Shark is a trusted vacuum brand that has been making affordable yet powerful cleaning products for over a decade. In recent years, they‘ve leveraged their expertise in floor care technology to create an impressive lineup of robot vacuums.
But with several different Shark robot models now available, how do you determine which is right for your home? We‘ve thoroughly researched the latest options and identified the 4 top-rated Shark robot vacuums to consider:
- Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum AV2511AE – Best Overall
- Shark AI Robot Vacuum AV2001S – Runner Up
- Shark ION Robot Vacuum R85 – Best Budget
- Shark AI Robot Vacuum AV2001WD – Best Hybrid Vacuum/Mop
By covering Shark‘s company history, breaking down key buying factors, and providing detailed overviews of these 4 robots, this guide will give you the knowledge you need to select your ideal automated cleaning companion.
A Trusted Brand Making High-Performance, Affordable Vacuums
Shark made its mark in the crowded vacuum space by offering powerful suction and practical features at reasonable price points. The company first launched in 1998 with a focus on lightweight stick vacuums.
Within just a few years, Shark expanded into upright vacuums, handhelds, and even steam mops. Their products quickly gained popularity for strong cleaning performance that rivaled far more expensive brands.
Shark‘s sales have steadily increased over the past decade thanks to vacuum innovations like:
- DuoClean floorheads with double brushrolls to handle both carpets and bare floors
- Anti-allergenComplete Seal technology and HEPA filters to trap dust and dander
- Versatile convertible vacuums that can transform into handhelds for furniture or cars
- Extended runtime lithium-ion batteries providing up to 120 minutes of cleaning time
In 2019, Shark merged with Ninja, joining forces to become a broader consumer appliance powerhouse. Together they now boast over $1 billion in annual sales.
While Shark handles vacuums, Ninja focuses on countertop appliances like blenders, air fryers, and coffee makers. But the brands share a commitment to making high-performance, thoughtfully designed products more accessible to everyday consumers.
Shark‘s Impressive Portfolio Now Includes Robot Vacuums
Initially Shark only produced manual vacuums, but around 2016 they joined other major players in launching robot vacuums. These automated cleaners use sensors, cameras, and mapping technology to autonomously vacuum floors.
Shark‘s robot vacuums are split across three main lines:
Shark ION: The most affordable Shark robot options ranging from $150-$250. They have decent battery life up to 120 minutes but lack advanced mapping capabilities.
Shark IQ: A mid-range line with smarter navigation thanks to Shark‘s BotBoundary strips. Around $300-$450.
Shark AI: The newest and most high-tech Shark robots with truly intelligent navigation from LiDAR and vSLAM camera mapping. $380-$650 price range.
While Shark‘s robot lineup is streamlined compared to iRobot‘s extensive portfolio, their vacuums incorporate innovative navigation that rivals Roomba. And as expected, they deliver excellent cleaning performance across floors and carpets.
In fact, the Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum AV2511AE recently earned an impressive 4.5/5 rating from Consumer Reports. Reviewers praise its strong suction and complete floor coverage thanks to systematic multi-pass cleaning.
So while Shark got into robot vacuums a few years after big players like iRobot, they‘ve caught up quickly when it comes to advanced automation and suction power. Keep reading to learn which Shark models deliver the best overall value.
Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Shark Robot Vacuum
To choose the right Shark robot vacuum for your home, start by considering these key factors:
Floor type and carpet pile: Basic Shark robots with 14-15 Pa suction handle only hard floors or low-pile carpet. Mid-range and up are better for homes with medium to high-pile carpeting.
Home size: Small apartments under 1,000 sq ft can get by with simpler navigation. Larger homes benefit from smarter mapping to efficiently cover more ground.
Mapping technology: Basic models rely on proximity sensors for navigation. BotBoundary strips, vSLAM, and LiDAR scanning create accurate floor maps for methodical cleaning.
Battery life: Runtimes range from 60-120 minutes. Bigger spaces require maximum battery performance so the vacuum can finish cleaning in one session.
Self-emptying: Shark‘s premium robots can empty debris into a base that holds 30-60 days‘ worth, saving you trips to the trash.
App/voice control: Wifi-connected Shark models work with Alexa or Google Home for handy voice control. Shark‘s app allows for scheduling, custom cleaning zones and more.
Budget: Shark robots range from $180 – $650. Consider what features are must-haves vs. nice-to-haves to strike the right balance.
We‘ll cover how the top 4 Shark robots stack up across these factors. First up…
1. Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum AV2511AE – Best Overall
The brilliant Shark AI Ultra AV2511AE sits at the top of Shark‘s robot vacuum lineup thanks to its high-end navigation and cleaning intelligence.
If you want the ultimate hands-free experience, this self-emptying robot vacuum is the clear choice.
- Suction power: 22 Pa rating handles all floor types
- Run time: 120 minutes of constant cleaning
- Mapping: LiDAR and vSLAM cameras scan and map rooms
- Navigation: Methodical back-and-forth row cleaning
- Self-emptying: Holds 60 days of debris
- Control: App, Alexa, and Google Assistant voice
With 22 Pa of suction, the AV2511AE has 50% more power than Shark‘s IQ models for deep cleaning carpets. Reviewers confirm it tackles embedded dirt in carpeting with ease.
The LiDAR laser scans your home for precise mapping while vSLAM cameras further enhance navigation. This allows complete floor coverage thanks to the robot‘s matrix cleaning pattern.
Instead of random movement, it vacuums back and forth in neat rows throughout each room. This systematic approach ensures no areas get missed.
Once finished, the vacuum empties itself into its base which holds a hefty 60 days of debris. This completely hands-free emptying is perfect for large homes or busy families.
You can customize cleaning schedules and target spots as needed directly from Shark‘s app. And the 120 minute battery ensures the AV2511AE can clean even larger spaces in one session.
- Powerful suction for carpets
- Large capacity self-empty base
- Precise home mapping with LiDAR
- Thorough cleaning pattern
- High price point around $650
With best-in-class technology for navigation and room scanning, Shark‘s Ultra AI AV2511AE takes the top spot as the most intelligent robot vacuum available from this brand.
Its high price tag is justified by the complete hands-free cleaning experience. If you want maximum convenience, it‘s the clear winner.
2. Shark AI Robot Vacuum AV2001S – Runner Up
For advanced automation at a more affordable price point, the Shark AI Robot Vacuum AV2001S comes in as the runner up.
It keeps premium navigation and mapping but forgoes the jumbo dustbin of the AV2511AE.
- Suction power: 22 Pa rating
- Run time: 120 minutes
- Mapping: LiDAR laser scanning
- Navigation: Methodical row-by-row cleaning
- Self-emptying: Holds 30 days of debris
Like Shark‘s Ultra model, the AV2001S relies on LiDAR mapping for systematic cleaning coverage in neat rows throughout your home.
It has the same 22 Pa maximum suction power for tackling debris deep in carpets. And the generous 120 minute battery ensures it can handle larger homes in one cleaning cycle.
While it lacks the jumbo 60 day dustbin, you still get the convenience of automatic dirt disposal after each job. The self-empty base just needs to be emptied monthly rather than every other month.
For other features, the AV2001S matches its premium counterpart. You get full app controls, Alexa/Google Assistant voice commands, selective room cleaning, and a handy spot cleaning mode.
- LiDAR smart mapping
- Strong suction power
- Automatic self-emptying bin
- 120 minute runtime
- Smaller 30 day base capacity
If you don‘t need the supersized capacity of Shark‘s Ultra self-empty base, the AV2001S gives you high-end navigation and cleaning intelligence for roughly $100 less.
It earns our runner up spot for premium performance at a more moderate price point.
3. Shark ION Robot Vacuum R85 – Best Budget
The Shark ION R85 proves you don‘t have to spend a fortune to get an effective robot vacuum with handy app and voice control.
It lacks the advanced mapping of pricier Shark models but delivers solid cleaning coverage at a wallet-friendly price.
- Suction power: 14 Pa
- Runtime: 120 minutes
- Navigation: Sensor-based
- Cleaning pattern: Random
- Control: Wi-Fi, app, Alexa/Google voice
Don‘t let the low price fool you – the ION R85 still packs a punch when it comes to battery life and suction.
Its 120 minutes of constant runtime allows full cleaning of large homes. And 14 Pa of suction tackles debris on both hard floors and low to medium pile carpets.
Instead of laser mapping, this budget bot navigates via sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs. It moves randomly rather than in neat rows. But multiple passes limit the chance of any patches being missed.
Despite the basic navigation, Shark‘s excellent app and voice control features come standard. You can schedule whole home cleanings, target spots, or direct the vacuum with Alexa or Google.
- Excellent 120 minute battery
- Solid suction power
- Wi-Fi and app connectivity
- Affordable price
- Lacks advanced mapping capabilities
For shoppers seeking an entry-level robot vacuum with Wi-Fi smarts, the ION R85 offers tremendous value.
It‘s a great affordable option for smaller spaces that don‘t require complex navigation.
4. Shark AV2001WD – Best Robot Vacuum/Mop Combo
For vacuum power plus light mopping in one unit, Shark‘s AV2001WD is a solid choice.
It switches automatically between vacuuming carpets and mopping hard floors thanks to smart mapping.
- Vacuum suction: 15 Pa
- Mopping scrubbers: 100 scrubs per minute
- Run time: 90 minutes
- Navigation: LiDAR mapping
- Cleaning pattern: Neat rows
While suction power is lower than other Shark robots at 15 Pa, that‘s still suitable for hard floors and low-pile carpeting.
The real advantage of the AV2001WD is its built-in mopping function. It uses vibrating scrubbers and disposable pads to polish hard flooring as it vacuums.
LiDAR mapping ensures the vacuum heads to its base when transitioning to mopping mode to avoid wetting carpets. You can also set mop-free zones via the app if desired.
Owners praise this hybrid unit for tackling dust, dirt, and grime in one pass. Mopping performance outshines competitors for effectively cleaning floors without excess moisture.
- Vacuums and mops in one step
- LiDAR navigation ideal for mopping
- Safe mopping for hard flooring
- Good value hybrid cleaner
- Lower suction than dedicated vacuums
- Shorter 90 minute runtime
While not as powerful as a dedicated vacuum, the AV2001WD eliminates the need for two separate robots.
The smart mopping capabilities make it the top-rated Shark combo unit.
Final Verdict: Shark Makes Strong Contenders Across All Price Ranges
Shark may offer fewer robot vacuum models than some competitors, but they cover all the bases when it comes to features and affordability.
Their AI Ultra lineup defines the cutting edge of automation with LiDAR navigation and complete hands-free cleaning. Yet budget options like the ION R85 still pack Wi-Fi smarts for convenience.
Across the board, Shark vacuums earn praise from experts and owners for solid cleaning performance, great batteries, and thoughtful designs. With options tailored to homes both small and large, budgets casual and serious, they make a compelling case versus other robot vacuum brands.
While navigating the range of robot vacuums can feel overwhelming at first, this guide breaks down exactly what Shark products exemplify quality and value. Keep our detailed advice in mind, and you‘re sure to roll away with an automated helper ready to keep your floors spotless.