Affordable vacuums that work for pet hair?
March 7, 2022 11:59 AM   Subscribe

We need a new vacuum that will actually work for dog hair as well as just upgrade our cleaning game. We have a 1-bedroom apartment, hardwood floor with some rugs, and a shed-y double-coated dog. Everyone online recommends a Dyson, but 400-500 CAD for a vacuum seems insane to me. Does anything at a smaller price point actually work? I was hoping to pay under 200 CAD but could shell out a bit more if need be. We don’t have a lot of storage space so another stick vacuum would be ideal.
posted by vanitas to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
i respect that you have a budget, but when asked I always recommend our Dyson AnimalPro - it's only insane until you see how well it works and how long it lasts. High quality, low cost per use.
posted by alchemist at 12:07 PM on March 7, 2022 [5 favorites]

Go Clean Go did a whole series of reviews on vacuums
You can check them out on

They are saved .. just need to scroll right to see them. Extremely long, but very thorough

Then on their Amazon store, they have Vacuum Round up which I think are the ones she likes

HEre's the US Amazon store here
posted by Ftsqg at 12:25 PM on March 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

If it helps, I've bought multiple refurbished Dyson products and they're all still running strong after a few years' use. Looks like Dyson Canada has some refurbs starting around $270, although in my (US) experience even the refurbs do go on sale (at least through resellers - I bought mine through Amazon and Best Buy, iirc).
posted by mosst at 12:33 PM on March 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

I replaced a Hoover (which was okay, just bigger and heavier than I wanted) with the
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum (NV360). I got mine from Kohl's but it's also on Amazon (US Link). It's pretty similar to the WireCutter Shark pick and I've been happy with it. I primarily use it to pick up pet hair from area rugs and from couch upholstery (velvet).
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:34 PM on March 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've also got a Shark (UV850), it came with a pet hair attachment piece for like couches and stuff that has a strip of grippy felt stuff on it that does help pull hair out of upholstery.

I'm not, like, the tidiest person, but I've got two dogs with very different hair types, and it does just fine for both around my house at a very digestible price.
posted by phunniemee at 12:39 PM on March 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I love my Tineco A11 Hero, which handles the fur shed by our two dogs and two cats in a big house (also hardwood floors with rugs) like a boss. Slightly above your budgeted amount, but not as pricey as a Dyson.
posted by pinkacademic at 1:06 PM on March 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

I've got a Shark Navigator and it does very well with my long-haired cat. We were shocked at how much stuff was in the canister the first time we used it after retiring a Hoover upright. I can't speak to its longevity since we've only had it since December but it's far better than anything else I've owned in many years of vacuuming up cat fur.
posted by leslies at 1:15 PM on March 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

For 65 bucks I bought a Bissell pet vacuum. Works great. Buy a couple of filters, and a belt. Those will last you for years. After shaking everything out, you can wash the filters with a hose, dry them, while you are using the swit h out set. Every other vaccuum or every four depending on your space, wash everything.
posted by Oyéah at 1:49 PM on March 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Got a Shark Navigator a couple of years ago. Works much better on dog hair than the Kenmore canister model we used before.
posted by Consult The Oracle at 2:55 PM on March 7, 2022

Another vote for the Shark. I have a Shark that's going on ten years old, two big dogs and a cat and the vacuum is still going strong - and doing a good job. Honestly (ducks in expectation of furious Dyson people) we had refurbished Dysons where I used to work that were nowhere near as good as my Shark and broke down regularly. Of course my boss was super cheap and they might not have been truly refurbished so much as sorta fixed by some guy in a secondhand appliance shop, but still.
posted by mygothlaundry at 3:03 PM on March 7, 2022

I bought a refurbished Dyson Animal eight? nine? years ago. It's a champ. And when it stopped working last year, I drove it to the Dyson store and they fixed it (a clog) for free in five minutes, no warranty or questions or anything.
posted by cyndigo at 4:13 PM on March 7, 2022

I think you'll be fine with a Hoover upright. I've been happy with mine for over a decade, many years with a cat and a dog. They have a nice looking pet model for US$150
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:44 PM on March 7, 2022

+ for Bissell. I have a Bissell PowerGroom Rewind and it works really well -- and I have a big ol' Husky so the fur is no joke.
posted by thebots at 6:47 PM on March 7, 2022

We are very happy with the Fuller Brush Bare Floor Maid - it's lightweight, easy for my my wife to handle, sucks up dog hair like a champ. You _may_ have to empty it more than once depending on the area of the floor and the amount of dog hair, but that but a small inconvenience. It is very reasonably priced at US $89.95 normally, and on sale now for US $69.95 (but I don't know the conversion to Canadian dollars). We use it, if it makes a difference, on LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) flooring with no problem.
posted by TimHare at 9:23 PM on March 7, 2022

I know that this is at the other end of the spectrum, but we've had a Miele C1 Dog and Cat canister vac for about 5 years now and it is incredible.

Two retrievers, lots of hair and dander, and to be honest, you can smell the difference in the air after I run it for through the house. It's extremely pricey, but very durable and has done the job of picking up hair as well as odors/dander/etc.
posted by tgrundke at 3:46 AM on March 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I asked a similar question, had the same concerns about a Dyson but everyone recommended it. I bought it and it is hands-down the most useful purchase I’ve made as a cat owner. It’s amazing. Never thought I would get so much satisfaction out of a vacuum.
posted by namemeansgazelle at 7:06 AM on March 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

So the issue that I’ve found, having had solid vacuums and a Dyson vacuum, is that other vacuums will work okay but will ultimately break, in part due to being difficult to clean. You will want to look for a vacuum that has a washable filter, easy replacement parts, and that allows easy access to the brush to be able to cut hair out of it. If you find that, it can work solidly enough for what you want, at least for a hardwood floor place with only a few rugs.
posted by corb at 7:30 AM on March 8, 2022

We have a cordless Dyson stick and love it (we also have a plug-in for the deeper cleans). The battery lasts ~7 minutes with the rollers going and it covers about 1,200sf per charge (almost entirely wood and one little rug).

The battery started fading about a year ago, and Dyson was nice enough to replace it even though the warranty had expired about 2 months earlier. So my recommendation would be, if you get a rechargeable $500 vacuum, send off for a replacement battery right before the warranty expires. And you will love it.
posted by Snowishberlin at 7:35 AM on March 8, 2022

IMO (I've said this before) but I have a Dyson Animal 2 Ball and yes it is cleanable and yes it is repairable, but it's not a great vacuum, and this tiny red plastic clip that holds the sucker/spinning brusher part on that comes off so you can clean it broke and it was $11 with shipping.

So yeah, I can repair it but the cost is ridiculous. I actually got a new vaccuum on a Black Friday sale that was only 4X the cost of that one part.

It's 5 years newer, but better than the Dyson in every way except that the Dyson's cord is longer (a long cord is really nice). Is a Dyson vacuum worth $500 in my opinion? No.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:13 AM on March 8, 2022

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