A great robot vacuum intelligently glides around the house, safely navigating around your furniture. It suctions up pet hair, dust, and debris from carpet, hardwood floors, and tight corners with equal confidence. It’s easy to use, requires minimal maintenance, and has the right price for your budget. If you’re lucky, it also makes a fun little transportation device for your cat.
Quick Look: Our Top 3 Robot Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair
iRobot Roomba 980
PriceCheck on Amazon
Neato Botvac D80
Samsung POWERbot R7070
Who should get a robot vacuum for pet hair?
If you dread pulling out the vacuum but feel equally annoyed by the pet hair building up around the baseboards, if you’re exhausted by daily vacuuming, or if other responsibilities push vacuuming to the bottom of your to-do-list, a good robot vacuum is an investment in your time and sanity.
They’re also a good choice if you have a disability that keeps you from carrying and pushing a manually-operated vacuum cleaner.
While robot vacuums aren’t as powerful as uprights or canister vacuums, they make up for their lack of brute strength in intelligence and dedication.
A good hands-off vacuum can make a big difference in your workload by vacuuming when you’re not home, when you’re busy, and when you wouldn’t otherwise get around to cleaning the floor.
Here’s how to find the best robot vacuum for pet hair.
Look for a relatively powerful unit.
Again, no robot vacuum is going to be as powerful as your upright or canister vacuum, but yours should be strong enough to capture pet hair from your carpet.
Remember that pet hair is one of the more difficult types of dirt your vacuum will encounter. Each wisp weaves into the carpet and becomes embedded deep beneath the surface, so it takes a good vacuum to get it out.
Good robot vacuums are sensitive and smart.
Some vacuums are brutish and clumsy. They don’t know to avoid all your furniture and when they bump into it, they collide at full-force, leaving scuffs and scratches on the legs and bases of your belongings.
Good robot vacuums, however, have relatively advanced “brains”. Their cliff sensors, bump sensors, wall sensors, optical encoders, and machine learning allow them to navigate your home without getting trapped or damaging furniture.
Pet hair can take up a lot of space, so choose a vacuum with a large capacity.
One of the advantages of a robot vacuum is the fact that they’re small and lightweight, but this means that they have a small dustbin. Robot vacuums typically contain less than a liter of of pet hair and dirt.
Depending on how much your pet sheds and how many animals live in your home, this translates to dumping out the contents once every cleaning up to every couple of days. To reduce the amount of time you need to spend handling the robot vacuum, choose the one with the largest capacity you can find.
Don’t accept a robot vacuum with a capacity lower than 300 ml. This size might be large enough for pet-free apartments and small houses, but once you add fluff into the mix, such a small dustbin will be inadequate.
Quiet robot vacuums are ideal.
One of the benefits of robot vacuums is the fact that, when compared to a traditional upright or canister vacuum, they’re quiet. Most robot vacuums make about as much noise as a hand mixer, but the noise level varies. If possible, choose a quiet one that won’t disturb your pets.
Remember that long pet hair tends to wrap and tangle around roller brushes, so look for vacuums with features or designs that deal with this problem.
A little tangling is inevitable, but you should choose one with features that minimize the issue. Some vacuums have rubber fins instead of brushes, which are less inclined to create tangles. Others include a blade designed to cut hair that’s wrapped around the roller bar.
Top 5 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair
Keeping the above criteria in mind, I’ve chosen the top 5 best robot vacuums for pet hair. All of these vacuums receive positive customer reviews, come from reputable brands, and have features that make them work well in a pet-inclusive household.
In the first place position is none other than the original robot vacuum—iRobot’s Roomba.
At just over $700, this model is the priciest unit on our list, but it has a covetable variety of features and strengths that make it a wise choice for those willing to spend the money. It’s a particularly good choice for carpeted homes with a serious pet hair issue.
Surface-aware suction allows the Roomba 980 to amp up the power when it’s needed most. When the Roomba detects a carpeted surface, it automatically increases air power up to 10x. Its rubber carpet agitator digs down into carpet to loosen deep-set hair and suction it away.
If your pets have long coats, you’ll appreciate the tangle-free dual multi-surface brushes. Other Roomba models like the 612 and 690 tend to develop tangles and twists when they encounter those long strands.
With the iRobot HOME app, you can control what your vacuum does and receive real-time updates on cleaning. The machine generates clean map reports, so you can see exactly where it cleaned and where it didn’t.
Integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant allow you to tell the robot to start, stop, or dock using your voice.
What are the downsides of this robot vacuum? Its 0.6 liter capacity isn’t the largest, so depending on the dirt levels in your home, you’ll need to empty it more or less once every cleaning.
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control
- Rubber carpet agitator is tangle-free and great at drawing pet hair out of the carpet
- Dirt detectors make the Roomba work up to 10x harder in the dirtiest parts of the house
- Works with the iRobot HOME app, allowing you to schedule and trigger cleanings remotely
- Great suction power and longevity
- One of the loudest robot vacuums on the market
This vacuum’s combination of mid-range price—around $330 on Amazon—and above-average performance earn it the runner-up position on this list.
At a glance, you can see that this vacuum is designed differently from the rest. Unlike most circular vacuums, the Botvac has an atypical D-shape. This allows it to navigate into corners where most robot vacuums can’t go. If you’ve seen how pet hair can drift into corners, you know this is a valuable quality.
This shape also allows the vacuu hold more hair and debris than most other vacuums. Its 0.7 liter capacity is slightly above average.
According to customer reviews, it’s powerful enough to draw up pet hair from carpet and other surfaces. It uses patented LaserSmart technology, which is a laser floor mapping system that allows the robot to store a mental map of your home, avoiding the bumps and scrapes that other vacuums might cause.
When the bot starts running low on power, it will automatically return to the charging base, suck up some extra energy, and then return to the place where it left off. The vacuum cleans up to 3000 square feet per cleaning cycle.
It comes with two types of beater brushes. One is a spiral blade brush and the other is a combo brush, which offers a quieter clean and cleans up every type of hair.
While this robot vacuum offers some of the best performance at this low price point, it has a longevity problem. On Amazon, the machine has a 3.4 out of 5 star rating and 21% of reviewers currently give it just 1 star. By far, the most prevalent complaint is that this vacuum is plagued by regular malfunctions and has a tendency to break down.
- One of the best values on the market
- Powerful suction effectively captures pet hair
- Large capacity
- Automatic charging
- Effective sensor system
- Two roller bar options for less tangling and twisting
- Not compatible with voice control
- The vacuum tends to malfunction or break down
- Neato customer service apparently isn’t great
At price of $399.99, this isn’t one of the cheapest units on the market, but it has excellent suction and a great smartphone app.
According to Samsung, this model has 40x more powerful suction compared to other robot vacuums with circular designs. It separates dirt from air to keep the motor running strong. It has an automatic rubber blade that automatically extends to capture dirt along the edges of the wall and in corners.
An onboard camera and multiple sensors help the vacuum to create an effective cleaning route while avoiding obstacles. By looking at the coverage map, you can see how much of the house the POWERbot has cleaned and which places it’s missed.
Unfortunately, the sensors aren’t perfect. Dark objects might trigger the cliff sensor or not get picked up by the sensor as existing at all. One reviewer said that the bot blindly pushed their black bar stool across the room.
Because the bot is connected to WiFi, you can remotely control it from your smartphone app or with voice-enabled devices like Bixby, Alexa, and Google Assistant. You can schedule automatic cleaning times.
When the robot starts to lose power, it automatically heads back to a docking station to recharge. Once it’s charged up, the POWERbot returns to work and finishes the job.
It’s a small bot with a dustbin capacity of about 300 ml, so it’s best for households with one or two cats and not a lot of long hair.
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control
- In-app coverage map
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Automatically removes hair tangled on the brush
- Powerful suction
- Relatively small dustbin capacity
- Has problems with dark objects
This robot vacuum currently costs around $159.99 on Amazon, making it one of the most affordable vacuums on the market.
It’s a good value for people with a cat or small dog and primarily hardwood or tile floors, but the vacuum will struggle with large amounts of hair, especially if they’re embedded in carpet. The company warns that the vacuum works best on light-colored, thin carpet and hardwood or tile floors. It doesn’t work well on dark carpet or thick pile.
Because it has a relatively small 300 ml capacity, you’ll need to empty the dustbin frequently—about once every cleaning.
The ECOVACs app allows you to manage your vacuum cleaner remotely. You can use it to customize, schedule, and monitor cleaning sessions. You’ll also receive updates on the vacuum’s status and receive error messages if the bot runs into something it can’t handle alone.
The machine has an auto-charge feature, so the bot automatically returns to its charging base when it’s time to soak up extra juice.
So that you can control the bot by voice, it’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home.
- Has a dedicated edge cleaning mode
- Effective suction on low pile and hard floors
- Max Mode Cleaning allows you to trigger 2x cleaning strength if needed
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
- WiFi integrated for easy management
- Relatively small 300 ml capacity
- Doesn’t work with high pile or plush carpet
- Prone to malfunctions
This is a mid-range robot with an above-average variety of cleaning abilities. If you want to clean a few different surfaces in your house, you’ll appreciate that the bObsweep is more than just a vacuum. It’s a vacuum, broom, mop, and a so-called UV sterilizer in one. It’s important to remember that it takes 10-15 minutes for a UV light to have any sterilizing effect, and your bObsweep doesn’t stay in one place long enough to have any effect.
The vacuum has “4X boosted suction” to capture pet hair from carpet, tile, and hardwood floors.
It has an impressive 1 liter capacity, which the company claims is the largest in the industry. That makes it perfect for bulky pet hair.
It connects to a remote control, but you can’t control it through your smartphone or use any voice integrations like Alexa or Google Home.
While most robot vacuums come in one color, the bObsweep is available in three. You have your choice of black, blue, or red.
If something goes wrong, bObsweep’s customer service team is there to help. One reviewer said that the customer service was “Better than Amazon. Better than Netflix. They are incredibly generous with the discounts and the upgrades and are prompt and polite every time. They even respond to tweets in a timely manner. I cannot say enough good things about the customer service.”
- Combines vacuum functionality with a mopping feature
- Huge dirt containment capacity
- Effective suction
- Phenomenal customer service
- The mop doesn’t work particularly well
- Lacks WiFi integration
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.