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 releasing 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 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best bagged vacuum cleaners to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their design but also their feature set and price. For more buying recommendations, look at our lists of the best vacuums, our best canister vacuums, and the best laminate floor vacuums.
The best bagged vacuum with an upright design that we've tested is the Kenmore Intuition Bagged. This upright vacuum uses both a HEPA filter and a dirtbag made of a HEPA-rated material, severely limiting the spread of fine allergens as you clean, which is great if you suffer from serious allergies. Its dirtbag can be dropped out of its housing and into the trash with the press of a single latch, meaning you don't need to worry about a large plume of dust being kicked up when emptying it.
This vacuum has a 'Lift-Up' design similar to some other upright vacuums like the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, which allows you to pick up and carry its canister body separately from its upright portion, making it easier to clean on top of furniture or shelves. It comes with a few attachments, like a miniature turbo brush for cleaning upholstered surfaces and a three-in-one combination tool that you can use as an upholstery cleaner.
Unfortunately, while you can turn this vacuum's brushroll on and off to prevent it from scattering debris around or having it get caught on rug tassels, there's no way of adjusting its height, so it can be a little tricky to climb over obstacles. Also, its bulky dirtbag compartment can make it difficult to clean under some tables and chairs. Still, it's a great option if you're looking for a bagged vacuum that can handle debris on a wide variety of surface types.
If you're looking for an upright that's a little easier to push on uneven surfaces, consider the Hoover WindTunnel Tempo Bagged. Unlike the Kenmore Intuition Bagged, it uses a traditional upright design, so you can't pick up and carry its canister body independently of its upright portion. However, its floorhead does have a five-level height adjustment function, making it easier to push over and onto very dense carpets. This vacuum does an excellent job of clearing various kinds of debris on bare floors and has good performance on low and high-pile carpet, though the Kenmore has an easier time dealing with larger debris on these surfaces. You can clean tight places with its hose, and it comes with a turbo brush, crevice tool, dusting brush, and extension wand attachments. Unfortunately, it has a smaller dirtbag than the Kenmore, so you'll likely need to replace it more often.
Get the Kenmore if you want a vacuum that delivers slightly better overall performance and has a more portable alternative configuration, but consider the Hoover if you want something easier to push around on most floor types.
The Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine is the best bagged vacuum cleaner with a canister design that we've tested. This high-end canister vacuum does a fantastic job cleaning debris on bare floors and performs impressively well on low and high-pile carpet. Its seven-level suction power adjustment feature allows you to quickly adapt to varying surface types, which is good if you have a mix of bare and carpeted floors in your home.
This vacuum features a wide array of convenience features. Its power cord retracts at the press of a button, and the vacuum turns off when you mount its stainless steel telescopic wand in its designated slot at the back of the vacuum. There's also an onboard storage compartment for dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool attachments. The vacuum's body is allergen-sealed, and its AirClean 3D dirtbags are advertised to trap more than 99.9% of dust particles, so it's a great option if you suffer from serious allergies.
Unfortunately, this variant of the C3 only comes with a rather basic floorhead, which relies on straight suction to clear any debris. If you're looking for a vacuum that's better suited to cleaning very dense shag carpeting, you might need to consider a pricier variant, like the C3 Kona or C3 Cat & Dog. Its hose is short, making it hard to clean high-mounted shelves. Otherwise, its dense feature set and sturdy, easy-to-maintain design make it one of the best vacuum cleaners that we've tested.
If you're looking for a bagged canister vacuum that incurs lower costs of ownership, the SEBO Airbelt D4 is worth a look. This high-end canister vacuum isn't as maneuverable as the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine due to its stiffer hose and bulkier, heavier body. However, it uses much larger dirtbags that don't need to be swapped out as often and filters that are expected to last for years at a time. It performs remarkably well on bare surfaces and does a very good job of cleaning up debris on low and high-pile carpet, even with just a basic straight suction floorhead. A handle-mounted rocker switch gives you a precise level of control of suction power, so you can clean everything from curtains to stubborn debris with ease. Its roughly 50-foot operating range also gives it a longer range than the Miele. Unfortunately, if you plan on cleaning a lot of dense carpeting, you'll probably want to buy SEBO's ET-1 or ET-2 powerhead, both of which are quite pricey.
Get the Miele if you want a more maneuverable canister vacuum, but consider the SEBO if lower costs of ownership and a longer range are bigger priorities.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly bagged vacuum, take a look at the Eureka Mighty Mite. Despite its budget-friendly price point, this canister vacuum delivers exceptional performance on bare floors, easily clearing away pet hair as well as small and bulky debris. While it uses a floorhead without a motorized or air-driven brushroll for improved surface agitation, it's still decent when it comes to dealing with debris on higher-pile rugs.
Suction performance remains consistent as this vacuum's dirtbag fills up, so there shouldn't be any need to replace it too frequently. User maintenance is incredibly simple thanks to the vacuum's basic design, and its lightweight construction enables you to carry it from room to room with minimal effort. It also isn't very hard to store in most closets, provided you remove and disassemble its wand. It comes with a hard bristle brush for dislodging stuck-on dirt and debris as well as a combination crevice/upholstery tool.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's power cord is very short, so you'll probably need to swap outlets when vacuuming a larger area. There are also a few noticeable weak points in its construction, most notably its wand, which is made of two hollow plastic tubes that can fall apart if they aren't put together with sufficient force. Still, if you're looking for a versatile bagged vacuum at a highly affordable price, it's a great option, and one of the best vacuums under $100 that we've tested.
May 12, 2022: Added SEBO Airbelt D4 to recommendations as a new 'Alternative With Lower Recurring Costs' pick. Moved NaceCare HVR 200 Henry to Notable Mentions.
Mar 16, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
Jan 19, 2022: Recategorized Hoover WindTunnel Tempo Bagged from 'Cheaper Alternative' to 'More Maneuverable Alternative'. Ensured that all picks are available and represent the best option for their given category.
Nov 23, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Sep 28, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
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.