Vacuum Bags vs. Bagless Vacuums
The vacuum cleaner bag is a major part and in some cases the only part of your vacuum cleaner that acts to filter debris and dust from being distributed back into the air while you are operating a vacuum cleaner. If you an older or cheap vacuum cleaner then the quality of your vacuum bag will be very significant in terms of reducing emissions from your vacuum. Bagless vacuums are very popular but not necessarily a better option when compared to models that use vacuum bags to collect dust and debris.
Vacuum bag technology is improving. Most of the major vacuum cleaner brands are making some type of disposable synthetic cloth vacuum filter bag. The material that these bags are made with helps to retain more allergens and dust inside the vacuum bag. Vacuum cleaner bags that are made out of synthetic cloth are also less likely to break or tear. This is equally important to the filtration abilities because a broken bag can really mess up a canister and a lot of upright vacuum cleaners.
If you purchase one of the better vacuum cleaners like Sebo or Miele you will be buying a vacuum cleaner with multiple filtration layers. There will be some kind of internal filter and an exhaust filter that is either offers HEPA or Hospital Grade filtration. The vacuum bag is still the primary filtration device in even the best vacuum cleaners as it helps to maximize the effectiveness of the other filters because the bag will minimize the amount of dust and debris from getting that far into the vacuum cleaner.
High quality vacuum bags are available for Miele, Simplicity, Riccar, Windsor and Sebo. For those of you not familiar with these brands they are 5 of the best vacuum cleaner brands currently available. The fact that those vacuum brands, Kirby and even Kenmore are making higher quality vacuum cleaner bags available for most of there product line should tell you something as to there importance.
Do yourself a favor and spend a few extra dollars on some good vacuum cleaner bags. Don't overfill them and don't try to re use them. You'll even notice how much cleaner the inside of your vacuum cleaner is every time you open up your vacuum to change the bag.
Some vacuum cleaners, like Kirby, Oreck, and Sanitaire have vacuum cleaners where the vacuum bags can break wide open in the vacuum bag area, and it won't hurt the vacuum cleaner. It'll make a big mess for you to clean, but it doesn't hurt actually hurt the vacuum cleaner. I would still use higher quality vacuum bags for these machines as well.
Finally, try to buy vacuum cleaner bags from somebody who specializes in selling vacuums and vacuum parts. This way you will be able to contact somebody if you're not sure what type of bags you need for your vacuum.