Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250

A good plug-in pull-along bagless vacuum

Using the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250 on a rug
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

This Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum is a reasonably priced vacuum that won’t give you anxiety about the battery running out right before guests come over. It’s packed with familiar Shark vacuum features such as a flexible wand and an anti-hair wrap brushroll. Performance is good, it picks up surface as well as deeper dust and debris for a thorough clean, but you will be tethered to a power cord.


  • +

    Large dust canister

  • +

    Comfortable handle

  • +

    Good pick-up


  • -

    Bulkier to store than a cordless vacuum

  • -

    Brushroll can’t be switched off

  • -

    Wand can be cumbersome for overhead cleaning

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One minute review

Shark has been making some pretty good vacuum cleaners for a long time and we know the brand as one of the frontrunners when it comes to cordless vacuums. But unlike its rivals, Shark still makes a range of plug-in corded vacuums. This includes uprights and barrel vacuums, which are also known as cylinders and canister vacuums depending on what part of the world you’re from.

As is typical for Shark vacuums, this model goes by a different name in each territory, which can be somewhat confusing. If you’re in the US you’ll find it called the Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum CZ351. In the UK it’s known as the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Bagless Cylinder Pet Vacuum CZ250UKT, meanwhile those in Australia and New Zealand should look out for the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250.

It’s the slightly cheaper sibling of Shark's top-of-the-range plug-in barrel vacuum, but that’s not to say it’s lacking in features. The powered brushroll floorhead employs Shark’s Powerfin technology to get deep into carpets, as well as its self-clean anti hair wrap technology. There’s a crevice and a pet multi tool included in the box.

On test, this Shark barrel vacuum displayed good performance and manoeuvrability. We noticed particularly good pick-up on carpets, but it’s equally at home on hard floors as well as cleaning upholstery or overhead. It’s a great choice for those who don’t like upright or stick style vacuums or for anyone who wants a reliable clean without having to worry about how much battery is left.

Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250 stored in a corner

(Image credit: Future)

Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250 price and availability 

  •  List price: AU$699.99 / NZ$899.99

As we’ve already mentioned, this vacuum has slightly different names in different countries. In Australia and New Zealand you’ll find it called the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250. The only real difference between the models found elsewhere is that the UK version (called the Shark Bagless Cylinder Pet Vacuum CZ250UKT) comes with an additional small, powered pet tool. 

The vacuum is available to purchase now directly from Shark Clean in Australia as well as from select retailers.

It's well priced in comparison to cordless vacuums and is also cheaper than Shark's top-of-the range barrel vacuum, which comes in at AU$799.99 / NZ$949.99.


  •  1.6 litre dust bin capacity 
  •  25 ft/ 9 metre power cord 
  •  HEPA filter

Weighing in at 4.4kg without the hose or any attachments in place and without a full dust canister, the barrel itself is a pretty good weight for most people to carry up and down stairs; the large carry handle and rubberised grip certainly help, too.

The barrel size is fairly standard, measuring 49 x 26 x 26cm (h x w x d).

Storing the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250

(Image credit: Future)

The floorhead has a powerful self-cleaning brushroll that’s designed to remove debris from deep within carpet fibres, whilst avoiding that annoying clog of hair around the brush. There’s no option to turn off the brushroll though, which can sometimes be desirable for particularly delicate floors.

A control panel on the handle houses a power button, but there’s also one on the barrel so you can switch it on using either. A suction level button allows you to easily cycle between the three suction levels using your thumb, and a third button lets you choose between carpet or hard floor modes. For this as well as the suction levels there are easy-to-understand symbols that light up to display the selections you’ve made. It defaults to hard floor and the middle suction power when first switched on.

The full box contents for the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250 (UK model shown)

(Image credit: Future)

In the box you’ll also get a crevice tool and a pet multi tool that can be used on upholstery. The small tools can be attached directly to the wand. Likewise, the main floorhead can be attached to the handle for easier cleaning of small spaces like stairs.


  •  Manoeuvres well 
  •  Controls conveniently located on handle 
  •  Good dust collection 

Interestingly, the floorhead is self-supporting, so when you click it upright to go and move a stray sock out of the way, it stays put without falling over or having to be placed on the floor, plus the brushroll will automatically pause. And switching between power levels or floor type is super easy with the controls at your fingertips on the handle.

Controls and attachments on the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250

(Image credit: Future)

General pick up is good on both carpet and hard floor, and the beauty of a plug-in vacuum means you don’t feel the need to use one of the lower power levels to conserve battery – you’ll only need to switch to lower power for vacuuming delicate rugs or upholstery. Speaking of rugs, it coped well with a long pile area rug, removing lots of debris left behind by a robot vacuum that had cleaned it the same day.

We were impressed with the dust and dirt collection even if it was slightly horrifying how much it removed from recently vacuumed carpets. Edge cleaning is good, too, and it was able to collect oats from along our skirting boards no matter whether we approached with the front or side of the floorhead. It didn’t struggle to remove hair from carpets and we were pleased to see that none of it became tangled in the brushroll.

The barrel is small enough to balance on stairs and, by removing the wand and attaching the floorhead or one of the tools directly to the handle, cleaning stairs is a breeze. Similarly, we were left with clean sofas after vacuuming them with the multi tool. The crevice nozzle attached to the wand came in handy for removing cobwebs overhead, though you wouldn’t be able to clean like this for long without getting arm ache.

Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250 on the stairs

(Image credit: Future)

The dust canister is easy to remove and, during our tests, all of the dirt and dust fell straight out into the trash at the push of a button. Having said that, though, the large capacity means you don’t have to do this too often, which is particularly helpful if you’ve got allergies and are sensitive to the usual dust cloud that erupts upon emptying a vacuum. The filters are also easily removed and they’re washable, so keeping them in good condition doesn’t require expensive regular replacements.

Emptying the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum CZ250

(Image credit: Future)

During use, the floorhead proved to have good general manoeuvrability and the barrel followed behind, with very little effort required to pull it along. Occasionally the hose would become folded and inhibit suction, but that’s quite common for long hoses and doesn’t take much to adjust back.

On the highest suction power vacuuming hard floor, our noise metre maxed out at 76dB, but this went down to around 68dB on the lowest suction level. On carpet the noise levels were pretty similar, but the tone wasn’t quite so high pitched.

 Should I buy the Shark Bagless Barrel Vacuum? 

 Buy it if… 

You hate untangling hair from floorheads

Several barrel vacuums come with bristle brushes in their floorheads that get hair badly entangled and cleaning them out is a chore. Shark's self-cleaning brushhead takes care of that for you, making it ideal for pet owners.

You want a vacuum that doesn’t run out of battery power

It might be obvious, but cordless vacuums can have frustratingly short battery life. So if you want to clean the whole house without stressing about the battery running out, this is a good choice with great pick up.

You have allergies

Shark claims the anti-allergen complete seal traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum and the large dust canister means you shouldn’t need to empty it too regularly either, great news for allergy sufferers.

Don't buy it if...

You want the freedom of a cordless vacuum

While there are positives to a plug-in vacuum, the negative is that you can’t stray further than 9 metres from a power socket, so there’s less freedom, which won’t suit everyone.

Your storage space is limited

This is a relatively compact vacuum, but if space is tight, you might find it’s just too bulky and you’d be better off considering a slimmer stick vacuum.

First reviewed: June 2022

Helen McCue
Freelance Contributor

Helen is a freelance writer who specializes in kitchen appliances and has written for some of the biggest home-related titles around. She has been reviewing small appliances, including blenders, juicers, and multi-cookers, for more than 8 years,  and also upholsters furniture when she's not testing the latest food tech gadgets. 

With contributions from