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Shark 3-in-1 Max Air Purifier Review [HC502]

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

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Excellent Performance And Value

Shark 3 In 1 Max Product Display

Shark 3-in-1 Max Air Purifier

The Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier is a high performance air purifier first and foremost. But it also can function as a competent fan and space heater (while still purifying air). With a well-designed remote and LCD screen, the 3-In-1 Max makes adjusting air quality and temperature quick and simple. The combination of its 1,000 square foot coverage area and its exceptional purification performance makes this air purifier one to consider.


  • Large coverage area as well as heating area
  • Fan and heater functions work extremely well (not gimmicky additions)
  • Exceptional air purification performance


  • Fairly large and will have to stay on the ground
  • Remote control is the only means of controlling device. If lost, it will be inoperable


Excellent Features; Great Value
  • Design - 98%
  • Performance - 100%
  • Quality - 99%
  • Usability - 99%
  • Value - 100%


The Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier has incredible performance, great features, and low noise. Within 1 hour the Shark 3-In-1 Max was able to bring both PM2.5 and PM10 to 0.1 each. This is with our most rigorous version of performance testing to date. On top of that, even with maximum air purification fan speed, this Max model does not exceed 59.3 dB. Considering its performance, low maintenance, and ease of use, it has a great price.

In This Review

Purification | CADR | Filters | Wind Speed | Ozone | Noise | Usability | Size | Model Comparison | Specs | Summary

YouTube video

Purification Performance

There are 2 versions of the Shark 3-In-1 Air Purifier: the standard model and this Max version. The standard version is essentially the same design but is smaller. Check out its performance here.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Performance
Shark 3-In-1 Max Performance

To test the purification performance on the Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier, we place it in a medium sized room (~14’ x ~10’) in our office. Using the Temtop LKC-1000S+ professional air quality detector, we took a baseline measurement of the current air quality.

Air Quality Testing meter
Air Quality Testing meter

Next, we ran the 3-In-1 Max on the maximum fan speed for 1 and 2 hours. At each point, we took additional measurements of the air quality which we can then compare to the baseline.

Starting Baseline

  • PM2.5: 83.0
  • PM10: 135.3
  • Particles: 14,693
  • AQI: 164

After 1 Hour

  • PM2.5: 0.1
  • PM10: 0.1
  • Particles: 24
  • AQI: 1

After 2 Hours

  • PM2.5: 0.1
  • PM10: 0.1
  • Particles: 32
  • AQI: 1

We have recently updated our testing procedures by significantly increasing the baseline air quality to more rigorously test these air purifiers.

The Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier handled this harder challenge with ease. At the 1 hour mark, its performance results already surpassed the majority of other air purifiers tested under less harsh conditions.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Display Screen
Shark 3-In-1 Max Display Screen

Achieving 0.1 readings within one hour for both PM2.5 and PM10 from starting points of 83.0 and 135.3 respectively is exceptional. At the 2-hour mark there simply was no room for improvement and it maintained its 0.1 for PM2.5 and PM10.

As for measured particles, there was a slight difference that we can attribute to the variability of air brought in during our check-ins. Coming from a starting particle amount of 14,693, going from 24 particles at the 1-hour measurement to 32 at the 2-hour measurement is negligible.

AQI hit its lowest amount of 1 at the 1-hour mark and maintained this level until the end of the test.

Below, we’ve included information on the testing criteria and what defines good vs. bad air quality.

air quality index - PM 2.5 particulate matter index

We also tested this device on its fan and heater modes. Results were extremely similar, but ultimately improved when tested with the air purifier mode.

Clean Air Delivery Rate

Shark does not release CADR amounts for their products and therefore we, unfortunately, do not have this information for review.

The Filters

The Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier uses a large proprietary HEPA filter. They call this true HEPA or their “Nanoseal” technology.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Replacing Filter
Shark 3-In-1 Max HEPA Filter

It is accessible via the back of the device and replacing is as simple as opening the back compartment, taking out the old one, and inserting the new one. 

This model comes with a version of the filter that also includes a “Microban” treatment to hinder bacteria growth on the filter’s surface.

Wind Speed Test

For the wind speed test, we place an anemometer directly where the air ventilated from the Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier. We then measure the minimum and maximum fan speed.

Minimum Wind Speed

1.1 MPH

Maximum Wind Speed

11.4 MPH

The wind speed measurements show a range of 1.1 to 11.4 mph from the lowest setting to the highest. 

Shark 3 In 1 Max Intake
Shark 3-In-1 Max Intake

We also measured the fan/heater settings as well. For these modes, where more cool or hot air is desired, the wind speeds were noticeably higher.

Minimum Wind Speed (Fan Mode)

2.2 MPH

Maximum Wind Speed (Fan Mode)

15.0 MPH

Ozone Test

Additionally, we test to see if the Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier creates any ozone while running. To perform these tests, we take pre-test measurements using an electronic ozone meter. We let the air purifier run for 1 hour, take post-test measurements, and then compare the results.

Pre-Test Ozone

0.0 PPM

Post-Test Ozone

0.0 PPM

There is nothing in the design of this device to indicate that there would be ozone created by its use. Nonetheless, we like to check anyway. There was no Ozone measured at either time during the testing period.

Noise Test

For our noise test, we set up the Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier and use a sound meter app to take decibel readings from about 3 feet away. We start by measuring the ambient noise level without the air purifier running.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Fan Vent
Shark 3-In-1 Max Fan Vent

Next, we ran the 3-In-1 Max on the lowest fan speed and highest fan speed for 30 seconds, taking separate measurements of each mode.

Our results showed the following decibel levels from each mode.

Ambient Noise

39.5 dB

Level 4

39.7 dB

Level 6

59.3 dB

After seeing the wind speed measurements, these noise levels are not surprising. From the lowest setting of 1 to the highest setting of 6, there is a noise range of 39.7 dB to 59.3 dB. From our reference chart below, 39.7 dB is about the noise you’d expect in a quiet library.

Even at the highest fan speed of 59.3 dB, it would only be the noise level of a dishwasher running or normal conversation.

As mentioned elsewhere, the fan/heat mode also purifies air and below are the measured noise levels on that mode:

Ambient Noise

39.5 dB

Level 4

40.2 dB

Level 6

60.7 dB

From our measurements, the fan/heat mode is hardly louder than the dedicated air purification setting. 

All things considered these are extremely reasonable noise levels for a high performance air purifier.

Common noise levels:

  • 20 dB – rustling leaves
  • 30 dB – whisper
  • 40 dB – quiet library, babbling brook
  • 50 dB – refrigerator, moderate rainfall
  • 60 dB – normal conversation, dishwashers
  • 70 dB – traffic, showers
  • 80 dB – alarm clock, telephone dial tone

Usability Tests

The Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier is extremely easy to set-up, control, and maintain.

On the device itself, there is a manual switch that divides these features into 2 modes: fan/heat and air purification. 

Shark 3 In 1 Max Mode Switch
Shark 3-In-1 Max Mode Switch

If you select fan/heat you can then toggle the heat and select a temperature. Otherwise, it will simply be a fan. If you select air purification, you have fan speeds 1-6 to choose from and an auto mode to select for you.

The switch physically moves a half-dome cover from intaking air through the back to redirecting air through the front. 

The oscillation mode makes the usability of the fan/heat modes much better if you are sharing a space with others or would like to move cool/warm air around as we did. 


Setting up the Shark 3-In-1 Max is mostly a matter of removing plastic packaging and educational stickers.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Front
Shark 3-In-1 Max Front

There are a few crucial steps:

  • Be sure to locate the HEPA filter and remove the plastic sheet around it before use.
  • Remove paper insert on remote that blocks the battery from engaging with the control. 
  • Familiarize yourself with remote control and which mode is represented on the manual switch to change between fan/heat and air purification.

With the tactically placed stickers that are bright and concise, all of these should be clear without an extensive read of the manual.

Controls & App

As for the controls on the Shark 3-In-1 Max, they are smart mix between variety and simplicity. First of all there is no app or convoluted way to access all the features of the device.

More importantly, there is only one way to access the controls and that is with the remote. 

Shark 3 In 1 Max Remote Dock
Shark 3-In-1 Max Remote Dock
Shark 3 In 1 Max Remote Backside
Shark 3-In-1 Max Remote Backside

The remote has a spot to dock on top of the device and held in place by magnets. For the time we were testing this device, this design feature felt great. We are big fans of built in storage for accessories for the things we test. 

Shark 3 In 1 Max Remote Buttons
Shark 3-In-1 Max Remote Explained

But it’s also fair to point out that if this remote is lost, there is no way to operate the device. 

There is a good-sized LCD screen on the front displaying numbers, text, and colors to quickly convey information whether the user is close or far.

From the remote control you can access the following:

  • On/Off Power
  • Setting a timer of up to 12 hours
  • Oscillate device nearly 180 degrees
  • Change brightness of display between 3 options
  • Increase/decrease temperature
  • Increase/decrease fan speed
  • Auto mode
  • Cycle through device info

The colors are implemented as a ring around the screen to show air quality ranging from red (bad) to green (good) and as a red indicator in the middle to show that heat mode is active.

Oscillation is merely set on or off. There is no changing of the oscillation speed. There is no significant sound generated by this movement.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Temperature Display
Shark 3-In-1 Max “Clean Air Percentage” and “Temperature” Display

There is no dedicated sleep mode, but the brightness and fan speed settings are more than sufficient to set this on your own.

Information that you can check using the info button includes filter life:

  • Air quality measurements of PM1.0, PM2.5, PM10
  • Time to clean estimate in minutes
  • Filter life estimate as a percentage
  • Clean air as a percentage

A rotating switch must be physically moved in order to choose between fan/heater and air purifier modes.

There is also a vent with a vertical control lever to direct air further up or down.


Maintenance on the Shark 3-in-1 Max Air Purifier is fairly simple with four areas to consider:

  • Exterior cleaning 
  • Interior cleaning
  • Filter replacement
  • Remote battery replacement

Exterior and interior cleaning should both be performed every two months with a handheld vacuum or microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris from the device according to the manual.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Accessing Filter
Shark 3-In-1 Max Accessing Filter

The filter is estimated to last between 6-12 months depending on use. Remember the filter’s remaining lifespan is represented as a percentage on the device accessed via the info button.

Tip: the manual claims that reinstalling the filter upside down every 3 months can extend its life by balancing out the distribution of captured particles.

Finally, the remote’s battery should last up to 3 years, according to the manual. Because this particular device is unable to be used without this remote, I’d recommend keeping CR2025 lithium coin batteries on hand for when the old battery is used up.

Size & Dimensions

The Shark 3-In-1 Max is a fairly large device, but it should take up no more space than your average standing fan. 

Here are the exact dimensions of the Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier:

  • Length – 12.59”
  • Width – 12.59”
  • Height – 29.52”
  • Weight – 17.63 lbs.

With these measurements and weight it’s probably best placed on the ground. From our experience, it worked well on the ground. At 17.63 lbs it’s not difficult to move around but, considering its size, it should be moved with care.

Shark 3 In 1 Max Size Comparison
Shark 3-In-1 Max Size Comparison

The Max has a coverage area of 1,000 square feet. This is great for a device at this size and with as many additional features as it has.

Shark 3-In-1 vs. Shark 3-In-1 Max

Shark 3-in-1 StandardShark 3-in-1 Max
Weight12.78 lbs.17.63 lbs.
Surface PlacementFloor, TableFloor
Post Test PM2.50.30.1
Post Test PM100.50.1
Coverage Area500 sq. ft.1,000 sq. ft.
Max Wind Speed7.1 mph11.4 mph
Max Noise54.359.3 dB
WIFI CompatibleNoNo
Warranty2 year2 year
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

The vast majority of the design and features between these devices are identical. The controls and functionality are the exact same on both models.

The Max is, as one would expect, “more” in almost every way. It blows air faster, further, louder. It has a larger coverage area. Most importantly, it’s performance is substantially better – the difference between pretty good and exceptional. 

Shark In Air Purifier Size
Shark 3-In-1 Standard Size
Shark 3 In 1 Max Testing User Experience
Shark 3-In-1 Max Size

The other differences are with the size and weight, which is the difference between whether it should be placed on a countertop or on the ground.

Finally, the price, at the time of this review, is not much different. So, from a pure value perspective, you get a lot more bang for your buck with the Max.


Weight17.63 lbs.
Wifi CompatibleNo
Remote ControlYes
Room Coverage1,000 sq. ft.
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty2 year
PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier?

I would recommend the Shark 3-In-1 Max Air Purifier if you’re looking for the following features:

  • Also functions as a fan and a space heater: On top of being a very capable air purifier, this device includes a fan and heater mode. If you already use separate appliances for these functions, this device can save you considerable space and effort by combining them into one. On top of that, these other modes purify air so you don’t have to choose between air temperature and quality.
  • Extremely good performance: This device simply knocked our air purification tests out of the park. Even with our increased difficulty for the air purification tests, it was able to bring PM2.5 and PM10 to 0.1 and AQI to 1 within a single hour. 
  • Large coverage area for the price: This device can cover rooms up to 1,000 square feet. Many other devices with similar coverage areas and performance results are more expensive. If you need a large room covered, this air purifier is a great choice whether you use the fan or heat modes or not.

For more information or to buy the Shark 3-In-1 Air Purifier, click here.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.