Skip to main content

Shark Apex Uplight vacuum review

Shark’s Apex UpLight vacuum picks up pet hair like a beast

shark apex uplight review 2
Shark Apex Uplight vacuum
MSRP $199.99
“Shark thought of just about everything when making this well-engineered machine.”
  • Works well on hard floors, carpets, and area rugs
  • Picks up pet hair
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Affordable price
  • Dust cup could be larger
  • Vacuum hose is difficult to click back into place

In this age of smart home technology and robot vacuums that clean your floors, an upright vacuum doesn’t seem all that glamorous. However, a good upright is still essential for most homes, especially those with pets. You also need an upright vacuums with attachments to reach high places, and most people pull out the upright when it’s time for that weekly or biweekly big house cleaning. One of the huge downsides to using an upright vacuum. however, is that the better-performing vacuums are often heavy or cumbersome.

Shark, a brand known for creating some of the best vacuums with affordable price tags, recently came out with a new vacuum called the Shark Apex UpLight Corded LiftAway. Shark claims it offers full-sized power in a lightweight machine that’s easy to manage. I tested out the Apex UpLight to see if this little vac was as powerful as it sounded. Here’s my full review of the Shark Apex UpLight Corded LiftAway.

Out of the box

When I opened the box, I found a pod that houses the motor, filtration system, and dust cup. The vacuum’s hose was also connected to the main pod. There was also a floor nozzle with dual brush rolls, a wand that connects the pod to the floor nozzle, a holder for the accessories, a crevice tool, and a pet multitool.

Erika Rawes/Digital Trends

Assembling the vacuum was incredibly intuitive and simple, and the process took less than5 minutes. The assembled vacuum was pretty lightweight at 10.7 pounds, and it was incredibly easy to maneuver and move from room to room.

So much … dog hair

The first thing I vacuumed with the Apex UpLight was the front entryway area rug. I have a yellow lab, and she sheds … a lot. This is her favorite chill spot. I think she just lays there all day hoping the pizza delivery man will come to the door. I use a robot vacuum for pet hair to clean my floors daily, including the area rug my dog has claimed as her domain. However, when I ran the UpLight over the area rug, I was shocked at the amount of dog hair that came up. It was probably enough hair to cover another dog. I couldn’t see the hair before vacuuming, so it must have been embedded deep into the rug’s fibers.

The Apex UpLight has Hypervelocity accelerated suction, which allows for a direct air path and stronger suction.

The Apex UpLight has Hypervelocity accelerated suction, which allows for a direct air path and stronger suction. I could see my dog’s hair circling around as it accumulated in the dust cup with each push of the vacuum.

Smart brushroll design

Shark’s DuoClean technology is designed to allow the soft brush to polish and clean floors, while a separate brush roll cleans carpets. The Apex UpLight‘s soft brush roll grabs dust and small particles from hard surfaces, and a self-cleaning brush roll deep cleans carpets and grabs up hair.

Erika Rawes/Digital Trends

How does the self-cleaning brushroll work? As you clean with the Apex UpLight, a built-in comb-like mechanism goes over the brushroll and cleans the hair and debris to keep it functioning at its best. There are also four metal wires that go across the self-cleaning brushroll, which help prevent long hairs from tangling in the brush.

Vacuuming in the dark? No problem

The Apex UpLight has LED lights on the front of the floor nozzle that illuminate pet hair, dust, and dirt on the floor. This allowed me to use the Apex UpLight in any lighting condition. It also made it possible for me to see tiny crumbs, dog hairs, and dirt particles I typically can’t see when I vacuum with a different unit.

Accessories and cool perks

As the days passed and I continued to clean with the Apex UpLight, I realized just how much thought and consideration went into this machine and the user’s experience. There are quite a few well-designed features that make this vacuum stand out.

On the back of the floor nozzle sit two wheels, so the vacuum stands up securely when it’s not in use. When you angle the vacuum and begin cleaning, the wheels automatically retract and the dual brushrolls begin to spin.

Two separate brushrolls deep clean carpets and grab up hair.

The vacuum completely disassembles, allowing me to carry only the main pod and hose when I want to vacuum furniture, curtains, or stairs. I can also remove the floor nozzle, and use the pod and wand, or I can attach a brush to the end of the wand.

The accessories conveniently attach to the unit’s wand, so I can access them at any time. Speaking of the accessories, they are also extremely well-designed. The crevice tool, which is 8-inches long, has a brush tool that slides along its shaft. I can snap the brush onto the end of the crevice tool when I want to use it, and then I can slide it back down when I want to use the crevice tool without the brush. The pet multitool has a brush and an upholstery tool that fits nicely inside of the brush. I can use the brush or snap it off and use the upholstery tool when I need to grab up stubborn hairs from my couch.

Erika Rawes/Digital Trends

The Apex UpLight is also allergy friendly. It uses a HEPA filter to capture and trap more than 99.9 percent of dust, dirt, and allergens (based on ASTM F1977 of particles 0.3 microns and larger).

Vacuum hose woes

I mentioned before how the Apex UpLight completely disassembles so I can carry only the lightweight pod and hose around the house to clean furniture and stairs. However, I am unable to use the hose while the vacuum is fully assembled, which I found just a bit annoying. The hose is also a bit tricky to put back in place. It has to be in exactly the right position. Aside from a few quirks with the hose, I didn’t really have any issues with the Apex UpLight.

Warranty information

The Shark APEX UpLight Corded Lift-Away Vacuum comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

Our Take

Overall, the Apex UpLight is a really solid vacuum, and Shark thought of just about everything when making this well-engineered machine. Of course, it could be lighter, but it’s certainly lightweight (especially when you use only the LiftAway Pod and hose), and the vacuum is unlikely to cause any back strain.

Is there a better alternative?

You can pick up the Apex UpLight for around $200, which is an excellent price for this unit. Given the Apex UpLight’s affordable price tag and exceptional performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find many better alternatives. Dyson offers lightweight vacuums with powerful suction that work well on multiple floor surfaces (i.e.. the Dyson V8 Absolute). But unless you find an awesome deal, you’re going to pay more if you opt for a Dyson (the V8 Absolute costs at least $350 on sale, and even the older models, like the V6s and V7s, are at least $275).

Shark also has other comparable options, like the Apex DuoClean Zero-M (which sells for $250). But while the Zero-M offers many of the same features as the Apex UpLight, the Zero-M doesn’t have the LiftAway feature or the self-standing wheels, nor does it have complete anti-allergen sealing.

Want cordless options? Check out the best cordless vacuums for 2020.

How long will it last?

The components all feel extremely sturdy and well-made. Plus, with the impressive 5-year limited warranty, this vacuum should last for years with proper care and maintenance.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you want a lightweight upright vacuum that will work on hard floors, carpets, area rugs, and furniture, as well as pick up pet hair, you should absolutely buy the Shark APEX UpLight Corded Lift-Away Vacuum.

Hoping to get a discount on these appliances? Check out the best vacuum cleaner deals we’ve found today.

Editors' Recommendations

Erika Rawes
Smart Home Evergreen Coordinator
Erika became a professional writer in 2010, and her work is published all over the web on sites ranging from USA Today to…
Dreame X40 Ultra vs. Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra: Which is the best premium robot vacuum?
The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra connected to plumbing.

Robot vacuums don't have the most creative names. The vast majority of products available today largely carry names comprised of a random assortment of numbers and words, and it can be hard to discern how one product compares to another unless you do some serious digging. That's especially true of the Dreame X40 Ultra and Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra, which both carry a hodgepodge of characters followed by the "Ultra" moniker. But naming quirks aside, there's no denying these are two of the best robot vacuums money can buy.

That begs the question -- should you purchase the Dreame X40 Ultra or Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra for your smart home? You truly can't go wrong with either, but here's a closer look at both to ensure you're getting the right robot for your needs.
Pricing and availability

Read more
Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo vs. Ecovacs Deebot T30S Combo: Which is the better robot vacuum?
The Ecovacs X2 Combo installed in a home.

Ecovacs has launched two "Combo" products this year that bundle together a robot vacuum with a secondary handheld vacuum. Each is a great all-in-one solution to keeping your home clean, as they let you tackle not just floors, but also furniture, stairs, blinds, and other areas that might accumulate dust. The Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo was the first to hit the market, though the Ecovacs Deebot T30S Combo arrived shortly after.

But what's the difference between the Ecovacs X2 Combo and Ecovacs T30S Combo? And which is better for your home? Here's a closer look at these similarly named robots to help you decide which to purchase.
Pricing and availability

Read more
Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo vs. Dreame X40 Ultra: Which robot vacuum is best for your smart home?
The Ecovacs X2 Combo installed in a home.

The Dreame X40 Ultra and Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo are both well-rounded robot vacuums. They bring heaps of functionality to your home, including self-cleaning docks, robots that can both mop and clean in a single run, and luxurious designs that blend with most home décor. All that doesn't come cheap, and you'll be spending well over $1,000 to get your hands on either robot. That means you'll want to carefully weigh your options before making such a hefty investment.

From vacuuming and mopping performance to pricing and additional features, here's a look at the Ecovacs Deebot X2 Combo and Dreame X40 Ultra to help you decide which is best for your home.
Pricing and availability

Read more