Shark NV801 vs NV803

Shark has proved to be abreast with the continuing technical advancements through its line of innovative products.

Shark nv801 and Shark nv803 which are among the company’s NV800 series of vacuum cleaners are the latest talk of town.

Today we shall have a look at both of them; their differences and similarities in terms of design and performance as well as the pro and con of each.

The comparison will help us establish the better buy between the two.

Shark nv801 vs nv803 Design Differences and Similarities


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The two vacuum cleaners share more similarities than differences as we are going to see here. Let’s first see their similarities.


Color: It is impossible to virtually distinguish nv801 from nv803 in terms of color as both models are cinnamon-colored

Duo clean technology
Both models are equipped with DuoClean technology which features two different (soft and stiff) brushrolls spinning in harmony to remove fine/stuck in dust, large debris and large piles of debris from a carpet or bare floor. The soft brushroll picks up large debris and dust stuck on wooden or tiled floors. The bushroll also directly engages the floors to ensure that it leaves no dustmarks behind for a super-polished look. On the other hand, the bristle brushroll deep-cleans soft carpets.

Anti-Allergen seal technology
The two models also feature anti-Allergen complete seal technology as well as a HEPA filter. As a result, they are able to prevent 99.99% of the dust and allergens they pick up while cleaning from escaping from them.

LED headlights
You won’t struggle to spot debris in dark corners in your home while using either Shark NV801 or NV803 as each of them has powerful LED headlights on its nozzle.

The only difference between Shark nv801 and nv803 is that nv803 comes with the accessories that nv801 doesn’t have. The accessories include under appliance wand, accessory bag, pet power brush, pet multi-tool and a duster crevice tool. The Shark nv801 sold on Amazon lacks these attachments.

How the Shark nv801 vs nv803 Clean

Both Shark nv801 and nv803 can be used in upright, lift-away or canister mode.

1. Upright mode

To use either of them in upright mode, have all its major components properly assembled, hold it vertically upright, place your foot on its floor nozzle, tilt is handle back, choose the appropriate floor setting on the switch located on the handle and then press the power button. The two brushrolls on the cleaner’s nozzle head will spin. The soft roller sucks up the large debris while the soft one picks up fine dust stuck on the floor. The upright mode is efficient for cleaning hard floorings and carpets.

2. Lift-away mode
If you want to clean your stairs, upholstery, window sills, vents, drapes, ceiling fans, or any other hard-to-reach area, press Lift-Away Release button to detach the canister section from the vacuum. Then attach either a pet power brush, pet multi-tool or a duster crevice tool, depending on the surface you want to clean or the debris to lift away.

3. Canister mode

Any of the two can also be used as a canister vacuum cleaner by attaching it to a canister caddy for a canister mode cleaning. Fortunately, none of them comes with a canister caddy but you can buy it independently. In canister mode, the cleaners can clean floors as well as elevated surfaces.

Shark nv801 vs nv803 Maneuverability

Both Shark nv801 and Shark nv803 feature swivel steering which make them highly maneuverable. Each of them steers easily with a slight twisting of your wrist. Their cleaning nozzle heads are equally a bit narrow and low-profile and this allows them to get to tight spaces, especially under low furniture and appliances.Additionally, the powered lift away feature in both vacuum cleaner models comes in handy for their enhanced maneuverability. Detach the canister pod of either of the cleaners by simply clicking Lift-Away Release button to detach the canister pod from the main body of the appliance and effortlessly clean tight spaces such as under low beds and couches.
Nevertheless, Shark nv803 comes with an under appliance wand which you can attach to the cleaner for easier cleaning of areas under your appliances and furniture. On the other hand, Shark nv801 doesn’t come with this accessory, but you can buy it independently. In as such, we can say that Shark nv803 is more maneuverable than Shark nv801.

Shark nv801 vs nv803: Pros and Cons

Shark nv801
1. The vacuum cleaner has DuoClean technology which makes it ultra-effective in cleaning carpet and bare floors.

2. You can easily switch it from upright mode to hand-held by just clicking a button and attaching the required accessory effortlessly

3. The lift-away feature helps you clean hard-to-reach areas easily

4. Has washable filters4. Its low profile head makes it highly maneuverable

5. Has great suction power which enables it to suck up all the debris it encounters

6. It is compact and not very heavy for good maneuverability.

7. Has powerful LED headlights to help you spot all the debris in your space


1. The unit is quite noisy and doesn’t have noise reduction technology

2. Has a fairly short hose

3. Unlike nv803, it doesn’t come with extra accessories (under appliance wand, accessory bag, pet power brush, pet multi-tool and a duster crevice tool).

4. Costs higher than 803

Shark nv8031. Has DuoClean technology for ultra-effective carpet and bare floor cleaning.2. Easy switch it from upright mode to hand-held just like its nv801 counterpart3. The lift-away feature helps you clean hard-to-reach areas easily4. Its filters are washable5. Has a low profile head for high maneuverability6. Has great suction power7. It is compact and fairly light for good maneuverability8. Its powerful LED headlights help you spot all the debris even in dark spaces9. Comes with extra attachments (under appliance wand, accessory bag, pet power brush, pet multi-tool and a duster crevice tool)10. Less costly as compared to 801

Cons1. The unit is quite noisy and doesn’t have noise reduction technology3. Has a fairly short hose3. The pet tool isn’t motorized. It clogs quickly with pet hair to the extent that it stops or runs extremely slowly and so, you’ll have to keep on opening it up to remove the clogging pet hair.

Shark nv801 vs nv803 Size and Dimensions

Shark nv801 and nv803 are of the same size and dimensions. Each of them weighs 15 pounds and so, has high maneuverability and is easily portable. Each of the cleaners is 11.77 inches long and has a width and depth of 11.93 inches and 46.14 inches, respectively.Each has a 0.725-gallon dust capacity and a cleaning path of 8.5 inches. The dust capacity is enough to accommodate all the debris collected from nearly any common household.

Shark nv801 vs nv803 Accessories, Parts

A standard wand:

Both nv801 and nv803 comes with a basic wand to which you can attach their motorized floor nozzle, handles and vacuum pods for upright-mode cleaning. In addition to the wand, nv803 has extra accessories including:

The pet power brush

This brush will be of great help to you if your pet has littered your home, especially carpeted floors and upholstery, with its fur. It can also lift away human hair and other debris that are hard to remove from such surfaces. The brush has air powered rotating nozzle which is very efficient and effective in picking up the pet fur shed on upholstered items as well as carpeted stairs.

Under appliance wand:

Under appliance wand is curved in a way that helps you to clean hard-to-reach areas, particularly under, behind or around hard-to-move furniture or other appliances. With the tool attached to the vacuum cleaner, you’ll be able to clean these areas without straining or bending much.

Duster Crevice Tool

You can attach this tool to the vacuum cleaner to reach and clean tiny crevices such as cushion joints and along baseboards. The dusting brush in the tool whisks the dirt and dust off these areas while its strong air flow collects the particles into the vacuum.

Pet multi tool

Pet multi-tool performs the same job as the power brush but it is relatively less ‘aggressive’ onto surfaces. It functions as a stiff bristle brush for removing debris suck on a surface and an upholstery tool for cleaning suborn pet hair off upholstered items or carpets.

Cleaning Tests

We conducted the following tests to compare the performances of Shark nv801 and nv803 on different surfaces (hardwood floor, high-pile and low-pile carpeted floors) in the removal of various debris. Read on to see what we found out.

Hardwood Floor Performance

We tested the vacuum cleaners on a hardwood floor with debris consisting of pet fur, food particles, lentils as well as large and fine dust particles. Both of them performed equally well in cleaning up the surface as they left the area spotlessly clean, with no debris scattered or left in the crevices of the floor. Both cleaned up the debris completely with just two strokes (back and forth).

Nevertheless, the under appliance wand that comes with nv803 out of the box made the vacuum more effective and efficient in cleaning hard-to-reach areas than its nv801 counterpart.

Carpet Performance:

In this test, we had a low-pile carpet and a low-pile carpet, both littered with various debris including debris consisting of pet fur, food particles, lentils and dust particles. We then ran Shark nv801 and nv802 on each of the surfaces. Both vacuums did a commendable job as none of them left any loose debris behind on either low-pile or high-pile carpet.

Nevertheless, we noted that nv803 was more efficient in the cleaning of a low-pile or high-pile carpet with stuck on dirt and food particles, thanks to its pet multi-tool. Perhaps nv803 could have done equally good if it has the extra tool.

Pet hair removal

Without the accessories, the two vacuums removed pet hair fairly from a tiled floor. However, the main challenge was that they became less efficient with time as they continued to pick up the pet hair and so, we had to keep on cleaning their brushrolls to help them work optimally. We also noted that with a pet multi-tool or pet power brush, nv803 performed better than nv801 without the accessory.

Summary of Major Differences

Shark nv801 and nv803 are the same in terms of performance and design. However, on Amazon, the latter comes with attachments like under appliance wand, accessory bag, pet power brush, pet multi-tool and a duster crevice tool, which the former lacks. Therefore, if you want these additional accessories out of the box with a vacuum cleaner, then nv803 has you covered. Another difference between 801 and 803 is that the former is more expensive than the latter.

Bottom Line

Shark 803 certainly caters for your diverse cleaning needs better than its predecessor 801 for the simple fact it comes with an array of accessories out of the box, unlike its counterpart. Considering the extra attachments and that its price is lower than that of 801, we can unarguably say that it offers you more value for your money.

Consider buying Shark 803 if you want to thoroughly clean all areas in your home without having to buy any extra attachment. Besides, saving a few bucks, like $5 or so by opting to buy the vacuum cleaner won’t hurt, will it?


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