The Shark ION Sucked Its Way Into My Heart

The Shark ION is incredibly lightweight and maneuverable. Photo: Angharad Yeo.

I don't generally like to call myself a 'clean freak' - I think I'm just not a filth wizard. But I have been told by several friends that I'm 'obsessed with vacuuming' and 'too enthusiastic about vacuums'.

Admittedly, when I got handed a new 650g handheld vacuum, my brain completely flooded with dopamine. Meet the Shark ION cordless handheld vacuum (RRP $249.99).

Now, a disclaimer: I own what I believe to be the ultimate in suction production - the Dyson V10 (I don't have the V11 because it wasn't out when I bought mine and it tears me up inside every day don't @ me). So I don't know if I have space in my heart for another vacuum. But the Shark ION is working overtime to change that.

The ION's included holder/charger keeps everything neat and ready to go. Photo: Angharad Yeo.

This little bad boy (and it is little, roughly the size of a water bottle that's 2x the length) is the ultimate in grab-and-go vacuuming. It comes with a tabletop holder/charger that also stores the two included attachments. I have it on my kitchen countertop, and it's effortless to use for any minor spill.

It feels lovely and ergonomic to hold, being light and thin enough to easily move between all the crap you have scattered on your surfaces that you don't want to vacuum up - cups, appliances, tissue boxes, or in my case pot plants.

Yes, folks, this is primarily what I used the Shark ION for - vacuuming up dirt that spilled from my many, many pot plants. Dirt that often spilled from tripping on my plants because they just live on the floor and I can't commit to shelving. And buddy... it was a dream.

The ION effortlessly suckled up those dirty dogs to leave me with a clean carpet. The suction was strong enough to leave me satisfied that nothing was left behind, and in most situations I found the suction to be very adequate. The body is thin enough that I could weave where I needed to. It was so readily available that I'd grab it for any speck of dirt or dust that caught my eye. Cleanliness is next to godliness and so am I.

The two attachments snap into the ION's nozzle. You've got a crevice tool (left) which has an attached duster end that you can flip on or off, and a multi-surface pet tool (right).

The two attachments clip in and out easily, though the process does feel rather hands-on, requiring you to make contact with the dirty parts. In other contexts I could vibe with that, but here it just means I feel obliged to wash my hands after changing attachments.

I have a beautiful long-haired dog, who graciously leaves hairs everywhere he goes to remind you that he exists and is full of love. This gave me the perfect opportunity to put the pet tool to the test.

The two attachments snap into the ION's nozzle. You've got a crevice tool (left) which has an attached duster end that you can flip on or off, and a multi-surface pet tool (right).

Unfortunately it wasn't quite up to the (very difficult) task, especially in the car. While it was one of the most pleasantly easy car vacs I've done due to maneuverability, I had to go back and forth over areas multiple times and still didn't feel it properly sucked everything up. If it had USB charging I would probably keep it in the car and do little vacuums ever so often, mitigating the need for a deep clean, but it can only be charged by the holder and mains power.

The crevice tool is adequate, though having the nozzle be horizontal rather than vertical feels like a mistake. Isn't the singular point of the tool to give me access to the spot between the seat and the handbrake in my car? It still does with some work, and the ION is light enough that it isn't too difficult, but the emotional pain of knowing it's oriented wrong still stings.

The shape also feels a little bulkier and less considered than a classic crevice tool. Using it in hard to reach places was probably the one time I felt the ION was cumbersome.

The flip-on dusting attachment is easy to use, and does the job. I like that it's always there, especially for when I decide to go into dust mode mid-vac. I do wonder how long the hinge will remain tight or how long until it breaks, and I wish there were a larger dusting attachment available as the crevice one is quite small and a bit tedious for broader dusting.

Emptying it is a breeze - you just slide the trigger, and the canister flips open for you to shake your filth into the bin. Despite the canister looking really tiny, I didn't find I needed to empty it too frequently as I was only ever using it for dust or spot cleaning.

The ION is extremely lightweight. Photo: Angharad Yeo.

But as much as I like the ION, is it something I really need? Well, no. But if you only have a large floor vacuum, then the ION becomes much more appealing.

While it gave me a beautiful, easy, effective experience (so much so that I vacuumed my skirting boards with it in my tizzy of excitement) it doesn't do anything that my V10 can't do. Sure, it's lighter and you don't need to worry about the chunky body not fitting somewhere, but I also have a plethora of attachments for my V10 that cover me for virtually all situations.

I found myself going for the V10 for anything that was more that a few bits of dirt or dust, but I would pick up the ION and just find things to vacuum. I would inspect surfaces with more scrutiny and see if they needed a clean. And that's largely because of the insane convenience of the ION. I could do those jobs with the V10, I just don't want to because it seems too much trouble. The ION has spoiled me.

This makes it sound like the ION is superfluous, and to be fair it is, but that convenience encouraged me to vacuum things I don't normally vacuum more frequently. Like my entertainment unit, or my bed head, or the top of my medicine cabinet. For that I'm thankful - it's making it pleasurable and attainable to have a virtually dust-free home. To me that's worth the price of admission.

READ ME

  • A lightweight, bag free handheld vacuum.
  • Comes with a neat dock that also houses two attachments: a crevice tool + duster, and a multi-surface pet tool.
  • Extremely maneuverable with good suction power.
  • Excellent choice for people with only a floor vacuum.
  • Easy bagless emptying.

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