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Updated Apr 8, 2022 11:57 AM

Whether you’re freezing meat or fresh produce, a vacuum sealer is an essential tool for extending the longevity of your food. In fact, after being vacuum sealed, food lasts between three and five times longer in the fridge or freezer. By removing nearly all of the oxygen from the package and then sealing it using heat, a vacuum sealer prevents the development of bacteria as well as freezer burn. Shopping for a vacuum sealer online, however, can be overwhelming since there are so many products available. 

We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best vacuum sealer for your home and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best option, and explore our curated picks for the best vacuum sealers on the market.

How We Picked the Best Vacuum Sealers

Methodology 

While it’s easy to assume that all vacuum sealers offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. Several years of experience covering home goods and small appliances as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed more than 25 vacuum sealers and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations. 

Type: For this guide, we opted to feature handheld, external vacuum, and chamber vacuum sealers in order to provide shoppers with the widest range of options. 

Sealing power: The most important feature in a vacuum sealer is excellent sealing power. This is typically measured in inches of mercury (in Hg), though not all manufacturers list each model’s sealing power. As such, we relied on customer reviews to ensure top-notch performance. 

Additional features: We gave priority to vacuum sealers with added features and functionality to ensure our recommendations were as versatile as possible. 

The Best Vacuum Sealers: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: NutriChef PKVS Sealer

Best Overall

This external vacuum sealer is user-friendly and offers excellent performance. NutriChef

Why It Made The Cut: The NutriChef PKVS Sealer is one of the most popular options on the market due to its affordable price, top-notch performance, and included bags and accessories. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14.18 inches W x 6.07 inches D x 3 inches H
  • Type: External vacuum
  • Accessories: Air suction hose and wine stopper 

Pros:

  • Includes bags
  • Comes with useful accessories
  • Features two sealing modes

Cons:

  • No manual function

This external vacuum sealer from NutriChef is simple but effective, providing excellent performance without a complicated user interface. It features two sealing modes, both of which are useful in different scenarios. The Dry mode works well for sealing nuts, grains, bread, and crackers while the Moist mode provides a particularly strong seal to prevent liquids from leaking. The sealing mechanism measures 12 inches in length, which is suitable for most home food preservation needs.  

The kit comes with five medium-sized vacuum bags as well as an extra-long vacuum bag roll to get you started. The included bags are completely waterproof and can be washed and reused, making them eco-friendly. Along with the reusable bags, this vacuum sealing system also includes a wine stopper (which helps to preserve opened bottles of wine) and an air suction hose, which pairs with a number of other accessories. 

Best Value: Vacuum Sealer Machine By Mueller

The Vacuum Sealer Machine By Mueller is an external sealer that offers several sealing modes for optimal versatility. Mueller Austria

Why It Made The Cut: With an affordable price and extended functionality, this Mueller external vacuum sealer offers great bang for the buck. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14 inches W x 5 inches D x 3 inches H
  • Type: External vacuum
  • Accessories: Air suction hose

Pros:

  • Includes bags
  • Features Dry and Moist modes
  • Includes Gentle and Airtight modes

Cons:

  • Requires specific bags

Shoppers don’t need to make a major financial investment in order to get a great vacuum sealer. This one from Mueller offers excellent performance despite its affordable price tag. It’s an external-style sealer, making it the most versatile option for most households. According to the brand, their vacuum sealer extends the shelf-life of meat by six days and fruits and vegetables by up to 13 days when stored in the refrigerator. 

The kit comes with medium-sized vacuum bags as well as an extra-long bag roll measuring 7.8 by 79 inches. Along with a Dry and Moist mode, this model also features options for Gentle and Airtight modes. The Gentle mode comes in handy when sealing bags filled with crackers or other delicate items that can easily be crushed when using the standard Airtight mode. 

Best Chamber Sealer: VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Best Chamber Sealer

The VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer is a professional-grade option that is excellent for bulk food preservation. Vacmaster

Why It Made The Cut: This chamber sealer’s ability to close each bag on both ends provides a flawless airtight seal that can contain liquids. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14 inches W x 20 inches D x 15 inches H
  • Type: Chamber sealer
  • Accessories: N/A

Pros:

  • Double seals each bag
  • Capable of preserving liquid contents
  • Quiet operation

Cons:

  • Large footprint
  • High price

While external vacuum sealers are ideal for the average household, chamber-style sealers are the top pick for professionals and anyone who tends to preserve food in bulk. They’re particularly useful because they are able to seal liquid products like soups, juices, and smoothies effectively. This model seals each bag on both ends, ensuring a completely airtight closure. Despite its powerful performance, it operates quietly, so it won’t be a nuisance in your kitchen. 

While chamber sealers offer great performance, they also have their downsides. High-quality models, like this one, are priced significantly higher than comparable external sealers. They also take up a lot of space, so they’re best for those with plenty of storage room in their kitchens or pantries. 

Best Handheld: FoodSaver 31161370 Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer

Best Handheld

The FoodSaver 31161370 Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a compact option that works well for those with infrequent sealing needs. FOODSAVER

Why It Made The Cut: This compact handheld sealer gets rave reviews from customers due to its ability to provide a perfectly airtight seal.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 4.33 inches W x 6.5 inches D x 11.42 inches H
  • Type: Handheld
  • Accessories: N/A

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Includes bags
  • Cordless
  • Consumer favorite

Cons:

  • Slow performance

Many handheld vacuum sealers receive poor reviews from customers due to their inability to create a perfectly airtight seal, but this model from FoodSaver is a consumer favorite because of its excellent performance and smaller size. It’s cordless and can seal 60 quart-sized bags on a single charge. The device is user-friendly, operating at the push of a button without any complex settings to contend with. 

It comes with four quart-sized bags and is compatible with any bags made by FoodSaver as well as the brand’s fresh vacuum seal food containers. 

One downside is that sealing a bag takes much longer when using a handheld sealer and requires closer attention from the user to ensure the seal is completely airtight.  

Best External Sealer: FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer

Best External Sealer

With the ability to operate as both an external vacuum sealer and handheld sealer, the FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer is a unique option that provides plenty of versatility. FOODSAVER

Why It Made The Cut: Although this upgrade pick comes with a higher price tag, it offers a range of bonus features that make it one of the best options on the market. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 18.8 inches W x 9.5 inches D x 10.6 inches H
  • Type: External sealer
  • Accessories: Retractable handheld sealer

Pros:

  • Includes drip tray
  • Features auto bag detection
  • Includes additional handheld sealer

Cons:

  • Large size
  • High price

This FoodSaver external vacuum sealer features a range of additional features that elevate it from other comparable models. One thing that sets this model apart is its auto bag detection feature. Users simply place the bag’s lip over the sealing bar and the machine will seal it automatically. It also includes a retractable handheld sealer, which can be used for sealing zip-top bags and other containers. 

An included dishwasher-safe drip tray prevents juices and other liquids from spilling on your countertops. Each purchase also comes with a variety of bag sizes as well as an extra-long bag roll. 

One downside is the appliance’s large size. It’s quite a bit bulkier than most external sealers, so it’s best for those with plenty of kitchen storage space. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Vacuum Sealer

With so many vacuum sealers on the market, choosing the right one for your kitchen requires careful consideration. Keep the following factors in mind while making your purchase.

Type

Vacuum sealers come in one of three styles: handheld, external vacuum, and chamber vacuum. Each offers its own advantages. 

  • Handheld vacuum sealers are small and compact, but require specialty zip-top bags and aren’t always able to create a tight seal. 
  • External vacuum sealers are the most popular option available. To use an external vacuum sealer, place the edge of the bag over the seal bar. The device then sucks all of the air out of the bag and seals it. This style of machine requires specialty quilted bags. Some models come with bags included.
  • Chamber vacuum sealers are designed for professional use and are sold for significantly higher prices than handheld or external vacuum sealers. Users put the bag into a large chamber with the edge over the seal bar. When the device is powered on, all of the air is removed from the chamber, sealing the bag in the process. 

Accessories

Some vacuum sealers feature a port for accessories to extend their functionality. Additionally, some models include some basic accessories with the initial purchase, such as: 

  • Jar attachments for sealing canning jars. 
  • Marinating canisters for quickly marinating meat, poultry, fish or vegetables 
  • Bottle stoppers to preserve opened wine bottles 

Additional Features

Vacuum sealers all share common functionality, but many come with desirable additional features. 

  • Pulse button: When sealing delicate foods, a pulse function allows users to seal gradually to avoid crushing the bag’s contents. 
  • Cancel button: A cancel button is a useful safety feature that allows users to stop the suction or sealing process at any time. 
  • Moist and dry modes: Many vacuum sealers feature both a moist and a dry mode. Moist mode seals more thoroughly to ensure that no liquids leak. 

FAQs

Q: What should a vacuum sealer be used for?

Vacuum sealers come in handy when freezing fresh meat or fish. They’re also the ideal tool for ensuring fruits and vegetables retain their freshness after being frozen. Many users opt to vacuum seal dried goods that are purchased in bulk, like nuts and grains. 

Q: Do I need a vacuum sealer to use a sous vide machine?

A vacuum sealer facilitates the use of sous vide machines by creating water-tight packages that won’t float to the top of the water bath. While it’s possible to sous vide without vacuum sealing, it will deliver less consistent results. 

Q: What foods should you avoid vacuum sealing?

Some food—like garlic, mushrooms, and soft cheeses—harbor anaerobic bacteria, which thrive in oxygen-free environments. Because of this, it’s best to avoid vacuum-sealing them. 

Final Thoughts

Our recommendations cover a variety of types and styles of vacuum sealers to best suit different needs. The NutriChef PKVS Sealer is our top pick because of its high performance and range of additional features and accessories. Our recommended choice for those on a budget is the Vacuum Sealer Machine By Mueller, which offers comparable performance at an affordable price.

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