Shark NV360 vs NV501: Expert Review

I'm a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

When it comes to keeping your home spotless, the right vacuum can make all the difference. Shark, a leader in home cleaning technology, offers two standout models that promise to tackle dirt, dust, and debris with ease: the Shark NV360 and the NV501. Our Shark NV360 vs NV501 review will show you which is best.

Both vacuums boast powerful suction, versatile cleaning capabilities, and the trusted Shark technology, but they cater to different cleaning needs and preferences. Let’s dive into a comprehensive comparison to help you decide which model is the perfect fit for your cleaning routine.

FeatureShark NV360Shark NV501
Suction PowerHighHigh
TechnologyLift-AwayRotator with Lift-Away
ManeuverabilitySwivel SteeringAdvanced Swivel Steering with LED Headlights
WeightLighterSlightly Heavier
Dust Cup CapacityGenerousComparable
FiltrationHEPA with Complete SealHEPA with Complete Seal

Key Takeaways – Shark NV360 vs NV501

  • Versatile and Powerful: Both the NV360 and NV501 offer strong suction and are versatile across floor types.
  • Unique Features: The NV501’s Rotator technology and LED headlights provide an edge in maneuverability and visibility.
  • Designed for Convenience: The NV360’s lightweight design and ease of use make it a strong contender for everyday cleaning.
  • Allergy-Friendly: With HEPA filtration and complete seal technology, both models are excellent for allergy sufferers.

Suction Power and Cleaning Performance

Shark NV360

The Shark NV360 excels in delivering consistent suction power across various surfaces, making it a reliable option for homes with mixed flooring. Thanks to its brush roll shutoff feature, it transitions smoothly from deep carpet cleaning to gentle hard floor dusting. The NV360’s Lift-Away technology allows for easy conversion into a canister vacuum, facilitating effortless cleaning of stairs and furniture.

Shark NV501

Similarly, the Shark NV501 is known for its strong suction and deep-cleaning abilities, particularly on carpets. What sets the NV501 apart is its Rotator technology, which enhances maneuverability and allows for more precise cleaning around obstacles and in tight spaces. Additionally, the NV501 includes LED headlights on the nozzle, illuminating hidden dust and debris, a feature not found on the NV360.

Design and Usability

Shark NV360

The NV360 is designed with simplicity and convenience in mind. Its lightweight frame and swivel steering make it easy to handle and navigate through furniture. The dust cup capacity is generous, reducing the frequency of emptying. One minor drawback is the lack of LED headlights, which could enhance visibility in low-light conditions.

Shark NV501

The NV501 stands out with its dynamic swivel steering and LED headlights, making it a top choice for users who prioritize ease of navigation and visibility. The lift-away function is similar to the NV360, offering versatility in cleaning modes. However, it is slightly heavier than the NV360, which might be a consideration for those who need to carry their vacuum between floors.

Filtration System

Both the NV360 and NV501 are equipped with a complete seal technology and HEPA filter, ensuring that they capture and trap over 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum. This feature is particularly beneficial for allergy sufferers, providing a cleaner and healthier home environment.

Pros and Cons – Shark NV501 vs NV360

Shark NV360


  • Versatile cleaning on various surfaces
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Generous dust cup capacity


  • Lacks LED headlights for improved visibility

Shark NV501


  • Strong suction with precise cleaning thanks to Rotator technology
  • LED headlights illuminate hidden debris
  • Advanced maneuverability and lift-away function


  • Slightly heavier, which may affect ease of transport
FeatureShark NV360Shark NV501
Suction PowerHighHigh
TechnologyLift-AwayRotator with Lift-Away
ManeuverabilitySwivel SteeringAdvanced Swivel Steering with LED Headlights
WeightLighterSlightly Heavier
Dust Cup CapacityGenerousComparable
FiltrationHEPA with Complete SealHEPA with Complete Seal

Major Differences

While both models offer exceptional cleaning capabilities, the choice between the Shark NV360 and NV501 may come down to specific features that align with your cleaning needs. The NV360 is a straightforward, lightweight option that excels in basic yet effective cleaning across all floor types. The NV501, with its Rotator technology and LED headlights, provides enhanced maneuverability and visibility, making it ideal for those who tackle more intricate cleaning tasks.

Deciding between the Shark NV360 and NV501 depends on your specific cleaning preferences and needs. Whether you value simplicity and lightweight design or advanced features for detailed cleaning, Shark offers a solution that doesn’t compromise on performance or quality.

For more insights into maintaining your home, explore resources on How to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors?, How to Clean Epoxy Floor?, and How to Clean Floor Molding?, as well as comparisons like Bissell CleanView 2252 vs Shark Navigator Review and Bissell CleanView vs PowerForce to ensure you have the best tools for a pristine home.

Detailed Questions and Answers

1. How does the Rotator technology in the Shark NV501 enhance its cleaning effectiveness?

Rotator technology is a defining feature of the Shark NV501, significantly enhancing its cleaning effectiveness by improving maneuverability and reach. This technology allows the vacuum head to pivot and rotate, making it easier to navigate around furniture and obstacles. This agility ensures that more dust and debris are captured with each pass, particularly in tight spaces or corners that might be challenging for standard vacuums to clean effectively.

Additionally, the Rotator technology contributes to a deeper clean on carpets. By enabling the vacuum to adjust and maintain contact with the surface, it ensures the brush roll can agitate and lift embedded dirt more efficiently. This is especially beneficial for homes with pets or high traffic, where dirt and hair accumulate quickly.

The inclusion of Rotator technology also makes the NV501 an excellent tool for users with physical limitations or those who find traditional vacuums cumbersome. By reducing the effort needed to steer and maneuver the vacuum, it allows for a more comfortable cleaning experience, encouraging regular use and contributing to a cleaner home environment.

  • Improved Maneuverability: Rotator technology allows for easier navigation and more effective cleaning around obstacles.
  • Deeper Carpet Cleaning: Ensures better contact with surfaces for enhanced dirt and debris removal.
  • User Comfort: Makes the NV501 easier to use, especially for individuals with physical limitations.

2. What are the advantages of the LED headlights on the Shark NV501, and do they significantly impact cleaning outcomes?

LED headlights on the Shark NV501 offer several advantages that directly impact cleaning outcomes. Firstly, they illuminate dark areas and under furniture, revealing hidden dust and debris that might otherwise be missed. This feature is particularly useful in low-light conditions or rooms with insufficient natural light, ensuring a thorough clean throughout the home.

Secondly, the LED headlights can highlight fine dust and pet hair on hard floors, areas where these particles can blend in with the surface. By making these elements more visible, users can target their cleaning efforts more effectively, leading to a cleaner home environment. This is especially beneficial for allergy sufferers or households with pets, where hair and dander accumulation is a concern.

Lastly, the psychological effect of seeing the debris being cleaned can be satisfying and motivating for users, encouraging more frequent and thorough vacuuming sessions. The immediate visual feedback of dirt being picked up reassures users that their efforts are yielding tangible results, enhancing the overall cleaning experience.

  • Illuminates Hidden Debris: Reveals dust and debris in dark areas, ensuring a more thorough clean.
  • Highlights Fine Particles: Makes fine dust and pet hair on hard floors visible for targeted cleaning.
  • Motivational Tool: Offers visual feedback that can motivate users to clean more thoroughly and frequently.

3. How does the weight difference between the Shark NV360 and NV501 affect their usability in multi-story homes?

The weight difference between the Shark NV360 and NV501 has a noticeable impact on their usability, especially in multi-story homes. The NV360, being lighter, is inherently more convenient to carry up and down stairs. This ease of transport is crucial for users who regularly clean multiple levels, reducing the physical strain associated with vacuuming and making the task less daunting.

Conversely, the NV501, while slightly heavier, offers advanced features like Rotator technology and LED headlights, which may justify the additional weight for some users. The decision between the two models may come down to prioritizing these features over the ease of carrying the vacuum between floors. For households with significant cleaning needs, especially those involving pet hair or requiring detailed cleaning, the NV501’s capabilities might outweigh the convenience of a lighter model.

Ultimately, the choice depends on the individual’s physical capability and cleaning preferences. Some might prefer the NV360 for its lightweight design and straightforward functionality, while others might opt for the NV501 for its enhanced cleaning performance, despite being slightly heavier. Both models offer lift-away functionality, which can mitigate the impact of weight when cleaning stairs or high areas.

  • NV360’s Portability: Easier to carry between floors, reducing physical strain.
  • NV501’s Advanced Features: Offers enhanced cleaning capabilities that may outweigh the inconvenience of additional weight.
  • User Preference: The choice depends on prioritizing ease of transport versus cleaning performance and features.

4. In what ways do the dust cup capacities of the Shark NV360 and NV501 influence cleaning efficiency in larger homes?

The dust cup capacities of the Shark NV360 and NV501 directly influence their cleaning efficiency, particularly in larger homes. A larger dust cup means fewer interruptions to empty it, which is crucial for maintaining a steady cleaning flow and reducing the overall time spent vacuuming. The NV501, with its slightly larger dust cup capacity, allows users to clean more area without stopping, making it an attractive option for larger homes or those with pets where debris accumulates quickly.

Conversely, the NV360, while having a generous dust cup capacity, may require more frequent emptying in high-traffic areas or homes with more square footage. This could potentially extend the cleaning process and may be a consideration for users who prioritize efficiency or have larger spaces to clean. However, its lift-away feature and lightweight design still make it a versatile and user-friendly option.

Ultimately, the impact of dust cup capacity on cleaning efficiency varies depending on individual cleaning habits and home sizes. For some, the difference may be negligible, while for others, it could be a decisive factor in choosing between the two models. Both the NV360 and NV501 offer easy-to-empty dust cups, ensuring that this task is as seamless as possible, regardless of frequency.

  • NV501’s Larger Capacity: Ideal for larger homes, reducing the need for frequent emptying.
  • NV360’s Efficiency: Still offers a generous capacity suitable for most homes, with easy emptying.
  • Personal Preference: The choice may depend on individual cleaning needs and the size of the home.

5. Considering the lift-away feature, how do the Shark NV360 and NV501 adapt to versatile cleaning needs, from floor to ceiling?

The lift-away feature in both the Shark NV360 and NV501 significantly enhances their adaptability to a wide range of cleaning tasks, from floor to ceiling. This feature allows the vacuum’s canister to detach from the main unit, enabling users to clean stairs, upholstery, and other above-floor areas easily. It essentially transforms the vacuum into a portable cleaning device, providing the flexibility to tackle dust and debris wherever it’s found.

Moreover, the lift-away feature facilitates the cleaning of hard-to-reach areas, such as under furniture, around tight corners, and high places like ceiling fans and vents. This versatility is crucial for maintaining a thoroughly clean home environment, addressing areas that traditional upright vacuums might struggle to reach. Both models come equipped with a variety of attachments, further expanding their cleaning capabilities to suit different surfaces and specific cleaning needs.

While both the NV360 and NV501 benefit from the lift-away feature, the choice between them may hinge on other factors such as weight, dust cup capacity, and additional features like LED headlights or Rotator technology. Regardless, the lift-away feature underscores Shark’s commitment to providing versatile, user-friendly cleaning solutions that cater to the dynamic needs of modern households.

  • Versatile Cleaning: The lift-away feature allows for easy cleaning of stairs, upholstery, and above-floor areas.
  • Accessibility: Facilitates cleaning under and around furniture and in hard-to-reach places.
  • Adaptable Attachments: Both models come with various attachments, enhancing their versatility further.

10 FAQ Questions

1. Can the Shark NV360 and NV501 be used on hardwood floors?

Yes, both can be safely used on hardwood floors, with the option to turn off the brush roll to prevent scratching.

2. Are the filters in the NV360 and NV501 washable?

Yes, both models feature washable pre-motor and post-motor filters for easy maintenance.

3. Do the NV360 and NV501 require bags?

No, both models are bagless, featuring easy-to-empty dust cups instead.

4. How long is the power cord on the Shark NV360 and NV501?

The NV360 has a 25-foot power cord, while the NV501 features a 30-foot power cord.

5. Can I vacuum pet hair with the NV360 and NV501?

Yes, both are effective at removing pet hair from various surfaces, with the NV501 including a specialized pet tool.

6. Do these Shark models come with a warranty?

Yes, Shark vacuums typically come with a 5-year limited warranty, but it’s best to check the specifics upon purchase.

7. Are the NV360 and NV501 heavy to carry upstairs?

While the NV501 is slightly heavier, both models feature lift-away technology that makes them more manageable to carry.

8. Can the dust cup capacity affect the frequency of emptying?

Yes, larger dust cup capacities, like that of the NV501, require less frequent emptying, especially in larger homes.

9. Do either of these Shark models have LED headlights?

Yes, the NV501 includes LED headlights to illuminate the cleaning path, unlike the NV360.

10. Is the suction power adjustable on the NV360 and NV501?

Yes, both models offer suction control, allowing you to adjust the suction power for different cleaning tasks.