Bagless Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

Bagless vacuum cleaners became quite popular towards the end of 1990s but the principle was well known much before then, often seen in central vacuum systems. In fact, the patent for bagless cyclonic separation system was first obtained by P. A. Geier Company in the early 1928 and sold later to Health-Mor in 1939. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 1979 that Dyson truly introduced bagless variants into the market, starting off with the Dyson DC01 upright for the UK market. Contrary to critic’s expectations of a product doomed from the start, cyclonic bagless Dyson DC01 actually became a hit. Today, you can find plenty of brands dealing in bagless offerings in all conceivable forms and types.

Buyer’s Guide Table of Contents:

The basic idea behind such vacuum cleaners is that they don’t use bags to collect dust and debris instead relying on a container with some sort of mechanism to extract dust from the air flowing into it. Quite naturally, the first step to buying a bagless vacuum cleaner is to understand the various mechanisms used.

Step 1: The Separation Mechanism

As mentioned before, not all bagless vacuums operate in the same manner. The separation system makes a huge difference in the performance of a machine and the maintenance required. (Bagless vacuum cleaners regardless of their mechanism are much more efficient than bagged variants, albeit a bit noisy) There are three main types available today.

  • Filter Based: The cheapest and simplest of all mechanisms, these vacuum cleaners use a large filter inside a dust bin to help extract dust and debris from air. The only problem with such vacs is that you have to regularly clean and replace the filters to maintain its efficiency. Performance therefore directly depends on the filter’s health.
  • Cyclonic Units: In such a system, filters are used but they are the secondary filtration mechanism in play. Air is forced into a vortex that speeds it up and throws dust and debris into the bin, ultimately the cleaner air is passed through filters to further remove dust to leave behind cleaner air without putting too much pressure on the filters. Single cyclonic systems actually have a higher efficiency than filter based designs by up to 75 percent.
  • Multiple Cyclonic Units: The most expensive mechanism and the least demanding in terms of maintenance, multiple cyclonic systems increase air vortex speeds and actually eliminate the smallest particles from air leaving hardly anything for the filters to deal with.

Step 2: Allergies

Many bagless vacuum cleaners actually propose that they are better for allergy and asthma patients as they purify air before releasing it back into the room. While this is true, do understand that cleaning out a bagless bin is a messy affair and anyone with the slightest allergic reaction to dust can suffer through severe cold bouts and running nose if they don’t carefully clean the bin outside the house. Moreover, because of their greater efficiency, bagless variants actually hold a lot more dust than normal so be very careful with the bagless vac you purchase. Read through reviews to find out how easy it is to empty the bins.

Step 3: Extra Considerations

Other than the mechanism, everything else actually remains the same. A large retractable cord over 30 feet goes well together with a long hose reach. Lighter weight helps carry it on stairs, having multiple attachments helps thoroughly clean your house.

For a more detailed look at the features to consider check out our Vacuum Cleaner’s Features Digest.