Pet Fur Vacuum Review 2015: We Put Dyson, Panasonic and Bissell to the Test

Dog and vacuum cleaner
We've spent the last few months testing three popular vacuum cleaners on pet hair.

Pets provide us with so much: unconditional love, endless entertainment, constant companionship... and fur. Lots of fur. So much fur that by the time you’ve finished vacuuming the last room in your home, you walk back into the living room and see a tumbleweed of fluff hovering in a corner.

Still, here at Vetstreet, we know a little (or even a lot of) fur is a small price to pay for sharing your home with a beloved cat or dog, so the best course of action is to find the best way to deal with it. We’ve offered a few suggestions, of course, but to help you out even more, I’ve spent the past couple of months reviewing three popular vacuums designed for homes with pets: the Dyson V6 Motorhead, Panasonic JetForce MC-UL429 and Bissell Bolt ION. Now, I’m sharing my findings.

To give you an idea of what these vacuums went through, let me set the scene: I have a big black dog, a medium-size white dog and a medium-haired gray cat (hooray for hitting an array of colors!), and the majority of my home is hardwood and tile, although there are several area rugs and a couple of carpeted bedrooms. Oh, and I’m in the process of trying to sell my home, so I’m keeping it unusually neat pretty much all the time. Bottom line: These vacuums were put through the ringer!

dyson v6 DC59 motorhead vacuum
Credit: Dyson
This cordless Dyson vacuum offers serious suction.

Dyson V6 Motorhead

The Dyson V6 Motorhead uses a digital V6 motor to provide serious suction and power — I'm talking along the lines of (if not stronger suction than) many best-selling uprights and about double the suction of other cordless vacs on the market. It’s the first cordless machine with a direct-drive motor in the cleaner head.

Price: $399.99

Best for: Those who want a single, full-power, cordless vacuum and don’t mind spending some money on it.

Features: It’s bagless, cordless, comes with a docking station, has one-touch hygienic bin emptying (works from either side for right- and left-handed users) and has 75 percent more brush bar power than the V6 Animal (Dyson’s next step down in cordless machines).

Weight: 4.96 pounds

Run time: Up to 20 minutes (six minutes in Max mode)

Attachments: Combination tool, crevice tool.

What I liked: This is an incredibly effective and versatile machine. I can clean just about any part of my house (or car!) with it. The regular mode works well, but for heavily soiled areas, a quick hit using the Max power mode does the trick. It picks up fur, dirt, dust and loose kitty litter with ease. And in addition to being lightweight, the bulk of the weight is mainly up high, toward the handle, so using it to clean something above my head (like the fan) is a piece of cake. Plus, there’s the fact that I can easily use just the motorized cleaning head for small, hard-to-reach areas, and the low-profile cleaner head goes flat and stays on the floor to get underneath furniture. Also, it’s very easy to empty (and you don’t even have to get your hands dirty if you’re careful) as long as you don’t overfill the bin — if you do, it takes a little extra effort to get the fur out, but it’s manageable.

What I didn’t like: All my animals were really scared of it for the first couple of weeks (even though they don’t normally react too much to other vacuums), but they did eventually adjust. Otherwise, my only real complaint is that the bin fills pretty quickly. A longer run time would be great, too, but because the suction is so strong, I can get a lot of ground covered before the battery dies. Fortunately, it doesn’t take too long to recharge. You can’t ignore that rather hefty price tag either.

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