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Shark Stratos IZ400UKT review: A cordless stick that smells as good as it vacuums

Our Rating :
£375.39 from
Price when reviewed : £449
inc VAT

The Shark Stratos IZ400UKT is a brilliant performer at a very attractive price


  • Superb cleaning performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Simple to use


  • More expensive than some rivals
  • Average sized collection bin
  • Loses contact with floor on pull back

The Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT is a dream of a vacuum cleaner. For half the price of a top-end Dyson, this cordless stick provides a similar ability to shift dirt off hard floor and carpet, but with less faff.

Shark’s sensible multi-surface floor head does a cracking job on either surface, without needing to switch heads while you vacuum, and its new Clean Sense IQ technology detects how dirty your floor is, adjusting the power settings accordingly. It even leaves a pleasant scent lingering around the house when the cleaning is finished.

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Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT review: What do you get for the money?

Compared to many cordless vacuum cleaners, what you get with the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT is relatively sparse. Don’t worry, though – on the whole, Shark has simply pared the box’s contents down to the absolute essentials, without losing anything important. It comes with the main dual-purpose floor head, a crevice tool and a smaller “pet” tool.

What’s unique to this cordless stick is what Shark calls its Anti-Odour Technology. This takes the form of a cartridge that fits into a slot on the floor head and releases a perfumed fragrance into the vacuum as it cleans. It eliminates the slightly stale just-vacuumed aroma you often get with other models and leaves behind a floral whiff that’s arguably more pleasant. Cartridges last around six months, according to Shark, and can be purchased for around £4 each.

Otherwise, the main vacuum cleaner design doesn’t stray far from Shark’s previous cordless sticks, or from the cordless sticks produced by other big-name manufacturers. The dust collection bin and motor sit up by the handle, while the cleaning head is mounted on the end of a long, removable wand.

This wand has an articulating elbow that allows the vacuum to be folded up and stored upright, and it also allows you to more easily vacuum under low furniture. There’s a large display on top of the handle that shows the battery level and the power mode you’re using.

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With the wand and floor head attached and extended, it stands 260 x 340 x 1,140mm (WDH). The collection bin on the vacuum is about average for a cordless stick at 0.7l and, while Shark doesn’t quote the suction power of the vacuum, in our tests we measured it at around 24kPa in boost mode.

As you can see from our chart above, this isn’t as powerful as Dyson’s latest Gen5detect, and it falls behind the power of the cordless upright ICZ300UKT, though it is more powerful than the Hoover HF9.

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Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT review: What’s it like to use?

In use, the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT is a joy. The controls are extremely simple, with just an on and off switch and a button to cycle through the three power modes: Economy, Boost and Clean Sense IQ. Economy keeps the battery going as long as possible, while Boost offers a quick blast of additional power when you need it.

Using the Stratos in Clean Sense mode is the sensible middle ground and should maximise both battery life and cleaning power. It keeps the power fairly low by default but cranks it up when needed, adapting to the job in hand as required.

The weight is evenly spread between the floor head and the vacuum unit, and the motor unit at the handle weighs around 1.6kg so it isn’t too heavy to wave around when cleaning above the floor. The floor head isn’t quite weighty enough to stay flat on the floor, unfortunately, when pulling back on the vacuum cleaner, so forward motions are likely to provide its best clean.

I was impressed with the emptying and cleaning process, which hasn’t changed from previous models. To do this, you have to remove the motor unit from the extension wand, then press a button to open a door at the bottom and the dirt simply falls out. In my tests, I occasionally had to manually clear a ball of hair from the inside, but gravity does most of the work here.

You can also remove the entire bin from the vacuum for a proper clean, too. And the filters are washable, by rinsing them in cold water.

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Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT review: How well does it clean?

In a nutshell, the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT is an absolutely phenomenal cleaner, and blitzed through all our tests. Every vacuum cleaner we test at Expert Reviews is put through the same regime of measured spillages of flour and Cheerios, spilled on both carpet and hard floor. Most modern vacuums provide decent results in some of these tests, but this Shark made short work of every one of them.

The soft roller at the front of the floor head is the perfect tool for tackling larger particles, such as a Cheerio spillage. On carpet, it was perfect, picking up every last morsel in a single pass. On hard floor, a total of two Cheerios hit the roller at the wrong angle and were ejected slightly too far to the side to be caught in the first pass but they were easily picked up subsequently.

This performance even beats the Dyson Gen5detect, which left more Cheerios behind on a single pass across hard floor, although it, too, didn’t struggle to collect the remainder on a second pass.

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The Shark performed well in the flour tests, too. On hard floor, a single pass left only a tiny trace of flour in a crack on the floor. The remainder was nothing the crevice tool or an approach from a different angle couldn’t handle and was far too small an amount to meaningfully register on our scales.

The Stratos did leave a line of flour behind the motor head, where the fins on the roller seemed to funnel the flour without offering enough agitation or suction to lift it all up. This amounted to 4% of the flour on that first pass, although that’s still way above average. It was happily collected by subsequent passes made at a different angle.

We’re also developing a pet hair test. We don’t have enough results from enough vacuums to use it as a proper benchmark yet but the Shark excelled here, too. Using a measured volume of sweepings from a dog groomer’s floor, spread out and rubbed into both carpet and hard floor, the IZ400UKT picked it all up in a single pass. I could see a few strands remaining on the carpet in places but not nearly enough to register on any scales.

Just as importantly, the anti-hair-tangle comb seemed to work extremely well here and I couldn’t find a single hair stuck to the rollers. As mentioned, I haven’t used this test widely enough to come to serious conclusions yet but I can tell you that this same test completely clogged a robot vacuum without an anti-tangle brush so the Stratos is clearly doing something right.

In terms of battery life, the vacuum performed reasonably well. At full power it lasted 10mins 47secs, which is slightly short of the competition. In Economy mode, however, it was only a few seconds short of the more expensive Dyson Gen5detect, while in Clean Sense mode it lasted almost 41 minutes. We don’t move the vacuum during this test, so we’d expect that time to drop in real-world use as the vacuum encounters more dirt and increases the suction.

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Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT review: Should I buy it?

The Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro IZ400UKT comes heartily recommended. It’s a terrific cleaner at a good price. Its performance in our tests rivals that of vastly more expensive models, and I love the fact that you don’t need to switch the floor head over when moving from one surface to another.

There are a few minor points against it, such as the slight lift of the floor head when pulling it back. However, it’s mostly splitting hairs. On the whole, if you’re looking for a cordless stick vacuum, this model should be at the top of your shopping list.

If money is no object then the Dyson Gen5detect remains a superior option, but not to the extent that it’s worth paying almost twice the price. Its battery lasts a bit longer and it comes with a few more bells and whistles, but you’re definitely not getting twice the vacuum.

Those looking to spend a bit less should consider the Hoover HF9. This cordless stick doesn’t have a soft roller option for hard floor but it still manages to provide an excellent clean at a lower price.

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