10 Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
Robot vacuums are a convenient and hassle-free way of keeping on top of the housework, although they can’t completely replace manual vacuuming. One area where some robot vacuums struggle is in picking up pet hair, especially on carpeted floors because the strands get stuck in the fibers of the carpet and are difficult to pull out. Extra suction power helps, but so too does a vacuum with brushes or other attachments and features that pull the hair up before sucking it up.
Below, we have included reviews of 10 of the best robot vacuums for pet hair this year, including those with filters to remove allergens, some with mop features built in to deal with any pet accidents, and a good variety of budgets and price ranges.
A Glance at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||Roborock S4 Max Robot Vacuum||
|Best Value||iLife V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner||
|Premium Choice||iRobot Roomba j7+ Robot Vacuum||
|Eufy By Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 11S||
|Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum Cleaner||
The 10 Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair
1. Roborock S4 Max Robot Vacuum – Best Overall
|Bin Size:||460 milliliters|
|Dimensions:||18.9 x 6 x 18.8 inches|
The Roborock S4 Max Robot Vacuum is a reasonably priced and feature-packed robot vacuum. It uses LiDAR navigation so it can find its way around the house in all lighting conditions, which is important considering a lot of people have the vacuum running at night. It has four levels of multi-level mapping, a run time of up to 18 minutes, and a dustbin capacity of 460 milliliters.
It also comes with its own app for easy control and can be connected to your Alexa or Google Home voice assistant. No-go zones mean that you can set up a safe area for the cat or prevent the vacuum from trying to suck up the food and water bowl.
The reasonable price, strong suction power, and 180-minute runtime make this the best overall robot vacuum for pet hair, although it can be tricky to set up effective room dividing, and you may find it easier to use no-go zones instead.
2. iLife V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner – Best Value
|Bin Size:||300 milliliters|
|Dimensions:||11.8 x 11.8 x 3 inches|
The iLife V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner is a fraction of the price of a lot of other models. This means that it is affordable, but you do have to compromise in a few areas to get it for such a low price. The vacuum has strong suction power, which is low but still more than enough especially for hard floors.
It has also been designed to offer tangle-free suction, which is especially useful when hoovering up cat and dog hair. It has a 300-milliliter dust collector. Again, they are bigger on the market, but it is still reasonable. And the 100-minute runtime should be adequate for most homes, except those with very large spaces. It doesn’t use any complicated navigation system, so it basically works randomly. If you have too many items on the floor, the iLife V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner can end up missing sections, but it’s rare, and if you move a couple of items, it should resolve the issue.
The low cost and its ability to pick up pet hairs effectively make the iLife V3s Pro the best robot vacuum for the money.
3. iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum – Premium Choice
|Bin Size:||2.5 liters|
|Dimensions:||13.34 x 13.3 x 3.4 inches|
At pretty much the other end of the price scale from the iLife V3s Pro is the iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum—one on a long and varied list of Roomba robot vacuums. This isn’t the most expensive the company offers but it does have some advanced features that are not found in most other similar items. iRobot isn’t very transparent when it comes to suction power, simply stating that it is 10 times more powerful than the Roomba 600 series.
It does have rubber brushes that make it suitable for soft or hard floors. It also has intelligent mapping, scheduled cleaning, and can empty its own bin with a 250-milliliter onboard bin and a 2.5-liter external bin. IRobot claims that this is enough for 60 days.
It can connect to Alexa and Google Home and, especially beneficial for pet owners, it has the P.O.O.P. system, which means that it will avoid pet poo and pet mess so it doesn’t get messy and clogged up, and if it doesn’t avoid it, iRobot will replace the unit free of charge.
4. Eufy By Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 11S
|Bin Size:||600 milliliters|
|Dimensions:||12.8 x 12.8 x 2.85 inches|
The Eufy By Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 11S is one of, if not the, shortest robot vacuums available, which means it is especially good at getting under furniture and won’t have to miss out on areas of the room because it won’t fit under. It is also one of the cheaper models and as well as having a reasonable 100-minute run time, it is also self-charging, so it will always be ready for deployment. Considering its slim stature, it has an impressive 60- milliliter onboard bin. It does only have 1,300 Pascal pressure (Pa) of suction power.
It paths randomly because there is no onboard navigation, but its sensors do a good job of avoiding necessary objects while still ensuring a decent pass of the room. This is aided by the slim design that lets it get under some sofas and chairs that other robot vacuums would miss.
5. Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
|Bin Size:||640 milliliters|
|Dimensions:||13.7 x 13.8 x 3.6 inches|
Considering its relatively low price, the Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum Cleaner has some surprisingly good features and strong specifications. It has 2,000 Pa suction power, which is on the respectable end of the scale. It also has a 640-milliliter dustbin capacity, which is sizable for an onboard holder, and it is compatible with Amazon and Google home devices. It also comes with its own app, although functionality is limited to setting timers and checking where the cleaner has cleaned.
It doesn’t have zoning or mapping, but you can buy separate magnetic strips if you want to set up a no-go zone, and it doesn’t have intelligent mapping so it may miss one or two areas. It does, however, have a 200-minute runtime, which is better than virtually all robot vacuums we’ve seen. For a little extra money, you can get a Roborock E4 that has a separate mopping module, too, which will deal with muddy pawprints and food slop, as well as pet hairs.
6. Eufy By Anker Robovac X8 Hybrid Robot Vacuum And Mop Cleaner
|Bin Size:||400 milliliters|
|Dimensions:||13.58 x 13.58 x 3.85 inches|
The Eufy By Anker Robovac X8 Hybrid Robot Vacuum And Mop Cleaner is a hybrid robot vacuum and mop. Both cleaning systems are in the same unit and can be used simultaneously to provide a deep clean of any area. This does mean that you can mop up pet accidents and food spills, but it also means that there are some limitations to the design. For example, because the unit has to fit a 250-milliliter water tank, it only has a 400-milliliter bin capacity.
The X8 does have a 140-minute runtime, which should be enough for most floors. It has mapping capabilities and utilizes a LiDAR mapping system that learns and updates every time the vacuum cleans the house. You can also store multiple maps in the app so it can be used for multi-floor cleaning. The suction power of the vacuum is 2,000 Pa, but the X8 has two turbines, so it feels like it has more suction power than it really does.
It is an expensive robot vacuum, but the Eufy By Anker Robovac X8 Hybrid Robot Vacuum And Mop Cleaner does mop as well as vacuum, and it has intelligent mapping features, but it is let down a little by its somewhat lackluster bin capacity.
7. iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum With Automatic Dirt Disposal
|Bin Size:||500 milliliters|
|Dimensions:||13.34 x 13.34 x 3.63 inches|
The iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum With Automatic Dirt Disposal is another from Roomba’s extensive range of these devices. This one has advanced mapping features that update every time it cleans, and enable it to spot clean on demand. Because it is compatible with Alexa and Google voice assistant, you can tell it to go and clean a specific area, such as in front of the sofa or under the table, and it will.
The Roomba i7+ is self-emptying but still doesn’t have the largest bin capacity, holding just 500 milliliters. iRobot claims that this is enough that it won’t need emptying for up to 60 days, but if the vacuum is picking up pet hair and other dirt over the course of a week, it is unlikely it will last anywhere near this long.
As with Roombas, iRobot doesn’t state the actual suction power, instead telling us that it is 10 times more powerful than the Roomba 600 series. It is expensive and it only has a 75-minute runtime, although it does have intelligent charging, so the unit will stop cleaning when it is running out of charge, recharge itself, and then resume its cleaning schedule. So, the short battery life isn’t too much of a problem.
8. ECOVACS Deebot T8 Aivi Robot Vacuum Cleaner And Mop
|Bin Size:||2.5 liters|
|Dimensions:||13.7 x 13.7 x 3.6 inches|
Although it is an expensive unit, the ECOVACS Deebot T8 Aivi Robot Vacuum Cleaner And Mop is a combination of vacuum and mop, and because it is self-emptying, it means that you don’t have to worry about the compromise of a smaller onboard dust collector.
The main dustbin will hold up to 2.5 liters of waste, although as with all self-emptying units, this does mean that the base station is large. The unit also has a 240-milliliter tank for mopping water and will hoover, sweep, and mop simultaneously to ensure the area is thoroughly cleaned in one go. Intelligent mapping means it learns your floor layout and can store multiple maps, and it has an impressive 180-minute runtime, although this is only on the lowest settings, so you are likely to get less than this during actual use. You can even use the onboard camera to check in on pets if you really want to.
However, the big battery capacity means that the unit takes a while to recharge, and it can take several passes to pick up difficult pet hair in carpets.
9. Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum And Mop
|Bin Size:||1.5 liters|
|Dimensions:||13.6 x 13.6 x 3 inches|
The Yeedi Vac Station Robot Vacuum And Mop is another device that combines the features of a vacuum and mop. It has a 1.5-liter dustbin although this is stored on the base unit, so the base does take up a lot of space. It has a very impressive 200-minute runtime, which means the battery will last for most homes but does take some time to recharge, and it has a very impressive 3,000 Pa suction power.
Despite having impressive specifications, the vacuum gets easily tangled with long pet hair, and it can struggle to move from one type of floor surface to another. Slightly annoyingly, the self-empty bin doesn’t take standard-sized bags, either.
10. iRobot Roomba S9+ Robot Vacuum
|Bin Size:||400 milliliters|
|Dimensions:||12.25 x 12.25 x 3.5 inches|
The final entry on our list is another Roomba. The iRobot Roomba S9+ Robot Vacuum is one of the most expensive robot vacuums available, and it does have some advanced features and decent specs, although not necessarily enough to justify the mammoth price tag. It is self-emptying, but only has a 400-milliliter bin capacity, which doesn’t compare well to those units with a 2.5-liter capacity.
It has 40 times the suction power of the 600 series, which means it is more powerful than models like the i7+, which is only 10 times more powerful, but we’re still uncertain exactly how much power that is. It is good at mapping and constantly updates its stored maps and works for multi-level mapping while offering no-go zones and room dividing. However, it only has a 75-minute runtime, and it does have an unerring knack for getting stuck in tight spaces.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
A robot vacuum is an automated cleaner that sucks up dirt, dust, and debris from the floor. It should work on carpeted and hard floors, although some vacuums do work best on specific types of floors and some modern models also include mopping capabilities. Although the marketplace is largely dominated by iRobot Roomba models, there are other manufacturers that have also entered the fray. This, along with the extensive range of Roombas, means that there is a decent selection of vacuums to choose from.
Features to Look For
Pet hair is difficult for vacuums to handle. The handle head should have brushes or something that pulls the hair up before the vacuum sucks it up. Low-powered vacuums struggle and even higher-powered vacuums can end up getting clogged with hairs caught in the brushes or, worse still, in the motor.
The problems are exacerbated in some robot vacuums because they do not have a human at the controls to judge the situation. Fortunately, where a robot vacuum is unable to pick up pet hairs, this usually means they are left behind and won’t usually lead to a blown motor. However, there are various features to consider when shopping for the best robot vacuum cleaner for pet hair.
Most pets shed hair and dander every day, and this means that the vacuum will need to collect a lot more dirt than it would in a pet-free home. The vacuum needs a decent bin capacity, otherwise, you will have to empty it every time it finishes a cycle. Alternatively, there are some models that are self-emptying vacuums.
Self-emptying vacuums tend to have a smaller onboard bin and a large bin at the base station. When the vacuum finishes its cycle or gets full, it will return to the base station and empty the pet hair and other dirt into the base station bin. Obviously, this bin will still need emptying, but you can go several weeks before this needs to be done, rather than a few days with an onboard dustbin. Be aware that self-emptying bins do have larger base stations because they have to house the bin.
Hybrid robot vacuums not only vacuum but also have mopping functionality. They will spray or drip water on the floor before mopping and removing the debris. These can be beneficial on hard floor surfaces, but because the vacuum needs a water tank, it means that the size of the dustbin is usually smaller to accommodate the water tank.
The suction power on the models above ranges from 1,000–3,000 Pa, and while a higher number doesn’t necessarily mean the vacuum will perform better, it is a reasonable indication. Most manufacturers do publish the suction power for their models, with the notable exception being iRobot, which doesn’t list the ratings for their Roomba models. While a 1,000 Pa suction should be adequate on hard flooring, this might struggle to pick up pet hairs from carpets and rugs. So, if you have a lot of carpeted floors, opt for something with more suction.
Basic robot vacuums use what is essentially a random navigation pattern. They will head off in a particular direction and, using a number of onboard sensors, avoid smaller objects and turn when they reach a wall. These can navigate around open-plan rooms with few obstructions well and will still clean most of the area, but they can struggle in busy rooms and may miss large portions by accident.
Advanced mapping and navigation features mean that the robot first scans the room and effectively draws a map of the room, determining the best route. As it cleans, it continues to map and update its own map so that the next time it heads out to clean, it will have an even clearer map and will be able to cover more ground.
Intelligent mapping also saves maps of particular rooms, can determine separate rooms, and may even offer multi-level mapping so that you can move the robot vacuum to the upper floor and back down again. Plus, it will be able to remember the route—ideal for cleaning two or more floors.
Home Assistant Compatibility
Basic vacuums are controlled by buttons on the vacuum itself or by a remote. Some have an app that lets you set schedules, while more advanced apps show you maps and let you set no-go zones. Recently, more and more models include voice assistant compatibility, which means that you can tell Alexa to have the vacuum start cleaning. These may also allow spot cleaning, which means that you can, for example, tell the vacuum to clean under the dining table.
Runtime is the amount of time that the vacuum will clean on a single, full charge of its battery and before it needs to recharge at the base station. A longer runtime means that the vacuum will be more likely to finish its cleaning routine before it has to return to the station, although some have intelligent charging, which essentially means that runtime doesn’t really matter.
With intelligent charging, the vacuum will remember where it was up to when it had to recharge, and, once charged, it will return to finish the job. It is worth noting that a longer runtime usually means that it takes longer for the battery to recharge once it has fully run down.
Do Robot Vacuums Go Over Rugs?
Robot vacuums are typically designed to work on multiple types of surfaces and to transition from hardwood to carpet and vice versa. As such, they should be capable of going over rugs, although some perform better than others.
Should I Run a Robot Vacuum Every Day?
Pets shed hairs and dander every day, and there is nothing to stop you from running a robot vacuum every day. In fact, this can be the most effective way to ensure that your home remains pet hair free because it will have less to do each day than if you set it to only run every week.
How Many Years Do Robot Vacuums Last?
With regular cleaning and maintenance, it is possible for a robot vacuum to last between 4–6 years. Some of the more expensive and better-quality models can last longer than this.
Can A Robot Vacuum Replace a Normal Vacuum?
A robot vacuum cannot currently replace a normal vacuum entirely. There are certain areas that the robot will struggle to reach, and one is unable to move furniture. What’s more, robot vacuums, because of their small size, do not have the same power as uprights or stick vacuums. They are getting better, and a robot vacuum may one day be able to replace the need to manually vacuum, but the technology is not quite there yet.
Robot vacuums have improved a lot since their early days and modern models are not only capable of picking up small amounts of dirt from the middle of the room but can get under and around objects, pick up pet hair, and clean up some pet mess. But there is a lot of disparity in prices, features, and effectiveness.
Above, we have listed reviews of 10 of the best robot vacuums for pet hair today to help you find the best for your needs. For overall performance and reasonable cost, we found the Roborock S4 Max offered the best combination, but if you’re on a tight budget, the iLife V3s Pro is a good and surprisingly inexpensive option, although its functions are limited, and its capabilities don’t quite match those of the expensive models.
Featured Image Credit: YoonJae Baik, Unsplash