Shark vs Vax vacuums: which is right for you?

In the Shark vs Vax vacuum cleaner battle, we’re here to help find the best one to get your house feeling like a clean home.

Getting a clean home is easier than ever thanks to the wide range of powerful vacuum cleaner options out there. The challenge is finding the best one for you. If the choices are narrowed down to Shark vs Vax for you, then you’re in the right place to decide on the perfect suction servant for your purposes.

In nine sections, our guide lays out all the important considerations and gives a clear winner for each. By the end, you should be able to decide what you need versus what you want, and which vacuum will best serve you now and in the long run.

Two Shark vacuum cleaners stood next to two Vax vacuum cleaners to illustrate Shark vs VaxCredit: Exceptional
Shark vs Vax – which vacuum cleaner suits your lifestyle and budget?


Which is better value?

While Shark is known as a more affordable, high-end brand, it is still undercut on price by Vax. But when it comes to features, can Shark justify its price?


Shark is in the premium brand bracket, not quite as pricey as Dyson, but aiming to offer similar levels of quality and performance. It does this by also offering more features to try and entices potential buyers who may want something specific.

As such, the range is pricier than much of the competition. But it can justify that price by giving you a lot of features – like self-emptying – to make life that much easier. All that said, prices do start very low.

Prices start at £79.99 for one of its three different handheld models. Uprights start from £249.99, and cordless vacuums top out at £549.99 for the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro cordless vacuum (with double batteries).  That said, there are often deals on the company’s website so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them.

Featured product

Shark Classic Handheld Pet Vacuum

RRP: £79.99

Shark Classic Handheld Pet Vacuum

Featured product

Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV612UK

RRP: £249.99

Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV612UK

Featured product

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum with double battery

RRP: £549.99

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum with double battery


Vax offers some impressive run times on battery-powered models, and powerful suction performance, and it does so while keeping prices relatively low.

While it doesn’t have a base model as low in price as Shark, the models you’re likely to go for – with most useful features and performance – start at a relatively reasonable price point. The Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Pet cordless vacuum cleaner is £379.99, while the entry model Blade 4 is £180.

Featured product

VAX ONEPWR Blade 5 Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

RRP: £379.99

VAX ONEPWR Blade 5 Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Featured product

VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

RRP: £179.99

VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

WINNER: Despite offering higher priced top end models, there is a wider range of pricing, including a very low priced option from Shark, making it the winner on this round. Shark also offers some great discounts throughout the year worth looking out for.

Product range

Who has the biggest range?

There are quite a few models to pick from in both brands, with uprights, cordless, handhelds and even robot vacuums.


Shark has a vast range of vacuums across a selection of different types, including uprights, handhelds, cordless and cylinder vacuums.

In total there are 59 options to pick from here including cordless uprights and lightweight vacuums, perfect if you struggle with heavy, traditional vacuum cleaners.


Vax keeps things simple with its range of offerings and as such only has a few to pick from.

It has the stick handheld Blade range, and an upright with a few variants. So things are basic, but there are variations on packages, letting you get more batteries or pet friendly heads, for example, to suit what you need.

Various attachments that come with Vax vaccum cleaners to illustrate shark vs vaxCredit: Vax
Vax vacuum cleaners come with a variety of attachments, making it a versatile cleaning machine

WINNER: Shark wins this round for sheer choice across not only different types of vacuums but for the features in these subcategories being varied, too.

Suction power

Which brand has the biggest pull?

Vacuum suction power is one of the most important features and is especially worth considering in terms of power control – with higher suction modes for tough areas, and lower modes for moveables, like rugs, which might otherwise be sucked up.


The Shark top-end model, the Shark Stratos, offers the most power and is equivalent to even Dyson’s top model. This cleverly detects dirt so small it can’t even be seen with the human eye, before adapting the level of suction power required to make sure that is taken up into the vacuum. You can see this level increasing and decreasing on the floorhead indicator, allowing you to feel in control as you clean.

Shark Stratos Clean Sense IQ illustrating Shark vs VaxCredit: Shark
The Stratos range features Clean Sense IQ, which adjusts cleaning power for up to 50% more dirt pick-up


Vax uses a technology it has developed and named VersaClean. This, it says, makes short work of getting maximum suction across varying types of floor surface. Essentially, it uses two roller heads, one with a brush for carpets and one with a soft roller for hard floors.

The end result should be seamless suction no matter the surface, and without you needing to stop and change heads to get the best results. You also have power control using the buttons and display on the vacuum to get the ideal level of suction.

WINNER: Shark wins this, not only on raw suction power but also on the intelligent adaptability that should have you vacuuming at the right level no matter where you are.

Battery life

Which brand goes the distance?

Battery life can be an important factor, if it means you need to wait to charge or need to invest in a second battery to cover your whole property in one go.


Shark battery powered models can run from 40 minutes to a full hour on a charge, depending on the one you pick. Usefully, the batteries are removable meaning you can buy a spare and always have that ready to double your run time in one go.

There are also options like eco mode on some models, which will let you get more life out of the battery. Removable batteries also mean you can store your Shark anywhere you need it, and charge the batteries anywhere you have a socket.

It’s worth noting that additional batteries start at £79.99, but you can get deals when first buying your vacuum, so it may be worth considering getting another battery in a deal at that point.


Vax’s range of cordless models can last about 45 minutes on a charge, but the company is eager to push more batteries, with lots of deals on dual battery vacuums – where you get two as part of the purchase price. Using two batteries, you can get up to 90 minutes on the handheld range and up to 100 minutes on the Vax upright model.

Batteries are super easy to attach on the VAX range of vacuum cleanersCredit: Vax
Batteries are super easy to attach on the VAX range of vacuum cleaners

It does all this while keeping the price low, but a battery will set you back £69.99, and that’s with a £10 discount at time of publishing. There are also useful accessories, like a dual battery charger you can use to juice up both at the same time with only one socket in use.

WINNER: Vax wins on pure range as it can offer slightly longer overall running time across two batteries versus the Shark. It also offers a slightly cheaper battery at time of publishing.


Which can suck up the most?

The dust compartment capacity of a vacuum defines how often you have to stop and refill. Shark pioneers self-emptying, which really changes the outcome of this round.


Shark has an upright vacuum called the Shark XL Anti Hair Wrap Upright Pet Vacuum, which has its largest capacity at 1.6 litres.

Featured product

Shark XL Anti Hair Wrap Upright Pet Vacuum PZ1000UKT

RRP: £399.99

Shark XL Anti Hair Wrap Upright Pet Vacuum PZ1000UKT

That’s large, but if you go cordless you’re going to be looking at a top capacity of 0.7 litres of storage – which is pretty average across brands.


The Vax cordless top model has a storage capacity of 0.7 litres, sitting it alongside Shark. For its upright model, you get a big 1.5 litre capacity – which is great, but still just shy of what Shark can offer.

Featured product

Vax ONEPWR Edge Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

RRP: £399.99

Vax ONEPWR Edge Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

WINNER: Shark wins this round narrowly by offering a larger capacity upright vacuum, while both cordless offerings from the brands are the same for capacity.


Which is better at containing allergens?

Capture allergens and your home can have cleaner air with fewer negative effects on breathing and health.


The Shark filters capture 99.9% of dust and allergens and keeps them inside the vacuum before expelling cleaner air back into your rooms.

There are foam and felt filters used here, which are washable but can also be bought as replacement should you want a super fresh start.


Vax offers an advanced filter that can capture up to 99.99% of fine dust and pet dander. It’s also worth noting that there is antimicrobial protection onboard for the cleanest end result in your home.

WINNER: Shark wins this for the range of filters, the containment and the self-emptying option. The washable and replaceable filters are also a big draw here.


Which brand can handle the hair?

Both brands have special vacuum heads that are built to tackle pet hair without causing blockages.


Shark uses specially designed vacuum heads that capture pet hair, while using its anti-wrap technology to separate and remove hair from the brush roller as you clean.

There are other specialist tools for pet hair including a motorised pet tool that’s ideal for cleaning dog beds, actively pulling out hair that might otherwise stay stuck. Some models also offer anti-odour, with fragrances, like Ocean Breeze, to tackle pet hair smell.


Vax also offers a mini motorised pet tool with a moving brush head that will actively dislodge pet hair and stubborn dirt from cars, pet beds, sofas and more.

When it comes to the Blade 5 Pet Cordless vacuum cleaner you get an anti-odour filter and antimicrobial protection for the best clean possible that also keeps the vacuum smelling fresh.

Vax Mini Motorised Pet ToolCredit: Vax
The additional VAX pet tool helps lifts stubborn dirt and pet hair, making light work of cleaning pet beds, car boots and upholstery

WINNER: Both models offer almost identical features here – but the Vax does it while keeping prices marginally lower, so Vax takes this round.

Ease of use

How easy are they to use?

Ease of use is important to both Shark and Vax, meaning you have plenty of features and ones that are designed for all users to enjoy.


Shark offers some very easy to use vacuums for everyone, including those who might otherwise struggle. The lightest vacuum, for example, weighs 3kg (6lb 6oz), which should make use possible even for anyone suffering with complaints that could make lifting uncomfortable.

The Lift-Away technology makes cleaning stairs easier as you can leave the machine while just taking the head up to vacuum. Some of the handheld models bend in the middle for easier access under surfaces like coffee tables so the user doesn’t need to bend or stoop.

The Shark Lift-Away allows you to transform the upright vacuum cleaner into a portable oneCredit: Shark
The Shark Lift-Away allows you to transform the upright vacuum cleaner into a portable one


Vax has that dual roller system, which means minimal changing of heads is required. There are no triggers needed for use, but rather buttons that are pressed to turn on or off the vacuum – taking the strain off hands while in use.

There are also car attachments that feature bendy tubes, even for the cordless models, making easy access not only to the car but otherwise awkward areas of the home a possibility for all.

WINNER: Shark takes this round for the sheer variety of features that cater to those with limited movements as well as to anyone who might struggle with accessibility.


Which brand has the best warranty?

Shark offers a superb warranty, but Vax also has you covered, just not for nearly as long.


Shark has a five-year warranty once you have registered the product within 28 days of buying. Make sure to do this or you’re limited to a basic 12-month warranty period. This covers free parts and labour, presuming damage isn’t a result of accidents or blockages.


Vax offers a more standard warranty with coverage for 12 months only. This does work as a guarantee, though, if the vacuum is found to be faulty due to manufacturer error.

WINNER: Shark wins this round thanks to a far longer warranty period and clear policy. Just remember to register that warranty asap.


Which vacuum is best for you?

The official winner of the Shark vs Vax battle goes to Shark, after scoring high in seven rounds.

Shark offers a huge range of vacuums, with some fantastic features like self-emptying, HEPA filtration, lightweight models, bendable accessible attachments and top pet hair clearance, as well as that fantastic five-year warranty.

Woman using a Shark Cordless vacuum cleaner to vacuum her living room to illustrates Shark vs VaxCredit: Shark
Overall, Shark score highly in our comparison, thanks to their large range and five-year warranty

While Vax may have only won in two of our categories, they do provide a more affordable top-end option, and can go the distance when it comes to battery life while also offering powerful suction levels.

Yes, Vax does offer a shorter warranty period and has a more limited range of models, but is a compelling option for the price and optional extra battery accessories.

Luke Edwards

Written by Luke Edwards


Luke is a veteran journalist of over 15 years where he has written for most of the national newspapers, all the big tech publications and plenty more besides.

He specialises in technology and science with a particular interest in health, home and adventure developments.

He’s also a father of two, enjoys surfing, reading and exploring nature with his dog.

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