Shark vacuums are renowned for their quality, so I decided to put their top-selling models to the test and compare them head-to-head. I’m all in when it comes to keeping spaces clean with top handhelds and upright or cordless vacuums.

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I put them to the ultimate test, curious about how they compare to top contenders like Dyson, Miele, Bissell, and more. So, I evaluated everything from the Shark’s Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Self-Empty Robot Vacuum and Mop to the Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum, putting them through their paces. What truly distinguishes Shark vacuums is their remarkable ability to tackle sizable debris with their innovative double brush system.

I tested them against spills, soot, mud, and every other mess my family could bring into the home, and I have to say I’ve found some real winners below.

Skip to the end to check out our in-depth FAQ list for expert-backed tips.



  • Detects and avoids objects
  • Precision home mapping
  • Traps 99.97% of dust and allergens
  • Dual mop and vacuum


  • No dryer for mopping system

I’m constantly swamped with tasks, leaving me with zero time for cleaning, yet I crave a pristine living space. Thankfully, Shark’s Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Self-Empty Robot Vacuum and Mop, affectionately dubbed “Winston” in my Google Home, has quickly become my trusted ally; he cleans and will give me updates in any language I choose (I chose UK English, of course). The app and short instructional videos made the setup a breeze.

Besides, “Winston” cleans on command, so I can continue writing articles and testing products. You can also place this vacuum on a schedule or ask it to spot clean specific areas.

Using precision home mapping, it avoided my no-go zones and knew where to dock after cleaning every last square inch of my floor. Seeing objects up to almost 5 inches away, it can also detect and avoid objects, like my dog.

Thanks to its singular side brush and formidable suction power, I’m particularly impressed by its ability to reach corners. It efficiently clears dirt under my floorboard heaters, an area unreachable by my other vacuums, utilizing powerful blasts of air to unlodge hairballs and other disgusting objects.

Swapping out the dustbin, a remarkably simple task unleashes “Winston’s” mopping prowess. It vigorously scrubs up to 100 times per minute, leaving sealed and stained floors gleaming with a pristine finish. Although lacking a dryer to mitigate potential slippage, I found that any residual dampness evaporated swiftly post-use, ensuring both safety and cleanliness.

Its self-emptying canister can accommodate up to 60 days’ worth of dirt before necessitating manual emptying. It operates without the need for bags, and the HEPA filtration system securely traps 99.97% of dust and allergens.

Product details: What’s in the box: Robotic Vacuum, Standard Charging Dock,(2) Side Brushes, (2) Mopping Pads, (1) 12-ounce Starter VACMOP Cleaning Solution | Dimensions: 21.4 inches (length) x 14.96 inches (width) x 5.69 inches (height) | Weight: 16.98 pounds

Shark Stratos™ Corded Stick Vacuum


  • Easy to maneuver
  • Grips long and short hair


  • Smaller canister which requires emptying more often

With its impressive horsepower, it powered forward effortlessly, offering ease of handling — a perfect choice, especially for those who struggle with upper body strength. The light proved incredibly handy for reaching underneath the couch or tackling crumbs under the kitchen sink, illuminated by LED lighting guiding your path to a cleaner home.

Its odor technology neutralizes smells when vacuuming chunks of vile things we do not speak of, especially as the dirt sits in an anti-allergen sealed canister with HEPA filtration.

The suction power was impressive across hard floors and low—and high-pile carpets. We have high-traffic areas that pile up locks of hair. I was pleased to see the PowerFins Hairpro dig deep and remove those embedded hairs. Thanks to the long cord attached, it could reach up to 30 feet as I went up and down the stairs.

Product details: What’s in the box: Shark Stratos™ Corded Stick Vacuum, Crevice Tool, Upholstery Tool, Hair Pro Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush, Onboard Storage Clip, Odor Neutralizer Technology Cartridge | Dimensions: 9.66 inches (length) x 10.24 inches (width) x 46.26 inches (height) | Weight: 8.68 pounds

Shark - Stratos Upright Vacuum with DuoClean PowerFins HairPro, Self-Cleaning Brushroll, Odor Neutralizer Technology - Navy
Best Buy


  • Grabs long and short hair very well
  • Multisurface cleaner from hardwood to high pile
  • Easy to release dirt from the dustbin

This model demonstrated the most remarkable suction power among all the Shark vacuums we put to the test. While it may be a tad bulky and noticeably heavier than the Shark Stratos Corded Stick Vacuum, its standout feature lies in the three distinct suction power modes. These modes are designed specifically for hardwood floors, as well as low and high-pile carpets.

Its two-brush-roll system effectively captures my dog’s hair (and, let’s be honest, mine, too) without any frustrating tangles or clogs, thanks to the brush’s No Hair Wrap feature, which prevents these issues. Plus, it includes odor-neutralizer technology to prevent foul smells.

Similar to the Corded Stick Vacuum, it lights up the path, guaranteeing no dirt is overlooked, and can help unveil specks you never knew existed. The canister bin and HEPA filter work together to seal 99.99% of all the dirt, which is ideal for those who are sensitive to dust and allergies. After detaching it from the stick, it’s easy to empty the Easy-Empty Dust Cup with a click of a button and dispense it into the trash.

The same detachable part of the vacuum allows you to carry it around effortlessly, using the multiple heads provided, without the need to roll the stick around. These heads include a crevice tool, upholstery tool, and HairPro self-cleaning pet power brush

Overall, I highly recommend this vacuum for individuals tasked with cleaning expansive areas, as its corded design ensures it never runs out of battery. While you may need to unplug and replug it as you move between rooms, you won’t encounter the frustration of a dead battery cutting your cleaning session short after a mere 15 minutes.

Product details: What’s in the box: 
The Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum, Crevice Tool, Upholstery Tool, HairPro Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush, Odor Neutralizer Technology Cartridge, and Owner’s Manual. | Dimensions: 11.02 inches (length)
12.2 x inches (width) x 46.46 inches (height) | Weight: 17.2 pounds

Shark Cyclone™ PET Handheld Vacuum


  • Great for portability
  • Very lightweight


  • Suction power is not as powerful as the other Sharks we reviewed

Not exactly life-changing, but it offers good suction power for a handheld. With USB charging, it’s perfect for keeping in your car or for quick cleanups around your kids’ table after yet another Cheerio toss.

At a mere 1.6 pounds, it’s effortlessly portable and features an extra-large cup for ample dirt storage. Thanks to its easy-to-use dirt ejection system, emptying it is a breeze. The washable filter adds to its convenience by allowing for reuse.

One standout feature is the eight-inch crevice tool, perfect for retrieving forgotten snacks from between couch cushions. Additionally, the PetExtra Hair Tool excels at removing embedded pet hair from textured fabrics, making it a versatile cleaning companion.

Product details: What’s in the box: Shark Cyclone PET Handheld Vacuum, PetExtract™ Hair Tool, 8-inch Crevice Tool | Dimensions: 16.34 inches (length) 3.5 x inches (width) 4.33 x inches (height) | Weight: 1.51 pounds 

Shark - Rotator with PowerFins HairPro and Odor Neutralizer Technology Upright Vacuum - Charcoal
Best Buy


  • Great for covering lots of ground
  • Powerful suction


  • It weighs a little over 15 pounds, so can be heavy for some

This is a classic, standard corded vacuum from Shark — a no-frills option that gets the job done, covering 12.05 inches in width. It features a convenient lever on the handle for adjusting suction power from minimal to maximum. Additionally, when you switch the vacuum on, you can select between hard floor or carpet settings.

I appreciate the swivel steering. Despite its bulkier build, this vacuum remains remarkably flexible. It also features a 12-foot extendable hose, perfect for tackling stairs and reaching between cushions with ease, along with the eighteen-inch crevice tool attachment and pet multi-tool.

It’s excellent for covering multiple rooms at once with its 25.69-inch cord and holds a significant amount of dirt in the 3XL-capacity dust cup, which empties with ease. However, unlike the Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum, the Rotator doesn’t detach from the stick for walkability.

This limitation might hinder access to areas where the stick can’t reach, but that’s where the 12-inch hose comes in handy. Ultimately, it’s all about prioritizing what matters most to you when selecting the right vacuum.

It also features an Anti-Allergen Complete Seal with HEPA filtration system for enhanced air quality and allergy relief.

Product details: What’s in the box: Shark – Rotator Vacuum, 18-inch Crevice Tool, a Pet Multi-Tool, Odor Neutralizer Technology Cartridge | Dimensions: 14.92 inches (length) x 12.05 inches (width) x 45.2 inches (height) | Weight: 15.18 pounds

Shark 1 Gallon Portable Wet Dry Vacuum with Self-Cleaning and Ultra-Powerful Suction for Pets, Cars, and Tough Messes


  • Can transition from dry to wet seamlessly
  • Cleans large chunky spills other vacuums can’t tackle


  • Cannot transition from wet to dry without allowing it to air out

The MessMaster Portable 15-foot corded vacuum is equipped with versatile extensions, allowing you to assemble it into an extended stick-like vacuum with various attachments for different cleaning needs. Its thoughtful design includes onboard storage for attachments, ensuring you always know where they are and eliminating the frustration of searching through the basement.

The lid is effortlessly removable, facilitating thorough drying after each use. Its powerful suction power tackles debris, liquid spills, and even stubborn messes like pet accidents or child mishaps.

In households with kids or pets, the MessMaster Portable vacuum seamlessly transitions from tackling dry to wet messes. I needed to suck up water from my shower before cocking the trim. It really helped speed things along, saving me time. You can place a small garbage bag inside the bin for dry messes for quick and easy cleanup. But remove it before you start sucking up moist-like objects or liquid.

The efficiency with which it extracts liquid straight from a bucket of water is impressive. In an emergency, it could be invaluable for dealing with basement flooding until you can fully address the situation. This prevents mold and other issues from taking hold.

It’s essential to be mindful of the liquid bin’s marked line, indicating when it requires emptying. While it smoothly handles the shift from dry to wet cleaning tasks, that’s not true when going wet to dry.

It’s important to allow it to air out before transitioning back to cleaning hardwood or carpet messes in a dry state. This precaution ensures optimal performance and durability.

Product details: What’s in the box: MessMaster Vacuum, Squeegee Tool, Carpet Tool, Crevice Tool, & Extension Wand | Dimensions: 10.5 inches (length) x 16.5 inches (width) x 13.5 inches (height) | Weight: 9.8 pounds

Shark - Detect Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum, QuadClean Multi-Surface Brushroll, HEPA Filter, Detect Technology - White/Beats Brass
Best Buy


  • Good for multiple floor types
  • Quiet (for a vacuum)
  • HEPA filter


  • Base only stores nozzle attachment

I don’t love cleaning, so I like a vacuum that makes things as easy as possible. Since I live in an apartment, I’ve generally owned cheap, lightweight stick vacs that can easily fit in a corner. The problem with these types of machines is that they’re not great at grabbing the dirt you can’t see.

All I have to do is look at the bottom of my white socks to know how dirty my floors actually are — embarrassing and gross! What attracted me to testing the Shark Detect Pro is that one) I know the brand is trusted for stellar vacuums and two) this model is slim enough to be tucked in a NYC closet or the corner of my kitchen without looking unsightly.

The directions it comes with are straightforward, and a nozzle tool and brush tool are also included. The handle converts into a handheld vacuum (good for sofas), and the nozzle is my go-to for corners because I’m not the get-on-my-hands-and-knees-to-scrub type of gal.

The vacuum is lightweight, which is nice if your home has stairs. It also automatically detects dirt levels and adjusts its suction based on what’s around. I don’t have to do multiple passes with the machine to make sure an area is spotless, and the head swivels for easy turns around corners. It’s good on floors (all types) and decent on low-pile carpets, but if yours are visibly dirty, you’re probably better off with a proper carpet cleaner.

Oddly, the thing I like best is its charging base. It’s very futuristic-looking and compact, fitting nicely against the wall. If I could make any improvements to the overall design, I’d make it so the head had enough suction power to get the crevices by the wall. Switching tools out can be annoying. However, it still works well at getting a dirty job done fast, and I’m happy to have it.

This part of the review was tested by Holly Coley, commerce editor at The Post.

Product details: What’s in the box: Vacuum, Charging base, 8-inch Crevice tool, Removable battery, Storage clip | Dimensions| 13.9 inches (length)  x 10.4 inches (width)  x 43 inches (height) | Weight: 6 pounds

How we tested

A dog and Shark vacuums
Emma Sutton-Williams

In our pursuit of the best Shark vacuum cleaners, we have diligently compared them side by side over the past several days, diligently evaluating various factors, including charging time, battery life, cord reach, suction strength, and dustbin capacity.

Suction Power: Our aim was to determine whether each vacuum could deliver a thorough clean with just one pass and to assess the amount of dirt it effectively picked up.

Value: We sought to ascertain whether the performance of each vacuum justified its price tag, factoring this into our decision-making process.

Ease of Use: Each vacuum underwent testing across diverse terrains, ranging from hardwood floors to thick carpeting.

Weight: As part of our evaluation process, we considered each vacuum’s weight and potential impact on individuals with lifting disabilities, as well as dimensions to provide accurate assessments of the best options available for all.

FAQ on Shark Vacuums

We consulted expert Chris Doscher from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to provide insights on determining the ideal vacuum weight for your needs. Additionally, we conducted extensive research and testing to offer further insights and recommendations.

What factors should I consider when choosing a Shark vacuum, and what weight range would you consider ideal for optimal usability?

“It’s hard to say what a “good weight” is, but the weight of the vacuum is important to consider when you are selecting a model. Ask the retailer if you can try the vacuum to make sure you are comfortable pushing, pulling and lifting it,” Doscher said. “Remember, you won’t just be cleaning with a vacuum, you will also be carrying it upstairs and between rooms. Weight probably isn’t as much of an issue with stick and handheld vacuums, which tend to be lighter than canister and upright models, but you should still make sure you will be comfortable using the vacuum. Often, people will have multiple vacuums. For example, they will have a corded upright for cleaning carpet, and a lighter stick vacuum for jobs like cleaning up around the table after dinner.”

Which Shark vacuums are good for hardwood floors versus thick carpets?

“For a versatile option that excels on both hardwood floors and carpets, the Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum is recommended. Its detachable part accepts attachments, making it ideal for multi-use and hard-to-reach places,” Doscher told The Post.

“Additionally, the Shark Stratos Corded Stick Vacuum offers exceptional suction power for various surfaces, including high-pile carpets, although its smaller canister requires more frequent emptying. The corded Shark Rotator Upright Vacuum ZU102 is another great choice, providing adjustable suction power and efficient cleaning for both hard floors and carpets, with a HEPA filtration system for allergen-free air. For smaller spaces like apartments, the Shark Tech Pro Cordless is convenient, easily stored, and efficient for quick clean-ups.”

Is there a specific Shark vacuum best for multi-use and hard-to-reach places?

“The Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum stands out for its versatility and maneuverability, with a detachable part that accepts attachments. This feature makes it ideal for multi-use and reaching difficult spots, suitable for cleaning hardwood, tile, and carpet efficiently,” Doscher explained.

Which Shark vacuum offers exceptional suction power for high-pile carpets?

“The Shark Stratos Corded Stick Vacuum is designed with exceptional suction power that effortlessly tackles various surfaces, including high-pile carpets,” said Doscher. “Its PowerFins Hairpro attachment effectively removes embedded hairs, making it suitable for thorough cleaning on multi-surfaces.”

What Shark vacuum is recommended for large homes with multiple rooms?

“The corded Shark Rotator Upright Vacuum ZU102 is highly recommended for large homes due to its adjustable suction power, versatile cleaning options for both hard floors and carpets, and large dust cup capacity. Its long extendable hose and HEPA filtration system ensure efficient cleaning across multiple rooms while maintaining allergen-free air,” Doscher said.

Which Shark vacuum is suitable for apartments and tight spaces?

“The Shark Tech Pro Cordless is a great choice for apartments and tight spaces where quick and efficient cleaning is needed,” said Doscher. “Its cordless design allows for easy maneuverability and storage in closets, making it convenient for small living spaces.”

Why is the Shark Cyclone PET Handheld Vacuum highly recommended for spot cleaning and keeping in the car?

“The Shark Cyclone PET Handheld Vacuum is perfect for spot cleaning due to its portable design and powerful suction. Additionally, its compact size and cordless nature make it convenient to keep in the car, ensuring that cleaning out messes over time is not an ordeal,” Doscher said.

What vacuum is best for large spills?

“The Shark MessMaster Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum VS101, with its versatile extensions and powerful suction, excels at tackling both dry and wet messes, making it the top choice for households with kids or pets,” Doscher explained.

What’s the best vacuum if you’re short on time?

“The Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1 Self-Empty Robot Vacuum and Mop offers features like object detection and avoidance, precise home mapping, traps dust and allergens effectively, and includes dual mop and vacuum capabilities,” said Doscher.

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