Shark and Dyson are the PlayStation and Xbox of the vacuum world. Both these companies consistently introduce innovative products and set the bar high for the rest of the industry. From Shark’s effective dual brushroll system to Dyson’s patented Ball technology, there is no debating that they both make awesome vacuum cleaners. This makes choosing between the two even more difficult. Who wins the head-to-head battle between Shark and Dyson? Which is best, Dyson or Shark? Let’s find out.
- 1 Shark vs Dyson – the companies
- 2 Model Comparison
- 2.1 Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy vs Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away
- 2.2 Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister vs Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister (NR96)
- 2.3 Dyson V10 Absolute vs Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light IF251
- 2.4 Dyson 360 Eye vs Shark ION ROBOT 750 (RV750)
- 3 Conclusions
Shark vs Dyson – the companies
News are fun to read, so here’s the latest. January 2018, Dyson sued Shark claiming the later routinely misrepresented its suction power in its latest cordless vacuum. This is definitely not the first legal battle between the two, as they have previously met in US courts a few times in the past. No matter how you look at it, Dyson is bigger than Shark. Dyson has more employees and a wider global market reach. In fact, Dyson’s yearly revenue is more than Shark’s total worth. James Dyson, the founder of Dyson is worth $5.6 billion while Shark CEO Mark Rosenzweig is far from joining the billionaire’s club. Does this mean Shark products are inferior? Absolutely not. Much like a boutique brand, Shark battles Dyson in selected marketplaces. Instead of being a global competition, Shark consistently introduces products that match and sometimes beat Dyson’s sale in those fields. Is Shark vs Dyson a true David vs Goliath fight? Not really, no. Shark has also become a really big company.
Shark – Company Profile
SharkNinja Operating LLC, the parent company that owns the Shark brand is listed in Inc. Magazine as America’s 5000 fastest-growing companies. The company started way back in 1995 and was previously known as Euro-Pro Operating LLC. The company still retains their privately-held status and is led by Chairman and CEO Mark Rosenzweig. Now, because the company is privately-held they are not obligated to release any financial information. I really had to dig deep to come up with my best guess. I believe the company is now worth in the neighborhood $1.8 billion. I also estimate that the company employs around 1500 people worldwide. Last year, the company moved into a massive 175,000-square-foot office in Needham, which serves as the SharkNinja headquarters. Over the years, the company has also extended its reach and has penetrated markets in China, Canada, and The UK. Partnering with several big box stores, the company is well-established in these markets.
Dyson – Company Profile
Dyson is a big name and for good reason. Its founder James Dyson was the man who invented the bagless vacuum cleaner. He established the company in 1987 with a thought to provide an alternative to messy bagged vacuum cleaners available back then. Years of innovation has the led Dyson to become one of the leading global vacuum cleaner manufacturers. The company’s yearly revenue now stands at more than $3 billion and it boasts an employee strength of more than 7000. James Dyson himself is now estimated to be worth $5.7 billion. Apart from US, UK, and China, the company has now become market leader in countries like New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Dyson also officially entered the highly-competitive Indian market in February of 2018.
Average consumers don’t really know or care about things such as total revenue, employee strength, and market reach. Customers focus on the end products and they judge the company based on their experience of using them. This is why I decided to do a head-to-head comparison between different Shark and Dyson products. To ensure it’s a fair comparison, I created several categories, weight classes if you will. This is to ensure a canister vacuum cleaner from Shark is pitted against a Dyson canister cleaner that closely matches the former’s price and features list.
I first compared two uprights, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy and the Shark Apex. Moving on, I pitted Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister against the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away. For the handheld cordless category, I compared the top-of-the-line brand new Dyson V10 Absolute with Shark’s IonFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless. Lastly, I compared the Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum cleaner with Shark’s ION Robot 750. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy vs Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away
The Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy Dyson has a filter-free design which completely eliminates the chore of cleaning and replacing dirty filters. Shark Apex, on the other hand, comes with DuoClean technology that allows better pickup from carpets and hard flooring. The Shark is also more than $100 cheaper than the Big Ball Animal Allergy (although the most expensive Shark to date). Read on to find out which upright cleaner should you pick for your home.
Dyson has always been open about the suction power of their units. The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball delivers a suction power of 180 AW (air watts). It uses Dyson’s cyclone technology, which has proved its effectiveness to deliver enough suction power to draw out dust particles from thick carpeting as well as hard flooring. Unlike Dyson, Shark avoids revealing the exact suction figures of their products. The Shark Apex box simply reads “More Suction vs Dyson Cinetic Big Ball”. We do know that the Shark Apex has a 1350 watt motor, which is significantly more powerful than the Dyson. Thus my best guesstimate is that the Shark delivers around 270 to 300 air watts of suction power.
This is where the Dyson justifies its steeper price tag. It not only offers great filtration efficiency by trapping in allergy-causing dust particles but it does so without an actual filter. This saves customers the trouble of replacing or cleaning dusty filters. Not to be completely outdone, Shark offers trusted HEPA filtration combined with their proprietary Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology. This tech prevents microscopic dust particles from escaping the unit. Overall, the convenience of a filter-free vacuum cleaner is undeniable and thus the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy scores a point here.
Being a home’s primary cleaner often means long hours of cleaning. This, in turn, is made possible by an ample dust tank. The Shark Apex models have a dust tank of 1.5 dry quarts, which when converted is about 1.65 liters. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy comes fitted with a 0.57 gallon tank, which translates to 2.15 liters of dirt storing capacity. That’s a significant 500 ml larger than Shark Apex’s dust tank. This means if you have a bigger home with more than a few fur-shedding pets then the Dyson’s bigger dust tank will allow a longer cleaning session.
One of the primary usability features of any upright cleaner is its reach. The Dyson has a 35-foot cord and has a maximum reach of 50ft. Shark Apex, on the other hand, has a 30-foot power cable and thus has a smaller cleaning radius. While the Shark has a smaller reach compared to the Dyson, its 30-foot cord is more than sufficient for most average-sized home. Ensuring a smooth navigation over hard and carpeted flooring, Shark uses something they like to call Active Glide Technology. This technology works by self-propelling the wheels, which drastically reduces the effort required to navigate it around. The Shark also employs a special Noise Reduction Technology that not only reduces noise output but also softens the pitch of the sound produced by the cleaner. Another advantage of the Shark is it’s Lift-away proprietary technology. One can i.e. detach the main body of the Shark and convert it to a canister.
Shark Apex is a full-sized upright, which means it occupies quite a bit of storage real estate. The Dyson measures 43.3 inch (height) X 17.2 inch (length) X 13.4 inch (width). The dimensions of the Shark Apex are 46 inch (height) X 12 inch (length) X 9.8 inch (width). With higher length and width measurements, the Dyson occupies a lot of floor space when compared to the Shark. However, the Shark is 2.7 inches taller than the Dyson, which means it takes up more vertical space. Considering most closets and store rooms have limited floor space and ample vertical space, the Shark Apex appears to be easier to store than Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy. The Dyson Cinetic is approximately 4 lbs heavier than the Shark APEX, reaching almost 20 lbs.
Both Shark Apex and Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy come with a long list of special features that make them all the more versatile. The Shark has a dual headlamp setup that makes it easier to clean dark corners and spaces. Dyson’s lack of any kind of LED lighting gives the Shark a definite advantage. Dyson has a motorized brush bar that removes stubborn dust particles from carpets. Shark uses its much-touted Duo-Clean beater brush setup. The Duo-Clean technology uses a pair of brush for maximum cleaning efficiency. Apart from the regular bristled brushroll for carpets, the Shark also has a soft brushroll that cleans and buffs delicate hardwood floors. Overall, there is no denying that Shark brings more features to the table at a cheaper price point.
Shark APEX boasts an impressive 4.2 star rating on Amazon. Customers who have used the Shark Apex say that the model is great for cleaning carpets and the Active Glide Technology really works. The Shark is overall very well-liked and it has thus received very few and isolated negative comments. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball currently has a 3.8 star rating on Amazon. The Dyson is not nearly as well-rated as the Shark. It has received more than a few negative feedback. One of the common complaints is that pet hair often gets stuck in the dirt canister.
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy is a great upright cleaner and there is no denying the fact that its filter-free design is a welcome innovation. However, the Shark delivers a superior suction performance and comes with a longer list of features. Considering the fact that the Shark is priced well below the Dyson, I’m inclined to pick the Shark Apex as the overall winner of this head-to-head comparison.
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister vs Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister (NR96)
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal is pretty much the top-of-the-line canister cleaner from Dyson. In many ways, it’s closely related to the Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy upright vacuum cleaner. It offers the same filter-free convenience and has the same the Big Ball technology that makes it easy to maneuver. We decided to pit this Dyson canister against the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away NR96. Much like the previous comparison, the Shark is much more affordable being priced almost $200 cheaper. Let’s find out which canister cleaner among the two delivers better bang for the buck.
Much like all other products from Shark, the exact suction figures of the Rotator Powered Lift-Away remains unknown. What we do know is that the vacuum has a 1150 watt motor. Based on that knowledge we guess that the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away delivers a suction performance ranging from 230 to 260 AW. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal canister vacuum delivers 250 AW. This leads us to conclude that the suction performance of both the canister cleaners is closely matched. However, we do give a point to Dyson for being open about the air watts figure of their units.
Much like the bigger upright model, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal canister cleaner has a filter-free design. This means the cost and effort of cleaning and replacing filters is completely eliminated. However, Dyson does not talk about the efficiency of their filter-free filtration system. The Shark comes with Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology and is fitted with a washable HEPA filter. The Anti-Allergen Complete Seal tech ensures that the trapped dust particles and microscopic allergens sucked in by the cleaner do not escape back into the environment. While we would have liked if Dyson provided us with an efficiency figure, we cannot ignore the convenience of a filter-free design. This is why the Dyson outscores the Shark in the filtration efficiency department.
The Dyson canister vacuum cleaner comes fitted with a 0.42 gallon dust tank. That’s about 1.59 liter of dust-storing space. Shark simply doesn’t disclose the dust cup size of the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away NR96. I estimate the dust capacity of the Shark canister vacuum cleaner to be between 1.25 to 1.6 liters. Overall, I do give a point to Dyson for being open about its dust cup size.
One of the primary parameters based on which all canister units are judged is maneuverability. Sitting on a large rolling ball, the Dyson comes with an automatic topple-recovery feature. The Big Ball technology also allows the Dyson to make sharp turns and maneuver over both carpeted and hard flooring with much ease. The Shark sits on a pair of rubberized fixed wheels. The problem with a fixed-wheel setup is that it works great when the unit moves in a straight line. However, because the wheels don’t turn when making a bend, this movement often destabilizes the unit. In turn, this forces users to lift the unit up when making a turn. Therefore, there is no debate that Dyson’s Big Ball technology score a big win against the dated fixed-wheel setup of the Shark. Shark, however, has a longer reach with a 23-foot power cable as opposed to the 21-foot cord of the Dyson canister cleaner.
What Shark lacks in maneuverability it makes up in features. This Shark canister model comes with dual LED headlamps and a special Powered Lift-Away mode to clean stairs and above-floor areas. Both of these features are absent in the Dyson. Speaking of unique features, Dyson comes with a smart dust-emptying system that allows you to clean dirt cup with a single push of a button. Both canister cleaners feature variable suction control, fingertip commands and have swiveling nozzles.
The Shark NR96 comes highly rated by customers. Based on real customer reviews, the Shark is great for cleaning carpets. It also has the typical sturdy built-quality of more expensive models. On the other hand, customers who have used this Dyson model report back saying that the topple-recovery feature actually works. They also say that the model is highly versatile and can clean hardwood floors and thick carpets with equal efficiency.
Even though the Shark is priced well-below the Dyson, I pick the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister as the overall winner in this head-to-head comparison. I appreciate Dyson’s openness about dust tank capacity and suction power. Its steeper asking price is also justified by its filter-free design and much superior ball technology that makes it much more maneuverable than the Shark.
Dyson V10 Absolute vs Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light IF251
Dyson V10 Absolute and Shark IonFlex 2X DuoClean are two cordless cleaners that are so closely matched that it’s hard to pick a winner. Both these units are top-of-the-line both come packed with unique features. The Dyson V10 Absolute is the pricier of the two and comes with a special docking station that makes it easy to store and charge the unit. Not to be outdone in the features department, the Shark IonFlex 2X comes with two battery packs and dual LED headlamps. If you are looking for a cordless cleaner for your home these both these units are pretty great choices. Let’s find out which among the two edges ahead in terms of overall value.
Like always Dyson maintains a sense of transparency by declaring the exact suction figure of this unit. The Dyson V10 Absolute delivers a peak suction power of almost 140 AW, 20% higher than the previous model, the V8 Absolute. Without giving revealing the exact suction unit, Shark says that the IonFlex 2X Duoclean delivers “more suction power” than the V8 Absolute when on the lowest suction setting. Shark claims that they tested both the units while adhering to ASTM F558 standards. For the uninitiated, ASTM stands for the American Society for Testing Materials, which lays out the ground rules for testing different products. However, the fact that Shark specifically mentions extended run-time mode (lowest suction setting) kind of reveals the true picture. This almost certainly means that the Dyson outperforms the Shark on Max mode. This leads us to conclude that the Shark IonFlex 2X DuoClean delivers something around 100 to 110 AW of suction performance on the highest suction setting.
The Dyson V10 Absolute comes fitted with washable HEPA filters. Its filtration system is capable of trapping 99.97% of all dust particles measuring as small as 0.3 microns. The Dyson V10 Absolute also has a sealed system, which doesn’t allow dirt and dust to escape out once it has been sucked in by the cleaner. This means the V10 has one of the best filtration systems I’ve seen in a cordless. The Shark IonFlex 2X DuoClean on the other hand uses a pre-motor foam and felt filter and a post motor exhaust filter. Both these filters are washable, which cuts down on the maintenance cost. Unlike the filters fitted in the Dyson, these are not HEPA filters. This means that they have a poorer filtration efficiency. This means if you or your loved ones suffer from dust allergies then the Dyson V10 Absolute is a smarter pick.
The Shark has a 0.3 dry quarts of dirt storing capacity. When converted, that’s about 330 ml of total dust capacity. Cordless cleaners are meant for quick cleanups and short cleaning sessions. Keeping that in mind the 330 ml dust tank of the Shark IonFlex 2X DuoClean should be sufficient for most. However, when pitted against the Dyson V10 Absolute the dust cup size seems a bit small. The Dyson comes with a 0.2 gallon or 760 ml dust tank. This means the Dyson’s bin is twice as big as Shark’s, an important size advantage when compared to the IonFlex 2X DuoClean.
The Dyson promises 60 minutes of consistent power on max power mode and more than 30 minutes of cleaning when using the motorized brushroll. Shark, on the other hand, delivers 11 minutes of cleaning on the maximum power setting and 23 minutes on the lowest setting. However, the Shark does have an ace up its sleeves. The Shark IonFlex 2X DuoClean comes with 2 battery packs. This allows you to charge one battery pack while the other powers the cordless cleaner. Even with both the batteries, the Shark can only deliver a total run time of 22 minutes on maximum power, almost half of what Dyson delivers with its single battery. Both Dyson and Shark batteries take 3 hours 30 minutes to charge fully.
Weight is a predominant factor when judging the usability of any cordless cleaner. Dyson tips the scale at 5.9 lbs while the Shark weighs 8.7 lbs. Even though the Dyson is significantly lighter, the Shark is pretty light as well. The Dyson V10 Absolute comes with a special docking station that not only acts as a charging point but also allows you to store the unit as well as all the attachments.
The IonFlex 2X DuoClean comes with Shark’s DuoClean technology. It uses a combination of a bristled brush and a soft brushroll to ensure a more efficient clean. The dual brushroll setup also allows you to switch between carpet and hard flooring with great ease. When cleaning using the Dyson you would have to replace the bristled Direct Drive attachment with the Soft Roller head every time you switch from carpet to hard flooring. Shark’s dual LED headlamps make it possible to clean dark spaces, a capability that’s missing in the Dyson. The Shark’s Multiflex wand (Available with IF252) is a great addition. It allows you to clean under low-hanging obstacles and underneath the bed without straining your back. Dyson V10 on the other hand had a really nice pack of attachments, and produces far less noise.
Shark IonFlex 2X DuoClean is highly popular and has mostly received positive customer reviews. Customers say that the IonFlex 2X DuoClean is extremely capable of picking up dirt and small dust particles and pet hair. The most common customer complaint is that the unit almost always needs a battery replacement to finish cleaning an entire home. As for the Dyson V10, this unit was just launched and has yet been properly assessed. Most customers who have used the Dyson V10 Absolute swear by its performance and capabilities.
Both Dyson V10 Absolute and Shark IonFlex 2X DuoClean are highly popular models. However, if I had to choose one winner, it should be the Dyson V10 Absolute. This mainly is because it delivers more suction power, it is lighter, has a bigger dust cup, and better batteries. No surprises here.
Dyson 360 Eye vs Shark ION ROBOT 750 (RV750)
The robot vacuum market is dominated by the likes of iRobot, ILife, Neato, and others. Both Dyson and Shark are relative newbies in the robot vacuum game. The Dyson 360 Eye is the only robot vacuum product from Dyson. It comes loaded with features such as smart 360 degree navigation and app-based control. Priced at $999, it’s also one of the most expensive robot vacuums ever built. We compared the 360 Eye with the Shark ION Robot 750. The Shark ION Robot 750 is part of the Shark ION Robot series which includes lesser models such as ION Robot 720 and ION Robot 700. These units where also just launched by Shark.
Like all other Shark products, there are no official suction figures available for this one. When tested, the Shark ION Robot 750 does a pretty good job of sucking up dust from hard flooring. It also picks up large clumps of pet hair with great ease. One of the reasons Shark did not disclose any suction figures is because this unit relies more on the dual side brushes and a main brushroll than sheer suction strength. The Dyson 360 Eye delivers a peak suction power of 20 AW. Dyson also uses a super-wide bristled brush bar to pick up dirt.
The Shark ION Robot 750 comes fitted with a non-washable pre-motor filter. While Shark doesn’t mention it on their official website, the filter is thought to be a HEPA-like. This means it delivers a filtration efficiency of 99.9% when trapping dust particles measuring 0.3 microns or more. Now, because Shark stays clear of releasing any filtration efficiency figures this is a calculated guess at best. Dyson says that the 360 Eye uses a special Radial Root Cyclone technology that traps particles as small as 0.5 microns, so there’s no clear winner here.
The Dyson 360 Eye comes with a 11 oz (330 ml) dust cup. This means it can only store a day’s worth of dust before it needs to be emptied out. Shark has a similar-sized dust tank. While they didn’t release the exact dust cup size, I estimate it would in the range of 250 to 350 ml. Priced above the Neato Botvac Connected and the iRobot Roomba 980, the limited dust cup size of both units is a definite drawback.
The Dyson is powered by a lithium ion battery pack that delivers a run-time of 45 minutes. According to independent testing, the Shark delivers a run-time of 60 minutes. Xiaomi 2 robot e.g. has twice the battery, lasting up to 2h of continuous cleaning. The Dyson 360 Eye takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to charge fully while the Shark takes about 3 hours to recharge its juice box.
Both Shark and Dyson are Amazon Alexa compatible and can thus be controlled using voice commands. Much like the Dyson 360 Eye, the Shark ION Robot 750 offers Wi-Fi connectivity and app-based control. The Dyson 360 Eye comes with a few unique features. Instead of wheels, the robot vac uses a pair of tank tracks. This allows it to navigate over obstacles with much more ease. Earning its name, the Dyson 360 Eye has a 360 degree camera that maps the room and calculates the optimum cleaning route. While the Shark lacks the 360 degree camera, it uses a “Smart Sensor Navigation” algorithm to cover the entire floor area. It has proximity sensors that prevent collisions. The result is a random movement, unlike the calculated trajectory of the Dyson.
Dyson 360 Eye is one of the most poorly rated robot vacuums on Amazon. According to customer reviews, the Dyson has a tendency to get stuck. Its tall frame of 4.7 inches also keeps it from cleaning underneath the furniture. Customers absolutely love the Shark ION Robot 750. Based on customer feedback, the bot navigates around the floor area without any glitch. Shark is also amazingly quiet and can efficiently pick up pet hairballs.
The Dyson 360 Eye is Dyson’s first attempt at making a robot vac. Instead of focusing on the little things, Dyson decided to pack the 360 Eye with a long list of features and impressive figures. Shark, on the other hand, built a “dumber” product, which is however, both affordable and practical. This is why the Shark ION ROBOT 750 is the winner of this head-to-head comparison.
Dyson and Shark make quality vacuum cleaners. Dyson products are typically pricier and they try to win the battle on the spec sheet. Shark takes a different approach. It relies on making products that are practical and which offer more value for money. Now, the question still remains. Should you buy Dyson or a Shark? Well, that totally depends on your budget and the type of vacuum cleaner you are looking to buy. If you’re seeking to change you upright cleaner, Shark surely gives you more choices with it Rotator, Navigator, Apex, and DuoClean series. Dyson on the other hand is king in the land of canisters. When searching for a good cordless cleaner, it also makes sense to lean towards a Dyson product. Apart from the V10 Absolute, they have a long history of making dependable cordless cleaners such as Dyson DC59, V6, V7 and V8 lines. As far as robot vacs go, I suggest buying the Shark ION over Dyson’s pricier 360 Eye.
What do you think about this head-to-head comparison? Write your thoughts below to share them with the world.
Latest posts by Jason Roberts (see all)
- Miele Scout RX2 Home Vision – a new robot for the upper class - June 20, 2018
- Best central vacuum cleaner – a complete guide - April 26, 2018
- Best vacuum for stairs in 2018 – cleaning carpeted stairs like a pro - April 20, 2018