Top 10 Best Shark Vacuum Units With Guide

By Maria Hernandez / June 1, 2021 / 16 Comments

Updated June 2021

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Do you want to know what the best Shark vacuum is? If so, look no further, because you’ll find all the information you’re looking for in our Shark vacuum reviews. We’ve provided detailed reviews of 10 of the highest-quality vacuums for you to choose from.

Shark hits just the right mix of affordability and quality, and they also tend to be multifunctional. You can use the same machine on both your carpets and hard floors, not to mention your upholstery and other surfaces.

Shark has already grown into a reasonably sized brand, so they have lots of options on the market. But how do you know which one is right for you?

By comparing the 10 Shark vacuums we’ve reviewed, you’ll be able to pick a unit based on your vacuuming needs. Do you need one for pet hair? Perhaps you simply need to clean the carpets inside your car. We’ll help you find the right one for any task.

We have also put together a buying guide to inform you about the pros and cons of Shark vacuums in general, and suggest the main factors you should consider when choosing the right Shark vacuum cleaner (or really any vacuum cleaner) for you.

10 Best Shark Vacuums

Shark APEX Upright with DuoClean
  • Two-brush roller system
  • Softly polishes hardwoods
  • With HEPA filters
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Ninja Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet
  • Has a special head setting
  • Sealed allergen air system
  • Washable HEPA filter
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
  • Performs deep cleaning on carpets
  • Gentle cleaning on solid floors
  • Includes two in-process filters
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark ION Robot R85
  • Dual brushes to attack both carpet and solid floors
  • It vacuums pet hair
  • With built-in navigation
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light HV382
  • This is a corded (30 feet) stick unit
  • Performs deep cleaning on carpets and rugs
  • With LED light
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Rechargeable Floor and Carpet Sweeper
  • Quieter than a regular vacuum
  • With a foot-wide brush head
  • Powered with two-speed brush head
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Corded Ultra-Light Handheld
  • Handheld with multiple attachments
  • Lightweight
  • 15 feet long cord
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright
  • Easy to empty dust cup
  • Rechargeable
  • Maneuverability
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
Shark Rocket Pet Pro
  • Up to 40-Minute Runtime
  • CleanTouch Dirt Ejector
  • Ultra-Lightweight
View On Amazon →Check Our Review
  • Powerful Cordless Suction
  • Easy to Maintain
  • Led Indicator
View On Amazon →Check Our Review

Best Overall: Shark APEX Upright With DuoClean

Shark APEX Upright With DuoClean

  • Style: Upright
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A
  • Dust Bin: A
  • Accessories: A
  • Weight: 25.0 lbs.

This Shark wins our vote as the best vacuum to span any number of household cleaning needs. It excels at moving between surface types and modes. DuoClean is a two-brush roller system that deep cleans carpeting and softly polishes hardwoods.

If hair wrap on your vac brush is an issue you hate to face, the Zero-M system cleans that for you (though some reviewers say this does not work as well as they wished). Removing the mess means the system cleans more thoroughly on one pass. It also boasts a sealed air system with HEPA filters, leaving behind no allergens or odors despite whatever the vacuum sucks up.

A lift-off handheld system is built into the upright vac handle, with attachments for crevices, furniture upholstery, and more. The dust canister detaches when you need to duck under low furniture too. It has a range of solutions for multiple uses, and with a 30-foot long cord, it can reach them without constantly changing your plug.

A few users note that the hose can feel stiff and difficult to extend. Others say they find it difficult to keep the accessories attached in the designated places on the upright unit. Even with their issues, though, they note this Shark has super suction and cleaning power to cover all their flooring needs.

Best For Pets: Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum

Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum

  • Style: Upright
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A
  • Dust Bin: A
  • Accessories: A
  • Weight: 16.7 lbs.

If you live in a pet-friendly household but are still determined to pick up as much pet hair, not to mention other debris, as possible, then the Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum is an excellent choice.

This is a corded model in order to give you the power you need to pick up that hair that manages to stick to just about everything. You get 1150 Watts of energy and 30 feet of cord. This model also comes with an extra-large dustbin, so there is no problem with it filling up as you give your entire house a deep clean.

It works on both carpets and hard floors with the flick of a switch, which adjusts the brush to work on both surfaces.

Despite being relatively large and corded, this model comes with the accessories you need to get into every nook and corner of your home. You can detach the arm to reach high up on blinds or right into corners and behind furniture. You can also detach the dustbin cannister to make the machine more transportable and easily clean furniture and stairs. The dynamic swivel steering also makes it easy to maneuver in general.

As this vacuum is designed to deal with pet hair and the dander allergens that go with it, it uses anti-allergen complete seal technology and a HEPA filter to ensure you will breathe easier after every clean. If you are dealing with any particularly stubborn pet hair infestations, try the pet power brush that comes as standard.

This vacuum cleaner is ideal if you like to give your home a professional and heavy duty clean on a regular basis, and especially if you are dealing with pet hair. Buy direct from Shark for a seven-year limited warranty.

Best For Carpet/Solid Floors Combo: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional

  • Style: Upright
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A
  • Dust Bin: A
  • Accessories: A
  • Weight: 13.7 lbs.

If your flooring transitions frequently from solid to carpet and back again, consider using this Shark to cover both with good cleaning power. The brush head is designed to perform deep cleaning on carpets, gentle cleaning on solid floors, and shut off completely if needed. While the weight is not light, the structure of this vacuum makes it easy to carry between floors in your home.

The air filtering system includes two in-process filters and a HEPA filter to remove allergens and dust. All three are washable so you aren’t spending money replacing disposable filters. Swivel steering moves around furniture legs and into corners.

The Lift-Away handheld system utilizes the wand handle, a shorter hose, and multiple head attachments. These pick up dust off the furniture and cobwebs from the ceiling corners, and used with the smallest attachments, conquer carpeted stairs effectively. Reviewers note the suction is great on all surfaces.

This unit can be considered loud if you’re sensitive to sound. It requires storage space for the upright and all of the accessories. Overall, though, it is the best for those of us wanting one vacuuming solution for varied floor surfaces.

Best Robot: Shark ION Robot R85

Shark ION Robot R85

  • Style: Robot
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Dust Bin: B
  • Accessories: N/A
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs.

If you want to vacuum without touching the vacuum, this Shark robotic system will be your treat. With side arms for the edges of the room and dual brushes to attack both carpet and solid floors, it can cover whatever space you need, even while you’re not there to supervise. It has a quiet mode for those times when it’s running under your feet.

The dust bin on this machine isn’t as large as other robots’ bins, which means you will be emptying it more often. It vacuums pet hair and removes it from the brush head without your intervention. It also does a good job on larger pieces of debris like crumbs or leaves.

This system features built-in navigation that learns where it’s supposed to clean using an eyesight system to avoid furniture and obstacles. Its low profile means it can get under the sofa and chairs too. You can program this with your Alexa app even when you’re away from home.

Moving the robot from floor to floor in the house is a manual process. Users love the cleaning suction this unit provides but note that an average single story might require two passes with a charge in between to get the job done. It returns to the place it stopped vacuuming when it recharges.

Best For Small Spaces: Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light HV382

Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light HV382

  • Style: Stick
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Dust Bin: B
  • Accessories: B+
  • Weight: 9.9 lbs.

Sometimes, you’ll see this vacuum listed as an upright in the name, but don’t let that label fool you. This is a corded (30 feet) stick unit with detachable handheld flexibility built in. The dust cup and motor can be plugged into the motorized attachments for mini cleaning power with strong suction.

One DuoClean brush head performs deep cleaning on carpets and rugs, while the softer brush picks up larger pieces of debris and dust on solid floors. The toggle to change between the two is a floor switch. Unfortunately, if you’re picking up a lot of dirt, you may need to empty the smaller dust cup frequently, a one-touch process over the trash.

Users like the LED light to help you see what’s in front of the brush head, especially when it comes to dust on hardwoods or laminate. Some note that the ultra-light in the name is a misnomer, and sometimes it can feel like you’re still wrestling with a giant on carpets. It comes with a short list of accessories that meet most common cleaning needs.

If storage space is at a premium and your floor plan isn’t large, this vacuum fits nicely into closets or corners. Note that it comes with different accessories, depending on which model number you buy. The HV382 has the full set of everything.

Best For Light Messes: Shark Rechargeable Floor And Carpet Sweeper

Shark Rechargeable Floor And Carpet Sweeper

  • Style: Stick cordless
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: B+
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Dust Bin: B
  • Accessories: N/A
  • Weight: 4.25 lbs.

This floor & carpet sweeper fills a specific need in the cleaning spectrum, the one where you have light messes on carpets or solid floors, and you want a quick way to pick them up. This Shark is known to be quieter than a regular vacuum with a foot-wide brush head to get the job done quickly. It maneuvers easily over relatively flat surfaces.

The powered two-speed brush head is designed to pick up what’s in front of the machine as well as anything stuck along a wall with what Shark calls a squeegee. The handle folds down to stretch under furniture. While it is designed for heavier debris as well, users note that it’s most effective for lighter messes.

Consider any place where regular light sweeping would be needed, such as under the kitchen table or around a craft area, and you’ll understand where this unit is most effective. It is not designed for deep cleaning or major debris in thick pile (for that, look into a shag carpet friendly vac). If you need to sweep up light messes frequently throughout the day, this can accomplish the task with ease, as long as you empty the dust cup regularly.

The power plug can be a challenge, since it is a small port and it sometimes difficult to seat it correctly. Reviewers say it maintains a great charge to cover a 500 square foot space. For your home’s or workplace’s little messes, this Shark will clean things up fast.

Best Handheld: Shark Corded Ultra-Light Handheld

Shark Corded Ultra-Light Handheld

  • Style: Handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: A-
  • Dust Bin: B
  • Accessories: A
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs.

We all have a need for a handheld with multiple attachments like this Shark. Its light weight and ease of handling encourages its use for upholstery in the house or the car, with special attention for pet fuzz with the mini motorized head. The hose can extend your reach, or you can keep the head on the unit for maximum suction.

The cord is 15 feet long, which some might find to be too short to reach those out of the way places. Add the hose to that length, though, and you will probably find it to be adequate. Because this is a handheld unit, the dust cup is small, though it does empty over the trash with a press of a button.

Vacuuming stairs is another area where this Shark shines, since it is easily portable for the long climb and crevice tool for the corners. While it does not have a sealed air system, the filters are washable, making it easy to keep them clean and help with overall air quality. Suction is good for such a little machine.

Some users were not satisfied with the suction level, though, and found the brush head difficult to keep clean. Others say it’s more than enough for them to vacuum their cars, or keep small apartments or RVs clean. As a partner to a larger full-sized machine, this handheld does a good job filling its niche in the Shark product line.

Best For Budget: Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright

Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright

  • Style: Upright cordless
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
  • Dust Bin: A
  • Accessories: B
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs.

As in any budget vacuum model, this Shark is a stripped down version of some of the larger cordless uprights in the brand line. It does have some big advantages, though, including the fact that it is rechargeable (four hours to a total charge) and provides a decent version of most major features. Suction is adequate for most basic needs.

Users do note that the suction works well for common carpet messes and dusty floors. However, if you plan to clean up landscape bark, cat litter or dry cereal spills, it may spit out some pieces rather than pick them up. The head swivels independent of the upright body, a feature some like for its maneuverability and others find annoying.

The brush head is easy to remove, clean and reinstall, as is the washable filter. Reviewers note that keeping the brush clean is important, because a hair-clogged brush will pick up nothing. It does a good job on dust as long as the dust bin is not overfilled.

Overall, if you don’t want to invest in a lot of machines (P.S. make sure to recycle your old vac) and don’t have regular heavy-duty vacuuming needs, this machine should cover it. Note that battery life depends on what cleaning settings you’re using. It is a good choice for those of us who don’t need deep vacuuming on a regular basis in a large household.

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Best For Cat Hair: Shark Rocket Pet Pro

Shark Rocket Pet Pro
  • Style: Cordless stick hand
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
  • Dust Bin: A
  • Accessories: N/A
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs.

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro is designed for cleaning stubborn messes that are difficult to clean off carpets. It’s the ideal vacuum to remove fine cat hair from carpets and upholstery. The HEPA filter traps fine dust and debris, and the unit has a tight seal so dirt won’t escape the chamber.

This Shark vacuum offers a 40-minute run time, and the display at the top tells you when it’s time to charge it. The battery is removable, so you can charge it whether it is inside or outside of the appliance.

The 180-watt motor inside the unit runs at 8.4 amps, giving the vacuum its powerful suction ability. You’ll also appreciate that there are lights integrated on the end of the nozzle so you can see the dirt hiding in dark corners.

Lastly, the vacuum has a self-cleaning brushroll with Dirt Engage technology that cleans up long and fine pet hair on any type of surface.

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Best For Cars: Shark WV201 WANDVAC

  • Style: Handheld
  • Ergonomics/Ease of Use: A-
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: B+
  • Dust Bin: A
  • Accessories: N/A
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs

If you’re looking for a powerful vacuum cleaner that’s lightweight and portable, then you’ll appreciate the Shark WV201 WANDVAC. It is a handheld vacuum cleaner suitable for cleaning car upholstery and couches.

The high-speed brushless motor is what’s behind this vacuum cleaner’s powerful suction ability. It will remove dust, pet hair, dirt, and crumbs off of any type of fabric. It also has a detachable dust cup, so you can clean the vacuum out easily when it gets full.

There is an LED indicator on the unit, so you’ll know exactly when you need to charge it. It has a docking station for faster charging times. This handheld Shark vacuum weighs 1.4 lbs, so it’s lightweight and won’t put strain on your wrist while you use it. What’s more, it has an ergonomic design, so it’s comfortable and easy to handle.

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The Complete Shark Vacuums Buyer’s Guide

What Makes Shark Vacuums Special

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.

Shark Vacuum Best For Style Ergonomics/Ease of Use
Shark APEX Upright With DuoClean Best Overall Upright A
Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum Best For Pets Upright A
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Best For Carpet/ Solid Floors Combo Upright A-
Shark ION Robot R85 Best Robot Robot A-
Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light HV382 Best For Small Spaces Stick A-
Shark Rechargeable Floor And Carpet Sweeper Best For Light Messes Stick cordless B+
Shark Corded Ultra-Light Handheld Best Handheld Handheld A-
Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Best For Budget Upright cordless A-
Shark Rocket Pet Pro Best For Cat Hair Cordless stick A-
Shark WV201 WANDVAC Best For Cars Handheld A-

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 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.

Why Pick A Shark?

Clearly, Shark has built up a significant reputation as a quality product. It is widely available, and if you happen to need a repair, you can find that service in most major markets. These machines are reliable, though, and you probably won’t need service over the life of your vacuum.

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What 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.

Shark Vacuum Best For Ergonomics/Ease of Use Cleaning Effectiveness Weight
Shark APEX Upright With DuoClean Best Overall A A 25.0 lbs.
Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum Best For Pets A A 15.4 lbs.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Best For Carpet/ Solid Floors Combo A- A 13.7 lbs.
Shark ION Robot R85 Best Robot A- A- 5.5 lbs.
Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light HV382 Best For Small Spaces A- A- 9.9 lbs.
Shark Rechargeable Floor And Carpet Sweeper Best For Light Messes B+ A- 4.25 lbs.
Shark Corded Ultra-Light Handheld Best Handheld A- A- 3.7 lbs.
Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Best For Budget A- B+ 7.5 lbs.
Shark Rocket Pet Pro Best For Cat Hair A- B+ 7.2 lbs.
Shark WV201 WANDVAC Best For Cars A- B+ 1.4 lbs.

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 pile (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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Selection Criteria For Shark Vacuums

Our comparison lists Shark vacuums for every major purpose and kind of floor cleaning. Not all have every feature for every situation, so take inventory of what your needs will be. Based on that, you can find a match based on our grades in the following categories.

Shark Vacuum Best For Style Ease of Use Cleaning Effectiveness Dust Bin Accessories Weight
Shark APEX Upright With DuoClean Best Overall Upright A A A A 25.0 lbs.
Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum Best For Pets Upright A A A A 15.4 lbs.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Best For Carpet/ Solid Floors Combo Upright A- A A A 13.7 lbs.
Shark ION Robot R85 Best Robot Robot A- A- B N/A 5.5 lbs.
Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light HV382 Best For Small Spaces Stick A- A- B B+ 9.9 lbs.
Shark Rechargeable Floor And Carpet Sweeper Best For Light Messes Stick cordless B+ A- B N/A 4.25 lbs.
Shark Corded Ultra-Light Handheld Best Handheld Handheld A- A- B A 3.7 lbs.
Shark Navigator Freestyle Upright Best For Budget Upright cordless A- B+ A B 7.5 lbs.
Shark Rocket Pet Pro Best For Cat Hair Cordless Stick A- B+ A N/A 7.2 lbs.
Shark WV201 WANDVAC Best For Cars Handheld A- B+ A N/A 1.4 lbs.


We have Shark uprights, sticks, handhelds, and robots on our list. You might want one that’s more multipurpose or a couple to meet different needs. Style equates to storage size as noted previously, along with weight and cleaning power.

Ergonomics/Ease Of Use

Letter grades have been assigned based on how easy it is to move the vacuum during regular cleaning. Sometimes the reason a machine is graded lower is exactly the feature you need for your kind of flooring, so there’s no “bad” grade per se.

Cleaning Effectiveness

It would be easy if there was a common measure of suction noted for each machine, but cleaning ability is about more than power. Brush type, head size, and other features also come into play. Our letter grade here is based on how well the machine matches the common features you’ll need.

Dust Bin

It’s better to empty a bagless bin frequently (watch the marks on the side of the dust canister) because that’s when the vacuum is at its most effective. Shark recommends avoiding an overfill situation for best power. Grades are based on overall dust bin size and how well it works for common use.


Our grade here indicates if the vacuum can use a plethora of tools or if you’re limited in your selection. We note in the comments if special attachments are available. When in doubt, look for the machine with the most accessories since you’re highly likely to find something designed for the unique purpose you have in mind.


If you’re carrying your vacuum between floors, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to this statistic. Likewise, someone who needs to clean frequently will also want to know how heavy a unit might be. Weights for rechargeable vacuums and robots are for the vacuuming unit only, not including the recharging station.

Where To Buy Shark Vacuums

You can buy Shark vacuum cleaners from Amazon; this is most commonly the best option. Other options include buying from retailers or directly from SharkNinja LLC on their website. Direct purchases come with a 90-day money-back guarantee and a five-year extended warranty.

If you do decide to buy from a third party, ensure they are an authorized retailer. If you do not purchase from an authorized retailer, the warranty is void.

How Much Do Shark Vacuums Cost?

While the most basic Shark vacuum model on the market, the Shark VACMOP Pro, will set you back less than $150, you should expect to pay between $250 and $350 for their flagship machines such as the ones included on our top products list. A fully automated robotic vacuum will cost around $600.

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Shark Navigator vs Shark Rocket

The Shark Navigator and Shark Rocket may be from the same brand, but these two units have distinct differences. Find out what sets these two Shark vacuums apart in this next section where we break down and compare their features.


One of the most distinct differences between the Shark Navigator and Rocket is their designs. The Rocket model works as an upright vacuum, and it can be converted into a handheld device to clean small spaces. It can also be used as an upholstery tool.

On the other hand, the Navigator model can be used as an upright or portable canister vacuum cleaner, and it has better maneuverability and cleaning power.

Cord Length

Both the Navigator and Rocket are corded devices, but the difference is in the length of their cords. Depending on the model you buy, the Navigator can have a cord with a length of 25 to 30 ft. The Rocket also comes in different models, and their cord lengths vary between 27 to 32 ft.


If you want to clean low or high pile carpet flooring, you’ll need a powerful vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris easily from the fibers. Both the Navigator and Rocket have the same 120V, but the Navigator is more powerful in terms of watts and amps.

The Shark Navigator features a 1200 watt power with 10 amp motor whereas the Rocket has 500 watt power with a 4 amp motor.

Dust Cup Capacity

Shark vacuum cleaners use dust cups to catch debris when vacuuming. The vacuum is sealed tight so that the dust doesn’t escape the unit, which is ideal for allergy sufferers. Shark’s Navigator model has a bigger 3.0 dry quarts dust cup capacity, which is bigger than the Rocket’s 0.437 quarts dust cup capacity.

Suction Control

One reason why people choose the Shark Navigator is its suction control feature. This allows you to control the airflow of the vacuum when you need light suction power for certain cleaning jobs. The Shark Rocket doesn’t have a suction control system.


The Shark Navigator works with a HEPA Anti-Allergen filter that traps 99.99% of dust and debris so it doesn’t escape the unit. The Rocket model doesn’t have an integrated HEPA filter.

Wall Mount

Another reason to choose the Shark Navigator is it comes with a wall mount so you can hook your vacuum up on the wall to save on floor space. The Shark Rocket model doesn’t come with a wall mount.

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FAQs About Shark Vacuums

Which Shark Vacuum Has The Most Suction?

If you are looking for a Shark vacuum with serious suction, we recommend you go with Apex Upright DuoClean, which gives you 1,350 watts of power. Generally speaking, for the best suction you will need to go for a larger model, which allows for a bigger motor, and a corded model, which means you always have maximum power.

Are Shark Vacuums Better Than Dyson?

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 Carpet And Hardwood Floors?

If you want one machine that will work equally well on both carpet and hard floors, we recommend the Shark Navigator Lift Away Pro, which can transition between the two without any additional work for you. The brushes will give carpets a deep clean, and will clean and buff hard floors without scratching.

Are Shark Vacuums Any Good?

We think so, which is why we highly recommend Shark vacuums as a more affordable alternative to Dysons. Shark is also our top choice for anyone who wants a machine that will let them seamlessly transition from cleaning carpet to hardwood. Most of their models also come with a detachable handheld vacuum for cleaning furniture and other surfaces.

Are Shark Vacuums Reliable?

Shark vacuum cleaners tend to be highly durable, and you can expect your Shark machine to last between five and seven years if you look after it properly. It is also relatively easy to get a hold of replacement parts for a Shark machine if needed, direct from Shark via their website or from selected third-party retailers.

Are Refurbished Shark Vacuums Worth It?

Shark vacuum cleaners are already offered with an affordable price tag, which means you are probably better off getting a new Shark than investing in a refurbished model. Most refurbished models come with a warranty of between 30 and 90 days, which isn’t really that long. Even Shark themselves only offer a maximum of a 180-day warranty on their refurbished models.

When you buy new directly from Shark, you get a 60-day money-back guarantee, and they offer warranties of between one and seven years. So, while you might pay more upfront, you will probably save in the long run.

Do Shark Vacuums Scratch Hardwood Floors?

Shark vacuum cleaners are specifically designed to work on hard floors without scratching, by combining gentle microfiber pads with powerful suction. This means they are effective and never scratch wood or other fragile surfaces. That said, we recommend the Apex and the Navigator as the best choices for hard floors.

Which Shark DuoClean Is The Best?

The best Shark DuoClean model is the Apex upright vacuum cleaner. It’s easy to use and has an ergonomic design, making it comfortable to handle. It also has an integrated Zero-M system that self-cleans brushes so you don’t have to remove tangled messes yourself.

What’s more, you can convert the vacuum cleaner into a handheld device so you can clean in between small spaces, inside cars, and your furniture.

Is Miele Better Than Shark?

Shark vacuums are considered more affordable than the ones you get from Miele. However, Shark vacuums  are limited in the types of flooring the vacuums can clean. Miele can clean any type of surface such as hard floors, carpets, and tiles.

On the other hand, Shark still makes quality cordless vacuums with a variety of purposes. Shark makes vacuums specifically for pet hair and cleaning upholstery and carpets.

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The Verdict

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. And what you sacrifice on power, you make up on versatility.

Shark vacuums are specifically designed to work equally well on both carpet and hard floors, and to never scratch surfaces. Most Shark options also come with a detachable head to make using the same machine to clean your upholstery and cars simple. It is the ultimate multifunctional vacuuming machine.

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 Apex Upright with DuoClean as the best overall option. 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.

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16 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Shark Vacuum Units With 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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