Thread Number: 37080  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Bag/bagless observations
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Post# 396180   8/4/2018 at 13:51 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I'm not really sure where this all started, I assume word of mouth and all of the Dyson commercials.

I personally really like bagged machines better. They're so much easier to clean and maintain than cleaning dirty filters, often having to have another machine just to clean it out. Too me that's just too much work.

A number of years ago a friend told me they really wanted a Dyson vacuum and that bagless was best. I told them that I disagreed and said there are actually filters that have to be cleaned with a bagless machine. They seemed to have an aha moment when I said that.

Just this week I stopped at Walmart and decided to go to the vacuum aisle. There was a lady looking at vacuums and an employee was over giving advice. They said you NEVER want a bagged vacuum, always get a bagless. I wanted to tell them that I thought otherwise and that a bagged machine is way easier to maintain, but I didn't want to look like a weirdo so I just didn't say anything.

I have both bagged and bagless vacuums in my collection and I'll use either. I just don't get all of this push toward bagless machines.

I've also noticed it's gotten difficult to find bags anymore. I haven't looked for them in the grocery store, but my mom told me she had trouble finding them there for her machine. Asked them to order them and they stocked for a while and then gone again. At Walmart yesterday, they didn't seem to have much of a selection either. Seems Sears is about the only place that has a big selection of bags and filters anymore, and for how much longer they'll be open is your guess.

Walmart only sell one bagged Bissell that I'm aware of, the rest are all bagless vacuums, and I hadn't noticed bagged at Lowes or HD either. Bed Bath and Beyond may have one but I doubt it.

The only other place I know that sells bagged vacuums is the appliance store.

My only real gripe, and what I see a disadvantage is the bags seem to be expensive these days. 6 HEPA bags is almost $20. Of course online is probably the best way to buy them.

I even picked up a pack of 3 Shop Vac 6-8 gallon liner bags at Walmart recently, and it was nearly $12 for them.

Another thing I dislike about bags being hard to find, is it probably will make people get rid of their bagged machines and get bagless ones when they run out, because they won't know where to get any more.

Post# 396182 , Reply# 1   8/4/2018 at 13:58 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I, too, have both in my collection

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MOST are BAGGED. I'm a bag guy. To me, they are easier to keep. There are no filters. (There's a filter?( I hear from folks with bagless.
But, I won't insult/abuse/bash those who prefer bagless vacuums. I don't think it's a very nice thing to do.
I DO use ONLY Genuine Hoover bags, however. (OK, Call me a Hoover snob) I'm tough, lol. i can take it.

Post# 396185 , Reply# 2   8/4/2018 at 14:03 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Also, maybe it's the genuine Hoover bags.......

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but, I never have dust problems changing my filter bags. Or, maybe I'm just doing it correctly.
This has been a topic a few times in here. I've posted photos of my cleaners (my prized 1076) for example. That cleaner was bought, by me , on July 15, 1975. It's still perfect, and was a daily driver for 20+ years in a 12-room house. That cleaner looks/ operates the same way it did the day I took it home from the store.

Post# 396186 , Reply# 3   8/4/2018 at 14:19 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I don't mind bagless machines myself, I mean I'll use one and there are a few I'd like to have actually.

I use genuine Hoover bags in my Hoovers too, in my Constellation and Slimline I have the green Type J bags installed. I do like having a vintage bag for the vintage machines.

Post# 396189 , Reply# 4   8/4/2018 at 14:52 by completenutt (West Hollywood, California)        

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After recently getting two vintage bagged machines (both Electrolux and Aerus), that I love and am obsessed with a bit, I actually thought about why I've preferred bagless machines for the past twenty or thirty years.


I realized that while storing/displaying my two bagged tanks upright on their end without the hose attached; that the self closing mechanism (that on type c bags is basically a cardboard piece that when the bag is removed presses against the rubber gasket part of the bag where it attaches) is not engaged at all when the bag is in the machine and you can see directly into your vacuumed debris which is only a few inches below the opening/manifold to the machine. 


The debris may or may not begin to have a smell, usually associated with vacuumed dead skin or dirt that was food particles, and will decompose over the week or two it normally takes a standard vacuum user (not any us, of course tongue-out) , to fill a bag before replacing it when mostly full after a few vacuuming sessions... and that opening becomes a potpouree into your closet or room unless you put in a fresh bag each use even after just a light vacuuming, which for most people would be cost prohibitive and moreover wasteful.


I think that the amount of twists and turns the air takes to get into the dust bin of a bagless machine from the manifold creates almost the equivalent of a p-trap (In plumbing, a trap is a device which has a shape that uses a bending path to capture water to prevent sewer gases from entering buildings, while allowing waste to pass through. In oil refineries, traps are used to prevent hydrocarbons and other dangerous gases from escaping outside through drains. In domestic applications, traps are typically U, S, Q, or J-shaped pipe located below or within a plumbing fixture.) effect and mitigates the amount of smell emited from a bagless machine, not totally, but more than most bagged machines stored without their hose attached, which in that case would act as a longer barrier for the gasses to escape into a room and create a vacuum aromatherapy effect!  Also, I think most users of bagless machines dump their debris each use, since it prepares the machine for the next use.


I also think that it was because of the push toward being "green" (and having less disposable pieces like bags) that was attractive to new consumers who were looking to jump on board that train (yes, they were not aware of filter cleaning efforts required - and most likely don't maintain their machines well, which is why they burn out or malfunction and they just get a new one.) and feel good about the lack of recycling and landfill they create from that one small purchase.


There could be a handful of other reasons as well for bagless, like seeing what you are accumulating each vacuum session, so you get that immediate gratification of "wow the machine is working, or...oh look, there's my earring I just vacuumed up"...etc.


I have now come to the conclusion, despite the slight smell, that I love having the classic design of vintage machines decorating my abode more then the wanting to avoid that slight smell coming from them while on display. 

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This post was last edited 08/04/2018 at 21:56
Post# 396202 , Reply# 5   8/4/2018 at 16:35 by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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Personally, I don't have an overwhelming preference for bagged or bagless. I did just buy a box of HEPA bags for my Riccar Prima with Tandem-Air Power Nozzle. I change the bag every two weeks because they stink after a couple of weeks. Dog hair has oils in it and food particles love to decompose and mix with the dog dander. I have two very large Border Collies (fur dispensers). All my bagless vacuums also smell after a few weeks - so they have to be washed (changing a bag is less time consuming). The only vacuums in my collection that do not smell like last week's dirt are my Vacuflo central vacuum, and the original bagless cleaner, the Rainbow (and other water filter vacs like Hyla).

Post# 396210 , Reply# 6   8/4/2018 at 17:49 by broomvac (N/A)        

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2/3 of my vacuums are bagged and the rest are bagless. My vacuums actually fall into two distinct, polar-opposite groups: "dirty fan" bagged uprights or cyclonic bagless uprights, with virtually nothing in between. I am not particularly attracted to clean air bagged vacuums and I absolutely avoid bagless vacuums which use anything but a conical cyclone(s) as their primary mode of dust separation. No offense to anyone who likes such vacuums, but I have seen the light and won't ever go back to a vacuum like that. Why have a pleated filter in the bin when you can have a cyclone?

I anticipate that this thread will stir up clashing opinions from this group.

Post# 396233 , Reply# 7   8/4/2018 at 22:50 by mariotron (Texas )        
I'm a bagged man (That's sounded weird I know)

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Anyways, not only is it moresanitary and easier to clean (especially for pet owners) I think they look nicer and last longer especially the direct air vacuums. Dotn get me wrong theres still a fe bagless I like but I love the simple bagged design.... I mean you won't use a trash can without a bag right?

I do wish they were more common. The only places I see bagged vacuums nowadays at big box stores is the Power Force at Walmart and a few Kenmores at my local Sears.

Oh, and as for the bags my Walmart has a surprisingly large selection. Although they're the Febreeze, Arm and Hammer and great value brands they have them for vacuums like Kirby, Electrolux and Oreck. Surprisingly Lowes and Target is getting a few but the best place to look besides a vacuum shop is Amazon. You can get some OEM or decent 3rd party brands for a really decent price.

Post# 396240 , Reply# 8   8/4/2018 at 23:30 by Rivstg1 (colorado springs)        
Completenut..... You said it all very well...

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and I like your Electrolux decor with the stereo system! But, I disagree ( nicely) with your thought that most owners of bagless empty after every use. In my LIMITED exposure seeing friends' bagless machines and especially all the ones in resale shops, are full of yuckiness. Points well taken , and accurate, I think are that you get that instant gratification of cleaning ( I get that with my Rainbow too), no bags to buy, and cheap/lightweight/good marketing by the manufactures. I firmly believe that the vast majority of owners DONT do the very needed maintenance on them to keep them even somewhat effective ( other than just surface cleaning) . They don't realize there are 4-7 filters (and numerous seals) that are to be cleaned regularly and replaced, thus, making them a high maintenance tool.

I understand the attraction to them, for the most part, but don't share the desire/need/effectiveness of them. Most of my thoughts come from talking to vacuum repair shops ( and forums) that all tell me these problems.


Post# 396242 , Reply# 9   8/5/2018 at 00:17 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Bags for me-Kirby and Lux platinum as the most used vacuums-and my MD Silentmaster central machine as next-and it has the Tru Seal HEPA bag system.
I also like the "lux vacuums along with the Hi-fi system-have something similar in my area-my Sound system sorrounded by vacuums.

Post# 396253 , Reply# 10   8/5/2018 at 05:40 by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Small clip from my old video. I like both style vacuums, but the bagged vacuums are just way more powerful

Post# 396278 , Reply# 11   8/5/2018 at 15:23 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
I prefer bagged mostly

For the most part, I prefer bagged machines because disposing of what you vacuum up is much easier and dust does not go all over everything. The only bagless machines I have are water filtration, these don't have the two big issues that I see with regular bagless machines, clogged filters and dust going all over when you empty them. Of course, it all comes down to personal preference.

Post# 396283 , Reply# 12   8/5/2018 at 16:17 by daknx1994 (Southern Indiana)        

I too have both bagged and bagless. However I only have about four bagless and twenty some odd bagged. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I like how easy bags are to change and even if I can't find them in the store (which the only ones I have trouble finding are Sebo), Amazon has  a large selection  relatively cheap and Prime shipping makes it even better. I too see most people leave a couple days worth of dirt in their bagless units. Most people don't seem bothered to empty them after every use.



 The other thing I have to disagree with is the "green" aspect of bagless vacuums. I'm sorry but their is nothing green about throwing 10 or more pounds of plastic in the landfill every six months to a year compared a full bag every couple of months. You also have all of the electrical components being crushed up and dumped as well. The only thing that is not green about bags would have to be the new fleece materials which are plastic. Now if someone could weigh an average sized full fleece vacuum bag we could then see which kind is more green. However most bagged vacuum users I would assume probably still use paper bags. I myself use paper bags but I have learned which brands are better than others. I'm not being mean or trying to sound rude at all just my 2 cents. 

Post# 396294 , Reply# 13   8/5/2018 at 20:55 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Well, I'm not the biggest vacuum guy here, not by a longshot, but I personally don't see the big deal... as long as the machine is designed well. Cuz I'm really enjoying this Shark Rocket Pro that I trash-picked. But then I've used other bagless machines that just suck... and not in a good way. Stupid designs, not-cleanable filters, etc. I suppose it's harder to screw up a bagged design, as less goes into designing it. No cyclones, filters, screens, dust cups, etc.

Still, I think the design matters more.

Post# 396295 , Reply# 14   8/5/2018 at 21:32 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
I HATE bagless vacuum cleaners!

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I had never used a bagless vacuum cleaner before I started dating this woman a few years ago and let her move in with me. She claimed to be allergic to my cat and insisted that I vacuum at least once a week with her bagless Bissell plasticrap vacuum and then clean it thoroughly. By the time I got through, I would be up to my elbows in dirt. I came to despise that machine and resent her in the process. Needless to say, that relationship didn't last.

It is absolutely beyond me how anyone could consider cleaning a vacuum for half an hour after using it--and getting filthy yourself in the process--could in any way be considered preferable or superior to taking literally a minute or less to swap out a paper bag and toss the old one in the trash. It just doesn't make any sense.

Post# 396309 , Reply# 15   8/6/2018 at 01:24 by compactc9guy (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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i always had bagged vacuum . now i have my Eelectrolux ap 200 and my discovery 2 and those bags can hold alot of dirt, i do have a cat and use both my machine on rugs and bare floors they work wonders .but after a few week the discovery had a small odor normal to me because i prefer to fill the bag then trow it out after each use .its more cost effective and i dont like to waste a bag a every single day.......(i rather fill the bag and use it all the way then tost it full not every day .hey at 3,99 a pack it adds up............ ) but replace the filters in my discovery and odor was gone must of pick up some thing that cause it .lol i just love bag machine vacuum fill the bag tost it wipe the bag compartment and your done put a new one in and voila yes i fill the bag then tost i in my town lux bag dont come up often and also tight budget here so thats how i roll

Post# 396409 , Reply# 16   8/7/2018 at 23:52 by myles_v (Fredericksburg, VA)        

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I generally prefer bagged machines just for their ease of use and maintenance, but I do enjoy using bagless vacs once in a while just for the instant gratification of seeing what I've picked up. My Filter Queen is a great machine and it's bagless, but I end up using it more often than other machines just because it doesn't lose airflow and it takes forever to fill up. It also doesn't have 4 different filters to clean every other time I use it. Just the cellulose filter cone and the small disk just before the motor, plus the filter batting that I recently replaced which only ever gets dirty from carbon dust.

I also use a bagless Shark in the room with the litter boxes, my former litter box room vacuum was an Electrolux canister which took the cheap C bags. Even with how cheap those bags are to replace it just makes more sense to use a bagless machine in that room. Bagless vacs have their place, I don't believe that place is with the majority of vacuum users though.

Post# 396411 , Reply# 17   8/8/2018 at 00:17 by dartman (Portland OR)        

I like all my bagged machines for carpet and general cleaning but I have a dirt cheap Dirt Devil stick vac bagless I like using to clean my parrots cage area to suck up all the food crumbs and chewed up paper and things. Bags fill up so fast with that kind of volume bagless is quicker and cheaper to use. I have a 18 volt cordless that is bagless with a brush roll but it can't pick up larger things so good for quick touch ups before using one of the big vacs, and it hates the big volume of bird crumbs. The nice thing though is it will run easily half an hour and the power head does groom the carpet a bit.
My main machines are a Royal 4650 canister, Royal 413, Royal/Starks 5700 upright, and my latest Compact C9 Anthony James aftermarket thing mom bought in 78 or so.

Post# 396417 , Reply# 18   8/8/2018 at 02:45 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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how is it that Filter Queen's don't loose airflow when it used? Good point on the instant gratification of bagless vacs...yep, I feel that way with the Rainbow as well.

Post# 396423 , Reply# 19   8/8/2018 at 04:07 by blackheart (North Dakota)        

They definitely lose their flow. They seem to do it rather quickly too. Airflow is just really hard to judge without any tools it's not as easy to "feel" as sealed suction is.

Post# 396526 , Reply# 20   8/9/2018 at 22:14 by myles_v (Fredericksburg, VA)        

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FQs do lose some airflow but it's not as dramatic of a loss as other machines that use a filter directly in the bin. With genuine cones I have yet to notice a dramatic airflow reduction during regular cleaning, that was a large part of their original marketing scheme as well.

Post# 396598 , Reply# 21   8/11/2018 at 05:03 by mikanic (Leeds)        
It's so typical, isn't it?

I can't stand bagless vacuum cleaners. They were introduced by a click-bait brand that should have waited till today, in which we have fleece bags. Here in my area we still have a few bagged uprights, for example the Sebo Felix series, the Sebo Automatic, the Miele Dynamic U1 series, and still in stock are a Hoover Purepower and Enigma at the budget end. You still, however, get paper bags which just rip open. At least not all the time.

So you're a fan of bagged cleaners like me! I really believe James Dyson should look at what he's done to make traditional vacuum cleaning worse. Cyclones always getting filthy, filters in contact with the dirt, inability to get under furniture and so on.

In the end, though, both types of storage have their pros and cons. One of the biggest cons about bagged vacuums is that, even though they're more hygienic to empty if they have a sealer, more than just the dirt is thrown away- the entire bag. Hoover tried to invent a Permabag system back in the 80s but I don't know if that worked or not.

Once again, I like bagged vacuums too. Can't wait to get my hands on one.

Post# 396610 , Reply# 22   8/11/2018 at 13:30 by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        
Hoover tried to invent a Permabag system back in the 80s

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the original Permabag that came on the Turbopower and Turbomaster Freedom's was horrific in every way. It just blew dust out all over the room.
The second version they did for the Turbopower 2, 3 and 1000 was better. Didn't leak, but restricted airflow.

Post# 396613 , Reply# 23   8/11/2018 at 13:35 by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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Hoover Turbopower & Turbomaster Freedom

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Post# 396621 , Reply# 24   8/11/2018 at 16:32 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I'm usually more of a bagged person myself as well. But I can stand with some exceptions with bagless vacuums.

Pretty much any bagless upright or canister that I would use, I usually clean them every time that I am done with using if I only use them once in a while but I would not use them every day or once a week.

Using a true cyclonic central vacuum as my main vacuum such as Vacumaid, Vacuflo, or ACV. No bags or filters to ever have to buy or replace. Cleaning the screen and emptying it with a garbage bag to me takes about less than a minute and my hands always look clean everytime I do it. I could've added Aqua-Air on the list but I would have to buy bag screens and replace them every month.

Post# 396663 , Reply# 25   8/12/2018 at 14:53 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland)        

The problem I have with bagless, is that as soon as you try to empty the bin, the particles fly everywhere, either by a breeze or by electrostatic charge - and frequently both.

Let's face it, original shake-out cloth bags were a bit of a menace too, hence the reason for paper disposable bags.

Disposable bags are definitely far more hygienic - and an awful lot less hassle.

Then the Dyson DC01 machines became mainstream and soon everyone was up to their ears in stoor again. The DC01 was not a hygienic machine to empty. Neither were the multitude of pleated-filter single-cyclone Dyson wannabes.

For filtration efficiency, the electrostatic modern bags do a very good job. They also allow the machine to develop maximum airflow.

Post# 396948 , Reply# 26   8/19/2018 at 04:03 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I have bagless vacuums too, but I donít find myself using them nearly as often as my bagged machines. I just donít find myself with the urge to futz with all that dust, I do t mind the Rainbow because itís relatively easy to wash out, and if you change the water before it gets excessively dirty, the separator stays clean enough to only need brushed out every so often. And most importantly, the dirt is all wet and I donít have to breathe it. I guess my allergies have just become this bad and Iíve become that grossed out by the whole ordeal...

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