Shark Cordless Stick Review
- ✔️ Lightweight
- ✔️ Easy storage compared to other cordless stick vacuums
- ✔️ Anti-hair
- ✔️ Good suction
- ✔️ 5 year warranty
- ❌ Confusing model offering
- ❌ Power bar/roller needs cleaning
- ❌ Expensive
- ❌ Short battery life
The Shark cordless stick vacuum is Shark's offering to the handheld-upright-hybrid of vacuum cleaner than so many people think of when they think cordless.
In this review we'll go through the various model variants available from Shark. Unfortunately Shark's offering isn't straightforward, they have a few different models available, and they all have very unflattering names. Our aim here is to cut through the noise, give you the key facts about each variant of vacuum, and then our recommendation for the best model to go for.
Performance overall for the Shark is good. Better suction and pick up than other vacuums at this price point. After a few uses carpets in particular are noticeably cleaner than other brands.
There are 3 power settings; 'off', 'Bare Floor' and 'Carpet'. Pretty clear what each is for, but interestingly it's a different take to power settings than most cordless vacuums, who tend to opt for a 'normal' mode and a 'turbo' mode. Shark's way of doing things can be better or worse for you depending on the layout of your home.
We have a mixture of hard floors, carpeted rooms and high pile rugs, so we spent a lot of time in the 'Carpet' setting. This had a noticeable impact on battery life, but also led to cleaner floors.
The powered brush bar is very good. The combination of traditional brush bar and roller worked well, but after a bit of use you do need to clean it, especially the roller.
Design and Features
The Shark comes into its own with its design and features. The first thing you notice when you start using it is the flexible neck. It's a solid nice with a flexible hinged section. It quickly becomes apparent what this is used for when you encounter a table, chair or legged sofa - the Shark cordless stick bends to allow the roller head to reach exactly where it needs to.
"Flexology" - flexible neck
It's interesting when you compare the Shark to a Dyson, whose original 'sphere' design on their uprights was revolutionary. The hinged areas on the Shark are totally different to Dyson's, but it makes quite a big difference when trying to reach certain areas.
I actually own a Dyson V11, and when vacuuming the lounge and dining room have to bend my knees and back to allow the vacuum head to reach the harder to get-to areas, but the Shark had no trouble whatsoever with this. I was able to stay upright while the vacuum did all of the bending, saving my back in the process.
Flat head and brush bar
The vacuum head - the part that comes into contact with the floor - is wide, flat and deep. It has a bevelled front shape to get the front of the vacuum underneath any objects that might get in the way.
The brush bar on the vacuum has 2 parts to it; a traditional brush bar and a fur roller. Both spin when the vacuum is on. The bristles of the brush work with the roller to dislodge dirt from both the ground that is being cleaned but also from itself. Without the brush bar the roller would become full of dirty, and without the roller the brush bar would get tangled. It actually works really well.
However - we highly recommend then you clean the roller regularly. The nature of it means that it can quickly get dirty, and while that's sort of its job, you should clean it as regularly as you can.
The Shark has a hinge half way up the neck to allow it to be folded up for storage. This may not seem like much but there are very few cordless vacuums that can be stored in this way. Take Dysons as an example, they all come with a bracket as they're designed to be hung on a wall. That's all well and good, but most people don't have somewhere to hang their vacuum, nor do they particularly want to fasten them to a wall.
The Shark's head offers stability for when its folded to stand on its own, so it takes up less space than a traditional upright and you can store it anywhere. For me, this is a huge bonus.
The Shark cordless range all have headlights on the front of the head unit. I personally love a vacuum with this feature. It serves two distinct purposes:
You can see in dark places, such as under the sofa, to ensure they're clean
It highlights dirt and dust that needs to be cleaned by forcing it to cast a shadow
One of the best ways to see how clean your carpet off is to wait until night time, turn the light off and put a torch on the floor. Any bits of dirt and debris cast a huge shadow across the room. It might sound a bit silly, but having a light on the front of the vacuum does the same - it makes it clear where the dirt is so allows you to pick it up.
All of the Shark cordless stick vacuums weigh in at 4kg. That's quite a bit heavier than alternatives on the market. For a direct comparison the Dyson V8 weighs roughly 2.6kg, and the Bosch Athlet 3kg. The Athlet in particular, although slightly heavier than the Dyson, distributes its weight well due to its design, something the Shark doesn't do.
However - a heavier vacuum isn't necessarily a disadvantage - just something to be aware of. A heavier vacuum will naturally push down onto the floor its cleaning more. The more it pushes down the more dirt it will dislodge and, in theory, the cleaner your floor will be. That just comes at the cost of having a more heavy unit to move around the house, so really, like so many of these points, it comes down to personal preference and situation rather than a hard and fast recommendation.
We've covered how easy the Shark is to move about due to its flexible neck. We've also covered its weight. Those two things are at odds with each other in terms of manoeuvrability.
Is the Shark cordless stick vacuum manoeuvrable? Yes, very much so.
Is it the easiest to carry around the house? No. It's larger and heavier than other brands vacuums.
The hinge point half way up the Shark's neck also doubles as the section that detaches to allow other tools to be fitted.
The Shark cordless stick includes a crevice tool, which makes it fairly easy to reach into nooks of a room, but it isn't as manoeuvrable in this sense as other brands such as the Vax Blade.
Time to talk battery life - something extremely important to anyone buying a cordless vacuum. Officially the Shark cordless stick vacuum boasts "Up to 40 minutes run-time", but when you check the small print:
In ION power mode, with non-motorised tool.
To translate that for everyone, it basically means that you get 40 minutes in low power mode, which is only really suitable for hard floors with little dirt on. If you live in a small apartment with only hard floors this might not be much of a problem, but if you have carpets, rugs and multiple rooms then you're going to want to know what sort of battery life you really get.
In our tests, which consisted of carpets, hard wooden floors and some high piled rugs you were able to clean the whole house on a single charge, but there wasn't much battery left after a single pass. Testing the battery we got 22 minutes out of a single charge consistently, which isn't too bad. We were able to do a 4 bed detached home in about 17 minutes, so there's room to spare.
The vacuum's battery can be removed to charge, which also means its easy to replace in the future if you need to. Shark also sell batteries and you can buy a model with 2 batteries in the box if you wish, this means you can always have a battery on stand-by.
Worth noting is that we didn't notice a reduction in suction as the battery was running low, at least not as much as other brands. This is something very important that people often don't consider with cordless vacuums; it's not so much the time the battery lasts, but how long it lasts at full suction which is really important. Shark don't really talk much about this in their marketing, but the suction didn't dissipate much when the battery was running low, so that's a huge bonus.
OK, so there are a few models available. To be clear: the Shark cordless stick core offering is the same, the only difference between models is:
Aesthetics - it's a different coloured neck for each model
A slightly different brush bar
A motorised pet tool
Let's compare models.
IF 200 UK
This is your bog standard core model. You get:
Great, pretty standard. This is also the cheapest model.
IF 200 UKT
The 'T' means you get a motorised pet tool. That's it. Besides the colour of the neck it's exactly the same.
IF 250 UK
OK, this pack is slightly different:
Everything you get with IF 200 UK
The Dusting brush is now an Anti-allergen dusting brush
A double charger
IF 250 UKT
You can probably guess, but it's everything you get with the IF 250 UK, and the motorised pet tool.
|Battery Run Time||22 minutes|
|Charge Time||3 hours|
|Capacity/Dust Box||0.33 Litres|
|Noise Level||84 dB|
|Good for Pets?||✔️|
The Shark cordless stick vacuum is great. It's a very powerful vacuum, with key strengths in areas that other vacuum brands neglect. Lets cut through the noise and highlight its call out advantages:
It cleans well. Obviously this is what you want from a vacuum, and the Shark delivers. A combination of good suction and a clever brush bars sees to it.
It stores well. You can store the cordless vacuum upright, and it folds away to not eat into your cupboard space.
It is flexible and gets into hard to reach places. More so than other vacuums.
It's expensive, but cost effective. The Shark isn't the cheapest cordless vacuum, but it's also not the most expensive. It competes with the best-in-market vacuums at a price point far below.
If you have a pet, get the IF 200 UKT, if not, get the IF 200.
You only need the IF 250 if you need the extra battery. Again, get the UKT if you have a pet, but don't bother if you don't.