Dyson vs. Shark: 2017 Comparison Reviews of the Rotator, Navigator, & More of the Brands’ Best Vacuums

Shark and Dyson are two of the biggest players in the vacuum market today. Both have benefited from massive amounts of advertising and clever marketing, which have made them mainstays of infomercials and TV airtime, as well as in-store placements.

Historically, Shark has had the reputation of being a very affordable brand, with lots of hybrid products that give you lots of value for money. While they’re not usually thought of as a high-end vacuum company, they’ve started to compete with Dyson in the quality and innovation departments.

Dyson, on the other hand, has always been seen as a very innovative brand. They came up with cyclonic suction, ball steering, and a few other great design breakthroughs which have helped them make more powerful and user-friendly vacuums. However, the high-end tech means a high-end price tag.

As Shark starts to try to directly compete with Dyson using their own technological advances and clever marketing, more and more consumers are trying to choose between the two brands. Many buyers wonder, are Dysons worth the hype? Are Sharks really as good?

Comparing the two brands can be pretty difficult because of all the advertising, marketing, and glitzy claims they each throw around. Plus, when you read buyer reviews online, you’ll get a whole range of opinions and judgments about nearly any vacuum. That’s why we put this guide together.

We’ll address a few key questions about the two brands:

-Why are they so popular?
-What sets these vacuums apart?
-What kinds of vacuums does each company make?

And, most importantly…

-Which is better?

We’ve done a thorough examination of each brand’s offerings, to see what their best models are, and to see which ones are best for which type of buyer. We’ll take you through the key features that each brand is famous for, and help you figure out which features and innovations will make the most difference in your cleaning regimen.

Let’s get started by looking at a few of our all-time favorites from the two companies:

Best for Hardwood

Shark Navigator

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Best for Carpet

Dyson Ball Upright

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Best for Both

Dyson V6 Animal

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Let’s take a look at each of the brands at a glance: what’s all the hype about?

Shark:

-Value: Shark vacuums tend to be some of the most affordable on the market.
-Hybrids: nearly all Shark vacuums combine some elements of canister, upright, handheld, and stick vacuums. This makes them extremely versatile.
-Lots of accessories: Shark models tend to come with more tools and attachments in the box than the Dyson equivalents.

Dyson:

-Cyclonic suction: this is a Dyson invention which channels dust, dirt and other debris away from the filters. While some competitors have started using cyclones, none of them are as advanced or sophisticated as the Dyson version. It’s stronger and smarter suction than traditional vacuums.
-Ergonomics: Dyson models have ball steering, balanced designs, and are overall more user-friendly than the cheaper alternatives (i.e. Shark).
-Smart design features
-High price, lots of paid extras: one big downside to Dyson vacuums is the price. They’re pretty expensive, and most accessories cost extra.

What do they have in common?

-Bagless
-Washable filters
-Compact designs
-Very loyal customer bases

Reviews of Shark Vacuums vs. Dysons

Top Upright Vacuums

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This one is Shark’s best-selling vacuum of all time!

It’s still conquering the market today, thanks to the lightweight, versatile design and very reasonable price tag.

This one has a fully powered carpet brush in upright mode, which can handle all your soft flooring. Then, you can lift off the canister for a carry-along canister vacuum.

We love the value for money on this model, as well as its performance on hard flooring–which bests any upright from Dyson.

Pros:

It can handle all your carpeting. The Shark has a fully powered brush head. You can turn the brush roll on and off to vacuum different rugs and mats as well as deep whole-room carpets.

It works just as well on hardwoods and tile. Most uprights, including Dyson models perform poorly on hard flooring. That’s because the motorized carpet heads sit too far above the floor. Also, the power brushes tend to fling dirt around, so it doesn’t get sucked up. The Shark has two big advantages. First, the brushes switch off. Second, it comes with a whole other floor head!

We really like the Shark DustAway attachment for hard flooring, especially for wood floors. Like most things Shark, it’s a bit of a hybrid. This one combines a wide suction head with a microfiber sweeping pad. The front end sucks up all the bigger dirt and debris, then the pad takes care of microscopic particles and stuck-on dirt.

The best part about the DustAway hard floors mode is that you aren’t just converting an upright vacuum to work on hard flooring. You actually lift the canister off the carpet brush, and carry it with you like a canister vacuum. That gives you much better maneuverability, especially for vacuuming under low furniture.

Both floor heads have swivel steering for better maneuverability. Plus, they’re both low-profile, which makes it easier to vacuum under coffee tables and other furniture.

In lift-off mode, it also works very well for vacuuming nooks and crannies around your house. Since you’ve got the canister in your hand, this one is a great choice for vacuuming up stairs and in high corners. You get more range overall, and you can use the vacuum on uneven surfaces. It comes with a standard dusting brush and crevice tool, as well as the floor heads.

It’s extremely light. Even at it’s heaviest, with the carpet head attached, the Shark weighs less than 14 pounds. The light weight is particularly handy for using it in hard floor mode, since a heavy canister would cause a lot of strain on your arm and back.

It’s surprisingly powerful. This model features Shark’s lossless suction. It works by using a separate intake feed that’s not filtered, so that no matter how fully the dust bin is, you get full suction power.

It’s easy to empty, and has a pretty sizable dust compartment. You just lift the canister off the vacuum, and press a button to empty it over the trash.

It’s built around a completely sealed air system. There’s also built-in HEPA-grade filtration. That’s very impressive on such an inexpensive vacuum.

Cons:

It’s very lightly-built. One big weak point is the hose. Some previous buyers reported finding cracks over time, which can really knock down your suction.

While it’s covered by a 5-year warranty, Shark’s warranty service and customer support is notoriously spotty. We’ve found that the company has improved a lot over the past few years, but they’re still not particularly helpful.

It’s not as powerful as a Dyson upright, or other full-sized models.

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Dyson’s flagship upright is a powerful, versatile upright.

We like its outstanding performance on carpets, as well as the extra long extension hose for cleaning above and around your floors. If you’ve got mostly carpeted floors, this will be a real winner for you!

Pros:

The ball design makes it more maneuverable than other uprights. Most uprights use two standard wheels, which often have an awkwardly large turn radius. The Dyson turns on a central ball, which nearly eliminates the turn radius entirely! It’s ideal for cleaning around furniture without having to move couches and coffee tables.

It’s extremely powerful. The Ball uses Dyson’s signature cyclonic suction system. It’s built around a radial layering of cyclones, which all work together to create a vortex in the vacuum chamber. The company has lab tested it to be more powerful than any of the competition in the upright market!

We think the cyclonic suction is a major advantage over the Shark. While traditional vacuums draw dirt and dust straight to the motor filters, the cyclones keep finer dust and dirt at the edges of the dust chamber. That keeps your filters cleaner, and helps your suction stay high.

It’s ergonomically-designed. With the ball design, there’s no real effort required to steer this vacuum. It’s not hard for people with weaker joints to use. There are also some other convenient features, like the automatic cord rewind and the lift-off dust compartment.

The self-adjusting suction head adapts to all your flooring. It’ll raise and lower itself to create a more perfect suction lock on whichever surface it’s on at a given time. We love the transparent casing, which helps you see if the brush roll is getting clogged with hair.

It’s more durable than the Shark. The Dyson is built from heavier, thicker plastic. The hose is reinforced, and the whole thing is engineered to last for up to 10 years. Plus, Dyson’s warranty coverage has historically been better than Shark’s.

The air system is sealed, for full HEPA-grade filtration. The Dyson’s filters are removable and washable in the sink, so there’s no maintenance cost going forward.

All the attachments store onboard. That’s a convenience you won’t find on the Shark. The Dyson comes with an extra-long extension wand, which gives you just as much range as the Shark. It also comes with a small dusting brush and a crevice tool.

Cons:

In theory, we like the automatic adjustment head. It should save time and effort, and it’s the same technology you’ll find on a $1,000 Miele. However, we’re sad to say that the Dyson’s just doesn’t work as well. We read some reports from previous buyers of the floor head getting jammed on carpets, because there’s no manual adjustment setting. Your success will depend on your specific flooring.

While this vacuum certainly works on hard flooring better than other uprights, it can’t quite compare to the Shark. The latter’s padded hard floors attachment vacuums hardwoods and tile thoroughly while keeping them protected. The Dyson’s brushes are stiff and powerful, and could scuff sealed hardwoods.

It’s not going to work nearly as well as the Shark on stairs. While the Dyson has a long attachment hose, it doesn’t have a floor attachment to use with the hose. You’ll also only be able to vacuum up as far as the hose stretches, so people with longer staircases might be out of luck.

It’s expensive. This one is about twice the price of the Shark.

Best Canister Vacuums

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Dyson’s most popular canister model is a pet-specific version. It’s super powerful, thanks to a cyclonic suction system much like the upright we just looked at.

This one has an anti-clog air-powered brush head for carpets, that converts to work on your hard flooring as well. We love the smart ball design for maneuverability, as well as the turbo brush tool for tackling pet hair.

Pros:

It works on all your flooring. The trigger-head turbine tool provides a roller brush for cleaning carpets. It’s air-powered, which is a neat way of eliminating the belts that are so unreliable in other carpet attachments. You can turn the brushes on and off from the handle. We also love that the whole bar pulls out of the tool for detangling and cleaning.

“The brush turned so fast on the short shag that you could feel the vibration of it really strong as you worked with it. The head is almost weightless, but it makes the carpet stand up as though it has a lot more weight to it. I recommend it to anyone.”

There’s plenty of power for the brush head and the vacuum itself. The DC39 uses a radial cyclone system just like Dyson’s bigger upright vacuums. It has tiers of layered cyclones to create powerful suction and divert dust and dirt away from the filter assembly. Like the company’s upright models, this one has been lab-tested to be more powerful than the competition.

It’s bagless. The DC39 doesn’t have any maintenance costs, which is a big plus over some other canisters. The dust compartment lifts right out of the canister. You can empty it over the trash with the push of a button.

It’s very ergonomic and user-friendly. The whole thing is quite light. The cord rewinds automatically, and the wand telescopes to let you adjust the height. The ball design also has a very low center of gravity, which means that this canister is much less easy to accidentally flip over than the competition.

The whole ball unit is acoustically treated. That makes the DC39 much quieter than other plastic canister vacuums. It also allows for much higher suction without your living room sounding like an airport.

It comes with a standard dusting brush and crevice tool. We like the Dyson version because it combines the two in a single tool. It’s basically a crevice tool with a slide-down brush, which you can engage when you need it, or disengage and store it right on the shaft of the crevice tool.

This Animal edition also comes with a mini turbo brush for getting pet hair off upholstery, car seats, carpeted stairs, and climbing furniture. It’s air-powered like the floor head, and is designed to be tangle-free. One previous buyer said, “This product gets the tiniest dust particles and hair. It has worked really well on anything I use it on, it even gets the cat hair off the curtains! My home is so much cleaner.”

We also love the extra stair tool, which is pretty much an anomaly on the market today. It’s a wide suction head with a shallow depth, which helps it fit on any step. It’s ideal for flat-weave carpeting, as well as smooth flooring.

It’s more reliable than many cheaper canister vacuums. This one’s covered by a 5-year warranty.

Cons:

It’s not great on deep carpets. One reason for that is that the roller brush is only air-powered. That means it can get bogged down in deeper carpets that really require a motor to keep them moving smoothly.

Another is that while the Dyson is extremely powerful, it only has one suction setting. That means that in some cases, the high suction will create a lock and get the floor head stuck on some carpets.

It’s fairly lightly built, compared to Miele vacuums at around the same price. However, the light build might make it more ergonomically friendly for some users.

It’s expensive.

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The NR96 is a newer offering from Shark. It’s the company’s first traditional canister offering. The NR96 has all the key features you’d expect in a good canister vacuum–a powered carpet head, a long extension hose, and a maneuverable wheelbase.

However, they’ve added their signature lift-away feature to the canister platform. We love it because you can use the powered head in lift-away mode for cleaning carpeted stairs!

Pros:

It has a fully-motorized floor head for cleaning carpets. It’s low-profile, and has swivel steering for navigating around furniture and other obstacles.

We love the headlights, which give you a better view into corners and under furniture. You can spot those dust bunnies, and do a more thorough job on all your floors.

You can also use the motorized floor head as a hand vacuum. It’s ideal for vacuuming carpeted stairs, since you can cover both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

There’s also a secondary floor head for hardwoods and tile. It’s your average flat parquet head, with a rubber strip to protect your floor, and a wide suction mouth for cleaning up all the surface dirt and dust.

The canister lifts away from the wheel base, so you can use it in carry-along mode. In this mode, you can use one of the floor heads or attachments at full length, or keep things close and work with it like a super powerful hand vacuum. This features is ideal for vacuuming on stairs, where there’s no easy way to get a traditional canister situated within reach.

It comes with a crevice tool and dusting brush. You can store both of them onboard. We like that they store under the chassis, where they’re out of the way. Many canisters, especially at this price, give you an awkward clip for storing attachments on top of the vacuum. That means they get knocked off, or get in the way all the time as you clean.

There’s also a smaller, secondary power brush thrown in. You can use this for scrubbing upholstery of pet hair and ground-in dirt. It’s pretty much the same attachment you get on the Dyson.

It has all the amenities you’d expect from a nice canister vacuum. You can control the power brushes from the handle. The power button and cord rewind button are both on the top of the canister, so they’re reachable with your feet.

The dust compartment has a divider, to separate larger objects from your normal dust and hair. That’s convenient for finding any items you might have vacuumed up by mistake.

The canister has a completely sealed air system for preventing the spread of allergens. It’s HEPA-certified, and the filters are washable so you can use the same ones indefinitely.

Cons:

It’s less ergonomic than the Dyson. It’s a heavy vacuum, for starters. With the powered brush head attached, the whole thing weighs around 30 pounds. Overall, all the parts are a bit bulkier and more awkward than the competition.

It’s inordinately expensive, for a Shark. It’s nearly the same price as the Dyson. While the two floor heads and lift-away mode give it a bit more value for money than the more expensive model, it’s not as affordable as we’d expect from Shark.

Overall, it’s more cheaply built than the Dyson. The wheels are hard plastic, and the brushes are stiff, plasticky nylon. That means you could leave some scratches on hardwood floors.

Top Stick Vacuums

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This hybrid ultralight vacuum is one of the most affordable crossovers on the market. We love that it works in three different modes: handheld, stick, and half-length. The powered floor head and accessory kit mean it can handle nearly any task.

And with an extra long power cord, it gives you most of the range of a cordless model without the limitations of battery life!

Pros:

It’s corded, so you’ll never run out of power. While cordless vacuums are highly maneuverable, they tend to limit you to about 20 minutes of cleaning time. If you’re working on carpeted stairs, or cleaning a big, dirty car, that time can be gone in a flash. The Shark gives you as much power as you need. It’s perfect for those longer tasks. And with an impressive 30-foot power cord, you’re really not limiting your range very much.

It has a fully-motorized brush head for tackling all your carpets. It’s a powered roller brush with stiff bristles that work into carpet fibers and loosen ground-in dirt and hair. We like the Shark’s brush head because it’s low-profile and much less bulky than a traditional upright vacuum. We also like that there are two different speed settings. You can crank things up to tackle deep, wall-to-wall carpeting, or turn the brushes down to work on heirloom rugs or other more delicate fabrics.

There’s also a separate DustAway hard floors attachment, just like we looked at on the Shark Navigator. It’s a wide suction nozzle with a sweeper pad behind. We love this one for hardwood floors in particular. It takes away surface stains and smudges you’d ordinarily have to mop away. It captures microscopic allergens, and gives your hardwoods a buffing at the same time!

It’s convertible. The Rocket works in 3 different cleaning modes. You can use it as a full-length stick vacuum for cleaning floors, as a handheld vacuum for cleaning stairs or other tight spots, or as a half-length crossover above your head and in nooks and crannies.

It’s very light, which makes it easy to use above your head and at awkward angles. The whole thing weighs just 7.5 pounds, even with the carpet head attached.

It comes with lots of extra tools for cleaning around your house. There are a variety of dusting brushes large and small for detailing. They’re ideal for cleaning car dashboards and instruments, or around computers and A/V equipment.

It’s loaded with amenities. The grips are rubberized, to help you work smoothly. The power cord wraps around the vacuum shaft. The dust compartment empties easily with the push of a button. It also comes with a bag to store the accessories, and a wall mount for hanging the vacuum in your closet.

Cons:

It’s very top-heavy. Because the motor is in the hand unit, this one doesn’t stand up well on its own. You’ll have to lean it against something. Otherwise, it could end up taking some hard falls.

It’s not as sturdy as a full-sized upright vacuum. While we didn’t find any durability issues with this model, previous buyers did comment that it didn’t feel very reassuring.

Some reviewers weren’t as impressed by the suction. This one doesn’t have the cyclonic suction system you’d find on the equivalent Dyson. It does have Shark’s lossless feature, but some people might find this one underpowered.

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Dyson’s V6 vacuum series are powerful cordless vacs with suction power to rival any full-size machine.

This one is the Animal edition, with a few great features to help you deal with pet fur and dirt (as well as all your other cleaning tasks). We love the direct-drive carpet head, which is more efficient and less cloggable than other models.

We also appreciate the sheer power, which helps speed up any chore. With cordless range, this one is a good choice for cleaning the car, as well as for quick pickups without the bother of unwrapping power cords.

Pros:

It’s cordless. The Dyson is built around a lithium ion battery system. We love lithium ion batteries because they provide constant, fade-free suction. While older types of batteries fade gradually over the course of each charge cycle, lithium ion batteries supply the same high level of electricity up to the last second of life. That’s why they’re so popular for power tools now. We love this for cleaning, since losing suction steadily can really impede your cleaning.

The trigger design means you’ll only use suction when you’re cleaning. Most previous buyers said they saved a lot of battery life over other vacuums with traditional power switches.

It’s powered by the same cyclonic suction technology as Dyson’s full-size models.The V6 unit has a few tiers of layered cyclones, all working together to give you smarter, stronger suction. The cyclones keep all the captured dust and debris away from the filter unit, to make sure your airflow stays clear. That can be a real problem, especially on models like this one which have smaller dust chambers.

Like the Shark, it works in three modes. There’s a full-length stick option, a handheld mode, and a halfway compromise for all the awkward in-between spots. One buyer called it, “The best maneuverability I have ever experienced in a vacuum cleaner.”

It has a fully motorized brush head for cleaning carpets. It’s even more compact than the Shark’s, which means that this one works better on carpeted stairs and other tight spaces.

We really like what Dyson has done with the power train system on this model. It’s a direct-drive roller brush, so there’s not the usual belt inside the carpet head. That eliminates one of the most unreliable parts on any vacuum. It also results in more brushing power (75% more). The brush also slides out for easy detangling.

There’s a smaller motor head for cleaning pet hair off upholstery, car seats, and carpeted stairs. This brush is air-powered, and works at any length. We like it for cleaning the vertical surfaces on carpeted stairs, as well as for other fabric surfaces around the house and car.

This one is designed to be tangle-free, and previous buyers said that they very rarely had issues with hair getting into the head. It has stiffer bristles than the floor head, so it’s a bit more aggressive on stuck-on hair.

It’s much more ergonomic and balanced than the Shark. All the parts are more compact, and the weight is distributed more evenly. We especially like this one in handheld mode.

Since the center of gravity is located further back along the handle than the Shark, this one isn’t as much of a strain on your wrists. It also stands upright, which is a big plus.

It’s covered by a 2-year warranty. This one also feels quite a bit sturdier than the Shark.

Cons:

Like the Shark, the V6’s dust compartment is handheld size (i.e. very small). If you’re cleaning your whole house, you may need to empty it once or twice.

It’s expensive. The Animal will cost you as much as most full-sized vacuums. It’s also twice the price of the Shark Rocket.

While the cordless design gives you lots of convenience in terms of range and maneuverability, it does limit your cleaning time. Twenty minutes is near the top of the range for cordless vacs, but it might not get you through your whole car. You should also bear in mind that using powered attachments will cut down on cleaning time even more. The MAX mode is particularly unimpressive, yielding just 6 minutes.

You can’t turn the brushes off. While the floor brushes are gentler than the pet hair tool, spinning brushes could be an issue for some delicate hardwoods. If you’ve got a nice seal on your floors, you probably don’t have to worry. The brushes will actually help lift surface dust off your floorboards.

Best Handheld Vacuums

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Shark’s top-selling hand vac is versatile, maneuverable, and affordable. We like the corded design for longer tasks when you don’t want to be working on a timer. It’s also much less expensive than even the cheapest Dyson handheld. This is a good choice for people with lots of upholstery or carpeted stairs to clean.

Pros:

It’s corded, so you’ll have as much cleaning time as you need. A corded power supply is ideal for those longer, more intensive cleaning tasks, like getting pet fur off carpeted stairs, or cleaning out the whole car. With a 15-foot power cord, you have plenty of range for most household tasks.

It has a powered brush head. We’re particularly impressed with this attachment on the Shark, because the equivalent Dyson attachment is easily $100 more. The brush head is your new best friend for cleaning pet fur off of fabric surfaces. We love it for carpeted stairs, upholstery, and especially those carpeted climbing furniture pieces and pet enclosures.

The wide dusting brush is ideal for cleaning up on tables, stairs, and other flat surfaces. Most dusting brushes are annoyingly small, and can take forever to cover ground. This one is more like a miniature floor head. It’s ideal for leather car seats, or cleaning wood paneling.

The extension hose gives you more maneuverability and range for tight spots. It also adds another couple feet to the vacuum. It’s a great tool for cleaning between furniture, in drawers, and other tight spaces where the whole vacuum won’t fit.

The crevice tool is full-size. It’s a full 12 inches long, just like you’d get on an upright or canister vacuum. We like it for cleaning under car seats, between cushions, and under appliances.

The dust bin is clear, so you can easily see when the vacuum needs to be emptied. It empties easily over the trash, with the push of a button.

It’s very affordable. Plus, with all the different tools, it’s great value for money.

It’s a lot lighter than other corded models. The Rocket weighs less than 4 pounds.

Cons:

The power cord does limit you in terms of range. While we really like this model for cleaning cars, you’ll only be able to do so if you park near an outlet, or have an extension hose handy.

It’s not as powerful as a Dyson handheld. Some reviewers weren’t as impressed by the suction.

It’s quite loud. That’s a common issue with hand vacuums, and this one’s no exception.

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Dyson’s handheld all-star is the V6 Trigger. It’s a simple, powerful hand vac with a smart cyclonic suction system and fade-free lithium power supply. We like its cordless convenience, especially cleaning in cars and other areas where outlets aren’t handy.

Pros:

It’s cordless. While the Shark has a fair amount of range, it still limits you to areas where there’s an outlet handy. The Dyson will work absolutely anywhere. We like it for cleaning cars, especially if you don’t park near outlets. It’s also a good choice for dorm rooms, or bringing into the office. More than the range itself, the grab-and-go convenience of the cordless system makes the Dyson a much faster solution for small pickups, or damage control before a party.

It runs on a lithium ion battery system. That’s the gold standard in cordless appliances in power tools today. Lithium ion is great because it doesn’t fade slowly like traditional batteries. It gives you full blast right up until it conks out. These batteries also charge faster, and have a longer overall lifespan than nickel cadmium systems.

It’s as powerful as many full-size vacuums. In terms of sheer suction, there’s really no competition between the Shark and the Dyson. The V6 uses a tiered cyclonic suction system just like Dyson use in their full-size upright and canister vacuums. The cyclones all work together to create a strong vortex in the vacuum chamber.

We like cyclonic suction because it directs all the finer dust and dirt particles that would normally be sucked towards the motor filter to the sides and edges of the dust compartment. Thank keeps your filters cleaner, so you don’t have to wash them as often. It also means you get constant suction, since the airflow isn’t clogged up.

Previous buyers were overwhelmingly impressed by the power of this model. Many wrote in their reviews that the V6 was much more powerful than any dustbusters or hand vacs they had used in the past.

The trigger design means you’ll only use power when you need it. That’s a big advantage over other cordless models with traditional power switches. The trigger allows you to use suction when you’re already pointed at the surface and ready to go. You won’t waste power moving around, switching attachments, or making other adjustments.

For the trickiest tasks, there’s a high-powered MAX suction mode. We like it for cleaning out vents, or nabbing dust bunnies and cobwebs from far corners.

It’s both light and ergonomic. The center of gravity is located back on the body right around the handle, rather than further out in front. That makes the V6 much less of a strain on your wrists — particularly for longer jobs.

It comes with a combination tool for tricky tasks. It combines a crevice tool and a dusting brush in one attachment. We like it because there’s no need to carry separate tools along with you. The dusting brush slides down along the crevice tool, and slides right back up when you’re done using it.

It’s covered by a 2-year warranty.

Cons:

It doesn’t come with many attachments. Dyson makes a tool set for this model separately, and it’ll add quite a bit more to your overall budget. This one certainly doesn’t have as many features as the Shark right out of the box.

Since it doesn’t come with a power brush, it’s not as effective as the Shark on upholstery or carpeted surfaces.

Like the Shark, this one’s very loud.

Which Should You Buy, a Shark or Dyson?

In the upright category, we looked at the Shark Navigator Professional model, and the Dyson Ball Multi Floor.

The Dyson is the best choice for carpeting, which is what we’d usually buy an upright for. It’s much more powerful than the Shark, and it’s more reliable on the whole.

If you have a mix of carpeting and hard floors, especially hardwoods, you’d probably be better off with the Shark. Its hard floor attachment helps keep finishes safer than the Dyson. However, it’s not as durable, and it’s not as good at pulling deep dirt out of carpets.

In the canister category, our reviews matched up the Shark NR96 and the Dyson DC39 Animal.

They’re fairly similar in some regards: they both have HEPA filtration, and added amenities automatic cord rewind and handle controls.

However, the Shark is the only one with a fully motorized carpet brush. It’s also cheaper by a sizable chunk of cash. The lift-off features make it the better choice for people with stairs.

However, the Dyson has more powerful suction, and is better-built overall. It’s also designed a bit smarter, and is more ergonomically friendly and light. On the downside, it doesn’t do very well on deep carpets, and it’s more expensive.

For stick vacuums, we looked at the Dyson V6 Animal and the Shark Rocket Ultralight.

They both have powered carpet heads, and 3 different cleaning modes for tackling different tasks.

We prefer the Shark for longer tasks, since it’s corded and doesn’t run out of power. It’s also much more affordable, at about half the price of the Dyson. If you have hardwood floors, the DustAway attachment on the Shark is an easy winner for you.

The Dyson is the better choice for carpets, since it has a direct-drive carpet head and much stronger suction. It also has the best range and maneuverability, due to the cordless power system and ergonomic design. We particularly the added bonus of a second power brush for smaller tasks. The only downsides are the price, and the limitations of cordless cleaning time.

Looking at handhelds, we compared the Shark Rocket and Dyson V6 Trigger.

These two stack up pretty similarly to the stick vacuums we looked at. The Dyson is cordless, and has more suction power. The Shark is corded, and gives you more cleaning time.

The prices fit about the same ratio, with the Shark at about half the price of the Dyson. We’d recommend the Shark to people who are looking to clean fabrics and carpeted surfaces. The Dyson is the best choice for people who need the most range and convenience, rather than lots of tools.

How to Compare Dyson vs. Shark Vacuums

Think about your budget:

Probably the biggest factor differentiating Shark and Dyson is the price. While some Shark models have gotten more expensive of late, their vacuums are, on average, about half the price of the equivalent Dyson.

There’s a lot of debate about whether Dysons are worth the price difference. Here’s what we’ve found: Dyson vacuums are certainly more powerful in terms of suction. They’re also more ergonomic and user-friendly. Dyson brush heads, canisters, and other components tend to be engineered better. They’re also more durable overall.

Here’s the caveat: Shark gives you a lot more for your money. Shark vacuums come with attachments, tools, and extra features that would cost even more to add on to a Dyson model.

Our verdict: You do get what you pay for with a Dyson. However, many people felt more satisfied that they got more bang for their buck with a Shark.

Think about durability:

yson and Shark are starting to become about even in this department. Shark has historically had a bad reputation for durability. Their vacuums are made from very light plastic, and while many work well, nobody would call them reassuring. Worse, the company’s service and warranty coverage has been notoriously poor, as well.

However, they’ve started to really up their game. The company is now very good about responding to reviews online, and customers have reported better (if not perfect) interactions. In contrast, Dyson has a pretty good reputation for quality control and reliability, but it seems to be a bit spottier at the moment.

Most of the problems are with the cordless models, which isn’t too surprising. Battery models tend to be a bit temperamental and have more issues. More concerningly, Dyson’s service seems to have slipped a bit in the past few years. They tend to answer reviews online as well, but we’ve still seen more reports of bad service in the past year or two.

At this point, both companies have pretty poor ratings from the Consumer Affairs Bureau. So, you want to think about the vacuum itself. Dyson models are built a bit more sturdily, on the whole. Shark is improving, but many of their hoses, handles, and other parts are pretty flimsy.

Consider your flooring:

Both Shark and Dyson make vacuums that can handle all types of flooring. However, each brand has its advantages and disadvantages.

If you have lots of hardwood in your home, Shark vacuums might be more up your alley. Dyson doesn’t make any dedicated hard floor attachments, while Shark has a great hardwood attachment in the DustAway tool. If you’re worried about scuffing hardwoods, the spinning brushes on a Dyson might be an issue.

For homes with lots of carpet, you’ll probably want to look at a Dyson. They have more suction power for pulling dirt and hair out of thick weave carpets. They’re also sturdier on the whole, and have more reliable roller brushes.

What’s Next?

Want to compare the rest of the most powerful and high-quality vacuums on the market today? Check out the best sellers on Amazon! You can also go back to Best Vacuum Cleaner Reviews.