Bagged vacuum cleaner purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • What you need to know
  • Bagged hoovers have a very good dust filter and are usually very quiet.
  • Removing the dust bag is quicker and more hygienic than cleaning a dust container.
  • Hoover bags have to be changed every four to six weeks and therefore cause follow-up costs and waste.
  • Both floor and upright hoovers can be equipped with bags. Cables or rechargeable batteries are common power sources.
  • Various attachments for the vacuum cleaner make the work more comfortable.

Hoovers are widely used

A hoover can be found in almost every household, as it is an indispensable cleaning tool for many. In a short time, it can be used to pick up not only dust, hair, lint and other dirt that gradually accumulates on the floor. Even dirt carried into the hallway from outside, soil from the tipped-over flower pot in the living room or the oatmeal that accidentally fell out of the packet in the kitchen – the hoover picks up everything completely. There are small-format handheld hoovers, about the size of an iron, with which the user can quickly get over upholstered furniture or into corners on the ceiling. These smaller models without a cord are suitable for the interior of the car. Special high-performance vacuums are even designed to suck up liquids.

The classic version of the hoover, as many have it at home, is the bag hoover. Dirt and dust end up in a bag inside the hoover housing, while the air sucked in is filtered in the bag and in the device and is discharged dust-free. But bagless hoovers have also been on the market for some years. With these, the dirt is collected in a container.

Advantages and disadvantages of bag vacuums

One of the biggest advantages is for people with dust allergies. Bag vacuums are equipped with good filters and the impermeable bag keeps the dirt together. Some models have an additional filter that separates the exhaust air from tiny particles one more time. Removing the bags is easy and a more hygienic affair than cleaning the dust bin and filters of a bagless hoover. Some hoovers have the function to automatically close the bag before it is removed. This prevents the dirt from falling out, for example if you accidentally drop the bag. If you are allergic to house dust, pay special attention to the manufacturer’s specifications when buying a hoover. If they have a class A dust emission rating, they are the most efficient at filtering dust.

Bagged hoovers often have a higher efficiency. Especially with carpets, the suction power is an important factor so that dirt that is deeper in the fabric can also be removed. Choose a hoover where the suction power can be regulated. For lightly soiled and smooth floors, a low level is usually sufficient. A positive side effect is the lower noise level. For a long time, bagged hoovers were considered the quieter ones, but in the meantime, manufacturers of bagless hoovers have caught up in this area. However, current devices that rely on exceptionally quiet operating noises are usually still bag vacuums. Since 2017, there has been a regulation according to which hoovers must operate at a noise level of less than 80 decibels. This is roughly equivalent to the volume of a washing machine in the spin cycle.

Deceptive power

Some manufacturers claim that their models have a power rating of more than 2,000 watts. However, this value refers to the power consumption and not directly to the suction power. Many product tests have shown that models with a power of 700 to 900 watts are sufficient. So don’t be fooled by such high figures. The actual suction power is measured in millimetres of water column (mmWS). A hoover should have at least 2,500 mmWS for good suction power.

What should I look for when buying a bag hoover?

On the one hand, it is important that working with the hoover is efficient, but on the other hand, it should also be as comfortable as possible. If you have to bend or stoop while working, this will strain your back in the long run, so the hoover should be adapted to your body size or be adjustable in height. A longer cable allows for a larger action radius, smooth-running rollers are gentle on both carpet and wooden floors. In addition to some accessories that can be advantageous in certain areas of application, you should also pay attention to a quality filter.

Is a bag vacuum cleaner cheaper to buy?

The purchase price for bag vacuum cleaners is lower than for bagless models. However, there are additional costs associated with the purchase of the bags. It is worth investing in a vacuum cleaner with a dust container if you regularly clean large areas with it. Even if you have to vacuum more often in a household with pets, for example, the bagless hoover is the more economical solution in the long run. Bagged hoovers also lose their suction power the fuller the bag is. This effect varies from model to model, but with many high-quality appliances it is hardly noticeable. Nevertheless, you should regularly check the bag’s filling level.

Buying the right bag

One problem with bags is that they are not standardised. The number of different hoover bags is correspondingly large. Every manufacturer and every model uses its own format. Therefore, make a note of the type designation of your bag and where you can get it. DIY shops and larger department stores usually have a large selection of hoover bags, but you will definitely find one online.

When should I change the bag?

There is no set time. First of all, it depends on how often you vacuum. It also takes longer to fill the bag for smaller living spaces. However, you may have to change the dust bag even if it is not completely full. This is because bacteria can otherwise form in the dust. If the exhaust air from the hoover smells musty, it is time to change it. If you have vacuumed out food scraps or plant parts, dispose of it sooner rather than later, otherwise mould and harmful gases can form. Simply throw it away in the household waste. It is best to match the size of the bag volume to the frequency of your household cleaning when you buy it. If you vacuum weekly or more often or have large areas to clean, you can use a larger bag.

The hoover bag is usually made of a thick non-woven fabric or multi-layer paper. The opening is surrounded by a sturdy material. Depending on the model, it can be more or less easily pushed into a holder and connected there to the outlet of the suction pipe. The bags filter the dust inside the vacuum cleaner and let the air escape again. Afterwards, another filter system blows the exhaust air out of the device again

What hoover models are there?

Be it hoovers with or without a bag, both are available with a power cord and with a rechargeable battery. Battery-operated hoovers are usually sufficient for smaller areas, but the batteries only provide power for a limited time. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about an annoying power cord. Corded hoovers, on the other hand, consume electricity directly, but you can work with them for longer periods of time. Both energy models are available for upright and floor hoovers. Upright hoovers – also called stick hoovers – have the advantage of a compact and space-saving design. The motor, suction tube and handle are directly connected to each other. A floor hoover also has a hose between the motor and the tube. This makes it a little more unwieldy because you pull the main part of the appliance behind you on wheels, but it is more powerful.

Special attachments for the suction tube

Whether you use a upright or a floor vacuum cleaner, there will always be places in your home that are difficult or impossible to reach with conventional means. For some surfaces, too, one or the other additional gadget is recommended. Attachments for the suction tube, which you plug into the device instead of the regular hoover head, help with thorough cleaning. The attachments, which can vary in shape and design, are often included with the hoover.

vacuum accessories
There are different nozzle attachments for the hoover head for specific purposes.

Upholstery nozzle

This nozzle is equipped with two narrow fabric strips in front of and behind the suction opening and picks up dust and lint from upholstery. The narrow nozzle is advantageous for seating furniture, mattresses and car seats because it is gentle on the upholstery.

Crevice nozzle

The crevice nozzle is an attachment for the suction tube that becomes narrower towards the front. This makes it easier to reach hard-to-reach places, such as under furniture, behind cupboards or in gaps.

Pet hair brush

The pet hair brush picks up hair and fur with additional rotating bristles inside the suction head. This allows you to remove them from upholstery or the carpet with ease and vacuum them up immediately.

Suction brush

The suction brush is an attachment with a very soft brush head, partly with long bristles. Sensitive surfaces such as glass, but also decorations such as vases or picture frames can be easily and gently freed of dust with it.

Micro nozzle

Various micro nozzles can be connected via an adapter and a narrow suction hose, which is intended for more detailed suction work. You can use them to clean computer keyboards, stereo systems, model-making equipment and electrical appliances, among other things.