Pet hair is an infamous challenge for many vacuums, especially on hardwood, tile, and other hard surfaces.
If you’re a pet owner with a hardwood floor, the right cleaner for your particular needs can be hard to find!
There are many models designed to extract pet hair from deep carpet, and there are many hardwood vacuums that are designed to suck up dust without damaging your floor—but few models are able to do both well.
Luckily, there are few models that excel at sucking up pet hair, and meet the standards of a good hardwood vacuum. We took a look at some of the highest rated and bestselling hardwood models to see how they handled picking up hair, fur, and dander.
We pick our favorites by combing through owner’s reviews and ratings, as well as looking at how each model performed in consumer tests. We also look at price, performance, ease of use, and other factors important in any great machine.
Check out the winners!
Best on a Budget
Hoover Windtunnel Max
1. Hoover WindTunnel MAX
The Hoover WindTunnel series is a family of uprights that uses Hoover’s WindTunnel technology—three channels of suction to remove more dirt and dust without scattering it across hard surfaces.
The WindTunnel MAX is a bagged, inexpensive model from this line that earns high marks on bare floor tests.
This upright is designed to handle every type of surface around the home with seven different floor height settings, from high pile carpets to hardwood. The brush roll can also be turned off via a foot pedal to protect the vulnerable surface of the wood.
It comes with a number of other useful features, like an extendable hose with a 17-foot reach and a telescoping wand attachment. The electrical cord is 30 feet long, allowing users quite a bit of mobility and reach without forcing them to change outlets.
In addition to the extension wand, the WindTunnel MAX comes with an array of other useful attachments, including a 12-inch crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an air-powered hand attachment.
The WindTunnel MAX earned some of the highest scores of any upright from Consumer Reports bare floor tests and pet hair floor tests, and it also wins high praise in owner reviews online.
Its performance is surprisingly strong for such an inexpensive model, and the majority of owners are quite happy with their purchase—especially reviewers with pets. Hoover doesn’t include an attachment tool specifically designed for pet hair, but the WindTunnel MAX performs well enough without it.
Hoover’s WindTunnel technology seems to be the driving strength behind the powerful suction this model produces. Strong suction is an important factor in a hard floor vacuum—without a brush roll, hard floor models must rely on suction alone to dislodge fine particles from the nooks and crannies in floorboards.
The ability to turn of the brushroll is also an essential feature in a good hardwood model, and the WindTunnel Max makes this easy with the flick of a floor switch.
The WindTunnel MAX is also a great choice if you have a mix of carpet and hard floors in your home, since it comes with many different floor height settings.
For pet owners with allergies, the HEPA filtered bags are also a great feature to rid your home of allergens. Bagged vacuums are a better choice for homeowners with allergies, because the dust, dander, and other allergens aren’t agitated as they would be in a bagless model. The WindTunnel even features a light that lets you know when the bag needs replacing.
One of the big downsides of the Hoover WindTunnel MAX is that, like most bagged vacuums, users must purchase specific replacement bags.
A few users found the WindTunnel MAX heavy and somewhat difficult to push around. It weighs about 20 pounds, which is slightly more than the average weight of most upright vacuums. The powerful suction can also make this vacuum seem heavier while in operation. If you’re a smaller-sized person, you may have some difficulty carrying it up and down the stairs, as well.
The WindTunnel MAX is our favorite upright vacuum for pet hair on a hardwood floors.
It has all the features that make a good hardwood vacuum—like powerful suction, adjustable floor type settings, and an on/off switch for the brush roll— all offered at a low price.
Though it’s not advertised as a pet hair vacuum, the WindTunnel MAX earns some of the highest scores in consumer tests for pet hair. With a strong set of useful features, great performance, and a low price, the WindTunnel MAX earns its spot among the best selling upright vacuums today.
2. Kenmore Elite 21814 Intuition
This bagged vacuum also earns some of the highest ratings on both hard floors and pet hair, and it also excels at carpet cleaning.
One of the more useful features included with this vacuum is Kenmore’s “CrossOver Nozzle”— a powered floor attachment that can be used to switch quickly between carpets and hard floors. It’s a bare floor attachment located inside a larger carpet attachment, and users can switch between the two with the press of a foot lever.
There’s also a crevice tool located inside the handle of the CrossOver Nozzle for easy access, as well as an attachment for cleaning ceiling fans, and a PetMate Power Brush (used for removing pet hair from upholstery).
Finally, there are two Horsehair Brush Attachments, one that serves as a dusting brush, and one that’s for the floor.
The Elite features a telescoping wand, and the power cord is about 26 feet long.
The Elite lives up to its title on bare floors and low pile carpet, often beating out vacuums twice the price in critic’s tests. It earns slightly lower than average marks on the highest of high pile, but still performs well enough on all floor types to be considered a uniquely versatile model.
In addition to the CrossOver Nozzle, a big part of the Elite’s superior hardwood performance is due to the strong suction produced by this vacuum, which users can adjust via a thumb control on the handle. Despite the powerful suction, however, the Elite is a relatively quiet vacuum while in operation.
As one buyer explained, “This is the King Kong of power with more suction and airflow than any other vacuum made, according to Consumer Reports. I have some very expensive vacuums that are no better than this, and a SEBO that has inferior cleaning power and convenience.”
The Elite does similarly well with pet hair. In addition to its ability to effectively remove hair from hardwood and carpet with the floor attachments, the Pet PowerMate Brush delivers great results on upholstery.
One owner explained, “The Pet PowerMate is the best in the industry. Where turbo brushes bog down on any fabric or surface that slows the airflow, and some powered hand brushes driven by flat belts can also bog or slip the belt, the Pet PowerMate that comes with the Elite is driven by a geared belt and has a powerful enough motor that it never bogs. You can clean your car, your bedspread, the sofa, or the stairs with it and it has powerful agitation.”
Pet owners who suffer from allergies with also appreciate the air quality exhausted by the Elite. Its airflow is certified as Asthma- and Allergy-Friendly by the AAFA, due to the high-quality HEPA bags used by the vacuum. There’s also a useful indicator light on the Elite that lets you know when the bag is full, or when a clog is reducing the vacuum’s suction.
One of the most common difficulties may or not be relevant to your household. The strong suction made it difficult for a handful of reviewers to push the head of the vacuum over plush and high pile carpet—even on the lowest power setting. A quick fix suggested by some reviewers: extend the wand to its full length to further reduce suction.
As we mentioned in our first review, bagged vacuums will eventually require replacement bags. Bagged models add an extra step to your cleaning routine that bagless models don’t.
The Kenmore Elite Intuition is one of the highest rated canister vacs for tackling pet hair and bare floors.
In addition, unlike most other vacuums, the Elite doesn’t force users to choose between good performance on hardwood or good performance on carpet—the Elite delivers solid results on all floor types.
There’s also an array of top-of-the-line attachments included alongside the Elite, like the Pet PowerMate for upholstery and the CrossOver Nozzle for floors.
It’s a complete package that perfectly suits pet owners with hardwood floors, which is why it’s our top pick among canister vacuums!
3. BISSELL PowerEdge
Not everyone has the budget for a new full-sized vacuum. If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, the current best-selling hardwood vacuum on Amazon is the BISSELL PowerEdge.
The PowerEdge is a corded stick vacuum that’s billed as both a pet hair and hard floor vacuum, and it’s easily distinguished from other models by its unique V-shaped base.
According to BISSELL, the unorthodox floor head shape pushes large particles to the center of the head, and fine dust to the edges while vacuuming.
It’s a lightweight, maneuverable model that is easy to navigate around the home. The PowerEdge weighs a scant 7 pounds and turns on a swivelling head. The V-shape of the base is designed to reach tight spots and corners, such as furniture legs and baseboards.
The PowerEdge is a bagless model, featuring an easy-to-empty dust cup. The cord for this vacuum is 20 feet long.
The performance-to-price ratio for this vacuum was a pleasant surprise to most reviewers—despite its dirt cheap price, the PowerEdge does an excellent job at picking up pet hair, as well as large and small particles from hardwood floors. As one buyer raved:
The PowerEdge is so effective at picking up large debris, in fact, that it eliminates the need for a dustpan and broom. Getting rid of the extra step of sweeping is a big bonus—particularly for many pet owners, since kitty litter and dog food were easily swallowed up by the PowerEdge.
Pet hair is also effectively removed by the PowerEdge. The rubber wipers on the head of the vacuum help catch more hair than suction alone, and prevent the tangles that occur in vacuum heads with bristles.
Finally, the slim, lightweight body and swivelling V-shaped head make the chore vacuuming a breeze. The PowerEdge is easy to store, carry, and navigate around the home, and it can easily access areas under and around furniture that prove challenging to full-sized vacuums.
As you might expect in this price range, the components of the PowerEdge are mostly plastic. In order to make this model last through a year of regular use, the filter needs to be emptied on a regular basis.
Like most stick vacuums, the PowerEdge isn’t designed for covering the breadth of your floor plan (with the exception of small apartments). The low-capacity dust cup needs frequent emptying, and the relatively short cord of the PowerEdge will require users to switch outlets. Instead, the PowerEdge makes a great supplementary vacuum for those who already have a main vacuum they like.
The inexpensive BISSELL PowerEdge is a strong choice if you’re shopping on a budget—the hard floor performance of this vacuum exceeds expectations in the PowerEdge’s price bracket.
Beyond the low cost, there’s a lot to love about the PowerEdge. The unique head shape navigates easily around tight corners, effectively picking up both large and small debris. It’s lightweight, maneuverable, and stands to make pet owners’ lives a lot easier!
Which Pet Hair Vacuum Should You Buy?
There are a few great models that effectively tackle pet hair on hardwood floors, and the best pick for you is a matter of your personal preferences and your budget.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced upright, check out the Hoover WindTunnel MAX. Hoover’s Windtunnel technology has won over many fans for its boosted performance on pet hair and other debris, and this particular model earns some of the best marks in consumer tests for hardwood floors and pet hair.
Our favorite canister model is the Kenmore Elite 21814 Intuition, a bagged canister vacuum that produces huge amounts of suction. It’s an especially good fit for homes with a mixture of carpets and hardwood, and comes with a host of useful and effective attachments.
Those on a shoestring budget should check out the BISSELL PowerEdge, our favorite wallet-friendly pet hair vacuum for hardwood floors. The PowerEdge offers a lot for its low price—its V-shaped head does a great job picking up debris both large and small, and the slim, lightweight body reaches tight corners often neglected by larger vacuums.
We’ve picked our favorites, but there are lots of other great hardwood vacuums for pet owners—check out the best selling hardwood vacuums!