It’s hard to imagine a time without vacuum cleaners, especially when you consider that the United States spends almost $10 billion on them each year. Much of this revenue is split between just a few major industry players, including Dyson, Bissell, Roomba, and Shark vacuum cleaners.
Shark is easily one of the biggest names in vacuum cleaners, offering a diverse range of products that include new technologies like cordless power and robotic vacuums. For the average consumer, it’s pretty clear that Shark has no shortage of models to choose from.
But are Shark vacuums good for every homeowner, or is it all just marketing? And while each of these vacuums promises to transform how you clean your home, some are bound to do a better job than others.
The 6 Best Shark Vacuum Cleaners You Can Buy Right Now
We’ve put together reviews for some of the best Shark vacuums currently available, ranging from traditional uprights to app-operated robots.
Expert reviews, product specifications, and consumer feedback were all used to make this list. The following vacuums are in no particular order.
1. Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away with Self-Cleaning Brushroll Upright Vacuum — ZU632
Whether you live in a multi-story home or a small apartment, the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away with Self-Cleaning Brushroll Upright Vacuum is an undeniably innovative machine. While this vacuum looks like your typical upright machine at first glance, the entire canister lifts away to more easily vacuum stairs, upholstery, and other hard-to-reach surfaces.
As part of Shark’s Rotator line, this vacuum offers a decent amount of maneuverability for its size. This model also features front-mounted LED lights to illuminate hard-to-reach areas as you clean while the self-cleaning brush prevents annoying and potentially damaging tangles from human or pet hair.
This is also a decent option for allergy-sufferers since the Shark ZU632 is entirely sealed and includes a HEPA filter. However, emptying the canister can reintroduce dust and dander to the air, even with the anti-allergen filter.
- Doubles as an upright and handheld vacuum
- Sealed HEPA filtration traps allergens
- Bright LED lights for more visibility
- Self-cleaning brush bar won’t clog with hair
- Easy to maneuver around tight spaces
- Emptying the canister can release dust
- Power cord is shorter than some other models
- Most attachments sold separately
2. Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum — AZ2002
New doesn’t always equal better, but the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum certainly steps up to the challenge. As the brand’s newest full-scale vacuum, this model offers pretty much every feature under the sun.
Along with a lift-away canister and self-cleaning brush head, the AZ2002 also includes Shark’s DuoClean PowerFins. This means the vacuum has two brush rolls that work simultaneously, one picking up small dust and debris while the other penetrates deep into carpet fibers.
At the time of its release, the AZ2002 is Shark’s most powerful vacuum. Like the brand’s other high-end models, this one includes sealed HEPA filtration to fight allergens.
- Lift-away canister allows for handheld cleaning
- Fully sealed filtration system
- Dual, self-cleaning brush rolls
- Front-mounted lights for added visibility
- Extra-strong suction power
- New release that may have unknown issues
- More expensive than other Shark vacuums
- Loud motor
3. Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum — IZ163H
As the name implies, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum is specifically designed to tackle the unique challenges of pet owners. Most importantly, it features Shark’s self-cleaning technology to prevent pet hair from getting stuck on the brush bar.
As one of Shark’s cordless vacuum options, this model leads the pack in convenience. Each battery offers up to 40 minutes of continuous use. Recharging the battery takes about four hours. Since the battery can be charged outside of the vacuum, you can invest in back-ups for longer cleaning sessions.
While this vacuum features a pretty small dust canister and will need frequent emptying, it does comes with the same HEPA filtration as Shark’s heftier models. It also comes with a crevice tool and pet multi-tool attachment for more detailed cleaning.
- Lightweight design for upright or handheld use
- HEPA filtration helps fight household allergens
- Self-cleaning brush bar prevents pet hair buildup
- Flexible wand makes it easy to reach under furniture
- Top-heavy design prone to tipping over
- Battery life limits cleaning time
- Dust canister requires frequent emptying
4. Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld Vacuum — CH951
For small spaces and small messes, a full-sized vacuum can be overkill. The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld Vacuum delivers much of the same convenience and cleaning power as the brand’s full-size models in a significantly smaller package.
Despite its small size, this vacuum is built to tackle pet hair and dander. The powered brush attachment is self-cleaning to prevent pet hair from getting tangled around the brush bar. It also includes a CleanTouch ejection button, so you don’t need to touch the dirty canister when emptying it.
The Shark CH951 handheld vacuum utilizes split filtration to separate out large dirt particles and protect the internal filter. However, the built-in washable filter does not protect against allergens as well as the brand’s HEPA-equipped vacuums.
- Weighs under three pounds
- Washable and reusable built-in filter
- Includes a crevice tool and power brush
- Hands-free dust canister ejection button
- Large dust canister for its size
- Not designed for cleaning large spaces
- Maximum 10-minute continuous battery life
- Does not feature HEPA filtration
- Weak suction compared to full-sized models
5. Shark IQ Robot XL Vacuum — RV101AE
If hands-free cleaning is more your style, Shark also manufactures a few robotic vacuums. Of these, the Shark IQ Robot XL Vacuum is the most deluxe option by far.
Like most robot vacuums, this model won’t deep clean dense carpets or rugs. But the Shark RV101AE will pick up large debris on top of your carpets and can handle almost any mess that’s on a hard surface. If you have pets or family members with long hair, the self-cleaning brush rolls will ensure this vacuum doesn’t jam up in the middle of a job.
Compared to other robotic vacuums on the market, the Shark RV101AE offers tons of smart connectivity. You can use your smartphone or Amazon Alexa to control the vacuum, including designating specific rooms you want cleaned.
- Available with or without self-emptying base
- Compatible with most smartphones and Amazon Alexa
- Customizable house and room maps
- Self-cleaning brush rolls
- Won’t replace a full-sized vacuum cleaner
- Hard to target specific messes
- May leave behind clumps of pet hair
- Known to have software bugs
6. Shark Rocket Corded Stick Vacuum — HV302
For flexible, lightweight cleaning without needing to worry about a rechargeable battery, check out the Shark Rocket Corded Stick Vacuum. While this machine is more or less the predecessor of the brand’s newer cordless models, it still packs quite a punch of its own.
This vacuum is ultra-light, weighing in at just under eight pounds (just over three pounds in handheld mode). Fingertip controls placed at the top of the vacuum make it easy to switch between cleaning hard floors and carpet without bending over.
This model also has Swivel Steering for plenty of maneuverability and breaks down for compact storage. If you or someone you know has limited mobility and is looking for a vacuum, the Shark HV302 is easily one of the top contenders currently on the market.
- Lightweight and very easy to maneuver
- Converts to a corded handheld vacuum
- Includes multiple attachments
- Great for those with limited storage space
- Multiple settings for different floor types
- Very small dust canister
- Not ideal for allergy-sufferers
- Top-heavy design does not stand up on its own
How to Choose the Perfect Vacuum Cleaner for Your Home
Whether you opt for one of these Shark vacuums or another brand entirely, you’re about to make a big investment. Before you settle on a specific model, make sure your new vacuum cleaner is going to meet all of your and your household’s needs:
Not all vacuums are created equal, and choosing the wrong one for your home’s floor type can greatly impact your new vacuum’s efficacy.
Unless your home is made up entirely of hardwood, tile, or linoleum (and you don’t plan to vacuum any large areas rugs), you’ll need a vacuum with a spinning brush called a beater bar.
Along with removing hair from your carpet fibers, the beater bar loosens ground-in dirt and helps maintain your carpet’s overall appearance. Some vacuums come with powered brush attachments for tackling dense upholstery, curtains, and small rugs.
Vacuums designed solely for hard flooring do not have a beater bar — some surfaces can actually be scratched or otherwise damaged by one. For homes with both types of flooring, choose a vacuum with an optional brush bar for the best results.
Corded vs. cordless
Take a look at any major vacuum brand’s current lineup, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a few cordless models in the mix. Since very few of us enjoy dealing with restrictive, tangle-prone cords, it’s easy to understand why these vacuums are gaining in popularity.
Unfortunately, owners of cordless vacuums give up a lot for added convenience.
For example, top-of-the-line cordless models max out at about an hour of battery life. Many cordless vacuums also have less suction power than similarly priced corded ones.
So before you jump at the opportunity to own a new cordless vacuum cleaner, think about if one of these machines can truly meet your home’s needs.
Most vacuum cleaners come with at least one or two attachments, often designed for cleaning stairs or furniture. Some popular Shark vacuum attachments include the:
- Crevice Tool
- Dusting Brush
- Wide Upholstery Tool
- Pet Power Brush
Before deciding on a specific vacuum model, it’s also a good idea to research what type of after-market attachments are out there. Popular brands, including Shark, often have a wide variety of official and off-brand attachments available.
Remember: Every vacuum model is compatible with certain attachments. You can learn which official attachments fit your vacuum’s model number on the Shark website.
Bagged vs. bagless
As a whole, the modern vacuum cleaner market has a strong preference for bagless models. After all, once you purchase one of these vacuums, you don’t need to worry about hunting down and buying new bags every couple of months.
Still, some consumers (myself included) prefer bagged vacuums.
In many cases, bagged vacuums last longer because dirt and dust is trapped as soon as it enters the machine. Using a bag might be less convenient, but it also makes emptying the vacuum’s dust chamber easier and a lot less messy.
Allergy-sufferers, in particular, should take note. No matter how well your vacuum filters the air while it’s running, you’re going to reintroduce some of that dust back into your home when you empty the canister. Because of this, high-quality filtration is going to be even more important than with a traditional bagged model.
Discover a New Level of Clean
With so many models available, Shark really does have a vacuum for almost every household. If you want to go big, then the brand new Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum is the most obvious choice. Or if you need something lightweight and compact, try something like the Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum.
Many of Shark’s top vacuum cleaners also offer innovative technology like app-compatibility or cordless power. These machines might not be for everyone, but they certainly show why Shark is one of the companies at the forefront of vacuum cleaner technology.
Have you ever owned a Shark vacuum cleaner? What was your experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!