Dyson vs. Shark: How to pick the right vacuum

Never did I think I’d be writing a post about vacuums. Then again, what else would I write about? (Nor did I think this post would end up being so lengthy, but alas, there is a lot to be said about the vacuum market these days).

Our last vacuum, a Dyson DC 25 Animal, lasted us nine glorious years before it needed any maintenance. At the nine year mark our hose finally split, and was easily replaced for a meager $30 on the Dyson website. Only to have the (what I think was) belt break. At this point it just wasn’t justifiable to put more money into a nine year old machine. We said our farewells and began searching and SEARCHING for the right vacuum in today’s market.

And holy overwhelm.

Nine years ago it was Dyson and not much else. But since, Shark has taken the domestic, and vacuum, market by storm.

Which is better? Dyson or Shark.

Unfortunately, in my search and experience, there is no exact, simple answer. Because it is so circumstantial. We probably spent over 10 hours (maybe more, honestly) researching today’s vacs.

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Upright Vacuums

I loved our Dyson upright, but in the upright world today, Sharks are equally as good, and slightly better priced. In the reviews I’ve read and the surveys I took with followers and readers, overall Shark was recommended more by all (including those working in the cleaning industry). Also, recent reviews on today’s models of Dyson Uprights left a bit to be desired. Quality on newer Dyson models seems to be on the decline.

So in the world of upright vacuums, our research lead us to the Shark DuoClean. A really awesome, functional, well spoken for upright vacuum. Great wand features (very similar to the Dyson if that’s what you’re used to), dual roller heads for easy suction on both hard and carpeted surfaces, and lots of maneuverability.

Cordless Vacuums

But then we enter the world of cordless vacuums. And through our research, really, the market only has one solid contender here, the Dyson Cordless.

When determining which model was the right fit for us, it’s a bit of balance between run time and budget. We settled for the Dyson V8. It has a run time of 40 minutes between charge and comes in around $350. I set a hard budget of no more than $400 on a vacuum. Mentally, I just couldn’t justify more than that on a machine for us.

If you are stuck between the V8 and the V10 models, there is one small variation in features that made a big difference for us. The V8 runs on a trigger button. Hold the trigger down, and the vacuum powers on, release that trigger and it powers off. The V10 has an on/off power button, with 60 total minutes of run time.

For other Dyson Cordless Stick Vacuum Models, check here!

But I vacuum as I clean. With our upright, I would leave the vacuum running as I went about picking items up off the floor. I knew with the V10, I would do the same. Meaning those 20 precious minutes of battery life I gained on the V10 would most likely be wasted on idle run time. So in the name of saving a few bucks (more like $80), we decided the V8 was a better fit for our cleaning style.

Dyson V8 Cordless vs. Shark DuoClean Upright

Why the Dyson V8 Cordless was the right fit for us

So having narrowed down our options to the Shark DuoClean and the Dyson V8 Cordless, we were still left wondering which vacuum would serve our family best. Never having experienced a cordless vac before, and Dyson’s awesome free trial and return policy, we purchased both vacuums and decided to try and return which wasn’t a keeper.

And carpeted stairs. Don’t even get me started on how much easier it is to vacuum our stairs.

The ease of pulling out a vacuum, sucking up breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack crumbs in less than a minute, and returning it to the docking station was insane. It was effortless. It was fun. And I do it one handed, regularly (hello, teething baby on my hip 24/7).

I was very nervous about the suction on our carpeted rooms. But dang, that sucker left carpet lines like a home about to hit the market. Bouncing from hand vac to stick vac and back felt a little badass if I do say so myself. Like I had a really killer tool, or weapon. Or both.

I honestly used to avoid crumbly foods with our small children. If only for the dread of having to dig our upright out, plug it in and get to work. Also, we have a toddler who legit oozez crumbs all day. Hours after she’s been fed she’ll just produce them. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s a freaking Houdini.

But avoid the graham crackers no more. Cordbread muffins, no problem. Popcorn parties, have at it. Who cares, because then momma gets to vacuum! It’s become, honestly, a fun and anticipated activity for me now.

The cons of the Cordless that still haunt us (longevity of the product itself, diminishing hold of battery life, some poor customer reviews), are a small worry now in contrast to how this vacuum has changed my domestic cleaning game. I’m just praying daily to the Gods Of All Things Crumbly that she holds out for a few years and gives us our money’s worth.

But what about that Shark? Well… unfortunately I never even got the chance to try. Shark’s customer service refused to provide a hard answer on their return policy. Even after a few emails and calls to customer service, they refused to say if I’d be charged a restocking fee or not if returning a tried vacuum. Because of the poor experience with their customer service, paired with the instant love of the Cordless, we decided it wasn’t worth opening their product.

That being said, if budget was primary concern, I would 100% back the purchase of the Shark DuoClean. For $200 you get a really awesome upright vacuum, with lift away option, HEPA filter, dual rollers and easy toggle switch between carpeted and hard floor suction, smooth wand detachment for hard to reach areas, and enough attachments to get all the jobs done.

Ultimately, this is how we justified our decision. We ended with the Dyson Cordless V8. And honestly, $350 is still a lot to spend on a vacuum. But I’m the only cleaning lady in this house, we don’t hire out. So coupling this budget saving fact with the quality of life the Cordless has added to our home, and honestly, If it makes it 3-4 years, I’ll consider the investment worth the return.



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