At Ideal Home, we’ve lost count of the number of vacuum cleaners we’ve tried and tested over the years. And in our quest to help our readers find the best vacuum cleaner for their needs, we’ve regularly found that two brands stick out more than most: Shark and Dyson.
Both Shark and Dyson offer cutting-edge cleaning technology that has allowed them to feature heavily in our best vacuum cleaner guide. But when you’re faced with two vacuum cleaner brands that offer impressive suction, reliability, style, and high-tech features, it can be hard to choose between them.
That’s why we’ve decided to lay out the basics, and below you'll find all of the important info you need to know about these popular vacuum cleaner brands. This should help you settle the Shark vs Dyson debate once and for all and choose the one that suits your specific needs and requirements.
Shark vs Dyson vacuum cleaners
While there are so many amazing vacuum cleaner brands out there, there’s no doubt that Shark and Dyson are considered to be the crème de la crème in terms of cleaning technology. Offering everything from the best cordless vacuum cleaners to corded and robot options, both Shark and Dyson offer something to suit everyone.
And while these brands are also considered to be more expensive than most, it’s still worth keeping an eye on our Black Friday deals page, as amazing Shark and Dyson vacuum cleaner sales are in full force.
But if you need a little help to make your decision, we’ve got everything you need to know about Shark vs Dyson in terms of quality, affordability, and star products below.
Our Ideal Home testers have crowned this Shark offering the ‘Best Overall’ vacuum cleaner on the market right now, celebrating its sleek design and impressive suction.
Shark vacuum cleaners: what you need to know
Although Shark has become one of the biggest appliance brands in the UK, its roots can be traced back to the United States. It was founded by Mark Rosenzweig in 2007 and operates under the SharkNinja company - which, coincidentally, is the very same Ninja that makes Ninja kitchen appliances.
One of the reasons why this brand has become so popular is thanks to its large variety of vacuum cleaners. From the more traditional upright vacuum cleaners and corded stick cleaners to the cordless and handheld options, there are plenty of options on offer. This means that you can tailor your purchase to your home, your pets, and even your dexterity levels.
As part of our testing process, we’ve been able to narrow down the best Shark vacuum cleaners - but there’s one vacuum that has regularly topped our charts, and that’s the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum IZ420UKT.
Of course, the name of this Shark offering may be a mouthful, but our tester found this vacuum incredibly easy to use - and she gave it a 5 out of 5-star rating in our Shark Stratos review. She found it performed consistently across a range of different flooring types and had the suction power of a corded vacuum, which makes it perfect for those who have pets.
However, coming in a close second is Shark’s newest release: the Shark Detect Pro Cordless Vacuum Cleaner IW1511UK. We’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this vacuum cleaner, which is why we can say on good authority that this is by far the best new vacuum for 2023. In fact, our E-Commerce Editor and vacuum cleaner expert, Molly Cleary, believes it may even trump the Shark Stratos.
She says, ‘This lightweight vacuum has a much more reasonable RRP than the Stratos, and the cleaning power is just as good, if not better. With a sleek, white exterior, snazzy control pad and a new shiny QuadClean floorhead, it's a fantastic buy.’
You can even buy a nifty upgrade of the Shark Detect Pro, too. For an extra £50, you can purchase the Shark Detect Pro Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Auto-Empty System 1.3L IW3510UK, which is the first Shark vacuum cleaner to have an auto-empty system built into the stand.
But if you prefer an upright vacuum cleaner, the Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner could suit you better. In her review, our tester said, ‘One of the best things about the Shark ICZ300UKT is how powerful it is on carpets. Using the LED panel to switch from hard floors to carpets couldn't be easier, especially when compared to other vacuums from Dyson, which require you to remove one brush head and add another.'
Of course, every Shark vacuum cleaner has its own specifications and quirks, but you can guarantee that every single vacuum cleaner from this brand will be decked out in its patented technologies. From Anti-Hair Wrap technology to DuoClean brush heads, Flexology sticks, Powerfins, anti-allergen filtration systems and Anti-Odour cartridges, it's these additions that help Shark stand out in a crowded market.
Dyson vacuum cleaners: what you need to know
Although Shark is a relatively new addition to the vacuum cleaner world, Dyson has been around for much longer. In fact, the brand’s founder, James Dyson, came up with the idea of a bagless vacuum cleaner in the 1970s when he grew frustrated with the lacklustre performance and suction of his bagged alternative.
Five years and over 5,000 prototypes later, he was credited as the inventor of the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner. Since then, the company has grown and expanded to include everything from air-purifying fans and heaters to hair dryers and other hair styling products.
At the time of writing, our Ideal Home testers consider the Dyson Gen5detect Absolute to be the best Dyson vacuum cleaner on the market. In fact, we’ve crowned it ‘Best Dyson’ overall in our list of best cordless vacuum cleaners.
The Gen5detect Absolute performed extremely well at our testing facility, with our tester stating, ‘The Gen5detec Absolute is just another in the brand's line of sleek, stylish and unbelievably powerful cordless vacs. The battery life on this one was particularly impressive during testing, and it charges up so quickly, too.’
However, with an RRP of £849.99, there’s no doubt that it's at the expensive end of the vacuum cleaner spectrum. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, we don’t think you can go wrong with the Dyson Ball Animal. This corded upright vacuum is currently the most budget-friendly option on the Dyson website and is also considered to be one of the most powerful.
Say you’re wondering whether robot vacuums are worth it, though. Well, say hello to the Dyson 360 Vis Nav. Although we’ve yet to test this robot vacuum cleaner (we hope to test one soon!), our E-Commerce Editor, Molly, has seen this new product in action during her most recent Dyson HQ visit - and it’s safe to say that she was suitably impressed.
'After seeing the evolution of Dyson robot vacuums, the edge cleaning technology on the Vis Nav is the thing that I'm most excited to test about this vacuum,' says Molly.
'While other robot vacuums often have spinning brushes at the front to collect debris, Dyson has opted for a side duct, which actually deals with debris at the edge of a room. It's the first robot vacuum I've seen to handle edge cleaning like this, and it looked pretty impressive on my first look.’
And with cutting-edge technology at its core, we have no doubts that all of the Dyson vacuum cleaners on offer will impress you in their own way.
Shark vs Dyson: corded or cordless?
We’ve recently been weighing up whether you should buy a Shark corded vs cordless vacuum cleaner, but Dyson definitely needs to be inserted into this debate, too.
That’s because both brands offer both corded and cordless versions, meaning there’s even more to weigh up when deciding between Shark and Dyson. And in our opinion, the only way to understand what works for you is to understand the negatives.
Of course, the main downside of a cordless vacuum cleaner - no matter whether you choose Shark or Dyson - is that you have to rely on a battery. This limits how long you can use the vacuum before you have to charge it up, which may ultimately limit your cleaning process.
This is where Shark vacuum cleaners win, as many Shark vacuums - including the Shark Lightweight 2-in-1 Cordless Pet Vacuum and the Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro Cordless Vacuum come with two batteries so you always have a spare if you happen to run out. However, this is not something that Dyson regularly offers unless you want to pay for a second battery.
On the other hand, a negative of a corded vacuum cleaner is the fact that you have to unplug it as you move around the house, which can be difficult for those with dexterity issues. Dyson seems to win on the corded front, though, as the cord of the Dyson Ball is 14m - which is 4m longer than the longest corded vacuum cleaner from Shark.
Everyone has their own taste when it comes to corded vs cordless, though, so it’s down to you to choose which one you prefer.
Shark vs Dyson: what do the customer reviews say?
Shark Vacuum UK has a total of 10,835 reviews on Trustpilot, with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. 76% of reviewers gave the brand 5 stars, with customers raving about their helpful customer service, the ease of assembly and the great suction of the vacuums.
Dyson UK is slightly lower when it comes to their average rating out of 5 stars. Their average is 3.9 out of 5. However, this is across almost three times as many reviews, with 30,920 being registered on Trustpilot. It is also worth mentioning that this Trustpilot page also covers Dyson air treatment and hair care products, so it isn’t truly reflective of the vacuum cleaners alone.
Shark vs Dyson: which is more affordable?
With somewhat comparable reviews from customers, the next thing we can compare is the price point.
The most affordable vacuum from Shark is the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Vacuum which has an RRP of £249.99, when it’s not on sale for even less. Dyson’s most affordable vacuum is the Dyson Ball Animal, priced at £279.99.
Since both brands routinely offer discounts, we would recommend holding off on purchasing until your chosen vacuum cleaner is on sale to get it at the most competitive price.
Shark vs Dyson: final thoughts
The Shark vs Dyson debate certainly doesn’t have an easy answer. When we asked Gervaise Ovin, a professional cleaner at Wecasa, to settle this debate, she said, ‘For me, it very much depends on the house I am cleaning. Sharks seem to be a tad heavier than the Dysons, so if I’m cleaning a place with lots of stairs, the Dyson is convenient.’
In terms of price, a Shark could be the best option if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck. But if you have the extra cash to splash and want the most technologically advanced devices, investing in a Dyson might be the right choice for you, regardless of the promotions currently running.
Our E-Commerce Editor Molly echoes this, saying, ‘For affordability, you can't go wrong with a Shark - all of the cordless models from the brand I've tried are fantastic. However, if you can stretch your budget, you won't be disappointed with a Dyson, all of which have style and power by the bucket loads!'
Of course, every decision is personal - but if you want some more help with deciding between Shark and Dyson and need a price incentive, keep an eye on our vacuum deals page for some hard-to-resist discounts.
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Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.
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