31 May Best Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
I don’t know about you, but for me the phrase “Dirtbag” reminds me of one of the best terrible movies of all time, Police academy. If you’ve not seen it, I highly recommend it, it’s pure genius. Anyway, you won’t find any dirtbags here, we’re going to be discussing the best bagless vacuum cleaners which are all, of course, sans dirtbags.
Staying on the subject of Police Acadamy, which is obviously exactly what you were expecting to find in an article about bagless vacuum cleaners, they just don’t seem to make movies like that any more. Sure there are plenty of terrible movies (most that I’ve seen recently in fact, except for the new Top Gun, which was great!), and the occasional masterpiece, but the art of blending the two into a timeless awful yet fantastic viewing experience seems to be very much a dying art.
What is still made, however, are vacuum cleaners that require bags. Bagless vacuums are far more popular these days, because at the end of the day, why have the hassle and the cost of hoover bags if you don’t need them?
What makes a good bagless vacuum cleaner?
The key function of bagless vacuum cleaners is to achieve the exact same ends as a bagged vacuum cleaner but without the bag.
On the surface, it may seem that the only important feature of bagless hoovers is the lack of the bag, but there’s more to it than that. What we need to remember is that vacuum cleaners don’t only hoover up bigger, visible particles.
They also vacuum dust particles, pet dander and other allergens, and the reason that hoover bags are good is not so much that they trap these allergens in the bag so that they don’t end up back in your home (due to the filters on the bags). The best bagless vacuum cleaners have filters which trap the finer particles instead of allowing them back out, so the lack of a dirt bag doesn’t mean you end up with an increase of dust and other allergens in your home.
It makes sense from a financial perspective to go for a bagless hoover, because there are no replacement hoover bags to have to buy, but the best bagless vacuums will still do the job of trapping allergens until you empty them into the bin.
How to choose a bagless vacuum cleaner
If you don’t want the expense and the labour of having to replace vacuum bags, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for bagless vacuum cleaners, as not all bagless vacs are made equally.
The most important factor when it comes to bagged vs bagless is filtration. The quality of the filter determines the amount of the stuff that stays put once vacuumed, and when I say “stuff”, we’re more concerned here with the very small “stuff” that can be airborne, which you can’t see, but that you can inhale. Things like pollen, dust mite faeces (yuck!), mold spores & bacteria.
The best bagless vacuum cleaners have HEPA filters. Hepa stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter, I assume they ignored the F as HEPAF doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in the same way… They’re made from multiple layers of very small interwoven sticky fibreglass fibres, and they can remove upwards of 99.97% of invisible and airborne particles.
HEPA filters are actually amazingly effective, the 99.97% rating is a figure taken from the worst case in terms of particle size.
For more info on HEPA filters, see:
So the presence of a filter and the quality of that filter determines how well that vacuum cleaner performs when it comes to keeping the smaller particles trapped until you empty them. It isn’t only the presence of a filter that matters, though.
The air being sucked in has to exit, and when the filter is in the bag, the air leaves via the filter in the bag while the nano-nasties remain trapped inside the filter bag. So having a filter is one thing, but it’s important that the only exit route for the air and the teeny particles that we don’t want to end up in our lungs, is through the filter.
Bagged vacuum cleaners have traditionally been the choice of allergy sufferers, such as allergies to dust, dust mite faeces or hayfever, but bagless vacuums can do just as good a job in this regard as long as they have HEPA filters and a complete seal on the exhaust, as over 99% of the allergens will be trapped once they’re retrieved from the surfaces.
What you need to look for on bagless vacuum cleaners is features relating to being allergy sufferer friendly, due to having a total seal so that the air can only exit via the filter as would be the case with a bagged hoover.
You may think that this should be the same with all bagless vacuum cleaners, but achieving a complete seal for the exhaust isn’t something you can count on with all bagless vacuums. One of the other key features of vacuum cleaners is of course suction power, and the higher the power, the higher the velocity of the air being sucked in and then allowed out via the exhaust.
Making a cheap bagless vacuum cleaner probably isn’t that big a deal, but producing a bagless vacuum cleaner that doesn’t simply allow lots of these very small particles to recirculate is a different matter. Frankly, hoovering with a vacuum cleaner (bagless or otherwise) that doesn’t do a good job of keeping the small particles where they belong until binned, is potentially going to do more harm than good for anyone who suffers with allergies.
In other words, a vacuum cleaner like this may make a positive impact visually, by seeming to have cleaned the floors, but if it does a poor job trapping the filtered allergens it may have actually disturbed invisible particles of allergens that were previously buried deep in fibres, plucked them from deep within carpet fibres where they were doing little harm and pumped them into the air!
If you do need to buy a very cheap vacuum cleaner, you’d probably be well advised to go for one with a bag, at least this way you’ll be able to ensure you’re using decent filter bags that will be filtering the nasty invisible stuff that is being hoovered up.
Size of the waste container
One of the main benefits of vacuum cleaners with bags is that they tend to hold a lot more dust than bagless vacuum cleaners. When the need for a bag is removed, the need for the space for the bag is also reduced, and manufacturers can product smaller and cheaper products by dramatically reducing the size of the waste container.
If you have a very small home, or if you live in a bungalow for example, where you’ll always have relatively easy access to the outside bins when it comes to empty it, the waste size probably isn’t going to be a huge deal. If, however, you live in a larger home, or a house or apartment with stairs, and/or access to the outdoor bins is a bit of a trek, then the size of the waste container will be more important, in which case you’ll want to look for a bagless vacuum cleaner with a bigger waste capacity or a bagged hoover.
Anything over 0.8 litres would be considered large and some of our bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner recommendations can hold up to 3 litres of dust before they need emptying!
When all said and done, overall cleaning performance is crucial in any vacuum cleaner. There are various other important elements, but none of them matter one bit if the hoover just doesn’t clean.
The key factor to achieving great cleaning performance is excellent suction power, and it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s easier and cheaper to deliver better suction power with corded vacuums vs cordless, so if you’re looking at cordless bagless hoovers, be wary of any very cheap options.
It’s a good thing to understand that you’re always making some kind of compromise when you’re investing in a vacuum cleaner, just as you are when you’re choosing any other product, and one of the main areas of compromise is weight, which is especially true where cordless vacuum cleaners are concerned.
Cordless bagless hoovers tend to be the lightest vacuums, but the main thing you’ll usually have to compromise on there is cost, as if you’re looking at like-for-like models vs corded, where overall cleaning performance is concerned, you’ll have to stump up quite a bit more of your hard-earned cash for a cordless bagless. You often have to make a compromise when choosing a corded bagless where dust bin size is concerned, as they usually have smaller bins to keep the size down.
Check out this article if you’re specifically looking for a lightweight hoover:
Ease Of Use
I know there are some people who actually get enjoyment from hoovering, but then some people get enjoyment from doing other crazy things, my son likes going up mountains for example, which I don’t get. Oh look, a big mountain, let’s go up it so we can come back down it again and be right back where we started.
I went up Snowdon a while back, they say it’s the best way to conquer fears, they lie (whoever they are). I was petrified the entire time, and I’m still petrified now even thinking about it! Anyhow, most of us who don’t count hoovering among our hobbies will appreciate features that make this necessary evil task a bit more bearable.
There are a number of ways vacuum cleaners can be made easier to use, including making it effortless when it comes to moving from one floor type to another, making it super easy to turn on and to change settings, and features such as powered lift away which enables the hoover to be used as a handheld (for hoovering the car etc.) without loss of cleaning power.
Again this can often be an area of compromise because if you’re choosing a bagless vacuum cleaner with among the best suction power, the best overall cleaning performance, and among the best for general ease of use, you’re probably going to be shopping towards the top of the range where the price is concerned.
We’ve worked hard to select options in this guide that require the least amount of compromise, in that they will do a great job of cleaning your home, are light and easy to use, but won’t cost the earth.
One of the things that it is very easy to waste money on when it comes to vacuum cleaners is the number of accessory tools that some of them come with.
Some Dyson’s come with 7 or 8 accessory tools, many of which will usually end up in the “random bits” drawer, similar to the “gifting drawer” that many of us have for stowing away random gifts until they end up in someone else’s gifting drawer in next year’s secret Santa (scented candle anyone?).
Being practical about it, the only accessories most of us are ever going go use is a long crevice tool for getting down the sides & baks of seats and sofas and a dusting tool for more sensitive above-floor surfaces.
If you have pets then a motorized pet tool is another really handy accessory for digging out hair that gets stuck in the carpet fibres and it’s also really good for stairs as well.
These are the best bagless vacuum cleaners in the UK:
Shark IZ400UK / IZ400UKT & IZ420UKT Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
There are some cheaper options to consider below but Shark really does have the best choice to cover all different home types and lifestyles. This cordless hoover in the “Stratos” range is the all-singing all-dancing hoover in Sharks range. It comes with a whole raft of new features not available in the previous models (and they were really good).
In particular, we like the “Clean sense IQ” that can tell whether you are hoovering on hard floor or carpet and will automatically adjust the suction power making the battery last even longer. Everything has been made better on this hoover and we think its as good as any Dyson but cheaper. See our main review below for a full breakdown of all features.
Shark IZ300 & IZ320 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
The Z300 & IZ320 has the best suction power ever from Shark and the previous year’s model was already one of Sharks best-selling lines but they never rest on their laurels which is why so many people are switching away from Dyson and into Shark because they pretty much achieve the same level of cleaning performance but often at around half the price.
You also get to choose the one that works best for your home. This range comes with one or two batteries so you can upgrade to a twin battery version but only if you need it and you can also choose whether or not you want a pet tool depending on if you have pets in your home.
This cordless bagless vacuum comes with the best of Shark’s features, including the Allergen complete seal, Duo Clean feature, Powerfins, Anti Hair Wrap, the Flexology wand, and a brand new battery which is capable of providing up to an hour of hoovering on one charge.
Just to quickly run through these features in case you’re not familiar with them:
Allergen Complete Seal. This bagless vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, and many bagless hoovers have this feature, but Shark created their “Anti-Allergen Complete Seal” which features a completely sealed unit in which the only route that ANY air can get through, is through the filter, which ensures that 99.9% of particles from 0.3 to 10 microns (which include most of the nasties previously discussed) are trapped and not simply blown into your room.
Duo Clean Technology. What this means is that instead of the usual single brush roller, you have the fairly standard brush roller combined with a second, soft roller. They work in unison but also alone in order to do a better job across all particle sizes, and help to avoid the “snow ploughing” effect when you’re trying to hoover up larger particles. The soft roller also has another benefit on hard floors in that it gives them a nice polish for you.
Powerfins. Although this may sound like something you’d find on a surfboard or a mutant fish, it’s a feature which enhances overall cleaning performance by keeping constant contact with both carpets and hard floors, and also helps to pick up hair which is subsequently dealt with via the Anti Hair Wrap feature.
Anti Hair Wrap. This is pure genius, one of the small seemingly insignificant things that just seems so obvious that you can’t believe it’s not the standard. So that you don’t have to regularly wrestle with the brush roller trying to remove hair that has become wrapped around the roller, there’s a simple mechanism which basically combes the hair as it wraps around the roller, and cuts it so it can be hoovered up.
Flexology wand – “Bends because you won’t be able to get back up again”. OK the official strapline for this feature is “bends so you don’t have to”, but I think we all know what they mean. It’s a clever feature featuring a hinged wand to allow you to really easily hoover under sofas and other raised items.
Being a cordless stick, you do have to take battery life into account, although the new upgraded battery is an improvement in that regard, the 60 minutes cleaning time is only if you have it on Eco mode. You also need to keep waste container size in mind, the bin capacity is 700ml which is on the big side actually for cordless sticks, but it’s very small compared to many bagless cylinder hoovers.
Shark ICZ160 & ICZ300 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
If ultimate convenience and ease of use are important to you then this top of the range bagless vacuum will fit the bill with all of the best things that Shark offer incorporated into this hoover.
It comes with a number of Shark’s best features, including the Allergy complete seal as we’ve previously discussed, a great feature for allergy sufferers, and ensures that the lack of a hoover bag doesn’t cause issues with allergens being pumped into the air.
It also comes with the aforementioned Duo Clean which means it’ll do a great job on all floor types, and you won’t have to change anything when switching from one surface to another. It has the brilliant Anti Hair wrap technology which cuts up hair as it starts to get tangled around the rollers, and the “powered lift away” function which means you can instantly transform it into a portable hoover for hoovering the car or the stairs and so on.
It’s completely cordless with up to 50 minutes of runtime from one battery charge with the ICZ160 and 60 minutes with the ICZ300 (both on eco mode) and this is available both with or without the motorized pet tool accessory. We this is one of the best cordless bagless vacuums on the market for medium to large sized homes.
Shark CZ250UKT & CZ500UKT cylinder vacuum cleaner
If you need a bigger waste container than regular upright hoovers come with then the 1.6 litres on this Shark cylinder vacuum will appeal to you. As well as a large, easy to remove and empty waste container it pretty lightweight at just 4kg and with a 9 metre cable it’s really easy to use to clean the stairs as you won’t need to drag the base unit with you.
Anti hair wrap, flexology , duo clean and a motorised pet tool are among the other great features that come with this vacuum as standard.
Shark NZ801 / NZ850 / PZ1000 Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Some of the best value for money bagless vacuum cleaners lie within the corded upright market and this is the best of the bunch.
There is the NZ801 / NZ850 and the PZ1000. The only difference between the 3 of them is the size of the waste container so if you have a large home and you want to empty the waste container as little as possible then the PZ1000 has a huge 1.6 litre capacity. Most homes will be fine with either the NZ801 with 0.83 litres and the NZ850 1.3 litres
You don’t get the convenience of no cord but this one comes with a long 8-metre cable and you will not only benefit from a price saving over equivalent cordless models but you’ll also never have to concern yourself with the battery running out and you’ll get continuous strong suction.
Powered lift-away makes it easy to clean in any spot with no hassle with one click to remove the central section of the hoover making it easy to reach up high and down low.
It cleans seamlessly across both hard floor and carpet and includes anti-hair wrap for no tangled hair on the brush roller ever again.
If you have pets check out the model that ends in a “T” for the pet tool made specifically to deal with pet hair.
Vax Airlift Steerable Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner
If you want something that works like a Shark but you don’t want to spend the kind of money that Shark is asking then this is a really good alternative that comes pretty close with a much more affordable price tag.
The suction is really powerful and it comes with the same lift away function as the Shark hoovers above and there is a one-button press to switch from hard floor to carpet.
It also has a 1.5-litre waste container which is bigger than the average for upright bagless hoovers and the accessory tools are stored on the side of the vacuum for easy access and ensures you’ll never lose them.
A great budget vacuum cleaner for busy homes and pets and you get the peace of mind of a trusted brand name as well.
Vax Evolve Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
As far as cordless hoovers with good suction are concerned, it’s rare to find one at this price point that has strong suction and is even rarer from a trusted brand.
Vax has stripped out all the things that can add to the cost like digital displays and attachments so if you are not bothered about that and you just want something that does a good job of cleaning your floor this is worth considering.
Tineco Pure One S12 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
The Tineco is not a brand you will have heard of but they are a much bigger player in the USA where they have been going for more than 20 years and they have now come up with a hoover that is as good as the most expensive Dyson but it’s a lot cheaper.
A digital display on top of the handle shows you exactly how much battery you have left at all times and the super strong suction power automatically adjusts up and down according to how much dirt it senses on the floor so everything always gets picked up but it doesn’t waste any battery on full power if it’s not required.
If somehow the first battery dies then it comes with a spare as standard that you can just insert in a few seconds.
You get a ton of accessories that covers every eventuality and it converts into a handheld with just one click.
Dyson V10 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
This may not be the latest Dyson cordless hoover but we think that it is the best value for money. It’s much better than its predecessor the V8 in terms of suction power and overall cleaning ability but the V12 which came after this V10 isn’t that much better than this one.
This V10 has incredible suction power and comes with more accessories than you will ever use to ensure you can clean all parts of your home with ease. There are 3 power settings – low, medium and high and its best to vary the power depending on the surface you are cleaning in order to maximise battery life.
This is no ordinary vacuum cleaner with low and medium power suction a lot more powerful than some vacuum cleaners on high and high on the V10 is like a hurricane. Nothing gets left behind when you have it on full power.
I’ve used this vacuum cleaner in my home for some time and find that I easily get 20 minutes on a full charge when switching between medium and high power and Dyson claims up to 60 minutes on low power.
If you are prepared to pay the premium price then this is a premium brand that really delivers.
Shark IZ201 & IZ251 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Unlike Dyson where they don’t offer much choice to tailor the hoover to your requirements, this range from Shark comes with a number of different options to suit all home types.
There is a single battery option for homes that need up to 20 minutes of cleaning time or a double battery option that gives you 40 minutes if you have a larger home.
You can also choose to have it with or without a pet tool so you don’t have to buy the pet accessory if you don’t have any pet hair around the house.
The central wand is bendy (Shark call this “flexology”) so you can get underneath tight areas without having to bend down and it easily converts into a handheld as well.
Suction power is excellent as you would expect from one of the market-leading floorcare brands in the world.
Miele CX1 Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
With a cylinder vacuum cleaner you get a much larger waste container and the Miele CX1 comes with a large 2-litre dust bin so you won’t need to empty it very often compared to a traditional upright or stick vacuum.
There is a massive 890 watt motor with 4 power levels and a whole bunch of accessories for above floor cleaning that all sit onboard the main body of the hoover so you won’t ever find yourself searching for them and they are easy to grab at all times.
You can adjust the pole to suit your height and there is a self clean feature for the filter which is unusual and means there is one less thing for you to think about from a maintenance perspective.
There are variations that come with different attachments that are explained in our full review but if you are looking for a vacuum cleaner with market-leading suction and a large waste container from a trusted premium brand name then this is definitely one to consider.
Here is a detailed video that goes through everything you need to know about the CX1:
Vytronix Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Not everyone needs the mega suction power that Dyson and Shark offer and not everyone wants to spend hundreds of pounds on a super premium vacuum cleaner.
This is a good low-cost alternative for anyone that lives in a flat or a smaller home without pets. As long as you set your expectations correctly and you choose it based on less demanding homes then its good value for money.
It does not have the suction power of a Dyson or Shark and nor would you expect it to for this kind of money but if you generally keep your home clean but it still needs a good going over once a week then this does a good job.
It’s good on hard floor and short pile carpet but not so great on deep pile carpets or pet hair.
If you have the type of home that is suitable for this kind of cordless hoover there is no need to spend big money on anything else.
Beko Orion 6 Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
If you want really strong suction power but you don’t want to pay really high prices then if you are willing to compromise on using a cord and plugging your hoover into the wall you can save money without compromising on performance.
You get a telescopic hose that is adjustable to your height for ease of cleaning and the suction is controlled with a dial so you can adjust it to suit your specific flooring.
The suction power is really strong so if you have a deeper pile carpet you’ll definitely need to turn it down from the maximum power or you’ll struggle to push it across the floor its that strong.
It has a really large 2.5-litre waste bin so you won’t be emptying it every 5 minutes like some of the other hoovers that have small dust bins and it weighs only 5kg making it easy to move around.
Great value if you want powerful suction at a budget price.
Eufy RoboVac 11S Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Gone are the days when robot vacuum cleaners were just a gimmick. they now have good enough suction power to be genuine contenders for doing the hoovering around the home to a similar standard as their human-controlled counterparts.
Prices have also come right down in recent years as well and the performance level has gone up and this is a best seller that has become a proven winner for thousands of happy customers.
Although it falls into the budget category for robot vacuums it outperforms others that are much more expensive.
It performs really well on edge cleaning and it auto-adjusts the power when it senses a surface that needs more or less power such as when it moves from hard floor to carpet.
You can programme it to start cleaning when you are out and when you come home it will have finished and automatically have returned to its base to recharge.
What type of bagless vacuum cleaner is best?
As discussed towards the beginning of this article, there are a number of factors to take into consideration when trying to decide which may be the best bagless vacuum cleaner for you, but if you’re talking vacuum cleaner types, then let’s go through them:
Cordless Stick Bagless Vacuum Cleaners
Cordless sticks are bagless, and they’re usually really light and easy to move around, the downsides are that unless you shift your eyes towards the top of the price range, the suction power and overall cleaning power usually aren’t as good as corded vacuum cleaners. Also, even cordless sticks at the very top of the range can’t compete with corded hoovers when it comes to how long you can clean for.
Cordless vacuums require batteries of course, and batteries only have a certain amount of juice in them. When you’re using a cordless stick on the highest power option (which is often similar or in some cases even less than the standard suction on corded options) you’ll usually get somewhere between 10-20 minutes from mid-priced cordless sticks, and 20-30 minutes from the premium models.
Cordless sticks also tend to have particularly tiny waste containers. This is fine if a trip to the outside bins doesn’t require booking an Uber, but if you live in an apartment building on the eleventy seventh floor, for example, you may want to opt for a hoover with a larger dust bin. Similarly, if you live in a larger home and you don’t want to be having to empty the small dust container multiple times, the bin capacity of most cordless sticks may be on the small side.
Cylinder vacuum cleaners tend to have the largest waste containers, so if you want a decent bagless hoover but you don’t want to have to empty the bin every 5 minutes, these are a really good option to consider. Cylinder vacuum cleaners are usually corded, too, so they usually do very well for suction power, and of course, being corded there’s no issue with the amount of time you can hoover for before running out of juice, although you may need to recharge your own batteries occasionally.
This is often where the sweet spot is between features, performance & value for money. Many corded uprights have very similar features to the latest premium cordless sticks, but they’re cheaper as the technology isn’t as cutting edge, and they don’t require the same expensive components including the battery. So as long as you’re OK with the slightly heavier weight of uprights to stick vacuums, and the relatively small inconvenience of having to plug them in (most have 7-10m cables), this can be a great option.
Because size (or lack thereof) isn’t usually quite as important with corded uprights as it is with stick vacuums, corded uprights tend to have bigger waste containers, which is another big plus for this type of vacuum cleaner if you live in a large home or a home where the outside bins aren’t quickly and easily accessed.
Is bagless better than bagged?
If all other things are equal, then I think bagless has to be better than bagged. In other words, if you’re comparing like for like, considering all the other elements we’ve discussed (filtration, suction power, ease of use etc.,) then what possible benefit would there be in having to purchase replacement bags?
It’s true that many bagless vacuums do have smaller waste bins, but as long as you keep an eye on the waste bin size and all of the other aforementioned elements, you’ll be able to find a bagless hoover that ticks all of your boxes.