Consumer Reports: Best vacs for pet hair

Don't Waste Your Money

About 84 million households have a dog, a cat, or both. That's a lot of pet hair to clean up.

Some vacuums promise to be especially good at picking up pet hair, like the Hoover Pet Cyclonic that claims to "keep your home free of pet hair."

The Bissell Lift-off Multi-Cyclonic says it's "made for homes with pets." So does the Dyson DC 28. But....

Pet Hair Specific Vacs Not Always Best

Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine put those vacuums and more than 80 others through its tough new pet-hair test. Hair for the test comes from longhaired Maine coon cats.

The hair was collected after grooming and is sent to Consumer Reports' labs.

Testers spread 5 grams of cat hair on a carpet, then use a heavy roller to press it down. That simulates people walking repeatedly across the carpet. Next, each vacuum gets 14 passes to see how well it picks up the hair.

Some didn't do a very good job. Even some of the expensive vacuums that make special pet-hair claims weren't the best at picking up pet hair.

It turns out that some of vacuums that don't make a pet-hair claim actually aced Consumer Reports' pet-hair test, and are all-around better vacuums, according to the magazine.

And the Winners Are...

In the end, Consumer Reports named the Kenmore Intuition 31100 from Sears a top pick at $260. It is excellent at picking up pet hair and overall is a very good vacuum.

If you prefer a canister vacuum, Consumer Reports named another Sears Kenmore a Best Buy. It's the Kenmore Progressive 27514. It sells for $300.

On a budget?  Its Best Buy is the bagless Hoover Wind Tunnel T-Series Rewind, just $130.

All were as good as several $400 -$500 pet-hair specific pet hair vacuums, according to Consumer Reports.

As always, don't waste your money.

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