I Tried the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser—the Handheld Vacuum Every Pet Parent Needs

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If you need me, I’ll be following my cat around with this little handheld vacuum

Editors Tested Bissell Pet Hair Remover on a stool with a cat in the backgroundReina Glenn/rd.com

My cat is almost 9 years old, which means I have been buying pet hair removers for close to a decade. I’ve cycled through more than my fair share of vacuums for pet hair, as well as all kinds of non-electronic tools like the ChomChom Roller and Bounce Pet Hair Dryer Sheets. As I’m sure any pet parent will agree, the limit does not exist when it comes to pet cleaning accessories, which is why I was excited to get my hands on the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.

What is the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser?

This cordless handheld vacuum is a new model that improves upon the original corded Pet Hair Eraser design, with new attachments that allow it to clean hard-to-reach areas and different types of fabrics and surfaces. Weighing just three pounds, it’s a convenient tool for spot cleaning around your house without having to break out the upright vacuum. As of this writing, the Pet Hair Eraser has more than 20,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and a 4.6-star rating overall. From my experience, I see why people rave about it!

How does the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser work?

As a cordless vacuum, the Pet Hair Eraser is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. Plug it in using the included wall outlet and allow it to fully charge before use. It’s also bagless—when you turn the vacuum on, it sucks dirt and hair up into a clear collection chamber (so you can see exactly how much hair your fur baby has left behind for you). The Pet Hair Eraser uses three layers of filtration that you can wash and reuse to keep suction power going strong.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser features

Bissell Pet Hair Remover Attachments Reina Glenn/rd.com

As mentioned, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser comes with three attachments for cleaning different areas and surfaces:

  • Motorized brush: The holy grail attachment for most surfaces, based on my testing. The wide mouth has a spinning bristle brush that dislodges fur from fabric upholstery and even works as a carpet cleaner.
  • Crevice tool: The same familiar tube-like attachment you’d get with an upright vacuum, but with an angled nozzle that’s perfect for getting into nooks and crannies.
  • Upholstery tool: A long, oval-shaped tool lined with micro-brushes for cleaning softer surfaces.

How I tested it

using the Bissell Pet Hair Remover on a bar stoolReina Glenn/rd.com

There were almost too many ways to test the Pet Hair Eraser in my house. Between my ginger tabby (whose fur shows up on both light and dark surfaces) and my own long, dark strands, this place is pretty much always covered in hair, especially during the summertime. So I took the Pet Hair Eraser to every surface and area I could, including the:

  • Litter box area
  • Couch cushions
  • Cat tree
  • Velvet office chair
  • Cat bed
  • Carpet
  • Hardwood

I tried out every attachment that came with the Pet Hair Eraser, as well as used it on its own to compare functionality. I also used it from full charge until it was dead to track the battery life.

How the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser performed

I got excited and started using my Pet Hair Eraser right out of the box instead of letting the battery fully charge, so it’s no surprise that it died after just a few minutes of use (whoops!). After reading the instructions and letting it charge for eight hours, I was able to start testing in earnest.

For all my flat fabric surfaces, I used the motorized brush, and wow. That thing has power! It eliminated the hair from all of Big Red’s favorite hangout spots—the couch, my faux suede bar stools and the velvet chair in my office. I also tested it on the carpet near my bedroom window, where Red suns himself every day, and it dislodged all the hair stuck in the fibers there. It even pulled out the pesky feathers that were half-sticking out of my down pillows. It’s a wide, thick attachment, though, so I needed to switch when it came to the more particular areas.

before and after cleaning a bar stool Reina Glenn/rd.com

I gave the crevice tool the ultimate test—the cat tree. I’m pleased to report that it sucked up all the hair, claw fragments, stray litter and shredded rope from the tree itself, where Red gave himself a manicure. (It’s the only piece of furniture this cat is allowed to scratch.)

The upholstery tool was the one attachment that disappointed me. Per the instructions, I used it on soft fabric surfaces such as blankets and bedspreads. The tiny bristles that lined the tool certainly filled with hair, but there was no clear way to get that hair off aside from picking it free with my fingers.

Without attachments, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is still a dependable vacuum. It had no problem picking up stray debris from my hardwood floors in high-traffic spots like the litter box and food/water bowl areas. The suction wasn’t quite strong enough to get all the litter out of the mat I keep outside the litter box, but it did a respectable job sucking up the litter that wasn’t trapped in the deeper layers.

before and after cleaning cat litter matReina Glenn/rd.com

Pros

What I liked about the Pet Hair Eraser:

  • Reaches nooks and crannies most other vacuums miss
  • Works on various fabrics, including blankets, hardwood, carpet and furniture
  • Relatively quiet
  • Also works as a spot-cleaning household vacuum or all-over car vacuum

Cons

What to consider about the Pet Hair Eraser:

  • Requires eight hours to charge for ~20 minutes of battery life
  • Upholstery attachment isn’t very effective
  • Not the best choice for large areas

FAQ

How long does the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser last?

The Bissell FAQ page says that the Pet Hair Eraser lasts for 17 consecutive minutes. I got just over 18 minutes, but others boast up to 30 minutes of battery life, depending on how taxing the vacuuming is. However, because this handheld vacuum is better for spot cleaning, you probably won’t be using it for the entire length of its battery life in one sitting. I cleaned the bottom of my cat tree in less than a minute, even switching between attachments. My couch cushions took about three. The litter mat was the trickiest to clean because it’s designed to trap litter, and that only took about five minutes.

Can the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser be used on hardwood floors?

Absolutely! I found that the vacuum worked best without any attachments for cleaning messes on the hardwood (unless you’re cleaning a corner, in which case you’ll want the crevice tool). It sucked up litter, fur and stray kibble easily from my wood floors.

What other reviewers have to say

Verified Amazon reviewer Jayne M. stresses the amount you can get done with the battery life: “This morning I vacuumed our sofa (a large sectional), two arm chairs and six dining room chairs, as well as the first four carpeted stairs, and the battery lasted. I stopped because I ran out of time, not battery.”

Another five-star reviewer, Nell, points out that the Pet Hair Eraser has some wonderfully surprising features: “The clear window is sooooooooo nice, so you can see how full it is, and the power really creates a cyclone inside the canister! I think a notable trait to mention is also that the exhaust fan that blows on the outside, next to the handle, blows cold air! My regular vacuum blows such hot air that I end up sweating when I use it, especially when doing the stairs. Not anymore!”

Reviewer Maria also raves: “I had been using a lint roller, and it would take hours to clean up the couch for it to just be filled with dog hair again the next minute. I have a dog that has short, very stubborn, prickly hair that gets stuck on everything and also sometimes weaves itself in fabrics, making it very hard to get off the furniture. I think the before and after pictures speak for themselves. 10/10 would recommend. Love this tool!”

Product comparison

There are two other versions of the Pet Hair Eraser on the market, the corded model and the alternate cordless version with the same name. Neither of the alternate models have the same functionality or battery life of this version, however, and are not as highly rated.

Final verdict

Though it can’t compare to the suction power of an upright vacuum and doesn’t have the stain fighting abilities of other Bissell handhelds like the Pet Stain Eraser, it is a mighty little tool for fur, dirt, pet food and any other dry debris that might be lurking in your home. Alongside a dependable pet odor remover like Angry Orange, it’s an easy way to quickly clean pet messes. Even if you don’t have pets, this vacuum would be a good choice as a car vacuum or to clean up after kids.

Where to buy the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

Bissell Pet Hair Removervia merchant

You can pick up your Pet Hair Eraser from Bissell itself, or shop from your favorite retailer such as Amazon, Walmart or Target.

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Reina Glenn
As Deputy Shopping Editor, Reina is dedicated to finding the very best products in every category. Her background in branded content and service journalism means she knows how to spot the purchases that will truly make life easier (and tell you where to find them). When she isn’t writing about products or testing them herself, you can find her baking more bread than she could ever attempt to eat.