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Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners: A Detailed Comparison

Updated on January 14, 2022 by Joseph D. Nielson

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Person vacuuming a rug

Purchasing a new vacuum may seem both exciting and overwhelming. After looking into different models, types and prices, the last thing to consider is the method used to dispose of the dirt and debris. Two of the main types of vacuum cleaners are bagged and bagless. 

So, which is better for your household, bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners? Which one will last longer and be more efficient at cleaning your home? Many factors go into this decision. 

This article will help you make the best choice for your family by teaching you everything you need to know about both types of vacuum cleaners. You’ll learn about the advantages of each, with a focus on how they work in your home. 

Choosing between a bagged vs. bagless vacuum cleaner can be difficult, but this article will make things easier by breaking down the pros and cons of both.

Check Out Our Top 2 Choices

Product ImageProduct NameVacuum TypeWeightSurface RecommendationView Latest Price
BISSELL 2252 CleanView Swivel Upright
BISSELL 2252 CleanView Swivel UprightBagless15 lbsCarpetView Price
Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Tempo  Upright
Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Tempo UprightBagged15.90 lbsCarpetView Price

What Are Bagged Vacuum Cleaners?

Bagged vacuum cleaners are appliances that most professionals use to clean homes. Bagged vacuum cleaners are the most common type of vacuum cleaner, and they have a dust bag that collects dirt and debris as the vacuum cleaner cleans.

When the bag is full, you quickly replace it with a new one. Bagged vacuum cleaners are typically less expensive than other vacuum cleaners, and they are easy to use. However, they can be slightly heavier than different types of vacuum cleaners.

In the past, these devices used a bag as their filtration system to help keep particles from spreading around your house. However, they were not very efficient because the bags only lasted three months before being replaced. Over time, you would have to take the appliance apart and remove all of the dust, dirt, and grime.

Today’s bagged vacuum cleaners are not like their predecessors because they no longer use bags. Newer models have deeper filtration systems that can trap more particles than ever before. However, if you’re old-school and prefer to use a bag, there are plenty of bagged vacuum options available on the market as well.

You can still find companies that make bagged vacuum cleaners, but most are transitioning to the new models. These companies know consumers want their appliances to be more efficient and easier to use.

What Are Bagless Vacuum Cleaners?

Bagless vacuum cleaners are vacuum cleaners that do not require bags to collect dirt and allergy-inducing dust. Instead, the dirt is collected in a bin or container that can be emptied when it becomes full. 

In recent years, bagless vacuum cleaners have become increasingly popular because they are more convenient and environmentally friendly than traditional vacuum cleaners with bags. 

Multiple options are available for consumers who want to purchase a bagless vacuum cleaner. The first is an all-in-one, which combines the dirt collection bin with a filter and motorized brush that can be removed from or attached to the main base of the machine. 

Another option is a cyclonic separation system, where the air is spun in a circular motion to separate dust and other particles from the air.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, bagless vacuum cleaners are often more powerful than traditional models because there is no need for an inner bag that limits airflow. Some bagless technology models also include special built-in features such as carpet height adjustment or controls for different floor types. 

These allow consumers with different needs to customize their vacuum cleaner for the best results. The bottom line is that bagless options are more convenient and powerful for consumers who want a hassle-free cleaning experience. 

Many may argue that bagless vacuums are greener vacuum cleaners, making them an excellent choice for those looking to make sustainable choices in all aspects of their lives. If you are interested in purchasing a bagless vacuum cleaner, be sure to research the different options available to find the best one for your needs.

Person vacuuming under a table

Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

When it comes to vacuum cleaners, there are two main types: bagged and bagless. Each type has its own set of pros and cons, making it difficult to decide which one is right for you. To help you make an informed decision, we will break down the two types in detail.

Cost

In general, bagged vacuum cleaners are more expensive than bagless designs. This is because bagged vacuum cleaners typically come with a more powerful motor, making them more efficient at cleaning.

The bags themselves also tend to be more expensive than the filters used in bagless vacuum cleaners. However, the cost of replacement bags is often offset by their longevity.

Bagless vacuum cleaners are generally cheaper than bagged ones. However, they often need to be cleaned more frequently, and the filters need to be replaced more often.

Cleaning Performance

Bagged vacuum cleaners typically outperform bagless ones in terms of cleaning power. This is because the bags create a tighter seal around dirt and debris, which prevents them from escaping.

Bagless vacuum cleaners are not as good at trapping dirt and dust, which can cause dirt to be blown out of the machine and all over your floors. Sometimes, the filters do not create a tight seal around the dirt and debris.

Ease of Use

Bagged vacuum cleaners are typically more straightforward to use than bagless ones. This is because you don’t have to worry about emptying the dustbin or replacing the filters, which can be a hassle.

Bagless vacuum cleaners can be more challenging to use because they need to be emptied more frequently, and the filters may not be easy to find at local stores. Bagless vacuum cleaners require regular filter cleanings or lose their suction power.

Noise Level

Bagless vacuum cleaners are typically noisier than bagged ones. Since bagless vacuum cleaners don’t have a bag, the suction is weaker and produces more noise. There are two primary noise sources: the actual motor and the suction itself. 

Bagged vacuum cleaners are typically quieter than bagless ones, as the motor is enclosed within the bag and helps to muffle the sound. This is a better option for people with pets or kids. 

Woman vacuuming a rug with a child standing on it

Cleaning Process

Bagged vacuum cleaners require periodic bag replacements, which can be time-consuming. However, this also means that the dust and dirt trapped inside the bag do not escape into the air.

Bagless vacuum cleaners do not require you to replace the bag, making them more convenient and cheaper than bagged models. However, this also means that dust and dirt can escape into the air while cleaning.

Environmental Considerations

Bagged vacuum cleaner bags contain material that absorbs moisture from the surrounding air, leading to mould growth. Additionally, when the bags are packed, they need to be disposed of uniquely to avoid environmental contamination.

Bagless vacuum cleaners do not have any bags that need to be replaced, so there is no risk of mould growth or environmental contamination. However, since the dust and dirt are not contained inside the machine, it can be difficult to clean up after using them.

Maintenance Cost

Bagged vacuum cleaners require you to replace the bag periodically, which can cause additional expenses or ongoing costs. However, since the bag is inside the machine, it requires less overall maintenance than a bagless system.

Bagless vacuum cleaners do not require you to replace any bags or filters during their lifespan. However, they typically need more frequent filter replacements and may be harder to clean because there are no bags.

Weight and Size

Bagged vacuum cleaners tend to be heavier than their bagless counterparts since they require a larger motor. Additionally, they are usually more prominent in height and width because of the space required for the bags themselves.

Bagless vacuum cleaners are generally lighter and smaller than bagged models because they do not have any bags. However, the filters used in these machines typically need to be replaced more often than traditional vacuums.

Woman holding up a couch while man vacuums under it

Hygiene

Bagged vacuum cleaners prevent dust and dirt from escaping into the air while using them, providing a better hygiene level. Additionally, they trap all of this material inside the bag not to be cleaned up later, making them a hygienic option.

Bagless vacuum cleaners do not keep any dust or debris within their machine, which can be challenging to clean up after using them. Additionally, since the filters are not enclosed, there is a greater chance of dust and dirt escaping into the air while you are cleaning.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners come in all different shapes and sizes. There are so many things to consider when buying a machine that it can be overwhelming, but there are several factors you should think about before making your final decision.

Price

Price is always a concern, but it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for while making a vacuum purchase. A cheaper vacuum cleaner may seem like a good deal at first, but it is unlikely to last as long as a more expensive model. It also may not be able to pick up as much dirt and debris in your home.

Versatility

You can use vacuum cleaners on various surfaces, including carpets and hardwood floors. This factor is essential when considering the amount of effort you want to put into your cleaning habits and how much money you’re willing to spend on it. 

If you only have carpeted areas in your home, choosing a vacuum cleaner made specifically for this purpose makes sense. But if you also have tile and wood floors, it’s essential to find one that can accommodate every surface.

Convenience

The number of machine attachments will determine how convenient your vacuum cleaner is when cleaning different areas of your home or car.

If you only have carpeted areas, you don’t need any attachments. But if your home has a variety of surfaces, then it’s crucial to find a vacuum cleaner with versatile attachments. This will make it easier for you to clean the different areas in your house without switching out vacuum attachments constantly.

Woman using a vacuum to clean the couch

Type of Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners come in different types, of which the three most common types are upright vacuums, canister vacuums, and robot vacuums. These are determined by the cleaning head or body attached to them. 

The best kind is a combination cleaner with combined features into one. An example is an automatic vacuum cleaner which will clean on its own when you set it to a schedule.

Weight

The vacuum cleaner’s weight is also an important consideration, mainly if you use it for an extended time frame. Heavier machines may be more durable, but they can also be tiring to push around for more extended periods. 

If you have a lot of stairs or other areas that are hard to clean, then it’s essential to purchase a vacuum cleaner that isn’t too heavy. Carrying around a hefty machine can make the process more difficult and time-consuming than it needs to be.

Noise

If you like to vacuum in silence, you should pick a machine that isn’t too loud. Vacuum cleaners can range in decibels anywhere from 50 dB to 90 dB, and the higher the number, the louder they tend to be. You may want to opt for one with lower numbers if noise bothers you.

A quiet vacuum cleaner will cause minor disturbance in your home. If noise is a concern for you, look for a model that advertises itself as quiet.

Power Source

Another factor you’ll want to consider is the vacuum’s power source. Some cleaners use electricity, others run on batteries, and a few are powered by steam. 

If your house is equipped with multiple outlets, then an electric machine may be a good choice, but if not, you may want to look for one that runs on batteries. These machines are more portable and can be used in outdoor areas or other places without electricity.

Bag Capacity

Some vacuum cleaners come with bags that need to be replaced after some usage time. The bag acts as an enclosure for all the dirt and debris you pick up during your cleaning process. 

If you’re looking for something more eco-friendly, then it’s best to get one without these types of bags because they contribute to landfill waste. Instead, look for a vacuum cleaner with a dirt cup or bin to collect all the dirt and dust. This way, you can quickly dispose of it without worrying about buying extra bags.

Yellow vacuum on the ground

Height

The height of the vacuum cleaner is also an essential factor to consider as it determines where and how you can store the machine.

If you have a lot of furniture in your home, you will want a flexible vacuum that can fit under tiny spaces without moving any furniture. Some machines come with an adjustable height, which will make it easier for you to move around different surfaces.

Cleaning Path Width

The width of the cleaning path is another important factor in choosing a vacuum cleaner. If your home has open floor space, you won’t need one covering much ground. But if there are small spaces between furniture or other obstacles, you may need a vacuum with a broader path. This will help you clean those areas more quickly and efficiently.

Vacuum Cleaner FAQs

Vacuum cleaners have many benefits, including:

  • Removing dirt, dust, and other allergens from carpets and floors, which improves indoor air quality
  • Reducing the amount of time needed to clean surfaces
  • It helps keep pets and children healthy and clean by removing exposure to allergens
  • Cleans up liquids
  • Keeps your carpets looking fresh, new, and vibrant with every use

There aren’t many downsides associated with using a vacuum cleaner. However, some vacuum cleaners can be heavy to move around. Additionally, they can be loud, so it’s essential to factor that into your decision if you’re looking for a model to use in a shared living space.

There are many different types of vacuum cleaner attachments, including:

  • Crevice tool: a long, thin tool used to clean tight spaces and corners
  • Dusting brush: a soft brush used to remove dust from surfaces
  • Upholstery tool: a small nozzle that attaches to the vacuum cleaner hose and is used to clean fabrics and furniture
  • Wet/dry vacuum: a special attachment that allows you to suck up liquids as well as dirt and dust
  • Bare floor brush: used on hard surfaces such as floors or countertops to help remove small particles

Some people prefer bagless vacuums to avoid the risk of the device losing suction. Sometimes, bagged vacuums lose suction when the bags get full. Change the bag frequently to ensure that your device operates with maximum power.

Man sitting behind a vacuum holding a vacuum bag smiling

Are Bagged Vacuums Better Than Bagless?

While choosing between bagged vs. bagless vacuums, some people prefer one over another. Both types of vacuums perform well and come with their set of pros and cons. Many people prefer bagless vacuums because it is eco-friendlier. Unfortunately, the bags from bagged vacuums end up in landfills each year.

Although many people prefer bagless vacuums to avoid the hassle of changing bags, bagged vacuums eliminate room for messes as you have to remove the bag and add a new one. In addition, the filtration system of a bagged vacuum tends to be better. However, the filter can vary based on the vacuum you choose.

Conclusion

When it comes to bagged vs. bagless vacuum cleaners, each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. As you compare these two types side by side, you’ll need to consider which factors are most important to you before making a final decision.

Choosing between a bagged and bagless vacuum cleaner depends on your needs and budget. If you are looking for a powerful vacuum cleaner that is easy to use, then a bagless model is the best option. However, if money is not a concern and you want the best possible cleaning performance, a bagged vacuum cleaner is the way to go. 

About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!