The 10 Best Shark Vacuums of 2020

Find the right model for you from this beloved brand

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Shark Apex Upright Vacuum - AZ1002 at Amazon

"A technologically advanced vacuum cleaner with powerful suction."

Best for Hardwood Floors: Shark Navigator Professional - NV356E at Amazon

"The microfiber pad will pick up fine dirt and dust from hardwood floors."

Best for Pet Hair: Shark Rotator TruePet - NV752 at Amazon

"Incorporates a motorized brush and pet multi-tool."

Best Splurge: Shark DuoClean Speed - NV803 at Amazon

"Includes plenty of bells and whistles to justify its price tag."

Best Cordless: Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Vacuum – SV1106 at Walmart

"Powered by a rechargeable battery that offers 30 minutes of cleaning time."

Best Stick Vacuum: Shark® APEX® DuoClean®Corded Stick Vacuum at Walmart

"Can also be broken down into a handheld version to tackle stairs."

Best for Carpet: Shark Rotator Professional - NV501 at Amazon

"Plenty of suction power to extract dirt and debris from carpeting."

Best Budget: Shark Navigator Swivel Plus Upright Vacuum Cleaner - NV46 at Target

"This budget vacuum cleaner offers the basic features you’d expect to find."

Best 2-in-1 with Handheld: Shark Rocket DuoClean with Hand Vacuum at Amazon

"The detachable hand vacuum...is perfect for tackling small jobs."

Best Robotic: SHARK ION™ Robot Vacuum Cleaning System at Walmart

"With an included hand vacuum attachment, this robotic vacuum is incredibly versatile."

Best Overall: Shark Apex Upright Vacuum - AZ1002

If you’re looking for a technologically advanced vacuum cleaner with powerful suction, we recommend the Shark Apex Upright Vacuum. It will not only clean your room, but it will also clean itself! Armed with a self-cleaning brushroll for nonstop hair removal, this vacuum is one of the most efficient products Shark has to offer. 

The Apex is easy to assemble and features Shark DuoClean, Powered Lift-Away, and Zero-M technologies. In addition to its advanced design, this product sports a detachable canister that extends the reach of the cleaner head, making hard-to-reach messes a thing of the past. Customers voiced their approval of the Apex’s quiet sound design and performance on various surfaces—hardwood floors, carpet, and even upholstered furniture. Furthermore, the product’s advanced anti-allergen complete seal technology and HEPA filter add to its overall efficiency. With all of these features and more, the Shark Apex Upright Vacuum is sure to keep your entire home clean. 

Best for Hardwood Floors: Shark Navigator Professional - NV356E

Very Good

For bare floor cleaning that is anything but bare-bones, the Shark Navigator Professional NV356E is our top choice. With lift-away technology and a brushroll shutoff, this is a practical choice for hardwood floors or any solid surface floor cleaning.

The Shark Navigator NV356E has a bristle brush that will agitate carpet fibers to remove deep-seated dirt but can be deactivated to protect hardwood floors from scratches and wear. But what really sets apart this Shark vacuum for hardwood floors is the included Dust-Away attachment with a microfiber pad. When using the Lift-Away vacuum in canister mode, simply attach the Dust Away tool, which is essentially a large microfiber pad that will pick up fine dirt and dust from hardwoods, tiles, and more. People that have actually used the Dust-Away attachment say that combining suction with the microfiber pad means the vacuum will suck up larger items in its path while sweeping up dust and fine particles with the pad’s surface.

The biggest complaint about the Shark Navigator Professional NV356E is that the floorhead isn’t as wide as some other models. The cleaning path is only 9.5 inches wide. However, the dust cup is an impressive 2.2 dry quarts so you won’t need to make frequent trips to empty this vacuum during cleaning sessions. If you have hardwood floors and want to skip sweeping before vacuuming, the Shark NV356E is up to the challenge!

"One thing we don’t like about the design is how wobbly the canister is—especially when used on hardwood floors. When we were using the extension wand with the various attachments, we put the canister on the floor and it was constantly rocking back and forth."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester

Best for Pet Hair: Shark Rotator TruePet - NV752

Very Good

If you have pets, you likely have an ongoing battle to keep fur and dander under control. The Shark Rotator TruePet NV752 is a popular choice when shopping for a Shark vacuum for pets.

Built on the popular Rotator model upright vacuum that many love for its deep cleaning and lift-away functionality, the TruePet model from Shark incorporates a motorized brush and pet multi-tool. The result is a powerful vacuum with sustained suction that can be used to eliminate pet hair buried deep in carpets, stuck between seat cushions, or clinging to drapes.

Instead of sticking a flimsy attachment on the vacuum’s hose and hoping that you’ll be able to suction the pet hair stuck to your sofa, the Rotator True Pet allows you to attach a motorized brush to the hose and take the lift-away canister with you wherever pet hair lurks. Conquer those pet fuzzies under the bed or on your favorite chair with high-powered bristle action and powerful suction.

In addition, pet owners and allergy sufferers alike will appreciate the fact that this model of Shark vacuum also features a sealed air system and a HEPA filter to trap up to 99.9 percent of allergens. People that have used the Shark NV752 say that it’s definitely the way to go for pet-friendly homes and rave about the agitation and power of the motorized brush in comparison to other vacuums for pet hair that use turbine technology or suction alone to remove fur.

"The dust cup was empty when we started and it was almost full by the time we finished vacuuming the carpet. We were astounded by how much pet hair the Rotator TruePet picked up. The carpet looked cleaner and fluffier than it had in years."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester

Best Splurge: Shark DuoClean Speed - NV803

This model from Shark includes plenty of bells and whistles to justify its price tag. Priced at the top end of the Shark line-up, the DuoClean Speed also sets itself apart with two innovative brush rolls. A familiar bristle brush agitates carpets for deep cleaning power, while a softer brush roll positioned right up front on the vacuum head will pull in larger debris while delivering a soft polish to bare floors. Unlike many other vacuums that have plastic housing all the way around the brush roll, the DuoClean allows the bristles easy access to any debris in the cleaning path.

In addition, LED lights on the floorhead will illuminate dark corners and hidden dirt under cabinets, chairs and more. With the additional light, it’s easier to see where you need to focus your vacuuming efforts and feel confident that you captured every last speck of dirt. The lift-away canister is convenient, and the swivel steering is practical for getting into tight spots. When used on bare floors, DuoClean Speed practically polishes hardwood floors to a soft sheen. Simply switch the vacuum into Hard Floor mode with the fingertip control located on the handle.

While this model of Shark vacuum only has a dust cup capacity of 0.9 dry quarts, people say they don’t mind emptying it multiple times since they can see how hard the vacuum is working to capture dirt and debris. A bit heavier than some other Shark vacuums, this vacuum is best described as feeling sturdy and powerful. So if you want to experience the deep clean that comes from DuoClean technology, spring for the Shark NV803.

Best Cordless: Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Vacuum – SV1106

Shark SV1106

Walmart

If you want to vacuum without wrangling a cord, a battery-operated model is the best choice for you. Perfect for quick pick-ups or small spaces, the Shark Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum is a nimble, cost-effective choice.

The Freestyle is powered by a rechargeable battery that offers run times up to about 30 minutes, based on whether you are running it on high or low power. Note that this isn’t a lithium-ion battery, which makes this Shark vacuum lag slightly behind the competition in the cordless vacuum segment. However, it is affordable and the charging station is integrated into a handy storage dock for the vacuum.

Some people found that this cordless vacuum by Shark didn’t pick up cereal or larger debris as well as they thought it would. Even still, many people say this vacuum has made it so much easier to vacuum high-traffic areas frequently or keep up in between deep cleaning sessions. If you’re looking for a light-duty vacuum with no cord hassle from Shark, the Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum fits the bill.

Best Stick Vacuum: Shark® APEX® DuoClean®Corded Stick Vacuum

shark-apex-vaccum

 Courtesy of Walmart

Stick vacuums are a great buy for any busy household. They do a solid job at cleaning up everyday messes without the need of lugging out the big guns. While cordless options can seem like a smart purchase—they often have a short battery life which can leave you high and dry when you need it.

This new model has the ability to clean floors but it can also be broken down into a handheld version to tackle stairs, furniture, upholstery, and such. The best feature of this stick vacuum is the self-cleaning brushroll technology that eliminates the need to physically remove wrapped around hairs.

Best for Carpet: Shark Rotator Professional - NV501

Conquer carpet with a Shark vacuum that is up to the task, thanks to powerful suction and a deep agitating brushroll. The Shark Rotator Professional NV501 is a popular choice among people that have carpeted surfaces to clean and want the versatility and convenience of a Shark vacuum.

Equipped with a wider floorhead than the Navigator line of vacuums, the Rotator Professional will give you a wider cleaning path—which means less effort on your part to clean the floors. The advanced swivel steering built into the Rotator Professional vacuums makes it easier to maneuver, which is a plus since this vacuum weighs 15.5 pounds.

Under the floorhead is the key to the Rotator’s carpet cleaning abilities. Plenty of suction power combines with a bristled brush to extract dirt and debris from its hiding place in your carpeting and area rugs. The suction is so strong that many feel as if it’s almost self-propelled. Even people with more than 2,000 square feet of carpet find this model of Shark vacuum to be the perfect partner in marathon vacuuming sessions and rave about the impressive cord length. While this vacuum has taken some heat for early failures and warranty issues, there are significantly more happy users of the Shark Rotator Professional. Some have even pointed out that for the savings compared to other high-end vacuums, they’ll take the power and value-packed into this Shark model and use it until it dies before replacing it with another. 

Best Budget: Shark Navigator Swivel Plus Upright Vacuum Cleaner - NV46

Shark Navigator Swivel Plus Upright Vacuum Cleaner - NV46

Courtesy of Walmart

Shark vacuums are known for being affordable in comparison to pricier brands and higher-end models, so they attract many people looking for a budget vacuum. For the biggest savings, while cashing in on Shark’s cleaning power, the Shark Navigator Swivel Plus NV46 is our top pick.

This budget vacuum cleaner offers the basic features you’d expect to find on a Shark vacuum—swivel steering, brush roll shutoff, and HEPA filtration. It also comes with three cleaning attachments, including an upholstery cleaning tool, a dusting brush, and a crevice wand. However, there is no onboard storage for the upholstery cleaning tool. One other pet peeve is the fact that the NV46 doesn’t have a retractable cord.

A more serious complaint is the fact that the brush roll can’t be easily removed from the head of the vacuum for cleaning. You can only access the brush roll by turning the unit upside down. If you have long hair or pets, this can make it more difficult to release hair that has become wound around the brush. However, at this price, the Shark Navigator Swivel Plus has lots of fans and handles basic cleaning needs well for a budget vacuum.

Best 2-in-1 with Handheld: Shark Rocket DuoClean with Lift-Away Hand Vacuum - HV382

This stick vacuum is a corded model—meaning you will have to plug it in for operation. However, you don’t have to worry about charging batteries and finishing the job before the juice runs out. This vacuum is super lightweight and weighs only 7.6 pounds. The detachable hand vacuum weighs only 4.6 pounds and is perfect for tackling small jobs and tight spaces—like under the couch cushions or the seats of your car.

The Rocket also comes with a crevice tool, upholstery tool, dusting brush, and a Hard Floor Hero—which is perfect for use on solid flooring that needs a touch-up. Some people point out that there is only room to attach two of the three smaller attachments (crevice tool, upholstery tool, and dust brush), which can be an inconvenience if you think you’ll misplace the loose attachment. One other thing to note is that this 2-in-1 model of Shark vacuum has a rather small dust cup at just .42 dry quarts.

This is a great Shark vacuum to consider if you are debating between a Shark hand vac and stick vacuum. With the Shark Rocket DuoClean, you’ll have easy access to a larger corded stick vacuum for cleaning more square footage along with the convenience of a smaller hand vacuum for quick jobs.

Best Robotic: SHARK ION™ Robot Vacuum Cleaning System S86 with Wi-Fi - RV850WV

robotic-with-wifi
Courtesy of Walmart.

Outsource all your cleaning to-do’s to the SHARK ION Robot Vacuum Cleaning System S86 with Wi-Fi—it’s easily one of the highest-quality robot vacuums on the market. The SHARK ION includes a built-in hand vacuum that’s lightweight yet powerful, and ideal for spot-cleaning. Plus, the SHARK ION boasts a high-performance robot that’s enabled with Wi-Fi, so that you can conveniently use Alexa or Google Assistant when you want to straighten up your floors.

This newly released product also includes Smart Sensor Navigation 2.0 technology to help it effectively navigate around any objects, an XL dustbin that’s perfect for sucking up pet hair and a self-cleaning brushroll with dual side edge and corner brushes. With the SHARK ION in your floor-cleaning arsenal, you’ll never have to lift a finger to tidy up your messes again.

Final Verdict

The best Shark vacuum is the Shark Apex Upright Vacuum (view at Bed Bath & Beyond), which boasts powerful suction and a self-cleaning brushroll. However, if you’re looking for a vacuum that’s specifically designed for hardwood floors, go with the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum.

What to Look for in a Shark Vacuum

Type From full-sized vacuums to stick and handheld versions, there’s a Shark vacuum to get any job done. The question is what kind of job do you want to get done most often. The size of your home, as well as the types of flooring you have, should drive your choices. 

Feel Shark vacuums come in various weights and with varying capabilities. While heavier models may do more heavy-duty cleaning, if you’re going to have to haul a vacuum up and down stairs frequently, then you may want to consider lighter models. Also, consider how easy one is to maneuver, particularly if you want to get into tight spots and corners. 

Features Do you want a cordless vacuum? One that also has a light so you can see in the dark spots? Or perhaps you want one that means you never have to remove those wrapped-around hairs from the vacuum's brushes? Shark makes models with all these features and more. The type of flooring you have as well as how often you use your vacuum should dictate your choices.

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