Raising kids is a messy job. I’ve never thought myself to be a clean freak, but ever since the birth of my children, the sight of strewn food, clothes or toys has the ability to make my temple throb. The worst of it is the food. Ever since we started weaning our firstborn, there has been an ever-growing occurrence of crumbs and food particles in the most unlikely of places.

For the longest time, we made do with cheapy vacuums. We used to have a VonHaus stick vacuum which did a good job for a year before it fell apart. We then bought a Bush cyclone vacuum from Argos which was terrible from the get-go. But I persevered with that for over a year too, constantly emptying it and then resorting to getting on my hands and knees and literally scrubbing at the floor with the hose and even then it barely picked anything up.

My hands started to ache trying to tidy up after my son and at that point, I said, that’s enough, I need a decent vacuum! I realised that with kids, a good vacuum is an essential investment, one that will save you money in the long run instead of constantly buying cheap models – and it saves you a lot of stress too!

The most well-known name on the scene currently has to be the Dyson and their impressive range of cordless vacuums. I’d been drooling over them for months but alas, we could not feasibly justify such a big purchase. Also, we’d also heard some mixed reviews about the battery power and issues such as hair tangling up and it wasn’t a risk I was prepared to take.

The other big known brand that’s everywhere at the moment is Shark. Shark has clearly been spending their coin on marketing in recent years with lots of adverts everywhere. If you go on their website, they have a dizzying array of products to choose from. I knew I wanted a corded version, and after a lot of deliberation, I decided to go for the original Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner.

In a total sign of my age, I was so excited to unbox the vacuum! I’d had a busy family visit the day before it came and I was literally looking forward to cleaning up with it afterwards. I ordered via Amazon Prime and bought the vacuum on offer for £169, down from the RRP of £249 which I thought was a great deal. They are routinely on offer on Amazon, the Shark website and other retailers such as Argos so I’d say it’s worth waiting and buying when the price goes down.

The box was quite large, but it did not take long to assemble the vacuum, it was just a few parts to put together in under 5 minutes and then you were ready to get going. The vacuum itself is pretty big, the heaviest part being the brush/foot bit at the bottom. And the other not so great feature of the vacuum is the fact that despite being so powerful and snazzy, you have to manually wind the cord up around two pegs. I’ve had a few times where I’ve messed it up and had to spend way too long trying to wind the cord up.

Those are the two main cons of the Lift Away, but those are the only ones, really. It is a brilliant machine with exceptional suction. On the first clean of our upstairs carpet, I was shocked at how much dust it collected up when it didn’t even look messy. I actually turn the suction down a bit as the suction is so strong, it almost eats up the carpet! It has a carpet and hard floor modes that you can easily switch between, with the carpet mode featuring brush rolls that pick up pesky hair.

It makes easy work of my toddler’s mess after mealtimes. I’ve often avoided certain sensory activities in fear of the mess it will create. My toddler loves playing with things like rainbow rice but inevitably gets rice everywhere. I now can literally relax knowing I can just clean it up with my vacuum, in fact, I look forward to vacuuming it up!

The vacuum comes with a few changeable small brushes that you can add to the hose to help get those nooks and crevices. And the lift away mode is indeed helpful to clean the stairs without the big hefty foot. Though the cord is not exceptionally long, with the addition of the lift away mode and the wand release, you get a lot of extra extensions and can cover a large area without having to move the plug around.

As well as this, I’d seen the LED light function in adverts and assumed it was a bit of a gimmick type gesture, but it’s actually so useful! There have been many times now where I’ve looked at our laminate floor and thought, that doesn’t look so bad, but with the lights shining on the floor, I was able to see a shocking array of bits and particles!

Even though it’s a bit big, I honestly enjoy using this vacuum cleaner so much! If you don’t mind not having a cordless vacuum and need something with good suction then I’d definitely recommend the Shark Lift Away. Not only is it available at great prices, but it also comes with the added security of a 5 year warranty.

shark lift away vacuum

Shark Lift Away Vacuum Cleaner







  • Great suction
  • Led lights are helpful
  • Lift away mode is helpful


  • bulky
  • have to manually wind the cord up