When you’re buying a vacuum cleaner, the sheer variety of choices can seem overwhelming…
Is a stick better than an upright? Perhaps a canister or handheld might be preferable?
Should you go for a corded or cordless model?
The other key area in which vacuums diverge is whether or not they have a dirt container or need replacement bags.
Today, we’ll run down the upsides and drawbacks of bagged vacuums set against bagless vacuums so you can make the best decision armed with all the facts.
First up then, it’s bagged vacuums and where they stand and fall…
# Bagged Vacuums
- Perfect for Allergy Sufferers: If bagged vacuums have a primary advantage, it’s the way they ease life for anyone suffering from allergies or sensitivities. In and of itself, the bag acts as a kind of filter. All your household dust and debris along with airborne pathogens ends up securely wicked away inside rather than being spewed back into the atmosphere to irritate you
- Hygiene: With all the dirt in an airtight bag, hygiene comes first and last with bagged vacs. Removing the bag doesn’t expose you to the same kind of dust blowback you’ll get with many bagless alternatives. The added bonus is that you won’t need to replace the filter as frequently
- HEPA-Filtration: Thinking of filters, the very best system is HEPA-rated and many bagged vacuums feature this type of first-class filtration. To qualify as a HEPA filter, 99.97% of all debris of 0.3 microns and larger must be captured. While not all bagged vacuums meet this standard, the vast majority do
- Low-Maintenance: Cleaning the house is taxing and tiresome enough. The last thing you want is ongoing maintenance of your cleaning equipment. With bags that generally only need switching out after being filled with a couple pounds of dust and a filter integrated into the bag, bagged vacuums are low-maintenance in the extreme
- Suction: Since the suction path with bagged vacuums is more direct, the power is generally stronger and they are more efficient. The air goes straight on through from the hose through the bag then the motor and filter before being expelled through the exhaust
- Anti-Clogging Functionality: With the more technologically advanced bagged vacuums, bags will have an anti-clogging feature allowing you to fill them up almost to the brim without a dip in performance. This, clearly, leads to superior cleaning results
- Ongoing Expense: It goes unsaid that the expense of buying replacement bags along with the hassle of finding and buying them can become a drain. Make sure if you’re buying a bagged vac that you can source a ready supply of bags and factor the continuing expense into the equation so you won’t end up disappointed and out of pocket
- Dip in Performance as Bag Fills: As mentioned above, some of the more modern bagged vacs boast anti-clogging functionality. Others, though, will challenge you with a distinct drop in performance as the bag starts to fill. This is why manufacturers often suggest changing the bag when it’s half-full. Since that doesn’t make any economical sense and will end up costing you a fortune, research the vacuum you have in mind and the way it performs as the bag fills up. Some have indicators to make your life easier and help you sidestep the guessing game
- Inconvenience of Changing Bags: Obviously, stopping to change the bag is not something you’ll look forward to. Think about how much debris the bag can take, how often you’ll need to do this and whether or not it’s of any real concern to you
# Bagless Vacuums
- Easy to See When Vacuum Needs Emptying: With transparent dust bins on the bulk of bagless vacuums, keeping your eye on when your vac needs emptying out has never been easier. You can also monitor whether or not there is any decrease in performance linked a build-up of dirt
- Simple Emptying Process: The lion’s share of bagless vacuums can be emptied at the press of a button directly into the trash can
- Environmentally Friendly: Do your part for the environment by choosing a bagless and save more than just money over the course of the lifetime of your vac
- Cheaper Option: As a rule, bagless vacuums are not just cheaper to run but less expensive to buy into the bargain, a double-win
- Filter Maintenance: The filters on most bagless vacuums can be simply brushed off or shaken about then simply cast aside and replaced once they’ve run their course
- Exposure to Pathogens and Allergens: This really is the most significant and damaging downside to bagless vacuums. If you have asthma or any kind of allergy, you’ll put yourself at risk when it’s time to empty out the dust container. With a chamber rather than an airtight bag, there’s always the chance of some kind of dust blowback and you can get the impression that you need to clean up after cleaning up!
- Expense of Filters: While all bagless vacs save you the expense of replacement bags, some require fairly frequent replacement of the filters. Read up on the models you have on your shortlist and see just how often you’ll be called upon to swap out the filter. This is often overlooked when people budget for a bagless then end up bemoaning hidden costs because they didn’t plan ahead or take everything into account
As with our study of cordless and corded vacuums, it’s not practical to nail our colors to the mast and proclaim either bagged or bagless vacuums the winner.
Think instead of the needs of you and your family. Take the issue of asthma and allergies into account. Study the various plus points and negatives of each variant then roll with the one that best gels with these needs.
We very much hope you’ve enjoyed this dissection of the merits and disadvantages of bagged and bagless vacuums.
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Also, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or feedback at all. This site is designed with your needs in mind so let us know if there’s any aspect of cleaning you’d like us to investigate for you. We’re more than happy to help in any way we can.