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Shark currently has seven robot vacuums listed in their current lineup on their website, five of which are IONs. However, you can find older models brand new at various other retailers online.
They feature a wide range of functionality and capabilities from a vacuum manufacturer who has been in the business for over two decades. Shark didn’t start with vacuums, but they’ve since perfected the technique, so they know a lot about vacuum technology as well as household appliances.
Shark ION robot vacuums ring up at mid range price points compared to other robot vacuums. They aren’t the most technologically advanced, but they are well-built and of high quality, so you can count on them to work.
They are great options for those who are on a budget but don’t have a lot of spare time to do household chores. Shark ION vacuums can do the grunt work, leaving you to work hard and play harder without having to worry about vacuuming.
Here are some things to look for if you’re in the market for a robot vacuum.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Design
- 2 Technology
- 3 Current Models
- 4 Shark ION R72
- 5 Shark ION 750
- 6 Shark Ion R75
- 7 Shark ION R85
- 8 Shark ION S87
- 9 The Verdict
Most robot vacuums are shaped like a circle, although there are a few acceptions. They’re also all generally black with some silver or gray accents. However, where they vary is in size. Some are as large as 14 inches in diameter while others are considerably smaller.
You may also want to take note of how tall it is, because some are so tall they won’t fit under your furniture while others have extremely low profiles that will fit under almost anything. Shark has a mix of both.
Shark ION designs don’t vary much from model to model. They’re all circular in shape and have roughly the same dimensions. They range from 12.6 to 12.8 inches wide, 12.4 to 12.5 inches wide, and they’re all 3.4 inches tall.
That’s, of course, with the exception of the Shark ION 750, which has the same length and width, but features a slim profile at just 2.6 inches tall. This is remarkably low to the ground and ideally suited for homes with low profile furniture and little to no carpet.
All Shark ION robot vacuums are black, but some feature grey or silver perimeters around the top of the unit. They also all feature buttons on the top for starting a cleaning cycle, Max clean, or sending back to the dock.
Some robot vacuums are loaded with technology while others have almost none. Shark ION robot vacuums fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum with some technology, but not all of the bells and whistles. However, this also keeps prices modest and makes them very accessible for most people.
Wi-Fi support in a robot vacuum gives you the ability to link it to your phone and control it from a smartphone app. That means that in all cases, you can at least start and stop cleanings from your phone, whether you’re at home or not.
However, in some cases, you can also schedule cleanings, drive the robot vacuum, connect your robot vacuum to your smart home assistant to program voice commands, build floor plan maps, and view cleaning history and stats.
Most Shark ION robot vacuums support Wi-Fi so you can control it from the smartphone app, use voice commands, and schedule cleanings, but other functionality is limited. They don’t have navigation that allows them to build maps or plan a cleaning route.
They bounce around the house cleaning everything in their path until the battery is dead, and then return to the dock for recharging. Without navigation, they also can’t recharge and resume where they left off.
Smart Home Compatibility
Smart home compatibility is one of the features you get with a Wi-Fi enabled robot vacuum. It allows you to connect your robot vacuum to Google Home or Amazon Alexa, and then use voice commands to start cleanings.
Most Shark ION robot vacuums have this capability, too. You can tell your vacuum to start or stop, as long as you’re at home and within earshot of the smart home assistant device.
Vacuum technology varies widely across all robot vacuum manufacturers. The number of brushes, the suction, the floor types they can handle, and additional cleaning modes are all different.
You might look for spot clean mode if you frequently deal with messes in the kitchen, or you might want an eco mode if you live alone and are a relatively clean person already.
Shark ION robot vacuums don’t feature turbo or eco mode, but they do have a max mode that creates additional suction to tackle bigger messes. Max mode will work hard to clean your messy home, but the battery will drain faster, too.
However, the Shark IONs have dual side brushes to capture more dirt in corners and along edges for a swifter clean. It’s great for corners and underneath cabinets. Plus, the main self-cleaning brush roll means less maintenance for you.
True navigation in a robot vacuum can do all sorts of things. It can build floor plans and maps, it can determine the most efficient path for cleaning your entire home, it can allow you to create off-limits zones, and it can give you stats on when and where it was able to clean.
These features are fantastic for those who truly want the most advanced tech in a robot vacuum, but they come at a significant price increase to the unit.
Shark ION robot vacuums don’t have this type of navigation, but they have what they call Navigation 2.0. This feature gives your robot advanced sensitivity to obstacles that may be in the way so it can navigate around them without damaging them.
Filtration varies across the board in robot vacuums. Some have true HEPA filters while others use proprietary filtration systems. Shark ION robot vacuums have basic filters that are not ULPA or HEPA certified, so if you have allergies or pets, you may need more advanced filtration than the Shark ION can provide.
Brush design and configuration comes in all forms. Some robot vacuums have two brushes, some have three, and others only have one main brush. Some have brushes on the side with others are hidden underneath. Some have rubber brushes and others have bristles.
The effectiveness of the brush type and location will affect performance, so do some research to see what you may need.
Shark ION robot vacuums have dual side brushes that sweep dirt from corners and edges into the path of the main brush for better cleaning in hard to reach areas. The main brush is self cleaning, which means you’ll spend less time on maintenance than you would with a brush that gets tangled with hair often and needs to be cleaned out.
Recharge and Resume
Recharge and resume is a feature that comes with navigation. If your robot vacuum has a programmed cleaning path and knows where it’s been, it can head back to the dock for recharging and then start cleaning again where it left off.
Because Shark ION robot vacuums don’t have navigation, they can’t recharge and resume. They will head back to the dock if the battery runs low, but they’ll stay there until you start another clean.
This is one of the things that keeps the prices of the Shark IONs modest. If you have a small home or apartment, you don’t always need this feature, so these are good models for people on a budget.
Robot vacuums clean all flooring types. The Shark ION is no different. Some low profile models can’t handle high pile carpeting and other brands may have a difficult time transitioning from one floor type to another, so that’s something else to look for.
Scheduling allows you to pre-program cleaning times for your robot vacuum. You can have it clean daily, while you’re at work, Saturday afternoons before your friends come over, or any other time you want.
Shark ION robot vacuums with Wi-Fi have the ability to schedule cleanings from the smartphone app. You can also set a cleaning cycle in motion manually if you feel like you need some extra help outside of scheduled times.
Some robot vacuum manufacturers allow you to set boundaries for your unit so it will only clean where you want it to. This typically requires navigation unless your unit comes with boundary strips or virtual walls.
The Shark ION models don’t have the ability to program boundaries into the smartphone app, but they do come with boundary strips to help you block it from going where you don’t want it to go. You can also shut doors and put obstacles in the way.
The boundary strips allow you to place them underneath carpet out of sight so that your vacuum will still work while avoiding those areas, and you won’t have unsightly magnetic strips all over the house.
Controls vary a lot. Most robot vacuums have a large CLEAN button on the top, but where it’s located varies. Other robot vacuums have three buttons on top, but what they do is different from one to another.
Whether it’s smartphone apps, remote controls, or a D-pad allowing you to drive, if your controls are important to you, look for a robot vacuum that has what you want.
Shark ION robot vacuums have three buttons on top. You can start a cleaning cycle, send the unit back to its dock, or start a max cleaning cycle. Wi-Fi enabled models allow you to use voice commands and the smartphone app.
Dustbins come in all shapes and sizes. Some are easily accessed on the side or top of the robot vacuum, some need to be picked up and removed from the bottom, and a few have self-emptying dustbins to make it even easier for you.
Shark ION models have easy access on the side of the unit so you can empty it when it gets full, replace it, and clean again.
Most robot vacuums have lithium ion batteries, but the battery life will depend on the size and functionality of the robot vacuum as well as the size of the battery. Some will only clean for an hour while others last more than two hours.
The lithium ion batteries in the Shark ION models will last up to one hour, but max cleaning cycles will drain it faster. That’s what makes them perfect for small apartment life, because that’s plenty to clean your whole space.
Here’s a list of some of the best models currently available in the Shark ION lineup.
This is one of the only models in the Shark ION lineup that features a spot cleaning mode. If you frequently deal with messes in the kitchen, this is a fantastic solution because it will clean thoroughly for two whole minutes, focusing on a small circle.
This unit also comes with a remote control, so if you want to set schedules to clean or start a cleaning cycle from your couch, you can do it without Wi-Fi. It helps to keep the cost of the robot down, but it doesn’t enable you to control it from anywhere but your home.
It does have Auto-Sense Navigation that allows it to detect obstacles and adapt to different flooring types for a better clean, and the low profile design ensures that it can fit under furniture and cabinets.
The multi-surface brush roll will clean up pet hair, allergens, and other debris, but keep in mind that Shark ION filtration systems sometimes release these things back in the air because they’re not HEPA certified.
It also has dual edge and corner brushes for hard to reach places, three buttons on the top, and an easy access dustbin on the side, making it great for easy daily cleaning and upkeep.
- Mode for spot cleaning available
- Comes with a remote control
- Does not support wifi
- No mapping capabilities
- Unable to recharge and resume cleaning
- Battery life is shorter than other robot vacuums
Shark ION 750 (read our full review here!) is one of the cheapest, but most feature-rich Shark ION vacuums you can buy. It has Wi-Fi, which unlocks the ability to control it and build schedules from the smartphone app and use voice commands.
This model features detangling technology, so the performance brushroll not only picks everything up, but can keep itself from getting tangled. This is part of its self-cleaning capability that makes maintenance so much easier on you.
This is the other model in the Shark ION lineup that features a spot cleaning mode for dirty areas. It still has a low profile design, smart sensor navigation, an easy-empty dustbin, and a lithium ion battery.
- Supports Wi-Fi connectivity
- Spot clean mode available
- Android and iOS smartphone app
- Voice commands available with Google Home or Amazon Alexa
- Basic navigation support
- No mapping capabilities
- Unable to recharge and resume cleaning cycle
- Battery life is shorter than other robot vacuums
How does Shark Ion R750 compare to other models like the Shark ION Robot 720? Find out here!
Shark Ion R75
The R75 is one of the many Shark ION units that support wifi, so you can set up cleanings and control your vacuum right from your smartphone. You can also connect the device to your wireless network and control it via voice commands through your Google Home or Amazon Alexa.
- Supports wifi
- Android and iOS smartphone app available
- Voice commands available with smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home
- Only supports basic navigation features
- Unable to recharge and resume
- Battery only lasts an hour
The Shark ION R85 is similar to the R72, but with updated Navigation technology that enhances its ability to avoid objects. If you have fragile furniture or pieces that you are particularly worried about, this robot will do a better job of going around them.
This is an excellent value robot vacuum with Wi-Fi connectivity for building schedules, programming voice commands, and controlling via the smartphone app from anywhere you are.
It still has the same great low profile design with dual cleaning brushes, an easy-empty dustbin, and detangling technology that makes maintenance easier for you to clean up and forget about it.
- Wifi functionality
- Smartphone app support
- Updated Navigation 2.0
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice control capabilities
- Unable to recharge and resume
- No mapping capabilities
- Battery only lasts for 60 minutes
This Shark ION model is top of the line (read my full review here!). It features everything that the other robot vacuums in the Shark ION lineup have, but it also comes with a built-in handheld vacuum. Not only can you build cleaning schedules, but when your robot vacuum misses something, you can come along behind it with the handheld and quickly take care of the mess.
The handheld also gives you the ability to clean upholstery like furniture and curtains. You can clean things that aren’t on the floor in the way of the robot to tackle your entire home for a better clean.
Use the handheld vacuum for other things like pet beds, stairs, cobwebs in corners, and so much more. The great thing about the handheld device is that it fits on the same dock with the robot and recharges in the same way for your convenience.
- Wi-Fi support
- Control with voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Home
- iOS and Android smartphone app
- Navigation 2.0 support
- Built-in handheld vacuum
- Does not support mapping
- Battery only lasts for an hour
- Cannot resume cleaning cycle after recharging
The Shark ION robot vacuums aren’t the most technologically advanced robot vacuums on the market, but they do feature some useful technology that makes your cleaning life easier. Things like a smartphone app, voice controls, schedules, additional cleaning modes, and a handheld companion all enable you to keep a clean home in your busy life.
Shark ION robot vacuums have just enough technology to make them incredibly useful without bumping the price up so much that you can’t afford them. They have several different value models that feature very affordable pricing while others offer more features and middle of the road prices.
Because of a lack of true navigation, Shark is able to keep the ION prices low. However, they’re ideally suited for smaller homes and apartments because of the vacuum technology they use.
No matter what you are looking for, Shark ION has it, especially on a budget. If you’re looking for a robot vacuum that has the technology you need at a price you can afford, the Shark ION is one of the best manufacturers out there.