The Top 5 Best Handheld Vacuums for Pet Hair in 2018 – Comparisons and Reviews

Last Updated on November 1st

Are you looking for the best lightweight vacuum cleaner to help you in your mission to get rid of all that annoying pet hair?

Do your pets spill food pellets on the floor and drag dirt and grass inside? Do you need a handheld vacuum to help you with small cleanups?

You're in the right place! And let me be clear about something:

This is NOT a lame listing of available hand vacs in the market. Instead, I've analyzed hundreds of user reviews and interviewed pet owners to discover the best handheld vacuums for pet hair right now.

Let's dive in!

Handheld pet vacuums – comparison chart

5 Best handheld vacuums for pet hair removal

1. Bissell Multi 1985 Cordless handheld vacuum

The best cordless handheld vacuum cleaner for pet hair with guaranteed Bissell quality and performance. The editors pick in this category, and most versatile of all vacuums reviewed in this category. Click here to see the latest price.

Bissell Multi 1985 is versatile and it delivers excellent results. It has several innovative and practical features that will benefit pet owners dealing with nasty pet hair, and other messes pets can cause.

It is moderately priced and well worth the investment with its capable and easy-to-use engineering.

Performance and ease of use

When it comes to performance the Bissell Multi 1985 gets high ratings. It offers strong suction for up to 15 minutes with its powerful 22V Lithium-Ion battery, and therefore it can efficiently clean up all sorts of dirt.

Smart attachments designed for different purposes make sure this vacuum cleaner performs well in many areas of your home...

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The vacuums itself weighs 3.9 pounds and comes in a compact and sleek design, with a Comfort Soft Grip to add to the comfortable feel when cleaning. Extension hose gives you more reach and LED headlights offer visibility in those tight spots.

The dirt cup is adequate at 0.4L it but may need emptying mid vacuuming to prevent clogging if you are dealing with large quantities of shed pet hair. The emptying is done by simply detaching the dirt cup and releasing the bottom above a trash can. Easy and hygienic. The dirt container is washable as is the foam filter inside it.

The overall feel of this vacuum is that it is reliable and easy to use. Users report that they have been satisfied with the cleaning results and performance of this product.

Attachments

The Bissell Multi 1985 Handheld Cordless vacuum comes with quite a versatile set of attachments: Dusting Brush, Crevice Tool, Extension Wand With Duster, Flexible Built-in Extension Hose and a Motorized Brush Roll.

Some of the attachments are stored onboard the vacuum, which is handy and enables quick changing of tools when needed. You can use the soft Dusting Brush for dust and debris on delicate surfaces, and the Crevice Tool for tight spots. There is also an Extension Wand With Duster, which allows you to reach surfaces high up and clean baseboards without having to bend down.

For even more adaptability, you have the Flexible Built-in Extension Hose, which you can use for those hard-to-reach places the extension wand or crevice tool can’t reach.

Pros

+  Compact, lightweight and easy-to-use design
+  Powerful 22 V battery to power a strong suction
+  15 minutes of runtime with second battery available
+  Motorized Brush Roll Tool for cleaning upholstered items
+  Extension hose  and wand for more reach
+  Washable Easy Empty dirt cup
+  Washable foam filter
+  LED headlights offer visibility in tight spots

Cons

-  Crevice tool is fairly narrow
-  May clog with big piles of pet hair
-  Detaching of attachments is a bit awkward

Summed up

The Bissell Multi 1985 is the editor’s pick in this category for some very good reasons. If you want to beat that pet hair building up everywhere, you need a vacuum cleaner that can manage all surfaces and cracks up high and down low.

It has strong suction and good filtration, as well as an easy-to-empty dirt cup.

With functional attachments and practical features, this Bissell hand vac is something I can recommend for any pet owner.

Our rating

2. Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II Hand Vacuum (SV780)

Best handheld pet hair vacuum for cleaning the car and an affordable all-rounder for any pet owner. Click here to see the latest prices.

 

A fantastic little vacuum for small cleanups all around the house. Works great on pet hair and offers some nice versatility for its price point. With this cordless vacuum, you can take care of all the small messes your pets make.

Performance and ease of use

Numerous pet owners compliment the performance of the Shark PetPerfect II. It is quite powerful for its size, and the battery has a nice run time at 10-20 minutes depending on the attachments you use. After vacuuming it is easily stored away in its mountable charging station...

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The charging time is long, but this doesn’t create a problem in normal at-home use.

The Twister Cyclonic Technology makes sure the suction stays strong even when the dirt cup keeps filling up with pet hair, and the dirt cup is easy to empty and clean when needed.

This appliance is not the lightest vacuum in this category, and some users have reported that a swivel head would improve maneuverability, but with this price and performance level, the Pet Perfect II vacuum is a good purchase.

Attachments

Comes with three attachments: the TruePet motorized brush, a brush tool, and a crevice tool. It is not the most versatile of hand vacuums, but it does handle most cleanups without any difficulty.

The motorized brush is very efficient when it comes to removing pet hair, dust and dander from carpets, fabrics and also hard surface areas. Stiff bristles lift up the hair from the fabric, and the powerful suction picks it up.

The crevice tool can be used to reach all those hard-to-reach places and clean up sand, grass, food pellets or cat litter.

Pros

Good performance on all surfaces
+  Thoroughly cleans pet hair off carpets and fabrics
+  Suction is strong and steady
+  Easily stored away with a charging stand
+  Emptying and cleaning is quick and easy
+  Three attachments offer versatility

Cons

-  Long charging time
-  On the heavy side
-  No swivel head
-  No HEPA filtration

Summed up

The Shark Pet Perfect II handheld vacuum is a great helper in small daily cleanups.

Particularly designed with pet owners in mind, it has some great features that will make cleaning up after pets easier and quicker. This vacuum is functional and durable, and at this price, it is good value for your money.

Our rating

3. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum

Best handheld vacuum for cat litter and pet food pellets. A reasonably priced vacuum for all small cleanups at your home. Click here to read real user reviews.

 

An affordable yet adaptable and functional handheld vacuum that helps you keep your house tidy despite the messy pets. Lightweight and easy-to-use design make daily cleanups less of a chore.

Performance and ease of use

The cordless Pet Hair Eraser from Bissell is a compact and lightweight vacuum at only 3 pounds. It has an ergonomically designed easy-grip handle with switches conveniently at your fingertips...

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Because of its lightness, this vacuum is easy to maneuver around furniture and floors – anything from floor to ceiling. And it’s cordless, so you don’t have to worry about plugging it in.

The dirt container is huge for a handheld vacuum, meaning it will be a good fit for pet owners with pets that have long hair.

The dirt cup is easy to detach for emptying, and you can rinse it with water. This vacuum also has a dual filter with a washable filter screen to protect the paper filter from being clogged by dirt and pet hair. We wish the filter itself were washable, but hey, that’s a pretty small flaw.

The detachable motorized foot offers a good strong suction and keeps the vacuum running for 15 minutes on average depending on the tools you use. With a strong suction and three useful attachments, the Pet Hair Eraser is well worth its price.

Attachments

This hand vac comes with three attachments: motorized brush roll, upholstery tool, and crevice tool. These three attachments provide some excellent versatility and allow you to take care of all kinds of small messes no matter what the surface and kind of dirt vacuumed.

The brush roll is especially useful at thoroughly cleaning fabrics from dust, dander and pet hair embedded in them. 

The crevice tool enables you to reach small crevices or vacuum debris such as scattered cat litter and pet food from the floor.

You also get the upholstery tool, which has a felt edge that attracts pet hair. This attachment you can use for more delicate fabrics that don’t particularly need the power of the brush roll.

Pros

+  Cordless with a good 15 minutes of runtime
+  Offers strong suction through its motorized foot
+  Lightweight and easy to use
+  Motorized brush removes pet hair from all surfaces
+  Crevice tool for difficult-to-reach areas
+  Upholstery tool with felt edge to attract pet hair
+  Dual-action filtration system with washable filter screen
+  A big and easy to use dirt bin

Cons

-  You can wash the filter screen, but you need to replace the filter  periodically
-  Some users have had problems with charging, but the two-year warranty covers malfunctioning products
-  NiMH-battery should not be left attached to charger longer than needed
-  No HEPA filtration

Summed up

The Pet Hair Eraser cordless hand vacuum from Bissell is a functional tool for a pet owner wanting a compact vacuum for small cleanups.

It is a pretty basic appliance, but well worth its low price. With this vacuum, you can expect well-known Bissell quality and some nice features for a pet owner.

It is a simple yet adaptable and practical vacuum for all those pet-related cleanups and much more.

Our rating

4. Eureka EasyClean Corded Handheld Vacuum 71B

The best handheld pet hair vacuum for cleaning carpeted stairs and large pieces of furniture. It is an affordable all-rounder for pet owners and Amazon’s choice in the handheld vacuum category. Click here to see the latest prices.

 

The Eureka EasyClean is not the smallest of handheld vacuums, but it does come with some great power and performance. It can be especially useful for pet owners with carpeted stairs or large pieces of furniture that need efficient pet hair removal.

Performance and ease of use

This hand vac is powered by a 5,5 amp motor generating strong suction and delivering great cleaning results. The motorized brush roll is very effective on all surfaces...

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Although a handheld vacuum and a pretty functional all-rounder as such, I did find some criticism aimed at the somewhat bulky design.

There are sleeker products in this category, but on the other hand, the wide design allows you to vacuum broader areas with one pass, and that is one of the features that make this vacuum such a handy tool for cleaning furniture and stairs.

The dirt cup is easily removed and emptied, and the vacuum comes with a washable and replaceable filter. It also has a very long 20-foot power cord that allows you to move from one room to another without having to unplug.

When not used, just wrap the cord around the vacuum and store it away. Some users did wish the cord would have an automatic rewind feature, but the compact design of handheld vacuums doesn’t allow rewind feature space wise.

Attachments

What makes this vacuum a great pet hair vacuum is the strong suction and powerful brush roll, which can also be turned off when needed.

The brush roll is powered with its own motor and has stiff bristles making it very efficient in picking up dirt. The flexible hose and crevice tool allows you to reach all corners that need cleaning – may it be on the floor level or in the corners of the ceiling.

This vacuum specializes in vertical surfaces with it’s Riser Visor Nozzle Cover feature that allows you to flip the visor of the brush roll depending on whether you’re cleaning horizontal or vertical surfaces. This feature is what makes this vacuum handy with carpeted stairs, couches and other furniture.

Pros

+  Two powerful motors  - one to provide strong suction and one to keep the brush rolling
+  Brush roll can be switched on and off
+  20-foot power cord and ultra flexible hose give you 23-foot reach
+  Riser Visor feature for cleaning vertical surfaces, such as stairs and backs of furniture
+  Easy to empty dust cup and a washable and replaceable filter
+  Easy to store with wrapping hose and power cord around the vacuum
+  Convenient fingertip controls for easy use

Cons

-  Power cord is not retractable
-  No HEPA filtration
-  Bulky design and can be found heavy to use

Summed up

Not the smallest and lightest of the top products in this category, but with a strong motor it does deliver great results.

I would recommend this vacuum to any pet owner looking for a handheld vacuum to use when cleaning carpeted stairs, couches, recliners and picking up dirt left behind by their pets.

Affordable yet versatile product with excellent user reviews.

Our rating

5. Shark ION W1 Cordless Handheld Vacuum

A practical and compact dustbuster with sleek design and powerful suction. Always ready to take care of small everyday messes. Click here to read real user reviews.

 

The Shark ION W1 cordless hand vac is very functional and easy to use, and it’s always at hand for small touchups. It will help you keep your house in tip-top shape.

Performance and ease of use

The Ion W1 s incredibly lightweight at only 1.4 pounds, but even with its compact design this cordless vacuum still delivers up to 80 air watts of powerful suction with its brushless motor...

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The runtime is up to 15 minutes which is pretty standard, although this can go down to 5-9 minutes when using tools on tough surfaces. The charge time for a full charge is only 2.5 hours, which is considerably less than on most other cordless handheld vacuums.

The new design is entirely different from traditional compact handheld vacuums. Although the vacuum is very lightweight, it may feel heavier due to its weight distribution. However, with on only 1.4 pounds of weight, this is hardly something that should stop you from choosing this vacuum.

The dirt cup is smallish, but on the upside, it is effortless to empty with a push of a button. The single-touch emptying system is quick, easy to use and hygienic.

What we also love is the fact that the filter is washable, which saves you the cost and trouble of buying new filters. The lack of a HEPA filter may make people with severe allergies want to consider another hand vac, but for most households, the filtration should be adequate enough.

Attachments

The Ion W1 comes with two attachments: Duster Crevice Tool for dusting and tight spots, and Multi-Surface Tool for upholstery carpets and pet hair.

The Crevice Tool adds even better reach for tight spots and attaching the dusting nozzle allows you to carefully dust delicate surfaces and baseboards without crouching over.

The Multi-Surface Tool is designed to pick up that persistent pet hair from upholstered furniture and other surfaces. The tool works well on low-pile carpets and most fabrics, but we would recommend a vacuum with a motorized brush roll tool if you have long-haired pets and you need to vacuum thick carpets or furniture with plush upholstery.

The vacuum also comes with an ION charging dock which takes care of the fast charging and keeping the vacuum cleaner ready and at hand.

Pros

+  A functional vacuum at a reasonable price
Easy to use and maneuver
Performs well on most surfaces
Powerful suction for a handheld vacuum
Lightweight design at 1.4 pounds
Up to 15 minutes of battery life
Duster Crevice Tool and Multi-Surface Tool included
ION dock for easy storage, fast charging, and quick access
Simple one-touch emptying
Washable fabric filter

Cons

- The dirt cup is small
The filter is adequate but not HEPA level
May feel heavier than its actual weight
Fairly basic features
Doesn’t come with a brush roll tool

Summed up

The Shark ION W1 is a new addition to the diverse mix of handheld vacuums currently on the market.

Its new sleek design sets it apart from other vacuums, and although it is compact and streamlined in design, it offers excellent suction and good performance. It was just recently released, but it has already gained high ratings from pleased users.

W1 doesn't come with a brush roll, so it's not ideal for you if you have several long-haired pets. However, if you have cats or small short-haired and you often use your handheld vacuum for spilled food pellets or other small messes, this vacuum could be ideal for you. 

What we love most about this vacuum is the easy-to-use design. The idea of this vacuum is always to be ready for use, and that’s a very important feature. Only a user-friendly vacuum that is accessible and easily operated will encourage you to get those messes cleaned up.

Our rating

Runners-up

Other great products we reviewed but which didn't quite make it to the top 5.

6. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum 33A1

The best handheld pet hair vacuum for upholstery, bedding, and other fabrics.
Click here to see the latest prices.

This compact and affordable yet powerful vacuum is one of the all-time bestselling pet hair vacuums. If you are looking for a small handheld vacuum for vacuuming your furniture, bedding, and carpeted stairs, this is your choice. Performs reasonably well on other small jobs too, though mainly aimed for vacuuming fabrics.

Performance and ease of use

This hand vac has an ergonomic and compact design combined with a low weight, which makes it easy to use and handle. The vacuum is corded, which can be...

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a pro or a con depending on your preferences. Luckily the 16-feet cord offers a broad reach and strong suction if you just have power outlets in crucial locations.

The corded Pet Hair Eraser has a HEPA filter and a washable dirt cup. There is also a washable filter screen to separate pet hair and larger debris and to keep them from clogging the filter. The screen protects the filter from dirt lengthening the lifespan of the replaceable HEPA filter.

Attachments

There are only two attachments, which means this vacuum is not as versatile as other vacuums in this category. But for small messes your pet makes, this is an excellent choice.

The Flexible Contour Nozzle is made of rubber attracting pet hair and pulling it up from fabrics for the suction to pick up. This feature is praised by numerous pet owners using this product.

You also have a hard plastic nozzle you can use for picking up dirt from other surfaces than fabrics.

This attachment combined with a powerful suction does a good job in picking up sand, grass, pet food and such. Another feature every pet owner would find useful.

Pros

+  Compact size and easy to maneuver
+  Strong suction and powerful motor
+  Rubber Nozzle is excellent at removing pet hair
+  Lightweight
+  HEPA filter
+  16 feet cord
+  Dirt cup easily emptied and washed

Cons

Mainly designed for removing pet hair from fabrics and therefore lacks some versatility
 Small dirt container
-  Corded

Summed up

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 is a corded handheld vacuum designed for small cleanups in pet homes. It is the ideal choice for anyone looking for an appliance that can remove pet hair from upholstery and bedding.

This vacuum is easily maneuvered across furniture. With a change of attachments, this vacuum cleaner is ready to pick up for example scattered food pellets, wood shavings, sand, and dirt, making it a handy tool for cleaning up after the messes your pets make.

Combine all this with a very low price point, and you have yourself an excellent vacuum for small cleaning jobs.

Our rating: 4/5

Got interested?

You can read real user reviews here or find our full review here.

How to choose the perfect hand vac?

There are many handheld vacuums available... but here's the thing: only a few work well when it comes to removing pet hair. To help you out, we've listed 6 key elements you should keep your eye on:

Attachments

Functional attachments are probably the most crucial feature in a good pet hair vacuum. The number one most important attachment for all pet owners is the brush roll. It is the most effective tool in picking up pet hair regardless of the surface. To clean upholstery and carpets thoroughly, it is recommended to have this type of a tool.

All of the top 5 vacuums come with crevice tools, that will help you get to that pet hair hiding between cushions and cat litter spilled on the floor. If you want more reach, you should choose a vacuum with a hose, like Eureka EasyClean or Bissell Multi 1985

To find out which attachments come with each handheld vacuum, have a look at our detailed comparison table above.

Suction power

For a vacuum to remove pet hair well, it needs to have sufficient suction power.

All of the top 5 handheld vacuums we have picked out have proven their capabilities with pet hair and all other small cleanups.

You can choose any of the five vacuum cleaners, and it will have a powerful motor to give it an excellent rating at cleaning performance.

Price

We have chosen vacuums at different price points to suit all budgets and needs, but all of the top 5 handheld vacuums have a valid price point and they will offer good value for your investment.

As powerful motors and functional attachments are expensive to manufacture, better-performing vacuums tend to be pricier. But that is not to say an affordable vacuum with just the bare essentials wouldn't be the best choice considering your individual needs.

You should think about your cleaning needs and figure out which vacuum fits those needs the best. What it comes down to is that if you buy a cheap vacuum that doesn't meet your requirements, it won't be doing you much good and it will be a wasted investment.

Size

If you have limited storage space or you need the vacuum to be very light and easily maneuvered, just check our comparison chart to find the smallest and most lightweight models.

When it comes to handheld models, the size does matter. Smaller and lighter vacuums will be more convenient to use.

Corded or Cordless

Depends entirely on your preferences.

If you have power outlets in every room and you are comfortable in changing outlets between vacuuming, then you will get constant power without having to worry about the battery running out by choosing a corded vacuum cleaner.

On the other hand, all of the cordless pet hair vacuums we have picked have a sufficient runtime for small cleaning jobs and having a cordless vacuum gives you the freedom to vacuum around your house and car without worrying about power outlets.

Filter

All of the top 5 handheld vacuums we have introduced have very different filtering systems and filters, but they all blow out clean and fresh exhaust air.

Look for a washable filter that can be replaced to cut your costs in the future, and find out if filters can be replaced easily.

Most affordable handheld vacuums do not have HEPA filtering, but they still do a good job of cleaning out the exhaust air.

If you or your family members have allergies and you want a pet hair vacuum with sealed HEPA filtration to provide extremely clean air free of allergens, you should have a look at the Dyson V6 Mattress handheld vacuum. It is an excellent choice for a pet hair vacuum with many amazing features and top class performance with pet hair, but it just barely didn't make our top 5 because of its high price point. It is a top class handheld vacuum, and it should be your number one choice if you need HEPA filtering to protect the health of your family.

Surfaces

Have a look at the attachments to figure out which vacuum you will get the most out of.

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded vacuum is great for upholstery, bedding, and curtains, as the Eureka EasyClean is your pick if you have carpeted stairs or many hard to reach places.

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded hand vac and Shark Cordless Pet Perfect are both good all-rounders for all sorts of small cleanups, and the Bissell Multi 1985 has the most versatility and reach of the bunch.

FAQ

Is a handheld vacuum the right choice for me?

Handheld vacuums are the best choice if you are looking for a compact vacuum cleaner for small and specific cleanups, such as vacuuming pet hair off your stairs or furniture, cleaning the car or cleaning spilled pet food or cat litter.

Most handheld vacuums are versatile and can take care of many cleaning jobs, but if you need to clean a lot of floor area, a stick vacuum could be a better choice for you. Still compact, and lightweight, stick vacuums have the added benefit of vacuuming a wider floor area with one pass and not having to bend down. They also often convert to a handheld vacuum and can be only slightly more expensive.

If you think a stick vacuum would be the best choice for you, have a look at our Top 5 Best Stick Vacuums for Pet Hair.

What are the best handheld cordless/corded vacuums for pet hair?

These are the top 5 products with the best features and performance:

1. Bissell Multi Cordless
2. Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II
3. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless
4. Eureka EasyClean Corded 71B
5. Shark ION W1

Runner-up:
6. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded

Are small vacuums powerful enough to do a thorough job? Even when they are cordless?

In the past, many smaller vacuums did not have enough power to do a satisfactory job.

But with advances in technology, even many of the smallest battery powered vacuums have great suction power, and they reach excellent results.

But not all.

And this is where we can help you. We have carefully picked the best handheld vacuums for pet hair, which have proven their capability in action with real consumers. These vacuum cleaners here have the best attachments and powerful motors to help you achieve a pet-hair-free home!

How to choose the right handheld vacuum?

You need to think about your needs and preferences.

All of these top 5 products are great vacuums, but they have their differences. Would you like the vacuum to be corded or cordless? Do you need to vacuum carpeted stairs and upholstery, or is it mainly floor and wads of pet hair piled up in the corners of your house? Do you need HEPA filters?

Just have a look at our comprehensive comparison chart above to find the vacuum that has the features suited for your individual needs.

pet dog with brown hair

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