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Shark DuoClean LiftAway cordless vacuum reviewed

Is Shark's new cordless vacuum the ultimate in versatile and powerful cordless cleaning? We see how it compares on spec against rival Dyson, and bring you our first impressions

Shark DuoClean LiftAway cordless vacuum reviewed

Update for 11 February 2019: we have now fully tested this vacuum cleaner. Head to the full Shark DuoClean Liftaway cordless vacuum review to get our verdict.

Shark says its new upright cordless vacuum cleaner offers the best of both worlds, giving you the flexibility and freedom of a cordless vacuum cleaner, and the deep cleaning power of a corded model. The brand has produced some brilliant corded vacuums in the past, so could this be its Dyson-beater?

The DuoClean Liftaway Upright Cordless is on sale for £380, a little less than the cheapest Dyson V10 cordless vacuum. It has a claimed 50-minute run time, Shark’s signature dual-brush floorhead, and the pet version includes a mini turbo tool for tackling fluff-covered sofas, stairs and more.

Shark has dared to deviate from the compact handheld stick cordless design that’s favoured by the likes of Dyson, Hoover and Vax, instead bringing across the popular ‘Liftaway’ canister design from its upright corded vacuum cleaner range. This can be lifted off the vacuum, allowing you to clean in handheld mode.

Does the new design make for effortless home cleaning? Find out in the full Shark DuoClean Liftaway cordless vacuum review.

Shark vs Dyson: in detail

Both Shark and Dyson claim that their newest cordless models can handle a whole-home clean as well as a corded vacuum. Here’s how they measure up against each other on key features:

Shark DuoClean Liftaway Truepet IC60UKT Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal
Price £380 £400
Dust capacity  0.6 litres 0.8 litres
Battery life Up to 50 mins* 43 mins (8 mins on turbo)*
Accessories Dual roller floorhead, mini turbo tool, crevice/dusting/upholstery Combi floorhead, mini turbo tool, crevice/dusting/upholstery
Weight 5.7kg 2.7kg
Storage Self-standing vacuum, battery charging stand Wall-mounted, not self-standing. Charge in-situ (battery not removable)
Warranty 5 years (2 years for the battery) 2 years

*Dyson battery life is based on floor-cleaning runtime in our independent tests. Shark’s battery figures are claimed and it states turbo mode is shorter, but doesn’t specify by how much.

Battery life is similar across the two models, and should be enough for a good spruce-up of an average-sized home, as long as you go easy on the turbo mode.

You’ll get more cleaning capacity with the Dyson, but bear in mind that both models have a smaller dust capacity than most corded models, so you’ll need to empty them more frequently.

For larger homes, you may find that a full spring clean needs a charging top-up. But both models come with a useful suite of accessories to tackle smaller jobs around the home, so you shouldn’t be frustrated by not having the right tool for the job.

The Shark is heavier, though. At 5.7kg, it’s comparable to an upright corded vacuum rather than a cordless model. Find out if this weighs you down in the full Shark DuoClean cordless review.

Dyson cordless vacuum reviews – get our verdict on which is best

Can cordless vacuums replace corded models?

Dyson says its V10 model is good enough to replace a corded vacuum

We test cordless vacuums in the same way as corded models, so we can compare how effectively they clean against the plug-in versions.

We’ve found that the very best models are up there with the best corded vacuum cleaners we’ve tested, so it is possible to replace your corded vacuum and still enjoy that deep-clean feeling.

However, cordless vacuums have a few drawbacks that are worth considering before you take the plunge:
  • Noise – cordless vacuum cleaners tend to be noisier than their corded counterparts, partly because they are currently exempt from the EU energy-saving regulations that limit noise levels on corded vacuums. Also, as the motor is often at hand height, rather than near the floor, the noise is quite literally more in-your-face than it used to be.
  • Maintenance – cordless vacuums need more frequent maintenance to maintain suction levels. The dust container is smaller, and the floorhead almost always contains a brush bar. Both these and the filters will need to be cleaned regularly to keep up suction. Check our guide to maintaining your vacuum for more.
  • Carpets –this is the biggest challenge for a cordless model, and most will need a higher power setting to get the best results. This can drain the battery more quickly. See our cordless vacuum cleaner Best Buys for our top picks.

Most importantly, cordless vacuum cleaners are hugely variable in quality. We’ve found more than 25 Don’t Buy cordless models, including some absolute disasters. And it’s not always the cheaper models that let you down. Make sure you check our list of cordless vacuums to avoid before you buy.

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