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Best Robovac for Pet Hair


Rid Your Home of Pet Hair

We love our pets and our pets love us…unless you have a cat and it is merely tolerating your presence for food. Although we love our pets, cleaning up after them can be a real chore. Depending on the number of pets, you can expect a steady diet of furballs consistently moving/blowing across the hardwood and/or carpet floors. While it would be nice to be able to use our standard upright vacuum cleaners to take care of this problem, sometimes we just can’t find the time to vacuum every day. Fortunately, there is a solution for you…robotic vacuum cleaners!

Robovacs have come a long way in a short time. iRobot introduced the first popular and truly functional model of robot vacuum in 2002 to the general public. This was a revolutionary step in hands-off vacuuming of our homes. With a variety of features including drop detection and automatic recharging, there was a definite path to true hands-free vacuuming of our homes. Unfortunately, we were still a few years away from these robovacs being truly independent time savers. Now? These little guys are sometimes so smart that they could do your homework while cleaning the house of all the fur you can see.

Finding the best robovac for pet hair can be difficult unless you take a few common traits into account while making your decision. First, pets can sometimes be sensitive to noise and mechanical devices. While pets seem to treat the robot vacuums differently than the traditional upright versions (dogs hate these don’t they?), it is still a good idea to try to find quieter models so the pets aren’t scared of the vacuum. Additionally, brushes, filters, and the suction power of the vacuum must be taken into account to ensure it can get your floors as clean as possible. Finally, when selecting your pet hair cleaning robot, ensure it has all the features you need and the battery is capable of handling the size of your home.

Robovac Comparison

Neato D7

Roomba 690

Coredy R500+

Roborock E4

HonorsBest in ClassBest Value
The GoodD-shaped design, laser navigation, straight line cleaning, smartphone integration, no-go lines, Alexa integration, 120 mins battery, powerful suctionQuiet, intuitive App, Dirt Detect, 3-stage cleaning, Virtual Wall, Alexa compatible, easily emptied dirt binPerforms above price point, tangle-free brush, quiet operation (on low), remote control, large dust binPowerful 5200mAh battery. Tangle-resistant brush. Strong suction for the price. Thorough cleaning pattern (z-pattern). Features commonly found in more expensive models.
The BadNavigation mapping can be difficult to use first time, cleaning filter is annoyingRandom navigation, first run through a new area could confuse robotRandom navigation that gets confused at times, no App or Alexa integration, replacement partsOnly the 2.4 GHz WiFi band enabled. Limited to integrating with Alexa and not Google Home. Can sometimes lose base position for recharging.
OverallThe best robot vacuum to clean pet hair. Smartest navigation and best overall cleaning paired with excellent convenience features.A mid to low range robovac that performs like a mid to low range robovac. Not a bad thing, but it doesn’t stand out for the price.A budget/entry level robot vacuum. Not as smart as a true “smart” robot, but it provides good pet fur cleaning and powerful suction.A solid and budget-friendly entry into the Roborock line. Several features more often found on more expensive models. A good option to save money.
Our Rating8.
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The Reviews

Best Choice

Neato D7

By: Neato

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  • Laser Mapping Navigation
  • Multi-floor Plan Mapping
  • Zone Cleaning
  • Straight Line Cleaning
  • No-go Lines
  • Spiral Combo Brush
  • Ultra-Performance Filter
  • 120 mins Battery
  • Smart Device Compatible

Neato Botvac D7 Connected Robot Vacuum

The Neato D7 is the most advanced vacuum we have reviewed in both cleaning, navigation, and features. It performs well in almost every facet of cleaning your home by offering best in class navigation, strong and powerful cleaning, long battery life, and easy smart device integration. The navigation is easily the best you’ll find among today’s robot vacuum cleaners. The Neato D7 uses lasers to map out the floorplan in a grid pattern that allows the robot to make sure every square inch is covered. Furthermore, the lasers are excellent at allowing it to clean in dark places, unlike other models that use cameras for navigation. While it navigates your home, the powerful suction gets all but the most stubborn hair and dirt. In those instances, switch on Turbo Mode and watch it go! Finally, the long battery life ensures it can clean as much of your home as possible before it recharges to pick back up where it left off.

Although there isn’t too much to gripe about with this unit, a couple minor issues are present. First, the navigation mapping feature can have a learning curve for those not technically proficient. It often takes the user a couple tries before they understand how best to use it. Another problem is the dustbin. While it is an adequate .7 L in size, frequent emptying of it can be annoying as dirt, hair, and dust tend to stick to it and don’t want to let go.

Overall, the Neato D7 Connected Robot Vacuum is the best of those we have reviewed for cleaning pet hair. The navigation is unparalleled and facilitates effective and efficient cleaning of your entire home. The powerful suction (and Turbo Mode) are great at ensuring pet hair isn’t trapped in those thick carpets. The long battery life and convenience of smart device integration allow you to mark one item off your list each day without having to do it yourself. You can’t go wrong with this fabulous vacuum cleaner.

  • Best navigation of all robovacs
  • Can clean in the dark
  • Nothing gets missed (straight line cleaning)
  • Cleans very deeply on Turbo Mode
  • No-go lines are excellent
  • Strong battery life
  • Easy to use App
  • Simple setup
  • Navigation mapping has a learning curve for the user
  • Filter can be frustrating to clean
Full Review

Roomba 690

By: iRobot

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  • 3-Stage Cleaning
  • Multi-Surface Brushes
  • Dirt Detect
  • Smart Device Compatibility
  • Virtual Wall
  • Low-Profile Cleaning

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum

The Roomba 690 has the best name recognition of any robot vacuums as iRobot has been the industry leader for several years. The vacuum provides solid cleaning of a variety of surface areas, Wi-Fi and App integration, and comparatively quiet operation. This vacuum uses a combination of a 3-stage cleaning system that uses multiple brushes to better clean on a variety of surfaces including hardwood, tile, or carpet. Furthermore, the Dirt Detect technology detects particularly dirty areas and increases attention paid to that area. Together, these systems provide impressive cleaning ability, no matter what challenges your home may provide. The Wi-Fi and App work very well, with the App being extremely intuitive and easy to use. The various features are convenient and work well. Finally, if you have sensitive animals, the iRobot Roomba 690 operates at a reduced noise level compared to typical versions.

The main drawback with this model is that it uses a completely random pattern to clean. Unlike the Neato D7, there is no straight-line cleaning. This Roomba uses a series of sensors to detect obstacles as it zips around your home. Unfortunately, this can lead to spots being missed, but they should be caught on the next run through (every day cleaning is recommended). Another issue is that, when introduced to new areas, it could take a couple cleaning cycles to properly learn the area. During this learning time, expect problems such as getting stuck or lost until it has become adjusted.

The iRobot Roomba 690 is a mid-grade vacuum that doesn’t really impress in any one area. It does a good job cleaning, but not great. The Virtual Walls are also very well done, but not as good as No-Go Lines. The navigation is sorely lacking when compared to those robots that clean in a straight-line manner. Overall, this is a somewhat overhyped vacuum that can get the job done, but your money may be better spent elsewhere.

  • Easy to use App
  • Virtual Walls are great
  • Cleans well
  • Quiet operation
  • Effortless dirt bin interactions
  • No straight line cleaning
  • Needs time to learn new areas
  • Will need upgraded filter
Full Review

Coredy R500+

By: Coredy

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  • Stylish Design
  • Boundary Strips
  • Anti-Collision Sensors
  • Anti-Drop Sensors
  • Automatic Recharge

Coredy R500+ Robot Vacuum

The Coredy R500+ can be best classified as one of the best of the lower tier of robovacs. It does a good job at competing with the more advanced models, especially in suction power. The long battery life combined with the suction power allows it to zip around randomly and clean even large homes adequately. The Coredy performs well on pet hair, although those with many large pets may need a higher end brand for heavy duty cleaning. The remote is also very nice in lieu of a smart device App. One of the better features is that it is pretty quiet for a vacuum.

As this isn’t a true smart robot, the Coredy suffers from a lack of some common features you’ll find on the more advanced models. App integration is a definite drawback and limits how much control you have over your cleaning times. The navigation is also less advanced than what some may be used to. The Coredy begins with a zig-zag pattern before switching to random cleaning movements. Furthermore, it can sometimes get lost, but still make it back to its charging base.

The Coredy R500+ is a good choice for a budget model robovac as it has strong performance at an affordable price. While it can’t really compete with the Neato or Roborock as far as technology, it is one of the best you’ll find in the lower tier of robot vacuum cleaners. The Coredy does a good job on pet hair and is quiet enough to hold a conversation in the same room. It is missing quite a few features (i.e. App, Alexa) that have become commonplace and has poor navigation, but it does well at what it is designed to do. If this is your first robot vacuum and you want to just “see what they’re all about”, the Coredy is a good starting point.

  • Good at cleaning pet hair
  • Strong suction for the price
  • Brush reduces tangling
  • Quiet operation on low setting
  • Remote control
  • Navigation needs improvement
  • Random cleaning pattern after initial startup
  • No App or Alexa integration
  • Finding replacement parts can be difficult
Full Review

Best Value

Roborock E4

By: Roborock

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  • Fast & Effective Cleaning
  • Intelligent Navigation
  • 2000Pa Suction
  • 2152 sq. ft. Single Charge Clean
  • 640 ml Dustbin
  • Alexa Integration
  • Optional Mopping
  • Convenient App

Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum

An updated model to the Roborock E25, the Roborock E4 robot vacuum offers high performance and efficient clean at a budget price. Many of the features found in the E4 robovac are commonly found in much more expensive models such as Alexa and smartphone integration. The cleaning capabilities of the robot vacuum are impressive as it includes a powerful 5200 mAh battery and 2000 Pa suction power. The strong battery allows for an incredible 200 minute maximum cleaning time that can vacuum up to 2152 square feet before needing a recharge.

The navigation is less sophisticated than more robust Roborock models as it doesn’t include LiDAR technology to map the room. The E4 instead uses a wide range of sensors to navigate the vacuum as it cleans. Unlike some other models, the Roborock incorporates a Z-shaped pattern while it cleans as opposed to the random zig-zags that some less efficient robotic vacuums employ. The z-shaped pattern cleaning ensures that the entire floor is vacuumed and very little is missed. Various modes are also available to tailor the vacuuming to the job at hand. These modes include Turbo, Carpet, Gentle, Max, Balance, and Silent.

Overall, the Roborock E4 offers a strong blend of performance and value. While it may not compare to those models that cost much more, it has many of the same features without costing a fortune. As a bonus, this is one of the best robot vacuums you’ll find for cleaning pet hair. The powerful suction combined with anti-tangle brushes ensures your home is clean without needing to constantly clean the brushes. If you’re looking for a strong entry-level model into the world of robot vacuum cleaners, the Roborock E4 is a good option.

  • Powerful suction (2000Pa)
  • Superb at picking up pet hair
  • Excellent navigation
  • Performance like an upper tier robot
  • Limited to only Alexa
  • Can't turn off recharge/resume
  • Only 1 Wi-Fi frequency
Full Review

Robovac for Pet Hair Buying Guide

When selecting your perfect robot vacuum cleaner for your pet hair problems, ensure you consider the type of filter and brushes that are available. Some brands offer filters and brushes that are specifically designed to deal with the unique challenges of pet fur such as increased allergens, long hair, and dust. Tangle free brushes are available on some devices that reduces the number of times you will need to clean the brush from long hair that can stop it from operating. Additionally, the type of filter should be taken into account. Filters are often available that are designed to reduce airborne allergens and other particles that are often associated with pets.

The power of the robovac is also an important metric in determining if it will be able to get the job done. If you have thick carpet, you will need a strong suction that will be able to lift pet hair from deep down in thick carpet. Although power is important, a solid cleaning system will need to be in place that can loosen up tracked in mud and wound up hair so the vacuum can pick it up. Side brushes and multi-stage cleaning brushes do a good job at ensuring hair isn’t left behind as the vacuum runs through its cleaning cycle.

Did You Know?

Pet allergies are caused by harmless proteins in pet urine, saliva, or dander. Together these proteins are completely harmless, but some are affected with pet allergies due to an over-sensitive immune system. Pet allergens can collect in homes on furniture, walls, carpets, or curtains and hang there for months at a time, even after the pet is no longer around. Furthermore, pet allergens are everywhere as people’s clothes can easily transport allergens from their home to other places that have never had a pet. Overall, pet hair is not an allergen, but it is a great place for allergens to collect and move about the home.

Smart Features and Battery Life

Robot vacuum cleaners are often measured by their ability to be convenient and make our lives easier. Before you buy, ensure that the robot vacuum has everything that you need for it to function well in your life. Some common features that are often sought after are smartphone and Alexa (or Google Home) integration, remote operation via the App, scheduling to run when you want, and a solid navigation system.

The navigation system is commonly one of the most important and difficult to get right features of all robot vacuums. Some robots move in a completely random pattern that can lead to missed hair or dirt on the floor. Some of the more advanced robovacs use navigation systems such as cameras (iRobot) or lasers (Neato) to direct the vacuum on where to go to avoid getting stuck and ensuring the entire floor is cleaned before returning to the home docking station. Just remember that the more advanced the robot vacuum is, the more likely the price will be higher.

Battery life is another important aspect to consider before purchasing. Most robot vacuums will perform several cleaning cycles by going out to clean until their battery is depleted, then returning to the dock to recharge, and then start cleaning again. This is often repeated a maximum of 2-3 times. Battery life often ranges from as little as 60 minutes, up to 2 hours of runtime. The longer the battery life before it needs to return to recharge, the more house it can clean. If you have a large home, it is integral that you have a device that can clean for an extended period.

Woman sneezingQuick Tip

Some robot vacuums have a fairly small bin that can easily hamper the amount of dirt or hair it can pick up before stopping due to a full dust bin. Some models will alert you when the bin is full and let you know that it needs to be emptied to continue cleaning. If you commonly schedule your robot to clean while you are away from home, it may be best to run your vacuum every day to avoid the robot stopping before it has cleaned the entire home. Cleaning every day ensures that you have a clean floor when you come home every day and that there will be less for the robot to pick up and fill the dust bin.

Commonly Asked Questions

How do robotic vacuums behave when they encounter small objects or spills while cleaning?

Robot vacuum cleaners will treat any spills or debris it encounters like another piece of the floor and try to vacuum it as best it can. It is important to remember to pick up before the vacuum starts cleaning so nothing gets lodged in the vacuum or a pet “accident” doesn’t get smeared throughout the house like icing on a cake.

Do some models really work better than others? Or is the increased price simply for better technology?

Yes and yes. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. The more expensive models are often cutting-edge tools that have the most powerful motors and the most advanced features. It is important that you weigh the features and power in your budget to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

How often should I maintain my robot?

Cleaning your robot is essential to keeping it in good operating order. It is a good idea to empty the dirt bin after every cleaning cycle so it doesn’t stop midway through a subsequent clean. Untangling the brushes (side, main, complimentary) is important to ensure it runs smooth without unnecessary drain. Some brushes are specifically made for pets and to self-clean. Even so, it is a good idea to regularly ensure there is no hair tangled in the brushes after every few cleaning cycles.

Our Picks

Robot Vacuums are becoming more and more popular for helping pet owners to keep pet hair to a minimum. After reviewing several models, the Neato D7 Botvac is the best robovac for cleaning pet hair, in our estimation. It provides the best mix of features, navigation, powerful performance, and time saved for you. It does a great job at working around your schedule and keeping your house’s pet hair under control. For best value, the Roborock E4 is an absurd bargain. The array of features and pet hair cleaning power, you can’t go wrong with the Roborock if you don’t have the money to spend on the upper tier D7.