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 120 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 Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine is the best bagged vacuum 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 lets you quickly adapt to varying surface types, which is good if you have a mix of bare and carpeted floors in your home. 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 the manufacturer advertises its AirClean 3D dirtbags to trap more than 99.9% of dust particles, so it's a great option if you suffer from 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 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 also short, making it hard to clean high-mounted shelves. Consider the SEBO Airbelt D4 if you want a similarly well-rounded alternative with a much longer operating range of roughly 50 feet. The SEBO also uses larger dirtbags and longer-lasting filters, resulting in lower recurring costs. However, its bulkier design and stiffer hose make it trickier to maneuver in cramped environments.
The Miele Classic C1 PowerLine Pure Suction is a great option if you're looking to spend a little less on a versatile vacuum. This canister vacuum isn't quite as sturdily-built as the pricier Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine and lacks the former's allergen-sealed construction, but it still feels pretty well-built. There's no onboard storage compartment, but you can mount some of its tools on the VarioClip accessory that sits at the base of its hose. You can swap out the standard filter for a Miele HEPA filter if you want to further improve its air filtration performance, though this does come at an extra cost. Maneuverability is great thanks to the trio of caster-mounted wheels, and it's small enough to be stored upright in most closets.
This vacuum also offers strong performance and features six levels of suction power adjustment to adapt to many surface types. It performs exceptionally well on bare floors and does a good job of dealing with debris on carpeting, even with a basic straight-suction floorhead. You might want to upgrade to a pricier variant with a turbo brush or an electrobrush like the C1 Turbo Team or C1 Cat&Dog if you find yourself cleaning large amounts of dense carpeting.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly bagged vacuum, look at the Eureka Mighty Mite. Despite its budget-friendly price point, this canister vacuum delivers exceptional performance on bare floors. While it uses a floorhead without a motorized or air-driven brushroll for improved surface agitation, it's still decent when 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.
The best bagged vacuum cleaner that's upright that we've tested is the Kenmore Intuition Bagged. This upright vacuum uses 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 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' alternative configuration, 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 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 getting caught on rug tassels, there's no way of adjusting its height, so it can be a little tricky to climb over obstacles. If that's a feature you want, consider the Hoover WindTunnel Tempo Bagged, which offers five levels of head height adjustment, making it easier to push over and onto very dense carpets. That said, unlike the Kenmore, it uses a traditional upright design, so you can't pick up and carry its canister body independently of its upright portion. It isn't bundled with a HEPA filter, though it does use HEPA-rated bags.
If you want the unrestricted freedom of movement that comes with a cordless vacuum but still want something that uses a dirtbag, the Roborock H7 could be for you. It comes with an adapter that allows you to mount a miniature dustbag within its dirt compartment, which is unusual for a vacuum of this type. It boosts air filtration performance and makes for a cleaner means of dirt disposal since you can toss out the dirtbag when it's full without releasing a big plume of dust and dirt. It has a dedicated HEPA filter to help capture allergens like pollen or pet dander. It's also pretty lightweight for a vacuum of this type, making it easy to carry from room to room, though its plastic construction feels somewhat flimsy in places.
Performance on bare floors is great, and while you might need to make an extra pass or two to fully clear away really fine material, it does a good job of dealing with pet hair and large debris on low and high-pile carpeting. Its surface detection system allows it to increase its suction power to its high-power 'MAX' setting when it's on carpet.
Jul 15, 2022: Extensive article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine as 'Best Bagged Vacuum'. Added Miele Classic C1 PowerLine Pure Suction as 'Best Mid-Range Bagged Vacuum'. Added Roborock H7 as 'Best Cordless Bagged Vacuum'. Removed SEBO Airbelt D4 and Hoover WindTunnel Tempo Bagged from main recommendations.
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.
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.