Best Shark vacuum 2021: our top 8, reviewed

Pick up the best Shark vacuum cleaner with our reviews of the top 8 cordless and upright models, featuring pet tools and LiftAway
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  • Looking for the best Shark vacuum? We’ve reviewed many of these top picks, including upright and cordless models, to help you make your decision. While the best Shark vacuum can be tricky to choose thanks to the sheer amount of models on the market, there are some key things to consider before making your choice that will narrow down your options.

    See also: the best cordless vacuum cleaners

    There’s a reason that the best Shark vacuum cleaners also feature heavily in our guide to the best vacuum cleaners overall, because while the price can vary massively, we have always enjoyed the quality and innovation you’ll get with a Shark vacuum. Design perks such as the DuoClean brush head, which toggles between carpet and hard floors with the touch of a button, and Flexology, which easily pivots to reach under furniture, will make an instant difference in your cleaning routine.

    Many Shark vacuum cleaners have the same base model and come with a range of optional attachments that will change the product name and the colour. For example, the IZ300UK becomes the IZ300UKT when you opt for the model with a pet attachment, or the IZ320UK when you opt for the model that includes a second battery. Below, you will find the specific Shark vacuums reviews for certain models we’ve tried.

    What is the best Shark vacuum in 2021?

    The Shark IZ300UK Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner gets our vote for the best Shark vacuum you can buy for the year ahead. It’s jam-packed with all the tech spec you could possibly need to keep your home looking spick-and-span with relatively little effort. Got pets? It’s a good choice for taming pet hair, too, without running the risk of the floorhead bristles getting in a tangle.

    Best Shark vacuum 2021

    1. Shark IZ300UK Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

    Best Shark vacuum cleaner

    Shark IZ300UK Ideal Home approved

    Cordless? Yes
    Dust tank capacity: 0.7 litres
    Weight: 4.58 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Deep and effective cleaning
    • Nifty storage
    • Immense power
    • Smart charging
    Reasons to avoid:

    • No pet attachment (although it still did a great job on hair)

    The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins & Flexology is one of Shark’s latest releases, and boy did it wow us when we took it for a spin. Firstly, it feels incredibly sturdy and well-made, with a separate charger for up to two batteries at a time, meaning you can double your runtime for larger homes.

    Switching between carpet and had floors is very easy thanks to the DuoClean brushrolls, which switch over with the touch of a button. It’s also possible to go between three power levels, although we found the lowest level perfectly strong enough for the majority of tasks.

    At under 5kg it’s a sturdy but not too hefty model, and if you struggle with storage, you’ll enjoy the fact that the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins & Flexology hinges forwards to fold when stored. It does have a smart touchpad at the top of the vacuum that shows battery level very clearly, too.

    The newer feature that Shark added to the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins & Flexology is its PowerFins tech. These are essentially flexible silicone paddles that dig deep into carpets and effectively pick up dirt from right down at the base of rugs and carpets. This was immensely successful at picking up pet hair and dust that we didn’t even know was there. Opt for the Shark IZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner for a double-battery model, or the regular Shark IZ300UK  if you’re happy with just the one battery.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    See our Shark IZ300UK Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner review

    2. Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

    Best Shark vacuum cleaner for serious power

    Shark Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner [ICZ300UKT] Anti Hair Wrap, PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away, Pet Hair, Blue

    Cordless? Yes
    Dust tank capacity: 0.6 litres
    Weight: 6.2 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Very strong on pet hair
    • Has the power of a corded vacuum
    • Long battery life
    • Lift away to clean stairs or cars

    Reasons to avoid:

    • It’s hefty

    Another recent drop from Shark, the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away & TruePet has everything you need to stay on top of the busiest of homes, in a cordless model. Shark claims that it has all the power of a corded vacuum cleaner but in cordless form, and we couldn’t agree more. It’s got DuoClean which makes switching modes immensely straightforward, and the controls make it easy to see how much battery you have left. To charge, simply lift out the battery on the side of the dust tank and pop it into its charging port.

    The vacuum has lights that illuminate its path, and it left a visible path of clean carpet when we took it through the floor around the bed of a fluffy black labrador. Very impressive, so prepare to remember what colour your carpet was when you moved in!

    At over 6kg the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner with PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away & TruePet is quite heavy, but it does have the Powered Lift-Away to make it easier to tackle stairs and upholstery. Another minor gripe was the small dust tank, which fills up very quickly indeed when you’re dealing with pet hair. The battery life does extend to around one hour though, so this Shark cordless can tackle your entire home in one go.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Read our full Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner review

    3. Shark Anti Hair Wrap & DuoClean Cordless Vacuum Cleaner IZ251UKTDB

    Best Shark vacuum cleaner for attachment options

    SHARK Flexology True Pet Anti Hair Wrap IZ251UKTDB Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

    Cordless? Yes
    Dust tank capacity: 0.7 litres
    Weight: 4.1 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Mega long run-time
    • Good set of attachments
    • A good choice for homes with pets

    Reasons to avoid:

    • A little noisy
    • Can be tricky to manoeuvre directly under furniture

    Whether you have a home with pets or feel more confident with a cordless vacuum that holds a long runtime then this vac would be a good shout for your needs. Shark seem to have ploughed all their top tech into this model which makes it a solid contender for the main vacuum cleaner in the house, not just the back up.

    It delivered pretty consistent results on the flooring, leaving carpet – including on the stairs – tiles, and parquet clean. The DuoClean floorhead had a big part to play in this as it can easily transition across the various floor types, on which its twin bristle brushes work their magic. Anti Hair Wrap – a feature designed to stop hair accumulating around the brush roll – had some impressive results, too. This meant that neither human hair nor the hair of small furry housemates lodged itself around the brushes of the floorhead or the motorised pet tool.

    The relatively new innovation to Shark’s portfolio is Flexology which allows the wand to go from straight to angled, is a feature which we highly rate. It means that you can get your vac under the beds and various items of furniture that are raised up on legs. What we found, however, is that the floorhead wasn’t as easy to direct accurately as is the case when it’s used with the rigid wand.

    Even if you prefer to use a smaller, handheld vacuum cleaner, the IZ251UKTDB has got you covered. We found that when equipped with the motorised pet tool it did an extremely thorough job and was easy to use on steps, even those awkwardly shaped.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    4. Shark IZ201UK Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

    Best Shark vacuum for pet hair

    Shark IZ201UK Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

    Cordless? Yes
    Dust tank capacity: 0.7 litres
    Weight: 4.1 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Lightweight
    • Ideal for pet hair
    • Very easy to manoever

    Reasons to avoid:

    • Quite noisy

    The Shark IZ201UK Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is one of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair on the market. It has a 0.7 litre dustbin which, while not the largest, is adequate for cleaning most homes without the need to empty mid-way. We also enjoy how lightweight it is, at just over 4 kg.

    This vacuum is good on both carpet and hard floors, but we found that the latter just slightly held the edge. It offers flexology, which simply means that you can pivot the vacuum under furniture thanks to the elbow-style latch. The anti-hair wrap is a bristle guard and comb which separates and removes hair from the brush roll as you go. This does an exceptional job not just on pet hair, but on human hair too.

    Attachments include a crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tool which is perfect for stairs and sofas. The vacuum can convert into a handheld too, so you can use these attachments in a range of modes. Of course, opting for a more expensive Shark vacuum will deliver more attachments and extras such as DuoClean, Shark’s self-adjusting brushroll, but this is a great pick for budget-friendly, high-powered cleaning.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    5. Shark Handheld Cordless Pet Vacuum Cleaner CH950UKT

    Best handheld Shark vacuum cleaner

    Shark CH950UKT Cordless Handheld Pet Vacuum Cleaner

    Cordless? Yes
    Dust tank capacity: 0.45 litres
    Weight: 1.39 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Great suction
    • Versatile
    • Lightweight
    • Good on pet hair

    Reasons to avoid:

    • Battery life may not be long enough for everyone

    If you’ve got pets around the home then this handheld vacuum cleaner is a must to have handy for those quick tidy ups. It’s cordless which always helps with moving around the home (and car) quickly since you’re not tethered to a plug. And the (more than) 10 minutes battery life is suffice enough for sweeping up dust, and crumbs and taming those stray hairs which seem to get anywhere and everywhere. Oh and did we mention, it’s our top pick of the best handheld vacuum cleaners, too.

    Something which our reviewer was impressed by during testing was that the diminishing battery did not affect the suction of this vac. The only way you knew that it was about to run its course was the flashing blue power button, which did go a-miss in a few instances when vacuuming-away. Although it would always be helpful to have more charge, this one does only take four hours to fully charge or less if you just want to quickly finish what you started.

    Maintaining this handheld vacuum will just mean that the 0.45L capacity will need emptying as and when it gets full of fluff. And the dust cup and filter can be washed with water from the tap.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    6. Shark DuoClean Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Lift-Away and TruePet NV702UKT

    Best Shark upright vacuum with a cord

    SHARK DuoClean Lift-Away True Pet NV702UKT Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

    Cordless? No
    Dust tank capacity: 0.3 litres
    Weight: 5.25 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Pet-friendly
    • Can be used on all floor types
    • Available in a lovely colour

    Reasons to avoid:

    • Some may prefer cordless

    For those of us who find comfort in being plugged into the mains as we vacuum our homes, this Shark vacuum could well be the best option for you. It’s a good combination of where a stick vacuum meets a 8 metre-length cord which ultimately means no charging, whilst still being lightweight.

    It’s designed to deal with daily cleaning challenges and is one which will effortlessly navigate around furniture with enhanced swivel steering. This means that furniture and other obstacles will be no mean feat for this one to work around. And the DuoClean floorhead – as with the others in this guide – will mean that the two motorised brush-rolls work together in one floorhead to clean all floor types. But then if you need a more portable vacuum cleaner then you can transform this vac with just the push of a button. This is with thanks to Powered Lift-Away which is super handy for using the suite of attachments to refresh upholstery or vacuum skirting boards.

    One of the attachments which comes with this Shark vacuum is the pet tool. As with many of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair, it’s purposely designed to draw out embedded hair from rugs, blankets and anywhere else your four-legged-friend likes to reside. Allergens, such as pet dander, can also be tamed with the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal which captures and traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum rather than releasing them back into the air.

    Ideal Home rated 4 out of 5 stars

    7. Shark Anti Hair Wrap XL with Powered Lift-Away AZ950UK upright vacuum cleaner

    Best Shark vacuum with large floorhead

    SHARK DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti Hair Wrap AZ950UK Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

    Cordless? No
    Dust tank capacity: 1.65 litres
    Weight: 7.5 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Large capacity
    • Easy to empty
    • Onboard tools
    • DuoClean makes it easy to switch

    Reasons to avoid:

    • Heavy

    Last but by no means least on our list is this Shark vacuum which boasts one of the largest dust capacities with Powered Lift-Away. It’ll give you the freedom to clean more without you feeling the need to continuously empty it thanks to its mega 1.65 litres which is available to be filled. Although it is a corded vac, the 8 metre-long cable will give you an adequate radius to work your way around the various floors in the home.

    To help lift as much as possible as quickly as possible from the flooring is the DuoClean floorhead which has been enhanced with Anti Hair-Wrap technology. This will actively remove hair from both the bristles in the floor head so you don’t need to worry about de-tangling any locks at the end of each clean. This is ideal for long hair, short hair and pet hair.

    There’s a suite of onboard tools which can be used when the vac is transformed into a portable vacuum cleaner. And as an extra level of added reassurance for allergy sufferers, there’s Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal which will help to keep the air you breathe clean after a vacuum.

    Ideal Home rated 4 out of 5 stars

    8. Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away and TruePet cordless vacuum cleaner IC160UKT

    Best Shark vacuum with Powered Lift-Away


    Cordless? Yes
    Dust tank capacity: 0.6 litres
    Weight: 5.7 kg
    Reasons to buy:

    • Great suction
    • Floor illumination
    • Battery can be charged out of vac

    Reasons to avoid:

    • Doesn’t cope too well with long pet hair

    If you have moulting moggies in the home then we can vouch that this Shark vacuum will do your carpets and hard flooring justice. Just as with the vacuum cleaner above, it has a DuoClean floorhead which can alternate between floor types with just a push of the carpet or floor button located above the on button. Our reviewer found that it had some rather pleasing results, especially on restoring flattened carpet pile.

    The Powered Lift-Away feature that comes in with this vac means that the pod comes away from the stick so there’s only the small pod to hold or set down, and the wand – also detachable – to do the job with. There’s a button to also make this happen which is another positive because that’s one of the many good things about Shark – they make using your new (and old) vacuum cleaner super easy. This is echoed by the ability to remove the battery for charging which helps with storage because you can put the main unit away whilst just keeping the battery out. Ingenious.

    Arriving equipped with a suite of attachments to include a crevice tool, dusting brush, wide upholstery tool and a motorised pet tool (that’s the TruePet) you’ll be able to tackle all areas of the home by attaching these to either the vac’s wand or handle. For pet owners you’ll be interested to know that the pet tool will deal with hair that’s got itself knitted into upholstery (including in the car, dog owners!) and stair carpet. This performed really well on the upholstery but longer cat or dog hair does get tangled somewhat in the brushes.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    How to choose the best Shark vacuum

    There are a few terms you’ll need to grasp before you choose your Shark vacuum.

    • LiftAway offers a removable central canister that can be lifted around to clean stairs and upholstery. This makes is easier to access tough spots, even cars.
    • Flexology means your vacuum can be pivoted under furniture using an elbow hinge at the centre of the tube. It saves you from bending and reaching, but it’s only available on cordless vacuums.
    • Anti Hair Wrap offers a self-cleaning brush roll thanks to an in-built comb. This removes pet and human hair before it gets the chance to get tangled.
    • DuoClean is Shark’s self-adjusting brush roll that automatically adapts to carpet and hard floor without you having to switch over.
    • PowerFins are Shark’s newest invention. These silicone attachments sit on the carpet brushrool of your Shark vacuum to reach even deeper into your rug and stair runners, picking up more dirt in a single pass.

    How we test Shark vacuums

    We really like to get a hands-on experience with the products which we feature across the Future Homes titles. It means that we get to understand more about what you are getting for your money.

    Each time we hear of a new vacuum cleaner that’s been added to the brand’s portfolio, or we see one with outstanding user reviews, we just have to try it out. You can read what we really thought about each model in the descriptions in this guide where you’ll also see our marks out of five. Each one with descriptions like these have been tested for a number of weeks (sometime months) so they’ve been faced with some real-life challenges. In some instances we’re even fortunate enough to be able to keep the vacuum cleaners so the test is always ongoing, if you like.

    Everything has been considered during our in-depth reviews. Factors such as manoeuvrability, run-time, emptying of the canister (or bag) and general controls. In any instance where we have been unable to review but couldn’t miss not featuring the vacuum cleaner in this guide, we’ve taken into account feedback from other users who have left reviews on the website where they’ve bought it from.

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