Shark vs. Dyson Vacuums – 2022 Buying Guide

By Maria Hernandez / February 8, 2022 / 3 Comments

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If you have decided that it’s time to get a new vacuum cleaner, the next big question is, which one? If you are looking at the leading brands, there are so many to choose from. In this article we cover the best Shark vs. Dyson vacuums.

To help you choose, we have reviewed and compared the three best Shark and the three best Dyson vacuum cleaners currently on the market. We look at each in detail, compare them, and suggest which one is best for what job.

We’ve separated the vacs into three main categories. The upright vacuums category includes heavy-duty cleaning machines designed for the toughest jobs. The upright style typically allows for larger dirt capacities and are usually corded, meaning there’s no limit to the amount of time that can be spent extracting debris.

The super sleek stick vacuums have become strong contenders in the residential market and are rapidly increasing their powers to compete with the clunkier, bulkier upright models. These vacs are lightweight, typically cordless, and tend to be best for quick touch-up jobs.

Blending the heavy-duty features of an upright and the more mobile options of a stick vacuum, canister vacs can pull double duty on tackling the majority of messes that cross their paths. These vacs take the weight out of vacuuming, without losing dirt capacity or suction strength. While they aren’t the easiest to store or even transport, these versatile vacs may be just the ticket to a balanced life of suction.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Shark Rotator Professional Lift Away Upright Vacuum
  2. Best Stick: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum
  3. Best Upright: Dyson Ball Animal 2 Total Clean Upright Vacuum
  4. Best Canister: Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum
  5. Best Corded: Shark Rotator Lift Away Canister Vacuum
  6. Best Lightweight: Shark Ion F80 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

Shark vs. Dyson Vacuum Buying Advice

When zoning in on the top three Sharks and top three Dysons, we factored in functions and features, along with price points and consumer reviews. In the end, overall value rises to the top once all factors have been considered.

Certain vacuums are definitely better for certain jobs, but when it comes to zeroing in on the best vac that can cover the most ground, this is the way the cookie crumbles (and then hopefully gets promptly inhaled by a substantial amount of suction).

But before diving in, a quick word about the difference between the two brands. Both brands make a wide variety of vacuum cleaners for different purposes, so you will find uprights, sticks, canisters, and much more from each brand. And both are quality and respected brands.

That said, while Dyson has built their name by making top-quality vacuum cleaners that are at the top of the range when it comes to price, Shark offers more affordable alternatives. As a result, you can generally expect better suction and overall performance from a Dyson, but more value for your money when you invest in a Shark.

Best Overall: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Weight: 15.5 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded

The Good:

  • Price
  • Lift-Away handheld conversion
  • HEPA filter, washable
  • Large dust bin

The Bad:

  • Durability
  • Tools don’t lock in place
  • Emptying can be messy
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum is a versatile and relatively lightweight system. The Lift-Away function allows the vac to be converted into a mobile hand vacuum weighing in at just 8.4 lbs.

Adjustable suction settings allow users to customize suction power to accommodate different types of floor surfaces and other applications like area rugs and curtains.

The HEPA filtration system can make a huge difference in applications where dander, dust, and pollen need to be eliminated. The washable filters can be used over and over and capture some of the tiniest allergens trapped in carpet fibers. The Anti-Allergen Complete Seal locks particles in and keeps them contained for the duration of the cleaning session.

The motorized roller brush tool can target deep into carpeted surfaces and effectively draws pet hair and dander even from shag carpet/high pile applications. When combined with the vac’s Lift-Away functionality, this tool can provide an exceptional solution for stair cleaning tasks.

A substantial power cord measuring in around 30 feet maximizes the Shark Rotator Professional vac’s range and can make a huge difference when it comes to traversing hallways and stairs.

What Reviewers Say

The vacuum’s brush roll does an impressive job of extracting various types of debris from carpet fibers, according to a number of users. The roll is also reported to be easy to clean and doesn’t have any issues with tangled, hairy messes.

Quite a few reviews reported having replaced a Dyson with a Shark to compare suction capabilities and most were extremely satisfied with their decision. Suction levels have been reported to be similar by these former Dyson owners.

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright is surprisingly easy to maneuver according to some owners. Though the vacuum appears a bit bulky, it can zip and zoom around with relative ease. The Lift-Away function continues to pop up in reviews as being a favorite feature too, and many users report that they’ve been able to compress their household suction tools into this one efficient system.

Features & Considerations

The LED headlights on the floor head help to expose hidden particles and pet hair and can assist in low-lying applications too.

The tool arsenal included with the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away is adequate and includes a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and a floor nozzle. A canister caddy is available as an add-on purchase and can transform this vac from 2-in-1 functionality to 3-in-1.

The dirt collection bin is easy to remove, though it can sometimes be a bit, well, dirty to dump. Stubborn particles may need a little help making their way out of the bin, and by help, that means the user.

Best Stick: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Lightweight Cordless

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Weight: 5.88 lbs.
  • Power Source: Battery

The Good:

  • Sleek body style
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to store
  • Long clean time

The Bad:

  • Small dirt capacity
  • Price
  • No on/off switch lock
  • Issues with battery life over time
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is a slim and sleek suction system that can be utilized in various cleaning applications. The vac can convert to a super mobile hand vac but can also serve as a substantial solution for most floor surfaces.

Two roller brushes offer varied cleaning capabilities. The bristles on the Torque drive cleaner head dig deep into carpet fibers, while the soft roller cleaner head grabs both large debris and fine dust that have settled on hard surfaces.

There are three main modes of suction control, which allow users to harness the serious suction power the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute provides. Almost all applications can be attacked and, when tracking particles and debris that have taken up residence overhead, the lightweight and ergonomic design extends cleaning time by minimizing user fatigue.

On a full charge, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute should be able to clean for up to 60 minutes in standard suction mode. When the motorized head and extreme suction mode are in play, battery life dwindles to about 20 minutes. The battery usually takes about 3-4 hours to fully charge up.

The docking station can be mounted on a wall, and the vacuum can easily be stowed while charging. Some of the accessory tools can also live on the dock.

What Reviewers Say

Many consumers report that battery run times can vary widely and the “up to” part of the battery runtime estimates are key. One user claims to be able to achieve maximum run times by modifying suction settings throughout the cleaning session, only utilizing the least amount of suction required to get each part of the job done.

Lots of users rave about the dust bin dumping experience with the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute. Previous models have been less than impressive in this category, but many owners report marked improvement here.

The docking station is a popular feature among Cyclone V10 Absolute owners, and many report really enjoying the easy-to-store and easy-to-access design.

Features & Considerations

There are a few tools and accessories included with the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute. In addition to the two roller heads, there is a mini motorized brush that works wonders on stairs and upholstery. The crevice tool is useful when combined with the handheld functionality of the vac and can reach upper levels of dirt and dust with ease.

The Cyclone V10 Absolute is manufactured with a powerful ceramic motor to help create similar suction to that of a standard, typically heavier-duty, upright vacuum.

In an effort to extend run times, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute doesn’t have an on/off switch. The user must hold the power trigger for the duration of the suction session and, while this can really be a plus when it comes to longer battery life, it can cause some serious fatigue for the vacuum operator.

Best Upright: Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Weight: 17.5 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded

The Good:

  • Price
  • Super suction
  • Washable filter
  • Long power cord

The Bad:

  • Weight
  • A bit bulky to store
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner

The brawny Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a powerful pet hair picker-upper but is also able to dabble with debris on various floor types thanks to its self-adjusting cleaner head.

The ball-shaped motorhead is super swivel-y and can maneuver in multiple directions, though it can be a bit cumbersome at times and does struggle to reach under most low-lying furniture.

The whole-vac HEPA filtration system aims to capture 99.97% of microns measuring 0.3 or larger, and when combined with the vacuum’s incredible suction capabilities, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is phenomenal at eliminating almost all remnants of pet hair and dander and most other dirty debris in the process.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum boasts an extra-long power cord, measuring approximately 35 feet. This freeing function can extend cleaning ranges and can save users just a little bit of time.

While the vacuum is powerful and ideal for most types of floor surfaces, its bulk can be limiting, keeping it from easily addressing certain applications like staircases and under furniture.

What Reviewers Say

Dyson Ball Animal 2 users love the self-adjusting floor head, and most seem to agree that the vacuum can switch back and forth between almost all floor types with zero effort from the operator.

There are a few issues reported in regard to high pile or super plush carpet applications. The suction is too strong sometimes and users have real trouble moving the vacuum across the floor during operation.

The onboard wand is designed to be detached from the vacuum to take on extended cleaning tasks and, while it can come in handy, many users report that the hose is difficult to manage and can be hard to move in and out of its onboard spot.

Even though reviewers report some struggles and headaches with the Dyson Ball Animal 2, almost all seem to say the minor blips along the way are worth the vacuum’s powerful cleaning capabilities. Various owners also mention that the product’s quality and performance definitely justifies its price.

Features & Considerations

The tangle-free brush roll that comes with the vacuum helps to prevent maddening hair clogs that can create rotational resistance. This means no more cutting hairs from the roll, which can save some users a substantial amount of time and effort.

An extendable wand releases from the vacuum to provide added functionality. While the hose can be a bit difficult to work with at times, when combined with some of the tools and attachments, it can really provide some serious support when it comes to reaching areas that the bulky main vacuum body can’t reach.

The dirt bin dumping process is reasonably seamless, and users will appreciate the level-action, self-scraping design that helps to keep dirt contained and eliminates the need for user interaction with the recently removed debris.

Best Canister: Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.3):

  • Weight: 17.64 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded

The Good:

  • Price
  • Compact
  • Retractable power cord

The Bad:

  • Bulky to store
  • Attachments can be difficult to use
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal

The Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum is a sturdy and sucky cleaning assistant. With anti-tip technology, when you knock this vac down—you guessed it—it gets up again. Designed to follow a user around the room while in use, the Dyson Big Ball does a great job of consistently being there to provide assistance with heavy-duty cleaning tasks.

The carbon fiber roller head grabs all kinds of particles and even attracts fine dust. This feature makes the vac nearly flawless when it comes to hard surface vacuuming.

The versatile floor tool allows users to choose from an easy mode or a max mode to best attack the situation at hand. The max mode can be pretty intense. You should probably reserve it for serious cleanups.

The lever action dirt bin release helps to minimize a user’s interaction with debris during the dumping process and seriously improves the overall cleaning experience.

The body of the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum is relatively compact, taking up a small footprint. Storing the vac can be a bit of a challenge, as the hose and floor head can add quite a bit to the overall size requiring storage space.

What Reviewers Say

The suction power of the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum is serious according to many reviewers. This vac pulls in almost anything in its path, including area rugs, rogue socks, and other items from multiple feet across the room. If you don’t want it gone, pick it up prior to the suction session.

The suction/handle control can be a bit uncomfortable for some users to operate over the course of a cleaning, especially for those with arthritis.

Thanks to the small canister size and super lightweight handle, the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum can fit into most applications with minimal effort. Users report being able to reach behind appliances and under furniture, and handle the floor cleaning all in one session.

Features & Considerations

As previously noted, the ball shape of the vacuum keeps the vacuum level and keeps it up and running as it moves about its business.

The wand extends to over four feet in length and can be used with attachments to tackle most household jobs. The accessories included with the vac are few, but they are designed for various tasks and seem to be adequate in adding some versatility to the vacuum.

The suction release trigger helps to adjust suction levels, which can prove to be a very important feature considering the Dyson Big Ball’s power.

The retractable power cord feature is helpful and time-saving, though it’s been known to bind up at times and may require a bit of attention and patience during the rewinding process.

Best Corded: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Canister Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Weight: 22.6 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded

The Good:

  • LED headlights
  • Price
  • Washable filter

The Bad:

  • Emptying process can get messy
  • Can be difficult to store
  • Durability/quality
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Canister Vacuum
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Canister Vacuum is versatile and can cover a lot of bases. The low-profile, sleek handle is super lightweight and easy to maneuver in tight spots. Its airy arrangement helps to eliminate fatigue during the cleaning process.

The vac has suction controls. They allow you to adjust the levels for different surface applications. So the Lift-Away Canister Vacuum can easily go from carpeted surfaces to hard floors and upholstery jobs.

The Lift-Away function allows the vacuum to break away from the confines of the canister to go mobile for more tedious jobs like staircases and ceiling fans. Weighing in at around 8 lbs., this handheld variation can go just about anywhere.

The motorized nozzle assists in digging into carpet fibers to remove deep-set dirt. When combined with the feather-light handle, cleaning stairs, couches, and tight corners couldn’t be easier.

The LED headlights on the floor head keep things illuminated, allowing users to see otherwise hidden debris like fine pet hair or dust particles.

What Reviewers Say

According to a few reviewers, the brush roll together with the lift-away function makes cleaning carpeted stairs a breeze. They report that the vac works wonders on all types of carpeted surfaces.

Reviewers report that the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister Vacuum is a pet owner’s second-best friend. It is able to go around and clean up the messes left by the first best friend. It can easily erase kitty litter, food kibbles, fluffy tufts of hair, and other pet-related debris, according to some users.

Per quite a few user reports, to maintain top levels of suction, you may need to clean the filters more often than the three-month interval the manufacturer recommends.

Features & Considerations

The tools and accessories that come with this versatile vac include a dusting brush, a straight suction nozzle, a small pet brush, and a crevice tool. You can store these handy helpers on the vac for easy access during your cleaning sessions.

The vacuum can require a bit more storage space than most standard upright vacuums. The combination of the canister and handle can add up to a relatively large footprint.

The power cord is 23 feet long, which is about average in the realm of residential vacuums. There is a convenient “cord rewind” feature built into the vac, which can also help to keep the cord stowed without adding additional bulk to the vacuum.

Best Lightweight: Shark Ion F80 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Weight: 8.51 lbs.
  • Power Source: Battery

The Good:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Washable filter
  • Easy to store
  • Comes with two batteries

The Bad:

  • Emptying process can get messy
  • Battery life issues
  • No HEPA filter
  • Price

The Shark Ion F80 Cordless Stick Vacuum is slim and lightweight. You can easily transform it into a handheld vac. You can use it with the various tools included to conquer a variety of tasks.

Designed to clean both hard and carpeted surfaces, the Shark Ion F80 has a dual roller system. They each feature different textures for capturing all types of dust and debris. You can also remove the brushes to clean them when they need it.

Shark has upped its game with the Ion F80. They included two removable batteries, so cleaning times can extend well past the life of just one battery.

When combining both fully charged batteries, operation times can stretch up to 80 minutes. (It depends on the settings you are using.)

The MultiFlex function enables users to bend the vacuum’s handle at a 90° angle and can provide access to previously unreachable areas under dressers and beds. This feature is also helpful when it comes to putting the vac away, limiting the vacuum’s height by nearly half.

The filtration system is multi-stage, though the Ion F80 doesn’t come with a HEPA filter. Filters are washable and reusable. You should clean them at least every three months for optimal performance.

What Reviewers Say

Shark Ion F80 owners rave about the ability to switch out the vac’s battery mid-cleaning session. Some report bumping things up a notch and adding the optional dual battery charger with an additional battery. That will basically offer endless opportunities to operate their suction system until they have demolished all dirt.

At first glance, the narrow floor head could seem to be a detriment to efficient cleaning. However, many reviews claim the size seems to be more effective at creating powerful suction. It enables them to easily slip in and out of tight spaces with no effort.

Some users report that the vacuum can struggle a bit when it comes to whole-house deep cleans. They claim that it seems to be most successful as a secondary, quick pick up suction system. They say that is better than depending on it to handle the full scope of dirt removal throughout the house.

Features & Considerations

The dust cup is quite small. You will probably need to empty it after each standard-sized room has been cleaned. The dumping process is reasonably simple. However, sometimes a bit of dirt can accumulate on the outside of the cup’s door.

The Ion F80 has an on/off switch, unlike its Dyson counterparts. This is a seriously convenient feature. It allows users to click the switch and go without having to hold a trigger down the whole time they are using the vacuum. This feature can also create quite a drain on the battery, hence the dual battery setup.

The vacuum has quite a few storage options. You can store it flat on a floor (under a bed) or as it comes (largest footprint). You can also store it with its handle folded in half using the MultiFlex function. In addition, a wall mount docking station is available as an add-on purchase.

Side by Side Comparison

ProductOur RatingWeightPower
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
Shark Rotator Professional
View on Amazon –>
View on Kohl’s –>
Best Overall

Overall: 4.8
15.5 lbs.Corded
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
View on Amazon –>
View on Dyson –>
Best Stick

Overall: 4.8
5.88 lbs.Battery
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Dyson Ball Animal 2
View on Amazon –>
View on Dyson –>
Best for Upright

Overall: 4.7
17.5 lbs.Corded
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Canister

Overall: 4.3
17.64 lbs.Corded
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Canister Vacuum
Shark Rotator Professional
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Corded

Overall: 4.7
22.6 lbs.Corded
Shark Ion F80 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum
Shark Ion F80
View on Shark –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Lightweight

Overall: 4.7
8.51 lbs.Battery

Back to Top

Core Functions: Who Does It Best?

The vacs that made it to the final round have risen to the top of the list of other models within their lineups after factoring in price, consumer reviews, and strong overall design considerations.

There are some vacuum attributes (vacttributes, if you will) that, when compared, can really shed some light on what a user can expect from their mobile debris destroyer. Now, there are different variables that will stand out to different types of consumers who are maintaining varying scenarios, but these core, foundational features are pretty universal.

We’ve zoned in on the different basic functions and features these bagless beasts and delicate-but-divisive suction sticks all need, and awarded a “winner” status to the vac that does the best in each category.

In the upright category, we’ll be comparing the spherical particle predator Dyson Ball Animal 2 and the versatile and slightly smaller Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away.

The featherlight but ferocious stick vac lineup includes the super-powered Shark Ion F80 Lightweight and the slim and sucky Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute.

Duking it out in the canister vac realm, we’ll see the very balanced Dyson Big Ball matched up against the slightly more sleek Shark Rotator Lift-Away Canister Vacuum.

Corded Or Cordless?

Cordless vacs can grant freedom from the limiting and tangled ranges of power cords. The downside here is that a cleaning session’s success is directly tied to a vacuum’s battery life. Cords can provide a different kind of freedom in independence from the constant pursuit of battery juice.

Among The Corded

In the upright category, the Dyson Ball 2 Animal’s got everyone beat with its lengthy 35’ cord. The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away measures in at around 30’.

WINNER: Dyson Ball 2 Animal Upright Vacuum

When it comes to the lifeline of the canister vacs, Shark’s Rotator Lift-Away Canister crushes the Dyson Big Ball by a mere 2’ with its 23’ cord, though both models tie for convenience with their retractable cord features.

WINNER: Shark Rotator Lift-Away Canister Vacuum.

Feather-Light And Free Range

The life and times of a cordless vacuum are typically filled with ebbs and flows of energy. When it comes to maximizing cleaning times, Shark is onto something with the Ion F80 two-battery rotation. The vac comes with two removable batteries so one can be charging while the other is in use, extending full clean times to up to 80 minutes.

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute tends to provide a decent clean time with its singular battery setup, providing up to 60 minutes, but the stationary battery limits users’ options.

WINNER: Shark Ion F80 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum.


When it comes to hauling a vacuum around the house while performing household suction functions, weight can be a huge factor in both the user’s experience and a vac’s performance within specific applications.

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute knocks it out of the park when it comes to lift-ability. This sleek vac weighs in at 5.88 lbs., making it easy to aim this suction system at just about any dirty situation with minimal effort.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the canister vacs tend to be some of the most difficult to mobilize up and down stairs, with the Dyson Big Ball Canister coming in at around 17 lbs. and the Shark Rotator Lift-Away Canister tipping the scales at 22 lbs., though its removable lift-away handheld set up is just 8 lbs.

WINNER: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Stick Vacuum.

Dirt Collection Capacities

One of the main benefits of the upright and canister vacuum body styles is the boost in dirt collection capacity. Who doesn’t want to distance the times between dirt dumping?

In the upright comparison, Dyson Ball 2 Animal has a sizable capacity of 0.55 gallons. Shark’s Rotator Professional Lift-Away’s max fill line tops out at around 0.32 gallons (or about 1.3 quarts).

WINNER: Dyson Ball 2 Animal Upright Vacuum.

The canister vacs come in a close second when it comes to dust containment qualities. The Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum is able to tote around 0.53 gallons of grime.

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away Canister Vac’s dirt carrying capacity doesn’t have a solid unit of measurement attached to it for stark comparisons, though it seems to be sized similarly to that of its upright counterpart.

WINNER: Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum

Dirt bin storage capabilities are not necessarily strong points of the designed-for-speed-not-storage stick vacuums. Both vac manufacturers have done a decent job balancing dirt bin size while maintaining their vacs’ airy ways.

The Shark Ion F80 has a 0.3-quart capacity (or 0.33 liters for easy comparison), while the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute steps it up with a 0.77-liter bin.

WINNER: Dyson Cycleon V10 Absolute Stick Vacuum.


Almost all of the vacs within the ranks have HEPA (or HEPA-style) filtration systems. Most incorporate multiple filters into the vac’s system. So the process starts at first contact and ends with air leaving the vacuum’s exhaust.

These HEPA systems help to eliminate 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. They clean the air while eradicating dust, debris, and even tiny bits of pollen and dander from the surfaces of the home.

It’s a five-way tie in this category, excluding the Shark Ion F80 Lightweight Stick Vacuum. It seems this vac has a decent filtration system, too. It is just not quite as elaborate when it comes to the tiniest debris.

NOT THE WINNER: Shark Ion F80 Lightweight Stick Vacuum.


Versatility in a vacuum can come in many forms, from adjustable handles and suction settings to swivel heads and convertible body styles. Due to the vast array of features and functions, we’ve broken this part down by type.


Starting us off in the upright category, the Ball 2 Animal comes with an onboard hose that can be detached and utilized with attachments. This dirt-digging vac also self-adjusts to the flooring that it’s hovering over. That way, it will provide the best possible suction for the specific application.

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away also offers suction settings, though not as automatic as the Ball 2’s system.

The Lift-Away feature is this vac’s superpower, bumping it to the next level when it comes to versatility. The lightweight handheld system can easily travel up and down stairs and to various other highs and lows throughout the house.

WINNER: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

Stick Vacuums

The world of stick vacuums is where things take a turn for the super-versatile, mobile cleaning systems. The Shark Ion F80 comes with an assortment of tools and accessories and also converts to a handheld vac. The Ion F80 also has a MultiFlex handle that allows the vac’s handle to bend at a 90° angle. This flexible feature can reach under low-lying furniture and also helps when it comes time to store the vac.

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is equally versatile in its own regard and also converts to a handheld vacuum. Attachments can be used with both the stick and handheld layout, and the extremely lightweight body style enables this vac to go just about anywhere.

WINNER: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

Canister Vacuums

Canister vacs can be somewhat limited in their versatility due to the nature of their usual bulky bases. The Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum comes with some decent tools that can aid users in conquering tasks beyond the floor’s surface. The tools only carry this one so far, though, and its bulk limits it in some of the tedious applications.

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Canister Vac solves the bulk problem by allowing the vacuum’s motor and dirt bin to break away from the canister to mobilize to areas where it’s needed. This eight-pound, lightweight hand vac option blazes this vac up to the top of the canister vac versatility list.

WINNER: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Canister Vac.

Ditching The Debris

When it comes to saying goodbye to the dust, the debris, and the mounds of pet hair, nearly nobody wants to touch the fruits of their labor. One of the biggest hurdles a bagless vacuum has to overcome is its ability to limit the amount of contact a user must have with dirt while dumping the dirt collection bin.

Dyson has had its ups and downs with this design, but most models now come with a much-improved lever action mechanism connected to a sleeve that helps to scrape stubborn dust and dirt from the bin. Users shouldn’t expect to come in contact with dirt very often with this handy setup.

Shark has its own methods to help minimize dust from escaping back into the room during The Dump, though in most models the process requires users to access two sides of the dirt container, which inherently can lead to additional contact with crud. Pet hair may need added coaxing at times, and the fine mesh screen within the bin might also need help from time to time.


Coolness Factor

There is really no competition in this category when it comes to sleek and slim lines combined with sophisticated technology. Dyson usually has this base covered, and in this rankings list, it definitely does. The ability to hang a five-pound, featherlight, versatile powerful suction system on its docking/charging station with minimal to no impact on its surrounding area is pretty cool. So…

WINNER: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute.

Ease Of Storage

An often forgotten variable during the search for the perfect home improvement tool is where the item will go when it’s not in use. Vacuums need to be close by, they need to be handy, and they need to be ready for action at the drop of a bowl of chips.

When it comes to ease of storage, the canister vacs tend to drop to the bottom of the list, as the nature of this vacuum tends to be a bit of bulk. The hoses are cleanly attached and the wheels can be big and burly. All of these features are valuable, except when it comes time to tuck everything away. Neither of the canister vacs is necessarily a winner in this department.

Shark has done a decent job of streamlining their vacs a bit, and the Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright follows these slightly slimmer lines. The upright is still a typical upright though, with a broad base and a tall handle. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is of similar build and stature.

This category is yet another where the stick vacs dominate. The Shark Ion F80 Cordless Stick Vac is low-profile and comes with the added feature of the MultiFlex handle system, which allows the handle to fold in half. This creates a slightly better storage setup, though the vac is still pretty wide.

As expected, when it comes to clean and sleek, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute absolutely delivers. A wall-mountable docking and charging station can be installed in a convenient and out-of-the-way spot near all of the action, and the vac will blend right into its natural surroundings.

WINNER: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum

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Pros and Cons

Consumer reviews play a large role in the rankings of the vacs. Due to the two brands’ sometimes similar features and functions, it comes as no surprise that some of the consumer feedback would align, too.

Common Complaints


Most of the consumer complaints regarding Dyson stem from their vacuum losing suction. This issue is typically blamed on the vac not breathing as well as it once did due to buildup internally. Some consumers report that even after filters and internal hoses have been cleaned, the suction is still not the same.

The on-board hose attachments are commonly reported as being difficult to manage and tedious to use at times.

A top complaint among Dyson owners with cordless vacs is the lack of a removable battery. The suction experience is so satisfactory that users feel devastated when they can’t continue the fun because they’ve run out of juice.


Shark complaints also tend to be in the lack of suction department, and some users report really struggling to regain the exceptional extraction power they experienced initially. Again, maintenance seems to go a long way with bagless vacs, but some owners report that, no matter what they do, the vacuum just doesn’t suck anymore.

Quality and longevity are also common themes among owner complaints. Some users report that parts and pieces can seem cheaply made and can break after brief periods of time.

Top Compliments


There seems to be a resounding “WHOA” that comes from most Dyson owners at least once during their time spent with the vac. Suction is serious with these cyclone-tech vacuums, and one reviewer reported nearly getting sucked in at one point.

Sleek design and modern lines keep Dyson customers coming back. The distinct look and feel of a Dyson can’t really be recreated, and many consumers report being hooked on the impressive handling and technologies built into their vacuums.


Many Shark owners acknowledge that they made their purchase based on price point and were pleasantly surprised with the budget vacuum’s performance. Users report experiencing way more suction power than they were expecting.

Lots of Shark vacuum owners rave about their vac’s versatility. Many report the vac to be a new favorite friend and continue to test its skills at different tasks around the house. Maintenance is also a commonly mentioned plus—when it comes time to clean the cleaner, the task is a simple one.

Strengths And Weaknesses

A few of the vacuums have risen to the top in certain subcategories. When a specific task needs to be tackled, certain vacs are best (or not the best) for the job.

Pet Hair

It may come as no surprise that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 dominates the dander and pet hair vac scene. Combining its superior suction with a self-adjusting floor head, this vac can target deeply embedded dirt no matter the floor surface. An extra large dirt bin does well at containing up to a half gallon of Fluffy’s fluff.

Both Shark Rotator Professional models are tied for second in this category and have the ability to go mobile too, so the hair on the furniture and stairs can easily be eliminated along with the standard floor surfaces.

All Surfaces

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 automatically adjusts to its terrain, so users can zip from floor surface to floor surface without missing a piece of debris. This simple but intuitive design makes this vac easy to use in most floor applications.

Hard Floors

The Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum does an amazing job on hard surfaces (hardwood, tile, laminate, etc) and its mobile rolling canister can easily navigate and follow along during cleaning sessions.


The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away models do an outstanding job at taking on tough applications like staircases. The lightweight, 8-lb. handheld Lift-Away vac can be used with the motorized attachment to dig in deep to carpeted fibers on a staircase, while the crevice tool performs masterful work on hard surface steps.

Battery Life

Two is usually better than one, especially when it comes to batteries. The Shark Ion F80 Cordless Stick Vacuum wins in this category because users have a power source backup option to help extend their cleaning fun. A dual battery charging base is even available as an add-on purchase along with additional batteries, so there’s really no stopping this Shark or its owner.


The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is super mobile and, with its 5.88-lb. body weight, cordless operation, and its ability to convert to a handheld unit, this vac is ready for just about any task. Vehicle upholstery can be handled, ceiling cracks and crevices navigated, and even the hidden strips of dust on the ceiling fan overhead can be eliminated with relative ease.

Once again, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away models also come in a close second in this category. Larger dirt bins combine with specific tools and accessories to create a heavy-duty handheld cleaning system that can head to every last corner of the house and garage.

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How We Ranked the Best Shark and Dyson Vacuums

OK, so there was a lot of information to take in there, and you may still be asking yourself which vacuum cleaner you should get.

Well, the answer to that question depends on what you need. Ask yourself essential questions such as:

  • Corded or Cordless. Are you vacuuming a space where a cord is a genuine hindrance to your cleaning activity? Or do you just hate the cord and are willing to sacrifice on power in order to not have a cord?
  • Battery Life. If you go for a cordless model, how much run time do you need to clean your home? Is it large or small? Do you like to do your home all in one go and therefore need a long battery life? Or do you tend to do one room at a time, which allows for a shorter battery life?
  • Suction Power. How dirty do your floors get? Do you find that pet hair and other debris stick to your carpet, and therefore you are going to need strong suction power to get everything up? Or do you live in a pet-free home that is actually pretty easy to keep clean?
  • Debris Capacity and Emptying. Again, how big is the space that you clean in one go, and how much debris do you pick up? How big of a capacity do you need to be able to complete your task without needing to empty your vacuum cleaner? Also, do you find it easy or difficult to empty your vacuum cleaner without spilling debris? Do you need something with easy-to-empty features?
  • Filtration System. Do you have allergy sufferers in your home? Do you need a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the area?
  • Maneuverability. Do you find it easy to push your vacuum cleaner around, or do you have mobility difficulties? Would you benefit from features that make the vacuum easier to handle?
  • Versatility. In addition to your carpets, what else will you be vacuuming? Do you need something with a lift-away vacuum head or a variety of attachments to get into hard-to- reach places?
  • Storage. Where will you be storing your vacuum? Do you have lots of space, or do you need something compact? Will you be storing it away, or do you need something with a mount for in-sight storage?
  • Price. What is your budget? Can you afford to get the top-of-the-range machine, or is it worth looking at a more affordable model?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you should be able to use our detailed comparison to find the vacuum cleaner that is the perfect match for you.

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How Long Do Vacuum Cleaners Last?

According to consumer research, the average lifespan of a vacuum cleaner is eight years, but this varies a lot depending on which brand you buy. Dyson vacuum cleaners come with a five-year warranty as standard for residential use, which suggests they may last a few years longer than this. Shark vacuums generally come with a one-year warranty as standard, though you can purchase an extension.

What Is The Difference Between Shark And Dyson Vacuum Cleaners?

There are obviously a lot of differences between the individual vacuum cleaners made by Shark and Dyson, but the main difference between the two brands is price. Dyson vacuums tend to be more expensive than Shark options. For the extra dollars, you generally get better suction power with Dyson. So it is often the choice between a premium Dyson and a not quite as good but quite a bit less expensive Shark.

Should I Dust Or Vacuum First?

It is always a good idea to dust before you vacuum so you can pick up particles dislodged during dusting while you are vacuuming.

How Do I Make My Home Less Dusty?

Besides vacuuming on a regular basis, you can reduce the amount of dust in your home with a few simple tricks, such as changing your bed linens weekly, as they tend to accumulate dust mites, and keeping closets tidy, as clothing tends to shed fibers. You should also remove clutter from surfaces, as these tend to attract dust, and invest in an air purifier.

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Final Thoughts

Shark and Dyson are both excellent vacuum cleaner brands, both of which have a lot of different models available. Which one is right for you depends entirely on what your priorities are.

If you want something cordless but with decent battery life, the Shark Ion F80 Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum is probably going to be the best choice for you. For maneuverability, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Stick Vacuum will delight.

To make your choice, decide what your priorities are and then see which of these amazing cleaners from both Dyson and Shark fit the bill (and the price tag).

Whichever you choose, you won’t often go wrong if you buy either of these great brands.

Do you have a Shark or a Dyson at home? What do you think of them and would you recommend them? Share your experience with the community in the comments section below.

About Maria Hernandez

Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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