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18 November 2020

Shark vacuum buying guide - how to choose and how to get the best price

Our expert guide on shopping for Shark vacuums. Find out what the options are, whether a Shark vacuum is right for you and how to get the best price
Joel Bates

There are a wide variety of Shark vacuum cleaners to choose from, all with different features and accessories - which means it can quickly become confusing when trying to work out which ones are worth buying, and the best value.

We reveal which Shark vacuums have performed best in our independent vacuum tests, how reliable they are, and how to make sense of pricing and model variations and find the best Shark vacuum for you at the best price.



Are Shark vacuums any good?

We’ve tested most of the Shark range and uncovered some great vacuums, although others haven't proved so impressive. 

As well as the cleaning performance, which Shark is right for you depends on the size of your home, your budget and what kind of surfaces you need to clean. 

Corded models are generally cheaper than cordless – around £250 or less. Most Shark cordless vacuums are around £350.

You can compare the full range and find the best for you with our independent Shark vacuum cleaner reviews and Shark cordless vacuum reviews.

Shark vs rivals: what features set it apart?

Going toe to toe with big competitors such as Dyson, Samsung and Miele, Shark vacuums tend to have attention-grabbing features:

  • 'Duoclean' technology - all the latest Shark vacuums have two counter-rotating brush bars in the main floorhead. This is becoming more common and is said to help capture both larger debris and fine dust across different floor surfaces.
  • Flexology - this is a flexible hinge built into the cleaning tube that will bend so you can reach under furniture (and fold the vac over for easier storage). Dyson has recently started including a ‘Reach under tool’ attachment with its cordless vacuum to compete with this feature.
  • Lift-Away - lets you detach and lift the dust container to make it easier to clean areas such as stairs or high-up places with the flexible cleaning tube. 
  • LED headlights - you’ll be surprised at how many extra bits of dirt and debris you’ll spot during vacuuming with LED headlights on the floorhead. Plenty of cheaper competitors have this feature, though Dyson doesn't.
  • Anti Hair Wrap - this handy feature uses a comb at the back of the floorhead to pull hair from the brush bar during use and send it up into the dust container - helping you avoid a tangled brush bar (which reduces suction and is a hassle to clean).
  • Five-year warranty - most vacuum cleaners come with a one or two-year warranty, but Shark has a market-leading five-year warranty, even on its cordless models.
  • Attractive sale prices - Shark vacuum prices can jump around a bit, but when the good deals are on they can be very cheap indeed. Some cost less than £150 when on sale, so make sure to shop around for the best deals to make sure you don’t miss out.

Shark vs Dyson - get the full lowdown on how the rival vacuum brands compare

How to get the best deal on a Shark vacuum

Shark vacuum prices often fluctuate by hundreds of pounds.

We’ve found older models can sometimes cost more than newer ones, and entry-level models can be on sale for a higher price than the pet version, despite coming with fewer accessories.

To help you get the best price, we've pulled together historical pricing data for the Shark range. 

The tables below show the lowest, typical and highest prices for Shark’s cordless and corded ranges. You can use it as a reference to see if the price you've found looks promising.

Best Black Friday cordless vacuum deals - jump to our exclusive Black Friday 2020 guide to the best deals we've found so far across Dyson, Shark and more

Guide to Shark cordless vacuum prices 

Guide to Shark corded vacuum cleaner prices

Model Lowest price Typical price Highest price
Shark DuoClean Corded Vacuum Cleaner with Anti Hair Wrap, Flexology and Anti Allergen Complete Seal HZ500UK £170 £249 £249
Shark DuoClean Corded Vacuum Cleaner with Anti Hair Wrap, Flexology and Anti Allergen Complete Seal True Pet Model HZ500UKT £261 £269 £269
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT £170 £249 £300
Shark DuoClean Corded Stick Vacuum with Flexology HV390UK £121 £179 £249
Shark DuoClean Corded Stick Vacuum with Flexology and TruePet HV390UKT £143 £199 £270
Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV601UK £140 £169 £249
Shark Lift-Away True Pet Vacuum Cleaner NV601UKT £118 £189 £270
Shark Corded Vacuum Cleaner with Lift-Away Technology and Anti Allergen Complete Seal NV602UK £170 £249 £249
Shark Corded Vacuum Cleaner with Lift-Away Technology and Anti Allergen Complete Seal True Pet Model NV602UKT £184 £269 £269
Shark DuoClean Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV700UK £169 £199 £279
Shark DuoClean Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner with TruePet NV700UKT £179 £199 £300
Shark DuoClean Corded Vacuum Cleaner with Lift-Away Technology and Anti Allergen Complete Seal NV702UK £279 £279 £280
Shark DuoClean Corded Vacuum Cleaner with Lift-Away Technology and Anti Allergen Complete Seal True Pet Model NV702UKT £200 £299 £320
Shark Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV681UK £143 £199 £280
Shark Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner with TruePet NV681UKT £169 £199 £349
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV801UK £149 £229 £349
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner with TruePet NV801UKT £199 £249 £369
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away NZ801UK £178 £229 £329
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet NZ801UKT £184 £249 £349
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner Plus with Powered Lift-Away AZ910UK £229 £229 £330
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner Plus with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet AZ910UKT £199 £249 £350
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner XL with Powered Lift-Away AZ950UK £229 £249 £379
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner XL with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet AZ950UKT £249 £269 £399

Table notes: Pricing information correct as of 17 November 2020. Pricing data for available Shark vacuums taken from Pricerunner and Pricespy to give a general market overview - retailers and prices may differ from the above.


Best Black Friday deals - see the best deals we've spotted on home and tech products this year so far


Making sense of the different Shark models

The two key Shark ranges are: 

  • Shark Lift-Away upright vacuums - Like a traditional upright vacuum, but you can lift the dust canister off the base and hold it, making jobs such as cleaning the stairs easier. Most are plug-in models, but some are cordless. 
  • Shark slim stick vacuum cleaners - Slim and lightweight vacuums with the motor either in the floor head or a handheld unit. Can be corded or cordless.

You may also see Shark vacuums labelled as:

  • TruePet - Includes a mini turbo pet tool for cleaning sofas, stairs etc
  • Plus / XL - Plus models have a slightly wider floorhead, which can appeal if you’ve got large areas to cover in your home. XL versions have both a wider floorhead and a larger dust capacity, so you can cover large spaces without the need to empty the container as often.

Shark model codes explained

One thing to look out for when browsing Shark’s ranges is the letters at the end of the model code. This helps indicate what you get.

  • Ends with a - extra filtration technology for allergy sufferers.
  • Ends with UKBT - extra spare battery included (two batteries total).
  • Ends with UKT - comes with a mini turbo tool for pets.
  • Ends with UKTT - comes with spare battery and mini turbo tool for pets.
  • Ends with UKTDB - comes with three batteries and mini turbo tool for pets.

For Shark’s cordless stick vacuums, it works slightly differently:

  • The IZ201 models come with a single battery.
  • The IZ251 models come with more than one battery (usually two).
  • The IZ251UKTDB comes with three batteries.

Best cordless vacuum cleaners - see our top cordless picks, including the best cheaper alternatives

Are Shark vacuums reliable?

As the importance of living sustainably becomes increasingly stark, you want to be sure that a new vacuum you buy won’t break down and be sent to the scrap heap before its time.

You can see how Shark vacuums last compared to rivals with out unique survey data from vacuum owners - check our guide to the most reliable vacuum brands and most reliable cordless vacuum brands.

Shark does have replacement parts on sale, available via the Shark website. This means that if a certain part of your vacuum breaks down it should be easy to replace the faulty part instead of buying a whole new vacuum and throwing away the old one. 

Another important factor to consider when buying a cordless vacuum is the availability of replacement batteries. Lithium-ion batteries inevitably lose their ability to hold a charge over time, so you need to be able to buy replacements so you don’t have to replace the whole vacuum when its battery dies.

Shark batteries cost around £80, which is obviously quite pricey but relatively standard for this size of battery. 

See how Shark vacuums compare with rivals from Dyson, Miele, Vax, Gtech, Hoover and more with our independent cordless vacuum reviews and corded vacuum cleaner reviews.

Shark handheld vacuum cleaners

Shark cordless vacuums do have detachable handheld units, but if you want a small standalone handheld that sits ready for you to quickly suck up everyday spills, the Shark Slim WV200UK handheld vacuum cleaner could be for you.

It’s small and incredibly light, with a charging station you could set on a desk or kitchen counter.

The WV251UK version comes with a spare battery you can swap in if the first one runs out, and it’s often on offer for the same price as the original, so make sure to check the price of both before you buy to get the best value.

Compare this Shark handheld with rivals in our handheld vacuum cleaner reviews.

View all Cordless vacuum cleaners
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