Last Updated on May
This post is written by Connor H. He is one of my readers and the owner of a German Shepherd. He contacted me and asked if he could write a comparison of these two vacuums since he just recently bought both and was able to compare the Shark and Dyson vacuums.
This is what he has to say:
Dyson versus Shark – best stick vacuums for pet hair analyzed and compared
Hi guys! Just recently I was in need of two stick vacuums. I needed one for my home and another one for the office because I often took Remus to work with me and it was necessary to keep things looking tip top for when clients paid a sudden visit.
I was interested in both the Dyson V8 Absolute and the Shark IonFLEX DuoClean cordless stick vacuums. They both had excellent ratings, and pet owners were saying they do an excellent job with pet hair.
I read Matt’s reviews and looked at all the details on both vacuums, but I just couldn’t decide which one I wanted. Because I needed two vacuum cleaners, I decided to buy one of each and see how they perform.
So for a while now I’ve had the opportunity to use both vacuums and see how they perform. I will tell you which one was my favorite, but not just yet. First I will go through all the crucial features in detail to help you make up your mind. Here is my analysis of the two.
Comparison chart - Shark vs. Dyson
First, let’s have a look at both brands.
Shark is a well-known brand manufacturing highly functional, easy-to-use and innovative products to help you clean all your the daily messes. The company behind Shark products is Euro-Pro. Their experience in housecare appliances dates back more than a century, and although originating in Europe, they have since relocated to Newton, Massachusetts. Users describe their products reliable and practical, which probably is why Shark has gained quite a significant market share in the vacuum, steam mop and sweeper manufacturing industry.
Dyson, on the other hand, is an England based company, which was originally founded by James Dyson, the inventor of the cyclonic vacuum technology. Dyson has grown from a one-man business to a huge worldwide brand with more than 1,000 engineers around the world constantly working to research and develop their products. Dyson is all about innovative inventions and improving existing technology. No wonder users describe their products as extremely functional, durable and easy-to-use.
Both companies offer practical quality products to make your household chores easier and more comfortable. There isn’t a big difference in the brands, as you can rely on both offering top design and functionality. To decide between the two vacuums, you need to have a look at the features they offer.
Comparing the suction power of the two vacuums is a bit hard on paper, as the manufacturers measure suction in different units. I don’t have any devices to measure the suction, so you will have to rely on my experiences with both vacuums.
Both the Dyson V8 Absolute and Shark IonFLEX DuoClean have a strong suction power for a cordless stick vacuum. They both have no problems in picking up heavier dirt such as small pebbles or dog food Remus spills around while eating. So really the units don’t matter, as I find both vacuums have suction strong enough to deal with tough cleaning jobs.
Dyson promises a fade-free battery that will run on full suction until the power is entirely exhausted. Shark makes no such promises, but I have not found the suction to decrease when the battery starts running out.
Shark also claims that the IonFLEX DuoClean generates more suction power than the Dyson V8, but this claim refers to the suction power you get when using the low power mode. In my experience, I would say that the max power mode of the Dyson V8 is stronger than the one on IonFLEX.
All in all, I would say both vacuums are powerful, and they have high suction power. They offer excellent performance, which of course is what it all comes down to.
The previous Dyson cordless vacuums offered only 20 minutes of run time, but Dyson has been continually listening to its users and developing their products. The newer V8 motor has a runtime of up to 40 minutes depending on the tools you use. Using a motorized tool will decrease the run time to 25 minutes, and if you use the max mode for a tougher cleanup job, the runtime will go down to 7 minutes. For a full charge, you need to charge the battery for 4 hours.
Dyson V8 has been the leader in runtime amongst cordless vacuums, and therefore Shark has felt the pressure to go a step further. The Shark IonFlex DuoClean introduces a removable battery which can be recharged while you use another battery for vacuuming. With this feature ”you’re always charging” as Shark advertises.
The rechargeable battery is a nice feature for a cordless vacuum, as you can purchase new batteries depending on your personal cleaning needs. But although you can always be charging, you won’t always be vacuuming. The maximum runtime with one Lithium-ion Power Pack battery is 22 minutes, but the time needed to reach full charge is 3.5 hours. The extra batteries are expensive, but even if you buy a second one, you can vacuum for 44 minutes just barely topping Dyson’s maximum run time.
I guess this one is a tie, and the winner depends on your preferences. I have the Dyson at my office, and I only use it for small cleanups, so I always have more than enough battery. I can see myself vacuuming my apartment, but for big houses, the runtime might be a bit short.
The Shark vacuum would allow me to change batteries, but I would have to purchase the second one first. With one battery I only get 22 minutes of vacuuming, which is quite short even for my smallish apartment. So yes, if your willing to change batteries mid vacuuming, you get 4 minutes of extra runtime by choosing the Shark vacuum. Whether you want to change batteries or not is up to you.
Next, I’ll go through the attachments each of these vacuums comes with. For pet owners, the accessories are an essential feature, because pet hair gets into all kinds places in your home and you need special tools to make sure your vacuum has enough versatility to cover all areas possible.
The Dyson V8 Absolute comes with a good variety of attachments. You get the Direct-drive cleaner head for vacuuming both hard floors and carpets. This tool is something you could use on all floor surfaces, and it would do a good job. On the other hand, if you have hardwood floors, you would be happy also to get the Soft roller cleaner head, which does an excellent job on cleaning up all debris and dust from hard floors giving them a polished look at the same time.
Dyson V8 also has a variety of tools for other surfaces. The Quick Release Mini Motorized Tool is something I love! It is a small motorized brush that is designed to dig deep into fabrics removing pet hair, dander, and dust. It is convenient, and it removes all hair with one pass.
I use it to vacuum the upholstered recliners in my office after Remus has been taking a nap in one of them. I certainly wouldn’t want an important client sitting on one before I give it a quick cleanup with my Dyson.
With a Dyson, you also get a Combination Tool, Crevice Tool, and Mini Soft Dusting Brush, which I find very useful for dusting and picking up larger debris. The toolset that comes along with the vacuum is fantastic. You get tools for all kinds of cleanups around the house and not once have I not been able to find a tool that would work perfectly for a specific vacuuming job I have come across.
The Shark IonFLEX, on the other hand, comes with a new innovative DuoClean floor head. They have combined a brush roll with stiff bristles with a softer and denser brush roll in one cleaning head, which is very effective on hard floors and carpets alike.
The first brush roll with soft bristles engages hard floors picking up large debris as well as dust and leaving a polished result. The other brush roll digs deep into carpets and rugs lifting up all the dirt ground between the piles. Though the head is part of why this vacuum is heavier than the Dyson V8, it comes with the advantage of not having to change attachments when moving from one surface to another.
You also get some other necessary attachments with the Shark vacuum, such as the 8 inch Duster Crevice Tool, Anti-Allergen Dust Brush and a Wide Upholstery Tool for fabrics. What is missing though is a motorized brush tool for upholstery, which is something most pet owners find a necessity.
With everything added up, I think we have a tie with the attachments. The Shark IonFLEX does have the excellent DuoClean floor head, but Dyson V8 comes with a very functional motorized brush tool for upholstery. With this one, we have to look at individual needs, and you should choose based on whether you need to vacuums floors or furniture.
With the dirt cup, you can see some significant differences. Although both vacuums have washable see-through dirt containers, the size and system used for emptying are quite different.
The Dyson dust cup is larger at 0.14 gallons when the Shark vacuum has a smaller dust cup at just under 0.09 gallons. This feature is something pet owners especially need to take into consideration. If you have many pets or even one large dog that sheds a lot, the Shark dirt cup will probably be too small for your needs.
You don't have to empty the Dyson V8 dust cup after every cleanup. I have mostly done small vacuuming sessions, and I empty it every fifth time or so. A few times I have taken care of bigger jobs like vacuuming all the floors in our office. After a thorough vacuuming the container is often full, but still it’s considerably larger than the one on the Shark vacuum.
With the Shark, I find I have to empty the cup after every cleanup and even after small cleanups if I’m dealing with a lot of shed pet hair. Sometimes I need to dump the container even mid vacuuming, which I find annoying.
When comparing dust cup sizes, Dyson V8 is a clear winner, but there is another bonus feature their V8 vacuum. With most bagless vacuums you detach the dust cup and dump the contents in the trash. This is the case with Shark as well, but Dyson has taken it a step up.
The Dyson vacuums have a hygienic and easy-to-use ejecting system, which takes care of emptying the dust and dirt. You just place the vacuum cleaner above a trash can, and with a push of a button the bottom of the dirt cup opens, and all the contents are ejected without having to pull all the packed up pet hair out with your fingers. The system is incredibly smart and handy!
In this category, Dyson V8 Absolute is a clear winner.
Filtering is another critical feature for pet owners to consider. Pets shed a lot of hair, but then there is also the dander. To keep a pet home clean, you need your vacuum to have top grade filtration.
All Dyson vacuums use the innovative cyclonic system to filter particles out of the air. Inside the Dyson V8 motor, there is a patented 2 Tier Radial cyclone system. The cyclones spin air at high speeds creating strong centrifugal forces to separate dirt and dust from the air. The cyclone technology guides the dirt to the dirt bin before it blows the exhaust air through the HEPA filter. This way the filtration is not clogged by dirt reducing the suction power.
In addition to the cyclonic filtration, the Dyson V8 also uses a HEPA filter to make sure the exhaust air is thoroughly cleaned up to the point where it is cleaner then air you breath. The filters are washable lifetime filters, meaning you will never have to replace them. You should wash the filters monthly.
The Sark IonFLEX Duoclean also has washable filters, but none of them is HEPA level. There are two pre-motor filters, of which one is foam, and one felt. You should clean the filters monthly under running water. Also, you have one post-motor filter, which according to the manual should be washed every nine months.
I think this round goes to the Dyson V8 Absolute. I love that it comes with a HEPA grade filter and the filtration system seems to be very functional and efficient. The Shark vacuum will also do an excellent job of filtering the air, but again Dyson appears to be a small step further.
The Dyson V8 is very lightweight at only 5.75 pounds when the Shark is a bit heavier at 8.7 pounds. Both are easy to handle, but the difference in weight is still considerable. Of course, the total weight of each machine depends on the tools you are attaching to the handheld piece.
The weight distribution in this type of vacuums makes them feel lightweight and comfortable to lift. The Shark MultiFLEX Duoclean is quite a bit heavier than the Dyson V8, but when cleaning floors, you barely notice the difference. When you use either vacuum as a handheld vacuum, you can feel the Shark vacuum is heavier, but it isn’t anything I would consider a significant drawback.
If you’re going to use your stick vacuum mostly for vacuuming floors in the stick mode, I wouldn't be too concerned about the weight. But, if you see yourself using the handheld mode for cleaning the car, furniture, stairs or other hard to reach spots, you might want to lean towards the Dyson.
Dyson offers a 2-year limited warranty with the Dyson V8 vacuum, which is pretty standard for this type of appliances. Shark, however, stands out from all other vacuum manufacturers and offers the IonFLEX DuoClean vacuum an incredible warranty of 5- years (2 years for the battery).
You can consider the warranty as proof of quality, but I would say that both vacuums seem sturdy and first-rate vacuum cleaners. The winner in this category is of course Shark, but Dyson is a close second, as a two-year warranty is considered a good deal for this type of products.
One of the best features of Dyson V8 is that it comes with an easy-to-use docking station used for charging the vacuum. I mounted mine on the office wall in a convenient location where I could just grab the vacuum cleaner when needed. Though it not the most stylish piece of decor, it quickly blended in. I totally understand why Matt thinks this vacuum is the best pick for a pet hair vacuum. I have mine at the office, but I can imagine how I would quickly grab it for small cleanups several times a day at home too. The docking station is convenient and keeps the vacuums always charged and ready to go.
Shark IonFLEX Duoclean introduces the MultiFLEX technology, which allows you to fold the vacuum in two halfway down the wand. This technology offers two advantages: the weight is distributed so that the vacuum can stand on its own and you will find it easier to reach under furniture.
The freestanding mode is pretty handy, though it takes some getting used to, and for quickly arranging furniture out of the way I usually don’t bother with the folding, and I just prop it up against something. When storing the vacuum I find this feature useful as the vacuum cleaner stands on its own, but it doesn’t save any space though.
When I compare the Dyson V8 docking station and Shark freestanding MultiFLEX technology, there is undoubtedly a winner. Though the MultiFLEX feature is a convenient concept in itself, the Dyson docking station is the clear winner. It is easier to use, and you don’t have to plug in the vacuum to be charged or detach the batteries. I think it is a lifesaver in households with kids or pets, where cleaning is a continuous task.
Performance and summing up
Last and most importantly there is the matter of performance. All the nice features are pointless if the vacuum doesn’t perform well. A highly functional vacuum should be able to clean up all kinds of debris on all surfaces.
Pet owners deal with all sorts of dirt. There is the pet hair being shed in copious amounts, and pets can bring in mud, soil, sand, grass, and pebbles after spending time outside. Cats can scatter the cat litter around, and rabbits spread wood shaving everywhere. There are so many types of messes to deal with; an excellent pet hair vacuum has to perform well in many areas.
What I like about the Shark IonFLEX Duoclean is that it is great on floors. I mostly have hardwood floors, but I also have some carpeting in my bedroom. The Shark vacuum is very efficient on both surfaces and because of the Duoclean system moving from one surface to another is a breeze.
I also like the Multiflex system which allows me to reach under furniture without bending down, but I have to say it is not quite as handy as what it looks like in the commercials. What is missing though is a tool for cleaning furniture, although you do have some basic tools for other small cleanups.
The runtime offered with one battery is short, and I think I'd need to invest in a second battery to keep using the Shark as the primary vacuum at my home. Otherwise, it is a highly functional and convenient vacuum cleaner to have. I would recommend it – though for me the Dyson V8 Absolute is the winner.
The Dyson V8 handles both hard floors and carpets very well, although you have to change attachments if you want to get the best results for hardwood floors. One of the best features is the mini motorized tool which will take care of pet hair on upholstered furniture. This attachment is something every pet owner should have.
The runtime of 40 minutes, powerful suction, HEPA filter and dirt ejector just add to the fantastic features and performance offered by the Dyson V8 Absolute.
In this Dyson vs. Shark comparison, I found Dyson V8 Absolute to walk away with the first prize, while Shark IonFLEX Duoclean became the close second. Both vacuums have some amazing and well thought out features, and they both are quality vacuums with great performance.
I won’t be giving up either of them, but I think I will switch them around because I do most of my cleaning at home and that where I want to be able to benefit from the runtime and effortless cleaning the Dyson V8 Absolute offers.
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