The 3 Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair in 2018 – Comparisons and Reviews

Last Updated on August 17h, 2018

Are you tired of cleaning after your pet's messes, but still want to keep your home clean?

A robotic vacuum could be the answer to your problems – it saves you A LOT of time, helps you keep your floors clean, and no doubt adds convenience in life (and who wouldn’t love that!).

With extensive research, PetHairPatrol found the ultimate top 3 robo vacs that get the job done.

Our favorite is iRobot Roomba 980, as it not only performs perfectly, but it is the most independent robot out there. If you’re on a budget, we recommend the Deik Robot. While it needs some monitoring and it lacks smart-home connectivity, it has a HEPA-filter, and it’s the most effective vacuum of the budget models we came across. Searching for something in between? Check out Shark ION Robot 750, which lands somewhere in the middle in features as well as in price.

Quick comparison chart

Top 3 Robotic vacuums for pet hair in 2018 Boiled Down

iRobot Roomba 980 – The best out there (with a price tag)

Roomba 980 comes with a hefty price tag- there’s no denying that. But then again, with all the bells and whistles it’s the most independent robotic vacuum out there. In the long line of Roomba series, 980 is the best of the best– it leaves its predecessors as well as competitors behind in technology, features, and performance. Click here to see the latest prices of Roomba 980.

 

What you get with Roomba 980 compared to its competitors, is added convenience. Roomba 980 needs less of your attention, and it’s as self-sufficient a robot vacuum as it can get. To name a few, the Wi-Fi connectivity, stronger battery, and the automatic recharging and resuming feature makes this model more hands-free than any other robotic vacuum. Roomba 980 also uses the latest technology as it navigates around.

If you only look at cleaning performance, you can find robotic vacuums that come very close to the results of Roomba 980. But if you want a hassle-free and easy-to-use vacuum that you don't need to supervise, Roomba 980 is your choice. 

Performance

Pet hair, food pellets, dander or other dirt and debris are no problem for this little fellow according to user experiences. It is a very strong competitor to full on upright and canister vacuums...

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Its performance is all thanks to a powerful motor and suction, combined with enhanced dirt detection system and rotating AeroForce Extractors (the mechanism is brushless, so you don’t have to worry about pet hair getting tangled).

Roomba 980 adapts to its environment for thorough coverage and the cleaning head automatically adjust according to the surface. Although many robo vacs clean hard floors without a problem, what sets Roomba 980 apart from its competitors, is that it does well on carpets as well. The high level of performance on carpets is due to the features mentioned above, as well as the new Carpet Boost-mode which, although quite loud, gives the robot the extra boost to manage carpets and rugs which are harder to clean.

Controlling the Vacuum

Roomba 980 is effortless to use. Some robotic vacuums can be controlled manually by pushing a button on top of a robot or by using a remote, but this robo vac offers Wi-FI-connectivity. What this means, is that it can be guided remotely from your phone where ever you are and whenever you want. Roomba 980 can be paired with smartphones as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. According to the users of this vacuum, both the iRobot App and voice control are easy to use. The app lets you schedule up to seven cleaning schedules per week, and it also provides you information when parts need to be changed or maintained.

Battery life

The Roomba 980 can run up to 2 full hours, which is quite well compared to other robotic vacuums. As per home size, the 980 can vacuum an area of up to almost 190sqm in a single cleaning cycle. Roomba 980 is said to be very reliable at finding its way back to the charging station, and it takes 3 hours to get fully recharged. Once recharged, it will automatically resume where it left off. This feature again makes it more independent because you don’t have to send it back to work after recharging.

Navigation 

Seems that you can only praise The Roomba 980, but the navigation capabilities are actually pretty impressive. It uses the latest technology which makes a big difference.  It is very organized, and it cleans methodically doing straight line cleaning around the cleaning space. This results in more efficient and thorough cleaning paths.

Roomba 980 is said to be good at navigating around furniture legs, and users have stated, that the 980 avoids cords, toys, and other obstacles systematically. All in all, Roomba 980 needs a minimal care and attention from you. The need to clean up clutter beforehand is minimized, and you can leave it unattended and rely on it to navigate through your home without your help. Most other robotic vacuums need way more of your support, so this is nothing to be taken for granted.

Filtration

Last but not least, Roomba 980 uses HEPA filters, the ideal filtration system for every pet owner with all that dust and dander floating around.

+ Easy to use: User-friendly app
+ Tangle-free rubber rollers handle pet hair with ease
+ Comes with HEPA-filters, ideal for pet owners
+ Comes close to full-size vacuum with the cleaning performance
+ Efficient navigation capabilities
+ Detects dirt and the suction is strong
+ Doesn’t have problems cleaning different surfaces
+ Won’t be stopped by obstacles
+ Small, won’t get stuck under furniture
+ Saves you time and trouble - the need to clean up clutter beforehand is minimized
+ Most self-sufficient robot out there - won’t need your attention

- Price
- Loud when using the Carpet Boost-mode

Summed up - Is Roomba 980 the right choice for me?

If you have the time to vacuum daily or you won’t mind that your robotic vacuum needs your attention while cleaning, you probably don’t need the Roomba 980. It is a high-end product with the latest technology and all the nice extras most other robots lack. It’s a solid performer and does a brilliant job on bare floors and carpets alike. And it spares you from all the extra hassle because of its top-notch navigation which provides independence and supervision-free cleaning.

Although the price may sound steep at first, after making the investment you will most certainly be happy that you chose this specific product. The Roomba vacuums are high-quality products that come with reliability and durability. The Roomba 980 won't become outdated anytime soon, and you will be able to enjoy your investment in effortless cleaning for many years to come.

Our rating

Shark ION 750 Robotic Vacuum – A quality machine with some trade-offs

This Shark robotic vacuum is a great mid-range option for those with mainly hard floors. It posses some really nice features for pet owners, but you can’t expect to get the best robo vac out there for this price, or you’ll be disappointed. If you’re okay with some maintenance and helping this fellow a bit, it will help you keep your floors clean on a daily basis. Click here to see the latest prices.

 

All in all, Shark ION 750 is a great mid-priced choice for households with pets. You can expect solid cleaning performance on tiled or hard floors, but don’t expect it to do miracles on carpets. This robotic vacuum is not entirely independent nor a match in performance or navigation to Roomba 980 - but then again, it is also cheaper.

Shark ION 750 offers app compatibility which is often missing from budget models, and you can start cleaning from anywhere at any time. Pet owners have also especially appreciated the low noise level, self-cleaning brush on which pet hair won’t get tangled, and HEPA filters that keep the air fresh.

Performance

Even though it won’t be a substitute for a full-size vacuum, it will with no doubt help you keep your home pet hair free and extend the time between heavier cleanings.

This robot does impressive work on...

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all kinds of hard flooring. It holds two rotating sweepers on either side, which helps it to capture pet hair as well as other debris from the surface. It’s not as good a performer on carpets as Roomba 980, but this robot does decent work on low-pile and even medium-piled carpets.

Controlling the Vacuum

The good news is that Shark ION 750 is Wi-Fi compatible. It means that you can remotely control your robot by using an app. The app allows you to start and stop cleaning, and to set recurring cleaning schedules. Also, the app provides access to tips, tricks, and FAQs, as well as maintenance reminders, troubleshooting, and tech support. Although the app is said to be pleasing to use, some users have had reported the robot losing connection with Wi-Fi from time to time.

Prefer giving the robot voice commands? No problem. Shark ION 750 is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can just tell the vacuum to start working while sitting on your sofa.

Battery life

The battery provides a cleaning time from 60 to 90 minutes. Before the battery runs out or the cleaning session is complete, the Shark ION 750 will automatically return to its docking station. Recharging the battery can take up to three hours. After that, it’s ready to get back to work, but unfortunately, this model won’t automatically resume cleaning once it’s recharged and you will have to send it back to work again.

Navigation 

Navigation is not as advanced as with higher-end models. The cleaning and navigation pattern seem to be random, but as far as owners have witnessed, the robot does cover the floor area without missing spots.

If you’re ever planning to leave to vacuum to clean by itself, it’s a good thing that Shark ION 750 is super slim at only 2.6 inches. For this reason, it gets easily under most furniture. The robot is equipped with anti-collision and anti-drop sensors which work rather well. It needs a bit of your attention, but as long as you're ready to do some clutter organizing before sending this vacuum to work, you won’t need to be there as a robositter as it roams the floors.

Great Features for Pet Owners

This robotic vacuum is not designed for pet owners per se, but it posses several great features we animal lovers will appreciate.

First of all, it’s quiet. Shark ION 750 generates only a low humming noise, which is ideal for pet homes. This vacuum is also equipped with a self-cleaning roller brush, which helps to keep hair from getting tangled and on the rollers. The dustbin is easy to remove and empty, but as the dustbin is quite small, you have to be ready to empty it quite often. Last but not least, it has a HEPA filter. And that is the one you want to have if you have pets.

+ Performs well with pet hair and dander on hard floor
+ Low-profile design – won’t get stuck under furniture
+ Easy-empty dustbin
+ Pet hair won’t get tangled – less maintenance
+ Easy to use
+ Wi-Fi compatibility (App/Amazon Alexa/Google Home Assistant)
+ Ability to schedule your vacuum to clean adds convenience
+ Does not have to be supervised
+ Comes with anti-allergen HEPA filters
+ Good quality for this price

- Dirt bin capacity is quite small
- You need to clear all clutter before sending the vacuums to work
- Not the best choice for a fully carpeted house
- Some people have had trouble with loss of Wi-Fi connection

Summed up – Is Shark ION 750 the right choice for me?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a robot that you can ”set-and-forget,” go for Roomba 980, as the Shark ION 750 needs more of your attention and help. Also, it’s not the one you should buy if you have mainly carpeted floors.

Then again, if you have mostly hard flooring and you’re prepared to help out your robotic vacuum to some degree before it can help you, this robot will save you considerable effort in housekeeping. The good news is that it has been reported navigating around without getting lost, stuck or bumping into walls and furniture. It won’t need your supervision all the time, and you can send it to work where ever you are by using an app. Taking everything into consideration, the price is definitely attractive for the features this model holds.

Our rating

Deik Robot Vacuum Cleaner – the well-performing budget option with basic features

Deik robotic vacuum has got numerous praising reviews from pet owners. It’s not perfect, and it lacks some features you can find in higher-end models. There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity, the robot needs your help from time to time, and it won’t automatically resume cleaning once recharged. Having said that, it is a versatile robotic vacuum that mops in addition to vacuuming. It’s a solid performer, especially on hard floors. We also appreciate the largest dirt bin on the market and last but not least - the affordable price tag compared to many other robotic vacuums. Click here to see the latest prices.

 

The Deik robotic vacuum is best for homes with bare floors and low-pile carpets. Numerous reviews confirm that Deik does a thorough job in cleaning around the house on its own. Dissatisfaction among its owners is rare as long as you’re ready for some trade-offs for the price you pay. You can’t expect to get it all, but for daily maintenance cleaning Deik is definitely a big help.

Performance

Users of this vacuum have generally been impressed by its performance on cleaning floors and maintaining cleanliness. This vacuum sucks up pet hair from...

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the bare floor as well as from low- to medium-pile carpets without problems. It automatically adjusts the suction power to match the floor type and it uses less power on hard floors and more on carpets. However, Deik is not the best option if you have thick rugs or mainly carpeted floors. The cleaning results may not be optimal, and in some cases, the vacuum has been reported to come to a halt on high-pile carpeting.

The power is measured at 1200pa both on carpets and hard floors which is excellent for any robotic vacuum. Even though the vacuum is powerful, it’s not loud. The robot runs quietly, generating only 50-60 decibels.

Controlling the Vacuum

Regarding guiding the machine, it works on a remote control. Deik Robot is easy and intuitive to use. It has five different cleaning modes that allow Deik to be used effectively on different surfaces, situations and according to how dirty the floors are. It holds a 2-in-1 functionality: it mops (dry and wet mopping) in addition to vacuuming. Pet owners have found the mopping feature of the machine handy with eliminating dust and dander from floors.

There’s no Wi-Fi and app compatibility, which can be found on most of the more expensive models.

Battery life

Deik Robot holds a replaceable lithium battery that lasts over 500 cleaning and recharging sessions. The battery has a 90-minute running time (depending on the cleaning mode), and that’s quite impressive for a machine in this price range. Deik robotic vacuum is self-charging, which means, that there’s no need to worry about remembering to charge the robot before use. The vacuum cleaner will automatically return to the station and recharge once it is done cleaning or the battery is low.

However, you should know, that this robo-vac won’t continue cleaning automatically once re-charged. If you have a large home that the robotic vacuum won't be able to clean in one session, this feature is something you might need. For the robotic vacuum to clean a large house independently, it should resume cleaning after it has recharged itself.

Great Features for Pet Owners

Deik has a massive 0.9 liter capacity for dustbin which is the largest in the market. This feature allows longer periods of cleaning, and there’s no need to monitor the vacuum constantly to empty the bin when it gets full. Also, the filtration is ideal for pet owners, as this vacuum has a combination of a 3D and HEPA filter.

+ Low price compared to many of the other robotic vacuums
+ Versatile vacuum, which also mops
+ Works well on bare floors and low to medium pile carpets
+ Easy to use
+ Quiet
+ Adjusts the suction power according to the surface
+ Has an extra large dustbin
+ HEPA+3D-filter is great for pet owners
+ Customer service from Deik is helpful and fast

-  No WI-FI and app compatibility
-  May come to a halt on thicker high-pile carpets
-  It will not continue cleaning once re-charged
-  Mopping won’t remove tough stains, only dust, and dander

Summed up – Is Deik Robot the right choice for me? 

The Deik Robot is one of the cheapest robotic vacuums on the market, and yet it does a pretty convincing job. Also, Deik robotic vacuum hosts many handy features when it comes to pet owners. This robotic vacuum is versatile, it has strong suction, and it also takes care of very fine dust and dander by mopping the surface. Also, it has the biggest dirt cup in the market and multiple cleaning modes to choose from.

Deik is not self-sufficient, but I’d say Deik is a good fit for someone who is looking for an affordable option to help maintain cleanliness in a pet home and won’t mind the fact that it lacks some features. The vacuum is easy to use, practical and it performs well with picking up pet hair from any hard flooring. And though it does fall slightly short on some aspects, with the low price tag you can actually be quite impressed with what you get for your money.

Our rating

Top Rated Robotic Vacuum Cleaners For Pet Hair 2018 – Full Comparison Chart

What to look for in a robo vac?

Pets shed. They bring mud, grass, sand, gravel and other dirt inside. You have food pellets on the floor, dander in the air, cat hair on the curtains… the list is long, but you know what I mean; pets are messy!

Robotic vacuums are super handy in a home with pets. Robo vacs are real time savers and add convenience, as they help keep your floors clean between more meticulous cleanings. However, the range of features, performance, and price is massive, so here are some baseline specs you should consider when you are on a quest to find a perfect robotic vacuum for your situation.

Performance on different types of floor

Not all the robotic vacuums offer the same cleaning results. In general robo vacs perform better on hard floor types, and many have trouble when it comes to carpeting or rugs. So take into consideration the type of floor at your home when buying one. If you have lots of high-pile carpeting or thick rugs, be prepared to invest in a higher-end model (such as Roomba 980), which can handle carpets better than cheaper options.

As most robotic vacuums don’t have as much suction as corded full-sized vacuums, they generally need a brush roll to boost their cleaning performance. As a pet owner, you should read what’s said about the brush roll: some brush rolls are self-cleaning, some are made of rubber to attract pet hair, etc. If there’s pet hair that needs vacuuming, it can easily get tangled around the brush, which in return increases the amount of maintenance you need to do. Also, be sure there is an edge-cleaning brush (all the models we’ve chosen as the top 3 robotic vacuums for pet hair have it), as it helps to sweep dirt into the path of a robotic vacuum’s intake.

Filter

Dust can be annoying in households without pets, but if you have them, you know the amount of dust is on a whole other level. For this reason, keep an eye on the filtration system when choosing a robotic vacuum.

HEPA filters are the cream or the crop - a HEPA grade air filter removes up to 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 micrometers or larger. All the robotic vacuums we have chosen here are equipped with HEPA filters because the top robotic pet hair vacuums should definitely have one, and especially if you suffer from allergies, you should select a robot with built-in HEPA filters.

The grade of self-sufficiency

Are you looking for a robotic vacuum, that you can ”set-and-forget”, or one that needs supervising to some degree?

All robotic vacuums need your attention to some extent – but the range is surprisingly broad. Some robo-vacs are almost completely self-sufficient:

-   they are easy to control remotely
-   you can send them to work knowing they will do their job without supervision or help
-   they are great at navigating around the cleaning space
-   the need to prep your home beforehand is minimal
-   they won’t get stuck under furniture or drop off stairs
-   they find their way back to the charging dock by themselves
-   they automatically resume cleaning after recharging
-   they have large dustbins, so you don’t need to empty the dustbins frequently
-   hair won’t get tangled around the brush

These are some of the features that let a robotic vacuum work independently (Roomba 980 ticks all the boxes above). When you invest in one of these high-quality machines you know you can almost entirely forget about vacuuming and you don't have to attend to your vacuum now and then when it runs into problems.

But not everyone is able or willing to invest in a high-end product, and that’s okay. By spending less, you usually have to be ready to settle for less and to be prepared to maintain and/or supervise your robot more.

When choosing the right vacuum for your situation, you need to figure out your needs. Could you settle for a cheaper model and be willing to supervise cleanings to make sure your robot finishes the cleanup without bumping, falling or getting stuck? Or do you want a machine that will independently take care of vacuuming while you are away and do a terrific job at that?

Navigation & layout of your home

As robo-vacs roam the floors on their own, it’s quite evident that they need to be able to cover the cleaning space and know how to get around. The quality of the navigation systems in the robotic vacuums tend to vary a lot. Some are pretty basic, offering random cleaning patterns which won’t cover the floors as thoroughly as the ones, which utilize the latest technology available.

Some robotic vacuums, like Deik, work better in small spaces like smallish apartments, while models like Roomba 980 offers features that are better-suited for larger homes with many rooms.

Robo-vacs also handle obstacles differently. Depending on the layout of your home, you may want to consider some avoidance methods:

First of all, check how much room there is under your furniture. You will want the robot to clean the floor under the furniture too, and on the other hand, you don’t want it to get stuck every once in a while (it gets annoying, trust me). Some models are over 4 inches high, which means, they have a hard time fitting under low furniture. All the models we have picked out in the top 3 are under 3,6 inches high, which is why they are ideal in size and won't have problems navigating through tight spaces. (the smallest one of them all being Shark ION 750 as it’s only 2,6 inches).

Other features worth to consider are anti-collision and anti-drop systems, as well as built-in dirt detection technology. The fanciest models even map their surroundings by taking pictures; that way the robot knows exactly how to move around without bumping into anything or getting stuck.

Depending on the layout of your home and if you have delicate pieces of furniture, art or something else you would like to protect, you may also want to consider if you need to set some ”no-go-zones,” where the robot can’t enter. For example, Shark Ion 750 comes with separate magnetic strips and Roomba 980 with so-called virtual walls, that you can place as boundary markers. This is a great feature for pet owners who wish to set apart a safe zone for their pets during vacuuming or make sure the vacuums won't spill pet food or water when bumping into them.

And as with everything, the fancier the model, the higher the price tag tends to be. All the added features will add to the price, but it will also make things more convenient for you. Keep in mind, that you are making an investment for several years. The idea of a robotic vacuum is to free up your time and spare you from the efforts of vacuuming. If you're trying to decide between to different price categories, it's always wise to pick the one with more advanced features if you can stretch your budget: it won't become outdated a soon, and you probably won't regret making your life easier.

Battery life

This feature is more critical with stick and handheld type vacuums, and with robotic vacuums, it only matters if you have a large house.

On average robo vacs can clean up to 60-90 minutes in one go (Deik and Shark land here), with higher-end models the runtime with a fully charged battery is up to 2 hours (Roomba 980). Some vacuums stop as the battery runs low and you have to carry them back to the charging station. However, all of the three robo-vacs that we’ve selected will navigate back to their charging dock once the battery is low and start recharging automatically. Higher-end models (like Roomba 980) will also automatically resume cleaning and finish the cleaning session after recharging.

Controlling the vacuum

There are three ways to control your robotic vacuums: manually by pushing the buttons on the robot, by using a remote control, or remotely with an application on your smart device.

Nowadays almost all bots can be controlled at least with a remote control and by choosing such a model you can definitely save some cash. Many of the vacuums that can be controlled with a remote control can be scheduled to clean several times a week.

But, if you want the freedom of controlling your robo-vac from anywhere and anytime, you’ll need a robotic vacuum that is Wi-Fi compatible. Robotic vacuums with Wi-Fi work with companion apps and sometimes they can also be voice controlled (Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant compatible). Some apps are very advanced, and they provide you much more than just the ability to manage the cleaning cycles (for example maintenance info). All in all, Wi-Fi makes controlling your bot faster, easier and more convenient.

Budget

With robotic vacuums, the good doesn’t come cheap. As with products in general, also with robo-vacs the price often correlates with the performance, features, and quality. The price range is massive, from $100 to almost $1 500. I’m not saying, that you necessarily have to invest in the most expensive option, but be prepared, that you cannot expect to get the model with all the bells and whistles if you choose the budget option.

Low- to mid-end robotic vacuums will offer decent cleaning performance and cleaning times but tend to lack features such as high tech navigation and Wi-FI connectivity. Also, battery runtime may leave room for improvement as well as brush design and suction strengths. If you want a somewhat decent robo-vac, be prepared to invest at least 150 bucks, as you don’t want to buy a bot that is weak in cleaning and navigation.

If you are ready to really make an investment to get a high-quality product, you can get an efficient little helper around 800 bucks. Their cleaning abilities may be matched to vacuums in the $500 price category, but the higher-end models have mode features, and they offer longer battery time, app connectivity and latest navigation systems available.

Basically, there are well performing robotic vacuums available in every price category. We have chosen the best robo-vacs for pet homes in each one, and you can easily compare the differences in our comparison table.

FAQ on Robot Vacuums for pet hair

What are the benefits or buying a robotic vacuum?

Robotic vacuums are there to help you – they help you keep the floor and carpets clean between deeper cleanings. As you don’t have to clean as much as before, you save a lot of time, and you are free to do something else with that time.

Depending on how much you’re willing to invest, you can get a self-recharging model, or one, that can be scheduled, and you don’t have to be around while the machine is cleaning. You may also choose a remarkably self-sufficient a robot, which requires minimal maintenance and your attention.

If you're still unsure whether a robo vac is the right choice for you, you should check out the other vacuum categories, including uprights, sticks and canisters - or, hit us with a message and we'll help you to pick the right type of vacuum for your needs! 🙂

Do I still have to vacuum myself, if I buy a robo-vac?

Most likely yes. Unfortunately, even though the evolution of robotic vacuums has been massive, they still can’t entirely replace a full-sized vacuum cleaner. One of the reasons is that most robotic vacuums are just not as powerful as full-sized vacuums. Especially if you have carpets or rugs, you should deep clean them at least once a month even if a powerful robotic vacuum cleans it weekly. The other reason is, that even if you have a robotic vacuum which takes care of the dirt on the floor, you still may want to vacuum stairs, car interior, drapes or cushions – and these tasks, obviously, can’t be performed by a robotic vacuum.

So, robo-vacs are mainly meant for maintenance cleaning on a daily basis. You can let it run every day to keep most of the dirt and debris from your home. And although you have to vacuum yourself from time to time, trust me - it ’s a lot more convenient to let the robot to do the most work for you.

Is it worth the investment?

This boils down to what you value. Robotic vacuums are still not perfect and from time to time you still most likely have to vacuum yourself. So if you are looking for vacuum with the performance of a full-size vacuum, you have to buy one of those. But If you are okay with its limitations and you’re looking for someone or something to help you with the constant cleaning you need to do to keep a pet home clean; and you want to add convenience to your life, the answer is a definitive YES!

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