It can be a tangled mess. You or someone in your home has a long flowing mane that is their pride and joy. Unfortunately, those lovely locks often end up being a tightly wound tangle around your vacuum cleaner beater bar and brushes. The solution is not to insist on hair cuts in the household but to find the best vacuum for long hair. This article should help you understand and solve the problem.
The vacuum cleaner industry pays a lot of attention to hair. Almost every vacuum cleaner manufacturer has one or more models in their line explicitly designated for dog hair. If you live with furry friends, you are aware of the problems that long-haired pets like collies can create for a vacuum cleaner.
What you don’t see from the vacuum cleaner manufacturers are specific models of vacuums advertised for the human hair problem. Humans shed hair, as well. The American Academy of Dermatologists reports that it is not uncommon for humans to lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day. People with scalp or hair problems may lose even more.
The problems that human hair can cause vacuum cleaners are no different than those caused by dog hair. If you have long hair or others in your home have long hair, you may have experienced problems with the brush rollers on your vacuum becoming clogged with hair.
The Obvious Solutions about Long Hair
There are two rather obvious solutions to vacuum problems with long hair.
- Shave your head.
- Find a Vacuum that can handle long hair without problems.
The first solution probably isn’t on the options list. It may not be your hair creating the problem. While bald is a bold fashion statement, most women won’t go there. More than likely, if you have chosen to keep your hair long, it is going to remain long, and the shedding problem will continue.
That leaves the option to find a vacuum that will handle the long hair on your carpets and hard surface floors. The vacuum cleaner industry offers so many options, trade names, and features that the task of finding the right vacuum cleaner for your needs is complex. Before beginning, there are some things to consider and understand about vacuums.
What We are Looking For
Knowing what you are looking for when selecting a vacuum of any style, but more importantly, one that can handle long hair is the key to making good decisions. What are we looking for? Just a few things.
- Suction Power
- Powered Beater Bar and Rotating Brush
- Self-Cleaning brushes
- Clog free air path
These are the operational features that make the difference in a vacuum that is good for routine cleaning and one that will handle long hair in carpets and on hard surface floors. Once you understand those, then you must make the decisions about the style of vacuum that fits your needs. Among the choices are:
- Upright vacuums
- Canister Vacuums
- Stick Vacuums
- Robotic Vacuums
- Cordless Vacuums
Are you totally confused yet? Let’s see if we can make this a bit more understandable. Knowing how the parts of your vacuum work and why these parts become issues when dealing with hair will give you a better understanding of how to compare vacuums to find the best solution for your problem.
It’s the truth. Vacuums suck. That’s how the engineer’s design vacuums. The more they suck, the better the design. It’s all about the suction. Vacuums do other things as well. Most vacuums designed to handle long hair, be it a pet or human, have powered beater bares that rotate to create vibrations that free the dirt and hair trapped in the carpet so the suction can lift it into the dust bin or bag.
Measuring suction is done in Pascals, which is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:
The SI unit of pressure, equal to one newton per square meter (approximately 0.000145 pounds per square inch, or 9.9 × 10-6 atmospheres).
As you uncross your eyes, let’s simplify things a bit. Vacuums suction power is usually rated by a number with Pa at the end. The higher the number, the more suction the vacuum delivers. More suction equals more clean.
The Beat and the Roll
Getting the dirt and hair to the surface of the carpet when the vacuum can suck it into the dust bin or bag is another challenge. The vacuum engineers are continually working on new technologies to solve the problem. Several things can happen that become problems with beater bars and roller brushes.
- Too much action – If the beater bar and roller brush are too aggressive, it can damage the carpet or lead to premature wear. Causing damage or excessive wear on the carpet is a big no-no for vacuum manufacturers.
- Not enough action – Conversely, if the beater bar and roller brush are too gentle, the vacuum leaves dirt and hair in and on the carpet and floor surfaces. That leads to bad ratings in product reviews.
- Tangling – Long hair of the human or pet variety tends to wrap around beater bars and roller brushes to the point that neither one can operate effectively. Tangling on the beater bar and roller brushes adds maintenance time to remove the tangled hair and frustration for homeowners running the vacuum leading to more bad reviews.
- Self-Cleaning – No, we aren’t talking about robotic vacuums. That will come later. The topic here is roller brushes and beater bars that can clear themselves of hair wraps and tangles as you clean. Several vacuum manufacturers have this technology.
Getting All Choked Up
Yes, your vacuum can get all choked up about the hair problem. Hair, both human and animal, is incredibly tough stuff. It is hard to break and tends to collect itself into balls that then wedge themselves in and around anything that offers a foothold.
The key to avoiding clogs is to find a vacuum that has the smoothest and shortest route from the cleaning head to the dust bin or bag. A pathway free of snags and tight turns can help eliminate troublesome clogs that can reduce or stop the suction of your vacuum leading to motor damage and more maintenance.
The Vacuums We Chose
We scoured the internet, looked at customer reviews, studied the manufacturer’s specifications to find what we believe to be the best vacuums for hair in several categories. This list is what we found.
|Name||Item Weight||Shipping Weight||Dimensions||Manufacturer|
|Shark APEX Upright Vacuum||24.9 lbs.||24.9 lbs.||11.2 x 12.2 x 46 in.||SharkNinja|
|Bissell Cleanview Bagless Vacuum||15.4 lbs.||18 lbs.||13.2 x 13.5 x 44 in.||BISSELL|
|Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum||17.35 lbs.||24.2 lbs.||15.3 x 13.4 x 42.1 in.||Dyson|
|Hoover WindTunnel MAX Bagged Upright Vacuum||14.99 lbs.||21.6 lbs.||15.7 x 12.5 x 31.8 in.||Hoover|
|Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Canister Vacuum||16.1 lbs.||27.3 lbs.||18.2 x 8.7 x 11 in.||Miele|
|Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner||6.68 lbs.||13.5 lbs.||49.6 x 9.8 x 10.3 in.||Dyson|
|iRobot Roomba i7+ Robotic Vacuum Cleaner||7.45 lbs.||24 lbs.||13.3 x 13.3 x 3.6 in.||iRobot|
Best Overall: Shark APEX Upright Vacuum
Shark has a reputation for building powerful and well-designed vacuums of all types. Shark has led the industry in bringing new features and options to the vacuum cleaner market. Many of their competitors find themselves following rather than driving change as they try to immolate Shark’s latest design updates.
The Shark APEX Upright vacuum is designed from the wheels up to tackle hard to clean issues in carpets and hard surface floors. Shark addresses the problem of hair wrap and tangles with its Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap technology and its powerful suction. You get the expected Shark features with the Shark Apex Upright Vacuum.
- Sharks patented DuoClean Technology – Dual rollers in the cleaning head handle even the largest debris, finest dust, and longest hair with ease.
- The Shark Zero-M cleaner head – Shark’s innovative technology automatically cleans long hair from the brush roller as you vacuum. No more stopping to clean the brush roller of wrapped hair.
- A 12” crevice tool
- The upholstery tool
- Lift-Away Features – Get all the convenience of a portable hand-held vacuum and the power of a full-size upright vacuum in one package with Sharks Lift-Away technology
- HEPA Filtration System
The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is consistently ranked high by users and consumers and is an Amazon Choice buy. All these things contribute to the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum being our pick as the Best Overall Vacuum for Long Hair.
- Consistently ranked as the best vacuum for hair
- Quiet operation
- Shark Lift-Away portable feature is convenient
- Easy to use and move.
- On the expensive side
A More Affordable: Bissell Cleanview Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
Budget vacuums sometimes don’t live up to expectations. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the easiest way for vacuum manufacturers to keep costs low is to keep features simple and reduce the cost of the components. This is usually reflected in cheaper materials and less powerful motors.
Bissell didn’t take that approach with the Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner. All the Bissell features are found in this vacuum as well as technology to deal with hair in carpets and on hard surface floors. The Bissell Cleanview may boast a budget price, but it doesn’t perform like a budget vacuum.
- One-liter dirt bin makes cleaning efficient with fewer stops to empty.
- 27-foot power cord for long reach in your home.
- Easy to maneuver Biller swivel steering makes getting the vacuum around obstacles in your home easy.
- The cleaning head has edge-to-edge technology for wider cleaning paths and close edge cleaning capabilities
- Specialized pet hair tools like the pet hair corner tool and the pet TurboEraser tool, making keeping your home hair-free.
- Dusting brush
- Upholstery tool
- Crevice tool
- Extension Wand
- 4-year limited warranty
Budget price but no budget performance. That is what you will get with the Bissell Cleanview Bagless Vacuum Cleaner. The combination of price, performance, and the high praise this vacuum gets from users and consumers makes it our pick as the Best Budget Vacuum for Long Hair.
- Long cord with auto rewind
- Bagless design is easy to clean and maintain
- Has HEPA filter technology
- Makes edge cleaning a breeze
- No height adjustment feature on the cleaning head.
Best Bagless Vacuum for Long Hair: Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum
If leading-edge technology is your goal, then the Dyson Ball Animal upright bagless vacuum is for you. Dyson vacuums incredible devotion to research and development have kept them at the forefront of technological development in the vacuum industry.
Dysons attention to detail and focus on product testing keep Dyson vacuums ranking among users and consumers consistently high. The Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum is a testament to Dyson’s reputation. There is no lack of quality, performance, or features with these vacuums.
- Dust bin capacity of .5 gallons
- Strongest suction among comparable vacuums
- Self-adjusting cleaning head moves easily from carpet to hard surface floors
- HEPA filtration
- Radial Root Cyclone Technology for deeper cleaning with no clogs
- Tangle Free turbine cleaning tool
- Combination tool
- Wand for hard to reach spaces
- Stair tool for easy cleaning of stairs and other small and confined spaces.
- One-click dust bin emptying
The Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum is certainly not the least expensive vacuum on our list. However, based on Dyson’s reputation, the power and cleaning capability of the Ball Animal Upright Vacuum, and the high praise these vacuums receive from users and consumers, the Dyson Ball Animal Upright Vacuum gets a place on our list as the Best Bagless Vacuum for Long Hair.
- Incredible suction
- Easy to maneuver around the house
- Great selection of accessories available
- Makes short work of hair on both carpet and hardwood
- On the pricey side
- Small bust bin
Best Bagged Vacuum for Long Hair: Hoover WindTunnel MAX
Hoover is synonymous with vacuums in the United States. In many homes, it was once common to refer to vacuuming as ‘hoovering the carpet.’ That long tradition of manufacturing quality vacuums for both home and commercial use continues today.
Many people prefer a bagged vacuum to a bag-less model for convenience. The Hoover bagged vacuums feature sealed bag technology and easy disposable bag changes. The bags act as part of the air filtration system for sparking return air into your home. If you prefer a bagged upright vacuum and have problems with hair, the Hoover WindTunnel MAX is a perfect choice.
Hoover never skimps on features on their vacuums.
- WindTunnel 3 Technology creates channels of suction that lift and remove surface and embedded dirt
- HEPA Filtration system for cleaner return air
- Seven-floor height adjustments for perfect cleaning on any surface
- Reach up to 17 feet above floor level with the extension hose and wand
- Telescoping wand
- 12-inch crevice tool
- Upholstery/cleaning brush
- Air-powered hand vacuuming tool
- 15-inch wide cleaning head for faster and more efficient vacuuming
- A 30-foot power cord means fewer stops to move the cord from room to room.
- Weighs only 14.9 lbs. making this vacuum easy to maneuver and use in your home.
Hoover is well known in the US marketplace for building great vacuums. Their long history of dependable products, cleaning capabilities, and the reputation found among users, and consumers get the Hoover WindTunnel MAX Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner the spot on this list as the Best Bagged Vacuum for Long Hair.
- Lightweight and easy to move around the house, especially if you must go up and down stairs
- Great suction and handles hair without any problems
- Superior filtration of the return air is great if you suffer from allergies
Best Canister Vacuum for Long Hair: Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Canister Vacuum
Miele isn’t a brand name that is as well known in the US as many others. This German company is one of the bestselling brands in Europe, and its engineering reputation is legendary. The Miele canister vacuums are renowned for their power and features.
Many people prefer a canister vacuum over an upright vacuum. Putting the heavy equipment on a separate platform that follows along as you vacuum has certain advantages. The long hose and wand with a separate cleaning head can make getting into difficult spots easier. Without the weight of the motors, fans, and dust collection systems, using the wand and hose are less tiring.
Miele has not forgotten the features on its Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog bagless canister vacuum.
- Parquet Twister Floorhead for cleaning hard surface floors
- Turbo Brush Floorhead for cleaning carpets
- Upholstery Nozzle
- Crevice tool
- Electronic suction Settings
- Eco Comfort handle
- Telescopic wand
- Automatic cord rewind
- 21-foot cord
- HEPA Air Filtration System
Admittedly, the Miele is not cheap and is on the top end of the price line of vacuums in this list. However, for the best experience in cleaning homes where the hair is an issue, you can’t find a better choice than the Miele Blizzard CX1 Bagless Canister Vacuum. Users consistently give this vacuum high marks. The features, reviews, and reputation of Miele put this vacuum on our list as the Best Canister Vacuum for Long Hair.
- Best air filtration of any canister vacuum
- Great accessory tools feel well built and sturdy
- Incredible suction power
- The built-in dusting brush is wonderful for cleaning edges and softer fabrics
- Short power cord
- Small dust bin
A Cordless Choice: Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Cordless vacuums suffer from power issues. It is almost impossible to get the same kind of suction and cleaning power from a cordless vacuum that you get from a corded version. However, cordless vacuums are becoming more and more popular, especially with people who live in smaller homes or apartments. Dyson recognized this market and answered with the V11 Animal.
Dyson reached into its engineering magic box and came up with a design that challenges some of the well-known corded stick vacuums for its power and abilities. In small tight spaces, the Dyson V11 Animal shines as it maneuvers around without cords to tangle or bulky canisters.
The Dyson V11 Animal brings all the features of the full-size Dyson vacuums in the package.
- Twice the suction of many comparable cordless vacuums
- A high torque cleaning head
- Auto floor height adjustment for efficient changes in floor surface or coverings
- Dyson digital technology motor for the most efficient power use.
- Whole system HEPA air filtration
- Up to 60-minutes of runt time with no-fade batter technology
- Dyson cyclonic cleaning action to trap more dirt and debris
- Transforms into a handheld vacuum for more versatility and options
- Includes a convenient docking station for storage and re-charge
- Handles hair with ease
The convenience of a cordless vacuum is undeniable. Now you can enjoy the cleaning power of a corded vacuum in a cordless model. Users and consumers rave about the Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum. Based on these reviews and our assessment of the features and quality, the Dyson V11 Animal is our pick as the Best Cordless Vacuum for Long Hair.
- Convenient and easy to use.
- Long runtime for a battery-powered vacuum
- Great set of accessory tools included in the package
- The automatic height adjustment is efficient
- Small dust bin fills quickly with this very powerful vacuum
Best Robotic Vacuum for Long Hair: iRobot Roomba i7+ Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Imagine coming home to a spotless environment with clean floors free of hair, dust, and debris. That can be a possibility with the latest technology in robotic vacuums. Advances in battery life and engineering have brought these devices to a level of ability that borders on the fantastic.
iRobot and its line of robotic vacuums lead the industry and are the number one seller of robotic vacuums in the United States. The Roomba i7+ from iRobot is one of the top sellers in the iRobot lineup. The design of the Roombai7+ keeps its brushes and rollers free of hair for exceptional performance. The Roomba i7+ also leads the industry in features.
- Self-emptying means less time spent with the vacuum doing routine maintenance
- Power-lifting suction technology moves more air for more dust and dirt removal
- Premium 3-stage cleaning system handles hair efficiently and easily
- iAdapt navigation system and vSLAM technology maneuvers the robot in the most efficient pattern in your home.
- Smart mapping technology lets the robot learn, adapt, and map your home.
- Wi-Fi connectivity and easy to use smartphone app allow you to control and monitor the i7+ remotely.
- The Roomba i7+ connects to your home automation systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
- Long run time with Lithium-ion battery technology
- Return and restart technology allows the robotic vacuum to return to the charging station when the battery is low and the return to the same spot and resume cleaning.
- Multi-floor mapping capability.
IF convenience and technology are high on your list of features, then you should certainly investigate the world or robotic vacuums. If you have hair issues in your home, the iRobot Roomba i7+ could be the perfect solution for your checklist. The iRobot i7+ makes our list based on these features and the high marks given this robotic vacuum by users and consumers as the Best Robotic Vacuum for Hair.
- Convenient and easy to use and program.
- Versatile smartphone control
- Superior cleaning performance over any other robotic vacuum
- The self-emptying system keeps maintenance to a minimum
It’s a Hairy Problem
Dog hair or human hair doesn’t really matter. They are both problems for most vacuum cleaners. Combine the two in one house, and you can have major issues with keeping your home clean and keeping a vacuum cleaner running efficiently.
Selecting a vacuum for a home that suffers from hair problems can exacerbate the problem if you end up pulling out hair in frustration while trying to make a decision. Hopefully, our list and the additional information we have provided can keep you from pulling out more hair and making the problem worse as you try to select the best vacuum for your needs.