I am looking for a bagless vacuum cleaner. I've seen models that are $300 to $500. What would you recommend?

We are currently evaluating a Bissell Model 3995 - Clean View Revolution found in the comparison chart on this page. It was purchased on 20060708sa at Kohl's for $99.74 including sales tax. It works great. The other vacuums on display from other companies were flimsy and had pieces and plastic cover plates that were falling off. Beware of inexpensive vacuums from name brand companies because the quality may be very poor. With Bissell, replacement parts, filters, and accessories should be easy to obtain in the near future. The model we are evaluating is fairly light weight. There is only one extension included with the unit, so reaching to high corners (above 7 or 8 feet) may be a stretch for some people. The bagless operation is definitely a plus. The TurboBrush on this and other brands is a little flimsy. The rotating brush inside operates from the suction of the vacuum. So, when airflow is restricted the brushes stop spinning. The HEPA filter system seems to work well to prevent carpet dust and dirt from entering into the air. It is important to note that bagless vacuums are not totally free from needing costly replaceable consumable parts and accessories. For example, this vacuum has three filters: one immediately after the cyclone phase where dust is separated, then another before the motor, then another after the motor before air is exhausted into the room. These filters may need to be replaced on occasion. The foam filters are washable. However, the HEPA filter would need to be replaced eventually. Also, this and other vacuums use belts which need occasional replacing.

This is a photo of the model we are evaluating.

This is a comparison of the various Bissel Models similar to the one we are evaluating.

This is a PDF user's guide for various models including the Model 3595 that we are evaluating.

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