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Buying guide for Best Shark stick vacuums

When it comes to reliable vacuum cleaners, Shark tops most shoppers’ lists. For many homeowners, the Shark stick vacuums really stand out because their light, portable design makes it a breeze to clean up messes anywhere in the house.

A stick vacuum has a similar design to an upright vacuum cleaner, but it’s much more compact and doesn’t weigh nearly as much. That allows you to easily maneuver through your home to clean both hard and carpeted flooring. Instead of a bag, these vacuums have a dust cup that you simply empty when it’s full. Shark offers both corded and cordless stick vacuums, and their models are some of the lightest stick vacuums on the market.

Shark’s variety of stick vacuums can make choosing one fairly confusing. Fortunately, our buying guide has all the facts you need to sort through the options. If you’re still having trouble deciding, we’ve included some specific product recommendations to make shopping even easier.

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A stick vacuum can be a great tool for cleaning the upper or lower floors of your home because it’s much easier to carry up and down stairs than a traditional vacuum.

Key considerations

Corded vs. cordless

Shark offers both corded and cordless stick vacuums.

Corded: A corded stick vacuum is similar to a traditional upright vacuum: it has a cord that has to be plugged into an outlet. That may mean you’ll have to take time in the middle of cleaning to unplug it and move it to another outlet. A corded stick vacuum usually offers stronger suction power and has a longer lifespan than a cordless model. 

Cordless: A cordless stick vacuum runs on a rechargeable battery, so you don’t need to plug it in to clean your floors. But the battery has a limited runtime, so you may not have enough power to clean a large home before the battery needs to be recharged.


Most stick vacuums don’t offer the same suction power as full-size upright or canister vacuums, but some are stronger than others. Suction power is usually determined by the vacuum’s wattage. A 150- to 350-watt model is sufficient for cleaning hard flooring, but for carpeting, you’ll want at least 400 to 450 watts of suction power.

Shark stick vacuums typically range from 180 to 700 watts. Keep in mind that corded models offer the strongest suction, typically between 450 and 700 watts. Cordless models offer 180 to 350 watts, which makes them more effective as a supplemental vacuum.

Expert Tip
Storing your vacuum standing upright is best.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert


One of the main benefits of a stick vacuum is that it weighs considerably less than a traditional vacuum, so it’s much easier to maneuver around the house. Stick vacuums weigh about 10 pounds, but Shark offers many models that weigh less, between 6.5 and 12 pounds, so you can find a model that is the right weight for your needs.


Dust cup

All Shark stick vacuums have a dust cup that collects the dirt and debris they pick up as you move them across the floor. Not all models have the same size dust cup, though. Dust cups range in size from 0.3 to 0.8 quart. Opt for a Shark stick vacuum with a larger dust cup if you don’t want to keep stopping to empty it.


Some Shark stick vacuums convert to a handheld vac by separating the cleaning head from the handle. That allows you to use the vacuum to clean hard-to-reach spots like stairs, upholstered surfaces, or beneath furniture. You can use it to clean your car, too.


If you opt for a Shark cordless stick vacuum, pay attention to the battery life. The average cordless stick vacuum can run for 15 to 40 minutes before the battery requires recharging, but all Shark models can run for 20 to 80 minutes on a single charge. If you have a larger house, opt for a cordless model with at least 40 minutes of runtime.


With a Shark corded stick vacuum, the length of the cord can determine how easy it is to use. If the cord is too short, you’ll need to stop cleaning frequently to find a new outlet for each area of your home. With a longer cord, you’ll have a larger reach, so you won’t need to look for a new outlet too often.

For the most convenient cleaning, opt for a stick vacuum with a cord that’s at least 20 feet long. Shark corded stick vacuums have cords that range from 25 to 30 feet in length, so you can cover a fairly large area.

Expert Tip
When cleaning your filters, use only water. NO cleaning solutions are needed.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert


Some Shark stick vacuums are equipped with LED lights that allow you to see your floor more easily when you’re trying to clean up a mess. Many models only have lights on the floor nozzle, but others feature both a lighted floor nozzle and hand vac.


For added versatility, some Shark stick vacuums include accessories. Some come with a crevice tool to get into tight spaces, a pet multi-tool that can handle pet hair and dander, and/or a dusting brush for surfaces other than floors.

Shark stick vacuum prices

Shark stick vacuums vary in price based on the type and special features. Most models cost between $170 and $300.


The most affordable Shark stick vacuums are corded models with less suction power. They typically don’t have many special features. You can expect to pay between $170 and $200 for these models.


These Shark stick vacuums include corded models with greater suction power and cordless models with less suction power. They have some special features, such as LED lights or accessories, and typically cost between $200 and $270.


The most expensive Shark stick vacuums are cordless models with greater suction power. These have plenty of special features, such as LED lights, accessories, and an extra-large dust cup, and usually cost between $270 and $300.

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Did you know?
Charging your stick vacuum in between uses will help it last longer.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert


  • Supplement your regular vacuum. A stick vacuum probably can’t replace your standard upright or canister vacuum, but it’s ideal for spot cleaning in between more thorough vacuuming sessions.
  • Use the stick vacuum under furniture. A stick vacuum is usually better for cleaning beneath furniture than an upright vacuum because its slim, lightweight design has a low profile that can easily get under a couch or bed.
  • Empty the dust cup when it’s full. For the best performance, always make sure to empty your stick vacuum’s dust cup when the max fill line is reached. The vacuum’s suction power can be reduced if the dust cup is too full.
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Shark offers a line of stick vacuums that are designed to handle pet hair and dander, which can make cleaning up after Fido much easier.


Q. Can a Shark stick vacuum replace my upright or canister vacuum?

A. In most cases, a stick vacuum isn’t powerful enough to serve as your main vacuum. Instead, it works best as a supplemental vacuum for cleaning up messes in between deeper vacuuming sessions. However, if you live in a home with no carpeting or pets, you may be able to get away with having a Shark stick vacuum as your main vacuum.

Q. When should I clean the filter on my Shark cordless vacuum?

A. You can usually tell that your filter needs cleaning if the vacuum stops picking up dirt or doesn’t have the suction power that it should. For optimal performance, it’s best to be proactive and wash the filters every month to keep the vacuum performing well.

Q. Do Shark vacuums come with warranty protection?

A. Most Shark stick vacuums have a five-year limited warranty. It covers any damage that results from defects in the materials or workmanship, but it doesn’t cover damage due to misuse, poor maintenance, or accidents.

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