If you're looking to buy the best Shark vacuum, then you've already made a smart choice. After testing and trying a bunch, Shark solidified itself as our top-rated vacuum cleaner brand. These incredible vacuum cleaners are high-quality, long-lasting, easy to use, and feature innovative technology.
We've listed out the Shark terminologies you need to know at the bottom of this guide, but before diving in, we recommend deciding on the type of vacuum you want. Whether a cordless stick model that doubles as a handheld vacuum or a corded upright model is your thing, choose a vac based on the size of your home and how fast it gets dirty. Smaller homes can be cleaned with cordless stick vacuums, but a larger house with kids and pets may need a corded upright vacuum. Price is also important. Set a budget for yourself and if you find the Shark vacuum that you want but it's a little over budget, just wait for it to go on sale (we'll keep track of those deals for you here, too).
We've tested and compared six out of seven of the Shark vacuums on this list — including cordless vacuums, robot models, and upright vacs — so that you can finally find the perfect fit. We've listed all of the specs and handy info (plus all of the tech built inside each one) and our verdict. You can also click through to our individual reviews for extra details.
The best Shark vacuums at a glance
- The best Shark vacuum: Shark Stratos Cordless IZ862H
- The best value Shark vacuum: Shark Vertex HZ2002
- The best handheld Shark vacuum: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+
The best Shark vacuums of 2023
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Shark Stratos is the latest line of vacuum cleaners from the brand. It has all the features we love and more. It's one of the best vacuums for pet hair, and it's undoubtedly the best Shark vacuum you can buy. It excels at picking up dust, debris, and pet hair as both a stick cordless vacuum and a handheld vacuum.
- DuoClean PowerFins HairPro
- Odor Neutralizer
- HyperVelocity Plus
- Self-Cleaning brush roll
Tried, tested, and very much loved by our head ecommerce editor Annie, this vacuum is super easy to use thanks to Clean Sense IQ technology, which automatically controls the suction depending on how dirty (or clean) your floors are. She found it more than capable of cleaning her spacious two-bedroom apartment, and it easily picked up the hair her pug leaves behind without getting stuck in the brush roll. Another feature we love is that it works with recyclable pods to emit a lovely smell as you clean (ideal for dealing with lingering pet odors). It comes equipped with Flexology tech so the vac bends instead of you, and it glides across floor types like a dream.
Good to know
Another incredible thing about this vacuum is that the stick folds, so it can stand upright and out of the way. This makes it great for apartments and smaller homes. This particular model comes with a pet hair removal tool and a bag for keeping all the tools together.
Read our full review of the Shark Stratos IZ862H, which we wrote in the UK. The only difference between these versions is that in the US it comes with different tools.
With a lightweight design, this particular vacuum is great value for money if our first pick is slightly out of budget. Yes, it is corded, but at 30 feet long, you can wander and never run out of power in the middle of a job. It's nice and easy to store for small space dwellers and it picks up pet hair well.
- DuoClean Powerfins
- Anti-Allergen Seal
- Hypervelocity Suction
- Self-Cleaning brush roll
Our reviewer Jaclyn loved the Hypervelocity Suction feature (yes, it's actually called that). It's noticeably effective with this vac, and Jaclyn felt as if propelled her along while she cleaned. Emptying this vacuum was made simpler by the max fill marking line. Though she noted would be better if there was a bigger capacity for dust. It did manage to pick up after her pup, though, and when she transformed it into a handheld vacuum it excelled at cleaning her rug.
Good to know
While Jaclyn had no complaints performance-wise, she did find the Multi-Flex technology to be underwhelming. It was tougher to control when maneuvering under low furniture. However, the flexible frame allows the vac to fold over into one piece for storage.
Read our full Shark Vertex HZ2002 review.
For sucking up small messes, tackling dirt in your car, or cleaning your couch, the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is the ultimate handheld vacuum cleaner. Even better? It's Shark's most affordable handheld model, and it's designed for households with pets. If you’re regularly reaching for your main vacuum to clean little messes, then this lightweight model could very well become your go-to for smaller jobs. It comes with a handful of useful accessories, too.
- Self-cleaning brush roll
- CleanTouch dirt eject
As with all of Shark’s full-size cleaners, the UltraCyclone also utilizes a self-cleaning brush to prevent hair from getting wrapped around the roller. Our reviewer Jen found that the mini motorized attachment did an incredible job of lifting dirt from one of her rugs, filling up the 0.45-liter dust canister with its sheer power, and collecting pet hair with ease. Jen also found that the level of power remained consistent throughout using this vacuum, even though there were only 15 minutes of power available to her.
Good to know
The 10.8 V battery provides similar cleaning power to a regular vacuum, although you only get 15 minutes on a charge and a recharge takes about six hours. The dust compartment is pretty small, but it’s easy to empty and large enough for spot cleaning.
Read our full Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ review.
If you're looking for a vacuum that can deliver impressive cleaning power in a large home, this model is it. Billed as Shark's most powerful vacuum, this is also Shark's most premium upright design.
Self-Cleaning brush roll
Hypervelocity Accelerated Suction
When using this vacuum to clean up after a renovation period at home, Jaclyn found that it suctioned everything in its wake with minimal repeat passes. And hair? It never wrapped around the self-cleaning brush roll or clogged the vacuum shaft, so it's safe to say this vacuum is pet parent-approved. The LiftAway feature also made cleaning the stairs during testing significantly easier, though the vacuum definitely felt bulky and a little tiring to operate after a while. Remember it's corded, but it does have a 30-foot wire to work with. It also boasts Hypervelocity Accelerated Suction technology, so it practically walks itself around your home.
Good to know
The one-quart capacity got Jaclyn through all our tests before needing to be emptied. One disadvantage is that this is the heaviest Shark vacuum out there, a feature we sadly felt in our tests, so one to avoid if you need a more maneuverable pick. Its motor also emits a lot of airflow while in use, leading to extra noise. Additionally, it transforms into a handheld model to reach high places and get into small corners.
Read our full Shark AZ2002 vacuum review.
Shark's IQ Robot is here to help you reclaim your time, so instead of vacuuming your home every day, you can do it just three times a week and program your robot vacuum to do the job on the other four days. With powerful suction and the same anti-hair wrap feature involved with full-size vacuums, this robot is a winner for pet-friendly homes, too.
Matrix Clean Navigation
This vacuum was tested in an environment with plenty of pet traffic thanks to our reviewer Jaclyn's dog, Reese. By replacing her usual cordless vacuum with this robot version, Jaclyn found that there was a true luxury in no longer having to empty a dustbin every five minutes. She also loved that she could control it from anywhere thanks to the app. It works intuitively with wheels that help it seamlessly go between hard floors and area rugs. It moves in methodical back-and-forth patterns and doesn't get caught off-guard by any furniture in its wake.
On the first day of testing, Jaclyn found the separate dust bin in the base was relatively full after covering around 1,000 square feet of floor space. On day two, there was significantly less, a sign that it had picked up most of the debris on day one, and everything else was routine upkeep. She loved that it empties itself once it has finished cleaning, but there are a few ways it could've been better. She noted that it wasn't the best at cleaning the edges between her hard floor and area rug, nor was it great at collecting larger pieces of debris, like cereal or paper scraps.
Good to know
It can take several cycles for the robot to "map" your home, according to many reviewers, though it only took two run-throughs for us to get a relatively accurate reading. Even if you don't use the no-go strips, you can add boundaries in the app for future cycles, it avoids that area. Due to the mapping technology, if you move the base, the robot vacuum will have to recreate the map of your space from scratch. There is only support for one map at a time, so it's not possible to move it between floors or in spaces separated by a step. Just remember that you'll need space for its charging base to sit, and this will need to be nearby a plug.
Jaclyn reviewed the Shark RV1001AE vacuum over on our sister site, Homes & Gardens.
This Shark Wandvac is an affordable buy for small homes and apartments. It is a 2-in-1 vac, though bear in mind it's designed to be a handheld-to-stick model, not the other way around. So its suction is considerably better as a handheld vacuum. If you only have a small home and you want something lightweight, cheap, and reliable to make cleaning super easy, this could definitely be your next vacuum.
Self-Cleaning brush roll
During testing, our reviewer Annie concluded that the suction was more impressive as a handheld unit. It works as a stick vacuum, but she wouldn't recommend it as a main vacuum cleaner for busy homes or homes with pets. It can definitely cope with apartments with wooden flooring, though. She didn't notice a huge difference between the normal and boost modes but the easy storage element made this vacuum a real winner. It comes with a stand where the stick frame lives, which can be placed in a corner or closet. All that needs charging is the handheld unit. It's definitely not the most powerful Shark vacuum on this list, but it proves itself to be a winner in smaller homes.
Good to know
Annie loved the accessories that came with this vacuum cleaner system. Particularly, the multi-surface tool, which has removable bristles for different messes. It made cleaning her sofa, kitchen countertops, and corners a total breeze.
Read our full Shark Wandvac review.
The Shark Navigator NV352 is one of Shark's longest-standing models and for good reason. The reliable upright offers incredible value, suction power, and even HEPA filtration. If you like attachments, it's well equipped with a wide upholstery tool that handles pet hair on furniture and two crevice tools — a lengthy 24-inch one and a compact 5.5-inch option for reaching tight spaces. Finally, the brush roll shutoff feature allows you to instantly switch from deep carpet cleaning to gentle bare floor cleaning. The only reason it's last on our list is that we haven't tested it (yet).
About this vacuum
While it looks hefty and bulky in appearance, it's actually considered lightweight for an upright vac, and the swivel steering makes it easy to handle. The Lift-Away technology adds increased flexibility to reach under tight spaces or for above-floor cleaning. If you're looking for a high-performing vacuum that can handle hard floors and carpets with the same finesse while also saving a few dollars, the Navigator has proven its worth. In fact, it has over 9,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. As far as cons go, the top-heavy design is prone to tipping over, and some users find the 25-foot cord just a tad shorter than they'd hoped.
We're yet to test the Shark NV352, but we included it in this guide thanks to its excellent user reviews (4.6 stars out of 5 from 20,000 Amazon ratings).
How we test Shark vacuums
Here at Real Homes we like to get some hands-on experience with each of the products we feature in our buyers' guides. This means that it'll help us understand more about what you are getting for your money. That's why nearly every vacuum you see featured in this guide has been tested at home by a member of the Real Homes team.
You can read our full reviews by clicking the highlighted product titles in orange. You'll see that they have been used for a number of weeks (sometimes months) in our own homes, so they are faced with real-life challenges. Sometimes brands kindly gift us the vacuum cleaners after testing, so we can update our guides as we continue to learn about them over a longer period of time.
We've considered all the important factors, such as maneuverability, run-time, emptying of the canister (or bag), and general controls.
Meet our Shark vacuum testers:
Our head ecommerce editor Annie has tried the Shark Wandvac and loves it as a handheld vacuum for getting into corners, cleaning her upholstery, and dusting her skirting boards. Otherwise, she uses the Shark Stratos IZ862H as her main vacuum and thinks it's brilliant at cleaning the mess her pug Doug leaves behind on a daily basis. What's more, it automatically adapts its suction to your floors based on how dirty or clean they are. It works with scent pods to make your home smell nice as you clean and it folds to store. Oh, it also bends underneath furniture. But all of this comes at a rather hefty price tag.
Jaclyn was our former ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Jaclyn has tested three Shark vacuums from this list. She has tested our standout top pick, the Shark Vertex HZ2002, and was impressed by the lightweight, multi-flex design, which makes everyday vacuuming much easier. She also tried the Shark AZ2002 vacuum and gave it four stars. This corded model is powerful but a little harder to store. It's definitely one for larger homes. Lastly, Jaclyn tested the Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL RV1001AE over at Homes & Gardens, where she gave it four out of five stars.
Jen is the homes editor at TechRadar. Previously she has written for Ideal Home, Real Homes, and Homes & Gardens as our appliances editor. From this list, she has tested the handheld cordless Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ in her home and found it to be a valuable vac for dealing with pet hair and that it has great suction power, hence the 4.5-star rating.
Everything you need to know about Shark vacuums
Many of Shark's vacuums, whether cordless, corded, or robotic, have similar technologies that you'll see above as we listed each vacuum's features. To help you choose a Shark vacuum, here's some info on the most common technologies and terminology that you may come across. Some of these might be a must-have for you, whereas others you can take or leave.
- Lift Away / Powered Lift Away - For upright vacuums or cannister vacs. It means you can detach the bin and the suction part of your vacuum from the main unit, so that you can reach high places or tiny spaces, like the stairs, car, or to clean your upholstery. Essentially, it means your vacuum can also work as a handheld model. Powered LiftAway means the motor can be carried around, too.
- Self-Cleaning Brush Roll / Anti Hair Wrap - A style of brush roll that will clean hair from carpets and wooden floors without it getting tangled around the brush. Meaning you won't have to go at it with your scissors every few weeks. A game-changer whether you have pets or not.
- DuoClean PowerFins / DuoClean Powerfins HairPro - All in all, this is a type of brush head. It's called DuoClean because it comprises of two motorized brush rolls. One with flexible silicone fins (PowerFins) and the other is a traditional soft roller for a polished look on hard flooring. Paired together, these work to ensure nonstop contact on carpets and floors, meaning every inch of your floors will be clean. These brush rolls have integrated Anti Allergy and Anti Hair Wrap. The HairPro addition means it works even harder to pick up hair.
- Anti Allergy - Shark's sealed HEPA filtration system captures and traps 99.9% of dust, allergens and dander to remove them from the air inside your home and keep them sealed in your vacuum's bin. Essentially, this technology ensures that the air your vacuum emits doesn't contain allergens.
- CleanSenseIQ - This technology works to auto adjust your vacuum cleaner's suction when going over floor that's dirty (even if you can't see it). CleanSenseIQ vacuums will have an indicator on their floor head so that you can see when a spot is truly clean.
- MultiFlex / Flexology - This allows cordless Shark vacuums to bend in their stick, to reach underneath furniture. Meaning you don't have to bend down. These vacuums also fold down when it comes to storing. A great feature for smaller homes.
- Odor Neutralizer - A new technology that works with pods (opens in new tab) to emit a scent as you clean. You place a pod in the designated hole in your floor head and choose an intensity on the dial. Then, as you vacuum you will be able to smell the pod.
- HyperVelocity / HyperVelocity Plus - These refer to a specific type of motor. A HyperVelocity motor is a high-speed motor that offers super powerful suction in a lightweight design. This suction feels like it is accelerated and will almost pull you along as you clean. The Plus part is just even more suction.
- CleanEdge - For robot vacuum cleaners, this technology ensures that the corners of your home, by your baseboards, are cleaned too. The side of your robot vacuum cleaner will have a hole to eject a puff of air to push dust and debris into the robot's cleaning path.
- Matrix Clean Navigation - Only for robot vacuum cleaners, this is the specific pattern this vacuum cleans in. It also means that your robot vacuum will clean with multiple passes. This means the vacuum will cover every spot of your floor sometimes even twice.
What is the best Shark vacuum?
Choosing a Shark vacuum is not an easy decision to make. They are all very good in their own right and we can't speak highly enough of them, but if we had to pick one (okay, two) then the very best model we'd recommend is the Shark Stratos IZ862H, which is a pet-friendly model. If you've got the money to spend, it's undeniably brilliant thanks to the fact it automatically adjusts suction power, it works with scent pods to make your home smell nice, it bends under your furniture, and it folds for storing.
If you're on a budget with less than $300 to spend, then the Shark Vertex HZ2002 is great. Similar to the above, it bends to clean under furniture and it folds to store. It is corded, however, it has a super long wire. Otherwise, it's lightweight and easy to use.
- Don't miss our expert guide on how to clean a Shark vacuum cleaner to keep yours looking and working at its best