Shark Navigator upright vacuums are a popular choice among homeowners seeking quality and value. With their powerful suction, versatile cleaning modes, and affordable price points, Navigator models provide complete home cleaning in a convenient package.
But with the wide range of Navigator vacuums available, it can be tricky to determine which is right for your needs. That’s why we researched the top-rated models and compiled this comprehensive buyer’s guide to the 5 best options across categories.
We’ll provide detailed reviews of each vacuum covering performance, features, pros and cons. You’ll also get tips on choosing the ideal Navigator for your floors and cleaning regimen along with answers to frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in to find your perfect Shark Navigator!
Reviews of the Top 5 Navigator Vacuums
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away
The NV360 stands out as the best Shark Navigator overall for most homes. With strong suction power, versatile cleaning modes, and convenient lift-away portability, it can tackle whole-home cleaning on carpets and hard floors.
- Lift-Away Mode – The detachable canister provides portable cleaning power for stairs, couches, and hard-to-reach spots.
- Swivel Steering – Easy maneuverability around furniture and into corners.
- HEPA Filter – Traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.
- Large Capacity – Holds up to 1.2 quarts of debris.
With its deep carpet cleaning bristle brushroll and microfiber pad for hard floors, the NV360 delivers excellent pick up on all surface types. The crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tool allow you to clean cars, ceiling fans, shelves, and more.
At just 13.7 pounds, it’s easy to carry the lift-away canister between rooms and up stairs. With no loss of suction, you can thoroughly clean all areas quickly. It’s a great multi-surface and whole-home vacuum.
Ideal for: Homes with mostly carpets and area rugs that need deep cleaning of fibers. The lift-away mode excels for cleaning cars, stairs, and above floor areas.
Our Take: With superb cleaning versatility and convenient lift-away mode, the NV360 is our top overall choice for outstanding value.
Shark NV501 Navigator Lift-Away Professional
The NV501 stands out for homes with plenty of pet hair and dander to contend with. The powered lift-away mode deep cleans carpets and hard floors without leaving behind traces of fur or dust.
- Powered Lift-Away – Motorized brushroll keeps spinning for nonstop deep cleaning in portable mode.
- XL Dust Cup – Large 1.5 dry quart capacity requires less frequent emptying.
- Anti-Allergen Seal – Traps dust and dander to prevent leakage back into your home’s air.
- Pet Multi-Tool – Has brushes and a dedicated upholstery tool to remove embedded pet hair.
This model has one of the most advanced brushrolls engineered to prevent tangles and jams when vacuuming up long hair. The HEPA filtration captures dander and allergens for relief if you have pet allergies.
At 15.5 pounds, it’s lightweight for a full-size upright yet powerful enough to deep clean carpets and eliminate pet hair. The NV501 gives outstanding cleaning for furry homes.
Ideal for: Homes with lots of carpeting and pets like dogs and cats that shed frequently. The powered lift-away is great for cleaning vehicles.
Our Take: The best Navigator vacuum for tackling pet hair and deep cleaning carpets thanks to specialized tools and technology.
Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away
The NV352 Navigator stands out for offering the lift-away versatility of the NV360 at a more budget-friendly price point. For value seekers needing a multi-surface upright vacuum, the NV352 hits the sweet spot.
- Lift-Away Mode – Portable canister with hose, wand, and tools for cleaning furniture, stairs, and cars.
- Swivel Steering – Navigate around furniture and into tight spaces with ease.
- Large Capacity – 1.1 dry quarts bin needs less frequent emptying.
- Brushroll Shutoff – Turn off brushroll for safe cleaning of hard floors.
While it lacks the HEPA filtration of pricier models, the NV352 still captures dust and allergens effectively with its foam and felt filters. The 25-foot cord provides ample cleaning reach without having to change outlets frequently.
At just 13 pounds, it’s easy to carry and maneuver. For a more basic yet versatile upright without all the bells and whistles, the NV352 is a great value option.
Ideal for: Homes with mostly hard floors looking for an affordable lift-away Navigator. Light, agile, and budget-friendly.
Our Take: Delivers fantastic bang for your buck with its portable lift-away mode and solid cleaning performance.
Shark NV402 Navigator Lift-Away Professional
The NV402 excels at whole-home deep cleaning thanks to features like the powered brushroll and XL-capacity dust cup. With greater suction power, it tackles carpets, hard floors, and above floor areas with gusto.
- Powered Lift-Away – Motorized brushroll keeps cleaning when portable.
- XL Dust Cup – 1.5 dry quarts capacity requires less frequent emptying.
- Seal + Allergen Complete – Combines HEPA filter plus anti-allergen seal.
- Accessory Bag – Conveniently stores attachments and accessories.
This model has one of the most powerful motors in the Navigator line, delivering constant strong suction. The HEPA filtration captures those pesky allergens stirring up allergy symptoms.
While a bit heavier than other models at 15.4 pounds, the NV402 makes quick work of pet hair and deep dirt with its deep carpet cleaning prowess. It’s the ultimate whole-home cleaning machine.
Ideal for: Large homes with mostly carpets that require thorough, constant suction power for fiber deep cleaning.
Our Take: With robust suction and extra-large capacity, the NV402 excels at cleaning carpets and above floor spaces.
Shark NV586 Navigator Lift-Away with Self-Cleaning Brushroll
The NV586 stands out for its smart self-cleaning brushroll and compatibility with Shark’s cleaning app. With its distinct modern style, this Navigator adds high-tech convenience to your cleaning routine.
- Self-Cleaning Brushroll – Activated bristles automatically remove wrapped hair and debris.
- Wi-Fi and App Connectivity – Remotely monitor cleaning sessions and receive filter alerts.
- Mapping Function – Visually map and target cleanings in the app.
- Bagless Cyclonic Filtration – No replacement bags needed and consistent powerful suction.
In addition to wood floors and carpets, the self-cleaning brushroll excels at cleaning shag rugs without getting tangled or clogged by strands. Just touch a button to activate the auto-clean when needed.
Thanks to the SharkClean app, you can customize cleaning schedules and monitor performance remotely. At just 12 pounds, the modern NV586 Navigator provides excellent smart cleaning.
Ideal for: Tech-savvy homeowners who want advanced navigation and convenience features from their vacuum. Great on all floor types.
Our Take: The high-tech Navigator vacuum for today’s world with self-cleaning brushroll and app connectivity.
How to Choose the Right Navigator for Your Home
Now that you’re familiar with the top five Navigator models, let’s explore the key criteria to select the best vacuum for your cleaning needs:
Evaluate the Types of Flooring in Your Home
If you have mostly carpets, look for a Navigator with specialized tools to deep clean fibers, such as a motorized brushroll. For homes with mostly hard floors like wood and tile, you’ll want gentler suction and brushrolls that can be turned off to avoid scuffs.
Several Lift-Away models like the NV360 and NV352 handle both floor types with ease. Assess how much carpet versus bare flooring you need to clean.
Consider Your Pet Hair Situation
Homes with shedding pets like dogs and cats require vacuums with features to manage all that hair. Models like the NV501 have specialized tools and advanced brushrolls engineered to avoid tangles when cleaning up pet fur.
For households with lots of pet dander triggering allergies, HEPA filtration models like the NV360 are essential to capture the irritants.
Evaluate Your Suction Power Needs
How deep down do you need to clean carpeting? Are quick daily cleanings enough or do you require occasional deep cleaning?
If you have high-traffic areas that need powerful turbo suction to extract ground-in dirt, the NV402 delivers robust cleaning thanks to the motorized Powered Lift-Away mode.
For smaller homes with less frequent deep cleaning needs, lighter models like the NV352 may provide sufficient pickup.
Assess Convenience and Portability Needs
If you’ll need to carry the vacuum upstairs regularly or have lots of above floor cleaning, look for lightweight models under 15 pounds like the NV360 or NV501 with lift-away canisters. This allows bringing powerful suction to stairs, ceilings, drapes, vehicles, and furniture.
For less stairs and mostly floor cleaning, a heavier model may suffice. Also consider attachments like an accessory bag for easy tool storage and mobile cleaning power.
Set Your Budget Expectations
Navigator vacuums range from $150-$250 in price. The NV352 represents an excellent budget-friendly lift-away model at the lower end. The NV501 and NV402 cost more but come with added features like powered brushrolls and HEPA filtration.
Set realistic expectations for what you can spend, then see which models fit into your price range with the needed features.
By evaluating your cleaning needs against the Navigator models’ capabilities, you can zero in on the ideal match. Next we’ll answer some common vacuum shopping questions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Navigator Vacuums
New vacuum shoppers often have questions about Navigator models and features. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
What is the difference between the NV360 vs NV501?
The NV501 has a larger dust cup capacity, more advanced brushroll to prevent hair wrap, and powered lift-away mode. The NV360 lacks powered lift-away and HEPA filter but costs less.
How often do Navigator filters need replacing?
Most filters should be replaced every 2-3 years depending on use. But HEPA filters may need annual replacing since they deal with finer particulates. Follow each model’s recommended schedule.
Where are Shark vacuums made?
While Shark is a US-based company, most Navigator vacuums are manufactured in China. This allows more budget-friendly pricing though still backed by Shark’s warranties and support. Some components may come from other countries.
What is Lift-Away mode and how is it used?
Lift-Away allows you to detach the canister to clean hard-to-reach spots like stairs, furniture, and cars. The hose and wand provide powered suction while portable. This provides versatility beyond just cleaning floors.
How long is the warranty period on Navigator vacuums?
Shark provides a standard 5-year limited warranty on all new Navigator purchases covering original defects. This gives peace of mind for an extended period.
Can a Navigator effectively clean up pet hair?
Yes, Navigator vacuums are specially designed to deal with pet hair. Models like the NV501 have specific tools and brushrolls engineered not to tangle with long strands of pet fur during cleaning.
How often should the brushrolls be cleaned?
Periodically inspect brushrolls for tangled hair or debris wrapped around them, then use scissors to carefully cut away and remove. Clean at least every 6 months or when noticeable buildup occurs.
Do all Navigator models come with attachments?
While attachments vary by model, all Navigators include at least a crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tool. Lift-aways add a wand and accessory hose for above floor cleaning versatility.
How heavy and large are Navigator vacuums?
Navigator weights range from 12-16 pounds. Their dimensions are around 45 inches high x 12 inches wide x 12 inches deep. This provides upright cleaning power while still reasonably lightweight and maneuverable.
Is bagless or bagged better for allergy sufferers?
For allergy relief, bagless is generally better since systems like HEPA filtration truly capture dust and dander particles rather than just containing them in bags that must be emptied. Empty debris carefully if you have allergies.
Get Your Ideal Shark Navigator Vacuum Today!
We hope this guide gave you a comprehensive look at the excellent cleaning power and capabilities of Shark Navigator vacuums. By considering your floor types, cleaning needs, preferred features, and budget, you can determine which of the top 5 models fits best in your home.
Bring fresh, purified air and spotless floors and carpets into your living spaces by investing in a quality Navigator. With their thorough yet affordable cleaning performance, these vacuums will make your chores a little easier.
Visit SharkClean.com today to find your perfect Navigator match and enjoy cleaner indoor living!