Cleaning doesn't have to feel like such a chore – and the right vacuum is a great place to start. Shark vacuums are known for their lightweight designs that still manage to pack a punch in terms of power and functionality. They're not only exceptionally easy to use and handle, but their small footprint makes them easy to store too.
Our #1 Shark Vacuum Pick
Our top pick for the best Shark vacuum in 2017 has to be the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional, offering the ultimate value between ease-of-use and feature-packed design. Its upright mode gets carpet spotless while the hard floor attachment dusts and sweeps with one slick motion. The canister even detaches to turn this vacuum into a powerful handheld. It does it all!
- 1 Which Type Of Shark Is Right For You?
- 2 Finding The Perfect Shark Vacuum
- 3 Top 10 Shark Vacuum Reviews
- 3.1 #1 Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)
- 3.2 #2 Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501)
- 3.3 #3 Shark Navigator Deluxe (NV42)
- 3.4 #4 Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick Vacuum (SV1106)
- 3.5 #5 Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet (NV752)
- 3.6 #6 Shark Rocket TruePet Corded Ultra-Light Upright (HV322)
- 3.7 #7 Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded Ultralight Vacuum (HV382)
- 3.8 #8 Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright (HV302)
- 3.9 #9 Shark 13" Rechargeable Floor & Carpet Sweeper (V2950)
- 3.10 #10 Shark 10" Rechargeable Floor and Carpet Sweeper (V2930)
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Which Type Of Shark Is Right For You?
The current selection of Shark vacuums spans four distinct product lines: the Rocket, Rotator, Navigator, and DuoClean. Each one offers their own distinct benefits – since there are so many Shark vacuums to choose from, knowing the differences between the available product lines is a great way to start your search.
This is the smallest and most compact design. These are true "stick vacuums". The dirt canisters are often housed in the head or atop the handle, rather than occupying a large spot in the middle of the vacuum. This usually results in a lighter and easier-to-maneuver experience but requires more frequent emptying of the bin.
These are a bit larger than the Rocket line, often including a full-sized canister for large cleaning jobs. Navigator models often include a variety of versatile accessories to tackle stairs, drapery, furniture, and more.
Rotator models are an updated version of the Navigator line. While the Navigator line does include a few designs with detachable canisters for portable cleaning power, the Rotator line includes a wider variety of these convenient "Lift-Away" models.
Both the Navigator and Rotator lines include a handful models with DuoClean technology. Shark vacuums with DuoClean include two rotating brushrolls – a standard bristle brush in the rear, and a large soft roller in the front. The soft roller grips particles of any size. Since the soft roller replaces the standard front guard, you can pick up large debris or large piles of small debris easily.
Finding The Perfect Shark Vacuum
Every house is different! Shopping for a new vacuum is much easier if you're familiar with the different vacuum styles, and how each of those forms can address your unique cleaning needs. Does your home have stairs? Is it small or large? Do you have rugs, hard floors, or a mix of both? Do prefer to vacuum your upholstery or do you typically clean by hand? Do you need something lightweight or do you prioritize power?
The good news is that Shark offers a wide range of vacuum styles to suit a variety of needs. No matter which feature set you prefer, there's sure to be something out there for you.
Often considered the "standard" vacuum format familiar to many, uprights are the easy-to-push style suitable for covering large areas. If you need to use your vacuum to clean an entire room (or even an entire home) a Shark upright might be the right choice for you. Standard uprights typically offer the strongest suction power and the widest variety of accessories. The downside is that traditional uprights are the least portable type of vacuum, but some Shark models feature detachable canisters or convert into handheld formats for more flexibility.
While the Shark brand does include a few true handheld options, they really excel with uprights and stick vacuums that convert into handheld forms with just the touch of a button. Many of the uprights convert into something called "lift-away canister" mode that allows you to carry the canister and vacuum with the hose – great for staircases, cleaning under furniture, and other needs. Many of the stick vacuums convert to true hand-vacs because the motor is attached to the handle rather than the head.
- Stick: It's hard to find anything more maneuverable than a stick! If you want the portability of a handheld but don't need all the power of an upright, a stick vacuum can go right where you need it. Many of Shark's stick options even transform into hand vacuums for staircases, upholstery, and more. The downside is that very few of these models include accessories.
The lightest, simplest, and most budget-friendly option, sweepers are basically just brooms that include a powered brushroll to make the standard "sweeping" motion unnecessary. These are best for quick cleanup jobs, like dealing with spilled snacks. Most sweepers aren't suitable for replacing a standard vacuum in homes with carpet, but they're nice to have around as a backup when you don't feel like busting out a larger machine.
While lighter machines are obviously easier to move around, weight definitely isn't the only factor that determines portability. Consider a wide vacuum for instance – no matter how light it is, it still won't work great on stairs or between large pieces of furniture. The length and flexibility of the attachment hose can also make a huge difference when it comes to getting into those hard-to-reach spots.
The vacuum's form factor definitely contributes to portability. Consider Shark's unique canister mode (also known as "Lift-Away" mode) that makes it easy to carry the canister while taking advantage of the extendable hose and any tools that come with. Then there's the hand-vac mode, which offers less reach but is often lighter than the canister format and often proves easier to handle.
Shark vacuums are equipped with powered brushrolls to quickly and efficiently sweep dirt and debris toward the dust bin or canister. The main difference between Shark vacuums and sweepers is the suction power – the vacuums use up to 1200W between the brushroll and suction motor, while the sweepers have no suction and rely solely on the power of the brushroll to "flick" the debris into the dust bin.
If you're looking for quick cleanups on hard floor surfaces or low-pile carpet, lower powered machines and sweepers can often handle the job with ease. For cleaning high-pile carpet, a fully powered model with powerful suction is a better bet.
Although it's often possible to purchase vacuum accessories from the manufacturer after you've already purchased a vacuum, there's never a guarantee that the accessories you want will be available or will even fit. It's always better to invest in a vacuum that comes with the accessories you need right out the box. This is especially true for powered accessories like upholstery brushes with motorized rollers. These tools can save you tons of time while cleaning surfaces like furniture – but they're often exclusive to the vacuum model they were designed for.
Speaking of accessories, it's good to know what your options are. Different nozzle heads for the hose are especially useful: the ones with brushes are great for vacuuming upholstery, thin and flexible ones are great for reaching under appliances, and extra-long attachments are useful for reaching ceiling fan blades and the tops of windowsills.
Top 10 Shark Vacuum Reviews
Weighing in at just under 14 pounds, the Navigator Lift-Away Pro is light and easy to maneuver around every turn. With the press of a button, the canister detaches and becomes a portable unit that you can transport to any hard-to-reach space – ideal for drapery, furniture, and pesky corners.
Turn on the motorized brushroll to grab hair and dirt from carpet (from short pile to shag) or turn off the brushroll for a gentler touch. The hard floor attachment makes it easy to dust and clean any surface, and the unit even includes two washable microfiber pads to pick up dirt like a magnet.
- Swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver
- Thoroughly cleans dirt and debris with powerful suction
- Great for people with allergies thanks to a quality HEPA filter
- Very portable
- Includes plenty of accessories
- Great for hard floors and carpet
- No headlights for viewing under furniture
- Hose falls on the shorter side at 5 feet
#2 Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501)
With a mid-range weight of 15.5 pounds, the Rotator Lift-Away Pro is sturdy enough to stand on its own while using the included accessories but light enough to carry from room to room with ease. Like many of Shark's top-of-the-line models, this vacuum features a lift-away canister to make the unit even lighter.
This model also includes a powered handheld furniture brush to easily pick up debris and pet fur from surfaces like furniture or stairs. The range of accessories is pretty impressive too – it includes a straight nozzle, a wide upholstery tool, a vehicle detailing kit, a thin wand for cleaning under appliances, and a canister caddy.
- Extremely versatile feature set (includes upright, lift-away, and above-floor)
- Headlights make it easier to see the dirt for thorough cleaning
- Powerful suction
- Allergy-friendly HEPA filter
- Cleans furniture upholstery
- Upright mode maneuvers easily
- Weak accessory clips
- Stiff hose
The Navigator Deluxe is a streamlined, no-frills version of the Navigator Lift-Away Pro. While it doesn't include as many accessories or features as the Professional version, it still maintains the power and quality that customers expect from the Shark brand. And it's versatile! The 5 foot hose extends to 10 feet with the included extension attachment.
With a dust cup that can contain up to 1 dry quart of debris, this vacuum makes it easy to clean larger rooms without the need to constantly empty the canister.
- Gentle on delicate hardwood floors
- Great for most carpet with "Never Loses Suction" technology
- Easily handles larger rooms with fewer interruptions to empty the dust cup
- Filters are hand-wash only
- No "Lift-Away" canister functionality
If you need something for quick cleanups on hard floors or thin rugs, this stick vacuum is a useful tool to have on hand. At just 7.5 pounds, it's easy to tote this powerful little machine anywhere you need it. The motorized brushroll picks up hair and embedded debris easily, and the swivel steering design allows it to cruise around corners.
Even better, this model is cordless – never worry about finding a new outlet when you're switching from room to room. The Navigator Freestyle Cordless Stick includes a charging stand so it's ready to go whenever you are.
- Ultra light weight for quick cleanups
- Goes almost anywhere thanks to cordless design
- Perfect for hardwood and thin carpets
- Easy to empty
- Not ideal for thick carpet
- No hose or attachments
#5 Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet (NV752)
Everybody loves their furry and flying companions, but the cleanup part is never quite as much fun. Shark's innovative TruePet line is designed with pesky fur, litter, and kibble in mind. Plus, it works as well on carpet as it does on hard floors. You can use this 15.4-pound vacuum anywhere your pets tend to hang out.
But the feature that make this model so much different is the TruePet Mini-Motorized Brush. As the name suggests, this handheld tool has it's own motorized brushroll – just like having the power of a full vacuum right in the palm of your hand. It's truly the best Shark vacuum for pet hair on the market today.
- Powers through pet hair on carpet and upholstery
- Both the vacuum and wand include headlights for better visibility
- Gently cleans and dusts hardwood floors
- Reduces pet-related allergy symptoms with advanced HEPA filter
- Upright mode cannot fit beneath low furniture
- No space to carry all of the attachments on the unit
#6 Shark Rocket TruePet Corded Ultra-Light Upright (HV322)
This is the lightweight "stick" alternative to the full-size TruePet model. It weighs only 8.6 pounds but still manages to pack the hair-grabbing functionality of its larger counterpart. While smaller vacuums often sacrifice suction power on carpet, this machine still produces impressive results especially on shorter pile rugs.
Most importantly, it still retains the feature that makes TruePet models so highly recommended – the TruePet Mini-Motorized Brush. It quickly attaches to the vacuum in hand-vac mode to make cleaning upholstery and furniture easier than ever.
- Picks up pet hair anywhere
- Impressive power-to-weight ratio
- Cleans hardwood floors
- Small enough to store anywhere
- Small dust canister
- Top heavy when standing on its own
#7 Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded Ultralight Vacuum (HV382)
Shark's unique DuoClean technology is a game-changer. These vacuums still have the regular bristle brushroll that everybody is familiar with, but DuoClean models include a secondary soft roll in the front – this special roller pulls in even the largest particles and piles of debris. This special roller even comes in direct contact with hard floors to pull up even the smallest bits of dust.
It combines the best of stick vacuums and full-size models, easily detaching into a convenient hand-vac for detailed cleaning. It includes a pet tool, an under-appliance wand, crevice tools, a wall mount, and an accessory bag to keep all these extras nice and organized.
- Able to pick up large debris
- Converts to a lightweight hand-vac
- Cleans pet hair with included accessory
- Never loses suction
- Somewhat weak near baseboards
- Heavier than other stick vacuums at 10.1 pounds
#8 Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright (HV302)
Here's another ultra lightweight model (7.6 pounds) – this design is ideal for quick cleanups and tidying up small spaces. The Rocket Ultra-Light disassembles into a useful hand-vac, and includes a robust accessory kit with tools specifically designed for detailing around vehicles, electronics, and all the hard-to-reach areas in between.
Its slim profile not only makes it easy to fit between pieces of furniture, it also makes the vacuum easy to store. This is a huge boon for anyone who tends to run short on closet space! The package even includes a wall mount in case you need to preserve floor space.
- Lightweight yet versatile
- Cleans and dusts hard floors
- Detail your vehicle with included accessories
- Goes anywhere with extra-long 30 foot cord
- Somewhat low-powered at 300 watts
- Small dust bin
#9 Shark 13" Rechargeable Floor & Carpet Sweeper (V2950)
Sweepers do not have suction power, but sometimes the motorized brush is all you need to keep dirt and dust at bay. This Shark model differentiates itself with some clever engineering. The handle actually folds down to make it easier to clean underneath furniture like sofas and tables – Shark appropriately dubs this feature as the "Backsaver". How smart!
Cordless models like this one are especially useful for quick cleanup purposes. It's so much easier to do a quick sweep of the dining room after lunch when you don't have to worry about finding a free power outlet for a standard vacuum.
- Cordless design means you can just pick up and clean
- Incredibly lightweight at 7 pounds
- Handle folds for easy under-furniture cleaning
- Works great around baseboards and furniture edges
- Not ideal for shag or high pile carpet
- Small dust bin
#10 Shark 10" Rechargeable Floor and Carpet Sweeper (V2930)
This is another sweeper – not a vacuum – but at just 2 pounds and easily deconstructed, it's easy to take with you wherever you need a quick pickup. It's only 10" in width to fit between furniture or between chair legs. Plus, the motorized brushroll still does an excellent job of collecting dirt and debris wherever you use it.
- Take anywhere portability
- One of the lightest motorized sweepers on the market
- Fits easily underneath and between furniture
- Swivel steering
- No included accessories
- Small dust bin