If you're shopping for any type of vacuum cleaner, there's a good chance that Shark has a model worth considering. The Shark model line has no less than 25 vacuums to choose from this year. Here's our top picks from across their model line.
Shark has been manufacturing vacuums since 1998. They currently sell robot, stick, cordless and upright vacuums as well as handheld models and mops. Below we've provided more details about our top picks for the best Shark vacuums to buy.
Shark has always excelled with their upright vacuums, and with the Shark Vertex, model AZ20002, they stepped everything up a notch. Designed for whole-home cleaning, the Vertex is great on any surface or mess it takes on. In our review of the Shark Vertex we honestly had a hard time finding much to fault it with.
The vacuum uses an upgraded version of their DuoClean Powerfins which provide the vacuum’s grunt when picking up hair, dirt and debris on both carpet and hard floors.
While the Vertex is called an upright, Shark’s Lift-Away feature allows the vacuum to essentially become a canister vacuum. In this mode the standard brush roll is left behind and the Rotator becomes ultra-portable.
In the Lift Away mode the vacuum’s flexible hose attaches to a variety of attachments and optionally an extension tube. The extension tube makes it possible to reach high into corners to get hard-to-reach cobwebs and dust.
Stairs are short work with the Shark’s pod and dustbin and the self-cleaning Pet Power Brush. It’s made specifically for stairs as well as removing pet hair, dirt and debris embedded in carpeting and furniture upholstery. The main brushroll incluces anti-hair wrap technology, too. This ensures both long and short hair don't become wrapped around the brushroll, but instead make it into the dustbin where they belong.
There’s two additional accessory tools included: a crevice tool to get in between furniture cushions and into corners plus a dusting brush. The crevice too is actually called the Pet crevice tool and it has hard bristles to loosen up and remove dirt or pet hair.
Additional thoughtful features include LED headlights, a generous 30 foot cord, HEPA filtration and a large dustbin with a full quart of capacity.
The Shark Stratos Upright packs the most suction of any Shark vacuum on the market today. It took that title from its predecessor, the Vertex Upright.
It's often cited power can overshadow how great of an upright it is. The Stratos has an 11.8 amp, 1416 watt motor that manages to deliver more usable suction than both of it's predecessors, the AZ2002 and AZ1002. It also has a slightly larger dustbin and although packing much more power, is barely heavier than the Vertex and .
The full name of this upright is a mouthful: Shark Stratos Lift-Away Upright Vacuum with DuoClean PowerFins HairPro. Shark wanted to be sure to note all the technologies bundled into this vacuum. And, there's a lot of them.
The DuoClean PowerFins both agitate carpet, freeing up stubborn dirt and debris when vacuuming carpeted floors. We appreciated the ability to turn off the AZ3002's brush roll when on hard floors (especially softer hardwood floors) where they're not needed. Speaking of the brush roll, it is self-cleaning, too. In practice we were happy with how well it handled both short pet hair and longer hair, too. The new HairPro designation speaks to Shark's latest anti-hair wrap technology.
We've talked about many vacuums' ability to transform into much a lighter canister. Shark calls this Lift-Away, and the AZ3002 has it. With the press of a single button, the dirt bin, hose and any attachment you choose separate from the main vacuum. This is the way to go for stairs, hard to reach areas and cleaning a car or truck.
As far as accessories are concerned, Shark includes a Upholstery Tool and a Crevice Tool.
We mentioned how good this upright does in regards to pets, but it's also great for allergy sufferers, too. There are two reasons why. First, it has a good-sized HEPA filter. But, a HEPA filter alone isn't the whole story. The important part is the it features Shark's Anti-Allergen Complete Seal. In layman's terms, after entering the vacuum, microscopic dust and allergens stay inside the HEPA filter or dustbin. Shark says based on the industry standard ASTM F1977 test it captures 99.99% of allergens, irritants and dust .3 microns or larger.
One thing worth note is that the Stratos doesn't include a powered pet/upholstery brush like the Vertex. If that is important to you, the Vertex is likley a better pick for you.
The Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight isn’t just our pick for best cordless vacuum from Shark, it is one of the best cordless stick vacuums regardless of brand.
The cord-free vacuum features Shark’s DuoClean PowerFins, just like their best corded vacuums. It’s DuoClean PowerFins help get everything from fine dust to dirt and larger debris into the vacuum’s dust bin regardless of flooring type.
The cordless stick has LED headlights, which we are a huge fan of. And, it is one of the few stick vacuums with a tube that bends. This allows cleaning under low furniture without you having to bending down.
The vacuum has a digital motor and three power settings - Eco, Deep Clean mode and Boost mode. There’s also a toggle to switch between carpet and hard flooring. As you’d expect in a high-end stick vacuum, the handle has a digital read out which displays the remaining battery life.
Run time before requiring a return to its charging dock is 60 minutes. That one-hour cleaning time is on the eco suction setting and with a non-powered cleaning head. One feature that we absolutely love is that the battery is swappable as opposed to integrated into the vacuum handle. This means as an owner you can replace the battery if it ever wears down. Or, you can purchase a second battery to extend the vacuum's cleaning time.
Both of the unit’s filters – a foam pre-filter and a HEPA filter – are washable. Shark leveraged its Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology, stating it "captures and traps dust, allergens, dander, and more, keeping them out of the air you breathe."
We have tested other stick vacuums with more power, more accessories and more features. While you can’t be the best at everything, the reason the Vertex Pro Lightweight is so great is that it is very good at everything it does with no significant compromises to speak of.
Customers rave about this Shark cordless and with good reason. It’s one of the best stick vacuum’s Shark has released in years. A full review is forthcoming.
In the small but powerful handheld arena the WANDVAC cordless handheld is a great value. The small, 1.4 pound WANDVAC is meant for quickly picking up little messes around the house. Cleaning power comes from a digital motor which is a smaller sibling of what ships with their cordless stick vacuums.
Shark includes two accessories with the handheld. The first, the Duster crevice tool is for hard to reach corners and tight spaces. The second, a Mutli-surface pet tool is for cleaning up dog and cat hair on carpet or upholstery.
Emptying the dustbin is hand-free with the touch of a button. There is a single filter which can be washed and reused as opposed to being thrown away.
The handheld vacuum and attachments all store on a fast-charging base for the vacuum. It’s a smart looking vacuum that looks at home on a kitchen countertop, desk or more discretely in a corner.
For those looking for a bit more, there is also the Shark WANDVAC System. The system includes a WANDVAC, extension tube and cleaning head. This allows the System to be used like a sweeper or stick vacuum, as well as a handheld.
Both variations get high marks by consumers.
Shark’s success with robot vacuums hasn’t been as shining as with upright vacuums. With the Shark AI line of robotic vacuum cleaners they are bucking that trend.
The Shark AI product line takes all the lessons learned from the Shark robotic vacuums of the past and upgrades their mapping and navigation technology dramatically.
The first is a pure vacuuming robot. It is simply called the Shark AI Robot Vacuum. These are our favorite type. We prefer vacuum-only and mopping-only robots (although there are some compelling dual-purpose robots that challenge our thinking).
The second variation is a self-emptying model. Shark has gone this route before with their IQ line. And, while wek weren’t convinced by the IQ’s performance, the self-emptying AI model is a big upgrade. This model has a very long name. Shark calls it the Shark AI Robot Vacuum with XL Self-Emptying Base.
The third variation is a vacuuming and mopping robot. It’s aptly named the Shark AI VACMOP Vacuum & Mop.
All three Shark AI Robots use LiDAR laser navigation. This is the state-of-the-art with cleaning robots. LiDAR laser navigation provides the most accurate mapping and navigation available. The AI in the names refers to the robots navigation. Shark calls is AI Laser Navigation. When moving about, the robot uses lasers to measure its position from walls and objects.
If you choose to go with the self-emptying base Shark states the extra-large dustbin can go up to 60 days without being emptied.
We haven’t done a hands-on review of any of the Shark AI robots, but will post and update here when we do.
So, when you think of Shark home cleaning products, you probably think about vacuums. Most people do with the exception of those who have owned a Shark Steam & Scrub. They’d likely tell you Shark was a powered mop company first, and vacuum manufacturer second.
The Steam & Scrub looks like a stick or slim upright vacuum with two circular mopping pads attached to its cleaning head. Those rotating mop heads are half of why this mop is so beloved.
The automatic scrubbing mop head scrubs 150 times per minute. That action is what makes this mop such a great cleaner. Well, that and the second cleaning feature, the steam.
The steam feature allows cleaning stubborn dirt, residue, grease, grime and even bacteria. And, it does so without any chemical cleaner. Shark had the steam cleaner independently tested and it was found to be twice as good at ‘stuck-on stain removal” when compared with traditional steam mops. Note that claim is based on an official IEC testing standard and in comparison to the previous S1000 model.
As far as the chemical-free bacteria removal, Shark states that controlled sanitation testing yielded a 99.9% effectiveness in removing bacteria.
There’s three cleaning modes – Light, Normal and Deep and even LED headlights. As far as surfaces go, the mop is suited for us on all sealed hard-flooring surfaces including hardwood, marble, stone and tile.
We almost forgot the best part: the Steam & Scrub is priced incredibly aggressively, too!
Finally, we have our pick for best Shark corded stick vacuum. Our pick was an easy one – the Shark Apex UpLight. The Apex UpLight is a very interesting stick vacuum as it functions not only as a stick vacuum, but also as a canister, thus the Lift-Away designation.
The main difference between this stick vacuum and our cordless pick is obviously that this one is corded. While cordless stick vacuums are more convenient, they can’t match the relentless, powerful suction from a strong corded vacuum. And, Shark’s Apex UpLight is a staggering example.
The Apex UpLight has a large dustbin (.68 quarts) and its cord is a generous 30 feet. Both the foam and HEPA filters are washable, too. Weight comes in below 11 pounds, and this model has a fantastic warranty: 5 years.
For those looking for the very best in power and portability, this corded Shark stick vacuum should be at the top of their shopping list.