This isn’t a simple yes or no answer. Instead, there are areas where each brand excels and a few areas where they are about equal. So lets dig a little deeper in to the Shark and Dyson brand vacuums, where we put the 2 brands head to head and find out their strong points as well as weaknesses against each other.
Where Shark Vacuum Cleaners Excel
Shark upright vacuum cleaners are more reliable, overall, than Dyson. About 6% of their upright vacuum cleaners have to be repaired in a given year according to Consumer Reports. Only Kirby vacuums had a lower repair rate. In contrast, Dyson vacuum cleaners had a repair rate of 13%, tying Simplicity brand on repairs, while only over-priced and under-performing Electrolux and mid-grade Miele breaking down more often.
Do you want a cheap basic bagless upright vacuum cleaner? The Shark Navigator, model number NV22L, costs only $150 and came in 15th in the 2016 Consumer Reports buying guide. It performed almost as well as $350 Samsung vacuum cleaners and $200+ Hoover vacuums. It rated average or above average in all categories, and unlike the Dyson vacuums, it did a great job on pet hair. The NV22L in particular is a good choice if you have pets that shed, because it costs a quarter of the price of a Dyson big ball animal vacuum while doing a better job on pet hair.
One of the ironies Consumer Reports found was that most Dyson pet vacuum cleaners do a poor job on pet hair, and even if they pick it up, they are prone to clogging the hoses or having dust cups that are hard to clean out. Shark offers several vacuum cleaners not specifically for pet owners that are better at picking up pet hair without having to be routinely disassembled to be cleared of clogs. And Shark’s vacuums are overall much cheaper than Dyson, whose pet vacuums come with an extra $100 to $250 premium.
If you are looking for a stick vacuum, Shark wins points for affordability. For example, the Shark HV300 stick vacuum costs around $200 while the Dyson V6 Absolute’s price is around $600. The Shark Rocket is less than three pounds heavier. The Dyson V6 is cordless but has a 20 minute (or less) operating life while the Shark Rocket has a long 32 foot cord. You don’t get the max power mode, but that eats up the Dyson stick vacuum’s battery. The Dyson has a few more niche tools, but the Shark comes with the basic tool set and good maneuverability to get under furniture and in orders. For this reason, the Shark stick vacuum is a better choice, since you get an essentially unlimited run time, nearly as good tools and receive it for a third of the price of a Dyson stick vacuum.
Where Dyson Vacuum Cleaners Excel
Do you want one of the best bagless upright vacuum cleaners on the market? Dyson’s Ball Multifloor model was second in the category overall and cost only $400. If you want the pet specific version, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball animal came in $600, though ironically, it didn’t do better than average picking up pet hair. The Shark Rotator Professional model NV501 came in fourth; it did worse regarding pet hair than the Dyson vacuums. It only won out on price by coming it at under $300 in 2015. The Shark Navigator Lift Away costs around $200 and was average to above average in most categories except for pet hair. So in the bagless upright vacuum cleaner lineup, Dyson is your best bet unless you want one of the cheaper options.
Do you want a bagless canister vacuum cleaner? Dyson’s ball multi floor model was rated higher than anything by Shark in this category. The highest rated Dyson vacuum came in 7th according to Consumer Reports. The top rated unit cost $400. It did an OK job on carpet but great job on hard floors. However, the Dyson kinetic animal and Dyson ball compact animal models did not rate as well as the Dyson ball multifloor model.
Where Shark and Dyson Are Neck and Neck
Handheld vacuums are a mixed bag. For example, the Shark Cordless Pet Perfect 2 costs around sixty dollars, while the Dyson’s V6 Trigger costs around $200. The Dyson model on average offer a slightly larger dust cup but weigh a full pound less, something that matters when you’re climbing through a car trying to vacuum up every spilled snack. Dyson handheld vacuum cleaners have beat out Shark’s handheld vacuums for years because it generated more suction, didn’t clog on pet hair and got every nook and cranny of the car or living room better. However, if you are interested in decent performance for an affordable price, Shark’s cordless vacuums work well and do so for a fraction of the price of a Dyson handheld.
Shark’s vacuums usually have a five year guarantee, but if you buy it online, the warranty is more often considered ninety days. Service with Shark vacuums can be a pain, because they want you to ship the vacuum to them at your expense, wait up to two months while they fix it and then send it back to you. The alternative is getting a new vacuum at a reduced price.
Dyson promises a five year warranty for most of its vacuum cleaners. However, the five year parts and labor warranty is only through authorized sellers and resellers, so you may not get this long warranty through all channels. Dyson wants you to take their vacuums to an authorized service center. Dyson often has better and even more pro-active customer service when you complain of a sudden failure or post a bad review online.
The answer to the original question is that whether Shark or Dyson is better depends on the type of vacuum cleaner you are looking for and the features you value most.
Shark wins hands down on price. Dyson’s handheld vacuums are lighter and have more features, but Shark’s handheld vacuums are cheaper. Shark’s general line of vacuum cleaners beats many of Dyson’s pet specific vacuums as well as most of its standard vacuums when cleaning up pet fur. Dyson’s bagless upright vacuums overall have better performance. Shark’s products have a lower rate of repairs, but service with both brands and their warranties are roughly comparable.