Shark Vertex Review
Pros: Great at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to use
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$429.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Great at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to use||Good price, cleans carpet very well, picks up pet hair with ease||Very good at picking up pet hair, light, maneuverable||Inexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaning||Inexpensive, maneuverable, solid at picking up pet hair|
|Cons||Pricey||Not particularly impressive at cleaning hard floors||Expensive||Lackluster at cleaning hard floors, so-so ease of use||Doesn't clean hard floors or carpet very well|
|Bottom Line||If you are looking for something that sweeps the rest of the competition under the rug, this is our current favorite vacuum||If you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great bet||This vacuum performs respectably for those that prefer the canister-style, but it's expensive and requires bags||If you are shopping on a particularly tight budget for a new vacuum, this is a good option||This cheap vacuum isn't terrible, but there are far better options for the same price|
|Rating Categories||Shark Vertex||Navigator Lift-Away...||Miele Compact C1 Turbo||Eureka PowerSpeed||BLACK+DECKER AirSwi...|
|Carpet Cleaning (35%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Hard Surface Cleaning (10%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||Shark Vertex||Navigator Lift-Away...||Miele Compact C1 Turbo||Eureka PowerSpeed||BLACK+DECKER AirSwi...|
|Cleaning Path Width||12"||11.25"||10.75"||13.25"||12"|
|Measured Brush Width||10"||9"||9.75"||10.5"||11"|
|Measured Weight||16.3 lbs||14.4 lbs||15.2 lbs||10.1 lbs||9.4 lbs|
|Variable Suction Control||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Brush On/Off Switch||Slow||Yes||Low||No||No|
|Measured Maximum Reach||32' - 40'+||31'||30'||25'||20.8'|
|Measured Power Cord Length||30'||30'||18'||24'||20'|
|Automatic Cord Rewind||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Measured Noise||75 dBa||73 dBa||70-81 dBa||76 dBa||75.4 dBa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This vacuum comes with a variety of different attachments, as well as the Lift-Away feature that makes it more like a canister vacuum. This makes it much better for cleaning parts of your home like stairs or particularly cramped areas.
We began our testing process for the Vertex and all of the other vacuums in our lineup by ranking and scoring how effective they are at cleaning carpet. For this metric, we used a variety of different types of messes on both low and medium-pile carpet, comparing the results side-by-side to determine the scores. The Vertex did very well, earning top 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 escaped it when we looked deep into the piles.
This upright vacuum delivered the same phenomenal results in our cereal test, collecting all of the Cheerios from both types of carpet. It only took two passes for the dual-brushrolls 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 pieces lagged behind.
The Vertex finished our carpet cleaning tests with a final excellent 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.
It took about 4-6 passes for this vacuum to completely clean up the flour from both types of carpet, with negligible amounts remaining.
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 in 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 supremely easy to swap between cleaning hard and soft floors — perfect for houses with a variety of different flooring.
This vacuum can also reach quite far under most pieces of furniture, able to clean up to 11" under our simulated sofa with a 5.5" gap in standard mode and up to a whopping 44.5" under when the Lift-Away mode is activated.
This vacuum does a good job at cleaning along the edges of a room but can struggle just a small amount at cleaning in the corners. It has an excellent reach with its 30' cord, with the Lift-Away feature giving you another 10' or so. It also isn't overly loud compared to some of the other products. Our meter registered between 74-76 dBa — par for the course for a high-performance upright vacuum. We appreciated that there weren't any particularly grating whines or other tones — at least in our experience.
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. As expected at this point, the Vertex continued its dominance, again earning one of the best scores of the entire group.
This vacuum does a solid job at making it easy to clean a flight of stairs, with the hose and longer wand able to reach between 8 and 9 steps in most cases. It also isn't exceptionally heavy, tipping the scales at just over 16 pounds — though there are lighter options.
You can also use the Lift-Away mode to reduce the weight and carry it like a canister vacuum, making it even easier to clean longer sets of stairs. This vacuum has swivel steering and is quite nimble, without 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 medium or low-pile carpet — not a huge amount, but definitely noticeable compared to pushing forward or on hard floors.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Considerably easier to clean than carpet, hard floors are the focus of our next rating metric. We used the same four types of mess from our carpet cleaning tests — rice, flour, cereal, and oatmeal — and used before and after photos to compare the results. As you might guess, the Vertex again did extremely well, claiming another one of the best scores that we have seen.
This vacuum easily cleaned up all of the rice, oats, and Cheerios that we laid out in a single pass. We used the hard floor option for the Vertex for these tests on a section of laminate wood floor.
Even more impressive was the very good performance at cleaning up flour — usually one of the more challenging assessments as it can get into the cracks between boards.
This vacuum cleaned everything in 2 passes — even in the 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.
For our final metric, we rated and scored how each vacuum did at mitigating the impact of your furry friends. For this test, we spread out a measured amount of pet hair (donated from a local groomer) on a medium-pile carpet to make it a true torture test, then based scores on the percentage of the pet hair collected. This vacuum finished out our tests with a strong showing once again.
The Vertex easily collected about 99% of the 5 grams of hair that we spread out, leaving just a tiny amount behind. We were pleasantly surprised at this performance, given the new flap design on the extractor, as we weren't quite sure how it would do compared to the previous iterations of Shark vacuums.
While the Vertex is a fantastic vacuum, it's also a premium product with a premium price tag. Still, it lands in a more comfortable price range than other products that scored lower in our tests. Bottom line, if you can afford this vacuum, we don't think you'll be disappointed.
If you are searching for a single vacuum to rule them all, then we would highly recommend the Shark Vertex. This vacuum floored us with its top-tier cleaning performance in essentially every single one of our tests. On top of that, it pairs this premium cleaning ability with a ton of convenience features in a highly maneuverable package. In short, the Vertex should be on your shortlist if you are searching for the best of the best.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer