In determining which is the best vacuum for money for 2011, we kept coming back to two vacuum cleaners – the Shark Navigator Upright, and the Eureka Airspeed Bagless. Both vacuums claim to have very impressive suction power, great accessories, and they both cost less than $150….but which one is really the best? That is what we tried to figure out with our test of the Eureka Airspeed vs the Shark Navigator:

We set this test up the exact same way as we did the Dyson DC25 vs Shark Navigator test, and in fact we really tested all three of the vacuums at the same time. We did the following:

  1. Started out with 3 different sections of brand new carpeting, making one solid strip out of the three
  2. Poured two different kinds of vacuum cleaning power onto the carpet – one was more granular, and one was very fine
  3. Passed each vacuum over the area two different times
  4. Emptied the dust bins and measured how much of the power each vacuum picked up, being very careful not to lose any power in the process.

Our Results:

The results were very close to what we had expected – the Shark navigator did a much better job at picking up the power, out doing the Eureka by a decent amount:

As you can see, the difference between what the Shark Navigator picked up and the Eureka was substantial – a difference of 1.375 ounces.  However, there was one main reason for this drastic of a difference – the Eureka has to be manually adjusted for height, and by the time the vacuum got to the deep pile carpet, it ended up pushing off some of the more granular vacuum cleaning power.

To be honest, we were very torn in deciding whether or not to redo the test, and adjust the height of the Eureka to the high pile setting, but that would have then been a disadvantage to the Airspeed on the shorter sections of the carpeting.  In addition, the fact that you don’t have to adjust the Shark Navigator is one of the advantages the Shark has.  Finally, even if we took the entire weight of all the granular power sprinkled over the carpets and added it to the the Eureka’s final weight-in, it still would not have beaten the Navigator Upright.


For the money, the Shark Navigator Upright is a terrific machine.  When you take into consideration that 1) you don’t have to buy new filters, and 2) it costs less (currently) than the Eureka Airspeed, then we would recommend the Shark vs the Eureka for those looking to purchase a good vacuum under $150.

However, this does not mean that we don’t like the Eureka Airspeed Bagless – we still would rank it number 2 in the best vacuum for the money catagory for 2011, and we do like a lot how it comes with HEPA filtration.  As such, if filtration is a big issue to you then you may want to consider the Eureka.

Shark Navigator Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner, NV22L

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