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Shark IZ202UK review: A brilliant budget vacuum cleaner

Our Rating :
£169.00 from
Price when reviewed : £350

One of the cheapest Shark vacuums delivers absolutely stunning value for money


  • Great cleaning performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Simple to use


  • No fluffy roller
  • Minimal accessories
An image of the Expert Reviews approved deal roundal on a blue background

The Shark IZ202UK is now on sale

On the hunt for a great vacuum deal? The tried and tested Shark IZ202UK was praised with our Expert Reviews Best Buy Award and it’s now on sale. You can pick one up for just £169, which is a generous £83 saving from it’s usual average price of £252. Don’t hang around though as this deal will be ending on 9 April. 

Amazon Was £199 Now £169 View deal

The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Vacuum IZ202UK is Shark’s assault on the value end of the cordless stick market. We know you can get a good clean from a top-of-the-range Shark that comes with dual rollers and powerful suction. But if Shark sacrifices some of its best features to produce an even more affordable device, can it still cut the mustard when it comes to extracting dirt from your floor?

To answer the question we’ve put the Shark IZ202UK through the same tests to which we submit every vacuum we review, so you can compare the performance of this model with other affordable vacuum cleaners, as well as those at the top of the range.

Shark IZ202UK review: What do you get for the money?

At first glance, you’d hardly notice that the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Vacuum IZ202UK is any different to Shark’s more expensive cordless models. It has a similar design, with the vacuum engine and collection bin combined into a handheld unit at the top, separated from the floor head by an articulated extension wand. It’s 270 x 1,190 x 170mm (WHD) in size and weighs 4.7kg.

Shark IZ202UK motor head

The main unit looks identical to that of its predecessor, the Shark IZ201UK, which is still available at some retailers but costs a little more. The controls are extremely simple, with a three-way thumb switch on the top that takes it through its three modes: off, hard floor and carpet. There’s also a trigger loop for your index finger, which you pull to engage the Max boost mode.

In testing, our suction test confirmed the similarity between the two models, with the handheld unit producing almost the same suction results as the IZ201UK, as you can see in the chart below.

Shark IZ202UK Suction power

There’s a battery attached to the base of the handle, which can be removed easily. The port for the supplied charging cable is on the end, and you can charge it while connected to or separated from the rest of the equipment. There are three LEDs on the side of the battery that show whether the battery has full charge, medium charge or low charge. If the last light starts to flash, it’s an indication it’s nearly empty.

Shark calls its folding extension wand “Flexology”, and it’s worth giving a name to. A button on the wand releases a catch that lets the wand flex at knee height. This can be used to slide the floor head under low furniture, or to fold it right over to reduce the height of the device to 680mm for storage – a state in which it can also support itself in an upright position.

Shark IZ202UK folded

Moving down to the floor head, you can finally see where the main change between the IZ201UK and the IZ202UK has happened. Whereas the previous model used Shark’s dual roller system to house both a fluffy roller and a brush bar, the IZ202UK has a single brush bar. It’s a sophisticated roller, though, with both bristles and stiff fins interspersed along its length. It also has an anti-hair wrap system to stop long hair getting tangled along its length.

In terms of attachments, it’s limited to the bare essentials. You get a crevice tool and a simple upholstery tool, the latter being just a funnel with felt-like brushes around the edge to tease hair and other fine debris out of your furniture.

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Shark IZ202UK review: What’s it like to use?

Because the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Vacuum IZ202UK is relatively unsophisticated, it’s also straightforward to use. The three-way switch on the top of the unit is easily accessible and well labelled, and pulling the trigger below to get a boost is intuitive. With the one floor head capable of cleaning both hard floor and carpet, there’s no switching needed.

If there’s one element I didn’t particularly like it’s the position of the power indicator lights on the battery. During operation these are well out of sight, so there’s no at-a-glance guide to how much power you have left without rotating the vacuum around to see the lights.

Speaking of the battery, it performed well in our tests, outlasting the one on the previous model. This might be an improvement in battery technology, or it might be because it’s now only powering a single roller.

Shark IZ202UK Battery life chart

I found the vacuum to be easy to push around, and it merrily sucked up visible dirt and debris from carpet, hard floor and mats. There’s a bank of LED lights on the front that can help you see what you’re doing in dark corners, and the flex in the wand is easy to engage and click back into place when you want it straight again.

Conversion to a handheld unit is a simple matter of holding down a button while disconnecting the handheld unit from the wand. The two attachments work well but are basic. There are more accessories available through Shark’s website if you want more, though.

Shark IZ202UK motor head at an angle

Emptying the vacuum is simple: the collection bin’s base is a trap door that opens to let the collected dirt drop out. You have to detach it from the handheld unit first, but this makes it easy to ensure it’s over a bin before emptying. I found it a bit fiddly to get it back on again, as it has to be aligned just right, but it’s something an owner would get used to reasonably quickly.

I did my usual test of the anti-hair-wrap system by vacuuming around the areas of my house where the longer-haired members of my family brush their hair, which is a surefire way of getting a tangle on any roller that doesn’t clear itself. In this case, Shark’s system worked well, and I didn’t need to clear the roller of hair in all the time I used it.

Shark IZ202UK review: How well does it clean?

I was a little concerned that ditching the fluffy roller would be a compromise too far in our tests, and that the hard floor results would be some way behind what we’ve seen from Shark’s best models.

Spoiler alert: I shouldn’t have worried. Shark has left plenty of space at the front to allow larger particles through, and although it doesn’t trap them quite as well as the best fluffy rollers, it performed surprisingly well.

READ NEXT: These are the best cordless vacuums to buy right now

Starting with the Cheerios on hard floor, I found I needed to gently waggle the IZ202UK to stop Cheerios from getting stuck at the front, but doing this allowed 93% to pass through into the collection bin. On carpet it was even better, allowing only a couple of Cheerios to slip to the side, which wasn’t enough to register as anything but a complete success on my scales.

Our flour spillage test is tougher and I was conscious that this vacuum doesn’t have the strongest suction, but perhaps the brush and fin combo on the brush bar helped here, because it performed very well.

Shark IZ202UK handle

On hard floor it collected 98.6% of the flour, with the only visible remainder caught between the gaps of my plastic floor tiles, and later gathered with the crevice tool. On carpet, there were only a few visible areas where flour wasn’t collected, but it still managed to collect 96% on a single pass.

As you can see from our chart below, against similarly priced vacuums this is an impressive performance, even compared with the previous model with the fluffy roller. The Hoover HF9 is slightly better in most tests, as long as you ignore how difficult it finds picking up Cheerios on hard floor.


Shark IZ202UK Percentage spills cleaned chart

I also tested the IZ202UK with pet hair but this is a relatively new test to Expert Reviews so doesn’t have the same level of comparative data. However, the IZ202UK performed well here, too, collecting all the dog hair clippings I laid down on both carpet and hard floor. Cranking up the suction with the Max trigger helped here, as the extra suction helped encourage the hair into the floor head.

Shark IZ202UK review: Should I buy it?

The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Vacuum IZ202UK is a great vacuum cleaner for the price. Shark has trimmed back some bells and whistles from its top-of-the-range devices and removed the fluffy roller, but this hasn’t affected its core cleaning ability – it’s brilliantly effective for the price and there are very few as good.

The Hoover HF9 is a decent alternative that’s often available for a similar price. The Pet version comes with a good motorised upholstery attachment, which is a useful addition to have, even if you only use it to clean your stairs. If you’re looking for a Dyson at this kind of price, you’re restricted to the Dyson V8. That’s the oldest model in the range, but it does have the most powerful suction. That doesn’t always translate to the best cleaning ability, though.

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