The Best Bagless Vacuum Cleaners in 2016

Which Is the Best Bagless Vacuum Cleaner?

The argument over whether bagged or bagless vacuum performance is better is pretty much over. The best bagless vacuum cleaner will perform as well or better than the best bagged units. For many years, the most popular vacuums had collector bags, and vacuum technology was based on using the bag itself to filter the air that was sent back into the room. When bagless designs first appeared, they were a novelty, and it took a while for the technology to catch up with bagged vacuums. The advent of really good filtration cartridges made it possible for the dirt and debris to be deposited by cyclonic action in a bin you could easily empty, and then the air passed through the filter that caught even the finest particles.

Bagless Versus Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

When you switch on a bagged vacuum cleaner, the motor draws dirt and debris directly into the vacuum where it passes through the vacuum bag, sometimes a secondary filter, and then expels it back into the room. That’s the most direct route for air to travel through a vacuum, and it gives bagged vacuums a slight edge. A bagless vacuum draws air in, and then it must pass through an intermediate collection chamber where the dirt and debris is deposited by cyclonic action. The air then passes through a fine filter to be expelled back into the room. More suction is needed to run a bagless vacuum than a bagged vacuum because of this extra step in the route that air takes through the vacuum.

Manufacturers have long since figured out how to make up for the loss of suction in bagless models. The best bagless vacuum cleaners will actually outperform the best bagless models unless the bag is changed well before it’s full. As bags fill up with debris, bagless vacuums must work much harder in order to pull air through the bag, which causes a big decrease in suction. When you read bagless vacuum cleaner reviews and compare the amount of suction to bagged models, you have to take into account that the performance of the bagless model won’t suffer as the dirt canister fills up with vacuumed debris.

You’ll Save Money On Bags for the Life of the Vacuum

Once of the main benefits of choosing the best bagless vacuum over the best bagged vacuum is the money that you’ll save on disposable vacuum bags. These bags can be difficult to locate, especially if you own an older model of vacuum. It’s human nature to try to economize on disposable bags, and it leads to running your vacuum long after the bag is full, which leads to very poor performance.

Vacuum cleaners with bags are advertised as being less messy to handle than even the best bagless vacuum cleaner, but if you’ve ever tried to change a vacuum cleaner bag, you know how finicky it can be, and how much of a mess they can make. The best bagless vacuum cleaners have solved the problem of emptying their canisters, and you can hold them over the trash bin, release their contents with the push of a button, and then reinstall them in a few seconds.

What to Look for in a Bagless Vacuum

In order to determine the best bagless vacuum cleaner you can buy, we compared the most popular models from many manufacturers for the following features:

  • Filtration
  • Performance on Hardwood Floors and Carpets
  • Pet Hair, Dander, and Allergens
  • Ease of Emptying
  • Number of Tools
  • Variable Settings
  • Attachments
  • Quietness

Our Choice for the Best Bagless Vacuum

Based on performance measurements and user reviews, The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright (NV356E) is the best bagless vacuum cleaner you can buy. It delivers the best combination of affordability, performance, and versatility of any vacuum in its class. The Shark Navigator offers the same kind of swivel steering made famous by Oreck vacuum, but at a fraction of the price. If you use your vacuum for general cleaning instead of only for large, open areas of carpeting, you’ll appreciate the ability to get around obstacles using the Shark Naivgator’s tight turning radius.

Filtration and suction is excellent with the Shark Navigator. The dirt is collected in a large, clear cyclonic cylinder that mounts on the front of the unit, so it’s easy to see when the vacuum needs emptying. The Navigator has a 1200-watt motor that delivers big suction to floors, carpets, upholstery, and draperies. It offers HEPA filtration to get up to 99.9 percent of the dust and allergens out of the air it filters. The Navigator outperforms many other brands because it seals the dirt container completely using rubber gaskets that make sure all the air is properly filtered.

The feature that truly sets the Shark Navigator apart from its competition is the lift-away canister that holds the motor. It allows you to use the vacuum as a hand-held canister unit, perfect for vacuuming stairs, drapes, and furniture. When you want to vacuum floors, you put it back on the upright vacuum frame and it delivers great performance on everything from hardwood flooring to shag carpeting. You can purchase as many as four Oreck uprights for the price of one Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright (NV356E), which makes it our choice for the best bagless vacuum cleaner on the market today.