Shark Stratos Cordless IZ862H / IZ400UK vacuum cleaner review

A flexible cordless vacuum that detects dirt unseen

Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum cleaner on reviewer's floor
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum is designed to tackle the common obstacles to cleaning your home. Its flexible head and wand allow you to vacuum at a 90-degree angle, so you can get beneath furniture without bending down, while Clean Sense IQ technology senses how much dirt is on a floor and adjusts suction power accordingly. It has a few minor drawbacks, but they’re comfortably outweighed by the plus points.

Pros

  • +

    Powerful suction

  • +

    Great on carpets, hard floors and furniture

  • +

    Flexible wand for under furniture

  • +

    Automatically adjusts suction

Cons

  • -

    Floor head a little bulky

  • -

    Corded models will have more power

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Shark Stratos Cordless: two-minute review

Product info

This model has slightly different names and product codes in different territories:

US: Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum IZ862H
UK: Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Cordless Vacuum IZ400UK
AU: Shark Stratos Cordless Pet Pro Vacuum With Clean Sense IQ IZ400

In the UK, there's also a version with added Pet Tool (IZ400UKT) and a Pet Tool plus extra battery (IZ420UKT). For this review, I tested the US version. There may be minor differences between different countries' models.

The Shark Stratos Cordless comes with Clean Sense IQ technology, which automatically adjusts the suction to pick up dirt and debris that you may not be able to see, and tells you when the floor is clean.

In my testing I was greatly impressed with the suction capabilities, especially the vacuum’s ability to remove hair from my couch when used in handheld and Boost mode. The MultiFLEX wand makes it easy to vacuum under furniture, and the flexible rotating head proved effective at picking up dirt in corners and around awkward pieces of furniture such as chairs.

The Stratos is reasonably priced for a high-performance cordless vacuum (especially now, a few years after release, when deals are readily available), and it’s more affordable than some models with similar dust-detection technology like the Dyson V15 Detect.

Keep scrolling to find out more then, head to TechRadar's best cordless vacuum guide to see where it ranks the Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum cleaner.

Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum cleaner review: price & availability

  •  List price: $499.99 / £399.99 / AU$999.99
  • Heavily discounted in all territories at time of update

At full ticket price, the Shark Stratos Cordless is $499.99 in the US, £399.99 in the UK, and AU$999.99 in Australia. At that price, it's right at the boundary between mid-range and premium price brackets. (Note that the AU version comes with a wider range of accessories.)

However, at time of update, it was significantly discounted in all territories when purchased via Shark – $399.99 in the US, £249.99 in the UK and AU$499.99 in Australia. That puts it into the middle of the mid-range price bracket, and represents excellent value for money. 

Another major range for Shark is the Detect Pro, and you can read about the closest model for comparison in TechRadar's Shark Detect Pro Cordless vacuum cleaner review. The Detect Pro is slightly cheaper all round: $379.99 (discounted to $249.99 at time of updating), £349.99 (down to £229) and AU$799.99 (down to AU$499.99). 

Vacuum cleaners often attract deals around major shopping events like the Black Friday sales or the Amazon Prime Day deals, and it's also worth keeping an eye out for a Shark promo code to take the price down. 

  • Value for money score: 4.5 out of 5

Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum cleaner specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 US version (IZ862H)UK version (IZ400UK)AU version (IZ400)
Name: Shark Stratos Cordless VacuumShark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Cordless VacuumShark Stratos Cordless Pet Pro Vacuum With Clean Sense IQ
Weight: 8.9 lbs4.1kg4kg
Dimensions (L x W x H):13.78 x 10.24 x 51.18"27 x 17 x 114cmNot stated
Bin volume: 0.72 qt0.7L0.68L
Max runtime:60 mins60 mins60 mins
Tools included:Duster Crevice Tool, Anti-Allergen BrushCrevice Tool, Multi-Surface Tool20cm Crevice Tool, Motorized Pet Tool, Multi Surface Tool
LED headlights:YesYesYes
Filter:Washable HEPA + Foam and Felt FiltersWashableNot stated

Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum cleaner review: design

  • Flexible hose and option to convert to handheld
  • Floor head designed to prevent hair wrap
  • LED display shows battery level and lets you swap cleaning modes

At 8.9lb / 4kg, the Shark Stratos Cordless is fairly lightweight as cordless vacuums go, and the floor head can be removed to turn it into a handheld. Rather than an extendable wand it has a flexible wand – a popular feature referred to as 'MultiFLEX technology', which appears in a few of Shark's vacuum cleaners.

Releasing a catch on the back of the wand enables you to fold it forward for compact, freestanding storage, or for cleaning under furniture. The vacuum head swivels, and can effectively turn at a 90-degree angle with just a simple twist of the handle. Between this swivel action and the flexible wand, you can clean pretty much any place that the head can fit.

Shark Stratos Cordless in use

The Shark Stratos Cordless helpfully has a MULTIflex wand which bends to increase the reach under furniture (Image credit: Future)

An odor-neutralizing puck is inserted into the top of the vacuum head to keep it smelling fresh, and an LED headlight lets you see dirt and dust in dark corners. But the most significant aspect of the vacuum head design is the Clean Sense IQ indicator. When you’re vacuuming, a strip of light becomes illuminated on the top of the vacuum head. The longer the strip of light, the dirtier the floor. When the strip of light recedes, it means the floor is clean. 

The Shark Stratos Cordless is designed for use on either carpet or hard floors. On the underside of the floor head you'll find two brush rolls, with fins designed to boost cleaning power. The rolls are designed to detangle hair and direct it into the dust cup as you clean, so you don't end up with a matted mess to remove from the floor head at the end of each vacuuming session. 

Shark Stratos Cordless

The floorhead houses the Odor Neutralizer Technology, Clean Sense IQ indicator and LED headlights (Image credit: Future)

To empty the 0.72qt / 0.68L dust cup, which is fitted with a seal to prevent dust and allergens escaping into the air, you detach the main unit from the wand, and release a catch on the cup to deposit the contents into a bin.

At the top of the handle is a LED screen that displays the selected power mode and the remaining battery life. Built into this are buttons for turning the vacuum on and off and switching between Eco, Clean Sense IQ, and Boost mode. The vacuum doesn't have a charging station or base, making it easy to store it away in a closet or other space between uses (newer Detect Pro models add a self-empty base that doubles as a charging stand, but that's not an option with the Stratos Cordless at time of updating this review). 

The tools provided vary depending on which territory you're in, but with the US version I tested, there was a Duster Crevice Tool (which can be used as a crevice tool or a brush), and a flat Anti-Allergen Dusting Brush.

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum review: performance

  • Excellent suction; automatic power adjustment works effectively
  • Flexible hose is a revelation for getting under furniture
  • Anti hair wrap works well

The Shark Stratos Cordless performed impressively during my testing. I used the vacuum in both stick and handheld mode on various surfaces including hardwood floors, vinyl floors, thick low-pile rugs, baseboards, a couch, and window treatments. The suctioning capability of this vacuum was superb, and I never had to run over the same area more than twice. 

That said, cordless vacuums can rarely match corded options when it comes to sheer power, so if you really need to be able to deep clean, consider a corded option. There are a few options in this same range – read TechRadar's Shark Stratos Corded vacuum cleaner review for a closer look at our favorite.

While I did test out the Eco and Boost power modes, I generally used the vacuum in Clean Sense IQ mode as I wanted to get a good feel for how the automatic adjustment technology worked. When there was lots of dirt or debris on the floor, the suction was increased automatically and then returned to normal when the area was clean. 

Shark Stratos Cordless flexing to fit under furniture

The floorhead can twist at a 90-degree angle (Image credit: Future)

Because I live in a period home with lots of nooks and crannies, it can be difficult to vacuum in certain corners or tight spaces. The vacuum head has a 10-inch cleaning path width and its low profile makes it easy to push it under cabinets. I appreciated that the floor head has an LED headlight and could twist at a 90-degree angle with just a slight twist of the handle. This made it far easier to clean corners, under dining room chairs, and around stands, in a way that's not possible with other vacuums.

I had never used a Shark cordless vacuum before, and the biggest revelation was the MultiFLEX wand. With a click of the button on the back of the wand, it bends in half, so you don’t have to squat down or lean over to vacuum under a bed or couch. When bent, the vacuum isn’t as easy to control as it is when it’s locked into a straight position, but you can still steer it well enough.

Shark Stratos Cordless bending under coach in living room

Testing out the Shark Stratos Cordless in my living room (Image credit: Future)

The Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum converts easily to handheld for cleaning furniture and upholstery. In boost power mode, it seemed to pick up hair from furniture much more effectively than other, similar vacuums I've tested.

Thanks to the self-cleaning dual brushroll, hair never wrapped around the brush. The 0.72qt / 0.68L dust cup is large enough to hold quite a bit of dust and debris – I didn’t manage to fill it even after vacuuming my entire house three times. I also found the lack of charging station a benefit, because it makes the vacuum easy to store in a closet or other space between uses.

Shark Stratos cordless folded making storage easy

The Shark Stratos Cordless can be neatly folded for storage, and stays upright (Image credit: Future)

The extra attachments vary depending on which territory you're in. For my review, I also tested out the Duster Brush Tool on my floorboards, switching to the Crevice Tool when I needed to get into tight corners. In this configuration, the vacuum was light enough to use the  to clean the corners of my 10-foot ceilings and atop door frames. I was excited to try the Anti-Allergen Dusting Brush on my window blinds as they get very dusty, although it wasn't as effective as I'd hoped. 

  • Performance score: 4.5 out of 5

Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum: battery life

  • Up to 60 minutes of runtime on ECO mode
  • Battery recharges in three hours
  • LED display shows remaining battery life

The vacuum’s battery is housed in the back of the handle. You don’t need to remove it from the vacuum to charge it, but you can do so if you find that more convenient.

It takes three hours for the battery to charge, and on a full charge you can get up to 60 minutes of runtime in ECO mode. Other modes sap the battery quicker – including the Clean Sense IQ mode, in which the vacuum senses how much dirt is on the floor and boosts the suction power as necessary.

Shark Stratos Cordless showing battery display

Battery display on the Shark Stratos Cordless  (Image credit: Future)

When testing the vacuum, I never came close to running down the battery when vacuuming my 1,600sq ft / 150sq m home, and I'd often end a vacuuming session with about 40% of battery left.

The only time I got close to running down the battery was when I vacuumed the whole house on Clean Sense IQ mode, and then followed it up by using the Anti-Allergen Dusting Brush to clean the dust off four large window blinds, before using the duster crevice tool to clean floorboards in two rooms; even then I still had 20 per cent left in the tank.

  • Battery life score: 4.5 out of 5

Should you buy the Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum?

Lasts long enough to clean most mid-to-large-sized homes, and automatic mode adjusts suction based on how dirty the floor is, for efficient battery use.

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AttributesNotesRating
Price & availability A few years after launch, deals are widespread, bringing this vacuum into the mid-range bracket; the features and performance are excellent for that price.4.5/5
DesignThe lightweight and versatile design with a variety of innovative features designed to make vacuuming quicker and easier.4.5/5
PerformancePowerful suction. MultiFLEX wand and swiveling floor head make it easy to clean less accessible areas. 4.5/5
Battery lifeLasts long enough to clean most mid-to-large-sized homes, and automatic mode adjusts suction based on how dirty the floor is, for efficient battery use.4.5/5

Buy it if...

It's difficult to see dirt on your hard floors or carpet

The vacuum's Clean Sense IQ technology uses an infrared sensor to spot dust and dirt, and automatically boosts the suction power for a better clean.

You want to be able to easily get into nooks and crannies  

The wand bends in half, making it easy to clean under furniture without having to bend down or move items. 

You want a vacuum that can be used handheld

The Shark Stratos Cordless with Clean Sense IQ converts to a compact and lightweight handheld vacuum for cleaning pet fur off furniture or a long handheld vacuum that can be utilized with other attachments.

Don't buy if...

You dislike having to use attachments to reach into narrow spaces

The vacuum head for the Shark Stratos Cordless is fairly bulky, so you’ll have to either break it down into a handheld vacuum, use it without the main vacuum head, or utilize one of the extra tools to get into narrow spaces.

You want a vacuum that comes with a self-emptying station

You need to empty the Shark Stratos Cordless dust cup manually. Shark does have a self-empty dock, but it's not currently available with this model.

Alex Temblador

Alex Temblador is a Dallas,Texas-based award-winning freelance writer and award-winning author of Half Outlaw and Secrets of the Casa Rosada. While she's best known for her coverage of travel, arts, and culture, she began to write more about design, architecture, and home products when she bought her 102-year-old house in 2020. Since then, she's reviewed products for outlets such as Real Homes, Gardeningetc., Homes & Gardens, Outside, and TripSavvy. When she's not writing articles or reviews, Alex is jet-setting around the world, working on her next novel, or teaching a literary class.

With contributions from