The 8 Best Shark Vacuums to Buy in 2018

Find the right model for you from this beloved brand

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Shark vacuums are popular for their power, easy steering, and value. Many people consider Shark when buying a new vacuum because they are an affordable option that lasts forever and has top performance reviews.

The extensive line-up of Shark models may also have contributed to the vacuum manufacturer’s rise in popularity. There are upright vacuums perfect for cleaning entire houses and deep cleaning carpets, along with lighter stick vacuums that can conquer quick messes. Both the Navigator and Rotator lines of Shark vacuums have lift-away technology that allows you to operate the vacuum in upright mode or as a canister vacuum—making it easier than ever to capture dust bunnies under the bed or couch.

Selecting a Shark vacuum out of the sea of options can feel a bit overwhelming, but we’ve collected together the most popular models. Whether you need a vacuum that will be gentle on your hardwood floors or tough on pet hair, find the top Shark vacuum that fits your lifestyle and cleaning needs here.


  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Shark Navigator - NV352

    Shark Navigator - NV352

    Courtesy of Amazon

    For the best overall Shark vacuum, check out the Navigator NV352. This affordably priced model offers the best combination of Shark’s powerful cleaning features with versatility and easy operation.

    The Navigator NV352 is a popular choice for Shark vacuums, and people love it for its powerful suction and swivel steering. At 12.5 pounds, this is one of the lighter upright vacuums offered by Shark. And if you use it in lift-away mode, it weighs only 7.5 pounds.

    This is also a great choice if you’re looking for a Shark vacuum for allergies. The Navigator NV352 has a sealed system that won’t let dust and dirt particles escape with the vacuum’s exhaust. Instead, dual stage filtration—including a HEPA filter—captures debris as small as 0.3 microns. People report that their allergies are better after using this vacuum and that the air itself seems to smell better. However, some people say that the vacuum seems to be prone to tipping over or that the power cord should be longer. At 25 feet long, it is shorter than the 30-foot cords found on some other models of Shark vacuums. The dust cup has a capacity of 1.2 dry quarts, which is suitable for average cleaning needs.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Hardwood Floors: Shark Navigator Professional - NV356E

    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!

    Read more reviews of the best vacuums for hardwood floors to purchase online.

  • 03 of 08

    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—meaning less action to get your carpeting just as clean. 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. 

    Check out our other reviews of the best vacuums for carpet available on the market today.

  • 04 of 08

    Best for Pets: Shark Rotator TruePet - NV752

    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 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.

    Check out our guide to the best vacuums for pets you can buy today. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Cordless: Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Vacuum – SV1106

    Shark SV1106


    If you want to vacuum without wrangling a cord, a battery-operated model is the right 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.

    Check out our other reviews of the best cordless vacuums available on the market today.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Splurge: Shark DuoClean Speed - NV803

    This model from Shark includes plenty of bells and whistles to justify its price tag that clears $300. 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 a 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. People find that the lift-away canister is convenient, and the swivel steering is practical for getting into tight spots. When used on bare floors, people rave about the DuoClean Speed’s ability to practically polish 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.

  • 07 of 08

    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, dusting brush, and crevice wand. However, there is no onboard storage for the upholstery cleaning tool—which some people find to be an annoyance. One other pet peeve that is commonly mentioned 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.

  • 08 of 08

    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.