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Updated July 2022
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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. Read more  
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.Read more 
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Buying guide for best Shark stick vacuum cleaners

When it comes to reliable vacuum cleaners, the products made by Shark top most consumer lists. For many homeowners, Shark stick vacs stand out as exceptional thanks to their light, portable design and appealing price. A Shark stick vacuum 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 a lot more compact and doesn’t weigh nearly as much. The nature of its construction allows you to easily maneuver the machine through your home, cleaning both hard flooring and carpeted rooms while also ascending and descending stairs without carrying a bulky machine. Instead of a bag, these vacuums have a dust cup that you simply empty when it fills to capacity. Shark offers both corded and cordless stick vacuums, and their models are some of the lightest stick choices on the market.

Shark’s large and enticing variety of stick vacuum cleaners can make selecting the “perfect” one for your home a fairly daunting task. If you’re about to treat yourself to a new Shark stick vac, it is helpful to first consult a comprehensive buying guide. A little professional assistance can help you choose between a cordless or corded model, decide which technologies would be prudent for your home, and know what to expect in terms of price.

stick vacuum cleaner
A stick vacuum is an excellent tool for light cleanup of the upper or lower floors of your home because it’s much easier to transport up and down the stairs than a traditional vacuum.

How to choose the best stick vacuum cleaner from Shark

Corded vs. cordless

Shark offers both corded and cordless stick vacuums. To decide which configuration is better for you, consider the characteristics of each. Below, we explore the difference between a corded vacuum and a cordless vacuum.

Corded: A corded stick vacuum is similar to a traditional upright vacuum in that it has a cord that must be plugged into an outlet. This means that, during your cleanup session, you might have to pause to unplug the machine and transport it to another, more convenient electrical outlet. Despite this minor inconvenience, a corded stick vacuum is often preferred by customers because, in most cases, it offers more powerful suction and has a longer battery life than a cordless model.

Cordless: A Shark cordless stick vacuum is battery-powered, which means you don’t need to plug it in to clean your floors. Further, when it’s time to move to another location in the home, you don’t have to worry about finding a new electrical outlet. However, the battery has a limited runtime, so you may not have enough power to clean a large home before the battery must be returned to its charging dock for some rejuvenation.

Suction power

Even the best stick vacuums don’t typically offer the same degree of suction power as full-size upright vacuums or canister vacuums, although some are mightier 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—especially high-pile carpet—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 Shark models offer the most powerful suction, typically between 450 and 700 watts. Cordless stick vacuum models offer 180 to 350 watts, which makes them more effective as supplemental vacuum.

Weight

One of the primary benefits of owning a stick vacuum is that it weighs considerably less than a traditional vacuum, so it’s much easier to physically maneuver around the house. Generally speaking, stick vacuums weigh about 10 pounds, but Shark offers many models that weigh less—between 6.5 and 12 pounds—so consumers should be able to find a model that is the right weight for their personal needs.

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

Features

Dust cup

All Shark stick vacuums feature a dust cup, also referred to as a dustbin, that collects the dirt and debris as the machine moves across the floor. Not all models have the same size dust cup, though. Dust cups range in size from 0.3 to 0.8 quarts. When selecting your new Shark vacuum, take note of the dustbin and how its size correlates with the real estate you intend to clean. Opt for a Shark stick vac with a larger dust cup if you don’t want to keep stopping to empty it.

Convertibility

Some Shark stick vacuums can convert to a handheld vacuum. To do this, the consumer physically separates the cleaning head from the handle. This maneuver allows you to use the appliance to clean hard-to-reach spots like stairs, upholstered surfaces, or beneath furniture. You can use it to clean your car, too.

Runtime

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

Cord

With a Shark corded stick vacuum, the length of the cord impacts how easy it is to use around the home. 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, we suggest opting 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.

Lights

Some Shark stick vacuums are equipped with LED lights that allow you to see your flooring more clearly as you navigate cleanup. Whereas some models only have lights on the floor nozzle, others feature both a lighted floor nozzle and a hand vac. The ability to see what you’re cleaning is quite helpful, especially if you’re attempting to clean darker spaces like under the bed.

Tools

For added versatility, some Shark stick vacuums are accompanied by a collection of 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. The inclusion of added tools may add slightly to the price, but most consumers find the tools to be worth the extra cost. It’s often possible to purchase cleaning tools separately, too.

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

Shark stick vacuum prices

Inexpensive

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. What’s more, they typically don’t have many special features. That said, for many consumers, a basic tool is all they need – especially if the stick vac is intended to supplement their upright vacuum. You can expect to pay between $170 and $200 for these budget models.

Mid-range

These Shark stick vacuums include corded models with greater suction power and cordless stick vacuums with less suction power. They have some special features, such as LED lights or accessories, and typically cost between $200 and $270. Many consumers find the mid-range to be the sweet spot when striking a balance between budget and quality.

Expensive

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 dustbin. The most expensive stick models usually cost between $270 and $300.

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

Tips

  • A stick vacuum is a convenient choice if you want to supplement your regular vacuum cleaning. As we’ve mentioned, a stick vacuum probably can’t replace your standard upright vacuum or canister vacuum in terms of cleanup power, 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. If you opt for a machine with LED lights, all the better, as you can more easily see where you are aiming the vacuum cleaner head.
  • 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. This takes just a few moments and can make a big difference in the performance of your stick vac. The reason: The vacuum’s suction power can be reduced if the dust cup is too full.
stick vacuum cleaners
Shark offers a line of stick vacuums that are designed to eradicate pet hair and dander from your flooring and upholstery, which can make sharing a residence with Fido that much more pleasurable.

FAQ

Q. Can the best stick vacuum made by Shark possibly replace my upright or canister vacuum?

A. In most cases, a stick vacuum isn’t powerful enough to serve as your primary vacuum. Instead, it works best as a supplemental vacuum for cleaning up messes in between deep cleaning 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 primary vacuum cleaner.

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

A. You can usually tell when your filter needs cleaning because the vacuum will stop picking up dirt, or it will simply not have as much suction power as it normally does. For optimal performance, it’s best to be proactive by washing the filters every month to keep the vacuum performing well.

Q. What is Shark DuoClean technology?

A. This refers to the Shark vacuum cleaner’s ability to transition from hardwood floors to pile carpeting without the user pressing any buttons or turning any dials. Vacuum cleaners with Shark DuoClean technology have a bristle brushroll and a soft brushroll; the bristle roll is for carpeting, and the latter is for bare floors. With both types of technology on deck, the stick vacuum is ready to handle the flooring in your kitchen, bedroom, living room, and anywhere else you need a cleanup.

Q. Does Shark make any robot vacuums that are also stick vacuum cleaners?

A. No. Thus far in the progress of robot vacuum technology, these vacuums huddle close to the ground. In fact, they look a bit like moving “pods” that clean as they scurry around the room. (Many are self-emptying and can follow a map, returning to the charging dock when cleaning is done.) A stick robot vacuum with these capabilities may be possible in the future, but part of the draw of a stick vac is actually the maneuverability it gives to its human operator.

Q. What is powered Lift-Away technology, and do all stick vacs from Shark possess it?

A. Powered lift-away technology makes the lightweight stick vacs from Shark even more portable and maneuverable. If you have limited mobility, or if you simply want something that’s even easier to use than the typical stick vacuum cleaner, look for this technology on the packaging. Powered lift-away is not available on all of Shark’s stick vacs, so if it’s a convenience that you know you want, we encourage consumers to check the product specs before purchasing.

Q. Do Shark vacuums come with warranty protection?

A. Most Shark stick vacs are accompanied by a five-year limited warranty. The warranty 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. When you purchase your vacuum, you can read about it in the product literature. You can also learn more about the warranty by visiting sharkclean.com.

 

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