Reviews You Can Rely On

Shark Vertex Review

This model removes most stubborn debris in just one pass and beats out most competition
gearlab tested logo
Shark Vertex Review (Upright vacuums are the do-it-all machine for the most common home applications.)
Upright vacuums are the do-it-all machine for the most common home applications.
Credit: Jason Peters
Price:  $450 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Shark
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 26, 2022
86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Carpet Cleaning - 35% 8.6
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8.9
  • Handling - 20% 7.6
  • Hard Surface - 10% 8.6
  • Pet Hair - 10% 10.0

Our Verdict

Earning one of the best all-around performances we have seen in six years of testing, the Shark Vertex is undeniably one of our top recommendations for anyone who wants the best of the best. It delivered phenomenal performances in our cleaning tests on carpeted and hard floors — even easily picking up pet hair. This vacuum is convenient, easy to use, and flawlessly plowed through every test we planted in its path. That said, it can be a bit more expensive than some might want to spend on a new vacuum, but we feel confident that you'll be pleased with your investment. Our article on the best upright vacuums will show you how it fares versus competing products.
REASONS TO BUY
Great at pet hair
Excellent cleaning abilities
Easy to use
REASONS TO AVOID
Pricey

Compare to Similar Products

 
shark vertex
This Product
Shark Vertex
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $450 List
$318.00 at Amazon
$500 List
$487.80 at Amazon
$200 List
$169.99 at Amazon
$200 List$88 List
$79.19 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
86
87
75
75
54
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line If you want the absolute best of the best when it comes to cleaning your carpets, we highly recommend this vacuumPerhaps the best vacuum cleaner you can buy, excelling at handling and cleaning hard surfacesAn easy model to push and pull, that won't give you an unwanted workoutDelivering a superb performance across the board and retailing for a great price, this is our favorite vacuum for the budget-mindedIf you are trying to spend as little as possible on a new vacuum, this one is definitely worth checking out
Rating Categories Shark Vertex Shark Stratos Shark Navigator Lif... Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Carpet Cleaning (35%)
8.6
8.2
6.9
8.0
4.5
Ease of Use (25%)
8.9
8.6
6.9
7.6
6.0
Handling (20%)
7.6
8.3
8.4
5.7
5.0
Hard Surface (10%)
8.6
9.8
6.8
7.0
3.8
Pet Hair (10%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
9.6
9.6
Specs Shark Vertex Shark Stratos Shark Navigator Lif... Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Water Suction Gauge 86 inches 94 inches 72 inches 72 inches 48 inches
Model Number AZ2000W AZ3000W NV352 NV356E S2 NEU182A
HEPA Filter Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Vacuum Head Width 12" 12" 11.25" 11.25" 13.25"
Measured Brush Width 10" 9.5" 9" 9" 10.5"
Measured Weight 16.8 lbs 16.8 lbs 13.6 lbs 14.8 lbs 10.5 lbs
Variable Suction Control Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Brush On/Off Switch Slow Slow Yes Yes No
Measured Power Cord Length 29.5' 29.5' 24.75' 26' 23.75'
Measured Noise at Arms Length 75 dBa 75 dBa 73 dBa 73 dBa 76 dBa
Swivel Head Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Carry Handle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soft Bumper Yes Yes No No No
Dirt Collection Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless

Our Analysis and Test Results

This exceptional vacuum comes with a variety of different attachments, as well as a Lift-Away feature that makes it more like a canister vacuum than a typical upright. It also incorporates Shark's incredible dual brush technology, which does a great job of cleaning almost any surface.

Performance Comparison


shark vertex - if you are looking for the best of the best, we think this vacuum is...
If you are looking for the best of the best, we think this vacuum is hard to beat.
Credit: Jason Peters

Carpet Cleaning


We began our testing process for the Vertex and all of the other vacuums in our lineup by ranking and scoring their effectiveness at cleaning various carpets. For this metric, we used a variety of different types of messes on both low and medium-pile carpets, comparing the results side-by-side to determine the scores. The Vertex did very well, earning high marks.


The Vertex got off to a great start in our rice test, cleaning up all of our spilled rice from a flat carpet with only two passes. It did similarly well with fluffier carpet, though we were able to find a few grains and fragments that had escaped when we looked deep into the piles.

shark vertex - we were impressed with the performance of the vertex with all manner...
We were impressed with the performance of the Vertex with all manner of messes.
Credit: Jason Peters

This upright vacuum delivered the same phenomenal results in our cereal test, collecting all of the Cheerios from both low and high-pile carpets. It only took two passes for the dual-brush technology to collect a full cup of the cereal, leaving a clean carpet behind. This top-tier performance continued with oats, with the full cup collected from the flat carpet after two passes. It was the same with the medium-pile carpet, though a few tiny fragments remained behind.

The Vertex finished our carpet cleaning tests with an excellent final performance that we found to be particularly impressive — flour. Given how much other vacuums have struggled with the flour cleaning challenge, the performance by the Vertex was particularly notable.

A carpet full of flour ready to simulate dirt and dust.
A carpet full of flour ready to simulate dirt and dust.
Most vacuums struggle with the flour challenge, but the Vertex...
Most vacuums struggle with the flour challenge, but the Vertex performed excellently.

It took about six passes for this vacuum to completely clean up the flour from both types of carpet, with negligible amounts remaining. Its performance on flour was exceptional and is the gold standard to which all other models should strive.

shark vertex - the vertex floored us with its impressive carpet cleaning abilities.
The Vertex floored us with its impressive carpet cleaning abilities.
Credit: Jason Peters

Ease of Use


Our next set of tests rated and ranked how convenient and easy the Vertex was to operate. We looked at how each vacuum in our lineup cleaned along edges and corners, how far we could clean under furniture, the reach of each vacuum, noise levels, and how easy it was to transition from cleaning hard floors to carpet or vice-versa.


This vacuum has a slide switch on the handle that makes it nearly effortless to swap between cleaning hard and soft floors and is perfect for houses with a variety of different flooring.

shark vertex - we love how versatile and easy to use the vertex is.
We love how versatile and easy to use the Vertex is.
Credit: Jason Peters

This vacuum can also reach quite far under most pieces of furniture, able to clean up to an already incredible 11 inches under our simulated sofa with a 5.5-inch gap in the standard configuration and up to a whopping 44.5 inches when the Lift-Away mode is activated.

shark vertex - while this vacuum doesn't reach too far under furniture in standard...
While this vacuum doesn't reach too far under furniture in standard mode, it can make it over 3' when using the Lift-Away mode.
Credit: Jason Peters

This vacuum does a good job cleaning along the edges of a room but can struggle just a bit when cleaning corners. It has an excellent reach with its 29.5-foot cord, and the Lift-Away feature provides another 10 feet or so to work with. It also isn't overly loud compared to the other models we tested. Our meter registered between 74-76 dBa, which is on par for a high-performance upright vacuum. We appreciated that there weren't any particularly grating whines or other tones during our testing experience.

Handling


Our next set of evaluations looked at how maneuverable and easy to push and pull each vacuum is, as well as how versatile and easy to handle they are when attempting to clean the more difficult areas of your home. Unsurprisingly, the Vertex continued to dominate most other models, again earning one of the better performances in its class.


This vacuum makes cleaning a flight of stairs easy, with the hose and longer wand reaching between eight and nine steps in most cases. It also isn't exceptionally heavy, tipping the scales at around 17 pounds, although there are lighter options.


You can also use the Lift-Away mode to reduce the weight and carry it like a canister vacuum, making cleaning longer sets of stairs even easier. This vacuum also uses a swivel design, is quite agile, and doesn't put up too much resistance to pushing or pulling on most types of floors. However, we did notice some increased resistance when pulling the vacuum backward on the carpet. It wasn't too significant an amount of resistance but noticeable compared to pushing forward or when used on hard floors.

shark vertex - the vertex is easy to push or pull across a variety of different...
The Vertex is easy to push or pull across a variety of different types of floors.
Credit: Jason Peters

Hard Surface Cleaning


Hard floors were the focus of our second to last metric. We used the same four types of material from our carpet cleaning tests, rice, flour, cereal, and oatmeal. We used before and after photos to compare the results. As you might have guessed by now, the Vertex again did extremely well, claiming another one of the best performances we have seen.


This vacuum easily cleaned up all of the rice, oats, and Cheerios that we laid out within two passes. We used the hard floor option for the Vertex for these tests on a section of laminate wood floor.

shark vertex - we love how the front roller of the vertex keeps messes like rice or...
We love how the front roller of the Vertex keeps messes like rice or oats from getting thrown around when vacuuming hard surfaces.
Credit: Jason Peters

Even more impressive was the very incredible performance in cleaning up flour, which is usually one of the more challenging tests for models, as it can get into the cracks between boards.

A flour disaster ready for the Vertex.
A flour disaster ready for the Vertex.
Impressive results, yet again, from the Vertex.
Impressive results, yet again, from the Vertex.

This vacuum cleaned everything in two passes, including the majority of residue in tiny gaps between boards, as long as we ran the vacuum parallel to the gaps. It did leave a minuscule amount behind if we vacuumed perpendicular to the gaps but still exhibited incredible performance compared to the majority of the test group.

shark vertex - the vertex continued to outshine the competition in our hard floor...
The Vertex continued to outshine the competition in our hard floor cleaning test.
Credit: Jason Peters

Pet Hair


For our final metric, we rated and scored how each vacuum did at mitigating hairy situations. For this test, we spread out a measured amount of pet hair onto a medium-pile carpet, rolled it into the carpet piling, then based scores on the percentage of the pet hair collected. This vacuum finished out our tests with a strong showing, extracting 99.8% of the hair.


We were pleasantly surprised at this performance, given the newer flap design on the extractor, as we weren't quite sure how it would do compared to the previous iterations of Shark vacuums.

shark vertex - the vertex had no issues with pet hair, easily picking up almost...
The Vertex had no issues with pet hair, easily picking up almost every bit of it.
Credit: Jason Peters

Should You Buy the Shark Vertex?


If you have a large carpeted home, then the Shark Vertex is probably the best vacuum cleaner for you. It offers a better carpet cleaning experience with a slightly larger brush head and canister and a better all-around performance.

What Other Upright Vacuums Should You Consider?


For the premium performance, we recommend the Shark Stratos. While you won't get the same premium level of performance, a more budget-friendly option worth considering is the Shark Navigator Lift Away.

David Wise and Austin Palmer