6 Best Shark Vacuum Models – 2022 Buying Guide

By Maria Hernandez / May 20, 2022 / 16 Comments

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We have spent the last few months testing and reviewing many Shark vacuums and are excited to reveal our top 6 picks for the best Shark vacuum models.

We hope our buying guide provides an honest review with useful analysis that is easy to understand and helps you make an informed decision. We think you will find our unique insights on cleaning performance, design, and value to be helpful.

Let’s get on to the best Shark vacuum reviews!

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002
  2. Best Budget: Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV Upright Vacuum LA322
  3. Best Cordless: Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum IZ462H
  4. Best for Hardwood Floors: Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum ICZ362H
  5. Best Robot: Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum RV2502AE
  6. Best Handheld: Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum WV201

Shark Vacuum Cleaner Buying Advice

Best Overall: Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002

If you are looking for a durable, powerful, and reliable vacuum that has off the charts suction power, look no further than the Shark Vertex.

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Cleaning Performance: 4.9
  • Design: 4.6
  • Value: 4.7


  • Type: Upright
  • Weight: 16.4 lbs.
  • Dustbin: 1.00 qts.
  • Cord Length: 30 ft.
  • Cleaning Path Width: 12 in.
  • User Manual
  • Warranty: 5 years VIP
Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002
Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002

Cleaning Performance Pros

  • Insane suction (104″) and airflow at the hose (105 cfm). Highest of any Shark corded vacuum we have ever tested.
  • The best anti hair tangle ability we have seen in any vacuum we have tested. We did not find a single hair on the rollers. We tested medium (5″) and long (15″) pet and human hair. The new Power Fin brush rolls seem to help the roller resist tangles. It is the best Shark vacuum for pet hair that we have tested.
  • Picked up all debris in crevices on the first forward pass which is very rare as many vacuums can’t pick up after multiple passes.
  • Do not need to use hose attachment to pick up large debris (Fruit Loops cereal). The vacuum easily picked up this debris without pushing it around.
  • Great for homes that have floors that collect a lot of dust. The DuoClean system of two brush rolls is very effective at picking up dust. The front roller has two different materials, a blue part that is very soft and a black part that has more texture.
  • Handled sand and sugar on low and high pile carpet with ease (it picked up nearly 100% in our testing).

Cleaning Performance Cons

  • The vacuum sucks so hard sometimes that it is hard to move on carpet (but you can adjust the suction level as needed).
  • Will suck on rug edges or dog beds if the suction setting is not lowered.

Design Pros

  • Takes less than 3 mins to set up. Firm connections to ensure a solid click lock in place.
  • Anti Allergen Complete Seal HEPA filtration collects all dust particles and traps them vs. blowing them back out. This is one of the most important features to look for. Even after several uses, the back side of the filter was clean which confirmed the allergens were trapped.
  • The two rollers are very heavy duty and can take a beating. We saw very limited fiber degradation even after multiple uses on the front roller.
  • 30 ft. power cord and 5.5 ft. hose (provides enough mobility and is a pretty standard feature across the other vacuums we tested). But note that there is not an auto rewind cord feature.
  • One of our favorite features was that the handle can plug right into the vacuum head so if you need to clean anything with a short handle (i.e. without the wand), like stairs, this is extremely helpful.
  • After nearly a year of use, the power cord still looked relatively new and did not wear.
  • Power Lift Away (can lift-away the pod to get under furniture or be used as a handheld for above floor cleaning)
  • Large dustbin of 1 qts.

Design Cons

  • Need to regularly clean behind the soft rollers on the front or after a few weeks of use the vacuum will shut off until debris gets removed.
  • We found the power cord to get warm probably due to the very high suction levels of the vacuum. While we don’t think this is a safety issue, Shark should investigate this. We did not find this issue on other brands like the Dyson.
  • Heavy (16.4 lbs.) and fairly loud (78 db.).
  • The roller wheels on the bottom of the vacuum head wear out quickly. We hope future models make them of higher quality. We also did not like that you cannot buy replacement roller wheels from Shark.
  • The hood of the vacuum base does not come off. We had hoped there was a way to open the base as things can get stuck in there and cause the roller to get stuck.
  • Over time the PowerFins will wear down. When we compared a new vacuum to one that was used several times, the fins were indeed smaller. This could impact the anti hair tangle ability of the vacuum.
  • The canister clip that clips it to the base is weak. When the handle is lifted, it puts a lot of weight on the small clip. We hope this is improved in future models
  • We read of a couple reports that the pins that connect the handle to the wand can break if pushed too hard which can make the vacuum inoperable.


  • The Shark Vertex is priced on the high end of Shark’s model lineup. However, Shark will occasionally offer one-time discounts on their website that can make the price much lower.


  • If you decide to wash the dustbin canister, ensure that you get it dry quickly and thoroughly as the filter in the middle is made of stainless steel which could rust if wet.
  • On-going costs with this vacuum will come from replacing the primary HEPA filter and the secondary filter pads. You can wash and reuse the filters, but after some time, we recommend new filters are purchased.
  • You can buy aftermarket brands to save some money, but doing so will void the warranty.


  • The Shark Vertex comes with a VIP 5 year warranty which has more features than the standard warranty. If the Vertex fails for any reason, Shark will replace or fix it at no costs and also cover shipping both ways.
  • 90 day money back guarantee.

Versus Prior Models

We feel the Shark Vertex AZ2002 is worth the upgrade from the prior Shark APEX line.

Advantages vs. the Shark APEX
  • Lighter: 16.4 lbs. vs 17.1 lbs.
  • Larger dustbin (0.12 quart larger).
  • Wider cleaning path width (12″ vs. 11″).
  • More power: suction of 104″ vs. 101″ and airflow at the hose of 105 cfm vs. 90 cfm.
  • No hair on roller with the Vertex: 0% hair left vs. ~15% for the APEX in our testing.
  • Power cord is tougher and more durable.
  • Roller wheels break much less often than the APEX.
  • Can be cheaper when on sale.
Disadvantages vs. the Shark APEX
  • A little louder than the APEX (78 db. vs. 76 db.).
  • No light on the handle.
  • Have to clean the rollers more often .
  • Hose pushes back when pulled (but is more durable in construction).

Versus Competing Brands

Below are two alternative brands that you can consider.

Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • We found the Shark to be better at picking up debris on hard floors and carpet.
  • The Shark is much cheaper and lighter.
  • The Dyson has a 1.5″ wider cleaning width, but we feel that does not make a large impact.
  • Shark offers three different suctions levels while you cannot change the setting on the Dyson.
Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly
  • Does not pick up large debris and sand as well as the Shark.
  • Almost 5 lbs. heavier than the Shark.
  • 4 ft. longer power cord.
  • Cheaper.
  • No suction control.

Best Budget: Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV Upright Vacuum LA322

One of the best Shark upright vacuums for the money.

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Cleaning Performance: 4.5
  • Design: 4.8
  • Value: 4.9


  • Type: Upright
  • Weight: 12.3 lbs.
  • Dustbin: 0.89 qts.
  • Cord Length: 25 ft.
  • Cleaning Path Width: 9.5 in.
  • User Manual
  • Warranty: 5 years
Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV Upright Vacuum LA322
Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV Upright Vacuum LA322

Cleaning Performance Pros

  • Extremely rare to have HEPA filtration for a vacuum in the budget category (typically need to spend 2-3x more).
  • Much more powerful suction (84″) and airflow (76 cfm) than other vacuums in its price range (avg. suction of competitors we tested was ~70″).
  • Great at carpet deep cleaning of sand and other fine debris due to its suction power and the stiff bristles on the brushroll.

Cleaning Performance Cons

  • Does not have Shark’s new anti hair wrap technology so did poorly on our tests with many hairs stuck on the brushroll.
  • The crevice pickup ability was average. We found it did better with brush roll off than on.
  • Had a harder time with large debris like Fruit Loops. The vacuum was not able to pick it all up on both hard floor and carpet. However, the wand is very easy to detach and use to get this larger debris so we didn’t find it to be a big deal.

Design Pros

  • Light vacuum (12.4 lbs.). 4 lbs. lighter than our best overall pick, the Shark Vertex.
  • Handling is much better than competition. Like most Shark vacuums, we loved the swivel head.
  • Has a switch to turn off the brushroll on a hard floor so debris doesn’t scatter. This is a feature not usually found on a budget vacuum.
  • Versatile – lift-away mode is helpful for above floor cleaning and the wand is very easy to use.
  • Dustbin canister is well designed and easy to clean and empty.

Design Cons

  • Average noise level at about 77 db.
  • Putting the lift-away pod back on was not as easy as expected. We had to tilt it forward to get it in the exact right spot before it clicked in.


  • The Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV is the lowest priced Shark in their lineup and we feel it is extremely good value.


  • Hand wash with water only as cleaning chemicals could damage the unit.
  • Do not pick up liquids or sharp objects.
  • Rinse the motor filters every month.
  • Rinse the HEPA filter at least every year. Use cold water and allow it to air dry 24 hours.
  • On-going costs with this vacuum will come from replacing the primary HEPA filter and the secondary filter pads.
  • You can buy aftermarket brands to save some money, but doing so will void the warranty.


  • The Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV comes with a standard 5 year warranty.
  • 60 day money back guarantee.

Versus Prior Models

The Shark LA322 is an upgraded vacuum to the Shark NV352 that came out over 10 years ago (2010) and is still one of the best selling vacuums on the market.

Both vacuums perform very similarly. We give the slight nod to the Shark LA322 only because it is over 10 years newer in terms of technology.

Advantages vs. the Shark NV352
  • Has felt strip on the bottom of the head which gives it a better seal on hard floors and allows for the brush roll to be on on hard floors.
  • Slightly better on hard floors due to the felt strip (especially on large debris like Fruit Loops).
  • Easier to move and better swivel mechanism.
  • Longer wand on new model.
  • Foot pedal vs. button to release the lift-away pod.
  • Has LED lights on the front head.
Disadvantages vs. the Shark NV352
  • Less suction (84″ vs. 89″) and less airflow at hose (76 cfm vs. 87 cfm). However, the cleaning performance was just as good so the new design upgrades make the Shark LA322 more efficient.
  • Smaller dustbin (0.89 qt. vs. 1.39 qt.)
  • NV352 is cheaper (by $20 at the time of this review)

Versus Competing Brands

Below are two alternative brands that you can consider.

Kenmore BU4022 Intuition Bagged Upright Vacuum
  • Slightly heavier (13.9 lbs. vs. 12.4 lbs.).
  • Slightly lower suction (80″ vs. 84″), but higher airflow at the hose (87 cfm vs. 76 cfm). Which gives it a little better pickup ability especially for crevice pickup.
  • Picks up larger debris like Fruit Loops better on carpet.
  • Longer cord (30 ft. vs. 25 ft.)
  • Slightly cheaper than the Shark.
  • Great overall budget, bagged vacuum.
Hoover Total Home Pet MaxLife Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner, UH74110
  • Does not pick up large debris and sand as well as the Shark.
  • Heavier at 17.1 lbs.
  • Larger cleaning path width (13.5″ vs. 9.5″).
  • 4 height settings (vs. none on the Shark).
  • Longer hose length (10 ft. vs. 6 ft.)
  • Many complaints of the belt breaking.
  • No auto retract on the power cord.
  • Bagless.

Best Cordless: Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum IZ462H

If you are looking for a durable, powerful, and reliable vacuum that has off the charts suction power, look no further than the Shark Vertex IZ462H.

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Cleaning Performance: 4.7
  • Design: 4.7
  • Value: 4.5


  • Type: Cordless
  • Weight: 9.0 lbs.
  • Dustbin: 0.34 qts.
  • Runtime: 60 min.
  • Cleaning Path Width: 10.6 in.
  • User Manual
  • Warranty: 5 years
Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum IZ462H
Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum IZ462H

Cleaning Performance Pros

  • Includes both DuoClean and Anti-Hair Wrap technologies (first time both have been included in a Shark cordless vacuum).
  • Best cordless vacuum we have tested for resisting hair tangles (did not final a single hair caught on the roller).
  • Great suction (64″).
  • Airflow of 34 cfm.
  • Able to pick up large and fine debris in low power mode at the same level of high power due to the PowerFins technology on the brushroll.
  • HEPA filters traps in all allergens. Many higher end vacuums leak allergens into the air, but the Shark does a terrific job capturing them.

Cleaning Performance Cons

  • Below average in our edge cleaning test. Visible debris was left near the baseboards.
  • Soft brush roller needs to be cleaned regularly or the vacuum could stall or affect pickup ability.
  • PowerFins will wear after a year of use so the roller will need to be replaced eventually.

Design Pros

  • Removable and replaceable battery with a charge level indicator. The battery with the head on lasted 34 mins on standard power (more than any other Shark cordless vacuum we have tested). It will take about three hours to get a full charge.
  • Multiflex wand makes it easy to get under furniture and also makes storage efficient.
  • Felt very sturdy in the hand. Easy to maneuver.
  • We loved that there was no plastic used in any of the packing material from Shark.

Design Cons

  • A bit harder to push on carpet due to the power suction of the vacuum.
  • Accessories included are ok. We expected more for the higher priced vacuum.
  • Dustbin release button location could be improved. It is easily mistaken for the multiflex wand button.
  • Heavier than other cordless premium vacuums.


  • The Shark Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless is fairly expensive, but when compared to a competitor like the Dyson V11, it is about half the cost.
  • On-going costs with this vacuum will come from replacing the primary HEPA filter and the two secondary filter pads. You can also buy an extra battery.
  • You can buy aftermarket brands to save some money, but doing so will void the warranty.


  • Do not use cleaning chemicals or soap to clean as it could damage the unit.
  • Do not pick up liquids or sharp objects.
  • Clean the pre-motor filters every month.
  • Clean the post-motor HEPA filter at least every year. Use cold water and allow it to air dry 24 hours.


  • The Shark IZ462H comes with a standard 5 year warranty.
  • 60 day money back guarantee.

Versus Prior Models

We feel the Shark IZ462H Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless is worth the upgrade from the prior Shark Rocket Pet Plus line.

Advantages vs. the Shark Rocket Pet Plus
  • More suction (64″ vs. 49″) and airflow (34 cfm vs. 33 cfm).
  • Better battery life with the vacuum head connected (34 mins vs. 26 mins).
  • Quieter (70 db. vs. 74 db.) in low power mode.
  • Better at picking up pet hair.
  • Filtration of the filters was superior on the Vertex.
Disadvantages vs. the Shark Rocket Pet Plus
  • Slightly more expensive.
  • Better at picking up small debris.

Versus Competing Brands

Below are two alternative brands that you can consider.

Dyson V11 Torque
  • Lighter than the Shark (6.7 lbs. vs. 9.0 lbs.).
  • Quieter on lower power mode (64 db. vs. 70 db.)
  • Left more debris behind on carpet vs. the Shark.
  • Dyson is more than 2x the cost.
  • Shark has significantly less hair tangle.
LG CordZero A9, A907GMS
  • Comes with two batteries, but runtime total runtime is similar to the Shark.
  • Much quieter on low power mode (63 db. vs. 70 db.)
  • Cleaning performance does not match that of the Shark especially on carpet.
  • Smaller dustbin (0.35 L vs. 0.80 L).
  • Lighter (6.1 lbs. vs. 9.0 lbs.).
  • No headlights on the LG.

Best for Hardwood Floors: Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum ICZ362H

A very well designed cordfree vacuum that scores high on cleaning performance.

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Cleaning Performance: 4.8
  • Design: 4.7
  • Value: 4.5


  • Type: Cordless
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs.
  • Dustbin: 1.32 qts.
  • Runtime: 60 mins
  • Cleaning Path Width: 10 in.
  • User Manual
  • Warranty: 5 years
Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum ICZ362H
Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum ICZ362H

Cleaning Performance Pros

  • Highest suction we have seen in our tests for a cordless vacuum (115″).
  • Has the new DuoClean dual brush and anti-hair tangle technology which we love.
  • Handle large debris without need to use the attachment.
  • Picked up nearly all the sand in our high pile carpet test.

Cleaning Performance Cons

  • Airflow at the hose was 30 cfm. While not bad it was lower than the cheaper non Pro model of the Shark Vertex.
  • Need to be careful near rugs as roller do not turn off and can suck in the rug.
  • Like other DuoClean models, you will need to clean behind the front roller often to prevent the vacuum from stalling.

Design Pros

  • Unlike many stick vacuums, the Vertex Pro has most of its weight near the base of the vacuum so it is much easier on your hands.
  • A new feature we like is the real-time digital battery display. However, the percentage it decreases by is in increments of 10.
  • Battery life of 60 minutes on low suction mode which is much higher than other cordless Shark vacuums.
  • Great maneuverability and the lift-away features allows easy access to clean under furniture.

Design Cons

  • Very heavy for a cordless vacuum at 12.4 lbs.
  • Shark recommends you clean filters monthly.
  • The roller wheel near the brushrolls collect dust and need to be cleaned frequently to prevent scratches on hard floors.
  • Can’t open the top of the main vacuum head to clean or remove debris.
  • We found the vacuum to be loud.
  • Cannot buy a spare battery which can be an issue if you have a larger home and are using the higher power settings.


  • The Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum is expensive, but when compared to a competitor like the Dyson V15, it is about half the cost.
  • On-going costs with this vacuum will come from replacing the primary HEPA filter and the two secondary filter pads.
  • You can buy aftermarket brands to save some money, but doing so will void the warranty.


  • Do not use cleaning chemicals or soap to clean as it could damage the unit.
  • Do not pick up liquids or sharp objects.
  • Clean the pre-motor filters every month.
  • Clean the post-motor HEPA filter at least every year. Use cold water and allow it to air dry 24 hours.


  • The Shark ICZ362H comes with a standard 5 year warranty.
  • 90 day money back guarantee.

Versus Prior Models

We feel the Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum is an improvement from the older Shark ION P50 line..

Advantages vs. the Shark ION P50
  • Larger dustbin (0.16 gal. vs. 0.21 gal.)
  • LED display on the handle.
  • Better cleaning performance on hard floor and carpet.
Disadvantages vs. the Shark ION P50
  • The P50 is a proven workhorse that lasts a long time. We don’t have enough multi-year testing on the Vertex Pro yet.
  • Battery time on max mode is about half that of the P50.

Versus Competing Brands

Below are two alternative brands that you can consider.

Dyson V15
  • Slightly lower suction on the Dyson (112″ vs. 115″).
  • The Dyson is way more expensive.
  • Much lighter and portable (4.9 lbs. vs. 12.4 lbs.)
  • Has a green laser vs. LED lights which make spotting dust easier.
  • Much better readout on the LCD screen in terms of performance specs.
  • Dyson auto adjusts suction based on dirt levels and floor type.
Roborock H7
  • Much greater suction on the Shark and therefore cleans better in crevices.
  • Better build quality on the Shark.
  • Much lighter than the Shark (3.2 lbs. vs. 12.4 lbs.).
  • Shark handles large debris much better (similar performance on carpet).

Best Robot: Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum RV2502AE

A reliable Lidar based robot vacuum that provides very good value.

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

  • Cleaning Performance: 4.5
  • Design: 4.5
  • Value: 4.8


  • Type: Robot
  • Weight: 20.9 lbs.
  • Dustbin: Holds 60 days of dirt
  • Runtime: NA
  • Cleaning Path Width: 5.67 in.
  • User Manual
  • Warranty: 3 years VIP
Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum RV2502AE
Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum RV2502AE

Cleaning Performance Pros

  • Airflow of 19 CFM.
  • Wonderful performance on carpet especially picking up sand.
  • Performance on hard floors was in line with competitors. Was able to pick up large and small debris.

Cleaning Performance Cons

  • When we tested the robot vacuum over jelly beans they got stuck in the bar and the sound was awful. We have not seen this happen in other robot vacuums we have tested.
  • Picked up most of the debris on hard floors, however, there was still some Fruity Pebbles and jelly beans that did not get picked up in our test.
  • The main cleaning brush is not tangle free. You will need to clean it regularly to get the longer hair off.
  • It will not avoid objects that are too low for the lidar to detect.

Design Pros

  • First vacuum from Shark that uses a top mounted Lidar navigation system which is a spinning invisible laser. It provided nearly 100% of coverage in all types of rooms we tested. Almost all other Shark robot vacuums used VSLAM which was a top mounted camera.
  • With the Lidar technology, you have the ability to create no-go zones on the app to prevent the robot from areas you do not want it to go.
  • The self-emptying feature works very well and removes all of the dirt except a few small particles of debris. It is also a bagless (HEPA) which is an important differentiating point vs. its competitors.
  • There is an app setting where you can have the robot vac go back to the base every 30 minutes to clean out the bin. This is a feature only Shark currently has.

Design Cons

  • The app does not show the exact position of the robot vacuum in the room to room mode on the app. We wish this was a feature so you would know what has been cleaned and what is left to be cleaned.
  • The mapping efficiency can be improved. It took two and a half runs for it to map our test rooms.
  • It can get stuck in spaces you would not expect it to. It is worth setting up no-go zones to avoid this.
  • 80 min battery life on low power is less than its competitors. There is a recharge and resume feature so the vacuum can go back to where it left off.


  • Great overall value and ROI. Also, there is no bag to replace as this Shark robot vac is bagless. There are many opportunities to catch this vacuum on sale.


  • Not much maintenance is needed. Simply need to empty the bin once its full and clean the brush roller if there are long hairs caught on it.


  • The Shark Vertex comes with a VIP 3 year warranty which has more features than the standard warranty. If the Vertex fails for any reason, Shark will replace or fix it at no costs and also cover shipping both ways.
  • 90 day money back guarantee.

Versus Prior Models

We feel the Shark RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum is worth the upgrade from the prior Shark IQ models such as the Shark IQ RV1000S.

Advantages vs. the Shark IQ RV1000S
  • Lidar navigation technology vs. the older VSLAM on the Shark IQ.
  • Ability to program no-go zones.
  • Cost is only slightly more than the Shark RV1000S.
Disadvantages vs. the Shark IQ RV1000S
  • Cleaning performance is only slightly better.

Versus Competing Brands

Below are two alternative brands that you can consider.

iRobot Roomba s9+
  • The iRobot has much better suction power.
  • The Shark costs almost half of the iRobot s9+ robot.
  • The app on the iRobot is flawless and an improvement over the Shark.
Wyze Robot Vacuum WVCR200S
  • The Wyze is much cheaper than the Shark.
  • The battery life on the Wyze (110 minutes) is higher than the Shark (80 mins).
  • The ability to customize cleaning programs and schedules is better on the Shark (both provide a no-go zone setting).
  • We found the cleaning performance to be slightly better on the Shark.

Best Handheld: Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum WV201

An ultra lightweight cordless vacuum that is perfect for small messes.

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Cleaning Performance: 4.7
  • Design: 4.8
  • Value: 4.8


  • Type: Handheld
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.
  • Dustbin: 0.08 qts.
  • Runtime: 10 min.
  • Cleaning Path Width: 3.6 in.
  • User Manual
  • Warranty: 2 years
Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum WV201
Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum WV201

Cleaning Performance Pros

  • Solid performance on carpet and hard floors. Picked up large and small pieces of debris with ease.
  • We used this in our car and it sucked up all different sizes of debris with ease. We particularly liked its performance with fine pieces of dirt.
  • Using the pet cleaning tool attached, the Shark WV201 did a good job picking up pet hair on the surface of the medium pile carpet we tested.

Cleaning Performance Cons

  • Not meant for large cleaning jobs as runtime on a full charge is only 10 minutes.
  • Not the best for deep cleaning carpets.

Design Pros

  • Very portable, weighs only 1.4 lbs. Many handhelds are in the 3-4 pounds range.
  • Long and narrow design (adding the crevice tool gives you another 5.5 inches of reach) makes it perfect for hard to reach places like behind furniture.
  • Only takes 2.5 hours to fully charge, which is shorter than any handheld we have tested.
  • All attachments fit in the charging dock so they do not get lost.
  • Dust canister can be emptied with a push of a button.

Design Cons

  • No motorized attachments that can be used for deep cleaning.


  • Excellent value. It would be even better if the runtime was longer than 10 minutes.


  • Easy to clean filter that you can rinse which saves you the cost of buying new filters frequently.


  • The Shark WANDVAC WV201 comes with a standard 2 year warranty.
  • 60 day money back guarantee.

Versus Prior Models

We feel the Shark WV201 is a great choice, but buyers may also want to consider the Shark WV401 which we also like.

Advantages vs. the Shark WV401
  • Takes 1 hour less to fully charge vs. the WV401.
  • Slightly cheaper.
Disadvantages vs. the Shark WV401
  • The WV401 has 35 minutes of runtime vs. 10 minutes on the WV201.
  • The WV401 has a deep cleaning mode.
  • The Shark WV201 does not have a detachable battery.

Versus Competing Brands

Below are two alternative brands that you can consider.

Bissell Pet Eraser
  • Costs almost half of what the Shark costs.
  • The Bissell is heavier at 3 lbs. vs. 1.4 lbs. for the Shark.
  • The Bissell has a foam filter vs. a HEPA on the Shark.
  • Offers a motorized brush.
Wyze Handheld Vacuum
  • Build quality on the Wyze feels a bit flimsy.
  • Slightly lighter (1.23 lbs. vs 1.4 lbs.)
  • The Shark has better range.
  • Runtime on the Wyze is much better (30 min. vs 10 min.)

Back to Top

Shark Vacuum Comparison Chart

ProductOur RatingTypeWeight
Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002
Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002
View on Shark –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Overall

Overall: 4.7
Cleaning: 4.9
Design: 4.6
Value: 4.7
Upright16.4 lbs.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV Upright Vacuum LA322
Shark Navigator Lift-Away ADV Upright Vacuum LA322
View on Shark –>
View on Amazon–>
Best Budget

Overall: 4.7
Cleaning: 4.5
Design: 4.8
Value: 4.9
Upright 12.3 lbs.
Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum IZ462H
Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum IZ462H
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Best Cordless

Overall: 4.6
Cleaning: 4.7
Design: 4.7
Value: 4.5
Cordless 9.0 lbs.
Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum ICZ362H
Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum ICZ362H
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Best for Hardwood Floors

Overall: 4.7
Cleaning: 4.8
Design: 4.7
Value: 4.5
Cordless 12.4 lbs.
Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum RV2502AE
Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum RV2502AE
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Best Robot

Overall: 4.6
Cleaning: 4.5
Design: 4.5
Value: 4.8
Robot 20.9 lbs.
Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum WV201
Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum WV201
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Best Handheld

Overall: 4.8
Cleaning: 4.7
Design: 4.8
Value: 4.8
Handheld1.4 lbs.

The Complete Shark Vacuum Buyer’s Guide

What Do Shark Model Codes Represent?

When searching for the best Shark vacuum, you’ll notice that each model has a different code. Each code represents the type of Shark vacuum. These codes are found at the beginning of the base number which can be found on the box, next to, or under the bar code. This model code can also be found on the rating label, which is on the back of your actual vacuum unit. The manual also clearly states the Shark model code. 

Some units have a letter after the base number. This is the model’s extension type, representing an elite range, the color, attachments, and other additional functions or features. The base number or unit represents the model’s series. 

Being aware of what Shark model codes represents ensures you purchase the right machine for your floor cleaning purposes. Some examples of model codes include the following: 

  • NV: Navigator
  • HV: Rocket
  • MV: Mop Vacuum and Steam
  • ZZ: Sonic Duo
  • WV: Wand vacuum
  • RV: Robot vacuum
  • S: Steamer
  • SC: Steam Canister (Handheld and portable)
  • SK: Steam and spray vacuum
  • UV: Upright vacuum
  • SV: Shop Vac – Wet and Dry
  • EP: Euro-Pro

When looking for the model code, they’ll look something like these examples – NV356, S3501, or SK460. The best Shark robot vacuum could have model code RV1001, while the best Shark cordless vacuum could be represented by WV201.

What Makes Shark Vacuums Standout?

DuoClean Technology

The Shark DuoClean vacuum uses advanced technology to incorporate two brushrolls for cleaning both carpet and hardwood floor. This allows for versatility and optimal cleaning with the dual brushroll system. It’s powerful enough to pick up most dirt, dust, and debris, including stubborn pet hair. 

The additional soft brushroll can handle particles of all sizes, from pet food to sand grains, and can even manage dirt that’s stuck to your floor. A bristle brush ensures all carpets have a deep clean and transitioning from hard flooring to carpeting is effortless.There’s no need to change nozzles when moving from a hardwood floor to a carpet, and vice versa. 


Flexology technology is another feature that makes Shark vacuums special. The best Shark stick vacuums include this feature, which basically refers to the flexibility of the wand. Instead of you having to do back-bending contortions to reach those hard-to-get to spots when cleaning, the wand becomes flexible. No more lifting low-lying furniture, as you can now clean effortlessly under beds, low sofas, and bookcases using the flexible wand. 

Shark’s Flexology technology also means you can store your vacuum in compact spaces. With the press of a button, the wand folds down, turning the vacuum into a compact unit for easy storage in smaller cupboards or storerooms. 


When viewing the best Shark vacuum cleaner, look out for the unique Lift-Away technology. This feature allows you to convert the vacuum into a lighter, more portable appliance for cleaning stairs, curtains, and even soft furnishings

The Lift-Away feature lets you detach the removable pod from the vacuum head. In an instant, you have a lightweight, portable vacuum! You’ll find this function available on the best Shark upright vacuum cleaners available on the market. 

LED Headlights

Another nifty feature that makes Sharks vacuums so special are the LED headlights found on some of their models. It’s not always easy to find debris in your home when cleaning, especially in the dark nooks and crannies of a room or under furniture. 

With the inclusion of powerful LED headlights on the nozzle and vacuum, you no longer need to worry about missing that hidden dirt. 

Zero M

Users of Shark vacuum cleaners rave about the Zero M function. This is a particularly useful feature for homes that accommodate pets. Why? Because it makes easy cleaning of hairs with its self-cleaning brushroll. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about messy hair wraps anymore as the vacuum has a non-stop hair removal function. 

When picking the best Shark vacuum for pet hair, ensure the model includes the self-cleaning brushroll. You’ll be glad to have this anti-hair wrap feature when you no longer have to haul out the scissors to untangle messy hair wraps on your vacuum! 

Attractive Sale Price

Shark always offers a range of their vacuum cleaners with attractive sale prices. By reviewing their website, you’ll easily find a cordless or upright vacuum with additional features such as anti-hair wrap or WandVac system at a good price.

Their products can also be found through other retailers with sale prices, making this vacuum a good deal. Look out for some of the best Shark vacuum cleaners on Black Friday or January sales and you could get a popular model at an affordable price. 

What to Look For in a Vacuum

Shark positions its vacuum brand as the high quality, price-sensitive competitor in the market (compared to Dyson, others). Design features have improved steadily over the years, on par with or exceeding those of other more expensive manufacturers. But that’s not enough to set them apart, so what does?

In a single word, it’s this: selection. You have a model for any conceivable use and most cover multiple functions. Cleaning carpet and hardwood is a constant standard, but then so are cleaning up after pets and destroying allergens.

Even within the Shark brand, some units are better than others for specialized needs. Our comparison stresses the best models for a niche use, but don’t let that fool you. Most of these warrior machines cover a lot of ground-in dirt with ease.

Corded Versus Cordless Power

There’s been a long continuing debate about which is better, a corded or a cordless vacuum. Corded vacs can run forever because there’s no battery to run out of juice. However, if you’re trying to dodge obstacles, the cord can become annoying.

Cordless models are known for being able to clean difficult spaces, like carpeted stairs, as well as getting into corners. Advances in Shark battery design means they can last longer on a single charge, and they recharge faster. Still, not having enough power to finish your cleaning project can be a hassle.

Some people want both, which means two vacuums, and I’m one of them. I have a large corded model for heavy-duty carpet cleaning, laminate vacuuming, and hardwood and tile clean-ups. The cordless model is for the smaller messes in between, but I’ve been known to do the whole house with a cordless vacuum without a problem because battery power has become that good.


How well a vacuum moves back and forth across the surface it is cleaning depends on a few factors. First is the movement mechanism guiding the head, either wheels that can move in a single axis direction or a rotational ball that moves in multiple directions. Sometimes it’s a combo of the two, adding flexibility that can also lead to wrestling matches on deeply sculptured carpets.

A rotational ball can help you change directions, but some users complain they are harder to direct in thick pile or deeply grooved surfaces. Straight wheels can mean you’re struggling around furniture and other obstacles. It’s a matter of personal preference for your types of surfaces and style of cleaning.

Upright Versus Stick

Upright vacuums have their bulk in the handle attached to the head. The head beats the rug or sucks up debris from a flat surface, moving it into a dust bin that’s in the handle along with the motor. It’s convenient to have greater power and a larger dirt bin, but the trade-off is that these machines are much bigger than others.

Sticks have much smaller versions of everything. The suction power isn’t as intense and your battery (or corded engine) doesn’t pack the same punch. If you can live with a narrower cleaning head, this isn’t a problem, particularly if you only need to cover small spaces.

Both types come as corded (usually 15 to 30 feet long) or rechargeable cordless models. Cordless units run on batteries that add some weight to the handle, and some are known to have longer lives between charges than others. If your vacuuming need is small, though, it can usually get the job done.

Dust Catching

Dust bin size is clearly related to the overall size of your machine. It’s best not to test that size, though, because you could be removing materials from a bagless bin with your hands if it’s jammed. It’s also best to deposit the debris in the trash as soon as you can (avoid the kitchen can) because everything you remove will carry an odor you don’t want to spread around.

Air Filtering

This is perhaps the greatest advancement in recent years, the ability to filter the air moving through your vacuum, removing pollen and pet dander. This is accomplished with the use of HEPA filters to remove particles and allergens from the air moving through the machine, releasing fresh clean air as exhaust. Some machines even come with added air fresheners leaving the scent of your choice behind.

HEPA and other filters come as washable or replaceable. The washing instructions include a reminder to let the filter dry completely before use. Some vacuums are known to need new filters more frequently than others, something we note in our comments if it’s an issue.

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Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Shark Vacuum

Shark vacuums come in a range of styles with specific purposes in mind. Some are also more versatile, so it’s important to think about how you plan to use it to clean your home. Here are some of the common questions you should ask yourself as you consider your Shark purchase.

What Kinds Of Surfaces Will I Be Cleaning?

If your flooring is wall to wall carpeting, you’ll want to pick a machine known for deep cleaning and ease of use under and around furniture. Rugs and carpets with thick, textured or sculpted pile will create more resistance to the vacuum head, so you’ll want to pay attention to how well it maneuvers. Longer piles (long fibers) can become stuck in the brush head too, so you might need to lift the head to a height that doesn’t interfere.

If you’re primarily cleaning hardwood, vinyl and tile, you’ll want a machine with an adjustable head to pick up the debris without spreading it out the other side. Larger pieces can slingshot out the back if you’re not matching your head setting to the surface. Here, too, you’ll need to consider deeper grout lines in tile or textured surfaces and how difficult it will be to move over those.

Mixed surfaces become more of a challenge. You’ll definitely want an adjustable head, and you’ll need to remember to change the setting because this does not happen automatically. However, the flexibility of being able to clean both kinds of areas will make your life easier in the long run.

Read more about cleaning the best way to clean hard floors and carpets.

How Big Is My Floor Surface?

The size of space you need to clean plays into your Shark decision in the power of the vacuum you choose and how easy it will mean to move around. A single level condo with relatively small surface area can be covered with this cordless vacuum. A multistory house with lots of carpet might point toward a larger unit, but then you’ll be moving it from level to level.

If you’re toting this vacuum between floors, keep its weight in mind. If you need the benefit of allergen removal in a small space, you might buy a larger machine for its HEPA filters even if it’s more power than you need. The good news is that there is a Shark that meets your needs, no matter what.

How Much Dirt Is Tracked Into My Home?

We used to live on a dusty ranch and the battle between me and the layer of freefall was a constant chore. I could see what was on the tile floors, and I could only imagine how dusty the rugs were as well. Having a powerful tile vacuum and using it often was a must.

Urban cleaning needs are a little different, with more concerns about what I can’t see on the floor surfaces than what I can. The dogs still bring in leaves and dirt, but now I’m more worried about allergens and street dirt tracked inside. Vacuuming as often isn’t a necessity, but I still have good machines that move easily so I can if I want to.

The third dirt category is less track and more creative spirit. If you have art projects in your house that bring about spills like beads, glitter or bits of yarn and fabric, you will want a more powerful vacuum to help. Plus, you’ll probably want a handheld or cordless stick unit for quick clean-ups.

What Special Needs Do I Have, Like Cleaning Up After Pets Or Removing Allergens?

Even the dogs that are said to be shed-free leave behind dander or bring in pollen, and at some point in every year, Mother Nature gifts us with all sorts of things that float and settle on our floors. If people in your house are highly allergic to any of this, you’ll want a vacuum with allergen cleaning power and HEPA filters. You want ease of use too, so that you can clean more often.

If anyone in your house has long hair (human or critter), some amount of hair will shed to the floor. At high shedding season, your cat or dog may produce enough to knit a sweater. Buying a machine with a brush head that self-cleans, removing hair that otherwise tangles on the roller, will be a given.

How Often Will I Be Vacuuming?

Do any of us vacuum as often as we should? If you are one of those determined people who actually can tackle this task on a frequent basis, we salute you – and recommend you buy a Shark with ease of use in the forefront. Frequency of vacuuming plays into many issues around machine selection, including suction strength (making a single pass being less difficult than multiple ones), dust bin size (to hold everything you vacuum up – see our upright vs canister vac comparison), and machine style.

Does This Model Have The Attachments I Need?

Not all Sharks come with a full array of accessories and tools. If you need to vacuum pet hair off the furniture on a frequent basis, a motorized mini head designed for that will make your life easier. If you have cracks and crevices that need work, a narrow head will help there.

Other popular items are extensions to reach the tops of drapes and rods or ceiling fans, and tools to make steps easier. Some of us take the vacuum outside, too, and clean the inside of the SUV or car. As part of your needs list, consider what else you’ll be using the vacuum for to make sure you will have the attachment you need.

Where Can I Store My Vacuum And Accessories?

The closer your vacuum can live to where the action is, the more likely you will be to use it, and that’s the point of buying it in the first place. However, if your coat closet already resembles a mini car stuffed with too many people and the basement is out of sight, out of mind, you’ll want to consider how much room you need for the vacuum and its accessories.

If you live in a small apartment or condo, space is already at a premium, so a cordless stick vac is often a great choice. Uprights require the greatest amount of storage room, and rechargeable systems need to be close to a power plug. It’s a trade-off depending on your particular needs.

Is A Robot System Enough For Regular Cleaning?

Robot systems are good for general cleaning in a household that doesn’t become too messy, is too large, or has multiple floors to clean with a single unit. They lack significant dust bins and unlimited power. Depending on how much terrain they’d need to cover, it could take a couple of recharging rounds to get it all done.

People wonder too if they’ll fall down stairs or over edges. Robot systems have visioning systems to see where they’re heading and see stairs as empty black space, so they stop – or you can place sensors to tell them to stop at a point. They use this same eyesight to maneuver around furniture legs and other obstacles, and some people note that they aren’t always as good at cleaning around chairs since they’re regularly displaced and moved.

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Our Testing Criteria

Our team spent the last few months reviewing 29 Shark vacuum models and chose the top 6 models in various categories. We feel our top picks represent the best vacuum models Shark offers.

Cleaning Performance

At the end of the day, cleaning performance is arguably the most important criteria to consider when choosing a vacuum. We reviewed the vacuums based on real world scenarios. We measured the vacuums we tested for debris (think Fruit Loops, fine sand, pet hair) pickup ability on both hard floors and carpet. We also looked at technical measures such as suction power and airflow as well as brushroll capability.


Is the vacuum easy to maneuver? Is it easy to maintain? Does it have onboard accessory storage? Does it stand upright on its own? Is the dustbin size adequate? If cordless, what is the runtime?

We test and answer all of these types of questions and more!


As vacuum technology improves, the gap in cleaning performance starts to shrink between high-end vacuums and budget friendly vacuums. This begs the question: is it worth spending more for a vacuum that cleans just as well as a cheaper vacuum?

We look at cost as well as other factors such as ongoing maintenance costs, warranty coverage, and more to determine which vacuums provide the highest return on investment.

Customer Feedback

We love the feedback we receive from our loyal readers! We incorporate this feedback into our reviews to provide useful information our testing may have missed.

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Which Shark Vacuum is the best rated?

We chose the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002 as the best rated Shark vacuum. It’s strong cleaning performance mixed with an easy to use design, and a price point that provides excellent value made it our top pick.

Is Dyson a better vacuum than Shark?

Whether a Shark or a Dyson vacuum is better comes down to personal preference. Dyson vacuums tend to be more expensive and more powerful, while Shark’s are more affordable and more maneuverable. We like Shark vacuums because they come multipurpose as standard. You can use them on carpet or hard floors, and they usually have other attachments to tackle other types of surfaces. Dysons have better suction, but are less versatile.

What is the best Shark vacuum for pet hair?

We suggest the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002. In our tests, the vacuum had no problem handing medium and long pet hair. It is one of the best vacuums across all brands we have tested.

Is Shark DuoClean worth it?

A strong yes. Having two brushrolls dramatically improves the cleaning performance on both hard floor and carpet. Our tests showed that almost all our debris was picked up when using a DuoClean vacuum. The DuoClean technology really shines when used in crevices and for picking up long hair.

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Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner brand that hits just the right balance between quality and affordability, look no further than the Shark brand. Shark offers the quality of a Dyson, but at a much more affordable price tag.

Which of the many options in the Shark range is right for you depends on the kind of cleaning tasks you will be tackling. But we recommend the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum AZ2002 as the best Shark vacuum. It is powerful, maneuverable, and works equally well on carpet and hard floors. It represents everything that makes the Shark vacuum brand so good.

If you have any comments or first-hand experiences with Shark vacuums, please post them below or share your pictures via our social media.

About Maria Hernandez

Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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16 thoughts on “6 Best Shark Vacuum Models – 2022 Buying Guide”

  1. I loved my old Shark vacuums; however when I had new carpeting put in my home I could no longer push or pull the vacuum.
    Please let me know which of the Shark vacuums have a carpet height adjustment.

  2. I had the opportunity use brand dyson and shark,
    These two brands are very famous And I decided to choose Shark Rotator NV752. Simple, because it is easy to use for beginners to do housework like me

  3. My daughter bought me the shark rotator,for Christmas. I do not like but won’t tell her. It is to top heavy. Leans from one side to the other to much. Does have good suction

  4. According to some reviews (elsewhere) it is not possible to purchase the AZ1002 with the “Deep-Cleaning Motorized Pet Tool” even though it is advertised to have this accessory. Buyer Beware.

  5. I love my shark navigator lift away and want to buy a second one. What is the difference between all the model numbers like nv501 nv740 etc. I am trying to compare prices at different stores but they all offer different models so I’m confused

  6. I purchased a Shark Rocket Vacuum in April 2019. What a piece of junk. The vacuum broke in the middle and now it doesn’t work. It literally broke while I was vacuuming. This vacuum wasn’t cheap and now I am without a vacuum. I did contact Shark and sent them pictures. I haven’t heard back from the company. I did try to return the piece of junk. Meijers would not accept the vacuum it’s been over 90 days. Very sad a vacuum this high didn’t last a year. My question is what do I do with a vacuum that doesn’t work?

  7. Is it possible for ANY cordless, bagless vacuum to come with an extendable wand that will also take generic extension tubes (I have those at home) to increase its reach even higher? We have a vaulted ceiling in which spiders like to build their cobwebs. I cannot risk getting up on a stepladder to be able to reach these. If I can stay on terra firma and use a wand with enough generic extension tubes to reach that high, it would be a real deal-maker for me. The extension tubes I have fit onto most of my current vacuums’ wands, but all I have are corded vacs that require bags. I’m tired of that hassle. I need something lightweight that still has lots of power, and comes also with a crevice tool and round dusting brush. I don’t have pet hair in my house. Any suggestions?

  8. Our hardly used Shark is not working even though it has been left on charge for a couple hours. Sadly , neither I nor my very elderly husband is techno savvy , and I donot think that it needs to be replaces as it will go on for a couple seconds, then go off. Cannot find the company number either, despite several pages on line. HELP!!

    1. This may help, I have Vax machine and I came across the very same problem, it turned out that it had a very small amount of dust in one of the filters, and another time I gave it a bit of a dunt which on reflection showed that the battery was not completely in. This worked for me. Give these both a try. I am also elderly and to be very honest they do not make things to last as they did many years ago. Good Luck, Sandie McGuire (Scotland)

  9. Dear Shark,

    Your Rocket (HV300) is so awful, I actually have to tell you I HATE it. HATE is an emotional word that leaves little room to imagine one can still be reasonable and open minded. Regarding this product, there is no chance that anything you do can improve this design. It is a bad design. What an eye opener to see all the reviews and encouraging home testers doing video reviews on the product, and then actually trying it yourself. I have no respect or trust for your company anymore. What a shame. Shark used to be considered a producer of cool, high end, quality products that always seemed to be “on the cutting edge”. What an overpriced, disappointing piece of junk!


    Specifically, It is cumbersome. It is a weak performer. It is annoying on the shoulder, and the hand when holding the unit so you can help it inhale the dust. WEAK!

    Jeannie Furey

    1. Just bought my Shark Performance Lift-Away from Costco and am embarrassed that it picked up so much dust from carpets and bare floors! I’ll also save closet space by getting rid of my old vacuums. Thank you, Shark!

    2. Jeannie, I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about Shark in general… I bought an APEX stick vac and among other design problems, the vacuum doesn’t even stand up by itself. That should say it all. I’ve lost confidence in their ability to deign a quality product. Having to lean a vacuum up against a wall is a basic no-brainer flaw, but they heavily promote this thing anyways. Shame on you Shark, and Jeannie, I’m hoping we can both find a better quality vacuum out there somewhere !

  10. Was impressed with our Shark hoover model NV 340 UK. But now it needs a main motor. I have to say I’m very disappointed as I’m unable to locate one online. I’ll be using another make from now on. It’s ridiculous when there is nothing else wrong with the machine yet I have to buy another due to this fact. If you go out to buy a shark machine, make sure the model is supported. As the main motor is very small and has to work hard, so does not last very long.

    1. Same problem, but a call to Shark yesterday received a complete floor unit today! All under warranty albeit only 1.5 weeks left. Excellent product and service.

  11. I bought the Shark Navigator UV 810 at Costco. I vacuumed my carpet and floors with my Oreck. Then I vacuumed with my new Shark. I couldn’t believe how much pet fur and dirt the Shark picked up. Can’t wait to try it on my furniture.

  12. My husband just bought me a shark rotator lift away and i love it. It is easy to use and it had so much power. I like with just a switch you can go from carpet to hard floor with ease. I recently had a Hoover wind tunnel. I thought it worked good until i got my shark. I first vacuumed using my wind tunnel, then i used my shark and it still picked up more dirt. I was shocked. This vacuum is worth every dollar.

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