Consumer Reports: Best vacuums for cleaning pet hair

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Shelters, animal rescues, private breeders and pet stores have all reported an increased demand for new pets. But whether you have a new "pandemic puppy" or you've had a furry companion for years, you might need a little help with all that shedding and pet hair. Fortunately, the testers at Consumer Reports have been working on this issue, vacuuming up a storm to figure out which vacuums are best at picking up that pesky pet hair.

The Delaney's adore the puppy they adopted during the pandemic but they don't love the fur he leaves behind.

"A lot of his fur gets kind of pushed into the corner, whether it's from the fan or us just moving around, so we have to be very mindful of kind of catching all the fur," said Kira Delaney.

To find the best vacuums for the job Consumer Reports testers embed Maine Coon cat fur into medium pile carpet.

"We use Maine Coon Cat fur because it's long and thick, and has a clingy quality that makes it difficult for our test vacuums to pick up," said Alex Nasrallah, Consumer Reports Engineer.

Each test vacuum is run over the fur until it is gone. The remaining fur is weighed. The best vacuums remove the fur using fewer strokes.

"Poor performers get the fur caught up in the brush roll, or will leave it behind on the carpet," said Nasrallah.

Here are some of CR's top performers: for uprights the Dyson Ball Animal 2. It's bag less, and excels at picking up pet hair and dust.

The Miele canister gets excellent ratings for picking up pet hair and cleaning bare floors. It's also among the best at containing dust particles.

CR did a modified fur test for stick vacuums and likes the Shark APEX UpLight Liftaway. It's corded but does an excellent job lifting pet hair from carpeting and has a built-in mechanism that helps remove hair from the brush roll. It's also good on couch cushions.

If you have a bag less vacuum, don't just dump the contents in the trash, since dust particles can float up in the air. Try putting it into a plastic bag and holding it tightly closed as you empty it. Then wait for the dust to settle before taking the bin out. Allergy-prone people in your home will thank you.


Dyson Ball Animal 2 - $500

Miele Compact C2 Electro - $700

Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean LZ601 - $275
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