When it comes to cordless vacuums, the two names that inevitably come up are Shark and Dyson. Both are superb brands and quite frankly at the cutting edge of vacuum innovation. Here, we’re going to look at Shark vs Dyson in terms of cordless vacuums.
We’ll start out with a head to head comparison of two of their best models: the Shark IONFlex and the Dyson V8. We’ll finish it off with a few more of our favorite Shark and Dyson cordless vacuums.
Shark IonFlex Vs Dyson V8: Two Awesome Cordless Vacuums
If you’re in the market for a cordless vacuum and are looking to invest in one, you really don’t need to look much further than the Shark IonFlex or the Dyson V8.
Dyson is the older, more original brand. They were the pioneers of this generation of cordless vacuums, and it’s evident by the fact that Shark is pretty much very similar to Dyson in many respects.
However, the Shark model has a few tricks and innovations of its own up its sleeve.
1. Running time and time required to recharge
Shark and Dyson are both pretty close in this department. They both run on lithium ion batteries, although the Shark batteries are removable and the Dyson batteries are built in.
Removable batteries do allow you to easily change them when they inevitably wear out. You will not be able to change the Dyson batteries yourself unless you’re into some serious DIY.
The Dyson V8 runs for about 45 minutes on a full charge, and if you use any of the motorized attachments, you’re looking at a 20-25 minute runtime.
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The Shark IonFlex is similar at around 45 minutes as well, if you’re using the DuoClean head attachment, runtime drops to 20 minutes.
Both batteries will take up to 4 hours to charge.
As you can see, both vacuums are quite similar in this regard and the only advantage that the Shark has here is that its batteries are removable.
2. Weight and design
Cordless vacuums are quite upright and when using them you’ll be standing up straight and pushing them with your upper body. The other canister-style vacuums are not that high above the ground so you’ll be putting a lot of your back into those.
But since the main selling point of cordless vacuums(from Shark, Dyson, or otherwise) is the portability and versatility, we figured that weight and design should be very high up on the comparison list!
The overall design of both the Dyson and Shark cordless vacuums is quite similar but there are a few small variances which actually end up making a huge difference.
Essentially, the motor and canister is up at the top, which is attached to the handle on one side, and a tube sticks down the other side. The tube can be connected to a variety of tools and brushes.
The Dyson V8 is very light, coming in at just 5.8 lbs. The tube is aluminum and it feels very strong and rigid in your hands. To run the vacuum, there is a trigger button that you need to push.
Here’s the catch, though: you need to keep pushing down on the trigger for the vacuum to run. As soon as you let go, the motor will turn off and the vacuum will stop.
In order to enable the extra power mode, there is a slider switch that you’ll need to move in position to enable it. Thankfully the slider switch will stay in position once you move it!
The Dyson V8 has a large, 0.5 liter canister that can catch a lot of dust and dirt, and emptying out is quite easy: there’s a little slider that you can push down and it will force the dirt out of the canister. Earlier Dyson cordless models did not have this feature and you’d have to let gravity do its thing or bang on the side of your garbage can to get everything out.
Or you could dig everything out with your hands, too.
The Shark IonFlex, on the other hand, is a bit heavier than the Dyson, coming in at 8.7 pounds. You will not really feel the difference though, as 8 pounds is not really much. It’s actually pretty much the average weight of a newborn child!
Since you’re going to push the vacuum on the brush “wheels”, the wheels will do most of the work for movement(not motorized, just that they reduce friction) and you just need to guide it.
Unlike the Dyson, the Shark IonFlex has a tube with a rubber insert in the middle that flexes. You can use the extra angle achieved from the flex to slide the vacuum head under furniture like sofas. The flex will allow you to get the vacuum under the sofa even if you’re standing up.
If you wanted to do this with the Dyson, you’d have to step back a few feet, sit on the ground, and slide the vacuum in almost touching the ground in parallel!
Additionally, the IonFlex has a switch that turns the vacuum on and off and another switch for adjusting power. It may not seem like much but when you’re trying to vacuum an entire room or a house having to hold down a switch constantly may be an inconvenience for you.
Finally, the Shark IonFlex has a smaller capacity canister, just 0.33 liters. The Shark canister does not have any mechanism to help get the dust out, and because it’s smaller, you’ll need to empty it more often.
The Shark IonFlex has a better tube design and a better button design, but the Dyson is lighter and has a bigger canister.
3. Tools and attachments
A vacuum by itself is quite boring and simple, but adding a few tools into the mix really lets you clean in any way you can imagine.
The Premium Dyson model, the V8 Absolute comes with 6 tools:
- Soft roller head (for cleaning bare floor)
- Motorhead (bristled tool for cleaning carpet)
- Mini-soft dusting brush for more delicate surfaces
- Crevice tool
- Combination tool
- Mini motorhead (for upholstery)
The soft roller head contains soft brushes that won’t scratch up hardwood floors.
The motorhead is a motorized, bristled tool that dredges up dirt from deep inside carpet fibers
The soft dusting brush is great for cleaning glass sconces and other delicate items
A small, sharp nozzle will let you get into nooks in crannies – the crevice tool.
The Mini Motorhead is another motorized attachment that can be used to clean upholstery – great for sofas and big chairs.
The Shark IonFlex also comes with its own set of tools:
- Duster crevice tool
- Dusting brush
- Wide upholstery tool
- Anti-allergen dust brush
- DuoClean head for carpet and bare floor
The crevice tool is used to get into small areas.
The dusting brush and anti-allergen dust brush is great for removing dust from all surfaces.
The wide upholstery tool is used for cleaning sofas and large chairs. The wider design helps you cover more area in a shorter time.
Finally, the DuoClean head is quite interesting as it contains both soft brushes and bristles so it will work on both hard floors and carpets. If you have a room where most of it is hardwood with a rug in the middle, you can just transition quite easily without having to change anything around.
Interestingly enough, the DuoClean head also has LED lights that you can utilize for cleaning under tight surfaces where there would be a lot of shadows and it would be hard to see anything.
The biggest advantage, though, is the IonFlex itself. The flex tubing lets you really maneuver the head around however you want. It also lets you fold the vacuum nearly in half for super easy storage.
4. Filtration and air quality
Filtration is kind of a big deal! Vacuum cleaners suck in air at super high speeds. The dust and dirt gets caught in the canister, and the remaining air is blown out through an exhaust.
Naturally, microscopic particles of dust may escape the canister and get blown out again. That’s where Dyson made a brilliant design choice by making the whole V8 cordless vacuum filtered. A HEPA standard filter makes sure that all the dust particles are indeed caught and almost nothing escapes.
The Shark IonFlex has no filter. That’s not to say the exhaust blows out dirty air, but the HEPA-filtered air from the Dyson will certainly be cleaner.
5. Overall performance
The Dyson V8 is a monster of a cordless vacuum. It is super powerful for its category and does a great job of picking up dirt, dust, grime, and particles from both hardwood floors and carpets.
The soft brushes do a great job of sweeping in dust and dirt on hard floors, and the bristle roller does a good job of digging out particles that are embedded inside the carpet fibers, too.
Unlike Dyson, Shark does not write a specific power rating on their cordless vacuum(the Dyson V8 has a capacity of 115 air watts), but it performs very similarly to the Dyson. The various tools and attachments are really good and the thicker rollers do pick up a lot of dirt from inside the carpet fibers.
Is a cordless vacuum good for deep cleaning?
Let’s face it – a cordless vacuum just is not as powerful as a typical upright vacuum. For seriously deep cleaning, you’ll need an upright vacuum. For even deeper cleaning(like getting pet stains out of carpets), you’ll need a carpet shampooer.
The main advantage of cordless vacuums is the portability and maneuverability. You can easily charge it up and take it outside to clean your car, or to reach a spot where a corded vacuum won’t reach.
Dyson provides a flat 2 year warranty, whereas Shark provides a 5 year warranty on the vacuum and a 2 year warranty on the battery. Clearly, the Shark vacuum is a much better long-term purchase if you do plan on taking them on the warranty and your things are prone to breaking!
The Shark is marginally cheaper than the Dyson(just by a few dollars), but you have to plan on investing at least $250 or more if you want to get a cordless vacuum. That’s jut how much a good one will cost, period.
In terms of value, the Shark is a great deal because you’re getting quite a lot of features for a slightly lower price(as well as a 5 year warranty).
In terms of brand recognition and industry leadership, you can’t go wrong with the Dyson. It cleans really well, the filter is a huge plus, and you can wash it unlimited times.
Get the Dyson V8 if you…
- Want something lightweight: The Dyson is a lightweight option and it will definitely be easier to move around
- Want something that has a bigger capacity: The Dyson has a bigger canister and you’ll have to empty it less often
- Want something that has a filter: The Dyson has a built in filter which will end up with a better, more thorough clean
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Get the Shark IonFlex if you…
- Are on a tighter budget: The Shark IonFlex is significantly cheaper than the Dyson yet has similar performance
- Need to clean under furniture: The flexing tube makes a huge difference in getting vacuum into tight spaces
- Don’t want to switch tool heads: The dual tool head makes it easy to vacuum a floor of mixed hardwood/tile and a rug
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