We've currently tested over 20 Shark vacuums. Shark is a manufacturer of homeware goods like irons and mops in addition to vacuums. Unlike other brands like Samsung or BISSELL that focus on a limited range of vacuum designs, Shark offers a little bit of everything, including robot vacuums, secondary handheld configurations, as well as corded and cordless designs. Their vacuums come at a variety of price points, so you can find something available that fits your budget.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H is the best cordless Shark vacuum that we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum is highly maneuverable thanks to its lightweight construction and pivoting vacuum head, making it easy to tackle messes even in cluttered areas. You can reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum to better clean hard-to-reach areas, and it comes with a combination hard-bristle brush/upholstery tool as well as a crevice tool for cleaning tight corners. This vacuum does a fantastic job of clearing small and bulky debris, like rice or cereal, from bare floors and also has little trouble sucking up material like baking soda or sand from carpeted surfaces. It also delivers superb pet hair-cleaning performance on a wide mix of surface types. It has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, and while its brushroll isn't removable, it's advertised to clear hair wraps by itself. Battery performance is decent, as you can expect a maximum of roughly 40 minutes of continuous runtime depending on your choice of settings and usage habits.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's battery life drops to a little over 10 minutes if you run it continuously in its high-power "MAX (BOOST)" mode. It lacks a turbo brush to more easily clear debris from upholstered surfaces, unlike the handheld Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. Still, its lightweight, maneuverable design and versatile overall performance make it a great option if you're looking for a cordless vacuum.
The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is the best Shark vacuum for bare floors that we've tested. This upright delivers superb performance on flat, even surfaces, like hardwood, linoleum, or tile, where it cleans pet hair as well as small and bulky material like rice or cereal. Its suction performance also remains consistent as its spacious dirt compartment fills up, which is good if you have several large messes to deal with. Its bagless design and washable, reusable pre-motor and allergen-trapping HEPA filters keep recurring costs low. Like many Shark vacuums, its vacuum head features two brushrolls, with the primary unit using angled plastic fins meant to reduce the incidence of hair wraps. Its main canister can be decoupled from the main wand and carried around, making it easier to clean hard-to-reach spots on shelves or around and under furniture. It comes with a crevice tool, a combination upholstery tool/hard bristle brush, and a motorized turbo brush.
That said, this vacuum is a bit of a hassle to maneuver because of its bulky front-mounted dirt compartment and short vacuum hose. Its brushroll can also occasionally get caught on rug tassels. If you're looking for something a little more maneuverable but aren't willing to sacrifice much in the way of bare-floor performance, the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is a good alternative, though it doesn't feel as solidly built and lacks a HEPA filter. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of a power cable, the Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless also delivers superb performance on this surface type.
The best Shark vacuum for carpets that we've tested is the Shark APEX UpLight. This corded stick/handheld vacuum does an excellent job cleaning debris on low-pile carpet and delivers good performance on high-pile carpet, where it easily sucks up pet hair and the majority of larger material like sand, though you may need to make an extra pass to fully clear finer debris like baking soda. It feels decently well-built, while its bagless design and washable allergen-trapping HEPA filter also result in a near-total absence of recurring costs. It's easy to maneuver, even in cluttered areas, and you can detach its main wand and carry around the canister while vacuuming with its extension hose to deal with messes in hard-to-reach areas. However, its vacuum hose is short.
Unfortunately, it has quite a few parts that need regular cleaning. It also lacks any suction power or surface type adjustment feature, unlike the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright, though that upright vacuum can be somewhat hard to find and isn't as easy to maneuver. Conversely, if you're looking to go cordless, the Shark Wandvac System WS620 delivers impressive overall performance on low and high-pile carpets, but it has a short battery life and a very small dirt compartment.
The best Shark Vacuum for pet hair that we've tested is the Shark Vertex Pro. This cordless stick/handheld vacuum does an outstanding job sucking up pet hair on a wide variety of surface types. Like many Shark vacuums, its floorhead has two brushrolls, one of which is fitted with angled fins meant to reduce the incidence of hair wraps, though this primary brushroll isn't designed to be taken out, which can make removing hair wraps a little hard. It has an allergen trapping HEPA filter, and as long as you regularly clean it and the pre-motor filter assembly, you shouldn't need to worry about recurring costs. Depending on your choice of settings and usage habits, it supplies roughly anywhere between 10 to over 60 minutes of runtime on a single charge, which should be sufficient for most areas. An LED display at the back of the vacuum provides you with a live estimate of the remaining battery life, not to mention its current suction power mode and surface-type setting. Its lightweight design and rotating vacuum head make it easy to maneuver too, and its flexible wand allows you to clean under tables and chairs without bending over too much.
However, it has quite a few parts that require regular cleaning. There are also a couple of somewhat delicate components, like its clear plastic dirt compartment, which could break if you were to drop it, but the vacuum still feels decently well-built overall. If you're looking for a handheld cordless model for spot-cleaning pet hair, the Shark ION W1 WANDVAC is a good option that has a HEPA filter. However, its dirt compartment is very small, and it doesn't last very long on a single charge.
The best robotic Shark vacuum that we've tested is the Shark EZ Robot Self-Empty AV911S. This robot vacuum features a self-emptying function that allows it to dump any accumulated debris into an external dirt bin mounted to its charging dock, effectively reducing hands-on maintenance requirements. It does a very good job clearing debris from bare floors and delivers great performance on high-pile carpet, though it may struggle somewhat when cleaning fine material like baking soda from low-pile carpets. It feels well-built, with a hard plastic body and rubber-coated wheels that allow it to climb onto high-pile rugs, though it can have some trouble with low-lying obstructions like electrical cords. It also has a fairly wide assortment of automation features alongside its self-empty function. Its smart-pathing navigation system allows it to clean rooms in an organized manner; you can use its companion app to change its suction power mode, pause or resume its cleaning task, or schedule cleaning sessions.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have any physical boundary strips to prevent it from entering certain areas. Like many robot vacuums, it also has many parts that need cleaning or regular replacing, so recurring costs are high. It also lacks a HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans.
Shark produces a variety of different vacuum types at different price points. They're smartly designed to be reconfigured into a handheld design should you need a closer clean, and there are cordless options available. When comparing their stick vacuums to Dyson's offerings, Shark vacuums feel better built and sturdier. However, they also tend to have a similar but slightly worse performance on carpet. Their upright vacuums usually perform better on all surface types than BISSELL vacuums. Note that Shark doesn't currently make canister vacuums.
Oct 15, 2021: Replaced Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright with Shark APEX UpLight as 'Best Shark Vacuum For Carpet' pick due to current availability. Replaced Shark APEX UpLight with Shark Vertex Pro as 'Best Shark Vacuum For Pet Hair' pick.
Sep 17, 2021: Added new 'Best Shark Vacuum For Pet Hair' pick.
Aug 19, 2021: Replaced Shark IQ Robot RV1001 with Shark EZ Robot Self-Empty AV911S as 'Best Robot Shark Vacuum'.
Jul 23, 2021: Replaced Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ with Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H as 'Best Cordless Shark Vacuum' pick. Replaced Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H with Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV as 'Best Shark Vacuum For Bare Floors' pick.
Jun 25, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Shark is a good household manufacturer that produces items like mops and irons alongside a selection of vacuums at different price points and styles. You can also use many Shark vacuums as handhelds, which is nice if you need to clean hard-to-reach places. If you want an easily portable model, Shark also sells some cordless vacuums. However, they tend to have quite a few maintenance needs, and some models can be a little more tricky to clean.