Shark IF250UK cordless vacuum cleaner review

Cordless vacuum cleaners have become synonymous with some of the big brands like Dyson, but Shark is an alternative you may not think of immediately that’s offering a top end product without having to spend as much money.

With a unique design, good battery life and very impressive cleaning performance, you should consider the Shark IF250UK when looking for your next vacuum cleaner.

Below you’ll find our full review of the Shark IF250UK. We’ll also reference some features that you can only get on the Shark IF250UKT, which is a different product with Shark’s TruePet mode but we’ll make it clear when we’re talking about that variant.

Shark IF250UK vacuum cleaner price and availability 

This version of Shark’s flagship vacuum has been available since around August 2017, so you should now be able to find it from a series of retailers in your home market.

As for the price, we’ve found it has an RRP of £449.99 (around $640, AU$800) but it only seems to be on sale in the UK and not available in the US or Australia.

We’ve also seen the price drop down at various retailers too with it costing £319.99 at one stage in the UK. You may find the price fluctuates a little higher or lower than that when you come to buy the vacuum from Shark though.

Design

One of the biggest highlights of this vacuum cleaner is the design. It’s a little bulkier and heavier than some of its competitors products, but it’s manageable and you won’t find it too much of a stress to carry around.

At the top of the vacuum cleaner is the housing for the battery (this is a cordless cleaner after all) and all the tech involved here. The top section can easily be disconnected from the main cleaner so you can get to hard to reach places or add extra attachments to get to those awkward places within your home.

There’s then the main body of the vacuum cleaner that’s long enough for taller users but also won’t be cumbersome if you’re a little shorter.

We found it offered great reach when in the upright position, but with Shark’s Flexology technology it’s also capable of a lot more movement than you initially expect.

About a third of way down from the top is a hinge that allows you to bend the cleaner down allowing you to slide this under a sofa or other furniture to fully clean without moving everything about.

We found this was easy to set up, but it also means you often need to have the cleaner laid horizontally on the floor and often that’s as much effort as moving the furniture you’re trying to clean under. To start the Flexology features you’ll want to press the button on the top, which at first was a touch stiff, but it allows you to push the vacuum down so you can lay it flat to the floor.

When you’re done, you can pull the cleaner back up to an upright position and it’ll click back into place for you to continue cleaning with it in the normal position. This is a particular highlight of the Shark vacuum, and is one of the reasons we’d recommend it if you have awkward furniture that means you need a manoeuvrable cleaner.

The cleaning head at the bottom of the vacuum isn’t too big like it can be on some competing products, and one particularly useful feature is it has headlights. It lights the way under your furniture so you can get a clear look at what you’re cleaning up and whether you’ve got everything.

To activate the cleaner you’ll be pressing buttons on the top. That means it’s easy to navigate between carpet and hardwood floors, as well as the normal or maximum power settings.

Overall, the design of the IF250UK is close to the pinnacle of coreless cleaner technology and while it may not be as light or as small as some of the competition we still like the design (especially the headlights) for its ease of use and Flexology tech.

Maintenace

We found the cleaning process of the Shark IF250UK to be easy, and that’s something you’ll particularly want from a new vacuum cleaner.

If you disconnect the top from the rest of the cleaner, it’s a button press to then empty the bin everything you’ve picked up from around your home. You can’t take the bin element out of the cleaner though, so it means you have to hover over the top of your bin to be able to do this.

You can then also access any caught hair that’s easy to pull out, especially when compared to competing cleaners. Then from the top of the gun you can access the filters, which Shark recommends you clean out monthly.

We found the cleaner could do a journey around three large rooms and it wouldn’t fill up the bin. If you’ve got a large house, you may find you need to empty out a bit more often but the bin space is good considering the size of the cleaner.

The cleaner at the bottom of the vacuum will also need regular cleaning, and we found it got caught in hair after a month or so. It’s an easy enough process to pull out the runner from the cleaner to take this off, but it’s not a particularly enjoyable job.

If you manage to break an element of your IF250UK, you’ll find Shark offer replacement parts from its website too.

Cleaning performance and battery life

The Shark IF250UK is nothing if not efficient. We found it to be one of the strongest vacuum cleaners we’ve tested. It has limited modes though, which you may find a struggle if you have lots of different areas in your home.

One mode is for flat floors such as tiling or hard wood, while another is for carpet. Then in both modes you have the choice of regular or maximum suction. 

It'll probably take you a little while to get used to the forward pull when using the maximum mode. The first few times we used the cleaner, it took us by surprise how hard it pulled forward when changing direction but once you know it does it we found it easy enough to control.

We found the regular suction would work fine on flat flooring but if you’re planning to clean carpet it may be best to go for the maximum suction.

That will drain the battery much quicker though, and the estimated 22 minutes charge time from Shark is spot on. We found it would last for exactly that amount of time on regular mode, which was enough time to clean the flat we tested the Shark in but may prove annoying if you have a larger home.

For that reason Shark sells a version of this cleaner with two battery packs, which are easy to swap out at the top of the cleaner. You can pull the battery out from the top element of the cleaner and charge it away from the vacuum if you want to put it away or keep one on charge while you clean up.

Another thing to note is the Shark IF250UK doesn’t come with TruePet technology, so there’s no ‘Pet Power Brush’ like you can get on the Shark IF250UKT.

We’ve not had the opportunity to test this with pets around, so it may be worth looking at the IF250UKT model with the True Pet tech if you’re an animal lover and want that extra mode to keep your house clean.

Verdict

The Shark IF250UK is an attractive cleaner that while a little heavy and a bit cumbersome is easy enough to glide around your home to clean up.

With okay battery life and the ability to swap out batteries with ease, we think this Shark should be able to clean up your home in no time at all for a much more palatable price than some of the other big brands.

The cleaning performance here is particularly impressive with the most powerful mode being useful for most home owners. There’s no pet specialism mode here, so it may not suit everyone but if you’re looking for a high-end cleaner for an around average price, this Shark may be built for you.

First reviewed: March 2018

James Peckham
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