From James Spangler’s electric broomstick-like vacuum, sold to William Hoover in 1908, to the mass produced domestic models of the 1930s, the first vacuum cleaners always included a bag to collect dust and debris.
The invention of the bagless vacuum cleaner certainly stirred up the way we clean our homes – and you can now choose from a huge range of bagged vacuums and bagless models when buying a new vacuum.
What is the difference between bagged and bagless vacuum cleaners?
Bagged vacuums collect the dust and debris that your vacuum cleaner sucks up in a disposable bag. When it’s time to empty, you throw the full bag away and replace it with a new one.
Bagless vacuums collect the dirt directly in the unit itself. There are no disposable parts.
Wondering which type of vacuum is best for you? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you decide.
Which is best for allergies and air quality?
Although it’s sometimes suggested that bagged vacuums are best for allergy sufferers because they contain all the allergens inside a bag, the most important thing to look for if you are sensitive to allergens is a high-performance filter or HEPA filter. This filter captures dust and allergens in the exhaust air pushed out by your vacuum before it re-enters your home.
Most Shark bagless vacuum cleaners feature Anti-Allergen Complete Seal, which contains the high-performance filters inside a completely sealed unit, trapping 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum cleaner* and not releasing them back into the air you breathe.
Will I have to buy more bags?
Yes, bagged vacuum cleaners feature disposable, replaceable bags. You will need to continue buying new bags, so it’s a good idea to factor this recurring cost into the purchase price of your vacuum. It’s also worth researching whether the bags are eco-friendly – while some may claim to be made from recycled material, used vacuum bags can’t be recycled because of the contaminants they contain when full.
Which is easier to empty?
Some people prefer emptying a bagged vacuum because the bag contains all the debris. However, it can be hard to tell when a bagged vacuum is full, so you may risk wasting money by replacing a bag too soon.
Modern bagless vacuum cleaners often feature ‘easy empty’ mechanisms, such as units that open at both ends for total access to the bin. It’s easy to see when a bagless vacuum needs emptying because the dirt is in clear view.
Does a bag affect suction?
In a bagged vacuum, the vacuum’s overall performance may start to decrease as the bag fills up in. You’ll get optimum performance with an empty bag, but as the bag fills the dust particles begin to block the airflow so it becomes more difficult for the air to pass through.
With a bagless vacuum cleaner, you may need to clean the filters regularly to prevent loss of suction.
Do you want a corded or cordless vacuum?
Bagged or bagless is not the only choice!
Cordless bagless vacuum cleaners are perfect for quick cleans around the home and more, giving you freedom to move between rooms, take it out to the car and go wherever else you need to clean. Shark cordless vacuums have removable, rechargeable batteries and are available with whole host of helpful technologies such as Anti Hair Wrap.
Corded vacuum cleaners give you the reassurance of continuous corded power. Upright bagless vacuum cleaners look the most traditional, but Shark uprights are not just for floors – they can transform into portable vacuums to clean stairs, up high and under furniture without a fuss.
Bagless cylinder vacuum cleaners are perfect if you prefer to pull a vacuum along behind you, rather than push it in front. Shark cylinders feature agile Smooth Glide wheels that closely follow you around corners and furniture, moving in perfect sync with you.
*Based on IEC standard 62885-2 Cl. 5.11 at 0.3 to 10 microns.