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Shark IONFlex Review

This is an exceptionally easy to use product that cleans well and sweeps away most of the competition
Shark IONFlex
Credit: Shark
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $400 List | $356.49 at Amazon
Pros:  Fantastic at cleaning hard floors, very easy to use, swappable batteries
Cons:  A little pricey
Manufacturer:   Shark
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 28, 2021
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Convenience - 35% 7
  • Hard Surface Cleaning - 30% 9
  • Ease of Use - 20% 8
  • Carpet Cleaning - 15% 7

Our Verdict

Taking home high scores and unseating previous award winners, the Shark IONFlex is a truly excellent stick vacuum. This cordless vacuum has swappable batteries — a fantastic feature that allows you to customize your battery life to match your cleaning needs. It folds for convenient storage, includes the usual myriad of different vacuum attachments, and has a strong cleaning performance across the board, particularly excelling at cleaning hard floors. If you want an excellent vacuum at a friendlier price than a Dyson, this is one to consider.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Shark IONFlex
This Product
Shark IONFlex
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $400 List
$356.49 at Amazon
$330 List
$329.99 at Amazon
$300 List$115 List$40 List
$34.99 at Amazon
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Pros Fantastic at cleaning hard floors, very easy to use, swappable batteriesConvenient to use, great at cleaningFantastic cleaning power, versatile, easy to useGreat value, convenient, does well with hard floorsDecent at cleaning hard surfaces, inexpensive
Cons A little priceyA bit loudHeavy, loudCould be better at carpetHarder to use, loud
Bottom Line This is an exceptionally easy to use product that cleans well and sweeps away most of the competitionIf you are looking for the absolute best of the best when it comes to stick vacuums, this is one of our all-time favoritesThis corded model has excellent cleaning power and is great for those that need to clean heavier messesIf you are shopping for a stick vacuum and don't want to break the bank, then we think this is a great optionThis inexpensive model cleans decently, especially when it comes to hard surfaces
Rating Categories Shark IONFlex Shark Rocket Pet Pro Shark Rocket DuoClean Moosoo XL-618A VonHaus 600W 2-in-1
Convenience (35%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
Hard Surface Cleaning (30%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Carpet Cleaning (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Shark IONFlex Shark Rocket Pet Pro Shark Rocket DuoClean Moosoo XL-618A VonHaus 600W 2-in-1
Weight 8.9 lbs 7.8 lbs 10 lbs 5.1 lbs 4.5 lbs
Cordless Battery Life 11:44 min:sec 20:37
min:sec
n/a 22:40 min:sec n/a
Maximum Corded Reach n/a n/a 33.5 ft n/a 21 ft
Measured Charge Time 210 min 150 min n/a 340 min n/a
Noise Level 74 dBa 73 dBa 77.5 dBa 67 dBa 77 dBa
Model Number IF200W IZ163H HV380W XL-618A EPT2
Battery Type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion n/a Lithium-ion n/a
Measured Cleaning Path Width 8" 10.25" 8" 7.75" 8.75"
Variable Suction Control Yes Yes No Yes No
Brush On/Off Switch? Slows the brush for hard floor Slows the brush for hard floor Slows the brush for hard floor No n/a
Storage Freestanding in MultiFLEX storage mode Freestanding in MultiFLEX storage mode Wall Mount; or can detatch the top and hang on the bottom to stand upright Wall mount only Stands up; falls over easily
Bag Type Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless
Swivel Head? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Soft Bumper? Yes No Yes Yes No
Cordless? Yes Yes No Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Sitting in the upper echelons of our test group, the Shark IONFlex is an excellent vacuum at a fair price for what you get. Its ability to switch modes when switching floor surfaces without having to physically disconnect and swap out the brush head (Shark's "DuoClean" design) makes it ideal for spaces with various surfaces throughout.

Performance Comparison


The Shark IONFlex is one of our favorite stick vacuums.
The Shark IONFlex is one of our favorite stick vacuums.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


The most important of our rating metrics, this metric accounts for 35% of the total score for each stick vacuum. We evaluated how easy it is to store each vacuum, its weight, whether or not it is corded or cordless, and its maximum reach, as well as how easy it is to use it to clean non-floor areas of your home. The IONFlex did very well, earning a respectable score.


It is very easy to pack the IONFlex away, with it quickly and easily folding in half to store free standing. However, it is a little on the heavy side, weighing in at 8.9 pounds — slightly more than average for our tested vacuums.

The Shark folded up for storage.
The Shark folded up for storage.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Even though this product is a little on the hefty side, it is still very easy to use to clean other areas of your home besides just the floor. You can simply press a button to detach the floor head and swap in a different attachment.

The IONFlex is nicely labeled where it can be detached to add...
The IONFlex is nicely labeled where it can be detached to add attachments or clean out the brush.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

This cordless vacuum also has an excellent battery life, lasting for 11:44 at max power. While this wasn't the longest, you can simply swap the batteries when it dies, effectively doubling your runtime. The ability to swap the battery is something most stick vacuums in our review don't offer and can be a game-changer if you have a larger area to clean. The IONFlex also charges relatively quickly, taking about 3.5 hours to charge completely.

The IONFlex folds for storage or to help get under those hard to...
The IONFlex folds for storage or to help get under those hard to reach places.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Hard Surface Cleaning


Our next metric, responsible for 30% of the total score for each product, judged how well each vacuum did at cleaning up messes on floors like hardwood, tile, or laminate. We used rice, flour, pet hair, cereal, and oatmeal as our sample messes. The IONFlex delivered a phenomenal performance, tying for a top score.


This vacuum did an exceptional job at collecting flour, one of the best jobs of the entire group. It essentially got all of the flour on our test surface, only leaving a tiny amount in the cracks between boards.

The IONFlex can extract most of the flour stuck in the cracks in...
The IONFlex can extract most of the flour stuck in the cracks in just 2 passes.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The IONFlex continued its stellar performance with rice, Cheerios, and oats. It collected all of the Cheerios without any issue and impressed us with its prowess at picking up rice, only taking a single pass to collect all of the mess.

The IONFlex easily picked up the oats in one pass.
The IONFlex easily picked up the oats in one pass.
Credit: Austin Palmer

This vacuum didn't do an amazing job at collecting pet hair on a hard floor, but none of the products did. The IONFlex still tied for the top performance overall, though, and it's smart to consider a full-size vacuum anyway if you have extensive pet hair cleaning needs.

The front brush makes quick work of hard surface debris.
The front brush makes quick work of hard surface debris.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


Comprising 20% of the total score, this metric evaluated how well each product cleaned in close to edges and under furniture, if it had swivel steering, its noise level, and the different power options available. The Shark IONFlex again scored at the top of the pack as it is extremely easy to use.


This device has both a high and low power mode, so you can prioritize maximum cleaning power or maximum battery life. It also has the option to slow the rotating brush down for when you are cleaning hard floors, and it cleans in quite close to the edges of a room, only leaving trace amounts of debris behind.

The Shark cleans along edges better when moving along the wall...
The Shark cleans along edges better when moving along the wall rather than head on.
Credit: Austin Palmer

This model also has a swivel head for easy maneuvering and, while not the quietest, isn't overly loud either.

The swivel steering makes the IONFlex highly maneuverable.
The swivel steering makes the IONFlex highly maneuverable.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The IONFlex is also very adept at cleaning under furniture, flexing in the middle to allow you to reach quite far under furniture without bending over. This vacuum could reach the entire distance under our simulated sofa without flexing, but only by crouching down. It reached 34" with the flex, which allowed us to remain standing. We love this ergonomic feature.

The IONFlex bending so you don't have to.
The IONFlex bending so you don't have to.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

This model doesn't really have any storage for accessories, requiring you to keep them elsewhere — most likely with the second battery and charger.

The light up interface of the IONFlex.
The light up interface of the IONFlex.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Carpet Cleaning


Taking responsibility for the remaining 15% of the score, we judged how well each product did at cleaning carpets. We used the same testing process as on hard surfaces, though we conducted each test twice on both flat and fluffy carpets. The Shark IONFlex finished out our tests with a strong showing here too.


This vacuum started off with an excellent showing at picking up rice and flour, collecting essentially all of the debris on both low and medium-pile carpet with only two passes. It also picked up the vast majority of the pet hair, though there were a handful of some rogue hairs that evaded the vacuum.

The IONFlex did almost equally well at picking up oats on fluffy...
The IONFlex did almost equally well at picking up oats on fluffy carpet as it did on short-pile carpet.
Credit: Austin Palmer

When tasked with oats, the IONFlex left a few residual pieces behind. This was worse on fluffier carpet than flat carpet. It had no problem chomping down Cheerios, though, no matter the carpet type.

The front roller of the Shark working its magic on Cheerios.
The front roller of the Shark working its magic on Cheerios.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


The IONFlex is a bit on the pricey side, but it is among the best. There are other options out there if you are looking to maximize your bucks, but we still feel that this one is fairly priced and will serve you well.

Conclusion


The Shark IONFlex is a fantastic, all-around stick vacuum that excelled in a majority of our tests. This product does an excellent job at cleaning both hard and soft floors and is extremely convenient and easy to use, thanks to the DuoClean design. However, it is a bit expensive, so this product might be a better option if you don't have a messy enough home to warrant a full-size vacuum and only want a stick vacuum, compared to having both.

David Wise and Austin Palmer