Shark vacuum cleaners are some of the most popular home vacuum cleaners on the market today. And while Shark’s innovative bagless upright products may be a newer site in the vacuum market, their quality has elevated them quickly from newcomer to heavyweight when it comes to home appliances.

Given the rapid rise in Shark’s popularity, though, it can be a challenge to navigate their complex lineup. You may know that Shark vacuum cleaners have features you’re interested in, but how do you know which products have the right features for you?

We’ll be breaking down five of the top products currently offered from Shark in hopes we can introduce you to a model that may be right for you.

  • Hard floor hero
  • Pet power brush attachment included
  • Lift-Away technology
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

  • Easy-access brush roll on/off switch
  • Included home & car detail kit
  • Dust-away hardwood floor attachment
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty

  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology
  • Swivel steering
  • Extra-large dust bin
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

  • DuoClean hardwood and carpet cleaning-technology
  • Powered Lift-Away technology
  • Built-in noise reduction
  • 7-Year Limited Warranty

  • ION battery power pack included
  • MultiFLEX technology
  • Battery warning lights
  • 7-Year Limited Warranty (2-Year Battery Warranty)


Shark’s Navigator line may be their most affordable, particularly considering it includes their Lift-Away technology.

Using this technology requires you to reach down and manually disconnect the brush roller from the main canister, however, which can be cumbersome. Once it’s off, though, the Shark Navigator can be used a handheld canister vacuum cleaner. Using the 5-foot hose, you can use the included attachments to efficiently clean stairs, counters, corners, and other crevices in your home.

While the small stature and top-heavy design of the Navigator Lift-Away can be somewhat frustrating, the suction power and excellent filtration more than make up for it. We think the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is perfect for those who want to try out Shark’s innovative features no matter the cleaning task ahead of you.

Pros

  • Great Lift-Away technology
  • Affordable
  • Great for pet owners
  • Excellent suction power
  • Best all-around performance

Cons

  • Somewhat cumbersome
  • Easily tips over
  • High clearance when cleaning under furniture
  • Brush roll doesn’t adjust

While Shark seems keen on advertising this vacuum as an “ultra-light upright,” it’s clear that this a stick vacuum designed to buck the trend and provide a thorough cleaning experience at a low price.

Stick vacuums have gained some serious popularity in recent years for their ease of use around smaller homes and lower cost. The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light checks all of these boxes with a design that makes it easy to clean just about anything. The lightweight and detachable extension rod mean that you can go from carpet to hardwood to countertops in seconds.

The easy-access brush roller control means that there’s no stopping and restarting when using this product. Plus, Shark’s inclusion of a Car Detail Kit is a welcome choice to fully utilize the versatile design.

For fans of this product, Shark also offers Rocket vacuums with DuoClean technology and a focus on pet hair. The cost, however, and premium features of this model make the Rocket Ultra-Light one of the best deals on the market today.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Easy-control brush on/off switch
  • Great included attachments

Cons

  • Smaller bin size
  • Struggles on high-pile carpeting
  • Does not stand upright


If you’re looking for the Shark vacuum that skips the attention-grabbing features and focuses exclusively on flooring, then this may be your best bet. The Shark Navigator Professional is the lowest-cost bagless upright in their current product line that nevertheless maintains the  powerful suction and easy-to-use design features one expects from their models.

The extra large bin makes it easy to clean several rooms before needing to stop to empty the container, and since the bin is larger vertically than it is horizontally, there are few issues with bulkiness. Weighing in at over 15 pounds, though, staircases are going to be a bit of a chore to get up and down with.

We think the Shark Navigator Professional is perfect for homeowners that aren’t after features but still want quality. While repairs have been reported to be somewhat difficult on this model, almost all signs point towards few issues and great performance over time.

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Extra large bin
  • Great attachments
  • Effective swivel steering

Cons

  • No advanced features/technologies
  • Heavy
  • Difficult to repair

Much like the name implies, the Shark APEX is the highest-quality series that Shark offers. The Apex DuoClean Lift-Away is no exception and comes stocked with all of the brand’s best features.

Unlike the Navigator Lift-Away, the Shark APEX DuoClean Lift-Away can power the motorized brush roll even when disconnected from the main assembly. The result is that the Shark APEX can transform into a fully-fledged handheld canister vacuum cleaner.

While we’re a bit disappointed in the size of the bin and the performance on carpeting, the Shark APEX has a lot to offer. The MultiFlex under appliance wand makes it simple to clean under even the lowest of appliances, and the Pet Multi-tool can make quick work of pet hair and dandruff. In short, with the Shark APEX DuoClean Lift-Away vacuum, its attachments, and its different modes, you’ll be able to pick up just about anything.

Pros

  • Lift-Away and DuoClean technology
  • Great noise reduction
  • Lightweight
  • Highly versatile

Cons

  • Small bin size
  • Expensive
  • Struggles on high-pile carpeting

The Dyson V8 may have garnered a reputation for quality cleaning and cordless operation, but Shark’s equally-powerful IONFlex series has a lot to offer at a price that may be more appealing to many. The Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light is a cordless stick vacuum cleaner with a unique flexible wand, which can bend nearly 90 degrees for easy vacuum storage.

Much like other stick vacuum cleaners, the IONFlex DuoClean performs admirably on flooring as well as above-ground surfaces. Shark’s included DuoClean technology allows for powerful floor cleaning that won’t damage sensitive hardwood and won’t require swapping heads.

This cordless stick vacuum does tend to burn through its battery life quickly but with replaceable batteries, you can extend your cleaning time almost indefinitely. We highly recommend this cordless stick vacuum cleaner as an alternative to the V8 or as a means to completely clean smaller homes and apartments from floor to ceiling.

Pros

  • Replaceable & rechargeable batteries
  • Great reach mode
  • Warning lights help you time out your clean

Cons

  • Top-heavy design
  • Battery can drain quickly
  • Small bin
  • Expensive

Comparison Chart

FeaturesShark Navigator Lift-Away NV360Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV302Shark Navigator Professional NV70Shark APEX DuoClean Lift-Away AZ1002Shark IONFlex DuoClean Ultra-Light IF201
Corded/BatteryCorded | 25 ftCorded | 25 ftCorded | 25 ftCorded | 30 ftBattery | 23 Minutes
Bagless
FilterHEPAWashable FoamHEPAHEPAWashable Foam
Weight13 lbs7.6 lbs15.2 lbs17.1 lbs8.7 lbs
Hose5 ftX6  ft5 ftX
Brush Roll✓ on/off✓ on/off✓ on/off✓ on/off✓ on/off

Buyer’s Guide:

Shark Vacuums

Shark tries to make it easy for consumers by naming each model after its key features. We recommend getting acquainted with these terms to better acclimate yourself to what you’re getting out of the brand. For quick reference, here are the features, unique qualities, and attachments associated with many Shark vacuums:

SeriesFeaturesUnique QualitiesAttachments
NavigatorLift-Away (Not all models)Swiveling brush rollerHard Floor Hero, pet power brush, dusting brush, crevice tool
RotatorLift-AwayDigital display, LED floor lightsHard floor tool, mini-motorized brush, Pet Multi-tool, duster crevice
APEXDuoClean, Lift-AwayMotorized hose attachments in Lift-Away Mode, LED floor lights, strong suctionPet Multi-tool, dust tool, brush tool, crevice tool, MultiFlex under appliance wand

Final Thoughts

For an all-around cleaning solution with a fair price, the Shark Rocket series proves that its ready to tackle most problems. The IONFlex is a great cordless stick alternative to Dyson models, and the Navigator Lift-Away allows homeowners the flexibility of a canister vacuum at an introductory price; making it our top overall pick.

Otherwise, the Shark APEX is the perfect solution for homeowners who have lots of different areas to clean, and finally, the Navigator Professional is a straightforward, no-frills product that deserves more love than it gets.

Shark vacuum cleaners are popular and highly-sought after for several reasons. Provided you become acclimated with the naming system and uncover what features you need in a vacuum, we’re confident you’ll grow to love Shark’s innovative products.

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