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For pet owners with allergies, a good pet vacuum is an essential tool.

The best pet vacuums don’t just remove pesky pet hair from upholstery, floors and other surfaces—they also catch and trap allergens like dander, dust and mold. A good model can help improve your quality life a great deal by removing the source of your symptoms from your home.

But what makes a good pet vacuum?

There are many good (and many not-so-good) vacuums that are designed with pet owners in mind. On this site, we review some of the most popular models right now. We weigh some of the pros and the cons of top sellers on the market, in an effort to find out what owners like and dislike about each brand and model.

Of course, the best pet vacuum for you will depend on your specific needs. There’s a great deal of variation in the price, size, shape and function of vacuums. Some models are better suited for homes with hardwood floors, while others do better on high or low pile carpets. Some vacuums are great for tackling stairs, while others are better suited for homes with large, open floor plans.

In our reviews, we like to categorize our picks based on the buyer’s needs, budget, and home interior. By matching each vacuum to corresponding lifestyle, we hope to go beyond which vacuum is “best” to find out which vacuum is best for you.

How We Pick our Favorites

Our reviews are based on a combination of user reviews, consumer tests, and expert opinions. We collect as much information as we can regarding how each vacuum performs in the real world. We look at how each individual model performs on hardwood floors, carpet, upholstery and other surfaces.

We also look for other features that like attachments and components that come with each vacuum, how easy to use the vacuum is, and what kind of filter the vacuum uses.

Of course, we also look at how each model performs when it comes to picking up pet hair. Some of our picks are designed especially to pick up pet hair, while others are mult-ipurpose vacuums that happen to be particularly good at tackling pet hair.

How to Pick the Best Pet Vacuum for You

The most important thing to consider to when buying a vacuum is what you intend to use it for. Since this is a site aimed towards pet owners with allergies, we’re going to assume that you want a vacuum that’s good at picking up pet hair, dander, and other allergens from your home.

But like we mentioned above, different models of vacuum cleaners are often designed for different purposes. It’s important to look for the pet vacuum that best fits you, your home, and your lifestyle.

Here are some important things to consider when shopping for a vacuum:

The Size of Your Home

If you’re buying a primary vacuum that you intend to use for your entire home, it’s important to look for a vacuum that’s up to the task. Some vacuums are better for “spot” cleaning—vacuuming up a quick mess in a small area—while others are designed to tackle large floor plans.

The Floors in Your Home

Do you have high pile or low pile carpets in your home? Do you have hardwood floors or tile? Perhaps you have some combination of the above in your home. It’s important to think about the types of floor that you plan to use it on.

Other Areas You Want to Clean

Of course, the floor isn’t the only surface that your animal can shed on. Your furniture, drapes, and car interior may also need some attention. Maybe your shelves and ceilings are getting covered in dust as well. You’ll want to think about all the surfaces—not just the floors—that you want your prospective vacuum to clean.