Bagged Vacuums VS. Bagless... Not A Contest In Our Opinion

Why are bagged vacuums better than bagless? Well, we can focus on a lot of things: filtration, cost of ownership, practical usefulness, parts availability, sustainable practices, home air quality index. The list goes on. Today we are going to keep it simple and talk about cleanliness and allergies.


As a young boy, I use to sneeze all the time, have red, itchy eyes, cough everyday and have pressure pains all over my sinuses 24/7.  After 2 allergy tests, my doctor concluded that I was severely allergic to dust mites and cat dandruff and recommended to my parents that they invest in a good, bagged vacuum.  But why would the doctor make the distinction of a bagged vacuum?  Aren’t bagless vacuums fine for a household where someone suffers from allergies?


The simple answer is, no not really.  Bagless vacuums are extremely dirty (Unless meticulously maintained) and their filtration is notoriously spotty!

The filtered dirt disposal bag should act as the main filter in any vacuum filtration system.  Without this filter, a vacuums filtration system should be considered incomplete.  That is why most well engineered bagged vacuums have 3 layers of filtration which is generally 25% more filters than bagless vacuums.


For example, The Dyson Ball Animal 2 upright vacuum’s user manual states that it only has two filters.


To the right, is a diagram of the filtration system of a SEBO Automatic X vacuum. As you can see the disposable filter bag is considered the first filter. This is because the largest of particles, mites, allergens ETC get trapped there.


Because the filter bag creates more of a barrier between you and the filth you’ve vacuumed and because the filter bag is disposable, it is way more hygienic than a baggless system. Meticulous  changing / care of the filters and dirt compartment doesn’t need to happen because the disposable filter bag of a bagged vacuum does the heavy lifting and the majority of maintenance for you!


Dyson also claims their filters are washable. Here at Elevated Home Products, not only do we obviously not believe in bagless vacuum “technology” but we also do not believe in washable filters.


In our opinion, washable filters are just another way to breath in mold and invite allergens into your home.


Dyson is telling its consumers to wash these filter and leave them outside in hopes that they let them dry completely so they are safe to use. Dyson wants these filters to air dry in the sun for at least 24 hours. During that time they can attract new particles and allergens that will stick easier since they are still wet/damp.  


Essentially, the dirt inside of the bagless vacuum’s dirt cup is similar to the dirt inside of a bagged vacuum’s disposable dirt compartment. The difference is that when the bagged vacuum’s dirt compartment is full, it can be capped and disposed of.  Very sanitary.


The bagless vacuum’s dirt cup on the other hand must constantly be dumped out. I do not know about you but, we have not found a hygienic way to empty a dirt cup. Dirt and debris always gets caked up on the walls of the cup and hair gets stuck in there.


Also, when we initially empty a dirt cup, a plume of dead skin cells, crumbs and shedded hair fills the area and escapes back into the room that it was just cleaned from. 

The disposable filter bag system of an Automatic X by SEBO
Hair and dirt getting stuck to a bagless vacuum's dirt cup.

If you choose to vacuum with a bagless vacuum we highly suggest you do the allergy sufferer of your home a favor and empty the bagless vacuum’s dirt cup outside into a trash bin and not into your kitchen rubbish. 


If you really want to do them a favor, you’ll do as my doctor said when I was young and invest in a good, filtered, bagged vacuum.             

If you want help picking out the right vacuum for you, any of these experts would be glad to help you!