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Two strong brands in the vacuum business are Bissell and Shark. It can be daunting to try and figure out which brand is the right vacuum to buy for your home. To help with the process, we’ve compared Bissell vs Shark to give you a better idea of what these brands stand for and how they measure up against each other. Read to find which brand makes the best vacuum.
Let’s start with Bissell. Bissell is vacuum brand with roots that date back to 1876. Its long heritage is marked by Melville R. Bissell and his wife, Anna.
At the time they were operating a small crockery shop and grew tired of the sawdust that accumulated on the shop’s carpet.
This Grand Rapids, Michigan couple developed a one-of-a-kind sweeper, and soon others were asking to buy one too. This was the start of the Bissell company you know today.
While Melville passed away in 1889, Anna took the helm of the Bissell company and became the first female CEO. She grew the company from North America to Europe and made it a household name.
Related: Shark Vacuums vs Dyson Vacuums
Shark’s history is over a century old as it is part of the Euro-Pro family. It got it start as a sewing machine company with roots that extend throughout Europe. The company entered into Canada when the third generation took over and added the Shark vacuum cleaners to the company’s line of household products.
Mark Rosenzweig, the family heir, is responsible for the rise of the Shark brand. The idea behind the Shark name was to create a product that was simple to use.
Rosenzweig knew that the owners of the Shark vacuum cleaners had no time to read manuals or complicated instructions in order to operate the Shark vacuums. So, he created a product that was intuitive and easy-to-use right out of the package.
Nowadays, Shark offers a variety of vacuums, like the entry level Navigator model all the way up to our highest rated corded vacuum, the Shark Rocket DuoClean. A lot of their mid priced models make great solutions, and you can compare the differences between the Navigator and Rocket, or the Navigator vs the Rotator.
Today, the company is a multi-million-dollar business with Shark as it top-selling brand of products.
When we compare Bissell vs Shark, there are many features to access between the two brands. Both have strong names in the vacuum business, and both have extended their product lines into other household categories.
Both brands have branched out into related product lines that are also really high quality. For example, Bissell makes several steam mops for tile floor and hardwood that we recommend. Shark also makes some great steam powered mops and garment cleaners.
Both brands have an extensive history which dates back several years. Bissell started as a family business and Shark is part of a conglomerate under the Euro-Pro name.
Bissell’s claim to fame is being one of the first originators of the vacuum while Shark has concentrated on creating products virtually anyone can use.
When it comes down to comparing Bissell vs Shark vacuums, there is much to debate.
For instance, the Bissell dirt canister offers 0.11 to 0.52 gallons, depending on the model. Shark’s dirt canister is even larger with a capacity of 0.6 to 1.1 gallons. Here, we see Shark take the lead as its vacuums are able to clean longer between emptying.
Both brands do offer bagless vacuum systems in all their vacuums, giving consumers the ability to forego those vacuum bags that are a hassle to put in the vacuum as well as to remove.
Vote: Bissell and Shark
Both brands offer an extensive range of vacuums in their product family. Under the Bissell brand, there are cordless, upright, stick, handheld, canister, and robotic models.
Shark offers upright, stick, cordless, canister, cordless, and robot models. These brands heavily compete with each other and offer similar products across the board for consumers to choose from.
There is literally a vacuum from either of these brands for virtually any cleaning job.
Vote: Bissell and Shark
One of the most important aspects of a vacuum is how well the suction power works.
Shark claims to offer never lose suction technology while Bissell claims to have strong suction power even through thinner, lighter models such as the 3-in-1 corded stick vacuum as well as the SuctionChannel technology available on some units.
We do see an overall edge in suction power for Shark. This is most apparent on thicker pile carpet, where you'll prefer to clean shag rugs and carpets with a Shark over a Bissell.
While both brands claim to provide plenty of suction for cleaning, Shark may be a step ahead here as all of its vacuums, regardless of price, offer the never lose suction system.
Motor amperage of the vacuums is also a critical factor in distinguishing which is the better brand between Bissell and Shark.
We found Bissell vacuum motors on average draw 12 watts while Shark vacuums are fitted with a 10-watt motor. While motor rating is no indication of how well each brand cleans it does figure into how much energy your vacuum needs to operate.
The lower the motor wattage, the less power that is needed to run your vacuum and essentially the more money you’ll save on your energy bill.
Another benefit to the Bissell and Shark brands is how they compete when it comes to removing pet hair and dander. Both brands offer dedicated vacuums just for this task.
Bissell jumps ahead here as it has been catering to this market since the early 2000s, even partnering with Petfinder.com and starting the Bissell Pet Foundation in 2011.
Shark, while serious about pet hair removal, doesn’t really market to this population as well, giving Bissell an edge with being recognized by pet owners. Plus, Bissell also makes other pet cleaning products such as the SpotBot.
When you look at the warranties of Bissell and Shark, you see that Shark offers its customers more.
Shark provides a five-year warranty on repair or replacement of its vacuums, while Bissell offers a two to three-year warranty depending on the model. With Shark vacuums, you get a little more reassurance that your machine will last longer or you can have it repaired or replaced if it doesn’t.
Durability is also key to the design of Bissell and Shark vacuums. We see Shark pull ahead here as well, as its vacuums have superior quality.
You can feel the quality of the vacuums with each use, and you don’t have to mess around with the operation of the machine as it is intuitive. Bissell does offer good quality, but its vacuums don’t seem to hold up to the same demands that a Shark vacuum can.
Bumps and bruises are apparent on a Bissell vacuum where a Shark model is sturdier and able to withstand the demands that consumers place upon it.
Struggling to keep dust and dander off of your laminate flooring? We've reviewed the top vacuum cleaner for laminate floors.
For you, the deciding factor between owning a Bissell and a Shark is most definitely the price you will pay for the machine. Bissell vacuums are the cheaper of the two vacuums while Shark vacuums will run you a bit more.
But, you do get the added quality that Shark offers which is well worth the investment. Spending the additional money to get a Shark vacuum will serve you well as you’ll see the value and performance over a Bissell model.
Vote: Bissell and Shark
If you are still undecided on which vacuum brand is the right one for you, consider the options that come with each of these units.
You’ll find Bissell vacuums that offer plenty of attachments and extension wands as well as 2-in-1 models. One good example of that is the Bissell Stick Vacuum that is a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum in one.
Shark also offers you attachments, wands, and handheld devices which allow you to clean up high as well as down low. But, Shark features ION technology in many of its vacuums that allows you to operate the vacuum cordlessly such as the Shark Navigator with additional runtime from two batteries.
Bissell also offers cordless vacuums, but the runtime is not nearly as long as Shark’s two battery feature.
Vote: Bissell and Shark
When it comes to choosing the best Bissell vacuum, we recommend the following. These are three of the brand’s top contenders that offer good suction as well as features that help to keep your home clean.
The Bissell Powerglide provides one-pass cleaning while the Bissell CleanView is specifically dedicated to removing dander and pet hair. Both are good options and recommended for use from this brand.
And, if you're looking the ultimate in convenience but not wanting to spend much on a vacuum, the Bissel 3-in-1 is both cheap and convenient. It makes our list for one of the top corded sticks on the market.
If you are looking at investing in a Shark branded vacuum, we highly recommend the following models for purchase. These vacuums offer plenty of cleaning suction as well as some options that will make cleaning your home faster and easier than ever.
The Shark Rocket converts to a handheld vacuum while the Shark Rotator is more of a professional model. We also like the Shark Navigator for its concentration on bare hardwood, tile and carpeted floors.
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light
Shark Rocket TruePet
Shark DuoClean Rocket
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away
When it comes to choosing between Bissell and Shark, the decision is an easy one to make. We pick Shark as our go-to brand for vacuum cleaners.
With the company’s extensive experience in household products and a dedication to making the Shark vacuums as simple as possible to use, they stand above Bissell. Plus, they are lightweight and easy to maneuver with a bevy of models to choose from, so you can match your vacuum to your needs.
When you need to buy a new vacuum, be sure to select the Shark brand over Bissell as you’ll have a top-quality vacuum that won’t let you down with its performance.
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our comprehensive cleaning guides:
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.