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Shark vs. Dyson: The Definitive Guide

Shark vs. Dyson — these are two of the most popular vacuum brands on the market today, and for good reason.

Both of these companies produce vacuums that are designed to make cleaning quicker, easier, and more effective.

Dyson vs Shark overall vacuum comparison

This review is going to compare Shark vs. Dyson vacuums across the board, including all types and many models.

Prefer to watch rather that read? We’ve got our Dyson vs. Shark video guide here.

Shark vs. Dyson – What’s different?

Both Shark & Dyson vacuum cleaners provide great cleaning and easy usability. The main differences between the two brands are price, suction, and weight.

Dyson vacuums tend to be more expensive, heavier, and have more suction. Shark vacuums are typically more budget-friendly, but generally don’t have as much suction power.

Dyson vs. Shark Cordless

Concerning cordless vacuums, the best model from each brand would have to be the Shark Vertex DuoClean vs. the Dyson V11.

Shark Vertex DuoClean IZ462H
Shark Vertex DuoClean
  • Dimensions: 46.5″ x 10.6″
  • Weight: 9.0 lbs.
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 1.29 L
  • Warranty: 5 Years
Dyson V11
Dyson V11
  • Dimensions: 50.6″ x 9.8″
  • Weight: 6.68 lbs.
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.77 L
  • Warranty: 2 Years

Both of these vacuums are two of the best models overall that each brand produces.

Shark Vertex DuoClean

Shark Vertex DuoClean

I would recommend the Shark Vertex DuoClean if you’re looking for the following features:

  • 2-in-1 body style for handheld or upright cleaning
  • Less expensive than the Dyson V11 stick vacuum
  • Inverted recline allows you to easily clean under low furniture
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Dyson V11

Dyson V11

I would recommend the Dyson V11 if you’re looking for the following features:

  • 2-in-1 body style for handheld or upright cleaning
  • Intelligent suction control based on floor type
  • More suction power than Shark (2nd most of any cordless vacuum on the market)
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Need a less expensive cordless vacuum?

For a more budget-friendly version of each of these vacuums, check out the Shark IONFlex DuoClean and the Dyson V10 Motorhead. Both are just 1 step down, but still have mostly the same features.

Dyson vs. Shark Upright

While there is certainly no shortage of lightweight stick vacuumsupright models are still a powerful option to consider.

For uprights, the best Shark and Dyson would have to be the Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M and the Dyson Animal Ball 2. However, Shark’s new Vertex DuoClean upright is more-or-less a toss up for #1 vs. APEX.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M
Shark Apex DuoClean
  • Dimensions: 46 x 12.2 x 11.2″
  • Weight: 17.1 lbs.
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • 2-in-1: Yes
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 1.42 L
Dyson Animal 2
Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • Dimensions: 42.1 x 15.3 x 13.4″
  • Weight: 17.35 lbs.
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • 2-in-1: No
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 2.1 L

Both of these models have large capacity dust bins, great filtration, numerous attachment and accessories for variable cleaning styles, and swivel steering.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M

Shark APEX DuoClean

I would recommend the Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M if you’re looking for the following features:

  • DuoClean brushroll head is great for hardwood & carpets
  • Lift-Away canister allows it to operate as a handheld or upright vacuum
  • Typically less expensive than Animal 2
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Dyson Ball Animal 2

Dyson Ball Animal 2

I would recommend the Dyson Ball Animal 2 if you’re looking for the following features:

  • Larger dust bin capacity than Shark APEX
  • Raw suction power at 306 AW (the most of any vacuum on the market)
  • Great build quality, Animal 2 feels great in-hand
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Also take a look at the Shark Vertex DuoClean upright. You can find our review here. It’s extremely similar to the Shark APEX DuoClean.

Dyson vs. Shark For Pet Hair

When vacuuming pet hair, there are a few critical pet-friendly factors you may want to be on the lookout for.

These factors tend to improve the cleaning performance of pet hair, pet dander, and other ailments that are more common in homes with pets.

So what’s most important for cleaning pet hair?

  1. Large capacity dust bins
  2. HEPA filtration
  3. Tangle-free attachments or brushrolls
  4. Swivel steering to maneuver into hard-to-reach places
  5. Upholstery tool for cleaning pet hair from pet beds or sofas

So what’s the real truth? How do Dyson and Shark compare at cleaning dog and cat hair?

PRODUCT DETAILS

BEST OVERALL

Dyson V11 Animal
Dyson V11 Animal
  • Type: Cordless stick
  • Price: $$$
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.77 L
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BEST VALUE

Dyson V10 Animal
Dyson V10 Animal
  • Type: Cordless stick
  • Price: $$$
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.76 L
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BEST BUDGET CORDLESS

Shark Rocket Pet Pro
Shark Rocket Pet Pro
  • Type: Cordless stick
  • Price: $$
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.32 L
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BEST BUDGET

Shark Rotator Lift Away Pro
Shark Rotator Lift-Away
  • Type: Upright
  • Price: $$
  • Dustbin Capacity: 1.43 L
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BEST UPRIGHT

Dyson Ball Animal 2
Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • Type: Upright
  • Price: $$
  • Dustbin Capacity: 2.1 L
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BEST HANDHELD

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus
Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus
  • Type: Handheld
  • Price: $
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.43 L
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Dyson V10 Absolute

Cordless Vacuums

I would recommend the Shark Rocket Pet Pro, Dyson V11 Animal, or Dyson V10 Animal. All three of these models have great suction against pet hair and added portability. In addition to great suction and cleaning power, all three are 2-in-1 designs, meaning they can convert into a handheld or be used as a stick vacuum.

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Shark Rotator

Pets with Shorter Hair

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away could be a good option. It doesn’t have the impressive build quality of the higher-end Shark uprights, nor a tangle-free brushroll, but it’s still a serviceable option for many users. Ultimately, the budget-friendly price is the biggest reason to buy.

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Dyson Ball Animal 2

Raw Suction Power

Go with the Dyson Ball Animal 2 if you have pets with long hair, a large home, or just want the raw power of a corded upright vacuum. The Animal 2 delivers 306 AW of suction power (the most of any vacuum cleaner on the market). It also includes a number of helpful attachments for dealing with pet hair. If you want sheer power, get the Animal 2.

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What is the Best Shark & Dyson?

If you simply want the best of the best (regardless of price) that Shark and Dyson have to offer, here is how we break it down.

For Shark, the best vacuum is a toss up between the Shark APEX DuoClean upright and Shark Vertex DuoClean upright. However, the Shark Vertex DuoClean is a close runner up, while being a cordless option.

Powerful & Easy to Use Upright

Shark APEX DuoClean

Shark APEX DuoClean

The Shark APEX DuoClean is tied for the best vacuum that Shark makes, in our opinion. Its got an incredibly solid build quality. The DuoClean brushroll works great on hard surfaces and carpets alike. It has more than enough suction to handle anything you can throw at it. It’s just an incredibly solid vacuum. It’s not cheap, but it’s far from expensive.Check Price

In late 2020, Shark launched the Shark Vertex DuoClean upright. It shares many similarities with the APEX (which you can read about in our side-by-side Shark APEX vs. Vertex comparison here). As a result, we think it’s tied with the APEX as Shark’s best vacuum.

Improved DuoClean Brushroll

Shark Vertex

Shark Vertex DuoClean

Shark’s Vertex DuoClean is a powerful upright with an improved DuoClean brushroll. Shark added what they call “power fins” to the brush, which are shallow rubber agitators. These help further improve cleaning performance across a range of debris and floor types. The Vertex has fantastic build quality alongside a 30′ cord, on-board tools storage, and a lift-away canister.Check Price

For Dyson, the best vacuum is Dyson V11 Outsize cordless stick. Runner up would be the Dyson V11 Torque Drive, followed by the Animal 2 (if you want an upright).

The Ultimate Cordless Vacuum

Dyson V11 Outsize

Dyson V11 Outsize

The Dyson V11 is the objectivly the most powerful cordless vacuum ever built. It has 220 AW of suction power and is capable of running up to 2 hours (via 2 batteries). Its 1.89 L dust bin is as big as many uprights. The Outsizes uses a click-in battery system. And the 12.5″ cleaning path helps you finish cleaning faster. Its only real drawback is the price.Check Price

Shark vs. Dyson V11 vs. Dyson V10

The battle for the best cordless vacuum has been a long and storied fight between Shark vs. Dyson. Dyson’s V-series has continually pumped out upgraded models almost every year.

Shark has also launched new cordless models with great frequency, but they don’t always push the limits of performance as Dyson vacuums tend to.

Dyson V11 cleaning carpet
Dyson V11

Dyson’s V11 and Shark’s IONFlex DuoClean are the 2 top models between these brands.

The V11 shares many similarities with the Dyson V10 (see our Dyson V10 vs. V11 comparison here).

When it comes to Shark DuoClean vs. Dyson V11 it really is the same story as the Shark vs. Dyson V10 (see our analysis further down the page).

Shark IONFlex DuoClean 2x Vacuum Review
Shark IONFlex DuoClean 2X

In general, the Dyson V11 is objectively a better vacuum. It offers more suction, intelligent suction, and an LCD screen.

However, those features also mean it’s more expensive than the Shark DuoClean (see our full Shark DuoClean review).

Nevertheless, Shark IONFlex DuoClean still scored a 98% on our cleaning tests compared to Dyson V11’s 99%. So the cleaning performance is effectively the same.

The question really is whether all of the usability and convenience factors on the Dyson V11 are worth the extra money for you. In terms of cleaning power, it’s a closer comparison.

Shark Vacuums Overview

Shark offers all types of vacuums including upright, stick, handheld, canister, and robot vacuums. Across their brand line, there doesn’t seem to be a shift in vacuum type, as all products have a varied amount of exposure on their site.

Shark Navigator vs. Rotator

They develop vacuums that are designed to suit the modern home. Many Shark models are adaptive, unique, and some can quite literally bend in half to help make cleaning easier.

Dyson Vacuums Overview

Dyson offers all types of vacuums including upright, stickhandheld, canister, and robot vacuums. Arguably, their “bread and butter” is the line of cordless stick vacuums (the V-series).

Dyson V8 vs. V10 vacuum comparison review

With the release of the Dyson V10, owner James Dyson was quoted saying “this is why I’ve stopped developing corded vacuums”, in regards to their small, powerful motor on the cordless stick vacuums.

Since the V10 launched in March of 2018, Dyson has not released a single new corded vacuum. However, they have released several cordless vacuums including the V11 Torque Drive (launched 2019) and V11 Outsize (launched 2020).

Shark vs. Dyson – Cordless Vacuum Comparisons

Both Shark and Dyson are well known for their selection of cordless stick vacuums. As battery performance increases nearly every year cordless vacuums have fewer disadvantages relative to corded vacuums.

This guide is going to look at design, battery power, cleaning performance, size, features, and more.

ModelDyson V11Dyson V11 OutsizeDyson V10Dyson V8Dyson V7Shark Vertex DuoClean IZ462HShark IONFlex DuoClean IF201Shark Rocket Pet Pro IZ163HShark ION F80 IF281Shark Rocket Lightweight IX141Shark Anti-Allergen IZ362HShark Navigator Freestyle SV1106
Max Suction185 AW220 AW140 AW115 AW100 AWUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknown
Height50.3"50.63"49.2"49"49"46.5"45.9"tv46.1"46"46.1"46.1"46"
Width9.8"12.5"9.89.8"9.8"10.6"13.4"7.1"10.24"10.24"10.24"10.5"
Weight6.7 lbs.7.9 lbs.5.9 lbs.5.8 lbs.5.5" lbs.9.0 lbs.8.7 lbs.7.17 lbs.8.7 lbs.4.7 lbs.7.2 lbs.7.5 lbs.
Run Time60 mins.120 mins.60 mins.40 mins.20 mins.60 mins.20-30 mins.40 mins.80 mins.40 mins.40 mins.Unknown
Dust Bin Capacity0.77 L1.89 L0.77 L0.54 L0.4 L1.29 L0.33 L0.34 L0.28 LUnknownUnknownUnknown
Cleaning Performance99%99%99%99%96%NA98%NANANANANA
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Dyson V11

  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 10.3 x 50.6″
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 6.68 pounds

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The Dyson V11 is one of most advanced vacuum Dyson has ever built. It shares many similarities with the Dyson V10 including a 60 minute run time, cordless design, tons of cleaning attachments, and a sizable dust bin.

The Dyson V11 is Dyson’s first truly smart vacuum. It uses intelligent suction to automatically increase / decrease suction depending on the floor type and debris.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive
Dyson V11

Additionally, the V11 is equipped with an LCD screen that shows the remaining run time, maintenance videos, and cleaning modes.

Pros

  • A length 60 minute run time gives you more than enough time to clean everything you need to
  • Intelligent suction automatically increase / decrease suction in order to best clean the surface, while also preserving battery life
  • Rear LCD displays remaining clean time, cleaning mode, and more
  • Second highest suction of any cordless stick vacuum at 185 AW in boost mode (second only to the V11 Outsize, see more below)
  • V11 models built after Q4 2020 include a click in battery system

Cons

  • Very pricey. This is one of the most expensive vacuums on the market.

Shark Vertex DuoClean

  • Dimensions: 10.24 x 10.6 x 46.5″
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 9.0 pounds

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The Shark Vertex DuoClean is the most powerful cordless vacuum within Shark’s lineup as of January, 2021. The run time is now at an impressive 60 minutes, equivalent to Dyson’s most high-end cordless vacuums.

Shark Vertex DuoClean IZ462H
Shark Vertex DuoClean IZ462H

It’s equipped with the upgraded DuoClean brushroll, which now contains “power fins”. These are rubberized agitators on the brushroll and according to Shark offer improved cleaning performance vs. the original DuoClean brushroll.

While our tests of the upright Vertex with its power fins equipped brushroll didn’t strike us as massively improved, it still cleared 99% of debris in those tests.

Pros

  • Solid 60 minute run time
  • DuoClean brushroll is excellent at cleaning any floor type
  • Flexible joint on the wand allows for easy cleaning under furniture and compact storage
  • Relative to Dyson’s highest end vacuums, it’s quite affordable

Cons

  • On the heavy side at 9 pounds

Dyson V11 Outsize

  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 10.3 x 50.6″
  • Run Time: ~120 minutes
  • Weight: 7.85 pounds

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The Dyson V11 Outsize launched in March, 2020. While it is a variant of the V11, it has many significant improvements that in our view should have made it a new model altogether (Dyson V12 anyone?)

The V11 Outsize has a larger dust bin, larger cleaning head, more suction, and runs for 120 minutes (via 2 batteries). The Outsize is the first Dyson vacuum to use a click-in battery system.

Dyson V11 Outsize
Dyson V11 Outsize

It has all of the same accessories that come with the V11 Torque Drive. In addition, it still uses the same intelligent suction system and LCD display on the rear of the motor.

Pros

  • It has the most suction of any cordless vacuum at 220 AW on boost mode
  • It has the largest dust bin we’ve ever seen on a cordless vacuum at 1.89 L. This dust bin makes it as large or larger than many full-size upright vacuums.
  • It has a sizable 12.5″ wide cleaning head, so you can cleaner faster by covering more area with each cleaning pass.
  • Uses a clickable battery system and comes with 2 batteries. Each battery runs for 60 minutes, giving it a combined 2 hour run time.

Cons

  • Like the original V11, the V11 Outsize is expensive. It’s the most expensive vacuum Dyson currently sells.

Shark IONFlex DuoClean

  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.2 x 45.9″
  • Run Time: ~20-30 minute
  • Weight: 8.7

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The Shark IONFlex DuoClean is similar in style and size to the Shark Rocket ION. It is a 2-in-1, cordless stick vacuum that converts to a handheld vacuum.

Size and dimensions of the Shark IONFlex DuoClean 2x Vacuum
Shark IONFlex DuoClean 2X

The main differences here are that this model has a flexing wand, allowing the vacuum to squeeze under furniture, tables or beds easily. Also, the DuoClean technology is designed for cleaning large debris messes without having to use a broom or getting debris stuck.

Pros

  • Added flexibility with the MultiFlex technology- can bend 180° at the midpoint.
  • DuoClean cleaning head allows for easier large debris pick up, by eliminating the bristle brushroll.
  • Option of an upgradable battery for extended run time.

Cons

  • One of Shark’s priciest cordless stick models (but also arguably the best).

Dyson V10

  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 10.1 x 49.2″
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 5.8 pounds

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The Dyson V10 is part of Dysons flagship vacuum cleaners. It launched in Spring 2018 and offers a 60 minute run time, a redesigned “point-and-shoot” dust bin, and low maintenance costs.

Dyson V10 cordless vacuum
Dyson V10 cordless vacuum

Last, but not least, the Dyson V10 easily converts between a stick vacuum and a portable handheld unit.

Pros

  • The 60-minute run time offers one of the longest run times of any cordless stick vacuum on the market today.
  • Redesigned “point and shoot” dust bin helps keep the maintenance process more hygienic.
  • Virtually no annual maintenance costs help keeps cash in your pocket. (Battery lasts 15 years according to James Dyson.)

Cons

  • The re-designed cleaning body make this (and the V11) slightly heavier. V10 is 5.8 pounds.
  • While it’s not as expensive compared to when it launched it’s still not a cheap vacuum

Shark Rocket Pet Pro

  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 10.2 x 46.1″
  • Run Time: ~40 minutes
  • Weight: 7.17 pounds

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The Shark Rocket Pet Pro looks like it was designed to compete more directly with Dyson’s V-series vacuums. It has a similar configuration, with the dust bin, 2-in-1 design, and battery life.

Shark Rocket Pet Pro
Shark Rocket Pet Pro

The Rocket Pet Pro has a re-designed cleaning head that’s said to be better at capturing pet hair, while avoiding being tangled by it.

In 2020, Shark updated the Rocket Pet Pro to include the pivot flex joint on the extension wand (same as the IONFlex DuoClean). This gives it even more cleaning versatility.

Shark Rocket Pet Pro pivot joint
Shark Rocket Pet Pro pivot joint

The pivot joint also allows the vacuum to basically fold in half for storage.

Pros

  • Long 40 minute run time is sufficient for many homes
  • 2-in-1 design allows you to use as a handheld or full-size stick vacuum
  • Spiral rubberized brushroll is designed to better remove pet hair
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons

  • Small dust bin at only 0.34 L
  • No wall mounted storage option

Shark ION F80 IF281

  • Dimensions: 13.4″ x 10.3 x 46″
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds

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The Shark ION F80 packs a ton of features and convenience into this cordless stick form factor. The F80 includes Shark’s multi-flex wand, which allows you to pivot the wand for cleaning under furniture and for compact storage.

Shark ION F80 IF281
Shark ION F80 IF281

Like most Shark stick vacuums, it doubles as a handheld and has tons of accessories. The DuoClean brushroll has consistently performed well in our cleaning tests on all floor types.

Shark ION F80 stored via pivot joint
Shark ION F80 stored via pivot joint

And the 80 minute run time via 2 batteries is more than enough cleaning time for most users.

Pros

  • Multi-flex pivot allows for convenient storage and under furniture cleaning
  • 80 minute run time
  • DuoClean brushroll is truly a workhorse across all floor types

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than other Sharks at 8.7 pounds
  • Dust bin is on the smaller size at 0.28 L

Dyson V8

  • Dimensions: 9.8″ x 8.8″ x 49″
  • Run Time: ~40 minutes
  • Weight: 5.75 pounds

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The Dyson V8 continues to improve on the design of the V6 and Dyson V7. There are some slight tweaks to the redesigned dust bin that was introduced with the V7 model. In addition, a larger capacity battery provides a longer 40-minute run time, which is twice the run time of the V6 model.

Dyson V8 cordless vacuum
Dyson V8 cordless vacuum

The V8 is a cordless stick model that converts to a handheld vacuum when you need to clean on-the-go.

Pros

  • Extended run time of ~40 minutes, compared to the shorter run time of the Dyson V6 and V7.
  • Improved cleaning performance for larger debris types (ie, cereal).

Cons

  • A pricier model, compared to other stick vacuums on the market.
  • A 40-minute run time is shorter than that of the Dyson V10 model.

Dyson V7

  • Dimensions: 9.8″ x 8.2″ x 49″
  • Run Time: ~30 minutes
  • Weight: 5.45 pounds

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The Dyson V7 is the successor to the V6 model. It offers an extended run time, by providing 10 extra minutes. Between all of the V-series Dyson models, the V7 is the quietest model when running at full power (70 dB).

Dyson V7 cordless vacuum
Dyson V7 cordless vacuum

Similar to the V6, the V7 can also convert between a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum unit. In addition, there is a redesigned dust bin that makes it easier to empty and keeps you from accidentally touching the dirt as you empty.

Pros

  • Still comes in at a reasonable price point for a Dyson
  • Redesigned dust bin makes it easier (and cleaner) to empty over the V6
  • Excellent cleaning performance on low or high pile carpet

Cons

  • Relatively short run time at only 30 minutes (compared to the 60 minute run time on the V10 and V11)
  • Struggles a bit more with medium and large size debris, when cleaning hardwood floors. Dyson’s newer V10 Absolute does a much better job on hardwood floors (and was the best stick vacuum for hardwood floors in our deep dive guide).

Dyson V6

  • Dimensions: 9.8″ x 8.2″ x 47.5″
  • Run time: ~20 minutes
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds

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The Dyson V6 is the most basic model currently available in the V-series class. While the 20-minute run time may be short, it comes in at an excellent price point and retains an excellent cleaning performance across all flooring types.

Dyson V6 cordless vacuum cleaner
Dyson V6 cordless vacuum cleaner

In addition, the V6 model is a 2-in-1 style, meaning that it can operate as an upright stick vacuum or a portable handheld.

Pros

  • Comes in at an affordable price point for a Dyson
  • Provides excellent cleaning performance on all floor types
  • Converts between a stick vacuum or a portable handheld

Cons

  • Only has a 20-minute run time, which may be a little short for larger homes or big jobs
  • Struggled a bit with the large cereal debris test, during our analysis

Shark Vertex DuoClean vs. Dyson V11

There are quite a few different models between these two classes so for further clarification, we’re going to be looking at the Shark Vertex DuoClean and the Dyson V11 Torque Drive.

SIZE | The Shark Vertex DuoClean is shorter than the Dyson V11, but also wider and deeper. Also, it weighs 9.0 pounds, while the Dyson V11 weighs only 6.68 pounds. This makes the V11 a little easier to maneuver and get around.

Dyson V11 cleaning carpet
Dyson V11

HOW IT CLEANS | The Vertex DuoClean uses a dual powdered brushroll system that combines a standard bristle brushroll with a soft roller brushroll to help capture large and fine debris types. In addition, Shark upgraded their DuoClean brushroll in 2020 to add rubberized paddles.

By comparison, the Dyson V11 comes with a single multi-surface cleaning head with 3 manual height adjustment options. If you do have lots of hard surfaces in your home you could add a soft roller brush cleaning head.

BATTERY | The Dyson V11 uses a 3,600 mAh battery and can run for up to 60 minutes.

The Shark Vertex battery runs for up to 60 minutes.

Both Shark and Dyson (as of late 2020) utilize a click-in battery system. This allows to own multiple batteries to extend run time even further.

The Biggest Difference

  • The Shark Vertex DuoClean has an interesting feature of being able to bend over 180° for easy storage or inversely to squeeze under furniture, beds, or tables—something unique to Shark.
  • The Dyson Cyclone V11 has more raw suction power at 185 AW and a significantly longer run time (comparing single battery vs. single battery).
ModelDyson V11 Torque DriveShark Vertex DuoClean
Dyson V10Shark IONFlex DuoClean Cordless stick vacuum cleaner review
Height50.6"46.5"
Width9.8"10.6"
Depth10.3"10.24"
Weight6.68 lbs.9.0 lbs.
Battery3,600 mAh Unknown
Run Time60 mins.60 mins.
Dust Bin Capacity0.77 L1.29 L
Cleaning Performance99%
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Shark vs. Dyson – Upright Vacuum Comparisons

Both Shark and Dyson manufacture and design upright vacuum models, in addition to cordless stick vacuums. Amidst popular marketing campaigns, brand awareness, and popular fads, it can be hard to know which model is best for you and your family.

Shark vs. Dyson: What’s the real truth?

Honestly, the real truth is that both Shark and Dyson could be right for you. They each have good models with slightly different features.

Shark offers four main upright vacuums:

  • Shark Rotator
  • Shark Navigator
  • Shark APEX
  • Shark Vertex

Dyson offers two main upright vacuums:

  • Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2

Of course, there are additional variations and sub-models within those overarching categories. Even so, the above 6 major model types make up the core of both Shark & Dyson’s upright line.

COMPARISON: Want to see Shark Navigator vs. Rotator up close? Check out this complete comparison to get the full rundown of these two models.

It should be no surprise that Dyson bases their design of upright vacuum of the cyclonic technology and patented “Dyson Ball”.

By comparison, the Shark upright models are a bit more traditional in appearance, but they still provide excellent cleaning performance.

ModelDyson Ball
Animal 2
Dyson Ball
Multi-Floor 2
Shark Vertex DuoClean (AZ2002)Shark APEX DuoClean
(AX951)
Shark Navigator (NV356E)Shark Rotator
(NV501)
Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuumDyson Ball Multi Floor 2 upright vacuumShark APEX DuoClean upright vacuumShark Navigator Lift-Away Pro upright vacuum cleaner reviewShark Rotator Lift-Away Pro upright vacuum review
Max Suction306 AW250 AWUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknown
Height42.1"41.9"46.5"46"45.5"45.7"
Width15.3"15.6"12"12.6"15"12.2"
Depth13.4"13.4"10"12"11.4"12.2"
Weight17.4 lbs. 15.6 lbs.16.4 lbs.16.3 lbs.13.7 lbs.15.5 lbs.
Power30' cord30' cord30' cord30' cord30' cord30' cord
2-in-1NoNoYesYesYesYes
Dust Bin Capacity2.1 L1.6 L0.94 L1.65 L1.32 L1.43 L
Cleaning Performance99%98%99%99%84%86%
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Shark Vertex DuoClean

  • Dimensions: 12″ x 10″ x 46.5″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 16.4 pounds

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The Shark Vertex DuoClean (AZ2002) launched in late 2020 and by all accounts appears to be the best Shark upright currently on the market.

Shark Vertex DuoClean
Shark Vertex DuoClean

It’s equipped with a DuoClean brushroll in addition to Shark’s new “Power Fins”. These are rubberized paddles on the primary brushroll that are designed to help agitate and remove additional debris.

During our tests the Vertex DuoClean dominated our cleaning tests, removing 99.4% of total debris. The Vertex is a big, powerful upright that’s at the top of Shark’s line.

Pros

  • Fantastic cleaning performance, removing 99.4% of debris during our cleaning tests
  • Build quality is a clear and significant step up compared to Shark’s more budget-friendly Rotator & Navigator lines
  • DuoClean brushroll works well on both hard and carpeted surfaces

Cons

  • On the more expensive side
  • Dust bin is on the smaller size at 0.94 L (smaller than Shark’s APEX and Dyson’s flagship uprights)

RELATED – See how Shark’s top models compared in our Vertex vs. APEX comparison.

Shark APEX DuoClean

  • Dimensions: 12.5″ x 12″ x 46″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 16.3 pounds

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The Shark APEX DuoClean upright vacuum cleaner features two of Shark’s proudest technologies— APEX and DuoClean.

The APEX technology includes features like fingertip controls, LED lights, improvements to the allergy seal, and overall a quieter vacuum compared to the Shark Navigator and Rotator models.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M
Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M

DuoClean technology is basically just a soft roller brush that is designed to work with the traditional brushroll to help suck up large debris or bare floor cleaning.

Pros

  • Controls built into the handle of the vacuum
  • DuoClean cleaning head offers improved suction on bare floors or large debris messes
  • 2-in-1 design offers upright performance or lift-away portability

Cons

Dyson Ball Animal 2

  • Dimensions: 15.3″ x 13.4″ x 42.1″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 17.35 pounds

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The Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum is a great option for pet owners. It features an XL dust bin with over 2 L of capacity, cyclone suction technology, swivel steering, and an on-board extension hose.

The Dyson Ball on the Animal 2 upright
The Dyson Ball on the Animal 2 upright

This vacuum comes with a washable lifetime filter, a motorized turbine tool, a stair tool, combination tool, and high-reach wand for hard-to-reach places.

Pros

  • Washable filter and HEPA filtration helps keep pet dander and allergens at a minimum
  • Includes a wide range of accessories, providing great versatility in cleaning
  • Powerful suction at 306 AW, the most of any upright vacuum cleaner on the market
  • Great swivel steering with the “Dyson Ball”

Cons

  • Can create too much suction on thick / high pile carpets.
  • Heavier than all the Shark upright models listed above.

Dyson Ball MultiFloor 2

  • Dimensions: 15.6″ x 13.4″ x 41.9″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 15.6 pounds

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The Dyson Multi Floor 2 is a powerful upright designed to seamlessly transition across multi-surface flooring. This model uses the same cyclone technology that Dyson is known for.

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2
Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2

It’s about 2 lbs lighter than the Dyson Animal 2 and comes with similar accessories—the high reach wand, washable lifetime filter, stair tool, and combination too.

Pros

  • Swivel steering with the Dyson ball design
  • Lighter than the Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright model
  • Powerful suction with patented Dyson cyclone suction technology

Cons

  • As a Dyson, the price point is higher than most of the Shark models
  • Smaller dust bin than the Dyson Ball Animal 2 (but larger than the Shark Navigator and Rotator)
  • Does not convert to a portable handheld like the Shark Lift-Away models

Shark Navigator

  • Dimensions: 15″ x 11.4″ x 45.5″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 13.7 pounds

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The Shark Navigator is a more traditional looking vacuum but offers a slew of features. This vacuum is a 2-in-1, meaning that it can run as a standard upright or the lift-away canister can be removed for a more portable style.

Shark Navigator vs. Rotator reach
Using the wand on both the Shark Navigator and Rotator you can reach hard to reach spots both above and below you.

The Navigator features an XL dust bin, on-board accessories, and a comfortable handle that makes it easy to use the extension wand and hose for areas that are hard to reach.

Pros

  • 2-in-1 body style makes this vacuum versatile for many jobs around the home
  • XL dust bin capacity can handle the messes of larger homes
  • Includes a large variety of accessories and on-board attachments

Cons

  • Lacks some of the fancier bells and whistles of the Shark Rotator Pro
  • May struggle with cleaning high pile carpet, especially large debris types

Shark Rotator

  • Dimensions: 12.2″ x 12.2″ x 45.7″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 15.5 pounds

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The Shark Rotator upright vacuum offers a few more bells and whistles, over the Shark Navigator series. The Rotator features LED headlamps, swivel steering, and text notations for easy usability.

Shark Rotator vs. Navigator
Both the Shark Rotator and Navigator can turn at approximately 45°

As a trade-off, the dust bin capacity of the Shark Rotator is about half that of the Shark Navigator series and the overall unit is about 2 pounds heavier.

Pros

  • Added features like LED headlamps and on-machine text labels for improved usability
  • Great cleaning performance on all floor types and against all debris (except for cereal on high carpet)
  • 2-in-1 design functions as a traditional upright and portable canister vacuum

Cons

  • About half the dust bin capacity of the Shark Navigator series
  • About two pounds heavier than the Shark Navigator as well

Dyson Big Ball Cinetic

  • Dimensions: 17.2″ x 13.4″ x 43.3″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 19 pounds

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The Dyson Big Ball Cinetic upright vacuum is the largest upright vacuums that Dyson manufactures, to date. It offers extremely powerful suction and is filter-free. Depending on the exact model you get, the accessories with this vacuum may vary.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball upright vacuum
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball upright vacuum (image source: Dyson.com)

The Cinetic Animal and Allergy comes with a combination tool, stair tool, mattress tool, reach under tool, multi-angle brush, carbon fiber soft dusting brush, and a tool bag to hold it all.

By comparison, the Cinetic Multi Floor model simply comes with the combination tool and stair tool (but costs significantly less as well).

Pros

  • No filter to maintain helps prevent suction loss and decreases maintenance costs and time
  • Large dust bin capacity for cleaning big areas
  • The Animal + Allergy model comes with many different accessories

Cons

  • Pretty high price tag for an upright vacuum cleaner
  • Much larger and heavier compared to other upright models in its class

Dyson Small Ball

  • Dimensions: 14.1″ x 11″ x 31.7″
  • Power: 30′ cord
  • Weight: 12.15 pounds

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The Dyson Small Ball is the smallest, most compact upright manufactured by Dyson, at this time. This model is the only one with a telescoping handle / wand for easy storage, while retaining powerful suction and the features that make it a Dyson.

Dyson Small Ball compact upright vacuum
Dyson Small Ball compact upright vacuum (image source: Dyson.com)

The Small Ball model still uses cyclone technology and the Dyson Ball. The ball is a bit smaller than the Big Ball models, which makes it easier to maneuver throughout the home.

The DC50 Animal compact was the predecessor to the Small Ball model. You can check out our full review of the DC50 here. It has many of the same features.

Pros

  • Smaller body and lighter weight vs. many other Dyson models
  • Telescoping handle makes it easy to store this model in a small closet or other tight space
  • Still has standard Dyson features like the cyclone suction, Dyson Ball swivel steering, and a washable filter

Cons

  • Smaller dust bin capacity at only 0.8 L
  • Cheaper than many of the other full-size upright vacuums, but still not inexpensive by any means

Dyson vs. Shark Rotator Lift Away

Shark Rotator vacuum cleaner

While there are many upright models, we’ll be looking specifically at the Dyson Animal 2 vs. Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away in this section.

SIZE | The Shark Rotator is over 3″ taller, but narrower and slimmer throughout the body and base. The Shark is also about two pounds lighter than the Dyson Animal 2 upright. With that in mind though, the Dyson has a dust bin capacity of about 30% more than the Shark (2.1 L vs. 1.4 L)

HOW IT CLEANS | Both of these uprights have a central brushroll that agitates and collects dirt, dust, and debris with advanced swivel steering for nice maneuverability. They both also have extension wands and hoses, although the Dyson extension handle feels a bit awkward when reaching high or narrow spaces.

Dyson ball animal 2 vacuum cleaner

ACCESSORIES | The Shark Rotator Lift-Away comes with a hardwood floor tool, dusting brush, crevice tool, upholstery tool, pet power brush, and HEPA filtration. The Dyson Animal 2 comes with a motorized turbine tool, a stair tool, the combination tool, and a lifetime washable filter.

The Biggest Difference

  • The Dyson Animal 2 comes with a lifetime washable filter and more suction power (by a large margin). It’s also heavier and more expensive.
  • The Shark Rotator Lift-Away is lighter weight, has a lift-out canister for mobile cleaning, and notably less expensive than the Animal 2.
ModelShark Rotator
(NV501)
Dyson Ball
Animal 2
Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro upright vacuum reviewDyson Animal 2 upright vacuum
Height45.7"42.1"
Width12.2"15.3"
Depth12.2"13.4"
Weight15.5 lbs.17.35 lbs.
Power30' cord30' cord
2-in-1YesNo
Dust Bin Capacity1.43 L2.1 L
Cleaning Performance86%99%
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Shark vs. Dyson For Pet Hair

Both Shark and Dyson offer many models designed specifically for pets.

Arhaus Kipton sofa with pets on it

The best vacuum for pets may be different for each person, depending on your pet and lifestyle, but there are some features that all great pet vacuums have in common.

Here is a list of five things to look for in the best vacuum for pets:

  1. Large capacity dust bins
  2. HEPA filtration
  3. Tangle-free attachments or brushrolls
  4. Swivel steering to maneuver into hard-to-reach places
  5. Upholstery tool for cleaning pet hair from pet beds or sofas

Large Capacity Dust Bins

The Shark Rotator, Shark APEX, Dyson V11 Outsize, and Dyson Ball Animal 2 both have large capacity dust bins of over 1 L. 

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 stores as much as 2.1 L. Larger homes or homes with high levels of pet traffic could really benefit from these larger bins.

Emptying the dust bin on the Dyson Animal 2 upright
Emptying the dust bin on the Dyson Animal 2 upright

Of course, if you mainly use your pet vacuum for upholstery, car interiors, or another relatively small space, the smaller capacity dust bins may still work just fine for you.

HEPA filtration

The Dyson V11Dyson V10, Shark Rotator, Shark Navigator, Shark APEX DuoClean, Shark Vertex DuoClean, Shark Rocket Pet Pro, and Dyson Ball Animal 2 all integrate HEPA filtration systems. 

Dyson utilizes lifetime washable filters that can be cleaned by simply rinsing them out with cold water. This saves maintenance costs and helps to prevent the build-up of allergens or dander.

Dyson washable V11 HEPA filter
Dyson washable V11 HEPA filter

By comparison, the Shark vacuums use a combination of HEPA, felt, and foam filters.

Some are washable and others are disposable. Typically, the more expensive Shark models (like APEX and Vertex) utilize the washable filters. While less expensive models utilize disposable.

Tangle free attachments and brushrolls

All of the vacuums listed in the table below all come with motorized pet hair attachments. 

These use a specially designed brushroll or turbine tool to help capture pet hair, without the mess and tangles that can frequently happen with traditional systems.

Swivel steering

Being able to adapt to unique environments and pet obstacles can be an important part of a good pet vacuum. Swivel steering is the ability for a vacuum to do just that. 

The Shark Rocket Pet ProDyson V10 and V11 have the best swivel steering of the vacuums listed below.

Dyson V11 cordless vacuum - fully reclined
Dyson V11 cordless vacuum fully reclined

Not only can it turn on a dime, but it can also lean nearly 180 degrees back without the cleaning head lifting off the floor, if you need to squeeze under furniture or beds.

The Shark Rotator, Shark APEX, Shark Vertex, Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2, and Dyson Ball Animal 2 use traditional swivel steering as an upright vacuum.

Upholstery tool

Many pet owners find their furry friends enjoying a warm spot on the couch or cozying up on the bed.

The Shark RotatorDyson Ball Animal 2, Dyson V11, Shark APEX DuoClean, Shark Vertex DuoClean, and Dyson V10 include an upholstery tool. 

Shark APEX DuoClean dusting brush and upholstery tool
Shark APEX DuoClean upholstery tool

This tool is especially great at removing pet hair from upholstery, bedding, or other soft surfaces.

MORE: For more information, check out our complete guide on How to Remove Dog Hair here.

Here are some of the top Shark and Dyson models that we would recommend for removing pet hair.

ModelDyson V11Dyson V11 OutsizeDyson V10Dyson Ball
Animal 2
Shark Vertex DuoClean (AZ2002)Shark APEX DuoClean (AZ1002)Shark Rocket Pet Pro (AZ163H)Shark Rotator
(NV501)
Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ (CH951)
Dyson V10Dyson Animal 2 upright vacuumShark Rotator Lift-Away Pro upright vacuum review
Height50.6"50.6"49.2"42.1"46.5"46"46.1"45.7"20"
Width9.8"12.5"9.8"15.3"12"12.2"10.2"12.2"6.5"
Depth10.3"10.5"10.1"13.4"10"11.2"7.1"12.2"6"
Weight6.68 lbs.7.85 lbs.5.9 lbs.17.35 lbs. 16.4 lbs.17.1 lbs.7.17 lbs.15.5 lbs.2.7 lbs.
Power3,600 mAh
60 mins.
3,600 mAh
120 mins. (2 batteries)
2,600 mAh
60 mins.
30' cord30' cord30' cord40 mins.30' cord15 mins.
HEPA FilterYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
ManeuverabilityExcellentExcellentExcellentGoodGoodGoodExcellentGoodGood
2-in-1YesYesYesNoYesYesYesOkayNo
Dust Bin Capacity0.77 L1.89 L0.77 L2.1 L0.94 L1.42 L0.34 L1.43 L0.43 L
Cleaning Performance99%99%99%99%99%99%86%
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+

  • Dimensions: 6.5″ x 6″ x 20″
  • Run Time: ~15 minutes
  • Weight: 7.9 pounds

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The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus (CH951) is Shark’s flagship handheld vacuum. It’s cordless, light weight at 2.8 pounds, and has an XL dust bin (0.43 L).

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951
Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ CH951

It uses a self-cleaning brushroll that’s designed to prevent tangles for both pet and human hair.

The UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus is the successor to the legacy Shark Pet Perfect 2 (largely discontinued). By any measure, the new Pet Pro Plus seems to be a significant upgrade.

Pros

  • Ultra lightweight at 2.8 pounds
  • Realtively large dust bin (for a handheld) at 0.43 L
  • Self-cleaning brushroll that prevents hair tangles

Cons

  • Fairly expensive for a handheld vacuum
  • Fabric filter (not washable and not HEPA)

Shark vs. Dyson – Vacuums by Type

The following sections break apart the collection of Dyson and Shark vacuums by type, calling out the most popular models from each manufacturer and any special features.

Shark Navigator vs. Rotator cleaning heads
Shark vs. Dyson – Who is the better vacuum?

Shark vs. Dyson – Upright Vacuums

Both Dyson and Shark offer a few upright models, varying in price from under the $$ tier to well within the $$$ tier. You pay for more features, higher suction, on-board accessories, additional cleaning heads, etc.

Most Shark and Dyson upright models include large capacity dust bins, on-board accessories, an extension wand and hose, and advanced swivel steering.

Shark Vertex DuoClean

The Shark Vertex DuoClean upright (AZ2002) launched in late 2020. This is arguably the most high-end vacuum Shark now makes. It crushed our cleaning tests, removing 99% of debris. Its build quality is every bit as good as the Apex and the only notable drawback is a moderately sized dust bin.

Shark Apex DuoClean

The Shark APEX DuoClean is among Shark’s most advanced vacuum cleaners. It has a large 1.42 L dust bin, full-size frame, and 30′ cord. The DuoClean head is great for large and small debris on a variety of flooring surfaces types. In our view, this is one of the very best vacuums (upright or otherwise) that Shark builds.

Shark Navigator

The Shark Navigator is a more basic model, but it offers an XL dust bin that can hold 2.2 dry quarts, almost twice the capacity of the Shark Rotator. For accessories, it comes with the Dust Away Genie cleaning head, brushroll cleaning head, HEPA filter, crevice tool, dusting brush, pet power brush, and a 30″ hose. 

Shark Rotator

The Rotator, although having a smaller dust bin, comes with a few more bells and whistles, like LED headlamps, a redesigned comfort hose handle, and text notations for easy usability. The Rotator comes with a hard floor cleaning head, brushroll cleaning head, HEPA filter, crevice tool, dusting brush, pet power brush, upholstery brush, and a 30″ hose. 

Dyson Ball Animal 2

This upright vacuum is made for homes with pets (though it’s fine in other homes as well). It comes with a self-adjusting cleaner head, a washable lifetime filter, and three accessories—the combination tool, stair tool, and a turbine tool with no brush bar. This tool is excellent for cleaning up pet hair and limits tangles.

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2

This vacuum is more lightweight than the Animal 2 (15.6 lbs for the Multi Floor vs. 17.5 lbs for the Animal 2) and still comes with a self-adjusting cleaner head and lifetime washable filter. For accessories, it includes the combination tool and a stair tool.

Dyson Small Ball

The Dyson Small Ball is the smallest and lightest Dyson upright vacuum. It weighs only 12.15 lbs. and has a telescoping wand / handle, which allows this vacuum to be stored in small spaces. It includes a washable lifetime filter, stair tool, and combination tool. 

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy upright vacuum

This vacuum is designed for people who suffer from allergies, as it’s the only Dyson upright that is filter-free. It also features a redesigned dust bin, which makes emptying the bin easier and more hygienic.  This model includes the combination tool, stair tool, mattress tool, reach under tool, multi-angle brush, carbon fiber soft dusting brush, and a tool bag to store all the accessories.

Shark vs. Dyson – Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums are arguably the most popular models from Shark and Dyson, with both companies offering many different styles, features, and price points.

Corded vs. cordless, 2-in-1 vs. traditional stick vacuum, atandard brushroll vs. soft roller brushroll for cleaning large debris— select your features, narrow down models, and let’s find the best choice for you.

Dyson V11

The Dyson V11 is the most high-end vacuum Dyson has ever manufactured. It uses intelligent suction to dynamically increase or decrease run time in order to best clean. Offers 60 minutes of cleaning time, tons of attachments, LCD display, and 185 AW of suction power—truly a bleeding-edge vacuum. As of Q4 2020, the V11 also includes a click-in battery system.

Dyson V11 Outsize

In March 2020, Dyson launched the new V11 Outsize. While technically, it is just a variant of the V11, the Outsize is packed with upgrades. It includes a larger 1.89 L dust bin, larger 12.5″ cleaning head, 2 batteries giving it a 2 hour run time, click-in battery system, and an increase in suction, to a maximum of 220 AW.

Dyson V10

The Dyson V10 is the 2nd most advanced Dyson cordless stick vacuum, to date. It offers the longest Dyson battery life, up to 60 minutes, and includes a wide range of accessories for a versatile cleaning experience. The V10 also performed excellent during our tests on all floor types.

Dyson V8

The Dyson V8 has a strong battery, with up 40 minutes of run time. This cordless stick can be used as-is or easily converted to a portable handheld unit. All accessories that may be attached to the full-size stick vacuum may also be used as a handheld. 

Dyson V7

The Dyson V7 is one step above the V6 model. It has a slightly longer run time of 30 minutes and great cleaning performance on low pile or high pile carpet. The V7 struggled a bit on our hardwood cleaning test, especially large debris cleaning. 

Dyson V6

The Dyson V6 is the most basic of the V-series cordless stick vacuums. It has a shorter run time at only 20 minutes, but offers powerful suction, excellent steering control, and great cleaning performance.

Shark Vertex DuoClean

The Shark Vertex DuoClean is the new #1 cordless vacuum from Shark. It’s equipped with an upgraded DuoClean brusholl. The new brushroll has rubberized paddles to help improve carpet agitation.

In addition, the Vertex DuoClean has a large 1.29 L dust bin, 60 minute run time, and multi-flex joint for compact storage and easier flat cleaning. It’s also available in a corded version if you prefer.

Shark IONFlex DuoClean

The Shark IONFlex DuoClean is a cordless stick vacuum that comes with two unique Shark technologies. “IONFlex” is essentially a joint in the middle of the extension wand that allows this vacuum to bend forwards or backward to upwards of 180° for compressed storage or sneaking under furniture or hard-to-reach places.

The DuoClean technology is basically an additional soft roller cleaning head that helps the Shark to capture large debris messes and for when cleaning bare floors.

Shark Rocket Pet Pro+

In 2020 Shark released the Rocket Pet Pro Plus (IZ163H), an upgraded version of a similar model (now largely discontinued) that launched in 2019. The Pet Pro Plus version has mostly the same features, but now includes a pivot joint on the wand. This allows you to clean under furniture more easily and also provides for more compact storage.

Shark Rocket DeluxePro

The Shark Rocket is not a cordless vacuum, but it is a 2-in-1 and can easily convert from a stick vacuum to a smaller handheld vacuum. The Shark Rocket comes with a large number of accessories for versatile use around the home. 

Shark Rocket ION

Shark ION Rocket stick vacuum

The Shark Rocket ION is a cordless stick vacuum that also operates as a portable handheld vacuum. It features the Shark ION rechargeable battery so you could charge up one, while cleaning with the other (Note: Initial purchase only includes one battery.)

Shark Navigator Freestyle

Shark Navigator Freestyle

The Navigator Freestyle is an excellent option as it comes in at the $ tier. It has a slender, lightweight body and a large-capacity dust bin. It is powered by a 14.4 V battery that can charge in four hours. In addition, this model comes with a brushroll that can clean at two different speeds.

Best Features

LARGE DEBRIS PICK UP | To tackle large debris, both Shark and Dyson have developed designs that allow for large debris to more easily be swept up.

Shark DuoClean: DuoClean technology combines the standard brushroll with a soft roller brush at the front of the cleaning face. These two rollers spin counter-directions from each other allowing debris to be sucked into the dust bin more easily. All Shark vacuums with the tag name “DuoClean” come with this cleaning head.

Dyson Fluffy: The Fluffy cleaning head is a soft roller that takes a similar approach. It uses a simple soft roller design that is designed to grab and suck the debris into the dust bin. All Dyson V-series stick vacuums with the tag name “Absolute” come with this Fluffy cleaning head.

FLEXIBILITY | Shark takes the cake for integrated flexibility. Shark models with the tag name Flex, Multi-Flex, and IONFlex have the ability to bend nearly 180° for great maneuverability or easy storage. The following vacuums have flex capability.

Emptying the Dust bins

ADVANCED DUST BIN | One area where Dyson excels is the design of the dust bin. Later V-series models are designed in varying ways that results in cleaner, more hygienic methods for emptying the dust bin.

  • Dyson V6 – Dust bin release hatch is by the trigger; a little awkward
  • Dyson V7 and Dyson V8 – Dust bin release hatch pulls up from the top (by the cyclones)
  • Dyson V10 and Dyson V11 – Dust bin release hatch is on the side, like a “point-and-shoot” approach

Dyson V6

Dyson V6 dust bin

Dyson V7

Dyson V7 dust bin

Dyson V8

Dyson V8 dust bin

Dyson V10

Dyson V10 dust bin

Dyson V11

Emptying Dyson V11 dust bin

Shark vs. Dyson – Robot Vacuums

Shark and Dyson both offer robot vacuums; Shark having the IQ and ION robots and Dyson having the 360 Heurist. The Shark robot vacuums come in within the $$ to $$$ tier, while the Dyson 360 tops the charts at in the $$$$$ budget tier per unit.

Shark IQ R100AE

The Shark IQ is the top of the line robot offered by Shark. It has enhanced mapping, good cleaning, and most important a self-emptying dust bin. The Shark IQ is able to clean your home, return to dock, and then empty itself. This feature is incredibly rare among robots and usually you pay a lot more for it (see our Roomba S9+ review here).

Shark ION RV871

Shark RV871 robot

The Shark RV871 has improved suction over the 700 series Shark robots. It also has an extra large dust bin and a 90 minute run time. Like most Shark vacuums, you can control the robot with the Shark app.

Shark ION AV751

Shark AV751

The Shark ION AV751 is a pretty basic robot and near the bottom of Shark’s line. It runs for up to 120 minutes, has drop sensors, and all the other standards you see everywhere. You can connect it to your smartphone for app based control. You can also buy this robot in white, if you prefer.

The AV751 appears to be a replacement to the RV750, which is now discontinued.

Shark ION 720

Shark ION Robot 720

The Shark ION 720 comes with a scheduling remote and cleans using a standard brushroll and two spinning side brushes. Infrared navigation help this Shark to navigate your space, slowly bumping and continuing as it goes. The lithium-ion battery boasts up to a 60 minute run time for this robot.

Like Shark’s line of uprights and stick vacuums, Shark produces a TON of different robot vacuum models. We’ve included the most popular versions above, but there are plenty of others.

Here’s a quick run down of Shark’s less popular robot models:

  • Shark AV752 – basic robot, appears to be exactly the same as the AV751, except it’s white instead of black.
  • Shark AV970 – Includes more advanced navigation, recharge and resume, improved suction, and a self cleaning brushroll.
  • Shark AV993 – More or less the exact same feature set included on the AV970.
  • Shark RV2001 – Includes everything from the AV970 / 993, but also adds home mapping and an improved brushroll (with powerfins).
  • Shark RV2001WD – Does everything the RV2001 does, but also mops.

Dyson Robots

While Shark offers a nice selection of robot vacuums, Dyson is quite frankly pretty lacking. Currently, Dyson only makes one robot, the 360 Heurist. However, even the Heurist has had a very limited global release.

Dyson 360 Eye

Dyson 360 eye robot vacuum

The Dyson 360 Eye uses advanced navigation to move around the space, calculating a cleaning pattern as it goes. This vacuum also has wifi-connectivity, allowing you to schedule or control the robot, as well as check out data from previous cleaning cycles. Unique to the 360 Eye, is the full-width Dyson brush bar, eliminating the need for spinning side brushes.

That said, the Dyson 360 Eye has been largely discontinued around the world. It’s pretty hard to find this robot.

Dyson 360 Heurist

Dyson 360 Heurist

Last, but not least we have the Dyson 360 Heurist. The Heurist is the newest Dyson robot vacuum and seems that it is meant to replace the 360 Eye. However, the Heurist seems to only be available in Canada and the UK. And even there it’s plagued by out of stock issues.

While it has not been formally discontinued it certainly seems it is heading that direction.

Shark vs. Dyson – Handheld Vacuums

Vacuums that are strictly handheld models are few and far between within the Shark or Dyson brand. More often, there are stick vacuums or even upright vacuums that double as handheld units.

The design of a 2-in-1 vacuum increases vacuum versatility and keeps you from having to buy different products for every small need within your home.

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus

The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro plus is the new flagship handheld from Shark. It is incredibly light at 2.8 pounds and has a respectable 0.45 quart dust bin. Additionally, it’s equipped with a tangle-free brushroll designed for pet hair.

There is also a non-pet version of the UltraCyclone here.

Shark Pet Perfect 2

The Shark Pet Perfect handheld offers cordless performance with up to a 30-minute run time. It comes with minimal accessories, however, the price point is decent for a quality handheld vacuum. Unfortunately, the cost for a replacement battery is nearly the cost of the vacuum itself, but overall this is a solid choice for a handheld.

In 2020, the Shark Pet Perfect 2 was discontinued and replaced by the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus.

Dyson V6 Trigger

The Dyson V6 Trigger is one of the only renditions of the V6 that is offered as a handheld only. The V8 and V10 come as 2-in-1 stick vacuums that can easily convert into a handheld. This handheld, and all vacuums in the V-series, have a trigger design for the on / off switch. Simply hold down the trigger and get to cleaning with no waster battery power.

Dyson V7 Trigger

Dyson V7 Trigger handheld vacuum

The Dyson V7 Trigger is the most recent standalone handheld vacuum Dyson has built. It’s a step up from the V6 Trigger. It has 100 AW of suction power on max mode and uses the trigger switch.

Shark vs. Dyson – Canister Vacuums

Historically, Shark has offered canister vacuums, but as of 2020 they seem to have discontinued all canister vacuums.

Dyson, while more known for their uprights and V-series cordless vacuums, is still producing a small selection of well reviewed canister vacuums.

Dyson Canister Vacuums

On the Dyson website, there are three main models to select from:

  1. Dyson Ball
  2. Dyson Big Ball
  3. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball

There are two models with the Dyson Big Ball class, the Multi-Floor and the Musclehead, resulting in a total of four Dyson canister models to choose from.

Dyson Ball Multi-Floor

Dyson Ball Multi Floor canister vacuum

Includes a trigger head floor cleaning took that uses rotating bristles to agitate and capture debris. Also includes two attachments—the combination tool and a stair tool, with a lifetime washable filter.

Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor

The bigger ball allows for a larger dust bin, and also introduces a new cleaning head—the carbon fiber turbine cleaning head. Also includes the combination tool and stair tool. The dust bin has been redesigned on this model, allowing you to place the dust bin further in the can before emptying, which makes it more hygienic and clean. 

Dyson Big Ball Musclehead

Dyson Big Ball Musclehead Canister vacuum

Includes the carbon fiber turbine head and the musclehead floor tool which has a slimmer profile. For in-hand accessories, the Musclehead model comes with the combination tool and the stair tool. This model also auto-adjusts for varying floor types and has the same advanced dust bin release as the Big Ball Multi-Floor model. Regarding maintenance, this model also uses a lifetime washable filter.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal

Dyson Big Ball Musclehead Canister vacuum

This is the most advanced Dyson canister vacuum to date. It requires no filter, can right itself if toppled over, and includes more accessories. With this model, you get the carbon fiber turbine head, the turbine tool hose attachment, the combination tool, stair tool, and a stiff bristle brush for dried-in dirt.

If you’re in the market for a canister vacuum specifically, I would say that Dyson takes the cake in this category, offering more canister styles with unique features.

So…Which is Better? Shark or Dyson?

Truthfully, we don’t think there is a “best”. Not 100% of the time, at least.

Both Shark and Dyson offer a wide variety of products with different features, performance levels, accessories, cleaning profiles, and price points.

This means there is a multitude of different options depending on what you actually need and desire in a new vacuum cleaner.

So how do you choose between Shark vs. Dyson?

The first question you need to answer, what type of vacuum do you need?

  • Upright vacuum – this is a more traditional vacuum, highly versatile and great for cleaning lots of different areas
  • Stick vacuums – these vacuums are lighter weight and more mobile, making them great for quick and easy cleans. They also usually are cordless and utilize a 2-in-1 design (for use as a stick or handheld)
  • Robot vacuums – if you want a vacuum, but don’t want to do the vacuuming yourself, a robot vacuum is the way to go. These have come a long way in recent years, with their performance rivaling other vacuum types.
  • Canister vacuums – if you prefer maximum power at the cost of mobility a canister vacuum is great.
  • Handheld vacuums – maximum mobility, great for localized and small messes. If you opt for an upright or canister vacuum (or stick vacuum that isn’t a 2-in-1) you may want an extra handheld for quick small cleanups.

The second question you need to answer, what is your budget?

If you’re looking to spend at or over the $$$ pricing tier, chances are you’ll want to go with a Dyson. There are of course exceptions (handhelds, older models, etc.), but most Dyson vacuum models are going to be above the $$$ tier.

If you’re looking to spend less than $$$ you’ll want to go with Shark. Just as with Dyson, there are Shark’s that are more than $$$, but most tend to be less than $$$.

The third and final question, what features are important to you?

There are lots of different models that may be better or worse, depending on the specific features that you need.

For more information on specific models and how to choose check out our Best Shark vacuums and Best Dyson vacuums.

Still can’t decide? Please drop us a comment down below. We’re happy to personally help you. We do our best to answer within 24 hours.

ChangeLog

  • January 29, 2021 – Major overhaul to the page improving formatting, correcting errors, adding new models, and removing discontinued / antiquated models. Some new models earned the top recommendation, resulting in some models being pushed down and/or off the list. Removed maintenance cost estimates due to difficulties in keeping those accurately updated.
  • March 30 / 31, 2020 – Corrected a number of issues and errors. Updated and added to our recommendations across several categories, with emphasis on the new Dyson V11 Outsize and Shark Rocket Pet Pro. Added new / updated vacuum descriptions for many models.
  • February 21, 2020 – We’ve reviewed all of our recommendations and made updates, additions, and removals above. Our updates are designed to reflect our current opinions, performance tests, prices, and model availability.
  • February 2, 2020 – We’re in the process of re-analyzing all Shark & Dyson models and updating our recommendations accordingly. Expect more updates over the next few days / weeks.
  • April 12, 2019 – Added Dyson V11 into the mix of recommendations. Modified other recommendations and content based on this addition. Updated and improved formatting and layout.
  • October 24, 2018 – Modified the intro section.
  • August 30, 2018 – Added a few more side-by-side comparisons up top. Cleaned up a few formatting issues.
  • May 23, 2018 – updated a few formatting issues.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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25 Comments on “Shark vs. Dyson: The Definitive Guide”

  1. I am looking for an upright vacuum. I have a short haired dog, carpeted and hardwood floors. I would like to use it for upholstery and ceiling cleaning. It should be lightweight as I am only 4’8” tall. Can you please suggest a good maintenance free high suction vacuum?

    Reply
    • I cannot think of any upright vacuums that meet your performance / usability requirements, while also being lightweight. They just don’t exist.

      I would suggest you consider a cordless vacuum, which will be lighter weight, be also better able to offer all of the features you’re looking for.

      Take a look at this comparison – https://moderncastle.com/dyson-v15-vs-outsize-vs-v11-vs-v10-vs-v8/

      Any of these models would meet and exceed your requirements. I would recommend whatever one has the right mix of features you’re looking for at the right price.

  2. I enjoyed this article! Very in depth.
    I’ve narrowed it down to two uprights. One Dyson and One Shark!
    I have a long haired rag doll cat (indoor cat), a baby and toddler. Clumps of hair everywhere!
    I need a strong suction and anti wrap system

    Reply
    • $0

      We don’t do sponsored content.

      But really? Why would either Shark, Dyson, or any brand pay me or anyone else to, as you say, “sit on the fence”?

  3. Although I do not have pets, I have a daughter with really, really long hair. With my current vacuum, her hair gets caught in the roller and I am constantly cutting it off the roller. Which vacuum should I get to make picking up the very long human hair the most efficient.
    Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  4. Hello,

    Can you help me find a vacuum cleaner that’s good for picking up pet hair on carpet floors, please? I have a shark professional before, but the motor died on me. I’m not too concerned if it’s upright, stick, cordless, or with the cord. Thanks

    Reply
    • You’ve got a few options.

      If you’re okay with corded upright, that’s where you’re going to get the most power for the least money. Our recommended there are:

      Dyson Ball Animal 2 (https://shop-links.co/1724617005130253287) if you have mostly low to medium carpets

      If you have high carpets get the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 (https://amzn.to/38gj3PB), as it has fewer issues with high pile carpet relative to the Dyson Ball Animal 2

      Those are my 2 favorite uprights. If you’re not a fan of Dyson the best pick on the Shark side would be the Shark APEX DuoClean (https://amzn.to/2YTyxpW).

      Any of those 3 would be more than sufficient, and a major upgrade over the Shark Professional you were using.

  5. I’m only worried about cleaning a single bedroom right now as I live with roommates in college, but I want a good vacuum for when I move out as well. I want it to be standing and I mainly want it for a quick cat-fur cleaning every morning. I have tile flooring and an area rug. I don’t mind spending a good bit of money as long as it’s a quality vacuum. What do you suggest?

    Reply
  6. I am looking for a quiet vacuum but the reviews never have the actual vacuum sound when running. That would be very helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
    • There are no Dyson nor Shark vacuums that I would describe as quiet.

      The only vacuums that could fall into “quiet” category would be robot vacuums. Robot vacuums tend to be around 10 dB quieter than traditional corded upright vacuums.

  7. Just wanted to make you aware that the the ads to the left of the screen is covering part of the article. It cuts off the writing to the left of the article. I powered through but it was very annoying not to be able to read the entire article as it was mean to be read. There is no way to adjust or minimize the ad.

    Reply
    • Yikes…I’m sorry to hear that happened. It certainly shouldn’t be.

      Are you to tell me what browser and resolution you’re using? We will get it fixed as soon as possible.

  8. Need a vacuum that picks up short pet hair and is able to reach under the bed and sofa and has really suction power that can go from carpet to floor. Which do you suggest? Also any cobwebs on the ceilings. Not too concerned about a stick or canister, nor cord or cordless.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • I’d suggest either the Dyson V10 Absolute or Dyson V11 Torque Drive. Or if you want to go Shark, get the Shark IONFlex DuoClean.

      I tend to personally prefer the Dyson over the Shark, but honestly, they are really close. And the IONFlex DuoClean is an amazing machine in its own right.

      All 3 of these models perform exceptionally well, have a long run time, can reach high and low, and easily move between floor types (carpet or hard surfaces). Based on your needs and desires I am confident in all 3 models to get the job done, it really just comes down to price.

      V11 – https://amzn.to/3ts2HNg – is most expensive, but has the best cleaning power and is the smartest machine.

      V10 – https://shop-links.co/1735007433099437878 – is a good middle of the road option and includes the soft roller head as a standalone attachment.

      IONFlex – https://amzn.to/2KmyZC8 – is the least expensive and includes a combination DuoClean head, so you don’t have to switch.

  9. I have a Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Tru-Pet HV320 which has always been a wonderful and reliable Vac.
    Just recently the brush stopped turning on the motorised power head. I had asked my husband to have a look at it for me and the next thing I know he had thrown it out as the rubbish went out that day!!
    I rang to try and replace the motor head, only to be told that they no longer sell that model and I could NOT get a replacement of the same head!! I was offered another unit at a reasonable price but was not happy, I did not want to buy a new machine.
    After asking the question and the salesperson having to go away and check they were able to offer me another head, but it would not work as it was intended to with my current model.
    I have purchased this head anyway as I did not want to buy a whole new vacuum. It has not arrived yet but I will be really disappointed if it does not fit my model.
    Shark vacuum’s are an expensive item, and I was VERY disappointed that they did not have a better spare parts division for their discontinued models. As it is it has made me think long and hard about the value of buying a Shark next time!

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to hear you had such a hard time finding a replacement cleaning head.

      Thank you for sharing your experience though!

  10. The shark actually lasts longer on high settings with a power attachment on it. The dyson will only last around 6 minutes on high with a power attachment were as the shark will last around 12 minutes. low power with no power attachments is the only way to get 60 minutes of run time out of the dyson which is better than the shark which was only 25 minutes or so.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing, Matthew.

      Which Shark model do you have?

      We’re getting a few more Shark’s, including the IONFlex within the next couple of weeks here for updated testing on these.