Vacuum storage bags are a modern solution to the common problem of not having enough room to store your stuff. Using a unique vacuum-seal, they remove excess air to significantly reduce the overall size of the bag. Unfortunately, trying to find a set that actually works is almost as hard as the initial storage problem itself! But after comparing 20 brands based on their size, durability, and ease of use, we'd say the SpaceSaver Premium Bags are the best vacuum storage bags available. With three available sizes (medium, large, and jumbo), they have the best proven track record of reliability. Article Summary
Vacuum storage bags have quickly become the go-to solution for a cheap and effective way to store pretty much anything, whether you’re traveling and need to maximize space, or you’re merely storing extra stuff in the attic at home. There are literally dozens of different brands that make these, and they all work with the same concept in mind. They’re essentially giant trash bags that you fill with stuff, and once you seal them, you use a vacuum to remove the air inside the bag which keeps it as tight and compact as possible.
Although the concept is extremely simple, unfortunately there aren’t a lot of brands that can get it quite right. The biggest complaints we see among different brands have to do with bag durability and losing their vacuum-seal over time. Now, there’s no doubt that some of the durability complaints are due to user error (aka over-stuffing), but if you look at the reviews of a particular brand and some 25% or more are complaints of weak, ripped bags, it’s probably fair to assume those aren’t the best out there. With that said, the seal release is another story. This has to do with whether or not the bag’s seal is well-made.
With durability and seal performance at the forefront of our mind, we compared materials and specs on over 20 brands in search of the best vacuum storage bags. Most brands offer multiple sizes, but some don’t, so we also checked into available sizes to ensure you had the choice to pick whichever size best suits your needs. Finally, we compared prices. Vacuum bags aren’t typically all that expensive, but some certainly offer a better value than others. After all 20 brands had been compared, we’ve settled on the three below as being the best available.
The best vacuum storage bags overall
No matter what type of product you’re looking for, there’s always one or two brands that just dominate the industry. With fitness apparel, it’s Nike. With storage solutions, it’s SpaceSaver. They offer all kinds of storage products big and small, and their Premium Vacuum Bags are undeniably the most popular option on the market. Due to their superior quality, multiple size offerings, and reasonable price, we think these are the best vacuum storage bags for just about anyone.
SpaceSaver’s storage bags are available in several sizes – medium (20″ x 28″), large (24″ x 32″), and jumbo (30″ x 40″) – with jumbo being the most popular purchase by customers. A bag of this size is more than big enough to securely pack several pillows, thick blankets, or a whole assortment of clothes when traveling. Each pack comes with six bags total, so it’s safe to say just as a single pack of of these can take care of your entire inventory of bedding stuff. Lots of space is always a plus, there’s no doubt about it.
As mentioned earlier, one of the more important aspects which every vacuum bag kinda needs to deliver on is the durability. You will find many bags on the market which are just too thin and completely incapable of enduring prolonged storage, let alone anything more severe like high temperatures or humidity (yes, plastic bags can be affected by both of these). The bags from SpaceSaver are made of thick plastic that uses a double-zip seal over triple seal valve in order to maintain the state of vacuum inside the bag. In other words, you definitely won’t have to worry about one of these giving up on you.
SpaceSaver bags offer a massive 80% volume reduction once you’ve sucked the air out (which is more or less standard, truth be told), and there are two ways to pull the air out. One is to use your vacuum cleaner. This method is the most common way of sucking the air out as most bags come with a valve that perfectly fits your vacuum cleaner’s hose. However, what if you don’t have a vacuum readily available? If that’s the case, you don’t need to worry. SpaceSaver includes a hand pump which you can use to manually draw all of the air out of the bag. This process might take a bit more time overall, but the results are more or less the same.
All things considered, SpaceSaver Premium Vacuum Bags offer a generous amount of storage space, quality materials and seals that will hold up over time, and a great price. When it comes to a product as simple as these, there’s not much more you could want. These are simple and reliable.
A similar suitable solution
Boasting a lot of the same offerings as our top pick, the SpaceMax Vacuum Storage Bags are another good option to check out. In fact, looking at the name of the brand and the packaging, you might even mistake these for the SpaceSaver product! However, these are slightly different by design. SpaceMax claims that their bags are better than what everyone else has to offer, but that’s not necessarily true. These are technically on the same level as our top pick, but these have landed as our second choice due to some slight inconsistency according to customer reviews.
According to what’s on the package, each SpaceMax pack includes six storage bags which offer 30″ x 40″ of space. However, we say, “according to what’s on the package,” because some users have reported some inconsistency with the sizes they receive. Some are true to spec, but other times you might get some that are a few inches off in length or width. In most cases, it’s usually not enough to be a big deal, but it’s certainly worth noting depending on how much attention to detail you require in your products. Either way, they are more or less the same size as SpaceSaver’s product, offering a solid amount of storage space.
The materials used in SpaceMax’s bags are great quality. You are looking at a relatively thick layer of tough plastic that is just flexible enough to form around the objects placed in the bag and not break. This set also comes with the double-zip seal design and that turbo valve technology which works rather well at preventing any air from entering the bag. Since one of the relatively common issues people have with storage bags comes in form of mold and other nasty things forming within, it is good to know that SpaceMax has you covered. SpaceMax also delivers these with a hand pump, so you can use this to vacuum-remove air even if you don’t have access to a vacuum cleaner.
Overall, SpaceMax’s Vacuum Bags offer nearly the same quality and usability as our top pick. The only slight concern is with the inconsistent sizing, but again, it’s usually not too much of an issue to be a dealbreaker.
A good set for those who want several sizes
Unlike our two picks above, which each come with a single size per pack, Squeeze-Eezy’s Vacuum Bag Set comes with three sizes in each package, allowing you to pick and choose the size you need right when you need it. The quality is slightly less according to customers (although not by much), but at a price that’s half the cost of our other picks, this brand offers a solid bang for your buck.
The content of the pack includes two medium bags that measure 20″ x 28″, two large that measure 24″ x 32″, and two jumbo that measure 28″ x 40″. In all honesty, all of these are large enough to fit a decent amount of clothing. However, the main benefit of taking a mixed pack such as this one is that you can get maximum use of available space. Using entirely jumbo bags, some of them might end up half full, sacrificing valuable space once you finally go to store them. Having a mixed pack gives you options, and options are always nice. One situation where this pack definitely comes in handy is traveling, as the smaller bags are much more suitable for suitcases than jumbos.
In terms of quality, durability, and reliability over time, the Squeeze-Eezy bags are pretty decent. From a material standpoint, they seem to offer the same type of plastics, seals, and valves as our other choices. With that said, they do have a slightly higher percentage of customers reporting issues with the vacuum seal not holding up, which is why we’ve set these as a third choice behind SpaceSaver and SpaceMax.
Overall, the main reason why the Squeeze-Eezy Storage Bags would be a great choice is due to their price. At half the cost of most other sets, it makes these extremely attractive both to those who are looking for cheap bags, as well as those who will need to buy multiple sets.
How we picked our top three
Vacuum bags might be a simple concept, but they are certainly not all made equal. There are some that work wonderfully, but far more that don’t due to a host of issues mainly related to material quality. To find our top three, we judged different products based on the following specifications.
The thickness of the bags is extremely important when it comes to their reliability over time. You will find a whole variety of cheap, thin vacuum bags which are extremely sensitive to just about anything. With some of them, the force of the vacuum cleaner’s hose being pressed against the valve is enough to rip the valve from the bag. At that point, you are looking at an overpriced piece of plastic that serves no purpose at all. Because of that, we were looking for thick materials that could stand up to pressure and the occasional poking from other objects in storage. Our three picks above are all capable of sustaining whatever wear and tear come up during use and storage phase.
Size (reduction and volume)
The main function of a vacuum bag is to reduce the size of its content to a point where it is much easier to store. The size of the bag plays a significant role in this part of the equation. There are vacuum bags in all kinds of formats out there, but going for the smaller ones somewhat defeats the purpose. Because of that, we mainly looked for brands that offered jumbo sizes. We felt that a jumbo vacuum bag is the best value for the money, but know that each brand we chose also offers smaller solutions if jumbo isn’t for you.
Just as there are super cheap vacuum storage bags, there are some which are clearly overpriced. The thing to remember here is that the technology behind these things isn’t rocket science. An overpriced set most likely won’t offer you anything more than any of the bags from our list will. Knowing that, we tried to find sets that offered reasonable, realistic pricing considering what was offered with their respective packages – and we think each of our top three offers exactly that.
Other applications for vacuum storage bags
Vacuum storage bags are extremely versatile. So far, we have only talked about them as a tool that can help you organize your wardrobe, but there are many other ways to use them as well. Let’s go over some of the more popular applications.
Traveling is arguably the most popular second usage of vacuum bags besides traditional storage. With all the luggage fees imposed these days, saving space is always a positive. Not only that, but if you are taking a longer trip, a set of vacuum storage bags can make a real difference in how much you can pack. Instead of packing two or three suitcases, you can simply pick one that might be heavier, but is much easier to maneuver around the airport or a busy train station.
A garage is often the messiest part of a house. You have all kinds of rags, tools and whatever else just mashed into cabinets. Using vacuum bags to pack and compress the loose stuff can definitely clear out some space in your garage. On another note, it doesn’t always have to be about saving space – you can also vacuum solid objects and use the bag as a sort of organizational tool. Most of these are made to be hung in your wardrobe, meaning that you can organize the stuff from your garage and hang it somewhere out of the way.
Another big thing where space saver bags are useful is storing food. The deal here isn’t that much related to saving space as much as it is about preserving food. By removing all of the air from the bag, whatever you put inside will be spared of inherent oxidation. If you buy food in bulk, such as meat or vegetables, you can use space saver bags to extend the life of said foods in your freezer.
However, please note: the products chosen in our top three are not specifically made for food storage; there are other space saver bags more specifically made for use with food, and we’d recommend using one of those sets if food storage is a top priority for you.
How to use vacuum storage bags
Use of vacuum bags isn’t all that complicated. However, it is important to follow the required steps in order to avoid any potential issues or malfunctions that could compromise the seal’s reliability over time. Here is a short and easy guide on how to use vacuum storage bags.
Step 1: Initial inspection
The first thing you want to do is remove all the bags from their packaging and inspect them closely. More specifically, you want to know whether or not any of the bags has a hole somewhere. This step might seem like common sense, but a lot of people overlook proper inspection, which results in quite a bit of frustration when you spend hours packing only to realize a tiny hole is preventing the vacuum and seal from doing their jobs.
Step 2: Opening the bag
The key here is to open the bag slowly. The zippers and seals of these storage bags are notoriously fragile, and if you apply too much force, you might end up with the zipper in your hand and the bag useless. In order to avoid that, just be gentle when opening.
Step 3: Filling the bag
Most space bags have a printed indicator which lets you know how much stuff you can put in. It is highly recommended that you don’t go over these limits as this could compromise the integrity of the bag (in other words, it could burst open when you’re trying to seal it, or burst over time). If you are using a jumbo bag, these limits shouldn’t really be an issue. Also, when packing clothes, make sure that you fold them first. This way they will take up the least amount of space.
Step 4: Sealing the bag
Again, when sealing the bag shut, use the zipper carefully. At this point, you will know if you have filled the bag more than it can take. If that is the case, remove some items from the bag and try again. The zipper should close easily without any struggle (remember, you’re going to use the vacuum to make things compressed and tight).
Step 5: Using the vacuum to remove air
The first thing you want to do here is locate the vacuum valve on the bag and pop it open. Different valves feature different designs, however opening the valve should be fairly easy to do. Next, it is time to attach the vacuum to the bag and suck all of the air out. If you have a regular vacuum cleaner, the hose with no attachments should fit inside the valve relatively snugly. When that is done, turn the vacuum on and begin sucking air. A general rule of thumb is to let the vacuum run for about two minutes, but as always, pay attention to your personal situation and give or take some time depending on if you need more or less compression.
Step 6: Removing the vacuum and closing the valve
Once all of the air is sucked out of the bag, simply remove the vacuum tube from the valve. Since these are one-way valves, no air should get into the bag when you remove the tube. Close the valve and check for any air leaks. If everything looks fine, your bag is ready for storage and you are ready to repeat the same steps for the next bag!
Wrapping it up
Vacuum storage bags can be a real game changer if you have a lot of stuff to store. Whether you’ve got a large storage unit or just some extra space in the garage, these bags will help you significantly compress your items to maximize your storage space. While there are a lot of options to choose from both online and in stores, you have to be careful when dealing with these bags because of how much they can vary in quality. We chose our top three based on their proven abilities through hundreds of positive customer experiences, plus they all come at a very reasonable price.