Pets are great to have in your home, but this often leads to allergies for a lot of people. You obviously don’t want to wake up to allergies each day, so you’re going to have to get a vacuum to help you. The problem is that not all vacuums are great for removing allergies.
To break it down to basics, allergens are any foreign substance to the body that can cause an allergic reaction. Allergens exist everywhere around us, and some of the most common forms are dust, pollen, mold, pet hair/dander, and formaldehyde.
These allergens either enter your house from the outside world, such as dust and pollen. Or, they are created inside the home, such as with mold and shedding pets. Alternatively, many of the products we buy and consume contain formaldehyde in them.
It isn't uncommon to suffer in some from from allergies. As a matter of fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies in some form.
The body is typically equipped to deal with all of these various allergens. However, in some people, they trigger allergic reactions. And, in high quantities, they can bring on these reactions even in those that typically don't suffer from allergies.
Whether you are the type that reacts strongly to allergens, or hardly at all, no one wants allergens in their house. There are several steps you can take to reduce the number of allergens that enter and take root in your home:
If you have allergies, then selecting a vacuum with a HEPA filter is a must. The HEPA accronym stands for "high efficiency particulate air".
According to WebMD, a HEPA filter is "is a type of mechanical air filter; it works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.
Perhaps you can already see why a HEPA filter is entirely necessary for your vacuum cleaner. Lets spell out how a vacuum cleaner works, and why it will reak havoc on your allergies if you don't have a filtration system in your vacuum:
While this is an over-simplified description, it does the trick of showing the important of filtration in a vacuum cleaner. Without a HEPA filter, the air that is expelled back into the room by the vacuum still contains the same allergens that were previously in the room.
A HEPA filter ensures that the process of vacuuming helps remove allergens from your home, rather than simply agitating them and potentially making your allergies worse.
Not all vacuums are designed to remove allergens. As mentioned above, you must select a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. Otherwise, the vacuum is really only kicking all of the bacteria into the air each time you use it. If you have allergies, an advanced HEPA filtration system is a must.
Some vacuums are specifically designed to remove allergies from your floor, carpet, and even the air. Dust locked into the fibers of your carpet, floor, upholstery, furniture, and blinds gets kicked up as you move around your house, and breathed in. The best HEPA vacuum for allergies is specifically designed to remove the vast majority of these allergens.
A lot of allergens are located in pet hair and dander. Thus, the highest rated vacuum for allergies typically have a component that is great at removing pet hair. Many vacuums are specifically designed with high powered suction and special brush rollers to handle pet hair, thick and thin.
Another factor to consider is how you empty the dirt container that the vacuum collects in. Whether bagged or bagless, the best vacuum cleaner for allergy sufferers will have a very clean and simple transition to empty the dirt. In general, a bagged vacuum cleaner is best for allergins, as you never re-introduce the collected dirt to the air again.
We've done the work and put together our comprehensive allergy vacuum reviews, with our top 5 vacuum cleaners listed below:
2-in-1 crevice, dusting tool
The Dirt Devil UD70355B features no loss suction technology, which means that it uses powerful wind suction to keep providing you with constant cleaning power. Powerful suction means you are sucking up as much of the dirt and dander that is causing allergies as possible.
When it comes to picking up pet hair, this model has a definite advantage. The Spin4Pro premium brush roll gets really deep down into carpets to remove stubborn dirt and hair with ease. It even comes with a 2-in-1 dusting and crevice tool to get to those hard to reach areas.
For even more cleaning ease, you also get a 10 foot extender hose with a removable cleaning wand. The swivel steering feature, plus its low profile design, make it easy to reach pretty much anything and everywhere with this model.
The Dirt Devil UD70355B features a three stage filtration system to help keep the air clean and the vacuum running for as long as can be.
This Dirt Devil does not have a HEPA filter, which is common for vacuums in this price range. And, while we strongly recommend (and prefer) a HEPA filter, you just won't find one at this price point. So, we'll take the three stage filtration as a second best.
With its focus on strong suction for pet hair, this is definitely a top consideration for best vacuum for pets and allergies.
Pet-friendly, easy to maneuver, and great for hard to reach spots.
The Bissell PowerEdge is designed specifically for hardwood floors and low pile carpets. It features cyclonic wind technology to help pick up debris with ease.
What we really like about this model is that it has a special-shape cleaning head. This helps to capture large debris in the middle, and smaller stuff on the outside of the head.
The wipers on the bottom are also statically charged to help attract more pet hair than ever before. Its special design is meant to capture all kinds of dirt and hair, and it can do so in tight and hard to reach areas; even edges are no problem for this model.
This is a corded vacuum, coming with a 20ft cord. As such, you'll never have to plug this model in to recharge.
A few challenges with this vacuum. For starters, it is not effective on thicker carpet. If you have anything other than a thin rug or hardwood floor, this vacuum won't do the trick.
Additionally, it is lacking a HEPA filter. However, for the low price point, this vacuum is specifically focused on sucking pet hair, and for that reason we put it on our list. This vacuum does not have as good of filtration as the Dirt Devil, but it is lighter and easier to use.
The swivel head is specially designed so you can easily clean around and under furniture. The Bissell PowerEdge also comes with an easy to empty dirt cup, meaning that you never have to deal with bags or dirty messes again.
Pet-friendly, lightweight, and easy to maneuver.
Under Appliance Wand, Air-Driven Pet Brush, Dusting Brush, 5.5 inch Crevice Tool
Combining the power of a high quality upright vacuum with the convenience of a lightweight design, Shark produces a very high quality and well received vacuum with the Navigator line. Their Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is focused at being an affordable option that includes a HEPA filter.
Coming in at 13 pounds, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a corded upright vacuum, containing a 25ft cord.
Shark includes their Never Loses Suction Technology on this model, and combines it with Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology to make this a powerful vacuum for sucking pet hair and filtering out the allergens.
Add a HEPA filter, and this vacuum does a fantastic job of cleaning the floor and air. Shark claims that this upright vacuum will trap over 99.9% of dust and allergens.
Some other features of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional that we love include some of the details. This Shark comes with a swivel steering and a deluxe motorized brush roll. Also included are several premium tools focused on pet hair, appliances, and furniture.
This Shark will clean everything from your hardwood floors to your thick carpet. It's removable canister makes it easy to detach and clean your stairs as well.
For it's price, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a fantastic vacuum for allergies, and receives our vote for best affordable vacuum for allergies.
Again (its worth repeating) - this is the highest reviewed vacuum we can recommend that is both cost-effective AND comes with a HEPA filter. While it still doesn't have the suction and convenience of some more expensive models, this is the cheapest way to get a HEPA filter in a high quality vacuum.
Powerful, lightweight, and maneuverable - Shark offers a high-quality performance vacuum.
2 in 1, HEPA filtration, Crevice tool
One of the things that is very neat about the Dibea Stick Vacuum Cleaner is that it is a two in one model. It can be used as a normal upright vacuum and it can be used as a handheld one too. This makes it great for both large and small jobs around the home.
Ok, let's cut to the chase. Our favorite thing about the Dibea is that it has a HEPA filter considering its price. This is rare to find, and the Dibea is a great option if you're looking to save money but get a stick vacuum with a HEPA filter.
This Dibea has great suction power, making it ideal for some pretty big messes, pet hair, and other heavier dirt and dust particles. The large one liter dirt cup means that you won’t have to empty out the dirt all that often.
Don't buy this corded stick vacuum if you have quite a bit of carpet. It's best used on hardwood floor, bare floor, and thin rugs.
The Dibea Vacuum Cleaner is a very lightweight vacuum cleaner, making it easy to maneuver, even up and down stairs, plus the swivel head makes it easy to get around furniture. The front facing LED lights allow you to see everything that needs to be sucked up.
We lay our stake in the ground and have determined that this is the best vacuum for allergies. You get top-of-the-line filtration combined with best-in-class suction power. Dibea is a world class brand name and high powered vacuum cleaner.
Top class filtration and strong suction make the Dibea our best-in-class winner.
Mini motorized tool, Combination accessory tool, Crevice tool, NMC battery, Docking station with charger
Argued as the best cordless stick vacuum for pet hair on the market, the Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner may be expensive, but it makes for a great investment. It has a great lithium ion battery which can last for up to 20 minutes on a single charge, thus eliminating the hassle of power cords.
This particular model has a direct drive motorized brush head that gets deep down into carpets and can easily pick up embedded dirt and pet hair. The Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is very lightweight, so much so that you can easily lift it up to get to your ceilings. It also allows you to remove the wand to instantly convert it into a handheld vacuum.
Dyson designed this vacuum to deal with pet hair, and subsequently, the allergens that come from their dander. Dyson uses cyclonic technology to keep dirt from releasing into the air, and the HEPA filtration system sucks in allergens and expels clean air.
It also comes with a small motorized tool for getting dirt and hair out of your sofas and other upholstery. The Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is meant to deal with most stubborn of pet hair and to be easy to maneuver while using it.
Powerful, lightweight, and convertible - Dyson DC59 is great for dealing with pet hair and clean air.
Best Vacuum for Allergies
We could tell you that the Dyson DC59 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is the best vacuum for allergies on the market, and we wouldn't be lying. Dyson makes a powerful vacuum that would work well in all environments, keeping allergies at bay throughout it all.
However, we don't think you need to spend that much money to get the highest rated vacuum for pets and allergies. We have found that the Dibea Vacuum Cleaner does a fantastic job, and gets our recommendation.
Alternatively, if you're looking to save some cash, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away does a very good job, and for a price that's light on the wallet.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.