The Best Robot Vacuums for Long Hair in 2020 [Reviews & Buying Guide]

Sam Harris
written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on September 23, 2020
updated on November 8, 2020

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you using a robot vacuum to keep up with the long hair of your dog or cat but growing impatient with its random path or getting frustrated with hair tangling the brush roll or the need for frequent emptying of the minuscule dustbin?

Thankfully you’re in the right place if the long hair of your Golden Retriever or Maine Coon or wife/daughter bothers you so much you’re looking for a worry-free floor robot.

Whether you’re upgrading or it’s your first purchase today’s post will provide you with a list of the top long hair robotic vacuum cleaners in addition to other relevant information. 

This post focuses on thick, long hair (animal and human) vacuuming needs. Follow this link for general/less demanding hair requirements.

Six of the best robotic vacuum cleaners for long hair

Without further ado, here are six of the highest-rated tangle-free robot vacuums for long hair. 

Shark IQ R101AE

A side brush that self-adjusts along walls, in corners, and open areas. Strong suction and airflow. An auto-dirt emptying base. A timer-based full bin indicator. A specially designed roller brush. Are you still skeptical about the cleaning ability of the Shark r101ae smart home cleaner

Compared to when it first launched in 2019, navigation and mapping have significantly improved. 

Modest in its offerings, the Shark IQ robot boasts floor mapping, up to 969 ft² coverage, room cleaning, and a couple of other helpful functions. 

Get the Shark IQ robot if you 

  • Have an apartment with simple floor plans;
  • Have long-hair dog or cat breeds;
  • Are living with people who have long hair;
  • Are looking for a floor robot that handles hair well.
Pros
  • Cleans methodically and efficiently
  • Tangles hair less
  • Bin doesn’t overflow
  • Can cope with obstacles
  • Side brush doesn’t scatter debris
  • Automatically empties itself
  • Automatically recharges and resumes
  • Has a reduced maintenance cost–it uses a bagless self-emptying base.
Cons
  • Loud
  • Navigation & mapping needs improvement
  • Currently doesn’t support app-based barriers, room cleaning, or multiple floor mapping

CHECK CURRENT PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE SHARK IQ ROBOT ON AMAZON

Roomba 960/i3+

If the offerings of the Shark aren’t convincing enough you have another option: iRobot 960 or i3+. These two have superior cleaning mechanics that support efficient and convenient vacuuming of long pets and human hair. Your choice will depend on personal preferences, budget, or additional needs. 

Take, for example, in addition to your long hair that needs to be vacuumed you may have V-shaped chair legs, tricky floor plans, a mix of carpets and hardwood floors or tiles, and power cables and kids’ toys here and there. In a situation like this, the iRobot 960 suffices, given its dedicated navigation (iAdapt 2.0) and mapping system (VSLAM). More so, and at around $400, there’s no arguing the 960 is more affordable than the i3+ at around $600. 

For the i3 Plus, yes, it’s more expensive but with a squad of Border Collie, German Shepherds or Labs and a wife with long, thick hair and two daughters who are also likely going to have long hairs, the self-emptying base of the i3 robot can quickly pay for itself in helping to keep up with the molting while improving hygiene and air quality. 

Remember the i3 Plus DOESN’T have smart mapping or other similar functions such as virtual barrier, room, or area cleaning. Navigation is also powered by Optic Eye + Gyroscope. Meaning, you may have to look away when it’s doing its thing. Additionally, the i3 Plus may fare better in a house with a simple floor plan or one you have walked.

Pros
  • Quieter (than the Shark IQ at least)
  • Relatively affordable (applies only to the Roomba 960)
  • Cleans in a methodical straight line
  • Tangles hair less
  • Dustbin doesn’t overfill
  • Automatically empties itself
  • Automatically recharges and resumes
  • Offers better app experience, customer & product support
Cons
  • Expensive + ongoing expenses on dirt bags (applies only to the i3 Plus)
  • Doesn’t support no-go lines, zone or area cleaning

CHECK CURRENT PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE ROOMBA I3+ ON AMAZON

CHECK CURRENT PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE ROOMBA 960 ON AMAZON

Roomba i7+

For some context into its cleaning ability and suitability for hair vacuuming situations, the i7 Plus has the full bin feature for preventing bin overflow/maintaining vacuuming strength. 

And thanks to its straight line back and forth movement the i7+ supports full floor coverage.

Dirt Detect. 1700Pa suction and airflow of 17cfm. WIFI, app, and voice control connectivity. Brushless rubber rollers. And the self-emptying base. These all work together for an efficient, convenient, and intensive vacuuming. 

Additionally, with the i7 Plus, you get the full floor mapping function which gives you additional customization options to include area cleaning, digital barrier and map saving.

At around $800 there’s no arguing this is a pricey gadget. If you could afford it, though, the iRobot i7 Plus is a worthwhile purchase, particularly if you have invasive hair or are looking to upgrade to a more powerful machine. 

Pros
  • Quieter (than the Shark IQ at least)
  • Cleans methodically and efficiently
  • Tangles hair less
  • Bin doesn’t overflow
  • Can cope with obstacles
  • Side brush doesn’t scatter debris
  • Automatically empties itself
  • Automatically recharges and resumes
  • Offers better software (than the Shark IQ at least), customer & product support
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Ongoing expenses on dirt bags

CHECK CURRENT PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE ROOMBA I7+ ON AMAZON

Roborock S5

No doubt the auto-dirt emptying towers of the Shark, Roomba, and Proscenic are a huge help for furballs. They’re quite expensive if it helps to mention (usually selling between $99 and $399). 

Actually, $399 will get you a second robot… which is why you want to check out the Roborock S5 robotic vacuum cleaner at half the price and with an equally impressive long hair vacuuming performance. 

Just to be clear, the dustbin on the S5 is 480 ml which isn’t a lot; also it lacks the full bin detect sensor. 

You should be fine though if you 

  • Don’t have a large house with plenty of long-haired humans or animals; 
  • Aren’t a fan of running a robot on schedule (which makes sense in a way especially if you have pets prone to accidents);
  • Have a couple of minutes to spare. 

If, however, any of the aforementioned is true, then your best bet would be one of the Roomba i3 Plus, i7 Plus, Shark r101ae, or similar models with the automatic dirt disposal function.

Great pricing regardless–under $500, and with deals popping up here and there if you know where to look or look hard enough–the S5 is a well-built, powerful and effective machine that can save you time, give you peace of mind while keeping your home, clothes, and items of furniture perpetually free of pets hair.

Pros
  • Quiet (54 – 67dB)
  • Relatively affordable
  • Side brush picks up well along walls and corners and doesn’t scatter debris in open areas
  • Center brush tangles hair less
  • Negotiates obstacles excellently
  • Provides full coverage on multiple floorings
  • Cleans in a methodical straight line
  • Automatically recharges and resumes
  • Offers better app experience, customer & product support
Cons
  • Can’t detect full dustbin

CHECK CURRENT PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE ROBOROCK S5 ON AMAZON

Neato D6

The Neato D6 is similar to the Roomba i7 Plus in performance and features. For example, the Neato D6 robotic vacuum cleaner has 

  • Smart navigation & mapping
  • Area & zone cleaning
  • Strong suction (2000Pa)
  • Automatic recharging and resuming 
  • App-based barriers, etc. 

There are few major differences in the design of the Neato (D-shaped vs. the round shape of the Roomba) plus the D6 has a larger dustbin. You can think of the Neato D6 as the Roomba i3 Plus/i7 Plus WITHOUT the automatic dirt tower or a Roborock S5 WITH a larger dustbin. 

Given it doesn’t have the bigger dustbin to empty into, the full bin sensor is in order.

And at 700ml bin size the D6 can do its thing WITHOUT constantly nagging about emptying. 

The shape of the S6 gives it more leverage along walls and in corners just as the design of the dust cup lends itself to easy dumping.

The main brush is longer than competitors thus its ability to clear debris with fewer passes.

Still on the main brush of the D6, and while it has bristles which are no friends to tumbleweeds, it manages to de-hair just as good, if not better, than similar products from competitors.

Navigation is a strong point of the D6 which means less supervision and better coverage. 

There’s mapping in addition to the self recharge and resume functions for increased customizations, control, and comfort.

Suction (2000Pa) and airflow (20cfm on high power, 17cfm on low power) allow for effective pickup performance.

Not done yet, the D6 supports cleaning on several floor types (carpets, stone, tile, vinyl, laminate, hardwoods, etc.) and under different situations (dust, dirt, pets dander, human hair, etc.).

Keep in mind the D6 may sometimes get confused or struggle to find its base. WiFi and app aren’t as reliable, at least compared with the Roborock or iRobot Home apps. The odds you’ll experience any of this is low, though, since it’s constantly receiving firmware updates. 

Give or take, the Neato D6 remains a hardworking, smart floor robot ideal for most floor care needs particularly long hair.

Pros
  • Relatively affordable
  • Tangles hair less
  • Advanced & feature-rich
  • Can cope with obstacles
  • Has a larger dirt container (700 ml)
  • Provides full coverage on multiple floorings
  • Cleans in a methodical straight line
Cons
  • Possible app & connectivity problems
  • Software needs improvement
  • Build and parts quality are okay at best

CHECK CURRENT PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE NEATO D6 ON AMAZON

iLife V3s Pro

If you’re wondering whether the V3s Pro is worth it or who should be buying one, here’s to your curiosity…

The V3s Pro is more than perfect if you don’t want to mess around with the rollers of a robotic cleaner (the V3s Pro has a suction hole instead) and/or live in an apartment and won’t be vacuuming huge volumes of hair (if it’s just your hair of about 8 – 12 inches long and maybe that of your daughter’s Lab) as V3s Pro features and functions are quite limited.

Pros
  • Quiet (at 55dB)
  • Has an impressive climbing ability (can go over barriers of 15mm in thickness)
  • Very affordable (under $200)
  • Simple to use plus no privacy concerns (comes with a handy remote)
  • Doesn’t tangle hair (no bristles or axles to tangle hair–just an effective suction hole)
  • Cost-effective (no ongoing expenses on brush rolls and dirt bags)
  • Side brush cleans well along walls and in open areas and doesn’t scatter debris
Cons
  • Random movement
  • No mapping, electro wall/app-based barrier, room cleaning, or zone cleaning
  • No WIFI, app, or voice control
  • Can’t automatically resume cleaning
  • Has a smaller dustbin (300ml)

CHECK CURRENT PRICE AND AVAILABILITY OF THE ILIFE V3S PRO ON AMAZON

Robot vacuum for long hair–What to look for when buying, and why

It bears mentioning that while some of the recommendations below are specific to long hair vacuuming situations, aka must-haves (e.g. navigation, dustbin size, self-cleaning brush rolls, etc.), a few others (full bin indicator, WIFI, etc.) tends to more general-purpose cleaning requirements. 

With that mentioned, here are few things to keep an eye on when shopping for long hair robotic floor cleaners and why these are important.

Full bin indicator

Robot vacuums WITHOUT the full bin sensors don’t know when their bin fills. Cleaning will continue anyway, suction will diminish, thus leading to a shoddy cleaning job. Roomba robot vacuums, in particular the E, 800, 900, I, and S series and the Neato robots have the full bin detect sensor, therefore, know when their bin fills and would return to base to empty (applies to the i7+ and S9+ that supports automatic dirt emptying), stop cleaning, (applies to the Neato without the self emptying bin; a Roomba or other robots with the bigger dustbin will evacuate and resume) while sending notifications via the app. 

Dust bin size

People who own robot vacuums and pets especially long hair, heavy shedding breeds can reckon with two things: 

(a) The dustbin on robot vacuums are generally small.

(b) Some dog breeds can shed enough to make a new one

And similar to how a larger battery counts for less if it has the Recharge and Resume function. The same is true of the small and big dustbin of a floor robot. Or in plain English, if you’d be getting a robot without the emptying tower (often sold separately from the main unit), get one with a larger dustbin to reduce the frequency of emptying. The Neato D7 at 700ml has the biggest dustbin of any of the items mentioned under the review section.

Auto recharge & resume

This is the ability of a robot to automatically return to its dock station to boost power and to resume cleaning right at where it left off before the charge break. Although automatic recharge is a standard on most robots these days, the automatic resume function is just as important. 

Besides robots with the automatic-recharge-only function have increased docking problems, you’d also be required to physically move them when charging is completed. In my experience, even those times I was able to return the robot to the area it last cleaned, my command/preference usually gets disregarded/overruled as the robot would instead start cleaning however it deems fit (whether that means starting all over or heading straight into another room entirely). 

On the other hand, robots with the auto-recharge and resume functions give zero docking issues + support uninterrupted, hands-free & effective cleaning. All items listed under the review section have the auto-recharge and resume function.

Smart navigation 

Floor robots such as the Roomba 800 and E series would’ve been perfect for long hair SAVE for their random path. This perhaps explains why they didn’t feature. The thing with random navigation robots is they move around, with the aid of sensors, and without plan or logic; essentially, they miss spots, are much more hands-on, plus it takes longer time to complete cleaning jobs.

On the other hand, the navigation of intelligent robots has its paths optimized for accuracy, convenience, and efficiency. They’re better at negotiating items of furniture and other obstacles. This is because their movements are guided by advanced navigation systems–lasers (as found in the Neato & Roborock); cameras (as found in the Roomba); and very recently, lasers + cameras (as found in the Ozmo 960, T5, and T8, and Roborock S6 MaxV).

WIFI

Besides the WIFI of a robot grants access to some helpful functions such as digital barriers and zone cleaning, WIFI-supported floor robots also can receive software updates for bug fixes and usability improvements.

Self-cleaning rollers 

Because even the best tangle-free robots still require taking them apart for a clean. This is normal–except it quickly becomes an extra chore when done every day or two or in between cleaning runs.

To reduce tangling issues and for easier upkeep, get a robot whose rollers have been designed with hair in mind–whether the silicone, dual rubber rollers of the iRobots, or the single style silicone + brush of the Shark IQ.

Strong suction and airflow 

Given it’s textured, getting hair out of rugs is more challenging than getting a robot to pick hair on hardwoods or other solid surfaces. Therefore, a stronger force (aka suction) is required to push through the fibers of the carpet to loosen/lift the hair lurking within, while an equally strong force (aka airflow) is required to finally suck the hair into the robot’s dustbin. 

For thorough cleaning results assuming a carpet vacuuming situation, get a robot with strong suction and airflow. Airflow numbers aren’t always available, but most manufacturers readily share suction numbers. 

Ideally, high suction + airflow is supposed to equal better cleaning performance, but there have been exceptions. Rather than be obsessed with numbers, you want to pay attention to cleaning tests and feedback from people with whom you share similar vacuuming needs. All featured products in this post have suction and airflow numbers that delivers excellent outcomes on different floor types. 

Conclusion

So there goes six of the best smart home robotic cleaners to solve your long hair issues. 

As you go shopping for your item of choice, remember some of the recommendations in the second part of the article. Functions such as suction and airflow, intelligent navigation, self-cleaning brush rolls, auto-dirt bin, and full-bin sensor are critical for maintaining peak performance and getting desirable results.

The iRobot i7 Plus and the Roborock S5 are my top pick given their reputation as intelligent, hardworking, hygienic, and reliable robots for clearing dust bunnies, allergens, dirt, food crumbs, sand, seeds, human and animal shedding, etc. off flat surfaces.

Regardless of the anti-tangle potential of a vacuum cleaner, though, it isn’t uncommon to find hair intertwined on the main brush roll (except for the V3s Pro being a no-brush robot), so it’s necessary to clean them regularly. It helps to run the vacuum every day so hair doesn’t build up. You should also take advantage of the little cleaning tool that comes with most models.

Lastly, this post focused on long human and pet hair problems. Follow this link for if you have exclusively pets hair vacuuming requirements.

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