Bagged VS Bagless Vacuums: What's Right For You?

Ah! The great bagged vs bagless debate rages on. And here at Vacuum Cleaner Market we couldn't be more chuffed to dig our teeth into it. But before delivering our carefully crafted argument for and against, we're going to spoil the conclusion–*gasp*. So here it goes: the answer to whether you should buy a bagged or bagless vacuum is… IT DEPENDS!


We know, we know, we know: what a cop out. But hear us out! Bagged & bagless vacuums have numerous pros and cons. For the Sanitation Stickler, bagged vacuums offer improved hygiene features. Meanwhile, the Penny Pincher will probably prefer a bagless option to avoid replenishing the oft-pricey vacuum bags. 


It’s impossible to say which option is better for you without understanding your specific needs and wants. That's why we put together the following comparison. It’s our hope that by laying out all of the pros and cons, you’ll be able to easily decide which vacuum type is right for your home. 


Pros of Bagged Vacuums

More Hygenic

First and foremost, bagged vacuums are the more hygienic option. Today’s standard vacuum bag uses HEPA filtration which traps dust and debris inside. Protective seals ensure even when the user changes the bag, nothing escapes into the air. 


Better for individuals with allergies

Building off the previous point, because allergy-inducing debris such as fur and pollen will be stored inside a HEPA bag, there’s no way the debris can escape back into the air. This is especially important when disposing of the bag.


Less frequent emptying

In our opinion, one of the bagged vacuum’s best features is how little you have to empty it. Today’s vacuum bags tend to be large and can be used for months. On the other side of the coin, bagless vacuums need to be emptied frequently or risk compromised performance.


Cons of Bagged

Cost of vacuum bags

To begin, bagged vacuums require, well, bags. And while bagged vacuums don’t require you to empty it often, it is still a task you’ll have to do semi-regularly. One issue that can arise if you have an older model, is discontinuation of the specific bag you’re looking for. There’s no guarantee your model’s bags will be manufactured forever. Hence why we always recommend stocking up.


Second, vacuum bags range from $50–$80 a pop—a notable expense you’ll regularly pay throughout your vacuum’s entire life.


Difficult to retrieve consumed valuables

One last over-looked con is the far-too-common issue of accidentally sucking up personal property. For example, your kid’s favourite toy, an important key or—heaven forbid—a wedding band. To rescue your valuables, you’ll need to perform an emergency c-section. And in our experience, this type of on-the-fly surgery is never a tidy affair.  


Our Best Bagged Vacuums


Best of the Best

Miele Marin Complete C3 Vacuum Cleaner

A behemoth in the vacuum world, the Miele Marin Complete is one of our absolute favourite machines. Unlike most devices, this talented machine has the ability to sense the type of flooring it is vacuuming and automatically adjust the suction level accordingly.


Excellent Value

Titan T9200 Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner with Power Nozzle

This multipurpose option is perfect for mixed flooring. Thanks to its 12 AMP commercial-grade motor, you can rest assured you won’t need to replace it for years to come.


For Light Cleaning

Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G Canister Vacuum Cleaner

It may be small, but the Eureka Mighty Mite is, well, mighty. It comes with six attachments including wands, floor tool, upholstery tool, crevice tool and dust brush. Perfect for on-the-fly cleaning needs.

Pros of Bagless Vacuums

Better for the environment

As environmentally-conscious shoppers, we heavily prioritize our eco-footprint. And in this category, bagless vacuums easily win. These energy-efficient sucking machines don’t require non-recyclable, non-organic bags to work. Rather, dirt and debris are stored in a secure compartment that is easily emptied when full. 


Saving money on bags

Piggybacking off of our last point, bagless vacuums can save you money in the long-run. Vacuum cleaner bags aren’t cheap. So even if a bagged vacuum costs less initially, the price of buying bags will add up. 


Filters can be cleaned

Over the years, bagless vacuums have come a long way in terms of cleaning and care. Today’s best models tend to be extremely user-friendly and have simple care and cleaning instructions. Even the built-in filters (often HEPA nowadays) can be removed and cleaned for optimal performance.


Strong Suction

In our opinion, one of the best assets of a bagless vacuum is its strong suction. To be clear, the strength of a vacuum’s suction is more related to internal engines than the use of a bag or canister. However, suction performance is also stronger when the disposal bag or canister is empty. Because bagless vacuums can be quickly emptied, users are more prone to keeping them that way. Ultimately, this results in better airflow and a stronger suck.


It is easy to identify when to empty the canister

Most vacuum canisters are transparent today, ensuring users know at a glance when it’s time to dump the junk. 

Cons of Bagless Vacuums

More frequent emptying

As discussed, bagless vacuums tend to have excellent suction. But this is dependent on you keeping the canister empty. Unlike bagged vacuums, you’ll need to empty these devices often and regularly. 


Allergens can get back into the air when emptying

Speaking of emptying bagless vacuums, another con is that debris (especially allergens like fur and pollen) can reenter the air during this step—consequently causing a runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. One way to avoid this is emptying your vacuum on your porch or balcony. This guarantees any debris that escapes isn’t re-entering the same space you just painstakingly cleaned.


Our Best Bagless Vacuums


Best of the Best

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner

This heavy-duty bagless vacuum is ideal for mixed flooring homes & upholstered surfaces. It has a lifetime HEPA filter as well as the ability to clean any pile carpeting.


Excellent Value

Dyson Ball Multifloor ll Upright Bagless Vacuum UP19

A versatile bagless option that can handle almost any surface: carpet, wood, vinyl etc. Thanks to its unique design, the Dyson Ball has superior turning and steering making it a whiz around the house.


For Light Cleaning

Shark ION Rocket Ultra Light Cordless, Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner- Refurbished

This ultra-light, cordless, stick vacuum is excellent for quick jobs. It only weighs 10lbs and can transform into a handheld machine to vacuum furniture and inside cars.


Bagged vs Bagless Vacuums

As mentioned right from the top, there is no clear-cut winner when it comes to choosing a bagged or bagless vacuum. Both options have pros and cons that may tip your purchase decision one way or the other. Not to mention, concerns that are unique to you, such as your sensitivity to allergens.


If you’re still humming and hawing over which category is better for your needs, never hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help!