Shark Vacuums Take a Bite Out of the Competition
In Consumer Reports' tests and surveys, the top-selling U.S. brand stands out for performance and reliability
If you haven’t been on the hunt for a new vacuum of late, you may be surprised to find that Shark surpasses Dyson as the top brand in the U.S., according to market research firm Mintel. But what are you to make of a cleaning machine named after a waterborne predator? Quite a lot, actually. Just ask Consumer Reports' experts and subscribers.
For starters, Shark counts more than two dozen recommended models in our ratings. That means they’ve excelled in our test labs at such challenges as pulling cat hair from carpets and sucking sand from bare floors. In its categories of bagless, corded stick, and handheld vacuums, Shark swims with—if not always ahead of—the likes of Bissell, Dyson, Hoover, and Kenmore.
Then there’s our reliability survey, the latest of which tallies feedback from more than 33,000 subscribers who purchased a vacuum between 2011 and 2016. The results suggest that a mere 11 percent of folks who have a Shark upright will experience a breakage by the third year of ownership—less than half the breakage rate of popular brands Hoover and Eureka. It’s the same story for Shark’s stick vacs: The third-year breakage rate is 11 percent. Compare that with 21 percent for Hoover and 22 percent for Dyson.
We also asked CR subscribers about their satisfaction with their vacuums’ performance. Shark stood out here as well: In uprights, 53 percent of Shark owners were completely satisfied, second only to Miele (65 percent). In stick vacs, Shark edged out both Dyson and Hoover in satisfaction.
That's an impressive combo of kudos—performance, reliability, and owner satisfaction—especially given that Shark vacuums are competitively priced. Here we highlight five of the brand’s best models. Three compete for the top slot in their category, and the other two are very good specialty models.