There's a reason Shark vacuums are a top buy—the brand's offerings come with powerful suction, fully-sealed HEPA filtration systems, and comprehensive warranties, all at affordable prices. We researched Shark's complete inventory of vacuums and tested several models in The Lab and at home, evaluating each on setup, maneuverability, noise level, effectiveness, and ease of emptying.
While finding your perfect vacuum depends on your specific needs, we determined that the best model for most people is the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum. It has a very long battery life, powerful suction, and a compact design.
Here are the best Shark vacuums, backed by our thorough testing in our lab and in real-life homes.
Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum with DuoClean PowerFins
Very long battery life
Folds in half for easy storage
Powerful suction on all surfaces
Vacuum basically moves itself
Collection canister could be bigger
No attachment storage
Handheld model is a bit heavy
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, since 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, since 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.
If you're looking for the powerful suction of an upright vacuum but the convenience of a cordless stick vacuum, this is the one for you. And with such a long battery life, you could vacuum your apartment multiple times or clean an entire two-story house before having to charge it. For all of these reasons, plus the easy three-minute assembly time, this is our top pick.
Price at time of publish: $430
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, and hardwood
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum
Swivel steering for easy mobility
Brush roll shut-off for bare floors
Dust bin is easy to empty
No self-cleaning brush roll
Hair gets caught and tangled
If you need a basic yet beloved vacuum that won’t break the bank, consider the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum. This model has fewer vacuum features than others, but it costs less, too. Our testing team gave it the highest possible marks for its simple setup—it was assembled and ready for use in less than five minutes. We found it difficult to move around on carpet surfaces, and slightly docked its maneuverability rating for this reason, but we did note that the vacuum is not too heavy overall.
As a corded, upright model, you won’t have to worry about running out of battery power with this pick by your side. The 25-foot cord gives plenty of reach and the lift-away canister is useful for accessing hard-to-reach areas. We did find the canister was best used from the ground. In addition, the hair easily collected in the stationary brush roll in our testing on hardwood floors, which blocked the vacuum from picking up debris very effectively. The model tended to push around heavier materials like popcorn kernels. All of these insights led to a low effectiveness rating.
However, this vacuum's anti-allergen seal and HEPA filter do effectively trap dust. You'll also enjoy the clear dust bin that allows you to see what you're capturing in real-time and releases very easily with the help of built-in latches. At this price point, you can't beat it.
Price at time of publish: $220
Dimensions: 45.5 x 11.4 x 14.9 inches | Weight: 16 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.9 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9.5 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, laminate, and tile
Shark HV301 Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum
Good suction on all surfaces
Converts to a handheld model
Very flexible and nimble
On the noisier side
Doesn’t stand up on its own
A good stick vacuum should be lightweight, but not necessarily light-duty. The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum impressed us with its maneuverability and effective suction on all types of flooring. It needed help transitioning from a hard surface to a rug. However, the stick vacuum proved to be nimble and flexible when navigating the living room obstacle course. We found that it seamlessly reached under the couch. It twisted and turned around the coffee table, too.
All in all, the vac turned out to be a great cleaning partner that never quits on you, since it's not powered by a battery. It was able to easily pick up all the materials on the low-pile carpet, but we docked a bit off its effectiveness score for slightly struggling on the high-pile rug and not easily navigating the hardwood floor. Notably, at nearly 4 feet, this vacuum is much taller than expected. Since it doesn’t stand up on its own, either, you’ll have to lean it against your furniture or gently rest it on the floor if you need to pause your vacuuming session. However, like many other stick vacs, you can use the Shark Rocket in handheld mode, with or without an extension, to clean furniture, ceilings, stairs, and more.
Price at time of publish: $250
Dimensions: 46 x 9.8 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 8.2 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.31 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 8.5 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, laminate, and tile
Shark NV151 Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum
Multiple surface settings
Easy to assemble and empty
Has an 11-foot cord
Difficult to reach under furniture
Lacks a self-cleaning brush roll
For an upright vacuum that works well on carpets and bare floors, look no further than the Shark NV151 Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum. This model has adjustable suction levels and brush roll speeds to maximize your cleaning efforts. Don’t expect it to be as light or nimble as a stick vacuum, but know you'll be pleased with its maneuverability and effectiveness. In our testing, it impressed us with how easy it was to push across hardwood floors and carpets of all pile heights. We only docked it for its bulkier design, which made it difficult to reach under lower furniture, and poor transfer from a flat surface to a rugged one. In terms of effectiveness, it captured all the materials in fewer than five passes and was pretty straightforward.
The Navigator series is basic in its features but has a removable dust bin and plenty of cord length for cleaning average-sized rooms. Plus, accessories like the motorized brush, upholstery tool, and crevice nozzle can be used to deep clean specific areas of your home. The fully sealed system with a HEPA filter locks in dander and allergens, while the dust bin is quick and easy to empty. We gave the process of emptying the machine a perfect score, and we also noted that it's pretty quiet for a powerful pick.
Price at time of publish: $200
Dimensions: 45.66 x 12 x 9.64 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 12 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, and hardwood
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
Very easy to assemble
Has a light on the floor head
Must purchase more refill pads
Must continuously hold the power button
Capture dry debris and spiff up your hard floors with a multi-purpose vacuum like the Shark VACMOP. It is designed for use on sealed hardwood, tile, or laminate floors, and glides effortlessly on them all. A tank for Shark cleaning solution, which is included in your purchase, is built into its body. The floor head uses replaceable mop pads that include a unique chamber for collecting debris, and it features an easy-release button so you don't have to touch the dirty pad when your cleaning session is done, too.
In our testing, the VACMOP earned a perfect score across every category. It was described as being very lightweight, and a great option for small spaces or those with limited mobility. While it offers an easier way to mop floors, keep in mind that you’ll need to hold the power button down to trigger the vacuum function of this wet-dry vac. While it's easy to spray cleaning solution onto your floor, thanks to a well-placed button on the handle, you may also need to refill the solution often. The canister isn't very big, which may not bode well for larger cleaning jobs. However, you'll enjoy a light on the floor head that does allow you to see into the nooks and crannies of your home.
Price at time of publish: $99
Dimensions: 47.87 x 9.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 20 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.03 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, tile, laminate, and vinyl
Shark WV201 WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Powerful suction on all surfaces
Limited battery life
Long charging time
Weighing 1.4 pounds, the Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum is the smallest member of the Shark vacuum family. However, despite its size, it offers powerful suction for small messes. While we didn't test this pick in The Lab, we put it through real-world testing in a home. We tried it out on pet hair, crumbs, dust, and debris. We found it to be startlingly loud (and the sleeping pets in the home seemed to agree with that sentiment). But we found the suction to be very powerful—and we thought the noise was worth the trade-off. In addition, although assembly was simple, this handheld pick needed to be charged fully before use, which took about two and a half hours.
This handheld vac is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a high-speed brushless motor. It runs for 10 minutes before needing a recharge, which definitely isn't long and was one of the biggest downsides of this model. Clearly, it's meant for quick clean-ups, like picking up spilled cereal or removing crumbs from car seats. The dust bin is also small but easily empties with the push of a button. You can make use of a duster crevice tool and multi-surface pet tool, both of which store neatly on the charging dock when not in use. Ultimately, we only docked the WANDVAC for its charge time and noise level.
Price at time of publish: $130
Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.5 x 2.4 inches | Weight: 1.4 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 9.5 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.08 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 3.35 inches | Compatible Floor Type: All floor types
Best for Carpet
Shark Navigator DLX Upright Professional Vacuum
Dust bin is quite large
Has swivel steering
Operates pretty quietly
Assembly requires a screwdriver
Bumper on floor head pushes debris
The Shark Navigator DLX Upright Professional Vacuum offered powerful suction and performed great on low, medium, and high-pile carpets in The Lab. For that reason, it's the right choice if you're looking for a vacuum cleaner that'll effectively clean your area rugs and carpeted floors. We docked a point from its overall rating for its cleaning effectiveness, but it can still get the job done—on average, it cleaned up the cereal, popcorn kernels, and strands of hair in just three to five passes. At 3.5 quarts, the dust bin of this upright vacuum is larger than most, too. Our testing team loved this feature and found the dust bin to be super easy to empty.
We found that the greatest strength of the Shark Navigator DLX is also its weakness. While the powerful suction made it faster and easier to remove debris, it also increased the effort we had to put forth to use the vacuum on the medium and high-pile carpets. Even still, we gave this Navigator model solid marks for maneuverability and positive notes on the swivel steering. This type of steering will give you easier access to corners, and it makes this pick a bit more pleasurable to use.
Price at time of publish: $125
Dimensions: 47 x 11.5 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 18.63 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 3.5 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9.25 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood
Best for Pet Hair
Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Pet hair brush tool
Large dust bin
No hair wrap on brush tool
Difficult to empty
Lack of attachment storage
The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Handheld Vacuum excelled in all of our lab tests, but it really stood out when it came to sucking up pet hair. If you constantly find yourself reaching for a vacuum to zap pet hair off of your couches or rugs, this is the vacuum for you. In addition to brush and crevice tools, this handheld vacuum comes with a pet power brush tool that's specifically designed to loosen and suck up pet hair. This attachment will work well on furniture, linens, and even your car seats and floor mats. We were impressed by this vacuum's ability to suck up pet hair without any becoming tangled in the pet hair brush tool.
In addition to sucking up pet hair quickly, we also love this vacuum's large dust bin because you won't have to worry about emptying it mid-clean. When it is time to empty the dust bin, keep in mind that it's a little tricky to pull apart. We found that if we didn't properly place the two pieces together, the vacuum lost suction power once restarted. We also had to pull some hair out of the dust cup from crevices that did not initially empty. This Shark model is a little bulky for a handheld vacuum, but we think the extra-large dust bin makes it worth it. The attachments are what make this vacuum really shine, but there's no included storage for them, so you'll need to repurpose a box or bin to make sure you don't lose them. Overall, we said this vacuum's performance was very impressive given its size and single suction setting.
Price at time of publish: $100
Weight: 2.8 pounds | Battery life: 15 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.45 quarts | Included Accessories: Pet power brush, crevice tool, brush tool
|Overall Rating||Ease of Setup||Effectiveness||Maneuverability||Ease of Emptying||Noise Level|
Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Vacuum
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Stick Vacuum
Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Vacuum
Shark VacMop Pro Vacuum Mop
Shark WANDVAC Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Best for Carpet:
Shark Navigator DLX Upright Professional Vacuum
Best for Pet Hair:
Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Our first choice 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. If you're sticking to a budget, you’ll still get a good clean from the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum. 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 lift-away canister option.
Other Options We Tested
Shark WANDVAC Cordless Stick Vacuum with Self-Emptying Charging Base: This vacuum left us conflicted on its overall reliability because it completely failed our first round of testing. Initially, this vacuum would not pick up any larger debris and the roller brush became tangled with hair. However, it started working better during our stair testing, so we conducted an additional round of debris and hair testing. This vacuum offered impressive results during the second round of testing, which left us confused by its initial performance and hesitant to recommend it as a reliable pick, especially at such a high price point.
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 over 50 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.
What to Look for in a Shark Vacuum
Shark makes a variety of vacuum types including upright, stick, and handheld models. Choose the type of vacuum that fits your cleaning objectives and preferences. Upright vacuums typically offer the most suction and dust bin capacity, but stick vacuums are super convenient for daily cleaning and maintenance of floors. A Shark handheld vacuum is ideal for small cleaning tasks in the house or car, and takes up minimal storage space.
Corded vs. Cordless
When shopping for a vacuum, the decision between a corded and cordless model depends on your specific needs and priorities. A corded vacuum offers an unlimited runtime and is a good choice for whole-house cleaning. Pay attention to the length of the cord to minimize how often you’ll need to stop and switch outlets, though. Most upright vacuums have 25- to 30-foot-long cords.
Cordless Shark vacuum cleaners offer major convenience but are limited to shorter cleaning jobs since run time is dependent on battery life. Most models will last between ten and 40 minutes. But, take note: If you plan to use the vacuum cleaner on plush, high-pile carpet or use a higher setting, you’ll have a shorter run time.
Accessories shouldn’t be an afterthought when shopping for a Shark vacuum, since the right tools can help you complete your cleaning tasks more quickly and easily. Accessories typically include: a crevice tool for cleaning tighter spots around appliances, behind furniture, or in the car; a duster to gently grab dust from soft surfaces like lampshades and curtains; and a wand extension tool that'll help you reach spots above the floor. More specialized accessories, including a motorized pet brush and specialized floor brush for hardwood floors, may also be included with your vacuum. These can provide a more suitable clean in specific situations.
While some vacuums have filters that need regular replacement, a washable filter is both easy to maintain and minimizes the recurring expense of buying new filters. By regularly cleaning a Shark vacuum's filter, you can keep your vacuum operating at peak levels of suction and particle capture. Plus, you'll know that it's not being overworked. This feature is very handy for any household, but particularly one that's conscious of their environmental impact or sticking to a budget.
Self-cleaning Brush Roll
Anyone with long hair or substantial levels of pet hair understands the struggle that comes from a tangled brush roll. Instead of using scissors to clear hair wrapped around the brush roll, some new Shark vacuums are equipped with a self-cleaning brush roll that is designed to clear accumulated hair and pet fur without user intervention. It uses silicone fins to grab hair from the bristles as you clean.
Some Shark vacuums are equipped with a detachable canister that adds "lift-away" functionality to the machine. This is useful if you want to do a lot of above-floor cleaning, such as removing dust or debris from stairs, ceilings, and upholstery. To make use of this feature, just remove the detachable pod, and carry the canister with you. Use the hose of the vacuum and the appropriate attachment to reach elevated areas of your home and clean them thoroughly.
You should keep in mind when shopping that Shark vacuums offer both powered and non-powered lift-away canisters. When it comes to powered lift-away canisters, you're able to use the motorized floor head with its spinning brush roll while in lift-away mode.
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 dust bin 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?
Most Shark vacuums have reusable filters that you can rinse under water (without soap). They'll need at least 24 hours to air dry completely, but afterward you can re-install them. You'll know the filters are due for a cleaning when the airflow or suction decreases.
All that said, read your Shark vacuum's user manual beforehand, to make sure your particular model has a rinsable filter. For Shark vacuums with washable filters, you will need to rinse the pre-motor filters every 30 days. Any household with pets or heavy dirt accumulation might need to rinse the filters more often. Washable HEPA filters only need to be rinsed every 12 months.
How do you take apart a Shark vacuum?
The specific instructions for disassembling a Shark vacuum will vary by model, but most models have a canister, floor head, hose, and wand. To efficiently take apart a Shark vacuum, consult the owner’s manual for the specific model to determine the best way to do so. Always make sure the vacuum is unplugged or removed from its charging stand before disassembly.
To disassemble a Shark vacuum cleaner, you typically start by unhooking the hose from the body of the vacuum. Then, you remove the wand assembly. Next, lay the vacuum on its back and use a screwdriver (or other tool as indicated in the owner’s manual) to open the floor head compartment and remove the brush roll. Once you have completed these steps, you can then inspect the pieces or deep clean your vacuum before reassembling it as indicated.
How long do Shark vacuums last?
Most Shark vacuums have a five-year warranty, which shows you about how long they're built to last. However, use and care factors will have a large impact on how long a vacuum sticks around in your home. Consumer Reports cites the average lifespan of a vacuum cleaner as being eight years.
Lessing suggests the following tips for extending the life of your vacuum: “If you don’t have our Anti-Hair Wrap Technology, we suggest removing hair from brush rolls at least once a month or sooner if you notice some jamming. Cleaning your filter frequently can also help extend your vacuum’s lifespan.”
Why Trust The Spruce?
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.
Marisa Casciano is a senior commerce editor for The Spruce and has been in The Lab for our vacuum tests. She has firsthand knowledge of how our vacuum tests were both developed and performed, as well as where each product excelled or fell short. Before conducting lab testing, Casciano scoured brand and retailer websites, and considered price, verified customer reviews, features, and design when selecting the vacuums to test. She also considered the latest technology, practicality, and real-life cleaning situations. Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, also assisted in updating this roundup to note the latest Shark vacuums we tested that didn't quite make our final list.
What Is The Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.