If you're a pet owner, the best robot vacuum for pet hair could become your next best friend. Of course, we love our furry friends, but the stray pet hair that turns into fluff balls that float across hard polished floors or become entwined in deep-pile carpets, we could do without – and let's not even talk about muddy paw prints across the kitchen floor. This is where a robot vacuum that's designed specifically for tackling pet hair can come to the rescue.
Owning one the best robot vacuums will enable you to keep on top of floor cleaning, helping to make the task more manageable. They'll map your home, clean the floors on demand, or at a set time, and return to base once the job is complete. Some arrive with added features that include automatic emptying, self-cleaning and on-board functions such as a camera and microphone. A handful of models mop as well as vacuum, detecting floor type using clever technology.
While a robot vacuum may not necessarily replace your vacuum cleaner for a deeper, more versatile clean, a robot vacuum that handles pet hair cleanup will prove handy for keeping on top of your pet's loose strands, before they get to the fur ball stage and risk clogging your cleaner.
Below you'll find the best robot vacuums for cleaning pet hair. We consider their basic and more advanced features, challenging the models on both daily and stubborn debris.
Best robot vacuum for pet hair 2023: our top 6
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If you want the ultimate in robot vacuums for pet hair then look no further than the iRobot Roomba i7+.
Our reviewer, Joe, found that the Roomba i7+ excelled at collecting fur as well as fine dust during testing. In many ways equal to its bigger sibling, the Roomba S9, it comes with the same smarts for mapping your home and integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It also uses the same large-capacity dust bags as that model to ensure you're only having to empty the dirt collected every 30 days. However, it's also available without the self-emptying base.
We found that the Roomba i7+ was best suited to quick daily cleans; it struggled to remove larger debris and ground-in dirt. Note, too, that the replaceable dust bags mean that the robovac comes with an ongoing cost.
Read our full iRobot Roomba i7+ review
The Neato D10 is the most affordable robot vacuum for pet hair here, although it certainly isn't the cheapest robot vacuum on the market. And, not only does the D10 perform extremely well, it features HEPA filtration that can capture up to 99.97% of allergens and fine dust particles as small as 0.3 microns, making it a top choice for allergy sufferers.
Our reviewer, Helen, found that the Max suction setting in particular gave excellent results for dirt and dust collection, which she felt would be perfect for homes with pets and children. The D10 also comes with a pretty epic runtime of 300 minutes (the longest in this guide), meaning that it can clean 2700 square feet/ 250 square meters before it needs a recharge. The loudest this robot vacuum recorded for noise was 75dB on Max mode on hard floors, although in Eco mode it registered just 60dB which is really very quiet.
On the downside, it struggled with the edges and corners of rooms, and customizing maps in the app didn’t always work. In addition, there's no self-emptying facility here – you'll also have to empty this robot vac yourself.
Read our full Neato D10 review
The Roomba Combo J7 Plus has the ability to suck up particles as small as 0.7 microns, as well as the ability to recognize and avoid pet waste. The Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P) makes this model ideal for pet owners and, as such, it swoops in to claim the position of best premium robot vacuum for pet hair.
Our reviewer, Josie, found that the Combo J7 Plus vacuumed well and mopped much better than most combination models. The J7 Plus was also super-responsive when using Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant to command that the vac avoid your furry friends, if it was beginning to head their way. The app, too, made the Combo J7 Plus easy to use, enabling us to set up the vacuum to map areas and set zones.
We did find that the J7 Plus struggled with some spillages, however. Oats proved a problem; it had a tendency to fling them around with the brush attachment. In addition, although the cleaner is pretty quiet in operation, for the 10-30 seconds that it's emptying, the noise reaches a dizzying 90dB plus. Note that you'll also incur an ongoing cost of dust bags with this model.
Read our full iRobot Roomba Combo J7 plus review
The Bissell SpinWave R5 is, as our reviewer states, "a solid two-in-one option". It does a lot of things very well – and, in particular, it's the cleaning performance on hard floors that sees it snag this position in our guide.
Our reviewer, James, found that the SpinWave R5 does a great job of picking up dust, tracking kitty litter and those finer particles with which pet owners battle to keep their spaces clean. He also thought that it picked up hair pretty well, both from James's cat and his long-haired roommate. And the SpinWave R5 can certainly do a lot of roaming, since it offers a superb battery life of 110 minutes for wet cleaning and 180 minutes for dry .
Yet, while the floors are pristine once the SpinWave R5 has done its thing, some hair does inevitably become stuck around the brush roll. Plus, it did bump into a lot of items that it should have avoided.
Read our full Bissell SpinWave R5 review
The Dreametech DreameBot L10s Ultra is going to feel like another pet around the home – but it's one that will tidy up after itself and keep itself clean. A feature that is likely to be particularly useful for pet owners is the onboard camera and microphone that allows them to check in on their furry friends, as is the generous bin capacity.
During our tests, Jennifer found that it did a great job of vacuuming light debris such as dust and small crumbs. It was also great at picking up hair – long and short –although longer strands had a tendency of becoming wrapped around the area where the bristleless brushbar connects into the robovac's base. However, the bristleless rubber brushbar remained hair-free, and Dreame claims that it should last between 6-12 months before needing to be replaced.
The L10s Ultra didn't perform as well when mopping up red sauce spillages from hard flooring, nor was it great at brushing up flour. Note, too, that it would be good idea to regularly check that the robot vac's airways are clear of any blockages; clogged passages will prevent it from emptying, seeing you miss out on one of its biggest perks.
Read our full Dreametech DreameBot L10s Ultra review
The Samsung Jet Bot AI+ picks up our stamp as the best robot vacuum for pet hair with object recognition, since this is by far its best feature – and one that we really do believe pet owners will find useful.
Our reviewer, Linda, found that the robot vacuum went around the dogs’ toys when on test – which have frequently stopped other robot vacuums in their tracks – despite being inaccurately named. Apparently, this feature was developed to deal with the issue of robot’s smearing pet excrement around the house while you’re out, so Linda was grateful for such a crisis to be avoided, and to not receive endless notifications that the robot was up to no good.
App control makes navigation a breeze, plus the Home Monitoring system proved a very useful additional feature. This meant that Linda could send the vacuum around her home to check out what the pets were up to when she was out. And, if you download a movement sensor widget, you can also the vacuum to detect motion and push out an alert, should the vacuum detect a disturbance.
However, the Samsung Jet Bot AI+'s bulky design makes it a challenge for it to get under furniture, and anything other than hard floors will prove quite the task for this model.
Read our full Samsung Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum with Object Recognition review
How we test robot vacuums for pet hair
Every robot vacuum for pet hair listed in this guide has been tested by one of our editors or contributors. We called upon robot vacuums from big brands such as iRobot, Bissell and Samsung, plus some smaller names such as Neato and Roborock, to test in our homes.
Not only did we put the robot vacuums through their paces on regular dirt, dust and fluff, but we also set them to task on some more challenging debris such as sweeping up oats or mopping up sauce from hard flooring.
Some of the key factors we evaluate include design, performance and battery life. We also compare how these models sit in a crowded market place on the basis of price, although note that robot vacuums better suited to tackling pet hair do command a higher ticket price.
We assess the performance of each robot vacuum for at least a few weeks, to give it enough time to map a home and become familiar with objects and obstacles in the space. At the end of the testing process, we rate each model for the key factors before awarding an overall score.
Where we're in a position to hang onto the robot vacuum, we do so to test performance over a longer period. In this case, we'll update relevant reviews after six months to one year.
Choosing the best robot vacuum for pet hair
There are a few things that need to be considered when choosing the best robot vacuum for pet hair.
As well as making a decision over whether you want a model that simply vacuums, or vacuums and mops, you should also take note of battery life – there's nothing worse than a robot vacuum that runs out of steam mid-clean. Similarly, it would be a good idea to look out for robot vacuum cleaners that come with large dust canisters or those that empty their dust bins and / or self-clean, so they really can be left to clean your floors unaided.
Some robovacs will take a methodical path across your floors, ensuring the vacuuming process is quick and efficient. However, these tend to be more expensive than those models that employ a random route when cleaning your floors.
Also, look for a smart mapping feature that ensures the robot vacuum learns the layout of your home. Specs such as LiDAR, AI and 3D navigation are good features to look for, and will ensure that particular model has the ability to accurately map your home. How the robot vac maps your home will feed into the functionalities of the associated app. App capabilities such as zoning will mean that you can clean specific rooms or areas at the touch of a button, and set no-go areas that the robot vacuum will steer clear of.
As well as app control, the majority of the best robot vacuum for pet hair featured in this guide offer voice control via Alexa, Siri and / or Google Assistant. This is a useful feature to have if you've always got your hands full, or don't want to be reaching for your phone all the time.
Can robot vacuums cope with dog hair?
Robot vacuums work autonomously. If they're set to clean everyday, it will help to prevent the buildup of cat and dog hair on floors and rugs, so they'll outperform any other vacuum.
Is an auto-empty robot vacuum worth it?
Any form of robot vacuum is worth it, although a robot vacuum with a self-emptying base delivers greater benefits – especially for households with pets. A self-emptying vacuum cleaner will automatically return to its base to deposit the mess it has cleared from floors. This means less involvement on your part when it comes to emptying the dirt from you vac into the trash, plus fewer dust and / or allergens being released into the air as you do so.
However, note that such functionality does mean that such models command a higher ticket price. They will also likely take up more space than a robot vacuum that lacks self-emptying because the dust tank in a base unit of such a vacuum is capable of holding a larger capacity of dirt.