If you’ve got pets, you’ll know all about the joys of cleaning up their hair! If you take long trips with your dog in the car or even pop your cat in their carrier for a trip to the vet, you’ll find pet hair somewhere in your car. Sometimes this can just be a bit of an annoyance, but if you have family members with allergies, it becomes even more important to keep your car as free of pet hair as possible.
Trying to use an upright vacuum cleaner in a car is almost impossible, so investing in a handheld car vacuum is a great idea. But with so many to choose from, where do you even start? That’s why our reviews list includes seven of the best car vacuums designed to deal with pet hair.
We’ve covered the pros and cons of each model, as well as what we liked and didn’t like. Depending on your needs, we’re sure one of them will tick all the boxes for you.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2022 Update)
The 7 Best Car Vacuums for Pet Hair
1. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Corded Vacuum — Best Overall
The BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum easily takes the prize as the best overall car vacuum for pet hair. This vacuum is specifically designed to tackle pet hair, and it comes with two nozzles. One is a rubber nozzle with small teeth designed to lift and remove both hair and dirt. The other is a suction nozzle that is perfect for vacuuming up dog food that’s been dropped in the car.
It’s also super lightweight and compact, meaning it’s easy to get into all the awkward areas of your car, like the footwells and under the seats. The bagless dust cup is easy to empty, and you won’t need to worry about ever having to buy replacement bags. The 16-foot power cord means you won’t need to recharge this vacuum, although you might find that you need an extension cable.
2. ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner — Best Value
As the best car vacuum for pet hair for the money, we recommend the ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner. Coming with a whole host of specialized accessories, you’ll get your car upholstery sparkling clean and free from pet hair in no time with this beast. We love that while this vacuum is corded, it’s powered by the 12-volt outlet in your car. So, there’s no need for extension cables or to be near a power outlet at home.
The only reason that this missed out on our top spot is that the nozzles and brushes aren’t quite as effective at picking up pet hair as our best overall choice.
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3. BLACK+DECKER HHVK515JP07 Handheld Vacuum — Premium Choice
As a premium choice, the Black+Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum for Pets is an excellent option. This cordless handheld vacuum has specialized rubber bristles that effectively lift pet hair from carpets and upholstery in your car. When you need extra power, simply press the PowerBoost button for up for four times more suction.
The extra-large dustbin means it’s easier than ever to clean your whole car in one go, and it is also easy to empty, thanks to the one-touch easy-empty feature. The washable filter is great if you suffer from allergies. The efficient battery on this rechargeable vacuum gives up to 145% longer runtime compared to other models.
4. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
The BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum makes quick work of removing embedded pet hair from your car’s upholstery. It includes a whole range of tools and accessories designed specifically to help lift and remove pet hair. It also includes a triple filtration system to maintain amazing cleaning performance for longer.
The powerful 14-volt, lithium-ion battery offers an extended runtime, while the large dirt bin means you can keep cleaning for longer. This vacuum is also simple to empty. The handle is easy and comfortable to hold, and it’s easy to switch out the tools when you need to clean harder-to-reach areas.
5. Homasy 8Kpa Portable Handheld Vacuum for Car
The Homasy Portable Handheld Vacuum is also a great choice for removing pet hair from your car’s upholstery. This comes with six accessories, including an extra-long crevice tool to effectively clean hard-to-reach spots, like under your car seats.
This vacuum comes with two washable filters, and while these will need replacing eventually, they’re still a more environmentally friendly option than using paper filters that need replacing more often. This vacuum comes with an easy-charge base for quick recharging. The only thing we don’t like about this vacuum is the short runtime of 30 minutes!
6. Shark Pet-Perfect II Cordless Bagless Hand Vacuum for Pets
The Shark-Pet Perfect II Cordless Bagless Hand Vacuum comes from a well-known brand and provides powerful suction, thanks to its 10-volt power source. The comfortable handle makes this vacuum easy to hold, while the transparent dust bin means it’s easy to see when this needs emptying.
This is noisier than some of the other vacuums, which is a definite con. The battery life also isn’t great, so you’ll need to recharge it more often than you might like. It’s also more expensive than some of the vacuums that scored higher in our reviews.
7. EUREKA NEH100 RapidClean Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
The EUREKA NEH100 RapidClean Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is a budget option that will do a good job lifting hair from short-haired breeds, but it’s not powerful enough to lift ingrained dirt and will easily get clogged with the hair from long-haired pets. The suction isn’t the best either, so you may find yourself needing to run over certain areas multiple times.
This vacuum only runs for 20 minutes before it needs to be recharged, which can be irritating if you’re partway through cleaning your car and then need to wait for this to charge up again before you can continue. It is good value for money, though, if you’re looking for a budget option.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Car Vacuum for Pet Hair
You might know that you need a vacuum to get rid of all the accumulated pet hair and dirt in your car, but what sort of features should you pay attention to when you’re deciding on the brand and model that suits you best? Let’s take a look:
A high-efficiency particulate air filter removes the dander that can cause allergy flare-ups. If you’re vacuuming to remove allergies, then choosing a model with a HEPA filter is essential. If not, then this isn’t so important.
Rechargeable or Corded
Rechargeable vacuums are super convenient if you want to clean your car away from a power source, but you’ll often only have a runtime of around 30-40 minutes. If you need to continue cleaning after this amount of time, you’ll have to wait until your vacuum is fully charged up again. Corded vacuums will run for as long as you want them to, but the cord can get in the way and you might need an extension cable.
Attachments and Tools
Choosing a vacuum that comes with pet-specific attachments is your most effective way to win the battle against pet hair! Look for crevice tools to clean down the narrow sides of seats, brushes with rubber bristles to help lift ingrained hairs, and dusting tools to remove dirt.
We all know that pet hair can be stubborn to remove, especially from some types of car upholstery. Choosing a vacuum with the highest voltage and highest suction you can afford will make cleaning your car that much quicker and easier.
Type of Filter
Some of the vacuums we reviewed have a HEPA filter, others have washable filters, some have paper filters, and others have no filter! If you want to remove the most dust and dander possible, choose a HEPA filter. Washable filters are the next best option, especially as you can rinse these out and use them again, meaning less environmental damage. Paper filters need replacing often, and the price of the replacements can soon add up.
Getting all that pet hair out of our car can take a while, and holding an uncomfortable handheld vacuum for an extended period can lead to wrist and shoulder pain. Look out for brands with an ergonomic, lightweight design to minimize discomfort.
Conclusion: Car Vacuums for Pet Hair
Choosing the right car vacuum for pet hair can feel like an uphill struggle with all those brands and models to decide between. As a reminder, our choice as best overall car vacuum for pet hair is the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum. With a specialized nozzle designed to lift stubborn pet hair, this powerful corded vacuum will make short work of sprucing up your car interior.
As the best value option, you can’t go past the ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum Cleaner. This comes with plenty of accessories to help you clean the pet hair off every surface within your car. The fact that this also has a HEPA filter makes it a standout choice for allergy sufferers.
Hopefully, our reviews have given you plenty of inspiration when it comes to choosing your new car vacuum to tackle all that pesky pet hair. Some of our top picks are great for allergy sufferers, others are perfect for taking on a camping trip, and others are just a great bargain. Whatever you’re looking for in a car vacuum, we’re sure that one of our top seven picks will be perfect for you. There’s no better feeling than setting out for an adventure with a clean and fresh-smelling car that’s free from pet hair, even if your dog’s mission is to make it dirty all over again!