Shark has taken the corded vacuum market by storm, with the brand claiming to produce half of plug-in upright models sold in British shops - and receiving rave reviews from Which? members. Now, it's targeting the cordless market.
The Shark IZ300UK, the brand's latest cordless model, aims to challenge Dyson's dominance by providing convenient cord-free cleaning, but at a cheaper price.
We took the Shark for a spin to discover how well it cleans, whether it's easy to use and what else you should expect if you splash out on the £399 vacuum.
According to Shark, the IZ300UK has 50% more suction power than its predecessor, the . It's a welcome development, as our tests revealed the IZ201UK lacks cleaning power on carpets and is ineffective on lower power settings.
The latest Shark also comes with PowerFins - essentially a re-designed hard roller built to suck up ingrained dust from deep within carpets and target stubborn dirt on hard floors.
This is the first Shark to have a digital display; one of the hallmarks of a premium vac.
You use the display to select the cleaning mode (hard floors or carpets), control the suction power (there are three power levels: eco, standard and boost) and check the battery status.
And unlike the Dyson, the display doesn't work while the vacuum is charging. So you have to rely on three less precise indicator lights on the battery to know when it's fully charged.
Like many of Shark's corded and cordless models, the IZ300UK is fitted with a flexible cleaning tube called Flexology. This means the vacuum conveniently slots underneath coffee tables and sofas, helping you clean those hard-to-reach areas.
It also allows you to fold the cleaning tube for compact storage.
It comes with just two accessories: a crevice tool and a two-in-one upholstery nozzle and dusting brush. Lots of premium cordless vacuums come with several more accessories, including a mini turbo brush - which is handy for giving awkward spots a thorough clean.
However, you can get extra tools if you're willing to spend more. The pet variant (the Shark IZ300UKT) comes with a mini turbo brush, while the IZ320UKT comes with the same turbo brush plus an extra battery, letting you clean for twice as long without recharging.
It's worth noting, though, that it can be cheaper to buy accessories separately. For example, the mini turbo brush costs £29.99 on the Shark website, so you might be better off avoiding the IZ300UKT and instead buying the cheaper IZ300UK and mini turbo brush separately.
The Shark makes a lot of noise, so it's not a good choice if you tend to vacuum while others are asleep or working from home - even if they're on the other side of the house.
It's somewhat quieter in eco mode, but both the floor head and motor are still notably louder than some other cordless vacuums we've trialled.
The IZ300UK is much cheaper than the latest cordless Dyson, the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute, but there's no doubt that Shark is pitching its tanks on Dyson's lawn.
You can see how they compare in terms of tech specs in the table below, or use the links in the table to click through to our full reviews of each model.
|Bagged or bagless||Bagless||Bagless|
|Dust capacity (litres)||0.7 *||0.9|
|Weight (kg)||4.6 *||3.3|
|Charging time||4 hours *||4 hours 1 minute|
|Maximum run time||60 minutes *||84 minutes|
|Guarantee length||Five years (if registered on the Shark website within 28 days, only covers the battery for the first two years)||Two years|
* Manufacturer claim (not independently verified by Which?).
Shark vacuums are often on sale but that doesn't necessarily mean you're getting a good deal - some 'before' prices are dubious, as you'll almost always find it at a cheaper price.
We've also found that some retailers hike their prices up in the build up to Black Friday, creating the illusion of bigger savings on the day.
Prices correct as of 3 November 2021.