Bagged vs. Bagless

There are so many options of vacuum cleaners available today that it can be a little overwhelming when you start comparing the various brands and models.  You can spend hours, days and even weeks if you are so inclined researching all the different models available.  At the end of the day however, it comes down to one thing.  You buy a vacuum cleaner to clean.

There are several factors that go into building a quality vacuum cleaner, but the design and function has been very similar for years.  There are bagged vacuum cleaners and there are bag-less vacuum cleaners.  Both types can be broken up into 5 categories: upright vacuum cleaners, canister vacuum cleaners, broom/ stick vacuum cleaners, hand held vacuum cleaners and central/ built-in vacuum cleaners.

First off there is no perfect vacuum cleaner that fits every single persons needs.  What may work for your friend, neighbour or best mate may not be the best vacuum for you as we all live in different types of houses with many varied flooring surfaces.  Everyone needs a quality upright, canister or central vacuum to do any real cleaning.  I also believe most homeowners should own a broom vacuum for those quick pick ups and spills along with a hand vacuum to spot clean on places like furniture.

So now for the difficult answer.  Based on our 25 plus years of experience all upright, canister, central vacuum cleaners and their owners benefit greater from having a bag.  It’s not just an opinion.  It’s based on the design of the vacuum cleaner and its ability to move air through the vacuum cleaner from the point of entry (carpet nozzle) to the point of exit (exhaust).  Air flow suffers and so does the vacuum cleaners ability to deep clean the further the air and dirt has to travel.  A bag-less design severely diminishes a vacuum cleaners ability to move air quickly.  Most bag-less vacuum cleaners make the air and dirt travel twice the distance a bagged vacuum cleaners path travels.  The cause of the issue stems from all of the turns the air must make in order to travel through a bag-less or cyclonic design.

In addition to the distance the air must travel all bag-less and cyclonic systems must have two or more filters to operate.  This very fact negates any claims of superiority of a bag-less vacuum cleaner over a bagged vacuum cleaner.  The fact is just like a bag, as these filters begin to accumulate dirt and debris their cleaning performance suffers.  Some consumers believe they can cut costs by washing their disposable filters which only shortens the vacuum cleaner’s life.  Instead of saving money the user ends up spending additional money in replacing their bag-less machine because of the poor performance and airflow.  The average customer based on our experience is buying a bag-less vacuum cleaner about every 2.5 years at an average cost of $180.  Our average bagged customer who has purchased a Sebo vacuum cleaner keeps their vacuum between 12-14 years.  Our average bagged customer who has purchased a Henry vacuum cleaner keeps their vacuum an average of 10-12 years.

Better bagged vacuum cleaners have a real advantage in performance, durability and filtration.  Bag-less designed vacuum cleaners are a hypocrisy.  These vacuum cleaners market HEPA filtration which is designed to eliminate exposure to fine particles and then expose its users to millions of contaminates every time the user empties the container.   There is no way to effectively eliminate exposure unless you wear a dust mask.  The fine particles that can be inhaled into your lungs float in the air for hours.  Wipe any bag-less vacuum down near the exhaust after 6 months of regular use and you’ll find your hand coated in the fine dust particles leaking back into your home.  It is a lot easier to pull a bag off and simply toss it in the trash.


Straight Suction Canisters
A straight suction canister is also a good option for homeowners who have all hard surfaces in the home with small or thin runners or throw rugs.  Straight suction canisters may come with one or more types of floor tools to clean a wide range of flooring options.  The standard floor tool with most straight suction canisters is a multi-surface floor brush also referred to as a 2-way tool, flip tool or combination tool.  This tool gives you the ability to go from a hard surface to a thin rug.  This tool will not deep clean your medium to thicker carpets or rugs.  You need a brushroll to effectively remove embedded dirt and hair.


Turbo Nozzles
Canister vacuum cleaners with a turbo nozzle are the perfect fit for homes without pets, a few low to medium pile area rugs and a lot of hard surfaces.  These vacuum cleaners give you better cleaning over a straight suction canister on medium to low pile carpets and rugs.  What you are buying is a straight suction canister that is packaged with a nozzle that has a brushroll, but no motor.  The brushroll on a turbo nozzle/ air driven nozzle spins from the suction of the vacuum cleaner’s motor being directed through fan blades housed within the nozzle.  Better nozzles like those found on the Sebo, Zelmer and Turbo Henry tend do the best job.  Even the best turbo nozzles will not clean as well as a power nozzle. The opening on the turbo nozzle is not as large as those found on a power nozzle.  Plus a motor driven power nozzle will out clean a turbo nozzle in most applications because of the consistent reliable power produced by the motor.