We’ve lined up all of the best robot vacuums for handling pet hair, including popular models from top brands like iRobot and Neato.
Pets can be mediocre roommates.
Sure, they’re adorable and have a preternatural ability to cuddle. But pets are also seriously messy — and unlike in a passive-aggressive roommate group chat, you can’t tell a pet to clean up after itself.
They pay no mind as to where they shed or leave dirt. You’re forced to constantly clean up after them which, frankly, we find pretty rude. Fortunately, robot vacuums are here to save the day. Or, at the very least, help cut down on your housework. These devices live for picking up stray bits of food, litter, and hair, ensuring your home doesn’t turn into a den of debris.
Of course, before you rush over to Amazon or an actual shop, you’ll want find out which robot vacuum might be best for you.
What makes a robot vacuum good for pet hair?
Like most gadgets, there are a handful of factors to consider before you purchase a robot vacuum. Chief among them are the type of floors in your home. Virtually all robots can master hardwood floors (as well as laminate, tile, and vinyl). A living space that contains a variety of flooring and/or carpeting will prove to be a little more challenging for a robot. In that case, you’ll definitely want to choose a model that has strong suction power. Additionally, as a pet owner, you will need a vacuum equipped with brushes designed to pick up hair without getting it tangled.
Another important aspect for people with pets? The filtration system. Vacuuming is bound to kick up dander, dust, and pollen. A good filter captures all of that and makes sure it gets into the vacuum’s dust bin. We should note that some robot models contain HEPA filters that can catch even smaller particles, leading to cleaner air and a cleaner floor. This is particularly advantageous if you live with an allergy sufferer.
You’ll also want to consider noise level, especially since your pets might be sensitive. Some robot vacuums can be as loud as more traditional vacuums whereas others sound more like a fan. If you’re worried that you’ll find the noise irritating or distracting, there are models that allow you to program the vacuum to run at specific times — when you’re at work for example. Impressively, some of the newer and fancier options even have companion apps so you can control the vacuum from afar. You may schedule a cleaning, check on the robot’s progress, and even receive maintenance reminders all via your phone.
Battery life and charging time should be taken into account as well. Some robot vacuums run for 60 minutes before they die. Others can go for over two hours. Similarly, it can take anywhere from roughly two to five hours for your robot to recharge, depending on the model. It’s good to think about the timing in context to the size of your home. If you live in a studio apartment, a vacuum that only runs for an hour should meet your needs. A larger home may necessitate a longer battery life. The robot’s mapping function (i.e. method/route in which it cleans the floor) might also affect your decision. Cheaper models tend to pursue a random “bump and run” pattern, making them less efficient and thorough. More expensive robots often clean in an orderly, linear fashion. Hence, they don’t usually over clean or entirely miss certain areas. And they typically complete the task more quickly. A handful even retain where they’ve cleaned so if they need to be recharged mid-task, they can easily resume their work and avoid unnecessary repeat cleanings.
Additionally, as a pet owner, you might want to invest in a robot that has a virtual wall. This is a magnetic strip that stops the vacuum from coming close to items that may trip it up or that it might otherwise disturb. For example, the virtual wall will help prevent your robot from knocking over your dog’s food bowls. We’re confident you, your dog, and your vacuum will all appreciate this feature.
Finally, price is likely to be a deciding factor. You can find robot vacuums that work with many budgets; options range from under £300 to over £1,000. While cheaper vacuums certainly won’t offer all the bells and whistles of fancier models, rest assured that most will meet your needs.
What are the best robot vacuums for pet owners?
Your personal preferences will definitely come into play when selecting a robot vacuum. iRobot’s range of Roomba vacuums are always popular, but are they the best?
Most Roomba models tend to clean just a little bit better than the competition — they’re at their best when they’re sucking up buried debris in thick carpets. Roombas are also good at learning the layout of your home over time, and targeting specific areas that you tell it to. The downside to getting a Roomba is that you’ll probably be spending a lot more money on one than you would a Eufy or Neato, and the older Roomba models don’t have all the bells and whistles one would expect at this point — including self-charging and self-emptying systems.
With all that said, we must admit that no robot vacuum is ever going to do as good a job as a standard upright vacuum. Sorry, but it’s true. But when taking everything above into account, there are some robot vacuums that stand out above the rest, especially when it comes to tackling pet hair.
These are the best robot vacuums for pet hair in 2021.
Has enough power for a thorough carpet clean
Tends to get a little noisy on carpet boost mode
You’re guaranteed to get a good clean no matter your floor surface, especially with the high efficiency filter.
iRobot Roomba 980No matter what type of floors you have in your house, the 980 will quickly adjust.
Of course, many consumers are drawn to this particular Roomba because it’s manufactured with boost technology, which provides 10 times the air power on carpets and rugs. This powerful suction is paired with a high efficiency filter that captures 99 percent of particles, pollen, and allergens floating around your home. Just as crucial for pet owners, it also has tangle-free extractors to prevent hair clogs.
Importantly, the 980 offers WiFi capabilities as well as an iRobot Home App which lets you schedule and set cleaning preferences via your phone or tablet. You can also ask Alexa or Google Assistant to start, stop, or dock the robot (just don’t let all that power go to your head). Moreover, you can receive cleaning reports that show exactly where the robot cleaned and how long each area took.
And fear not; this Roomba won’t accidentally fling itself down stairs and come to a premature end. It has sensors to prevent it from tumbling over a drop-off as well as boundary markers to stop it from going into specific rooms or bumping into fragile objects. Best of all, the 980 will smartly return to its dock if it senses it needs to be recharged. Once the battery has regained life, the Roomba will resume cleaning until the work is complete. Because this robot takes pleasure in a job well done.
Slim design fits under most furniture • 100 minutes of run time
Can get tangled in carpet fringe, loose wires etc. • Some users complain it has trouble finding its home base
This robotic vacuum is the perfect solution for pet owners looking for daily pet hair maintenance with zero effort.
Eufy Robovac 11SThis robotic vacuum is the perfect solution for pet owners looking for daily pet hair maintenance with zero effort.
Robot vacuums are an ideal option for pet owners who are looking to keep up on the daily chore of pet hair maintenance without loads of effort. Although there are certainly fancier and more expensive options on the market, we think the Eufy Robovac 11S is an affordable, efficient robotic option that really gets the job done.
The Eufy has everything you’d want — or need — in a robotic vacuum. It’s the brand’s slimmest option, yet still packs a big punch in the suction department. It clocks in with a run time of 100 minutes, so it’s able to vacuum an entire floor without needing to go back to its home base for a recharge. It’s equipped with sensors that detect when extra suction power is needed and boost the vac for 1.5 seconds, meaning it will do a great job on any locations with pet hair buildup. And it does well handling ledges and sensing stair drop-offs.
Vacuums and mops • Control through the app • Great mapping technology
Not the best on carpets • Small dustbin
Offers a lot of the bells and whistles found in pricey models, at a lower price.
Ecovacs OZMO 920Offers a lot of the bells and whistles found in more expensive models.
The Ecovacs OZMO 920 also has intelligent functions such as room and carpet detection, using Smart Navy Technology to scan its surroundings and create a detailed map of the area. Once this process has been completed, the OZMO 920 systematically cleans room by room, and can be controlled by the app.
Through your smartphone, you can select individual rooms to be cleaned, draw virtual walls, and check on the cleaning progress. It’s the complete package. So you can sit back, relax, and watch your floors get cleaner and cleaner.
Long-lasting battery • Great filter
Some connectivity issues • Has a tendency to get stuck under low furniture
Armed with a number of exciting features, this vacuum gets the job done.
Neato Botvac D7Armed with a number of exciting features, this is a powerful vacuum that delivers.
Importantly, the Botvac D7 is also a tech lover’s dream. After all, it’s WiFi enabled and offers an accompanying app that’s compatible with both Android and iOS. It can also be controlled via Alexa, Apple Watch, Facebook Messenger, IFTTT, Google Home, and the Neato Chatbot. Hence, you can schedule and monitor cleanings when you’re not at home. You can even create virtual boundaries to make sure the robot avoids precarious situations and sensitive areas. As if that wasn’t enough, the vacuum is capable of mapping and memorising the layout of your home (up to 5,000 square feet). Finally, just to make sure you’re fully impressed, the Neato D7 automatically returns to its to dock to recharge — after finishing its task of course.
WiFi connected • Works harder on high traffic areas • Repairable design
A little on the loud side
Does a solid job of removing dirt and dust from hardwood floors and carpets alike.
iRobot Roomba 695Removes dirt and dust from hardwood floors and carpets alike.
iRobot’s products are popular and well made. The Roomba 695 is no exception. It features an invisible boundary marker for added control. Just as crucial, the 695 is armed with a dirt detect sensor to ensure that it works harder on high traffic areas. Acoustic sensors are used to detect areas where there are higher concentrations of dirt and your iRobot will then use a more focused performance on these areas. Even better, the robot’s dual multi-surface brushes and three-stage cleaning system guarantee that no debris (no matter how small) is missed.
This Roomba is also WiFi-enabled. You can tap into the iRobot HOME app as well as connect through Alexa and/or Google Assistant. This allows you to schedule a cleaning from anywhere. In other words, you can always be sure you come home to a clean house. What a miracle.