If you don't want to deal with the hassle of having to replace a dirtbag in your vacuum, there's no shortage of bagless options on the market. Unlike bagged models, these vacuums have plastic dirt compartments and use filters to prevent dusty air from drifting back out into the environment as you clean. They usually have low or virtually no recurring costs, depending on whether or not they use disposable filters. That said, they can vary significantly in shape and size, all for the sake of being better-suited for different kinds of cleaning tasks.
We've tested over 105 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best bagless vacuum cleaners. We selected these picks on their performance and their design, ease of maintenance, and price. For more, see our lists of the best vacuums and the best cordless vacuums. If you're looking for a robot vacuum, which is usually bagless by design, you can see our picks of the best robot vacuums.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H is the best bagless vacuum cleaner for bare floors that we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum does a superb job sucking up small and bulky material from bare, even surfaces like hardwood or linoleum. It also offers exceptional pet hair cleaning performance, and its primary floorhead uses a brushroll with angled plastic fibers meant to reduce the incidence of hair wraps.
Due to its lightweight construction and pivoting head, it's very easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Reconfiguring it into a handheld vacuum for spot cleaning is a simple process. It comes with a couple of attachments, including a crevice tool and an upholstery tool for dealing with messes on fabric surfaces. It has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, and as long you clean it and its pre-motor filter regularly, recurring costs shouldn't be a problem.
Unfortunately, while its maximum battery life of 40 minutes is decent, you can drain its battery in a little over 10 minutes by using it in the most powerful "MAX (BOOST)" suction power mode. There are quite a few parts that need regular cleaning, though they're easy to access for the most part. Overall, its superb bare floor performance and maneuverable design make it one of the best laminate floor vacuums we've tested.
If you're looking for a bagless vacuum but don't want to worry about battery life, try the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light instead. This corded model isn't as well-built as the Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H and has a somewhat smaller dirt compartment, but it has an incredible performance on bare floors. While its range is more limited than a cordless vacuum, it's very maneuverable. You can use it in a handheld configuration if you want to clean out-of-reach areas, and it comes with some accessories, including an upholstery tool for cleaning furniture and a hard bristle brush for scrubbing away at stubborn debris. It also incurs fewer recurring costs. Unfortunately, it's harder to maintain and lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
If you prefer the unlimited range of a cordless vacuum, go for the Pet Pro, but if you don't want to worry about running out of battery while you're vacuuming, you may prefer the Ultra-Light.
The best bagless vacuum for carpets that we've tested is the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright. This corded upright does a superb job of clearing everything from pet hair to large debris from this surface type, not to mention finer material. It also delivers impressive performance on high-pile carpets.
Its primary vacuum head features three levels of surface adjustment, allowing you to change its height depending on the kind of floor that you're vacuuming. Its 'Lift-Away' design allows you to uncouple its canister from the rest of the body, letting you carry it around separately and making it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas with its wand. This vacuum is also fitted with a washable HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, which is good if you have a heavily shedding pet.
However, this vacuum isn't very maneuverable. While it does have a pivoting vacuum head that can help you navigate tight areas, its large dirt compartment can make it difficult to clean under tables and chairs, and its brushroll can get tangled on some rugs. In addition, its vacuum hose is short, so you may struggle to clean high-up shelves while using it in its semi-handheld configuration. Otherwise, its strong performance on carpets and near-total lack of recurring costs make it one of the best bagless upright vacuums that we've tested.
If you prefer the unrestricted freedom of movement that comes with a cordless vacuum, you may want to consider the Dyson V15 Detect. This cordless stick vacuum's maximum battery life of over 70 minutes can't compare to the virtually indefinite runtime of the corded Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright. However, you can use it far from any electrical outlets, and it's substantially lighter and easier to maneuver in tight areas. It also delivers exceptional performance on high and low-pile carpet, clearing debris like pet hair, sand, or baking soda with very little difficulty. It comes with a very wide array of tools and accessories, including a turbo brush, a combination upholstery tool/hard-bristle brush, and a separate stiff-bristle brush that you can use to dislodge especially stubborn debris from surfaces. Its allergen-tapping HEPA filter is washable, so recurring costs shouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, the vacuum's strong suction force can cause it to drag around some lighter rugs. Also, its mainly plastic construction doesn't feel particularly sturdy, which is somewhat disappointing at this price.
Get the Shark if you value the virtually indefinite runtime of a corded vacuum, but consider the Dyson if you're looking for something substantially more maneuverable.
The best handheld bagless vacuum that we've tested is the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This handheld vacuum is very compact and lightweight, making it easy to store or pick up and carry from room to room. Its dense plastic construction feels quite sturdy and is fairly easy to maintain. Since its dust cup filter is the only part that needs regular replacing, recurring costs are low.
This vacuum comes with a couple of attachments, including a crevice tool and a turbo brush with a self-cleaning brushroll. It delivers superb performance on bare floors and does a fantastic job of sucking up pet hair as well as fine and large debris on low and high-pile carpet. Its dirt compartment is relatively large for a handheld vacuum, so it shouldn't need emptying too frequently if you're using it for spot cleaning.
Unfortunately, its battery life is very short, as you can only expect roughly 10 minutes of continuous runtime on a single charge. You also can't adjust its suction power to conserve battery life or deal with very stubborn debris. It doesn't have a HEPA filter either, which could be an issue if you suffer from allergies. Still, this vacuum's versatile overall performance and compact design make it one of the best vacuums for apartments that we've tested.
The best budget bagless vacuum that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This budget-friendly canister vacuum is lightweight and fairly compact, making it easy to maneuver even in tight spaces. It's also very easy to maintain and incurs virtually no recurring costs thanks to its washable filters.
Performance on bare floors is fantastic, and the vacuum does an excellent job of cleaning pet hair and large debris from low pile carpet. Performance on high-pile carpet is good overall, but you still may need to make another pass to fully clean very fine material. Its primary floorhead has bristles that you can extend or retract depending on the surface you're cleaning, and suction performance remains consistent as its decently spacious dirt compartment fills up.
Unfortunately, its selection of attachments is very limited, as it only has a sliding soft bristle brush that can be attached to its handle. Its power cord and vacuum hose are very short, so you may need to swap outlets when cleaning larger rooms. Overall, however, its strong performance on a mix of surface types and budget-friendly pricing make it one of the best canister vacuums we've tested.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly bagless vacuum with a cordless design, consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This stick/handheld model doesn't have the indefinite runtime of the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister and struggles more with clearing very bulky material, which can get stuck at the entry to its dustbin. However, its cordless design does allow you to clean far-away areas far more easily. It also delivers superb performance on high-pile carpet and clears an impressive amount of debris on low-pile carpet. Its bagless design and washable allergen-trapping HEPA filter keep recurring costs to a minimum. Depending on your choice of suction power mode and attachments, you can expect roughly anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour of runtime on a single charge, which should be sufficient for most areas. Unfortunately, its dustbin feels very fragile, while its floorhead scratches very easily.
Get the Eureka if you plan to use your vacuum for long cleaning sessions. Consider the Wyze if you don't want to have to worry about staying near an electrical outlet.
Dec 06, 2021: Slight article reworking to better align with user expectations. Re-categorized Dyson V15 Detect to new 'Cordless Alternative' category pick. Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum as new 'Cordless Alternative' category pick. Re-categorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ to new 'Best Handheld Bagless Vacuum' category pick.
Oct 07, 2021: Verified the availability of all main picks and ensured that they still represent the best choice for their category. Added Dyson Micro 1.5kg, Shark Vertex Pro, and Eureka FloorRover Elite NEU630 to Notable Mentions. Removed HoLife HM036E and Shark ION F80 from Notable Mentions due to current availability.
Aug 10, 2021: Replaced Dyson Ball Animal 2 with Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright as 'Best Bagless Vacuum For Carpets'. Added Dyson Ball Animal 2 and Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV to Notable Mentions.
Jun 11, 2021: Replaced Dyson V8 Animal with Dyson V15 Detect as 'More Portable Alternative'. Added Dyson V8 Animal to Notable Mentions.
Apr 13, 2021: Checked picks to ensure that the best products are being recommended and that they're in stock.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best bagless vacuum cleaners we've tested. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our bagless 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.