If you don't want to deal with the hassle of replacing 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 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 130 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums that don't use a dirtbag. 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 for the best robot vacuums.
The best bagless vacuum cleaner we've tested is the Dyson V15 Detect. This cordless stick vacuum delivers superb performance on a wide variety of surfaces, easily cleaning pet hair as well as small and large debris on everything from linoleum to high-pile carpet, though its strong suction force can cause it to drag around some lighter rugs. Its surface detection system enables it to automatically change its suction power depending on what you're vacuuming. It also has a built-in particle sensor that counts and measures debris you're sucking up, which is handy if you want to know about the presence of fine allergens in your home.
This vacuum can run for up to 70 minutes, but you need to work fast when vacuuming stubborn messes, as it only lasts for about 10 minutes when using it in its high-power 'Boost' mode. It doesn't feel especially robust, which is a disappointment for a vacuum at this price point. Look at the Samsung Bespoke Jet if you don't mind sacrificing maneuverability for superior build quality.
If you prefer using a corded vacuum with a greater debris capacity, the Dyson Ball Animal 3 is the best bagless upright vacuum we've tested. It isn't nearly as easy to deploy as a stick vacuum like the Dyson V15 Detect, but it's a better option for heavy-duty cleanups. Its powerful suction motor helps it clear away debris across a wide variety of surfaces. Its floorhead also features three levels of surface adjustment as well as built-in plastic fins to capture long hair before it can get tangled in its brushroll. You can clean hard-to-reach areas by decoupling its hose from its body and using any of its attachments, including a miniature turbo brush, a telescopic wand, and even a dedicated pet grooming tool. Its five-stage filtration system helps trap allergens too.
Unfortunately, this is a heavy, bulky vacuum that's something of a hassle to set up. It's pretty loud by the standards of less powerful cordless vacuums, and while its power cord is plenty long, you have to wind it back up manually. If you're looking for an upright vacuum that's a little easier to deploy, look at the Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away. It uses a simpler floorhead than the Dyson, with no height adjustment, and has a maximum battery life of about 40 minutes when used as an upright. However, its lighter cordless design could make it a better option for short cleaning sessions on hard surfaces.
The best bagless vacuum in the mid-range price bracket that we've tested is the Miele Triflex HX1. With a maximum runtime of a little over 30 minutes, it has a much shorter battery life than the Dyson V15 Detect and a smaller dustbin. However, it's also notably cheaper, delivers strong overall debris-pickup performance, and feels much better built, with a body made from dense, high-grade plastic. While it doesn't exert quite as much suction force through its floorhead, that also makes it much easier to push around on thick carpeting. Its surface detection system can adjust the speed of the brushroll depending on the floor type you're cleaning or even stop its rotation if it gets tangled in something.
Depending on how you arrange its motor unit, wand, and floorhead, it can be used as an upright, stick, or handheld vacuum, giving you a ton of flexibility for different cleaning jobs. However, it is a little on the heavy side for a vacuum of this type, and if you're looking for something a little more portable, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is worth a look. The Dyson does an incredible job of cleaning bare floors, though it has an even smaller dirt compartment and feels a little more fragile.
Look at the Samsung Jet 75 if you're looking for something a little cheaper. It's less sturdily built than the Miele Triflex HX1 and doesn't have an automatic power adjustment feature, but there are a few advantages aside from its lower price. Its 200AW suction motor is remarkably potent for a vacuum at this price point and helps it exert a greater suction force than the Miele at its floorhead, resulting in better deep-cleaning performance. It delivers fantastic performance on bare floors and clears away an impressive amount of debris on high-pile carpet. It also has a longer battery life, with a single battery offering about an hour of runtime. Mid-range and high-end variants come with two batteries, making them a great fit for longer cleaning sessions.
It's a good option for pet owners, as it's highly effective in cleaning pet hair from a variety of surfaces and features a five-stage filtration system to trap allergens like pet dander. Still, if you want a similarly-priced alternative with automatic power adjustment, check out the Tineco PURE ONE S11, but be aware that it has a less powerful suction motor and a shorter battery life.
If you're on a budget and searching for a bagless vacuum, it's hard to go wrong with the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This cordless stick vacuum isn't quite as potent as the Samsung Jet 75 and feels considerably flimsier than the Miele Triflex HX1. If neither of those factors are of significant concern, the Wyze offers a lot of bang for the buck. It does an excellent job of cleaning low and high-pile carpet and is highly effective in dealing with lightweight debris on bare floors. Its maximum battery life of nearly an hour is also quite long. Unusually for a vacuum in this price bracket, it comes with a HEPA filter to minimize the spread of allergens as you clean. Its plastic construction feels somewhat flimsy, but it also makes it very easy to lift and carry or maneuver in cluttered areas.
If you still aren't convinced by cordless vacuums and prefer using canister vacuums, look at the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. It delivers strong performance, especially given its low purchase price, and its corded design ensures you won't need to worry about running out of charge part way through a cleaning session. Its power cord is very short, so you'll need to swap outlets or use an extension cord when cleaning even moderately large spaces.
Jan 27, 2023: Replaced Tineco PURE ONE S11 with Samsung Jet 75 as 'Best Mid-Range Bagless Vacuum'. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks.
Nov 29, 2022: Replaced Samsung Jet 90 Complete with Miele Triflex HX1 as 'Best Upper Mid-Range Bagless Vacuum' category pick due to current pricing. Added Samsung Jet 90 Complete to Notable Mentions.
Sep 30, 2022: Substantial article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks, and added Samsung Jet 70 Pet to Notable Mentions.
Jun 07, 2022: Article restructuring to better align with user needs and expectations. Recategorized Shark Rotator Lift-Away as 'Best Bagless Vacuum'. Removed Wyze Cordless Vacuum from main recommendations.
Apr 06, 2022: Slight article rework to better-align with test bench update. Re-categorized Wyze Cordless Vacuum as 'Budget-Friendly Alternative' pick. Added RYOBI 18V One+ 3 Gal. Project Wet/Dry as new 'Best Bagless Shop Vacuum' pick. Added Milwaukee M18 FUEL 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum Kit to Notable Mentions. Removed Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away from main recommendations.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best bagless vacuums we've tested. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also on 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.