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Should You Buy a Bagged or a Bagless Vacuum Cleaner?

Potential vacuum cleaner owners, listen up! If you’re not sure which type of vacuum is better, bagged or bagless, we don’t blame you because the answer is neither. Both types have pros and cons so the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. Despite our many talents, we can’t read minds so you’re going to have to make this decision on your own.

You’re going to need to know a little bit about both types of vacuum to be able to make an informed choice and that’s where we come in. These benefits and drawbacks will help you decide on the most convenient companions for your floor cleaning routine.

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Benefits of Bagged Vacuums

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  • Bagged vacuums are easier to empty; just remove the full dust bag and bin it.
  • Vacuum bags can accommodate the dust and debris from several cleaning sessions before they need changing.
  • Often filters will be built into vacuum bags so you don’t need to change the filter in the vacuum itself.
  • All the dust and dirt picked up is kept securely in the bag which is more hygienic, better for allergy sufferers and means you don’t have to clean dust and grime out of the vacuum itself.

Drawbacks of Bagged Vacuums

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  • The obvious downside is you have to buy new bags. They won’t break the bank, but will add to the cost of running the vacuum and could hold up your vacuuming if you don’t have any bags to hand when you need them.
  • Dirt accumulated in the bags can smell over time if left too long, though this can be combated with a vacuum bag freshener.
  • Some people find bags tricky to change at first, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s actually just as easy as emptying the vacuum bin.
  • Full bags can make the vacuum perform less well. As the vacuum runs, air passes through minute holes in the bag leaving the dirt behind and these holes can become blocked with dust, preventing good airflow through the appliance.
  • It can be hard to know when it’s time to replace the bag (although some vacuum models have indicator light).

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Benefits of Bagless Vacuums

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  • The bins collecting the dust are usually transparent so you can see the dirt that’s been collected and know when it’s time to empty it out.
  • No bags to bin means less waste going into landfill. A big thumbs up from the environment!
  • It’s easier to retrieve items that have been vacuumed up accidentally.
  • Handheld vacuums or portable stick vacuums are usually bagless so bagless is a better option if you have less space to store your cleaner.
  • Watching the bin fill up can give a sense of cleaning achievement!

Drawbacks of Bagless Vacuums

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  • Bins have a smaller capacity for dirt on the whole than bags. They’ll often need to be emptied after every vacuum.
  • Emptying can be messy; you may find your dustbin coated in dust and fine dirt afterwards. If you suffer from allergies this is especially problematic as a cloud of dust and allergens can rise up and set off your sniffles.
  • Often you have to put your hand up inside the bin to remove the last of the built up fluff, which is a grimy job.
  • Vacuum cleaner filters in bagless vacs will need either replacing, cleaning or washing periodically (depending on your model) and you may need to give the bin itself a once over to clean it every so often too.
  • Bagless models can be pricier to buy outright (although the running costs will be less with no need to buy replacement bags).

Now that you’re equipped with all the facts to make the decision about which vac is the one for you, we’re sure you’d like to get the most out your appliance. We’ve put together some handy vacuuming hacks so you can put your cleaner to good use all around your home.


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