Best Shark Vacuum


With their reasonable prices and varied features, it’s no surprise that you may want to find the best Shark vacuum for 2017. And we’re here to help with our in-depth guide that looks at the greatest Shark units on the market, and just what kind of features they offer over the rest of the competition.

But what is the best Shark Vacuum? For its combination of powerful suction, canister convertibility, HEPA filtration and useful attachments, we picked the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 ($179.99). If you’re looking for a great all-around vacuum for your home, the Rotator is one of the best picks you can make – and the price is good, too.

Best Shark Vacuum

How We Choose the Best Shark Vacuum

Shark has several different primary models with many variations on each. Here are the top factors we took into consideration when making our picks.

Suction Power and Capabilities: There are many ways to gauge the suction of a vacuum cleaner. Some specs look at how high a vacuum cleaner can lift water – called water lift and measured in inches – to study power and sealing. Other specs look at cubic feet per minute to study suction, or “air watts” which is combination of both air flow and water lift. No matter the method, the important part is knowing how vacuum cleaners compare to each other in terms of suction – and making sure that dust stays inside.

Add-Ons: Want to know how good Shark vacuums are? Take a look at the add-ons. Shark’s typical approach is to create a solid model – like the Rotator – and offer a number of different bundles that feature different tools or components that allow that model to specialize in a variety of different cleaning jobs. We looked at these variations and how they compared to each other.

Dust Canisters or Bags: Curious how to empty Shark vacuum models? So are we! We take a look if these vacuums use canisters or bags (Shark is overwhelming a canister brand), and how easy these are to empty or replace. Canisters with a bottom release to dump right into the trash are particularly useful once you get the hang of them. Size is also important – it’s annoying to use a canister that you need to dump after only cleaning half a room, so we like to see extra-large canister capacities. Our third pick, for example, can hold 2.2 dry quarts, an especially large size for this type of upright and ideal for larger homes. Around 1.3 quarts is a more common – but still satisfactory – size.

Weight: When it comes to “traditional” vacs designed for home use, weight is very important – especially when you need to carry vacuum cleaners up stairs or around furniture. Fortunately, modern materials allow vacuums to be much lighter than ever before. As a general rule, we look for models that don’t go much above 15 pounds, at least not without making up for it with an extra-high level of power or versatility.

Steering: For uprights especially, we are interested in how well the vacuum cleaner steers; this refers not only to how easily it pivots around corners, but also how large the cleaning path is and how easily it can deal with typical household furniture and objects. The greatest vacuum cleaner in the world won’t be very great for you if it keeps banging into walls or chairs. So we look for swiveling or pivoting features at the base of the vacuum to make sure it can turn easily.

Read More: Best Vacuum Cleaner for Carpets

Why You Should Buy a New Shark Vacuum

In addition to their adaptability and bundles, Shark vacuums tend to be excellent all-purpose appliances. Many of their models can convert into different types of vacuums for different purposes, allowing you to snap between modes when tackling different floors, or when your ceiling corners need a good vacuuming as well. Few other brands offer so many whole-house cleaning opportunities.

Also, when it comes to Shark vacuum vs. Dyson vacuum models (two of the most popular options), one of the biggest differences is cost. Shark vacuums tend to offer many powerful residential features, but they are usually $100 to $200 less expensive (and come with much shorter warranties and guarantees as well). If you want to save money but still get a powerful vacuum, Shark may be the brand for you.

#1 Pick  Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 – Editor’s Choice/Best Shark Rotator Vacuum

This Rotator model offers a little bit of everything.

Price: $179.99 | Brush Roll: Pet Power | Dust Trapping: HEPA Filter | Container: 1.3 quart canister| On Board Accessories: Pet brush, 4 additional attachments | Weight: 15.88 pounds

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A reasonable price, a ton of features, and the option to convert to canister mode.

Picking the best Shark vacuum model is a tough choice, but the Rotator NV501 has too many advantages to ignore. For those who want to control dust and allergens, the vacuum has an effective HEPA filter (one of the washable versions), and plenty of suction power to pick up every trace of dirt. For those who have a problem with pet hair or other tangles, the brush roll is designed to quickly snatch up tangles – and to let you quickly remove them if necessary.

For those who want to clean absolutely everything, the variety of attachments let you tackle any surface or corner. You get a dusting brush for cleaning tables, a crevice tool for seats and corners, and a pet power brush for removing tough hair and tangles. We like that this model doesn’t overwhelm you with half a dozen accessory options like some Shark models, but gives you just enough to get things down.

And let’s not forget that this Rotator is convertible as well. Anytime you want, you can pluck out the roller and hose to transform it into a canister model, which we found useful for cleaning larger messes or vacuuming under especially deep sofas or tables. The 1.3 quart canister, meanwhile, is a little small for such a powerful vacuum, but is easy to pull out and dump when necessary.

So, how much is the Shark Rotator vacuum? You can get this professional model for only $180, an excellent deal for a vacuum packed with this many features. We wish it could have been a little lighter, but around 16 pounds isn’t bad for a full upright model, especially one that can convert.

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#2 Pick  SharkNinja HV382 Rocket with TruePet – Best Shark Vacuum for Pets

1484440462_7_best-shark-vacuum Best Shark Vacuum

This lightweight vacuum converts to a pet hair destroyer.

Price: $239.99 | Brush Roll: Double Roll | Dust Trapping: N/A | Container: Canister | On Board Accessories: TruePet Motorized Brush| Weight: 9.9 pounds

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A lightweight but powerful vacuum with a great pet hair conversation option.

Even on its own, the SharkNinja is an impressive vacuuming machine – the lightweight design makes it perfect for those who don’t want to deal with a heavy vacuum cleaner, but it still has enough power to deal with the most annoying messes. That power includes the DuoClean feature, which is actually two different brush rolls – a normal version, and one with long spiraling bristles to better dig into your carpet. You can also gain instant access to the brush rolls if you ever need to untangle any longer strands you pick up.

These features make the vacuum cleaner great for cleaning up pet hair (and other messes) on your carpet, but the TruePet feature is even better. This is a motorized, extendable brush that you can use when the unit converts into a handheld model, specifically designed for pet hair. We cannot imagine a better tool for scraping and sucking away those layers of pet hair that are so difficult to remove.

<a href="https://www.amazon.com/SharkNinja-HV382-Complete-Ultra-Light-DuoClean/dp/B01K7L8U62?tag=gadgetreviewc-20” target=”_blank” class=”ft-btn red square large”> View on Amazon

#3 Pick  Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Dust-Away – Best Shark Vacuum For Hardwood Floors

1484440463_916_best-shark-vacuum Best Shark Vacuum

This Navigator comes with perfect hardwood accessories.

Price: $139.99 | Brush Roll: On/Off | Dust Trapping: HEPA Filter| Container: 2.2 quart canister | On Board Accessories: 4 Attachments, 2 Microfiber Pads | Weight: 13.7 pounds

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A powerful vacuum designed specifically to take care of dust and keep hard floors clean.

First, this is another lift-away model, so it can also be converted to a canister unit when/if necessary. It also has true HEPA filtration plus a sealing job designed to keep dust buried in the vacuum and avoid kicking it up in the air, which makes it a strong choice if you want a powerful vacuum cleaner for health reasons.

However, this particular bundle also comes with microfiber pads and DustAway, an attachment specifically for hard floors. These are the perfect accessories for dealing with hardwood flooring and similar floors around your home, especially if your current vacuum can’t really tackle hard floor projects.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Shark Vacuum

  • Customization Options: Remember when we talked about looking at Shark add-ons? It’s a good idea for you to look through the different bundles they offer as well, so you can find one that’s customized for your home. DuoClean vacuums have an extra brush roll that’s great for digging deeper in carpets. TruePet models come with an extra attachment that makes it easier to vacuum pet hair off of fabric. DustAway models are excellent for controlling dust and dirt on hard surfaces. So remember to look beyond the basic design and toward the additional options that Shark provides.
  • Brush Rolls and Features: Brush rolls come in several different varieties. Some can be switched on and off, or slowed down, to help make the transition from carpet to hard flooring. Some come with longer bristles designed for deeper, stronger carpets where you really need to pull the dirt out. Certain Shark models even make it easier to access the brush roll to remove those unfortunate tangles that crop up from time to time. The brush roll, in other words, may be more important than you think, so take a look at the features provided and make sure they work for you. Additionally, keep in mind that vacs can damage hardwood floors with brush rolls if they aren’t designed specifically for wood. Even with the brush roll turned off, wheels may scratch more sensitive floors, so be careful when moving to a hard surface.
  • Floor Modes and Speed Options: If you’re wondering “Which Shark vacuum is best for me?”, then remember to look at the available floor modes! Shark vacuums offer features like multiple speed selection to choose between when moving from carpet to tile, for example. Other models have brush rolls designed specifically to dig deep into carpets, or suck up extra-large particles from hardwood floors. So in addition to comparing Shark vacuums side by side, remember to find a model that works for your home specifically.
  • Filtration: Also, remember to take a look at how to clean Shark vacuum filter products. Many of them require that you wash and dry the filter every month, or sometimes replace it entirely. If you forget to do this, suction power will decrease and the vacuum cleaner will not operate as well as it could. Take a peek at the manual and get into the habit of cleaning or replacing filters to give your vacuum cleaner a great start!
  • Conversion Features: Our top pick is a Shark model that can convert into a canister-based vacuum immediately, which helps when vacuuming under deep tables or other furniture. Our second pick, meanwhile, can be immediately converted into a hand vac for cleaning upholstery whenever you want. These features can make a vacuum cleaner far more versatile and useful around the house.
  • Battery Power: None of the Shark cordless models are currently on our best of list, but Shark does make cordless models if you really want to free up your cleaning experience. If you want a cordless model, remember to find out how long the battery lasts – and how long it takes to recharge. Many large cordless vacuums can take a couple hours to fully recharge, which may affect your cleaning plans for the weekend.

Read More: Dyson Vacuum Reviews

Mistakes to Avoid

Forgetting What Kind of Messes Happen in Your Home: This may seem like an odd point, but bear with us: all vacuum cleaners have various specialties, and they differ depending on the kind of mess you need to clean up. Our third pick, for example, comes with pads and nozzles designed for cleaning dust off hardwood floors. But if your hardwood floors typically experience spills and stains, all those dust cleaning features aren’t going to help out at all (you need a mop instead). Likewise, if most of the messes on your carpet are little hairballs on top, you don’t need a powerful, dig-in-deep brush roll (which may even damage some delicate carpets). However, if your messes are caused by footsteps grinding dirt down deep into the shag of the living room, you may indeed need extra power. Think about how your floors get dirty, not just what kind of floors you have.

Buying the Most Expensive Model: Price isn’t everything. For one, prices can change based on current discounts and availability, so judging quality based on price is a poor decision from the start. Second, as we’ve been saying, you need the vacuum cleaner that’s right for you. Assuming the most expensive model is the best for you home is a serious mistake, especially if you aren’t even looking at the features. This point also works if you are buying a vacuum as a gift or donation!

Choosing Particle Filtration Without Knowing Its Requirements: We talked a bit about filters above, but now we’re going to point out HEPA and other particulate filters in particular. Some buyers like the idea of particle filtration and getting rid of allergens in their homes, but they don’t consider what that kind of filtration means. HEPA filters and similar dust-collectors tend to fill up quickly and need to be regularly washed or replaced, which takes time and money. So while extensive filtration may look good on paper, remember to also look at what sort of filter maintenance you’ll need to do. It may be more than you can handle.

Ignoring the Cord: Unless you want to lug extension cords around, cord length defines how far your vacuum can reach. This is important when it comes to larger spaces. Cord length tends to vary between 25 to 30 feet for most vacuums. Don’t buy a model with a cord that’s too short for your home layout!

Not Measuring the Cleaning Path: The cleaning path refers to how wide the brush roll and vacuum head are – which you should definitely note before buying. The last thing you want is a vacuum cleaner that won’t even fit under your chairs or desk. It’s time to take out the tape measure: you’ll be glad that you did.

Read More: Panasonic’s New “Hybrid” Vacuum Can Suck Up a Bowling Ball

What Else You Should Think About

Again, remember to carefully consider your own home and each model’s unique specs before you buy the best vacuum cleaner. You can find the right fit, and we can help – but this is a long-term appliance and not the place for impulse buying.

We don’t really have time to go into the details on HEPA air filters and how they work, but if you want more information on these filters, how they are rated, and how they can help people with lung problems, then we do have an article about it you should read, which explains what is a HEPA air filter. You may also want to take a look at our picks for the best air purifiers if you need allergen control beyond what a vacuum cleaner can offer.

On the other hand, if you are interested in a vacuum but don’t have much time (and are willing to spend a little more), you should consider robot vacuums offered by a number of brands, including Dyson. These little vacs are smarter and more powerful than ever, and they can really help clean a home or building when used correctly.


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