Best Shark Upright Vacuums

Updated October 2021
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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.

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Buying guide for best shark upright vacuums

Shark is a premium vacuum brand that is known for their intuitively designed, lightweight vacuums that are easy to maneuver. The brand’s upright vacuums range from space-saving compact models to full-size powerhouses that don’t leave a dust particle behind. No matter your vacuuming needs, Shark’s upright vacuums have you covered.

From dual brush rolls to the brand’s patented lift-away design, Shark continues to adapt their vacuum technology for the modern homeowner. Shark’s upright vacuums are ideal for cleaning both carpets and hardwood floors. They can tackle bigger cleaning tasks than handheld vacuums but are not as bulky as canister vacuums.

In this buying guide, we compare Shark’s upright vacuum lines so that you can find the best model for your home. You’ll also find all the details on price and a few Shark-specific vacuuming tips below. When you’re ready to buy, our top five Shark upright vacuums are in the matrix above.

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As you’re comparing vacuums, think about your unique cleaning needs. Do you have pets, stairs, or lots of tight spaces? A Shark upright vacuum that includes features and attachments that address your specific circumstances will save you time and frustration.

Key considerations

Shark upright vacuum lines

  • Navigator: The Navigator line includes the original Shark vacuum and is now home to the brand’s largest and heaviest models. These upright vacuums have the largest dust cups and impressive power, but their list of features tends to be shorter as a trade-off. They may include a few perks, such as one or two tools, multiple brush speeds, and a lift-away mode.
  • Rotator: If your home has angles, nooks, crannies, or stairs, an upright vacuum from the Rotator line might be the right choice for you. These Shark upright vacuums have the most maneuverability, like swivel steering and lift-away technology to clean drapes and stairs. They may also have variable suction control, wide heads, and LED lights.
  • Rocket: The Rocket line includes Shark’s upright stick vacuums. Though not as powerful as traditional upright vacuums, some stick vacuums can work just as well. One of these lightweight vacuums may be all you need to keep a small home or apartment clean. However, for a heavily trafficked house, they’re best for touch-ups in between vacuuming with a heavier upright model.

Upright vs. stick vacuums

Standard upright vacuums have a large dust canister that makes up the trunk of the vacuum. Most are corded, though Shark does offer cordless uprights. Upright vacuums are best for moderate to large homes. They have more power, features, and accessories.

Stick vacuums have a much smaller dust canister on the stick-like handle of the vacuum. They are lightweight, typically 10 to 12 pounds or less. They may have a few onboard accessories for cleaning drapes or stairs, but they usually have fewer features than upright vacuums.

Full-size vs. compact upright vacuums

Shark upright vacuums can be either compact or full-size. You may have to clean the dust cup more often with a compact model, but if you’re tight on space, they’re the ideal solution because they don’t compromise on power. However, if you’ve got a big house with lots of floor space, stick with a full-size upright vacuum.

Features

Self-cleaning brush roll

Hair wrapped around the vacuum brush can be a serious problem. It can be hard on the brush, belt, and motor of an upright vacuum. Shark’s Zero-M self-cleaning brush roll is supposed to prevent overall hair wrap. However, it works better on some models than others. Even with the technology, Shark vacuums often include a hair removal tool because some hair wrap is inevitable.

Dual brush rolls

Some Shark upright vacuums have two brush rolls. A brush roll with soft, dense bristles picks up larger debris and can be used on hardwood floors. The other brush roll has stiff bristles for smaller debris and carpeting. The two work in tandem to thoroughly clean floors.

Brush roll indicator light

The brush roll on some Shark vacuums can be turned off for hardwood floors. These models also have a brush roll indicator light. Not only does this indicator light alert you if the brush roll is on, it also turns on if the brush isn’t working properly.

Hand-vac mode

A Shark stick vacuum with a hand-vac mode has a removable canister than can function as a handheld vacuum. These work well on upholstery and stairs.

HEPA filter

Shark makes several vacuums with anti-allergen HEPA filters. Vacuums with this feature have a closed system so that allergens don’t recirculate. HEPA filters need to be regularly replaced to work at full efficiency.

Lift-away mode

Lift-away mode is Shark’s upright vacuum equivalent of hand-vac mode. In this mode, the upright vacuum’s canister can be removed and used as a smaller, more mobile vacuum for cleaning stairs, hard-to-reach corners, drapes, or upholstery.

Variable suction power

Some Shark vacuums have variable suction power. As the name implies, this feature allows you to adjust the suction for delicate carpets, rugs, drapes, and upholstery. If you’re worried about damaging your rugs or hardwood flooring, this feature is for you.

Expert Tip
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Shark upright vacuum prices

Basic Shark upright vacuums start at around $130 to $250. These models have swivel heads, extra-large dust cups, and HEPA filters. They have impressive suction and power, though they lack the extras like lift-away mode, dual brushes, and a long list of accessories.

Between $250 and $325 are Shark upright vacuums with lift-away or hand-vac modes, dual brush rolls, and extra accessories like under-appliance wands, anti-allergen dusting brushes, and pet tools. Some may also include enhanced glide and steering options for increased maneuverability.

For $325 to $425, you’ll find Shark’s full-size upright vacuums with all the bells and whistles, including motorized pet tools for cleaning upholstery and floors. These models also have fingertip controls for even easier transitions between flooring types.

Tips

  • Shark upright vacuums with a brush roll shutoff button are intended for hardwood floors. Once the brush is turned off, suction alone can remove debris from hardwood flooring without scratching the surface.
  • Shark upright vacuums may or may not include onboard tool storage. Shark offers an accessory bag that’s sold separately for models that don’t include storage.
  • Does it feel like your Shark upright vacuum is losing suction? Make sure to empty the dust cup regularly and check for any blockages in the hose or around the brush.

Other products we considered

We stand by our top five products, but we did have to exclude some great vacuums when narrowing down our choices. The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean has dual brushes for extra cleaning power on carpets and hardwood floors. It also has a lift-away canister for all those hard-to-reach places. If allergies plague you, this Shark upright vacuum has a closed system to suck up allergens and pet hair. The Shark Navigator Deluxe Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum is a lightweight upright vacuum that only weighs 15 pounds but still has good cleaning power. It also has brush roll control so you can clean both hardwood and carpeted surfaces.

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Warranties vary by model. For Shark upright vacuums, most warranties are either five or seven years. Make sure to register the vacuum to validate the warranty.

FAQ

Q. Can I buy extra accessories and replacement parts for my Shark upright vacuum?
A.
While some models include every tool you might need, other Shark upright vacuums only include one or two. You can always purchase extras accessories later on when you know exactly what you need. Shark also makes replacement parts like belts and filters. Depending on why the part needs to be replaced, the cost of the part and labor may fall under your warranty. However, you’ll need to check the terms and length of the warranty for your upright vacuum.

Q. Does every Shark upright vacuum come in different color options?
A.
Not all Shark models come in multiple color options but many do. However, we always recommend buying a vacuum based on features and performance rather than appearance. After all, this is an appliance that will most often be stored away.

Q. What kind of extra accessories are available for Shark upright vacuums?
A.
The compatible accessories vary by model, but they may include:

  • Pet power brush
  • Pet multi-tool
  • Motorized floor nozzle
  • Accessory bag
  • Extension wand
  • Duster crevice tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Under-appliance tool
  • Upholstery tool
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