The Shark IONFlex folds up to become even more compact than it is already. It also stands on its own. That is helpful for taking a break mid-cleaning and for storage. It was not too impressive for suction, though. It was better on hardwood floors than on carpeting, but it still struggled to remove some debris, pushing it around instead of sucking it up. It eventually cleaned it all, but other vacuum cleaners for home were more efficient.
The IONFlex comes at a very high price, and that is one obvious drawback. It does have a lot of versatility for that money – transforming into a hand vacuum and reaching high into ceiling corners for cobwebs with its long wand. Its hose can also be snapped into a 90-degree angle, which helps you clean under furniture without straining. But it is somewhat lacking in suction power.
We have a lot of experience with all types of vacuums. The Shark IONFlex doesn’t measure up to its upright counterparts. For instance, there are full-size Shark uprights, like the Shark DuoClean NV800, that have the two different brushes – soft and bristled – like the IONFlex model has. The upright simply does a much better job, in our experience, at cleaning both hard floors and carpets. Generally, on wood flooring a soft brush out front helps pull debris toward the suction path rather than flinging it out of the path, the way many traditional bristled brushes do. The IONFlex did that, but the upright Sharks with the same two brushes seemed to have much more suction.
The IONFlex weighs a little more than average among the machines we evaluated, and it has a tiny dust bin, so be prepared to empty the bin more frequently than others. The battery life started strong, but faded over the course of our testing. By our last vacuum test, after a full charge, the battery only lasted a paltry 15 minutes, and that was on the lower power setting.
The Shark IONFlex seems overpriced for what it does. It works great for quick cleanups, and if you dread cleaning under furniture this one will save your sanity by getting under it with little to no effort on your part.