Last updated on January 3rd, 2019 by Garrick Dee
When it comes to innovation, performance and price, a few brands come close to Shark.
They are quite aggressive in terms marketing their products to be better than the Dyson.
And quite frankly it’s hard to argue with their claim.
While this article will not directly compare a Shark and Dyson, it will show you the different variants from across different vacuum types.
From lightweight handhelds to full sized uprights, I’ve got you covered.
Please do check on the table of contents section above if you feel the need to jump on a section directly. But please make sure to read the entire article to get a feel which will be best suited for your needs.
To help you better navigate through this article, I’ll separate each list according to the type of vacuum that way it is easier for you to choose based on need.
Please read the link above to help you know what type of cleaner you need.
Best Shark Upright Vacuums
Upright vacuums are the most powerful options available right now. These cleaners have the ability to deep clean carpet.
What’s unique about Shark uprights is the versatility it brings to the table.
Not only will you be able to deep clean floors, the newest variants basically turns into a canister vacuum capable of cleaning above the floor areas with ease.
This is a big reason why Shark does not manufacture a lot of canister vacuums. This makes sense because why would you manufacturer canister vacuums if your uprights can do the job better.
Right now, they have only one canister in their product line and it isn’t very popular.
Shark Rotator TruePet NV752
The Rotator TruePet is one of the first Shark upright vacuums that utilize the Powered Lift Away feature.
If you don’t know what “Powered Lift Away,” it is the ability for you to use the main cleaning head in upright and canister mode.
This really helps extend the range of this upright. No longer will you have to rely on a weaker stick vacuum to clean under your beds.
With a push of a button, you can now use this vacuum to clean under your bed.
But wait there’s more.
In front of the main cleaning head are LED headlights that will help track dirt and dust. Even the mini turbo brush has LED headlights – not a lot of vacuums have this feature.
The mini-turbo brush makes this a useful tool to tackle pet hair on sofas and beds.
This upright would be great inside homes with carpet since it doesn’t have the Duo Clean head. But you can still use this on bare floor since it has the brush roll on/off feature.
Aside from the main cleaning head and mini turbo brush, you’ll also get the following
- Hard floor hero
- Crevice tool
- Pet multi tool
Of course it won’t have as much power as the other brands above. But for the price you’ll pay, it brings a lot of value to the table.
Shark Navigator NV352
Before the it came out, the Navigator NV352 was perhaps the most versatile upright around. It was one of Shark’s first uprights that had the Lift Away feature.
Since it has been around the block for several years, it is also one of the cheapest. This upright will cost just under $100 and it is a great deal.
Folks who have allergies will also benefit from this because it has HEPA filtration. There will still be exposure to allergens since it is a bagless vacuum. Please do check our guide here to know the difference between a bagless and bagged vacuum.
It does have its limitations. First, you won’t be able to use the main cleaning head in canister mode. If you want this feature, you’ll have to spend a bit more and get the NV752.
Another disadvantage of the NV352 is the lack of a mini turbo brush. But that’s not a big issue as Shark also offers the newer NV360 that has both the mini turbo brush and under appliance wand for just a few bucks more.
Shark Duo Clean Powered Lift Away (NV803)
The Duo Clean NV803 is an upgraded version of the NV752. Most significant of the upgrades you’ll get is the main cleaning head.
Look under and you’ll see it has Shark’s patented Duo Clean system that combines the soft roller bar and traditional bristle brush.
If you look at reviews, this system works great both on bare floor and carpet. The beauty of the Duo Clean technology is its ability to clean both large and small debris with efficiency.
The soft roller bar makes it possible to increase the clearance so larger particles of dirt will fit in.
However it will not match a Dyson in terms of deep cleaning performance on carpet.
But it still will do a pretty darn good job. And the versatility it brings to the table somewhat offsets the lack of power.
Shark Navigator Lift Away ZU561
Pet hair owners who live in homes with lots of carpet should have a close look at the Shark Navigator ZU561.
This variant is part of the next generation Shark uprights that has the Zero-M Anti-Wrap technology that prevents hair from wrapping around the brush.
If there is one issue with traditional beater bars, constantly removing hair would be the top of the list.
The Zero-M feature address that issue by having a mechanism that pulls hair out of the brush roll into the suction chamber then out the dirt bin.
Another improvement would be the larger dirt bin that can hold more than 2 quarts of dry dirt.
If you have a larger home with lots of carpet, this is a great option.
However, it does not have the Powered Lift Away feature where you can use the main cleaning head even in canister mode.
Shark APEX with Duo Clean and Zero-M (AZ1002)
If you’re looking for a little more reach and power then the Shark APEX AZ1002 is a great option.
Unlike the ZU561 were you can’t use the main cleaning head in Lift Away mode, this upright gives you this option.
Combine this with the Duo Clean head allows this to clean both bare floor and carpet with efficiency.
One downside that this has versus the ZU561 would be the smaller bin. This upright can only hold 1.5 quarts of dirt. The former can hold around 2.1 quarts.
So you’ll have to weigh what’s more important to you. Get a cheaper upright that will hold more but won’t do as well on bare floor. Or get the more expensive upright with a smaller dirt capacity and yet has more power and reach.
Shark Rotator UV7965
Folks living in a big home will appreciate how much dirt the Shark Rotator UV7965 can hold.
Unlike the other Shark uprights above that can only store up to 2.1 quarts, this monster almost doubles that capacity.
To be more specific, this full sized upright can hold up to 3.57 quarts of dry dirt. If you convert that to liters, that’s around 3.37. This is more than any Dyson, Sebo or Miele upright can store.
What’s impressive about this upright is its ability to turn itself into a canister vacuum.
Shark makes it easier to move this around in Lift Away mode thanks to the canister caddy.
And you can use the main cleaning head even in this mode which increases the reach.
This essentially is two products in one!
Best Shark Stick Vacuums
Stick vacuums are lightweight versions of uprights. These machines don’t hold as much dirt but it makes up for it by being lighter and more nimble.
If you live in a smaller home this is good option to purchase because it doesn’t take as much space. These machines are also lighter, in most cases under 10 pounds.
Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382
In terms of functionality and performance, the Shark Rocket HV382 with DuoClean comes really close to the Dyson V8.
Both these brands offer interchangeable tools and cleaning performance that is only a few other brands can match.
The HV382 is the first Shark stick vacuum that has the DuoClean technology. This combines the soft roller head and bristle brush. Whereas the Dyson has a separate tool for both brushes, Shark combines them in one.
One advantage that this feature has is there is no need to remove tools when transitioning from bare floor to carpet. This will do a pretty decent job.
It may not have as much suction as a Dyson but the presence of the cord means you can clean much larger areas. Of course there will be a constant need to plug and unplug.
Aside from the main cleaning head, you’ll also get a crevice and pet-multi tool that works great on upholstery.
Shark Rocket HV322
In the middle of the pack of the Rocket HV300 series is the HV322.
It comes with the upgraded cleaning head that now has the LED headlights, a larger dirt bin, mini turbo brush, longer power cord and more power.
In essence this is a bigger version of the HV302 but strangely it is cheaper.
Between the two I’d pick this over the older version unless you want something lighter.
One disadvantage this has over the lighter HV302 would be it is more top heavy.
If you find yourself cleaning stuff like ceiling vents, you’ll need to arm strength to use this.
Just in case this is an issue you can opt for the lighter Shark IONFlex that doesn’t have any cords.
Shark Rocket Ultra HV302
The HV302 is Shark’s first stick vacuum that used the Dyson blueprint.
When I say Dyson blueprint, I mean it utilizes a similar tool set that includes a detachable wand and interchangeable tools.
At just 8 pounds, this variant is lighter than most uprights. The swivel steering allows it to move easily around furniture.
If you combine that with its ability to go almost flat gives it reach that most uprights can dream about.
This variant is the lightest of all the Shark Rocket series at just 7.6 pounds. It does have a cord so there will be a need to tidy up afterwards.
Strangely this is more expensive than the newer HV322 but that could just be the pricing structure in Amazon.
Best Shark Cordless Vacuums
When it comes to sheer versatility and reach, it’s hard to beat a cordless vacuum. And Shark has several options that can compete with a Dyson head on. Let’s look at these products closely.
Shark IONFlex 2X
The IONFlex 2X is one of Shark’s most versatile vacuums available right now.
It has the same interchangeability as a Dyson plus some other features it does not have.
One of my favorite features is the removable battery that you can charge separately.
Since this variant has two batteries, you can keep one battery charging while using vacuum.
This helps minimize downtime and essentially doubles the run time.
Each battery will run for up to 23 minutes according to Shark. So the two batteries in total will run for around 46 minutes which is plenty to clean a small home.
Another feature that makes this unique is the ION Flex that essentially allows you to flex the extension wand at the middle.
This helps make it easier to clean areas under furniture as you don’t need to bend as much.
It also helps in terms of storage. With the wand flexed, it takes up less real estate vertically.
Lastly, the Duo Clean feature makes this usable on both carpet and bare floor.
There are several different variants available in the IONFlex series. If the IONFlex 2X is too expensive, you can opt for the IONFlex IF201 that will cost less than $180.
Shark ION P50
The ION P50 is one of the more unique Shark cordless vacuums in that it looks like an upright but in reality it is a stick vacuum.
Unlike the Rocket or ION Flex series where the dirt bin is up top, the ION P50’s bin is closer to the cleaning head.
Doing this allowed Shark engineers to put a bigger bin thus lessening the need to empty this as often.
Whereas the IR141 (or X40) and IF281 (or F80) can only hold 0.3 quarts, this cordless can hold up to 0.5 quarts. This equates to around 0.47 liters.
This variant is also unique in that you can use it as a stick, handheld and canister. Talk about versatility. Like all newer Shark vacuums, this variant also comes with the DuoClean head with the LED headlights.
The lithium ion battery will last for about 50 minutes. It also has a fully sealed HEPA filtration that will block out up to 0.3 microns of allergens.
Shark Rocket ION IR101
The Shark Rocket ION IR101 is the cordless version of the corded Rocket series.
It has the same features as the IONFlex minus the flexible wand and DuoClean head which makes it more suitable cleaning small chunks of dirt.
The main cleaning head has LED headlights that help track dust. Since it is cordless, it lacks power and will not deep clean carpet.
It does have a bunch of tools that allow it to clean different areas in your home and even inside your car.
Aside from the main cleaning head, it comes with the crevice tool, mini turbo brush and soft dusting brush that can clean under low profile furniture.
If you’re looking for a lightweight cleaner minus the cord, this is a good option.
Best Shark Robot Vacuums
Robotic vacuums are unique in that these machines are autonomous.
It does the work without you lifting a finger. What it lacks in power, it makes up for in being thorough. Robots will not get tire no matter how often you send them out to clean.
Shark finally decided to get into this market and grab a market share thanks to the success of iRobot and Neato and the growing demand.
Shark ION R75 Robot
The ION R75 is Sharks and still their bestselling robotic vacuum to date with over 1,000 reviews to date.
Beneath the black and gray finish is a pretty basic robotic vacuum in the mold of a Roomba that will provide clean your home thoroughly.
But one big selling point would be the price. This robot is cheaper than the Roomba 690 at just under $230. And despite being cheaper it still has the same features like WiFi and Alexa connectivity.
This variant has two side brushes but what’s unique is that both side brushes only has a single prong. If you look at other brands like iRobot, Xiaomi or ILIFE, all of them have 3-pronged side brushes.
Having only one prong, lessens the agitation is provides. The reason they did this is beyond me. If you look at video reviews, this brushes doesn’t spin fast.
Shark ION R85 Robot
The ION R85 is an upgraded version of the R75.
All the upgrades are geared towards to cleaning pet hair.
It has a larger bin and 3 times more suction in max mode that allows it to clean and store more pet hair.
The self-cleaning brush roll helps prevent pet hair from wrapping around the brush.
It comes with the Shark app and compatible with Alexa and Google Assistance whichever device you have.
All these upgrades surprisingly don’t cost a premium over the previous R75. This in my opinion is a better deal than the R75.
Shark Robot Cleaning System S87
The S87 is Shark’s latest robotic vacuum with a twist.
This variant comes with a second vacuum that will clean the robot’s bin for you so you have to empty it. You can also use the additional vacuum has a hand vac for cleaning pet litter or hair.
In terms of performance and specs, the S87 is basically the same robot as the R85.
It has the same sized bin and motor that will be best suited in homes with pets.
The S87 will work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistance plus it also has WiFi that you can connect to a smartphone app so a remote isn’t a need anymore.
One other robot vacuum comparable to this is the Roomba I7 which is hundreds of dollars more expensive.
How to choose the best Shark vacuum?
Like what said in my previous articles, there isn’t one vacuum that will fit the needs of every household.
If somebody says that this particular model is the best of all Shark vacuums, they’re lying because nothing exists to be frank.
You’ll have to define that need and answer some questions in order to find out which of these vacuums will suite you best.
How much are you willing to spend?
First thing you need to do is set a figure or range of how much you’re willing to spend.
Are you willing to spend $100, $200 or $300 for a vacuum? Doing this helps eliminate options out of that range and save you time.
How much carpet does your home have?
For homes with wall to wall carpet, I would recommend an upright vacuum because these machines will provide the best cleaning performance and have the most capacity.
The good news is Shark upright vacuums have versatility not found in other brands. Most of the new Shark uprights morph into canister vacuums.
Do you live in a large home?
If you live in a large home, there are two important things you need to look out for – bin size and cord length.
Pick up something with the biggest size dirt bin possible and with the longest power cord. This way you won’t need to empty it as often.
Small home owners listen up
For you folks who live in smaller homes, you may not need an upright at all. Stick vacuums are great alternatives because these cleaners are small and will take up less space.
If you live in a small home that does not have carpet, I reckon that cordless vacuum would be a solid option.
Do you have pets?
A big trend these days I see is folks having multiple pets at home. I don’t blame them, these creatures does bring joy and unconditional love. But along with that they also leave behind pet hair and lots of it.
If you have pets at home, it’s best that you look for a variant with a mini turbo brush. These tools help with cleaning pet hair on upholstery and stairs – areas where pet hair is hard to clean.
Newer Shark uprights also have this feature they call the “Zero-M” feature that helps pull pet hair off the brush roll. This feature will help reduce the maintenance clean ups that needs to be done on the brush.
Are you busy?
Folks who have really busy schedules will benefit the most from robotic vacuums. These machines are great because these are autonomous, meaning they will clean on their own.
Of course you’ll have to do your part by removing stray toys and loose wires to maximize their strengths.
One big advantage that a robot has over a traditional vacuum is its ability to clean deep under your beds. All Shark robot vacuums measure around 3” tall more or less which is short enough to go under most beds.
These areas are notorious for accumulating lots of dust and a robot vacuum can help prevent dirt from piling up under there.
To wrap up
This sums up the best Shark vacuums round up. There are many more Shark vacuums available but the variants here I think are the best in my opinion.
But don’t worry, as new models come out I’ll keep this list updated. If you want me to feature any of the Shark vacuums please comment below.
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