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Published Sep. 29, 2021

Keeping floors and household surfaces free from dirt, dust, and debris seems to be a never-ending task. Especially in busy households with pets and children, it’s crucial to keep a high-efficiency vacuum on hand for both major cleaning and quick touch-ups. 

A vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system is a must-have cleaning aid for users who suffer from allergies to pollen, pet hair, dust, and other airborne triggers. To deliver optimal effectiveness, many HEPA filtration systems offer sealed air pathways that prevent allergens from escaping once they’ve been suctioned up from household surfaces. Not only do these vacuums ensure a neat and clean appearance for the home, but they also contribute to the health of its occupants by ridding the environment of allergens.  

Bagless vacuums feature dust receptacles where dirt particles and debris are stored for disposal. These are considered more convenient than traditional bagged vacuums, as purchasing and storing vacuum bags turn out to be unwanted hassles. With bagless designs, each of the vacuums presented here offers a quick-release mechanism to separate the dust cup for emptying into a trash can.

How We Picked These Products

Methodology 

After researching high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems, I read the product descriptions for approximately 15 different bagless vacuums that contain HEPA filters. I looked for those with the highest levels of powerful cleaning efficiency along with the most favorable reputations for maintaining allergen-free home environments.

Style of Construction: I investigated upright vacuums, lift-away styles, canister vacuums, and cordless stick vacuums. In each style category, I found viable choices offering powerful suction and user-friendly features.

Air Filtration Capacity: The focus of my research centered around vacuums with HEPA filters and bagless dust disposal systems. Within the category of HEPA filters, I looked for those that trap and remove the greatest percentage of allergens from the air. My intent was to discover vacuums that make the maximum contribution to healthy home environments.

Brand Reputation: My research revealed enthusiastic customer endorsements for vacuums manufactured by several well-known companies. Additionally, these highly regarded brands provide descriptions of superbly crafted and efficient machines that serve users well over long periods of time.

Included Tools and Attachments: To increase the versatility and usefulness of their vacuums, manufacturers offer a variety of included tools that attach to the basic machine. To determine the added value, I investigated the array of tools such as extension wands and hoses as well as specially shaped attachments for cleaning furniture, hard-to-reach crevices, and more.

The Best Bagless HEPA Vacuums: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum

Hard-Working Allergen Trap

The Shark Rotator upright vacuum stands out as a leader in capturing and removing dust and allergens from household surfaces.

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Why It Made The Cut: This vacuum from Shark combines a highly efficient level of HEPA air filtration along with convenient features such as easy steering, a large dust receptacle, bagless operation, and useful tools.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 45.7 by 12.1 by 12.2 inches
  • Weight: 15.5 pounds
  • Number of included tools and attachments: 4

Pros:

  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal filtration system with HEPA filter
  • Advanced Swivel Steering
  • LED headlights
  • Extra-large dust cup
  • Lift-away pod for cleaning stairs and above-floor surfaces

Cons:

  • Cord does not retract

This corded upright vacuum cleaner from Shark features anti-allergen technology along with a HEPA filter to trap and remove particles from floors, carpets, upholstery, and other surfaces in the home. The system traps and removes 99.9 percent of dust and allergens measuring 0.3 microns or larger. The result is cleaner and healthier breathable air in the home environment.

With its advanced steering system, the Shark pivots and maneuvers easily around furniture and obstacles while LED headlights illuminate its path. Users can switch from carpet mode to hard floor mode at the touch of a switch, conveniently located on the top of the canister.  

A lift-away pod facilitates cleaning stairs, furniture, and other above-floor surfaces. The included hose along with the dusting brush, the 12-inch crevice tool, and the upholstery brush, facilitate cleaning even those hard-to-reach places that collect dust and dirt. With its 1.3-quart capacity, the extra-large dust cup requires less frequent emptying, compared to other vacuums.

Best Value: Kenmore DU2012 Bagless Upright Vacuum

Versatile and Affordable

Available at a budget-friendly price, the Kenmore DU2012 vacuum offers versatile suction power and a sealedHEPA filtration system.

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Why It Made The Cut: A sealed HEPA filtration system delivers the optimal level of allergen removal, and this Kenmore vacuum offers that advantage along with two settings for users to modify the suction power. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 25.4 by 20.5 by 17.3 inches
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Number of included tools and attachments: 3

Pros:

  • HEPA filter with sealed air pathway
  • 2-motor system for versatile suction power
  • 10-foot extension hose
  • Attachments for crevices and upholstery
  • Powerful suction

Cons:

  • The upright vacuum may topple over when users manipulate the attached extension hose

Available at an affordable price, this bagless vacuum from Kenmore boasts a HEPA filtration system that captures 99.7 percent of dust and dirt from surfaces in the home, trapping it within a sealed airway. With its two-motor system, users can adjust the suction power to accommodate the cleaning of multiple surfaces, including hard floors, carpet, upholstery, and draperies.

The Kenmore bagless, upright vacuum weighs in at only 14 pounds, making it lightweight and portable. With its swivel steering mechanism, it’s a breeze to maneuver around furniture and corners. The flexible hose allows extension up to 10 feet, and the hose attachments facilitate cleaning diverse surfaces on above-floor levels. The 3-in-1 tool serves as a crevice-cleaning implement as well as a dirt-removal brush and upholstery-cleaning brush. 

In business since 1913, Kenmore began selling vacuum cleaners in 1932. For many years, the Sears company sold Kenmore products in its retail stores, and the brand built a strong reputation for offering high-quality vacuums at affordable prices. The Kenmore brand is currently owned by Transform Holdco, an affiliate of ESL Investments.

Best for Pets: Hoover MAXLife Pro Pet Swivel Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Suctions Up Pet Hair

For homes where furry friends reside, the Hoover MAXLife provides ample suction power.

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Why It Made The Cut: In addition to a sealed HEPA filtration system to trap and remove allergens while absorbing odors, the Hoover MAXLife delivers powerful suction that’s designed to pick up pet hair. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 11.5 by 12.5 by 45 inches
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Number of included tools and attachments: 4

Pros:

  • Pet upholstery tool
  • 13-foot extension wand
  • Extra-large dust cup
  • Sealed filtration system with HEPA filter

Cons:

  • Cord is not retractable

Pet parents love their fur babies, but cleaning can be a never-ending chore when pet hair and dirt collect on floors, upholstery, and household surfaces. The Hoover MAXLife system delivers maximum suction over extended periods of use, even without regular filter maintenance. Additionally, the sealed HEPA filtration system captures 99 percent of dust, dirt, and allergens, using an odor-minimizing filter.  Homes with multiple pets benefit from the cleaning and air-freshening capacity of the Hoover MAXLife, and the bagless design facilitates the efficient disposal of pet hair, dirt, and debris.

Activate the brush roller for carpeted surfaces, or shut it off for hard floors. The 13-foot extension hose and wand facilitate cleaning hard-to-reach surfaces above the floor level. Hoover provides tools and attachments, including an upholstery brush designed to pick up pet hair, a crevice tool, and a dusting brush. For fewer trips to the trash can, the extra-large dust cup holds 1.58 quarts of pet hair, dirt, and debris.

The Hoover company has enjoyed a stellar reputation for offering high-quality vacuum cleaners to the American public since 1908. In that year, W. H. Hoover bought the patent for a “suction sweeper” from inventor Murray Spangler. The impetus for the invention was Spangler’s tendency to suffer from allergy and asthma problems exacerbated by the dust he stirred up while sweeping floors in his job as a janitor. With more than 100 years of innovation and development to their credit, Hoover now offers highly efficient HEPA filtration systems to rid home environments of harmful allergens.

Best Cordless: Premium Dyson V7 Allergy HEPA Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Lightweight but Powerful

This cordless vacuum from Dyson is easy to maneuver, and it offers an efficient allergen-removing HEPA filtration system along with bagless dust disposal.

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Why It Made The Cut: Lightweight, cordless, bagless, and equipped with versatile tools and attachments, this Dyson vacuum traps dust and allergens in a washable, lifetime HEPA filter.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 8.7 by 9.8 by 48.3 inches
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Number of included tools and attachments: 6

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Use as a “stick” vacuum or as a lift-away handheld device
  • Versatile supply of tools and attachments
  • Washable HEPA filter

Cons:

  •  Users must recharge the battery

Skip the hassle of tripping over the cord while vacuuming. Dyon combines the convenience of cordless operation with powerful suction and a HEPA filtration system. This vacuum pulls in dust, dirt, and allergens, traps the unwanted particles in the filter, and expels air that is cleaner than the air that went in. The washable lifetime HEPA filter does all the work, and the bagless dust receptacle is easy to remove for disposal.

Weighing in at only 5.3 pounds, this vacuum is a dream come true for users who are tired of wrestling with heavy machines on cleaning days. With an instant-release trigger located on the telescoping handle, the machine only uses battery power while it’s actively cleaning. When it’s fully charged, the battery provides 30 minutes of strong, continuous suction. 

The Dyson cordless stick vacuum cleans hard floors and engages a powerful, rotating brush bar for carpets. For above-floor surfaces, the ergonomically designed handle detaches easily from the telescoping wand, facilitating handheld operation. Six cleaning-tool attachments make the handheld device useful to achieve favorable cleaning results on multiple surfaces, including furniture, auto upholstery, light fixtures, baseboards, and more.  

Best Upright: Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Ideal for Busy Households

An optimal choice for families with kids and pets, the Hoover WindTunnel 3 provides powerful suction and efficient HEPA filtration for substantial cleaning duties.

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Why It Made The Cut: This upright vacuum from Hoover boasts powerful suction, a HEPA filtration system with odor-absorbing capacity, and an ample supply of extension tools to facilitate multi-level cleaning tasks.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 13 by 15 by 44 inches
  • Weight: 18.1 pounds
  • Number of included tools and attachments: 5

Pros:

  • Carbon HEPA filtration system absorbs odors
  • Pet turbo tool
  • 40-foot power cord
  • Powerful suction

Cons:

  • Weighing in at 18.1 pounds, it’s a bit heavy

The upright, WindTunnel 3 from Hoover provides powerful suctioning capacity and versatile features for busy households with kids and pets. When dirt, dust, pollen, pet hair, and debris find their way into the home on a regular basis, this Hoover vacuum with a HEPA filter delivers reliable cleaning results. 

User-friendly features such as the 40-foot power cord and the 15-foot extended reach of the flexible hose with attachments make this vacuum a versatile workhorse for cleaning. It tackles both hard floors and carpets with a 4-level, floor-height adjustment and a 15-inch-wide suctioning path. Additionally, the included hose and four attachments facilitate cleaning furniture, upholstery, stairs, baseboards, and more. 

While fur babies make home life more enjoyable, they track in dirt from outdoors and shed their hair onto multiple surfaces throughout the home. To tackle this problem, Hoover includes the pet turbo tool, a powerful suctioning device that attaches to the flexible extension hose. Additionally, the HEPA filter includes carbon, an odor-absorbing element that eliminates residual pet odors.

Best Canister: Severin Germany Nonstop Corded Bagless Canister Vacuum

Tested for Durability

This canister-style vacuum from Severin traps 99.95 percent of dust and allergens in its HEPA filtration system.

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Why It Made The Cut: Providing the option of a canister style, this vacuum from Severin offers a highly efficient HEPA filtration system along with bagless dust disposal and extension tools for cleaning hard-to-reach surfaces.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 22.3 by 15.5 by 13.2 inches
  • Weight: 20.9 pounds
  • Number of included tools and attachments: 3

Pros:

  • Quiet operation
  • Multi-Cyclone technology
  • Extra-large dust receptacle
  • Telescoping tube and extension hose 

Cons:

  • The power cord is shorter than those on other vacuums

Severin equips this canister vacuum from Severin with technology that includes an initial cyclone stage followed by several small cyclones to spin the finest particles out of the air as it enters the HEPA filtration system. After trapping up to 99.95 percent of dust and allergens, this vacuum expels air that is cleaner than the air that went in. 

A variety of included tools and attachments make the Severin Nonstop an optimal choice for multiple cleaning tasks. The 35-inch telescoping tube and the 6-foot flexible hose both facilitate cleaning those hard-to-reach places throughout the home. These features create a 29-foot action radius for users. In addition to the primary nozzle for hard floors and carpets, a protective cloth bag holds three extra, included nozzles for cleaning upholstery, furniture, and crevices.

Severin is a German company whose engineers and product developers subject their vacuum cleaners to durability tests that simulate a service life of at least 10 years. Breakage tests measure the resilient strength of motors, controls, and surface materials. Severin strives to discover weak points and correct them before offering their vacuums for sale to the public.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Bagless HEPA Vacuum

A vacuum cleaner is a sizable purchase, and a high-quality, durable machine should provide years of dependable service. Before making the investment in a bagless HEPA vacuum, here are a few criteria to consider. 

Design 

Shoppers might first consider the overall style and design of the desired vacuum cleaner. Upright styles are easy to manipulate, but they may be heavy. A lift-away pod or attachable extension hose allows users to work away from the machine base to reach above-floor surfaces such as stairs and furniture. On the other hand, canister vacuums feature rolling units that follow behind the cleaning tube and nozzle. This design facilitates easily interchanging the specialized attachments for diverse cleaning tasks.

Power Source

Most vacuums operate via corded electricity, using current from regular household outlets. However, some options feature cordless operation with rechargeable batteries as the power source. The advantages of a cordless vacuum include its lightweight and convenient maneuverability. Of course, the fully charged battery delivers a finite limit on vacuuming time before it needs to be recharged.

Allergen-Removal Capacity

HEPA filters remove tiny particles from the air and from household surfaces. Shoppers may consider their personal needs and those of family members for ensuring clean home environments that do not trigger allergic reactions. Vacuum cleaner product descriptions contain information about the percentage of allergens that may be trapped by various filtration systems. This information helps shoppers to make selections based on their sensitivity to allergens.

Household Occupants

The cleaning needs in a household with numerous family members, including kids and pets, will be different from the cleaning needs in a home with one or two adults and no pets. Each shopper might consider the needs of their household before choosing a bagless HEPA vacuum. Manufacturers offer vacuums with special tools for removing pet hair, and vacuums with strong suctioning power deliver more substantial cleaning capacity for households with numerous occupants.

Variety of Cleaning Tasks

Based on the configuration and variety of attachable tools, users may accomplish diverse cleaning tasks with bagless HEPA vacuums. For example, vacuums with lift-away pods of extra-long extension hoses facilitate cleaning stairs. Shoppers may consider their needs to clean hard-to-reach surfaces in their homes before selecting a vacuum cleaner with the optimal design, attachments, and tools.

FAQs 

Q: Are HEPA vacuums better?

Yes. Vacuums with HEPA filtration systems are recommended for removing dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens from the home.

Q: Do HEPA vacuums remove viruses from the home?

While HEPA filters in vacuums do not specifically remove viruses from the home, they are useful for trapping and removing tiny particles, including allergens and contaminants, from household surfaces.

Q: How does a HEPA filter work?

The air passes through a filter made of extremely fine fibers arranged in dense layers that trap and hold tiny particles (as well as larger ones) while the air is forced through the filter.

Final Thoughts

Why clean the house without removing the maximum amount of dust, pollen, and allergens that affect the health of its occupants? Acquiring a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter simply makes sense. When household members can enjoy the visual pleasure of seeing a clean and pleasant home environment along with the healthful effects of breathing cleaner air, it’s a win-win situation for all.

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