Best Vacuums For Pet Hair

Keeping floors and carpets clean is a job in an of itself. But if you've got a pet that sheds a lot, you have a bigger challenge. Consumer Reports' latest tests show some vacuums do a great job picking up pet hair, while others let the fur fly.

Samantha Boege wouldn't trade her dog, Rugby, for anything.

But his shedding hair, that she could live without!

Boege says, "Dog hair is everywhere, but it's just something that we have, we put up with."

But you don't have to, say the experts at Consumer Reports. Testers recently evaluated more than 100 vacuums, including uprights and canisters, bagged and bagless.

Bob Markovich of Consumer Reports says, "Pet owners want to know two things about a vacuum-how well it sucks up hair and how much of that hair goes clear into the vacuum, rather than getting stuck on the brush."

To size up performance, testers go to great lengths. First, they measure exactly five grams of pet hair and spread it over a piece of carpet. Then, they use a weighted roller.

Next, testers weigh the vacuum, then vacuum for 14 strokes.

Now the vacuum gets weighed again, so testers know exactly how much hair it picked up. They also check the carpet for any hair left behind.

Markovich says, "We also measure how much hair gets stuck to the brush. Constantly having to manually clean out your brushes isn't much fun."

Even more expensive vacuums couldn't pull in the hair.

In the end, one of your best deals is the $130 Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind #UH70120. The bagless upright offers impressive cleaning and superb pet-hair pickup.

So pet owners, like Samantha Boege, don't have to put up with a hairy household.

Be aware that emptying any bagless vacuum can be a dusty, messy affair. If you have allergies, a vacuum with a bag is a better choice.

Consumer Reports recommends a Kenmore Progressive upright, model number 31069. It costs 200 dollars and is available at Sears.

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