The Best Pet Hair Vacuum for Picking up After your Shedding Furry CompanionThe Best Pet Hair Vacuum for Picking up After your Shedding Furry Companion

The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair

Or how to pretend you don’t have a pet by making your home pet-hair-free.
Sarah Idle
Words by 
Sarah Idle
Updated 
May 7, 2020
Sarah Idle
Words by 
Sarah Idle
Updated 
May 7, 2020

Pets make pretty appalling house guests. Sure, they offer the occasional affectionate pat or nuzzle but this can be quickly outweighed by the regular snaffling of lunch when a back is turned and the mountains of pet hair that can appear everywhere. Fall in love with your pet again by keeping your home looking and smelling pet-free thanks to a pet hair vacuum. The best vacuum for pet hair is easy to use and comes with a wide range of tools to tackle wherever pet hair is found. Here are Australia’s top vacuums for pet hair, drawn from hours of research, including real Aussie consumer insights.

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Best for most

SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

For best pet hair picking-up, you should consider the SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium. Its claims are backed by CHOICE testing and it reckons its S-Class filtration system is more effective than a HEPA one. It comes with multiple tools and brush heads and a big price: RRP $1,299.

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SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium
Top
Pick
Also great

Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor

Lightweight and with an extra-long reach, the Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor is designed for easy, pain-free use. The automatically adjusting head ensures the best performance while bag-free technology minimises your ongoing costs. Tested by CHOICE, it’s a good, more affordable alternative to our SEBO winner.

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Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor

How we picked

We had plenty of sources to draw on to help us decide Australia’s best pet hair vacuums. We started with CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group, to understand how vacuums performed under test conditions, including pet hair picking-up ones. 

We then headed to ProductReview.com.au, Australia’s first consumer opinion site, to see which vacuums Aussies rate. What we discovered is that vacuums seem to be subjective: what 1 Aussie rates, another hates. We’ve tried to take differing opinions into account, highlighting where independent testing hasn’t quite matched real consumer reviews. 

We swung by the National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice programme. This helps consumers identify asthma and allergy-aware products. We figured if a vacuum cleaner was approved by these guys, it’s a good indication that their filters are decent at removing dust (including pet dander) from your home. 

Finally, Canstar Blue, an Australian a consumer review and comparison website, has compiled a great article on vacuum cleaners for pet hair which we could then cross-reference against CHOICE, ProductReview and Sensitive Choice. 

This gave us a good list of potentials. To decide our top picks, we wanted to achieve a balance of independently tested and consumer-rated models with a range of brands and prices. Judging technology is tricky as every manufacturer claims to have patented technology that’s better than everyone else’s. So, we’ve steered away from focusing too much on the tech and instead on the indisputable features that might be handy, like a good set of tools and comfortable use. 

Our guide includes barrel and upright vacuums, but not stick or robot vacuums. We have separate guides to both (see Australia’s best stick vacuums or robot vacuums). Our stick vacuum top picks include information about their pet hair picking-up ability so if you’re keen on a stick vacuum, head there.

We’re not sold on robot vacuums and don’t think they have the suction power to be truly effective at picking up pet hair. 

Best for most -> SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

For best pet hair picking-up, you should consider the SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium. Its claims are backed by CHOICE testing and it reckons its S-Class filtration system is more effective than a HEPA one. It comes with multiple tools and brush heads and a big price: RRP $1,299.

Check price

If you’re serious about picking up pet hair, meet the SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium. It’s both allergy and asthma friendly and boasts 100% pet hair pick up. Which seems like a big claim, but it’s the best performer in 9 consecutive CHOICE tests, which states it’s “Excellent at picking up dirt and pet hair”. It’s also approved by the National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice programme which helps  you identify asthma and allergy-aware products.

Credentials aside, it has the features you’d expect. This includes a power brush for deep cleaning of your carpets and rugs, where pet hair is most likely to hide. The brush has an electronic alert system, which indicates the correct height setting for best cleaning performance for the floor height. If you don’t need a brush roller all the time, you can switch to suction only mode with a simple button push. 

SEBO vacuums use S-Class (‘s’ standing for Schwebstoff, or airborne particles) filtration, rather than HEPA. SEBO reckons this electrostatic charged micro-fibre material attracts and captures dust particles from the airflow, removing more than 99.9% of allergens from the carpet and ambient air. In comparison, a HEPA filter removes 99.97%. Which means SEBO claims their filtration systems are more effective than a HEPA filter. But only slightly, and it’s doubtful whether any of us would notice the difference. 

It comes with a range of on-board accessories including dusting, crevice and upholstery tools to help you get into the smallest nooks and crannies.  As well as the power brush, it has a parquet and combination floor tool. This helps you tackle every floor type in your home.

Unlike Dyson, SEBO believes that bags are best, especially for asthma and allergies sufferers. That’s because dust is safely retained within the filter bag, allowing you to cleanly and easily dispose of it in a bin. 

This German-made vacuum comes with a 2-year warranty and a steep price: it’s RRP $1,299, making it the most expensive pet hair vacuum we reviewed. It currently has almost 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au, but from a very limited number of reviews. 

Why buy the SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

100% pet hair pick up

This claim is backed by CHOICE.

Easy to use

With ergonomic power control, you don’t need to bend down and adjust the suction of the vacuum. Simply slide the control.

Extra long hose and cord

Which means you can clean more in one go, without having to change power points.

Airbelt bumper

The vacuum’s namesake the Airbelt is a patented 2-layer soft foam bumper. It protects your furniture and walls from damage and helps expel the air quietly. 

Bagged system

Which might be better for allergy and asthma sufferers as they’re sealed when full, ensuring no dust escapes into the air when you remove and dispose of the bag. 

4-level brush height

This adjusts to different floor heights, giving you maximum power for whatever floor type you’ve got. 

Range of tools

The included on-board accessories allow you to get into the smallest spots where pet hair might be hiding.

Great consumer reviews

Aussies on ProductReview.com.au rave about this vacuum, especially its ability to effectively pick up pet hair.

Sensitive Choice programme approved

Which means it’s recognised by the National Asthma Council Australia as an asthma- and allergy- friendly product. 

The not-so-good bits

Price

At RRP $1,299 this is a serious investment, especially as it only comes with a 2-year warranty. 

Limited consumer reviews

Consumer reviews might be glowing, but there’s currently not many of them (less than 20).

In summary 

If picking up pet hair is key for you, consider the SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium. Its big claims are backed by independent CHOICE testing and it reckons its S-Class filtration system is even more effective than a HEPA one. With its multiple tools and brush heads, including a height adjustable roller head, it can effectively tackle all floor types. The long power cord and hose make it even more user-friendly. The patented Airbelt bumper helps protect walls and furniture. You’ll pay for all these features – its RRP is $1,299.

Also great -> Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor

Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor

Lightweight and with an extra-long reach, the Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor is designed for easy, pain-free use. The automatically adjusting head ensures the best performance while bag-free technology minimises your ongoing costs. Tested by CHOICE, it’s a good, more affordable alternative to our SEBO winner.

Check price

For a good alternative to our winner without the price tag, consider the Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor. It has a RRP of $599, making it about half the price of our winner.

Like our SEBO winner, it’s approved by the Sensitive Choice programme and it’s also been tested by CHOICE. 

It has a self-adjusting cleaning head, which means it automatically adjusts between carpets and hard floors. The powerful motor allows the bristles to be pushed deeper into carpet to help pick up stubborn pet hair. The small Ball technology means it can manoeuvre easily around furniture, obstacles and into difficult places. For even more user-friendliness, it has a 25% longer reach than other Dyson models and the Ball technology is commended by the College of Chiropractors for its potential to prevent musculoskeletal discomfort during vacuuming.

Dyson vacuums are famously bag-less, unlike our winner. Dyson reckons there’s quick 1-click bin emptying and it comes with washable lifetime filters.

It’s also light and easy to carry and store. It weighs just 5.5kg and is 40% smaller than the Dyson Ball. It comes with a stair tool and combination tool and a 2-year warranty.

Although it has a good number of consumer reviews, they’re middling, giving it 3.3 stars on ProductReview.com.au. 

Why buy the Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor

Easy to carry

It only weighs 5.5kg.

Easy to store

40% smaller than the Dyson Ball, it’s a compact vacuum.

Small Ball technology

For more easier manoeuvring around furniture.

Longer reach

For getting into those hard-to-reach crevices where pet hair lurks.

Commended by the College of Chiropractors

Which means you might find it more pleasant to use.

1-click bin emptying

Making it very quick and easy to empty. 

Washable lifetime filters

This reduces your ongoing maintenance costs. 

Included tools

Although offering less tools than our winner, it does have a stair and combination tool.

Automatically adjusting head

As you move between different floor types, it’ll automatically adjust the head for best cleaning performance.

Price

At RRP $599 it’s affordable.

Approved by Sensitive Choice programme

Which means it’s recognised as an asthma- and allergy-aware product.

The not-so-good bits

Consumer reviews

Although there are a good number of reviews, they’re middling with common complaints about its quality and difficulty to push around the floor because of its powerful suction. 

In summary 

If storage space is at a premium for you, the slimline Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor could be a good option. Lightweight and with an extra long reach, it’s designed for easy, pain-free use. The automatically adjusting head ensures the best performance, whatever floor type you’re using it on. While bag-free technology minimises your ongoing costs. Tested by CHOICE and approved by the Sensitive Choice programme, it’s a good, more affordable alternative to our SEBO winner.

The competition

It’s been tricky finding the best vacuums for pet hairs. Some are marketed specifically as pet hair vacuums but digging into reviews finds that they don’t live up to their claims. Others don’t make a mention of being good at tackling pet hairs, but our research shows they are. Consumer opinions seem to be highly subjective, with a vacuum getting 5 stars from 1 person, then 1 from another.

We reckon the biggest decision you’ll make is how much you want to spend. 

Vax Ultra Pro Powerhead VX59

For a more affordable option than our runner-up, there’s the Vax Ultra Pro Powerhead VX59. At RRP $269, it’s the second most affordable vacuum we reviewed. Vax markets the VX59 specifically as a pet hair vacuum, thanks to its motorised brush head and HEPA filter, which helps remove pet odours from the air. 

The brush head helps deliver a deep carpet clean and removes pet hair from upholstery and stairs. It comes with a 3-in-1 tool, hard floor tool (to help avoid scratching your floors), telescopic extension tube and turbo brush. It also weighs 4.9kg, making it about 0.5kg lighter than our Dyson runner-up and even easier to move. 

It’s been reviewed by CHOICE, has a 2-year warranty and has great, although very limited, consumer reviews. 

Choose this if...

You want to try a vacuum that’s specifically marketed as a pet hair vacuum, with a motorised brush head and HEPA filter, for around $250.

Shark Powered Lift-Away NV800

The Shark Powered Lift-Away NV800 offers 2 brush rollers to clean hard and soft floors and 3 ways to clean: handheld, above-floor and upright mode. This gives you plenty of chances to tackle all the places pet hair might be hiding, such as the sofa. 

It comes with a dedicated pet power brush, as well as a 2-in-1 crevice tool and upholstery tool. It also has a washable HEPA filter. 

These features mean it has the same RRP as our Dyson runner-up: $599. Although it too has been tested by CHOICE, it isn’t Sensitive Choice programme approved and doesn’t yet have any consumer reviews.

Choose this if...

You’d rather not buy a Dyson and like the idea of 3 different ways to clean.

Miele Complete C3 PowerLine Cat & Dog  

Again, this is a vacuum specifically aimed at removing pet hair. The Miele Complete C3 PowerLine Cat & Dog comes with a dedicated TurboBrush and Mini TurboBrush to nix pet hair. Plus, the anti-odour filter helps neutralise pet smells. 

For maximum cleaning flexibility, it comes with an upholstery nozzle, crevice tool and dusting brush. We like its hands-free foot settings too, which allows you to choose the right setting while you’re using it. 

It has a RRP of $749, making it more expensive than our Dyson pick. It’s also not been reviewed by CHOICE. However, it is loved by Aussies with almost 200 of them taking to ProductReview.com.au to award it 4.6 stars. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try before you commit. 

Choose this if...

You want a specialist pet hair vacuum that’s loved by Aussies but not independently tested for around $750, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Hoover Dog & Cat Turbo Bagless Vacuum

If affordability is your most important consideration, meet the Hoover Dog & Cat Turbo Bagless Vacuum – it’s only RRP $98.

For less than $100, you’re getting a deep cleaning Turbobrush, HEPA filtration and a good range of cleaning tools, including a combination floor tool, dusting brush, crevice tool and upholstery brush.  Bagless, there are no ongoing costs and it has a 1-year warranty. 

Although it hasn’t been reviewed by CHOICE, it has almost 100 consumer reviews on ProductReview.com.au where it has over 3 stars. 

Choose this if...

Affordability is your biggest concern – this comes in under $100.

Bosch Zoo'o ProAnimal BGL8ZOOAU

As the name suggests, the Zoo'o ProAnimal is aimed at pet-owning households. It features both a carpet / upholstery nozzle and hard floor nozzle to effectively clean all floor types. These are complemented by a huge range of accessories, including a crevice nozzle, furniture brush, upholstery nozzle, universal nozzle and turbo nozzle.

It has a washable HEPA filter and a Bionic Filter, which Bosch claims helps to eliminate odours –another plus for pet owners.

RRP $649, it comes with a 2-year warranty. It’s been tested by CHOICE and has good but limited consumer reviews. 

Choose this if ...

You want a wide range of accessories, are concerned about pet smells in your home and want to spend around $650.

Important features to consider

These are the features we think you should be considering in a pet hair vacuum.  

Power head or turbo head

A power head has a motorised rotating brush. These are good at picking up pet hair from carpet because they agitate the pile, which releases more hair. 

A turbo head has a non-motorised rotating brush, relying on airflow to spin the brush. They’re usually less effective than a power head.

Look for a power or turbo head for better pet hair picking-up power.

Included tools

As any pet owner knows, pet hair gets everywhere. To thoroughly purge your home of it, try to get a vacuum with tools including a crevice nozzle (hello narrow corners and around chair cushions), upholstery brush (for your sofa and other soft places your pet may like to perch) and a dusting brush. Even better, look for models that have on-board tool storage. 

Telescopic wand

To make vacuuming easier, ensure it comes with a telescopic wand. You can adjust it to suit your height, which means you can avoid bending too much when vacuuming.

Adjustable height

Got different floor types in your home? An adjustable height head ensures the best clean for the floor type.

HEPA filter

HEPA filters are meant to be the gold standard of filters and are used in hospitals. Standing for High-Efficiency Particulate Air filtration, it’s an international standard. HEPA filters trap a huge amount of minute particles: at least 99.97%. They can be helpful for asthma and allergy sufferers – CHOICE has a great article about this. To get the best out of a HEPA filter, you’ll need to clean or replace it regularly so factor that into your ongoing costs.

What you get if you spend more

Pet vacuums pretty much all pack the same features. Pay more, and you might get a better-known brand (Dyson) or European manufacturing (SEBO) but other than that, they’re very similar.

The bottom line

Pets are great. Their ability to shed hair everywhere, less so. To reclaim your home from pet hair quickly, consider buying a vacuum for pet hair. The best pet hair vacuum easily tackles a build-up of pet hair. It safely stores it away until you can empty it, and perhaps even neutralises any odours, thanks to a decent filter. It comes with a range of tools to help you remove hair from wherever it is – down the sofa, on the bed, in the curtains. 

If you’re serious about picking up pet hair, we reckon the SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium is Australia’s best vacuum for pet hair. Its big claims have been backed up by CHOICE and it’s National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice programme approved too. The power brush deep cleans carpets and rugs and it uses S-Class filtration which is slightly more effective than HEPA filtration. With a range of on-board accessories, this German-made vacuum comes with a 2-year warranty and a RRP of $1,299.

For a good alternative to our winner without the price tag, consider the Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor. It has a RRP of $599, making it about half the price of our winner. Like our SEBO winner, it’s approved by the Sensitive Choice programme and it’s also been tested by CHOICE. It has a self-adjusting cleaning head, easily manoeuvrable small Ball technology and comes with washable lifetime filters, a stair and combination tool and a 2-year warranty.

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