After upright or canister, the most important decision you make about your vacuum cleaner is whether it is bagless or uses a dustbag. In our opinion, if you have allergies, asthma or are concerned about the quality of your indoor air, the answer is simple: get a vacuum with a dustbag.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with bagless vacuums. The better ones do an excellent job of cleaning. But allergy and asthma sufferers will want to consider all the dust they will be exposed to when maintaining the bagless vacuum. No matter which bagless vacuum cleaner you use, it still comes down to removing a container of dust and allergens and crud that you so carefully removed from your home, and dumping it into something so you can throw it away.
When you dump that stuff from the bagless vacuum cleaner’s collection bin, you create a cloud of dust and allergens. You inevitably breathe in some of that as you throw it out, and will breathe in more as the cloud disperses and drifts into your home where you will breathe.
And it’s not just emptying the dustbin. Many bagless vacuums use filters that you need to brush or wash to remove trapped particles. This puts back into your home the allergens and dirt you just removed.
It’s also important to remember that dirt travels through the whole vacuum cleaner system. The nature of bagless design makes it nearly impossible to seal a bagless vacuum so that there is no dirty air leakage through non-filtered openings. That’s in addition to the difficulties of creating an air tight seal on a collection bin while still making it easy to remove and replace.
So, we prefer vacuum cleaners with bags, especially the Miele vacuum line. Miele AirClean bags are designed with a “cover” of durable plastic that snaps shut when the bag is removed. This virtually eliminates the possibility of dirt, dust and other allergens escaping from the bag when you remove it.
More important, AirClean bags are designed to provide additional filtration. They have multiple layers of electrostatic fiber that grab fine particles that can leak through other bags and even the seals of some bagless vacuums.
But most important is Miele’s Sealed System construction. Each individual compartment and the system as a whole are sealed with one continuous, precision-fitted rubber gasket. This unique design makes sure that nothing leaks out of the vacuum cleaner before the air is exhausted through the final filter.