Bagless vacuum cleaners have quickly become the popular go-to vacuum in recent years. Without the need to purchase and replace new bags periodically, these upright vacuum cleaners can run for months without any recurring costs. In many cases, all you’ll need to do is clean out the filter and empty the bin once you’re done in a room. This makes them particularly simple to use.
While bagless vacuums exist in many different forms, it is the upright model that seems to have taken off in recent years. The versatile nature of an upright design, combined with the ease of use of a bagless vacuum cleaner, means that there are dozens of options available for anyone looking to try this model out. Given this wide range of options, where do you start to search for the bagless upright that is right for you?
This article profiles the top five bagless upright vacuums on the market today that we feel best capture the various features available. After going through each of our picks, we’ll be discussing what it means to use a bagless vacuum over a bagged alternative, as well as going over which of these bagless upright vacuums may be right for you.
Upright | 25 ft cord | Bagless | HEPA Filtration | 13 lbs | 12 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Shark’s always-popular Navigator line lives up to its reputation with this Lift-Away variant. Ease of use and lots of reach make this popular with those that have multi-story homes. Aside from a few reports of weak brush rolls on some models, the Shark Navigator seems to be one of the best upright bagless vacuums to start with.
- Lift-Away means easy handling for stairs and above-ground cleaning
- Pet brush great for upholstery
- Easy empty bagless bin
- Brush roll can clog over time
- Light on attachments and features
- Lift-Away technology
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology
- Attachments: Under appliance wand, pet power brush, dusting brush, crevice tool
- Warranty: 5-year Limited
If you’re looking for a straightforward, great all-around upright bagless at an affordable price, Shark’s ever-popular Navigator series continues to impress and improve. The Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away is an upright vacuum that carries a few of the hallmarks of a 2-in-1 vacuum. While there’s no way to convert this product into a dedicated handheld, the Lift-Away technology means you can ditch the brush roll and use the product like a small, handheld canister vacuum. In addition, a lengthy 12 ft hose (when fully extended) also means that cleaning above-ground is as simple and easy as possible with an upright.
Though the design is a bit cumbersome to maneuver, the Navigator Professional does its absolute best to combat this weakness as compare to its competitors. There is also a lack of motorized brush rolls or other features that would set this vacuum apart. At the same time, the brush roll does tend to clog. With a comprehensive 5-year warranty, however, there’s little to fear when it comes to breakdowns and other issues.
Complete with HEPA filtration, we can’t think of a better introductory upright vacuum for all types of floors. It may not be the lightest or most affordable, but this all-around design is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Upright | 35 ft cord | Bagless | HEPA Filtration | 17.35 lbs | 15 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
Dyson’s infamous Ball design makes for a powerful product with more than enough features and tools to clean most homes. The hose is long and formidable, but the clunky, heavy design and high asking price might make some less interested in this vacuum for above-ground cleaning.
- Powerful suction and brush roll
- Great on carpets and for pet hair
- Excellent build quality and attachments
- Auto adjusting floor head can be tricky
- Not ergonomic
- Pet turbine tool
- Hygienic bin emptying
- Attachments: Tangle-free turbine tool, stair tool, combination tool
- Warranty: 5-year Limited
Dyson vacuums have been quite the disruptive product in the vacuum industry, impressing many with their raw power but frustrating others with some questionable design choices. Falling in line with its predecessors, this Dyson product has lots to offer but also has its problematic aspects.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the pet-friendly variant of the standard Dyson Ball. Little seems different about the classic design, save for the powerful and handy pet turbine tool. While we would have appreciated more of a change in the original design, the pet turbine tool is greatly effective for handling upholstery and similar surfaces. The long hose is also great to utilize with the turbine tool for stair cleaning, but the long hose can only stretch so far.
At over 17 pounds, the Animal 2 is going to be quite the slog to carry up and down multiple sets of stairs. Furthermore, while this model, like other Dyson vacuums, is aesthetically pleasing for the sake of ergonomics, it’s not uncommon for vacuuming to be a bit uncomfortable. The high asking price may cause some to question exactly why Dyson chose to skip ergonomic handles, a lighter design, a manually adjusting brush roll, or other features that would supplement the undeniable power of their products.
Still, it’s not all to say that Dyson’s completely skipped on features. The build quality of both the attachments as well as the main vacuum itself is nothing to scoff at—and with a 5-year warranty, you can be assured that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 will last long enough to cover it’s asking price. Provided you don’t mind the quirks of this popular brand; you can expect the Dyson Ball Animal 2 to prove its worth as a bagless vacuum that’s built to last.
Upright | 25 ft cord | Bagless | HEPA Filtration | 16.1 lbs | 12 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll (on/off)
This affordable and capable alternative to some of our more premiums picks has quickly proven itself to be an excellent introductory bagless upright vacuum cleaner. Small quirks in the design can frustrate some, but the handy range of attachments are a welcome addition to a vacuum that performs exceptionally well.
- Great attachments make cleaning easy
- Self-retracting cord a plus for many
- Brush roll can be easily adjusted
- Attachments must be removed for hose to be used
- Some attachments feel flimsy
- Hassle-free cord rewind
- Multi-floor brush tool for optimized cleaning
- Attachments: Pet turbo tool, crevice tool, extended cleaning attachment
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
Hoover seems to have built their reputation from bagged vacuum cleaners but has made quite the splash with their latest bagless upright for handy features and a great introductory price point. The Hoover WindTunnel 2 is a straightforward, no-frills bagless upright that falls in line with many other Hoover products.
Instead of going for one specific feature to attract a crowd, Hoover relies on smaller, ergonomic choices like the self-retracting cord and an extended cleaning tool to compel customers. Both of these make operating the Hoover WindTunnel as simple as possible. There’s a bit of a hitch where the attachments must be removed to use the hose, but aside from this, but aside from this, most choices seem to be ergonomic.
The shorter warranty and plastic nature of the attachments is also a bit of a point of contention, but when it comes to a product at this price point, the suction power and manually adjusting brush roll more than makeup for it.
Having greater control over cleaning carpeted and hardwood floors, as well as a pet turbo tool and extended cleaning wand, mean that the WindTunnel 2 can comfortably compete with products near twice its asking price. If you’re a big fan of Hoover bagged models or otherwise need something that’s going to reach your vaulted ceiling fans, the Hoover WindTunnel 2 may be worth considering.
Upright | 25 ft cord | Bagless | Foam Filtration | 15 lbs | 6 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll
Bissell’s CleanView aims for ease of use and quick maintenance, and largely succeeds on both fronts. The always-spinning brush roll can struggle on pet hair, but otherwise, this is a great product for simple maintenance and operation.
- Filter and bin clean and empty easily
- Simple, intuitive operation
- Handy attachments
- Weak brush roll
- Brush roll does not turn off
- Multi-Cyclonic System
- TurboBrush tool
- Attachments: Extension wand, TurboBrush tool, dusting brush, crevice tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
Bissell seems to be one of those brands that have a hand in just about every category of vacuum. From their Big Clean to their impressive CrossWave multi-surface vacuum cleaner, there’s lots to pick from when it comes to a Bissell product. Their introductory and affordable CleanView is one such product. Designed with smaller homes in mind, the CleanView focuses on carpet cleaning and sanitary operation and features one of the easiest filters to clean yet.
While there’s no HEPA filtration to be found, knowing that any debris can be cleared out in minutes is important to many who tend to struggle with allergies. It is also not possible to turn the brush roll off. This may not be a problem for those with carpeted surfaces, but anyone with hardwood floors needs to be wary. High-spinning fibers on a brush roll can degrade hardwood surfaces over time. Likewise, despite the handy motorized TurboBrush tool, it can be difficult to recommend this product for pet hair. Many users of this specific Bissell product report having to clear out the brush roll whenever longer pet hairs are picked up, so if you have many dogs, perhaps consider a different bagless upright on our list.
For smaller carpeted homes, however, the simple-to-empty bin shows off just how easy it is to use a bagless upright, and with the extension wand, you won’t need to worry about getting into those hard-to-reach places.
Upright | 20 ft cord | Bagless | Foam Filtration | 8.8 lbs | 6.5 ft Hose | ✓ Brush Roll
With an incredibly low price point and a lightweight build design, Black & Decker have created the perfect apartment bagless upright. You won’t see many of the features popularized by other vacuums on this list, but the AirSwivel is about as light in weight and in cost as they come.
- Lightweight & ergonomic
- Large bin capacity
- Sub-par build quality
- Few attachments
- Patented swivel steering technology
- Ergonomic handle
- Attachments: 2-in-1 tool
- Warranty: 2-year Limited
Black & Decker makes a host of products within the vacuum sphere and beyond, and typically is known for a fair product at great price. Their basic bagless upright, the AirSwivel, is one of the most affordable vacuums that remains surprisingly simple to use.
The Black & Decker AirSwivel is our most affordable bagless upright pick by a considerable margin. At well under 10 lbs, the AirSwivel is also our lightest vacuum, which makes it a prime pick for smaller homes, apartments, or situations in which you’ll need to lift the vacuum up and down several flights of stairs. With a large bin capacity and washable filters, the benefits of a bagless vacuum are not missed with the AirSwivel. Likewise, their patented swivel steering sets this product apart from other similar budget vacuum cleaners.
Like the Bissell CleanView, there is no turning off the brush roll on the AirSwivel, which is important to keep in mind for hardwood-only living spaces. Otherwise, aside from the lack of attachments and plastic-y nature of the device, there’s a lot to be appreciative of with the Back & Decker AirSwivel.
The primary advantage of a bagless vacuum over bagged variants is that these bagless models boast no recurring costs aside from periodic cleaning and replacing of the filter. In addition, bagless vacuums are known to maintain their efficiency for a longer period, provide a clear way for users to know when it is time to empty out the bin, and are also more environmentally friendly than their bagged counterparts. Issues with maintenance and filtration, however, might lead some to want to return to the classic bagged design.
For more on bagged and bagless vacuums and which one might be best for you, be sure to check out our article on Which Vacuum is Best: Bagged, or Bagless?
Although we’ve covered a host of products, both large and small, bagged uprights tend to mirror each other in an overview setting. However, upon closer inspection, we can see the types of differences that can make or break a vacuum for certain consumers.
Before picking the bagless upright in your price range, consider the following and make sure your prospective pick meets up with your expectations in the following criteria:
Hose Length & Attachments
All the vacuums we recommended have hoses, which are a must for above floor cleaning. We’ve noted the hose length when it seemed appropriate, but in either case, you’ll need to pay close attention to hose length before committing to a particular vacuum cleaner. For smaller homes or homes without a handheld vacuum cleaner, having a longer hose is important.
It’s also important to note that hose lengths are often reported as the fully extended hose, as opposed to the collapsed hose that you normally see. Many upright vacuums tend to tip over when trying to extend the hose, so if this is a concern you may want to consider going for a bagless canister vacuum or purchase a handheld vacuum as an addition.
When it comes to attachments, quality and variation matters particularly if you have pets or want specific motorized attachments to help you clean. Uprights in both bagged, and bagless variants are often cumbersome and rely on attachments to get into above-ground spaces. Uprights and especially bagless uprights tend to have more attachments than most other variations of vacuum cleaners, so be sure to note that the attachments of the model you choose align with your needs.
Why Filters Matter
Because there is no bag with an internal filter to speak of, bagless vacuums and bagless uprights are heavily reliant on their filters. HEPA filtration is also something to be on the lookout for, as bagless vacuums tend to be less effective at filtration by nature of their design. Traditional foam filters are suitable for smaller homes or those without pets, but when it comes to large families with more than one furry friend, it may be better to seek out a more robust filtration method.
If allergies are a top concern for you, we would recommend reconsidering bagged vacuums for their strength in this area.
Finally, there is the issue of brush rolls. Most of our picks have brush rolls that can turn on or off, which makes it easy to safely move over to cleaning hardwood floors. The more affordable bagless uprights, however, namely the Bissell CleanView and Black & Decker AirSwivel, do not.
Turning off your brush roll gives you the ability to vacuum on hardwood without the threat of spreading around debris. It also protects sensitive hardwood flooring for unnecessary wear and tear from high-powered brush rolls. For homes with little to no hardwood, this will not be a concern. Since upright vacuums run at a higher weight than most other categories of vacuum, though, it is vital that you consider a brush roll that can be turned off if you’re considering use on hardwood.
Of course, not every consumer will be interested in the premium quality of the Dyson Ball Animal 2, or the simple, no-frills nature of the Black & Decker AirSwivel. That’s why you need to consider our Buyer’s Guide and every aspect of your prospective vacuum before purchasing.
Bagless upright vacuums are incredibly popular for their ease of use, so make sure that the model you pick lives up to that expectation. Provided you do your research and make your peace with the limitations of bagless uprights in maneuverability; we’re confident that you’ll enjoy life without ever needing to buy new vacuum bags again.