Long hair can be among the most frustrating messes to vacuum. The way many brush rolls are designed can mean lots of stopping to clear clogs and tangles from the brush—and can even lead to a blown out motor, if it’s not caught in time. Even some vacuums designed for pet hair can struggle with long strands, especially if your family includes both long-haired pets and long-haired people. We tested 5 of the best vacuum cleaners for hair available, and the vacuum that came on top: Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.
If you want the best vacuum for long hair start by finding one with anti-tangle technology. The brush design and suction style can make a big difference in the way the vacuum responds to long fibers. We’ve rounded up our top choices below; read on to discover which vacuum is best-suited to your home’s unique needs.
Electrolux EL4335A Ultra Flex Canister
The most impressive feature on this model, in terms of cleaning up long hair strands from your carpet, is the self-cleaning brush. This patented technology lets you clear away tangles simply by pushing a button, which means there’s no more need to stop and waste time on maintenance. Your cleaning sessions can go on uninterrupted, letting you finish in less time.
The Ultra Flex Canister also gives you top of the line cleaning power. It’s designed to clean up any style of floor, from hardwood to the plushest carpet. It includes three adjustment settings for changing how high the brush is off the floor, and there’s a simple switch for on/off control.
The suction power is also adjustable. Crank up the power when you’re vacuuming thick carpets, or turn it back for more delicate materials to avoid causing damage. The suction uses a cyclonic system guarantees a thorough clean in any situation.
This vacuum also earns high marks for its usability. It pairs a low center of gravity with extra large wheels so pushing it over thick carpets is a breeze. The dust bin opens from the bottom so spilling isn’t much of a concern and it’s easy to empty. It’s also relatively lightweight at just over 11 pounds so you’re able to carry it from room to room or up and down stairs without a problem.
What we like:
- Adjustable brush and suction work on all floor types
- One button brush roll cleaning for easily removing tangles
- Bottom opening dust cup means less spilling
- Very maneuverable
- 8-foot wand gives you a longer reach
- 5 year warranty
What we didn't like:
- Less efficient than an upright
- Very loud on high power settings
Shark DuoClean Rocket Ultralight Upright
Use the upright version for more efficient cleaning of whole rooms, or switch to the hand-held for stairs and tight spaces. It’s incredibly light-weight in both versions (under ten pounds as an upright and under five as a hand-held) so you can navigate around you home easily.
The DuoClean Rocket has some cleaning power, too. It has two brush rolls: a soft brush for hard surfaces or large particles, and a bristle brush for deeper cleaning. Both settings produce a consistent suction power, which is applied directly to the floor.
The absence of a front wall lets it actually suck up large debris, instead of just pushing it around, and smaller particles are sucked up with the same ease.
The included tools are perhaps what make it the best vacuum for long hair, though. The Pet Multi-Tool is intended to let you pick up hair from any surface. It’s designed with dog and cat hair in mind, but will take care of long human hair just as easily. If hair ever gets tangled on the brush, it’s easy to open the vacuum up and clean it, and it comes with a special tool included to clear hair from the roll.
What we like:
- Light-weight and convertible design for easy use
- Included hair removal and Pet Multi-Tool great for hair
- Dual brush rolls for more versatility
- Easy to switch between power levels
- Excellent value at under $200
What we didn't like:
- Less suction when using the attachments
- Slightly top-heavy and can pull over easily
Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum
If your main considerations are value and convenience, consider this Hoover stick vacuum. It uses WindTunnel suction technology for maximum power and picks up both pet and human hair with ease, along with anything else that’s been spilled onto your floors.
This one’s also a winner when it comes to maneuverability. It’s cordless, running on a Lithium Ion battery, with a battery fuel gauge on the front so it’s easy to see how much juice you’ve got left. It’s also easy to steer and has a low-profile head so it can fit under pretty much any furniture. The Extreme Recline Handle also helps you get deeper into low, narrow spaces without a hassle.
This vacuum has a cleaning path that’s designed for efficiency. The cleaning path is wider than with many stick vacuum options so you can clean the same amount of space in less time. The bristles on the brush roll also go right up to the edge, giving you the closest possible clean along the walls and in the corners—no need to go back over them again, the way some vacuums demand that you do.
The only warning we’d make about the Hoover Linx is for people with large homes. The batteries will give you between 20 and 40 minutes from each charge, depending on what power settings you’re using. You may also find the dust bin to be on the smaller side and may need to be emptied more than once in larger homes. The bin is quick and easy to empty, so it’s a matter of user preference how inconvenient this is for you.
What we like:
- Extreme Recline Handle and low-profile design reach under furniture
- Very affordable
- WindTunnel technology improves suction power
- Wide cleaning path for efficient edge-to-edge cleaning
- Easy to empty bin and install batteries
What we didn't like:
- No docking station (must remove battery to charge)
- Short charge life and small dust bin make it less convenient for large homes
Hoover WindTunnel Bagless Corded Upright (UH72400)
If you’re on a budget and want a thorough clean at the best price, check out the Hoover WindTunnel. Like the Hoover Linx, it uses the company’s patented WindTunnel technology, the same suction power you’ll find on their higher-end models but in a package that anyone can afford.
The bagless cyclonic canister traps debris and dust, no matter how small the particles, making sure your air stays as clean as your floors.
Like the costlier options on this list, this vacuum uses an on/off control for the brushroll, translating to easy and quick transitions from hard floors to carpets.
While it may struggle slightly with high-pile carpets, it can handle most floors with ease, and it’s great for hardwood or linoleum. Maneuvering with it is simple, too, with Steerable Technology that lets you change direction just by twisting the handle.
This Hoover vacuum is a bit on the heavy side at around 13 pounds—still light enough it’s not hard to use, but a bit hefty when it’s time to carry it up a staircase. It also has a higher profile, so cleaning under furniture can be a bit tricky.
It’s still compact enough to store easily in a closet, though, and it doesn’t feel heavy when you push it thanks to its swivel steering. This combination of factors means it’s the best vacuum for long hair for users on a budget.
What we like:
- Excellent price
- Powerful three-channel suction
- On/off brush switch makes transitioning from hard floors to carpet easy
- Easily navigates around obstacles
- HEPA filtration traps over 99% of pollen and dust
What we didn't like:
- Not good for shag or high pile carpet
- Fewer included accessories
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (1650A)
The most frustrating thing about cleaning up long hair is having to constantly stop and remove clogged hair. Bissell solves that problem with their Pet Hair Eraser, which uses a two-pronged attack to tackle hair. The tangle-free brush roll makes sure hair doesn’t get caught when it’s sucked in.
The Pet Hair Spooling System separates hair out from other debris so it’s easy to remove, too, and won’t get stuck inside the vacuum.
As you might guess from the name, this vacuum is ideal for pet owners. In addition to the hair control, it also comes with an array of tools specifically designed for pet messes. This includes the 2-in-1 Pet Brush, that gives you the choice of rubber agitators for tough, ground in hair and dirt or a softer dusting brush for picking hair from delicate surfaces.
The Pet TurboEraser gives you a mini version of the main brush head that’s perfect for couches, stairs, or intense spot cleaning. It even uses special Febreeze filters that eliminate pet odors and make your home smell fresh while you clean.
The suction power of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is impressive. It has a wide suction range and easy swivel steering, so you can navigate furniture and clean even large rooms in less time. Even large particles like dog food and kitty litter are no problem for this vacuum, and its SmartSeal filtration system ensures a high air quality.
What we like:
- No-tangle brush and internal hair management system
- Edge to edge suction gives you a wide cleaning path
- Great for pet owners
- Swivel steering for easy maneuvering
- Eliminates odors and traps allergens
- Great dust capacity
What we didn't like:
- Heaviest option on the list (18 pounds)
Consider your home when you’re deciding which vacuum to buy. If you have a larger space with a wider variety of floor styles, versatility and efficiency are going to be your main concerns. Your budget may be a factor, too; both the Shark Rocket and the Hoover WindTunnel will give you a thorough clean at a more affordable price.
Based mostly on the anti-tangle technology and high suction power, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is our pick for the best vacuum for long hair. Having said that, though, all of the vacuums on the list above will give you a frustration-free clean, no matter how much hair they have to contend with.
You want to look for something that has a powerful motor and an adjustable height on the brush. Vacuums designed for long hair can be especially great choices for high-pile and even shag carpets because they’re designed not to let fibers tangle in the brushroll—a risk when using most standard vacuums on carpets with especially long fibers.
What is HEPA filtration? Do I need a vacuum that comes with it?
HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Arresting” and is a standard for air filtration. Filters that are HEPA certified are guaranteed to capture 99.97% or more of all particles .3 microns or larger. This includes most common allergens, like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander.
Having a HEPA filter on your vacuum will help to make sure it’s not spitting contaminants right back into your air—your home will get cleaner, and stay that way longer. It’s an especially good idea for anyone who suffers from allergies since it will make vacuuming more effective at removing airborne irritants.
Here you can get a better idea of how does HEPA filters work:
Will the bristle brush on the Shark Rocket DuoClean scratch hardwood floors?
Not if you make sure to use the low power setting. This will disable the bristle brush and instead use only the soft brush to clean. The soft brush is perfect for hardwood, giving your floors a polished shine while it picks up dirt and debris.
Will these vacuums only work with the included accessories, or can I use ones I already have?
A lot of vacuum brands will use the same or similar accessories across models, so you’ll be most likely to be able to repurpose accessories within a given brand (e.g. between different Bissell models) than between brands (e.g. using Bissell accessories on a Shark). Having said that, though, not all brands use a standard accessory size across models, so it’s not something you should bank on.
The good news is that all the vacuums reviewed here come with at least the basic hose, wands, and tools you’ll need. Most companies will also sell the accessories on their own in case you need a replacement or extra. Check the manufacturer’s website to see what they sell separately if an accessory you need doesn’t come with your vacuum of choice.
Could a kid use any of these vacuums?
It depends on the age of the child, of course, but there are some that are more kid-friendly than others. A smaller vacuum like the Shark DuoClean Rocket should be manageable for kids as young as 7 or 8—a great choice if you want vacuuming to be a chore the whole family shares.
What is the difference between the Hoover WindTunnel and the Hoover Linx?
The biggest difference is how the vacuum is powered. The WindTunnel is a traditional corded model, while the Linx is cordless and runs on a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. Because the Linx is a stick-style vacuum, it also has a smaller dirt capacity—only around 75% of the capacity of the larger model.
Both these Hoover models are roughly the same weight, and will give you about the same suction power. Both of them also use the same patented Hoover WindTunnel technology. It really comes down to a question of portability and volume. The cordless operation of the Hoover Linx is ideal for quick, versatile clean-up, but it doesn’t have the battery life or dustbin capacity for larger rooms. The corded Hoover WindTunnel is less portable, but it will give you more cleaning time per session.
With the Hoover Linx, how should I charge and store the battery to get the most life out of it?
If you use your vacuum often—as in every day or two—you can leave the battery on the charger between uses without worrying about draining or damaging it. If you’ll be going more than a couple days between sessions, however, you should remove the battery from the charger once it’s fully charged and store it in a cool, dry place, like a shelf or cabinet.
You don’t need to completely drain Lithium Ion batteries to get a full charge—in fact, regularly draining the battery completely can reduce its operating life over time. Try not to drain the battery past around 20% capacity before removing it to charge. If you own more than one battery, it’s a good idea to rotate their use. Allowing a battery to sit for more than a few months without use will also diminish its life over time. You’ll get more out of both batteries using them for alternating cleaning cycles than using one exclusively while the other sits on the shelf.