Shark Ion Robot Vacuum R85: Is it Any Good?

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If you’re looking for a strong yet affordable robot vacuum, then you’ve probably stumbled upon the Shark Ion Robot Vacuum R85. While Shark is a big brand with a big reputation, even the biggest brands have failed to make great robot vacuums. So, is the Shark Ion R85 any good?

Our Shark Ion Robot Vacuum R85 review will look at navigation, hard floors, carpets, battery life, and software features to show you what you’re getting with this model. Maybe it’s right for you, or maybe there’s a better vacuum for your needs.

Read on and find out.


Robo vacuums need a navigation system to find their way around your home. In the broadest sense there are two types of navigation: bounce and smart.

Bounce navigation (also called bump or random) means that the vacuum keeps going in a certain direction until it hits a wall. It then turns and goes in another direction. It’s surprisingly effective, but mostly relegated to affordable robot vacuums for obvious reasons.

The R85 Shark Ion instead uses smart navigation with their patented Smart Sensor Navigation 2.0. This is an assisted type of navigation that is highly sensitive to nearby objects and obstacles. The vacuum will easily see and maneuver around objects as it cleans your rooms.

Not only that, but this helps the vacuum clean in neat, tight lines that complete the entire room. Bounce navigation sometimes misses a spot here and there, but smart navigation like this ensures the room is tidy and clean before the automated vacuum moves on to the next room.

Hard Floors

Hard floors are common in kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways throughout the home. Unlike carpets, which require power to get deep into the fibers, hard floors require a good brush that can swiftly suck up the dirt and debris.

The Shark Ion Robot Vacuum R85 is ideal for pet hair and uses a self-cleaning brush. Not only that, but it has corner and dual-edge brushes for edge cleaning each room. This allows it to effectively clean hard floors with ease.

While the motor doesn’t matter quite as much with hard floors, you’ll be happy to know that the Ion R85 is one of the strongest vacuums in the Shark vacuum line. This helps it suck up anything stuck to the floor.

This vacuum includes a 0.7qt dustbin. That’s equivalent to 660ml or 22oz. This is a great size and you won’t have to worry about emptying the dustbin too frequently.


Power is essential for cleaning carpets and rugs. A stronger vacuum will have an easier time removing dust, debris, and danger from carpet fibers. We covered how the brushes are great in the above section, but how good is the Shark Ion Robot Vacuum R85 at cleaning carpets?

You’ll find that the Shark R85 Ion has a very powerful motor that can easily get through low and medium carpets. It claims to have 3x suction compared to the Shark Ion R75 and we are inclined to agree. This is a strong vacuum that will quickly and effectively clean your carpets.

However, be aware that this vacuum might struggle with high-pile carpets. This is an unfortunate problem for most robot vacuums. If you have a very high or thick rug, then this vacuum might have a hard time. Otherwise, it’s great for most rugs and carpets.

Battery Life

The vast majority of robot vacuum cleaners come with a charging base along with an internal rechargeable battery. This powers the vacuum until the battery runs low. It will then retreat to the charging base for some extra juice.

Since most vacuums automatically go back to recharge, you might be wondering why battery life even matters. A short battery life means that the vacuum will have to keep stopping and recharging before it’s all done cleaning your home. Longer battery life is always better and it allows your vacuum to finish cleaning your home efficiently.

So, what is the Shark Ion Robot Vacuum R85 battery life? It’s around 60 minutes on average. You might get less than this in max suction mode (closer to 20-40 minutes), but 60 is the average. Speaking of average, that’s about where this stands.

The battery life is satisfactory. There are plenty of vacuums with better batteries, like (article), and plenty with less battery life.

While the Shark Ion doesn’t disappoint here, it doesn’t really excel either.


If there’s one area where the Shark Ion line shines, it’s software. We’ve covered other affordable robot vacuums and some of them don’t have an app or any special features. They frequently only have manual controls with an included remote control.

The Shark Ion Robot R85 Wi-Fi connected robot vacuum has its own dedicated Shark Clean app. This allows you to make a cleaning schedule, it gives you updates about your vacuum, and you can start the vacuum right from the app. This is ideal if there is an unexpected mess and you want it cleaned up.

Do you have smart speakers? You can easily control this vacuum with Google Assistant or Alexa. Simply tell the vacuum to start and it will go about its cleaning routine. No need for remotes or apps when you have voice commands set up.

We love the software included with this vacuum and we think you will, too.

Final Thoughts

So, is the Shark Iron Robot Vacuum R85 any good? We think so. It offers powerful suction, effectively cleans both hard floors and carpets, has great software, and amazing navigation. It does stumble a bit with battery life, but even there it gets an average score.

What do you think? Do you agree that the Shark R85 is a great robot vacuum? Be sure to let us know.