Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Vacuum Review

The House Method team tested the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away on carpets and hard floors and measured suction power, maneuverability, noise, mobility, and more. Read our full review here.

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In the market for a new Shark vacuum? Clean your house with more efficiency and precision with the Shark Rotator vacuum. Regardless of what type of flooring you have, this upright vacuum cleaner deep cleans all types of floors including carpets, area rugs, and bare floors. With its Shark Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology—a quality feature for those who suffer from allergies—it traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum. Best of all, its lightweight structure and enhanced swivel steering make it effortless to move around furniture and other obstacles. But is it better than a Dyson? Keep reading to determine if the Shark Rotator is the best vacuum for you and your cleaning needs.

Overall score: 9.83/10

The value prop

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum features a detachable canister for portable cleaning power, advanced swivel steering for excellent control when maneuvering around furniture, and a HEPA filter to trap dust and allergens inside the vacuum.

Pros
  • It features an XL-capacity dust cup for extended cleaning without interruption.
  • It comes with a HEPA filter, trapping allergens and dust inside the vacuum.
  • It has ergonomic handles for easy gripping.
  • It delivers excellent cleaning performance on hardwoods and carpets.
Cons
  • It’s one of the bulkier Shark uprights we tested.
  • It doesn’t have a modern design.
  • The vacuum is a little top heavy and may fall over when standing upright.

Shark Rotator design

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away has a modern, glossy, white design with premium red accents, but it doesn’t try to appear high-end like Dyson models. An important design feature that we particularly liked is the inclusion of LED lights on the vacuum head, making it a lot easier to see the mess in front of us. One feature we wish the Shark Rotator did have was a way to hold the multiple attachments and accessories that come with it.

Some other important design features of the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away include:

  • Lift-Away Technology—With the press of a button, you’re able to lift the canister off of the vacuum and clean hard-to-reach areas in handheld mode.
  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology—Paired with a HEPA filter, this technology traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.
  • An XL-capacity dust cup—This gives you more room to clean your home without interruption.

Vacuum assembly

The Shark Rotator comes in a big, bulky box with individually wrapped pieces. Though there are a lot of parts that come with the vacuum cleaner, it took us only four steps to completely assemble the vacuum and an extra 10 minutes to unwrap all of the accessories and attachments. Here’s how we assembled the vacuum:

  1. We placed the vacuum pod onto the floor nozzle.
  2. After clicking the pod into place, we slid the wand into the base of the pod.
  3. Next, we inserted the handle into the top of the wand, then attached the hose to the hose connector on the base of the pod.
  4. Finally, we inserted the tools into the accessory clips, then secured the hose to the hose clip. This can be done by pushing the knob into its socket.

How the Shark Rotator cleans

Comparable to the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away has strong suction power and excellent maneuverability. It had no problem sucking up any of the substances we put in front of it and was extremely easy to push back and forth on carpets and hard floors, although we did have to give it a firm push when cleaning larger debris. It’s no secret that the Shark Rotator has plenty of features that make it easier to clean floors, but its brush roll feature came in handy when sucking up large items like Cheerios.

Additionally, the vacuum cleaner has a Lift-Away cleaning mode that allows you to use your vacuum anywhere. You can convert your vacuum to this mode by pressing the Lift-Away and wand release buttons on top of the canister. This will unlock the handle with the wand and detach the pod from the floor nozzle, allowing you to clean tighter spaces like your stairs or car.

Learn how to vacuum the right way: view our complete guide to vacuuming.

What to note about the Shark Rotator

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away is one of the lightest upright vacuums we tested, weighing in at 15.5 pounds (just 0.1 pounds lighter than the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2), but it’s still heavier than a stick or handheld vacuum. If you have difficulty cleaning with heavy vacuums, we recommend choosing a stick vacuum like the Dyson V7 Motorhead.

How big is the Shark Rotator?

Dimension Measurement
Height 45.7 inches
Length 12.2 inches
Width 13.4 inches
Cord length 30 feet
Dust canister 0.33 gallons

Accessories included with the Shark Rotator

For those who want a more comprehensive cleaning experience, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away comes with four compatible accessories: a 12-inch crevice tool, a dusting brush, a straight suction floor nozzle, and a wide upholstery tool.

Crevice tool

The crevice tool is perfect for reaching small spaces like under couch cushions and along baseboards.

Dusting brush

The dusting brush cleans upholstery and can also be used to clean delicate surfaces like window blinds and ceiling fan blades.

Straight suction floor nozzle

The straight suction floor nozzle is designed to pick up large and small debris from all types of hard floor surfaces and area rugs.

Wide upholstery tool

Similar to the dusting brush, the wide upholstery tool also cleans hard surfaces and upholstery, but it specifically removes pet hair and dust from curtains and other delicate fabrics.

Shark Rotator Professional Upright with Lift-Away vs. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional vs. Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed Vacuum

Shark offers a variety of upright vacuums that provide powerful suction, swivel steering, and Anti-Allergen Technology. We compared the Shark Rotator to two other popular Shark uprights: the Shark Navigator Lift-Away and the Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away.

Suction power
Dust bin capacity
Weight
Cleaning path
Power cord length
Accessories

Shark Rotator Professional Upright with Lift-Away

Suction power

1150 air watts

Dust bin capacity

0.33 gallons

Weight

15.5 pounds

Cleaning path

8.5 inches

Power cord length

30 feet

Accessories

Dusting brush, 12-inch crevice tool, straight suction floor nozzle, wide upholstery tool

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional

Suction power

1200 air watts

Dust bin capacity

0.73 gallons

Weight

13.7 pounds

Cleaning path

9.25 inches

Power cord length

25 feet

Accessories

Wide pet upholstery tool, dusting brush, 5.5-inch crevice tool

Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed Vacuum

Suction power

1150 air watts

Dust bin capacity

0.23 gallons

Weight

14.8 pounds

Cleaning path

11 inches

Power cord length

30 feet

Accessories

MultiFLEX under-appliance wand, anti-allergen dust brush, pet multi-tool, duster crevice tool

Looking for more Shark vacuum reviews? Check out our Shark in-depth product reviews below.

See the best Shark upright vacuums on the market.

Cleaning tests

We performed three different tests that measured suction power, maneuverability, and mobility on hard floors, low-pile carpet, and high-pile carpet. For our suction tests, we used Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and pet hair.

Cleaning score: 9.75/10

Test 1—Suction test on hard floors

This Shark vacuum performed best on hard floors: if your home has hardwoods or tile, this vacuum is a great choice. During our tests, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away sucked up Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and pet hair in two passes or less.

Test 2—Suction test on high-pile carpet

Not only did the Shark Rotator perform well on hard floors, it did extremely well on high-pile carpet. We turned on the brush roll setting (meant for cleaning carpets) and watched as the vacuum picked up the different substances with ease.

Test 3—Suction test on low-pile carpet

This vacuum performed slightly better on low-pile carpet than it did on high-pile carpet. The only substance that required more than two passes was the coffee grounds, and even then, it required only four passes. We did notice that the vacuum left a faint stain on the low-pile carpet after sucking up the coffee grounds.

Maneuverability

With this upright vacuum, you’ll never have to worry about awkwardly moving around corners or under furniture. Comparable to the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor, the Shark Rotator comes complete with advanced swivel steering that allows for excellent control while maneuvering around furniture. When we moved this vacuum around a couch corner and underneath a two-foot coffee table, it had no problem accessing the tight spaces.

Usability

The Shark Rotator didn’t get stuck once during testing although we did have to give it a firm push when vacuuming larger substances like Cheerios and kitty litter.

Noise

Slightly quieter than the average vacuum, the Shark Rotator measures 75.9 decibels (the average noise level of a standard vacuum is 78–80 decibels). This is comparable to the sound of a washing machine.

Shark Rotator maintenance

Though this vacuum cleaner is big and bulky, its dust cup is easy to remove and empty. We recommend emptying the dust cup when dirt reaches the Max Fill line. Follow these three steps to empty your vacuum:

  1. Pull up on the dust cup release latch and lift the cup off the vacuum pod.
  2. Hold the dust cup over a trash bin and press the bottom dust cup release latch.
  3. To access the dust screen and remove any debris that’s built up, press the top dust cup release latch.

Overall, it took us less than 15 seconds to empty out the entire dust cup. The best part? We didn’t have to touch any of the contents during the emptying process.

Filtration

The Shark Rotator comes with a pre-motor foam and filter kit and a post-motor HEPA filter. Shark recommends cleaning the filters regularly for optimal performance. With the pre-motor foam and filter kit, rinse the filters every three months and let them air-dry completely for 24 hours before inserting them back into the vacuum. With the post-motor HEPA filter, rinse and air-dry the filter once every 12 months.

Since this vacuum has a HEPA filter, it traps 99.9% of pollutants that measure 0.3 microns or larger in size (for reference, one strand of hair is about 100 microns in width). It’s recommended that you clean the pre-motor filter kit (both the felt and foam filter) every three months and the post-motor filter once a year. Note: don’t use soap when cleaning the HEPA filter.

Warranty

The Shark Rotator offers a five-year limited warranty. Under this warranty, the original unit and/or non-wearable components deemed defective will be repaired or replaced for up to five years from the original purchase date. To initiate a warranty claim, call a Shark customer care specialist at 1-800-798-7398.

Is the Shark Rotator a good value?

At a third of the price of a Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2, the Shark Rotator is a no-brainer for those who want a traditional, upright vacuum cleaner with max suction power, easy maneuverability, and plenty of accessories.

Who should buy the Shark Rotator?

We recommend the Shark Rotator if you’re looking for the following:

  • A traditional upright vacuum—This Shark is meant for heavy-duty cleaning and can tackle small and large messes on carpets and hard floors.
  • An XL-capacity dust cup—This upright vacuum comes with an XL-capacity dust cup for extended cleaning without interruption. This is perfect for those who live in large homes and don’t want to regularly empty the cup in the middle of their cleaning job.
  • HEPA filtration—If you suffer from asthma or allergies, this vacuum may provide some comfort during cleaning. With Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filter, this vacuum can trap dust and allergens inside the vacuum and expel cleaner air into your home

Shark Rotator specifications

Below is a list of the most important Shark Rotator specifications.

Specifications
Type Upright
Manufacturer Shark
Model Rotator
Length 12.2 inches
Width 13.4 inches
Height 45.7 inches
Weight 15.5 pounds
Floor type Bare floors, carpets
Dust bin capacity 0.33 gallons
Power cord length 30 feet
Cordless or corded Corded
Bagless Yes
Warranty 5-year limited

Consumer ratings

See how other sites rate the Shark Rotator.

Source Consumer rating Number of ratings
Amazon 4.5 stars out of 5 3,994
Bed Bath & Beyond N/A N/A
Walmart 4.6 stars out of 5 616
Best Buy 4.7 stars out of 5 2,757
Sylvane N/A N/A

Customer reviews

This vacuum has very powerful suction. Some other reviewers found that it was difficult to push this unit while vacuuming. I found that if you back off the suction setting, it is much easier to push with sufficient suction. The pivoting base is a great feature that makes vacuuming easier. There are sufficient cleaning accessories included, however only two can attach to the vacuum at the same time. I agree with other reviews that care should be taken not to tip the unit over as the vacuum is top heavy. Overall, I recommend this vacuum as long as the buyer is aware of these shortcomings.” — Amazon review

“I’m a professional with 35 years experience cleaning and this vacuum is by far the best I have used. This model has everything I need to get all the jobs done with minimal effort and excellent results. I need a large capacity dirt holder and this one has it. Just be sure each time you empty it to check the top also as hair and dirt can slow the flow. In addition, it has a long cord so plugging into a certain area gives you maximum cleaning without having to keep moving the cord from plug to plug. The filter is VERY easy to clean. I throw it in the wash with my mop heads! This model comes with a hard floor tool and honestly, that is one of the main reasons I choose this model. I have tons of clients with hardwood and animals and this baby does A GREAT job picking up the hair!!! Just keep the tool on “carpet” setting for best results! I could go on and on but basically, the point is, you can’t go wrong with this model!” — Amazon review

Buy the Shark Rotator

Frequently asked questions

Does the Shark Rotator have maintenance costs?

Shark vacuums have zero maintenance costs. All Sharks come with high-quality, reusable, washable filters plus a lifetime belt that never needs replacing. Both of these features are backed by Shark’s leading five-year warranty.

How do I turn the vacuum off?

To turn the vacuum off, press the brushroll button first and then the power button. If you don’t turn the brushroll off, the vacuum will start in this mode the next time you turn it on.

How do I empty the dust cup?

Push the Lift-Away button to remove the dust canister from the body of the vacuum. Hold the dust cup over a trash can and press the bottom door release button on the front of the unit. Gently tap the sides of the canister to empty all of the contents. After all of the contents have been removed, press the door shut until it clicks and reinsert the dust cup back onto the vacuum body.

About the author

Kealia is a staff writer and social media coordinator for House Method. She writes for a variety of beats, including home inspiration (her favorite), real estate, and home wellness.

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