Bagless vacs help you save money on bags and are often more convenient. But which are the best bagless vacuum cleaners? And are there any you should avoid? Keep reading to find out!
#1 Pick: Shark NZ801UKT
Since Dyson released their first cyclonic vacuum nearly 30 years ago, bagless vacs have become increasingly popular. Almost every vacuum manufacturer now produces bagless models, so there are plenty of options on the market.
This wide range of choice can make it difficult to pick the right option though. With every vacuum brand describing their machines as “cyclonic, “turbo” and “powerful,” how do you know which will really suck up dirt, hair and dust the best?
That’s why we’re here to help! Listed below are eight of the best bagged vacuum cleaners. We’ve included a range of types, such as cordless, upright and cylinder, so there’s something for everyone. And if you want to know how these models compare to bagged vacs, check out our page of the best vacuum cleaners.
Are Bagless Vacuums Better Than Bagged?
Before we get to the recommendations, it’s important to understand the pros and cons to buying a bagless vacuum cleaner.
Bagless vacs trap dirt inside a canister rather than a bag. This means they can be emptied without needing to buy new bags, which can save money in the long run. Emptying a bagless vacuum is also usually less fiddly.
Contrary to certain manufacturer’s claims, bagless vacuum cleaners can provide just as much suction power as bagged alternatives. The cleaning performance depends more on the motor strength, airflow and whether the vacuum comes with a motorised floor head.
There are some drawbacks though. Bagged vacuums tend to have larger dust capacities, so they don’t need to be emptied as often. If you buy a bagless vacuum with a small canister, be prepared to empty it more frequently than a bagged vacuum cleaner.
The lack of a bag can also allow dust and other allergens to escape during the emptying process, so bagless vacuums may not be the best choice for people with allergies. You can combat this problem by emptying the canister outside, wearing gloves and emptying regularly rather than allowing the vacuum to become overfilled though.
How to Choose a Bagless Vacuum
Whether you buy a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner, the most important thing is that it provides excellent cleaning performance. It should also be convenient to use and meet your requirements.
With that in mind, here are some considerations when buying:
- Cleaning Performance. How effectively a vacuum sucks up dirt, dust, hair and other debris depends on its suction power and floor head design. Stronger suction makes it easier for a vacuum to trap dust, while a motorised floor head can stir up more dirt from carpets. Make sure you don’t get so focused on a bagless design that you forget the main purpose of a vacuum!
- Type of Vacuum. There are a range of different types of vacuum. Upright bagless vacuums are probably the most common in the UK, as they are great for cleaning large areas of floor quickly. Cylinder vacs can also be a good choice, while cordless models are rapidly becoming the most popular option due to their extra mobility. Handheld vacuums also tend to have a bagless design.
- Weight. Carrying a heavy upright vacuum up and down stairs can quickly become tiring. For this reason, lightweight vacuums make cleaning your home much more convenient. They are also useful for people with arthritis or other joint conditions.
- Manoeuvrability. Aside from weight, a vacuum should be easy to manoeuvre around the home. Features such as Dyson’s “Big Ball,” pivoting joints and the ability to lay down horizontally can all make cleaning easier.
- Dust Capacity. We’ve already mentioned that bagless vacuum cleaners usually have a smaller dust capacity than bagged machines. Even so, there’s still a wide range of canister sizes. The larger the capacity, the less often you’ll need to empty the machine.
- Filtration. It’s important that small particles of dust, pet dander and pollen can’t escape from a vacuum’s canister. For this reason, a high-quality filtration system is essential. Bagged vacuums have the advantage of the bag acting as an initial filter, so it’s vital for a bagless model to have effective filters to prevent dust re-emission.
- Emptying System. The emptying system is a vital consideration when choosing a bagless vacuum cleaner. If you don’t suffer from allergies and plan to empty the vacuum outdoors, then a simple canister may be adequate. Some bagless vacuums come with more advanced systems though, including levers to push out dust without needing to physically touch it.
- Tools. Vacuums come with a range of tools and accessories. If, for example, you want to clean tight locations, a crevice tool is important. For cleaning pet hair from sofas, a miniature motorised tool is a near-essential accessory.
8 Best Bagless Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
Listed below are eight of the best bagless vacuum cleaners on the market. We’ve chosen a mixture of cordless, cylinder and upright vacuums, so make sure you read the mini-reviews to find out which is the best choice for your home.
|Rank||Image||Product Name||Type||Price Range||Read More|
|Shark NZ801UKT||Upright||££££||View Price|
|Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence PowerLine||Cylinder||£££||View Price|
|Dyson V11 Absolute||Cordless||£££££||View Price|
|Dyson Big Ball Animal 2||Cylinder||£££||View Price|
|Dyson V8 Absolute||Cordless||££££||View Price|
|VAX Air Lift Steerable Pet||Upright||££||View Price|
|Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog||Cordless||£££££||View Price|
|Shark NV681UKT Lift-Away True Pet||Upright||££||View Price|
Best Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
1. Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence PowerLine
Miele resisted making a bagless vacuum for far longer than most brands – but the excellent CX1 series has proven to be well worth the wait. The Excellence model is a stylish vacuum with an EcoTeQ Plus floorhead, strong suction power and on-board tool storage. If you’re looking for a bagless cylinder vacuum, the Blizzard CX1 is our top recommendation.
What makes the CX1 such a special vacuum cleaner though? Firstly, it provides excellent cleaning performance on almost any surface. The strong suction power means it can remove dust from deep in carpets or between floorboards. It’s also great at getting rid of pet hair.
It also has several interesting features that aren’t found on most vacuums. Unlike many bagless vacuums, Miele has made an effort to prevent fine dust from escaping during the emptying process, as finer particles are stored separately within the vacuum. It also has a power dial for suction, a range of tools and a self cleaning filter.
There are three versions of the CX1 available – Cat & Dog, Comfort and Excellence – and the right one depends on your requirements. The Excellence is a great all-round choice, although if you have pets the Cat & Dog includes an extra turbo tool for upholstery.
The CX1 isn’t perfect though. It’s a relatively heavy vacuum cleaner, so it’s not the right choice if you’re looking for a lightweight machine. The strong suction also makes it difficult to push on carpets – although you can reduce the power to alleviate this.
Overall, the Miele CX1 is one of the best bagless vacuum cleaners on the market. It’s powerful, mobile and easy to use – plus Miele’s vacuum’s are famously reliable. We highly recommend it. Click here to view the CX1 Excellence price.
- Powerful suction and great cleaning performance
- Comes with a HEPA AirClean filter
- Includes several integrated tools
- Power: 890W
- Type: Cylinder
Best Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
2. Shark NZ801UKT Upright
If you’re looking for powerful upright vacuum cleaner, then the Shark NZ801UKT is a great choice (this model is one of our top picks for an upright.) It’s powerful, energy efficient and features the company’s DuoClean technology for great all-round performance.
Shark has combined several of its popular technologies to create the NZ801UKT: DuoClean floorhead, Anti Hair Wrap, and Powered Lift-Away.
Let’s start with DuoClean. Most vacuum cleaners have a single brush bar, but the NZ801UKT’s floorhead has two. The first is a soft brush roll for removing fine dust and larger debris on hard floors, while the second is a tougher bristle bar for carpets. This configuration increases the vacuum’s ability to remove both small and large debris, while also digging into carpet fibres and removing “stuck on” dirt.
An advantage of the dual-brush design is that you can use the same floor head on both carpets and hard floors. There’s a simple button for switching modes, so you don’t need to fiddle with dials on the floor head itself.
The Lift-Away feature of the NZ801UKT is found on most Shark upright vacuums. It allows you to detach the canister from the wand, which makes the vacuum more mobile for cleaning stairs or other awkward areas. It’s also worth noting that the NZ801UKT features a powered lift-away design, which means the brush roll continues to rotate even when in “Lift” mode.
Other features of the vacuum include Shark’s anti-allergen technology, several accessories and a 1.6 metre hose. The Anti Hair Wrap technology prevents most hairs from getting caught around the brush bar, while the pet tool is great for picking up hair on upholstery and stairs.
There are a few small drawbacks to this model though. The first is the price, as the NZ801UKT is one of the most expensive Shark vacuums on the market. It also has a fairly short 8 metre power cord. This isn’t the shortest we’ve seen, but we expect longer from a premium vacuum.
We would also have liked a larger dust capacity, as the 0.83 litre canister needs to be emptied regularly.
Even so, the Shark NZ801UKT Powered Lift-Away is an excellent bagless vacuum. If you want an upright vac and have the budget to afford it, you won’t be disappointed.
- Excellent performance on all surfaces
- Pet hair tool
- Handy lift-away dust canister
- Power: 750W
- Type: Upright
Best Cordless Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
3. Dyson V11 Absolute
If you’re looking for a cordless bagless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson V11 Absolute is our #1 pick. It provides outstanding suction power and cleaning performance on all floor surfaces, so it’s a true upright replacement. Dyson has also improved the battery life, suction, and floorhead compared to the V10 Cyclone, making this the best cordless on the market.
The V11 Absolute retains the mobility, power and versatility of previous Dyson vacuums, but has been improved in a number of key areas. The LCD screen now shows the current remaining in run-time (up to 60 minutes,) so you can instantly see how it’s affected by changing tools and power modes. The parallel bin design has also allowed Dyson to increase dust capacity by 40% compared to the V7 and V8.
It’s the V11’s performance that really makes it stand out from other cordless vacs though. The new High Torque floorhead, automatic power adjustment, and excellent suction provide outstanding dirt, allergen and hair pick-up on any floor. If you choose the Absolute version, you’ll also get the Soft Roller floorhead for hard floors.
Other features include a detachable handheld mode, mini motorised tool, three power settings (including the new “Auto” mode), and a new point-and-empty bin emptying system. As you would expect from a Dyson vacuum, the V11 also has excellent filtration, so it’s one of the better bagless vacuums for allergy sufferers.
As we mentioned in our review, the biggest drawback is the price. If your budget can stretch to the V11 Absolute, however, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
- Rivals corded uprights for suction power
- Up to 60-minutes run-time
- Turbo tool for pet hair and upholstery
- Power: N/A
- Type: Cordless
Other Recommended Bagless Vacuums
4. Dyson Big Ball Animal 2
If you’re looking for the best bagless vacuum cleaner for pet hair, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 is an option to consider. It provides excellent allergen retention and is particularly effective on hard floors. Most importantly for pet owners, it does a great job of getting rid of pet hair.
As you would expect from an expensive Dyson vacuum cleaner, the Big Ball Animal 2 is a powerful machine. Its hard floor performance is as good as almost any vacuum cleaner, and it can get rid of both small dust particles and larger debris without changing tools.
There are also some interesting features included with the vacuum. It has a self-righting design, so you don’t need to worry about it falling over as you move around your home. There’s an articulated wand and the Pneumatic floor head “self-adjusts” depending on the type of floor. The emptying system also has a similar design to the Dyson V8, which means it pushes out dust and dirt rather than relying on gravity.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the previous Cinetic Big Ball Animal was that it only provided average cleaning performance on carpets – especially compared to the best cylinder vacuum cleaners. Fortunately, Dyson has solved whatever the problem was and this newer version provides fantastic carpet performance. The tangle-free turbine tool is also great for removing hair.
It has some drawbacks though. The Dyson’s powerful suction can make it difficult to push on some carpets. The emptying system also allows dust and other particles to escape, so it’s not the best choice for severe allergy sufferers.
Despite these issues, the Big Ball Animal 2 is an excellent bagless vacuum cleaner. If you have pets, or just want a powerful all-round cleaner, it’s a great choice.
- Excellent performance on hard floors
- Self-righting design
- Self-adjusting floor head
- Power: 600W
- Type: Cylinder
5. Dyson V8 Absolute
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Dyson V8 series. It’s one of our top recommendations for a cordless vacuum cleaner – only beaten by Dyson’s own V10 and V11, plus the Tineco S12 – and for many people it could even replace a corded vac. For this reason, it’s an easy pick as one of the the best cordless bagless vacuum cleaners.
There are several features that set the V8 series apart from other cordless vacs. The first is its suction power. It’s a powerful vacuum cleaner that can quickly clean dust, dirt and pet hair. It’s also great on almost any floor – including laminate and carpets.
The V8 comes with several tools and floor heads. The primary tool is the direct-drive floor head, which uses a motorised brush-bar to stir up dust that’s deep in carpet fibres. There’s also a miniature turbo brush and soft-roller cleaner head, which is great for cleaning hard floors.
One of the downsides to buying a cordless bagless vacuum cleaner is that the dust capacity is likely to be even smaller than an upright. The V8, for example, only has a 0.54 litre canister, so it fills up quickly. Fortunately, the V8 comes with a new emptying system which pushes debris out of the canister.
Of course, the biggest drawback of the V8 Absolute is the price. This is an expensive vacuum cleaner that costs considerably more than most cylinder and upright models. Even so, it’s an outstanding cordless that’s worth every penny.
- Excellent suction power for a cordless
- Several tools and floor heads
- Miniature turbo tool for pet hair
- Power: N/A
- Type: Cordless
6. Vax Air Lift Steerable Pet
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper than the Dyson or Miele vacuum cleaners on this list, the Vax UCPECHV1 Air Lift Pet (successor to the also excellent Vax Air Lift U84-AL-Pe) could be a great alternative. It features a similar lift-out design to the Shark and is also great on pet hair. It’s not the most powerful vacuum on the market, but still does a decent job for an excellent price.
As you would expect from a pet vacuum cleaner, the Vax does a good job of removing both short and long hair. There’s also a turbo pet tool for getting hair out of carpets and upholstery.
It has enough power to get rid of dust stuck between floor boards, while also pulling dirt from deep in carpet fibres. Unlike lower quality models, it can handle larger debris too.
The lift-out cylinder is a useful feature for cleaning stairs and above furniture. While it’s not as convenient as a cordless – mainly due to its weight – it’s better than a fixed upright vacuum for cleaning awkward locations.
Vax has tried to make the machine easy to manoeuvre around the home by including a steerable design. This works to an extent, although it’s not as mobile as the Dyson Big Ball or a cordless vac. Dust can also get stuck in the canister when you try to empty it, so I don’t recommend this model for people with allergies.
Aside from these issues, there aren’t many big downsides to cleaning with the Vax, but it doesn’t excel in many areas either. It does a decent job on carpets, hard floors and laminates, although it can’t match the performance of more expensive vacuums. It’s also a relatively bulky vacuum cleaner, so it might not be the right choice if you’re looking for a compact vacuum.
Even so, the Vax is a solid all-round bagless vacuum cleaner that’s available for a very reasonable price. It won’t let you down on carpets, hard floors and laminates, and the lift-out design makes it more versatile than most uprights.
- Solid all-rounder that's great for pet hair
- Lift-out design for cleaning stairs
- Excellent price
- Power: 900W
- Type: Upright
7. Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog
If you’re looking for an alternative cordless to the Dyson V11, then the Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog is an excellent choice. It’s a bagless vacuum cleaner with both handheld and upright modes, mini tool for pet hair, and a manoeuvrable design. It’s also relatively quiet and provides strong suction, even on the lowest power setting.
Miele is a relative newcomer to the “cordless stick” vacuum market, but the Triflex HX1 has proved to be an instant hit. With powerful suction, high-quality floorhead, and plenty of features, it provides great value. The Miele also comes with a HEPA filter to capture dust and other allergens.
Like most cordless vacuums, the Miele can convert into a handheld vacuum for smaller cleaning jobs. Less common is the option of moving the power unit to the bottom of the stick, which effectively turns the vacuum into an upright model. This is great for cleaning large areas of floor, as it reduces the amount of weight you need to hold, and also makes the vacuum freestanding.
There are several models of the Miele Triflex available, including the standard, Pro, and Cat & Dog. We think the Cat & Dog provides the best value, as it comes with a pet turbo tool and is considerably cheaper than the Pro. The HX1 Pro does include a backup battery, however, which increases the total run-time to 120 minutes – but there’s no tool for pet hair.
Speaking of pet hair, the Miele makes quick work of both long and short hair. It can even remove hair that’s become ground into carpet fibres, which most vacuums struggle with. The vacuum also has excellent filtration via the HEPA filter, although make sure you empty it outside if you suffer from allergies.
In terms of cleaning performance, the Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog does a great job on both carpets and hard floors. It doesn’t have difficulty getting rid of larger debris either, which is often a problem for cordless vacuums. A bonus is that the Triflex can automatically detect flooring type and reduce the brush bar speed when needed (only in Medium and High power modes though.)
There are a few minor downsides to the Miele. Like other stick vacuums, if you want to clean high places you’ll need to raise the entire machine rather than just a hose and wand. This can be tiring, especially as the power unit is quite bulky. There’s always the option of using the handheld mode, but at the expense of reach. It also has a small 0.5 litre dust capacity, so you’ll need to empty it more often.
Despite these drawbacks, the Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog is an excellent alternative to corded cylinder or upright vacuums. The bagless design, HEPA filter, 3-in-1 configuration, and pet turbo tool also mean it’s a versatile choice.
- Highly manoeuvrable cordless stick design
- 3-in-1 design
- Powerful and great for getting rid of pet hair
- Maximum Run-Time: 60 minutes
- Type: Cordless
8. Shark NV681UKT Lift-Away True Pet
If you’re looking for the best upright bagless vacuum cleaner that’s cheaper than the Shark NZ801UKT, then the Shark NV681UKT is our second recommendation. It’s a powerful vacuum with a motorised pet tool, lift-away canister and a mobile steering system – all for a great price.
The stand-out feature of the Shark is its lift-away canister. You can detach the dust container from the vacuum, which makes it easier to clean stairs or under furniture. There’s also a button to switch brush bar power at the top of the canister, which is useful when moving between carpets and hard floors.
Aside from the lift-away design, the Shark has swivel steering and an ergonomic handle. This makes it highly mobile and easy to steer around the home, which can’t be said for many upright vacuums. It also comes with a powered pet brush and several other accessories.
The suction power is also excellent. You can feel it lift the carpet to provide a deep clean, while the lift-out feature means you can direct the power to stairs and other areas traditional uprights tend to struggle.
To summarise, the Shark NV681KT is one of the most user-friendly upright vacuums on the market. It’s great on almost any type of floor and makes quick work of pet hair. If you need a bagless upright vacuum, this is our top pick.
- Lift-out canister design for cleaning stairs
- Powerful suction and a turbo pet tool
- Great on almost any surface
- Power: 750W
- Type: Upright
The best bagless vacuum cleaners are more convenient than bagged alternatives. They also cost less in the long run, as you don’t need to buy replacement bags.
Our top pick for a bagless vacuum is the excellent Shark NZ801UKT. It’s a powerful vacuum with excellent cleaning performance, hygienic emptying system and a turbo tool for pet hair. If you want a cordless, it’s hard to beat the Dyson V11 Absolute.
Do you have any questions about choosing the best bagless vacuum for your home? Or do you think there’s a model that deserves to be added to this list? Let us know in the comments!