Mar 05 2008

Bagless vs. bagged vacuums

Which is the best choice for you?

When buying a vacuum, you have to consider the initial cost of the sweeper. But for the whole life of the vacuum, we have to consider maintenance parts as well.

The vacuum I have now uses a canister instead of a bag to collect dust. I like being able to dump it out after each use, rather than replacing a bag or buying additional bags. I get a strange satisfaction out of seeing globs of dust bunnies getting sucked into the sweeper.

Eventually, though, I’ll have to replace some of the air filters on my machine.

Some bagged vacuum models seem to be cheaper than the bagless versions. But, when you add the cost of vacuum bags (yes, you can reuse them to an extent), it seems that it’s just not worth the hassle for me.

For me, I prefer my bagless model since its easy for me to maintain and I shouldn’t have to pay much more for filters over the years.

What do you use? Is one choice more frugal than another?

12 Responses to “Bagless vs. bagged vacuums”

  1. Is calling it a “sweeper” an Indiana thing? I had never heard it. I’ll get home & my husband will say he “swept” and I’ll always have to clarify: “Did you sweep(with a broom or the Swiffer) or did you vacuum?” It drives me nuts :-P (I’m not originally from Indiana) The happy part about it, though, is that my husband does help out with the “sweeping”!

    We have a bagless vacuum, and I like it for many of the reasons you mentioned. We had a hand-me-down bagged vacuum and couldn’t find the bags for it anywhere, so had to eventually get a new one.

  2. Lol. I don’t know if calling it a “sweeper” is a Hoosier thing or what. I know I’ve heard my parents tell me to sweep the floors and stuff.

    You make a good case for using a bagless vac–eventually, you won’t be able to find the bags for old bagged models.

  3. I use the bagless type. I like not having to worry about whether I have extra bags handy. Also it’s less waste for the planet!

  4. I have a bagless, however I wish I had a bagged. Only because I hate the big cloud of dust that comes back out of the trash can every time I empty my canister. I don’t know what would be cheaper, the filters that you have to replace every 6 months to a year or the bags that you have to buy… but I think I’d have some satisfaction in knowing all the dirt stayed IN the garbage can.

  5. We have a bagless one and I also get satisfaction when I see the junk that’s collected. We did buy a version that has a HEPA filter.

    Overstock and/or Amazon probably has good deals on vaccuums, and maybe their requisite replacement parts, and there is always BBB and LNT.

  6. I have one with a bag. Previously we had a bagless and went it quit working we went to a vacuum shop (where the guy seriously knew more about vacuums than I thought was possible). Anyway he told us for vacuuming up after pets it is better to have one with a bag, so that is what we went with. The one that we bought will also vacuum on hard surfaced floors, which has worked out well since we can quickly go over all of our floors without getting out other cleaning supplies. I do miss the ease of emptying the canister on the bagless, but our bagged version seems to be working well for us.

  7. Bagless!! We have a big hairy dog and 4 cats. Even without carpet we’re at the mercy of fur-and-dust RHINOS [no mere bunnies in this house, thank you very much!] The filters are expensive, but we don’t have bad alergies so I vacum THAT with my shop vac! Banging it on the deck railing gets out most crud–then the shop vac finishes it. I do this about…welll…maybe 2x a year? Getting rid of carpet was the best sanity and cleaning saver ever though!

  8. Funny about the Indiana/swept thing. We always called it sweeping… whether you meant vacuuming or sweeping depended on the room you were talking about.

    I have a hand-me down bagged vacuum, and a Roomba which was a contest prize. So I choose the free vacuums.

  9. We currently have a bagless and we literally have to empty it and clean the filter every single time we use it. Sometimes we can’t even finish the house without emptying, and I don’t have a huge house or dirt floors. :) And my daughter seems to be sniffling more after we vacuum, which just seems wrong.

    We are currently evaluating new models for replacement, and the upright vacuum rated the best by Consumer Reports is a bagged vacuum (followed closely by its bagless twin). It cleaned carpet better than the bagless, cleaned floors very well, had low emissions and did well on pet hair. I don’t care as much about the noise or how heavy it is – I just want my floors and carpet clean. And I have never been disappointed when I’ve taken CR’s advice.

    We were very interested in the Hoover that allegedly cleans its own HEPA filter every few seconds, but the reviews for it on are awful. Broken parts, poor design and spilling dirt when emptying the dirt container seemed to be common complaints.

  10. I got a bagless vacuum for christmas about 3 years ago…I love it over my cleaner with a bag!

    With regards to the filters, I wash mine…Actually I have two filters on my vacuum. A foam one which I wash clean in the sink and let dry before using the vacuum again. And then it also has an air filter which doesn’t get very dirty. After 3 years I just replaced that filter about a month ago with the spare one that came with the vacuum. So I haven’t had to buy anything yet for it!

  11. We just bought a Consume Reports Best Buy — Eureka The Boss SmartVac. It has bags. I believe CR said that the bagged vacs pick up more dirt and pethair on the first try, saving money in terms of extra electricity for a second pass and in terms of our time. It is a little bulky, but we just had the last bits of carpeting replaced with hardwood floors.

    Our subscription to Consumer Reports magazine and the online service has proven very useful and paid for itself in our purchase savings.

  12. It is rare to not be able to get a bag for any old bagged vacuum. A local vacuum store in my town in Gainesville, Florida has 125 different bags for new and old vacuums. They say they can special order those they do not stock.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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