Shark Stratos Cordless with Clean Sense IQ IZ862H review

A cordless vacuum cleaner that leaves the home smelling fresh

Shark Stratos Cordless on carpet during review for top ten reviews
(Image: © Future / Jennifer Oksien)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Shark Cordless Vacuum is powerful, versatile, and flexible which finishes the clean with a wonderful aroma. This scent may not suit everyone, though, and you don't have the option for another odor, either. The floorhead is also on the heavy side so some may struggle to vacuum the stairs in upright mode.


  • +

    Easy to set up

  • +

    Easy to use

  • +

    Takes up little space to store


  • -

    Heavy floorhead

  • -

    Scent may not suit all

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In 2022, I attended an event in Berlin where I first laid eyes on the Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum cleaner. I was impressed with its ability to solve common cordless vacuum woes like suction, runtime, and flexibility. What surprised me even more was its odor-neutralizer technology, which I never even thought would be an issue until now.

As someone with a young family and a molting head of long hair, finding the best vacuum cleaner that can handle daily cleaning tasks and pet hair is a struggle. That's why I was eager to put the Shark vacuum through its paces for two months in my home, which has a combination of carpets, hard floors, and many rugs.

Read on to find out how it performed on day-to-day clean-ups and the specific tests I set for it. You can also check out our best cordless vacuum and best vacuum for pet hair guides to see how the Shark Stratos Cordless compares.

Jennifer Oksien
Jennifer Oksien

Jennifer Oksien (Jen) is the editor of Top Ten Reviews. She has tested and reviewed countless vacuum cleaners over the years, all with very different specs and list prices, so she knows what to look at to obtain a decent vacuum.

Jen tested the Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum around her family home, challenging it with daily debris and a series of in-house tests to see how it handled the mounting messes. It was used for a couple of months and will continue to be used for the greatest test of all: longevity.

Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum: Key specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
ModelIZ862H / IZ400UKT
Capacity 0.18 gallon / 0.7L
No. of settings3 + Boost
RuntimeUp to 60 minutes
Dimensions114 x 27 x 17in (h x w x d)
AttachmentsMulti-Surface Tool, 8” Crevice Tool and Motorised Pet Tool + accessory bag

Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum: Price & availability

The Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum has a list price of $499.99/£429.99 and can be bought either directly from Shark Clean or through retailer sites such as Amazon, Best Buy,  Walmart, and Target. Since its launch last year (2022), I've seen it regularly discounted on all listed sites, so it would be prudent to check back on those and also bookmark our Shark Black Friday deals page for a fast track to the stick vacuum should it be discounted later on in the year.

Score: 5/5

Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum: Setup & assembly

When the Shark Stratos Cordless arrived on my doorstep, I was able to lift it from my porch through to the front room, down a narrow hallway, with ease. When I opened the box, I noted that minimal packaging had been used, and of the packaging that was there it was all recyclable.

In the box are the DuoClean, PowerFins, HairPro floorhead, flexible wand, control unit, odor neutralizer technology cartridge, battery, plus two accessories: Duster Crevice Tool and Anti-Allergen Brush. For the majority, it did all seamlessly clip and slot together, although I struggled to secure the intensity dial over the odor neutralizer technology cartridge into the floorhead. It took a few goes at turning the dial until that, too, felt secure.

installing odor neutralizer in the shark stratos cordless floorhead

Installing the odor neutralizer (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

Out of curiosity, I fired up the vacuum cleaner to get a better sense of the weight, movement, and sound before its first use. It was easy to maneuver back and forth across the carpet, and I could hear the change in gear as the CleanSense IQ kicked in as it picked up areas of heavier dirt. Within a few seconds, I could also smell the aroma released from the odor cartridges, which, although I wasn't put off by it (it's almost pleasant), I appreciate that some may prefer an alternative smell in their home, such as vanilla or fir tree.

Shark Stratos Cordless: Design

At a glance, the Shark Cordless Vacuum looks like your average stick vacuum cleaner; the floorhead is positioned at one end of a wand, with a dust cup and controls at the other. Look closer, though, and you'll see that all those 'average' components have been souped up in one way or the other.

The floorhead has been bolstered with Clean Sense IQ, which has an indicator to visually show when power has been increased and when the floor is clean again. The floorhead also has odor-neutralizer technology that is made up of an intensity dial (this is what you see) and a cartridge. A twin pack of replacement cartridges can be bought for $14.99 from the Shark website.

shark stratos cordless floorhead with cleansense iq

Floorhead with CleanSense IQ (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

Moving on up the wand is 'MultiFlex technology.' This is a fancy way of saying that the wand can bend to clean under furniture (nothing new), but then it can be folded over for compact freestanding. This is a major pain point of mine; past cordless vacuums forever kept falling over or lying on the floor because I hadn't gotten around to mounting a doc to the wall, yet this was all solved by Shark with a super flexible bend. It also meant that I could charge the Stratos without having to remove the battery - a major plus point where space is more limited or if time never seems to be on your side (like me) and you want to do something quickly.

Tracking up the wand to the handle, controls, and dust cup, the layout is relatively the same as on other cordless vacuums. It feels really comfortable to hold, and you can easily switch between the three power modes - CleanSense IQ (Auto), Eco, and Boost - when holding the handle. The dust cup is on the other side and underside of the controls, so it's all very nicely balanced.

The Shark Stratos Cordless comes with a Duster Crevice Tool and Anti-Allergen Brush that can be used when the vacuum cleaner is transformed into a smaller handheld.

Note: I reviewed the Shark Stratos Cordless in the UK in a gold colorway. In the US, this colorway is 'Ash Purple'.

Score: 4.5/5

the shark stratos cordless has 3 power modes

Switching between the three power modes (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

Shark Stratos Cordless: Performance

I used the Shark Stratos Cordless in my home for two months, lifting day-to-day debris off the ground and first floor, plus stairs that join the levels. I also converted it into the handheld mode to lift crumbs from the upholstery.

Along with the daily chore of vacuuming, I also set the stick vacuum some specific tasks: to vacuum a scattering of rice puffs and a mound of sugar.

The results

I vacuum the ground floor of my home every day and the 1st floor a few times per week. The reason why I vacuum every day is because I have a messy toddler who, somewhere, not only drops food down themselves but also on the floor. It's also 'fun' to throw food, apparently.

The Shark Stratos Cordless takes this daily challenge in its stride. Cereal, biscuit crumbs, cake, and chunks of toast are no match for it.

To add to the mix, I also have a lot of thick, long hair that I unintentionally molt around the home. Across the hard floors and carpets, the brushroll did a fabulous job of listing hair off the surface of the flooring and, with the self-cleaning abilities, did not get caught up around either of the two brushrolls.

shark stratos floorhead after 3 months of use

No hair wrap here, even after two months (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

The specific tasks I set for the Shark Stratos Cordless had equally impressive performance results.

The rice puffs were picked up in one pass-through, and none were blown away from the path of the vacuum cleaner. The sugar was picked up superbly, too, yet, unlike with the rice puffs, the Clean Sense IQ increased the suction to lift the granules. At a guess, this is because the sugar weighs more than rice puffs, so the brush roll had to work a little harder to lift the latter and banish to the dust cup.

I found vacuuming the stairs easy enough when using the Stratos, although I was fully aware that the floorhead may be too heavy for some to lift up and over the steps when using as an upright vacuum cleaner. Convert to a more compact handheld by doing away with the wand, and the weight is a lot more balanced on a more nibble vac.

The duster crevice tool and anti-allergen brush attachments can be clipped onto the end of the wand when the floorhead is not in use. This makes reaching for the cobwebs in the corner of the room more achievable. The attachments can also be clipped onto the handle for a more targeted clean on upholstery. 

To fully recharge from zero to maxed-out it takes just three hours, and you can expect to achieve a runtime of up to 60 minutes (depending on the suction setting) with consistence performance all throughout.

In terms of the noise level, I measured 72dB on Eco and CleanSense IQ (when no dirt was detected) and 84dB when on 'Boost.' This is the equivalent noise range to the inside of a car or loud singing.

Score: 5/5

charging the shark stratos cordless

Charging from standing (Image credit: Future / Jennifer Oksien)

Should you buy the Shark Stratos Cordless?

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Score card: Shark Stratos Cordless
PriceFor all the tech and functionality, you're getting a fabulous vacuum cleaner for the money.5/5
DesignIt's pretty perfect but I feel that some may struggle with the weight of the floorhead and / or prefer a different odor4.5/5
PerformanceI can't fault it. All debris on-test was lifted, and no hair became wrapped around the brushbars.5/5

Buy it if...

You have pets

The Shark Stratos Cordless has odor neutralizer tech onboard, which guards against the pet hair and dander picked up. 

You live in a hairy home

Short and long hair was easily picked up and sent straight to the dust cup without hair wrapped around the brushbar.

You have limited storage space

The Shark Stratos Cordless has a flexible design that can be folded for compact, freestanding storage.

 Don’t Buy It if…  

You want a larger dust cup

The Shark Stratos Cordless has a dust cup capacity of 0.72 qt, which may not be big enough to clean the larger home - unless you're prepared to empty it frequently.

You have a large home

Along with the dust cup, which is on the small side, the 60-minute runtime may not provide enough power to finish the job.

How does the Shark Stratos Cordless compare?

The closest competitor to the Shark Stratos Cordless is, in my opinion, the Dyson V15 Detect. It was released a few months prior to the Stratos and boasts the same dust cup capacity ( 0.18 gallon / 0.7L) and the same runtime (60 minutes). It will adjust the suction power in heavier areas of dirt on the floor. Granted - it doesn't have the Odor Neutralizer Technology.

The only other cordless vacuum that I am aware of and/or have tried out that has scented filtration is the Numatic Henry Quick. It's the first stick vacuum from the brand, renowned for its heavy-duty bagged canister vacuum cleaners. It's also the first in Numatic's range, like Shark's, to have a removable scent capsule for freshening up the appliance - and you're home. Note: this vacuum cleaner is only available in the UK.

Shark's latest vacuum, the Shark Cordless Detect Pro, doesn't have this Odor Neutralizing Technology (it feels like a step back to me), but it does have a self-emptying base. This, too, solves the storage woe because it means that you don't need to mount any docking station; just slot the stick into the station. It then goes on to limit the number of times that you need to empty the dust cup since this vacuum from the docking station will do it for you.

We have equally compared the Shark Stratos vs Shark Vertex, two popular vacuum ranges. The Shark Vertex stands out with its IQ Display, which provides real-time information, whereas the Stratos takes a unique approach by incorporating odor-neutralizer technology. There's a $50 difference in the price (the Vertex being the cheaper option), but it was felt that the advanced sensor-based cleaning, odor control, superior pet hair handling, and extra battery warranty of the Stratos pipped it to the post.

How I tested the Shark Stratos Cordless

  • It was the only vacuum cleaner in my house
  • Used for two months

The Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum was the only vacuum cleaner in my house. This meant that it was tasked with cleaning all manner of messes, big and small. From puffed rice to long hair, the stick vacuum had its work cut out for it, but I found it handled all that life threw at it like a pro.

I used it for two months. The dust cup was emptied every other clean, there was no hair wrapped around the brushbar, and the odor neutralizer technology is still going strong.

See more about how we test.

First reviewed: November 2023

Jennifer Oksien

Jennifer Oksien is the Editor of Top Ten Reviews. Jennifer (Jen) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as TechRadar, Real Homes and Ideal Home. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or making a cake.