If you suffer from a pet allergy, you’ve probably been told to vacuum more frequently. Vacuuming can remove pet dander that’s trapped in carpets and help relieve allergies – so this is solid advice.

There’s a problem though. While the best vacuums provide efficient filtration, cheaper models allow small particles to escape – including pet dander. This means dander that’s trapped in carpets is picked up and pumped into the surrounding air.

So, if you feel your allergies are worse after vacuuming, poor filtration could be the reason. To help prevent this problem, here are three things to look for in a vacuum.

Choose a Bagged Vacuum

Bagless vacuums were first popularised by Dyson, but have become the standard for many brands, including Vax, Shark and Hoover. For most people, bagless vacuums are more convenient and reduce the lifetime cost of a vac, as there’s no need to buy replacement bags.

An issue with bagless models is that dust and other particles escape when emptying. This is why people with allergies should choose a bagged vacuum with a self-sealing design.

Prioritise Efficient Particle Filtration

When it comes to vacuums for people with allergies, the filtration system is the most important consideration.

It’s not always easy to compare filtration systems though. There isn’t a standardised value or measurement provided by manufacturers for quick comparison. Many brands also claim to be “allergy friendly” even if this isn’t the case.

There are a few ways to judge filtration efficiency though. If the vacuum is available in the EU, manufacturers are required to include a “Dust Re-Emission” rating on the label. Look for vacuums with an A-rating in this category.

Vacuums with HEPA filters are also more likely to be efficient at preventing particles escaping. These filters remove more particles than standard filters.

Don’t be fooled by “HEPA-like” filters though. These are less effective than the real thing, and are often just a way for companies to charge more for a simple foam filter.

Look for a Turbo Tool and Powered Brush Bar

While filtration is important, you also need a vacuum that can remove plenty of dander from carpets, upholstery and hard floors.

When vacuuming carpets, it’s vital for the vacuum to have a powered brush bar, such as the models here. This digs into carpets to remove more dander. Most upright vacs have this feature, but it’s less common for cylinder models.

It’s also worth buying a model with a pet turbo tool – particularly if your dog or cat sheds. These tools are great for removing both dander and hair from stairs, upholstery, car interiors and other tricky locations.


People with a pet allergy should vacuum their home more frequently than the average person. This can reduce dander in the home and help relieve allergy symptoms.

Not all vacuum cleaners are suitable for allergy sufferers though. It’s vital to choose a model that comes with an effective filtration system, uses bags and can remove large amounts of dander from carpets and upholstery.

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