vacuum cleaner sought
November 28, 2021 7:36 PM   Subscribe

ISO a vacuum cleaner capable of handling voluminous quantities of pet hair.

I attempted to research this online and wound up with a blizzard of options. Since I am pressed for time and people here are always very helpful, this is what I need in a vacuum cleaner:

* can pick up a lot of furballs
* good with bare floors - there are no carpets
* upright preferred
* doesn't have to be cordless
* no Roomba roboty things - too many obstructing things on the floor, including at times the cat's upchucked dinner
* strong suction
* decent attachments
* can be with bags or canister, depending on which handles fur better
* not the cheapest and not the most expensive

... halp? Old vacuum broke and the fur is threatening to storm the battlements... :)
posted by Crystal Fox to Shopping (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Dyson Animal (but at $350, may be the most expensive)
posted by Rash at 8:28 PM on November 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

While I can't speak to this specific iteration, we have an older (four-ish years old) version of that vacuum that we in our three cat household really, really love. It's great at bare floors (we have one room with carpet and the rest is wood/tile), and it hasn't had a problem with anything we've ever thrown at it, so to speak. And it's held up really well over the years we've had it, too.

It has been years since I've been in the vacuum market, so I'm not sure if this fits your budget as described. But if it does, it's probably pretty great, if its predecessor is to be believed anyway.
posted by pdb at 8:30 PM on November 28, 2021

I recently bought this Shark navigator and it works really well with my shedding Shepherd. The bin gets filled quickly, attachments are basic, easy to use. 2 settings for hardwood floors and rugs.
posted by j810c at 8:35 PM on November 28, 2021

Hoover Windtunnel has worked for me very well. I prefer the bagged version. Mine is more than 7 years old so they may be a bit different now. The one I have makes it easy to switch from regular vacuuming to using a wand. I have a bird and two cats so when I vacuum I switch back and forth frequently to get feathers and furballs. There is also a powered upholstery attachment.
posted by goodsearch at 10:42 PM on November 28, 2021

Another vote for a Dyson Animal. It's fantastic at getting up cat hair, fur clumps, and with the built-in HEPA filter it keeps pollen, dust, and dander inside the cylinder rather than blowing it around.

It is expensive, but it's durable (we've had our current one for 4 years and it gets used everyday) and you get what you pay for. We've had cheaper ones at half the price that don't do half as good a job and didn't last half as long and in the end we dropped that false economy and shelled out for the Dyson. 100% worth it, IMO.
posted by underclocked at 11:50 PM on November 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

Another option is Miele's Cat and Dog. It is also on the spendy side but like the Dyson does what it says it will do. There is both the bagged and unbagged version. Personally, I like the bagged because I got exhausted with cleaning the Dyson canister because of that one LAST BIT of hair...YMMV. But if it is easier to get the Animal or some Dyson variant then go with it because it definitely does the job.
posted by jadepearl at 1:44 AM on November 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Have owned a couple of Dyson's and got fed up with the amount of cleaning and filter changes so ditched then in favour of a Henry. It's not an upright but when stored takes up about the same amount of space. Spares and generic attachments are widely available and relatively inexpensive.

Ignore the fact their web site is very dated - their machines are solid. I have 2 cats, 2 dogs who shed a ton of hair and Henry happily gets it off carpet and bare floor.

The Guardian did a feature in July about the company if you want some background.
posted by I shot a fox in Skyrim and it made me sad at 2:16 AM on November 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I recently bought this Shark navigator and it works really well with my shedding Shepherd. The bin gets filled quickly, attachments are basic, easy to use. 2 settings for hardwood floors and rugs.

I've been planning to post an Ask because I just bought a Shark navigator and I HATE it specifically because the attachments are so hard to use. Using them is awkward, requires more strength than I have, and if you try to use them any distance from the unit at all, the whole damn thing tips over.

I am not a particularly strong person, but I've never had a vacuum cleaner where I just wasn't strong enough to use the attachments. Like it never even occurred to me that this was a possible issue that I needed to think about. Obviously, lots of people love the Shark and YMMV, but I cannot tell you how much I hate the attachments on this thing.
posted by FencingGal at 3:48 AM on November 29, 2021 [3 favorites]

Well, I just bought a Shark Navigator and honestly I’m a little embarrassed by how much I love it. I forget the exact model, maybe the “Professional”? It was a little pricey by my standards, but god was it worth it. Excellent on hard floors, stellar on carpet, and the head is very swivelly so you can get the dust bunnies out from under the furniture. Only drawback is it’s fairly heavy, but I chalk that up to quality materials, and I can get it up the stairs, so.
posted by scratch at 5:59 AM on November 29, 2021

Another vote for Miele's Cat and Dog (I have the bagless version). Works perfectly fine for me and my two cats, and my friends who have have eleven (!) long-haired cats also swear by theirs.
posted by sailoreagle at 6:51 AM on November 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Honestly I use an inexpensive 4gal (small) shop vac for the big hair accumulation and then I've got a $100something Shark something upright for regular mess.

Added bonus, the shop vac extension is the perfect size to thwup up tennis balls that have rolled under furniture and cabinets. Clean the hair and retrieve the toys all in one simple package.
posted by phunniemee at 7:02 AM on November 29, 2021

I don't have pets so I can't vouch for how well it handles fur, but I can vouch for the build quality of Miele vacuums. Our old one lasted us 11 years, which is longer than just about every other appliance we have. And the motor is still working fine; the part the broke was a plastic bit used to trigger the on/off switch. They are comparatively expensive, but if you divide the cost out over a decade it comes out to be pretty okay.
posted by destrius at 7:07 AM on November 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

I heartily second jadepearl’s recommendation of a Miele Cat and Dog Upright.
I saved up many months to buy one and we’ve had ours for six or so years (cat and two parakeets, here.) The cord is ultra-long and the suckage is superb. And the aesthetics! It’s so pretty, we let it live in the dining room full time.
Edited to add: MADE IN GERMANY!
posted by BostonTerrier at 8:24 AM on November 29, 2021

We have 3 cats (no dogs) and a mix of carpet up and hardwood down, and we have been happy with the Shark Navigator. We had an old Dyson upright (DC2x) downstairs and bought the Shark for upstairs to avoid lugging a vacuum up and down all the time. However, we find that the $179 Shark is a lot more pleasurable to use and Mrs. Freecell often asks me to bring the Shark downstairs so she can use it instead of the Dyson. Much lighter and more maneuverable and picks up hair better. Newer Dysons are probably improved, but the buttons and controls on the Shark are also better than our Dyson IMO. All the places you can remove the wand, base, etc. are red buttons and everything clicks nicely, whereas the Dyson has some unintuitive "how does this come off?" bits. The Shark does a good job on cat litter spilled on tiles/hardwood as well.

If it were me I'd borrow a Shark Navigator if you can and try it before spending $1000 on a vacuum. The attachments are basic but work well for me. Ours is the lift-away lavender one. We have had it about 3-4 years with no maintenance beyond cutting human hair off the rollers every couple of uses.

(Also, if you are talking buckets of pet hair, maybe the shop-vac suggestion is good as a "primer" before regular vacuuming)
posted by freecellwizard at 9:23 AM on November 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

in a house with 3 cats we have used the Dyson DC32 AnimalPro since 2012 and it has been GREAT! It checks all your (and our) boxes. If it, in theory, broke beyond repair, we'd buy another of the same immediately.
posted by alchemist at 12:26 AM on November 30, 2021

Based on the recommendations from this post I got a Shark Navigator, specifically a Pet Pro with the self-cleaning roller and rubber fins to help trap pet hair. I use it almost entirely on hardwood floors and I am extremely happy with it. (although, I haven't bought anything more than sub-$100 vacuum in a long time). I actually think the on-board tool design is pretty clever. Pro-tip: also get yourself a rubber pet hair broom for in-between vacuuming days. I grabbed one at Aldi on a whim from the Aisle of Mysteries and it really does a much better job of corralling pet hair than a standard bristle broom.
posted by drlith at 12:18 PM on November 30, 2021

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