Wondering Which Shark Vacuum is Best for Pet Hair? Hint: It’s the One You Would Use the Most

TL;DR: The Shark Navigator Pet Plus NV251 Upright Vacuum is the best all-rounder vacuum if you’re looking to deep clean your home.

Shark has become a household name in producing some of the most beloved and reliable vacuum cleaners in the past decade. Their product line has expanded to include vacuum cleaners specifically made for households with pets.

In the US alone, about 85 millions families own a pet, that’s 65% of the nation’s households. Cats and dogs ownership make up the overwhelming majority of it. That’s a lot of homes covered in pet hair.

Let’s look at some of Shark’s product lineup, and decide which are the best Shark vacuum for pet hair. We’ll be looking at these units to find out which Shark vacuum is best for pet hair:

Shark is in it for the long haul

Shark is part of the US-based company, Euro-Pro. The company produces 2 major home appliance brands: Shark (vacuum cleaners) and Ninja (blenders and food processors).

In 2014, Shark overtook the British manufacturer Dyson as the leader in the industry, controlling more than 20% of market share. Euro-Pro is privately owned, and is currently run by the third generation of the family.

The company is headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. It has been aggressively innovating and overhauling its product line over the past 10-15 years.

And with the “rise in disposable income and rising health awareness, improved standards of living” around the globe, the global market for vacuum cleaners “is expected to witness a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 9.1% from 2019 to 2025”.

This is good news for consumers. As the market is experiencing phenomenal growth, innovation will continue and prices will be more competitive. With Shark being a major player in the North American market, consumers can be assured that they’re in for the long haul.

This is echoed by Euro-Pro’s resident Mark Barrocas in a 2014 remark about stock market flotation. “We take a very long-term view of things,” he said. “And I don’t know that the public markets really afford us a lot of advantages, versus where we currently are.”

Choosing to purchase from a company who’s in it for the long haul is a good idea. They’ll be able to keep up with the demands of consumers.

Ever purchase a product that comes with a multi-year warranty. I often couldn’t help but think that what if they close down before the warranty expires?

What’s even more worrisome are products that claim to have lifetime warranty. Would the company really going to be around for the next 20 or 30 years?

I find that looking at their track record is probably the best gauge you can have. If the company has only been around for the past 2 years, I would take their warranty claims with a huge grain of salt. I’ve once purchased furniture from a European company.

All their products come with lifetime warranties and free service/repair. But around the 6 year mark, the business folded.

Now, I’m left hanging with some rather expensive furniture without any support to call if the mechanism breaks down one day. They use mechanisms and parts that are proprietary and manufactured in-house. So it would be impossible to find replacements when the time comes.

Cordless vacuum cleaners are rising in popularity, but is it right for you?

Cordless vacuum cleaners are growing in popularity. Its market size is forecasted to reach US$ 4250 million by 2024. A cordless vacuum is more convenient that a corded version. You don’t need to be repositioning the cord every so often as you maneuver it around the room.

But one of the biggest downsides to having a cordless vacuum is the battery. Most of us are concerned about the battery life expectancy, run time and charge time. Here are some concerns to consider when deciding if a cordless or corded Shark vacuum is right for you.

Charging the battery

If you’re forgetful about charging your phone almost on a daily basis, then you’re likely to forget about charging a cordless vacuum cleaner. To make your life easier, you can consider getting a unit with detachable battery.

Most of Shark’s cordless offerings comes with detachable battery. You’ll then purchase a second (or even third) battery to put into your rotation. If you do have multiple batteries in rotation, Shark recommends that you use each equally in use and charging to maintain healthier runtime.

Battery life expectancy

All new Shark cordless vacuum cleaners uses lithium-ion batteries. Like any batteries, it wily decrease in capacity over time. The resources that Shark puts out seems to be quite vague about the life expectancy of their batteries.

You wouldn’t find an exact number of uses on any of the models, that’s for sure. But for some models, you do see an indication for the number of years. Take the IC160 Series for example, Shark writes that “the battery life expectancy is at least two years and comes with a two-year limited warranty.”

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory seems to suggest more variation. The laboratory did a battery life predictive model study.

The study found that the “[r]ates of degradation are controlled by factors such as temperatures, electrochemical operating windows, and charge/discharge rates.” That means the battery life expectancy can vary between users.

Battery replacement cost

But if battery life is a concern, then consider getting a corded version. The battery replacements for some models are quite reasonably priced. Some brands would even encourage customers to get a second backup battery. So that the vacuum can run twice a long before having to change it.

But Shark batteries can be more costly to replace. The replacement battery for Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum, for example, cost more than a quarter of the price of the vacuum. So get a corded vacuum when in doubt.

For some, fussing about the corded is simply too much work, so a cordless vacuum is the only way to go. But let’s take a look at some other factors to help you decide on the best shark vacuum for combating pet hair.

Shark Pet Perfect Lithium Ion Handheld Vacuum

Best shark vacuum for pet hair on upholstery

The Pet Perfect Handheld Vacuum is one of the best value-for-money handheld vacuums in the segment. It’s a popular choice within the Shark family vacuum cleaners. And a well regarded model within the handheld vacuum category. It’s sturdy, has great suction power and lightweight.

Shark vacuum cleaners have been known to last forever. Unless the battery died, which is pricey to replace (you might consider getting a new vacuum altogether), these machines can last up to a decade.

The suction power on the Shark Pet Perfect is strong and relatively fade-free. It comes with a pet motorized brush. It’s designed for picking up pet hair from upholstery and fabric.

On a full charge, the vacuum runs for about 13 mins if you’re using the motorized brush. 13 minutes is not much, but gives you the most effective cleaning you can do on a daily basis.

It’s made for daily spot cleanups, and would not fare very well if you’re intending for deep cleaning. Without the motorized brush, the run time can go up to 45 minutes. You can use it without any attachment, or with the crevice tool that comes in the box.

The Shark Pet Perfect has a streamlined body with the handle built into the oblong shaped body. The rubberized handle fits nicely in the palm of your hand.

It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver when holding it at different angles. One of the cons of this nearly-perfect vacuum is the position of the exhaust port. It points downwards which will blow dust and hair around as you’re trying to vacuum it up.

Those using it to clean the floor will be frustrated by this. It’s always important to choose the right tool for the job. And this handheld vacuum is not made for extensive floor vacuuming.

It’s made for spot cleaning (picking up scattered cat litter, for example) and above ground cleaning (getting rid of pet hair on the couch, for example). So figure the cleaning job you have in mind before making any purchases.

Pros: Sturdy, lightweight, powerful suction

Cons: Exhaust port tends to blow dust around

Shark Navigator Pet Plus NV251 Upright Vacuum

Best all-rounder vacuum for deep cleaning pet hair

An upright vacuum is usually a staple in most homes. And that’s for good reasons. It’s relatively portable, provide deeper cleaning capabilities (than a stick or handheld vacuum) and does not cost a fortune.

An excellent choice for an upright vacuum is the Shark Navigator Pet Plus Upright Vacuum. It’s a mid-range upright vacuum. So it doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of higher-end models in the Shark upright vacuum range.

One can probably do without an extendable wand or the LED lights on the brush head or a self-cleaning brush roll.

Yet, it sufficiently provides deep cleaning capabilities for most households with pets. You should consider this base model geared towards pet owners.

One of the key features that you need to look out for is if it comes with a HEPA filter. The Navigator Pet Plus has a HEPA filter and an anti-allergen seal. The filter and seal work together to keep pet allergen to a minimum level.

You can forego having a HEPA filter on your daily spot cleanups unit (the handheld vacuum). But it’s definitely highly recommended for the vacuum cleaner you’ll be using for routine deep cleaning.

It weighs 16 lbs, which for most people is light enough to carry up and down the stairs. In case you’re wondering, there are even lighter upright models in the Shark lineup, as low as 10 or 11 lbs.

Most Shark upright vacuums comes with cord that’s between 25 to 30 ft long. The Navigator Pet Plus has a 25 ft cord and hooks to wind the cord around when in storage. It might not be long enough if you have a very large floor area or a long flight of stairs.

But where this vacuum really shines is carpet work. It’s one of the most powerful vacuums in the lineup. It tackles pet hair and dander very well on low to medium pile carpets. It’s tricky on high pile carpet but cleans hard surfaces (such as tiled or hardwood floors) well.

Pros: very strong suction, cost efficient, large dust cup

Cons: Difficult to maneuver as the swivel is not as easy to control

Shark Rocket Pet Pro Stick Hand Vacuum

Best cordless Shark vacuum for pet hair

The Rocket Pet Pro is the only cordless vacuum in the Shark lineup with HEPA filters. Most have either foam, fabric or felt filters. The HEPA filter is washable but needs to be replaced every year or so if you have pets at home.

If you’re using this unit as your main (and maybe only) machine, then HEPA filter is a must. For households with pets, having HEPA filters in your appliances will improve your air quality. Some pet allergens are simply too fine for normal filters to trap.

Given how versatile this vacuum is, it can likely be the only vacuum cleaner you need, especially if you have a smaller home. In handheld mode, you can use it for above ground cleaning and car interior cleaning.

In the handheld mode, this unit has a run time of up to 40 minutes. But in stick vacuum mode, the run time is about 20 minutes, and shorter if you’re in power mode. The batteries are removable, so you can charge it out of the unit. If you need longer run time on this machine, simply get a backup battery. That would double the run time essentially.

Although the batteries can be quite costly, but I prefer having the option to swap out the batteries. As the batteries become weaker, I can get them replaced and not have to replace the whole vacuum unit. The battery charges from a wall plug, and the unit doesn’t come with a wall mount.

The vacuum weighs 7.17 lbs, which is relatively light compared to other all-in-one vacuums. It comes with 3 attachments: self-cleaning brush roll, crevice tool and pet multi-tool.

The self-cleaning brush roll comes particularly handy if you have long haired animals. I used to spend a good amount of time after cleaning the area to clean the vacuum brush itself. Using my fingers to pull the hair loose from the brush and then turn on the vacuum to suck up hair.

With this self-cleaning brush, it cleans itself, removing hair wrapped around it as you go. The pet multi-tool is a 2-in-1 tool: a stiff bristle brush to brush away debris and an upholstery tool for pet hair. The vacuum handles most floor surfaces well, but not high pile carpets.

Pros: HEPA filter, versatile, detachable battery

Cons: Doesn’t handle high pile carpets well

Shark UpLight Lift-Away Stick Vacuum

Best corded Shark vacuum for pet hair

Consider this category a cross between an upright vacuum and a stick vacuum. It comes close to matching the power of upright vacuums, and has the portability of stick vacuums.

If you want the best of both worlds then you should strongly consider this category of corded stick vacuums. Because it is corded, it is more suited for smaller homes. As you’ll not be unplugging and replugging every time you move to a new area.

It is for people who are looking to only own one machine – a machine that does it all. Then Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away Stick Vacuum is that vacuum you’re looking for.

It weighs slightly more than 10 lbs. It is slightly heavier than most cordless stick vacuums. But definitely lighter than more upright vacuums.

But like most stick vacuums, the brush head has a low profile and can fit under furniture quite effortlessly. And even with a self-cleaning brush head attached, it still has a lower profile than most upright vacuums.

The APEX UpLight Lift-Away also features a built-in extendable hose for reaching high places. Use it to clean above the cabinet or for getting into nooks and crannies in the car.

Detaching what the brand called a “pod”, which is the machine and dust cup part of the vacuum, you can hold the top handle like how you would use a handheld vacuum.

With this configuration, you can do above the ground cleaning with the extended hose. This really makes it a very versatile vacuum with a small footprint.

Any household appliances that comes with a HEPA filter is highly recommended for households with pets. It’ll filter out pet dander and allergens in the air that passes through it. This will keep them from being recycled back into your home. You’ll need a HEPA filter in your vacuum particularly if it’s your main machine for deep cleaning.

The suction power on this unit rivals a full-sized upright vacuum. It’s almost like outfitting a stick vacuum with an upright vacuum’s motor. It handles most surfaces well, but can be too strong for thinner rugs.

One downside about this vacuum is the size of its dust cup – it holds about 2.7 cups. And that’s hardly sufficient if you’re deep cleaning in a multi-pet household.

Pros: Low profile brush head, 2-in-1 design: upright vacuum snaps into a handheld

Cons: Small dust cup

Shark ION R87 Robot Vacuum

Best Shark robot vacuum for pet hair

Shark has only a few models in the robot vacuum lineup. The ION R87 is the best option among them for some very practical reasons.

One of the most important reasons is the dust cup capacity. It has the largest capacity at about 2.4 cups. The Shark IQ Robot Vacuum R101 comes with the option of a self-emptying base.

How it works is that the robot vacuum will empty the debris at the base, where it also charges. This might seem like a great idea. It is one of the most common complaints with robot vacuums.

That although you can technically let it run for forever (because it self-docks and self-charges), the debris still needs emptying. But having this one extra functionality raises the prices significantly.

And if you opt to go without that self-emptying base, then the IQ Robot Vacuum R101 only holds about 0.68 cups, which is not very practical.

Although the R101 does come with a self-cleaning brush, unless you’re willing to spend an extra chunk of change (to get the self-emptying base), then you shouldn’t consider it. If you have short hair pets, then a self-cleaning brush is not crucial.

The suction on this robot vacuum is also surprisingly strong. And given that, hair is less likely to get stuck or tangled on the vacuum. Most of it will get sucked in.

But this poses a disadvantage as well, because it can get caught on small cat toys or even cords. So robot vacuum proof your house before you let it loose.

The ION R87 is a good mid-ground of value and price. It’s the mid-range model, with rather impressive features. It powers through most surfaces without much fuss.

But like most robot vacuums, it does get stuck between tight corners sometimes. You’ll probably need to rescue it once in a while, especially when it can’t find its way back to dock before the battery dies. It has a rather low clearance so it fits under furniture well.

And although it has a built-in navigation system, it can get lost sometimes, going back and forth on a spot. But for the price and value you get, it’s a very ideal robot vacuum to keep running in the background to pick up after pets.

Pros: Strong suction power, works well on most surfaces

Cons: Can get lost sometimes, relatively small dust cup

These are some of the best in class vacuum cleaners for pet hair from the brand. They are well designed, durable and cleans effectively. But deciding on which shark vacuum is best for pet hair depends largely on your cleaning needs.

Whether you’re looking for an all-rounder machine that does it all relatively well. Or you have a very specific cleaning job in mind, knowing your cleaning needs is half the battle won.

If you’re looking for an above the ground cleaning, something that is ultra portable, then look no further than the Shark Pet Perfect Handheld Vacuum. The all-rounder corded upright vacuum can be clunkier than a handheld.

But the Shark Navigator Pet Plus NV251 Upright Vacuum your best bet if you’re looking to deep clean. The corded/cordless debate comes down to reliability and power versus portability and convenience.

So choose which you can’t live without. And finally, a robot vacuum is highly recommended in any household with pets. The Shark ION R87 Robot Vacuum will keep the pet hair mess at a manageable level until your next deep clean session.