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 80 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best bagless vacuum cleaners. These picks were selected not only based on their performance but also their design, ease of maintenance, and price. For more recommendations, 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 is the best bagless vacuum for bare floors that we've tested. This lightweight, cordless stick/handheld vacuum delivers a fantastic performance on bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair as well as debris like rice and cereal. It's very maneuverable, with a slim design and a rotating head that helps it move around obstacles.
It can be used in a handheld configuration, which helps with cleaning out-of-reach areas like stairs or your car's interior. There are several tools and brushes included that can help with different cleaning jobs, like a crevice tool for getting into narrow areas and an upholstery tool for cleaning fabric-covered furniture. Thanks to its bagless design, it should incur few recurring costs as long as it's well-maintained.
Unfortunately, the dirt compartment is on the small side, and the battery only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous cleaning time if you use the most powerful suction setting. However, using the default power setting, it lasts for a little over 40 minutes of continuous use. Overall, if you're looking for a bagless vacuum to keep your bare floors clean, this is a great option.
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 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 than the Pet Pro. 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 Dyson Ball Animal 2. This upright model does a fantastic job on low and high-pile carpet as it can pick up pet hair as well as a significant amount of small and large debris. The dirt compartment is a good size too, and it's made of clear plastic, so it's easy to see when to empty it.
If you have different kinds of carpet in your home, its head can automatically adjust itself to the floor type. It also comes with a lot of accessories, like a pet grooming tool so that you can clean different messes or surfaces. It has good maneuverability as well, and you can even detach its wand and hose to clean furniture or get into crevices. Thanks to its bagless design and washable filters, you don't have to worry about constantly replacing parts over time unless they're damaged.
Unfortunately, its large size makes it a bit heavy, so it can be tricky to carry it up or down stairs. It also has a plasticky build quality and doesn't feel especially sturdy. It requires a lot of assembly right out-of-the-box too, which can be frustrating. That said, this bagless model offers outstanding performance on carpet, and its versatility also makes it one of the best upright vacuums we've tested.
If you want a vacuum with a less bulky, more portable design, you may prefer the Dyson V8 Animal. This stick/handheld doesn't come with quite as many tools and brushes as the Dyson Ball Animal 2, and its performance on carpets isn't as good, but it's much lighter and easier to carry around. Its range is practically unlimited since it's cordless, and you can easily reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum if you want to clean far-off or out-of-reach areas like furniture or even your car's interior. Like the other Dyson, it should incur practically no recurring costs as long as it's properly maintained. Unfortunately, if you use it continuously set to its high-power suction mode, the battery is depleted in roughly 10 minutes. Luckily, that stretches to a little over 40 minutes if you use the other, less powerful suction setting.
If you want the vacuum with better performance on carpets or prefer a corded model, go for the Ball Animal 2. Consider the V8 Animal instead if you want something much lighter and more portable.
The best budget bagless vacuum that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This corded canister model offers impressive overall performance on a variety of surface types, with consistent suction performance as its dirt compartment fills up. It doesn't struggle with pet hair or bulky debris like cereal on bare floors and clears quite a bit of fine debris, like baking soda, on carpeted surfaces.
It's fairly lightweight for a canister model, which makes it fairly easy to carry around a room. Its main head has retractable bristles, allowing you to clean carpeted floors a little more easily. It has a decently large dirt compartment, so it shouldn't need to be emptied so often, and since it uses washable filters, recurring costs are kept to an absolute minimum. Few parts require regular maintenance, and the few components that do need to be serviced are easy to access.
Unfortunately, its power cord is quite short, so you may need to swap outlets if you're cleaning an especially large room. Its hose is also fairly short, which can make it difficult to use it in its semi-handheld configuration to deal with messes on high-placed shelves and furniture. Otherwise, its blend of performance and affordability help make it one of the best cheap vacuum cleaners that we've tested.
If you're looking for a more portable bagless vacuum, you may want the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ instead. This budget-friendly, handheld model isn't well-suited for cleaning big areas like the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister, but it's much more portable and better-suited for spot-cleaning small messes. It delivers an exceptionally versatile performance, as it easily clears pet hair and debris from both bare floors and carpets. There are a few accessories included, like a turbo brush for cleaning fabric-covered furniture, a crevice tool for getting into tight spaces, and a soft bristle brush for use on delicate objects. However, its small dirt compartment needs frequent emptying, and its battery life is quite short, as it only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous use.
Go for the Eureka if you want a budget-friendly vacuum suitable for cleaning big rooms. Try the Shark instead if you want something portable to tackle small messes.
Apr 13, 2021: Checked picks to ensure that the best products are being recommended and that they're in stock.
Feb 12, 2021: Added the Miele Triflex to Notable Mentions. Checked that picks are still the best recommendations and that they're in stock.
Dec 16, 2020: Added Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless to Notable Mentions.
Nov 30, 2020: Added Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Handheld Alternative'.
Nov 06, 2020: Added Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ to Notable Mentions. Renamed 'Best Bagless Vacuum For Bare Floors' alternate category as 'Corded Alternative'.
Oct 16, 2020: Added HoLife HM036E and Shark ION W1 WANDVAC to Notable Mentions.
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.