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Shark Vacuum Reviews

By Derek Hales | Updated November 1, 2018
Home » Vacuum Reviews » 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.

Today we’ll be breaking down every popular Shark, analyzing Shark vacuum reviews, models, performance, and hopefully helping you discover which is best for your home!

Shark vacuum reviews

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Reviews of Shark Vacuums

Shark vacuum cleaners span a variety of types and price points, from as cheap as $50 to as much as $500. Consumer reviews across the internet are generally strong, with many scoring 4.3-4.5 stars (86-90%). Shark’s value price point makes them a serious competitor vs. Dyson vacuums, which are typically notably more expensive, as compared to Shark.

With that brief intro done, let’s dive into the good stuff.

Shark Vacuum Comparison Chart

PRODUCTDETAILS

BEST FOR ALLERGIES

moderncastle-table-__image
Rotator Pro
  • Type: Upright
  • Power: Corded; 30' cord
  • Weight: 15.5 lbs.
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BEST FOR OVERALL

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Navigator Pro
  • Type: Upright
  • Power: Corded; 30' cord
  • Weight: 13.5 lbs.
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moderncastle-table-__imageRocket Deluxe Pro
  • Type: Stick
  • Power: Cordless
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
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BEST FOR HANDHELD

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Pet Perfect II
  • Type: Handheld
  • Power: Cordless
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs.
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moderncastle-table-__imageION 750
  • Type: Robot
  • Power: Cordless
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs.
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moderncastle-table-__imageION 720
  • Type: Robot
  • Power: Cordless
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs.
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Contents

Best Shark Vacuum

This review is going to cover the best-of-the-best that Shark has to offer.

From portable stick vacuums to powerful uprights and everything in between, Shark has a wide range of models to suit.

Want to skip the best Shark models and jump right to the different vacuum types? No problem, click here and dive right in.

Best Shark Vacuum

The following table lists what we think are the Best Shark Vacuums, spanning the spectrum of all vacuum types. The table indicates their vacuum type, price, features, and a composite average score for each model.

VacuumScoreBest ForPriceTypeFeatures
Shark IONFlex DuoClean92%Overall$$$Cordless stickFlexibility through the flexible stick as well as the versatility of cordless power
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro Upright88%Pets$$UprightXL dust bin, Lift-Away canister, great cleaning performance on hardwoods
Shark Navigator Freestyle84%Budget$Cordless stickGreat value, compact footprint
Shark APEX Powered Lift-Away90%Multi-Use$$UprightPowered Lift-Away provides continuous brushroll power
Shark Pet Perfect 282%Handheld$HandheldCordless power, comes with motorized pet brush
Shark Navigator Professional Upright88%Overall$$UprightMany sub-models so you can get most important features, a great all-arounder
Shark Rotator Professional Upright92%Allergies$$UprightLift-away design for portability and anti-allergy seal for deep cleaning
*Score is a composite average of 3-4 major US retailers (depending on product availability and data validity).

Best Shark Vacuum Overall – 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 seems like a strong contender.

Shark Rocket IONFlex DuoClean stick vacuum review

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

  • The cordless power. The Shark Rocket 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 for large debris. 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 flexibility. 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.
  • It’s got 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.

This includes:

Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light (IF201 or IF205), the Shark IONFlex DuoClean 2X (IF251) with two batteries. There is also one corded model, the Shark Flex DuoClean (HV391)

Shark IONFlex DuoClean Cordless stick vacuum cleaner review

Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light | The IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light includes the vacuum and one lithium ion battery back for cordless power.

Shark Stick vacuum - IonFlex DuoClean

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.

shark flex duoclean stick vacuum

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.

Best Shark for Pets – Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro is an upright vacuum with a portable canister for messes on-the-go. This model is an excellent choice for pets due to its extra large dust canister, portable handheld unit, wide range of accessories, and powerful suction.

Shark Navigator Pro vacuuming stairs in canister mode

The Navigator Lift-Away Pro weighs 13.7 pounds as an upright and 8 pounds as a handheld and the canister and can hold 2.2 dry quarts of debris.

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.
  • It’s a 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.
  • It’s a 2-in-1. 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

  • It’s 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 Vacuums for Pets

While the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro 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 three other honorable mentions for the best Shark vacuum for pets—the Shark Rotator Lift-Away upright vacuum, the Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro stick vacuum, and the Shark Pet Perfect 2 handheld vacuum.

Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro upright vacuum review

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.

Shark Rocket stick vacuum review

Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro |  The 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.

Shark Pet Perfect II handheld vacuum

Shark Pet Perfect 2 |  The 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.

Best Budget Vacuum – Shark Navigator Freestyle

The Shark Navigator Freestyle is a large capacity, cordless, lightweight, upright vacuum cleaner. This vacuum weighs only 7.5 pounds, making it significantly lighter than most other upright vacuums on the market.

Shark Navigator Freestyle stick vacuum cleaner review

It is battery powered and can run for up to 20 minutes, taking about four hours to charge up in between cleanings. This model is great for people who want the feel of a traditional upright vacuum, but the lightweight maneuverability of a modern stick vacuum.

What’s To Like

  • The XL Dust Bin. The dust bin of the Shark Navigator Freestyle can hold up to 1.3 dry quarts, rivaling the capacity of some traditional upright models.
  • The Lightweight Body Style. In its entirety, the Navigator Freestyle weighs only 7.5 pounds, making it easy to maneuver and carry around as needed. That’s half a pound less than the Shark Rotator and Navigator traditional Lift-Away canisters.
  • The Low Price. The price of the Shark Navigator Freestyle is definitely one of the factors that may make you give its simple style a second look.

What’s Not So Good

  • Average Suction. For big messes or high traffic areas, the suction power offered by the Freestyle might not be enough to get the job done.
  • Basic brushroll. The brushroll on the freestyle is also pretty basic. If you’re going to be doing a lot of clean-up of hair, you’ll want to watch out for tangles around the axle of the brushroll bar.

Best Multi-Use Vacuum – Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away

The Shark APEX Powered Lift-Away is one of the premier Shark vacuums on the market today, especially if you’re looking for an upright vacuum.

Shark APEX Powered Lift-Away

It uses the advanced DuoClean brushroll, swivel steering, a lift-away 2-in-1 canister, and isn’t as loud (compared to other Shark upright models).

What’s To Like

  • The Versatility. The APEX DuoClean offers high power as an upright or as a handheld. It also offers the versatility to use the stick vacuum brushroll portion, even with the canister removed. This allows you to sneak under tight spaces where the on-board canister would usually prevent.
  • The Advanced Brushroll. The DuoClean brushroll provides an impressive cleaning performance against large and small debris types, but also is designed to actively prevent hair from wrapping around the axle of the brushroll while it’s cleaning.

What’s Not So Good

  • The Price Tag. It’s no surprise that the APEX DuoClean is one of the most expensive Shark vacuums on the market today.
  • The Bulkier Body Style. With the rise of cordless sleek stick vacuums, we can’t help but think that the APEX feels a little bulky in size and weight compared to its powerful competitors.

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.

Shark Pet Perfect 2 cordless handheld vacuum

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. In addition to the Rocket, another honorable mention would go to the Shark Rotator Canister. Albeit, not a handheld, the Rotator canister is a portable vacuum that is worthy of a feature as one of Shark’s best vacuums.

Shark Rocket corded handheld vacuum

Shark Rocket | The 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.

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away canister vacuum

Shark Rotator Lift-Away The Shark Rotator Lift-Away is a canister vacuum that comes with a Lift-Away canister making it convenient and easy to use as a canister vacuum or as a handheld unit. It carries an on-board crevice tool and dusting brush with washable filters and suction control.  The Rotator canister is a corded model and comes with a 23-foot long cord.

Best Shark Vacuum for 2018?

So what’s the best Shark vacuum for 2018? This is a tough question to answer. Everyone’s definition of what’s the “best” is subjective.

Is it the best for carpets? Best for pet hair? Is it the best value? The easiest to use? The most convenient? All of these are important factors to consider when choosing a vacuum. But they might not all be as equally as important to you.

Below we’ve created an in-depth flow chart to help you work through the important features in a vacuum for you. By following the simple questions you can easily find the best Shark vacuum for you or if you prefer a more detailed analysis click to continue along down the page.

Shark vacuum review comparison models

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 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.

Shark Vacuum Features 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?

Use the quick reference guide below to help break down some of the catchy names:

DuoClean

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.
Shark vacuum DuoClean technology review
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 or Dyson V10 Absolute stick vacuum.

ION

Shark ION lithium-ion power pack batteryIon is simply the name that Shark uses for their cordless vacuums. ION vacuums use a rechargeable 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.

Shark Stick vacuum - IonFlex DuoCleanIONFLEX: 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.

SHARKFLEX:  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 an assortment of accessories (varies by model.)

Lift-Away

Shark Navigator Pro vacuuming stairs in canister mode

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 use the hose nozzle to suck up debris.

More 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.

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 with a clear dust bin viewing panel on the front of the vacuum.

Shark APEX DuoClean upright vacuum review

Apex Technology is basically always paired with DuoClean Technology (listed above) 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).

Shark Stick Vacuum Reviews

Shark offers a wide selection of cordless stick vacuums, from basic to advanced models.

This vacuum line-up is lightweight, easy-to-maneuver, and tends to offer less dust bin capacity and on-board accessories compared to a full-size upright.

But the added convenience of a vacuum that is flexible and functional could easily outweigh the cons, depending on what exactly you’re looking for.

Shark Stick vacuum - IonFlex DuoClean

Shark ION Rocket stick vacuum review

SHARK ROCKET ION The Shark Rocket ION is a powerful cordless stick vacuum with a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. It supports an upgradable battery as well if you’re looking for an extended run time. This vacuum is a 2-in-1 style, in that it can run as an upright stick vacuum or as a handheld for on-the-go cleaning.

Accessories include a crevice dusting tool, a pet multi-tool, a dust brush, and battery with charger. With the standard battery, you can expect about a 30 minute run time (up to 60 minutes with the extended-run time battery.)

Even with the added weight of the battery pack, this model is still ultra-lightweight, coming in at 3.8 pounds.

Shark Rocket Complete with DuoClean stick vacuum

SHARK ROCKET COMPLETE (WITH DUOCLEAN) The Shark Rocket Complete comes with DuoClean Technology and is a corded, lightweight stick vacuum. It weighs right under 10 lbs. as an upright and 4.6 lbs. as a handheld.

This vacuum comes with the advanced DuoClean dual brushroll cleaning heads for large debris cleaning, stuck-on dirt, or high-pile carpet. There are also LED lights integrated onto the floor nozzle as well as the hand vacuum.

Shark Rocket DeluxePro stick vacuum

SHARK ROCKET DELUXEPRO |  The Shark Rocket has a similar body style as the Shark Rocket ION, but it is a corded version. The Shark Rocket series is actually one of the only vacuum styles in the Shark stick vacuum line-up that is a corded unit.

It is a little bulkier than the Rocket ION and heftier as well, weighing in at around 8 lbs. The price point is actually pretty similar to that of the Rocket ION so it just depends on whether you want cordless or corded.

For the lowest price, check out the Shark Rocket DeluxePro Ultra-Light (HV321). For added accessories and attachments, check out this model— it’s got the same name, but includes the extra accessories shown in the Modern Castle review of the Shark Rocket DeluxePro.

Shark Rocket Vacuum Series

The Shark Rocket series is made up of 2-in-1 vacuums 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.

Shark rocket corded vacuum cleanerThe 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.

There are quite a few Shark Rocket stick vacuums on the market right now. Models come with different features and accessories, 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 third party sites 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:

  • lightweight
  • stick vacuums
  • 2-in-1 design (acts as both an upright and handheld)

Shark IONFlex DuoClean Cordless stick vacuum cleaner review

SHARK IONFLEX DUOCLEAN | The Shark IONFlex DuoClean is an ultra-lightweight (3.8 lbs.) cordless stick vacuum with an open-faced cleaning head, which is great for capturing large debris that may otherwise get clogged up with the Shark Rocket or Rocket ION series.

There are a couple hot words in this stick vacuum that you can use to help determine features about the vacuum. ION—that one means that this vacuum uses a cordless rechargable lithium-ion battery pack.

Flex refers to the style of the stick. IONFlex vacuums are cordless stick vacuums that have a flexible stick, allowing you to clean far under furniture (like beds or cribs) without having to get down on the floor. The Flex stick also allows you to store the vacuum, sitting upright, something that the Rocket line cannot do.

Lastly let’s talk about DuoClean—this refers to the technology of the cleaning system. Shark DuoClean vacuums use a dual brushroll system, one soft roller in the front and a secondary brushroll behind to help capture larger debris or stuck-on dirt and pull it into the dust bin.

Shark Navigator Freestyle stick vacuum cleaner review

SHARK NAVIGATOR FREESTYLE | The Shark Navigator Freestyle takes some design inspiration from the full-size Shark Navigator Pro upright, but at a smaller scale. Unlike the Shark Rocket series or the IONFlex DuoClean, the Navigator Freestyle is not a 2-in-1. With the dust bin being more centrally located, some users find this style to feel lighter in-hand. At 7.5 lbs., it has a similar weight to the Rocket Deluxe Pro.

The Navigator Freestyle uses a 10.8 V battery and has an XL dust bin capacity for easier whole-home cleaning. This vacuum is also almost half the cost of the 2-in-1 Shark stick vacuums. If you don’t need handheld, the Navigator Freestyle may be a great option for you.

Shark Floor & Carpet Sweeper vacuum review

SHARK FLOOR & CARPET SWEEPERPossibly the least expensive and most basic stick vacuum that Shark produces, the Floor & Carpet Sweeper is the definition of a simple vacuum. (Honestly, it looks more like a motorized broom than anything else). It is cordless, has two different speeds, and can run for up to 55 minutes. It weighs 5.4 lbs., but the dust bin is located at the base so in-hand, it feels very light.

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 well within the lower $ price tier, it’s a nice value for people looking for a simple vacuum for hardwoods or low pile carpet.

Shark Upright Reviews

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.

Shark Navigator vs. Rotator vacuum review comparison

Shark Traditional Upright Vacuums

Traditional uprights are larger and heavier than the stick vacuums listed above, but also offer more on-board accessories and stronger suction. There are many upright options, but most fit into one of the three categories listed below:

  • Rotator
  • Navigator
  • APEX

You can learn more about the differences of each model, and sub-models that float within each series below:

Shark Rotator vacuum cleaner

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 ofers 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 upright vacuum cleaner review

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. See the full line here.

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 upright vacuum review

SHARK APEX DUOCLEAN LIFT-AWAY | The Shark DuoClean series gets a little wordy, but again, any of these fancy Shark names can be broken down. This particular model has the DuoClean dual brushes (for large debris or stuck-on dirt), Lift-Away canister for portable use, and the advanced features that come with the APEX name.

So what exactly is APEX?

Shark APEX vacuums are vacuum models that include a combination of advanced features and a  redesigned body style. 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:

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. See full DuoClean line here.

If you’re familiar with Shark, then you’ve probably heard of Dyson also. Both Shark and Dyson have a large selection of upright vacuums, but there are definitely notable differences between the two. Discover how Shark compares to Dyson in our deep dive Shark vs. Dyson guide or see our detailed guide on Dyson vacuums here.

Shark Handheld Reviews

Handheld vacuums are lightweight and portable, and offer an assortment of convenient features and handy attachments.

Shark offers only two models that are exclusively handheld vacuum options.

If you’re looking for additional handhelds, be sure to consider the 2-in-1 stick vacuum models listed above.

Shark pet perfect 2 handheld vacuum

Shark Pet Perfect II handheld vacuum

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 handheld vacuum

SHARK ROCKET CORDED | The Rocket corded hand vacuum is about twice the price of the cordless Pet Perfect II, 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 Robot Vacuums

Shark robot vacuums are fairly new to hit the market, having just launched in fall 2017.

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.

Shark ION Robot 750 robot vacuum

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 (see our Shark ION vs. Roomba comparison for more info). 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 vacuum review

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 vacuum review

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 700 robot vacuum

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 widely available online.

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.

What’s the best Shark vacuum for me?

Shark has a seemingly endless supply of different models, sub-models, and specialty collections on the market.

What's the best shark vacuum for me?

Some are more popular than others, as you can tell from the number of consumer reviews floating around the web, but it can still difficult to know which model will work best for your family and lifestyle.

Instead of randomly selecting a vacuum off-the-cuff, or blindly selecting a model that other people like, it is a good course of practice to think about the ways you will use the vacuum, identify features that are important to you, and narrow down their collection until you find the perfect fit.

Here’s a couple questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to nail down your perfect Shark vacuum.

What is your budget?

A Shark vacuum can cost you anywhere from budget to more moderate prices, depending on the style, power, and capacity that you’re needing. But compared to the top-tier Dyson, Shark is a much more budget-friendly option.

For a Shark vacuum within the low price $ tier, you can get a portable handheld like the Shark Cordless Pet Perfect II, a lightweight stick vacuum like the Shark Floor and Carpet Sweeper, or even what some may consider to be a compact upright—the Shark Navigator Freestyle.

For a more powerful Shark vacuum within the $$ tier, you could consider the Shark Rotator Pro upright or the Shark DuoClean Rocket if you’re looking for a stick vacuum.

For the top-of-the-line Shark vacuums, ranging within the high-price $$$ tier, you can look at the Shark APEX DuoClean Lift-Away upright, the Shark ION 750 robot vacuum, or the Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean stick vacuum.

What features are you looking for?

There are many Shark features than combine to create unique vacuums, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

For vacuums that easily adapt to different spaces, check out the Shark line-up of cordless stick vacuums with DuoClean.

For powerful vacuums with on-board accessories and a portable canister, check out the Shark line-up of upright vacuums with Lift-Away.

For tech-savvy vacuums that  do the job for you, check out the current line of Shark robot vacuums.

So many ways to clean your home with a Shark vacuum. Still not sure which one to choose? If you have any questions or need help with your selection, contact us directly and we’d be happy to make a recommendation, based on your needs!

Last Updated - November 1, 2018

The following logs all major updates and changes made to this page.

  • 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.

4 Comments

  1. I need one to clean church. Under the pews are hardwood floors. The dining room is carpet. Steps are carpet.

    Reply
    • The Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean is probably going to be your best pet.

      See here – https://amzn.to/2Tx66ce

      With this model you get 2 batteries, which I expect will be helpful, since it sounds like you’ll have a lot of square footage to get through in your church.

      The IONFlex model can literally bend and flex at the mid-joint, allowing you to clean under the pews and other furniture incredibly easy. It’s intuitive and simple to use.

      Lastly, because it is cordless this will allow you to more easily clean steps as well.

      Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

  2. What is best for Mohawk SmartStrand soft carpet

    Reply
    • I would suggest you ask Mohawk for specific cleaning instructions.

      However, based on their information page online, I don’t see anything that indicates it’s overly delicate or requires special treatment.

      Any upright or stick vacuum would do well.

      If you’re on a tighter budget, go with the Shark Rotator Pro, see here – https://amzn.to/2yE4Qeu. It’s one of the best value uprights on the market today.

      If you have a little more money to spend I would suggest going with the IONFlex DuoClean, see here – https://amzn.to/2Srtmrv. It offers incredible performance and convinience through the cordless stick (and flex) design.

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Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

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, son, and poodle, Tibbers.