7 Best Robot Vacuums For Pet Hair of 2019

We all love our furry friends – but vacuuming up their fur can feel like a never-ending chore! If you’ve been wondering whether a robot could be the answer, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we review seven of the best robot vacuum cleaners for pet hair. And we check out the features to look for before you head to the shops.

At a Glance: Top 7 Robot Vacuums For Pet Hair 

The Best Robot Vacuum For Pet Hair of 2019

1. iLife V3S Pro Robot Vacuum  Our Top Pick 

ILife V3s pro robot vacuum cleaner for pet hair

image: ILIFE

The V3S Pro from ILife is proof that robot vacuum cleaners don’t have to cost a king’s ransom. And it’s great on pet hair too.

This neat little gizmo has a low profile, so it will fit under pretty much any furniture. If you’ve got a cat who likes hiding in out-of-the way spots, this will dispose of the furry evidence.

Little brushes whizz around to pick up dust and debris. And they’re cleverly designed to stop hairs tangling in them and slowing them down.

It will work on either hard floors or carpets, though it performs better on firm surfaces. And as long as the height difference isn’t more than one centimetre, it will trundle smoothly between the two.

It can be operated by remote control or by a button on the robot. You can schedule cleaning times in advance, and there are three different settings: auto, edge mode and space mode.

It will keep going for 90 to 100 minutes without needing to be recharged. That’s plenty of time to give your floors a thorough cleaning. And there are smart sensors that stop it from bumping into obstacles or falling down stairs.

It’s nice and quiet, so you can use it late at night without disturbing neighbors or slumbering children. And it has one other feature that may help minimise pet hair on floors. Some cats enjoy sitting on the cleaner as it’s moving across the floors!

When it’s finished its work, it will automatically dock in its charging port, ready for next time.

This is a very competitively priced machine. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that it doesn’t have all the features of more expensive robot vacs. It doesn’t map your floorplan, and it won’t give you cleaning reports.

And its compact size means you’ll need to empty it fairly regularly.

But set those niggles aside, and this is an excellent option for anyone wanting a robot vacuum to eradicate pet hair.

What We Like

  • Excellent at cleaning up pet hair, especially from hard floors
  • Easy to programme and use
  • Smart sensors protect your robot – and furniture – from bumps and falls

What We Don't Like

  • You’ll need to empty it fairly regularly
  • Doesn’t have the added features of more expensive models

2. iRobot Roomba 650  Budget Pick 

iRobot Roomba 650 robot vacuum for pet hair review

image: iRobot

iRobot are giants in the field of robot vacuum cleaners. The first of three of their robots to make our list, the Roomba 650 offers very good value.

It uses sensors to navigate its way around obstacles, and for the most part these work well. You will find that the robot occasionally gets stuck, however, particularly under furniture.

When it comes to pet hair, it’s a real demon. You’ll need to clean out the brushes about once a week to get rid of what it’s collected. Happily, the robot comes with a clever tool to help with the task. And you’ll need to change the filter and brushes about once a month.

One pet-related word of warning. If you have pets that sometimes have “accidents” take care about scheduling cleaning when you’re out.

We’ve heard some absolute horror stories of what happens when the Roomba encounters dog mess… Suffice it to say, you’ll have more cleaning to do when it’s finished than before it started.

It uses a pretty random pattern to cover your floor, and it has a runtime of 60 minutes. While it’s shorter than other robots on our list, it’s long enough to do a good job in most cases.

It will bump into things occasionally. It does so quite gently, but we’ve still heard the odd report of it leaving marks on baseboards.

And if you have any carpets with black borders, beware that they’ll confuse most robot vacs, including this one. The sensor that stops the vacuum from tumbling down stairs seems to mistake the black edge for a drop. As a result, it will stay well away.

What We Like

  • Good value model with iAdapt navigation
  • Excellent on pet hair
  • Useful tool included for cleaning hairs out of the brushes

What We Don't Like

  • Prone to leaving marks on baseboards
  • Will get confused by any carpets or rugs with black borders

3. iRobot Roomba i7  Upgrade Pick 

The second iRobot on our list, the Roomba i7 is a step up from the 650 in functionality and price.

The major advantage here is its ability to map your floorplan. This allows it to work out the best route to clean the space. There’s no more random wandering around the room.

It also allows you to specify which rooms you’d like to clean, adding an extra dimension to programming. And a full suite of sensors allow the robot to navigate around the room without hitting obstacles.

When it comes to cleaning power, it’s a step up too. It has no less than ten times the suction of the Roomba 600 series. There’s also a three-stage cleaning system, cleverly vacuuming the floor before mopping.  

The brush rollers are made of rubber, rather than bristles. They’re better at lifting pet hair from the surface of your floor. And they work well on low pile carpet.

And when the i7 has finished, it will take itself back to its docking station. It performs one last job before beginning to recharge: emptying the contents of the dust container into the wall bin. That will hold an impressive 30 container loads of dust.

One drawback is that the wall bin uses bags rather than a canister. You’ll need to keep stocked up, and they’re pretty expensive.

The second niggle is that it’s fairly loud. That’s a particular issue for the ten seconds or so when it’s emptying the dust container.

But if you can cope with these minor issues, this is a very clever bit of kit. And the strong suction and self-emptying functionality are real bonuses.

What We Like

  • Mapping system calculates the best route for efficient cleaning
  • Three-stage cleaning system and excellent suction
  • Automatically empties itself out

What We Don't Like

  • You’ll need to buy expensive bags for the wall bin
  • It’s noisy, especially when emptying the dust container

4. Ecovacs Deebot N79s

If you’re looking for a robot vacuum cleaner to work with electronic assistants, the Deebot N79S could be for you. It is compatible with either Alexa or Google Assistant. Just say the words, and your robot friend will get to work.

You’ll pay almost twice as much as for the ILife, but it comes with a host of clever features. The app allows you to schedule cleaning times, check the status of the robot and accessories, and change cleaning modes.

It doesn’t, though, have the smart navigation technology available with more expensive Ecovacs models. It will clean in a random pattern, though it will cover everywhere eventually. Fortunately, it has a runtime of up to 110 minutes before it needs to be recharged.

And you can use the remote control to operate it like a toy car. It’s great fun, and you can send it off to clean any spots you can see it’s missed.

But what about cleaning – is it any good on pet hair?

Well, it has advanced suction on two of its three settings – auto and spot cleaning. (The third setting is designed specifically for cleaning the edges of rooms.)  It will pick up pet hair and dander as easily as dust and dirt. You will, though, need to clean the brushes after each use.

There’s a decent sized dust container for such a dinky machine. It has a capacity of 0.12 gallons. And it will take itself off to the charger when it’s out of power. It comes with a one-year warranty too.

So far, so good. But are there any issues to be aware of?

Well, it will need a human helping hand every so often. It does have a tendency to get stuck on rugs, and chair legs seem to send it into a panic.  And it sometimes gets lost on its way back to the charging dock.

All in all, though, this is an effective cleaner that’s great fun. And if you want your robot to interact with your electronic assistant, this is definitely one to consider.

What We Like

  • Advanced suction on auto and spot cleaning settings
  • Can be controlled by an app on your phone, remote control, Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Run time of up to 110 minutes

What We Don't Like

  • Has a tendency to get stuck, particularly under chairs
  • Sometimes gets lost on its way to the charging dock

5. Shark Ion R75

SHARK ION R75 robotic vacuum for pet hair review

image: Shark

If you share your home with a pet – or human – with long hair – Shark’s Ion R75 is worth a look.

It’s excellent at picking up fine dirt and hair. But the particularly interesting feature here is its ability to untangle long hair from its brushes.

If you’ve struggled with hair clogging up your cleaner in the past, you’ll appreciate this innovation. And it’s just as useful when it comes to trailing strings or fringes on rugs.

This is another robot vacuum cleaner that can be used with an electronic assistant. It will work with either Alexa or Google Assistant. Say the magic words, “Alexa, clean the kitchen” and watch it get to work! You can also control it from an app on your phone, and schedule its start time.

It doesn’t have navigation technology, so it will clean in random patterns. Leave it to do its thing, though, and it will cover everywhere in time.

It cleans using two spinning side brushes with high-tensile bristles that drag in dust and dirt. It will work on hard floor and carpet, and its low profile allows it to fit comfortably under most furniture. If you have particularly thick carpet, though, you may find it occasionally gets stuck.

It’s powered by a lithium ion battery which provides over an hour of runtime. When the battery is almost drained it will reliably take itself back to the charger.

There’s a pull out tray which holds the dust. It’s a decent size, and easy to empty without making a mess.

We have, though, heard of a few glitches. There seems to be an issue with the front wheel – or rather, the robot thinks there’s a problem with it. We’ve heard of instances where it keeps returning an error message and won’t restart cleaning until it’s cancelled.

And you’ll need reliable Wifi to get good results. If your signal is prone to dipping in and out, your robot is likely to get itself stuck.

What We Like

  • Handy automatic detangling of hair
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Works on both hard floors and carpets

What We Don't Like

  • Has a tendency to return fake error messages
  • You’ll need a reliable Wifi signal for the best results

6. Roborock S5

Roborock S5 robotic vacuum cleaner for pet hair

image: Roborock

If you’re looking for a robot vac that’s packed with features, check out the Roborock S5.

The runtime is an impressive 150 minutes – a whole half an hour longer than any other cleaner on our list.

Its smart navigation is amongst the smartest out there, using laser sensors to map your home. It then calculates the most efficient cleaning route and follows it methodically, so it won’t miss any patches. And its infra-red sensors will stop it from hitting obstacles or falling down stairs.

It will glide smoothly over barriers up to two centimetres high. So it will handle a transition from a hard floor to even a thick carpet with ease.

There are a host of different cleaning functions to give good results on different kinds of surfaces. There’s a dedicated carpet mode, a mopping function for hard surfaces, and balanced, turbo and max modes. The robot will automatically select the maximum suction for the surface it’s cleaning.

The side brushes spin at different speeds depending on where they’re cleaning. When cleaning along the edge of walls they rotate at 3,300 rpm. The speed reduces to 130 rpm in the middle of the room to avoid sending dust and dirt flying.

This is a vacuum that’s good at picking up pet hair. You will, though, need to clean the brushes to keep it working well. A tool specifically designed for the task is included with the package.

There’s a water tank for mopping. This plugs in at the side, so there’s no risk of leakage. It releases moisture gradually, giving you clean floors without puddles or streaks.  

All this sounds very clever – and it is. But there are one or two things to bear in mind.

It’s not particularly good at cleaning in corners. You may find you need to get out your conventional vacuum for those.

And we’ve heard of some issues with a phantom error message. In this case, the app will tell you that the brushes are clogged when they’re not. It’s a simple enough matter to restart the robot using the app, so this is just a minor annoyance.

What We Like

  • Loads of different cleaning modes – and it will mop too
  • Great at picking up pet hair
  • Smart navigation allows methodical, efficient cleaning

What We Don't Like

  • Not great at cleaning in corners
  • Prone to returning phantom error messages

7. iRobot Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 880 robot vacuum for pet hair

If you’re looking for a robot vac you can keep in its place, consider the Roomba 880. The third and final iRobot model to make our list, this uses “virtual lighthouses” to guide the cleaner.

The lighthouses send a signal to keep the robot in one room until it’s clean, before moving to the next. You’ll be able to clean up to three rooms like this. And the lighthouses also stop the robot entering anywhere you don’t want it to go.

For pet hair, this cleaner works brilliantly. The brushes are rubber, and it’s very easy to remove any hairs wrapped around them. Just give them a tug and they’ll slide off in a single neat roll. There’s no need for any special tool with this one.

You’ll be astonished at how much more dirt and dust this removes than conventional vacuuming. Be prepared to empty the dust container every 15 minutes or so on the first clean. It’s an easy job, as is cleaning the filter. Aim to do the latter about once a week to keep the cleaner performing at its best.

You’ll get excellent battery life here too. Exactly how long it lasts will depend on the environment it’s cleaning. With hard floors, though, you can get well over three hours of runtime.

The main issue with this otherwise excellent cleaner is that the position of the lighthouses is essential for good results. Unfortunately, this isn’t particularly well explained in the instruction manual. If this is the cleaner you choose, be prepared to spend some time on online research.

And if you have lighter furniture, remove anything breakable from the top before you clean. The robot will occasionally bump into obstacles, and will do so with some force. You don’t want your priceless Ming vase left shattered on the floor.

What We Like

  • Guided room-by-room cleaning
  • Easy to remove hairs from the rubber brushes
  • Excellent battery life

What We Don't Like

  • The instruction manual isn’t as helpful as we’d like it to be
  • It can give furniture a fairly hefty bump as it’s working

Best Pet Hair Robot Vacuum Buying Guide

If you’re still wondering which is the right robot vacuum cleaner for your home, read on! Here are the questions to ask yourself before you buy.

How do you want to control your robot

best roomba for pet hair

If you prefer the simplicity of buttons or a remote control, there are robot vacuums that work that way. Set-up is very easy, and you’ll be able to get started in no time.

But if you love a gadget – and as you’re looking at robot vacuums, we assume you do! – consider other options. If you use an electronic assistant like Alexa, you might want to link it up to your cleaner. Ordering your robot to start cleaning (politely, of course!) can be immensely satisfying.

Do you need smart navigation

If you’re the kind of person who color codes their underwear drawer, a cleaner with smart navigation may be for you. This will map your home and work out the most efficient way to clean it. And you won’t have to worry about any missed patches.

This functionality comes at a price, though. So if watching your robot pal move in random directions doesn’t bother you, get a simpler machine.

Just make sure you check the runtime if you do. You’ll want a battery that will last long enough for the cleaner to cover the whole floor with less-than-perfect efficiency.

Do you have hard floors, carpets – or both?

best vacuum robot for pet hair

Some cleaners will work best on hard floors, while thicker carpets will be a challenge for many. And if you have both types of surface in your home, look out for cleaners that can handle the transition.

If you have hard floors, you might also be interested in a robot vacuum that can mop too. We particularly like models that vacuum before mopping. If you have pets, they’re a great option for dealing with both hair and muddy pawprints.

And take a look at the brushes too. Rubber versions are generally easier to untangle hair from than bristles. If the brushes do have bristles, look out for models that provide special tools for cleaning them.

Ready to put your robot to work

best robot vacuum for pets

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of some of the stairs.

Our top pick is the ILife V3S Pro. This simple machine works like a charm on pet hair, and it’s easy to clean the brushes too.

For great value, we recommend the Roomba 650. One of the less expensive models from iRobot, its iAdapt technology will steer it around obstacles and away from stairs.

And if you’re looking for an upgrade, we love the Roomba i7. Its smart navigation will methodically clean every inch of floorspace. And it will automatically empty its dust container too.

Whichever model is right for you, a robot vacuum cleaner will make your life a whole lot easier. And they’re a lot of fun too!

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