Dyson vs Shark: which vacuum brand is right for you?

It’s the battle of the powerful vacuum brands, but which one is best – Dyson or Shark?

While there are plenty of good vacuum cleaner brands on the market, including Hoover and Miele, when it comes to sales, the biggest two in the UK are Dyson and Shark.  

Dyson has led the UK vacuum cleaner market for years. However, US manufacturer Shark is nipping at Dyson’s heels – it claims to have become the best-selling vacuum cleaning brand in the UK in 2022. 

Images of Dyson and Shark vacuum cleaners to illustrate a feature on Dyson vs SharkCredit: Dyson/Shark
Dyson and Shark are two of the biggest vacuum cleaning brands, but which one is a better buy?

It’s not surprising that these two vacuum heavyweights are often pitted against one another. They both use innovative technology, are powerfully brilliant at cleaning up pet hair, and are constantly producing new and improved models and products. So, lots of great qualities – but which vacuum cleaner brand is right for you? 

To help you make the decision we’ve looked at nine key areas that are important when it comes to buying a vacuum cleaner. We’ve then measured these criteria across both brands.  

Ready to find out who comes out on top? It’s time for round one. 



Which is better value?

Neither of these brands is the vacuum cleaner for you if you’re looking for a budget buy. However, they do offer excellent value for money because they can be repaired and they seem to last longer than cheaper brands. 


Upright vacuum cleaners start at £279.99 for the Dyson Ball Animal cleaner, while the cordless V8 can be bought from £329.99 . The most expensive cleaners in the Dyson range are the latest V15 Detect models, which can cost as much as £659.99. 

Dyson doesn’t offer discounted products very often, but it occasionally does seasonal discounts, which you can find on the deals section on its website. You can also pay in three interest-free instalments with Klarna, or via PayPal to help spread the cost.    

But you can often find discounts on Dyson cleaners at other retailers such as Currys and Argos, especially on older Dyson models.  

Man using a Dyson Ball upright vacuum cleaner to illustrate Dyson vs SharkCredit: Dyson
The Ball upright vacuum cleaner is the cheapest Dyson available at the moment


Prices are slightly lower for Shark vacuum cleaners, especially as Shark produces three different handheld vacuums, which start from £79.99.  

You can snap up an upright vacuum from £149.99 for a classic Lift-Away version. The cordless vacuums start at a comparable price to Dyson’s, with the Shark Stratos cleaner coming in at the most expensive, at £399.99. 

Shark offers regular deals on its website, where you can save up to £250 on some models. The company has also partnered with Klarna to offer you the choice to pay in three interest-free instalments or pay in full within 30 days.

WINNER: Shark is the best bet if cost is important to you, plus they offer more all-year-round discounts than Dyson. 


Product range

Who has the biggest range?

Both manufacturers have a wide product range, stocking both upright, stick, corded and cordless models.  


Dyson’s range is more streamlined than Shark’s, although it still has a good variety to choose from. There are eight different models in total, but many of these have variations, including some that are only available on the official website. For example, the latest cordless stick, the V15 Detect, has five models, starting from £469.99. 

If you feel overwhelmed by the choice that Dyson has on offer, it also has a handy tool, which looks at the size of your house and takes into account your other requirements to help you choose the best vacuum cleaner for you.  


Shark has a whopping 59 different models available, with a huge variety of choice outside the standard upright and cordless cleaners. It has stick models that are corded, uprights that are cordless and, unlike Dyson, also offers handheld vacuum cleaners.

A man using a Shark Cordless vacuum cleaner illustrating Dyson vs SharkCredit: Shark
Shark boasts an impressive range of vacuums from traditional uprights to handheld vacuums

WINNER: Shark definitely comes out on top when it comes to offering a wide variety of choice – and that’s without including its five types of steam mops. 

Suction power

Which brand has the bigger pull?


Dyson advertises its latest V15 Detect range as ‘the most powerful, intelligent cordless’ vacuum around. This is due to a special piezo sensor that continuously sizes and counts dust particles, automatically increasing suction power when needed. There’s even a screen to show you what’s been sucked up. 

While older models don’t have this technology, they still have great suction power thanks to patented Cyclone technology, which works exceptionally well on finer particles and pet hair.

The Dyson V15's special LED display that shows he size and quantity of particles that are being removed.Credit: Dyson
The LCD screen on the Dyson V15 cleaners shows the size and quantity of particles that are being removed


The Shark equivalent to Dyson’s V15 is the Shark Stratos, which is advertised as its ‘best ever hair pick up’ range. It has in-built intelligent technology that senses dirt you can’t see and adjusts the suction. An indicator in the floorhead shows the suction level increasing or decreasing.

WINNER: It’s a draw. While Dyson definitely has the suction power for pet hair, in our own experience of vacuuming with two uprights from the brands, Shark is better at hoovering up bulkier items, such as cereal.  

Battery life

Which brand goes the distance?

When it comes to cordless vacuum cleaners, battery life is important and both Dyson and Shark offer comparable battery run time.  


All of Dyson’s cordless vacuums come with the promise of 60 minutes run time. If you do use their boost mode frequently, however, the battery won’t last as long because it uses more energy.  

The units are usually charged by putting a power cable directly into the handle, although some newer models, such as the V15 Detect Absolute +, do come with removable, chargeable batteries. All of Dyson’s batteries take around three to four hours to fully charge.

Someone putting a Dyson battery into a cordless machineCredit: Dyson
Batteries for the new Dyson V15 range can be recharged on or off the machine

When it comes to battery life, Dyson uses lithium-ion batteries, which it says are built to last. The initial two-year guarantee does cover the battery, so if the performance dips before then, you can get a new one free of charge. Dyson also sells replacement batteries – prices start from £65 for the V12 cordless model.


Depending on which cordless model you purchase, Shark battery run time varies from 40-60 minutes. The bonus with Shark’s batteries is that you remove them to charge them, which means you can buy a second battery and extend the run time by double. Again, Shark vacuums come with different modes – some have Eco mode, which allows the battery to last for longer, while the boost mode naturally takes more battery power.

Because the battery packs are removable, you don’t have to worry about finding a plug socket where you store your Shark – simply remove the battery and charge it at any plug. They take around four hours to charge. Additional batteries start from £79.99, but Shark do deals on double batteries when you buy certain models. Under the warranty batteries are guaranteed for two years.

A shark vacuum cleaner battery is charging on a kitchen counterCredit: Shark
All of Shark’s cordless batteries are chargeable away from the machine, allowing you a greater scope of where to store your cleaner


Who can suck up the most stuff?

With either vacuum brand, it all depends on the type of cleaner you buy, but both brands seem to have to it sorted when it comes to capacity. 


The company’s best-selling Dyson Ball upright vacuum has had a makeover. The multi-floor version is not only better, it’s also bigger with a capacity of 1.8 litres. Dyson’s largest capacity cordless is the V15 Detect, which has 0.77 litres. 

A Dyson V10 vacuum cleaner with dust inside to illustrate Dyson vs Shark vacuum cleanersCredit: Shutterstock/LnP Images
The capacity on Dyson vacuum cleaners is slightly higher than that of Shark’s equivalent cleaners


Shark’s biggest capacity model is also an upright – its Shark XL Anti Hair Wrap Vacuum has a bin with a 1.6 litre capacity. When it comes to cordless choices, the largest Shark vacuum can suck up 0.7 litres of muck. 

WINNER: Dyson narrowly beats Shark here, not only because their machines have slightly larger capacity, but also because they are a little bit lighter, ensuring you can do pretty much the whole house without emptying the cylinder – or breaking into a sweat. 


Which is better at keeping allergens contained?


Many of Dyson’s vacuum cleaners use advanced HEPA filtration, an air filter efficiency standard that’s very hard to reach. To achieve HEPA performance, filters must meet certain criteria, including a minimum of 99.95% particle removal at the most penetrating particle size – particles that are so tiny they’re invisible to the human eye.

These cleaners are great if you have anyone in the home with allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems. 

To keep it working effectively, you need to clean your vacuum filter by rinsing under warm water once month. The good news is you can also order spare filters to use while the other one is drying. 

A close up view of Dyson cordless vacuum HEPA filter head on a wooden floorCredit: Shutterstock
Dyson filters are designed to catch microscopic dust particles than can build up over time


Some of Shark’s cleaners feature its anti-allergen complete seal. According to their website, these capture and trap 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum, instead of releasing them back into the air you breathe.  

Particles are filtered through washable foam and felt filters, and these can also be bought cheaply through their official site. 

WINNER: Dyson is the clear winner of this round. Even though Shark’s anti-allergen seal sounds great, Dyson has true HEPA filters, which are proven to be effective at trapping those allergy-inducing particles. 


Which brand can handle the hair?

Both brands are beloved by pet owners, as dog and cat hair can be a nightmare to vacuum. However they both offer different solutions. 


As well as the HEPA filtration that helps trap pet hair, dead skin cells and any pollen your pets may have brought in with them, models come with different heads, depending on which one you buy. The detangling hair screw tool, for example, sucks pet hair (and long hair) into the cylinder.

Cordless Dyson vacuum hoovering hair from a pet bed to illustrate Dyson vs SharkCredit: Dyson
Various attachments are available for Dyson vacuum cleaners to help combat the spread of pet hair

Alternatively, the Motorbar cleaner head uses special polycarbonate hair removal vanes to automatically clear the brush bar as you clean, while also driving stiff nylon bristles into the carpet to remove that stubborn pet hair.  

Dyson doesn’t stop at carpets and hard floors, though. They also sell a pet grooming tool you can add to your cordless Dyson. Run the tool over your pet to suck off the hair before it reaches the floor or sofa – genius! 


Just like Dyson, Shark vacuum cleaners come with special heads that tackle pet hair. Its anti-hair-wrap technology separates and removes hair from the brush-roll as you clean, helping to keep it free of tangles. There are also different accessories designed to help with picking up pet hair such as the motorised pet tool, which has a motorised brush-roll to draw out embedded pet hair. 

The latest range, Shark Stratos, also comes with odour-neutraliser technology that banishes pet smells before they start. It comes equipped with an Ocean Breeze fragrance that can nip nasty smells in the bud. 

Man replacing the odour neutraliser in the Shark Stratos vacuum to illustrate Dyson vs SharkCredit: Shark
Special cartridges can be added to the Shark Stratos cleaner to help neutralise lurking pet smells

WINNER: Dyson just pips Shark at the post thanks to its innovative pet grooming tool. After all, if you can zap most of the hair away before it hits the floor or furniture, it makes vacuuming so much easier. 

Ease of use

How easy are they to use?

While this may be subjective, depending on ability and what kind of vacuum you’re looking for, both Dyson and Shark have different technologies and attachments that claim to make vacuuming that bit easier. 


While Dyson vacuums are on the weightier side, their lightest one – the Omni-glide – clocks in at 1.9kg (4lbs 2oz). It’s only for hard floors, and due to being so light, it glides over them easily, making hoovering light work. 

Dyson offers many attachments you can buy, from different heads to attachments that will clean your dog or your keyboard. They also have additional attachments to allow you to clean under and on top of items, which is handy if you have trouble accessing these areas. 

A Dyson vacuum cleaner with various attachments to illustrate Dyson vs SharkCredit: Shutterstock/TSV-art
Dyson vacuum cleaners come with a wide variety of different attachments that can help make vacuuming that little bit easier

The latest addition to the new V15 range is an Illuminated head cleaner: it comes with a green laser that highlights the hair and dust you might miss. This works really well on hard flooring, especially in those often-missed corners.  

Their corded upright vacuum cleaners can cover a radius of 14 metres (46 feet), which means you’ll be able to reach across all but the largest rooms from one socket.  

If you’ve got arthritic hands, the Dyson may not be for you. On most models the trigger has to be held down constantly for it to work – it’s not just a case of pushing a button and getting on with vacuuming. The V12 Detect Slim (from £459) and the Omni Glide (£349) are currently the only options not to use this trigger technology.


If you’re looking for super lightweight vacuums, then Shark isn’t for you. Their lightest cordless still comes in at 3kg (6lbs 6oz). Having said that, they are still pretty easy to push around.  

Shark upright vacuums come with their special Lift-Away technology, which easily releases the cylinder so you can tackle the stairs without having to heave the whole machine around with you.  

While their cords don’t have quite the length of the Dyson vacuum cleaners, they still offer around 10 metres (33 feet) cleaning radius, so they’re still long enough to manoeuvre around most rooms. 

Shark’s cordless models separate easily into handholds, and some also ‘bend’ in the middle so you can get underneath sofas or tables without having to move them.  

Lady using a Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Vacuum with flexology vacuuming under a table to illustrate Dyson vs SharkCredit: Shark
Some Shark cleaners have special “Flexology” wands, which bend so you can easily clean under low-lying furniture

Many models also come with LED headlights, which means you can vacuum in the dark if you so wish, and they also show up those pesky pet hairs and dust you might not normally see.  

There are lots of attachments that can be additionally purchased – although most vacuums come with a variety. They are all super easy to click into the vacuum, and range from pet hair tools to ones that remove allergens from soft furnishings.  

As the cordless models split down into a handhold and brush head, you can also buy replacements if one part of your vacuum packs up, which is cost-effective and ensures you don’t have to fork out for a whole new vacuum.  

WINNER: It’s a draw! While neither are super light, they do come with lots of great additional heads and technology that make vacuuming a whole lot less tedious.


Which brand has the best warranty?


The length of your Dyson warranty will depend on what item you purchase. Currently the company offers a two-year warranty on cordless vacuums, and a five-year warranty for uprights.    

Dyson guarantees to repair your machine while it’s under warranty and if they can’t, they will replace it – though there are some faults that they don’t cover. You can transfer the warranty if you decide to upgrade and give your old cleaner to someone else.


Shark offers a comprehensive five-year warranty, but you need to register your purchase on the Shark website within 28 days of buying to qualify. Otherwise, you get a standard 12 months. 

The warranty covers free parts and labour, but some issues are not covered, such as blockages or accidental damage so it’s best to check their warranty policy before making any claim. 

WINNER: Shark wins for having a blanket five-year warranty – you just need to remember to register your machine as soon as you buy it to benefit from it. 


Which vacuum is best for you?

In the above categories Shark narrowly beats Dyson. However, there are lots of different things to consider when buying a vacuum that might influence your decision. Dyson cleaners, for example, have gorgeous design aesthetics and if that’s your thing, they are the clear winner.  

A good way to decide what vacuum brand to buy is to write down what you need from a cleaner, and use this guide, plus the manufacturers’ websites, to see which brand will tick most of those boxes.  

The proof is really in the testing, which is something you won’t know until you’ve bought it. Both brands promise hassle-free returns if you find it’s not for you. Shark comes with a 30-day cooling off period, while Dyson offers 35 days for returns, so if they really don’t work for you, you can always return them free of charge.  


Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her


Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 24 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars. A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

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