Shark vs. Dyson: which vacuum sucks up the competition?

Compare Shark vs. Dyson to see which brand comes out on top as the better buy

Shark vacuum on left, three Dyson vacuums on right
(Image credit: Shark & Dyson/ Crate & Barrel)

We're taking a look at Shark vs. Dyson to see which of these top vacuum brands comes out on top as the better buy. 

After all, you may spend hours pouring over how these vacuums perform against pet hair, on hardwood floors, high pile carpets, or in cleaning up the most out-of-the-way corners with their various attachments. 

But to save you time, we've put two of the most popular vacuum brands head-to-head and examined which ones perform best across categories including suction, noise level, ability to pick up pet hair, and capacity. Here are the best vacuum cleaners you should have on your radar and which one might be best for your home.

Shark vs. Dyson: Which is better in 2024?

The Top Two

One of the best Shark vacuums, and most popular, is the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum, which is a powerful vacuum for $219.99 list price — and you can often find it on sale. Its suction can go up against both hard floors and carpets, and its detachable pod is convenient for toting around as you tackle all the nooks, crannies, and pet hair that seems to collect on every sofa and chair. With a large 0.9-quart dust cap, this is built for serious cleaning jobs.

However, this Shark is not lightweight, weighing in at just under 16 pounds and it has to be plugged in, making it a slightly unwieldy option. 

Dyson definitely comes in as the Rolls Royce of vacuums at $749.99 for the Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, but it comes with the technology to match the price tag. This vacuum bills itself as an intelligent vacuum, and it illuminates invisible dust as you're vacuuming and then shows it on the screen on the handle. This cordless, 6.8-pound lightweight vacuum can run for up to 60 minutes and it does the trick against both pet hair and long hair — an area where some vacuums fall short. 

Of course, the price tag is a deterrent, but, overall, there's a reason Dyson has so many devotees. Their products work. This vacuum is head and shoulders above the rest, but, if you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, Shark will get the job done.

Shark vs. Dyson: Best of the Rest

Both Shark and Dyson are huge, respected names in the vacuum world, and they offer a lot of similar products including traditional upright vacuum cleaners, cordless vacuums, robot vacuums, and handheld vacuums. Shark has a slightly more expanded product line with steam mops and vacuum mops, but let's not assume more is better. 

Typically, Dyson is seen as the innovative leader in vacuums. This is where you first saw the stick vacuum and now they're leading the way with smart technology in their vacuums. Shark tends to follow suit, recreating the same forward-thinking technology but at a more affordable price point. 

If you want to be ahead of the curve, leveraging the latest and greatest in technology, then a Dyson vacuum is the way to go. But, for most people who want a solid workhorse vacuum that offers high-end features at a more budget-friendly price, Shark is going to be the answer.


Shark vs. Dyson: Which has better suction?

Dyson's innovative technology leads to one major area where it pulls ahead: suction. There is major strength and power behind every one of Dyson's vacuums. Whether it's the classic Dyson V8 Absolute Vacuum or the Dyson Humdinger Handheld Vacuum, these models continue to offer incredible effectiveness and efficiency for any cleaning job, particularly those involving heavy dirt, pet hair, and even microscopic dust.

That's not to say Shark isn't a solid vacuum — it is. It's absolutely a high-end brand that's at a more middle-of-the-road price point. But, on a head-to-head level, Dyson comes out on top again and again. 


Shark vs. Dyson: Which is quieter?

It turns out that having the strongest suction can be a noisy proposition, and, across the board, Shark vacuums tend to be quieter than Dyson. Particularly when Dyson vacuums are run in their highest mode, they can reach a high level of decibels that will send your cat running. 


Shark vs. Dyson: Which is better at picking up pet hair?

Every major vacuum company now makes at least one vacuum for pet hair, and Shark and Dyson are no exceptions. One of Shark's most popular pet hair vacuums is the Shark HZ602 Ultralight Pet Pro Corded Stick Vacuum, while Dyson has the Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner.

There's immediately a big price difference. Shark comes in at $259.99, while Dyson is $629.99, but part of what you're paying for is technology, including cordless operation, maintenance alerts, and an LCD screen.

But what we care about here is how effective they are. The Shark is awesome at picking up pet hair on hardwood floors, tile, and medium pile rugs, but it seems to fall short on wool rugs with a tighter, shorter weave. Meanwhile, the Dyson's suction didn't come to play — it means business. This vacuum can take on pet hair on any surface. Its only downside is its weight, which comes in at over 14 pounds. If you have multiple pets and lots of pet hair, take note that this might be an arm workout.


Shark vs. Dyson: Which has a larger capacity?

Overall, Shark offers more vacuums with large capacity, including the Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum and the Shark AZ3002 Stratos Upright Vacuum. Meanwhile, Dyson tends to focus on sleek, efficient models over large capacity, but the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra Upright Vacuum Cleaner is one of the largest in their product line.


Overall, the right brand for you will depend on what you're looking for in a vacuum. While Shark takes the lead on capacity and noise, Dyson wins on suction and picking up pet hair. How you use your vacuum will make all the difference.

Just make sure you're cleaning your Shark vacuum regularly so it's the most functional and doesn't begin to smell.

Heather Bien
Freelance writer

Heather is a lifestyle content creator and writer who grew up in Richmond, VA, and went on to the University of Virginia, where she studied Art History and Architectural History. She and her husband, Adam, split their time between their condo in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, DC, and their cottage on the Rappahannock River near Urbanna, VA. She loves good food, frequent travel, and a homemade latte.