Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair for 2021
Robot vacuums can be of great help in keeping the homes cleaner and safer to live. Having a pet or even pets can be quite challenging regarding the keeping home clean and not spending too much time on cleaning.
Robot vacuums differ according to their cleaning methods, suction strength, air filtration, dirt disposal and other features, but they also differ in price. Having the most expensive robot vacuum cleaner is not a warranty that the cleaning tasks will be done properly ...
Published: March 1, 2021.
On this page:
- Few Final Notes ...
Features and Requirements
For a robot vacuum cleaner to clean efficiently pet hair and other debris related to pets, robot vacuum must feature strong suction, rotating brushroll, and at least one side brush. Also, large dirt cup and multilayered air filtration are great plus although many other features may play important role, depending on the individual needs and preferences.
Strong suction is one of the most important features of pet robot vacuums. Robot vacuums with weak suction can't thoroughly clean pet dirt, including pet hair, cat litter, pet dry food and similar, simply because it is the air flow that transports the dirt from the cleaned surfaces into the dirt cup - no suction, no air flow, no picked up dirt, simple as that.
Suction of the robot vacuums varies from 600 Pa to 3+ kPa in some units. In order to preserve the battery, certain models come with dirt detection sensors and automatically increase the suction when required, which may be very useful, especially when cleaning after pets.
Central motorized brushroll is used for picking up deeply embedded dirt from carpeted surfaces, especially long pet hair, lint, fibers and similar. Also, it helps in picking up dirt from bare floors as well. Some units feature adjustable brushroll head that automatically adjust itself according to the cleaned surface.
While rotating brushroll may be very useful and may increase the cleaning effect of the robot vacuum, brushrolls are not maintenance free - one has to clean them periodically from tangled hair and when they are visibly worn out, brushroll must be replaced with the new one.
Note: there are few rather good robot vacuums that doesn't feature rotating brushroll. Instead, these units feature dust scrapper and are intended for vacuuming of bare floors only. Although such units may be used for low-pile and medium-pile carpets and area rugs as well, they achieve best results on bare floors.
Since they don't have rotating brushroll, these units usually feature longer operating time on the single battery charge and are easier to maintain. An example of such unit is Coredy R300 Robot Vacuum Cleaner (Amazon link, link opens in the new window).
Side brushes are used for sweeping along the edges and in the corners. Also, they are used for widening the cleaning path of the robot vacuum - as the side brushes sweep the floor, they push the dirt toward the central suction inlet (with or without the the rotating brushroll).
Robot vacuums usually come with one or two side brushes - models with one side brush mostly have relatively wide central suction nozzles/inlets combined with wide brushrolls, while models with two side brushes sometimes feature rather modest central suction nozzle.
Perhaps, one of the hardest surfaces for vacuuming is the cat litter mat. Cat litter mat features fine mesh for capturing various debris and are waterproof to protect the floors.
As long as the cat litter mat is dry, it can be vacuumed even with the robot vacuum cleaner - as the side brushes sweep and as the central rotating brushroll spins, they agitate the dirt trapped withing the mesh, which is then picked up by the strong suction. Personally, if the pet robot vacuum cleaner is able to clean cat litter mat, then it is able to deal with any kind of dirt on any other surface :)
Another type of cat litter mat is cat litter trapper (or trapping) mat. These type of mats don't feature mesh for capturing the dirt - instead, they feature double layer design, with the first layer being waterproof layer to protect the floors and second layer being in the form of soft and gentle honeycomb in order to capture the dirt.
Such design allows the pet owner to simply return all the spilled litter in the litter box, with no need for vacuuming. And if the robot vacuum tries to vacuum it, it will clean the litter and other debris only if the suction is strong enough.
In order to prevent the robot vacuums from vacuuming the cat litter mats, use magnetic strips, virtual walls, no-go zones or any other method available (robot vacuum model dependent!).
Controlling the Robot Vacuum: robot vacuums operate mostly in automatic mode - set the scheduled cleaning and empty the dirt bin when required (emptying the dirt bin is the most common maintenance task done by the owners). Most of the robot vacuums come with few control buttons on the top of the units, but full control is achieved using IR remote control devices and/or smartphone Apps (WiFi enabled units).
While IR remote control devices are really simple to use, smartphone apps offer much more options, including setting no-go zones, cleaning reports and updates, etc. Also, WiFi connectivity is required for the robot vacuums in order to support the use of Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
Note: Daughter of one of our colleagues just started with the school and she figured out how to use Alexa to help her do the math?! So, technology is great, but ...
Air filtration: robot vacuums for pets must have good air filtration system, or some of very fine dirt will end up back in the cleaned room, including fine particles of dust, pet dander, pollen and other allergens.
Robot vacuum for pets should be able to filter out at least 99%, preferably 99.9% of 0.3 microns or larger particles. While some models feature 'true HEPA' air filtration and are able to capture 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles, such air filters cause somewhat larger pressure drop, they has to be cleaned more often and replaced more often.
Personally, 99.9% of 0.3 microns or larger particles air filtration is perhaps the best balance between air filtration performances and maintenance tasks and costs.
Due to the compact dimensions, robot vacuums don't feature large dirt bins - usually between 0.3 and 0.75 liters. Because of that, it is recommended to empty the dirt bin after each cleaning task. For example, if You set your robot vacuum to clean when everybody is out (school, work, etc), when You get back, check if your robot is in its charging station and quickly empty the dirt bin.
One gets used to activities like that quickly, and it really helps in keeping the unit in best working order.
Vacuum-only, mop-only or vacuum&mopping robot cleaner: mopping robots may be very helpful in keeping the bare floors clean, since they use wet/moist cloth to mop the floor. Thanks to different systems, modern mopping robots are not dripping away too much water and they leave only somewhat moist floor surface.
However, sensitive floors should not be cleaned with mops (manual, steam, robot ...) if their finish is not cracks-free, since any moisture can penetrate through and cause the floor to buckle and even rot.
Mopping and vacuuming robot cleaners are perhaps the best choice for people with large bare surfaces, since the mopping function doesn't have to be used every time.
Maintaining the robot vacuum cleaner: each robot vacuum has somewhat different maintenance requirements, thus when the unit arrives, be sure to read its manual. But, common maintenance tasks include:
- emptying the dirt cup,
- keeping the air filters clean,
- replacing the air filters when the unit starts to lose suction,
- replacing the side brushes and main rotating brush when they are visibly worn out,
- keeping the charging contacts on both charging station and robot clean,
- keeping the sensors, wheels and the unit in general clean.
Other maintenance tasks may include updating the firmware and smartphone apps, checking cleaning tasks logs/history and similar ...
Top 10 Best Robot Vacuums for Pets
Here is the list of our top 10 best robot vacuums for pets - you may agree with us or not, but that is highly individual, just as the personal needs and requirements are.
1. iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba i7+ is designed for all floor types, including bare floors, low- and medium-pile carpets and area rugs.
Operating time on the single battery charge on the bare floors is ~75 minutes, which may be shorter on the carpeted surfaces. But, thanks to the advanced navigation system, iRobot Roomba i7+ feature 'recharge and resume' feature allowing the unit to continue with the cleaning where it stopped due to the low battery charge.
It features single side-brush combined with the main brushroll and auto-adjust cleaning head. iRobot Roomba i7+ weighs 7.44 pounds (~3.37 kg), with physical dimensions of 13.34 x 3.63 inches (33.9 x 9.22 cm).
Note: iRobot Roomba i7+ is vacuum-only robot unit, with no mopping feature.
Automatic Dirt Disposal unit is able to hold up to one month of dirt (vacuuming every day once), but if the floors are heavily soiled, this time may be shorter.
iRobot Roomba i7+ is WiFi enabled unit with many advanced features thanks to the iRobot HOME App like Custom Cleaning Preferences, Clean Map Reports, Multi Room Cleaning etc. Also, it support the use of Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
iRobot Roomba i7+ supports the use of Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers and in combination with the cleaning maps, allows the user to quickly adjust where the robot may go and where not.
Note: Main difference between iRobot Roomba i7 and iRobot Roomba i7+ is that iRobot Roomba i7 support the use of Automatic Dirt Disposal unit, while iRobot Roomba i7+ comes with such unit.
Both iRobot Roomba i7 and iRobot Roomba i7+ come with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
2. Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum and Mop
Maximum suction is 2000 Pa which is used only when required - Carpet Recognition and Carpet Boost features help the unit preserve the energy stored at onboard battery and still do the cleaning properly.
Battery capacity is 5200 mAh, ensuring the operating time of up to 150 minutes on the single battery charge. When the battery is discharged, it takes ~4 hours to charge it completely.
Side brush is so-called 'Dynamic Brush' - its speed is variable, depending on the cleaning mode and area.
Roborock S5 weighs 7.72 lbs (3.5 kg), with physical dimensions of 13.78 x 3.78 inches (35 x 9.6 cm).
Dirt cup capacity is 480 ml and water tank capacity is 150 ml.
Note: water tank with mop pad is detachable and its use is not mandatory.
Roborock S5 is WiFi enabled unit, featuring Mi Home App and supporting the use of Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
Unit may be found in three different colors (white, golden rose and black), each having slightly different label: Roborock S50 is white, Roborock S51 is golden rose and Roborock S55 is black.
Roborock S5 comes with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum and Mop Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
3. eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX weighs 5.95 pounds (2.7 kg) with physical dimensions of 12.8 x 2.83 inches (32.5 x 7.2 cm) - RoboVac 30C MAX doesn't feature advanced navigation/mapping system/sensors, keeping the height rather low and allowing the unit to clean under most beds, sofas, furniture and similar floor objects.
For cleaning floors, RoboVac 30C MAX uses two side brushes, main brushroll and variable suction.
As the unit traverse the floors, it can detect carpeted areas and increase the suction using second generation BoostIQ technology for thorough cleaning of low- and medium-pile carpets - maximum suction is 2000 Pa.
Operating time varies depending on the cleaned area and on average, it is 100 minutes when vacuuming bare floors, BoostIQ mode when vacuuming carpets around 60 minutes and when vacuuming medium-pile carpets around 40 minutes.
When the battery is discharged, unit automatically locate the charging station and recharge itself - fully discharged battery requires up to 4-5 hours of charging.
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX is able to climb barriers (carpets, for example) up to 0.63 inches (16 mm) in height and thanks for the set of various sensors, it can safely navigate the home, without excess bumping in the walls, furniture and similar.
Cliff sensors prevent the unit from falling down the stairs, while dual Hall sensors allow the user to set no-go zones - eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX comes with 13.2 feet (~4 m) magnetic boundary strips.
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX is WiFi enabled unit and controlled via Eufy Home App. Also, RoboVac 30C MAX support the use of Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
Dirt cup capacity is respectable 0.6 liters, which is rather large dirt cup for such compact robot vacuum.
RoboVac 30C MAX uses redesigned Unibody Filter, featuring increased efficiency and longer operating life, but the Eufy doesn't state actual HEPA level.
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX comes with 12 months limited warranty.
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX vs eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C - the most important difference between these models is maximum suction strength - 30C MAX features maximum suction of 2000 Pa and 30C model features maximum suction of 1500 Pa, with other features being the same or very similar.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
4. Coredy R500+ Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Unit is designed for vacuuming hardwood floors, low and medium-pile carpets using two side brushes, main brushroll and up to 1400 Pa strong suction. Vacuumed dirt is stored in the 0.5 liters large dirt cup. Air filtration is good, but the manufacturer doesn't state actual HEPA air filtration level.
Coredy R500+ is rather simple robot vacuum - it is not WiFi enabled unit, and it doesn't support Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant, it doesn't provide cleaning reports, no mapping function etc.
Coredy R500+ comes with IR remote control device which is very simple to use, it can automatically find its docking station when the battery is empty and recharge itself, it features set of sensors that allow it to navigate home without bumping at walls and furniture, it can avoid the stairs etc.
Note: although it comes with cliff sensors, it is officially recommended to prevent the unit's access to stairs and similar obstacles - better safe than sorry.
Coredy R500+ also supports the use of magnetic boundary strips (not included) to help the user create no-go zones.
Cleaning tasks may be scheduled 7 times per week. To help the robot clean more efficiently, it features several cleaning modes including auto, edge, spot, single room, max vacuuming, manual and floor mopping.
With the height of only 2.7 inches, Coredy R500+ may reach and clean under most beds, sofas and other furniture.
Climbing treshold is 0.64 inches (~16 mm), allowing the unit to easily traverse from carpets to hard floors and back.
Its 2600 mAh battery provides up to 120 minutes of cleaning and it requires some 4-5 hours to be fully recharged.
Coredy R500+ comes with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow Coredy R500+ Robot Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
5. Shark IQ R101AE (RV1001AE) Robot Vacuum
Also, what is very interesting feature to the pet owners is the self-cleaning main brushroll - it is able to remove tangled pet and human hair, lint and fibers almost fully, greatly simplifying maintenance.
Self-cleaning brushroll is combined with two, slow-spinning side brushes - they clean larger debris well, without scattering it around.
Shark IQ R101AE (RV1001AE) Robot Vacuum weighs 5.87 pounds (~2.66 kg) with physical dimensions of (L x W x H) 12.9 x 12.6 x 3.5 inches (~32.8 x 32 x 8.9 cm).
Shark IQ R101AE (RV1001AE) Robot Vacuum comes with Shark's IQ NAV navigation system, ensuring various advanced features, including mapping, charge and resume, selected room cleaning, scheduling by room and similar.
Unit is WiFi enabled and controlled using smartphone app. Also, it supports the use of Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
Operating time on the single battery charge is ~75 minutes (60 minutes on carpets) after which the unit recharges it self and if required, resumes the cleaning task.
Thanks to the mapping function, Shark IQ R101AE (RV1001AE) Robot Vacuum very accurately and efficiently cleans the home, without wasting time (and battery energy) on locating the areas to be cleaned.
However, its IQ NAV system requires up to 20-40 cleaning cycles to map the entire floor level, while some similar advanced robot vacuums require just a few cleaning cycles.
At the moment, this model doesn't support individual no-go zones, but it support the use of magnetic boundary strips and room select.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow Shark IQ R101AE Robot Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
6. Neato Robotics D7 Connected Robot Vacuum
Operating time on the single battery charge is up to 120 minutes on the bare floors and somewhat shorter on the carpeted areas (80-100 minutes). Neato D7 is powered by high-capacity 4200 mAh lithium battery with 150 minutes charging time.
Neato D7 uses so-called 'Spiral Combo' brushroll, being designed to clean efficiently on both bare floors and carpeted areas, including deeply embedded dirt like pet hair, lint, dust, pollen and other potential allergens. Maximum suction is 2000 Pa.
Dirt cup capacity is respectable 0.7 liters, supported by Ultra-Performance air filter (no info about HEPA grade).
Neato Robotics D7 Connected Robot Vacuum is WiFi enabled unit, and is fully controlled via Neato SmartLife App. Also, Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant are supported.
Climbing height is 0.75 inches (19 mm) allowing the unit to easily traverse on and off the carpets.
Neato D7 weighs 7.7 pounds (~3.5 kg), with physical dimensions of (W x L x H) 12.5 x 13.2 x 3.9 inches (~31.75 x 33.5 x 9.9 cm).
Unit comes with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow Neato Robotics D7 Robot Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
7. ILIFE V8s Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop
ILIFE V8s is controlled using onboard buttons and with IR remote control. It weighs 9.95 pounds (~2.7 kg) with physical dimensions of 12.6 x 3.19 inches (32 x 8.1 cm).
Unit is powered with 2600 mAh lithium battery providing enough energy for up to 100 minutes of cleaning, requiring on average 240-300 minutes to get fully charged.
ILIFE V8s comes with extra large dirt cup of 0.75 liters or water tank of 0.35 liters - this unit can be used for vacuuming or mopping, but not both at the same time.
As a robot vacuum cleaner, ILIFE V8s is intended for bare floors and low-pile carpets, and as a robot mop, ILIFE V8s is intended for mopping the bare floors that support such type of cleaning - ILIFE V8s features 3-speed water dropping control making mopping efficient and reliable, without extra water left on the floor surfaces.
Maximum suction is 1000 Pa, combined with two side brushes and without main brushroll - less parts to maintain, but also questionable cleaning ability on the medium-pile carpets.
ILIFE V8s comes with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow ILIFE V8s Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
8. ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 features simple navigation system, allowing automatic recharge, but not automatic resume function.
Operating time on the single battery charge is up to 110 minutes on the bare floors, being slightly shorter when vacuuming carpeted areas.
ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 is WiFi enabled unit, supporting the smartphone app and scheduling and the use of Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
But, it doesn't support advanced features like cleaning reports with floor maps, cleaning and path planning, virtual boundaries, no-go zones, and similar - for features like that, You should consider more advanced and more expensive models.
ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 comes with two side brushes, main brushroll and two levels of suction (Normal, Max). Dirt cup capacity is 0.52 liters, which is good size for the robot vacuum being just 3 inches (~7.6 cm) high.
Climbing threshold is 0.55 inches (~14 mm), ensuring that the unit can climb low-pile carpets without getting stuck.
Other features include anti-drop and anti-collision sensors, automatic software updates, durable protective bumpers, high-efficiency air filter, anti-scratch finish, etc.
Considering its price, ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 is an excellent, pet hair, entry level robot vacuum cleaner - it even comes with the IR remote control, with the smartphone app not being mandatory (although it is recommended).
ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 comes with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
9. Samsung POWERbot R7040 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Samsung POWERbot R7040 features set of controls on the top of the unit, it may be controlled using IR remote control device, it may be controlled using Samsung smarthome app, or the user can control the unit via Bixby, Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant.
Samsung POWERbot R7040 features normal and max mode suction modes with maximum suction of up to 3510 Pa. It doesn't feature side brushes, but rubber blades that are used for picking up dirt from the edges.
Thanks to the D-shaped body, Samsung POWERBot R7040 features 11 3/8 inches (~28.9 cm) wide cleaning path, allowing the robot to relatively quickly cover rather large area.
Samsung POWERBot R7040 weighs 8.8 pounds (4 kg), with physical dimensions of (W x H x D) 13.43 x 3.8 x 13.75 inches (~34.1 x 9.7 x 34.9 cm).
Dirt cup capacity is 0.3 liters and is large enough for regular cleaning tasks, but it could be a bit larger.
Samsung POWERBot R7040 is powered by 38.8 Wh 21.6 volts battery, providing operating time of 60 minutes in Normal cleaning mode or ~30 minutes in Turbo cleaning mode.
When the battery is discharged, it takes approximately 240 minutes (4h) to charge it again.
Samsung POWERBot R7040 comes with several cleaning modes like Auto, Spot, Manual, Repeat, One-time schedule and Daily schedule.
Why Samsung POWERBot R7040 and not Samsung POWERBot R7070 Pet or Samsung POWERBot R7260 Pet Plus?
Samsung POWERBot R7040 comes with combo main brush, optimized for cleaning both bare floors and carpeted ares, while Samsung POWERBot R7070 Pet comes with self-clean brushroll and improved suction and Samsung POWERBot R7260 Pet Plus comes with self-clean soft action brush, improved navigation system, improved suction, multi-day scheduling, point cleaning, voice guide and similar.
The reason is simple - price. Personally, Samsung POWERBot R7040 is better buy than Samsung POWERBot R7070 Pet or Samsung POWERBot R7260 Pet Plus. But, if you need high-performance pet robot vacuums, regardless the price, than go for the Samsung POWERBot R7260 Pet Plus vacuum.
Samsung POWERBot R7040 comes with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations about these units, feel free to follow Samsung R7040 Robot Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
10. GOOVI D382 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
GOOVI D382 is 'typical' robot vacuum - it features two side brushes, one main brushroll and surprisingly strong maximum suction of 1600 Pa considering its price and other features.
Unit weighs ~7 pounds (~3.2 kg) with physical dimensions of 12.6 x 2.80 inches (32 x 7.1 cm), which allows the unit to easily navigate around the home and clean even under most beds, sofas, furniture and similar.
Dirt cup capacity is 0.5 liters, which is fairly good for such compact design.
Operating time on the single battery charge is approximately 100 minutes when cleaning bare floors, with somewhat shorter cleaning time when vacuuming carpeted areas.
GOOVI D382 is WiFi enabled unit, controlled fully by the GOOVI smartphone app. Navigation system is relatively simple, but in combination with the set of onboard sensors, unit is able to plan more or less optimal cleaning route.
Also, cliff sensors are able to detect stairs and similar potentially hazardous situations, preventing the unit from falling down.
GOOVI D382 comes with 12 months limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to follow GOOVI D382 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Few Final Notes ...
As one can see, although most robot vacuums follow rather similar design philosophy, they differ in many, often very important details, which also influence their price.
The most expensive pet robot vacuum cleaner is not necessarily the best pet robot vacuum cleaner - needs and requirements are different and what is good for one person, doesn't have to be good for somebody else.
So, be sure to choose according to your own personal needs and preferences.
Robot vacuums may be of great help in keeping the home clean and more pleasant to live in, saving both time and effort, but they can't be used for cleaning of elevated surfaces. At least not yet :)