The best Shark vacuum cleaner is, as far as many people are concerned, the best vac overall. Other brands may be more high-tone and some are cheaper, but it's doubtful that any home cleaning products are as well specced, well built and keenly priced as the best Shark vacuums. They aren't 'cheap' as such but they offer excellent value for money. There's lots of choice too, with a dazzling array of corded, cordless, upright, cylinder and handheld vacs on offer from Shark.
The Shark is not the only vacuum cleaner in the, er, sea however. We have a full guide to the best cordless vacuum cleaners and also a list of the best Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) – Shark's arch enemy. Then there are top 10 lists os the best car vacuums, the best handheld vacs, a guide to finding the best robot vacuum cleaner and, of course, the best vacuum cleaner overall. Nothing exists in a vacuum, after all. Ho ho!
One final thing: those in search of a Shark bargain should try our Shark discount codes guide. Shark vacuum cleaners are practically always discounted somewhere –it feels like Amazon has Shark deals every day (opens in new tab) for instance – and a voucher code could be the icing on top of that particular cake.
The best Shark vacuum cleaners we've tried
It's hard to be 100% certain, but other than a certain vacuum cleaner with a smiley face on, we suspect this is the biggest selling vacuum cleaner in the UK. It's always prominently featured at Amazon and elsewhere and gets regular discounts – the current best prices should be listed above. This vac, which rejoices in the full title of Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and Duo-CLean NZ850UK is a worthy top-seller if so.
The NZ850UK powers across hard floors and carpets alike, thanks to the Duo-Clean head. It can also dive under beds, sofas and anything on legs thanks to a tube that 'bends' once you release a clasp. This looks quite comical but it is extremely effective for getting to otherwise hard-to-reach areas. The Anti Hair Wrap tech does what it says pretty effectively, making this an ideal vac for anyone with pets or human companions with long hair.
The 'Powered Lift Away' feature, which is meant to transform it from an upright to a kind of cylinder vac for doing stairs, upholstery and drapes is not entirely successful, it must be said. It's heavy to lift in its 'cylinder' form and has no wheels, and the mechanism is a little clunky. Even so, it does make this excellent, powerful, upright vac even more versatile. For the price, and with numerous testaments to its quality and longevity viewable online, it's no wonder it's such a success.
You can find out (even) more in our full Shark NZ850UK review.
Shark has a vacuum cleaner to suit most budgets and needs, and while Shark's more upmarket IZ320UK has greater power than the IZ201UK shown here, it's also a lot more expensive, on the whole. Despite its very reasonable price, the IZ201 has the same Duo-Clean head and Flexology 'bendy' tube as the flagship NZ850UK at #1. Unlike that, it transforms very quickly and easily from handheld to stick vac, so you can go from doing floors to curtains to shelves with great aplomb.
The battery life, as usual for a cordless vac, is not amazing. The quoted maximum 40 minutes is on eco mode, with the duster or crevice heads only – you're looking at more like 5-10 minutes on full power, with the Duo-Clean. However, that is perfectly sufficient for the needs of people in flats, smaller houses and those who like to clean 'little but often'. Shark offers various bundles with extra batteries, should you be worried that you need more.
If you want to pay a bit more, in order to get more power than the IZ201 can muster, look no further than the IZ320UK. Due to Shark's 'never knowingly not cutting prices' approach, you can often pick this up with a second battery thrown in for the same price as an IZ320UK with only one battery. Crazy, huh? Whatever colour, bundle or non-bundle form it comes in, the bottom line is that the IZ320UK gives you Dyson V15-like cleaning, usually at a lower price. It lacks the Dyson's finesse, and ease of bin emptying, and feels less lightweight in the hand – oh and unlike the V15 Detect there's no laser on this one, of course, although there is a very good headlamp. However, for the price those are quite minor quibbles.
The main step up on the IZ320UK when compared to the IZ201UK is that I felt very relaxed about vacuuming carpets and mucky hard floors with this on Eco mode rather than Boost. That means the real-life battery life is much longer, even if you don't opt for the two-battery incarnation of the IZ320UK.
Shark's frequent discounts mean that while this slightly less powerful sibling to the NZ850UK is not always noticeably cheaper than it. However, if it is on sale at a lower price it's well worth considering, since it has the same great Duo-Clean head, bendy Flexology tube and largely successful Anti Hair Wrap technologies built in. It is slightly less powerful, but if your household is largely hard floors and small-ish rugs, you may not notice much difference. You can find out all about this vac in our Shark NZ801UKT review.
This handsome looking Shark is more like a Dyson than many Shark vacs. It's a lightweight handheld that doubles as a pretty useful stick vac and it's also quite an attractive thing which is not something you can say about Shark's older vacs.
Not only that, but it comes with one of Shark's patented anti hairwrap cleaning heads, as well as a dusting brush and a small powered tool. Battery life of 16 minutes at most – more like 6-8 minutes if you're using one of the motorised heads and in Boost mode – isn't amazing. However, it's also by no means terrible, and what's really impressive here is that you actually get two batteries in this package. That's very good VFM, if you ask me, but if you want to get the price even lower you can opt for the WV361UK, which is the same great vac but with only one battery included.
The down sides to this dual purpose WandVac are that is makes a rather shrill noise when doing its work, and has a bin that is considerably more annoying to empty than Dyson's one. Given how much cheaper it usually is, you may find you can live with those minor shortcomings though. The handy docking station is another solid plus point.
Shark has cornered the market in upright vacuum cleaners but it's still a little surprising that its first ever cylinder vacs only emerged last year. There are three cylinder options now, and this is the top-of-the-range daddy Shark. We have only had a fairly brief demo of this one so far but it looks highly impressive, and online user reviews are positive.
Again, the full gamut of Shark cleaning technologies are rolled out here: Flexology to get under wardrobes, Duo Clean for better cleaning on carpets and hard floors alike, Anti Hair Wrap for stopping hair from getting wrapped around the cleaning brush, and a nice bright headlamp so you can see where to clean next. There is plenty of praise online for the cleaning power of the Shark CZ500UKT, although the long and heavy wand does seem sub-optimal for cleaning curtains and ceiling crannies.
Shark has been making this handheld for quite a while now but it still stands up. Someone I know actually uses one to clean up after his rabbit, which is an unusual test for a vacuum cleaner, but one which it passes with aplomb. As with the Roidmi, the great thing about this mini Shark – which is a scaled down version of the WandVac 2-in-1 above – is its sheer compactness. Perhaps because it's a little older, Shark's ultra-miniature vac isn't quite as good at sucking up debris as the Roidmi but it performs a lot better than you'd expect. You just have to be realistic about what something of this size is likely to achieve, ie: it'll do sugar and dust and rabbit poop, but it will struggle with larger debris and long pet hairs.
Yes, the bin is absolutely tiny and the battery life isn't very long. However, 8 minutes – the maximum battery life – is quite enough for most tasks you would use the WandVac 1.0 for. And if it's not, Shark also does a version with two batteries included so you can really go to town on your handheld cleaning.