Dyson vs Shark vacuums – Is the Shark better than Dyson? They often compare themselves with each other as they are the closest in customer satisfaction. But is one really better than the other?
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To answer that we look at the newest (and a couple older) models in both full size uprights and their Cordless Stick Vacuum models. We have looked at these two competing companies and the vacuums they produce for several years now. During that time we saw each of them win the JD Power Customer Satisfaction Award for various vacuum cleaner models. (*1)
In fact, we have noted that it has been one or the other that has had the top award for several years in a row.
In both instances, the other brand was right behind with high satisfaction scores as well.
We also have looked in Consumer Reports (*2) to get their input as well. It seems that product reliability is now being factored into their scores along with customer satisfaction and lab tests. That has caused Dyson to lose some of their rankings.
If you are looking for reliability then Shark has a much higher reliability rating. Customer satisfaction is excellent for both brands. Dyson’s upright and canister vacuums do much better on the reliability scale than their stick vacuums do. It seems that many customers report back that within 5 years, the Dyson stick vacuums start to develop problems. In comparison to Shark stick vacuums over the 5 year period only 25% of owners reported problems. Dyson owners reporting back was up to 50%.
What we will say about Dyson though is that they are constantly testing the products they make to make them tougher.
From personal experience I have two Sharks and one Dyson in my home. Two of them are quite old but still have awesome power. My newest model is a Shark Rocket corded stick vac with Zero-Hair wrap. I love that vacuum! It is the easiest to use and does a wonderful job getting up cat hair. For me that Zero-Hair Wrap works wonders! I use this vacuum most often. It takes care of everything except one very dense thick rug. It gets all the surface stuff but I get out the Dyson to deep clean that one rug.
I think that if I would have upgraded to a model that has both Duoclean and Zero-Hair wrap then I would not need the Dyson. Or, I could have chosen the more expensive Apex Uplight as it has more power and stronger suction in addition to both the Duoclean and Zero-Hair Wrap.. I love the way that the Rocket handles though. It pretty much does the job and it costs less.
I personally think that the older Dyson’s were built better than the newer ones. They were just big, clunky and a bit awkward to use compared to today’s models. In their effort to innovate newer better things, some of the newer was not as reliable as the older.
Comparing Dyson Vs Shark Vacuums – Which is Better for you?
We have found that both brands have full power, full function models that simply get the job done. They both have models that are more convenient to use but have less power and possibly less reliability.
To determine which is better for you, then you must decide whether you need:
- a lighter weight
- heavy duty suction… sometimes you need strong and sometimes strong is too much
- flexibility in getting under and around things,
- have pet hair (or you have long hair)
- kids who drop cereal, etc (The Dyson will push larger debri to the side but the Shark Duoclean will pull it in)
- something that will last a long time (older but less convenient Dyson models or most any of the Sharks)
- light on the budget
All that depends on your individual cleaning needs and preferences. Both brands have higher priced full sized, full featured, powerful vacuums. Both have lower priced models that may not be as powerful but can still get the job done.
Dyson Full Sized Vacuums
Going forward Dyson plans to rely on current technology for their upright vacuums as they have announced that they will not be developing their upright vacuums any longer. Instead, they plan to develop their line of cordless stick vacuums.
Dyson DC33 Multi-Floor Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner (blue)Dyson Ball Multi Floor High Performance Upright Vacuum FuchsiaDyson Ball Animal 2 Total Clean Upright Vacuum Cleaner, BlueDyson Small Ball Multi Floor Upright Vacuum Cleaner Purple
Don’t worry if you really love the upright Dysons… They are still being manufactured. They just are not upgrading them. These full size models have some of the most powerful suction that you can get. However, it really depends on the individual models that you are comparing as to which brand has the highest suction power.
Older Dyson Models are Still Great Vacuums
The Dyson DC33 is an older model before the ball style was invented. However, we are including it here because it has been an old standby for many people for many years. (Think professional cleaning people) I have an old DC 7 (no longer available) which still works and has more suction power than many of the other brands. Both models are heavier and clunkier than the newer models but they showed Dyson’s strength and innovation. They are also very durable. (Mine is 17 years old.)
When it comes to cleaning your home, sometimes ease of use wins out over the suction power. For instance, if you have a high pile carpet, the strongest suction may make it difficult to push. Also, a lighter weight machine which swivels makes your work easier.
If you have a lot of pet hair, you may want a model that features Anti-Hair Wrap such as is feature in some of the newer Shark models. That is a feature I love because of the pets in my home.
Shark Full Size Vacuums
Shark’s original full sized Powered Lift Away – still powerful but standard featuresShark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away (NV803) upgrade with duoclean but no Anti-hair wrapShark Navigator Upright Vacuum with Lift-Away, Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap bit no duocleanShark APEX full powered & featured Upright Vacuum with DuoClean & Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap
Shark continues to innovate with new and better features each year. These features generally are things that make life easier for the one doing the vacuuming. Perhaps that is the reason that their customer satisfaction scores keep increasing. With all the new features of these vacuums you have to decide which features are best for you and your individual needs.
For instance, the full sized, full powered Shark Apex includes two brush rolls on one cleaner head. That means that you do not need to change heads when you go from hard floor to carpet. It does a great job on both.
The softer Duoclean roller polishes your hard floors as it vacuums. It also pulls in larger debris instead of just pushing it aside like some vacuums do.
Both rollers work together to deep clean all your floors while the Zero Anti-Hair Wrap keeps hair off your brush roll.
Do you have pets and perhaps carpet and hard flooring combined? This might be your best bet in an upright vacuum.
Dyson vs Shark Stick Vacuums
Stick vacuums have become increasingly more popular due to the fact that they are lightweight and easy to handle. Big and bulky seems to be out and the trend is more lightweight, streamlined and efficient vacuum cleaners.
Also, the batteries for the cordless vacuums seem to be getting more powerful thus enabling you to use a cordless stick vacuum for a longer period of time. In the past, about all they could be used for is the quick pick up for maintaining your home.
Would a more modern corded or cordless stick vacuum work for you too or would the traditional vacuums above work best? Let us take a good look at the benefits of both Dyson and Shark Stick vacuums.
Dyson’s Stick Vacuums
Dyson has been making cordless stick vacuums for some time now. However, the battery life was so short that they would not be beneficial for cleaning the average home with kids or pets. They were more appropriate for quick cleanups. One of their newest models of the cordless stick vacuum is the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner. The V10 comes in 3 versions: The V10 motor head is the basic version and lower priced. The Animal comes with the torque drive motor head, more tools and is median priced. Then there is the Absolute which comes with both a soft roller-head for hard floors, the torque drive motorhead for carpets and even more tools. We feature the Animal in the comparison below.
Shark Stick Vacuums
Shark Rocket DeluxePro Ultra-Light Upright Corded Stick VacuumShark APEX UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean with Self-Cleaning Brushroll corded stick VacuumShark ION F80 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum with MultiFLEX, DuoClean
Although Dyson stick vacuums are all cordless, Shark has a variety of both corded and cordless stick vacs. That means that you simply don’t have to depend on a battery if you have a large area to vacuum. Although it is nice not to have to drag a cord around, you do have choices in lightweight, highly maneuverable, stick vacuums. A corded vacuum is not going to run out of power.
With models of their own. Shark’s current best cordless stick vacuum is the Shark ION F80 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum .It includes MultiFlex technology as shown here on the right. The DuoClean system for both carpet and Hard floor, plus the hand Vacuum mode and two removable batteries makes the Shark product hard to beat.
Their most powerful stick vacuum though is a corded model. The Apex Uplight DuoClean with self cleaning brushroll can easily replace your biggest upright vacuum with better handling and strong suction. We found that among stick vacuums it had the highest score on consumer reports. Much higher than Dyson’s cordless V10.
From our viewpoint, both Dyson and Shark have some impressive stick vacuums but there are some major differences which may sway you in one way or the other.
The first point is of course… the price. Although the price varies from time to time, you can generally expect to pay considerably more for the Dyson than the Shark. Neither of these updated models comes cheap. But for many people though, the quality and benefits make them well worth it.
Compare Shark and Dyson Cordless Stick Vacs
|Shark ION F80 (IF281) Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum||Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner|
|Weight:||8.7 pounds||5.86 pounds|
|Batteries Included||2 swappable Lithium-Ion batteries and |
|1 non-swappable Lithium-Ion batteries and |
|Single Battery Run time||up to 40 minutes as hand vac or above the floor cleaning |
up to 30 minutes on hard flooring with duoclean head
up to 25 minutes on carpet with duoclean head
additional power boost available for hard to clean spots
|up to 60 minutes if no power head on low power |
up to 20 minutes in suction mode 2 with torque power head.
less than 10 minutes on Max power with power head
|Additional Battery to switch while vacuuming||Yes… This can extend run time up to 80 minutes||No… Not available|
|Single Battery Charge Time||3 hours |
(when 100% depleted)
|Torque Drive Cleaner Head||no||yes|
|Filter||washable foam and felt||hepa|
|Dust Cup Capacity||0.3 quart||0.77 liter|
|On/Off Power Button||yes||no (trigger release)|
|Price||Much less than Dyson V10 Stick |
|More expensive than Shark ION F80 |
For a little more depth of information we will show you some of the benefits and drawbacks of both vacuums… First, the Dyson V10 Animal.
Pros & Cons of the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal
Both Dyson and Shark claim to have powerful suction in these cordless models. On Max power, Dyson claims that the V10 has suction equal to a full size vacuum. Unfortunately, you can only use that Max power mode briefly or it will drain the battery. (five to 10 minutes)
Dyson Power Modes
Dyson has 3 power modes for this model. The low power mode is recommended for lighter cleaning jobs like above the floor cleaning with the non power tools. Low power mode without a powered cleaning head is the mode where you can get up to 60 minutes out of one battery charge. Suction 2 used with the Torque cleaning head can give you up to 20 minutes of fade free power. When you come across an area that needs more power to remove the dust and dirt, that is when you use the Max power mode. The combination of these different power levels give many people all that they need.
Power Saver Trigger Release
One thing that saves power on the Dyson V10 is the Instant-trigger Release. It automatically shuts off when you release the trigger. The drawback to that is that holding the trigger for an extended period of time can create pain from hand fatigue for some people.
The ultra lightweight of the Dyson V10 makes for easy push and pull moves and comfortable turns with just a wrist twist. It is versatile as well with the ability to turn it into a hand vac or use the tools for all the above the floor cleaning. It is also great to clean out your car.
The Versatility of the V10 is enhanced by the “Click-Fit” tools which come with the vac. The tools are securely locked into place until you remove them by pressing a button.
As always, Dyson has a top notch Hepa level filtration in a completely sealed system. The filter can be rinsed clean with plain water.
We like many things about the Dyson V10 but the long recharge time of 3.5 hours could be very inconvenient if you have a lot of cleaning to do. It only comes with one battery and an additional battery is not available at the time of this writing.
If your home only needs lower power suction for most of the cleaning then this may work well for you. A lower power Dyson is still a lot stronger than most competing vacuums. However, if your home requires maximum power for a lot of cleaning, you will be waiting on the vacuum to charge.
The other drawback that we see for this vacuum is the price. For that amount of money we would want something that had full power for all of our time cleaning… Not just a few minutes here and there.
Pros and Cons of the Shark Ion Flex F80
Sharks best stick vacuum also has features that we like and some that we didn’t like. We like what comes in the box. Included is:
- 1 Power head and 2 Brush rolls that are designed for picking up fine dust and bigger size debris on carpet and hardwood/tile flooring. The softer brush roll in front also is great for buffing hardwood floors.
- 1 Eight-inch Crevice Cleaning Head Tool that is ideal to get to those hard-to-reach places.
- 1 Upholstery Tool which is great to get pet hair off your couch.
- 2 Lithium-Ion Batteries (40-minute run time each in ION Power Mode & a little less on high power).
- 1 Charging Dock with your new Shark.
It would be nice if it also came with a flexible vacuum hose and the motorized pet tool but they can be purchased separately.
Shark’s Extra Battery Provides Extra Cleaning Time
It is easy to switch batteries for twice the Run time on this Shark. The battery is eject-able with just one click by pressing the lever on the bottom of the battery. The 2 Lithium-Ion batteries that come with this Shark are swappable and together can give you up to a total of 80 minutes of vacuuming time ((in ION Power Mode) depending on the surface type.
You can plug the charger directly into the battery while it is still attached to the vacuum. In fact, Shark gives you 3 ways to charge the battery with or without the charger.
We don’t like that the Charge time for each depleted battery is about 3 hours. This is less than the 3.5 hours for the Dyson though. Make sure you always have one battery on the charger. Also, with either the Shark or the Dyson… you cannot charge the battery while it is still hot. You need to wait until they cool off to begin charging.
The Shark easily transforms to a Hand Vacuum… At the push of a button so you can take your cleaning above the floor for lightweight overhead tasks. You can Clean your car with this hand-held vacuum as well.
The hand-held unit weighs in at over 3 pounds which is not bad but for the elderly it might be difficult.
We love the Flexible Reach… Shark’s advanced MultiFLEX technology enables you to bend the wand (instead of your back) to easily clean hard-to-reach places and under the furniture.
For us it is not a big deal but it will not stand up on it’s own without folding over using the multiflex technology. But on the other hand, that makes it nice and compact for storage.
Powerful Cordless Suction
The Shark has Strong Suction Power with an improved and redesigned 300-Watt, 11.9 Amp, 120 volt Motor which provides powerful cordless suction for household dirt, debris, and pet hair throughout your home.
The Shark IonFlex F281 weighs 8.7 pounds with the motor head and one battery. This is a little heavier than the Dyson but still considered very lightweight.
The “ION Boost” function basically puts the machine into a high-power mode for 60 seconds to provide much greater suction power for those trickier corners and bigger debris-covered areas.
The Shark Stick Vac provides great versatility and is easy to maneuver around your home. Maintaining it is easy with the washable foam filters that can be accessed using two tabs. Shark recommends washing the filter once a month. We recommend purchasing additional filters so you always have one clean and dry. That link also provides a Hepa filter if you would prefer it over the foam filters. I have found that the foam filters work great in my vacuums.
There are always going to be people who prefer either the Dyson or the Shark simply because they are loyal fans of the brand. We believe that both companies have produced some awesome cordless stick vacuums here.
If you are not ready to move forward to the stick vacuums then one of the mentioned full size vacs up above may be better for you. You have the right to disagree but for our purposes we prefer the Shark in both the full size and the stick vacuums. They are more versatile with more features that we personally like. They also appear to be a better value for your buck. We look forward to seeing what these companies produce in the coming year.