If you’re after a cordless vacuum to really give your house or flat the once over, the (takes breath) Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner certainly pulls out all the stops.
Even a few years ago, a vacuum of this size and power would likely need a wire to keep it running for a good cleaning session, though the wonders of battery-powered technology has meant this is one high-end vacuum you won’t need to tether to the wall during use.
With a nifty Flexology design, well-utilized headlights, and a host of cleaning technologies from previous models all bundled together, this is one cordless vacuum worth paying attention to.
Price and availability
Shark’s DuoClean models – like this one – sit at the top of the range of Shark vacuums. The orange-coloured IZ201UK reviewed here retails for £349 at Currys, Argos, AO.com and Very in the UK, and is available across Europe.
It’s less clear for Australian shoppers – we’re told that a shipment is coming their way in September, via retailer Mann & Noble (which is Shark’s only distribution outlet in AU), so it’s worth checking that out in the coming weeks if you’re after this model.
There’s also a blue model that comes with a second battery pack – for easy switching when you run out of battery – for a total £399 instead. If you want an additional pet-hair nozzle accessory thrown in, that takes it to £379 (and a teal colouring), or £449 with the second battery (with a red colouring). The black model packs in three batteries, if you’re really feeling wild.
The pricing is roughly on a par with the £399 you’d be paying for our current best cordless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute, and still even less than the high-end £499 Dyson V11 Absolute, though we’d expect slightly more powerful suction from the latter models.
Design and features
So, what do you get with the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner with Flexology?
Well, your first question is probably what we mean by Flexology – which is Shark’s proprietary flexible vacuum stick design. It uses a bendable tube that you can release from the vertical position and bend inwards, a little like a knee bending the wrong way. This enables you to easily manipulate the vacuum into reaching sections of floor without having to lower yourself and the handle to do so.
It’s especially useful for cleaning underneath tables, counters, or furniture – aided by a pair of headlights that come on (and stay on) whenever the vacuum is in use. It’s a shame you can’t optionally turn this off – given the battery would probably drain a little slower – but the added visibility of the lights still makes cleaning a lot easier.
As a cordless vacuum, you’ll be charging this model in between cleaning sessions, with a simple power cable that plug into the top of the vacuum. How do you get the cable up so high? The Flexology feature enables you to bend the top of the vacuum 180 degrees to face the ground, meaning you can lean it against the wall easily with the power port in easy reach of a wall socket.
Shark’s vacuum has a modular design, meaning you can easily detach the end nozzle from the vacuum and replace it with other accessories – or do without the stick altogether for more up-close cleaning. Alternative accessories include one for narrow spaces and corners, one for dusting, and one for cleaning furniture and upholstery – with the option to purchase more online.
There’s even a dedicated accessory for cleaning pet hair from the carpet, though we didn’t get the chance to use this in our testing.
The main feature to mention, though, is the primary floor nozzle attachment. This is what you’ll largely be using to clean your floors, with separate mode settings for hardwood floors and carpets – the latter of which needs a bit more power to draw up dust and hairs.
The floor nozzle uses a mix of high-end design concepts, including a rotating soft brush roll and composite flap that continually rotate in order to maintain a complete anti-allergen seal on the floor and ensure air is only sucked in one direction.
The flap is also coated in a textile layer that makes it easy to draw off dust balls or hairs caught in the apparatus – hence the mention of Anti Hair Wrap in the model’s name.
How we test vacuums
We test a vacuum’s capabilities by replicating three typical household cleaning scenarios: oats scattered on a tiled floor; carpet freshener and talc scattered on a carpet; and pet hairs on a rug and sofa. We also test maneuverability for cleaning around and under furniture and on stairs, ease of emptying the bin, and battery life.
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner is a real delight to use – with the flexibility to easily maneuver around either open floor or furniture-filled living rooms. It’s a real joy bending the vacuum – rather than your spine – before easily flicking it back into the upright position.
Even on the lighter hardwood floor setting, we found dust and debris was easily sucked up, with none of the issues we’ve had previously with underpowered vacuums simply pushing balls of dust around. The trigger that you use to put the vacuum into boost mode is also highly intuitive – and, let’s face it, quite exciting to use. Fire away!
The modular parts fit together in a solid fashion, and do require a good tug at times to detach. The accessories for narrow spaces and furniture cleaning worked wonderfully well, if they didn’t include the fancier suction technology of the primary floor nozzle – while the one-click bin lid makes it shockingly easy to dump its contents into the trash.
We’re told this DuoClean model has a 40% longer run time than its predecessor, up to 40 minutes of usage – as well as 50% larger bin capacity, meaning you can clean for longer and store all the additional dirt you pick up in that extended period of time. We found, however, that the battery generally lasted a bit longer than this.
The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Flexology IZ201UK Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is a mouthful to mention, but its effective suction and anti-allergen sealing, as well as its sizeable bin capacity and decent cordless run time, make it easy to recommend anyone wanting to vacuum up their home.
The headlights and Flexology features make it far easier to clean, too, with the visibility and on-the-fly flexibility to ensure you don’t need to get on your knees to clean in hard-to-reach places.
It might not beat our favorite Dyson cleaners, but the slight drop in price compared to the V11 or V10 may push it just ahead in your eyes.