Bagged vacuum cleaners are a good option if you prioritize air quality and ease of maintenance. Unlike a bagless vacuum, debris is stored in a disposable container, virtually eliminating the risk of a plume of dust being released when you empty your vacuum. Even though dirtbags tend to need frequent replacement, driving up recurring costs, they effectively act as air filters, keeping fine debris from being released as you clean. Since the onboard filters don't have to work quite as hard as those in a bagless vacuum, user maintenance tends to be a little less demanding, too.
We've tested over 90 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best bagged vacuums to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their design but also their feature set and price. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best vacuums, our best canister vacuums, and the best laminate floor vacuums.
The best bagged vacuum cleaner with an upright design that we've tested is the Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine. This corded upright vacuum delivers superb performance on bare floors and does an excellent job of sucking up a wide range of debris on both low and high-pile carpet. It has a four-level suction adjustment feature, and its head changes height automatically when cleaning different surface types.
This vacuum feels amazingly well-built, with a dense plastic construction that feels premium. It can be used in a semi-handheld configuration by removing its wand from its main body and fitting any one of its included tools and brushes into place. These extra tools include a crevice cleaner for tackling messes in tight spots, as well as a turbo brush to deal with debris on upholstered surfaces. It's easy to take apart and reassemble, and there are very few parts that need to be cleaned regularly.
Unfortunately, recurring costs are quite high since its pre and post-motor filters need to be regularly replaced, as does its impressively spacious dirtbag. It's also quite heavy and rather bulky, which can make it a challenge to pick p and carry, though its rotating vacuum head does make it a bit easier to maneuver in cluttered areas. Overall, this vacuum's versatile cleaning performance, excellent build quality, and easy-to-maintain design help make it one of the best upright vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking to spend less on a bagged upright vacuum, take a look at the Kenmore Intuition Bagged. This upright isn't nearly as well-built as the Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine and lacks an automatic surface-type adjustment function, but it is substantially cheaper and quite a bit more portable. It also delivers fantastic performance on bare floors and clears an impressive amount of debris on both low and high-pile carpet, with no noticeable drop in suction performance as its dirtbag fills up. The vacuum's 'Lift-Up' feature also allows you to unlatch the vacuum's dirt compartment from its body and use it in a semi-handheld configuration. It's also quite easy to maintain, though not to the same degree as the Miele, and incurs lower recurring costs. That said, its bulky design can make it difficult to clean under furniture like tables or couches.
Get the Miele if you prioritize build quality and want an easier-to-maneuver upright, but take a look at the Kenmore if you're looking to save some money without sacrificing much in the way of cleaning performance.
The Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine is the best bagged vacuum cleaner with a canister design that we've tested. It's an amazingly well-built vacuum, with smoothly-rolling rubber wheels, an aluminum wand, and LED lights on its handle so you can see what you're doing in shadowy corners. It delivers an incredible performance on bare floors like hardwood or linoleum and does a great job of cleaning carpets as well.
It uses a spacious dirtbag, and its performance stays consistent as it fills up. It's easy to maneuver and has seven different suction power settings, so you can easily adapt to different surface types as you clean. You can use it in a semi-handheld configuration if you want to clean stairs, your car's interior, or another out-of-reach area. It's an exceptionally easy vacuum to maintain, and since it doesn't have a brushroll, you shouldn't have to worry about detangling hair from the vacuum.
Unfortunately, while it feels quite light in your hand, it's a pretty heavy vacuum overall, which isn't ideal if you need to carry your vacuum between floors regularly. It also incurs quite a few recurring costs since the dirtbag, HEPA filter, and pre-motor filter all need to be replaced regularly. Otherwise, it's a great choice if you like its canister design, and its versatile performance makes it one of the best multi-surface vacuums we've tested.
If you want a vacuum with a dirtbag that you don't have to replace as often, try the NaceCare HVR 200 Henry. This canister-style vacuum doesn't perform as well as the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine on any surface type, but it uses a dirtbag that has more than twice the capacity. It's similarly well-built, incurs fewer recurring costs, and has a longer power cord, so you can clean a big room or staircase without having to swap outlets as often. There are some tools and brushes included, like an upholstery tool for use on fabric-covered furniture and a hard bristle brush for scrubbing away stubborn debris. However, while this vacuum delivers an amazing performance on bare floors, unfortunately, it struggles to clear debris like sand and baking soda from high-pile carpets.
Go for the Miele if you want something with a great performance on carpets, but consider the NaceCare instead if you prefer a much bigger dirtbag or if you're looking for a more affordable canister vacuum.
The best bagged vacuum at a budget-friendly price that we've tested is the Eureka Mighty Mite. This compact canister model is exceptionally easy to maintain since virtually all of its essential components are readily accessible to the user for routine servicing. It's also small and light enough to be carried over to far-off areas, like a car parked in a driveway.
It delivers superb performance on bare floors since it easily clears pet hair as well as small and bulky debris like rice and cereal, with little impact on performance as its spacious dirtbag fills. It also does a great job of clearing messes on low-pile carpet and picks up a good amount of debris on high-pile carpets. You can also clean areas like furniture or shelves more easily by removing part of its wand and using it in a semi-handheld configuration.
Unfortunately, it doesn't feel especially sturdy. It also lacks a HEPA filter to trap allergens, which could be a bit of an issue if you're the owner of a heavily shedding pet. Otherwise, if you need an affordable vacuum that can tackle messes on a wide variety of surface types, this is a good choice.
Jun 03, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Apr 06, 2021: Checked picks to ensure that we're still recommending the best products for our users and that they're in stock.
Mar 16, 2021: Checked picks to ensure that we're still recommending the best products and that they're available.
Feb 23, 2021: Checked that we're still recommending the best products and that they're in stock.
Feb 01, 2021: Checked that the recommended products are still the best picks for our users and are in stock.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best bagged vacuums. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our bagged vacuum reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.