Shark ION Robot 2020 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 06, 2021 at 08:24 am
Shark ION Robot 2020 Picture
6.8
Bare Floor
5.3
Low-Pile Carpet
6.1
High-Pile Carpet
4.7
Pets
6.0
Stairs
5.7
Cars
Vacuum Type
Robot
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
No

The Shark ION Robot 2020 is a budget-friendly robot vacuum. It has superb battery life, a sturdy-feeling construction, and good performance on bare floors. Unfortunately, it struggles quite a bit on low-pile carpet and does an only mediocre job of sucking up debris on high-pile carpet. It also doesn't have a HEPA filter to trap allergens and can have an especially hard time with pet hair, which can get trapped in its brushroll.

Our Verdict

6.8 Bare Floor

The Shark ION Robot is alright for cleaning bare floors. It feels quite well-made and clears small and bulky material, like rice or cereal, without too much of a hassle. However, it struggles noticeably with pet hair and is quite demanding in terms of user maintenance.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Does a good job of cleaning small and bulky debris on bare floors.
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Poor pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Demanding in terms of user maintenance.
  • High recurring costs.
5.3 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark ION Robot is poor for dealing with messes on low-pile carpet. Pet hair can become trapped in its brushroll, and it sucks up very little fine debris, such as baking soda. It also incurs high recurring costs and can be difficult to maintain. Thankfully, it offers outstanding battery performance and feels well-built.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Poor pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Struggles with fine debris.
  • Demanding in terms of user maintenance.
  • High recurring costs.
6.1 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark ION Robot is a passable choice for high-pile carpets. It struggles with pet hair and fine debris like baking soda and does a passable job when it comes to larger sand-like material. Many parts require regular servicing or replacement, so recurring costs are quite high. That said, it has sufficient battery life for long cleaning tasks and feels quite sturdy overall.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Long battery life.
  • Can climb onto high-pile rugs without difficulty.
Cons
  • Poor pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Demanding in terms of user maintenance.
  • High recurring costs.
4.7 Pets

The Shark ION Robot is a bad option for cleaning up pet hair. Pet hair can get caught in its brushroll instead of being picked up, especially on carpeted surfaces. It's demanding in terms of maintenance and has high recurring costs. It also doesn't have a HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans, which could be a nuisance if you have a heavily-shedding pet.

Pros
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Poor pet hair cleaning performance.
  • Demanding in terms of user maintenance.
  • High recurring costs.
  • No HEPA filter.
6.0 Stairs

The Shark ION Robot isn't designed to be used on stairs.

5.7 Cars

The Shark ION Robot isn't designed to clean car interiors.

  • 6.8 Bare Floor
  • 5.3 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 6.1 High-Pile Carpet
  • 4.7 Pets
  • 6.0 Stairs
  • 5.7 Cars
  1. Updated Jan 06, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jan 04, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Shark ION Robot is well-built. It has a primarily hard matte-finish plastic construction, though its front bumper, drive wheel treads, and swiveling front wheel are made of rubber. It feels quite sturdy overall, though its dustbin feels somewhat fragile, and it could be damaged if you drop it. You may want to consider the iRobot Roomba 692 if you're looking for a better-built alternative. Setup is a fairly simple process, requiring only that you snap the two included side brushes into place and plug in its dock station.

4.0
Design
User Maintenance

The Shark ION Robot can be difficult to maintain due to the high number of parts that require regular servicing, though they're fairly simple to access.

  • Brushroll: The brushroll can be accessed by removing the brushroll compartment door and then pulling the component out. While the manufacturer doesn't specify an exact maintenance interval, it should be regularly cleaned of stuck-on debris by hand.
  • Dust bin: You can remove the dust bin by pressing the release button on the rear. It should be emptied after every use. Be sure to remove any stuck-on hair from the attached anti-tangle comb.
  • Pre-motor filter: The pre-motor filter can be found inside the dust bin lid and can be pulled out via its release tabs. It should be cleaned weekly by tapping it against the side of a garbage can to dislodge any stuck-on debris.
  • Side brushes: The side brushes can be pulled out of their socket by hand. You should check them weekly and pull away debris like hair by hand or clear them of any stuck-on material with a damp cloth before leaving them to air-dry completely.
  • Drive wheels: The drive wheels and their housing should be cleaned fairly regularly to ensure that there isn't any significant buildup of debris. Make sure that you rotate the wheels while cleaning to ensure maximum mobility.
  • Front wheel: The front wheel can be pulled from its socket by hand, but this can be difficult and you may find it easier to use a tool. It should be cleared of stuck-on debris regularly.
  • Sensors: The vacuum's sensors should be cleaned periodically with a dry cloth or cleaning brush.
  • Charging pads: The charging pads under the vacuum and on top of the dock station should be periodically cleared of any dust or debris with a dry cloth or cleaning brush.

4.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
1172FK870
HEPA Filter Part Number
No HEPA Filter

The Shark ION Robot Vacuum has many recurring costs.

  • Pre-motor filter: The pre-motor filter should be replaced every two months.
  • Brushroll: The brushroll should be replaced every six to 12 months or whenever you observe visible wear. While this component's model number couldn't be found on the manufacturer's website, a compatible brushroll of a different color is available for purchase.
  • Side brushes: The side brushes should be changed whenever you notice significant wear.
  • Front wheel: The front wheel should be replaced every 12 months.

You can purchase any one of these parts, as well as additional accessories, on Shark's website.

9.0
Design
Storing
Height
3.35" (8.5 cm)
Width
12.60" (32.0 cm)
Depth
14.96" (38.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
Not needed
Vacuum Rack/Station
Yes

The Shark ION Robot has outstanding storing capabilities. It has a small, compact body along with a low-profile charging dock.

6.2
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.11 gal (0.40 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
No
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The Shark ION Robot has an acceptably-sized dust bin. Like the Shark IQ Robot's dirt compartment, it doesn't have a max fill sensor to let you know once it has reached peak capacity.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark ION Robot Vacuum
  • Dust bin
  • Pre-motor filter
  • 2x Side brushes
  • Brushroll
  • Brushroll door
  • Recharging dock
  • User guide

10
Design
Range
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
N/A

The Shark ION Robot's range is limited only by remaining battery life and room left in its dirt compartment. Unfortunately, it can't climb or descend stairs.

8.2
Design
Portability
Total Weight
5.40 lbs (2.45 kg)
Weight In Hand
0.00 lbs (0.00 kg)
Carrying handle
No

The Shark ION Robot Vacuum is very portable. It doesn't weigh very much, but it lacks a carrying handle to make it easier to move around.

9.5
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
172 min
Maximum Battery Life
186 min
Recharge Time
236 min
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

The Shark ION Robot has superb battery performance. Battery life doesn't vary significantly between its high-efficiency 'Eco' and high-suction 'Max' mode, as it should provide roughly anywhere between 170 to over 180 minutes of continuous runtime. This exceeds the continuous runtime of just 60 minutes specified in the vacuum's user guide. The three indicator lights quickly let you know how much battery life is left since they gradually turn off as the charge level drops.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
No
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
Yes
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

This vacuum has a couple of quality of life features. You can swap between three power modes through its companion app: the energy-efficient 'Eco' mode, the default 'Normal' mode, and the high-suction 'Max' mode. Physical buttons on top of the vacuum allow you to select only the 'Max' or 'Normal' modes.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
Yes
Turbo Brush
No
Crevice Tool
No
Upholstery Tool
No
Soft Bristle Brush
No
Hard Bristle Brush
No
Extension Wand
No
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

The Shark ION Robot Vacuum is equipped with two side brushes that direct debris from the outer edges of the vacuum's path toward its main brushroll.

Design
Alternative Configuration

This is a robot vacuum with no alternative configurations.

Performance
7.6
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
34%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
93%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
87%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
98%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
99%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Max"

The Shark ION Robot has good performance on bare floors. It clears both bulky and small debris, like cereal or rice, without difficulty. However, it struggles a lot with pet hair, and it may take several extra passes to fully suck up this kind of debris.

4.8
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
71%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
69%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
75%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
12%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
10%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Max"

The Shark ION Robot's performance on low-pile carpet is bad. Pet hair can get stuck in its brushroll, and it picks up very little in the way of fine material like baking soda. That said, it does a little better with larger debris like sand.

6.2
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
37%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
57%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
49%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
33%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
32%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Max"

This vacuum delivers mediocre performance on high-pile carpet. Pet hair can get stuck in its brushroll, and it picks up little in the way of small, fine debris like baking soda. It may also take an extra pass to clean up larger sand-like material.

6.5
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Good
Under Low Table
Good
On Furniture
Not Possible
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Ok

The Shark ION Robot is reasonably maneuverable. It uses random pathing to plot cleaning routes, so it does occasionally miss some areas or go over the same spot more than once. Thankfully, it's small enough to easily clean under low-lying furniture like tables or couches, and it can climb onto high-pile rugs without too much difficulty, though it can get caught on rug tassels. If you want a vacuum that does a better job of maneuvering itself, consider the iRobot Roomba 614.

Automation
6.7
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
Yes (App only)
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
Yes
Schedule Programming
Yes
Boundary Markers
No
Random Pathing
Yes
Smart Pathing
No
App Name
SharkClean

The Shark ION Robot Vacuum has a reasonably broad selection of automation features. Its SharkClean companion app allows you to manually stop and start cleaning, change its power mode, send it back to its charging dock, and check previous cleaning history as well as remaining battery life. You can also enable voice control functions via Google Home or Amazon Alexa devices. Unfortunately, unlike the Shark IQ Robot, it lacks any sort of boundary function, so you can't block it out of certain areas.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shark ION Robot comes in two color variants: 'White' and 'Black'. We tested the 'White' variant, and you can see its label here.

If you come across a different variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The Shark ION Robot is a simple, budget-priced robot vacuum. It feels well-made, and its long battery life should allow it to clean large areas without needing to be recharged. It performs best on bare floors but can have some trouble with messes on low-pile carpet or with cleaning up pet hair. If you're considering an alternative, take a look at our list of recommendations of the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors, the best budget robot vacuum cleaners, and the best robot vacuums for carpet.

eufy RoboVac 11S

The eufy RoboVac 11S and Shark ION Robot 2020 each have their own distinct advantages, and one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The eufy clears pet hair more effectively on all surface types and struggles less on low-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the Shark is better-built, has a longer battery life, and does a much better job of dealing with bulkier debris like cereal. It also has a companion app, though it's somewhat limited in terms of features and isn't especially intuitive.

Roborock E4

The Roborock E4 is a far more versatile robot vacuum than the Shark ION Robot 2020. The Roborock feels better-built, is easier to maintain, maneuvers around obstructions more easily, and has lower recurring costs, not to mention a broader suite of automation features and a larger dust bin. It also offers superior cleaning performance on all surface types. Conversely, the Shark is a little lighter and more compact.

iRobot Roomba E5

The iRobot Roomba E5 and Shark ION Robot 2020 each have their own advantages, and one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The iRobot is better-built, easier to maintain, more maneuverable, and struggles noticeably less on low-pile carpet, especially in regards to pet hair. Conversely, while it charges much faster than the Shark, it has much shorter battery life. The Shark also has a larger dirt compartment and superior overall performance on bare floors.

iRobot Roomba 692

The iRobot Roomba 692 and Shark ION Robot 2020 each have their own advantages, so one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The iRobot is better-made, easier to maintain, incurs fewer recurring costs, and charges much faster. Both vacuums deliver good performance on bare floors, though the iRobot is also a little more maneuverable. That said, the Shark struggles much less on carpeted surfaces and clears significantly more pet hair. It also has longer overall battery life, not to mention a bigger dirt compartment.

Shark EZ Robot Self-Empty AV911S

The Shark EZ Robot Self-Empty AV911S is better than the Shark ION Robot 2020 for most use cases. The EZ delivers better performance on bare floors and carpets, maneuvers itself with less difficulty, and has a broader range of automation features. Its external dustbin also gives it a larger, more effective debris capacity. However, the ION has fewer parts that need to be maintained or replaced periodically and has a longer maximum battery life, though it does take notably longer to recharge than the EZ.

ILIFE A4s Pro

The Shark ION Robot 2020 is slightly superior to the ILIFE A4s Pro. The Shark feels better-made, has a much longer battery life, and is more effective on bare floors and on high-pile carpet, though it struggles more with pet hair than the ILIFE. The ILIFE is also slightly smaller and lighter and does a marginally better job of removing fine debris like baking soda from low-pile carpets.

Shark IQ Robot RV1001

The Shark IQ Robot RV1001 is a better option for most use cases than the Shark ION Robot 2020. The IQ clears debris more effectively on all surface types, uses smart-pathing to plot more efficient cleaning routes, and comes with boundary makers to prevent it from moving into certain areas. Meanwhile, the ION has a much longer battery life while taking less time to recharge.

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