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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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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 uprights range from space-saving compact models to full-size powerhouses that don’t leave a dust particle behind. No matter what your vacuuming needs are, Shark’s upright family has 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.

Before purchasing a new vacuum cleaner, it’s a good idea to compare Shark’s upright lines so you can find the best buy for your home. It’s also helpful to get information about price points so you know what to expect.

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

What to consider in your search for the best Shark vacuum cleaners

Shark upright lines

First, let’s take a look at the various lines of upright vacuum cleaners made by Shark: The Navigator series, Rotator series, and Rocket series.

  • Navigator: The Shark 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 the Shark Navigator lift-away mode.
  • Rotator: If your home has angles, nooks, crannies, or stairs, an upright from the Shark Rotator line might be the right choice for you. These Shark uprights 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 Shark Rocket line includes Shark’s upright stick vacuums. Though not as powerful as traditional uprights, 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 weighing 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 uprights. You can find both corded stick vacuums and cordless models.

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.

Shark makes some of the best vacuum cleaners on the market. It’s not the only top-notch brand –Dyson and Eureka are other great names that quickly springs to mind – but the affordability offered by Shark appeals to consumers on a budget who don’t wish to sacrifice quality.

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The best Shark vacuum cleaner 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. 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 uprights 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 vacuum cleaners 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 that can function as a handheld vacuum. These work well as upholstery tools and on stairs.

HEPA filter

Air and allergen filtration is a precious feature in today’s vacuum cleaners. 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.

upright vacuum
DID YOU KNOW?
If you want a new Shark vac but are looking to save money, check online retailers like Amazon. In particular, we recommend looking at Amazon’s offerings around the winter holidays and in the summer, around the time of Prime Day.
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Shark upright vacuum prices

Inexpensive

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

Mid-range

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

High-end

For $325 to $425, you’ll find Shark’s full-size uprights 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.

When you purchase a corded upright from Shark, vacuum runtime is not a concern. You are only limited by the cord length, which in many cases stretches up to a generous 30 feet.

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Tips

  • A Shark upright vacuum with a brush roll shutoff button is 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. The company offers an accessory bag that’s sold separately for models that don’t include storage.
  • Some uprights come with Shark’s anti-hair wrap technology. Consider this technology if you’re dealing with long hair or pet hair in your home. The self-cleaning brush eliminates the need for you to break out the scissors and cut clumps of hair up yourself.
  • If you want to vacuum carpet and bare flooring, consider an upright with DuoClean technology. These uprights are made to work on all types of flooring. You don’t have to stop and fiddle with settings as you cross the border from your carpeted living room to your bare-floored kitchen.
  • Powered Lift-Away technology is designed to make your upright even more maneuverable. If you dislike cleaning stair steps because of the added muscle power it requires, consider a Shark product with Lift-Away tech.
  • Sometimes, an upright becomes clogged and stops picking up debris. Don’t panic if this happens. Unplug your vacuum, and try to locate a clog in the hose or filter. Wait about an hour, and then restart the machine. If it still doesn’t pick up, consult an online tutorial, or call or email Shark customer service for assistance.

Does it feel like your Shark upright is losing suction? Make sure to empty the dust cup regularly, and check for any blockages in the hose or around the brush.

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Other products we considered

We stand by our top five products, but there are some other great vacuums of note that we found when narrowing down our choices.

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with Shark 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, dander, 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.

upright vacuum
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?

A. While some models include every tool you might need, other Shark upright vacuums only include one or two tools. You can always purchase extra accessories later on when you know exactly what you need.

Shark also makes replacement parts, such as 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 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. I keep reading about the washable filters that come with the Zero-M. What does this mean?

A. A Shark washable filter is one that you rinse by hand with cold water and allow to air dry. But the filters included with the Zero-M aren’t the only ones that are hand washable. If you purchase a Shark vacuum with a HEPA filter or other forms of filtration, check the users’ manual to see if the filters are washable. Washable filters are convenient because you don’t need to buy new ones as often, and it’s easy to rid your filter of debris for a cleaner effect.

Q. As a pet owner, why should I consider a TruePet model?

A. Although all Shark vacuums are designed to pick up pet hair and long hair, a TruePet model comes with a motorized brush and pet tool that help you remove embedded pet fur with even more ease. Homeowners with multiple pets may be particularly interested in this type of Shark model.

Q. What is a “renewed” Shark vacuum on Amazon?

A. Some products sold on Amazon are gently used or open-box items. If you see the word “renewed” next to a Shark vacuum on Amazon, this is what it means. Sometimes, you can get a lower price for one of these vacuum cleaners.

Q. Does Shark make any cordless uprights?

A. Yes. For example, the Shark Vertex Pro is a cordless upright vacuum cleaner. This machine boasts the cleaning and suction power of a regular upright, but it is not corded. Instead, it has a removable and rechargeable battery with a runtime of up to an hour.

Even more common are Shark cordless stick vacuum cleaners. These are not uprights, and many do not have the same cleaning and suction power as Shark uprights. That said, many consumers love them because they are lightweight with swivel steering and no cord to worry about. In exchange, of course, you must keep battery life in mind when using a Shark stick vacuum.

Although the focus of this post is not Shark robot vacuums, we’d be remiss not to mention them here while discussing cordless vacuums. Many people love Shark robot vacuums for their convenience. These cordless machines run themselves based on app programming, and many are quite affordable. Also see our review of the best robot vacuums to find out about offerings from companies in addition to Shark, such as iRobot and eufy.

Q. What is the difference between an upright and a robot vacuum?

A. A Shark robot vacuum operates itself; you do not have to push it around. Instead, you program the robot vacuum through an app to clean areas of your home as desired. In between cleanings, it sits on a charging dock building up enough power for its next cleaning session.

Robot vacs are fairly new technology, and Shark makes some great ones. But these are not upright vacs. In fact, robot vacuums are low to the floor; they look a lot like a self-propelled canister.

If you’re debating between a robot vac and a traditional upright, think about your needs and your comfort with technology. Robot vacs offer a refreshing hands-off approach, but you must first program the machine to do your bidding. An upright may be considered more “old-fashioned,” perhaps, but many people still prefer to maintain this bit of control over their house-cleaning chores.

Q. What kind of extra accessories are available for Shark uprights?

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

Q. Is a cordless stick vacuum considered an upright?

A. No. A cordless stick vac is lightweight, compact, and easy to maneuver. You can push it almost flat to the ground in order to clean tight areas like under the bed. A cordless Shark is not intended for a deep clean. If deep cleaning is your goal, look to an upright. Upright vacuums are not as light or as flexible, but they offer a lot more power.

If you’re debating between an upright and a cordless stick vacuum, note that some people invest in both, reserving their cordless stick vacuum for daily light cleaning tasks and their upright for deep cleaning on a weekly basis.

Q. What is a “bagless” upright vacuum cleaner?

A. The term “bagless simply means that the debris you pick up is relegated to a dustbin rather than a bag. Many people prefer bagless vacuum cleaners because they don’t have to change the bag periodically. However, you will have to empty the dustbin periodically instead.

 

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