Best robot vacuums for pet hair in 2024

Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair: Quick Menu

Pet hair can be a real challenge for even the best robot vacuums. Cats and dogs shed fluffy hairs which tend to clump and spread across hard floors. Or worse their fine strands get tangled into carpet. If you share a home with four-legged family members, you'll need a vacuum strong enough to pull up fur without clogging.  This is especially difficult for smaller-sized robot vacuums to clean.

Lucky for you, we test each robot vacuum we review for pet hair cleaning performance. We’ve tested and reviewed a range of robot vacuums to find the cleaners that remove the most pet hair. As part of this evaluation, each machine had to collect calculated amounts of fur from both hard floors and carpet — making sure it didn’t blow away the samples or get jammed in the process. 

We also took into account app performance, body design, and debris pickup to see how each model held up. Once we assigned scores, each robot vacuum had to navigate its way around our tester’s home, giving us a chance to score its coverage, noise, and approach. After all, you don’t want it making a ruckus or go crashing into a water bowl.

The models with the best results were used to create the list below. Whether you need a vacuum with advanced obstacle avoidance to evade the occasional dog poop, or you’re shopping on a budget, we have recommendations across any range. These are the best robot vacuums for pet hair. 

The quick list

Here’s the best robot vacuums for pet hair you can buy right now based on our testing and reviews. Scroll on for our full in-depth reviews. 

The best robot vacuums for pet hair you can buy today

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The best robot vacuums for pet hair

Best robot vacuum for pet hair overall with a self-emptying base

Specifications

Cleaning Performance: 96.3
Pet Hair Score: 98
Bin Size: 0.4 quarts
Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant
Size: 12.3 x 12.3 x 3.5 inches
Weight: 8.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive, premium design
+
Mapping was quick and easy
+
Easy-to-use mapping controls in app

Reasons to avoid

-
Loud vacuum, loud dustbin
-
Very expensive
-
Have to buy replacement disposal bags

It's a pricey robot vacuum, but the s9+ will clean up all of your pet's hair and avoid poop while it's at it. It picked up 99% of pet hair on average across carpet and hardwood floors, plus it automatically empties its dustbin after each job so you don't have to deal with dander allergens. This best-in-class performance and self-emptying Clean Base stands head and shoulders above the other options to make it our top pick. 

A disposal bag inside of the Clean Base neatly ties itself when it’s time to remove the full bag. Replacement vacuum bags can be bought online in packs from 10 up to 20, and can start from $16. It’s better than dumping the robot’s dustbin into your kitchen garbage can, and I found there was a lot less dust in the air when compared to the bagless disposal base on the Shark IQ. If allergies are a prime concern of yours, be sure to also check out the best air purifiers

But stopping pet hair and dust from recirculating in your home isn’t the Roomba s9+’s only trick. This Wi-Fi-connected robot vacuum can be commanded by its accompanying app, iRobot Home, to clean specific areas of your home, such as the area around the kitchen table, and avoid others. For instance, I asked it to avoid my dog's food bowl, and it did so successfully. 

Don’t need that much granularity? Tell the s9+ to clean the whole kitchen at 8:30 every night. Want to come home to a clean home? The s9+ can be triggered via geofencing: Leave home to walk the dog, the vacuum starts cleaning. Come home and choose to have the vac continue the job or head back to the base, making it an excellent feature for households with pups who fear vacuums. All things considered, it's definitely earned its place on this list.

Read our full iRobot Roomba S9+ review.

Best budget

Best robot vacuum for pet hair and best for carpet on a budget

Specifications

Cleaning Performance: 97
Pet Hair Score: 99.5
Bin Size: 600 ml
Smart Home Compatibility: None
Size: 11.8 x 11.8 x 3 inches
Weight: 4.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent pet-hair-cleaning performance
+
Fantastic hardwood performance
+
Inexpensive

Reasons to avoid

-
Noticably loud at 64.1 decibels
-
Inconsistent cleaning pattern

Who would’ve thought that one of the best cheap robot vacuums available is also one of the best for tackling pet hair? The inexpensive iLife V3s Pro is light on bells and whistles, but big on keeping your floors free from fur. In fact, it collected nearly 100% of pet fur from hardwood floors and carpet when I tested it — which is an almost perfect score. This bump-and-clean robot sets itself apart with a 3-inch suction opening instead of a brush roll for ingesting debris. Not only does that aid in picking up dog hair, but it also makes maintenance easier since you won’t need to spend time removing hair from a brush roll.

It excelled at collecting everyday debris as well, vacuuming up small, flaky bits of onion skin which had collected against baseboards, as well as thick breadcrumbs, as it carefully and precisely worked its way around furniture. So it's handy to have in your kitchen as well. The iLife V3s Pro really shines on bare surfaces, such as hardwood floors and tile, though it works well on carpets and thinner rugs, too. So it would work best in a home with predominantly hard floors. 

The random cleaning pattern of the V3s Pro means it might miss a few spots or, as I found during testing, get fixated on a certain area — I couldn't keep it away from the foyer or beneath the couch. Thankfully, there are arrow buttons on the included remote control to guide the V3s Pro back towards the dirt. If you’re okay with providing the iLife V3s Pro a little supervision, this incredible value will serve your floors well. That's why it was named as one of the best vacuum cleaners

I also tested the iLife V5s pro model, however, neither the overall cleaning performance or the performance on pet hair were as strong, at 94.8% and 97.3% respectively. This model also comes with mopping abilities, however, I found this was pretty ineffective.  

Read our full iLife V3s Pro review.

Best for cleaning baseboards

Best for reaching pet hair against baseboards

Specifications

Cleaning Performance: 92.79
Pet Hair Score: 87.25
Bin Size: 700 ml
Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant
Size: 12.71 in x 13.22 in x 3.99 in
Weight: 8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Strong cleaning performance
+
Fast mapping with a nearly complete map generated within one run
+
Good reach against baseboards due to its D-shaped design

Reasons to avoid

-
Can only clean one zone at a time
-
Clunky map divisions

The Neato D9 provides a solid cleaning performance across the board, scoring a respectable 92.79 overall on our tests. In terms of pet hair, it picked up 91.5% of dog hair on hardwood floors and 83% on carpet, which places it above the Roomba j7+ and the Roomba i3+. Admittedly, the exhaust fan has a tendency to blow missed fur on hard floors into the air as it passes by, but it's still a top performer despite this.

It’s a relatively quiet and fast operator as well, needing just 2 minutes 56 seconds to clean a 5' x 5' space. I also like that the dustbin is concealed in the center of the robot, which makes it simple and convenient to access. The filter acts as a door to help keep the dust contained when it comes to removal - ideal if you suffer from allergies and don't want to make a mess. Plus, its D-shaped design means it's got good reach against flat surfaces, such as baseboards. So you don't have to worry about excess fur collecting against your walls. 

My only qualm is with the performance of the app. While it’s easy to set up, I found it difficult and cumbersome to mark out zones in the floor plan. As you enlarge the map to make precise adjustments, alternative zones can be moved in error. I ended up having to correct the living room zone, after zooming in to create the bathroom zone. Plus I ran out of zone-free space to navigate from as more zones were created. That's the main reason for this robot vacuum featuring as low on this list as it does. 

Otherwise, this is still one of the best robot vacuums for pet hair that will get the job done.  

Read our full Neato D9 review.

Best navigation

Best for navigation

Specifications

Cleaning Performance: 90.4
Pet Hair Score: 90.5
Bin Size: 379 ml
Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Home
Size: 13.3 x 3.7 inches
Weight: 7.4 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent navigation
+
Clean Base is easy to empty
+
Fast at cleaning, needing just 18 minutes to clean the carpet in our lab

Reasons to avoid

-
Clean Base is very loud
-
Cleaning could be more thorough

The iRobot Roomba i7+ robot vacuum features a self-emptying base. Though this dock is loud enough to wake your cat from his mid-morning nap, it’s also powerful enough to suck out all of the dander and hair collected from your floors. A disposable vacuum bag inside the Clean Base keeps dust and debris at bay when the time comes to empty it.

The Wi-Fi-connected iRobot Roomba i7+ accurately creates maps of your home’s levels and supports area-specific cleaning and no-go zones. The iRobot Home app will even make cleaning recommendations based on the season, such as suggesting more cleaning runs during Spring shedding season. Like its more expensive sibling, the Roomba s9+, the Roomba i7+ also supports geofenced vacuuming, meaning the vacuum will start when it detects your phone has left the house. No one wants to miss their cat riding a Roomba, so you have the option of continuing the job should you return home before it's completed. On a side note — if you want to see what your robot vacuum gets up to while you're out, the Samsung JetBot AI+ offers livestream video. 

Aside from price, gentle navigation is ome thing that sets the Roomba i7+ apart from the Roomba s9+. In my tests, I noted that the vac barely disturbed the dog food bowls in my kitchen while cleaning around them. The Roomba s9+ was a little more aggressive, pushing the mat and bowls askew from their usual location. 

However, the s9+ was better at picking up pet hair (98% vs 90.5% collected on average), so each comes with its strengths and weaknesses. 

Read our full iRobot Roomba i7+ review

Best on hard floors

Great for pet hair on hardwood floors

Specifications

Cleaning Performance: 92.39
Pet Hair Score: 94.75
Bin Size: 400 ml
Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa & Google Assistant
Size: 13.58 x 13.58 x 3.83 inches
Weight: 7.72 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Mops as well as vacuums 
+
Scored 100% on pet hair pick-up from hardwood floors
+
Increases suction on dirty areas 

Reasons to avoid

-
Subpar room division 
-
No separate mopping controls 
-
Expensive for what it offers 

The Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid was one of my top scorers for pet hair removal, collecting 100% of fur from hardwood floors, which only the iLife VS3 Pro also achieved. Performance on carpet wasn’t quite so strong, but still impressive at 89.5%. By comparison, the Roborock s7 has a slightly higher cleaning performance, but it wasn't as strong at collecting pet hair, with 85.8% removed on average. 

The Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid is also the only pet hair-effective robot vacuum to make my list which also functions as a mop. In terms of the performance here, it's decent at lightly cleaning your floors, but don't expect miracles. You will still need your mop and bucket for a deep clean.

However, there were some areas for improvement — specifically the mapping experience when dividing up rooms, and the controls of the mopping function. But, if room-specific cleaning isn’t a concern, then it’s worth your consideration. It comes with four levels of suction power and getting it set-up and running couldn’t be easier.

For more tips, here's how to clean hardwood floors without damaging them

Read our full Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid review.  

Best for pet poop

Great for pet poop

Specifications

Cleaning Performance: 91.81
Pet Hair Score: 82.5
Bin Size: Up to 60 days
Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa & Google Assistant
Size: 13.3 x 3.4 inches
Weight: 7.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent obstacle avoidance 
+
Learns from cleaning data 
+
Easy to create no-go zones
+
Redesigned Clean Base is less obtrusive  

Reasons to avoid

-
Clean Base is very loud 
-
Middling pet hair pickup on carpet  

While it wasn’t the strongest performer on pet hair, picking up 82.5% on average, iRobot’s latest model, the j7+, makes the list because it’s guaranteed to avoid pet poop — it's predecessors won't offer such confidence. It does this using obstacle avoidance technology, which essentially recognizes everyday objects, such as socks and cables, and veers around them. This robot vacuum is constantly learning with every run too, making it one of the smartest I've seen. In fact, iRobot is so confident in the Roomba j7+’s intelligence that it’s introduced the Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P), whereby iRobot will replace any j7+ that fails to avoid solid pet waste.

Its general performance wasn’t too shabby either, handling large debris, such as cereal and kitty litter, with ease, and achieving an overall cleaning score of 91.81%. Although, it's a far cry from our winning iLife V3s Pro robot vacuum's pet hair performance (99.5%). If you hate to empty your robot vacuum between runs, the j7+ model comes with a compact cleaning base as well, which can store up to 60 days of dust. So, this robot vacuum might not be best if your pet constantly sheds, but if there’s an occasional accident on your floor, you will be grateful for the j7+’s intelligence.

Replacement Roomba vacuum bags can be bought online in packs from 10 up to 20, and can start from $16.

If you're still unsure which robot vacuum to choose, be sure to check out our robot vacuum buying guide: What you need to know

 Read our full iRobot Roomba j7+ review.   

How we tested

iRobot Roomba j7+ cleaning dog fur

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

All of the robot vacuums we review are subjected to both our lab tests and in-home, real world use over several days. The test results, user experience, price, and features relative to competing models weigh into our overall star rating.

In evaluating the best robot vacuums for pet hair, we primarily chose them based on their scores in our pet hair pick up lab tests.

The lab tests are three separate tests run twice – once on hardwood and once on low pile carpet. In a 5-foot-by-5-foot area, we measure how effective each vacuum is at picking up 2 grams of dog hair (primarily sourced from an English Cream Golden Retriever), 20 grams of kitty litter, and 20 grams of Cheerios cereal. As long as the dog hair is collected by some part of the robot vacuum, such as the side brush or main brush roll, it’s counted. Older models were subject to the same tests, but in a larger 15-foot-by-15-foot area. These three types of debris are used because they represent different particle sizes as well as challenges a robot vacuum will likely face. 

Real world testing isn’t as rigid as our lab tests, though we test all of the features in each vacuum. Most commonly, this includes mapping out the first floor of the reviewer’s home and evaluating it for accuracy. This also includes how easy or hard it is to make map adjustments, such as room divisions and drawing no-go zones. Our reviewer looks at the dustbin: Is it hard to access? How much force is needed to open the dustbin? Does dust go flying everywhere? How easy is it to clean the brush roll, side brush, and wheels?

Household terrain is also considered. Does the robot vacuum get caught up on small rugs? Is it able to cross a common threshold? Does it get stuck in a maze of dining room chairs? How about under the couch? These are just some of the questions our reviewer answers when evaluating each robot vacuum.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Robot vacuum pet hair test results
Row 0 - Cell 0 Overall pet hair percentage removalHardwood pet hair percentage removalCarpet pet hair percentage removal
iLife V3s Pro*99.510099
iRobot Roomba s9+989997
Roborock S4 Max9410088
Neato D4*91.2587.595
iRobot Roomba i7+*90.58893
Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid94.7510089.5
iRobot Roomba j7+82.592.572.5

*Same test performed in a larger 15’ x 15’ area.

How to choose

You need to consider a few factors before investing in a robot vacuum for you and your pets. First of all, think about how many pets are in your home and how much are they actually shedding. Is it long fur or short fur and are they shedding on a regular basis? You should also consider if you want the robot vacuum to help with other cleaning needs, such as mopping. 

Price is also going to be an important aspect. But, don’t go for the cheapest straight away. While the iLife VS3 Pro comes at a very reasonable price, it doesn’t offer any advanced features such as app connectivity, mapping or no-go zones. Whereas, at $349, the Neato D4 can do all of these things. You need to balance what features you want with your budget.

A Labrador sitting on a lead in a park

Photo of Scout, the Incredible Shedding Test Dog (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Allergies need to be considered too. If someone struggles with allergies at home, then a self-emptying robot vacuum might be the best option. It stops dust from being released into the air as regularly. Whichever type you go for, here are six robot vacuum tips and tricks so you can get the most out of your robot. 

Some cats and dogs are terrified of robot vacuum cleaners. The noise and the movement, particularly as they drive towards your pet, can no doubt cause nerves. If your pet is new to robot vacuums, try introducing them slowly, running the bot for a few minutes to start with, until they’re used to each other!

One final note, if your pet tends to have bathroom-related accidents around the home, be sure to clean it up before your robot vacuum finds it. It will only make further mess and can even break your vacuum, so keep an eye on this.   

Features to look out for

iRobot Roomba j7+ connected to charging base

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
  • Suction
    It's important to consider suction power, as this will determine how thorough your cleaning results will be. Ideally, a decent robot vac should have a suction power of at least 5,000pa to be able to handle pet hair and dander with ease. 
  • Self-emptying
    You can find this feature on some of the more premium models, such as the iRobot Roomba s9+ mentioned above. Essentially, the robot vacuum will empty itself into a larger dustbin in the charging base once it’s full, saving you from emptying it as much. This is a great feature to have if you suffer from allergies as dust isn’t released into the air as often. If you want to know more, check out our guide on whether robot vacuums with self-emptying bases are worth it.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
    This is quite a common feature to find on robot vacuums nowadays. It means your robot vacuum can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. In doing this, you can control and monitor it remotely and this also gives you access to an assortment of features, depending on your model.
  • Hybrid models
    There are hybrid models available which can both vacuum and mop. In our experience, these aren’t as good as dedicated robot vacuums in terms of pick-up. So if you’re dealing with pet hair, stick to a standard robot vacuum for sure.
  • Mapping
    With this feature, a robot vacuum can map-out your home by feeling its way around with sensors during setup. They can then tell where any obstacles are, such as table  legs or the stairs. Using the map, the robot vacuum will then plot the best course for cleaning, rather than moving randomly.  
  • No-go zones
    This comes with models which offer mapping. You can essentially set areas where you don’t want it to go, such as around the pet’s food bowls or around an expensive rug.
  • Targeted rooms
    This is the opposite of no-go zones, where you can set which areas you would like the robot vacuum to focus on. 
  • Multiple floors
    Some robot vacuums can only store one map, which is frustrating if you need it to work on more than one floor. That’s why they’ve now introduced models which can record maps for multiple floors.      
  • Scheduling
    This is one of the most common features you will find for robot vacuum cleaners. Once you’ve connected the model to your smartphone, you can schedule when you would like it to clean, whether daily, weekly or when you’re not at home.
  • Remote control
    If your robot vacuum cleaner doesn’t connect to the Wi-Fi, it might come with a remote control instead. You won’t get as many features on this versus an app, but you can still control your robot vacuum hands-free. 
  • Battery life
    Make sure you consider the battery life of your potential robot vacuum. If it comes with a base, it can charge itself between runs, but if you need to plug it in manually, it might run out of charge part-way through cleaning. 
  • Dust capacity
    A smaller dustbin will need emptying more often, unless you’re lucky enough to own a self-emptying model! Look for a minimum of 400ml capacity for guidance.    

How to clean a robot vacuum

Neato D9 detachment

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

After picking up clumps of pet fur along with any dust and debris, your robot vacuum cleaner is going to need a clean. Dustbin sizes start from about 400ml, which will need emptying after each run, although you won’t need to worry about this if you own a self-emptying model. Every time you empty the dustbin, check the brush bar as well, in case any fur has become entangled. Be sure to cut any hair free rather than pull at it as this can damage it. You should also keep an eye on your filter and clean it regularly as specified in your manual. Bear in mind that the filter will also need to be replaced occasionally too. Some brands, including Eufy, iLife, Neato, and Roborock, offer cleaning tools with their robot vacuums to help with maintenance. 

If you don’t keep on top of cleaning your robot vacuum, it will inevitably affect its performance. Once the bin is full, it won’t be able to pick up anymore debris and will become counterproductive, dragging the dirt around instead. 

If your robot vacuum comes with app connectivity, look out for maintenance tips. Some can even schedule reminders for when to buy a replacement filter.  

Robot vacuum FAQs

Is a robot vacuum worth it for pet hair?

Pet hair is arguably one of the toughest types of debris to collect from your floors. This is because the fibers actually cling to the carpet, and this is made all the worse by regular footfall. It essentially gets knotted into the pile and requires not just a powerful vacuum, but an effective rotating brush bar to agitate and remove it. For this reason, even upright corded vacuums can struggle when it comes to pet hair. 

While pet hair is easier to collect from hard floors because it can’t get embedded, it can still cause problems. The fur can end up jamming the brush bar, which prevents the vacuum from picking up further debris. So whatever type of floors you have, pet hair can be a tough customer. 

Of course, robot vacuums don’t tend to provide as strong a performance as upright vacuum cleaners, so this makes the capabilities on pet hair questionable from the start. However, as our tests show, some robot vacuums excel in this field, thanks to a specialized design and an optimum pick up rate. These are less common than we would like, but they do exist, and there are even models available which perform well across the board, picking up dust, crumbs and pet hair with ease. Whatever you do, don’t choose a model based on claims around pet hair removal alone — confirm its performance where possible, which is where our tests will help you out. 

Vacuuming is one of the 7 ways to remove pet odor from your home.

How much should you spend on a robot vacuum?

While you need to find a robot vacuum which excels in this type of debris, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to break the bank. One of our top performers costs less than $200, so you can find a pet hair appropriate option even if you're shopping on a budget. 

Robot vacuums range from about $150 up to a whopping $1,400, so it’s essential that you have a budget in mind before you start browsing. Consider exactly what you want from your robot vacuum — don’t be tempted by expensive features unless you intend to use them. Once you know what you’re looking for, this should help scale down the options and prevent you from overspending.  

Hunter Fenollol
Senior Editor, Smart Home

Hunter Fenollol is a Senior Editor for Tom’s Guide. He specializes in smart home gadgets and appliances. Prior to joining the team, Hunter reviewed computers, wearables, and mixed reality gear for publications that include CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, and Laptop Magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest cooking gadgets, you can likely find him playing a round of golf or out with friends feeding his paycheck to a QuickHit slot machine. Hunter started his career as an intern at Tom’s Guide back in 2019 while in college. He graduated from Long Island University Post with a degree in Communications and minor in Advertising. He has been vlogging ever since the iPhone 4 took front-facing cameras mainstream.