Bagless vs Bagged Vacuum Cleaners

One of the first decisions you will have to make before you purchase a vacuum is if you want to go with a bagless or a bagged vacuum cleaner. Recently it seems that most manufacturers are advertising their bagless technology much more, leading many people to believe that they not only have stronger suction power but they also are easier to take care of.

We go through the main differences between bagless and bagged vacuum cleaners.

The question is – how true is this statement?

First of all, let’s look at ease of use, and see if bagless vacuum cleaners really are that much easier to deal with.

Obviously, one of main advantages with this type of cleaner is that you don’t have to replace the bags – potentially saving you both time and money. However, you need to be careful for this statement to actually be true. In many cases it’s actually the opposite.

With bagless vacuum systems you won’t have to replace the bag, but you will have to worry about filters. Overtime these filters clog and you have to either clean them if they are washable or replace them if they are not.

Filters will typically need to be replaced every 3-6 months and can end up costing much more than bags would. If you want to save money, then you will need to find a cleaner that has both washable and lifetime filters.

What about time saved? In reality, you don’t save much time with either type of vacuum. If anything, you may end up spending more time maintaining a bagless vacuum vs a bagged because you have to empty the dust bins every 1-3 times you vacuum and you still have to replace or wash the filters (washing takes more time than emptying a bag).

Second, let’s look at suction power. The suction power is really going to vary according to:

  • How well the vacuum is made by the manufacturer
  • How well the vacuum is maintained over time

Over time both types of vacuums can and will lose suction, but for different reasons. Bagged vacuum cleaners loose suction as their bags become full, and even loose some suction before the bag is full. This means that you will need to replace the bags early if you want to maintain the best suction possible. Bagless vacuums, on the other hand, loose suction as their filters become clogged – meaning you will need to replace and/or wash the filters frequently to maintain suction.

One last area to consider is filtration. Both types of vacuums can come with pure HEPA filters and sealed systems (which are the two things you want if you suffer from allergens). However, because you do have to empty the dust bin of a bagless vacuum cleaner more often you will have more contact with dust / debris than you would with a bagged cleaner. Obviously, changing a bag is not a dust-free experience either, but you can go several months before needing to change a bag, while you will probably need to empty the dust bin every time you vacuum more than one room.

Bottom Line

I wouldn’t necessarily buy into all the hype surrounding ‘bagless’ vacuums. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, and you can find great vacuums in each category.

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