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One of the most tedious parts of being a pet parent is cleaning up pet hair. It can cling to carpets, floors, clothing, and furniture. And trying to remove it involves constant troubleshooting. You can use lint rollers to try and clean off your clothes or special pet hair- removing brushes to reduce your pet’s shedding, but pet fur often requires the power of a vacuum cleaner. 

Having a pet means you’re inevitably going to have to vacuum more often than pet-free households, and a good quality pet vacuum can make all the difference. There are many vacuums on the market, but finding one that is effective in picking up pet hair is key. Here’s what happened when we put the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum to the test.

What is Shark?

Close up of shark vacuum

Shark is one of several brands created by SharkNinja, which specializes in small, innovative household appliances and cleaning products. From a variety of vacuums and mops to hair dryers, air purifiers, and coffee makers, SharkNinja prides itself on quality, ease of use, and competitive pricing. Their mission is to provide innovative household and cleaning solutions for people with busy lifestyles, like pet parents!

Shark Vacuum Product Line

Shark vacuum in action on the stairs

Shark offers many different types of vacuums, including upright, cordless, robot, handheld, and canister options, as well as mops. Many of these Shark vacuums are marketed as being able to tackle pet hair. When choosing a Shark pet hair vacuum, you’ll need to take factors like style, technology features, parts and accessories, cost, and value into consideration. Here is a closer look at the different types of Shark vacuums (and mops) available:

Upright vacuums: Shark’s upright vacuums come with anti-allergen HEPA filters and they all claim to remove stubborn pet hair. There are few different upright options to choose from, including the Shark Vertex that we tested.

Cordless vacuums: If you don’t want to hassle with cords, Shark makes a variety of different cordless upright vacuums, most of which claim to remove pet hair. The Pet Plus model specializes in removing pet hair.

Robot vacuums: If pushing a vacuum isn’t your thing, Shark makes robot vacs that you can control with the SharkClean app. They all come with the promise of powerful pet hair pickup. 

Corded stick vacuums: If you have a smaller home or if your pets are designated to a specific area, check out the UltraLight Corded Stick Vacuums. While they all claim to remove pet hair, the Pet Pro is specifically designed for pets.

Handheld vacuums: Every household needs a handheld vacuum. Shark makes a few different models, but the UltraLight Pet Corded Handheld Vacuum with Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush would be the best choice for removing pet hair. 

Canister vacuums: Of the two different canister vacuums Shark offers, the Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum is considered the best for pet hair.

Mops: Shark also makes a variety of mops for hard floors, including steam mops to sanitize your pup’s occasional accident. The Shark VACMOP Pro Cordless Hard Floor Mop is a great choice for pet parents, as it has powerful vacuum suction combined with spray mopping with disposable pads.

What is the Best Shark Vacuum for Pet Hair?

Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum

If you’re looking for the best Shark vacuum for pet hair, the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum is our recommendation. This full-size yet ultra-light vacuum features DuoClean Powerfins, which are flexible silicone fins that dig deep into carpet and pick up more dirt—and pet hair!—with every pass. It also has a Self-Cleaning Brushroll that eliminates pesky hair wrap and a Powered Lift-Away feature, which allows you to detach the stick at the touch of a button to clean windowsills, ceilings, or under furniture. Other featured technologies include Active Glide for smooth maneuverability, and an Anti-Allergen Complete Seal, which claims to capture 99 percent of dust, allergens, and pet dander. 

If you have a heavy shedder or multiple pets, you should consider springing for the Shark TruePet vacuum upgrade. For an extra $100 (or less with a promo code), you’ll receive additional cleaning accessories, including a self-cleaning pet power brush, anti-allergen and multi-angle dusting brushes, and two crevice tools. They’ll also throw in an under appliance tool and a Shark Steam Mop!

But again, choosing the right Shark pet vacuum for your household really comes down to your preferred style (e.g., cordless or upright), desired features, types of surfaces you’ll be cleaning, such as hardwood, carpets, or furniture, and how much you can afford to spend. You should also consider how big of an area you need to vacuum and the size and weight of the vacuum, especially if you plan on carrying it up and down stairs or need extra maneuverability in tight spaces. 

Putting the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum to the Test

Two dogs sitting on dog bed next to Shark vacuum

We have two short-haired dogs, a Rat Terrier and a Doberman, that freely roam the house and claim everything as “their bed.” Although our pups are considered low-to-medium shedders, they have no problem leaving their pet hair everywhere! We constantly find piles of fur on the stairs, rugs, and couches. So, our household put the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum to work.

We first tested this Shark pet vacuum on a thick area rug where our Rat Terrier loves to nap. There are three settings: thick carpet, carpet, and hard floor. The vacuum had no problem sucking up every visible hair. It seemed to pick up more with each pass than our old Hoover Windtunnel vacuum, so it was a quick clean, and easier to navigate on the thick rug because of the Shark’s lighter weight and Active Glide technology. 

Next, we tackled the couch where we have previously used lint rollers to remove pet hair. With the press of a button, we detached the wand and attached the self-cleaning pet power brush. The Shark Vertex vacuum did a much better job than the lint rollers and left the couch looking brand new. 

We then proceeded to clean the rest of the house with the Shark Vertex vacuum, which easily sucked up all the pet hair and dirt from hard floors, carpets, and rugs. We also used the detached wand to clean the furniture, stairs, and dog beds. 

Close up of pet hair in Shark Vertex vacuum holder

Things We Like

Straight out of the box, it took about five minutes to assemble the Shark Vertex vacuum. All the pieces snapped together easily, and the instructions were clear. Even though all the parts are plastic, it seemed to be well made and much more lightweight than our Hoover.

The first thing we noticed is how easily it auto-glided on the floors. And the suction was really strong. We also liked how the dust container (which is nice and big) is clear so you can see when it’s full. It’s kind of fun to watch all the pet fur gather in the container—it makes you feel like you are really making a difference when cleaning your house. And you don’t need to buy clean dust bags for the vacuum. You simply disconnect the container with a button and empty it into the trash! All the different attachments worked well to clean furniture, stairs, and windowsills. Other things we like include: 

  • When the bag is full or something is trapped in the brush, a red light comes on and the vacuum stops auto-gliding.
  • There’s a little rubber bumper on the front to protect your furniture—genius!
  • Shark offers a 90-day money back guarantee 
  • You also get a 5-year VIP service warranty, which means if your Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum fails for any reason, you can ship it to Shark and they will fix or replace it and send it back for free (if you live in the contiguous U.S.).

Things to Consider

All the pieces of the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum are made of plastic (isn’t everything these days?) and this was one of the main complaints among Shark Vertex reviews. But as long as you assemble it correctly (don’t force any parts together) and you don’t drop or bang it around, we didn’t see this as being a problem. 

One thing we noticed is that the hose isn’t very long, so when you’re cleaning furniture or windowsills, you have to continue to move the vacuum so it’s close to you. We also wish there was a lever or button to push with your hand to lower the handle and engage the vacuum. Instead, you have to step on the floor nozzle and pull the handle back. 

Shark Pet Vacuum: Our Verdict

Overall, we were very impressed with the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum. And if you have as much pet hair around the house as we do, the Shark TruePet vacuum upgrade is worth it! We’re definitely ready to put our old vacuum cleaner in the back of the closet and make this Shark pet vacuum our go-to pet hair removing tool.