Bagged Vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

November 27, 2018

Choosing a new vacuum cleaner is far more challenging nowadays that it might initially appear. Once you start exploring different brands, features, options, and accessories, the process can overwhelm you rather quickly. Additionally, you also need to make sure you get optimal value for your money, which is also not very easy with the prices ranging from under $100 to more than $2,000.

Without taking all these variables into account, you are likely to purchase a unit that is not a proper fit for your personal preferences and living situation. To make the whole process much easier, we will take a look at the pros and cons of bagged and bagless vacuum cleaners and help you determine which type works best for you. You can also check out our list of the best pet vacuum cleaners on the market here.

Bagged Vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

Bagged Vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

If we take all the different types of vacuum cleaners out of the equation, we are left with the main binary differentiation between bagged and bagless models. The main difference between these two types lies in the method used to dispose of the dirt and debris collected by your vacuum cleaner. When it comes to their ability to vacuum dirt and debris from your home, they work pretty much the same.

However, each disposal method has a wide variety of inherent benefits and drawbacks encompassing much more than simply getting rid of the dirt.

Advantages Of Bagged Vacuum Cleaners

Bagged vacuum cleaners, also known as “traditional models,” typically feature a cloth section that zips around the bag so that it can be easily removed and replaced once it is full. Let us take a look at the most common benefits that come with bagged models:


Bagged vacuum cleaners are regarded as extremely hygienic. Modern technologies allow them to keep all the dirt, debris, and potential allergens securely inside the bag. This functionality enables you to dispose of the bag without a huge mess and prevents potential allergens from flying back into your home and endangering your health. Finally, bagged models have filters that do not require frequent cleaning or replacement.

Good For Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, bagged vacuum cleaners are definitely the recommended type for you. The bag itself acts as an excellent filter that is effective at trapping any type of contaminants found in your home. The bags are usually airtight, so it is pretty much impossible for the allergens to fly back into your home and start affecting you again.

HEPA Filtration

HEPA filters can be found in all types of vacuum cleaners, but they are the standard in bagged models. Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filtration are particularly recommended for people suffering from allergy symptoms. HEPA filters are able to capture 99.97% of 0.3 µm or larger particulates at a minimum. They are also known for removing more pollen and dust from the air than any other filtration system available.

Less Maintenance

Bagged vacuum cleaners usually require less maintenance than their bagless counterparts. The most commonly used dust bags can usually hold up to 2 pounds of dust and debris, so you do not have to change them nearly as often. On top of this, the filter is built directly into the bag, which means it never has to be cleaned and you can clearly see when you have to replace it.

Downsides Of Bagged Vacuum Cleaners

The most notable disadvantages of using a bagged vacuum cleaner include:

Money Spent On Replacement Bags

The bag has to be replaced every time it is full. Depending on your chosen model, the price of the replacement bags will vary. In order to gauge whether or not the recurring cost is worth it, you just have to calculate how often you vacuum your home and multiply this number with the cost of the replacement bags.

Decreased Performance As The Bag Fills

The performance of your vacuum cleaner will definitely decrease as the dust bag fills with dirt and debris. On top of this, it might be difficult to tell when the bag is actually full, so you risk losing money if you opt to replace it too soon.

Advantages Of Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

Bagless models are an innovation in the world of vacuum cleaners and they are pretty popular among consumers. Let us go over the advantages of using a bagless vacuum cleaner:

Lower Cost

Bagless vacuum cleaners are less expensive since they do not require any replacement bags. The dirt chamber usually lasts the entire life of the unit and it can be emptied on a regular basis and used again.

Easier To Know When To Empty

Clear dirt chambers are the standard when it comes to bagless vacuum cleaners, so you will always know when it is time to empty your vacuum’s chamber. Plus, you get to see whether your vacuum is working properly, that is, whether it is gathering dust and debris.


Compared to bagged models, bagless vacuum cleaners are more environmentally friendly. Bagged vacuum cleaners use hundreds of dust bags during their lifetimes, so if you are eco-conscious or an active gardener, bagless vacuums are ideal for you as you can simply empty the dirt chamber directly into your compost bin.

Downsides Of Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

The most common disadvantages of bagless vacuum cleaners include:

Increased Allergen Exposure

Bagless vacuum cleaners are likely to expose you to more allergens than their bagged counterparts, especially when you are emptying the chamber full of dust and debris. Since the dirt is not stored in an air-tight bag but in an air-tight chamber that you need to open during disposal, more dust and allergens will be kicked back into the air while you are emptying your bagless vacuum.

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