Shark Vacuum Reviews
When shopping for a new vacuum cleaner, chances are you have run across the Shark name more than a time or two. Shark vacuum cleaners span across the market, including compact handheld vacuums, powerful upright vacuums, convertible stick 2-in-1 vacuums, and even robot vacuums.
This guide is a comprehensive look at a collection of Shark vacuum reviews. The Shark brand extends into many different vacuum categories, but can one name really excel at manufacturing multiple kinds of vacuum cleaners? Let’s jump in and find out now.
Which Shark Vacuum Is For You?
Shark vacuums fit under the larger subset of SharkNinja, which is the parent company that produces a variety of home cleaning tools and small kitchen appliances. It is are a family-owned company and are currently on the third generation of leadership.
The company’s vacuums typically are user-friendly and have a simple aesthetic, sometimes using a pop of color to call out certain accessories or features, like the white and red design of the Shark Rotator upright vacuum. Perhaps the biggest challenge with Shark vacuums is simply understanding which Shark vacuum model is truly best for you.
Below we’ve created a brief flow chart to help you decide on the best Shark for you. This graphic guide does not include a comprehensive list of every Shark model (there are dozens and dozens of them), however, it does represent what we view as the most popular and noteworthy models within Shark vacuum lineup.
Below is a quick list of the Shark vacuum models listed in the flow chart:
Shark robot vacuums
- Shark ION 750 – robot vacuum with smartphone control
- Shark ION 720 – robot vacuum with remote control
Shark handheld vacuums
Shark stick vacuums
- Shark Rocket ION – cordless stick
- Shark Rocket – corded stick
- Shark IONFlex DuoClean – cordless stick with open faced cleaning head
- Shark Navigator Freestyle – cordless lightweight stick
- Shark Floor & Carpet Cleaner – cordless lightweight sweeper stick
Shark upright vacuums
- Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away – corded 2-in-1 with lift out canister
- Shark Navigator Pro Lift-Away – corded 2-in-1 with lift out canister and XL dust bin
- Shark APEX DuoClean Lift-Away – corded 2-in-1 with lift out canister and open faced cleaning head
Shark canister vacuums
- Shark Rotator Lift-Away – canister
Shark Feature Names Explained
The sheer number of Shark vacuum models would make it difficult enough to choose, but it’s even more difficult with Shark’s less than intuitive naming conventions. Features like SharkFlex, DuoClean, and APEX sound great, but what do they actually mean? Farther down we go into great detail on each of these, but for our purposes now let’s start with a brief description:
- DuoClean – open front face; utilizes bristle brushes to pull in larger debris, while also polishing hard surface floors
- SharkFlex – corded; better reach under furniture and obstacles, folds for compact storage
- MultiFlex – can be corded or cordless; otherwise, it’s the same as SharkFlex
- IONFlex – cordless; uses a lithium ion battery, otherwise, it’s the same as SharkFlex
- ION – cordless; uses a lithium ion battery
- Freestyle – lightweight; cordless
- Lift-Away – 2-in-1, in which the suction canister can be removed to be used as a handheld style canister
- APEX – model that uses a combination of many advanced features
Shark Vacuum Reviews Analyzed
Within the following table, we have analyzed several popular Shark vacuums (by model) on Amazon.com. We find that Amazon.com is great for this analysis because of the quantity of reviews available.
|Model||Total Reviews||Average |
|Total 5 Stars||Total 1 Stars|
|Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away (upright)||3,317||(4.5)||72%||6%|
|Shark Navigator Lift-Away (Upright)||2,709||(4.4)||69%||6%|
|Shark Navigator Deluxe (Upright)||2,003||(4.4)||73%||5%|
|Shark navigator Lift-Away Deluxe (Upright)||881||(4.5)||71%||5%|
|Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away (Upright)||1,315||(4.5)||75%||6%|
|Shark Navigator Pro Lift-Away with Dust-Away (Upright)||9,543||(4.4)||73%||6%|
|Shark Rocket Ultra-Light (Stick)||2,501||(4.5)||69%||6%|
|Shark Rocket True Pet Ultra-Light (Stick)||1,391||(4.4)||74%||5%|
|Shark Navigator Freestyle (Stick)||4,204||(3.9)||61%||13%|
In addition to analyzing review scores and ratings, we also look at the review credibility. To analyze review credibility we use ReviewMeta.com, a tool that uses statistical analysis to detect possible unnatural reviews.
Of the nine Shark vacuum reviews we analyzed six came back with passing grades, two came back with warning grades, and one came back with a failing grade.
Despite the warning grade given out to two of the above Shark reviews I am not overly concerned with the specific issues called out by ReviewMeta. Most of the red flags were related to issues like phrase repetition, rating trends over time, deleted reviews, among others. While these can be red flags, none of these struck me as out of the ordinary.
Regarding the one failing grade given, it is unclear to me why it is failing. ReviewMeta.com’s analysis was no harsher on this review than the warning grades listed above. The specific failing issues were suspicious reviewers (due to reviewers having other past reviews deleted), reviewer ease, and skewed helpfulness.
While I’m not thrilled about the warning and failing grades, the specific issues don’t strike me as out of the ordinary. As a result, I still find these reviews to be genuine. However, it’s something I will continue to monitor over time.
Large Debris Pick-Up
Vacuuming up large debris can be a hassle for many vacuums, due to the front face of the vacuum, which gets in the way and prevents the vacuum from sucking up large debris. To address this issue, Shark introduced DuoClean, a design that directly impacts the cleaning head of a couple different Shark vacuum cleaners. This modified head is great for picking up large debris, like cereal, beads, or small piles.
Vacuum cleaners with the DuoClean use a larger roller and don’t have the front face. 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. This is similar to the design of the Dyson V8 Absolute stick vacuum.
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). 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 cord, Shark also offers the SharkFLEX DuoClean (model HV391). This stick vacuum includes a 30′ cord, the flexible stick, the DuoClean roller brush head and the following accessories:
- Motorized pet tool
- Crevice tool
- Accessory bag
Many of the vacuums in the Shark lineup come with a feature called “Lift-Away”. This title is for upright vacuums cleaners that have a canister that can literally lift away to become a portable handheld. The portable canister works like a more traditional canister vacuum rather than a handheld since you have to the hose nozzle to suck up debris.
Traditional handhelds, like the Eureka EasyClean, have a nozzle on the body of the handheld which sucks debris up, unlike the Lift-Away canister which uses the hose.
Shark Robot Vacuums
Newer to the Shark family is the ION ROBOT, which launched in fall 2017. The ION ROBOT line challenges other popular robot vacuums like the iRobot Roomba 690 or the Ecovacs Deebot N79, both of which fall below $400 and could be considered more budget-friendly.
The Shark ION Robot ranges in price from $270 to $350. It has a lot of similar features to competitive robot vacuums including a slide-out dust bin, spinning side brushes, simple on-board controls, navigation technology, a lithium-ion battery, and a roller brush.
There are three robot vacuums in the series, two of which use a scheduling remote (the ION ROBOT 700 and ION ROBOT 720) and the ION ROBOT 750, which uses wifi connectivity and voice control using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Compared to competitive models like the Roomba robot, which uses infrared lighting to provide barriers between rooms, the Shark robot uses a physical strip that you roll out onto the floor in order to create boundaries.
They call this strip a BotBoundary since it creates a physical barrier for your robot. The 700, 720, and 750 all comes with 9′ of a starter BotBoundary and additional strips are available for purchase in 9′ increments. The Shark robot vacuum also comes with two BotBoundary connectors for unique layouts or to jog around furniture.
Shark Rocket Vacuum Series
The Shark Rocket series is a 2-in-1 vacuum that can run as a stick vacuum or a handheld. Some of the vacuums in the Rocket series have the DuoClean dual brushroll, like the Shark Rocket with DuoClean, and some do not, like the Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro.
The Rocket is designed for user who need a vacuum that wears multiple hats. The Rocket is lightweight, ranging from 7 pounds to just under 10 pounds. All of the vacuum cleaners in the Rocket series are corded vacuums that range from a 25′ cord to a 30′ cord.
The Rocket 2-in-1 vacuums offer a couple different accessories. Exactly which accessories are included with your vacuum varies based on the specific model. Accessories that are available include:
- Dusting brush
- Multi-angle dusting brush
- Duster crevice tool
- 5″ straight crevice tool
- Upholstery tool
- Pet tool
- Hard floor attachment
- Car detail kit
- Accessory bag
Shark Navigator Vacuum Series
The Navigator series is Shark’s traditional upright vacuum cleaner. Some of the models in this series have the Lift-Away capability, while others do not. Vacuums in the navigator series are a bit heavier than the lightweight Rocket series. Some are smaller in size, like the Shark Navigator Freestyle, while others are larger and more robust, like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro.
The Shark Navigator upright vacuum series offer a couple different accessories, which may vary depending on exactly which model you purchase. Accessories that are available include:
- Dusting brush
- 5.5″ straight crevice tool
- 24″ straight crevice tool
- Pet upholstery tool
- Pet brush (premium or standard)
- Wide upholstery tool
- Canister caddy (for Lift-Away vacuums only)
- Car detail kit
- Under appliance wand
- Hard floor attachment
- Accessory bag
Shark Vacuum Cleaner Models
Shark Handheld Vacuums
Handheld vacuums are lightweight and portable, and offer an assortment of convenient features and handy attachments. Shark offers only two handheld vacuum options.
Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II
This handheld vacuum is a cordless unit that has a wall-mounted charger for convenience and comes with three versatile accessories- a crevice tool, a motorized roller brush, and a dusting brush. This battery can take up to 16 hours to fully charge and average run time is 7-15 minutes, depending on various conditions.
Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vacuum
The Rocket corded hand vacuum is about twice the price of the cordless Pet Perfect II, close to $100, but the corded power source means unlimited run time, as long as it’s plugged in. The Rocket handheld also comes with a dusting brush, motorized roller brush and crevice tool. This handheld vacuum also has the added benefit of an extendable hose for greater reach and versatility.
Shark Stick Vacuums
Shark stick vacuum reviews may also cover a wide spectrum of products, including technologies like DUOClean and IONFlex. Some of the stick vacuums are cordless, like the Shark IONFlex DuoClean Cordless, while others are corded like the Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro.
Shark Navigator Freestyle
The Navigator Freestyle is a lightweight cordless stick vacuum that charges in 4 hours and boasts a price tag that is under $100. The Freestyle weighs less than 8 pounds and uses a brush roll to help break up dirt and debris and suck it into the dust bin.
There are quite a few Shark Rocket stick vacuums on the market right now. Models come with different features, including the Shark Rocket DuoClean (model NV380W and model HC382), the Shark Rocket DeluxePro (model HV320W), or the standard Rocket (model HV300W).
These are the top three listed on SharkClean.com, but there are even more models on Amazon including an ultra-lightweight model (model HV302) or one specifically designed for pet (model HV322) … the list truly goes on and on.
Frankly, all of the different versions of the Shark Rocket can get a little overwhelming. On the Shark site alone, there are 13 different models of the Shark Rocket stick vacuum. This review is just barely touching the surface, but to get the basics on the Shark Rocket, what you really need to know is that it is a lightweight corded stick vacuum that doubles as a 2-in-1, serving the job as upright and handheld.
Shark ION Rocket
The Shark ION Rocket (model IR101) is similar to the standard Shark Rocket models mentioned above. The main different here is that the ION series is cordless and uses a lithium-ion battery.
Shark IONFlex DuoClean Cordless
This stick vacuum is a cordless vacuum with the lithium-ion battery pack. It also has the Flex joint which allows the vacuum to basically bend in half like a knee or other joint in your body. The DuoClean is referring to the style of vacuum head. As mentioned above, the DuoClean head does not have that front plate, which makes it easier to clean up large debris. This vacuum also uses dual brushrolls to help capture large piles or stubborn debris.
Floor & Carpet Sweeper
The Floor & Carpet Sweeper (model V2950) is a cordless ultra lightweight vacuum, that really looks more like a motorized broom than anything else. It weighs less than 4 pounds and has a simple roller brush head with a moderate sized dust bin. It can run on two different vacuum speeds and has a battery that can clean for up to 55 minutes.
The side-aligned position of the brush is a nice design touch for edge cleaning. It doesn’t come with any fancy bells & whistles or jazzy accessories, but priced at right around $60, it’s a nice value for people looking for a simple vacuum for hardwoods or low pile carpet.
Shark Upright Vacuums
Shark upright vacuums reviews can be broken down into three distinct collections- DuoClean, Rotator, and Navigator. Under each of these categories there are many variations which include different sets of features and accessories. Some may have the Lift-Away Canister, while others do not. Shark uses ‘Professional’ in the vacuum name to highlight upright vacuums that are especially advanced. These may include special technologies, larger dust cups, longer lasting batteries, and / or an updated aesthetic.
The guide below is intended to highlight some of the most popular upright vacuums from each series.
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. Priced at under $150, 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.
The Rotator also comes in a variety of other special models. Depending on what features are most important to you, there is the Shark Rotator Lift-Away Speed (model NV683 or model NV601), XL Capacity (model NV755), Professional (model NV400), Slim-Light (model NV341), and even one for pet owners (model NV752).
The Shark Rotator is also available in a canister vacuum with upright wand and roller brush. The canister has two large wheels that allow you to roll the vacuum around the house, separate from the roller brush and wand. The canister model also has the Lift-Away functionality, enabling you to pop the handheld unit out and carry it around separately for smaller cleaning jobs.
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, and dusting brush.
Similar to the Rotator, the Navigator comes in a variety of models with different features. For Navigators with the Lift-Away canister, you can get the standard Lift-Away (model NV581), the Lift-Away Deluxe (model UV440), or the Lift-Away Professional (model NV256E), listed above.
If you don’t need the Lift-Away canister and just want a sleek upright vacuum, there are a few other Navigator options without Lift-Away. Try checking out the Shark Navigator Professional vacuum (model NV70), the Navigator with pet tools (model NV22), or the Navigator Light (model NV105).
Shark APEX DuoClean Lift-Away
The Shark DuoClean series gets a little wordy, but again, Shark relies on special call-outs in the name to highlight features about each model. I explained a little bit about the DuoClean brushes above (dual roller for large debris), and Lift-Away is the canister feature that is consistent across varying models from all collections, DuoClean, Navigator, or Rotator uprights). So what is APEX?
Shark APEX vacuums are vacuum models that include a combination of advanced features. Additionally, APEX vacuums include what Shark calls its “Active-Glide” wheel, which is a smoother and less noisy wheel.
The following DuoClean vacuums are available with APEX:
- Shark APEX DuoClean Lift-Away Speed (model AX912)
- Standard APEX DuoClean Lift-Away- available in three colors (model AX9501, model AX951, and model AX952)
The DuoClean online collection includes a few other upright vacuums that use DuoClean, but not APEX. These models include the Slim upright (model NV201), the DuoClean Lift-Away Speed (model NV800W) and the standard DuoClean Lift-Away upright vacuum.
Shark Robot Vacuums
Shark robot vacuums are fairly new to hit the market, having just launched in fall 2017. Ranging from $270-$350, they are budget-friendly options for people who want the convenience of a robot vacuum, but maybe don’t need all the bells and whistles of more expensive models. Shark currently offers three robot vacuums in its ION ROBOT series, the 700, the 720 and the 750.
The design of the ION ROBOT uses a round shape and a combination of spinning brushes, a central roller brush, and suction to agitate and collect dirt, dust, and debris. Infrared sensors help the Shark ION Robot navigate around your home, bumping and adapting as it goes.
Compared to larger robot vacuums, like the bObsweep Pet Hair or Roomba 650, which are both almost 4″ tall, the Shark ION ROBOT is quite a bit smaller. At only 12.6″ in diameter and 2.6″ tall, this vacuum can sneak under most furniture and has the smaller size needed to navigate difficult areas in your home.
Regarding other features, the Shark ION ROBOT vacuums do not come with any dirt detection technology or an indication of a full dust bin. Considering the lower pricetag, this isn’t entirely surprising. That being said, they do have the ability to schedule cleanings (by remote control or the app, depending on the model) and return to their charging base when the battery gets low.
Shark ION ROBOT 750
The ION ROBOT 750 is the only Shark model that enables a wifi connection and voice control. Shark has an app that you can download to your tablet or smartphone to control the robot vacuum. You can also use voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
Shark ION ROBOT 720
The Shark ION ROBOT 720 looks similar in overall design to the 750, but lacks the wifi connectivity and the ability to use the app. In exchange, the 720 model has a remote control that you can use start or schedule a cleaning cycle.
Shark ION ROBOT 700
The Shark ION ROBOT 700 is the most basic model in the ION ROBOT series, and frankly it’s a little hard to find. This particular model is not available on Sharkclean.com or Amazon.com. This model includes the same basic design features as the 720 and 750, but lacks the wifi control (like the 750). If you’re looking for a basic Shark robot vacuum, I would honestly probably recommend the 720 model over the 700, even if for no other reason than the hassle of finding replacement parts for a vacuum that the manufacturer doesn’t even sell on its website.
Summarizing Shark Vacuum Reviews
If you’re still reading, you may find yourself overwhelmed with information. You’re not alone. Our research into Shark’s vacuum model line revealed a virtual endless litany of features and options available.
More choices are great, but it definitely complicates the researching and buying process. If you’re still not sure what to buy, we recommend starting with the flow chart at the top of the page. It can at least help you to start narrowing your choices down.
That said, if you still find yourself unable to make a decision please send us an email here. We’d be happy to help!
Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.