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Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3
Review updated Feb 29, 2024 at 04:21 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Apr 09, 2024 at 01:38 pm
Shark Stratos Cordless Picture
7.7
Bare Floor
7.6
Low-Pile Carpet
7.3
High-Pile Carpet
6.9
Pets
8.4
Stairs
7.8
Cars
5.8
Workshop

The Shark Stratos Cordless is the flagship model in Shark's 2023 lineup of cordless stick vacuums. Compared to the older Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight, it features an upgraded anti-tangle floorhead, an automatic power adjustment feature that increases its suction power when passing over an area with a lot of debris, and, like the related Shark Stratos UltraLight, an odor-neutralizing cartridge that plugs into its floorhead.

Our Verdict

7.7 Bare Floor

The Shark Stratos Cordless is good for bare floors. It easily clears away small and bulky debris on this surface type, though a small amount of debris can get trapped in its floorhead and fall out once the vacuum is shut off. Its Clean Sense IQ system is effective in increasing its debris pickup performance. While it's a little heavy for a stick vacuum, it feels well-balanced, and the folding wand makes it easy to clean under most obstacles.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
  • Effective automatic power adjustment system.
  • Flexible wand improves maneuverability.
Cons
  • Somewhat heavy in stick configuration.
7.6 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark Stratos Cordless is a good option for low-pile carpet. It can handle a wide variety of debris on this surface type, thanks to its effective automatic power adjustment system. However, there's no brushroll off switch to prevent it from getting caught on obstructions like rug tassels. Its asymmetrical floorhead design can also cause it to drag around a small amount of small debris. Thankfully, it offers decent battery performance, feels fairly sturdy, and is easy to maintain.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
  • Effective automatic power adjustment system.
  • Flexible wand improves maneuverability.
  • Strong performance on carpets.
Cons
  • No brushroll height adjustment feature or on/off switch.
  • Somewhat heavy in stick configuration.
7.3 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark Stratos Cordless is great for cleaning high-pile carpet. Its dual-roller floorhead, Clean Sense IQ automatic power adjustment feature, and reasonably strong suction motor allow it to draw away debris from deep within carpet fibers. Its ergonomic design makes it pretty easy to maneuver, though the lack of any brushroll height adjustment means it can get bogged down in plush carpeting.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
  • Effective automatic power adjustment system.
  • Flexible wand improves maneuverability.
  • Strong performance on carpets.
Cons
  • No brushroll height adjustment feature or on/off switch.
  • Somewhat heavy in stick configuration.
6.9 Pets

The Shark Stratos Cordless is a decent choice for cleaning pet hair. It excels at clearing away pet hair on bare floors and carpets, but its limited selection of attachments makes it impractical to clean pet hair from larger upholstered surfaces. While its secondary soft roller is easy to remove and clean, the primary brushroll is not and still tends to collect pet hair despite its self-cleaning design. On the plus side, its odor-neutralizing cartridge helps tamp down unpleasant scents as you clean.

Pros
  • Odor neutralizing feature.
  • Good air filtration performance.
  • Great at handling pet hair on floors.
Cons
  • Limited selection of attachments.
  • Primary brushroll isn't removable.
  • Not meant for liquid spills.
8.4 Stairs

The Shark Stratos Cordless is an excellent choice for vacuuming stairs. Its cordless design ensures you won't trip over a power cord while climbing or descending stairs, and you can easily reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum to deal with messes in hard-to-reach areas. It also delivers strong performance on a wide variety of surfaces. Unfortunately, the lack of on-board storage means you can't easily switch attachments while you're on the move.

Pros
  • Effective automatic power adjustment system.
  • Flexible wand improves maneuverability.
  • Superb bare floor performance.
  • Strong performance on carpets.
Cons
  • Limited selection of attachments.
  • Somewhat heavy in stick configuration.
7.8 Cars

The Shark Stratos Cordless is good for cleaning the inside of your car. Since it's cordless, you don't need to park close to an outlet to clean every part of your car's interior. To clean tight spots, you can quickly reconfigure it into a smaller handheld vacuum. On the downside, its selection of attachments is a little limited, with only a pair of soft-bristle brushes and a crevice tool for cleaning tight spots but no upholstery tool or turbo brush to deal with messes on upholstered surfaces.

Pros
  • Effective automatic power adjustment system.
  • Lightweight in handheld configuration.
Cons
  • Limited selection of attachments.
5.8 Workshop

The Shark Stratos Cordless is mediocre for workshop cleaning, but that isn't its intended use case. While it does a fantastic job of clearing household debris from hard surfaces and crevices, it isn't meant to handle liquid spills or heavy-duty material like wood or metal shavings.

Pros
  • Good build quality.
  • Superb bare floor performance.
Cons
  • Limited selection of attachments.
  • Not meant for liquid spills.
  • 7.7 Bare Floor
  • 7.6 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.3 High-Pile Carpet
  • 6.9 Pets
  • 8.4 Stairs
  • 7.8 Cars
  • 5.8 Workshop
  1. Updated Apr 09, 2024: We've added text to this review for the new tests added in Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Updated Apr 09, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.3. We've overhauled our floor performance tests and added new 'Hard Floor Pick-Up,' 'High-Pile Carpet Pick-Up,' 'Low-Pile Carpet Pick-Up,' and 'Pet-Hair Pick-Up' tests. You can see the full changelog here.
  3. Updated Feb 29, 2024: We've made slight adjustments to the text of the review to better convey product details.
  4. Updated Oct 20, 2023: We've added text to this review for the new tests added in Test Bench 1.2.
  5. Updated Oct 20, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.2. This update builds on our previous 'Suction' test with a new 'Airflow' test that more accurately measures a vacuum's ability to generate air movement. If you'd like to see an in-depth look at the reasoning and methodology behind this change, you can see our full changelog here..
  6. Updated Jun 06, 2023: We've added a comparison to the Shark Cordless Pro in the 'User Maintenance' box to provide an alternative with a removable brushroll.
  7. Updated Feb 16, 2023: Review published.
  8. Updated Feb 10, 2023: Early access published.
  9. Updated Feb 06, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  10. Updated Jan 27, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  11. Updated Jan 19, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shark Stratos is only available as a single variant with the model code IZ862H. You can see our test unit's label here.

Let us know in the discussions if you come across another variant of this vacuum.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The Shark Stratos is a cordless stick vacuum. It's a pretty big step up from its predecessor, the Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight, with an automatic power adjustment system that allows it to adjust its suction to match required demand, an odor-neutralizing feature, and better overall build quality.

If you're searching for an alternative, look at our list of recommendations for the best cordless stick vacuums, the best cordless vacuums, and the best vacuums for tile floors.

Shark Detect Pro [IW1111, IW3511, IW3615]

The Shark Stratos Cordless is slightly more premium than the Shark Detect Pro. The Stratos is a bigger, heavier, better-built vacuum with a more powerful suction motor, resulting in better debris-pickup performance almost everywhere. While the Detect Pro is lighter, its weight feels poorly balanced, making it difficult to maneuver. That aside, the Detect Pro does have a more advanced automatic power adjustment system that responds not only to quantities of debris but also to changes in surface type and proximity to walls. Unlike the Stratos, it's also fully compatible with a self-empty dock.

Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight [IZ662H, IZ682H]

The Shark Stratos Cordless is a step up from the Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight. The Stratos feels better built, weighs fractionally less, and delivers better overall cleaning performance. It also packs in a wide variety of convenience features, including an effective automatic power adjustment feature, an odor-neutralizing system, and a self-cleaning floorhead that's a little better at trapping hair. On the other hand, the Vertex has an upholstery nozzle, which is better suited to cleaning furniture than the Stratos' attachments.

Dyson V8

The Dyson V8 and Shark Stratos Cordless each have their own advantages. The Dyson is easier to pick up and carry. Its single roller head also does a better job clearing away pet hair embedded within carpets. The Shark is the more feature-packed vacuum; it has an automatic power adjustment system, a folding wand, a higher-capacity battery, and a larger dustbin that holds more debris.

Dyson V15 Detect

The Shark Stratos Cordless and Dyson V15 Detect each have advantages. The Dyson has a tool storage rack, lasts slightly longer on a full charge, weighs significantly less in its stick configuration, and comes with a wider array of attachments, most notably a turbo brush tool that makes it a better option for cleaning pet hair on furniture. Conversely, the Shark feels sturdier, has a flexible wand that makes it easier to clean under furniture, and comes with an odor-neutralizing cartridge.

Shark Cordless Pro [IZ562H, UZ565H]

The Shark Stratos Cordless is a complete upgrade over the Shark Cordless Pro. The Stratos has a more powerful motor, yielding improved carpet performance and a higher-capacity battery. The Stratos also comes bundled with a folding wand to easily clean under tables and chairs, though you can find the same accessory on some variants of the Cordless Pro. The cheaper Cordless Pro does have its advantages. It's noticeably lighter and slightly easier to maintain by virtue of its removable brushroll, which makes it much less of a hassle to clear out any tangled hair.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

The Shark Stratos Cordless and Dyson V12 Detect Slim each have advantages. The Dyson is easier to maintain, comes with a storage rack and an onboard tool clip, takes much less time to recharge, weighs less, and has a wider array of attachments. It also features an allergen detection system. On the other hand, the Shark feels sturdier, has a larger dustbin, and delivers better performance on carpeted floors.

Shark Stratos UltraLight

Despite their similar names, the Shark Stratos UltraLight and Shark Stratos Cordless target slightly different audiences. The UltraLight is a corded model that represents a good portable substitute for a mid-range conventional upright, while the Stratos Cordless is an upper mid-range cordless stick vacuum. Both vacuums feature Shark's new odor-neutralizing cartridge and upgraded PowerFins floorhead. However, the cordless model also has an automatic power adjustment system, better build quality, and a flexible wand.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.5
Design
Build Quality
Vacuum Type
Stick/Handheld

This vacuum feels well-built. Similar to many other cordless stick vacuums, it's made mainly from plastic, though it's of a higher grade than most. Like the Shark Stratos UltraLight, its wand is made from nonmagnetic metal. However, unlike the UltraLight, you can fold the cordless model's wand in half. The hinges for this mechanism feel pretty sturdy and are covered with textured plastic trim pieces. In addition, the Stratos Cordless' floorhead is made of a denser plastic than its corded sibling. Unfortunately, its dirt compartment is somewhat fragile.

7.0
Design
User Maintenance

This vacuum is decently easy to maintain.

  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment can be easily removed by pressing the release button. Its design is far better than that of the Shark Stratos UltraLight, with a debris entry point at the top rather than the side, so debris doesn't spill back down the wand when it's filled. You can empty it over a trash bin by pressing the door release latch.
  • Brushroll: The floorhead features twin brushrolls. The primary brushroll, which uses a set of angled fins meant to trap pet hair, is non-removable, and despite the advertised claim of it being self-cleaning, pet hair can still get stuck in the mechanism. Thankfully, a portion of it will start to clear away as you use the vacuum. Regardless, manually cleaning it can take a bit of time, and some small solid debris can accumulate within the floorhead. You'll need to use a coin, flat-head screwdriver, or some other flat object to twist open the locks that hold the brush guard in place. Make sure not to lose the brush guard, as it's necessary for the vacuum to operate. If you want a Shark vacuum with a removable brushroll to clean out tangled pet hair or stuck-on debris, the Shark Cordless Pro is worth a look.
  • Soft roller: The soft roller is very easy to remove from its slot. Its smooth surface makes it easy to clean. You should wash it with cold water as needed.
  • Pre-motor filters: The foam and felt pre-motor filters sit in a housing at the top of the dirt compartment, and you can only access it after you remove the dustbin. From there, you can just take them out. No maintenance interval is specified, but you need to clean similar filters in other Shark vacuums once a month.
  • Post-motor filter: You can find the post-motor filter in its housing within the main body of the vacuum, and it's only accessible after you've removed the dirt compartment. Much like the pre-motor filters, no maintenance interval is given, but the HEPA filters in other Shark vacuums require cleaning every month.
  • Sensors: The dirt sensors for the CleanIQ automatic power adjustment system are found inside the upper wand, with their location labeled with a set of 'IQ' logos. You should regularly wipe them down with a clean cloth for the dirt detection system to work properly.

Any part you wash with water must be left to dry for at least 24 hours before reinstalling it.

Note: While there are no specific maintenance instruction requirements for the odor-neutralizing cartridge, it's important to note to only use the vacuum if a cartridge is inserted in the floorhead, even if it's completely depleted.

8.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number No bag
Filter Part Number XFFKIZ700
HEPA Filter Part Number XPSMFIZ700

This vacuum incurs few recurring costs.

  • Pre-motor filters: No replacement interval is given for the foam and felt pre-motor filters, but they're very similar in design to other Shark filters that need replacing every two and a half to three years. You can find a new set here.
  • Post-motor filter: No replacement interval is given for the post-motor HEPA filter, but it's similar to other Shark filters that need replacing every two and a half to three years. A replacement can be purchased here.
  • Odor neutralizer cartridge: A single cartridge will work for six months. You can buy a replacement here.

6.6
Design
Storing
Height
26.38" (67.0 cm)
Width
10.24" (26.0 cm)
Depth
9.84" (25.0 cm)
Cord Storing
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
No
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

This vacuum's dimensions are almost identical to those of the Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight, with a MultiFLEX wand that folds in half to reduce its vertical footprint. While there isn't any onboard storage for its included attachments, it still doesn't take up that much space.

7.5
Design
Dirt Compartment
Bagless
Yes
Volume
0.17 gal (0.65 L)
Full Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The dirt compartment is well-sized. It's on the bigger end of the scale for a cordless stick vacuum, being larger than alternatives like the Dyson V11 and only marginally smaller than that of the Samsung Jet 90 Complete. It's made of clear plastic, so you can quickly tell how full it is at a glance.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark Stratos body
  • MultiFLEX Wand
  • Vacuum head/Floor nozzle
  • Brushroll cover
  • Dirt compartment
  • Soft roller
  • Anti-Allergen Dusting Brush
  • Combination crevice tool/soft bristle brush
  • Pre-motor foam filter
  • Pre-motor felt filter
  • Odor neutralizing cartridge
  • HEPA filter
  • Power adapter
  • Battery
  • Quick Start guide

10
Design
Range
Cordless
Yes
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
N/A
Minimum Wand Length
2.13 ft (0.65 m)
Maximum Wand Length
3.35 ft (1.02 m)
Total Range
N/A

Since this is a cordless vacuum, its range is limited only by the remaining battery life and the room left in its dirt compartment.

7.7
Design
Portability
Total Weight
8.73 lbs (3.96 kg)
Weight In Hand
3.57 lbs (1.62 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

This vacuum is pretty portable. At just under nine pounds, it's considerably heavier than other cordless stick vacuums like the Dyson V15 Detect. However, its weight is well-distributed, and even though its motor unit and dirt compartment are fairly large, it doesn't feel too heavy when held in your hand.

7.0
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
12 min
Maximum Battery Life
63 min
Recharge Time
232 min
Recharge Dock
No
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

The battery performance is decent. When the vacuum is set to its most powerful 'Boost' suction mode with its wand and vacuum head attached, it supplies a little over 10 minutes of runtime. Using it as a hand vacuum in its most energy-efficient 'ECO' mode increases its runtime to roughly an hour, which aligns with the manufacturer's advertised battery life. The LED display shows a percentage estimate of the remaining battery life, so you won't run out of charge unexpectedly.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
Yes
Easy On/Off
Yes
Head Surface Type Adjustment
None

The Shark Stratos has a few quality-of-life features. There are three suction power settings: the energy-saving 'ECO' mode, the high-power 'Boost' mode, and the default 'Clean Sense IQ' mode, which uses the infrared sensors inside the wand to detect dirt and automatically modulate the vacuum's suction power between those two other settings depending on the quantity of dirt being sucked up. An LED strip on the floorhead serves as a visual indicator of how clean the floor is. Unfortunately, there's no way of changing the brushroll height or shutting it off. There's also a headlight mounted inside the vacuum head to illuminate dark areas. There's also an odor-neutralizing cartridge mounted in the floorhead, and you can adjust its intensity by twisting the cartridge in its slot; do note that it can become overwhelming if you leave it at its highest intensity level.

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

This vacuum has a couple of tools and brushes. It has an Anti-Allergen Dust Brush for cleaning fine debris from delicate surfaces or cleaning ceiling fans, a crevice tool, and a slide-on soft-bristle brush. Note that the vacuum's connection point is rectangular in shape, which is somewhat unusual as far as vacuums go.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Blower Mode
No

You can use this vacuum as a handheld by removing its wand and floorhead.

Performance
8.0
Performance
Hard Floor Pick-Up

This vacuum does a great job of dealing with messes on hard floors. Its twin-roller head does a good job of collecting a wide mix of debris, from fine material like sand to bulkier debris like cereal, in a single pass. Unfortunately, a small amount of debris can get caught in the floorhead instead of being sucked into the dustbin, and it could spill back out once you shut the vacuum off.

7.0
Performance
High-Pile Carpet Pick-Up

This vacuum's debris pickup performance on high-pile carpet is good. The Clean Sense IQ system does a good job of responding to large amounts of debris, quickly boosting suction to match the required load. While it clears away the large debris like cereal on this surface type as well as medium-sized material like rice, you'll need to make another pass to deal with finer debris embedded deep into carpet fibers. Its asymmetrical floorhead can also cause it to drag around a small amount of debris on the left side of its cleaning head.

7.5
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet Pick-Up

This vacuum performs well on low-pile carpet. It clears away the majority of large debris like cereal and medium-sized debris like rice, though it can push some debris to the very edges of its head rather than suck them up. It'll also take more than one pass to fully clear away fine debris like sand embedded deep within carpet fibers.

7.5
Performance
Pet-Hair Pick-Up

This vacuum does a good job of cleaning pet hair on low-pile carpet. It can clear away the majority of hair within a single back-and-forth pass, though you'll likely need to make an extra pass to deal with more deeply embedded short strands.

6.7
Performance
Suction
Maximum Hose Suction
88.4 inHโ‚‚O (22.01 kPa)
Maximum Head Suction
3.9 inHโ‚‚O (0.96 kPa)
Normal Head Suction
1.0 inHโ‚‚O (0.26 kPa)
Setting Used For Normal "Clean Sense IQ"
Hose Diameter
1.4" (3.5 cm)

This vacuum's real-world suction performance is reasonably good. Its twin-roller floorhead diffuses its suction over a larger area than most alternatives with single-roller floorheads. However, it still exerts enough force to draw away debris deep within carpet fibers and most cracks and crevices.

7.2
Performance
Airflow
Maximum Hose Airflow
59.2 CFM (1.7 mยณ/min)

As Shark's flagship cordless stick vacuum, it'll come as no surprise that the Stratos' airflow performance is fairly good as far as cordless vacuums are concerned. It doesn't move as much air as the best models from other brands, like the Dyson V15 Detect, but it still delivers sufficient airflow performance to easily lift away most kinds of solid debris.

8.2
Performance
Noise
Bare Floor
74.2 dBA
Low-Pile Carpet
75.7 dBA

This vacuum isn't too loud. It's a little louder than alternatives like the Dyson V11, with the sound of its operation crowding out nearby normal conversation. However, it's unlikely to be too disruptive if you use it in a partially enclosed room.

8.0
Performance
Maneuverability

The Shark Stratos is impressively maneuverable. Like its predecessor, the Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight, it has a flexible wand that allows you to clean under tables and couches without crouching too deeply. It takes some getting used to this design, but cleaning under furniture becomes a lot more comfortable once you do. Its pivoting head also makes it easy to maneuver in between obstacles. It's easy to reconfigure into a handheld vacuum and attach any of the included accessories. However, the lack of a turbo brush or even a wide aperture upholstery nozzle means that cleaning cloth furniture is a slow process. There's also no onboard tool storage, so you'll have to set down its two included attachments somewhere else as you clean. Since there isn't a brushroll on/off switch or floorhead height adjustment, it can occasionally get stuck on rugs and some tassels.

7.0
Performance
Pet Hair Furniture Performance
Sofa Pickup Post Test

This vacuum is decently effective when cleaning furniture with its crevice tool. The tool does a good job of handling hair, but its narrow nozzle size makes cleaning large areas pretty impractical. This vacuum would perform better in this regard if, like the Shark Stratos UltraLight, it came with a miniature turbo brush tool. Since the dirt-detecting sensors are found inside the upper part of the wand, the 'Clean Sense IQ' system still works when you use the vacuum handheld. It does help increase its suction when passing over an area with a lot of hair. However, the system can also cause the vacuum to shut off automatically, as it may perceive a brief moment of full contact between the suction inlet and contact surface to be a blockage.

Performance
Air Quality
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

This vacuum is quite effective in trapping fine allergens. While its onboard HEPA filter and allergen-sealed construction ensure most fine particles won't escape from the dustbin while cleaning, a small number of lightweight allergens can be blown forward from its floorhead.

8.0
Performance
Cracks
Wood Cracks Post Test

The Shark Stratos does a great job of cleaning crevices. Its secondary soft roller helps dig into shallow and medium-depth cracks and dig out any lightweight debris. While its Clean Sense IQ feature won't increase its suction power when passing over perpendicular crevices, it does recognize debris when moving the vacuum parallel to them. Still, you can use the crevice tool to clear out any deeper cracks.

1.0
Performance
Stains
Stain Pickup Post Test

This vacuum has no impact on stains.

0
Performance
Water
Wet Compatible
No
Water Pickup Post Test

This vacuum isn't designed to deal with liquid spills.

Automation
0
Automation
Physical Automation
Automatic Recharging
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Pathing Algorithm
No Pathing Algorithm
Physical Boundary Markers
No
Scheduled Start Buttons
No
Cycle Control Buttons
No
Navigation Control Buttons
No

This vacuum has no automation capabilities.

0
Automation
Companion App Automation
App Name
No App
iOS Availability
No
Android Availability
No
Software Boundary Markers (No Go Zones)
No
App Scheduled Start
No
App Cycle Control
No
Navigation Control within App
No

This vacuum has no companion software.