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Best Shark robotic vacuum 2024 | BestReviews

Updated January 2024
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL RV1001AE
Shark
IQ Robot Self-Empty XL RV1001AE
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Best self-emptying robot vacuum
Bottom Line

This robot vacuum performed brilliantly during testing in a home with pets.

Pros

Our testing found it removed nearly all debris on hardwood and carpet. The app is easy to use for scheduling and other features. It has a self-emptying base for uninterrupted cleaning.

Cons

It left some debris around the corners of rugs during testing.

Best Bang for the Buck
Shark AV751
Shark
ION Robot Vacuum
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Best basic robot vacuum
Bottom Line

Our top choice for an entry-level robot vacuum.

Pros

We love its generous 120-minute runtime. Since there are three brushes of varying types, it can easily tackle dirt on a range of surfaces. With Wi-Fi connectivity, it works with both the Shark app and Amazon Alexa and Google.

Cons

It occasionally gets stuck when transitioning from hardwood flooring to carpet.

Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop
Shark
Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop
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Best robot vacuum and mop
Bottom Line

Although we found some flaws during testing, it's a solid model that can mop hard floors as well as vacuum.

Pros

It picked up pet hair effectively on both hard floors and carpet during testing. The self-cleaning brush roll worked effectively without hair tangling around it. The mapping and navigation worked well.

Cons

We found the suction a little lackluster.

Shark RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum
Shark
RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum
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Best robot vacuum with mapping
Bottom Line

In testing, we found this vacuum to have a decent battery life and effective pet hair pick-up.

Pros

We liked how well it mapped our space; it rarely bumped into things or hit walls. It transitioned smoothly from carpets and rugs to hard floors and back again. The self-emptying feature is a great time-saver.

Cons

The suction could be better, and it's not great at avoiding new objects in real time.

Shark IQ AV1002AE Robot Vacuum
Shark
IQ AV1002AE Robot Vacuum
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Self-cleaning brush roll
Bottom Line

The Shark IQ is a powerful robot vacuum with a self-emptying base large enough for 45 days’ worth of dirt.

Pros

This machine maps your space to cover it effectively. We love the self-cleaning brush roll, which doesn't clog. With Wi-Fi connectivity, it can be controlled through voice command or smartphone.

Cons

We find it doesn't map spaces effectively.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
183
Consumers
Consulted
22
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for best Shark robot vacuum

It's no secret that robotic vacuums save time and effort, and since Shark is a top name in vacuums, why not combine the two? If you're looking for the best Shark robot vacuum, there's plenty to consider. Important factors include how well the machine picks up dirt, its battery life, its mapping ability and whether it can empty itself. 

To find the best Shark robotic vacuums, the BestReviews Testing Lab tried three popular models. We tested the Shark RV1001AE IQ Robot Vacuum, the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop and the Shark RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum. 

Our testers used these vacuums in their own homes over an extended period and evaluated how well they picked up various types of dirt and debris. We also researched other top Shark robot vacuums, analyzing their features to find the models worth buying. 

The Shark RV1001AE IQ Robot Vacuum made it to the top of our list. It performed well in testing and has some great features, such as a self-emptying base and Alexa compatibility. 

Which Shark Robot Vacuum is best?

Shark RV1001AE IQ Robot Vacuum

Best self-emptying robot vacuum

Product specifications:

Battery life: 60 to 120 min | Dimensions: 12.9” L x 12.6” W x  3.5” H | Weight: 6 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Voice commands: Yes | Scheduling: Yes

We found this to be the best robotic vacuum in part because of how easy it was to set it and forget it. After the initial setup, it did the rounds every day at 2 p.m., taking about an hour to clean all parts of the apartment that it had access to. It emptied itself into the self-emptying base, and the only thing we had to do was empty the base periodically. 

We tested it in a home with a combination of laminate flooring and carpet. It worked well on both, transitioning smoothly between them. The only issue we found was a bit of debris left along the edges of the rugs.

It made a huge difference in a home with pets, keeping the floors free from pet hair. We were also impressed at how crumb-free it kept the kitchen. 

Shark ION Robot Vacuum

Best basic robot vacuum

Product specifications:

Battery life: 120 min| Dimensions: 12.6” L x 12.4” W x 3.5” H | Weight: 8 lb | Mapping: No | Self-emptying: No | Voice commands: Yes | Scheduling: Yes

This is the best robot vacuum for people on a budget or anyone looking for a basic, no-frills model. Although it doesn't have fancy features such as mapping and self-emptying, it has a long 120-minute runtime and works effectively. 

We love the tri-brush system, which uses a combination of side brushes, channel brushes and a multi-surface brush roll for a thorough clean.. It's compatible with the Shark app, so you can control it from your phone, starting it, stopping it and scheduling cleanings. It can also be integrated with Alexa or Google Assistant smart home systems, letting you control it with voice commands. 

Its low price is a big draw compared to more advanced Shark robotic vacuums. It works equally well on carpets and hard floors, transitioning smoothly from one to the other. 

Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop

Best robot vacuum and mop

Product specifications:

Battery life: 110 min | Dimensions: 13.3” L x 13.5” W x 4.5” H | Weight: 9.5 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Voice commands: Yes | Scheduling: Yes

We tested the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1, which is particularly great for homes with hard floors thanks to its mopping capabilities. We found the suction decent for a robot vacuum but still not as good as a full-size vacuum. During our particle tests, it picked up about 80% to 90% of sugar, pet hair, cat litter and cereal in a single pass. 

Shark claims that this model cleans edges and corners effectively, but on carpet, it left behind around half to one-third of the sugar we left in the corner. It fared better on hard floors, picking up all but around one-third to one-fifth on the first pass and the rest on the subsequent pass. 

During testing, the battery lasted 94 minutes before the battery life indicator turned red. (At that point, it still had 20% remaining.) It managed to return to the dock successfully to recharge itself. The self-emptying base makes it a lower-maintenance choice than those with dustbins that require manual emptying. While we weren't sure it would last as long as 60 days between empties for a home with lots of pets, the self-emptying base still greatly limits the time spent emptying the vacuum. 

This is a solid vacuum that we found to be effective at both vacuuming and mopping floors. It maps effectively and works well with the app and Alexa voice commands. 

Shark RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum

Best robot vacuum with mapping

Product specifications:

Battery life: 120 min| Dimensions: 13.7” L x 13.7” W x 4.1” H | Weight: 15 lb (including base) | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Voice commands: Yes | Scheduling: Yes

Testing this model, we were impressed with its mapping ability. In fact, we consider it to be the best Shark robot vacuum with mapping. It took just eight minutes to map the whole apartment, and it came up with a detailed map, including the location of furniture and other obstacles. After the map was created, we found the vacuum extremely effective at abiding mapped objects and navigating rooms. However, it wasn't good at avoiding unexpected objects in real time. 

We ran a variety of particle tests on hard floors and carpets, checking how well it picked up pet hair, cereal, cat litter, sugar and more. It was particularly impressive at picking up pet hair, removing all of the hair on hard flooring and 80% to 90% of the hair on carpet in a single pass. Other items tended to take two to three passes to pick up completely, but it was rare that it didn't get everything in the end. 

This is a self-emptying robot vacuum, and we love the large capacity of the base, which can go up to 60 days between empties — although that depends on the size of your home and your  level of mess. The self-emptying function worked effectively and saved us lots of time and effort compared to manually emptying the dustbin.

Shark IQ AV1002AE Robot Vacuum 

Best robot vacuum with self-cleaning brush roll 

Product specifications:

Battery life: 60 min | Dimensions: 12.9” L x 12.6” W x 3.5” H | Weight: 6 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Voice commands: Yes | Scheduling: Yes

If you're looking for the best robot vacuum for a home with pets, this model could fit the bill. It has a self-cleaning brush roll so pet hair (and human hair) won't get tangled around it. What's more, it has a multi-stage filtration system that traps pet dander to help keep your home allergen-free. 

We love that it has effective room mapping and row-by-row cleaning so it doesn't miss a spot. And, as a self-emptying robot vacuum, it has a base where it empties its own dustbin when full. This means you only need to worry about emptying the base once every 30 to 45 days. 

This is one of the best Shark robot vacuums. It cleans effectively on carpets and hard floors, and it does well with pet hair and other debris. 

Shark AV993 IQ Robot Vacuum

Best robotic vacuum for homes with pets

Product specifications:

Battery life: 60 min | Dimensions: 12.9” L x 12.6” W x  3.5” H | Weight: 6 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: No | Voice commands: Yes | Scheduling: Yes

This is perhaps the best robotic vacuum for homes with pets if you don't want to shell out extra money for a self-emptying robot vacuum. Its 0.6-quart dustbin is larger than average, which means you won't need to empty it as often as you would some other vacs. It has a tangle-free brush roll that pet hair won't wrap around and a high-efficiency filter to capture pet dander.

It runs for approximately one hour before returning to its base to recharge. After charging, it remembers where it left off and resumes cleaning from there. The side brushes are effective at removing dirt and debris from edges and corners. 

We're fans of this vacuum for its affordability and ease of use. It's easy to schedule cleanings via the app or use voice commands to control it. 

Shark AV2501S AI Ultra Robot Vacuum

Best Shark robot vacuum with matrix clean

Product specifications:

Battery life: 120 min | Dimensions: 13.7” L x  13.7” W x 4.1” H | Weight: 14.4 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Voice commands: Yes | Scheduling: Yes

We like how well this vacuum cleans every inch of your floor thanks to Shark's Matrix Clean technology. It cleans in a grid formation to make sure it doesn't miss any spots, and the accurate mapping technology “knows” how to clean efficiently while avoiding obstacles. 

It works about equally well on carpets and hard floors, although there may be times when it does a couple of extra passes on carpet to remove everything. You can set a cleaning schedule or use voice controls. 

A self-emptying base is included, and you can choose between 30-day and 45-day options. This, paired with a HEPA filter and a self-cleaning brush roll, makes the Shark AI Ultra a solid option for homes with pets. 

Key considerations in your search for the best Shark robot vacuums

Battery life

Battery life is a key feature to consider when choosing a Shark robotic vacuum, particularly if you have a large home. After all, you don’t want your robotic vacuum to run out of power in the middle of a cleaning cycle. Shark doesn’t provide exact data about how many square feet each model can cover in an hour or on a single charge. This can vary depending on how dirty your floors are and the kinds of obstacles in the way. Another potential complication: Suction power may decrease as the runtime nears its end.

For the most efficient cleaning, a person with a home of average size should select a Shark robotic vacuum with at least one hour of battery life per charge. If you have a larger home, you may prefer a model with an even longer runtime. In that case, you could look for one that offers up to two hours of battery life per charge. That said, these intelligent vacuums will return to their docks for a recharge and then pick up where they left off. So, even if it doesn’t clean your whole floor plan on a single charge, it'll eventually get the job done. 

Dustbin capacity

The size of the dustbin in a Shark robotic vacuum matters, especially if you have a large home or pets with lots of dander. If you were to choose a model with a smaller dustbin, you’d need to empty it more often to keep the suction power at maximum efficiency. With a larger dustbin, you wouldn’t have to worry about this as much.

The standard dustbin on a Shark robotic vacuum has a capacity of approximately .45 quarts. However, some Shark robotic vacuums have an extra-large dustbin with a capacity of .7 quarts. For a larger home, a larger dustbin size is ideal.

If you're concerned about how often you might need to empty the dustbin, consider a self-emptying model. These vacuums empty themselves into a base. You only need to empty the base when it's full, which should be every 30 to 60 days, depending on the model and how much debris is on your floors. 

During testing, we tried three models with self-emptying bases:  the Shark RV1001AE IQ Robot Vacuum, the Shark RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum and the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop. We found the self-emptying mode worked effectively, which made it hard for us to gauge exactly how long it took for the bin to fill up. However, when we ran trials of the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop, the bin was nearly full after 35 minutes of particle tests, vacuuming up cereal, pet hair, cat litter and more.

Pet features

Some Shark robotic vacuums are designed specifically for pet owners. These models are better able to handle pet hair, dander and similar allergens because they offer up to three times the suction power of a standard Shark robotic vacuum. Most feature a self-cleaning brush roll to eradicate pet hair before it becomes a problem that overwhelms the machine.

We ran pet hair trials on the Shark RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum and the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop. Both vacuums picked up all or almost all of the pet hair we placed on hardwood floors in a single pass. On carpet, they picked up around 80% to 90% of pet hair in a single pass but managed to pick it all up in two to three passes. 

Smart sensor navigation

Shark robotic vacuums have a feature called Smart Sensor Navigation that allows them to sense the presence of furniture, objects and other obstacles. The vacuum avoids obstacles in its path so your cleaning job isn’t interrupted. Notably, some Shark robotic vacuums are more sensitive than others. You’ll pay more for a model with higher-quality sensors, but a vacuum of this caliber will also clean more quickly and efficiently.

Wi-Fi and voice control

Some of the best robot vacuums are Wi-Fi-enabled so they can connect to Shark’s smartphone app. Through the app, you can turn on the vacuum or set a cleaning schedule, even when you’re away from home. In our tests, we generally found the app easy to use with an intuitive interface. However, we did run into a few glitches and occasionally needed to close the app and restart it to get things running smoothly. 

If you have an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can also use voice controls to turn the vacuum on and set its schedule. We tried both the Shark RV2502AE AI Ultra Robot Vacuum and the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop with Alexa. It was easy to start the vacuum running, and it was just as easy to turn it off and send it back to its dock. However, there weren't any more advanced commands that we could figure out. 

Remote control

Shark robotic vacuums that aren’t Wi-Fi-enabled have a remote control that allows you to set a cleaning schedule for the vacuum. Simply turn on the vacuum to clean at a given time, or create a recurring cleaning schedule for certain days of the week.

Shark robotic vacuum prices

Inexpensive

Here’s some good news. The best robot vacuum cleaners are no longer extravagant purchases. Most homeowners can acquire one if that’s the type of vacuum cleaner they desire. The most affordable Shark robotic vacuums aren’t Wi-Fi-enabled. Instead, they work via remote control. These products have a standard-size dustbin and basic Smart Sensor Navigation and usually range from $200 to $359.

Mid-range

Shark robotic vacuums that are Wi-Fi-enabled and can be controlled using Shark’s app are slightly more expensive, ranging from $230 and $375. Most feature a standard-size dustbin and basic Smart Sensor Navigation.

Expensive

The priciest Shark robotic vacuums are Wi-Fi-enabled and have advanced Smart Sensor Navigation and an extra-large dustbin. Some can convert to a hand vac for added versatility. These products usually cost between $300 and $450.

Tips

  • Your Shark robotic vacuum could potentially get stuck in appliance cables and wires on the floor. Consider using wire clips to hold cables and wires above your flooring to eliminate this problem.
  • In addition to its hands-off nature, one of the best features of a Shark robot vacuum is that it’s programmable. You can set it to clean zones of your home that see the most traffic, and you can set it to avoid certain zones as well.
  • If your Shark robotic vacuum seems to be avoiding certain areas of a room, try moving small items around the space to alter its cleaning pattern. For example, you could strategically place a pair of shoes in order to divert the vacuum from one spot to another.
  • If you have pets, running your Shark robotic vacuum every day is the best way to keep pet hair, dander and allergens at bay. If you have skittish pets who are afraid of your robotic vacuum, give them a place to seek refuge before running your robot vac. It can help to establish a safe, quiet and accessible room in the home for a dog or cat who dislikes the robot vacuum.

How we analyzed

We tested three Shark robotic vacuums and considered more than 10 models in total to find our favorites. We compared a range of factors such as battery life, mapping, self-emptying capabilities and voice control. 

FAQ

Q. What do I need to do to prepare my home for cleaning with a Shark robotic vacuum?

A. Remove obstacles that might impede its movements such as clothing, loose cables, shoes and children’s toys. If there are areas of your home you don’t want the vacuum to enter, use Shark’s boundary strips to block off the space.

Q. How long does a Shark cleaning cycle last?

A. Models differ based on battery life, but most Shark robotic vacuums have a cleaning cycle that lasts approximately one hour.

Q. What maintenance do I need to perform on a Shark robotic vacuum?

A. After every cleaning cycle, empty the dustbin. Once a week, check the main brush roll and side brushes for hair and debris, and remove them as necessary. Remove the dustbin filter and tap it gently, or use a soft brush to remove any dirt that’s stuck in the pleats. Every two months, replace the filter for optimum performance.

Q. What is Shark AI laser navigation technology, and how does it compare or relate to Shark IQ technology?

A. Shark AI is a line of robots made by Shark with laser technology. Shark AI tech enables the vacuum to maneuver with fewer mistakes courtesy of its sensing lasers. The Shark IQ line also operates using sensors. 

Consumers have deliberated over whether they prefer Shark AI tech or Shark IQ tech. At this time, Shark IQ tech tends to have more followers simply because Shark IQ models have earned more positive reviews.

Q. I dislike dust and am looking for a bagless vacuum. Do robotic vacs require bags?

A. Usually not. Most robotic vacs are bagless. The debris is picked up and kept in a dustbin until it is ready to be emptied, either manually or automatically.

Q. I know I want a Shark vacuum, but I just can’t decide what the best vacuum would be for me. Advice?

A. “Best vacuum” is a bit of a subjective term. If you live in a home with medium to large rooms, you will probably want an upright vacuum, a canister vacuum or a robotic vacuum to take on the bulk of your cleanup. Some people in this situation like to purchase a stick vacuum cleaner for supplemental work in between deep cleanings. This is assuming that you have standard floor types: bare floors in your kitchen area and pile carpet in other specific rooms. (If you have a high-pile carpet or even a medium-pile carpet, an upright should be one of your top considerations.)

If you live in a smaller apartment or home, you may be able to get by with a stick vacuum cleaner. A robovac would work in a smaller home as well. Stick vacs tend to work on all floor types, but you should read the product specs to be sure.

If mobility is an issue, we encourage you to consider either a robotic vacuum or a stick model because they are lighter and easier to maneuver, and they are designed to work well on various floor types.

Shark also makes handheld vacuum cleaners. These are great for small cleanups, but a handheld vac from any brand is unlikely to have the powerful suction and coverage needed to clean an entire home.

Q. I want to save money on a new robovac without sacrificing quality. Should I get an iRobot Roomba or a Shark robotic vacuum?

A. The Roomba s9 and Roomba i7 are both approximately two times more expensive than, say, the Shark IQ. If you get a lower-grade iRobot Roomba, however, you may find the prices to be more comparable between a Shark IQ and an iRobot model. Your best bet is to align the product specs with your needs and budget. Other fine makers of robotic vacuums include Samsung and Eufy

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