Shark vacuum cleaners have become an extremely popular choice for homeowners looking for powerful suction at an affordable price. As one of the fastest-growing vacuum brands, Shark offers a wide range of innovative and high-performing vacuums to meet every cleaning need.
This comprehensive Shark vacuum review covers everything you need to know about the brand’s most popular models. We’ll compare Shark vacuum features, prices, pros and cons, and examine how they stack up against competitors. Read on for an in-depth look at whether Shark’s affordable vacuums can really deliver robust suction power.
An Overview of Shark Vacuums
Founded in 1998, SharkNinja operates as a subsidiary of Euro-Pro Operating LLC. Their lightweight Shark vacuums first hit the market in 2002 and have since exploded in popularity for offering an ideal balance of quality and value.
Shark vacuums come in upright, canister, stick, and handheld varieties with a range of features. Their most popular technologies include:
- Powerful suction: Shark vacuums are designed with strong suction power to deep clean carpets and lift debris from hard floors. Many models use cyclonic technology and Anti-Allergen Complete Seal systems.
- Innovative brush rolls: Shark’s specialized brush rolls are designed to avoid tangled hair, clean edges, and not scatter debris. DuoClean rollers optimize cleaning on carpets and hard floors.
- Lightweight designs: Shark vacuums weigh less than competing models, with swivel steering to easily maneuver around furniture. Cordless stick vacuums provide portability.
- Filtration systems: Washable filters and Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology limit dust and allergens escaping back into the air. Some models use HEPA filters.
- Versatile attachments: A variety of brushes, crevice tools, pet multi-tools, and powered brush attachments tackle any cleaning job.
- Affordable pricing: Shark vacuums cost significantly less than Dyson and other high-end brands while still delivering robust suction power.
Below we provide a detailed comparison of Shark’s top vacuum models so you can determine which is right for your home.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (NV352)
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is one of Shark’s best-selling upright vacuums and is an excellent choice for whole-home deep cleaning. Key features include:
Powerful suction: With 1200 watts of power, this upright vacuum provides constant strong suction across carpets and hard floors. The Lift-Away feature lets you detach the canister for portable cleaning.
Multi-floor cleaning: The DuoClean brush roll has a soft roller for hard floors and bristle brush for carpets. An adjustable hard floor brush further optimizes pickup.
Large capacity: A 1.2-quart dust cup capacity means fewer trips to the garbage. The HEPA filter traps over 99% of dust and allergens.
Swivel steering: Smooth maneuverability around furniture with the vacuum head’s swivel motion and 8.4 pound weight.
Affordable price: At around $170, the NV352 costs significantly less than comparable upright vacuums yet still delivers robust suction and convenient features.
The Lift-Away delivers powerful whole-home cleaning for an affordable price point. Easy swivel steering and a generous 30-foot cord make covering large rooms efficient. While mostly plastic, it feels fairly durable and streamlined. Downsides are noise level and lack of headlights.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 Pros:
- Strong suction power lifts embedded dirt
- Adjustable hard floor brush cleans bare floors
- Lift-Away canister detaches for portable cleaning
- Large dust cup capacity
- 30-foot power cord
Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 Cons:
- Noisy operation
- No headlights to see under furniture
- Mainly plastic construction
- Canister detaches but hose is short
Overall, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is our top pick as a budget-friendly upright vacuum with strong suction and convenient lift-away canister. Excellent for whole home deep cleaning on both carpets and hard floors.
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (NV501)
With even greater power and features than the Navigator Lift-Away, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 is a premium upright vacuum option. Key details include:
Powerful lift-away: This upright vacuum operates at an impressive 1332 watts with super-strong suction. The lift-away canister detaches for portable cleaning.
Advanced swivel steering: The vacuum head and handle provide highly maneuverable 180° swivel steering around and under furniture. Weighs just 15.5 pounds.
Superior filtration: A sealed HEPA filter traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum. The Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology also prevents air leaks.
LED headlights: Bright headlights illuminate dark corners and under furniture to ensure you don’t miss dirt and dust.
Useful accessories: Comes with a crevice tool, dusting brush, straight suction nozzle, and pet multi-tool attachment.
At around $220, the NV501 costs more than the Navigator but delivers extra power plus convenient features. Extremely maneuverable and designed for allergy sufferers. The plastic wand feels a bit flimsy but overall a great upright vacuum.
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 Pros:
- Powerful high-suction cleaning
- Advanced maneuverability and LED lights
- HEPA filter with Anti-Allergen Complete Seal
- Useful accessory tools included
- Lift-away canister for portable cleaning
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 Cons:
- Wand and accessories feel lightweight
- Noisy high-pitched operation
- Canister cord short when detached
- Dust cup could be larger
The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 is our top upright vacuum pick for superior suction power plus maneuverable cleaning around the home. Excellent for allergy sufferers but lacks some premium features.
Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean and Zero-M (AZ1002)
As Shark’s newest and most advanced upright vacuum model, the APEX AZ1002 packs in the most innovative features. Details include:
Ultra-powerful suction: With an incredible 1800 watts of power, this upright vacuum delivers ultra-strong constant suction across all surfaces.
Self-cleaning brushroll: The Zero-M brushroll actively removes hair wrap and debris for nonstop cleaning. No more manually cutting out tangled hair!
DuoClean technology: A unique double brushroll system with a soft roller and bristle brush provides optimal cleaning on carpets and hard floors.
Advanced filtration: A complete sealed HEPA system traps dust and allergens. The Anti-Allergen Complete Seal eliminates air leaks.
Intelligent controls: Easy-access controls on the handle let you switch between carpets, floors, and attachments as needed.
Priced around $430, the APEX AZ1002 is Shark’s most expensive upright vacuum. The splurge gets you the brand’s latest technology for effortless and ultra-powerful cleaning. Minor downsides are a rear-heavy body and noisy operation.
Shark APEX Upright Vacuum AZ1002 Pros:
- Extreme suction power at 1800 watts
- Self-cleaning brushroll removes tangled hair
- Optimized cleaning with DuoClean
- Advanced HEPA and Anti-Allergen filtration
- Convenient handle controls
Shark APEX Upright Vacuum AZ1002 Cons:
- Expensive price point
- Rear-heavy and tricky maneuvers
- Loud operation
- Dust cup could be larger
With incredible constant suction power plus innovative self-cleaning technology, the Shark APEX AZ1002 is the ultimate upright vacuum. The high price tag nets you the convenience of zero maintenance.
Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum (IZ163H)
Shark’s Rocket stick vacuums are ultra-lightweight and cordless for convenient cleaning. The Pet Pro IZ163H model packs robust suction in a portable design made for homes with pets. Key features:
Powerful cordless operation: Despite the slim design, this vacuum generates strong suction for quick pickups and deep cleaning. Runs up to 40 minutes per charge.
Multi-floor versatility: DuoClean technology with a soft roller and stiff bristle brush adapt suction for carpets and hard floors.
Specialized pet tools: The motorized pet brush and upholstery tools remove embedded pet hair from furniture, stairs, and cars.
Advanced filtration: A complete sealed HEPA system traps dust and allergens inside. No particles escaping back into the air.
Flexible wand: The wand bends to cleaning at multiple angles and folds for compact storage. Weighs just 8.7 pounds.
At $260, the Pet Pro IZ163H is moderately priced for a stick vacuum and designed specifically for pet owners. Extremely portable and does an amazing job removing pet hair. Lacks some premium features like headlights.
Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick IZ163H Pros:
- Powerful cordless cleaning for up to 40 minutes
- Versatile for floors and pet hair removal
- Advanced HEPA filtration system
- Lightweight and portable
- Good for apartment living
Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick IZ163H Cons:
- No LED headlights
- Small dust canister
- Charging time is slow
- Can’t stand up by itself
Overall, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro IZ163H is the ideal stick vacuum for quickly cleaning up pet messes and removing pet hair from your home and car. The portable and bagless design provides convenience and power.
Shark Vertex UltraLight Upright Vacuum IZ201
One of the lightest full-size upright vacuums around, the Shark Vertex IZ201 couples power with easy maneuverability. Key features include:
Ultra-light design: At just 9.5 pounds, this upright vacuum is easy to push and carry up stairs. The swivel head provides effortless steering.
Powerful suction: A multi-cyclonic system generates nonstop suction power for deep cleaning carpets and bare floors.
Extra-large dust cup: A huge 1.5 quart dust cup means you empty it less frequently. The washable HEPA filters capture dust and allergens.
Versatile cleaning: The DuoClean brushroll and soft roller optimize pickup across different surfaces. Several attachments tackle varied cleaning tasks.
Handheld option: The wand and pod detach for convenient above floor cleaning of furniture, stairs, ceilings, and cars.
At $300, the Vertex doesn’t come cheap but delivers both convenience and robust suction power. Extremely lightweight and easy to maneuver all over your home. Lacks some opulent features like self-cleaning technology and wi-fi connectivity.
Shark Vertex UltraLight Upright Vacuum IZ201 Pros:
- Exceptionally lightweight body at just 9.5 pounds
- Powerful cyclonic suction system
- Extra-large 1.5 quart dust cup
- HEPA filter captures dust and allergens
- Versatile cleaning with attachments
Shark Vertex UltraLight Upright Vacuum IZ201 Cons:
- Expensive price point
- No self-cleaning brushroll
- No LED headlights
- Wand seems flimsy
Thanks to its ultra-lightweight body and robust suction capabilities, the Shark Vertex IZ201 makes quick work of whole home cleanings. Excellent power and maneuverability at a premium price.
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner (WV201)
Beyond vacuums, Shark also makes specialized cleaning devices like the VacMop Pro WV201 for hard floor scrubbing. Notable features include:
Powerful cordless convenience: Enjoy up to 22 minutes of cordless runtime from a single charge. The motor generates suction to lift dirty water.
Scrubbing pads: Dual microfiber and textured scrubbing pads loosen and lift dried spills, dirt and grime from tile, vinyl, and sealed hardwood.
Easy scrubbing: Scrub dirty floors by pushing forward and backward. No need to sweep or mop beforehand.
Large tank capacity: The clean water tank holds 0.8 quarts of water and solution. The dirty tank holds 0.7 quarts for fewer trips to the sink.
Lightweight design: Weighing just 4 pounds, it’s easy to maneuver this hard floor cleaner all over without excessive pushing or pulling.
At $130, the VacMop Pro WV201 delivers quick and convenient scrubbing of hard floors without the hassle of a traditional mop. The cordless convenience makes cleaning efficient. Has some limitations for deeper scrubbing jobs.
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner WV201 Pros:
- Fast cordless scrubbing for up to 22 minutes
- Large clean and dirty water tanks
- Easy push/pull scrubbing motion
- Great for small messes and daily cleaning
- Scrub pads included
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner WV201 Cons:
- Not as effective for deep scrubbing
- Smallish scrubbing head
- Can’t stand up by itself
- Pusher needs downward pressure
The Shark VacMop Pro WV201 makes quick work of everyday hard floor scrubbing. Just charge up and push forward for easy, cordless convenience cleaning floors without a mop.
How Shark Vacuums Compare to Popular Brands
Evaluating how Shark vacuums stack up against competing brands can further help assess their value proposition. Here we compare Shark models to equivalent options from Dyson, Bissell, Hoover, and iRobot.
Shark vs. Dyson
British brand Dyson pioneered cyclonic vacuums and continues to be a popular high-end choice. However, Shark vacuums now offer comparable power and features for a more affordable price point.
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- Suction power – Shark and Dyson both offer strong constant suction with advanced filtration to trap dust. Top-tier Shark models equal Dyson’s suction capabilities.
- Design – Dyson has more premium materials like metal wands and titanium heads. Shark uses more plastic. But Shark models are typically lighter.
- Features – Top Sharks and Dysons offer similar capabilities: DuoClean, self-cleaning heads, swivel steering, HEPA filters, etc. Dyson’s laser headlights provide better visibility.
- Price – Shark vacuums cost 50-100% less than comparable Dyson models. You get great value without the premium price tag.
Overall, Shark delivers nearly equivalent power and functionality as Dyson, so most buyers find the more affordable Shark provides a better bang for your buck.
Shark vs. Bissell
Bissell is another popular vacuum brand sold at budget-friendly prices. How does Shark compare?
- Suction power – Bissell offers decent suction capabilities but most models can’t match the constant powerful suction of Shark vacuums.
- Features – Shark includes more advanced features like DuoClean, cyclonic suction, self-cleaning brush rolls, and HEPA filters. Bissell has simpler options.
- Design – Shark and Bissell vacuums have similar plastic construction. Shark’s swivel steering provides better maneuverability.
- Price – Bissell is slightly cheaper than Shark but lacks the extra suction power and features you get with Shark.
For just a small price premium, Shark vacuums deliver noticeably stronger suction along with more advanced features than Bissell budget models. The power boost is worth the minor price hike.
Shark vs. Hoover
Hoover helped pioneer the vacuum industry over a century ago. But how have they kept up with newcomer Shark?
- Suction power – Hoover’s average suction capabilities lag compared to Shark’s constant powerful suction across all surfaces.
- Features – Shark offers more modern features and conveniences than Hoover like DuoClean, flexible wands, lift-away canisters, and self-cleaning brush rolls.
- Design – Shark vacuums have sleeker styling and easier swiveling and maneuvering than most Hoover models.
- Price – Shark and Hoover are comparably priced, but Shark delivers greater value with stronger suction and more features.
Shark vacuums surpass Hoover models with superior suction capabilities and more advanced features for enhanced cleaning performance. Shark is what Hoover needs to be in 2022.
Shark vs. iRobot
Known for robot vacuums, iRobot also makes upright and stick vacuums. How do they compare to Shark?
- Suction power – Shark wins for stronger constant suction across floors. iRobot models offer capable suction but not as powerful.
- Features – iRobot has intuitive controls and apps, but Shark offers more advanced cleaning features like DuoClean and cyclonic suction.
- Design – iRobot vacuums have sleek styling with premium touches. Shark goes for utility over opulence.
- Price – iRobot costs almost twice as much as Shark! You get greater value with Shark’s impressive performance for less.
While iRobot delivers capable vacuums with smart features, Shark vacuum cleaners surpass them for suction power at an extremely affordable price point.
Shark Vacuum Pros and Cons Summary
Shark Vacuum Pros:
- Powerful constant suction for deep cleaning
- Advanced features like DuoClean and Zero-M
- Innovative brushrolls remove hair and handle all floors
- Versatile cleaning with lift-away, stick, and upright designs
- Large dust cups reduce maintenance
- Swivel steering provides excellent maneuverability
- Helpful attachments like pet tools, LED lights
- Bagless models promote hygiene and convenience
- Ultra-light options easy to carry and push
- Excellent filters trap dust and allergens
- Affordable pricing compared to other brands
Shark Vacuum Cons:
- Mostly plastic construction lacking luxury feel
- Noise levels can be disruptive
- Short hoses when canisters detach
- Some models prone to tipping backwards
- Bulkier than slim Dyson models
- Charging can be slow on cordless models
- Not designed to stand upright when storing
- Lacks most cutting-edge smart home features
Bottom Line: Are Shark Vacuums Worth Buying?
Shark vacuums deserve their reputation for providing powerful suction capabilities at budget-friendly price points. Models like the Navigator Lift-Away, Rotator Professional, and Vertex deliver whole-home cleaning convenience with innovative features lacking in competing brands.
While Shark vacuums may not feel quite as premium or stylish as pricier Dyson models, you’ll enjoy major savings without sacrificing on suction performance. Shark vacuums offer tremendous value, making them an easy choice for budget-conscious buyers wanting robust cleaning power.
With the uptick in pet ownership in recent years, Shark’s specialized pet vacuum cleaners are also ideal for removing embedded pet hair and allergens from your floors and furniture. And their ultra-lightweight stick vacuums provide cordless convenience for quick cleanups.
We hope this guide makes it easy to find the perfect Shark vacuum cleaner that aligns with your cleaning needs and budget. Their combination of power, performance, and price establishes Shark as a leading vacuum brand that certainly warrants consideration for your home.