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When cleaning the home, having a vacuum that can handle anything it comes across is essential. One particular item that often ends up becoming a problem for vacuums is long hair. Often this, as well as any similar debris, can clog up your vacuum and turn a routine clean into a significant ordeal. This becomes an even larger problem when you have a pet with long shedding hair, or many longer haired members of a household.
When considering the best vacuum for long hair, there are a few important factors we have found. First, we wanted a list that includes multiple types of vacuums, such as robot vacuums and cordless vacuums. This means that regardless of your preference, you will be able to find something that will fit your needs. Next, it is important to look at the type of vacuum heads and brushes, as well as whether or not they can easily be shut off. As you should consider with any vacuum purchase, we also looked at the weight of the vacuum and the warranty provided.
We spent a significant amount of time digging through the market to find only the best vacuum cleaners for long hair. Below is a table of brief information, in-depth reviews of the products, and a buying guide to help you pick the best vacuum for your needs.
Our pick, the Shark APEX AZ1002, has an amazing array of features with very few downsides. Not only does this vacuum have impressive suction, but the self-cleaning brush roll prevents long hair from wrapping around the brush. With specially designed Zero-M technology, pet hair, long hair, and short hair are all removed automatically from the brush roll so that you don’t have to do it yourself.
This vacuum is great in a household with long pet hair where allergies are concerned. Not only does this vacuum tout a HEPA filter, but it also has a technology called the Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal. This prevents the allergens you pick up from being put right back into the air.
The DuoClean brush system allows for deep carpet cleans to pull up any deeply embedded hair, and also allows for a polished look on hardwood and tile flooring. For harder to reach places, the canister has a powered lift-away feature that allows for easy detachment. This lets the vacuum head to reach under furniture without any blocking from the canister itself.
There are only two downsides to this vacuum, one is that the hose is a bit short in comparison to some other vacuums. The other is that the mechanism that attaches the roller has been seen as a weak point and can break after high impact.
Overall, as a vacuum alone, this is a powerful and versatile choice. It is great at cleaning hardwood, tile, and carpet, and has reach options for harder to get to areas. When specifically looking at its ability to clean long hair, it is the best vacuum for long pet and human hair. It has the power and double brushes to pull the hair up, and the amazing self-cleaning feature to save you the pain of stopping to clean your brushes.
Like its larger counterpart the Shark APEX AZ1002, the Shark Rocket ZS351 vacuum is fantastic at removing pet hair, partially due to its self-cleaning brush roll. It has the same Zero-M technology, and even if it has less power, it is a great choice if you want more maneuverability.
The feature that really makes this vacuum stand out is how versatile it is. It can easily swing around any path with its advanced swivel steering. This allows you to easily vacuum around furniture and into corners. This vacuum also has a low profile, allowing you to get underneath furniture easily. Along with getting underneath items, this vacuum has a super easy conversion to a handheld mode. There is a button that allows it to turn into a handheld vacuum to get hair off of furniture, stairs, and other hard-to-reach places.
The brush on this vacuum allows for great deep carpet cleaning, and it is also good on hard surfaces. It also has an extra-large dust container, which keeps you from having to empty it multiple times in one clean. On the downside, it does trade power for this versatility. Its unique small profile also means that it cannot stand upright on its own if you need to leave it in the middle of a clean.
If you like the concept of our Editor’s Choice Shark APEX AZ1002 but really prefer a vacuum that allows for more control and off-the-floor cleaning, this is the vacuum for you. The maneuverability and versatility of this Shark product are impressive and makes it one of the best vacuums for longer hair.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is specifically designed to pick up stubborn pet hair from carpets and hard flooring. The design of the brush and its encasing allows for extremely high suction to pull pet hair off of different surfaces. These are a couple of reasons why this is our suggestion for the best vacuum, specifically for long pet hair.
As with other Dyson Ball products, this uses the special Ball technology that allows for unique enhanced maneuverability. The only downside to this design is that the large ball mechanism can prevent the vacuum from getting under smaller spaces. The high-reach wand does allow for versatility when it comes to high areas, however, and it releases with an easy button push.
The bar itself may not have self-cleaning technology like the Shark vacuums, but it does have a low-profile on the vacuum head that allows for intense suction. The Dyson Radial Root technology also helps increase suction through centrifugal power. This means even the hardest to pull dirt and hair will be sucked up by this vacuum. It is important to note that due to the lower design to create this suction, large debris can sometimes be pushed around by the brush encasing.
The suction power on this vacuum along with its attachments and wand allows for it to be one of the best at pulling up pet hair as well as getting hair out of hard to reach areas. We highly recommend this to anyone who has a long-haired pet or multiple pets to easily get rid of that pesky hair.
The Hoover WindTunnel 3 has some distinct advantages that may make it better for your home. Its main appeal is the seven-position height adjustment. This unique feature allows you not only to easily switch between hard floors and carpets but also customize the height for higher or lower pile rugs. Many vacuums struggle on odd pile heights, so if this is an issue in your household, this could be the answer to your problems. Because of this, this vacuum is picked as the best vacuum for long hair and for multi-surface cleaning.
As is important with most modern vacuums, the Hoover WindTunnel 3 has a HEPA filter that will prevent any allergens from getting back into your home. This filter is great for vacuums like this that have intense suction that could potentially make allergies worse by circulating the air without filtration. The WindTunnel 3 technology uses three special channels in order to make sure all debris are pulled from the carpet and flooring. It also has special multi-cyclonic technology that keeps you cleaning without suction loss.
The QuickPass brush roll on this Hoover vacuum helps prevent you from having to pass over areas more than once. While this is a great feature, hair can get stuck in the rolls and may need to be removed by hand.
The 40-foot cord allows you to move around your house without moving the plug, which is a wonderful feature. It also comes with a lot of attachments, like a pivoting dusting tool, a pet specific turbo tool, a telescoping wand, and a crevice tool.
The canister style vacuums can be easier to move around than their upright counterparts, and the Miele Pure Suction is no exception. While a tiny bit heavier than the Shark Rocket ZS351, it still is extremely easy to move around, especially compared to some of the upright vacuums that can be two or three times heavier. It also has a very compact design that keeps it low-profile and out of the way.
Miele has a specific vortex motor they have designed for their vacuums that allows for very powerful suction. The Miele Pure Suction has a unique feature that lets you choose between six power settings through a rotary dial on the body of the vacuum itself. These settings include curtains and lightweight fabrics, very dirty hard flooring and deep carpet cleaning, loop-pile carpet cleaning, energy-saving and quiet vacuuming, thick pile carpets and rugs, and upholstery. This power setting helps the vacuum better suit your needs and is extremely convenient for the more specific materials it provides.
The head of the vacuum has a hard floor and carpeting setting, and also has a special 360-degree swivel head to help you move around corners and furniture. The hose also allows for a 29.5-foot radius, which lets you quickly and easily move around your room. It does suffer from a shorter cord, and also the bristles in the brush can sometimes block larger debris. These vacuums are tested for up to 20 years of average use, which means it will continue to have the same quality as when you purchase it.
While it is important to have some kind of manual vacuum, having a robot vacuum can save you significant time. This is especially true if you vacuum often due to hair shedding. Having a vacuum to help extend times between deep cleans can be an extreme relief.
The iRobot Roomba 675 is the best robot vacuum for long hair. It has a 3-stage cleaning system that goes through and loosens, lifts, and then suctions debris and hair from carpets. It also has dual multi-surface brushes that allow for both small and large items to be easily picked up by the machine. On top of these, the auto-adjusting cleaning head can automatically sense and adapt to the height of the surface it is on in order to get as much hair and dirt as possible. This means it is a good choice for hard flooring to carpeting houses, and it can handle different piles of rug and carpet.
Dirt and hair can be detected by this vacuum, which means it will take time to go over areas with extra debris. As is the case with all robot vacuums, it won’t be as powerful as a strong upright vacuum and will need to go back over difficult areas. This sensor feature means that you won’t be stuck with unevenly dirty floors after the robot sweeps through. It does have a smaller dirt bin, which means more changes than an average vacuum per cleaning session.
Some robot vacuums have a very short battery life, but the iRobot Roomba 675 has a 90-minute life before it has to dock and recharge. It also has robust app integration that lets you schedule cleans from anywhere. It also allows you to view special reports, customize cleaning settings, and contact their support line if needed.
The Bissell Cleanview is an excellent pick for a family household. While is it amazing at picking up long pet and human hair, it also has the ability to pull dirt deep from carpeting. Bissel has designed a multi-cyclonic suction system that gives the vacuum great suction, especially on carpets, and it also keeps dirt and dust in the bin. It has the OnePass technology that helps you clean on the first push of the vacuum.
The dirt bin is quite large on the Bissell Cleanview, which is very convenient. It has an easy emptying button that is sanitary and helps you prevent dirt from getting everywhere. Due to the design of the canister, it can be harder to clean and may require some scrubbing depending on what materials the vacuum was picking up.
For an upright vacuum, it is quite light, which lets you carry it up and down levels of the home without issues. This lighter weight doesn’t mean that you sacrifice power as is so often the case with vacuums. It also has a few useful attachments like the turbo brush tool for stairs, upholstery, and furniture. It also has a 6-foot hose and an extension wand to help you clean hard to reach high areas.
One complaint that some users have is with the handle shape. It is a hard plastic handle, and also has sharper angles. Depending on how you are used to holding your vacuum, this can dig into your hand.
The Bissell Zing 4122, while it doesn’t seem extraordinary at first glance, is an amazing budget pick. This is another canister vacuum, just like the Miele Pure Suction. While the power isn’t as advanced as that model, this one is very comparable. It is great for stairs, curtains, auto interiors, and other cleaning situations that upright vacuums struggle with.
The suction of the Bissell Zing 4122 isn’t as impressive as some of the other vacuums on this list, but at its price point, it works great at pulling up hair and dirt. It also has settings for both carpets and hard flooring, so it isn’t devoid of options.
This vacuum is quite lightweight and has a convenient carrying handle that allows you to quickly take it around the house with you when needed. This is especially great for locations like staircases that you need to move up and down. The hose is long enough where you can easily clean without feeling like you are weighed down by the body of the vacuum.
The vacuum head itself is very easy to use as it has a telescoping wand that lets you reach under furniture and push around corners without any issues. It does come with attachments. However, there have been complaints that the attachments do not stay on as well as people would prefer.
What we liked:
Easy to clean canister
Agile vacuum head
What could be better:
Weak attachment connectors
Things to Consider
Among a great deal of vacuum cleaners available on the market, how do you know which one is ideal for picking up long hair? We hope that this buying guide will help you answer this very question.
Reasons to get a vacuum for long hair
When cleaning homes where hair is an issue, getting a specialized vacuum is incredibly important. Especially in large quantities like in a household with many pets, long hair can not only gum up the brush on a vacuum but also ruin it entirely. A shocking number of modern vacuums don’t have the capacity to handle tons of hair, and the last thing you want is to triple your clean time because you are having to constantly clean the brush on your vacuum.
Our best pick, the Shark APEX AZ1002, has the ability to self-clean its own brush. While this is an extreme way to deal with the previously mentioned issues, it is amazingly effective and keeps you from ever having to worry about cleaning the vacuum’s brushes again. While this is important, another very important thing to consider is that a vacuum made to pull up long hair will dig deep into the carpet to do so. Not only does this mean a deeper clean overall, but any extremely deep hairs will get removed without intense work on your part.
Features to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner for long hair
As previously mentioned, when trying to pick a vacuum cleaner that is best for long hair, it is important to consider the brush and how it handles hair. If you pick the Shark APEX AZ1002 or the Shark Rocket ZS351, you approach this issue by using special technology to allow the roller to self-clean as it goes along, preventing any issues at all. Other brands opt for a design that resists any sticking at all, which can last for a much longer time before needing to be cleaned.
The second feature to consider is if it has the power to pull the hair from a carpet. Not all vacuums have the suction power to get deep hair out of carpets, especially depending on their pile.
Lastly, you need to think about what attachments you may need for your vacuum. If your concern is long hair getting stuck on your couch, you will want to make sure that there is a specific attachment to deal with upholstery such as on the Bissell Cleanview.
Type of vacuum
There are many different types of vacuums to consider, and all of these are dependent on your household and your cleaning style. The most classic style of vacuum is upright, which usually provide superior power at the cost of more weight and less maneuverability. Handheld vacuums are the opposite, in that they often are less able to deep-clean, but they are super easy to pull out and take around the house.
It is important to note that many vacuums can transition from an upright vacuum to a handheld one with the press of a button, which really gives you a versatile option for your investment.
A less common type of vacuum is the canister vacuum, which allows you to keep the main body of the vacuum lying down, while you just operate a hose attached to it. This lets you easily clean around a room, under furniture, and up in higher to reach places, however depending on the vacuum it can be less powerful than an upright option, and they can be awkward to operate.
Stick vacuums are much lighter and have great reach, but sacrifice power. There also are robot vacuums like the iRobot Roomba 675 that can practically replace vacuuming by hand. These automated vacuums can be put on a schedule to vacuum, even when you aren’t home. Because they aren’t human operated, they can miss areas and obvious messes that need to be re-cleaned.
The power of your vacuum is integral to making sure it can pull hair from carpeting and other tough materials. While something less powerful can be perfectly fine for a household that has mainly hard floors like tile and hardwood, many homes have rugs and carpeting. It is incredibly hard to get hair and dirt that is deep within carpeting by hand, so having a strong vacuum that can do it is imperative, especially in households with pets that shed.
Many vacuums use special power technology to get even better suction. Some examples of this are the Radial Root cyclone technology in the Dyson Ball Animal 2 or the Miele vortex motor. In fact, the Miele Pure Suction vacuum has different power settings depending on the material you are cleaning.
Vacuum weight and dimensions
When considering a vacuum choice, something to think about is the layout of your home. Will you need to carry the vacuum to different floors? The weight of your vacuum can be a huge life changer. If you often are going up and down stairs, you will want to consider a vacuum that is much lighter and more mobile. Our budget pick, the Bissell Zing 4122, even has a handle to easily grab it and move it to a different floor. This is also something great to consider if you have noticed your arm getting tired as you use a heavy upright vacuum. Something lighter like a stick vacuum may be better for you if that is a bother.
If you have very tight areas in your home, you may also want to think about the size of the vacuum. If you end up having issues maneuvering a large upright vacuum around your home, it may be a good idea to consider something thinner that can reach any odd nooks or crannies you may normally have issues cleaning.
Corded or cordless?
Our list didn’t include any cordless vacuums, and there is a common reason for this. While the convenience of not having to plug the vacuum in may seem very appealing, the downsides can be extreme. Usually, they are much less powerful, which means they are not a good pick for trying to pull hair out of carpeting. Without a direct power source, it is just hard to engineer a vacuum that can possibly match corded alternatives.
Another downside to consider is that they have a limited run time. While this is okay for something like a robot vacuum that you don’t have to monitor, having your vacuum run out of battery in the middle of a manual clean can be incredibly frustrating. With all that being said, if the cord element of your vacuum has given you many problems, it is an option to go cordless.
Bagged vs bagless
There are great advantages to both bagged and bagless vacuums. Having a bagged vacuum means that you don’t ever have to manually deal with the dirt and hair after vacuuming it up. This is a great luxury but also can keep you from dealing with the long hairs tangled up in your dirt bin. Also, nothing is more frustrating than emptying a bagless vacuum and having clouds of dust and dirt poof up as you pour it out.
On the other hand, a dust or dirt bin is easy to clean out, many just requiring you to push a button to open the bottom of the bin. Also, it can be a thrifty choice since you don’t have to buy the often pricey bag replacements, and you will never find yourself without the ability to vacuum mid-clean.
If you are looking for the best vacuum for long pet hair, having an anti-allergen filter can be very important. The last thing you want is to aggravate you or a housemate’s allergies every single time you try to vacuum. If you invest in the right filter, you can even improve someone’s allergies dramatically.
The most widely accepted filter for allergies is HEPA filters. These filters are known for their ability to filter dust and allergens, including pet allergens.
Some vacuums even expand upon these filters, like the Shark APEX AZ1002 that has a special Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal which keeps more particles from escaping the vacuum. Some vacuums have their own brands of filters. It is important to do your research to see if they are comparable to a HEPA filter, or if they won’t catch things like allergens.
If you often find yourself attempting to dust cobwebs out of corners, then looking for a vacuum with good reach may be extremely beneficial. Many vacuums have long hose attachments, like the Dyson Ball Animal 2. These allow you to reach up to above-floor areas to grab dust and cobwebs that you would have to dust by hand otherwise.
Something else to consider is the vacuum’s reach underneath objects. Do you have a really low couch that you want the vacuum to reach underneath? Then you may need to look at something with a specific attachment, or even just a stick vacuum. Robot vacuums are also great at reaching underneath low furniture.
Performance on different surfaces
The surfaces within your household can dramatically change what kind of vacuum you will want to consider. If you have all hard flooring, you can get a much less powerful vacuum without sacrificing too much functionality. You will, however, want to get a vacuum that doesn’t have issues with just blowing debris around on a smoother surface.
If you have a combination of hard flooring and carpeting, you will want a vacuum that can adjust. This is also true if you want a vacuum that can clean on a couch or on other materials, as it may need a special attachment to do so.
For carpeting, you also should consider the pile height. Do you only have low or high pile carpets? Some vacuums are much better at getting dirt and hair out of one material than another, and you will want to make sure that you aren’t left with clean hard floors and grimy carpeting.
A good warranty is important. As with all technology, unexpected issues can present themselves even if you provide proper maintenance for your machine. This is especially true for vacuums that have to pull excessive amounts of dirt or that have to deal with more difficult debris like long hair.
It is important to see not only how long the warranty is, but what it covers. Many warranties only cover a motor failure, which often is plenty but can be a problem if you are rougher on things like attachments or often accidentally bump the vacuum head on corners and walls.
As with any purchase, the price point is an important consideration. This is especially true when there are great budget options like the Bissell Zing 4122. Often times with vacuums, you get what you pay for. However, you need to decide how much you really need.
For getting the hair out of carpeting, it is important to put the money into a vacuum that will have the power to provide a deep clean. If that is less important to you, or if you have all hard flooring, a cheaper alternative is absolutely appropriate. There are other perks that money can buy, such as an automated robot vacuum and attachments to the vacuum itself.
Tips on getting rid of hair on your floor and furniture
When attempting to get particularly stubborn hair from the floor and furniture, there are a few things to consider. First, it can be very beneficial to do smaller cleans often to prevent the dramatic buildup of hair in carpeting and on your upholstery. Keeping it from becoming a problem is part of the battle and a quick clean when possible can be a great step toward preventing buildup.
A very deep clean, especially of carpeting and corners that often get missed, is important. When doing this, make sure to use the appropriate attachments and brush settings to maximize the work you put in.
The easiest way is to take scissors or seam ripper and clip the hair, so it is no longer trapped, then either pull it by hand from the brush or turn the vacuum on to have it attempt to suck up the hair.
The common rule of thumb for changing a filter is 6 months. With that being said, it is best to check the manufacturer of your filter to see what they suggest.
Overall, our pick for the best vacuum for long hair is the Shark APEX AZ1002. With a self-cleaning brush roll, it is already hard to top. However, it’s Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, DuoClean feature, and superior power makes it an absolute winner with an impressive 9.8 score.
Close behind that is the Shark Rocket ZS351 which has many of the features of the above but sacrifices power for maneuverability. That doesn’t make it a worse vacuum by any means, but for pulling hair out of stubborn carpeting, this just doesn’t quite measure up to the Shark APEX. Because of that, we gave it a 9.7.
Third, we had the Dyson Ball Animal 2. At a 9.5 there are a few features we wish this had like the self-cleaning brush roll. With that being said, it has incredible power and is specifically made to pick up long pet hair. Thus, it is excellent for people who specifically are looking for cleaning up after their shedding pet.