Most vacuum cleaner reviews tend to focus mainly on bagless models. So, if you’re looking for the best bagged vacuum cleaner, you’ve come to the right place. There are several reasons why some folks see bagged vacuums as the best way to go. The most significant would be hygiene and low-dust when emptying the machine. If you’d like to know more about the pros and cons of bagged vs bagless vacuum cleaners, there’s a buying guide after the bagged vacuum cleaner review.
Top Bagged Vacuums Reviewed
When we set about researching the bagged vacuums for this review, we needed to know what you, the vacuum cleaner buyer is looking for. As it turns out, not everyone is looking for same features and functions. So, in order to provide a comprehensive review that would appeal to most buyers, we looked at vacuum cleaners in several categories. What is the best bagged vacuum for carpets? The best upright bagged vacuum and the best canister models. Then there’s the important question of price and budget, so we had to include some of the best budget-friendly bagged vacuum cleaners.
Experience has taught me to look at brands that have a solid reputation. In this regard, we’ve selected some of the very best high-end vacuum cleaner brands and those who are known to provide excellent value for money. So, the budget options in this review won’t always be the cheapest bagged vacuums. These would be quality products from manufacturers who have a reputation for providing durable machines at a good price that most of us can afford.
This has narrowed the list down to 6 exceptional machines, each model has been carefully selected based on quality, functionality, and value for money. Even if you’re happy to pay more for the top-rated vacuums, you still want to know that getting what you pay for.
1. Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner
I believe that the Soniclean Soft Carpet upright vacuum cleaner is the best for carpets, especially high pile, plush carpets. It also has air filtration of the very highest standard. The bags are enormous and are amongst the easiest, and most hygienic to empty. If you have a lot of carpets in your home and require the cleanest, allergen free air, this would be the ultimate vacuum cleaner. It does come at a price though, the Soniclean Soft Carpet vacuum is certainly not cheap.
Vacuum cleaners that are truly capable of deep cleaning carpets are rare and will be more expensive than regular models. These machines usually have hard bristle brush rolls which are excellent at churning up stubborn dirt from deep within the carpet fibers.
The issue here is that the brush roll can be quite abrasive and that is not suitable for delicate carpet fibers. Soniclean have found the solution by using sonic vibrations (200 per second) to loosen the dirt. Apart from being highly effective, possibly the best method, it does this without making any contact with the carpet fibers. This allows for a gentle soft brush roll that won’t cause any harm to softest carpet fibers.
The unique and remarkable sonic vibration and soft brush roll system is complemented by a super-efficient, digitally controlled electric motor. This provides the suction needed for any type of carpet cleaning. It does this using far less electricity than most other vacuums and is one of the quietest. A button on the handle allows you to choose between a quiet mode, suitable for most carpets and hard floors, or the deep clean mode which uses the sonic bar for the most effective cleaning on carpets. Because powerful suction can make it difficult to move a vacuum cleaner on thick carpets, the Soniclean has an adjustable vent at the front of the cleaning head, this allows you to adjust the airflow for the type of floor you’re cleaning. The vent, combined with large wheels allows the Soniclean to glide easily, no matter how deep the carpet pile.
If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or sinus issues, this would be the best choice for two reasons. The exceptional bag design offers hospital-grade H13 HEPA filtration, removing 99.97% of dust and allergens from the air. The Sonic vibrations and great suction are highly effective at removing dust mites and pet dander that can be cause of allergies. Another benefit is the ultra-hygienic sealed bag that releases no dust when emptying.
This is a fairly large vacuum, yet weighs 10.5 pounds, and the handle can be pushed right down to the floor (7” clearance), allowing you to get under furniture and other places where a full-size upright vacuum may not be the best. It also has a really long 35’ power cord. Two easy to read warning lights on the floor nozzle inform you when the bag is full and when the vacuum has stopped because the brush roll has become jammed. The latter is a great safety feature that prevents damage when hair or large objects obstruct the normal brush roll function.
The Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright vacuum cleaner is expensive. It also doesn’t offer any attachments for above floor cleaning. Though it has to be considered amongst the very best for carpets and high-level air filtration. This is something that’s worth paying for, especially if it means improved air quality.
2. Kenmore 31140 Pet Friendly Lightweight Bagged Upright Beltless Vacuum
This is a very accomplished upright bagged vacuum with top air filtration and the ability to clean every type of floor, from thick carpet to hard floors, remarkably well. It’s also one of the more affordable full-size upright vacuums designed for whole house cleaning. There are a couple of slightly annoying design faults that I’ll point in the review, but I wouldn’t let this detract from the many pros. In a nutshell, I consider this to be a great multi-function vacuum, offering real value for money.
One thing I really like about the way this machine has been engineered is the dual motor system. Instead of using a belt to drive the brush roll, it has a separate motor to power the rotating brush roll. This makes for improved reliability and less maintenance. It also makes for a very powerful brush roll, perhaps a little too powerful. It also makes the vacuum quite chunky and it’s heavier than many, at 19-pounds.
While I’m pointing out the less than perfect aspects, I may as well point out a common complaint. The exhaust vent that blows the clean air out of the vacuum is in the wrong position, it has a tendency to blow lightweight debris, like pet hair, away from the cleaning head.
Having got the bad news out of the way, let’s move onto the good and there’s plenty to praise about this machine. Firstly, the triple HEPA filtration can compare to the most expensive high-end vacuum cleaners, removing 99.97% of dust and allergens from the air. It has a great brush roll for carpet and hard floors. It moves easily across all floor types, thanks to 4 manually adjustable height settings (model # 31140) and 5 settings for the 31150 model. You can also switch the brush roll off for hard floors.
Despite being a large heavy machine, the Kenmore is fairly easy to use, it has a great LED lights on the floor nozzle and an ergonomic handle. The 30’ power cord is very convenient and wraps neatly around a caddy for storage. You have the benefit of an easy to use hose attachment and telescopic aluminum pipe giving 10’ reach for above floor cleaning. Additional attachments include a nifty pet hair remover with a rotating brush, a crevice tool, and dusting brush.
The Kenmore 31140 has a lot to offer at a very reasonable price. The powerful brush roll, great suction, HEPA filtration, and mini pet tool, make it one of top choices as a bagged vacuum for pet owners. I found a few bad customer reviews on Amazon, though I’m used to seeing this type of thing, even with products that are generally considered to be of a high quality standard. So. I’ll take these opinions with a pinch of salt. Overall, this seems to be one of the better vacuums for its price and Kenmore service is known to be friendly and very helpful. That counts for a lot in my book.
3. Oreck Commercial XL Commercial Upright Vacuum Cleaner, XL2100RHS
For a US made commercial grade vacuum, the Oreck XL is incredibly cheap. It’s also extremely lightweight, considering the size and capabilities of this powerful machine. This must certainly rate highly amongst the best upright bagged vacuums at a refreshingly budget-friendly price.
The old-fashioned industrial style design pays homage to the commercial nature of this vacuum cleaner. It has a wonderful handle and extra large capacity bag. This makes it fantastic for cleaning a large home with very little effort. The weight of 8-pounds is an unexpected delight, it looks like a heavy industrial vacuum cleaner, yet is a synch to carry.
The double helix brush roll is superb on both hard floors and carpets and automatic height adjustment makes it easy when moving across different types of floors. Rubber trim around the floor nozzle act as a bumper, preventing scratches and marring when vacuuming close to furniture and walls. In addition to this, it has small side bristles that gently clean right up to the edges of the room.
The top fill bag with easy removal is another great, user-friendly design feature. This also helps maintain the best suction as the bag fills. The handle has a 180°tilt to get in under low furniture and the low profile design makes this even more versatile. A wide, 12” cleaning path helps you achieve a lot in a short space of time. A 35’ power cord, that wraps easily around the back of the handle, is also a great convenience.
Simple design with a definite purpose defines this remarkable vacuum cleaner. It’s not going to win any awards for fashionable elegance. Instead it’s a machine made to get the job done with absolute ease. With no bells and whistles you’re paying for fine engineering and durability. This is a real common sense, value for money vacuum.
4. Bissell Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum 4122
The Bissell name is synonymous with affordability and a good quality standard. The low price attached to the Bissell Zing 4122 canister vacuum is one of its biggest attractions. It’s fairly compact, but not the lightest. This really is a great bagged vacuum for hard floors, area rugs and hard carpets. I wouldn’t rate it as the best for thick carpets. While it does have good suction, the absence of a rotating brush roll, makes the Bissell 4122 less effective for deep cleaning plush carpets.
The general design is all very basic. The Bissell Zing looks pretty much like any standard canister vacuum cleaner. Air filtration is average, certainly not high-level HEPA filters. The floor cleaning nozzle is also the standard type. It has a foot control that engages and retracts the brush for hard floors and has a flat carpet cleaning base.
The hose and metal wand give you good reach and it has an easy automatic cord wind for quick and easy storage. I like the infinite power control dial which allows for multiple suction options depending on what you’re cleaning. There’s a full bag indicator on the canister.
The Zing includes all the regular attachments, a mini cleaning tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush. These clip onto the wand, making for really easy access. Carrying the machine is also delightfully easy, thanks to a superbly molded handle. While the weight of 12.5 pounds is not exactly the best, it is still quite manageable.
No one can deny that the Bissell Zing 4122 offers incredible value for money. You should be able to snatch up this little gem for under $50. That’s a really good price for a good quality vacuum cleaner from a brand with a loyal following.
5. EUREKA Mighty Mite Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner 3670h
The Eureka Mighty Mite (3670h) is another great budget canister vacuum cleaner. It’s wonderfully easy to carry and has a few extra features that make it a perfectly versatile bagged vacuum cleaner. Despite being one of the cheaper options, this is a durable appliance. For well over a century, Eureka appliances have earned a distinguished reputation for outlasting most others.
This is a very conventional looking canister vacuum cleaner, none of the elegant curves that adorn most modern equivalents. This utilitarian appearance is in line with the basic, no fuss, workhorse nature of the Eureka Mighty Mite. It’s powerful, yet blissfully lightweight, only 8.6 pounds. With a well-balanced handle at the top, it’s really easy to carry around the home.
The extra-long hose and adjustable wand give you plenty of reach for floor and above floor cleaning. The cord is a fairly average 20’in length. Attachments are also pretty normal, a crevice tool, upholstery cleaner, and dusting brush. There is a unique advantage to this vacuum. With the flick of a switch it reverses the suction and can be used as a blower to get rid of leaves from your patio, or cobwebs and large debris from the garage.
For a below average price, you’re getting an above average vacuum cleaner. This is the true definition of a bargain. The Eureka Mighty Mite can hold its own alongside any of the best bagged canister vacuums and has the added versatility of doubling up as a powerful blower.
6. Miele Dynamic U1
Miele vacuums have always been a long time favorite of mine, making the Miele Dynamic U1 my top choice as the best upright bagged vacuum. I know Miele is an expensive brand. But I really feel this vacuum is worth paying extra for, there’s a good chance it will last a lifetime. Miele proudly advertise this models as being made in Germany and tested for an average lifespan of 20-years. In my experience, Miele vacuums last much longer than this and keep working perfectly for decades.
The modern euro-chic design of the Miele Dynamic U1 is as elegant as it is wonderfully practical. For an incredibly powerful (1,200W) upright vacuum with a motorized brush roll, it has a very slim low-profile floor nozzle. Though, like most Miele vacuums, it is on the heavy side – just over 28-pounds.
I suppose if you’re building a vacuum that’s going last 2 -3 times longer than your competitors, it’s better to use high-grade materials that will, inevitably, add weight. It also has two motors, one provides unrivaled suction, the other propels the powerful brush roll. This contributes to the extra weight but also adds to the durability and superior cleaning power.
To compensate for all this extra weight, the Miele engineers have done a lot to make the U1 easy to use. The handle design is as close to perfect as it comes. A large comfortable grip at the top is great and it has a swivel neck that works better than most conventional swivel steering systems. The handle can also be pushed down flat, parallel to the floor, for easy access under low furniture. Super-bright LED lights and the superb low profile design add to your ability to clean where many upright machines simply won’t do the job.
A large dial at the top allows you to select 4 different power settings and directly next to this is a touch button to turn the brush roll on or off. This makes it a breeze to clean the entire house, transitioning from thick carpet to hard floors with the touch of a button, or the flick of a dial, all within easy reach.
Few manufacturers can brag about HEPA air filtration that removes 99.99% of dust and allergens. This makes the Miele Dynamic U1 quite unique, certainly the best you’ll find if you’re concerned about allergies, asthma and the like. The hose pulls out easily and allows you to use any of the three standard attachments to clean more than just your floors. These are the upholstery tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush. I’m delighted to see that 5 Miele Type U Air Clean filter bags are included. These bags are responsible for the ultra-fine HEPA air filtration and are not cheap. Fortunately, they are really large, and five of them should last for quite a while.
When you’re paying around $600 for a vacuum cleaner, it’s understandable that many would ask if it’s actually worth it. In this case, or that of any Miele vacuum, I’d say it definitely is. Not only is the Miele Dynamic U1 a fantastic upright bagged vacuum with, arguably, the best air filtration, it is made to last. Few modern appliances, if any, display this level of durability and pure quality. The money that you’re spending today is going to keep you in good standing for several decades. In the end, when you consider the cost of replacing any other vacuum within 5 – 10 years, this is actually a fantastic deal.
Bagged Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
There are those who say bagged vacuums are too expensive in the long run because you have to keep replacing the bags. It’s true that bags are an additional cost, and some can be quite expensive. But, is it as simple as all that?
Some bagged vacuums have reusable bags, and these save on the cost of replacement bags. But, in my opinion, washable bags kind of defeat the purpose. The main advantage of using a bagged vacuum is that you don’t have any dust to contend with when emptying the machine. This is of particular value for those who are sensitive to dust, have allergies, or asthma. Reusable bags mean that you still have to deal with a lot of dust when emptying and cleaning the bag. Whereas disposable vacuum cleaner bags are designed for clean and easy bag changes. Removing and discarding a disposable bag is virtually dust-free.
Another advantage to using bagged vacuum cleaners over bagless is that the bags do all, or most of the air filtration. This means that there are no HEPA filters to clean. Some bagged vacuums may have a pre filter, but these are relatively easy to maintain. You also don’t have to clean out the dust cup. So, bagged vacuum cleaners are mostly about hassle-free and more hygienic maintenance.
One thing to consider is the price of the replacement bags as this is a cost that will be with you for the lifetime of the vacuum cleaner. There is a payoff to be made here, because the bags that offer the best air filtration are usually the most expensive. Then again, high-end replacement HEPA filters for bagless vacuum cleaners aren’t exactly cheap either.
If you’re going to buy a bagged vacuum cleaner for its high level of HEPA filtration, there’s little point buying knock-off cheaper bags. Imitation bags, costing much less than branded equivalents, are available for most known brands. However, these bags are cheaper for a reason, they are made from cheaper materials that don’t offer the same air filtration. It’s the bag that is designed to do most of the fine filtration that provides the clean air in your home. So, if a bagged vacuum advertises HEPA filtration, be aware that this is only guaranteed if you use the bags recommended by the manufacturer. As they say, you get what you pay for, and imitation bags may be cheap but are probably far inferior.