In this Guide
Shark and Dyson. They’re two of today’s biggest names in vacuum cleaners, and they are often the source of debate between shoppers, experts, and reviewers.
In many different ways, consumers are all asking the same question: Which vacuum brand is better?
But perhaps that’s not the right question. Like all products, both Shark and Dyson vacuums have their strengths and their weaknesses.
A better question might be: Which of these two vacuum brands is right for me?
We wanted to compare the two, going beyond the marketing hype of both companies to find out which vacuum is best suited for you, your home, and your lifestyle. In order to pit the two brands against each other, we took an in-depth look at some of the best-selling models from both companies.
We compared them side by side, weighing the pros and cons of each individual model to understand the brands as a whole.
Since we’re a hardwood vacuum review site, we’ll put a special focus on how both brands perform on hardwood floors. We’ll also look at cost, ease of use, features, and other factors that matter to shoppers.
Check out our winners and choose the perfect one for you!
Our Reviews of Dyson vs. Shark Vacuums
Price: Though Dyson products are usually sold at a premium, the Multi Floor is one of Dyson’s least expensive models. Still, it’s currently priced at about a hundred dollars more than Shark’s Rotator Powered Lift Away.
Hardwood Performance: Both vacuums earn similar scores from Consumer Reports on hard floors—the Multi Floor and the Rotator Powered Lift-Away both were rated “Excellent” on hardwood and tile.
Customers back this up in their reviews, with both vacuums earning high praise for their performance on hard surfaces. The self-adjusting head on the Dyson Multi Floor gives it a slight edge in terms of convenience, since it allows users to seamlessly transition between different surfaces while vacuuming.
By changing the base plate height automatically, the head of the vacuum creates a tighter seal with the floor. This in turn sucks up more fine debris than a traditional vacuum head.
Shark has a different, but also effective approach toward hard floors. On the Rotator Powered Lift-Away, users can switch the beater brush for carpet and hard floor modes via fingertip controls on the handle.
One feature that many owners liked was the Hard Floor Genie, a Swiffer-style (know more about Swiffer)bare floor attachment that features a microfiber brush to pick up fine debris.
Operation: Both the Dyson and Shark models are uniquely maneuverable when compared to other vacuums. Dyson’s Ball allows for tight turns into narrow spaces, and easy one-handed operation. The Rotator Powered Lift-Away also has a swiveling head for increased maneuverability.
At about 15 pounds, the Rotator Powered Lift-Away weighs only slightly less than the 17-pound Multi Floor. Both could be considered relatively lightweight, and are easy to push around and carry up and down stairs.
There was one design flaw of the Multi Floor (and other Dyson Ball Vacuums) that frustrated a small number of reviewers. The height of the ball prevents the Multi Floor from getting under furniture with low clearance. This isn’t a problem for the Rotator Powered Lift-Away—the removable canister means Shark’s vacuum can get under furniture that the Multi Floor cannot.
The removable canister also gives the Rotator Powered a strong edge when it comes to operation. The ability to quickly transition between an upright vacuum on the floor, and a portable canister vacuum for the stairs, ceiling, car, etc. makes the Rotator Powered Lift-Away one of the most versatile models on the market.
Which One Wins?
The ease of use and versatile design of the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away makes it our favorite of the two.
When you factor in the lower cost, the Rotator Powered Lift-Away gains a strong edge over the Dyson Multi Floor.
Make no mistake, however—the Dyson Multi Floor has a lot to offer on its own. Their Radial Root Cyclone Technology captures more fine particles inside the vacuum than a traditional filter system, while expelling some of the cleanest, allergen-free air of any vacuum.
Both of these upright vacuums earn high ratings on hard surfaces from expert tests and customer reviews, and both would prove to be a great asset to any home with hardwood flooring.
Stick Vacuums: Dyson V6 vs. Shark Rocket
Dyson V6 Absolute
Dyson’s V6 cordless stick vacuums catch the eye with their colorful, futuristic design.
With the V6 Absolute, Dyson seeks to up the original V6’s performance on hard surfaces with the addition of an extra cleaner head designed especially for hardwood floors (in addition to the Direct Drive cleaner head, which features a brush roll for carpets).
Besides the two different attachments for cleaning floors, Dyson includes a few features not seen in traditional stick vacuums. For example, the V6 Absolute also includes HEPA filtration—a great feature for homeowners who suffer from allergies.
Instead of an on/off switch, the V6 has a trigger to control the vacuum’s power. Since the V6 is cordless, this help preserve the battery life of the vacuum.
The battery for this cordless vacuum is charged via a wall-mounted charging station (which is also useful for storing the V6 when not in use). The battery provides about 20 minutes of continuous charge on normal power mode, and about 6 minutes in boost mode.
Shark also breaks the mold of traditional stick vacuums with the Rocket, with the most apparent design difference being the full-sized floor head attached to the body of the stick vacuum. Unlike the V6, the Shark Rocket is a corded model.
The Rocket is designed to accommodate all floor types. With the flick of a switch, owners can change the speed of the brush roll—fast for deep carpets, and slower for hard surfaces to prevent scratches on wood flooring and damage to area rugs.
The components of the Rocket can be detached easily to clean different areas of the home. For example, the wand of the vacuum can be removed by pressing a button on the cleaner head, allowing owners to clean above-floor areas like shelving, stairs and ceilings. The wand itself can be detached to transform the Rocket into an even more portable hand vac.
Price: The Shark Rocket is significantly less expensive than the V6 Absolute, at a little less than half the cost.
It’s worth noting, however, that Dyson recently dropped the price of the original V6, and it’s now only $100 more than the Shark Rocket.
The original Dyson V6 doesn’t include the hard floor cleaner head (or HEPA filter), but it still gets strong performance ratings on hardwood flooring.
Performance on Hardwood Floor: According to tests from Consumer Reports and reviews from customers, the V6 Absolute performs slightly better on hardwood than the Shark Rocket.
To be clear, the Shark Rocket still wins some of the highest hard floor ratings among stick vacuums—the V6 just earns slightly higher marks. Many users particularly like Dyson’s hard floor attachment head, which uses soft bristles with a spongy texture to remove more fine dust from the surface of hardwood without scratching.
The Shark Rocket, on the other hand, allows owners to adjust the speed of the brush roll. This allows for gentler cleaning on hard surfaces without damaging or scratching the surface itself.
Shark also includes a Dust-Away attachment kit for hard floors, which combines a microfiber pad with the suction of the vacuum itself.
Operation: When it comes to ease-of-use and operation, both the Shark Rocket and the Dyson V6 Absolute have their strengths and limitations.
Since the Rocket is corded and the V6 Absolute is cordless, comparing them side by side is somewhat like comparing apples and oranges.
Both of these stick vacuums have small dust canisters, requiring owners to empty them on a fairly frequent basis. This factor prevents either vacuum from being a solid primary vacuum for all but the smallest of homes.
Instead, they work better as a supplement to your main vacuum, used for spot cleaning or reaching difficult places.
The V6 Absolute cordless design means that it can go places where corded vacuums (including the Shark Rocket) cannot , and it doesn’t require owners to switch outlets at any point during vacuuming.
Homeowners can make short work of tricky spots like the stairs or the interior of cars. The V6 is particularly useful for staircases—unlike the Shark Rocket, the floor heads are small enough to navigate around the surface of a step.
In addition, the well-balanced design of the V6 makes it very easy to maneuver. Users can quickly swing the vacuum up from the floor to shelves or the ceiling and back down again.
On the Shark Rocket, cleaning the same space would require removing and reattaching different parts of the vacuum.
Though it isn’t limited by the length of a cord, however, the Dyson V6 is limited by its battery life. With only 20 minutes of power (or 6 minutes in Boost mode) and 3 hours of charging, owners may sometimes have to strategically conserve the life of the battery.
Of course, that’s not a problem for the Shark Rocket because of its cord. At 30 feet, the power cord is also long enough to allow for a reasonable amount of mobility while vacuuming.
Which One Wins?
The V6 Absolute has some marked advantages over the Shark Rocket—it’s cordless, easier to use, and earns slightly better ratings on hardwood floors. It also has a few weaknesses, however, like limited battery life and significantly higher cost.
The Shark Rocket has a few limitations of its own, though it still earns high praise and strong ratings for its performance (including on hardwood). For many homeowners, the Rocket is a useful tool to have around the home.
Is the V6 Absolute worth twice the cost of the Shark Rocket? Perhaps not, unless top-of-the-line performance is an absolute must for you.
If you like the design of the Absolute, but you balk at its high price tag, we recommend checking out the original V6, which currently retails for less than the newer model.
Should You Buy a Dyson or Shark?
Dyson vacuums often earn high ratings for performance and design, and most owners say they’re quite happy with their purchase.
The upright Dyson Multi Floor performs well on hardwood floors, and includes a number of useful features like a self-adjusting base plate and the trademark Dyson ball design.
The V6 Absolute cordless vacuum also earns some of the highest marks on hardwood floors of any stick model, and the hardwood floor brush and HEPA filtration are two features that have won over many homeowners.
The high quality of Dyson vacuums often comes with a much higher price tag, however, placing Dyson’s models outside of the budget of some shoppers.
Shark also has vacuums that perform quite well, and usually prices their models much lower than Dyson (with some exceptions).
The versatile and high-rated Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away features Shark’s groundbreaking lift-away canister feature, and offer similar performance on hardwood floors to the Dyson Multi Floor—despite its lower price.
The Shark Rocket is another great stick model with highly rated hardwood floor performance, and it comes at about half the cost of the V6 Absolute.
It’s got a few great features of its own as well, like a microfiber hard floor tool and detachable components for a more versatile vacuuming experience.
Dyson and Shark aren’t the only two companies than make great hardwood vacuums. For more high-rated models, check out the best selling hardwood vacuums on Amazon or visit our homepage here.