Shark Robot Vacuum Review • Kath Eats


Ever wanted someone to vacuum AND mop your floors for you? Here’s a Shark robot vacuum review with pros and cons of the new AI technology.

Floors are my number-one house cleaning struggle

No matter how many times I vacuum, sweep, or mop, I can always spot something on the floor. Even 5 minutes after vacuuming, Gus the dog will walk through a room and fur is floating down towards the floors.

I do not know why when I married the Sheddingist Dog in America we did not bring a robot vacuum into the family. Actually, I do: I had one once before (it was my first blog review) and I didn’t love how much babysitting it needed with the little lighthouses I had to set up for each clean, and that I had to empty the basin all the time. (Spoiler alert: technology has come a long way in 14 years!) The last reason we didn’t have one is there wasn’t a great spot for it on the first floor of our house, before renovation.

But I have been thinking about getting one for a few years now, and once we decided to add a utility closet and pantry in the renovation, I knew a robot vacuum was on the bucket list for the house.

Reviewing the Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot

Fast forward to a month ago when Shark reached out in an email about partnering for a review, and I knew exactly the product I wanted to test out!

Shark sent me its new state-of-the-art Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot with Self-Empty with no strings attached. I didn’t have to write a blog post or even share. But I decided I wanted to because I have been so impressed with its performance! Life. Changing.

So while I was gifted the robot, this review is not paid. Links included are affiliate links though, so I appreciate you shopping through me if you decide to buy!

Let me tell you all about it.

Shark Robot Vacuum Review

The best thing about this Shark robot vacuum? IT VACUUMS AND MOPS! That’s the 2-in-1. So far, I’ve been super impressed with both features.

What comes in the Shark Robot Vacuum box?

  • The vacuum
  • 2 different cleaning inserts: one for everyday vacuuming and one with a water reservoir so it can vacuum and mop
  • A starter bottle of cleaning solution
  • 2 mopping pads
  • 2 side brushes for the vacuum sweeper
  • A charging station that includes the HEPA self-empty base

What can the Shark AI Robot DO?

Here are the different things it can do:

It can empty its own basin

This was HUGE for me, and I’ve had friends tell me not to buy a robot vacuum without a self-empty basin. They were right. Not having to drop everything and empty it is a huge plus, especially because the sheer volume of dog hair that ours picks up is quite insane. I have monitored its cleans and it sometimes goes to empty itself twice during a 90 minute clean. Basically a robot vacuum couldn’t handle our house if it didn’t have this feature!

If you don’t have a pet and your house is only slightly dirty, there is a version of this robot without the self-empty feature that is $200 less. See it here.

see where the self empty happens

How does the self-empty work?

The robot starts to clean and when it detects that its basin is getting full, it makes a little noise, travels back to the dock, and then the big powered base sucks all the dirt out of it! Then you manually empty the bigger basin as needed. We do ours about once a week.

NOTE: the self-empty feature only works on vacuum mode. If you have the mopping attachment on, this feature will not work. So I keep our vacuum attachment on as the default for daily cleans and then mop only as needed.

You can create your own schedule.

Set the days and times you want and forget about it! I have mine scheduled to vacuum the entire house at 10 am every day. This is the time when the maximum number of us are away from home. If I’m home, I’m usually working at the desk so I’m not jumping over the vacuum. When we move back into our house, we will probably do just the main floor at a similar time.

Control it all with the Shark Clean app!

While you can control the robot manually by pushing the buttons on top of it, I use the app 99% of the time. Inside the app you can create your schedule, tell the robot to clean just one room, create a map of your house and label rooms, send it back to the dock, see if it hits any errors, view the cleaning history, and create ” no go” zones like under beds or closets that you don’t want it to enter.

It Can Mop Your Floors!

I despise mopping, so this is such a big selling point to me! It’s important to note that while it mops it also vacuums so you don’t have to vacuum first! There is a separate basin that you attach when you go in mop mode.

mop attachment vs. regular vacuum attachment

What cleaning solution do you need?

The box comes with a starter bottle of the Shark brand cleaning solution. You mix this with water in the basin and I got about 4 entire rooms mopped from that one refill. You have to buy their solution to fill it, BUT you can also use just water!! So if you don’t want to have to buy it on the regular, just use water. TBD on what we will use on our newly refinished wood floors when our renovation is complete.

When do you schedule mopping?

I leave the vacuum basin on most days as the default and do the mop mode select evenings in the kitchen and dining room after a particularly messy day. I love that they give you two mop pads so you can always have one available if the other is in the laundry.

check out the before and after!

How well does the Shark Robot Vacuum mop?

Well enough to turn a mop pad black! I’ve done some spot tests and it works very well with flat spills on the floor and general dirt pickup. What is does not do well is mop up caked-on goo. For example, we had a string of bananas that had dried onto the floor and it was not able to get that up. It seems to struggle with things that are very sticky but does great with flat, dry spots. If you want your floors clean of dirt, it’ll be great! You may still have to spot treat bigger goop, though.

the basin after a mop run

These drips had no problem coming up:

Spot Clean

You can also spot clean an area with either mop or vacuum mode. This will heavily hit a 5′ square that you indicate. This is good for those harder to tackle wet spills or if you spill something like sugar across the kitchen (#speakingfromexperience).

3 power suction levels

I like that you can adjust the suction levels from low to medium to high. I keep mine on the medium level and I save energy by only using high if I’m spot-cleaning a room.

It has lasers to keep it from bumping into things

This is a big upgrade from the robot vacuum I had a decade ago. That one would bump into EVERYTHING. This one seems to make sense when there is furniture around it, and I think that happens from lasers. While it does bump occasionally, particularly when it’s going around something, it’s much more of a gentle bump.

Is the robot vacuum loud?

It’s not quiet but it’s not loud. I wouldn’t have a problem answering the phone while it’s running or holding a conversation. But I wouldn’t want to lead a Zoom meeting or watch a show with it on either. So it’s pretty typical low-level vacuum white noise.

How long does it take a robot vacuum to clean a house?

I am not sure how many square feet this house is, but the app says it’s 850 square feet of area to clean and reports that the Shark took 123 minutes to cover all of that, including some pauses. I’d say it takes about 90 minutes on average to clean our 3-bedroom, 2-bath house. It has a mind of its own on where it goes first and last, and sometimes it returns to a room like it just remembered it forgot a corner! I don’t question it as long as it’s doing its job 🙂

How long does a Shark robot last?

While I can’t speak to the longevity in years, the battery seems to last through a whole cleaning. If it doesn’t, it will just pause and continue the clean after it has recharged. The only time I can see battery life being a problem is if you want to spot clean a room right after the longer daily maintenance clean.

What are the disadvantages of a robot vacuum?

Prepping spaces is optional but helpful

Me: I love that it just runs on auto pilot and I don’t have to prep the spaces!

Also Me:

While you definitely don’t have to do anything everyday to prep your space for the vacuum (aside from being mindful that tiny things like Legos or cords are off the ground), it definitely helps if you make it easier for the vacuum!

Not every day, but some days I will put the chairs up so it gets a really good sweep under the table. If I’m at home, I’ll clear the shoes away from the door so it can get better access to our entryway. But these things are not necessary for it to work. It just does a better job when there is nothing in its path!

Don’t expect it to be as good as a human

Does the Shark robot vacuum do a good job? Yes. Could a human do it better? Absolutely.

When I come in to inspect the quality of a clean, I can usually find a crumb or two that the robot missed for whatever reason. Often these are heavy pebbles that come in from our front yard or stickier things that they vacuum suction could not get up.

You will probably have to vacuum yourself every now and then, especially corners. But this thing does a damn good job at maintenance, especially if you have a dog!

Evidence it works:

You have to store it where it can get out to clean

My number one con with a robot vacuum is that you have to look at it!! The instruction manual says to put it in an area with 3 feet on either side, but finding that spot in our house was impossible – it would have been in a major walkway area.

I’m happy to say it works great tucked into a corner. But it’s still not the best thing to see in the dining room. In our new house, we’re hoping to build a hidden corner in the pantry or utility closet (TBD on how it would get out of the closet).

Is the Shark robot vacuum worth it?

100% yes. I have barely used our Dyson cordless at this house! Although I get excited about it and enjoy interacting with it, it really is a “set it and forget it” tool. If you have a pet that sheds, this will be such a game-changer for those areas.

Technology has improved so much in the past 15 years of robot vacuum performance. You no longer need lighthouses or walls you have to set up manually if you don’t want it to go to an area. It’s all done in the app now and smarter than ever!

While the cost is not cheap, the time and mental space saved is justifiable.

Shop the Shark AI vacuum we have here: Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot Self-Empty

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