Shark IZ202UK review: A cordless vacuum behemoth best for pet owners
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Shark IZ202UK review: A cordless vacuum behemoth best for pet owners

May 21, 2023

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Shark's IZ202UK vacuum cleaner is a flexible, powerful machine that will easily clean lingering pet hair in your home.

By Thomas Ling

Published: 31st May, 2023 at 23:55

In all likelihood, my cat would be lovely if it wasn't for one small caveat: he's trying to kill me. He claws my eyelids at 4am, bites my feet whenever in range, and he once managed to kick a precariously placed queen-sized mattress into my face.

Worst of all: he's slowly attempting to drown me in cat fur. It. Gets. Everywhere. Specifically, it sheds all across my house's carpet, a mess that no vacuum I’ve had before has been able to easily clean.

Enter, the Shark IZ202UK, a flexible cordless vacuum cleaner equipped with anti-hair wrap technology designed to easily remove pet hair from any surface.

Could this device finally end my embarrassing cat hair dilemma? Would it be powerful enough to clean up other kinds of household dirt too? And did it have enough battery power to clean my entire home in one go? I spent four months with the IZ202UK to find out.

At 4.7kg, the Shark IZ202UK is not the lightest cordless vacuum cleaner on the market (for comparison, the Gtech Multi Mk2 comes in at 1.5kg) – I had to use two hands to move it around. But it's still remarkably easy to use and glides effortlessly even through thick carpets.

The mostly plastic and metal casing feels remarkably sturdy and, as vacuum cleaners go, looks very stylish.

While extending to 180cm, the IZ202UK folds down to a height of 69cm when not in use. For easy storage, the device is self-supporting when folded, meaning it can stand upright without the need to lean on anything else.

The IZ202UK comes with two attachments: the main anti-hair wrap motorised head, and a small non-motorised head for corners and narrow spots.

While other cordless vacuums struggle with a short battery life, the IZ202UK went for a maximum of 45 minutes during my tests through a mostly carpeted house.

This gave me more than enough time to clean everything – even with my partner insisting on re-doing some perfectly clean areas just to "make sure" (with tempers subsided on the issue, we’ve since agreed this was a good idea and not a complete and unnecessary waste of time).

Better still, after four months, the battery life has still not waned and I’ve yet had to charge mid-clean. When needed to charge, the process takes three and a half hours, a time comparable to other cordless vacuums with a much smaller battery life.

Despite its weight, the IZ202UK was a brilliantly balanced vacuum that glided across soft and hard floors. And, most importantly, it worked astonishingly well at cleaning up pet hair.

Even when cat fur or dust wasn't visible on the floor, the IZ202UK was still able to suck up a terrifyingly large amount of dirt and hair even when not using the most powerful setting.

Despite collecting mounds of fur across four months, the device has never clogged up, thanks to the motorised anti-hair head – its soft roller comb cleans itself, catching hairs before they can wrap around the roller.

A key feature of the IZ202UK that also worked brilliantly: its mixed-floor power settings. With a simple switch on the top of the device, you can easily flick between carpet and hard floor power settings – very handy when I moved across surfaces. In carpet mode, the rollers spin much faster, agitating fibres and allowing the device to pull up more hair.

Best of all, the vacuum comes with a power trigger to give you a boost when getting through hard-to-clean messes. Not only is it incredibly useful, but I’m ashamed to admit how much it made me feel like James Bond as I cleaned up biscuit crumbs pressed into the carpet.

The IZ202UK is also brilliantly flexible. The main shaft or ‘wand’ of the vacuum is foldable, bending enough for me to clean under the sofas without getting on my hands and knees. The bright white LED lights on top of the motorised head also helped illuminate dirt in any dark spots.

Despite performing strongly in almost all areas, this vacuum comes with two key drawbacks. Firstly: the sound. When on carpet mode and with the power trigger on, the IZ202UK makes a heck of a noise (80 decibels, according to Shark), much louder than other cordless and corded cleaners I’ve used in the past. While this was often a plus for me (it kept the cat out of my way), those living with thin walls may risk annoying the neighbours if used often.

The second downside of the IZ202UK is a problem of its own making: thanks to the device's power, its collection bin fills up too quickly. While I’ve never had to stop mid-clean to charge, I do often have to halt to empty the sizeable 700ml capacity bin due to all the dirt the device is able to pick up.

This does slow down the cleaning process, but ultimately it's not a terrible drawback. Regularly emptying the device's bin allowed me to appreciate just how much dirt and hair the device could remove – and how much cleaner my house was becoming. And, at the risk of sounding like I have a very problematic relationship with a vacuum cleaner, I still feel genuinely grateful and shocked every time I empty the IZ202UK.

Calling all pet owners who think their house is reasonably fur-free: the cordless Shark IZ202UK is here to prove just how dirty your home is. With two floor surface settings and a trigger for extra power, this small but impressively potent cleaner can suck up dirt and hair not visible to the human eye. Better still, with its motorised anti-hair roller, this vacuum will stay tangle-free.

Combine that with an impressive 40-minute battery life, a flexible shaft for under-sofa cleaning and an LED light head, this device pulls off a performance to rival most high-powered cordless vacuums.

The IZ202UK is certainly not without negatives. When at full power, it's one of the nosiest cordless vacuums available to buy – earplugs may be necessary for some. And while its solid performance represents value for money, the IZ202UK's high price point will make it only affordable for many during sale season.

But its biggest drawback is also its greatest strength: after just one use of this vacuum, you’ll likely be terrified to learn just how much hair is hidden across your carpets.

Small, cheap, nimble, and with powerful suction, the Tower T527000 is a convenient cleaner for small messes, cobwebs and your main vacuum device.

The device comes with two fittings that can be attached to the standard nozzle, including a ‘crevice’ fitting that can help clean those awkward corners.

With a limited battery size (20 minutes total) and small 200ml capacity dust chamber, it won't be able to clean much more than spot messes – it will need several breaks to get through your entire house. But as a handheld lightweight dust buster with little-to-no set-up required, the Tower does its job well.

Easy to use, the Gtech Multi Mk2 is a lightweight solution for clean-ups and tackling hard-to-reach spots. Despite weighing 1.5kg, this vacuum is still brilliantly portable, capable of tackling hard floors, carpets and car upholstery.

Just don't expect to get through all that in one go, though: with only 20 minutes of battery life, it's unlikely to clean your entire home and car without needing to charge (which can take up to four hours).

However, combining power, versatility, and convenience, the Gtech Multi Mk2 makes for a useful a cleaning companion for those in smaller household. A mean, lean cleaning machine if we ever saw one.

Live in a hard floor apartment with plenty of under-furniture areas prone to collecting crumbs and dust? The Bosch Unlimited 7 could make a powerful ally.

While struggling with thick rugs and carpets, this super flexible and portable vacuum contains enough suction to effectively clean wooden or tiled surfaces. And it has the battery power to do it all in one go: set to ‘eco mode’, you’ll get 40 minutes of use (with 12 minutes in turbo mode).

Powerful LED lights on the Unlimited 7's head also make it easy to see any dirt on the floor, while a hook on the device's rear makes it easy to store on a shelving unit.

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Digital editor, BBC Science Focus

Thomas is Digital editor at BBC Science Focus. Writing about everything from cosmology to anthropology, he specialises in the latest psychology, health and neuroscience discoveries. Thomas has a Masters degree (distinction) in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield and has written for Men's Health, Vice and Radio Times. He has been shortlisted as the New Digital Talent of the Year at the national magazine Professional Publishers Association (PPA) awards. Also working in academia, Thomas has lectured on the topic of journalism to undergraduate and postgraduate students at The University of Sheffield.

❚ Design Battery life Experience Verdict Alternatives Tower T527000 handheld vacuum cleaner Gtech Multi Mk2 Bosch Unlimited 7 Read more: