Bags vs. Bagless: Vacuum Showdown

Bags vs. Bagless: Vacuum Showdown Hero Image

While bagless vacuum cleaners are the trendy option today, the debate about the benefits of bagless vacuums vs. bagged vacuums rages on. If you’re in the market for a new vacuum, compare the pros and cons of both types to help you choose the best option for your home.

Upfront and Ongoing Costs

The purchase price of vacuums varies tremendously by brand and quality, ranging from well under $100 to upwards of $1,000. Once you make your investment, you face different ongoing costs.

For bagless vacuums, you need to purchase new filters, which cost about $30 to $60 each depending on brand and efficiency. Manufacturers typically recommend changing the filter once a year. One option to keep filter costs down is to purchase washable filters. With this option, you simply rinse the filter under running water (and allow it to dry thoroughly before reinstalling it in the vacuum).

For bagged vacuums, you need to purchase replacement bags. You should purchase several at once so you have replacements on hand when you need them. You know it’s time to replace the bag when your vacuum loses some of its suction ability. Some models also have a “full bag” indicator to let you know when it’s time to change the bag.

Depending on how dirty your carpet gets and how fast the vacuum fills with dust and dirt, the cost for replacement bags and filters is comparable.


The purpose of vacuuming is to remove dirt, dust and allergens from the carpet. The design of bagless vacuums means they inherently trap more dust and dirt than bagless models.

Of course, you can counter this problem by selecting a bagless vacuum with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This helps trap 99.995 percent of pollutants down to 0.3 microns in size rather than allowing them to circulate back into the air after the vacuum deposits larger particles into the chamber.

Some people also get a sense of accomplishment from the amount of dirt and dust a bagless vacuum sucks up. It’s satisfying to see the clear chamber fill up after each cleaning, something you can’t appreciate with a bagged vacuum.

With the proper filter installed, bagless vacuums can be just as effective at removing (and not re-circulating) dust and debris as bagged vacuums.

Environmental Friendliness

You probably take eco-friendliness into account when making purchases for your home. If this is a factor when selecting a vacuum, consider that you only dispose of bagless vacuum filters about once a year. Plus, you can even dump the contents of the canister into a compost pile each time you vacuum. Bagged vacuums, on the other hand, require you to add bags to the landfill several times throughout the year.

As long as you choose a high-quality bagless vacuum that will last you for many years to come, it’s more environmentally friendly than a bagged vacuum.

Ease of Cleaning

When a bagless vacuum starts to fill up, it’s necessary to remove the chamber and dump it out. If you attempt to do this inside your home, the resulting blowback of dirt and dust is discouraging. To overcome this drawback, you should plan to take the canister outside and dump the contents into a trash can there (or into a compost pile, as mentioned above).

Most people consider changing out vacuum bags a simple affair, though some models make more of a mess than others. Unfortunately, the idea of dust mites, spiders and other critters living in your bagged vacuum between replacements may creep you out. Plus, if you suck up something organic, you’ll need to replace the bag immediately if you want to avoid an unpleasant smell from developing.

Supplement the Shortcomings of Vacuuming with Carpet Cleaning

Regardless of which type of vacuum cleaner you end up choosing, you can’t rely solely on vacuuming to keep your carpet clean. The same way you sweep your tile floors regularly and mop occasionally, you should vacuum your carpet regularly and seek professional residential carpet cleaning occasionally. Deep cleaning with a hot water rinse removes imbedded stains to help protect your investment and improve the look of your home.

To schedule professional carpet cleaning, please contact Rainbow Restoration® today.


For Further Reading:

The Best Tile Cleaners You Can Buy and Make

Why Grout Needs to Be Cleaned and Sealed

Step One: Clean Your New House

How to Clean Your Couch