UPDATED OCTOBER 2020 - Over the past 12 years we’ve done many Shark Vacuum Reviews. We’ve reviewed mostly Shark upright vacuums but have also investigated steam mops, canister vacuums, stick vacs, and even Shark handheld units. We’ve analyzed the performance of these machines on carpet, on bare floors, AND on pet hair. The results for the best shark vacuums for pet hair - in order of effectiveness - are in the following list:
The Best Shark Vacuums for Pet Hair
- Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away ZU632
- Shark Navigator Zero-M Lift-Away Speed ZU561
- Shark Navigator Zero-M Pet Pro ZU62
- Shark APEX Zero-M AZ1002
- Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet
#1) Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away ZU632
Our 2020 pick for the best Shark vacuum for pet hair is the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away, model ZU632. Why is the ZU632 the best?
- It has Zero-M Technology. This technology is designed to keep the brushroll relatively hair free. The bulk of the hair is sent to the dust canister for disposal as opposed to ending up wrapped in the brushroll where it has to be manually removed. We’ve tested this technology and it does a pretty good job.
- The air filtration is top notch. The vacuum has 2 pre-motor filters and 1 post-motor HEPA grade filter (which can remove the likes of dust mites, pollen, mold spores and pet dander). The unit also has a sealed system which ensures no unfiltered air escapes the vacuum.
- It is designed for both carpet and hard floors. Controls on the handle allow you to switch between thick carpet, low pile carpet, and hard floors. Our tests showed good debris pickup on both carpet and hard flooring (tile in our test).
- The dust canister is a reasonable size. The dust canister will hold a good amount of hair and is large enough that you won’t find yourself having to empty it too frequently. It is also easy to empty.
- It is no slouch when it comes to suction power. At no point in our testing did we ever feel the unit needed more suction.
- The ZU632 is very versatile. The vacuum comes with the Powered Lift-Away feature which allows you to carry the dust canister / motor assembly with one hand while you use the hose/wand/tools with the other hand. With the cleaner head attached to the wand this enables you to get under very low furniture, and with tools attached to the handle it provides handheld-like capabilities which allow you to get into areas an upright normally cannot go.
- It has good edge cleaning ability. Our tests showed that it is capable of pulling up most debris near walls or edges.
We also like that:
- Maintenance costs for this vacuum are kept at a minimum. It is bagless so there are no bags to buy and all filters can be rinsed in water and reused.
- Movement and maneuverability are quite good. Perhaps not as good as the Shark NV752 (a similar machine) but still quite respectable.
- The unit has headlights, which are nice when vacuuming in dimly lit areas.
- The controls on the vacuum are very intuitive and easy to use.
But - like every vacuum - there are a few things to watch out for and these include:
- None of the hand tools have a spinning brushroll (you do not get a motorized or turbo hand tool). These kinds of hand tools are handy for removing pet hair from upholstery or maybe even doing a set of stairs.
- The brushroll in the cleaner head spins in hard floor mode. This provides good debris pickup but if you have very delicate flooring it could result in fine scratching. We don’t think it is an issue if you do not have delicate flooring.
- The power cord is only 25 ft long which could be a little annoying if you have a larger home.
The ZU632 is a lot like the very popular Shark NV752 (#5 in this list) however the ZU632 has the Zero-M Technology while the NV752 does not. This technology does work and is a real asset in a household with lots of pet hair. Check out our detailed video below in which we show a pet hair test (and also walk through many other aspects of the ZU632 and the NV752). You may also want to read our comprehensive Shark ZU632 review or check out our video review below. See price on Amazon.
#2) Shark Navigator Zero-M Lift-Away Speed
#3) Shark Navigator Zero-M Pet Pro ZU62
As the name suggests this Shark upright is designed for homes with pets. What do we like?
- The ZU62 has Zero-M Technology. This technology uses a special brushroll and comb in the cleaner head to minimize hair tangle in the brushroll. We’ve tested it and it does work. It keeps the brushroll relatively hair-free and it helps to move the bulk of the hair into the dust canister for disposal – as opposed to leaving it in the brushroll where it needs to be manually removed.
- It has both a HEPA filter and sealed system. If you want properly clean air exhausted from your vacuum cleaner then the combination of a HEPA filter and a sealed system is very important. The HEPA filter removes all manner of allergens from the air and the sealed system ensures that all the air entering the vacuum gets passed through the filters before leaving the vacuum.
- It has a large dust canister. If you have lots of pet hair to deal with a large dust canister is handy. This one is particularly large, and it is also easy to detach, empty, and reattach to the vacuum.
- The ZU62 has both carpet and hard floor settings. In this case the unit is designed to be effective on both surfaces.
- It has a long hose and wand. We measured the combined reach of the hose and wand at about 10 and a half feet. This is longer than the hose/wand combination in many uprights.
We also found that the ZU62 had plenty of suction power and we like that there is a suction collar on the handle which allows you to bleed off suction should you need to. The suction collar is a helpful feature if you are vacuuming delicate items like drapery or a lamp shade, etc.
Our tests showed the ZU62 was good at cleaning up tight against edges/walls, that it had good pickup on our tile flooring, and that it was good at tackling small-to-medium sized debris on carpet. We should point out that it did struggle a bit on larger debris (like fruit loops) on our low pile carpet. We also performed a noise level test and were pleasantly surprised that the vacuum was not too loud. We wouldn’t classify it as quiet but many other Shark uprights were louder.
A few things to watch out for include:
- The average movement and maneuverability of the vacuum. We’ve experienced better moving Shark uprights. This one feels just a little bit harder to push and to turn.
- This is not a lift-away vacuum so there is no lift away feature.
- The machine is rather bulky and it does not have a low profile. As such, it isn’t easy to get under low furniture.
- The power cord on this unit is only 25 ft long. If you have a large home it could be an issue.
- The brushroll keeps spinning, albeit slowly, in hard floor mode so it may concern some folks who have particularly delicate hard flooring.
- It does include 3 tools, which is nice, but none of these has a brushroll (motorized or otherwise).
You can read our comprehensive Shark Navigator Zero-M Pet Pro review.
#4) Shark APEX Zero-M AZ1002
- It has world class air filtration.
- It includes specialized pet tools.
- It has powerful suction.
- It's an APEX which is a premier Shark upright.
The APEX is one of Shark’s premier machines and the vacuum has a lot of great features. The swivel steering allows the cleaner head to move and maneuver very easily. The head turns with the twist of a wrist so it is easy to steer around furniture and to turn corners. The vacuum also generates very strong suction – something highlighted by many owners.
The APEX Zero-M carries a respectable 5-year limited warranty. You can read our detailed review of the Shark APEX Zero-M or check out our video below highlighting all the things we love about this vacuum:
#5) Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet
This vacuum is, without a doubt, the best-selling vacuum we have had (and continue to have) on our website. It has many, many reviews on sites like Amazon, JCPenney, Kohl's, etc. and the majority of owners praise the unit. We also own the vacuum and have run it through many tests (including pet hair pickup tests) and have used it for cleaning around the home for over a year. It is one of our favorite vacuum cleaners and one of our “go to” machines when we do a thorough house cleaning. It is definitely one of the best shark pet vacuums.
What features make the NV752 particularly good at managing pet hair?
- It has a motorized brushroll. This ensures sufficient power to continually turn the brushroll at speed and deep clean into carpets, digging out all manner of dust, debris, and yes, pet hair. Some less expensive vacuums, especially canister vacuums, may have a brushroll driven by suction. Some of these bog down easily and do not deep clean well.
- It has powerful suction. We measured it at 24 kPA (see video below) which is fairly close to many of the Dyson uprights. Powerful suction is critical to pulling up pet hair from both carpet and bare surfaces. When using the vacuum on bare surfaces you will also likely have the brushroll OFF so having exceptional suction here is very important. The NV752 delivers.
- It comes with a host of tools, one of which is the TruePet Motorized Brush (a hand pet hair tool). This tool has a motorized brushroll as well. Many of these kinds of tools use a suction driven brushroll (you will often see these referred to as “turbo” tools or something similar). These tools can work ok but they will not have the power of a motorized tool.
- It has a HEPA filter. Why is this important? A HEPA filter will remove the likes of tobacco smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, etc from the air. If you have a pet or pets in the house and you or a family member suffer from allergies or asthma, the HEPA filter will help you breathe easier.
- It has an “Anti-Allergen Complete Seal” (Shark terminology). This means the vacuum is designed such that unfiltered air cannot bypass the HEPA filter or leak out through cracks or poor seals in the vacuum body. The result is that you always get properly filtered air leaving the vacuum cleaner.
The above features make the machine great for pet hair and for households with pets, but on top of that the vacuum is also a very good all around machine. It is not too loud, it is easy to maneuver, it has the popular “Lift Off” feature that many of the Shark machines today have, the filters are all washable, it has brushroll on/off controls, there are headlights, and it carries a lengthy 7-year warranty, etc. We could go on. You may want to read our full Shark NV752 Review or watch our detailed video review below:
Our Comprehensive Shark NV752 Video Review
A Word on Shark and SharkNinja
Euro-Pro Operating LLC recently merged their Shark (vacuums/steam-mops) and Ninja (small kitchen appliances) product lines to create SharkNinja. So you will now often see their vacuums and steam-mops under the name “SharkNinja” but it is the same group manufacturing these.
The company has been growing rapidly and, according to Inc Magazine, it is now one of the top 5000 fastest growing companies in the USA. They also have offices in the UK, Canada and China. We've reviewed a host of the company's vacuum cleaners and their performance, innovative features and high consumer ratings often result in one or more of these machines making our best vacuum lists.
As a matter of fact, in one of our recent studies we found that the best bang for your buck when buying a vacuum is likely Shark. In our study we analyzed the costs and over 146,000 consumer ratings of a host of different vacuum models. The results, by brand, can be seen in the charts below:
This data would tend to indicate that the highest level of satisfaction for the least amount of money can be had with a Shark Vacuum. Now this isn’t exhaustively scientific but this is the data that we have been collecting over the past 10 years – you can draw your own conclusions.
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