These models can handle it all


Pets can be mediocre roommates.

Their presence makes your life better — but significantly messier, too. And unlike in a passive-aggressive roommate group chat, you can’t tell a pet to clean up after itself.

Whether they have a favorite floor spot for rolling around, or prefer to spread the love (fur) around the house, it’s impossible to follow their trail with a vacuum and lint roller. Sending a robot vacuum to tidy your floors on a regular schedule can cut you a major break on your chores.

What makes a robot vacuum good for pet hair?

There are a handful of factors to consider before you purchase a robot vacuum. Chief among them are the type of floors in your home. Virtually all robots can master hardwood floors (as well as laminate, tile, and vinyl). A living space that contains a variety of flooring and/or carpet or rugs will prove to be a little more challenging for a robot. In that case, you’ll want to veer toward a model with closer to 2,000 Pa of suction and different modes that automatically suck harder when carpet is detected.

Additionally, as a pet owner, a vacuum equipped with side brushes (preferably rubber) particularly aid with picking up hair without getting it tangled.

Another important aspect for people with pets? The filtration system. Vacuuming is bound to kick up dander, dust, and pollen. A good filter captures all of that and makes sure it gets into the vacuum’s dust bin. We should note that some robot models contain HEPA filters that can catch even smaller particles, leading to cleaner air and a cleaner floor. This is particularly advantageous if you live with an allergy sufferer.

You’ll also want to consider noise level, especially since your pets might be sensitive. Some robot vacuums can be as loud as more traditional vacuums whereas others sound more like a fan. If you’re worried that you’ll find the noise irritating or distracting, there are models that allow you to program the vacuum to run at specific times — when you’re at work for example. Impressively, some of the newer and fancier options even have companion apps so you can control the vacuum from afar. You may schedule a cleaning, check on the robot’s progress, and even receive maintenance reminders all via your phone.

You should also keep battery life and charging time in mind. Some robot vacuums run for 60 minutes before they die. Others can go for over two hours. Similarly, it can take anywhere from roughly two to five hours for your robot to recharge, depending on the model. It’s good to think about the timing in the context of your home’s size. If you live in a studio apartment, a vacuum that only runs for an hour should meet your needs. A larger home may necessitate a longer battery life. The robot’s mapping function (i.e. method/route in which it cleans the floor) might also affect your decision. Cheaper models tend to pursue a random “bump and run” pattern, making them less efficient and thorough. More expensive robots often clean in an orderly, linear fashion. Hence, they don’t usually over-clean or entirely miss certain areas. And they typically complete the task more quickly. A handful even “remember” where they’ve cleaned so if they need to be recharged mid-task, they can easily resume their work and avoid unnecessary repeat cleanings.

Additionally, as a pet owner, you might want to invest in a robot that has a virtual wall. This is a magnetic strip that stops the vacuum from coming close to items that may trip it up or that it might otherwise disturb. For example, the virtual wall will help prevent your robot from knocking over your dog’s food bowls. We’re confident you, your dog, and your vacuum will all appreciate this feature.

With all that said, we must admit that no robot vacuum is ever going to do as good a job as a standard upright vacuum. Sorry, but it’s true. But when taking everything above into account, there are some robot vacuums that stand out above the rest, especially when it comes to tackling pet hair. And having a robot vac cover your home once per day is definitely going to cut down on those traditional-vacuuming sessions.

Let’s get down to our list of best robot vacuums for pet hair in 2021.

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