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 80 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 versatile model has four different suction power settings and automatically adjusts its head height depending on what surface type it's cleaning. It delivers an outstanding performance on bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair as well as debris like rice and cereal. It also does an excellent job on carpets.
It's simple to assemble and exceptionally easy to maintain. It's very well-built, as it's mostly made of dense plastic, with an aluminum wand and rubber wheels. It uses a large dirtbag, and the power cord is long, so you can clean big areas like long staircases without worrying about swapping outlets very often. You can also use it in a semi-handheld configuration with one of the included tools and brushes, like the turbo brush, which helps dislodge dirt from fabric-covered furniture.
Unfortunately, this vacuum incurs high recurring costs because the dirtbag and filters need to be replaced periodically. It's heavy and bulky, so it may not be ideal if you need to carry it between floors regularly, although it does have a carrying handle. Otherwise, it's one of the best multi-surface vacuums we've tested and a great option if you're looking for a bagged upright vacuum.
If you're looking for a more affordable upright vacuum, you may want the Kenmore Intuition Bagged instead. It's more difficult to maintain than the Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine and has worse performance on carpets, but it's much cheaper and more portable since it's lighter. It delivers a similarly fantastic performance on bare floors is great on low and high-pile carpets as well. You can use it in a semi-handheld configuration if you want to clean out-of-reach areas like stairs or your car's interior. It uses a spacious dirtbag and is equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Since the pre-motor and HEPA filters are washable, it incurs fewer recurring costs, but unfortunately, it's not as maneuverable as the Miele and doesn't have a surface type adjustment feature.
Go for the Miele if you want the best performance on carpets or if you prefer something with better build quality. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Kenmore has comparable 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 on a regular basis. It also incurs quite a few recurring costs since the dirtbag, HEPA filter, and pre-motor filter all need to be replaced on a regular basis. 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.
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.