Best Shark Vacuum to Buy in 2021

Shark's top upright, robot, stick and handheld vacuum for cleaning nearly anything around the house.

Published 10/21/2021

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.

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Best Shark Vacuum

Best Shark Vacuum: Shark Rotator Lift-Away

For whole-home deep cleaning the Shark Rotator Lift-Away offers the powerful suction and cleaning of a corded upright combined with the maneuverability of a smaller vacuum to tackle hard-to-clean areas.
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Best Shark Cordless Vacuum

Best Cordless: Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight

LED headlights help navigate the home while enjoying up to 60 minutes of cleaning before needing a charge. The versatile cord-free vacuum also features a flexible wand and an extra large dust bin.
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Best Shark Handheld Vacuum

Best Handheld: Shark WANDVAC

This compact cordless vacuum makes is great at cleaning up pet hair on upholstery, an unexpected mess in the kitchen or the interior and trunk of any car.
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Best Shark Robot Vacuum

Best Robot Vacuum: Shark AI Robot Vacuum

Shark's AI Robot Vacuum maps and navigates using laser-based navigation, cleans well on all flooring surfaces and can even empty itself (when purchased with the Shark Self-Emptying base accessory).
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Best Shark Mop

Best Hard Floor Steam Mop: Shark Steam & Scrub

The Steam & Scrub is an all-in-one steam mop that sanitizes wood, marble, tile and other hard floor surfaces – removing 99% of bacteria in the process – without any chemical cleaners.
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Best Shark Corded Stick Vacuum

Best Corded Stick: Shark Apex Uplight

Powerful corded suction and Shark's DuoClean technology combine in this lightweight, bagless stick vacuum that cordless models can't compete with.
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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.

Best Shark Upright Vacuum

Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV

Shark has always excelled with their upright vacuums, and the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is a perfect example. Designed for whole-home cleaning, the upright performs great on just about any surface or mess it takes on.

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.

The upright that also becomes a portable canister

While it’s 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.

Great accessories, especially for homes with pets

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.

There’s two additional accessory tools included: a crevice tool to get in between furniture cushions and into corners plus a Pet Multi-Tool. The Pet Multi-Tool is a non-powered brush which can be used with or without its hard bristles to loosen up and remove dirt or pet hair.

Additional thoughtful features include LED headlights, a generous 25 foot cord, HEPA filtration and a large dustbin - .89 quarts. Owners give the vacuum high marks, and nearly 90% say they’d recommend the Rotator Lift-Away ADV Upright to a friend.

In the box

  • Shark Rotator LA502 Upright Vacuum
  • Crevice tool
  • Pet Multi-tool
  • Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush
  • Owner's Guide/Manual

Specs

  • Dust bin: Bagless
  • Cord: 25'
  • Lift-Away: Yes
  • Motor: 910W
  • Warranty: 5 Years
Best Cordless Vacuum

Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight

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.

Cordless Shark vacuum that cleans like a corded one

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.

Long cleaning time before recharge

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."

Great cleaning performance

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 box

  • Shark VERTEX Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum
  • Self-Cleaning Brushroll with DuoClean PowerFins
  • Folding MultiFLEX Wand
  • Anti-Allergen Dusting Brush
  • Crevice Tool
  • Pet Multi-Tool
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Instructions

Specs

  • Dust cup: 32 ounces
  • Max Battery Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Suction Power: 281 AW
  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion
  • Removable Battery: Yes
  • Batteries Included: 1
  • Made for Pet Hair: Yes
  • Weight: 8.82 lb
  • Warranty: 1 Year
Best Handheld Vacuum

Shark WANDVAC / WANDVAC Handheld System

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.

Accessories / attachments

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.

Charging base and storage

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.

In the box

  • Shark WANDVAC
  • Duster Crevice Tool
  • Multi-surface Pet Tool
  • Dock/Charging Base
  • Power Cord
  • Instructions

Specs

  • Dust cup: .08 quarts
  • Washable Filter: Yes
  • Made for Pet Hair: Yes
  • Weight: 1.4 lb
  • Warranty: 2 Year
Best Shark Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Shark AI Robot Vacuum

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.

Shark AI Robot vacuum variations

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 we 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.

Advanced laser-based mapping & navigation

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.

Optional self-emptying base

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.

In the box

  • Shark AI Robot Vacuum
  • Standard Charging Dock or optional Self-Emptying Dock
  • 2 Side Brushes
  • 2 Extra Side Brushes
  • 1 Washable Filter
  • Self-cleaning Brushroll
  • Owner's Guide/Manual

Specs

  • Dimensions: 13.7" x 13.7" x 4.1"
  • Cleaning Path Width: 5.67"
  • Mapping: LiDAR
  • App: Yes, iPhone and Android
  • Works with Alexa: Yes
  • Works with Google Assistant: Yes
  • Weight: 15.2 lb
  • Warranty: 1 Year
Best Hard Floor Steam Vac

Shark Steam & Scrub

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.

Deep-cleaning, powered mopping head

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.

Chemical-free, bacteria fighting mop

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.

Value and price

We almost forgot the best part: the Steam & Scrub is priced incredibly aggressively, too!

In the box

  • Shark Steam & Scrub Mop
  • 4x Dirt Grip Soft Scrub Washable Pads
  • Filling Flask
  • Owner's Guide/Manual

Specs

  • Cord: 25'
  • Cleaning Path Width: 14.5"
  • Weight: 7.8 lb.
  • Warranty: 5 Years
Best Shark Corded Stick Vacuum

Shark Apex UpLight Vacuum with Lift-Away

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.

Corded suction power for deep cleaning

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.

In the box

  • Shark APEX UpLight Corded Stick Vacuum
  • Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush
  • Dusting Brush
  • 8" Crevice Tool
  • Multi-Angle Dusting Brush
  • Anti-allergen Dust Brush
  • Accessory Bag
  • Accessory Holder

Specs

  • Dust bin: .68 qt.
  • Cord Length: 30'
  • Detachable Canister: Yes
  • Cleaning Path Width: 9.0"
  • Weight: 10.7 lb.
  • Handle Length: 46.2"
  • Cyclonic Cleaning: Yes
  • Warranty: 5 Years