Bag or Bagless Vacuum Cleaner – Which is Better?

Bag or Bagless vacuum cleaners? Which one should you buy, and what do you need to consider when making the decision?

This Guide will take you through the pros and cons of each and help you make up your mind on what type of vacuum cleaner is best for you.

Finding the right vacuum cleaner can be no easy task. There are so many varieties and options to choose from. One of the first questions you will need to answer is whether to purchase a vacuum cleaner that stores the dirt in bags that needs replacing, or one that stores it in a plastic container that requires emptying.

Bagged Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum bags have progressed a lot in the past few decades. What used to be cloth bags, are now typically disposable bags that can be cheaply purchased either at your local appliance store or online at sites such as Today’s vacuum bags can be two-ply or more, with filters that are far more advanced than in years gone buy.

Before I go into Pros and Cons of a bagged vacuum cleaner, it is important to note that replacing a bag isn’t a big job. For this reason, I won’t include bag changing under either category, as something as minor as a 30 second task shouldn’t be held against a product.

What are the Benefits of purchasing a Vacuum Cleaner that uses Bags?

One of the main reasons is simply to avoid mess when it is time to empty the vacuum cleaner. With a vacuum cleaner that uses bags, you simply pull out the old bag, throw it away, then clip in a new bag.

If your vacuum cleaner doesn’t have a bag, often you are faced with a little cloud of dust when emptying your plastic reservoir into your rubbish bag. If exposure to dust and grime aggravates any allergies, perhaps it is best to avoid having to deal with this and choose a bagged vacuum cleaner.

The filtration on bag vacuum cleaners is typically better. Most bagless vacuums will just have a HEPA (or similar) filter. Bagged vacuums will however have a HEPA filter plus great filtering bags. This is a huge benefit if you are looking to choose the best vacuum cleaner for asthma sufferers. We always recommend if you have asthma or other allergies, to choose a bagged vacuum cleaner. Some bagged vacuum cleaners are even certified asthma and allergy friendly if your desire the best of the best.

But there are also Cons of using a Bag…

The obvious one is that bags need to be replaced, which of course costs money. You may however be surprised at how cheaply bags can be bought. They can be found at most appliance stores that sell vacuum cleaners, or more conveniently from The cost of bags is so minor I wouldn’t consider this a negative which should put you off buying a bagged vacuum cleaner.

Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

Bagless vacuums have their own range of pros and cons, but the general vibe towards such vacuums is that they put more dust in the air, can lose performance quicker than bagged vacuum cleaners, and also wear out quicker. Of course this isn’t a strict rule which overshadows all Bagless vacuum cleaners, but it is often repeated by repairers from within the industry.

So what are the Benefits of using a Bagless Vacuum Cleaner?

There are a few benefits in buying a Bagless vacuum cleaner:

  • In theory, you will save money since you don’t have to buy vacuum bags. When your vacuum cleaners dirt chamber gets full, you can simply remove it and dump it directly into the garbage.
  • Bagless vacuum cleaners typically have transparent dirt chambers, so you can see how much dirt your vacuum is picking up, and know exactly when you need to empty your chamber.
  • An often overlooked benefit of Bagless vacuum cleaners is that is can be easier to retrieve something that has been accidentally sucked up, but looking through the dust chamber. It’s just that little bit easier than opening up or tipping out a bag from a bagged vacuum cleaner.

Now tell me the cons of using a Bagless vacuum!

As mentioned above, bagless vacuums can still get a bit messy when it comes time to empty the dirt chamber. You have to take them outside, hold your breath, and empty it while avoiding putting your face in the little dust cloud it will create.If you have no allergies, or long arms, this may be of no concern to you. But I have found emptying bagless vacuums indoors (say, during winter) can be a bit tedious trying to get everything into a plastic shopping bag while avoiding a layer of dust that needs re-vacuuming.


Since I have Asthma, I have personally gone for a bagged vacuum that has good bags, and a filter. So far it is doing the job just fine, and I am very please with its results.

However for those that don’t have asthma and allergies to take into account….I will still recommend a bagged vacuum. A bagged vacuum cleaner that uses a high quality bag will give you cleaner air and a longer lasting vacuum cleaner.

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