Should I buy a bagless or bagged vacuum? Which is better? This is one of the most common questions asked in our store. With over 50% of all vacuums sold in America being bagless, one would assume that so many people can’t be wrong … can they?
The recent trend in consumers buying bagless vacuums is an example of some of the finest marketing you will ever witness. I say that with a great deal of respect. American consumers have been seduced (yes seduced) into accepting and embracing a vacuuming system that is inherently dirty.
You have been convinced that you will never have to buy vacuum bags again. This is absolutely true if you buy a bagless vacuum. The marketing of these machines has played on your frustration of finding that you have a full vacuum bag and don’t have a replacement and now have to go out for the unpleasant task of finding replacements. And, who knows if you will remember which ones you need in order to get the right ones. Bagless vacuums have been touted as “maintenance free.” I will state emphatically now that there is no such thing as a “lifetime filter.” You were told that it “won’t lose suction.” This is technically true, but as a practical matter, a complete falsehood. Did you ever read the owner’s guide to show you how to unclog your vacuum? If it’s clogged, doesn’t it lose suction? As I said, the manufacturers played on the unpleasant parts of vacuuming to create a desire on your part to avoid these things in the future.
While telling you that you will never have to buy bags again, you are not told that a filtering device (a bag is a filter) is still needed to keep dust from re-circulating into your home. One or more filters is required to catch the fine dust particles in a bagless vacuum, and if these are not regularly cleaned and periodically replaced, your vacuum will soon be spewing a lot of dirty air into your home. Bagless vacuum filters clog quickly and are seldom maintained as required by homeowners. And worst of all, the cost of replacing the filters in a bagless vacuum will EXCEED the cost of replacement vacuum bags in almost all cases.
Bagless vacuums have many rubber seals and joints in them. At each one of these joints is an opportunity for air to leak out, and rather than capture dust and debris, it has the potential to leak back into your home. In our store, we will show you by using a particle counter how much more dust is being re-circulated into the air from dirty air leaking from the joints of these vacuums.
Another thing avoided in the marketing of bagless vacuums is the requirement to have to empty the dust bucket of all that fine particle dust and dirt. I have emptied the bucket on these vacuums, and it is hard to describe the “dust cloud” that billows out from the trash can when doing this outside. And, I hope no one has ever done this inside your home. The need to run the vacuum immediately afterward would be appropriate.
Most manufacturers have capitalized on the initial success of the “seduction” and offered their product at very low prices. It’s because they are not costly to make and are also made poorly. Most bagless vacuums are priced below $200 and many are below $100. Yet the best selling manufacturer of bagless vacuums has utilized bright colors, unique design, and brilliant marketing to get you to give them at least $400 and as much as $700 for a product that is no better than the lower priced models.
One of the worst claims made by bagless manufacturers is that these vacuums are appropriate for allergy sufferers because of their HEPA filter. As I stated earlier, these vacuums leak at the seals and joints and can spew millions of fine dust particles into an otherwise clean house and trigger reactions to sensitive people.
In our opinion, bagged vacuums are preferred and are much better and cleaner for your home. Bagged systems are much easier to dispose of. Just close the bag latch or fold it over and throw it out. Generally the replacement bags cost less than replacement filters for bagless vacuums. The vacuums are of much higher quality and will last longer and clean better over the life of the machine. Many conspirators would have you believe that the argument for bagged vacuums is because we want to be able to sell bags for years to come. If one looks at the statistical data on the number of bagless vacuums sold in the U.S., it would suggest that people are buying a new vacuum cleaner (remember more than 50% of all vacuums are bagless) every two years. Where are all those bagless vacuums going? I’m afraid it’s to the landfill. When you have bought 2 or 3 of these and are tired of buying a new vacuum every couple of years…come and see us and we will demonstrate a quality vacuum that you will operate for many, many years.