Bagged vs Bagless Vacuums


Updated on January 11, 2023

We cannot imagine life without certain appliances. Vacuum cleaners are pretty high on that list. They are a must-have for every household. Vacuum cleaners come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, but we are not concerned about shapes or sizes today. Today, we are concerned about how the dirt and the dust are collected inside the vacuum before being disposed of.

Bagged vs Bagless VacuumThere are two major varieties. These are bagless and bagged – They can be variants of either backpack, stick, canister, or upright designs. Consumers are often at a loss to decide which one is more suitable for their household. Just like there is no one solution to each problem, there is no clear-cut answer to which of the two styles you should buy. They both have a lot of reasons to be preferred among consumers. Ultimately it depends on your usage style, how allergic you are to dust and dirt and whether you prefer to use bags or not. Here is a quick assessment of the pros and cons of both varieties.

Money Saver

With a bagless vacuum cleaner, you certainly save a lot of money on disposable bags. Having to buy these disposables from time to time is an additional hassle and added overhead. With bagged vacuums, even though there is very little difference to the exact cleaning process, you save a lot more money, by not having to invest in a bag every time you fill the bag with dirt.

Mess And Smells?

Many times consumers complain that they have accidentally turned on the device without a bag inside resulting in a complete mess. With bagless vacuums that problem will never occur. Additionally, even if you only need to clean up a small amount of spill or mess, you need to dispose of the bag immediately. For example, when your kids forget to take off their soccer boots and run straight on the carpet, or when your pet leaves a giant fur-ball on the floor, or your 2-year-old throws her lunch on the floor; these are a small mess but require to be cleaned immediately. When dirt or mess like this is allowed to accumulate inside the bag for some time, it smells awful. With the modern bagless varieties, you still have to dispose of the trash, but you don’t have to throw a perfectly good half-filled bag away.

Seeing Is Believing

There is obviously a sense of gratification that comes from using a bagless vacuum cleaner. Watching the small trash bin fill up when you use the machine is one of the primary reasons. With bagged vacuums, you never get that same feeling because you never get to see how much of the bag has filled up.

Allergic To Dust?

A major disadvantage of the bagless type, however, is the cleaning process. With a bagless model, when you need to clean the vacuum, you’re exposed to dirt and dust, which can fly out and get inhaled when the dust bin is opened. People allergic to dust and wind-borne allergens are susceptible when they open the dirt container after even a short cleaning routine. With the alternate type, it is generally quite well contained, so there is less chance of exposure to dust.


Emptying a bagless dirt canisterAnother disadvantage of the bagless vacuum is the filters require constant cleaning, and so does the dirt compartment. With bagged cleaners, the actual storage area is never exposed to dirt. That means you don’t have to clean it as often, and if so, perhaps a quick wipe is sufficient. Overall maintenance is slightly higher in the case of bagless vacuums for this reason.

How About Suction Power?

Conversely, with improvements in the bagless design, cyclonic vacuums have now come onto the scene. These innovative designs use the power of cyclonic action in order to filter out the dirt from the air without the need to use a filter. No filter means no cleaning necessary.

Ease Of Use

Bagless vacuums are by far the more popular of the two varieties. More people prefer them compared to the bagged vacuums because of their ready-to-use mode. In order to use a bagged vacuum cleaner, you have first to check whether a bag has been loaded before using it.


Another major reason for the popularity of the bagless compared to bagged is that the performance of the latter tends to drop as the bag gets filled up. With the bagless, on the other hand, the performance also drops to some extent, and this happens because of the filter that is clogged up with dirt after a while. If the filter has been cleaned recently, you will still be able to go through multiple sessions of cleaning without much drop in performance.


Unless you have one of the more expensive models, cheap bagged vacuums sometimes clog, leading to a nasty tear of the bag leading to spilling of dirt and other nasties. With the bagless vacuum cleaner, the internal compartment that holds the dirt is designed in a way to ensure that the dirt does not spill out in any way.


Overall the bagless design is a lot less hassle to use. The absence of the bag means you don’t have to depend on an external aspect in order to use the vacuum. Not having spare bags means you cannot use the vacuum even if you needed to. This also means you can use it at a moment’s notice, without having first to place a bag. The amount of money you save is definitely a big reason for which to go for the bagless variety.

Owners of bagged vacuums do tend to point out that the filters on bagless designs need to be frequently replaced. This is not the case. In the filtered versions, you can brush the filter when it is cluttered after use. You can clean it with a hard brush and reuse it several times before actually having to replace it. But with the cyclonic bagless versions, you don’t even need that. There’s no filter inside them!