Shark Navigator Lift-Away

Last updated date: July 31, 2019

DWYM Score
9.2

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We looked at the top 1 Upright Vacuums and dug through the reviews from 11 of the most popular review sites including Consumer Reports, Top Ten Reviews, New York Times Wirecutter, The Spruce, CNET, Business Insider and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Upright Vacuum you should buy.

Overall Take

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is the top overall recommended pick because of its reasonable price point and multiple tools, including two sizes of crevice tools. The removable handle doubles as an extension wand. It's also extremely efficient at removing any embedded dirt and dust from the floor. In our analysis of 91 expert reviews, the Shark Navigator Shark Navigator Lift-Away placed 1st when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Upright Vacuum for a detailed review of all the top upright vacuums.

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
3,542 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Highs: Excelled at removing embedded dirt from carpets - Performed well when cleaning bare floors, ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and hardwood floors. - Excelled at capturing all the dust it picks up, important if you have allergies or other respiratory issues. - Has suction control, which helps protect drapes when using tools. - Has a brush on/off switch, which safeguards bare floors and prevents the scattering of dust and debris.
- Consumer Reports
The Shark Navigator has more tools than most of the comparable vacuum cleaners, including two different crevice tools.
- Top Ten Reviews
After our look at more than 525 vacuums over hundreds of hours, our favorite vacuum for most people is still the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away is a compact upright vacuum with a removable handle that doubles as an extension wand. It's especially unique in that the top half of the vacuum can detach from the floor brush for portable cleaning. It weighs just under 14 pounds, too, easily gliding across bare floors and short carpets.
- Reviewed
Powerful, lightweight, and an overall value, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional claims the top spot for vacuum cleaners and is ideal for most families. What’s great about this model is that it’s easy to assemble and use, plus it maintains powerful suction whether you’re using it on carpet or bare floors.
- The Spruce
The Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away is a veritable master of versatility. It comes with so many attachments and accessories that you are pretty much guaranteed to have the right brush for the job at hand.
- CNET
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is a strong all-around vacuum, but the reliability and durability are what put this model above its competitors (and some pricier options). It needs less maintenance than other vacuums at this price, and it has essentially no ongoing costs of ownership thanks in part to a nearly comprehensive five-year warranty that’s easy to make a claim on. That near-guaranteed longevity alone puts the Navigator Lift-Away ahead of most cheap vacs. It’s a very capable cleaner, too, able to pick up any debris (including pet hair) from almost all kinds of flooring. Handling is smooth and light, emptying it is easy, and its owners tend to love it, often comparing it favorably to their old vacuums—even models that were much more expensive.
- Forbes
Quite a few Navigator reviewers came back years after their first review to update potential buyers about their experiences with the brand. From what we can tell, the Navigator is like a fine wine. It ages well over time and keeps performing year after year like it did on day 1. Many switched from more expensive and better known vacuum models to this little vacuum that could. Many also say that this is the best vacuum that they’ve used in years. Don’t let the price deceive you. Reviewers bought this vacuum because of the price, but kept it around because of its dependability.
- Floor Critics
The "Lift-Away" portion of the name refers to the option of lifting the canister and hose right off the base for easy vacuuming of stairs, underneath furniture, tight corners, and those pesky cobwebs dangling from the high reaches of your ceiling. You won't need super-strength to lift the vacuum up to those high corners, either.
- Business Insider
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum (NV352) was a solid purchase due to its lightweight design, swiveling head, and impressive suction power. The ‘never loses suction’ technology is extremely powerful, allowing you to easily transition from bare hardwood floors to area rugs and upholstery, ensuring you of optimal floor contact and consistent suction the entire time.From the first few moments to the very last ones, your vacuum will never lose suction power, meaning that its performance will never have to suffer.
- Home Floor Experts
Great suction power, easily absorbing both debris or dust particles, and pet hair. Surprisingly, the vacuum cleaner has a quiet working mechanism. The on-off brush power is very good when you are handling hardwood or tile floor surfaces.
- Vaccumpal
What experts didn't like
Lows: The on/off switch is inconveniently placed. Requires manually emptying the bin, which is messier and sometimes presents problems for those with allergies or other respiratory issues. Lacks a manual carpet-height adjustment, which is better than automatic systems at matching the brush to the surface.
- Consumer Reports
This vacuum is more expensive than most budget options, at over $100.
- Top Ten Reviews
Though the Shark NV352 Navigator Lift-Away makes a lot of promises, many of them on late-night television, it largely fails to deliver. The lightweight and maneuverable vacuum has a very ergonomically-friendly extension wand, but the whole setup gave the impression that it was poorly constructed from inexpensive materials.
- Reviewed
It didn't lead during performance testing. Then again, it costs $450 less than some of its competition -- and in many cases the results were only marginally worse.
- CNET
On the downside, owners wish the electrical cord was longer, and some said the vacuum cleaner was a bit top-heavy. Hose is a bit short at 5 feet; electric cord is short at only 25 feet.
- Business Insider
There are a few aspects I should probably insist on. First of all, there is a good chance that your vacuum will fall down and spill the contents of the dust can over since the support is not the best. The same will happen if you position the vacuum so that it leans against the wall – the dust can might spill over. When used for longer than 20 minutes at a time, the vacuum gets very hot, which might result in damage if left alone like this for too long.
- Home Floor Experts
It happens to be too top-heavy and can easily tip over as a result. The cord and hose are both short so it can be challenging to reach certain surfaces in the house.
- Vaccumpal

From The Manufacturer

NV360 Features: -Never loses suction Technology for consistent suction power . -Lightweight, portable canister with premium pet tools and patented under-appliance wand. -Swivel steering and smooth-gliding wheels promises easy maneuvering around furniture . -Vacuum Attachments: Brush Tool, Dusting Brush, Crevice Tool, Long Reach Hose. Dimensions: -25' Power cord. -11" Cleaning width. Overall Height - Top to Bottom: -45.47". Overall Width - Side to Side: -11.42". Overall Depth - Front to Back: -14.96". Overall Product Weight: -15.96 lbs.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Shark Navigator Lift-Away
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 11
2. Oreck XL Commercial Upright
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 10
3. Sebo Felix
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 4
4. Dirt Devil Razor
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 5
5. Hoover React
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 2
6. Dyson Ball Animal 2
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 9
7. Eureka Brushroll Clean with SuctionSeal
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 7
8. Hoover WindTunnel T Series
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 9
9. Bissell Cleanview
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 9
10. Oreck Magnesium RS
Overall Score: 6.5
Expert Reviews: 5
11. Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away
Overall Score: 5.5
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Upright Vacuums

Whether you have wall-to-wall carpet, original hardwood or a combination of flooring throughout your home, having a vacuum cleaner is a necessity. Upright vacuum cleaners have become much more commonplace than canister vacs in American homes, and with good reason.

Unlike canister vacuums, uprights have the motor and the suction head on the same unit. You push the vacuum in front of you rather than dragging a canister behind while maneuvering a long hose.

While the basic look of upright vacuums hasn’t changed much over time, today’s vacuum cleaners are sleek, modern and come in an array of designs and colors.

Upright vacuums are typically more affordable than canister vacs. They clean thick rugs and carpets efficiently, thanks to their motorized brushes. They also transition between different types of flooring easily; you can usually control the movements from room to room with your foot on the pedal.

You can avoid a backache that sometimes occurs when using a canister vacuum or a broom and dustpan, as an upright vacuum does not require much bending or stooping. The wide cleaning brushes of upright vacuums typically clean floors faster than canister vacuum as well.

In addition, many upright vacuums are lightweight, especially when compared to canister vacuums. If you plan to use a single vacuum throughout your home, an upright cleaner can save time and strain. This is especially true if you have multiple levels in your home.

Most upright vacuums include attachments. These additional tools connect easily to the vacuum hose, which pops on and off of the unit. The attachments provide many of the benefits of a canister vacuum, such as the ability to clean high or hard to reach places. You can use attachments to clean ceiling fans, walls, blinds, upholstery and baseboards.  You can also obtain special attachments that allow you to clean behind or beneath appliances, such as refrigerators or dryers.

Upright vacuums can be easy to clean and maintain. Rinsing filters and emptying canisters or bags takes minimal time and effort. Although it might be tedious at times, removing hair or other obstructions from the roller brush is not terribly difficult.

Storage is simple. You can tuck an upright vacuum cleaner into a closet or corner in virtually any room in your home.

DYWM Fun Fact

The first mechanical carpet sweeper was invented by Daniel Hess in 1860. The innovation had rotating brushes, not unlike those in today’s upright vacuum cleaners. Prior to this invention, housewives, servants and even children had to hang rugs outside and beat the dust and dirt out of them. This was typically a weekly chore. By the turn of the 20th century, an English engineer named H. Cecil Booth created an engine-driven carpet cleaner. The machine was pulled on a cart throughout the streets of London, and the operator would drag a 100-foot hose into buildings to vacuum the floors. In 1907, an Ohio janitor named Murray Spangler made his own, smaller version of Booth’s machine. William H. Hoover purchased the rights to Spangler’s vacuum and the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company was born. Hoover vacuum cleaners have been sold around the world ever since. In fact, many people in England refer to vacuuming as “hoovering.”

The Upright Vacuum Buying Guide

  • A primary factor to consider when shopping for an upright vacuum cleaner is the type of flooring on which you intend to use it. Some vacuums work best on deep carpet; others are designed for thin rugs and bare flooring. Several models are made to clean an array of floor types. In addition, if you cannot turn off the roller brush of a vacuum cleaner, it might not be suitable for hardwood flooring.
  • If you opt for a vacuum cleaner that is capable of cleaning multiple types of flooring, look into what you must do to adjust the pile type or floor setting. For some upright vacuums, you must bend down to use an inconvenient or hard-to-reach dial make these adjustments. For others, the switch is on the handle or even automatic.
  • Considering the overall ease of use of a vacuum is also important. Is the vacuum corded or cordless? Where is the on and off switch? How much does the vacuum cleaner weigh? How wide is the brush? How easy is the vacuum to maneuver around or under furnishings?
  • Some brands and models of upright vacuums have features that help to remove allergens from the home, such as multiple filters and airtight canisters. If you or a loved one suffer from asthma, severe allergies or other respiratory issues, this type of vacuum might be the best choice.
  • Think about what you might want to clean with the vacuum aside from floors. Look for a vacuum cleaner that includes or has the option to add attachments for the areas that you require most.
  • Pet hair can be problematic for some upright vacuums. Other models, like the Hoover WindTunnel T Series, are designed to clean up fur, fuzz and other animal-related messes with ease. If you have a cat, dog or another four-footed family member, a vacuum cleaner designed for pet owners could save you time and money in the long run.
  • Upright vacuums can be difficult to maneuver around severe corners or winding flights of stairs. Considering the weight and maneuverability of a vacuum cleaner as well as your home’s design can be helpful when determining which vac is best for you.
  • Consider whether you want to replace bags and/or filters regularly. A bagged vacuum might contain more dust and allergens but will also require more attention and additional costs. Bagless vacuums with washable filters tend to be more convenient and lower maintenance.
  • Of course, your budget is a primary deciding factor as well. Purchasing the best vacuum you can while staying within your means is a good rule of thumb.