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I love a good Shark vacuum cleaner; they are just such a strong and reliable brand. What do I love most about them though? It’s the fact that they listen to their customers.
Over the years, they have amended their designs according to customer feedback, and it’s so good to see in any company. Just waiting for that removable bristle brush now, guys!
With corded and cordless vacuum cleaners, I have always been torn, mostly because many of the older cordless models just didn’t last as long as I wanted or needed them to.
So, when the Shark IC160UK/T was introduced to me, I certainly approached it with great caution. When have I ever turned down a Shark though? Exactly, never, and so I made sure to test it out just as well as I do all of my vacuum cleaners to see if it passed the test.
Honestly, the results surprised me. I was really happy with the way this vacuum cleaner felt and worked; which did come as a bit of a shock.
It has a few niggles that I can’t quite look past, but other than that it exceeded expectations. How? Well, you’ll just have to read through my excellent and detailed review to find out more.
Cordless upright vacuum
Combining convenience and power into one neat little package, it seems impossible for this model to go wrong. Cordless and free, your cleaning range is unlimited with this little powerhouse, and the running time is pretty exceptional as well.
Cordless upright vacuum
A cordless wonder made for dealing with pets, no hair will be left untouched with this mini monster running through your house. It comes with an extensive range of accessories to keep you going and is always ready when you need it. A great machine that’s worth trying.
- PROS AND CONS
- 0.6L dustbin
- 5.7kg weight
- HEPA filter
- 50min battery life
- 5-year guarantee (2 for battery)
Presenting the Shark IC160UK and IC160UKT
The Shark IC160UK and IC160UKT are great models to select if you want something slim and cordless that can clean your home quickly and efficiently.
They do offer excellent power and suction, as well as an extensive tool collection that will leave you feeling like all previous models are inferior.
It’s cordless and has a small capacity; the latter of which you come to expect with cordless machines.
If you want a larger bin, you are better off sticking with a corded stick model such HV390UK or HV390UKT as the as these tend to be able to hold more.
They also don’t run out of charge, so if these two features are deal-breakers, head over to our other Shark reviews.
What’s the Difference Between the Two Shark Models?
It’s a common question, and it has a very simple answer; there is only one. The IC160UK is the standard version of this vacuum cleaner, while the IC160UKT is the pet version.
The latter of these has the exact same specs as the former, but it comes with a pet tool so that you can get a deeper clean and better results.
Other than that (and the colour differences between them), you will find that there is nothing different about the way they work.
Due to this, I like to use the UKT model when reviewing Shark vacuums. Partly because I have pets, but also because you then get to see every aspect in action.
Design and Features
The whole unit benefits from a completely new design, and it is much smaller than it looks in the box. This makes it quite compact and easy to store, which I appreciate considering my lack of storage space, and the side pocket for the battery is quite stylish.
The ventilation for the battery is built into this little compartment, but it also has extra cleaning exhaust passing over it, which was an interesting choice. The Shark IC160UKT also comes with a charging cradle for the battery, as well as a mains adapter for charging.
It has duo-clean tech as well, which I always like to see, and I was pleased that a cordless model incorporated it. This means that you have the usual rear bristle brush as well as the soft roller at the front.
The former is for carpets, and the latter for hard floors, but they do also work together to really keep things clean. The floorhead also features a new design, which was quite exciting.
The floorhead was still easy to access, however, and that was good to see. Sadly, the bristle brush still cannot be removed, but it can be cleaned really easily so that you can get rid of stuck hairs.
The soft brush roll can be taken out though, and this is a good thing because it will need to have all the fine dust and dirt cleaned off it regularly. Of course, the floorhead also has the usual LED headlights.
The main head can also be attached directly to the hose, turning it into a handheld vacuum, which is part of the powered lift away feature.
I do enjoy the lift away feature because it means that you can detach the main body from the frame and turn it into something more portable that can reach areas of the home that an upright vacuum cannot.
The hose is really flexible, and the wand is slim, creating an effective cleaning machine.
All of the controls can be found on the handle as well, and that includes the power switch. You can change the setting with great ease, and there are three of them in total; including the boost.
All of them are really powerful, which is something you will see in the cleaning tests later. I was really pleased to find another Shark with the on/off switch located on the handle, so this gave it a few extra points.
How Noisy is it?
It only measures in at 70-8db, depending on the setting you are using.
Not only does this comply with EU laws regarding volume, but it also means you have an exceptionally quiet vacuum cleaner that you can use without wanting to cover your ears. I’ve not known anything like it.
Charging and Runtime
On the low setting, the Shark IC160UKT has a 50 min runtime, which is really impressive and more than enough time (and power) to get the home clean.
The medium setting went on for 33 minutes, and boost was 20 minutes; all of which are excellent timings. You can also buy an extra battery if you want to switch between them and get more cleaning time, it all depends on your home.
The charge period is 3.5 hours, which isn’t too bad in the scheme of things. The vacuum itself has a light indicator to let you know how much charge is remaining and when you need to place it on charge.
To do this, you can take the battery out and place it in the charging cradle, or you can plug it in while it remains in the machine, which gives you more flexibility.
Also Read: Shark cordless IFK250UKT
Weight and Handling
The Shark IC160UKT weighs 5.7kg, which is actually pretty good for a cordless upright, and it feels really light even when the battery is in it.
I was really pleased with how easy it felt in my hands, and as someone who doesn’t have amazing arm strength, I was comfortable using this for all my cleaning.
The handle has a really comfortable grip due to the padding, which does help to make the vacuuming process a little easier and more bearable; especially if you have wrist or hand pain. The flexible neck made moving around furniture and the home, in general, a much simpler task.
Dust Canister and Filter
The dustbin has a capacity of 0.6L, which is quite small and means more frequent emptying. This was a little disappointing, but it’s not something that will stop me buying a vacuum.
The canister does have a quick and easy release, however, as well as two emptying points so that you can get every last spec out. The new shroud shape also means that it is much easier to clean and less likely to get hairs wrapped around it.
The filters are really easy to access, and you can even buy a spare one from Shark if you want to have one around for when the other is drying.
It’s the same as usual, which means the main filter is a massive sponge that can absorb loads of dust and grime, with a felt seal underneath.
While Shark states you should wash it in water every three months to prevent lack of suction, my personal recommendation is definitely no more than one month.
The HEPA filter is perfect for preventing allergy and asthma attacks because it is able to trap 99.7% of the microbes responsible for them.
This one can be quite fiddly to get out, but you won’t need to more than twice a year for washing anyway. The seal under it also protects the motor from dust getting in there and causing it to break down.
How Well Does It Clean?
It did a great job on hard floors, both with attachments and the main floorhead. There was no snowploughing, which I loved, and after one pass pretty much everything had been collected.
As it is a cordless, I do expect to need a couple of passes, and so this wasn’t something that bothered me. It offers no resistance, and works quickly to suck everything up.
The Shark IC160UKT provided carpets with a fantastic surface clean. The finer stuff did get left behind, and it required a few more passes than I am used to as a corded vacuum owner, but it didn’t take very much time to grab all of the rooted debris.
Lift away mode made the stairs so easy, and I was able to carry the body up the stairs as I cleaned. It did a good job, and worked faster than I expected it to as well.
The powered lift away also meant I had flexible access to under my furniture and other tight places because the main floorhead could be used while in this particular format.
Floor to ceiling cleaning was absolutely effortless thanks to the lift away mode. The slimmer wand meant that it felt lighter, and my tools of choice allowed me to reach right up and grab those pesky cobwebs as well as rid my home of dust that had been missed.
It was just so quick and easy, which is something I value in any vacuum cleaner.
How Well Does It Cope with Pet Hair?
It tackled the pet hair on my hard floors without issue. The front roller focussed on the finer stuff, while the back brush made sure everything went up the hose.
It had a wide reach, picked everything up, and didn’t leave stuff behind after. I was very pleased with the results that it provided.
Carpets were a little different. The main floorhead did a decent job, but there was still a good chunk left after.
It proves my point that cordless vacuum cleaners don’t always have the ability to get pet hairs successfully. It took a lot of work and effort to get most of the hair off, and what remained was still noticeable.
The pet tool, however, fixed this pretty quick. It was able to remove all of the hair left behind from the main floorhead, and it did so quickly. So, after it fixed the carpets, I took it to the dog beds and let it work its magic.
It did very well, and I also used it on my stairs to get rid of the really awful pet hair clumps left by my dog on his favourite step. It was a really impressive tool, and probably my favourite version.
I really liked that there was a little bag for the tools and accessories because it keeps everything together, but it also adds a little something extra to the presentation.
I have already gone through the pet tool in the above section, but I also feel it is important to note that it has a new design; it looks really smart and modern.
The upholstery tool also has a new design, and this includes a wider head for better coverage when you are cleaning your furniture or car interior. It remains excellent at picking everything up, and clips easily into place when needed.
The crevice tool and dusting brush are finally separated as well. The former of these is shorter than it used to be, but still does a fantastic job reaching into the places you simply can’t.
The dusting brush has a squarer design and also rotates, providing a better cleaning and dusting service than previous models. It is a little firm, but I found it was still great on delicate surfaces and my kitchen floor.
How Does It Compare?
Here are some other, similar, models of vacuum cleaner for you to consider, just in case you want to look at other options before you commit to a Shark IC160UK or IC160UKT.
Another mode from Shark, this cordless stick vacuum is great if you want power and a much slimmer size.
It can come with single or twin batteries, depending on your needs, and also covers all floor types with minimal effort.
It can be converted into a handheld vacuum for more versatile cleaning, and also has a fantastic charge period and runtime.
GETCH Air Ram MKII
GTECH is also a superb brand, and the Air Ram MKII is even lighter than Shark’s models. With quick and easy turning, handling this machine is a breeze, and the suction is incredible.
The edge cleaning technology means that no corner of your home will be forgotten, and it can switch between carpets and hard floors without issue. Plus, the price is pretty reasonable considering.
We hope that this Shark IC160UK and IC160UKT guide has given you more information about each of the cordless stick models so that you can make a clear and informed choice.
It’s all about which one is going to work best for you, your home, and your budget – and you always have the similar models I listed to consider as well. There was only one major grip for me, and that’s the small bin capacity.
It’s so small, and that was really disappointing because it can barely get through one run of my house, and I do have to empty it at least once. I do wish it could have been bigger, but I can’t dwell on it.
I was really pleased with the runtime and charge period; I thought both of these were very quick. The power was amazing, and even though the settings could be fiddly at times, I managed to get used to them before long.
It dealt with everything I threw at it, and while I still prefer corded machines, it does get a strong 4/5. What did you think of our Shark IC160UK and IC160UKT reviews?
Do you agree with our thoughts on the vacuum, or are there others that you think are better suited to the task? We love hearing from you, so make sure you leave us a message in the comments below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.