Shark vs Dyson: Which cordless vacuum cleaner is best?

Let’s face it, there aren’t many people that enjoy vacuum cleaning, it’s one of those tasks that constantly needs doing. Especially if you have children or pets in the home. On the other hand, where would we be without our vacuum cleaner?

With so many brands on the market these days we decided to check out the two brand leaders, Dyson and Shark, and in particular their cordless models. So if you’re looking to replace your vacuum cleaner, and you’re undecided on whether to go for a Dyson or a Shark, keep reading for a truly unbiased review on these top cordless vacuum cleaners.

A Quick History Of Both Brands…

Dyson is the UK’s most well known vacuum cleaner manufacturer and has been for a number of years. They brought us the first bagless vacuum cleaner in the early 1980s and have been at the forefront of innovation and technology ever since. Dyson are known for their iconic design as much as their brand, but that all comes at a price.

In recent years the US brand Shark has been trying to edge their way into Dyson’s UK vacuum cleaner market. Shark haven’t been around in the UK for that long but they are well known in the US. In recent years Shark has earned the name as the most popular brand in the UK (according to UK market data on all vacuum cleaner sales 2021).

Both brands cost considerably more than other vacuum cleaners on sale in the UK so you’ll want to spend your money wisely. 

Shark Or Dyson: Cordless Vacuum Cleaners The Facts

Shark and Dyson are both major players at the premium end of the cordless vacuum cleaner market. Their range tends to be priced around £200 and are full of features and claim to be great at removing dust. Both also seem to be luring customers away from the traditional upright vacuums with their additional mini tools designed to get into all of the nooks and crannies of your home.

Many of these mini tools come as standard, so there’s no need to purchase any extra gizmos to clean stairs, upholstery, furniture etc… 

Comparison Of Shark And Dyson Cordless Vacuums At A Glance

Shark Cordless VacuumsDyson Cordless Vacuums
Main FeaturesSwappable batteries, LED headlights, flexible hinge, lift away unit, dual brush floorhead, anti hair floor headPower trigger, dust ejecting bin, auto clean mode (Only on top model), digital display with real time battery countdown (only on the V11 model)
Weight (Approximate)Around 4.35 kgAround 2.75 kg
Maximum Run Time1hr 11 minutes1hr 27 minutes
Maximum Dust Capacity1.6 litres2 litres
Warranty5 years2 years
PriceBetween £170 to £485Between £250 to £700

A Quick Look At Shark Cordless Vacuums

Looking at the figures, Shark are the least expensive overall, come with more features as standard and their latest anti hair wrap feature is a great bonus. They also include the headlight to highlight exactly where the dust is, a hinged cleaning tube and swappable batteries which allow you to have one on charge whilst still having the ability to vacuum your home. Plus a 5 year warranty.

However, the run time and dust capacity are less but not so much that you couldn’t clean your house with one full charge (unless you live in a mansion). They also tend to be heavier than Dyson vacuums but a considerable amount of that weight is in the head which is on the floor so it won’t necessarily affect you too much.

A Quick Look At Dyson Cordless Vacuums

Dyson vacuums are more expensive, even at the lower end of the price range, the Dyson will cost around £80 more than a comparable Shark model. Once you get into the top end of the Dyson range, you get more tech like; digital control display that tells you exactly how much battery you have left in minutes and frequent updates which alter as you change the cleaning mode you’re using, and automatic cleaning mode which automatically switches settings between hard floors and carpets.

There’s also the dust ejection system designed to create less of a dust cloud on emptying plus the larger dust capacity bin. The warranty is only valid for 2 years which considering the price could be  a bit disconcerting.


Direct Comparisons

Let’s look at specifics now and try to get a better idea of which brand of vacuum will suit you better. 

Run Time (Battery Life)

The first thing we need to point out here is that the run time quoted by both companies is based on the lowest power level on the easiest surface. Which means whichever make or model you choose you’ll get less run time than is stated in the literature. 

Dyson run times range from 40 minutes to 120 minutes depending on the model but the 120 minute one has an extra battery.

Shark also ranges from 40 minutes but only to 80 minutes again with the higher run time coming with an extra battery.

In our opinion we’d opt for the extra battery as you can then have one on charge whilst using the other one which means you’ll never be without power.

Tools And Features

When it comes to tools, both brands supply the everyday tools you’ll need like dusting brush, crevice tool and pet tools, extra features include the LED light on the Shark and the digital battery display on the Dyson (V11 only). 


The Dyson range of cordless vacuums weigh around 2.75 kg which is significantly less than the shark range which weigh around 4.35kg. However, that extra weight is contained in the head unit which is always used on the floor so the weight is less noticeable. 

Dust Capacity

Shark cordless vacuums have a dust capacity of 1.6 litres and this is less than Dyson’s 2 litres capacity. So with the Shark there are potentially more trips to the waste bin.


Dyson offers a 2 year warranty which includes parts and labour whereas Shark offers a 5 year limited warranty with a 60 day money back guarantee. The limited warranty is limited to machines sold directly from Shark, so as long as you purchase your cordless vacuum directly from the company  there’s more peace of mind with Shark.


When it comes to price, Shark wins hands down, their entry level machine is usually about £80 less than Dyson’s entry level model and at the top end, Shark’s top of the range model typically costs more than £200 less.

Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson Or Shark: Which One Will You Choose?

So far we’ve spoken about some of the various features available with both Shark and Dyson vacuum cleaners. But to decide which one is best for you will depend on a number of factors. Shaped by which particular area of vacuuming is your sorest point, how big your home is, the shape of your home, and of course, just how much money you’re prepared to pay for a cordless vacuum cleaner.

Below are a few of the points you’ll need to consider before making up your mind on which brand or model is best for you.

  • Run Time
    If you live in a large home with large areas that will need to be vacuumed, the battery life could be a factor you’ll need to consider. Remember the Shark comes with an extra battery so you’ll never be caught short of power.
  • Dust Capacity
    Again, if you live in a large home, having a larger bin capacity could be important as having to stop what you’re doing to go empty the vacuum’s bin can become tedious. Also consider how much time is needed to remove hair from the vacuum’s head.
  • Storage
    Do you have the room in your home for a wall mounted vacuum or would a model that folds down or is freestanding be more convenient?
  • Accessories/Tools
    If you own pets or have carpeted stairs, the extra tools and accessories like a mini turbo tool can be essential to making your life easier.
  • Trigger Control
    To save on the battery, all Dyson models have a trigger that has to be held down to operate their vacuums. If you have to cover a large area, this could become tiring.

So you need to sit down and consider;

  • How much cash do you have to purchase a new vacuum?
  • Which features are most important to you?
  • Where will the new vacuum be stored?
  • Is a LED light a useful addition?
  • Do you need a vacuum that can handle pet hairs?
  • How long do you need the battery to run for?
  • Will a digital display for run time be of benefit to you?
  • How much dust will you be vacuuming each time?
  • Is the vacuum being lightweight important to you?

Once you’ve decided on which brand – Either Shark or Dyson you choose please let us know in the comments section below how you decided on the choice you made.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between shark and Dyson cordless vacuums?

Dyson cordless vacuums tend to cost significantly more than comparable Shark models. All shark cordless vacuums come with a 5 year limited warranty whereas Dysons only come with a 2 year warranty. Dyson is a British company whilst Shark are from the USA.

How long do Dyson vacuums last?

Dyson vacuums last on average for 10 years.

How long do Shark vacuums last?

Shark vacuums last for an average of 5 to 7 years.

Do Cordless vacuums work well?

Cordless vacuums work well for most people, if they have one major fault it is the battery life. But this has been improved upon in recent years and many come with a spare battery that can be charged whilst using the other one on the vacuum.

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