While you may indeed still be able to find a vacuum cleaner that traps all the vacuumed-up things in a bag, by far the greater trend these days is towards bagless vacuums
. These vacuums contain what they pick up in a compartment that can easily be detached and emptied straight into the trash rather than caught in a bag that needs to be replaced. You'll find bagless vacuums in all the same configurations as the ones you're used to -- uprights, canisters, and handhelds.
An interesting side benefit to bagless vacuums is that you actually get to see what comes out of your carpet -- a sight that can be a little disgusting and scary, but you can console yourself that at least all that nastiness is not in your carpet anymore! Plus, you'll never vacuum in vain because the bag was full -- you always have the visual reminder of when to empty the vacuum.
If you're especially sensitive to dust, dust mites, pet dander and hair, other allergens, or general household vacuum gunk, look carefully at what type of air filtration system the bagless vacuum you choose uses. Many models use washable filters, which are great for saving money, but may not filter quite as well as others and the filters themselves will need some time (~24 hours) to dry after you've washed them before you can put them in the vacuum again. A more expensive option is usually a bagless vacuum with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. HEPA filters trap particles as small as .3 microns (pollen ranges between 5-100 microns in size). You may also find bagless vacuums with HEPA-type filters, which will not work as consistently well on small particles that can cause respiratory problems as a true HEPA filter, so be sure you look before you buy if that's important to you.
makes a very popular line of bagless vacuums. The Dyson Ball (pictured above) is anchored on a steering ball rather than traditional straight wheels, making it super-maneuverable for vacuuming all the areas in a house. The Dyson Animal
(also available in a ball version
and a hand-held version
) features a motorized vacuum head to help pick up stubborn pet hair from couches, stairs, and other surfaces that can be hard to reach with a traditional vacuum. Dyson bagless vacuums can be pricey, but they're worth it, consistently earning high reviews in consumer ratings.
If you're looking for a bagless vacuum but hoping to spend a little less, the Hoover EmPower
can be a good affordable alternative and can be found for less than $100. The Kenmore Progressive
is a little more expensive but still below the range of a Dyson. Both of these vacuums get good reviews from consumers.
And then for those of you who don't want to actually push a vacuum around and are intrigued by the thought of robots working for you, there's the iRobot Roomba
. These little circular robot vacuums can be programmed to vacuum when and where you want them to and can handle both hard floor surfaces and carpet. Roombas are bagless -- and even though their capacity may be smaller than other vacuums, you can program them to vacuum more frequently so the dust and dirt doesn't build up that much anyway!
Check out some of our other posts on top-rated vacuums
and vacuums for your car
as well and ditch that dust!
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