Dyson vs Shark Vacuums

Dyson vs Shark vacuums… How do they compare today? Both companies are very competitive towards putting out the best vacuums for all types of vacuuming needs. They both have full power vacuums. They both have light weight  or compact versions. They both have many options to consider. They both are innovative and came out with some great technology during the last couple of years. We saw some brand new features come out which we talk about below.

All this makes people wonder, which is better, Dyson or Shark? Is the Dyson really better or is the Shark just as good? Our own personal experience lies mostly with older models. There is very little difference in the performance of each but each has areas in which they excel. They are still doing a fantastic job but people mostly want to know about the newer models. 

We looked at both the J D Power satisfaction awards and Consumer Reports for answers. For several years Shark has taken the top spot in the Upright category. A couple of years back Dyson took the top spot with Shark right behind. Just like in my own home, there was only a very little difference in customer satisfaction.

This past year, Shark won the upright category while Dyson won the stick category. Miele actually took the top spot for canister category.

Comparing Shark and Dyson is almost seems like comparing apples to oranges. While both make powerful machines they each seem to focus on different types of technology.  Which is best for you might depend on which technology you prefer for your own needs. 

Please read on to learn more.

Shark DuoClean Vacuums

Shark now has several models that feature the DuoClean technology.  This technology enables the vacuum to pull in larger particles that would be simply pushed aside by other vacuums that have the head very close to the floor.

Then there is the regular stiff brush roll that we are normally accustomed to seeing on a vacuum. This sits behind the softer roller brush that pulls in debris and polishes hard floors. The combination of the two is quite effective.

The Apex is the most powerful yet is an extremely quiet machine. Consumers seem to love this model better than vacuums that sell for a much higher price. This is a great technology that includes two brush rolls.

The first brush roll in the front is soft and will pull in debris that could be pushed aside by other vacuums. It also is great at polishing hard floors as it vacuums. The rear brush roll is a stiff brush that works deep into the carpet to bring up dust and dirt.  We think that you would love these models. The difficulty would be in determining which one would best suit your individual needs.

The Apex is the full size, full powered, full featured vacuum. The Speed Upright is a slightly smaller, lighter weight version that still impresses with it’s cleaning power. The IONFlex is a cordless lightweight vacuum that is free standing and includes two batteries so you can always be charging one of them. I would not recommend getting the version that just has one battery unless you have a small area to clean or use it in between cleanings with your big vacuum. The DuoClean Rocket is also an ultralight at 9.9 pounds. Instead of being cordless it does include a 30 foot power cord and a wall mount storage hook. It has great features and is a less expensive way of experiencing the great DuoClean technology.

Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (AX951)Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (AX951)Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed Upright Vacuum, Cinnamon (NV803)Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed Upright Vacuum, Cinnamon (NV803)Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuum IF251Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuum IF251Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded Ultralight Upright Vacuum, Charcoal Gray (HV382)Shark DuoClean Rocket Corded Ultralight Upright Vacuum, Charcoal Gray (HV382)

What does the Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away have to offer?

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet (NV752)Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet (NV752)View on AmazonThis is honestly one of the most versatile and handiest vacuum cleaners I have ever seen. It is also a powerful machine. The Dyson cinetic boasts of no filters to wash or replace. The Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away does have washable filters but unlike some of the cheaper brands those filters do not get clogged up as quickly anyway. I only need to clean the filters every 3 or 4 months in my Shark machine and they are not that dirty then. I also have purchased additional filters so that I can allow them several days to completely dry and still be able to use my machine at a moment’s notice.

The reason the filters do not need to be washed that often is the Advanced cyclonic technology that separates fine dirt from the air. This prevents dirt from clogging the filters and keeps suction power strong over time. From the first room to the last room, you never lose cleaning power.

The powered lift away technology is what makes this machine so versatile. You can operate it as a hand held, an upright, or as a canister. Their last Rotator model had those features too. However, with this machine when you remove the bin, you have a low cleaner head that still has a powered brush. This enables you to get under much of your furniture without your having to move it. This is an advantage over the Dyson models.

I love the fact that this model along with some other Shark models have the LED lights to enable you to see any fine dust, dirt or hair that may be hiding from you.

This model has a caddy to place the bin in or if you prefer you can simply carry the bin while vacuuming under tables or chairs and then put it right back on.

Even with the Rotator Lift Away set up as an upright it is still easy to maneuver and get around objects easily. Above the floor cleaning is excellent as well. With the True Pet version you have the mini motorized brush to use on your furniture. It works much better at picking up pet hair than the air driven brush of previous Dyson and Shark models. This model  also includes the Hard Floor Genie Attachment with a washable microfiber pad for superior bare floor cleaning. This attachment helps you to clean bare floors better than you could with just a vacuum alone.



The Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away has a 30 foot power cord. It is 46 inches high, twelve inches wide and thirteen inches deep. The whole vacuum weighs only 15.6 lbs and the Lift Away pod weighs 8 lbs. The dust bin holds 3.3 quarts which is more than Dyson’s 0.57 gal. Both brands have complete seal technology which really helps people like me with allergies.

Cons for the Rotator Powered Lift-Away

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed (NV683)Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed (NV683)View on Amazon

What about the cons? Although the powered lift away is lighter than the Dyson most of the weight is on the handle. So when you use it in upright mode it might be too heavy for some people like the elderly or those who are frail. This is where the more compact Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed version comes in to help you out.

The Speed version of Shark’s Powered Lift-Away is much smaller and lighter but still does an excellent job. Some people prefer it because of it’s smaller size and weight. It is available with all the same attachments as the larger vacuum. This is Shark’s most compact vacuum. It also has the detachable canister and caddy. The convenient push button controls on these vacuums make changing from carpet to bare floors quick and easy. Although this is the blue model shown here you can also get it in other colors.

Which  is Best – Dyson or Shark?

I have learned from Consumer Reports that Shark along with Kirby has the highest reliability ratings among the upright vacuums. I was surprised to see Dyson lower down the line. I did not use to think that the Sharks were built quite as durable but apparently they are or else have caught up and passed the others.

According to JD Powers, Shark Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Upright Vacuums for two years in a row. Dyson ranked second. In the 2016 study, Dyson was at the top of the rankings with Shark right behind and Miele placing third.  In the 2017 study, Shark was back on top for the upright vacuums. There are a lot of factors that go into making a customer happy.  I am glad that the two companies are competing and keep making their machines better. It is not always about having the best suction. There needs to be ease of use, great cleaning power, filtration to help people with allergies, cost of purchase, cost of upkeep and a number of other considerations.

In the real world is where it really counts. This Amazon customer talks about her experience with both Dyson and Shark as well.

Things to Consider

Most of the YouTube videos available to watch try to show which model has the most powerful suction. Sometimes you question the methods individuals use to show this. While good cleaning power is important, you must also think about things like

  • Size, whether the vacuum will fit in your storage space.
  • Is the vacuum heavy duty and full powered for tough cleaning jobs?
  • Do you actually need the highest power in your home? If not does it have adequate suction for your cleaning needs?
  • Do you need a lightweight  vacuum for someone who may be frail or elderly?
  • Can you get into tight places easily or will you have to move your furniture around to clean?
  • Will the vac be used to pick up pet hair?
  • Is the vacuum durable?
  • Is cost reasonable for what you will be getting?

As you can see there are lots of things to think about in addition to good strong power. You probably have some criteria that is especially important to you that I have not even named here. The important thing is to determine just which vacuum will work best for your own individual needs.

The highest power vacuum just may be the Dyson if their claims is accurate. That claim was challenged in court by Shark when they came out with some more powerful vacuums. Or if you want a vacuum with no filters to wash and with all the attachments, the Cinetic by Dyson might be best for you. On the other hand, The Shark products are also very powerful yet are less bulky and are easier to use. They also have come out with some fantastic technology of their own like in the DuoClean models which have both a brush roll and a softer roll to pull in larger debri.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to use several different Dyson models and also several different Shark models. Both brands have been consistent in cleaning my home or the homes of people that I have helped in Home Health. They both are great at removing pet hair. Before choosing a model just make sure that it is designed for that as there are special tools included that help a lot.

Sealed Systems – Better For Allergy Sufferers

Like many people I have allergies. That is one of the reasons that I like both Dyson and Shark so much. They both do a great job of keeping in what gets sucked up inside the vacuum. when I was helping my elderly friend to clean her home, I always wound up coughing and sneezing. Her little vac did not have a sealed system and you could always smell the dust that came back out the vent. That was no fun. 

Another lady whom I know had a Dirt Devil  Breeze. That also is a bagless vac but it is not sealed either. It was a disappointment because the amount of suction is not that great and the filters get dirty really fast. There is a foam filter that needs to be washed at least once a month. A dirty filter means less suction. She  had to replace her vacuum in about a year, because she had long hair that would wind up around the roller and caused the vacuum to overheat. This is one that I would not recommend for most homes. It does not have really strong suction even when totally clean.  It might be fine for a dorm room or a place really small and not for long term use. 

The newest versions of both Shark and Dyson are easier to maneuver than the older ones were. With the newer Sharks you can get in and around furniture and small spaces with ease. The Dyson is a little harder in crowded places. They seem to be correcting that by now focusing on the Cordless Stick  models.

There is enough variety in both the Dyson and Shark models to meet both your budget and your own special cleaning needs. Think about where you will be using it and whether a smaller compact machine would be better or a larger one with full power would be needed. Dyson has come down in price on some of it’s machines but the Sharks are generally more affordable with just as much if not more capability. 

Which Brand is Right For You?

So what is the answer to which is best… Shark vacuums or Dyson? As you can see, both brands produce reliable, durable, powerful machines. That is really subjective as it depends on which features are most important to you. Both brands have loyal fans that declare that their brand is the best.  As you might be able to tell I have switched from favoring the Dyson to preferring the Shark. In my own home I have both but the Shark gets used the most. The real question is which model is right for you. I hope that this article has helped you to determine that.

Have a great day!


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