Bagged, Bagless or Water Filtration?

Do you buy a bagless vacuum cleaner or a bagged vacuum cleaner, this question is regularly asked. The main vacuum cleaner brands have debated the performance of no bags verses bags for a number of years in terms of their performance and references to no loss of suction, washable life-time filters and more.

whatvacuum would prefer to give advice on the practical benefits of how the dust and debris are stored before disposal in a bin.

If you buy a vacuum cleaner with no bags and you select a quality manufacture then you simply use the product and regularly empty the dirt and debris into the bin. You don’t have to buy bags and the filters are changed or washed depending on the manufacturers advise. So no need to buy bags and minimum expense. Emptying the dirt out of the container into the bin can be a dirty experience and you must empty the container regularly to avoid debris backing up into the filtration unit as this can be difficult to clean. Have a look at the Dyson DC54, Bosch Power or the Vax Air Pet.

If you don’t like touching the dust and want to avoid any chance of contact with it, then look at a bagged cleaner where the bags can be easily disposed of in the bin and simply replaced with a new one but you will need to have a regular source of bags and be prepared to pay for them. Also don’t over fill the bag as the dirt will escape inside the cleaner and block the filters. The German brands are very good in particular the Miele Eco Power, Sebo X4 Pet, Thomas Eco Crooser and if you want a sturdy popular tank then Henry made by Numatic in the UK is perfect.

If you really want to dampen down the dirt and dust particles you can buy vacuum cleaners with water filtration which use water to filter the dust and debris, the house mites, pollen and other allergens are absorbed into the water and then simply emptied down the toilet or drain so no bags to buy and the room is humidified leaving it fresh. Have a look at the Bora 4000, Thomas Anti-Allergy. If you want to wash the carpets and hard floors as well then the Thomas Pet & Family .

What Tools To Clean Where?

The right tool for the right job makes cleaning the home even easier. Many vacuum cleaners have onboard tools, but what should you use where? Here's some pointers:

  • Crevice tool - gets into tight nooks and crannies.
  • Circular dusting brush - multiple uses. Acrylic-made, hard wearing. Ideal for dusting shelves, skirting boards, picture rails, books etc.
  • Soft horsehair dusting brush - use for fine china/crystal.
  • Upholstery brush - for soft furnishings, like chairs, curtains. Keeps them fluff free, looking good.

Storing your vacuum

This depends on your needs and cupboard space. Some vacuums have a 'parking' system for slotting the floor head into appliance's side, making them easier to carry and store. If space is tight, but you need to store your vacuum cleaner in a small cupboard, unclip the suction hose, tube and floor head to make it more compact.


As one of the home's most used appliances, keep your vacuum's performance to its most efficient. Frequently change the motor filter. This will increase air flow, keep dust away from the motor and prevent clogging. The type of filter will determine how often it requires changing. If your appliance uses dust bags, those of fabric are like a filter and do not split when sharp objects are vacuumed up. Some bags ensure optimum airflow, which keeps the suction.

  • Blockages - to avoid blockages, try not to vacuum items which could potentially get wedged in suction hose.
  • Keep floor head debris free - helps airflow and gives greater suction. Most floor heads can be opened for cleaning (see manufacturer instructions) making it easier/quicker to remove items like hair which get wound round bristles.
  • Settings - vacuum cleaners have different settings, varying with model type.
  • Minimum/maximum rotary dials - if your machine has this type of suction selector with no fixed positions, choose anywhere between the two settings to vacuum. Lower setting is good for vacuuming curtains and upholstery, high settings for vacuuming carpets.