The Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair

We all love our pets, but shedding can be a major pain. If you have a cat or dog that leaves fur all over the house, you might want to consider investing in a robot vacuum that can take some cleaning duties off your plate. There's no shortage of models on the market, but finding one that works well, offers the features you want, and fits within your budget can be a bit of a challenge. We're here to help.

The robot vacuums on this list range from affordable to super expensive, with the priciest options offering premium features like artificial intelligence-based obstacle avoidance technology, roving home security cameras so you can watch your pet when you're out of the house, and even the ability to empty their own dustbin, so you don't have to come into contact with what's inside. Of course, each one of these vacuums is also good at cleaning pet hair, particularly from carpeting, which can be more difficult than hardwood or tile.

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Image of the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI

Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI

In general, most robot vacuums these days offer app control, so you can start a cleaning job from your phone, though some inexpensive models only work with an included remote. Many also boast Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant support, so you can start cleaning with a voice command.

Budget-friendly vacuums typically clean in a random pattern, while midrange and premium models often feature laser- or camera-guided navigation so they work methodically, making straight lines. Some can also map your home, and support area cleaning and virtual boundaries to vacuum specific rooms and avoid others. No matter which you choose, all the models on this list can handle pet hair with aplomb.

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What to Look for In a Pet-Friendly Robot Vacuum

If you're in the market for a robot vacuum to help deal with pet fur, one of the most important considerations is suction power. Most companies in this space advertise power in pascals (Pa), the metric unit of pressure, though iRobot doesn't always make this information easy to find. In general, the higher the Pa the better, especially if you have carpet, but battery life and obstacle avoidance capabilities also play a factor in overall performance. 

Image of dustbin

Wyze Robot Vacuum dustbin
(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)

The Proscenic M7 Pro and Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo N8 Pro+ both boast up to 2,600Pa of suction power, the highest of any robots on this list. Needless to say, both excel at sucking up pet hair from carpeting. The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, which delivers a maximum of 1,500Pa, is still strong enough to collect dog hair, but might require more passes to get it all. 

Which Robot Vacuum Is Best for Cluttered Homes?

If you have cats or dogs, you also probably have some of their toys on the floor, which can stop a robot vacuum in its tracks. Some pricey models, like the Roomba j7+ and Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, offer advanced obstacle avoidance technology that can help the robot steer clear of toys, slippers, and even pet waste.

Screenshots of the iRobot app

iRobot app

The latest addition to iRobot's lineup, the Roomba j7+, uses a built-in camera and machine learning technology to detect and automatically avoid common obstacles as small as phone charging cables, even in low-light conditions. iRobot has also trained its software to identify and steer clear of pet poop, and is so confident in its new technology that it's offering the j7+ with a P.O.O.P. (Pet Owner Official Promise) guarantee. If the robot fails to avoid solid pet waste within a year of your purchase, the company will give you a new one for free. 

The Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI uses an artificial intelligence chipset and a camera to recognize things that can get in its way, and build a database of objects to avoid, so it works better over time. It's one of the pricier models on this list, but in testing, it never got stuck on dog toys and ran for up to 170 minutes, after which its dustbin was almost completely filled with dirt and dog hair. 

Which Robot Vacuum Is Best for Allergies? 

If you're allergic to your cat or dog, a good robot vacuum can help you stay on top of shedding to keep your symptoms under control. At the bare minimum, look for a model with a HEPA filter, which can help remove allergens from the air as it cleans.

Image of iRobot Roomba s9+

iRobot Roomba s9+
(Photo: Zlata Ivelva)

You also might want to consider a model that can empty its own dustbin, like the iRobot Roomba s9+. Models with this feature typically cost big bucks, but it means you never have to come into close contact with collected pet hair and dust. They also significantly cut down on maintenance. With most other robot vacuums, you have to empty the dustbin after every cleaning.

The Best Time to Buy a Robot Vacuum

It might be tempting to buy a robot vacuum during the spring shedding season, but if you can, wait until the fall. Over the past several years, robot vacuums have been one of the hottest Black Friday product categories, and we don't expect that to change anytime soon. The same is true for Amazon Prime Day. Retailers also periodically offer discounts throughout the year, so if you can't wait for Black Friday, shop around and you'll probably be able to find a decent discount.

For the top deals out there right now, check out our picks for the best cheap robot vacuums. Once you find the model that's right for you, head over to our list of simple robot vacuum tips.

And for an even deeper clean, take a look at the best robot mops we've tested.