The 9 Best Shark Vacuums of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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There’s a reason Shark vacuums are a top buy—the brand’s offerings come with powerful suction, fully-sealed HEPA filtration systems,1 and comprehensive warranties, all at affordable prices. Plus, in recent years, the brand has come toe-to-toe with its more expensive rival, Dyson, to release innovative designs for robot vacuums and handheld models.

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We stay up to date on Shark’s inventory and test new vacuum models as often as possible. We’ve tested over 30 Shark vacuums in The Lab and at home, evaluating them on the same attributes as the rest of the vacuums we test. Each model went through rigorous testing for setup, maneuverability, noise level, effectiveness, and ease of emptying. We then compared all of the Shark vacuums to provide a variety—including handheld, stick, upright, and robot options—that will perform well in any home.

Testing Stats
  • PRODUCTS TESTED: 33
  • TESTS PERFORMED: 15
  • Hours Spent Testing: 46
  • UNIQUE TESTERS: 27

Our Ratings

Effectiveness
5/5
Value 5/5
5/5
Maneuverability
5/5
Ease of Emptying
5/5
Ease of Emptying
5/5

What We Like

  • Very long battery life
  • Folds in half for easy storage
  • Powerful suction on all surfaces
  • Vacuum basically moves itself

What We Don’t Like

  • Collection canister could
    be bigger
  • No attachment storage
  • Handheld model is a bit heavy
Details

The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum was the clear winner in our search for the best Shark vacuum—and best vacuum in general. Although we recently tested the Shark Cordless Pro with Clean Sense IQ, the newest model in this specific line, it did not compare in suction capability or ease of use to the older PowerFins model. The Shark Vertex PowerFins Vacuum features powerful suction on all surfaces, a storage-friendly handle, and generally quiet operation. As we discovered in The Lab, it has the power you need to leave your carpets deeply clean and your hardwood floors sparkling. This model earned a perfect rating for its effectiveness and didn’t cause any debris to scatter in the process. In fact, it cleaned up every material in just a pass or two, regardless of flooring type. We found that the 1.4-quart dust bin empties easily, but given the vacuum’s powerful suction and long-lasting battery, we do wish it had more capacity.

However, the Shark vacuum does feature a flexible wand that is a real game changer for reaching under furniture. You can stop ignoring the dust bunnies under your sofa because Shark designed this vac with a hinge that gives the floor head greater reach. Plus, the Vertex series from Shark includes dual rollers in the floor head and one is equipped with grippy rubber fins to maintain contact with the floor. While making use of the 60-minute battery life, which is significant compared to many other cordless models, you can feel this technology working. We noted the vac essentially pulls itself, and we gave it a perfect rating for maneuverability.

Notably, you can also make this vacuum more compact for storage; the handle can fold in half. Its canister converts into a handheld vacuum you can use, too, but we found the handheld vac to be decently heavy. It may be fine for grabbing a few cobwebs, but don’t expect to use it overhead for a long time. There’s also not a designated spot for attachments, which was disappointing, so you’ll need to repurpose a box or bin to keep the attachments together in your home.

What Customers Are Saying

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Our Experience

Experience

Price at time publish
  • $120.00 from Amazon
  • $130.00 from Walmart

Key specifications

Dimensions: 46.46 x 9.65 x 10.24 inches
Weight: 9.04 pounds
Cord Length: Cordless
Battery Life: 60 minutes
Bin Volume: 1.4 quarts
Cleaning Path Width: 10.63 inches
Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, multi-surface

Final Verdict

Our Best Overall pick for a Shark vacuum is the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum, since this cordless model has long battery life, a flexible handle for storing it in your home, and powerful suction on all types of flooring. The Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum, our Best Upright pick, is a great choice, too. This more basic Shark vacuum lacks features like a self-cleaning brush roll, but still qualifies as a quality upright vacuum, thanks to its fully-sealed system with HEPA filtration and a lift-away canister option.

Final Verdict

Our Best Overall pick for a Shark vacuum is the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum, since this cordless model has long battery life, a flexible handle for storing it in your home, and powerful suction on all types of flooring. The Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum, our Best Upright pick, is a great choice, too. This more basic Shark vacuum lacks features like a self-cleaning brush roll, but still qualifies as a quality upright vacuum, thanks to its fully-sealed system with HEPA filtration and a lift-away canister option.

Other Options We Tested

Shark HydroVac Cordless Pro XL 3-in-1 Vacuum, Mop & Self-Cleaning System: As excited as we were for this vacuum’s design, we had to terminate our testing of this vacuum due to severe leakage from the clean solution tank. This vacuum is advertised as a mopping option for sealed hard floors and a vacuum for area rugs, and it has a separate switch that alternates between the mop and vacuum setting. We could not keep the “vacuum” setting engaged on this unit, as it would independently switch to the mop setting and release cleaning solution, wetting the testing floor and nearby rug.

Shark Cordless Pro with Clean Sense IQ: As we noted above, this model is the newest version of the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum, our Best Overall pick. But, it doesn’t have the same cleaning capabilities as its older counterpart. While we were pretty impressed with this vacuum’s effectiveness on carpet and hard flooring, we noted that the vacuum struggled to pick up pet hair off of upholstery with any attachment. Debris also fell out of the vacuum whenever we changed attachments. Even with its initial cleaning power, we think the debris falling out doesn’t make this model worth its price point, especially given the overall mediocre performance.

Shark Stratos Cordless with Clean Sense IQ: Despite Shark’s claim that this vacuum has the strongest suction power of any of its models, thanks to HyperVelocity, it has a few major design flaws that left us feeling frustrated during testing. Rather than picking up more debris when pulling backward on carpet, this vacuum dragged debris behind it, which resulted in more effort on our part. In our experience, the top-heavy design, although common in most cordless stick vacuums, combined with the suction can leave arms feeling fatigued and sore after just 10 minutes of testing. Overall, we expected more from a model that’s claiming to be one of the best designs yet, especially at a price point comparable to Dyson’s vacuums.

How We Tested the Shark Vacuums

We’ve tested well over 100 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab and at home—several of which come from Shark.

  • During our tests in The Lab, our testers completed the setup of each model first,

timing how long it took to complete this process and how thorough the instructions were. From there, we put each pick through its paces, and evaluated its effectiveness on hardwood and three types of carpet. The vacuums were tasked with cleaning up measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and a parent’s constant companion: Cheerios. While testing, we noted how many passes were needed to clean up the materials, if any hair was tangled in the brush roll, and the vacuums’ weight, noise level, and portability.
In addition, we gathered insights on how well each pick transitioned from smooth floors to a carpet, while testing its maneuverability in our living room-inspired obstacle course. We also noted how long cordless models stayed charged. Our testers tested the ease of emptying the dust bins, noting if the process was messy, as expected, or thrillingly simple. At home, additional vacuums were rated on the same attributes in real-world environments and situations. Lastly, when determining the overall value of each product, we considered our entire experience with the product in comparison to the price. Our editors took all of the consistently applied testing data that was gathered at The Lab and at home, and boiled it down to the Shark vacuums we believe are the very best.

How We Tested the product

We’ve tested well over 100 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab and at home—several of which come from Shark. During our tests in The Lab, our testers completed the setup of each model first, timing how long it took to complete this process and how thorough the instructions were. From there, we put each pick through its paces, and evaluated its effectiveness on hardwood and three types of carpet. The vacuums were tasked with cleaning up measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and a parent’s constant companion: Cheerios. While testing, we noted how many passes were needed to clean up the materials, if any hair was tangled in the brush roll, and the vacuums’ weight, noise level, and portability.
In addition, we gathered insights on how well each pick transitioned from smooth floors to a carpet, while testing its maneuverability in our living room-inspired obstacle course. We also noted how long cordless models stayed charged. Our testers tested the ease of emptying the dust bins, noting if the process was messy, as expected, or thrillingly simple. At home, additional vacuums were rated on the same attributes in real-world environments and situations. Lastly, when determining the overall value of each product, we considered our entire experience with the product in comparison to the price. Our editors took all of the consistently applied testing data that was gathered at The Lab and at home, and boiled it down to the Shark vacuums we believe are the very best.

FAQ

How do you clean a Shark vacuum?

To clean a Shark vacuum, empty the dust bin after each use. Additionally, you may choose to lightly tap excess dirt and debris from the filters into a garbage can. Re-install the filters and dustbin once you’re done.

Also, regularly inspect the brush roll for wrapped hair, string, or lodged debris and carefully remove any obstructions using scissors. According to Danielle Lessing, VP of Global Product Development at SharkNinja, owners of Shark vacuums equipped with DuoClean Technology should “hand wash the soft roller as needed (using only water) and let it air dry for 24 hours before use.”

How do I clean a Shark vacuum filter?

Also, regularly inspect the brush roll for wrapped hair, string, or lodged debris and carefully remove any obstructions using scissors. According to Danielle Lessing, VP of Global Product Development at SharkNinja, owners of Shark vacuums equipped with DuoClean Technology should “hand wash the soft roller as needed (using only water) and let it air dry for 24 hours before use.”

How do you take apart a Shark vacuum?

Also, regularly inspect the brush roll for wrapped hair, string, or lodged debris and carefully remove any obstructions using scissors. According to Danielle Lessing, VP of Global Product Development at SharkNinja, owners of Shark vacuums equipped with DuoClean Technology should “hand wash the soft roller as needed (using only water) and let it air dry for 24 hours before use.”

How long do Shark vacuums last?

Also, regularly inspect the brush roll for wrapped hair, string, or lodged debris and carefully remove any obstructions using scissors. According to Danielle Lessing, VP of Global Product Development at SharkNinja, owners of Shark vacuums equipped with DuoClean Technology should “hand wash the soft roller as needed (using only water) and let it air dry for 24 hours before use.”

Why Trust The House Wire?

Erica Puisis has been a writer for The Spruce since 2017. She’s an experienced product researcher with years of experience in covering large and small appliances. For this piece, she used in-depth research and evaluations on features, cleaning modes, and accessories, in addition to the firsthand insights from our product testers at home and in The Lab, to inform her writing. Puisis also conducted an interview with Danielle Lessing, VP of Global Product Development at SharkNinja, to learn more about the features of Shark vacuums.

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