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The 5 Best Bagged Vacuums - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Bagged Vacuums

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.

We've tested over 140 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners with a dirtbag. These picks were selected based on their design, 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.

  1. Best Bagged Vacuum

    The Miele Complete C3 is the best bagged vacuum we've tested. The Brilliant variant sits at the top of the C3 lineup and is loaded with variant-specific convenience features, including handle-mounted power adjustment controls, a separate 'Auto' power mode that automatically adjusts its suction setting to match the surface it's on, and additional sound insulation compared to other C3 models, which are already very quiet. The C3 Brilliant also comes with three separate floorheads: the SBD 365-3 floorhead for cleaning bare floors and low-pile carpet, a lightweight parquet tool, and the SEB 236 height-adjustable powerhead, ensuring strong performance on almost any surface type. All C3 models have an allergen-sealed body, but this variant also comes bundled with an additional HEPA-rated post-motor filter, making it a great choice for those with allergies.

    If you can do without the C3 Brilliant's automatic power adjustment system, SBD 365-3 universal floorhead, additional sound insulation, or handle-mounted controls, the Kona variant of the C3 will deliver similar performance for a much lower price. 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, lowering recurring costs. However, its bulkier body and stiff hose make it trickier to maneuver, especially in tight spaces.

    See our review

  2. Best Bagged Upright Vacuum

    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. However, it's a lot cheaper and still delivers decent overall performance. While its filtration system isn't quite as sophisticated, it does use a HEPA-rated exhaust filter and is compatible with HEPA-rated dirtbags, which help limit 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 dirtying your hands or kicking up a plume of dust when taking it out, either. Its 'Lift-Up' alternative configuration allows you to pick up and carry its canister body separately from its floorhead, so you can clean shelves or countertops a little more easily.

    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 easily get stuck in thick carpeting. If you're comfortable shopping for a used vacuum, the discontinued Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine is a high-end option with superb build quality, a height-adjustable head, and strong performance. However, it has a very bulky, heavy design, so it isn't the best option for smaller homes or apartments.

    See our review

  3. Best Upper Mid-Range Bagged Vacuum

    Check out the Cat & Dog variant of the Miele Classic C1 if you're looking for something cheaper than a higher-end variant of the Miele Complete C3. Compared to its bigger brother, the C1 lacks an onboard tool storage compartment, doesn't feel quite as robust, and doesn't have handle-mounted controls. However, if you're only concerned about cleaning performance, there's very little difference between the two. The C1 uses the same powerful 1200W suction motor as the C3. It's also worth noting that the Cat & Dog variant sits near the top of the C1 lineup. It comes with a Miele's SEB 228 powerbrush, which offers five levels of height adjustment, enabling you to quickly adapt to a variety of carpet types, along with a dedicated smooth floor tool for cleaning surfaces like hardwood or tile. It also comes bundled with Miele's Active AirClean post-motor filter, which features an additional layer of activated charcoal to trap unpleasant odors as you clan.

    Unfortunately, its power cord is fairly short, so you'll probably need to swap power outlets when cleaning far-away areas. It uses the same 2.5L dirtbags as the C3, which are a little on the small side, so ownership costs are a little on the higher end of the scale.

    See our review

  4. Best Mid-Range Bagged Vacuum

    Consider the entry-level Pure Suction variant of the Miele Classic C1 to spend even less on a bagged vacuum. While it's outwardly similar to the more expensive C1 Cat & Dog, there is one important difference: the Pure Suction doesn't have a power socket at the base of its hose that would allow you to use powered floorheads, so it isn't suitable for cleaning plush carpeting. That said, if you don't have any shag or high-pile rugs in your home, this model is a great option, as the included SBD 365-3 floorhead features retractable bristles for not only cleaning surfaces like tile or hardwood but also low and medium-pile carpeting. This model comes with the entry-level AirClean filter, which is still very good for trapping airborne particles, even if it isn't HEPA-rated. In any case, you can always buy and swap in a Miele HEPA AirClean or Active AirClean filter if you suffer from serious allergies and require that additional level of filtration.

    If you're looking for a similarly-priced canister vacuum that incurs lower ownership costs, the NaceCare HVR 200 Henry is a very solid option that uses higher-capacity dirtbags and has a remarkably sturdy-feeling body. However, its suction motor is less powerful than the C1, so it lags slightly behind in debris pickup performance.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Bagged Vacuum

    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 a vacuum that offers 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 low to medium-pile carpets, where you can retract the floorhead's bristles to improve surface contact. User maintenance is incredibly simple, thanks to the vacuum's basic design. Its lightweight construction enables you to carry it from room to room with minimal effort. It also has a hard bristle brush for dislodging stuck-on dirt and debris, as well as a combination crevice/upholstery nozzle.

    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 you don't wedge them together tightly.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sanitaire PROFESSIONAL Upright: The Sanitaire PROFESSIONAL Upright is a basic budget-friendly bagged upright vacuum. However, it's much less maneuverable than the Kenmore Intuition Bagged and doesn't perform as well on carpeted surfaces. See our review
  • Airsign HEPA Vacuum: The Airsign HEPA Vacuum is a great alternative for the Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction PowerLine, with a slightly more compact design, similar overall performance, and a bundled HEPA filter. However, it doesn't feel as durable and has a shorter range. See our review
  • BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister: The BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister is an entry-level bagged canister vacuum that's remarkably lightweight and easy to maintain. However, it doesn't perform as well as the Eureka Mighty Mite. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 12, 2024: Minor in-text adjustments to further clarify product details.

  2. Nov 13, 2023: Verified that all main picks still represent the best option for users.

  3. Sep 12, 2023: Minor in-text adjustments to further clarify product information.

  4. Jul 13, 2023: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for user needs.

  5. May 12, 2023: Minor in-text adjustments for improved clarity. Ensured all main picks are still available.

All Reviews

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.