Modern upright vacuums come in various shapes, sizes and have different containment methods. While most of the industry is geared towards canister vacuums, there is a special market for bagged vacuums.
In this article I will examine the greatest bagged vacuums for 2021 and explain why you may want to switch back to this style for keeping your home clean.
The Best Bagged Vacuum Cleaners 2021
- 1 The Best Bagged Vacuum Cleaners 2021
- 2 Benefits of Upright Bagged Vacuums
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in a Vacuum
- 4 Top 7 Bagged Vacuums: Reviewed and Compared
- 5 Proper Care and Maintenance of Bagged Vacuums
- 6 Troubleshooting Bagged Vacuums
- 7 Bagged Vacuums – Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
The current top rated, best reviewed and most sought-after bagged vacuums right now are:
- Oreck XL – Commercial. Old school style meets modern day power, suction and performance.
- Eureka Mighty Mite. Powerful, modular and easy to transport.
- Hoover WindTunnel MAX. Versatile upright that cleans any surface.
- Miele Classic C1. Small, versatile and ideal for multiple floor types.
- Oreck Professional. Portable, mighty, low maintenance.
- Bissell Zing. A bagged canister vacuum with multiple features to make cleaning easier
Benefits of Upright Bagged Vacuums
Upright vacuums have been the backbone of home floor cleaning for decades. Advances in technology allow us to be more efficient when cleaning our floors and the vacuum has been the largest catalyst for this change.
Now we can turn off the spinning brush rolls and extractors to clean hard surfaces, increase power on thicker carpet and even power our vacuums with batteries.
The biggest benefit to bagged vacuums, though, comes in the cleaning and maintenance of the machine itself. With bagless models you have to ensure o-rings are sealing properly, everything is aligned and that the collection bin isn’t more than about half full.
A bagged vacuum doesn’t lose power when the bag is full, since the vacuum doesn’t rely on that air flow for suction power.
They are also faster and easier to clean out without worry of making large dust clouds and undoing all the cleaning you just finished . Bagged vacuums also have larger collection capacities, in general, than their no-bag counterparts of equal size and power.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in a Vacuum
When choosing a bagged vacuum there are several things to look for, or consider. Your final purchase needs to be one you are happy with, but also one that gets the job done.
Size and Weight
Portability is a big issue. Older style uprights were large, bulky and hard to move around. Even with onboard tools and extension wands, moving the large bodied vacuum around was a chore in itself.
Smaller vacuums today have as much or more power than the uprights of old . Some come on wheels making them pull behind you as you work. Other models are extremely lightweight and come with carrying handles.
One of the worst things to do is get half way done cleaning and have to stop to change a bag. The capacity of the bags should be more than enough to run through your home several times.
While you will want to keep them changed on a regular basis, you should find that most bagged vacuums can carry the dirt, dust and debris for three to four months before getting too full to continue.
Suction power on a vacuum is one of those things that has many different variables and there is no single test that can determine exactly how powerful a vacuum is.
The most common measurement is pascals (pa). You will find things like 1200pa suction power, or 2500pa suction. While these numbers are fairly accurate, they don’t tell the whole story.
Suction power is derived from motor speed, motor power, energy draw, air flow, and other factors. Suffice it to say that a vacuum with a smaller pascal rating may in fact, be more powerful than one with a higher pa value.
Energy consumption in a vacuum isn’t as crucial as it is in your home’s air conditioner or dryer. However, the higher the draw, the more current is required to run it effectively. Too little and you won’t have enough power to clean your carpets.
If the amps and watts are too high, though, it can cost you more in your energy bill to run the vacuum than it is worth.
Filtration and Extractors
HEPA filtration is something that all upright and canister vacuums should have. HEPA ratings mean that your vacuum has a filter designed to capture dust mites, pollen, mold and mildew spores and even pet dander.
The extractor type is also worth investigating. You should know if the rollers are stiff or soft bristled, or if they have bristles at all. Rubber rollers are ideal for hard flooring and if they are ribbed rubber rollers, they can agitate carpet as well.
Brush rollers are the most common on upright vacuums and canister models, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be used on hard flooring surfaces.
Some motorized power heads have their own power switch and you can turn the rollers off so they won’t scuff or scratch hard flooring. If your chosen model doesn’t have these features, you need to check that the brush roller is safe for all floor types before buying.
Modern homes have multiple flooring types and even various types of the same floor. Carpets, for example, can be low pile, medium or even high pile and shag style.
Hard flooring surfaces come in hardwood, softwood, laminate and vinyl, among others. Each floor type has its own dos and don’ts for cleaning.
Make sure the flooring in your home can handle being cleaned by your new vacuum.
Price and Warranty
The price, of course, will be a deciding factor as well. While you may not want to pay $1000 for a vacuum that spends the bulk of its existence in your closet, you also want to avoid the bargain-basement models, too.
Along with a moderately budget-friendly price tag, the vacuum should have a decent warranty. A minimum of a 1-year warranty that covers the entire vacuum is suggested. Longer warranties and ones that cover more than just manufacturer defects are ideal.
Top 7 Bagged Vacuums: Reviewed and Compared
Below, I outline, review and compare the 7 best bagged vacuums for you. Read through the list and find your next bagged vacuum for your home.
1. Bissell Zing
The Bissell Zing is one of the best budget vacuums on the market right now. The canister model is designed to be lightweight and extremely portable. Its small size doesn’t lack power by any means.
The capacity is a bit compromised to allow the unit to remain compact. For the end user this can mean that the bag fills faster than usual. If you are used to a full-sized vacuum you may not like the frequency at which the bag needs replacing.
What you will like though, is the 15 foot power cord and extra long hose . Together, and with the extension wand you can reach any height or area of the room without needing to change outlets very often.
This model is ideal for cleaning floors of all types, as well. With its powered motor head you can agitate carpet and get deep in the fibers. You can also switch it off and clean hardwood floors without worry of scratches.
After you are done with the floors you can add any of the hose attachments and clean your upholstery, drapes and curtains, stairs and even your mattresses. The entire home cleaned with one vacuum. That’s pretty versatile.
The Bissell Zing also comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers defects, craftsmanship the motor and all internal parts. It does not cover tool mounts, brush rolls, filters or bags.
|Lightweight, portable design||2L bag capacity is smaller than average|
|Power motor head switches on or off|
|15-foot self-retracting power cord|
|Replacement bags sold anywhere Bissell is sold|
Eureka is a name that we all know and trust and they have been in the vacuum game a long time. The Mighty Mite is just another in a long line of successful vacuums from the brand.
This small canister vacuum uses a 2.5L capacity bag in a small, easy to store, compact frame . It has everything you need to clean any floor in your home and plenty of extras to help with other chores, as well.
The biggest draw is the blower port. You can use the Mighty Mite in the garage or on your patio to blow leaves or debris, though, unlike a Wet-Dry vacuum, you do not want to clean up any spills.
The onboard tools include two extension wands, a furniture brush, cleaning head and crevice tool. Combined with the long suction hose, you can clean curtains, ceiling fans, couches and chairs and carpeting or hard floor surfaces.
The down side to this model is that there isn’t a brush roller on the cleaning head. It won’t agitate your carpeting to get deep down in the fibers. However, the suction is powerful enough to lift pet hair and debris from the surface.
With large caster wheels and light weight, you can easily pull the vacuum behind you as you clean. It works well on stairs, too, or even in your vehicle. It also comes with a 1-year warranty that protects the entire machine (minus filters and bags) under normal usage conditions.
|Adjustable suction power||No brush roll for deep carpet cleaning|
|Blower port built in to unit||Bag fills quickly with finer particles|
|Cleans all floor types without damage|
|Easy transportation to different rooms|
While you may not think of Oreck for your home, it is the best in the industry for large businesses . For decades the brand is seen in hotels and movie theaters around the country.
The XL Commercial is no different, except now it is available for your personal use. This model has a large 12-inch cleaning path with an ergonomic design that won’t cause hand or arm fatigue.
The entire unit only weighs 9 pounds, too, making it easy to get up or down the stairs. However, it is best to only clean carpeting with it as the brush roller uses stiffer bristles that can scratch softer wood surfaces.
There are benefits, though, including the 35-foot power cord, rubber no-scratch bumper to protect baseboards and furniture and a large, top-loaded 10L capacity bag .
You will also find that there is an edge cleaning brush mounted on the side of the cleaning head to help you get stubborn debris from the edges.
With a 1-year warranty on the vacuum and a 1-year warranty on the belt , you can’t go wrong. The belts, bags and cleaning assist tools for the brush roller are readily available from most retailers.
|10L capacity bag||Not ideal for hard flooring|
|edge cleaning brushes||Best for low-pile carpet only|
Hoover’s WindTunnel MAX is a high-powered, efficient vacuum. The suction design means less clogging and more power to the cleaning head while not scattering debris like a lot of other models tend to do.
The 3-chamber suction “wind tunnel” creates an ever-lasting flow of air to continuously clean any time the unit is powered on.
If you like using one machine to clean your entire home, look no further. The hose extends out to 17 feet with the cleaning head on . This means you don’t have to lug it up the stairs to clean them.
It also comes with enough tools and attachments to clean carpet, hard floors, furniture, window treatments and ceilings. Nothing is out of reach.
The WindTunnel Max also sports a HEPA filter and no-touch bags that drop in and empty without you having to handle them. Ideal for homes with pet hair that need to be kept in the bag and out of your floors.
For large, open areas, the 15-inch wide cleaning head and 30-foot power cord mean less time re-configuring and more time cleaning. The WindTunnel MAX is fast, efficient and powerful. Everything you need in a vacuum.
|HEPA filtration||More bulky than other models|
|17-foot above floor reach||May not be ideal for smaller spaces|
|Wide cleaning path|
|No-loss suction design|
Like the Oreck Commercial listed above, the Oreck Pro is ideal for businesses, large homes or anywhere there are a lot of obstacles and furniture to clean under.
This model boasts a lay-flat design that can easily clean under your bed or couch while providing more power to deep clean any carpet.
It, too, has the large 10L top-load bags and edge brush mounted on the no-scratch bumper. However, like most commercial vacuums, it doesn’t have any filtration.
However, with an extra long power cord and commercial-grade suction power, there isn’t a carpet around that can retain dirt when this vacuum passes over.
The 1-year warranty covers the machine, cleaning head, brush roller and belt . Replacement parts are found in appliance shops, some retail outlets and online vendors.
The good news, though, is that you won’t need to replace much of anything any time soon. On average, the bags will last 6 to 9 months and the belts can perform well for several years.
|Commercial-grade suction||Not ideal for hard flooring|
|Simple design for carpet cleaning||No attachments or filtration|
German engineering at its best meets the vacuum world. With the Miele C1 vacuum, you not only clean the floors, but the air as well.
With three filters, you get a cleaner floor, reduce in-home pollution and clean the air that is returned to your home while cleaning. The result is a fresh clean air and matching floor you can be proud of.
The motor has a 7-year warranty, one of the highest in the industry , and it comes with 6 control settings to allow you choices for various floor types.
The compact design of the Classic C1 means you can take the vacuum anywhere, up and down stairs or even cleaning overhead without worry, fatigue or strain.
The dual-style cleaning head is ideal for agitating low and medium-pile carpeting, as well as hard flooring surfaces of all kinds. From hardwood to laminate, you can clean any surface with the C1.
The vacuum kit includes a crevice tool, filter, bag, hose and cleaning head, upholstery brush and dusting brush. A whole home clean in one stylish, compact box.
|Triple HEPA filtration||Harder to clean over head than other models|
|6 power/suction settings|
|Dual cleaning head for all floor types|
7. Kenmore 200 Series
The Kenmore 200 series is a professional grade vacuum that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. You will find that the higher cost isn’t as budget-friendly as most other options, but you truly get what you pay for, here.
This 20 pound unit has large wheels that make it easy to pull behind you. It also features a carrying handle to get up and down stairs easily.
With two motors, one for the brush roller power cleaning head and the other for the motor suction, you are never without power. It also features a HEPA quality filter.
The aluminum extension wand reaches out over 9 feet allowing you to clean virtually anywhere, high or low . You will also find that the extra attachments all fit on the base of the handle to keep them within easy reach.
As if you needed anything else, it also comes with a hard surface cleaning head that won’t mar, scratch or damage any hard flooring surface. Along with the crevice tool and upholstery brush you can clean your home, garage or car with no problems at all.
|HEPA filtration||More expensive than other options|
|Powerful, dual motor design|
|Cleans all floor types|
|14-inch cleaning path|
Proper Care and Maintenance of Bagged Vacuums
Vacuums don’t require a lot of maintenance. However, if you have a regular inspection, cleaning and maintenance routine, you will find that your vacuum runs better, lasts longer and makes a more worthwhile investment.
For your inspection you should make note to check the following items:
- Look for cracked or broken latches.
- Inspect the brush roller for damage, missing bristles or loose fittings.
- Check the hose for cracks, tears or holes.
- Look at the wheels and housing to make sure they aren’t coming out or damaged.
- Make sure the bag is mounted correctly and not over full.
- Inspect the power cord and prongs for knots, damage, frays or other signs of trouble.
Cleaning is fairly simple and should only take you a few minutes per week.
- Wipe off the body, wheels and hoses with a clean, damp cloth.
- Remove and clean the filter (if applicable) and replace when needed.
- Remove fibers, strings or hairs found around the wheels and tangled in the extractors.
- Check the tools, cleaning head and hoses for dirt, dust or clogs.
Troubleshooting Bagged Vacuums
From time to time, the vacuum may not work as expected. There can be several reasons for this and each one will be specific to the brand, model or type of error.
Below is a generalized chart that shows the most common problems with upright vacuums, their probable cause and possible fix.
Always consult your vacuum owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer if you have any problems with your vacuum.
|Vacuum won’t power on||No power to machine||Ensure vacuum is plugged in and that outlet or power block has power|
|Vacuum shuts off while in use||Loose power connection|
Collection bag full
|Check plug and outlet|
Some vacuums shut off when the bag is full, check and replace collection bag
|Vacuum won’t pick up debris||Collection bag full|
|The collection bag is full|
Check motor head, hoses and inlet port for clogs
|Bad odor when vacuum runs||Filters dirty|
Motor belt worn
|Clean or replace filter|
Replace worn belt
|Vacuum blows dust out of exhaust||Collection bag full||Change out collection bag|
Bagged Vacuums – Frequently Asked Questions
Here I will answer some of the more common questions asked about bagged vacuums. If you have further questions use the comment section below the article.
Q. Are bagged vacuums better than bagless?
- Bagged versus bagless vacuums is a debate that is fought on various factors and items. Cleaning power and ease of maintenance are the largest of these factors. In these two aspects the bagged vacuums tend to have a bit more suction power. However, bagless vacuums are easier to clean and maintain. The trade offs are negligible, but personal choices.
Q. Are the replacement bags difficult to find?
- Some brands sell replacement bags through the same vendors and markets that sell the vacuums. However, there are third party filters and bags sold that may be more difficult to find or in limited quantity.
Sometimes ordering online will result in the product being sold out. In these instances you will have to find another location to buy the bags. However, most replacement bags are sold in multiple packs so you don’t need to wait until you are completely out to order the next package.
Q. Can bagged vacuums clean hardwood floors?
- Yes. Bagged vacuums can clean and flooring surfaces. You need to ensure that the brush roll can be switched off, or has suction only. Certain motor heads do have hardwood floor attachments or specialized cleaning heads to allow cleaning multiple floor surfaces.
The best bagged vacuum cleaners are not always easy to spot. Some brands have a wide variety of models and not all are the best for your needs. This article aimed to give you the best options for a variety of needs and circumstances.
Hopefully it has helped you know what to look for in your next vacuum. The choices listed in this review are among the best all-around bagged vacuums. You shouldn’t have any problem with any of the choices. If you are unsure, I can highly recommend the top pick, Bissell Zing.