Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums: The Pluses and Problems of Each

by Sachin Anand
Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac

Whenever it comes to vacuum cleaners, most of us probably don’t think on the topic too hard. We rarely consider much beyond the fact that we need one and we’d like it to come cheap. However, this is the wrong way to go about it. While it may have been the right reaction years ago, vacuums now come with so many different features, accessories, capabilities, price tags, and specifications. They truly are no longer a one-size-fits-all tool, and you’re going to want to get the right one for the job.

Unsure on how to go about this? That’s okay. We’ve got your back. Here are the pros and cons of both bagged vacuum cleaners and bagless. Give them a quick once over, and you should be in a far better position to decide what kind of vacuum is right for your home.


The Pros of Bagged Vacuums

Bagged vacuums have been around for decades, but don’t be deceived by their extensive history and old-fashioned reputation. Several benefits come along with their use rather than their bagless counterparts.


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac


  1. They’re the More Hygienic Option

It can sometimes seem silly to call any vacuum hygienic with the amount of dirt, dust, pet hair, etc. that they take in throughout their lifetime. But bagged vacuums really are an incredibly clean option as all the allergy-causing debris is kept neatly trapped in the bag. Nothing can get out, even when it comes time for disposal. That means both your floors and your air stay nice and clean, so that you can worry less about allergy sniffles or aggravated asthma.


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac


  1. Bagged Vacuums (Typically) Hold More

This isn’t the case for every bagged vacuum, but most do typically have some extra space in them as opposed to bagless cleaners. It’s not that big of a deal, but it’s a nice perk, nonetheless. We’ll always appreciate anything that requires less frequent cleaning.


  1. They Often Use HEPA Filtration

Bagless sometimes uses HEPA filters, too, but it’s still most common within bagged cleaners. In fact, the vast majority make use of them, helping catch more dust and pollen than other filters and helping seriously cut back on people’s allergy symptoms. More trapped allergens? Yes, please.


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac


The Cons of Bagged Vacuums

Fantastic for catching (and keeping) more dust and allowing for less maintenance overall, bagged vacuums still come with a few downsides. They’re not dealbreakers for everyone, but it’s always good to have all the facts before deciding on the type of vacuum to purchase.  


  1. The Bags are Not Reusable

We love that bagged cleaners disallow dust from escaping as they’re changed, but that doesn’t change the fact that these bags still need changing – and frequently. Depending on the amount of dirt and dust, they could only last a handful of vacuuming sessions. That means more money spent and more bags going into our landfills.


  1. Bag Changes Aren’t Obvious

Where bagless vacuums usually take advantage of a clear chamber, vacuum bags typically aren’t see-through, which makes knowing when to change them more of a guessing game than anything. You might end up changing them more frequently than necessary, then, thus spending more money. Or, conversely, you might end up not changing them often enough, making your vacuuming harder than necessary.


  1. Performance Decreases with Full Bags

Hinted at in the last con, bagged vacuums get way less efficient as the bag fills up. Unfortunately, this means your vacuuming time will be a lot easier – and faster – day one than a few days or weeks later. The right brand can help alleviate this issue, but it still plagues all bagged setups to a certain extent.


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac


The Pros of Bagless Vacuums

So, now that you know a little more about bagged vacuums' pros and cons, what are some of the positives of bagless? Well, there are quite a few, but here are some of the most important.


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac



  1. They’re More Cost-Effective

Bagless vacuums can occasionally cost more upfront than other options, although they’re usually far more cost-effective in the long-term. They don’t require the regular expense of bags, and their filters are generally easier to access and clean, boosting longevity. It’s a major benefit for your wallet, and it could save you tons over the years.


  1. You Have More Options

Bagged cleaners have reigned for ages, but their popularity has faced steady decline with the rise of the bagless. This means there just tends to be more bagless out on the market, meaning you have more choice in brand, features, and attachments. Translation: bagless ones can offer a more customized, well-suited option.


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac


  1. Cleaning is Significantly Easier

Hate vacuuming? You’re not alone. Most of us love the results of it but dislike the time and effort needed to get there. For those part of this tribe, bagless vacuums are the obvious choice as their performance doesn’t suffer as much when full and emptying is a cinch. 


  1. Bagless Vacuums are Eco-Friendly

No matter who you are, you share something in common with the rest of us. We all walk on the same planet and breathe the same air. Earth is our home, and we should try our best to take care of it. While it plays a small role, switching to bagless helps since it requires no bags, thus cutting unnecessary waste. Ultimately, it's better for the environment, which means it’s also better for us.


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac


The Cons of Bagless Vacuums

Obviously, there's lots of good attached to bagless, but every rose has its thorns. This vacuum option is no exception. Whether this impacts your choice is up to you, though.


  1. Bagless Requires More Maintenance

Ease of cleaning and ease of use are both critical parameters to consider when getting a new vacuum cleaner, to be sure. But the overall maintenance shouldn’t be forgotten, either. Bagless falters a bit here, as the debris chamber’s design can mean filters get clogged up more. There’s also often a lower dirt capacity, adding up to more emptying needed. Most people won’t have a problem with this, but it’s something to keep in mind.


  1. Dirt Kickback Happens

By far the biggest and most irritating con associated with bagless vacuum cleaners? Dirt kickback. Every single time you empty all the dirt and dust, some inevitably flies back into the air as it’s not merely resting in an air-tight bag waiting to be changed. It’s pretty minor, but it can be a concern for people with bad allergies. And for everyone else – it’s still an unwanted annoyance..


Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums : The Pluses and Problems of Each : ZVac