Cordless vacuums aren’t new. Their popularity has increased as more and more people see how easy it is to clean their homes without messing with a cord. However, the hottest new vacuum trend must be the auto-empty station. They’re designed to automatically pull the dust and debris from a vacuum chamber and store it in sealed bags or boxes until full.
While we’ve tried many of the best cordless vacuums with auto-empty stations, the Shark Cordless Detect Pro stands out for many reasons. I tested this vacuum and its auto-empty station in my 103-year-old home for two weeks.
It was the second Shark vacuum I tested, and I was excited to see how well it did. Suffice it to say, I was incredibly satisfied with its performance.
You get a lot for a good price with this Shark. It has all the auto-sense technologies that Shark is known for – like DirtDetect, FloorDetect, LightDetect, and EdgeDetect technologies. They help you see and clean dirt and debris better, regardless of the lighting, floor type, and layout. The three suction modes do great at suctioning fine materials like dust or cooking flour and larger things like small leaves and bugs.
All that dust and dirt gets suctioned into an auto-empty station at the end of each vacuuming session. The dustbin can hold up to 30 days’ worth of dirt – plus, it charges the vacuum each time you set it on the station. Unless you have a mega-mansion, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever run out of battery. The biggest drawback to this vacuum is that the shaft doesn’t bend to make reaching under beds or shelves easier. Perhaps that’s a future iteration we can look forward to.
Keep reading to learn more about how this vacuum works and how well it did during our testing, and head to our best vacuum cleaners guide for more.
Alex Temblador has been reviewing household products since 2020. She has tested everything from vacuums to coffee machines, mattresses, gardening tools, hot tubs, and more. Alex reviewed this cordless vacuum in her 103-year-old home in the Dallas, Texas, area.
Shark Cordless Detect Pro: First Impressions
Shark reduces waste by placing the assembly instructions on the box that the vacuum arrives in. Even so, I didn’t need the instructions to put this vacuum or the auto-empty station together. It’s a self-explanatory process that takes five minutes to do. All it required was connecting the shaft to the handheld vacuum and then the vacuum head to the shaft.
The auto-empty station comes in two pieces that I connected before plugging the station into an outlet. Two additional accessories were provided – a crevice tool and a Pet Multi-Tool brush. One of my favorite things about the auto-empty station is that it lacks a dust bag. An Odor Neutralizer Technology piece was the last thing I added to the auto-empty station.
Shark Cordless Detect Pro: Key Specs
- Cleaning path width: 10.4 inches
- Color Rotator: white, beats brass
- Modes: Eco, Auto, Boost
- Wattage: 240 Watts
- Dust bag capacity: 2L auto-empty charging dock
- Noise level: 75-82dB depending on mode
- Dimensions: L14.3 x W10.4 x H43"
- Weight: 14.8lbs
- Run Time: 60 minutes on eco mode; 40 minutes on auto mode
Shark Cordless Detect Pro: Price & Availability
At $449.99, the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto Empty System with Quad Clean Multi-Surface Brushroll Vacuum is on the more affordable end of cordless stick vacuums with auto-empty stations. In addition to being sold on the manufacturer’s website, it’s also available (and sometimes on sale) at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Home, Depot, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Other cordless vacuums with auto-empty stations tend to be on the higher end. There is the LG CordZero™ All in One Cordless Stick Vacuum with Auto Empty & Hard Floor Nozzle retailing at $599, the Samsung BESPOKE Jet Cordless Stick Vacuum with All-in-One Clean Station on sale for $699.99, and the Tineco Pure ONE Station Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with 3L Auto Dust Base available for $799.00. The Ultenic FS1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with All-Around Station costs $359.99.
Shark Cordless Detect Pro: Design
The white and black colors of the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System with Quad Clean Multi-Surface Brushroll Vacuum are striking and contemporary and likely to fit in with most modern-style homes. It is quite compact, takes up minimal space, and can be stored in the corner of a kitchen, mud room, and a slim closet. The only thing that would improve it would be if the auto-empty station cord were longer.
On the back of the auto-empty station, you’ll find a handle that can be used to remove the dust bin and walk it to the trash can. You push a small button on the side of the dust bin so that a bottom panel springs open, and the dirt and dust fall into the trash can. I love that this station doesn’t require a dustbin bag, which allows customers to save on that additional cost.
There is a crevice tool holder on the self-auto-empty station's side. I stored the Pet Multi-Tool brush on the top of the auto-empty station as there was nowhere else to store it. The vacuum is very thin and lightweight and easily fits onto the auto-empty station. It charges and self-empties automatically when placed on the station (as long as it is plugged into the wall). You can turn off the self-emptying feature with the press of a button on the dustbin itself.
This vacuum is noticeably lightweight. While this is great for vacuuming the floor, I think it’s even better for when you want to remove the vacuum head and vacuum high ceilings. I’m 5’5” and could reach the top of my 10-foot ceilings without my arms tiring. The vacuum head and the shaft can be removed with a click of a button, transforming it into a handheld vacuum.
There are two drawbacks to the vacuum design. The first is that the shaft doesn’t bend in the middle as the Shark Cordless Stratos Stick Vacuum with CleanSense IQ can do. This makes it so I must bend and/or stoop low to reach spaces under beds, shelves, or couches.
The second design flaw is the vacuum head lock mechanism. When not vacuuming, the vacuum head locks in place at the base of the shaft to stand upright. However, I found that time and time again, this mechanism locked if I vacuumed too close to my body. I have tested other cordless vacuums in the past (both by Shark and other brands), and this has never happened before, at least not as often as occurred with this vacuum.
A circular screen at the top of the vacuum has a power button and a button that looks like a fan. The fan button lets you cycle through the different suction levels. A battery life indicator is at the top of the circular screen. While vacuuming, the circular screen and the vacuum head light up in different colors to signify different things. Yellow indicates an error has occurred. Red signifies that the floor is dirty in that area, while blue signifies that it is clean.
Shark claims that when using this vacuum and its auto-empty station, you’re 1,000 times less likely to be exposed to dust thanks to a True HEPA filtration system that captures and traps 99.97% of dust and allergens down to .3 microns.
Shark Cordless Detect Pro: Performance
Overall, I thought the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System with Quad Clean Multi-Surface Brushroll Vacuum did a phenomenal job at vacuuming the different types of flooring that I have – original hardwood floors, laminate flooring, and a thick carpet that has the consistency (and mass) of carpet.
There are three levels of suction power: eco, auto, and booster mode. Every mode did a brilliant job at suctioning large and small items like coffee and flour, which I sprinkled on the ground during testing. Both eco and auto modes did a good job vacuuming all three types of flooring.
Boost mode seemed unnecessary in most cases. I did, however, have to use boost mode when trying to get hair off my couch with the Pet Multi-Tool brush. It was the only mode with the suctioning power to make that task easier. With that in mind, the boost mode will likely do better on carpets and rugs that hair may stick to. Eco mode has a run time of 60 minutes, while the battery on auto mode can last up to 40 minutes.
Auto mode is the best mode to use because it’s the only one in which the LightDetect sensor, EdgeDetect Sensor, FloorDetect sensor, and DirtDetect sensor can be used. DirtDetect automatically boosts the suction power when it recognizes hidden dirt, while the FloorDetect technology adjusts the brush roll to optimize cleaning depending on the type of floor you’re vacuuming. LightDetect automatically illuminates low-lit areas, and EdgeDetect maximizes the suctioning capability along the sides of the vacuum head and when vacuuming corners.
I loved the DirtDetect Sensor of this vacuum. It allowed me to know when the floors were clean and required a few more rounds of vacuuming. In most cases, it appeared that I only needed to do one pass on each section of the floor. However, the DirtDetect Sensor could detect things I could not see.
The vacuum head swivels very well, allowing me to easily vacuum in corners and around furniture legs. I liked how well the vacuum suctioned along the edges of the vacuum head. Neither hair nor string ever got caught on the brush roll, though some larger leaves sometimes got stuck in the vacuum head, and I had to remove them by hand.
With the LightDetect sensor, a light on the front of the vacuum head automatically turned on whenever I entered a dark room of the house or was vacuuming in a dark corner. This allowed me to see exactly what I needed to vacuum. I appreciate this because I have really dusty floors (thank you, 103-year-old house), and I can’t always see layers of dust, even with a ceiling fan light on.
The three modes have various noise levels, with the auto mode clocking in at 77-78 dB and eco only 75-76 dB. The boost mode is quite loud at 81-82 dB. When the vacuum auto empties in the charging station, the noise level reaches 74 dB.
The auto-empty station is just as impressive as the vacuum itself. As soon as I put the vacuum on the station, it began to suction all the dirt, debris, leaves, and bugs from the dust chamber of the vacuum. Even when the filter was covered in dust or matted hair, the station removed it and emptied it into the large dust bin. I emptied the dustbin into a trash can (which wasn’t even close to a third full after two weeks) to understand the process, and it should be noted that I did have to remove some clumps of hair that did not fall into the trash can on their own.
There is such little maintenance required of this vacuum. Occasionally, you’ll need to rinse and replace the vacuum and auto-empty station filters. The pre-motor and auto-empty filters need to be cleaned once a month, while the HEPA filter should be replaced once a year. Other than that, the DirtDetect Sensor, the LightDetect Sensor, and the EdgeDetect Sensor must be cleaned with a microfiber cloth once a month to remove hair and debris that might obstruct the sensors.
How does the Shark Cordless Detect Pro compare?
The Ultenic FS1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with All-Around Station may be cheaper than the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System with Quad Clean Multi-Surface Brushroll Vacuum, but it has more drawbacks. Not only does the Ultenic require a dust bag, but it’s heavier and has some issues with debris falling out when changing the vacuum head for different attachments.
You could choose a more expensive cordless vacuum cleaner with an auto-empty station and mopping capabilities like the LG CordZero All-in-One Auto Empty Cordless Stick Vacuum. However, the mop pushes around dirt and water rather than cleaning the floor, and the edge-cleaning capabilities on the vacuum head are not on par with the Shark vacuum. Plus – the auto-empty station is bulkier and requires a dust bag.
The Tineco Pure ONE Station Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with 3L Auto Dust Base may be more expensive, but it’s lighter and has a dustbin that can hold up to 60 days, whereas the Shark holds, on average, 30 days’ worth of dust and debris. The Tineco also has dust and dirt-detecting technology similar to the Shark vacuum and an LED headlight.
Should you buy the Shark Cordless Detect Pro?
|Price||Compared to similar vacuums with auto empty stations, this Shark is on the mid-to-lower price range.||4.5/5|
|Design||Sleek, modern, and lightweight with attachments; would be perfect if the shaft could bend to reach underneath beds, dressers, etc.||4/5|
|Performance||Powerful and versatile vacuum with self-emptying technology.||4.5/5|
Buy it if...
You want an auto-charging, self-emptying station
You’ll come into minimal contact with dust and debris thanks to the self-emptying and auto-charging station that can hold up to 30 days’ worth of dust and debris. Simply empty it in your trash can when it’s full. No dustbags are needed!
You're looking for a powerful vacuum with great edge cleaning
With dirt and floor-detecting technology, this vacuum adjusts the suction power based on the floor type and how dirty it is. The edge cleaning capabilities are superb, too.
You want a versatile vacuum
This vacuum can be used as a floor or handheld vacuum. With two attachments – a pet multi-tool brush and a crevice tool – you can clean hair from rugs and furniture, debris in tight corners, and cobwebs from ceilings.
Don’t Buy It if…
You don’t want to stoop to reach under low furniture
Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn’t have a shaft that can bend and reach under low-hanging furniture. You’ll have to stoop or bend over to vacuum those hard-to-reach spaces.
You have a lot of hair on your furniture
The pet multi-tool is a nice addition, but even in boost mode and with multiple passes, it did a below average job of removing human hair from a couch.
You want a vacuum that also doubles as a mop
This Shark vacuum can only vacuum – not mop. If you’re looking for a vacuum with an auto-empty station that does both, you might want to consider the LG CordZero All-in-One Auto Empty Cordless Stick Vacuum.
How we tested the Shark Cordless Detect Pro
I tested the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System with Quad Clean Multi-Surface Brushroll Vacuum for two weeks in my 103-year-old home. I tested the different attachments and modes on the various floor types in my home, including hardwood, linoleum, and thick rugs. Some attachments were used to remove hair from my couch or cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling.
First reviewed: October 2023