Do you live with pets and struggle to keep your floors clean?
Then you’ve come to the right place!
One chore that everyone seems to hate is vacuuming their home.
If you have pets, you probably vacuum at least twice as often as your non-pet-loving friends, because pet hair buildup can be a nightmare – especially if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies.
If you are ready to get this nagging chore out of your life, then a robot vacuum is just what you are looking for.
Robot vacuums have been going through a bit of a specialization phase recently, and manufacturers are now building all sorts of unique models for specific types of cleaning needs and floors.
As a result, there are some really great robotic vacuums designed specifically for removing pet hair from your home.
In this article we will review and compare the 7 best robotic vacuum cleaners designed for cleaning up pet hair.
These cleaners are all different – some sweep and mop, some can be operated by your smart phone and others can only clean one room.
Best Robot Vacuums for Cleaning Pet & Dog Hair
last update: Sept 2, 2018
Any of the following robot vacuums for pet and dog hair will save you a lot of time and effort keeping your floors clean:
Roomba 980: BEST OVERALL
While the Roomba 980 is not advertised specifically as a robot vacuum cleaner for pets, it has to be considered as being one of the best to perform this task. The 980 does a superb job of picking up pet hair and removing allergens from the air.
It has enough power to tackle the tough job of vacuuming pet hair from thick shag carpet and can clean multiple rooms in one cycle.
The 980 is the most powerful Roomba on the market.
It uses their new AeroForce cleaning system and implements a carpet boost technology that increases the power of the vacuum when it is on thicker carpet or areas that are extra dirty.
The 980 also will automatically recharge when needed and then go back to where it left off and finish its cleaning job from where it left off.
When it comes to the iRobot 980, there are very few limitations.
The battery life could be better, and at times the robot will get stuck under the furniture.
Another downfall of this robot vacuum is that it is fairly expensive. But the Roomba 980 is the best way to handle frequent cleaning throughout your home, win a minimum of fuss.
Roomba 690 / 650 / 655: MOST PROVEN
And for good reason.
The Roomba 650 / 690 is a value-conscious purchase for cleaning one room at a time. It does not have all the features of many more recent cleaners, but it does the job that it was designed to do and is a reliable appliance, to boot.
The Roomba 650 and 690 uses a multi-stage cleaning system that will first agitate the floor and then suction it clean. You can press a button to start the cleaning process or you can schedule automatic cleanings to occur at your convenience. The Roomba 690 adds WiFi connectivity and smartphone app integration, so you can schedule and activate the unit on the go.
The iAdapt navigation system used in this line relies on a visual camera to navigate quickly and efficiently throughout a single room. The vacuum will also not tumble down the stairs, as it will identify and avoid stairs and other drop offs.
The 650 / 690 is considered the base model Roomba, and because of this it lacks features that are found in newer models. The Roomba will require you to clean the brushes and dust bins frequently.
Another consumer complaint is that it does not always clean the corners of the room, it struggles with high-pile shag carpet and it struggles with larger pieces of debris.
The Roomba 650 / 690 is one of the best selling robotic vacuums for a reason. It comes with all of the features that you need, but maybe not all of the features that you want.
It can only clean one room at a time, for example.
On the other hand, buying this unit will save you a lot of money – and it’s proven to be a highly reliable floor maid.
Roomba 890: Best Multi-Room Cleaner
What I love about intelligent robot vacuum cleaners like the Roomba 890 is that they can clean multiple rooms without having to move them from room to room manually.
The Roomba 890 is one of the cheapest robotic vacuums with this capability. It makes it so much easier to tackle pet hair all around the house.
Using the included dual mode virtual wall barrier, you can keep the robot from certain rooms or areas.
Since it’s a WiFi robot vac, you can tell it to start cleaning at any time wherever you are using the iRobot HOME app. You can also set an automated daily cleaning schedule.
So what makes the Roomba 890 so good at vacuuming pet hair?
For one, the dual multi-surface and tangle-free cleaning brushes. As the robot moves about on different floor surfaces, they sweep up dust and pet hair for easy vacuuming.
The robot can adjust the height of the brushes to cater to both hard and carpeted flooring.
The brushes are also handy for edge-cleaning. They can reach pet hair and debris hiding along the wall edges and in corners.
Another important feature that boosts the 890’s pet-hair picking capability is the improved suction power.
According to iRobot, the AeroForce suction system is five times more powerful than the AeroVac system used in 600 and 700 series Roombas.
The extra power boost is especially handy on carpets.
Finally, there’s the high-efficiency filter that can capture even the tiniest bits of pet dander, dust, and other allergens.
The main issue I have with the Roomba 890 is the small bin. If you have several pets or your pet sheds a lot, you’ll need to empty the bin a lot.
But it only takes less than a minute to remove the bin, clean it and put it back.
The other issue several customers have mentioned is that the robot sometimes has difficulty docking. But this only happens occasionally (make sure you’ve set up the charging base correctly on a flat area with no obstacles).
The Roomba 890 is a mid-range robot vacuum cleaner with powerful suction, high-performance brushes, intelligent navigation and WiFi connectivity.
It’s a good affordable option for those with pets that shed a lot of hair.
- An affordable intelligent robot.
- Can vacuum multiple rooms on a single level.
- No problem is cleaning pet hair.
- Remote app control via WiFi.
- Small bin.
- Occasionally has trouble finding the charging base.
ILIFE V3s Pro: Best Value
Who said you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good robot vacuum cleaner? Sure, pricey Roombas have better features and provide a deeper clean.
But many bargain robot vacuums will cost you less than half the price of a Roomba and clean almost as well.
The iLife V3s Pro is one of them.
While it lacks a lot of the features of pricier robots – WiFi, remote app control, smart navigation – when it comes to actual cleaning, it does a surprisingly good job.
On the word of advice, however: do not buy this robot vacuum if you have a carpeted floor.
It lacks a rolling brush which is essential in picking up pet hair on carpeting. The side brushes only work well on hard flooring.
The iLife V3s Pro robot vacuum has a few cleaning features that make it a good buy for someone with pets.
The spinning side brushes do a great job on tile, hardwood and other types of hard flooring.
They sweep pet hair into the path of the vacuum for vacuuming. They are especially handy along the edges and corners. The robot even has a dedicated edge/wall cleaning mode.
The suction is powerful enough for hard floors. It’s able to pick up every bit of dust and pet hair. A fine filter traps all this debris into a sizable bin.
There are a bonus features as well to make the robot easier and more convenient to use.
It comes with a remote control with which you can manually steer the robot, set a specific cleaning mode and configure an automated vacuuming schedule.
The iLife V3s Pro also has an auto recharge feature. When the battery goes low during cleaning, it will automatically make its way back to the charging base.
The lack of a rolling brush is a major limitation. It prevents the V3s Pro from being useful on carpeting. Only homeowners with hard flooring will appreciate the robot’s cleaning ability.
The robot also lacks smart navigation. It will move about randomly for around 3 hours and then return to the dock. It takes longer to finish cleaning an area, and it has no multi-room cleaning capability (but it can navigate an open plan area).
Another downside is that you cannot control the robot from work or vacation. It has no WiFi. But it’s hard to find any robot vacuum in this price range with WiFi.
The iLife V3s Pro delivers a lot of value for very little money. As long as you use it on hard flooring, it is just as good as a Roomba when it comes to dealing with pet hair.
- A budget robot vacuum with excellent value. Excellent cleaning ability on hard floors.
- Includes auto scheduling, auto recharge, and multiple cleaning modes.
- Doesn’t pick pet hair on carpets, not even low-pile carpets.
- No smart navigation – takes longer to clean.
ECOVACS Deebot N79S
It’s also one of the cheapest robot vacuum cleaners that comes with WiFi connectivity, Alexa compatibility and smart navigation.
The DEEBOT N79S uses a 3-stage cleaning system to pick pet hair off hard flooring and carpets.
The first stage is sweeping using the two sets of brushes under the robot.
The main V-brush picks pet hair (it’s especially good on carpeting) while the two spinning side brushes sweep in hair and dirt onto the robot’s path for vacuuming.
In the second stage, a powerful suction system vacuums up pet hair and all other debris. The suction is pretty strong, and you can crank it up even higher by turning on Max mode in the app or remote control.
The Max mode is handy on carpets where extra suction improves pick up of pet hair.
There are also a couple of other modes you can turn on depending on what type of cleaning you need.
Finally, a filter captures all the pet hair, dust, and debris and dumps it into a fairly large bin.
You can set a schedule using the smartphone app, and the robot will automatically start cleaning at that specific time.
You can also connect the robot to Alexa and control it via voice commands. That’s pretty awesome for a robot in this price range.
Being a WiFi robot vacuum, it takes a bit more time to set it up. It may take several tries before you manage to connect it to your home network.
But you can jump over that entire process if you want and use the DEEBOT N79S without WiFi. With the remote control, you’ll still be able to select a cleaning mode and set an auto-cleaning schedule.
Other than that, it does a pretty good job. It will occasionally get stuck and have trouble finding the charging dock, but generally, it works smoothly.
If you are looking for a budget robot vacuum cleaner that you can control remotely with your phone or connect to Alexa, the DEEBOT N79S is an excellent choice.
- A smart WiFi-connected robot vacuum at an affordable price range.
- You can use it without WiFi if you find that setup process tedious.
- Good cleaning ability on hard floors and carpeting.
- Setting up WiFi isn’t fun.
- Occasionally gets stuck
- Sometimes cannot find the charging base.
bObsweep PetHair Plus: Best Vacuum + Mop Combo
Sometimes vacuuming is not enough. You also need a quick mop to get rid fine pet dander, small hairs, and dust.
The bObsweep PetHair Plus does both. It can also do something else that most robot vacuums can’t – sterilize your floor with UV.
The PetHair Plus has come down in price over the last several months.
When it launched last year, it was priced at a whopping $900 which was a lot for a robot that doesn’t even have WiFi connectivity.
Now it goes for less than $400, which is a lot more reasonable.
The bObsweep PetHair Plus cleans your floor in three different ways.
First, there is the good old sweep + vacuum system. Side brushes and a brush roll sweep and pick up pet hair on hard floors and carpeting.
Then there is the powerful TurboLift suction system vacuums up pet hair and all other bits of debris on the floor. The debris is dumped into an oversized 1-liter bin, one of the largest of any robot vacuum.
Third, this robot can also mop your floor using the mop attachment. It doesn’t scrub your floors and will not remove stubborn stains. But if you need a quick touchup to remove dust, pet dander, and pet hair from hardwood and tile floors, it’s more than up to the job.
The PetHair Plus also comes with an integrated UV lamp that sterilizes your floor as it moves about. It’s a useful feature especially for those with kids that will eat anything they find on the floor.
The PetHair Plus has no WiFi which is a bit of a surprise for the price. Many $300-$400 robot vacs are WiFi-connected.
With no WiFi, you cannot control it remotely using your phone or pair it with a smart assistant like Alexa.
Another issue is that it occasionally has trouble finding the charging dock and you have to take it back to base manually.
The PetHair Plus is a great choice for those who need a robot vacuum that can sweep and mop.
As a bonus, you also get UV sterilization which is really nice for pet owners.
- Vacuuming + mopping + UV sterilization.
- Excellent cleaning ability on hard floors and carpeting.
- Large bin that holds a lot of pet hair and debris.
- No WiFi.
- Sometimes has trouble going back to charging base.
The Roomba 671 is an entry-level robot vacuum in the Roomba series.
But it comes with several features normally reserved for pricier Roombas including WiFi connectivity, Alexa compatibility, smart navigation and Dirt Detect sensors.
The Roomba 671 does a pretty good job on the floor, whether it’s a hard floor or a carpet.
It has dual brushes; a brush roll to loosen dirt and pick up pet hair and a side brush to sweep dirt onto the path of the robot for vacuuming.
The suction is powerful enough even for carpets.
With intelligent navigation and Dirt Detect sensors, the Roomba 671 always knows where to go. It won’t miss any spots and doesn’t waste time going over the same areas more than once.
Scheduling is easy using the free iRobot HOME app.
You can also connect the robot to Alexa or Google Assistant and control it using voice commands.
This is a budget robot vacuum. So it’s not a surprise that the battery doesn’t last as long as pricier Roombas – around 90mins.
But that’s long enough to clean most rooms in an average-sized home.
Many verified owners do complain that it is noisier than expected. I don’t recommend setting it to clean at night when everyone’s asleep or when you are watching TV.
If you don’t want to spend $500+ on a premium Roomba model, then the Roomba 671 is a good choice.
It is a bit loud, but it cleans well and comes with several smart features for added convenience.
- An affordable robot vacuum with plenty of smart features.
- Has no problem picking up pet hair on hard floors and carpets.
- Easy to integrate into smart homes.
- A bit loud.
The company that manufactures the Roomba is iRobot.
IRobot was founded in the year 1990 by roboticists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The vision of the company at the time was to make practical robots a reality for the everyday household. Since its start, iRobot has sold over 15 million robots throughout the world.
The company started out creating robots that have helped save thousands of lives throughout the world in areas of conflict, have revealed harmful oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and uncovered mysteries of the pyramids.
The first robot that navigated Mars was how the company got its start.
iRobot now has over 25 years of experience in the robot industry, which is just one of the reasons why this brand is considered the innovator in robotic vacuum cleaners.
The company has had many milestones over the years. In 2005 the company released the Scooba, which was a floor washing robot. During that same year the company became publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange.
In 2008, the company really started focusing on its home robot vacuum line. Since then, it has launched many robot vacuums including the latest in 2015, the Roomba 980, considered the best robot vacuum on the market today.
The company also just released the Braava 380t jet which is a mopping robot that is ideal for mopping kitchens, bathrooms and hardwood flooring.
Another top selling brand of robotic vacuums is Neato Robotics, based in California.
Unlike the Roomba vacuum cleaners, that tend to randomly go through a room, the Neato robotic vacuums use a navigational mapping system that scans a room and then determines the best and most efficient route to take in order to clean a room.
While Neato has not been around for nearly as long as iRobot, the company has quickly created several really great robot vacuums.
Neato currently has four different models available and each of them is direct competitors with the Roomba series.
The third top brand of robot vacuums for pet hair is bObsweep. This is a Canadian company, founded in 2011.
The company has operations in both the United States and in Canada.
The thing that makes bObsweep robotic vacuums stand out is that these models sweep, vacuum, mop – and sterilize your floors using UV light.
BobSweep has not been around for that long, but in the short time that they have been in the robotic vacuum business the company has put out a strong line of Roomba competitors.
Each model also offers a programmable cleaning schedule, HEPA filter, and automatically returns to the charging station.
Another unique feature about the vacuums from bObsweep is that the company uses recyclable materials to make their products.
In addition, the products use reusable, cleanable dustbins instead of disposable bags.
What You Need to Know before Buying a Robotic Vacuum for Pet Hair
If you have pets at home, you probably already know how hectic it can be to keep your floors clean.
The situation is worse if you have several pets or you have one of those high-shedding dog breeds.
You have to vacuum multiple times a day to keep the place clean.
A robot vacuum cleaner makes floor maintenance a breeze. Just switch on the vacuum, and it does all the work for you.
You can even set a schedule for the robot to start cleaning automatically whether you are home or not.
Robotic vacuums are especially handy if you or someone else at home has allergies or a respiratory condition like asthma.
Pet hair and dander can cause allergic reactions and aggravate respiratory problems. With a robot vacuum, it’s easy to keep the floors clean and allergen-free.
I recommend looking for a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. It captures even the smallest allergens and prevents them from escaping into the air.
Unique Vacuuming Needs of Pet Owners
Don’t just get any robotic vacuum cleaner. Not all will fulfill your unique needs which include:
- Powerful suction for easy pick up of pet hair especially on the carpet.
- An anti-tangle roller brush as well as side brushes for effective vacuuming on both hard floors and carpeting.
- A sizable bin that can hold lots of pet hair.
- An ultra-fine or HEPA filter that can capture both large and fine particles.
- A robot vacuum that can reach under furniture and other hidden areas where pet hair often hides out of sight.
With these in mind, it’s easier to choose a robot vacuum cleaner that meets all or most of your needs.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
1. Suction Power
This is most important if you have a carpeted area at home. Most robot vacuum cleaners will do fine on hard floors but struggle even on a low-pile carpet.
If you have hard flooring – hardwood, tile, vinyl, etc. – a budget model with minimum 1000W suction power is enough.
If you have a large carpeted area plus several rugs, I recommend spending a bit more money on a capable model.
Look for those with a power boost feature which increases suction power either automatically when it detects a carpeted area or at the press of a button.
2. Roller Brush
Do not buy a robot vacuum robot without a roller brush. Some low-cost models come with just the side brushes. These are good with dust and other debris on hard flooring but won’t work with pet hair.
A roller brush is designed to pick up lots of hair as the robot moves around. It is especially important if you have rugs or a carpet at home.
3. Large Bin
If your pets shed a lot, the bin is going to fill up very quickly. If it’s too small, you have to empty it midway through the cleaning.
Look for a robot vacuum with a sizable bin that can hold a lot of debris and pet hair. It will come in handy when you set the vacuum on a schedule, and you are not there to empty it.
4. Floor Size and Type
If you have hard flooring throughout your home, a budget robot vacuum cleaner will work fine. You don’t need something expensive or extra-powerful.
If you have carpeting, you’ll need a more powerful vacuum cleaner.
Note that even powerful robot vacuum cleaners are mostly limited to low-pile carpeting. If you have a thick shaggy carpet, your old corded vacuum is a better choice.
As for floor size, the features that matter most are battery life and navigational smarts.
Most budget and mid-range robot vacuum cleaners work fine in small and mid-size homes.
But when it comes to cleaning an expansive level that is more than 2,000 feet in size, you’ll need a robot that can easily navigate that space and has a powerful battery that lasts long enough for the robot to finish cleaning.
Here is where you have to consider premium brands like Roomba and Neato. They have smart navigation that not only allows the robot to navigate easily from room to room but also to clean efficiently without wasting energy.
They also have bigger batteries that can last at least 2 hours.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good quality robotic vacuum cleaner.
If you don’t care much about premium features like WiFi and smart navigation, you can get a good vacuum for less than $300 (sometimes even less than $200). They come with basic features like scheduling and auto-recharge.
Above $300, there’s a wide selection of brands that offer excellent cleaning ability plus some premium features like remote app control and auto-recharge and resume.
In the $600+ range, you can get a powerful robot vacuum with all the smarts and tech you want.
It’s all about your budget and what you need.
First, make sure you’ve set up the robot as instructed in the manual. This will ensure the robot will be able to dock automatically when the battery gets low.
Before it starts cleaning, make sure the floor is clear of clutter. Even the best robot vacuum cleaners get easily tripped by small toys, electrical cords, and clothing items.
For cheaper robot vacuums without smart navigation, you might find it easier to move them manually from room to room. Close the door until the robot finishes cleaning one room.
This will prevent it from wandering around and going over the same areas multiple times.
For smarter robots, you need to set up the virtual boundaries either using the included barriers or on the app.
Finally, keep the robot vacuum well maintained. Check the manual for instructions.
Empty the bin often, clean the brushes and filters and frequently check that everything is in good working order. Don’t forget to replace components like the filter, brushes, and wheels as recommended by the manufacturer.