Canister vacuum cleaners come with many different features to love. Unlike uprights, which are generally limited to the brush roller built into the device, canister vacuum cleaners can swap out attachments to match any surface you need to clean. Canister vacuums are also easier to use when cleaning above-ground surfaces, like stairs, upholstery, fans, and other such locations.
Traditionally, though, canister vacuum cleaners are bagged, which means you’d have to continuously buy new bags to keep the vacuum cleaner running. For many people, this recurring cost can take away from some of the advantages of a canister vacuum and push them towards upright or stick models. Luckily, there are an increasing variety of bagless canister vacuum options in the market today.
This article reviews four vacuum cleaners that we feel best represent these unique types of vacuum, each of which excels at cleaning surfaces on the floor and beyond. There are lots to cover, including careful considerations unique to this bagless variety, so let’s get into some of the best bagless canister vacuums in the market today.
Canister | 24 ft cord | Bagless | HEPA Filtration | 22.7 lbs | 9 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
This unique Kenmore bagless canister has all of the attachments and other features that help make this product a must-have for carpeted floorings. A heavy, bulky design, however, combined with a shorter hose can make this vacuum more painful on the back than some of our other picks.
- Included motorized attachments make it easy to clean sofas, upholstery, and more
- HEPA filtration is excellent and makes this worth considering for pet owners
- Slim brush roller can easily maneuver under furniture and similar surfaces
- The canister may be too heavy and bulky for some to carry up stairs and for extended periods
- The hose is shorter and less flexible, which puts significant strain on the back
- The cord rewind feature is reported to be weak and easily stopped
- Retractable cord
- Pet PowerMate tool
- Attachments: Crevice tool, brush tool, upholstery tool, Pet PowerMate tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
Kenmore products, much like those from Bissell, tend to put a heavy focus on pet compatibility, and that trend definitely extends to this bagless canister. The Kenmore Pet Friendly Bagless Canister 22614uses a motorized brush roll and a Pet PowerMate tool. These elements work as powerful agitators that can pull out even the longest pet hair and are designed to easily fit into crevices and under furniture to provide for a detailed, deep clean.
Fully-fledged HEPA filtration is also available on the Kenmore 22614, which has a fairly straightforward bin removal and debris disposal system. While the hose is reported to be 9 feet long (or 14 feet long with attachments), it’s also stiff and quite compressed, which can make cleaning more difficult and straining on the back. Despite this disadvantage, the motorized attachments and controllable brush roller allows for easy operation on carpets, hardwood, and more. We think this Kenmore model is a great overall solution that comes with more than enough attachments to keep your rooms clean.
Canister | 21 ft cord | Bagless | HEPA Filtration | 11.6 lbs | 8 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Electrolux’s formidable corded bagless canister seems to borrow from Miele when offering simple solutions for a variety of home cleaning needs. You can expect a ridiculous amount of reach and versatility with this product, but perhaps the bin and canister itself could be a little larger to aid in cleaning.
- Excellent long reach with retractable cord means less time finding new outlets
- Extendable wand is easy and simple to use and attach accessories to
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver around a home
- The smaller size means that there’s not a lot of space for picked up debris
- Plastic parts can feel cheap and flimsy
- Lightweight unit can be pulled around too easily and run into furniture
- Self-cleaning brush roll technology for quick detangling
- Premium HEPA filter captures 99.97% of irritants
- Attachments: 3-in-1 cleaning tool, Deluxe Bare Floor tool
- Warranty: 5-year Limited
Electrolux isn’t a brand that’s often discussed or assessed on our site, but their bagless canister offering is one that’s certainly worth talking about. The Electrolux UltraFlex EL4335B corded canister vacuum is a small, lightweight bagless canister that comes fully-equipped with the features you know and enjoy. The included detangling brush roll feature and hardwood floor tool are both welcome additions that help set his Electrolux product even further apart from the competition.
Of course, a smaller-sized canister means a smaller-sized bin, so we wouldn’t expect you to be able to go through lots of different rooms before emptying the bin out. In addition, while the canister itself is built well, the plastic parts included, like the scant attachments, can be a bit frustrating given the price tag on this product. Still, if you need a lightweight bagless canister that’s got lots of options for the home and can easily be carted up and down stairs, this Electrolux product checks all the right boxes.
Canister | 21 ft Cord | Bagless | HEPA Filtration | 17.64 lbs | 15 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Dyson’s bagless canister is as large as it is expensive. You can expect loud, powerful suction from this beast as it effortlessly tackles large and small debris. Features like the hygienic dirt ejector and self-righting canister are quite helpful, but a lack of diverse attachments is disappointing considering the cost.
- Suction is powerful and almost unmatched in this category
- Easy to use hose and motorized attachment makes this perfect for stair and carpet cleaning
- The bin is one of the largest out of any bagless canister available
- Quite expensive for the category
- Not many attachments limits your ability to clean above-ground surfaces
- Loud operation can disturb small pets and children
- Self-righting canister
- Hygienic Dirt Ejector for sanitary debris removal
- Attachments: Carbon fiber turbine floor tool, stair tool, combination tool
- Warranty: 5-year Limited
Dyson vacuums are known for their bagless, powerful operation. Their canister offering is no exception, and all of the Dyson features (and quirks) can be found here. The Dyson Big Ball, almost more than any other products on our pick, is a floor-centric vacuum cleaner. Dyson’s powerful motorized brush roll and stair tool make quick work of any carpet or floor covering. There aren’t many attachments for above-ground cleaning, but the longer hose does grant you a fair amount of reach all the same.
The Big Ball is also self-righting, so there’s no feasible way to knock this product over during cleaning. Plus, the canister size is larger than many of our other picks and will easily allow you to clean multiple rooms without having to stop at the trash can.
We find the volume and price point of this bagless canister a bit frustrating, but both “detriments” are par for the course of a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Loud and proud, these products can be abrasive to some but the ideal choice for others. We recommend this bagless canister for those who need a focus on premium build quality and floor cleaning solutions.
Canister | 15 ft Cord | Bagless | High-Efficiency Filtration | 7.5 lbs | 4.8 ft Hose | X Brush Roll
The cousin to the Bissell ZING bagged, this bagless variant of the obscenely-affordable Bissell canister line is almost worth buying on cost alone. You won’t get much use on carpets out of this product, but for a simple machine that simply works, we find it hard to believe you’d find a product as good as this for less.
- Very affordable and built well for the price
- Lightweight and easily maneuvers around the house and across several floors
- Multi-surface cleaning makes it easy to go from hardwood to rugs and Berber carpeting
- No motorized brush is very limiting to this vacuum’s abilities on thick carpet
- Weak, short warranty is less than comforting
- Limited attachments are cheap and feel flimsy
- Retractable cord rewind
- Multi-Surface cleaning at the flip of a switch
- Attachments: Combination crevice tool and dusting brush, floor nozzle
- Warranty: 1-year Limited
The Bissell ZING bagless canister is the most affordable bagless canister on the market that comes primed for multi-surface cleaning. With the included floor nozzle, you can easily move back and forth between hardwood and low-pile carpeting, or use the included combination tool to get into those hard-to-reach places. The ZING also comes with a retractable cord and isn’t very heavy, making it a prime choice for multi-story homes.
Of course, a vacuum at this price point isn’t going to be perfect, and with no brush roll to speak of, we can’t really recommend this vacuum cleaner for those who need a carpet-centric product. Still, for what you’re paying for, the Bissell ZING bagless canister has good reach, easy to clean filtration, and formidable suction power. It’s worth considering for those who need a vacuum that won’t break the bank.
While a bagless canister offers easy cleaning with no recurring costs, there are a few quicks you need to know about before committing to any of our above choices:
A Matter of Cost
The major selling point of a bagless canister would be the lack of bags, but this also plays into another potential selling point: cost. Bagless vacuum cleaners are easier to manufacture and produce than their bagged cousins. Therefore, bagless canister vacuum cleaners are generally cheaper and more affordable to the average homeowner.
This makes the canister vacuum cleaner more accessible as well since canister vacuum cleaners also run more expensive as a whole. While it may take some time to get used to a canister if you’ve made the jump from an upright, choosing a bagless canister over a bagged can save you money and help you determine whether or not the canister design is right for you.
Maintenance & Messes
Bagless canister vacuums, like all other bagless vacuums, make the trade-off between recurring costs and recurring maintenance. While you can easily clean the whole house by doing little more than emptying the bin, over time, bagless vacuum cleaners are going to need maintenance. Filters will need to be replaced and periodically cleaned, and bins do tend to clog up and force the customer to dig out lodged debris.
Emptying out the bin can also be a clumsy and messy ordeal depending upon the bin’s manufacturer. While some products (like the Dyson Big Ball) try to eject dirt, others might require some of that digging we were talking about. That’s why bin size and design is an important factor to consider. Choosing the right bin can mean the difference between an easy, clean disposal and a big mess.
Much like with bagged canisters, bagless canisters are heavily reliant on their attachments. Their design makes them easy to clean above-ground surfaces, but without the right attachments, all of that reach will go to waste.
Consider the layout and style of your home, and what sorts of attachments you may need. Keeping in mind your needs and finding the right attachments for the job are going to be important to fully utilizing the bagless canister design. That’s why we recounted each of the attachment, so you know what you’ll be getting right out of the box.
Some of these attachments are also motorized and use the vacuum’s power to spin miniature brush rolls and other pieces to agitate fibers and pull out dirt. These are especially helpful for homes with pets and lots of traffic.
Bagged or Bagless? Pros and Cons
One of the major selling points between bagless and bagged vacuums is the environmental impact. The discarded bag of a bagged vacuum cleaner makes more waste, and all of that waste has to go somewhere (often, this means the landfill). Bagless models help cut down on that accumulation by skipping the bag.
Likewise, canister vacuum cleaners are often hailed for their filtration since they tend to come with bags. By purchasing a bagless canister vacuum, however, you are often negating one of the advantages of the category.
Generally, we recommend canister vacuum cleaners for those who want an easy-to-use product that’s powerful and can clean a variety of surfaces. We also recommend bagless vacuums for those who prefer to avoid generating recurring waste and enjoy an easy-to-use, less costly household appliance.
For more on bagged, bagless, and canister vacuums, consider our articles on Upright vs. Canister Vacuum Cleaners or Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners. While the bagless canister vacuum is a more rare combination of the two attributes, it is still carrying the same pros (and cons) of each.
As you can tell, the range of quality and price on bagless canister vacuum cleaners can be quite high. These top four vacuums come with heaps of value and great features, but not all of them are going to be perfect for your household.
If you need an all-around bagless canister vacuum, we recommend the Kenmore 22614 bagless canister. Not only it is a formidable bagless canister option, but it is one of the best overall canister vacuums around, bagless or otherwise.
The Dyson Big Ball is another great choice for those who need a bagless canister to clean floors and stairs. Otherwise, Electrolux EL 4335B corded canister offers great attachments, and the Bissell ZING bagless canister is the perfect choice for budgeting homeowners.
Regardless, be sure to check out our Best Canister Vacuum article if you’re interested in canister vacuum cleaners as a whole, and think carefully about your home’s needs before committing to a purchase. With the right bagless canister vacuum, you’ll be able to easily clean your own and never worry about buying new bags again.