Consumer Reports

Best Vacuums for That New Pandemic Pet

Consumer Reports put a number of vacuums to the test

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Shelters, animal rescue groups, private breeders and pet stores have all reported increased demand for pets recently. Whether you have a new “pandemic puppy” or you’ve had a furry companion for years, you probably know about shedding and pet hair. But the testers at Consumer Reports reveal that some vacuums are better for picking up pet hair than others.

CR testers use Maine Coon cat fur because it’s long, thick, and has a clingy quality that makes it difficult for vacuums to pick up. They embed it into medium pile carpet using a heavy metal roller.

Each tested vacuum is pushed back and forth over the fur until it’s gone. The best ones remove it using fewer strokes. The fur left in the brush is then weighed. The poor-performing vacuums get the fur caught up in the brush roll or leave it behind on the carpet.

Here are some of CR’s top performers:

For uprights, consider the Dyson Ball Animal 2 for $500. It’s bagless and excels at picking up pet hair and dust.


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For canisters, the Miele Compact C2 Electro for $700 gets excellent ratings for picking up pet hair and cleaning bare floors. It’s among the best of the tested models at containing dust particles.

CR subjects stick vacs to a modified fur test. The Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean LZ601 for $275 is a corded stick vacuum that does an excellent job lifting pet hair from carpeting. And it has a built-in mechanism that helps to remove hair from the brush roll. It’s also good for couch cushions, where your furry friend might hang out.

CR says that if you have one of those bagless vacuums, don’t empty the dustbin into the trash, because lots of dust particles can float back up in the air. Try putting the bin into a plastic bag and holding it tightly closed as you empty it, then wait for the dust to settle before taking the bin out. The allergy-prone people in your home will thank you.

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