Menu
Updated July 2022
Header Image
Why trust 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. Read more  
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 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
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.

33
Models
Considered
149
Consumers
Consulted
26
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for best Shark vacuums

Every cleaning situation is a little bit different. Because of this, the more flexibility your vacuum offers, the better prepared you will be to clean up any messes that arise.

Shark vacuums are incredibly versatile devices that can handle a wide range of cleaning needs. Still, if you want to pick the one that's right for you, you must consider a few factors first.

The best approach to buying the right Shark vacuum cleaner is to think about what you need. Do you have pets? Are there people with long hair living in your home? If so, you likely want a Shark model designed to deal with pet hair and human hair. For ease of mobility, do you need a lightweight, maneuverable machine? If so, a swiveling stick vacuum may be better for you than a traditional upright. Is suction power an important feature for you in a vacuum cleaner? The most desirable Shark vacuum cleaners in this realm tend to be uprights that come with an assortment of attachments, swivel steering, and LED lights. Many of the best Shark vacuums employ anti-allergen cleaning technology as well.

Shark vacuum
To clean up after your furry friends, choose a model with a motorized brush and pet hair upholstery tool.

How to find the best Shark vacuums

You may wonder what makes Shark vacuum cleaners stand out from the rest of the competition. After all, most vacuum cleaners come with a host of features designed to entice buyers who want a cleaner home. And it’s true that other brands, such as Dyson and Hoover, put a range of reputable vacuum cleaners on the market as well. But the best Dyson vacuum cleaner and the best Shark vacuum cleaner differ vastly in price. If you want a quality vacuum cleaner for a modest cost, it’s easier to find that in the Shark family.

In addition to affordability, many consumers gravitate toward Shark models due to their hyper-focus on maneuverability. They tend to be on the lithe side, making them a good option for tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas. And yet, despite their light weight and maneuverability, they don’t sacrifice power or suction.

Longevity is another important concern for consumers who want the best value for their investment. A good vacuum cleaner is a long-term household purchase. On average, a vacuum cleaner usually lasts about eight years. However, when you purchase a Shark vacuum cleaner, you can opt for either a five-year warranty or a lifetime warranty. We think that says a lot about the company’s confidence in its product.

Below are some other key features found in Shark vacuums.

Shark vacuum
DID YOU KNOW?
Many of the models come with brush attachments, which go especially well with Powered Lift-Away Technology. It’s good for cleaning on top of ceiling fans, in top corners of rooms, on blinds, and in other hard-to-reach areas. It’s also good for baseboards, stairs, and other tight spaces.
STAFF
BestReviews

Detachable options

One of the most notable features of many Shark vacuums is their versatility. You can take them apart for different uses. For example, many models allow you to detach a smaller portion of the vacuum for a hand-vac mode. How perfect is that when you want to clean up smaller messes?

Other models have a removable canister that the company calls its Powered Lift-Away Technology. You carry the canister around in one hand so you can still vacuum with the other. This allows for better access to tight spaces, hard-to-reach areas, and high spots.

Deep cleaning

Shark prides itself on the deep-cleaning suction power of its machines. Even the company’s slim cordless stick vacuums don’t skimp on sheer cleaning power. Because when it comes down to it, cleaning power is what most people really need in a vacuum.

Some models have a Dust-Away hard floor attachment, which picks up both large items and dust off of the floor.

STAFF
BestReviews

Dust cup

Many models from Shark are bagless, boasting a large-capacity dust cup (also sometimes called a dust bin). The roomy dust bin allows you to get more vacuuming done before you have to stop and empty it.

Swivel steering

Another notable feature is the swivel steering for which Shark models are known. The head of the vacuum rotates, making it far easier to control the machine than a fixed vacuum head would be. With the swivel steering of a Shark vac, gone are the days of manually pivoting the machine on its hind wheels or wrenching the machine around with your arm just to get into all the nooks and crannies of your home!

Shark vacuum
Expert Tip
Shark vacuums have the easiest cleaning filters because you can simply rinse them with water until they turn white and let them fully air dry.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

LED lights

Some models have LED lights right on the cleaning head. LED lights are great for those times when you want to clean under chairs and beds and in dark corners.

Anti-allergen complete seal technology

This is the technology the company employs to make sure allergens do not go back into the air after you vacuum them up. It’s perfect for the allergy conscious, as the company states the technology captures and traps 99.99 percent of dust and allergens.

If filtration is key to your home’s cleanliness and the healthiness of your environment, be sure to read about the filtration benefits offered in Shark’s product specs when you’re considering a vacuum cleaner.

DuoClean technology

Many Shark models have two brushrolls that work simultaneously to remove multiple sizes of particles from the floor, along with stuck-on pieces. Other vacuums have a single brush bar.

What type of vacuum do you need?

When choosing a Shark model, you will need to decide whether you’d prefer a Shark Rotator model, a Shark Rocket model, or a vacuum cleaner from the Shark Navigator family.

Rotator

Shark rotator models focus on maneuverability. These are the models that have the Powered Lift-Away Technology with a removable canister. Other features of note in this product family include the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, high suction power, and swivel steering.

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It’s a type of filter that captures small particles like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. It’s a must-have for any allergy sufferer.

STAFF
BestReviews

Rocket

The Shark Rocket line is the company’s stick vacuum product grouping. These lightweight machines boast powerful suction along with swivel steering maneuverability. They also have hand-vac mode so you can detach the stick portion and use the hand-vac in small spaces for tedious cleaning tasks and messes.

Navigator

The Shark Navigator is the company’s original line, and it’s bigger than the others. Boasting a large-capacity dust cup, it’s desirable if you have a large, open area to clean. It tends to come with the most basic features, but it has powerful cleaning capabilities. Some even lift away like the Rotator series.

Shark vacuum
Expert Tip
Don't allow your canisters to get completely full. This will help with suction and prevent possible vacuum malfunction.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Caring for your Shark vacuum

To keep your Shark vacuum at peak performance so it lasts as long as possible, it requires maintenance, like any vacuum. Maintenance needs vary based on the model, so be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for that information.

Some basic care requirements on most to all models include the following tips.

The dust cup must be emptied.

Watch for the dust cup to approach full capacity, and empty it before it becomes overloaded with debris.

Filters

This can get tricky, as different models have different filters, from washable filters to HEPA filters. What’s more, these filters have varying needs.

For instance, some retail version vacuums have post-motor filters that require less-frequent care than pre-motor filters found on other machines. Again, your owner’s manual is the best place to find information on this.

Brushroll upkeep

Many Shark models come with a hair removal tool to help free the roll of any debris. You may need to wash it with just water and let it air dry for 24 hours, depending on how dirty it is.

Shark vacuum
Expert Tip
If you ever feel like your vacuum is losing suction, always check for debris behind the brush roll. In my experience, this is a common issue for Sharks.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert

Cost of Shark vacuums

Shark vacs are sold at several price points or price “tiers.” Your final cost depends on which Shark model you decide to buy.

Lower cost (under $200)

If you’re looking to spend under $200 for a Shark vacuum, consider one of the company’s handheld vacuums or one of their stick vacs. Shark handheld vacuums sell for as low as $60, though you could spend more on something known for its powerful suction.

On sale, some Shark stick vacuums sell for around $150, though you could also spend up to around $450 for one of the best buys. Bear in mind that handheld vacuums and stick vacuums are not as powerful as upright vacuum cleaners. Further, you will probably want to factor the runtime of any stick vac into your decision, as many are battery-powered.

If you are more interested in an upright vacuum, the Shark Navigator series is a particularly popular group of Shark models. These tend to be priced between $140 and $180, which many consumers find reasonable. Retailers sell them more commonly than the other models, so prices on these may vary based on sales.

Mid-range

A lot of great Shark models can be found in the middle range, between $200 and $400, whether you’re looking for a simple handheld vacuum or a more substantial upright vacuum.

Lower-end upright vacuums cost around $200. Again, you do not need to worry about limited suction power or runtime with an upright that plugs into the wall. A Rocket stick vacuum will cost right around $200. Rotator models with the Powered Lift-Away Technology are priced between $250 and $300.

High-end

High-end upright Shark vacs can cost between $400 and $600+. You can get the best Shark uprights here. If you want a Shark robot vacuum, expect to spend as much on a low-end robot as you would a high-end stick or upright model.

The best robot vacuums from Shark start around $450 (on sale) and range over $600. If you’re hoping to find an online bargain, note that you can find some excellent sales from online retailers like Amazon and Walmart around the holidays and, for Amazon, around Prime Day.

Shark vacuum
Did you know?
The easiest way to know which vacuum is best for you is to look at its attachments and components. There are motorized brush attachments for pet hair, special heads for reaching tight spaces, and even a detachable hand-vac variety.
STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Consider a cordless Shark stick vacuum for light, quick cleanings. Most people have an upright vacuum which they use for heavier cleanings, but some people decide to add a cordless model to their cleaning arsenal. Why? It’s a lot easier to pull out a lightweight cordless stick vacuum and spend five minutes cleaning than it is to lug out the upright, plug it in, and push it around. Of course, battery power must be factored into your cleaning activities with cordless models.
  • Even on a budget, some of the best robot vacuums from Shark may be within your reach. A lot of consumers decide they want to spend no more than $200 on a vacuum cleaner. This is an understandable budgeting decision, but did you know that some Shark robot vacuums cost under $200? If a robot vacuum would make life easier for you, we suggest looking into the company’s offerings. You might be pleasantly surprised, especially if you shop on Amazon around the holidays or Prime Day.
  • If your vacuum comes with a crevice tool, use it. It takes just a moment to snap on a crevice tool, and the precise cleaning you get from using the tool is highly satisfying.
  • If you have a Shark robot vacuum cleaner, you can pair it with Amazon Alexa. Either download the Amazon Alexa app or visit the “skills store” for Alexa on Amazon’s website. Then, simply enable the “Shark skill” to control your robot mop via Alexa.
  • If you’re a huge Shark fan, look into their line of mops as well. Some of our favorite steam mops come from Shark. You can find them at a range of prices, from around $70 to just shy of $200. Many Shark mops come with a starter kit to get you going.
Shark vacuum
Vacuuming around table and chair legs is much easier with swivel steering than the traditional forward-and-backward vacuum cleaners.

FAQ

Q. What are these “PowerFins” I keep reading about?

A. The term “PowerFin” refers to Shark’s flexible brush-roll technology, designed to remove hair from carpeting and hard flooring with more ease than before. PowerFin technology is often paired with Shark’s “DuoClean” floor head, a versatile apparatus that works on all types of flooring.

Q. What’s the difference between a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a pet tool?

A. Whereas a crevice tool is designed to access small spaces and tight spaces for cleaning tasks, an upholstery tool is a flat, wide tool you can use to clean curtains, furniture, and other types of upholstery. A pet tool is a bristled brush roll designed specifically to remove pet hair from carpeting. It comes with Shark TruePet vacuums and can also be purchased separately.

Q. Why is a Shark vacuum the right choice for me?

A. Shark vacuums have a good amount of suction power, and the vacuums sell at reasonable price points. What’s more, the lightweight, narrow design of these vacuum cleaners allows you to get into tight spaces. Since they’re so narrow, they also store well, and many even come with hanging hooks.

The powerful design of certain models makes them good for cleaning larger spaces, while the swivel steering technology allows for cleaning in tight spaces as well. And between the larger Navigator machines, the Rocket stick machines, and the Powered Lift-Away Rotator series, there’s a machine that fits the needs of any space.

Q. What makes Shark vacuums so different from other vacuums?

A. Shark vacuums are fairly unique in that they can transform into a different type of vacuum for different uses. For instance, the Rocket models can detach into a hand-vac mode, and the Rotators have detachable canisters that allow you to carry the canister around without losing power to the motor.

Q. Does Shark make bagless vacuum cleaners?

A. Yes. Shark models include both bagged and bagless vacuum cleaners. Choose your type based on your preference: Would you rather purchase replacement bags and change them periodically, or would you rather empty a dustbin every so often?

The Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-Light is one example of a bagless, cordless stick vacuum from Shark that consumers tend to like. The Shark Apex line of uprights is another good example of bagless vacs that appeal in particular to people dealing with pet hair.

Q. Are Shark vacuums easy to care for?

A. Shark vacuums typically require filter care and dust cup emptying. Sometimes, brushroll cleaning is also required, depending on the model. In other words, they require fairly basic care, no different from any other type of vacuum. But each model is different, so we advise consumers to refer to their owner’s manual for each machine.

 

Our Top Picks