Bagged vs. Bagless


Bagged or Bagless; the age old question that, usually, no one is talking about. Both do the same thing: pick up the dirt on your floors and in your carpets. They both come with all kinds of extensions, accessories, and built-in features. So, what are the key difference between a bagged vacuum and a bagless one? Why would you want to choose one over the other?


Let's start with the one you most likely already own: the bagless vacuum.


For starters, it's usually cheaper. There's no need to buy replacement bags. All the parts are designed to last the entire lifetime of your vacuum, so you shouldn't ever have to worry about running out of bags or needing to order replacements. There's a few other reasons though why so many folks have a bagless nowadays...


  • They're easy use and maintain. That's not to say that bagged vacuums aren’t easy to use, but that bagless vacuums have less steps involved in their assembly and maintenance. You also can see when your dirt cup is almost full, and after you dump it out you're ready to clean again.  
  • They're popular. Popularity isn't everything, but since they get so much attention there are dozens of models to choose from at a variety of price points and features (including corded or cordless!), and there is always a newer model on the way.
  • You can see what you cleaned - and not just by the vacuum lines on the carpet. It may be gross to see the dirt packed into the transparent dirt cup, but there is a big positive to this. If you accidentally vacuum up something valuable or something you shouldn't have, it's easy to open up the dirt cup to retrieve the item. Gross – but easy!  
  • You're doing a small part for the environment! Over the course of a bagged vacuum's lifetime, you could go through hundreds of bags. While there are plenty of benefits to a bagged option, as you'll see below, those bags will live somewhere once they leave your home. If you want to be a little bit extra eco-friendly, with a bagless option you could even create a compost outside to dump the dust, dirt and food particles into.


So: bagged vacuums. Let's talk about them.

For whatever reason, it's common to hear through the grapevine that bagged vacuums shouldn't even be in the running when looking to upgrade your cleaning arsenal – primarily because they're too old-fashioned. The only old-fashioned thing about bagged is that misconception! While it's fair to say that bagged vacuums aren't for every household...


  • Bagged vacuums are designed to be simple. After all, their sole purpose is to get dirt and debris out of your carpets and off your floors easily and efficiently. We should know, of course: we invented them.
  • Call it a pro or a con, but bagged vacuums are powerhouse machines. Because of the traditional simplicity of the machine, bagged vacuums have a tendency to bring some serious cleaning power to your floors. Great for homes with tons of carpet – maybe a bit overpowered for predominately hard-floor habitats.
  • Lastly but certainly not least: vacuum bags. Sure, they need to be replaced and are an additional (but small!) cost, but they're a triple threat.  
  • The bag itself acts as a filter, trapping dirt in and filtering clean air out. More often than not the filtration used for the bag is HEPA* material. HEPA not only to traps the dirt, but it has the ability to contain even the smallest particles, meaning your home has clean, fresh air circulating in it. Homes with allergy-sufferers can seriously benefit from a bagged vacuum. 
  • Vacuum bags really don't need too much looking after. Because they often carry more capacity than the dirt cup on bagless vacuums, you really don't have to touch it until it needs to be replaced. No cleaning vacuum parts or worrying about a filter!
  • Speaking of, let's talk clean disposal. Once it's time to replace the bag, it's an effortless, relatively dust-free process – especially when compared to bagless. That means there is less risk of accidentally dropping some back onto your floor or back into the air. It keeps dust where it belongs: in a sealed vacuum bag.  Not floating around your house.


*To be totally fair, many bagless models also use HEPA – instead of with a vacuum bag, It's with a filter vs. the bag!


Is there really a better option over the other? Truth is: it depends. 


Those with on-the-go lifestyles with lots of quick cleans in between the big cleans and an itching for convenience may prefer the wide variety that bagless vacuums offer.


Likewise, households with shedding pets, allergy-sufferers, and/or tons and tons of carpet may see great success in investing in the power of a bagged vacuum cleaner.


Here are some questions to ask yourself in choosing which is best for you and your home: 

  • What type of flooring do you have throughout your home? 
  • What's your budget? 
  • What do you need most out of a vacuum cleaner? 

And, of course, 

  • Do you really want to see that dirt you just sucked up???