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Dyson Versus Shark Vacuum - Which is Best?

Updated on July 24, 2014

Which Vacuum is better Shark or Dyson?

Having worked in vacuum retail store for a few years now -- the question I get asked most is "which is better Dyson or Shark?" and I always struggle to answer as there are a great deal of factors involved (e.g. 'are we comparing a Dyson DC40 to a Navigator?', 'cordless vacuums: Dyson Vs Shark Rocket' and so on) -- so here I am using this comparison account: Shark Vs Dyson to help you decide once and for all, who produce the best vacuum cleaners!

So to kick off, let's get one thing straight.

There is no doubt that Dyson and Shark produce some of the best vacuum cleaners around, simple. Compare them with the likes of other brands and you will see that they often frequent the most positive reviews, across all their vacuums and quite frankly both present themselves with excellent vacuum cleaners in their ranges .I would however, recommend 'certain types of Dyson vacuum cleaners' and vice versa for different cleaning jobs. As no one vacuum type is the same, a Dyson cordless handheld can't really be compared to a Shark full sized rotator and so on.

Hence, this is how I am going to compare them:

  • Who has the best 'overall' vacuum cleaner?
  • Who has the best 'value for money' vacuum cleaner?
  • Who has the best cordless vacuum?
  • Who has the best handheld vacuum?

This will give you a better sense of the Dyson Vs Shark comparison. There is no point me telling you Dyson is better than Shark, when a Shark compact vacuum could be better than Dyson's and this is the type of vacuum you were thinking of getting (hopefully this makes sense). After this, we will also discuss other aspects to consider when buying a new vacuum such as price, warranty coverage, practical specifications and so on -- there is a lot more to a vacuum than just suction performance.

Dyson Vs Shark: Best Vacuum Award

Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Vs Shark Rotator Pro Complete

Now as of 2014, these are the two very best vacuums, that both Dyson and Shark have to offer. However, to put it bluntly, these are two different class of vacuums in all honesty, it is similar to comparing a quality Jaguar car (the Dyson DC65) to that of a standard Ford Fiesta (Shark Rotator pro).

Yes, the Shark Rotator will do a very good job for you in and around your house. It provides a strong suction performance as well as excellent practical specifications (a large bin capacity, extensive reach) and ticks all the boxes as to what a typical very good vacuum should do. The NV552 also comes with some clever features such as the lift away canister and boasts a host of excellent reviews of 4.5 out of 5 (across 750 reviews) -- so there is no doubt it is a quality vacuum for just under $300.

However, as said the Dyson DC65 Animal Complete is just in a different league altogether in terms of being the best vacuum cleaner. When the DC65 underwent independent tests not just against the Shark Rotator, but Hoover Windtunnel, Bissell and Eureka vacuums it offered at least twice the suction power of 180 air watts (shark reported 58.4) and was found to be hands down better at cleaning across ALL floor types (this includes: carpet, wood, ceramic, stone, laminate and vinyl) for debris, dirt and pet hair.

This was achieved because Dyson have literally integrated state of the art technology such as their latest Radial Root Cyclone technology which produces colossal centrifugal forces & allows for no loss of suction, a self adjusting cleaner head -- with a reconfigured brushbar (making the DC65 25% more powerful than their previous DC41 upright), with edge to edge cleaning and clever ball technology. Allowing the DC65 to be far more mobile than the Shark Rotator's 'swivel steering'.

Shark Rotator Vs Dyson

The DC65 animal complete (although there are a range of different versions) comes with an arsenal of top quality cleaning products as well. Most importantly (for pet owners) the Dyson tangle free turbine tool which is a genius product from Dyson, that is basically ultra effective at picking up pet hair from stairs, wood floors anywhere -- you've definitely got to see it in action.

So in terms of who has the best vacuum cleaner, Dyson or Shark? Dyson definitely wins in this regard. However, the DC65 ain't cheap, its cheapest version comes in at just under $500, that's $200 more than the Shark Rotator -- so in terms of 'bang for buck' in this regard they are on a much more even level.

Dyson or Shark: Best Value for the Money Vacuum

Dyson DC40 Vs Shark Navigator

For me the Shark vacuum that offers the best bang for buck is the NV501 Rotator, it offers the right balance of power, practical performance with a pretty relatively cheap price tag of around 230 bucks. Then for Dyson, it was a toss up between the powerful Dyson DC39 canister, DC33 Powerhouse and Dyson DC40 mid sized upright, but for the sake of easy comparison I will go with the Dyson DC40 origin vacuum which is a $100 more expensive than the Shark NV501.

Both these vacuums are actually very similar in their intended usage: both designed to be compact vacuum cleaners with ease of use in mind. The DC40 is a bit lighter and because it has the Dyson ball is a fair bit easier to use around your household, so if you have mobility issues yourself I would edge towards the DC40.

On the other hand, the Shark Rotator does have an edge on the DC40 in terms of cleaning practicalities with a slightly larger reach and bin capacity. Moreover, it is also (although unofficially, just from my tests) does have a slightly better suction performance.

The video comparison review above, makes some nice comparisons, although I don't agree with every aspect he states -- the comment made with regards to the 'price factor'. If it isn't a concern, I'd go with the Dyson, but in terms of "getting the job done" and factoring in the value for money aspect, I'd definitely go for the Shark. This comparison is pretty much with all cases Shark Vs Dyson: the Shark is your standard good vacuum, whereas the Dyson, yes is more expensive, but is a quality option (more of a luxury good).

If you like the look of the NV501 then I'd recommend you check out how all the Shark Rotator vacuums compare with one another -- and if you like the DC40 I suggest you take a look at how it gets on with other Dyson upright vacuums.

Dyson Against Shark: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

The best model for Shark is easily the Rocket (specifically the HV302) which I really do love as a cordless vacuum against the absolute powerhouse that is the new Dyson DC59 motorhead. Again, this comparison is going to go very much like the first, with the DC65 against the NV552.

The Shark Rocket is an awesome cordless machine for its price (around 200 bucks), you get a range of additional accessories (a 12 inch crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool and so on) -- you get a wall mounted docking station to keep it neatly stored away and charged ready for next time you need it. It is ergonomically designed to be easy to carry and move around your house (weighing just 7.5 lbs) and comes with two speeds. Again, it receives great reviews 4.3 out of 5 across 250 reviews -- definitely one of the best cordless vacuums out there (beating the Hoover Linx, Rowenta Delta force, Ergorapido Ion) and so on for its price tag.

Again, though all you have to do is just check out 'some' of the specs of the Dyson DC59 Motorhead and you can instantly tell that this cordless cleaning machine is the most powerful and best around. Extremely expensive at $550. However, it OUTCLEANS full sized vacuum cleaners on both carpets and floors.

Where the Shark Rocket can help supplement cleaning with a normal sized vacuum, the DC59 motorhead actually has the power to 'replace' that of a standard vacuum cleaner. This is because Dyson have literally gone to down with the DC59, implementing it with all their latest technology: it features their two tier radial cyclone technology -- it even has TWO motors, one in the handle and one directly in the cleaner head making it 75% more power than even its predecessor (the Dyson DC59 Animal which would still beat the Rocket hands down, you can compare the DC59 Animal and DC59 motorhead here).

It is also much lighter than the Shark rocket, which is obviously appealing to users who have mobility issues but this also makes it more versatile as you can actually prop up a Dyson Digital slim and start cleaning curtains and ceilings if you so wish. The Shark rocket vacuum is exactly that, basically 'just' a standard cordless vacuum (that isn't all that light).

They even have some Dyson cordless vacuums in a similar price range to the Rocket e.g. the DC44 and this is where things get a bit more even between Shark and Dyson, however in terms of their best cordless vacuums, the Dyson is far and beyond the superior model. With pure bang for buck though (relatively speaking) I'd go for the Shark Rocket -- the DC59 motorhead is almost three times as expensive. Again, it depends how much price factors in.

Note: remember the video above is comparing the Dyson DC59 Animal not the more powerful DC59 motorhead which is even more powerful. As you can see in the video, the DC59 animal even beats that of the Shark Rotator detailed above.

Dyson Handheld or Shark Handheld

Here, we have a similar story to the above comparisons. The Dyson DC58 is three times more powerful than other conventional handheld vacuum cleaners and this includes Shark's best SV780 18 volt vacuum. It is no wonder as to why really, given the DC58 is more than four times expensive, but from a performance basis the Dyson DC58 obliterates shark handheld vacuums.

Instead of getting a DC58 though, I'd recommend you get a DC59 as that way you are getting two vacuums in one. This is because the DC59 doesn't just serve as a cordless upright, you can remove the wand component and turn it into a simple handheld (pretty much the DC58) for use in a car and on stairs.

So Who Wins Shark or Dyson?

Well as said, different vacuums suit different preferences.

How Good Are Sharks?

I've always really liked Shark vacuums and will continue to do so. They have some awesome vacuums to choose from (the most popular models being the Navigator and Rotator range) that will do a good job for you at an affordable price. No they aren't the best in the world in terms of vacuuming performance, but they do stand out as a 'value for money' vacuum more so than most vacuums -- you must remember there is a reason all their vacuums get such good reviews.

You know they will last long (hence such a good lengthy warranty on their vacuum range) and they have great customer service too, every time I've dealt with them, I've had no problem whatsoever.

They also do many things 'like' Dyson, they use the clever mobility technology as well as never losing suction and operate on a bagless mechanism. Shark also have some clever aspects of their own such as the lift away canister for portable easy cleaning. You can also have the brush move which is better suited for carpeted floors or just stay still better for hard wood and bare flooring.

Basically, if you are after a solid vacuum at a cheap price, then Shark is definitely the way you should be heading. I doubt you will run into any major concerns with them and should be considered the best in a budget vacuum category (e.g. against Bissell and Hoover and the like).

Are Dyson Vacuums Worth it?

Like I mentioned above, Dyson vacuums are a different breed and should be considered a luxury product, not everyone needs the best of the best with regards to cleaning their homes -- and that is what Dyson vacuums are, the best.

In almost every vacuum category you will find, a Dyson vacuum will out perform the rest. Uprights, DC65. Canisters, DC54. Cordless, DC59 Motorhead. Handheld, DC58. Like I said, they're by the best not just in terms of suction performance but as an entire vacuum. They are a cool innovative company, yes they are expensive, but they are the same as an Apple computer, they have earned the right because they offer you more than just the vacuum. It's how you vacuum with them e.g. how the DC65 makes you feel superhuman.

Are they the best value for money vacuums? No. However, are Dyson vacuums worth it? Definitely, especially to the right people e.g. the typical American homeowner who has a large house, full of children and pets or for those who live in apartment but are still after a powerful compact vacuum (e.g. Dyson DC50). On that note, I particularly recommend them to pet owners for the tangle free turbine tool -- an awesome bit of kit there that can be used with any Dyson vacuum.


There is no winner really, they serve different sets of people. Some will be after a bargain vacuum and Shark serve them with that, others will want a ultra powerful vacuum as well as ease of use and Dyson offer them that.

What do you think though, who is the best Dyson or Shark?

Overall Who Do You Think is Better Dyson or Shark?

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