Shark Navigator vs Rotator: Which Vacuum is Better?

Blue Shark Rotator Vacuum with lit up LED lights is swept around light beige carpets by a tan sofa

​As you begin your search for the perfect vacuum, you may come across the Shark Navigator and Shark Rotator. Both are capable vacuums with plenty of cleaning abilities.

How do you know which one is the one for you? We’ve compared the Shark Navigator vs Rotator to find out which one is the better vacuum. Our results are listed below.

​Shark Navigator vs Rotator

When you compare the Shark Navigator vs Rotator, you will find ​that the differences can sometimes be hard to identify. Both are very capable vacuums, with somewhat subtle variations between them. 

The Shark Navigator is a capable vacuum, but you just get more from the Shark Rotator model, even when comparing it to other household brands such as Hoover or even Dyson.

Suction Power & Cleaning Surfaces

Both the Navigator and Rotator can handle a variety of surfaces. You can use either vacuum on bare floors such as hardwood floors, tile floors, and laminate flooring. You can also use either on thinner area rugs and thicker shag carpets.

From what we found, both vacuums ​have a very good amount of suction. The Rotator is built for better and more compact cleaning and thus, at the end of the day, does do a bit better of a job. 

Pet Hair & Allergens

The Shark Navigator can clean both hard and soft surfaces and offers a pet brush to clean up pet hair and dander. The Shark Rotator can also go from bare tile or hardwood floors to carpet with ease and features a pet brush for pet hair removal too.

Both the Shark Navigator and Rotator come with a pet hair brush attachment, which will allow you to specifically tackle surfaces that your pet sleeps on or has hair.

​Both vacuums also come with HEPA filtration, which is key for those with allergies. Shark labels it as their "Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + a HEPA filter that traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum."

Blue Shark Rotator Vacuum with lit up LED lights is swept around light beige carpets by a tan sofa

Maneuverability

​Both of these great Shark vacuums are easy to maneuver.

​The Shark Rotator model offers more convenience with its removable canister which allows you to get into hard-to-reach areas.

The Shark Navigator also offers some hard-to-reach access with an extendable wand that can be fitted with an attachment for just the right cleaning ability.

Weight

Both vacuums weigh in at around the 14 pound mark, meaning that this isn't a distinguishing factor in the Navigator vs Rotator debate.

Additional Features

​Both the Navigator and Rotator come with a number of additional features, including the afore mentioned pet brush roller. Also included two crevice tools, a dusting broom, and a few microfiber pads.

However, thats where the Navigator accessories conclude, and the Rotator includes quite a bit more.  Add in a long suction nozzle and an angled dusting brush, along detail kit with ​a variety of cleaning heads.

If you have a number of different unique cleaning environments, the attachments that come with the Shark Rotator give it a leg up.

​Perhaps the best out of all the additional features in the Rotator vs Navigator is the LED lights that are on the front of the Rotator. Not every corner of your home will be well lit, and this takes care of that problem. Its a nice additional feature. 

Design

Both vacuums have the standard upright cleaner model look and feel. We can't say either cleaner is particularly gorgeous, but the Rotator is still better looking and designed than the Navigator.

We wouldn't make a decision on a new vacuum off the its look and feel alone, but its worth mentioning that the Rotator has a leg up here.

Cleaning lady vacuuming a soft white carpet in living room

Dust Bin

You might have been expecting another vote in the favor of the Shark Rotator, but when it comes to dust bin size, that is not the case. Due to its sleek design, the Rotator sacrifices space in its dust bin... a lot of space.

The Navigator comes in with a 2.2 quart bin, while the Rotator only has a 1.3 quart bin.

The larger your bin, the less you'll have to empty it out into the trash. So, this can be a big deal if you have a larger house, or a home with a lot of dirt and debris.

Related: Bissell vs Shark​

Price

The Rotator is much more expensive than the Navigator, usually priced roughly 50% higher than the Navigator. This explains a lot of the additional features and suction power that the vacuum cleaner provides.

At the end of the day, the Rotator is a better cleaner, and commands a better price.

​Key Differences

Shark Navigator
  • ​Cheaper Price
  • ​Larger Dust Bin
Shark ​Rotator
  • ​More Expensive
  • ​More Attachments
  • ​Slightly More Suction

The Shark Navigator Vacuum Review

The Shark Navigator Vacuum is a 15 lb upright vacuum which incorporates Shark’s no loss suction technology. ​Strong suction power is common for all Shark vacuums, and the Navigator is no exception.

It cleans pet hair and dander from any surface ​with the pet power brush that it has. Beyond that, the Navigator tackles pet hair with its HEPA filtration system.

A large capacity dust cup collects dirt as you clean and can easily be emptied in between vacuuming. The Shark Navigator vacuum has an extendable wand that is designed to get into those tight crevices with ease. It is rated for openings as small as 5.5 inches.


Additional cleaning assistance comes from the foam and felt filters which can be washed and reused over and over again. Maneuvering the Shark Navigator is simple. It can be pushed and pulled where ever you need it go.

The Shark Navigator can be used on carpet as well as bare floors. Shut off the brush roller when you are on a hard surface or deep pile carpet. Power on the Shark Navigator vacuum ranges from 700 to 1200 watts, depending on the model.

Related: Shark Navigator compared to the Shark Rocket

​Shark Navigator Applications

​Applications for the Shark Navigator vacuum are extensive because it does come with an extendable wand. This means you clean from floor to ceiling without interruption and can get into those hard-to-reach spots with plenty of ease.

The Shark Navigator vacuum is also ideal for cleaning any surface in your home. It can go from carpet to bare floors, allowing you to clean room-to-room easier. The pet-friendly nature of the Shark Navigator is also a nice benefit.

You can remove pet hair and dander from furniture, window treatments, and flooring with one device.

The Shark ​Rotator Vacuum Review

The Shark Rotator Vacuum is more of a professional vacuum dedicated to cleaning dirty surfaces more frequently. It features a detachable canister which allows you to clean in tight spaces easily without having to drag the entire vacuum base with you.

It uses swivel steering and has a moderate sized capacity dust cup​. LED lights illuminate your pathway. Allergen control is provided by an anti-allergen complete seal technology and HEPA filter which keeps 99.9 percent of allergens in the vacuum and out of the air.

This vacuum is also pet-friendly in its design as it includes a pet power brush that lifts pet hair and dander off any surface easily. The Shark Rotator vacuum ​weighs in at 15.5 pounds.

​Shark Rotator Applications

​The Shark Rotator vacuum excels in several environments. Its versatile 2-in-1 design allows you to clean multiple surfaces in your home as well as hard-to-reach spaces with the detachable canister.

It is especially geared toward allergen control within your home and has a durable design that can withstand frequent use for spills, and large or small messes.

You can also use the Shark Rotator vacuum to ​​remove pet hair ​​​ as it comes with a pet power brush to remove hair and dander from furniture or other surfaces where it seems to stick.

​Conclusion

​At the end of the day, two things are clear to us in the Shark Navigator vs Rotator comparison: both vacuums do a great job overall, and the Rotator is clearly the better of the two. 

However, you might not need to features that make the Rotator stand out. We love all of the additional features and attachments that it comes with, but you might not need them.

The Rotator has stronger suction power than the Navigator, but it isn't dramatically different.

In addition, the Navigator has a larger dust bin, which is certainly a plus.

Whichever you decide, you won't go wrong. However, all things being equal, we would take a Shark Rotator.

About the Author Allen Michael

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.

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