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 is a little less demanding, too.
We've tested over 130 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners with a dirtbag. 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 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 on carpet. It's also jam-packed with a range of features to make cleaning easier. There are seven levels of suction power adjustment, meaning you can quickly adapt to varying surface types with a few button presses, a power cord that retracts at the press of a button, and an onboard storage compartment for its dusting brush, upholstery tool, and crevice nozzle. The body, made of dense, high-grade plastic, is allergen-sealed, and the manufacturer advertises its AirClean 3D dirtbags to trap more than 99.9% of dust particles. It makes it a great option if you suffer from allergies, even if you don't go for a high-end variant with a HEPA-rated post-motor filter.
If you have a lot of dense carpeting, you might consider a pricier variant with a powerhead, like the C3 Kona or C3 Cat & Dog. You could also consider the SEBO Airbelt D4 if you want a similarly well-rounded alternative with a much longer operating range. The SEBO also uses larger dirtbags and longer-lasting filters, resulting in lower recurring costs. However, its bulkier body and stiff hose make it trickier to maneuver.
The Kenmore Intuition Bagged is the best bagged upright vacuum we've tested. It isn't nearly as well-built as a premium canister vacuum like the Miele Complete C3 or as easy to maneuver, but it's a lot cheaper and features an integrated powerhead for improved surface agitation on carpeted floors compared to the straight-suction nozzle found on cheaper variants of the C3. While its filtration system isn't quite as sophisticated, it has a HEPA filter and is compatible with HEPA-rated dirtbags, limiting the spread of allergens as you clean. You can drop its dirtbag out of its housing with the press of a latch, so you don't need to worry about kicking up a plume of dust when taking it out. Its 'Lift-Up' alternative configuration allows you to pick up and carry its canister body separately from its floorhead, making it easier to clean on top of furniture or shelves.
Unfortunately, while you can turn this vacuum's brushroll off to prevent it from scattering debris on bare floors 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 onto dense carpets. If you're comfortable shopping for a used vacuum, the now-discontinued Miele U1 Dynamic PowerLine is a high-end option with superb build quality and strong performance. However, it has a very bulky, heavy design.
The Miele Classic C1 is a great option if you're looking to spend a little less on a bagged vacuum. This canister vacuum isn't as sturdily-built as the pricier Miele Complete C3, but it still feels much better built than a cheaper vacuum like the Kenmore Intuition Bagged. 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. The entry-level Pure Suction model doesn't come with a HEPA post motor filter, but you can easily swap it out 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 cleaning carpets, even with a basic straight-suction floorhead. Unfortunately, you'll need to pay a premium for a C1 variant with an electrobrush socket, like the C1 Cat & Dog, which would allow you to use a powered floorhead for cleaning thicker carpeting.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly bagged vacuum, look at the Eureka Mighty Mite. Compared to the Miele Classic C1, it feels very cheaply built and lacks many convenience features, like the allergen-sealed body, a telescopic wand, or a self-winding power cord. However, it's still a good option if you're looking for solid performance on a budget. It easily clears debris on bare floors, and while it only has a straight-suction floorhead, it's still decent when dealing with debris on carpets. 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 comes with a hard bristle brush for dislodging stuck-on dirt and debris and 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.
Look at the Roborock H7 if you don't mind exchanging the deep-cleaning performance and high-end build quality of a corded model like the Miele Complete C3 for the unrestricted freedom of movement that comes with a cordless vacuum. Unlike most other cordless stick vacuums, it comes with an adapter that lets you mount a small dust bag within its dirt compartment. It results in superior air filtration performance and makes for cleaner dirt disposal compared to similarly-designed models. It has a dedicated HEPA filter to help capture allergens like pollen or pet dander. It's also pretty lightweight, making it easy to carry from room to room, though its plastic construction feels flimsy in places.
Performance on bare floors is great, and while you might need to make an extra pass or two to fully clean 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.
Jan 16, 2023: Ensured all main picks still represent the best option for user needs.
Nov 17, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for users.
Nov 03, 2022: Ensured all main picks still represent the best option for user needs. Added Airsign HEPA Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
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.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best bagged vacuum cleaners. 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.