Picking up pieces—or piles—of your pet’s hair can be all in a day’s work for a robotic vacuum. But our tests have found that not all of these little vacs do the task well.
At Consumer Reports we test robotic vacuums from a number of brands, including Ecovacs, Eufy, iRobot, LG, Samsung, and Shark. Vacuums from iRobot Roomba dominate in our test for pet-hair pickup.
“Most iRobot Roombas have a dual brush system with all-rubber brushes,” said Alex Nasrallah, CR’s test engineer for robotic vacuums. “They don’t have bristles or nylon fibers, which typically cause hair to get stuck. With an all-rubber brush, the hair doesn’t get stuck as often.”
Roombas at the top of our ratings rule at pet-hair pickup, but you can still find models from other brands that do a great job in that test—and cost significantly less. One feature to look for? A turbo setting, which helps the robot better tackle the plushness of an area rug that might capture more hair than other floor types.
While we’re on the topic of pets and vacuums, let’s debunk a myth that’s about as old as this category of cleaners. You may have seen videos of pets riding around on robotic vacuums. As funny as that might seem, it’s not wise to place your furry pals on top of your vac as the machine goes about its routine.
Nasrallah says you might be covering the sensor, which can cause the robot to navigate poorly. It might also trigger an error if there is—ahem—too much weight on top of the vac.
Below we cover five of the best pet-hair-devouring robotic vacuum cleaners from our tests. They’re from Eufy, Roomba, and Samsung, and they’re listed in alphabetical order. All of them come with a turbo setting or booster mode, which we find factors into how well a vacuum picks up an ounce of pet hair on a medium-pile carpet.
For complete test results and even more options, see our robotic vacuum ratings. You can also check out our vacuum buying guide to compare the different types of vacuums.