While the benefits of bagless vacuums are obvious, if you have allergies or are sensitive to dust and dander, or if you’re looking for a style that keeps your hands clean and contains your vacuumed mess, you’re right to invest in a bagged design. The best bagged vacuums come in either upright or canister designs, have easy-to-remove bags, and feature a HEPA filtration system, if your reasons for buying are allergy-related. But what else do you need to know?
As mentioned, bagged vacuums generally come in two styles: upright and canister. The right style for you will come down to your personal references, but there are a few benefits to each. Thanks to their low design and long hose, canister vacuums tend to be better for getting under furniture or in tight spaces, and at the same time, they are the premiere choice if you’re going to be cleaning crown molding or the high corners of your rooms. In turn, upright vacuums have a vertical design that makes them easy to maneuver and store without unwieldy hoses to shove into your cleaning closet. They can however be a bit harder to get underneath furniture and often feature wide heads that make them a bit more difficult to get into tight spaces.
Beyond style, filtration system is also something to consider, especially if the reasons you’re looking for a bagged design are allergy-related. While generally bagged designs trap the dust and dirt so they’re easy to dispose of without triggering allergies, vacuums with a HEPA (high efficiency particle air) design can filter out 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, or airborne particles of a specific size. While newer vacuum models often have proprietary filters that are labeled differently, experts recommend finding a vacuum with a HEPA filter as a starting point for anyone dealing with asthma or allergies. However, if your reasons for choosing a bagged vacuum are more for their ease of cleaning, then filtration systems might matter less to you. I’ve called out which vacuums feature HEPA filtration systems below, so you can make the right choice for you.
But enough talk, here are the best bagged vacuums you can buy on Amazon.
1. The Best Upright Vacuum
- Filtration? HEPA filtration system
For the price, this Hoover WindTunnel vacuum is one of the most affordable upright vacuums on this list, and has the backing of professional product testers and thousands of Amazon reviewers. During Consumer Reports’ in-house testing, this vacuum scored the highest of any affordable upright vacuum (affordable defined as vacuums under $200), and boasted high scores for its performance on bare floors, carpets, and picking up pet hair. It features a HEPA filtration system, a whopping seven floor height adjustments for different pile carpets, and a clean drop system that allows you to release the bag without even having to touch it. So whether you’re shopping with allergies in mind, or simply looking for the easiest clean up, this vacuum offers a lot of value without setting you back as much as others on this list. It also comes with an air-powered upholstery brush cleaner, a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and a telescoping wand.
Positive Amazon review: “AWESOME suction. I decided to retire my 15+ [year old] Hoover Wind Tunnel. I have allergies and need a bagged vacuum to hold the dirt. It has surpassed my expectations. Its lightweight and moves easily. My other one is self propelled and heavy.”
2. The Expert Pick
- Filtration? HEPA filtration system
It’s a tad pricier, but the Kenmore Elite 31150 has earned the highest rating of any bagged upright vacuum by Consumer Reports, and has a few standout features, namely a triple HEPA filtration system, a powerful triple motor system, and an on/off switch on the roller brush that allows you to safely move from carpets to hard surfaces without damaging your floors. The roller brush powerfully pulls up even the toughest pet dander and hair. It also comes with three attachments, including a crevice tool, extension wand, and dusting brush, so you can suck up hair and debris from any corner. The vacuum can be adjusted to five different heights depending on the pile of your carpets, and the included dust bag is easy to attach and remove when it’s full.
Positive Amazon review: “I love love love this vacuum! It really does the job and picks up even hidden dirt better than any vacuum I’ve ever owned [...] I love the headlight, the dirt indicator and the on board tools. My carpet looked cleaner after the first time I used it.”
3. A Cheaper Kenmore That Reviewers Love
- Filtration? HEPA filtration system
It doesn’t come quite as highly rated by independent product testers, but fans have dubbed this Kenmore Intuition vacuum one of the most popular upright vacuums on Amazon, and you’ll save money by opting for this bagged vacuum. As opposed to the three-motor design of the Elite 31150, this vacuum has a two-motor system that can still efficiently lift dirt and debris, and still comes with a HEPA filtration system that removes dust and airborne particles from your space. Like the Kenmore above, you’ll have an on/off switch for the roller brush so it can also work on bare floors, so what you’re really sacrificing here with this cheaper model is the motor power and the ability to adjust the height of this vacuum depending on the pile of your carpets (though you can change the suction power depending on your surface). For those two reasons, this is a slightly inferior vacuum on carpets when compared to its pricier counterpart above. It comes with three attachments, including a dusting brush, three-in-one combination brush, and a Pet “HandiMate” brush. And, while the more expensive Kenmore above comes with just one bag, this one comes with four bags. It also comes with the security of a glowing, 4.5-star overall rating after 2,000 Amazon reviews.
Positive Amazon review: “This vacuum really sucks! Super impressed with the power, weight and maneuverability of my new kenmore intuition! The bag allows for NO dust escape at all.”
4. The Best Canister Vacuum
- Filtration? Triple HEPA filtration system
If a canister vacuum is more what you’re looking for, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than the Kenmore Elite 81615, which has a HEPA filtration system, a two-motor system, and a 6.5-foot hose that gives you a combined 10-foot reach to get into the upper areas of your home. It also made the very top of the list on Consumer Reports’ canister vacuum reviews, and offers a lot of value for the price. It features an on/off roller brush so you can tackle bare floors and carpets, and it earned a perfect score on how well it lifted pet hair when independently tested. It also comes with four attachments, including a bare floor brush, upholstery brush, crevice tool, and pet “PowerMate” tool. For the best canister vacuum, at a price, this is a great for you. Over 1,500 Amazon users have weighed in and this vacuum has earned an impressive, 4.5-star rating overall.
Positive Amazon review: “I wanted a vacuum with plenty of attachments, and I got it with this one! The suction power is very good and it has a long cord length too. I also like that it's a bagged vacuum. I've decided I'm not much of a fan of bagless - they're just too messy!”
5. The Editor’s Pick & A Budget Buy
- Filtration? No filter
If, like Commerce Editor Amy Biggart, you’re looking for a cheap vacuum that does the job, this BISSELL canister vacuum is the way to go. According to Biggart, “This is a really basic vacuum, but it works really well on my hardwood floors and carpets, and for just $60, it’s everything I need to clean.” This canister vacuum lacks the HEPA filtration system of the other vacuums on this list, but it does have a pre-motor and a post-motor filter that help to catch dust and airborne particles. The “multi-surface” brush can work equally on bare floors and carpets, and it also comes with dusting and crevice tools. And while the other canister vacuum on this list weighs more than 20 pounds, this one is a lean 8-pound vacuum that is easier to lift and carry with you if you’re moving from room to room. While the weight shouldn’t singularly influence your decision, if you know you’ll struggle to lift a heavier vacuum, this is a big pro to this vacuum. It’s no secret that this won’t outperform higher price point vacuums on this list, but it’s a budget pick that comes with the backing of one editor and over 2,000 positive Amazon ratings.
Positive Amazon review: “THIS IS THE BEST VACUUM FOR THE PRICE! I was debating between this and Miele vacuum. Wanted to give it a try since it is way cheaper than Miele. This one is absolutely worth the money! It has an amazing suction power and clean hardwood and rugs perfectly. I vacuumed for 3 hours after getting it in the mail!”
6. The Best Commercial Upright
- Filtration? No filter
This lightweight, 9-pound upright vacuum from Oreck is designed for commercial use, making it super easy to maneuver, compact to store, and user-friendly. It may not have the HEPA filtration of other uprights on this list, and it’s not as sturdy and heavyweight, but it features a flexible head and a relatively low-profile design that can lie virtually flat, making it easier to get under furniture than most upright vacuums. It doesn’t come with any attachments, so that’s one drawback to consider. But many reviewers rave about the suction on this vacuum, and have successfully used it on carpets, hardwood, bare, and tile floors. After nearly 9,000 Amazon reviews, this vacuum has earned a 4.5-star overall rating, making this the most popular vacuum on this list.
Positive Amazon review: “Don't let the out-dated ergonomics and style of this Oreck fool you.I’ve owned a Shark, a Dyson, Hoover, Kenmore, Electrolux, even a variety of wet-dry vacuums. This Oreck out performs them all, on both tile & carpet.”