We have had our Dyson DC24 for years now. Whenever anyone would ask about what vacuum to get, I would recommend it in a heartbeat. Yes, it is expensive for a vacuum, but it handles the long-haired pet hair from both Toby and Lucy like a champ.
So, when I was pregnant and after giving birth, I was unable to carry the Dyson up and down the stairs. So I would have to wait for Tim to get home from work so I could vacuum the entire house. By the time he was home, I was exhausted, so I didn’t vacuum the house all that often. Yet another task for Tim.
We decided that it was time for us to invest in a second vacuum. The Dyson would still be great for the upstairs, where all of the rooms are carpeted, the hall is wood, and the bathrooms are vinyl. We would get a second vacuum for downstairs. I had heard amazing things about the Shark brand, and after some research (and polling friends on Facebook), we decided to purchase the Shark Navigator Lift Away.
I feel really lucky that I now have two great vacuum cleaners, and I can use them both! I also have the unique perspective where I can compare them side-by-side.
Our Shark cost $160 (minus the 20% off coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond), whereas the Dyson costs around $500. Somehow we were able to still get 20% off of the Dyson when we bought it at BBB, even though I know that we weren’t supposed to. Shh… Still, it’s obvious that Shark wins on this one.
Suction: Tie (Leaning towards Dyson)
Both pick up a LOT of stuff. I think the Dyson is better on carpeting (even after all of these years), but the Shark is AMAZING on hardwood floors. I know that our Dyson will sometimes push the dirt and hair around on the hardwood, but the Shark just picks it right up.
The Shark comes with WAY more accessories, including 2 crevice tools, a dusting brush, and the smaller “Pet Hair Power Brush” which looks like a smaller vacuum. The Dyson only has the crevice tool and dusting brush. I also really like how the Shark lifts apart to make it easy to carry the vacuum and clean the stairs.
I had to include this because it really does matter. The Dyson is a much sleeker looking machine because of the engineering component. I also think that this matters in how all of the accessories fit and store on the machine. We couldn’t get all of the Shark accessories to stay attached, so some of them are in our hall closet. Hopefully we will remember they are there. If someone knows how to attach them all, will you let me know?
Ease of Adaptability: Dyson
When you attach the accessories to the Dyson, there is a nice loud “click” as it falls into place. That lets you know that it is ready to go. It is also very clear how to line it up to put it together and how to take it apart. In addition, the canister comes off (to empty) with one finger pressing a button, whereas you have to use both hands to get the canister off of the Shark. Also, with the Shark, you have to just push the accessories onto the hose and hope that it has a tight enough seal. Once it is there, they work great, but you have to push a bit first.
I was impressed with how the Shark almost flew out of my hands as it self-propelled itself across my area rug. That little
bugger fish was quick!
This goes along with the engineering, but the Dyson just feels like a sturdier machine. Maybe it is because it is heavy, but it felt much more solid than the Shark.
Standing Up: Dyson
I had read this in reviews, and I would agree that the Shark felt like it might fall over, whereas the Dyson feels like it’s not going anywhere.
Switching Between Floors/Carpeting: Shark
When you want to use the hardwood setting on the Dyson, you have to turn on the vacuum and then turn off the roller. For the Shark, however, it automatically goes to the hardwood (roller off) setting, and then you can turn it to the carpeting setting. Then you can also adjust the suction of the Shark.
Ability to Get Into Small Corners: Shark
The Shark is a narrower, smaller vacuum, so it goes into smaller corners better than the Dyson.