In this in-depth buyer’s guide we’ll be breaking down all popular Shark vacuum models and types. In addition, well look at the highlights of our Shark vacuum review series.
What is the best Shark vacuum? To answer this tough question we’ll compare and contrast all popular Shark vacuums to help arm you with the information you need to choose the best Shark for you.
Let’s jump in!
High-End Shark Upright Vacuum
Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-MThe Shark APEX DuoClean is arguably the best vacuum Shark makes, and for good reason. It performed extraordinarily well in our cleaning tests, removing 99.7% of all debris across 12 different tests. The DuoClean design in particular makes this an excellent performer, as it’s able to tackle all floor types and all debris types (even large debris). The features, accessories, build quality, and performance all come together to round out one of the best upright vacuums we have tested to date.Check Price
Our guide below analyzes a litany of Shark vacuum cleaners. We’ll look at the most popular and high-performing models, brush roll design, cleaning features, suction power, and more.
Our aim is at the end of this guide you’ll have everything you need to determine if Shark is the best vacuum for you.
Shark Vacuum Comparison Chart
|Shark APEX DuoClean (AZ1002)||Check Price|
|Shark IONFlex DuoClean (IF251)||Check Price|
|Shark Rotator Pro (NV501)||Check Price|
|Shark Rotator TruePet (NV752)||Check Price|
|Shark Navigator Pro (NV356E)||Check Price|
|Shark Pet Perfect 2 (SV780)||Check Price|
|Shark IQ (RV1001AE)||Check Price|
|Shark ION R85 (RV850)||Check Price|
|Shark Rocket Ultra-Light (HV302)||Check Price|
|Shark Rocket DuoClean (HV382)||Check Price|
Table of Contents
- Shark Comparisons
- Best Shark Vacuums
- Model Names & Features
- Shark Uprights
- Shark Sticks
- Shark Robots
- Shark Handhelds
- Which Shark vacuum is right for me?
The Best Shark Vacuum Cleaners
In our in-depth guide below we’ll look at a large number of popular Shark vacuum cleaners on the market.
Shark tends to create models and sub-models with varying features, performance, accessories, and more. As a result, it can be difficult to know exactly what features each Shark vacuum has.
If you’re confused by the sheer number of Shark vacuum names, models, and sub-models, click here for our detailed explanation.
With that said, let’s go ahead and take a look at what we think are the 10 best Shark vacuums on the market.
10 Best Shark Vacuums to Consider
- Best Overall – Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M (AZ1002)
- Best Cordless – Shark IONFlex DuoClean 2X (IF251)
- Best Upright – Shark Rotator Professional (NV501)
- Best for Pets – Shark Rotator TruePet (NV752)
- Best Budget Upright – Shark Navigator Professional (NV356E)
- Best Handheld – Shark Pet Perfect 2 (SV780)
- Best Robot – Shark IQ (RV1001AE)
- Best Budget Robot – Shark ION R85 (RV850)
- Best Budget Cordless – Shark Rocket Ultra-Light (HV302)
- Best Budget DuoClean – Shark Rocket DuoClean (HV382)
Below, we take a more detailed look at each of these best Shark vacuum contenders. We’ll discuss what we think each model is best at, which can hopefully help you decide which features, price point, and type is best for you.
Best Overall – Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M
The Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M packs all the best Shark features into a single absurdly awesome vacuum. It’s arguably the best vacuum Shark has ever made with excellent build quality, performance, and accessories.
What’s To Like
- Excellent Cleaning Performance. The Shark APEX upright was essentially perfect on our cleaning tests. It was able to remove an average of 99.7% of all debris on our 12 cleaning test.
- DuoClean Brushroll. With DuoClean you have a traditional spinning brush roll alongside a soft roller brush. This makes it great for hard floors and carpets. In addition, the open face design allows it to capture even large debris.
- Zero Maintenance. The “Zero-M” stands for zero maintenance. The Shark APEX uses a washable HEPA filter, washable foam filter, and a belt that is designed to last the life of the vacuum. This helps cut down on maintenance costs over time.
- Essential Accessories. It includes the most important accessories you’d want; dusting brush / upholstery tool, pet hair tool, and crevice tool. Best yet, they are all stored on the vacuum.
What’s Not So Good
- Pricey. It’s one of the most expensive vacuum cleaners that Shark offers. Nevertheless, it’s still a good value, especially if you can find it on sale.
Other Shark APEX Vacuums
There are not many Shark APEX models available. So the selection is more limited if you want the best Shark has to offer. However, if you prefer the stick body style there is a good APEX choice.
Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M StickThe Shark APEX stick vacuum (model ZS362) brings everything great about APEX and combines it with a corded stick vacuum. The lightweight body style is great for easy maneuverability. The DuoClean brushroll easily can tackle any mess you could throw it at.Check Price
Best Shark for Pets – Shark Rotator TruePet
The Shark Rotator TruePet is an excellent option for a powerful upright that’s designed with pets in mind. It has a massive dust bin capacity at 3.1 liters (easily one of the largest in the market), with an assortment of bells-and-whistles that add to the overall value of this vacuum.
What’s To Like
- Large Dust Bin. The Shark Rotator TruePet can hold up to 3.1 liters of debris (or 3.3 dry quarts) making it an excellent option for cleaning large pet messes or whole-home cleaning cycles.
- Convenience Features. Nice add-ons like LED headlights, fingertip controls for switching floor types, and the lift-away canister makes this vacuum easy to use throughout the house.
- Multi-Modes. You can use this vacuum as an upright, a lift–away canister with long cleaning head, a portable handheld with flexible hose, or with the motorized pet brush. The wide range of included attachments and cleaning modes adds to the overall versatility of this machine.
What’s Not So Good
- No DuoClean. This model lacks the DuoClean cleaning head, which is good for cleaning hardwoods or large debris messes. That said, if your home has hardwood floors see our best vacuum for wood floors guide. Shark’s IONFlex and APEX DuoClean both earn spots on our list.
- A Little Heavy. Coming in just under 17 lbs (16.7 lbs), the Rotator TruePet is a little heavy, despite it’s design efforts to be portable and easy to maneuver.
Other Shark Vacuums for Pets
While the Shark Rotator True Pet is a great model for high-capacity messes, it’s certainly not the only Shark vacuum that works well for homes with pets.
Here are a few other honorable mentions for the best Shark vacuum for pets:
- Shark Navigator Pro upright vacuum – budget upright
- Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum – budget upright
- Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro stick vacuum – corded stick
- Shark Pet Perfect 2 handheld vacuum – handheld
Shark Rocket Deluxe ProThe Shark Rocket DeluxePro is a lightweight stick vacuum (at only 8 lbs.) that easily converts to a handheld unit for 2-in-1 cleaning. It can hold just under 1 dry quart of debris in the dust bin and comes with a wide range of variable attachments.Check Price
Shark Pet Perfect 2The Shark Pet Perfect 2 is a handheld vacuum that is specifically designed with pet owners in mind. This handheld is a cordless model that comes with a motorized pet brush that is designed to agitate debris and pull it into the dust bin. It is lightweight (under 5 lbs.) and had excellent cleaning performance on all three floor types. It has a maximum run time of approximately 30 minutes.Check Price
Best Upright Vacuum – Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away
The Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away is one of the tried-and-true favorites of the Shark lineup. This model is an all-around, solid performing upright vacuum. It has good dust bin capacity, suction power, and maneuverability at a fair price.
What’s To Like
- Multiple Configurations. The Rotator Pro has a lift-away canister, allowing it to run as a traditional upright or a portable canister for on-the-go cleaning.
- Lots of Tools. This model also comes with a wide assortment of tools, including: brushroll cleaning head, hard floor cleaning head, dusting brush, crevice tool, upholstery tool, and a motorized pet brush.
- Good Suction. Although the Rotator struggled with large debris, it did a pretty good job of cleaning up moderate to small sized debris. For large debris you can use the wand / hose easily enough.
What’s Not So Good
- Heavy to carry. When running this model as a portable canister, the in-hand portion can heavy to carry and difficult to maneuver.
- Multiple Filters. Having more than one filter means more maintenance and higher annual maintenance costs.
Other Upright Shark Vacuums
Shark has no shortage of upright vacuum options within their lineup. Here’s the other good upright Sharks that we like the best:
Shark Navigator ProfessionalThe Shark Navigator Pro upright is a larger model over the Shark Rotator Pro that comes with greater suction and a larger dust bin. But with the extra size, also comes less maneuverability and a heavier body. Check Price
Best Cordless Vacuum – Shark IONFlex DuoClean
The Shark IONFlex DuoClean is Shark’s most advanced cordless stick vacuum to date. With vacuums moving more towards convenience and lightweight portability, the IONFlex DuoClean is a strong contender.
Advancements in vacuum technology allow for stronger suction, longer battery life, and more flexibility.
Flexibility is one of the biggest perks of the IONFlex system, where you can see it can bend completely in half for reaching under tight spaces or for compact storage.
What’s To Like
- Cordless. The Shark IONFlex DuoClean is a cordless model that runs with a lithium ion battery pack. There are standard models as well as the IONFlex 2X model, which includes two battery packs for an extended run time (when used consecutively).
- DuoClean Brushroll. The DuoClean technology is essentially all in the brushroll. DuoClean is a type of brushroll designed specifically for cleaning large debris types, like cereal, small beads, etc, from hard floors. The only other place this type of brushroll is seen is on the Fluffy cleaning head on the Dyson stick vacuums. Dyson models marked “Fluffy” or “Absolute” include a similar cleaning head.
- IONFlex. The advanced flexibility of upright stick allows the stick of the vacuum to basically fold in half (forward or backwards) for reaching under tight clearances or for compact storage.
- 2-in-1 Capability. This model easily converts back and forth between a stick vacuum and handheld model.
What’s Not So Good
- Shorter Run Time. Compared to the Dyson V10, which has a 60 minute run time, the run time of the Shark IONFlex DuoClean is not as long. Shark doesn’t openly list the run time, but third party product reviews seem to put it around 10-30 minutes, depending on the floor type. That said, the IONFlex DuoClean is several hundred dollars less than the Dyson.
What Shark DuoClean Model is Best?
The Shark DuoClean comes in a few different sub-models.
- Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light (IF201 or IF205) – these two models appear to be functional the same. Only one battery.
- Shark IONFlex DuoClean 2X (IF251) – IONFlex, but with two batteries
- There is also one corded model, the Shark Flex DuoClean (HV391)
Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light
The IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light includes the vacuum and one lithium ion battery back for cordless power.Check Price
Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light 2X
The IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light 2X includes the cordless stick vacuum and two lithium ion battery packs, which can double the overall run time when the battery packs are used consecutively.Check Price
Shark Flex DuoClean Ultra-Light
The Flex DuoClean Ultra-Light is a corded version of the same stick vacuum models shown above. The Flex DuoClean model has a 30-cord, while the rest of the features remain the same.Check Price
Best Budget Vacuum – Shark Navigator Pro
If you’re looking for a great deal in an upright vacuum, the Shark Navigator Pro is a solid option. This upright has strong suction with multiple configurations, helping to provide the right tool for the job when you need it.
What’s To Like
- Extra Large Dust Bin. The dust bin canister can hold up to 2.2 dry quarts of debris, which is almost twice the capacity of the Shark Rotator Lift-Away and over 7 times the capacity of the compact Shark IONFlex DuoClean. For homes with big messes, the extra large dust bin canister is a must.
- Great Value. The price tag of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro is also right. The Shark Navigator Pro is a quite affordable vacuum, compared to similar models on the market.
- 2-in-1 Design. The Navigator Lift-Away has a canister that separates from the body of the vacuum for portable cleaning. Using the lift-away canister also doesn’t diminish the size of the XL canister.
What’s Not So Good
- Less Maneuverable. The Navigator Lift-Away Pro is a great vacuum and very powerful, but lacks the easy maneuverability of the Shark stick vacuums.
- Average Cleaning Performance on High Pile Carpet. The cleaning performance on high pile carpet was less than impressive, during our cleaning tests. It especially struggled with large debris types during our cereal cleaning test.
Other Shark Budget Vacuums
For a Shark upright vacuum on a budget, there are a few options. Some models are quite similar to the Shark Navigator Pro, like the Shark Rotator Pro.
Another option would be to go with a slightly more compact vacuum, but still have the feel of an upright– that would be the Shark Navigator Freestyle, a lightweight cordless, budget-friendly Shark vacuum.
Shark Rotator Lift-Away
The Shark Rotator Lift-Away is a little heavier and bulkier than the Navigator (with a smaller dust bin capacity), but is still a nice option for cleaning performance. Compared the Navigator Lift-Away Pro, the Rotator Lift-Away Pro actually performed much better on rice, kitty litter, and sugar tests. There was still a struggle with large debris during the cereal test.Check Price
Shark Navigator FreestyleThe Shark Navigator Freestyle is a cordless stick vacuum that is designed to tackle small or large jobs, with a cord-free cleaning time of around Check Price
Best Robot Vacuum – Shark ION R85
The Shark ION R85 is smart robot vacuum with a nice balance of brains and budget. It is reasonably priced, but has overall good performance and convenience to make it worth the money.
This vacuum has wifi connectivity for app-based control, good navigation, and strong suction.
Although it’s not the most advanced Shark robot vacuum (see Shark IQ below), the R85 (850) model is a great value and offers a solid level of performance for the price.
What’s To Like
- Strong Suction. The Shark Ion R85 did a great job of cleaning pet hair and has 3x the amount of suction compared to the Shark ION R75.
- Wifi Connectivity. You can connect your smartphone and easily control this robot vacuum wirelessly or set up autonomous cleaning schedules.
- A Great Value. Despite a few cons listed below, the R85 hits a low price point and is an excellent value.
What’s Not So Good
- Bot Boundaries. Despite being a newer model, the ION R85 still uses the old style of boundary (a physical strip on the floor instead of infrared lighting boundary).
- Cleaning Fine Debris. Especially on high pile carpet, the R85 really struggled with cleaning finer debris particles.
- No Mapping Technology. This model lacks digital mapping technology, which can be a nice feature on more advanced robot models. For a Shark vacuum with mapping, you’ll need to upgrade to the Shark IQ robot vacuum.
Shark R75 (750) vs. R85 (850)
Before the Shark R85, there was the R75 (aka: Shark ION 750).
Here’s a quick head-to-head summary of some of the things that changed in this Shark R85 vs. Shark R75 comparison:
- Dimensions: 12.6″ x 2.6″
- Run Time: ~60 mins.
- Dust Bin: 0.4 L
- Boundary: Physical strip
- Wifi Enabled Yes
- Dimensions: 12.8″ x 3.5″
- Run Time: ~90 mins.
- Dust Bin: 0.6 L
- Boundary: Physical strip
- Wifi Enabled Yes
Other Shark Robot Vacuums
Outside of the Shark R85, there are a few other models that offer some different features and price points. Check out the other options below.
Shark ION S87 RobotThe Shark S87 is basically identical to the R85, but includes a compact handheld vacuum designed to charge and be stored at the charging station. This adds a sense of versatility to the robotic design of the R85 vacuum, making it easier to clean up small quick messes, as needed. Check Price
Shark ION R75 RobotThe R75, or ION 750 is the first robot to offer wifi connectivity in the 700 series. It doesn’t have digital mapping, but does offer strong suction and decent navigation. Check Price
Shark ION R72 RobotThe R72, or ION 720 is an older model, lacking wifi connectivity and app-based controls. It does include a physcial remote for wireless controls and has decent suction power. Check Price
What about the Shark IQ robot?
If you have a higher budget, you may want to check out the Shark IQ, Sharks smartest robot vacuum to date, which includes a self-emptying dust bin. Something we’d only seen in iRobot’s i7+ and S9+ models.
Shark IQThe Shark IQ is the smartest Shark robot to date. It has a self-emptying dust bin, wifi connectivity, and advanced digital mapping. For a relatively low price, this Shark robot has a number of smart features that are generally only found in more expensive robots. Check Price
Best Handheld Vacuum – Shark Pet Perfect 2
The Shark Pet Perfect 2 is a cordless handheld vacuum with a large capacity dustbin, LED light to indicate charging, an easy-to-empty dust cup, and a motorized pet brush.
This inclusion of the motorized brushroll on this handheld vacuum is great at helping to agitate and remove pet hair, especially that has been embedded into fabrics.
What’s To Like
- Cordless Power. It’s hard to not like anything that’s cordless, especially when it is still able to retain a sizable run time of approx. 30 minutes.
- Nice Accessories. They’re simple, but it’s nice that this compact handheld comes with a motorized pet brush as well as a small crevice tool. They are easy to swap out and allow for a variety of cleaning applications.
- Budget Friendly. This vacuum is small in size and small in price. The low price makes this handheld a nice addition to your vacuum repertoire.
What’s Not So Good
- Not an End-All, Be-All. This vacuum is handy for some cleaning tasks, but it’s certainly not an end-all, be-all to all of your vacuum woes. For certain messes, this little vacuum will likely lack the power or sheer coverage size in order to be effective.
- Expensive Battery Replacement. Replacing the battery can cost as much as just buying a new handheld vacuum all-together. Not great for consumers or the environment.
Other Great Shark Handheld Vacuums
The best Shark handheld outside of the Pet Perfect would have to be the Shark Rocket handheld. It comes with a wide variety of attachments and is a corded unit.
Shark Rocket Deluxe ProThe Shark Rocket handheld vacuum is a corded vacuum, but comes with numerous attachments that make it extremely versatile. Attachments include an extension hole, long crevice tool, motorized brush, and a soft dusting brush. This model is basically the handheld version of the Shark Rocket DeluxePro with more attachments.Check Price
Shark DuoClean vs. APEX vs. IONFlex vs. Lift Away (and others)
Shark has a TON of different models and feature names. It can be really confusing to know exactly what all these terms mean in terms of features and technology.
Below we’ve listed all of the major features the differentiate Shark models and what all the different names mean.
What is DuoClean?
The Shark APEX DuoClean uses a new style of cleaning head that combines the traditional spiral brush bar with a soft roller. The combination of the two brushes makes it easier to clean up large debris messes, like cereal.
Vacuum cleaners with the DuoClean use a larger roller and don’t have the hard front bumper that a traditional cleaning head has. Without this barrier, the vacuum is able to roll over large debris and the roller can pick it up to be transferred to the dust bin.
FYI: This is similar to the design on the Dyson V10 Absolute.
What is APEX?
Shark Apex vacuums include a series of advanced features, including Active-Glide wheels and Noise Reduction Technology. The body style is a bit more rectangular (at least on the uprights) with a clear dust bin viewing panel on the front of the vacuum.
Apex Technology is basically always paired with DuoClean Technology (listed below) although it doesn’t always go the other way around. The most popular APEX upright vacuum is likely the Shark APEX DuoClean Powdered Lift-Away upright vacuum (AX951).
Build quality on the APEX vacuums feels and looks to be a step up as well compared to less expensive models, like the Shark Rotator and Shark Navigator Pro series.
What is IONFlex?
Shark IONFlex vacuums are a combination of features, including:
- ION = meaning they are powered by a battery and therefore use a cordless design
- Flex = meaning they have a flexible stick body.
Shark IONFlex vacuums are Shark’s most high-end cordless vacuum cleaners. The ION distinction means they are cordless battery powered. The Flex means it has a pivoting joint about halfway down the stick body.
This pivot joint lets you more easily clean under furniture and around obstacles, while also making the vacuum easier to store.
What is Shark ION?
Simply put, it’s a cordless battery powered vacuum.
These vacuums are typically either robots or cordless stick vacuums.
What is Shark Flex?
This is the same distinction as the IONFlex above.
A Shark Flex vacuum means it has a pivoting joint on the body of the vacuum. This allows easier maneuverability and cleaning around obstacles.
There are not as many Shark Flex vacuums, as most Flex vacuums are IONFlex. However, there are some, including the Shark Flex DuoClean. This vacuum has the Flex body, DuoClean brushroll, and is corded.
What is Lift Away?
Shark vacuum cleaners that are labeled as lift away mean the dust bin canister can be lifted out of the vacuum base and carried with you. This lets you more easily clean stairs, your car, and other hard to reach places.
What is TruePet?
There are many Shark models that are labeled as TruePet, however, most are upright vacuums.
Shark vacuums with the TruePet model distinction typically include extra accessories designed to help remove pet hair. In addition, they also usually have anti-allergy seals to trap more dust, pet dander, and fine particulates.
What about other Shark model types and names?
There are a ton of different Shark model classes, feature names, and sub-types.
Below we’ve listed a quick reference list:
- Rotator = budget upright vacuum class
- Navigator = budget upright vacuum class
- APEX = the most advanced Shark class, also the best build quality
- DuoClean = dual designed brushroll that has a soft roller head, traditional bristle brush roll, and open faced head
- TruePet = includes extra accessories and features for pets
- IONFlex = cordless stick vacuum with a pivotable joint on the body
- ION = battery powered
- Flex = pivotable joint on the body
- Lift-Away = canister that lifts out of the vacuum body
- Rocket = stick vacuum class
- Professional = includes more accessories
- Zero-M = requiring less maintenance due to lifetime filters and belts
- Ultra Light = among the lightest Shark vacuums, usually stick vacuums
- Deluxe = includes additional accessories
Frequently Asked Questions
Shark vacuum cleaners labeled as “Lift-Away” make it easier to clean hard-to-reach places, such as your cars or stairs. These models have a sleek design, with a detachable pod that can be moved around effortlessly.
In our cleaning tests, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro and Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro performed similarly well. The Navigator Pro, however, is sleeker and lighter than the Rotator Pro. It also comes with a larger dustbin (2.2 vs. 1.3 dry quarts) and produces less noise (77 dB vs. 80 dB) compared to the Shark Rotator. Either model can be a good choice, depending on what you’re looking for in a vacuum cleaner.
The Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M scored 98% in our cleaning tests. Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean, the second-best model, scored 96%.
What we like about the Shark APEX is its large dustbin, high suction power, and excellent build quality. It removed 99.7% of all debris in our tests, includes two washable filters, and can be used on hard floors and carpets. Plus, it comes with all of the accessories needed for a thorough cleaning, including a dual-brushroll system, pet hair tool, crevice tool, and precision duster.
The Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro scored 91% in our cleaning tests. Like other Lift-Away models, it can turn into a handheld device and has high suction power. Plus, it offers excellent value for the money.
This 2-in-1 upright/handheld machine has multiple configurations for different types of surfaces and debris. It also comes with an extra-large dust canister and lots of accessories, including a crevice tool, hardwood floor tool, crevice tool, pet power brush, dusting brush, and three filters.
The Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M has the strongest suction of all Shark vacuums we have tested so far. It removed up to 99-100% of all four debris in our cleaning tests, including cereals, rice, sugar, and kitty litter. Plus, it’s highly portable and easy to use.
Shark Upright Reviews
Shark upright vacuums are larger machines with more suction power and a larger dust bin capacity compared to other Shark vacuum options. They also are all corded.
Some of the most popular Shark upright vacuums include:
- Cord Length: 30′
- Dustbin: 2.2 dry qts.
- Weight: 13.7 lbs
- Noise: 77 dB
- Cleaning: 84%
- Cord Length: 30′
- Dustbin: 1.3 dry qts.
- Weight: 15.5 lbs
- Noise: 80 dB
- Cleaning: 86%
Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro
The Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro (model NV501) is a 2-in-1 vacuum since it can be used as an upright or a handheld vacuum. Reasonably priced, the Rotator Lift-Away is less expensive than the Navigator series, but offers a similar design.
Accessories with the Rotator Lift-Away Pro includes a dusting brush, 12″ crevice tool, and a pet tool.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro (model NV356E) is one of the most popular models from the Navigator series.
The Navigator Pro is a corded vacuum, that features a slimmer sleeker look compared to the standard Navigator while also having a dust cup almost 3 times larger.
This upright comes with the:
- Lift-Away canister
- Upright roller base
- Hard floor attachment (with microfiber cleaning cloths)
- Handheld wand, motorized brush tool
- Crevice tool
- Dusting brush
The portable canister works like a more traditional canister vacuum rather than a handheld since you have to use the hose nozzle to suck up debris.
Shark Handheld Reviews
Handheld vacuums are lightweight and portable, and offer an assortment of convenient features and handy attachments.
Shark only offers a few models that are exclusively handheld vacuum options.
There is also a small handheld vacuum that comes included with the Shark S87 robot vacuum. If you’re looking for additional handhelds, be sure to consider the 2-in-1 stick vacuum models listed below.
Shark Stick Reviews
For a more lightweight Shark vacuum, Shark stick vacuums are a solid option.
Most Shark stick vacuums have a smaller dust bin capacity than a traditional upright, but are also lightweight and generally cordless. Some Shark vacs even convert into a portable handheld.
Some of the most popular Shark stick vacuums include:
The Shark ION Vacuums
All cordless Shark stick vacuums use the designation of “ION” in the name. This means that it is powered by a lithium-ion battery for power and do not require a cord.
Exact run time varies by model, but generally falls somewhere between 30-60 minutes.
IONFlex & SharkFlex
Shark also has two collections of stick vacuum cleaners that can virtually fold in half for easy storage and to clean hard-to-reach places.
These vacuums use a compressed hose in the middle of the upright stick to provide a “joint” for the vacuum to bend at. This is called FLEX technology and is offered in a corded or cordless body.
This is the cordless version of the FLEX technology. The ION part of this series represents the lithium-ion battery, which it uses to provide power to the vacuum.
The two vacuums with IONFlex technology include the IONFlex 2X DuoClean (model IF251) and IONFlex DuoClean (model IF200W or IF201). These stick vacuums are essentially identical, the main difference being that the 2X comes with two lithium-ion batteries so you can charge and vacuum at the same time.
If you don’t mind the hassle of a battery, Shark also offers the SharkFLEX DuoClean (model HV391). This stick vacuum includes a 30′ cord, the flexible stick, the DuoClean roller brush head and an assortment of accessories (varies by model.)
Shark Robot Reviews
Robot vacuums is a bit of a newer category for Shark, but there are a few options. Shark robot vacuums are cordless, automatic, and convenient for people who want a set-it-and-forget-it type of vacuum.
The current collection of Shark robot vacuums include:
The Shark IQ represents the best-of-the-best in Shark robot technology. It has digital mapping, wifi connectivity, Amazon Alexa compatible, and even has a self-emptying dust bin.
Shark ION R85
The Shark R85 is reasonably priced, has wifi connectivity, 3X the suction power over the R75, improved navigation, and an XL dust bin capacity.
Shark ION S87
The Shark ION S87 is the same as the Shark ION R85, but it has a handheld vac built into the design of the charging station.
Shark ION R75
The Shark ION R75, previously known as the ION 750 is a good base level Shark model.
It doesn’t have advanced digital mapping or intelligent navigation, but the suction is decent and has wifi connectivity, making it easy to schedule cleanings or control remotely.
Shark ION R72
The Shark ION R72, sometimes referred to as “ION 720” is one of the oldest and most basic robot available in the lineup.
This model is getting harder and harder to come by and it’s lack of popularity generally makes the model more expensive than newer, more advanced models, that are more popular.
Which Shark Vacuum is Best for Me?
Shark vacuums provide a nice range of vacuum styles, product features, and reasonable price points (from $ to $$$). It’s the balance of price and performance that makes Shark one of the most popular brands for vacuums.
If you want to see our long-form Shark vacuum reviews you can find those here:
- Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M – Upright – 98%
- Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean – Stick – 96%
- Shark Pet Perfect 2 – Handheld – 95%
- Shark ION R85 – Robot – 94%
- Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro – Upright – 91%
- Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro – Upright – 90%
- Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro – Stick – 84%
That being said, it can be difficult to know which model is best for you and your needs.
To help narrow down the field, here are two main questions to ask yourself:
- What is your budget?
- What features are most important to you?
What’s your budget?
First you should ask yourself what your budget is.
$ – Basic
For a simple vacuum that gets the job done without any bells and whistles, the Shark Navigator Freestyle is a solid option for a lightweight stick vacuum with good dust bin capacity.
The only other Shark vacuums that falls within the $ range is the Pet Perfect 2 handheld. Other Shark vacuums are going to be $$ or more.
$$ – Middle of the Road
For a budget-friendly upright, check out the Shark Rotator Lift-Away. This model has a few nice features like LED headlights and comfort-grip handle paired with reasonable performance specs like a large dust bin capacity and strong suction.
The Shark Navigator Professional is another good option at this price range. And lastly, we have the Shark Rocket Ultra Light for a quality budget stick vacuum.
$$$ – Best of the Best
For the best-of-the-best, you could go one of two routes.
Option 1 would be a cordless stick vacuum like the Shark IONFlex DuoClean. It’s cordless, powerful, and has an advanced cleaning head that is designed to tackles messes of all sizes.
Alternatively, the Shark APEX DuoClean is a corded stick vacuum. It’s a bit less expensive vs. the IONFlex DuoClean, but adds the APEX level features.
Option 2 would be a powerful upright like the Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M. It has a larger dust bin, the same advanced cleaning head and great suction. The Shark APEX is our pick for the best overall Shark vacuum.
What features are the most important?
The next thing you’ll want to consider is what features are most important to you. There are a number of options and feature sets to consider.
The best cordless stick Shark vacuums include:
The best upright Shark vacuums include:
The best light weight Shark vacuums include:
The best robot Shark vacuums include:
And lastly, the best DuoClean Shark vacuums include:
- Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M upright
- Shark APEX DuoClean Stick
- Shark IONFlex DuoClean
- Shark Rocket DuoClean
Still have questions?
Looking for more models, more information, or just not sure which one is right for you? Please use our comment form below to ask any questions you may have.
We do our best to respond within 24 hours.
- October 8, 2019 – Overhauled the page with new formatting, new / revised recommendations, and a better page structure. Reevaluated Shark’s entire lineup to make sure our recommendations are as accurate as possible.
- September 25, 2019 – Changed a few headings. Also updating formatting and placement to make the content flow more useful.
- August 12, 2019 – Added new images from our recent Shark APEX DuoClean review.
- November 1, 2018 – Added a new video.
- September 21, 2018 – Added more information around the “Best Shark Vacuum”, as well as improved formatting and other minor updates.
- May 11, 2018 – Made major updates to both content and formatting. Added lots of extra information and improved our organization of existing information. Removed a section on 3rd party reviews.
- November 29, 2017 – original version of the page launched.