuum cleaner. Maybe you’ve already thought about some of these, so please use the following list to quickly navigate to the concerns most important to you.

What Flooring Types Do I Have?

Upright and Canister Vacuums on Multi-floorsProbably the most obvious consideration is whether you have mainly carpeting, hard floors, or a fairly even combination of both. Generally speaking, for homes with a lot of carpeting, especially in large areas, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice. However, if your personal preference tends toward canister style vacuums, there are quite a few excellent choices available. You will want to be sure that it has a floor nozzle with a motorized brushroll and height adjustment options for various pile carpets.

If you love hardwood or tile flooring with a few rugs here and there, or enjoy low-pile carpeting, a canister style vacuum is a great option. Using a specialized floor brush, these are usually very maneuverable for working quickly around and underneath furniture. Some are equipped with combination floor tools that easily switch to effectively clean scatter rugs. For true canister vacuum lovers, there are machines that feature high quality motorized floor nozzles that can effectively handle deep-pile carpets.

Most people have a combination of both carpeting and hard floors. At this point, style preference will be your guide. However, be sure to check for convenience features such as on/off brushroll control, height adjustment, and suction control. Be sure to note whether the brushroll is air-powered or electrically powered as this affects the effectiveness of deep-pile carpet cleaning.

Do I Need to Control Allergens?

This is a key question to consider since we spend, on average, about 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially important to ponder if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies. A vacuum cleaner that provides HEPA filtration can be an important contributor to improving your indoor air quality. HEPA filters capture particulate matter down to 0.3 microns so that the exhausted air is actually cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. There are also machines that include some level of charcoal filtration to help control odors—great for pet owners.

An additional consideration is a vacuum that not only uses HEPA filters but does so in a completely sealed system. This means that there is virtually no leakage of air through the housing or fittings of the machine and all air (along with pollutants) is forced through the filtration system, leaving your indoor air allergen free. See this article for more information about allergies and vacuums.

How Often Do I Vacuum?

Robotic Vacuum Being ProgrammedSomething you may not have thought about, the frequency of your cleaning schedule can be impacted by the ease or difficulty of storing and accessing your vacuum. For those folks who shed their shoes the minute they hit the door, walking on floors that quickly accumulate pet fur, crumbs, and tracked-in dirt or sand, daily vacuuming is standard operating procedure. In that case, a vacuum that is difficult to access and use quickly can make this routine a real chore. Consider a robotic vacuum that can be scheduled to clean while you’re at work or running errands so you return to grit-free floors, really nice if you frequently bring home company.

If your debris tends to concentrate in specific areas, a stick vacuum is a champ at quickly taking care of daily messes whether on hard floors or carpets, as well as effectively handling more extensive weekly cleaning. There are also light-weight uprights and compact canisters with parking features that make them easy to store and use at a moment’s notice.

How Many Levels are in My Home?

Stick Vacuum Being Carried UpstairsIn other words, how many stairs do you have to carry your vacuum up and down? There are many maneuverable, light-weight cordless vacuums that have great suction power and long run times that can handle multiple floor types. There are also lightweight vacuums in both upright and canister styles that make transporting them between floors easy.

An additional thought is the type of flooring on each level. While it sounds crazy, sometimes more than one vacuum is a very good idea. If you have a main floor that really benefits from a machine that can handle a variety of floor types, your upper floor may only require a vacuum best for carpets or hard floors. Or, the reverse may be true. In either case, consider purchasing a smaller stick vacuum for the space best suited for it, and save yourself grueling trips up and down stairs with your larger machine.

What Additional Surfaces will I be Cleaning?

Vacuum Cleaner Tool AssortmentIf you like vacuuming away all the accumulated dust from furniture, curtains, moldings, and baseboards instead of dusting, you’ll want a vacuum that includes a variety of accessory tools. Most include at least a combination brush and crevice tool, while others have additional floor nozzles, an upholstery tool, and specialized accessories for specific types of cleaning. If you own pets, or have a lot of stairs, consider a vacuum that includes a mini-motorized tool for easy cleaning. Some offer an even wider variety of specialized tools and extension wands which you can purchase separately as you need them.

How Much Noise Can I Stand?

Given the technology, if you will, of vacuums, there is a certain amount of expected sound generated during use. Typically, the larger and more heavy-duty the machine for the job, the louder it is. For homes, and for office spaces where a quieter sound level is desired, there are vacuums that have been designed with insulated motor housings as well as newer low-noise motors for quieter operation. Some can run as lows as 47 dB at maximum power while still delivering 120 CFM. Vacuum manufacturers such as NaceCareMiele, and Sebo have recently redesigned some of their machines for quieter operation. Check specifications for your selection before buying.

How Much Maintenance is Required?

This is a question that really depends on your definition of “a lot” and how tedious different kinds of maintenance are for you. Bagless vacuums don’t have bags that need to be changed, but dust bins still need to be emptied and washed periodically, especially if your home includes allergy-sufferers. Any vacuum with a HEPA filter will need that filter to be replaced when necessary, depending on individual home environments. The same is true for any other type of filter unless it is specified as a washable filter.

Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

Brushrolls will collect pet fur, hair, threads and other debris and will need to be cleaned to maintain top operating capabilities. Ease of access to it should be a consideration. For quality vacuums that last for years, sometimes accessory tools like dusting brushes may need to be replaced. Check to see if these are available for purchase either at retail or from the manufacturer.

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.

1. Handheld

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.

2. Canister

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.

3. Upright

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.

4. Stick

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.

Vacuum Cleaners

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.

Bare Floors:

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.

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