The Pros and Cons of Vacuum Cleaners Without Bags

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People are constantly arguing about which vacuum cleaners are the most efficient; vacuum cleaners with bags or those with bags. Opinions are pretty even on both sides.

Bagless vacuum fans will say that that they save money by not having to buy bags, whereas the bag enthusiasts insist that bags are more hygienic. So which side is right? Well it just depends on which features you consider most important. I know which side of the great divide I stand on, but will attempt to remain objective for the purpose of this article.

When bagless vacuum cleaner first appeared on the scene, they were still very much in the experimental stage. They were brought out to cash in on people’s increasing frustration with buying and fitting bags for their vacuum cleaners. Some people still had the old cloth bags which didn’t need replacing, but still needed emptying, which was a huge task in itself!

Using a bagless vacuum back in those days was a bit of a hit and miss affair. They tended to leak dust and the old dust containers were not as simple to empty as they are today. On top of that technology had yet to perfect the filters on these early bagless machines and they frequently needed replacing.

Fast forward to today and we find the features of both bagless vacuum cleaners and their bagged opponents have vastly improved. Vacuum cleaner bags have come a long way from the dusty cloth bags and you can now choose from the basic single layer paper bag to newer woven fabric-like bags which have a greater filtration ability. Of course the better the bag, the greater the cost and you may find yourself paying out more for bags in the long term than you paid for the original machine itself.

The bagless vacuum cleaners vary from the average to the superb and it’s very much a case of you get what you pay for with these cleaners. The top rated bagless vacuum cleaners are not cheap, but they have tremendous suction and the filters generally do last a lifetime, as long as they’re treated according to the manufacturers directions. They are easy to empty and those that employ dirt separation mechanisms (e.g. Dyson), do capture dirt more efficiently, thus reducing the filter load.

To summarise…

Bagless vacuum cleaner advantages:

  • Easy to empty
  • Requires no purchase of bags
  • Dust container is hygienic and can be rinsed out
  • Certain brands retain full suction power until bag is full


  • Filters are pricey if need replacing
  • Bagged cleaner advantages:
  • No contact with dirt, bags can be tossed in the trash
  • Disadvantages
  • Requires lifetime purchase of bags
  • Bags can be hard to fit
  • Loss of suction as bags fill up

Bags are becoming an old technology, while bagless cleaners are improving all the time. At the end of the day, however, it simply comes down to your own preference. Some people swear by the bagless vacuum cleaners, others prefer bags. I prefer a bagless cleaner simply because I have had a much better experience with my current cleaner, which is bagless. Especially when it comes to pet hair vacuums, I must say I think the bagless vacuum cleaners really do have the edge.

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