The trick? BELTLESS. A BELTLESS VACUUM. YOU NEED ONE. HERE IS WHY:
About a year ago after going through two self-propelled Dirt Devils that I felt were actually pretty effective and literally DOZENS of $4 a pop rubber belts, my husband finally had had enough. He was tired of cutting hair and thread off of the...um, thing that swirls around in the carpet with little brushy bits on it. At some point that little rotating brush thing would get so wrapped up in hair that the belts would melt while feebly attempting to turn the rotor thingie. Then the vacuum would smoke and the house would smell like burnt rubber and sometimes I'd cry because it'd be months before we could find a stupid belt to replace it. I am by no means a clean freak but I do like to vacuum once a week to cope with the fur and feathers from our beloved fur and feather children.
We went to Sears, armed with our credit card and bought the Shark Navigator Bagless Upright. We grilled the sales woman (who was amazingly helpful) about how long it was likely to last in the house of a long hair (she herself was a long hair and we talked about Victorian Memento Mori using hair from the deceased in a keepsake arrangement. She was my kind of person. I tracked down her manager to make sure they knew what a good employee they had.). This is what she recommended because it does not have a belt.
It comes with multiple reusable filters and has several compartments which, when cleaned regularly, completely eliminate the possibility of the thing getting clogged. I live in a house with many animals and I tell you I have put this thing through its paces.
In fact, just thinking about it makes me want to go make out with it. BRB.
Ok...for serious though. You wanna see something gross? Don't say I didn't warn you. I knocked the vacuum over the other day just out of curiosity to take a look at the rotating brush bit. Though I had never had to go taking it apart to cut off any hair or thread, I knew it still had to be there.
Remember.....I did warn you...
So, if you're looking for a good vacuum, this one is about $150 on Amazon and I would seriously consider having its babies.