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I'm looking for a lightweight vacuum cleaner that can tackle the pet hair in a multi-pet home - I found several affordable vacuum cleaners, but are they the best?

J doesn't know it, but we're in the market for a new vacuum cleaner. We currently have a Rainbow vacuum cleaner that we purchased secondhand on Craigslist nearly 10 years ago. It's great, fantastic actually, but it's a beast to lug around and I'm looking for something that's lightweight, easy to carry up and down the stairs, and does a great job picking up pet hair (five dogs, one cat).

In my online research, I've narrowed it down to the following 4.5-star vacuum cleaners.

Top 5 Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair

  1. Eureka NEU100 Airspeed Upright Vacuum Cleaner, $59.99
  2. BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Lithium-Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum, $62.99
  3. BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, $99
  4. BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, $129.99
  5. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 Upright Vacuum, $159.99

I very nearly took this list to J to see which vacuum he thought we could get and then I remembered the last time I got a brand new vacuum cleaner.

Are Vacuum Reviews Legit?

After reading loads of reviews for various vacuum cleaners, I haven't a clue which one to buy. I finally stopped and thought about my experience with vacuum cleaners. The first week or so of owning a vacuum cleaner, it's great. All of a sudden, I realize that our home was filthy because of all the dust, dirt, and pet hair being suctioned out of our carpet, area rugs, and upholstery.

Within a few months, my vacuum goes from being a five-star machine to being “just okay.” A year later, I'm probably shopping around for a new vacuum.

With this in mind, I don't pay much attention to online reviews of vacuum cleaners because they're usually posted shortly after the vacuum was purchased. I'm more interested in the person who has owned a vacuum cleaner for five years or more and still thinks it's the best vacuum cleaner they've ever owned.

So, while reviews are legit, if someone is leaving a review a week after they buy a vacuum cleaner, I'm going to pass it buy. If I'm going to invest in a quality machine, I need to know that I won't be replacing it in a year.

3 Vacuum Cleaners I Recommend

Rainbow Vacuum Cleaners

I think Rainbow vacuums are still in the “door to door” world and aren't found in retail establishments. I learned about them at a Home & Garden show. You can find used Rainbow vacuums on Amazon, Craiglist, or even the Facebook market place and even used, these are an investment.

J and I purchased a secondhand Rainbow vacuum ten years ago and we still use it every other day. We're big on vacuuming regularly because of the number of animals in our home (five dogs, one cat) and the Rainbow has never let us down. Even used, we haven't had to have it repaired and we haven't had to replace any parts. Rainbows are easy to use and it's easy to unclog (although kind of gross) the pet hair.

The Rainbow vacuum is also heavy, which is why I want a lightweight option.

Dyson Vacuum Cleaners

I was talking about vacuum cleaners with my friend and she recommends Dyson vacuums. She and her husband have had a Dyson for over 10 years and it still works great, picks up pet hair, and IT'S LIGHTWEIGHT.

Dyson upright vacuums range from $300 to more than $600 on You may be able to find a refurbished Dyson for less than $300, but I didn't see many in my quick search.

It's hard to wrap my head around spending $600 for a vacuum. Even $300 is a tough call. However, with the holiday season approaching, I'll be keeping my eye open for deals.

BISSELL CleanView Vacuum with OnePass Tech

And, finally, the vacuum that I ended up with is a BISSELL CleanView Vacuum with OnePass Technology. I woke up on Saturday morning itching to clean the entire house and the idea of lugging the Rainbow up and down the stairs didn't appeal to me, so I went to our local Target and purchased a BISSELL. I chose this one because (1) it was on sale for less than $90 and (2) it promised to be effective and lightweight. It didn't disappoint. Now, we mainly use the BISSELL to clean the house. It weighs next to nothing (it seems) and now we're vacuuming our second level more often which has cut down on the smell of kitty litter.

Living in a house with five dogs and one cat makes cleaning a daily chore. Ultimately, our goal is to rid our home of carpet, but, for now, the BISSELL is doing a great job.

I'm looking for a lightweight vacuum cleaner that can tackle the pet hair in a multi-pet home - I found several affordable vacuum cleaners, but are they the best?

So, what vacuum do you recommend? Is it great for picking up pet hair?

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