Shark vacuum is a trusted and popular brand. Known for its competitively priced and convenient cleaning technology, each Shark vacuum is designed with busy people in mind. Our particular focus, however, is Shark cordless vacuums.
In today's day and age, it's no longer necessary to wrestle with a long cord or change outlets as you move around your home. Because of this, we've observed an outsized demand on best cordless vacuums, rather than a traditional upright or canister vacuum.
If you've been following our blog over the past couple of months, you know we've been hard at work testing dozens of cordless models across popular brands. We've been on the hunt for the very best Miele vacuum, Dyson vacuum, and Bissell vacuum. Today, we're going to dive into the best models Shark has to offer.
To make it easy to choose the right vacuum for you, we’ve done the heavy lifting and tested a number of Shark's cordless vacuums. We’ve selected our four favorite models -- the Shark ION F80, ION P50, Navigator, and the Rocket Pet Pro -- based on a number of key factors and features.
Overview of the Shark Brand
With over 20 years of product innovation under its belt, Shark offers a broad array of products, including upright, handheld, robotic, cordless, and corded stick vacuums. Shark cordless vacuums are particularly versatile and great for helping you to quickly and easily clean your entire home. Many also offer deep cleaning, with some models using Shark's DuoClean technology (which we’ll talk more about in a bit.)
Shark offers a variety of cordless vacuums in different price ranges and for various cleaning needs. Their vast selection of cordless vacuums can make selecting one feel overwhelming, especially when there are so many factors to consider when choosing a cordless vacuum.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Shark Cordless Vacuum
Many people choose cordless vacuums for convenience sake -- they don't want to lug around a bulky canister vacuum or fight with tangled cords. But there are other factors to consider when choosing the right cordless vacuum. (We should know!) Our showroom floors are a testament to how often we test different vacuums.
While we consider convenience when choosing our top vacuum picks, we also examine overall cleaning performance, noise, and allergen and dust management. In addition, no vacuum assessment would be complete without looking into how it performs on pet hair, along with considering service and reliability. Let's see how Shark stacks up in these categories before diving into our top four picks.
Even if you don't love cleaning, your vacuum should make you hate cleaning less. To get the most out of a cordless vacuum, it’s best to pick one that is easy-to-maneuver in different spaces, is lightweight, and has strong battery power. Believe me...you'll thank yourself later.
Shark excels at offering cordless vacuums that are multifunctional, or at least very flexible and maneuverable. Each model offers different options, but as a whole, Shark provides versatility.
Shark's cordless selections are also lightweight. Only one of our picks, the ION P50, comes in over 10 pounds. And even with this model, the weight distribution is mostly on the floor, and therefore, not in your arms.
A long-lasting battery also has a significant impact on how convenient a cordless vacuum is. After all, if you're carrying a cordless vacuum around the house, you don't want to stop because it's lost steam. Shark gets this. With the F80 model, Shark has created one of the best batteries that we've seen. This vacuum comes with two batteries, which allows this vacuum to last up to 80 minutes.
The other vacuums on our list can last up to 20-to-50 minutes when in normal suction mode. For all these vacuums, decreased battery life can occur when using the boost mode.
For all the Shark models we selected, the batteries are easy to take out and replace. Their dustbins are also a breeze to clean.
Overall Cleaning Performance
How strong do you need your vacuum's suction to be? And what spaces and surfaces do you need it for? Knowing where and what you'll be cleaning is helpful when choosing a cordless vacuum, especially since Shark offers a large range of options.
Both the ION F80 and ION P50, for instance, use Shark's unique DuoClean technology.
Fans of Shark swear by this DuoClean technology because it provides powerful suction and makes switching between hardwood floors and carpets as easy as the press of a button. That's because there are two different types of motorized brushrolls, so you don't need to change the floorhead when going from carpet to hardwood. Instead, you just hit a button, and the settings change for you. DuoClean also makes it easy to clean up large and small particles -- even fine dust.
All of our recommended Shark cordless vacuums work on both hardwood and carpeted surfaces. However, some work best on only low pile rugs, while others can do well on both low and medium-pile rugs.
Allergen and Dust Management
If you are allergic to dust, animal hair, or have asthma, vacuuming can be incredibly challenging. Vacuums without anti-allergen filters can blow sneeze-inducing dust and particles right back into the room you’ve just cleaned.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro and the ION P50 both offer Shark's Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, which means it traps dust and allergens inside the vacuum. This ensures you won’t ever smell dust while using the vacuum. These vacuums also come with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter, which has the ability to catch up to 99.97% of dust and other airborne particles. This makes life easier for those with allergies or upper-respiratory conditions.
The Navigator and the F80 do not have a HEPA filter. Therefore, they should not be used by those who have a strong sensitivity to dust, allergies, or any upper-respiratory issues like asthma.
Performance on Pet Hair
Overall, Shark vacuums are excellent at sucking up pet hair. Even our most economical option, the Navigator, receives rave reviews for its ability to pick up pet hair. Both the ION P50 and the F80 use DuoClean technology, and therefore, excel at picking up most messes they come across.
It should come as no surprise that the aptly named Shark Rocket Pet Pro is excellent at cleaning pet hair (and human hair, too, for that matter). It has a self-cleaning brushroll, so that both short and long hair do not become tangled in the brush.
Overall, we found Shark vacuums to be well within the normal volume range for a vacuum cleaner. In fact, if any of these vacuums is making an excessive amount of noise, it probably means that you should get it looked at. The ION P50 has a higher frequency pitch than many other vacuums though, making it seem louder than a typical vacuum.
Service and Reliability
Shark provides different limited warranties ranging from one year to lifetime. However, Shark doesn't share their testing protocols, so it's hard to say how much rigorous testing Shark vacuums undergo before heading to market.
Our Picks for the 5 Best Shark Cordless Vacuums
Choosing a cordless vacuum can be overwhelming. We consolidated the best choices for Shark below. In addition, we thought that during your research you may want to compare important brands. Therefore, we highly recommend checking out our Dyson vs Shark cordless vacuum comparison before making a purchase.
1) Best Overall: Shark ION F80 ($349)
Even when stacked against other brands, we chose the ION F80 as one of the best cordless vacuums on the market today because of its extraordinary battery power. When up against similar models like the Miele Triflex HX1, the Shark ION F80 is able to hold its own with its impressive battery life. The F80 can run up to 80 minutes due to its two replaceable, rechargeable batteries. So it's no surprise that it finds itself at the top of this list as well. But its battery power isn't its only winning feature.
The ION F80 also has a multi-flex feature, which means that by simply pressing a button, the vacuum bends so that you don't have to. This feature is especially handy when you need to clean hard-to-reach areas on the floor, like under furniture. And since this vacuum bends, it can also collapse when you need to store it. In addition, the ION F80 can snap and transform into a handheld vacuum, which helps you to vacuum hard-to-reach or small spaces.
The ION F80's DuoClean technology provides rigorous deep cleaning, which makes switching between hardwood and carpet seamless. However, its self-propelling feature makes it harder to control on high pile carpets. Therefore, F80 works best on hard floors and low to mid-pile carpets.
This vacuum offers both regular and high power functionality. The high power mode provides mighty suction power, although it can decrease the battery's life. However, because this vacuum has an already impressive battery, the reduced battery life isn’t that big of a deal.
2) Most Versatile: Shark ION P50 ($300)
The ION P50 gives you both versatility and power, with anti-allergen filters and DuoClean technology.
What makes this vacuum so versatile is that it uses Shark's Lift-Away feature, which unlocks three cleaning modes. First, the ION P50 can work as an upright vacuum for deep cleaning on low pile carpets and hardwood floors. You can also detach parts of the vacuum to make it either a handheld vacuum for cleaning smaller areas in your home or car, or a stick vacuum that’ll fit under furniture and in other small areas on the ground.
For the allergy-conscious, the ION P50 model comes with a HEPA filter. This filter collects most dust, allergens, and small air particles as it cleans. This vacuum also includes Shark’s DuoClean technology. The P50 can, therefore, switch between heavy-duty cleaning on both hard flooring and low pile carpets seamlessly. DuoClean technology offers powerful cleaning even when in regular mode, although the P50 lets you take it up a notch with a power boost mode.
The replaceable, rechargeable battery works for up to 50 minutes, when not in power boost mode.
3) Best Value: Shark Navigator ($129)
The Shark Navigator is a lightweight, upright cordless vacuum that comes in at a very reasonable cost.
The Navigator provides a flexible swivel head feature, which makes it easy to clean under furniture. It can also pick up small-to-large debris on the floor. However, this model works best on hardwood floors. And while it's less powerful for deep cleaning on carpets, the Navigator still works well on low pile carpets. You can easily shift between carpet and hardwood floor cleaning by tapping a convenient footswitch.
Despite its inexpensive price tag, it also picks up pet hair very well. However, the Navigator’s lower price point does mean that it might not last as long as other options from Shark and will likely have to be replaced over time.
The battery lasts about 20 minutes and comes with a charging dock. Overall, this vacuum works best for spot cleaning.
4) Best On Pet Hair: Shark Rocket Pet Pro ($279)
As its name suggests, the Rocket Pet Pro has a few features that make it a smart pick for pet owners. The main feature, a self-cleaning brushroll, stops hair from getting tangled up in the vacuum's brush. Anyone who’s had a vacuum malfunction due to hair getting tangled in their brush can appreciate the power of this feature. Even long hair didn't stop this vacuum from functioning efficiently. In fact, we almost felt compelled to anoint this vacuum "Most Likely to Clean Up a Hair Salon."
The Rocket Pet Pro is a stick vacuum, which allows for easy cleaning under furniture. It’s also very lightweight at 7.5 pounds. The Shark Rocket Pet Pro also detaches into a small, handheld vacuum, making it easy for dog owners to clean up their car after a joy ride with their four-legged family member.
And if you’re a pet owner with allergies, this vacuum is definitely for you. The Rocket Pet Pro's sealed system, with a HEPA filter, means that small, airborne debris are filtered and trapped inside the vacuum. The cleaning head also has lights on it, making it easy to see (and therefore clean) dust, pet hair, and other debris that you’d otherwise miss.
The Rocket Pet Pro can, like the rest of the vacuums listed here, transition from hardwood to carpet seamlessly. It can effectively clean both low and medium pile carpet, and its battery can last for up to 40 minutes. However, like some of the other Shark cordless vacuums on our list, the battery life decreases when using higher-power modes.
5) Most Flexible: Shark IONFlex DuoClean ($249)
The SharkION Flex DuoClean cordless vacuum weighs in at 8.7 pounds and does well on both hard floors and carpeting. Like the ION F80, the IONFlex features DuoClean technology, which utilizes two brushrolls to effectively clean a variety of different surfaces. The brushead also lights up to illuminate small particles in the vacuum’s path.
Many reviewers have also complimented the IONFlex’s ability to tackle pet hair. However, the small dustbin means you’ll have to do a lot of dumping if your pets shed a lot. And if you are an allergy sufferer, it’s important to keep in mind that this model does not come with a HEPA filter.
Shark’s MultiFlex technology also makes it possible for the IONFlex to fold over for compact, freestanding storage. This is a huge bonus in the world of cordless vacuums. The MultiFlex technology also allows you to easily move the vacuum under tight or awkward spaces like beneath a bed or couch.
In terms of noise, this vacuum is relatively quiet but produces a high frequency sound, which makes it seem louder than it actually is.
No two Shark cordless vacuums are the same. Since most homes have different cleaning needs, knowing what and where you'll be cleaning can help you decide which cordless vacuum is right for you.
Whether you are looking for a vacuum that can do serious deep cleaning, help you tidy up swiftly, or suction up tons of pet hair in your car or home, you can find a Shark cordless vacuum that’ll make life easier and cleaner.
These five Shark cordless vacuums -- the ION F80, ION P50, Navigator, Rocket Pet Pro, and the IONFlex DuoClean -- all offer powerful cleaning performance, convenience, and smart design for people with busy lifestyles. However, we do tend to prefer the Shark ION F80 because of its impressive battery life.
How to clean a Shark vacuum
In order to keep your Shark vacuum running smoothly for years to come, you want to make sure to care for it appropriately. First, open and dump the dust bin to keep it from becoming too full. Although many of the newer models have self-cleaning brushrolls, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any long strands of hair that need to be removed from the cleaning head. I also make sure to clean the filter once a month. Whenever you have time, we recommend placing the filter under running water.
A very special thank you to Becky Brooks for her contributions to this article!
See what other Designer Appliances readers are saying.