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Vacuum cleaners is a topic that we don’t really delve that much into here on UKW because to be candid people seem to have decided that they want bagless cleaners and have an unhealthy fascination with watching the dirt off their floors spinning around and around.

We don’t.

The commercial world of vacuum cleaners doesn’t either.

In fact ask almost anyone that works with vacs and they will all tell you that when it comes to the dirty world of floor cleaning, bagged cleaners are better.

  How A Vac Works

To understand why that many if not most people that know much about cleaners say this you need to understand the principle of a vac and, to dumb it down for easy consumption all it does is suck air from one place and move it to another.

Okay, it’s a bit more complex than that but the basic principle is simple enough.

There’s a bit that you place against the carpet (we’ll refer to that as the cleaning nozzle), a motor will spin up at high speed that has a fan on it and int turn this creates a vacuum effect that puts air in through the cleaning nozzle.

The idea is that whilst pulling that air that dust and detritus is also pulled with it into the cleaner.

If you’re with us so far then you will now understand that this air has to go somewhere and it is then expelled out the back of the cleaner usually or the top back into the room.

The trick is to get the air back out without the dust and dirt.


This is where the notion of filters kick in. You see the better the vac filters the less dust and especially micro particles that it pumps back into he room as, after all, that air has to go there so you need to remove as much as you can.

On a bagged cleaner you will have at least two filters and sometimes three. A pre motor filter and a post filter although in a world where cost cutting is king we often see only one of them these days on domestic vacs.

Where’s the other filter you might ask. The other filter is the bag.

On bagless cleaner, like a Dyson and the untold plethora of clones, the idea is that the dust is held in a “vortex” of air and the air filtered and expelled.

Does that work as well as a bag? In our opinion and that of many, no it does not.

Even if you have only a single motor filter, bagless still can’t cut it performance wise if you ask us.

And on a bagless cleaner, keeping the filters in absolute tip top condition all the time is utterly vital or the performance will drop off a cliff, fast.

This is largely the reason we say that bagless cleaners are not so great and why that in commercial use bagless cleaners are of little use at all. Users will not maintain the filters well enough to retain the performance levels.

If you don’t maintain them religiously then you will have to replace them and, that can cost a lot more than bags.

  Cost Of Bags

Seriously people stress about this!

Bags are cheap, really cheap. Even some the more expensive (brilliant performance though) such as the Miele or Sebo bags are relatively cheap for what they do and the technology in them.

It seems people don’t like paying for them but a number of us use Sebo cleaners, we love them they just work and keep right on working and a pack of bags will last most of us a year and sometimes more in normal domestic use.

As a monthly cost, it’s peanuts.

And a bagless cleaner has a far lower capacity than a bagged one.

If you’re told that this is a cost concern we’d say, don’t take too much notice of that as a comment as it’s not really all that valid an argument.


The performance of a bagged cleaner is just so far superior it’s unreal.

Often people that have had a Dyson or some pile of Chinese junk that buy a Sebo will comment that they didn’t know their carpets could get that clean from just hoovering them.

Another bonus is, you don’t have to tip out that smelly dusty bin thing, just take out the bag, pop a cap on it and bin it. No mess, no fuss.

The advantages far outweigh the low cost of replacement bags.

If you don’t clean the filters on a bagless though and, you let the dust bucket fill up too much you’re in for degraded performance and quite possibly dust expelled back into the room. They need constant love and attention to get the best from them and, even then we don’t think they can match a bagged cleaner by a mile.

  HEPA Filters & Allergens

All the time we see HEPA filters which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance in case you were interested.

What most literature won’t tell you is that there are multiple grades of HEPA filter so, even if you see a cleaner proudly declaring that it has a HEPA filter that doesn’t mean it’s any good. They are not all the same and, not all made to the same standards.

Many people buy them as they suffer from allergen issues and want as much dust removed as possible and, honestly if that’s you, buy a good bagged cleaner and don’t waste your time and money on a bagless one as even the best, which probably is the Dyson ones, won’t do as well as a bagged cleaner in this respect.

  Vacuum Cleaner Top Dogs

If you look about instead of just taking our word for it or you just don’t believe us by this point you will find that none of the top end models of vac and no commercials use bagless.

Neither Sebo and Miele who are the best in the business on vac don’t make any at all, they’ve stuck with bagged cleaners.

You have to wonder why.

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