Shark Stratos vs Vertex: which Shark vacuum cleaner is best for your home?

Shark Stratos vs. Shark Vertex - which is the better vacuum to buy? We have all the information you need if you’re unsure which cordless Shark vacuum to purchase or whether to switch from one to the other. 

We compare these top-rated Shark models and discover what benefits they offer and how they differ, from features and functionality to performance and affordability. Shark produces some of the best cordless vacuums, so it's important to know which is the best pick for your home. 

The Stratos and Vertex are both upright vacuum cleaner ranges made by Shark. Including models such as the standard Stratos, Stratos Pro, and Stratos Pro with TruePet, the Stratos range offers standout performance with extra features, such as an odor neutralizer and Clean Sense IQ technology - more on those later. 

The Vertex range includes the Vertex, Vertex Pro, Vertex Ultra, and Vertex with DuoClean. This range offers features such as DuoClean heads, anti-allergen seals, self-cleaning brush rolls, and larger dust cups. 

So which is better? We compare two specific models - the Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum and the Shark Vertex Pro Lightweight Cordless Vacuum to give you the lowdown on which one comes out as the best vacuum cleaner for your home.

Shark Stratos vs Vertex: Design

When it comes to design, the Shark Vertex and the Shark Stratos are very similar. One standout feature shared by both models is the MultiFLEX bendable wand. This clever design allows the vacuum to easily glide under furniture, making those hard-to-reach spots a breeze to clean. You can also fold the wand over when storing each model, so it’s freestanding and doesn’t require extra support, which is handy.

Available in black and red, the Shark Vertex boasts a sleek and compact design, with the dust cup in line with the wand. On the other hand, the ash-purple Shark Stratos has a slightly lower-mounted dust cup, which may affect the overall balance and maneuverability of the vacuum for some people. It’s also a little smaller than the dust cup with the Vertex, so you’ll need to empty it more often. 

In terms of weight, there’s not a lot in it either. The Shark Vertex is slightly lighter at 8.82 lbs, while the Shark Stratos is 8.9 pounds. But if weight and maneuverability are essential to you, you may prefer the lighter option, especially if you need to carry it up and down stairs or maneuver it around tight spaces.

Both models include a detachable handheld vacuum that can be used with various attachments, and both handheld units feature a display that offers real-time information on remaining battery life, cleaning mode, and the selected suction power level. 

However, the Clean Sense IQ indicator is the most noteworthy element of the Stratos’ design. It shows a strip of light on the top of the vacuum head, directly correlating with the dust and debris on your floor. As the strip gradually diminishes in size, it signals that your floor has been thoroughly cleaned and is now free from dirt and debris.

The Stratos edges it in terms of design simply because of the Clean Sense IQ indicator. It’s a super-helpful addition that gives you a unique insight into your vacuuming habits, nudging you ever so slightly into improving the cleanliness of your floors!

Shark Cordless Detect Pro viewed close up in use

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Stratos vs Vertex: Performance

When it comes to customer reviews on Amazon, the Shark Vertex Pro gets thousands of thumbs up and plenty of praise for its robust suction on carpets, with many users noting its ability to deep clean carpets effectively, leaving them spotless. Pet owners say it excels in picking up pet hair from carpets, although some users have mentioned occasional hair wrapping in the brush roll.

Customers also appreciate the Shark Vertex Pro's performance on hard floors. It effortlessly tackles fine dust and larger debris, making it a versatile cleaning tool for different floor types. However, a few users have reported minor issues with larger debris.

Overall, the Shark Vertex Pro boasts an impressive average performance rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, with its highest scores for maneuverability and cleaning up hair. 

The Shark Stratos notably has fewer reviews. However, hundreds of happy customers say it has exceptional suction power, particularly on carpets. Pet owners say hair wrapping isn’t as problematic for the Stratos as it is for the Vertex.

The Stratos also tends to perform better at picking up larger debris, and it receives plenty of praise for the advanced CleanSense IQ technology, which automatically adjusts suction power based on the cleaning requirements.

Despite this, the Stratos has a slightly lower overall rating on Amazon, at 4.3 stars out of 5. So we’d say the Vertex just edges it on performance, as per customer reviews. 

Shark Cordless Detect Pro in use

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Stratos vs Vertex: Features

Both the Shark Stratos and Shark Vertex vacuum models offer a range of innovative features, but the Stratos appears to have a slight edge in certain aspects.

The Shark Vertex stands out with its IQ Display, which provides real-time information, keeping users informed and in control of their cleaning sessions. It also features a DuoClean PowerFins brush roll, which combines a soft roller and a stiff bristle roller, making it very effective at cleaning large debris and fine particles on various surfaces, including carpets and hard floors.

The Stratos takes a unique approach by incorporating Odor Neutralizer Technology. While vacuuming, it emits a fresh scent to eliminate unpleasant odors, leaving your home smelling clean and fresh. It also boasts the Clean Sense IQ brush roll, equipped with sensors to detect dirt levels and automatically adjust suction power for more efficient cleaning. And it comes with the PowerFins HairPro, specifically designed for effective pet hair pickup.

Both models feature anti-allergen complete seals, self-cleaning brush rolls, and a flexible wand. However, the Shark Stratos goes the extra mile with odor control and specialized pet hair pickup, so the Stratos wins it for us on features.

Image shows the Shark Vertex Bagless Corded Canister Vacuum.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

Shark Stratos vs Vertex: Care & Maintenance

Both models will require regular care and maintenance to keep your Shark Vertex Pro and Shark Stratos vacuum cleaners performing at their best.

Shark advises emptying the dust cup after each use or when it reaches the maximum fill line to prevent reduced suction, and their filters will need rinsing every month or as needed under cold water. Whereas the Vertex manual advises rinsing out the dust cup and leaving it to air dry for 24 hours, the Stratos advises waiting for 48 hours. It’s unclear why there’s a difference between the two models, but it may be important if you want to be able to vacuum every day or every other day. 

Both models advise regularly checking and cleaning the brush roll, floor nozzle, and attachments for any debris or obstructions that may affect the vacuum’s performance. However, because the Stratos features sensors as part of the Clean Sense IQ feature, you’ll also need to regularly clean the sensors inside the handheld vacuum to prevent the accumulation of hair and debris, which can stop this feature from working properly. 

When it comes to warranty, cautious purchasers may prefer what the Stratos has to offer. While both models provide an impressive five-year limited warranty on the vacuum itself, the Stratos also offers a two-year warranty on the battery. 

Shark Stratos vs Vertex: Price

The Shark Vertex Pro is typically more affordable than the Shark Stratos, but not very much, retailing at around $449.99 on the Shark website, compared to $499.99 for the Stratos. However, this may vary depending on the retailer, availability, and any ongoing promotions. 

The price of both models puts them right in the middle of what you’d expect to pay for a cordless stick vacuum, which is anything from $200 to $600 or more if you want advanced features and attachments. 

Given the slight price difference and the number of features it offers, you get a better deal with the Shark Stratos. The enhanced cleaning and odor-neutralizing technology is worth paying a little more for, and the extra battery warranty is also great value.

Shark Stratos vs Vertex: Our verdict

The advanced sensor-based cleaning, odor control, superior pet hair handling, and extra battery warranty help the Shark Stratos edge out the Vertex as the better overall cordless stick vacuum option.

However, both the Shark Stratos and Shark Vertex have their own unique design features and innovative technologies. Choosing between these two exceptional vacuum cleaners will ultimately depend on your specific cleaning needs and preferences. 

Before making a final decision, it's a good idea to try each one out in-store or read reviews from other consumers who have had hands-on experience with these models. Ultimately, the right vacuum cleaner can make a big difference in keeping your home clean and comfortable.

Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 

You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website: