The best Shark vacuum in 2021

Vacuums

The earliest home vacuum cleaners were so large and heavy they required two people to operate them; one to vacuum and the other to push the machinery.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Shark vacuums

Vacuum cleaners have come a long way since they were invented in the early 1900s, and few brands truly showcase that as well as Shark. Their machines are sleek, powerful and highly versatile. Perhaps best of all, though, they are affordably priced compared to many competing brands.

If you are looking for the best Shark vacuum, you are in luck, as we’ve done the research and can point you in the right direction. The Shark ZS362 APEX DuoClean is a good choice because it perfectly balances size, suction power and style. However, not everyone has the same needs from their vacuum, so keep reading for top recommendations in upright, handheld and robotic options.

Types of Shark vacuums

Stick Shark vacuum cleaners

If you have a small home, have many obstacles and transitions that you need to cross when vacuuming or are simply lacking in arm strength, stick vacuums are the way to go. They are compact, highly maneuverable and have a lightweight build. Most weigh 10 pounds or less, whereas upright vacuums are usually between 13 and 18 pounds. 

Despite this streamlined build, Shark stick vacuums don’t skimp on suction power, which is arguably the most critical aspect. However, a notable downside of stick vacuums is the small dust collection bin, which will have to be emptied often.

Upright Shark vacuum cleaners

Even more powerful than Shark’s stick models, their upright vacuums are ideal for high-traffic homes where much dust and dirt are carried in. They feature broad cleaning heads and large collection bins, so you can cover a lot of square footage quickly and without having to stop and empty the container constantly.

Perhaps one of the most notable features of many upright Shark vacuums is the lift-away canister that makes them convenient for use on stairs, upholstery and other areas where a traditional vacuum would be impractical. 

Handheld Shark vacuum cleaners

Ideal for cleaning vehicle interiors, small messes and between couch cushions, Shark’s handheld vacuums are small but mighty appliances. They are cordless, come with several attachments and even feature motorized brush rolls to pick up pet hair. 

Robot Shark vacuum cleaners

These little machines travel around your house, picking up dust and debris without you having to ever get up off your couch. They can even be set to run while you aren’t home. While they lack suction power, most will find this a small price to pay for autonomous cleaning.

Shark vacuum USP

Suction power

While the sleek design of many Shark vacuums is certainly a plus, the biggest draw for most consumers is their impressive suction power, which is heads and tails above much of the competition. That being said, they are not quite a match for Dyson models but are considerably more affordable.

Longevity

Another one of the reasons Shark vacuums are so popular is their longevity. The company is known for making quality appliances that stand the test of time. Also, most are backed by a five-year warranty covering free replacement and repair as long as the vacuum was used and maintained according to the owner’s guide.

Shark vacuum features

HEPA filter

While there are many effective filters for vacuum cleaners, HEPA filters are tested to ensure they can catch 99.7% of particles of 0.3 microns or larger. This means you don’t have to rely on the manufacturer’s claims of how good a filter is. If you have allergies, asthma or are simply sensitive to dust, choosing a Shark vacuum with a HEPA filter is smart.

Dual brush rolls

Shark vacuums labeled as DuoClean are equipped with two brushrolls that work together to remove stubborn dirt and pet hair from surfaces.

Self-cleaning brush roll

One of the biggest hassles of motorized brush rolls is the dreaded hair wrap, which stops them dead in their tracks and can lead to overheating and other issues. Some Shark vacuums have self-cleaning rolls that eliminate that headache.

Detachable options

Versatility is a big plus in vacuum cleaners. Some upright Shark vacuums have a lift-away canister for cleaning stairs and hard-to-reach areas. In contrast, many stick models have a detachable handheld unit that serves a similar purpose.

LED lights

LEDs help illuminate the cleaning path and make it easy to see if any debris is left over and the area requires a second pass. 

How much can you expect to spend on a Shark vacuum

Both stick and upright models range from $125-$300. Handheld units range from $50-$125, and robotic vacuums cost anywhere from $100-$500.

Shark vacuum FAQs

Are Shark vacuums better than other companies?

A. While Shark vacuum cleaners are excellent machines, there is no definitive answer for whether they are better than other companies. It all comes down to your cleaning needs and if the specific vacuum you are considering meets those needs. That being said, Shark does make quality machines with suction power that often surpasses others in the same price range.

Are Shark vacuums easy to maintain?

A.  As with most vacuums, Shark models require you to regularly empty the dust container and periodically clean or replace the filter. If you choose a model that doesn’t have a self-cleaning brush roll, you will need to sometimes clean this yourself; however, most Shark machines that require this include a specific tool for the job.

The best Shark vacuums

Top Shark stick vacuum

Shark ZS362 APEX DuoClean

Shark ZS362 APEX DuoClean

What you need to know: A compact option that features self-cleaning, motorized brush rolls, the DuoClean is an ideal choice for those with pets and not a lot of storage space.

What you’ll love: It converts into a handheld vacuum with several attachments for convenient use anywhere. 

What you should consider: It’s a bit heavier than many of their other stick models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Top upright Shark vacuum

Shark Navigator Lift-A 3way Deluxe NV360

Shark Navigator Lift-A 3way Deluxe NV360

What you need to know: The NV360 is affordably priced and offers a lift-away canister for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.

What you’ll love: HEPA filtration makes it ideal for those sensitive to dust and other allergens in the air, and its swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver.

What you should consider: It’s a bit top-heavy and can be prone to tipping.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Top handheld Shark vacuum

Shark WV201 Wandvac

Shark WV201 Wandvac

What you need to know: Few handheld models are as compact as the WV201 Wandvac. It weighs a mere 1.4 pounds and offers impressive power for its size. 

What you’ll love: The docking system also houses the attachments to make for convenient and organized charging and storage. 

What you should consider: The battery life is short.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Top robotic Shark vacuum

Shark IQ RV101AE

Shark IQ RV101AE

What you need to know: Most people buy a robotic vacuum because they don’t want to be involved in the cleaning process, which is why the RV101AE is such an intelligent choice. It’s self-emptying and connects with Alexa for voice control.

What you’ll love: It utilizes a home mapping feature to ensure it doesn’t miss any spots during its autonomous cleaning sessions.

What you should consider: It’s louder than some competing robotic vacuums.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss