Pets will never stay in the same place the whole day, so their hair is bound to be all over the place. Dealing with pet hair in various places requires the ability to move around easily and that is where handheld vacuums come in. I use handheld vacuums especially on furniture and for on spot cleaning of the carpets. In this guide, I will share with you the results of my research into the best handheld vacuum for pet hair. You can also get tips on how to choose the best one for your needs.

Recommended 5 Best Hand Held vacuum for Pet Hair Reviews

Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum

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This is one of the most powerful cordless, handheld vacuums I have come across with an impressively long battery run time. You can transform it from a stick vacuum to a handheld vacuum by simply removing the extension wand and attaching the tools direct to the vacuum. 

You also have the choice of 3 different motor settings – but take note that the max setting will reduce the battery run time.

The battery will run for 40 minutes without reducing the amount of suction. The unit can be stored on the wall on its docking station which also charges it. For people with allergy problems, they can breathe a sigh of relief as this vacuum blows out cleaner air than you breathe in and emptying the bin is done hygienically with a single action.


  • It has a long battery life before it needs charging (40 minutes)
  • You can choose between 3 power settings and the max setting can handle any stubborn pet hair
  • ​It can also be used as a stick vacuum for the floor by simply adding the wand
  • ​Storage is easy since it comes with a wall mount which is also used to charge it
  • ​Emptying the canister is easy and you do not get into contact with any pet hair or dirt
  • The canister can be taken apart and washed
  • It generally works impressively and efficiently


  • Not all the tools can fit on the docking station, there is only space for 2 small tools
Shark Rocket HV292Corded

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The Shark Rocket will cost you a lot less than the Dyson V8 but it still comes with a powerful motorized tool. The Motorized tool is specifically made for pet hair on furniture, in the car as well as on the carpets. The tools can be connected directly to the nozzle of the vacuum or to the end of the hose for flexibility.

Because it is handheld, it is best to limit its use to quick jobs on the floor like simply cleaning a particular spot where your dog has been lying on the carpet.

 This is because you do not want to spend a long time on your knees or bending as you vacuum the floor. However, for above ground cleaning like for furniture or the interior of your car, it is suitable and comfortable.


  • It comes with a tool (motorized brush) specialized for pet hair and it is aggressive on dirt and pet hair.
  • ​The hose provides flexibility for areas that need twisting or bending to access
  • ​Maintenance is not expensive since the filter can be washed and reused and there are no bags
  • ​The collection cup can be removed easily and emptied with the touch of a button
  • ​It does not lose suction until it is almost full
  • It is affordable


  • There is no provision to store the accessories so you need to get creative or buy something for that.
Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

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I am particularly attracted to the pivot design of this vacuum which enables it to clean debris and pet hair and different angles. It also has very powerful suction which ensures you are done quickly and can get back to whatever else you have to do. The extension tools are inbuilt and you can just pull them out like an aerial.

It has one of the fastest charging times for a cordless vacuum. On smart charge, it will take under 4 hours and once fully charged, it will stop charging and a light will show it is charged. It folds into half its full length for easy storage. I would happily carry it in my car for any quick vacuuming after the dog has left a ball of hair on the seat.


  • Remarkably quieter than other handheld vacuum models
  • ​It is priced at under 100 dollars yet delivers very good results
  • ​The suction is just right for getting stubborn pet hairs
  • ​It is much easier to get your pet used to it
  • ​The battery lasts 20 to 30 minutes without losing suction
  • It takes between 2 to 3 hours to recharge
  • ​It turns itself off when fully charged and has an indicator light to show it is fully charged
  • Easy to take apart and clean


  • You need to be gentle when handling the lid for the bin or it could break off.
VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Corded

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You can save yourself the cost of buying 2 different vacuums by purchasing this VonHaus vacuum which incorporates an upright vacuum and a handheld vacuum and it is less than 50 dollars. Handheld vacuums are usually best for above ground tasks so if you have this you can also handle longer periods of cleaning the floor and carpet. The handheld function is easy to achieve with a simple press of the quick release button.

The suction of this vacuum is strong enough to handle pet hair especially on hard surfaces and upholstery that is not too thick. The 19.5-foot hose is also long enough for reaching different corners of a medium-sized room as well as cleaning the interior of a car. It has a hose, crevice tool, brush and the main cleaning head.


  • It is a 2 in 1 so you save money on buying 2 different vacuums
  • ​The 1.3-liter bin means you make fewer trips to empty the canister as you vacuum
  • ​The filter is reusable, you just have to wash it regularly to avoid clogging
  • Considering its performance, it is well worth the price you pay for it
  • It is lightweight so no strain on your back or arms


  • You can only store tools on the handle for the upright vacuum.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, Corded, 33A1

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This is the cheapest handheld vacuum on this list but it does not compromise on performance. If I was looking for a vacuum for my car and did not have the money for the fancy expensive ones, I would go with this one. It handles upholstery and sofas well and is also recommended for stairs. You can see how it performs here (

The nozzle on this Pet Hair Eraser is wide so more pet hair can be sucked in at a go. It also has small teeth on the front which help to comb through fabric and dislodge entangled hairs to be sucked up. With a 16 foot cord, you get reasonable distance for quick tasks and for vacuuming the car. It is small enough to store anywhere without it tipping over.


  • It is affordable but still performs well on pet hair
  • It has 3 stage filtration which ensures it does not blow out the debris and hair sucked in
  • ​There is no big maintenance cost since the filter can be washed and reused
  • ​Its compact size makes it easy to store
  • ​It is light enough to carry for long
  • ​It covers a wide area in a single sweep.


  • It is not very good on hard floors
  • It does not have accessories to clean different surfaces and spaces.

Although the Dyson V8 is on the high side, I would say it is capable of a lot and has a lot of features to justify its price tag. I find its versatility and extra battery life to be appealing and I would recommend it to anyone who is able to spend that much on a vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you could opt for the Black + Decker which is a lot cheaper but still has a number of impressive features and is able to handle pet hair effectively. Personally, I would love to give this one a try as a secondary vacuum for my home and car. If you are on a shoestring budget, then the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser 33A1 is your best option but do not expect bells and whistles on that one. Basically, all 5 vacuums are good and depending on your need, you should be able to find one that suits you.

Who should buy a handheld vacuum?

I would suggest that anyone with a hairy pet should think of having a handheld vacuum because they are much easier to grab and do a quick job of vacuuming. Pets do not follow your daily vacuuming schedule so there will be many times when you would rather not get the big vacuum and instead use a hand held one to tackle say pet hair on the sofa that you want to sit on.

Care for your handheld vacuum

Care for a handheld vacuum should not be different from any other vacuum. There are certain things that you need to do to ensure that the vacuum runs at its best. Here are some of them.

  • Always ensure that the filter is cleaned after every cleaning task to ensure that the suction remains constant.
  • Do not use the vacuum without a filter to prevent damage to the motor
  • Use the correct recommended voltage
  • Follow the recommended maintenance guidelines in the instruction manual

How to choose a handheld vacuum

Cordless or corded

You need to consider whether you want one that is powered by a battery or one with a cord. The advantage of a cordless handheld vacuum is that you do not need to worry about restrictions caused by the length of the cord. At the same time, corded vacuums do not run out of power so you can use them continuously. Cordless ones are good for outdoor vacuuming and can be carried in the car.


Since you are going to be carrying this vacuum for a while as you vacuum, it is important that you are comfortable with the weight. Weight tends to defer according to individuals. If you are buying it for someone else, just get the lightest because there are very few- if any, complaints about a handheld vacuum.

Ease of operation

Handheld vacuums need to have the buttons within reach of your fingertips so that you can operate them with the same hand that you are carrying it on. It can be a big bother if you have to use your other hand to turn the unit on or off.


Cleaning pet hair requires different kind of accessories depending on the surface that you are cleaning so it is important that the handheld vacuum comes with the right tools you will need to clean different surfaces. For example, a motorized brush is good for carpets while a crevice tool helps you get to the tight spaces on chairs or the edges where the wall meets the floor. At the same time, you should be able to store the accessories neatly so onboard storage is a plus.


Reviews on a particular vacuum cleaner can save you from ending up with something that you do not like. Always read as many reviews about the vacuum you are thinking of buying so that you know what to expect. At the same time you need to watch out for reviews that may be over hyped because some sellers just write their own reviews to get you to buy a product but in the end, you realize nothing about the review was truthful. Most honest reviews have both the good and bad of a product.


This is a constant for all vacuums. Compare prices before you make a final decision. You may be able to get a vacuum that does just as well as the more expensive one so if you are trying to save money, always look at what is a reasonable price range for a particular kind of vacuum.

Robert Burns

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