Dyson and Shark are often pitted against each other, and for good reason. As the two companies have so many overlapping products, it’s inevitable that they’ll be talked about in the same sentence. Both are arguably best known for their vacuum cleaners… so which vacuum cleaner should you choose? A Dyson or a Shark?
As Home Editor for T3, I’m very fortunate to get to try out different products and new releases from the top brands. After using a Dyson vacuum cleaner for several years whilst living at home, I have since moved over to its competitor, Shark. I’ve had my Shark vacuum cleaner for a couple of years now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Shark is the one for me.
Dyson vs Shark: what do they sell?
Both Dyson and Shark design, manufacture and sell some of the top vacuum cleaners on the market, many of which feature heavily in T3’s guides to the best cordless vacuum cleaner and the best handheld vacuum cleaner. Not only that, but both companies have expanded into other areas and now offer air purifiers and hair care tools, amongst other household appliances.
As Dyson is 14 years older than Shark having launched in 1993, its portfolio of products is significantly larger and encompasses more areas within the home space. For example, Dyson offer a range of fans, humidifiers, lighting and headphones, which Shark (as of writing) doesn’t provide.
On the other hand, the Shark brand was founded in 2007 and has mainly concentrated its focus on floorcare. Its vacuum cleaners range from handheld and upright to corded and cordless, and most of its products have Anti Hair Wrap technology which is designed for pet hair. Shark also has its own line of hard floor cleaners and mops.
Dyson vs Shark: vacuum cleaner comparisons
To narrow down your options and help you decide which vacuum to buy, let’s compare a few of their competing vacuum cleaners.
First, let’s look at cordless. In our guides, we’ve rated the Dyson V15 Detect and the Shark IZ201UK as the top cordless options from each brand. Both of them have a similar design, come with multiple attachments and provide powerful suction across all floor types. Both are good at tackling pet hair, can be transformed into a handheld device and have lights on the front to illuminate the floor.
Overall, the two devices are pretty similar. The main difference is that the Shark IZ201UK can be a little top heavy and has a 40 minute runtime compared to the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute 60 minutes. In my experience, the Shark is slightly easier to manoeuvre and charges quicker. In terms of price (which is a big deciding factor for many) the Dyson is £569.99 whereas the Shark is £349.99.
Next, let’s look at corded. Our highest rated corded vacuums from the two are the Dyson Ball Animal Multi Floor and the Shark NZ850UK. Both vacuums are similar but the most noticeable difference is the big ball shape at the front of the Dyson. Before cordless took over the vacuum world, this ball design was extremely popular but now it feels a little outdated. In comparison, Shark has a big bin at the front of it which can be a bit too large and clunky for some. Again, both have a good performance but the designs could be better.
Taking a look at both brands and their vacuum options, it’s clear that the two are very similar. I think it’s fairly obvious that the Shark is slightly less advanced than Dyson but that means you’re spending much less money… and you’re still getting a good performance.
Dyson vs Shark: Design and features
Vacuum cleaners aren’t exactly pretty but both Dyson and Shark have distinct designs that everyone recognises. Dyson is slightly more in your face about it whereas Shark is more subtle, but both are designed to offer the best performance and to get the most out of its technology.
Both brands continue to expand and explore different technologies and features for their vacuums. Shark is best known for its Anti Hair Wrap technology which actively separates and removes hair from the motorised brush roll while you clean. This is a brilliant feature for people who have a lot of hair and pets, and keeps your vacuum in better condition for longer. Its latest advancement, the Stratos collection, also has Anti Odour technology and Clean Sense IQ for more dirt pick-up.
Dyson has a Hyperdymium motor that spins up to 125,000rpm to generate powerful suction. Its most impressive feature is its automatic cleaning mode that will switch between settings as it detects different floor types. The one downside is its power trigger which needs to be constantly held down for the vacuum to work, but we’re expecting to see changes in this area with its upcoming launches.
Dyson vs Shark: Price
Price is a big decider when it comes to buying anything. Simply put, Shark is significantly cheaper than Dyson. While it might not be as technologically advanced, Shark vacuums still have impressive suction and pick-up on all floor types, and are being better equipped with odourless technology, longer running time and charge times. Shark also has regular deals on its products on its website and at select retailers, so you never need to buy one for full price.
In comparison, Dyson is more expensive. Granted, this is expected considering its technology, power and brand name. Dyson also rarely has discounts on any of its products unless you’re looking for replacement parts, refurbished items or the vacuum is soon to be discontinued.
Why I’m choosing a Shark vacuum cleaner over Dyson
I think it’s safe to say that Shark is often seen as a ‘dupe’ of Dyson. But regardless of whether Shark is simply following in Dyson’s footsteps with its releases, I personally would choose Shark over Dyson when it comes to floorcare.
I’ve used both Dyson and Shark vacuums, and find the latter far easier to move around the home. The suction is impressive and the Anti Hair Wrap is definitely something I’m appreciative of as my hair gets everywhere! In comparison, I found using a Dyson for picking up hair slightly harder and had to pick it out of the brush roll (ew). Shark is also much kinder on your bank balance and as mentioned above, I didn’t pay full price for my Shark as it was on sale.
Overall, I’m choosing a Shark vacuum cleaner, and you should too if you want Anti Hair Wrap, good suction, no trigger, a cheaper price, better value for money and a longer warranty. But if you’re looking for powerful suction, lightweight options, better battery life and new innovations, Dyson is the one for you.