Bagged vs bagless vacuum cleaners

What if we told you that the process of buying a vacuum cleaner does not have to be a frustrating and tedious activity? Yes, there is a way to avoid all the headaches which result from being overwhelmed by the abundance of options.

Well, we decided to compare bagged vs bagless vacuum cleaners to facilitate the selection process. In other words, our in-depth guide will cover all the points you need to consider when buying one of these types. By listing all the pros and cons of these two categories, we hope to help you determine which type is best for your cleaning needs.

What is the difference between bagged and bagless vacuums?

 In a way, the difference between bagged and bagless vacuum cleaners is self-explanatory. That is, the name speaks for itself. To clarify, these two classes differ from each other in regard to the method of disposal. So, if a vacuum cleaner comes with a bag that collects and stores dirt and debris – we call such a device a bagged vacuum. On the other hand, if the vacuum does not feature a bag – we refer to it as bagless.

Of course, this oversimplified ‘definition’ does not include a wide array of other, more subtle differences. For example, an average bag vacuum is more suitable for allergy sufferers than an average bagless device. Also, vacuums with a bag often require less maintenance and they provide strong suction power. On the other hand, bagless vacuums are more affordable and more mobile. On top of that, devices that use containers as storage units for dirt and dust are an Eco-friendly option. They leave a smaller carbon footprint than their bagged cousins.

Either way, here is a quick breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of each type.

Pros and cons of bagless and bagged vacuum cleaners

To compare these two classes of vacuums, we decided to take into consideration only the most relevant factors. In other words, we examined how each of the types scores in the most relevant categories. At the same time, it is imperative to remember that we are talking about average models, i.e. about the class in general. Individual models for each type of vacuums may come with better or worse performances and characteristics.

Suction power

When it comes to the overall performances, suction power plays a big role in the process. After all, your vacuum needs to be powerful enough to agitate the fibers and extract all the well-hidden debris.  So, focusing on bagged vs bagless vacuums, an average vacuum with a bag will offer more suction power than the one with a plastic container. However, as soon as the bag gets nearly full and the pores get clogged, homeowners could notice a dramatic decline in performances. But, if you change the bags on a regular basis, clogged pores should not affect the suction power of the vacuum.

Design features

In terms of the design, customers can choose from a wide array of models. As a rule of thumb, bagless vacuum cleaners are lightweight and mobile. As a result, they offer better maneuverability than their bagged counterparts. Therefore, homeowners who want a portable and flexible device should go with a vacuum that features a plastic container instead of a bag. For example, Dyson is well-known for manufacturing excellent bagless devices. On the other hand, Miele or Sebo are creating stellar bagged cleaners.

Ease of use

Speaking of maneuverability, customers also want a vacuum that is easy to use. Functional controls are a must, as well as ergonomic design. No matter if you decide to buy a bag or bagless vacuum, the device in question should provide the first-rate usability. For instance, all bagless models come with a transparent dust cup, which allows you to see when it is time to empty the container.

Read also: Canister vs upright vacuum: which one should you buy?

On the other hand, models that come with a bag do not offer such an option and you cannot see if the bag is full. But, it is easier to just detach the bag once it is filled and throw it into the garbage can. All in all, both of these classes offer similar qualities when it comes to convenience and ease of use. In other words, this category will not give us the final answer to the big question – bag or bagless vacuum, which is better?


Well, filtration technology is one of the elements that separate these two classes of vacuum cleaners. As we said, the models with a bag rely on special materials to prevent the dust from getting out. In some cases, the bags come with as many as 5 layers, which filter even the tiniest of particles. As a result, there are not many dilemmas about the winner of the bag vs. bagless vacuum for allergies segment. If your model is featuring a modern bag, the exposure to allergens will be significantly reduced.

Yet, bagless models of vacuum cleaners are not far behind when it comes to filtration. As a rule of thumb, these models come with an installed HEPA filter. These filters can stop up to 99,97% of dust, which is great news for allergy sufferers. Unfortunately, the owners of these vacuums will have to open the container and dump out the dirt, creating a cloud of dust. Needless to say, this can then trigger allergic reactions. Thus, bagged vacuums are more suitable for people who have problems with allergies.


As we all know, price is often the decisive factor when it comes to purchasing a home appliance. For that reason, we compared the prices of these two types of vacuums. So, which class will cost you more, bagged or bagless vacuum? Well, the initial cost for a bagless device will be lower than the one you will pay for a model with a bag (depending on the price range of the models). Yet, homeowners sometimes forget about the running costs of owning a vacuum cleaner. To clarify, bagged models will require that you buy new bags every couple of months. As a result, you could be spending a lot more money on a bagged model than the amount you would invest in buying a bagless device.

Bagged vs bagless vacuum cleaners – Who should buy them?

By comparing everything we said, it seems that the models without a bag are:

  • Mobile
  • Affordable
  • Environmentally-friendly.

On the other hand, devices that include a multi-layered bag come with the following features:

  • Hygienic
  • Require less maintenance
  • More suction power.

So, by weighing the pros and cons of bagless vacuum cleaners we could say that these models are suitable for homeowners who need a mobile, portable, and affordable device. When it comes to bagged models of vacuum cleaners, experts recommend them to allergy sufferers and people who want to have their home 100% dust-free. With that being said, Miele bagged vacuums are a great choice for those homeowners. Likewise, the Dyson models can satisfy the needs of customers who are looking for a top-quality bagless model.


In conclusion, both of these classes of vacuums can provide efficient and deep cleaning.  As you could notice from our comparison, there are many similarities between the types. In a way, your cleaning needs are all that matters when it comes to choosing the best product. So, the winner of the bagged vs bagless vacuum cleaner debate will always be the one that best suits your needs and preferences.


  • How can I recognize which one is bagged and which one is a bagless model?

The easiest way to differentiate the bagged devices from bagless models is by looking at the design of the vacuum. To be precise, all bagless models are featuring translucent dust containers. On the other hand, vacuums that use a bag will have a compact and closed body.

  • What is a bagless vacuum cleaner?

 Vacuum cleaners that use plastic containers as storage for dirt and dust are known as bagless. In a way, the name itself indicates that these models do not incorporate a bag for capturing the particles.

  • Do bagless vacuums have more suction?

Modern bagless devices can offer excellent cleaning performances, including high-quality suction. For instance, Dyson models come with an advanced Cyclonic suction system. However, bagged models offer more suction than the bagless, as long as the bag is not full of dust.

  • Which model should I choose if I have pets walking around the house?

No matter if you choose a bag or bagless vacuum for pet hair, the results should be similar. In other words, both of these classes can offer high-quality cleaning of pet hair. Yet, you should choose a model designed for this particular use, as well as specific accessories for pet hair removal.

  • Are bagged vacuums better than bagless?

In certain aspects, bagged models can provide superior performances to bagless devices. However, the overall ranking would depend on your personal cleaning needs. Meaning, not every model is suitable for every homeowner. So, make sure to choose the device that best suits your type of floors, lifestyle, cleaning habits, and so on.

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