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Shark Navigator vs. Dyson DC50: Get the Skinny on Two Name-Brand Vacuums

June 24, 2015
Product Comparisons, Shopping
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Dyson and Shark: They’re two of the best-known vacuum brands. But which cleaner will come out on top in a head-to-head?

Before you shell out any money on a new cleaning assistant, check out our comparison of the Dyson DC50 and the Shark Navigator.

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The vacuums: at a glance

Squaring off in this vacuum cleaner faceoff are the Dyson Ball Compact Animal (formerly the DC50 Animal) — a $449.99 purple and silver upright device from Dyson — and the Shark Navigator NV22S, a $149.99 silver bagless upright from Shark.

What accounts for the $300 price gap between these two popular models? We did some product spec analysis to break down the differences.

[No matter which vacuum you declare the winner, take a look at our Vacuum Buying Guide for tips on which features you should be paying attention to.]


Dyson Ball Compact Animal (formerly DC50 Animal) Shark Navigator NV22S
Price $449.99 from Dyson $149.99 retail price
Type Upright Upright
Weight 11.6 pounds 15 pounds
Cord 25 feet 25 feet
HEPA filter Yes Yes
Accessories Tangle-free turbine tool, combination tool, stair tool Dusting brush, pet turbo brush

The vacuums: up close and personal

Price point and pounds aside, you’re likely wondering which type of cleaning each of these devices is best suited for. Read on to find out which vacuum is designed for which sort of user.

Dyson Ball Compact Animal

Dyson Ball Compact Animal (formerly DC50 Animal)

NerdWallet takes you shopping: First up is the Dyson Ball Compact Animal, a $449.99 vacuum model that is perhaps best known as the DC50 Animal (its former name).

Weighing in at just 11.6 pounds, this lightweight vacuum features 128 air watts of suction power, a 0.21-gallon bin volume, a 25-foot cord and a 28-foot maximum reach. Ideal for picking up pet hair, the device comes complete with a tangle-free turbine tool, combination tool and stair tool.

During operation, the device utilizes its self-adjusting cleaner head to maintain suction, its brush bar with carbon fiber filaments to remove dirt and its ball technology to enhance steering. The vacuum can clean both carpets and hard floors.

Good fit for: For a top-of-the-line upright vacuum, opt for the Dyson DC50, now known as the Dyson Ball Compact Animal. With its easy-to-steer design and pet-specific tools, this lightweight model is best suited for consumers who want to purchase a long-lasting, multipurpose cleaner.


Shark Navigator

Shark Navigator NV22S

NerdWallet takes you shopping: Also popular in the vacuum cleaning world is the Shark Navigator NV22S, an upright device with a regular retail price of $149.99.

Designed to clean carpets and bare floors alike, this model features a 10-amp motor, 12-inch-wide cleaning path, 25-foot cord and HEPA filter. The vacuum’s stretch hose is intended to allow users to clean high-reaching areas, while the product’s included dusting brush and pet turbo brush attachments help enhance pet hair pickup.

While this vacuum is considerably less expensive than the aforementioned model, it’s also heavier (15 pounds compared to 11.6 pounds) and lacks some of the Dyson-specific features (accessories, ball technology and more).

Keep in mind that this model isn’t available for purchase directly from Shark. You can purchase it from a variety of other retailers, though, including Best Buy and Amazon.

Good fit for: Choose the Shark Navigator for an upright vacuum that is a mix of reliability and affordability. Consumers in search of a whole-home cleaner will appreciate this device, which can clean all sorts of surfaces (and pick up pet hair) for less than $150.

Compare other popular vacuums here:

For more vacuum buying advice, check out:

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.

Top image via iStock.