Storage. It’s one thing we can’t get enough of. Whether we’re going on vacation and need to carry a few essentials or have a seasonal shift and want to pack away some clothes, more storage is always required.
Due to these reasons, many people are showing interest in vacuum storage bags. These bags create an internal vacuum seal and thus are effectively airtight. You can store multiple items in these bags, and they’ll keep them safe from various external nuisances.
But not all vacuum storage bags are created equal, meaning it can be difficult to identify the right one for your needs. But it doesn’t have to be—we’ve created this detailed buying guide to help you get familiar with all the things that make for a great vacuum storage bag. Read on to learn what factors should go into your purchase.
What is a vacuum storage bag?
Vacuum storage bags are specialized bags that utilize the concept of vacuum packing (a technique that removes air from the packaging before it is sealed). Once the air is pumped out of the bag, a one-way valve prevents it from getting back in. Vacuum storage bag makers also give directions for keeping the bag properly compressed—you may need turn seals, secure zip tops, and take other measures to keep the space airtight.
What to consider when buying the best vacuum storage bag
Now for the fun part—let’s discuss the different things you should look for in a vacuum bag.
Vacuum storage bags aren’t suitable for certain items. That’s because their compression can affect the ability of some items to decompress. For example, if you store items with natural fibers like the down filling present in comforters or coats, they might not be able to regain their initial form after extended storage in vacuum storage bags.
So if you plan to do vacuum storing, you may want to avoid putting down-filled items or wool inside the bag for more than a couple of weeks. It’s also best to avid storing leather products, because pressuring sealing them can leave them permanently wrinkled or sealed.
Most vacuum storge bags are made of—you guessed it—thick plastic. Frequent use is unlikely to cause any problems, even though the bags aren’t puncture-proof. When wear and tear occurs, the seals, valves, and zip top of the bag will go first.
If you want to use your vacuum storage bags for a log period or want to reuse them often, look for a brand that has really focused on the durability of their product. You can refer to use reviews for hints about the lifespan of the item.
Vacuum pump compatibility
Because you’ll mainly use a vacuum pump to remove the air from the bag, check that the bag you’re considering buying is compatible with it or otherwise. Ask the seller what vacuum brands the bag plays nice with.
The vacuum storage bag may include a warranty of one year, lifetime, or whenever the buyer experiences damages or defects. See which warranty suits you best, but note that any unintended use will avoid the warranty. That being said, look for merchants that offer great customer service. Good service means it’ll be easier for you to contact a brand representative to request a refund or replacement.
If you’re buying a vacuum storage bag to take along on your vacation, make sure you go for a brand that includes adhesive clip along with a hand pump. This is because you’re unlikely to always have access to a vacuum cleaner. Here’s a bit more about these components:
- Adhesive clip: This clip helps you get a good seal on the vacuum storage bag. Any opening to the bag is a place where air can squeeze into the bag—an adhesive seal ensures those areas are airtight and secure, even when the standard seal isn’t in the best condition.
- Hand pump: This accessory comes in handy when you’re unable to find a normal vacuum. It can be used to compress the bag during travel, making it easier to pack and even freeing up space for additional souvenirs (we know you can’t resist them).
Machine sealing vs. manual sealing
Vacuum storage bags can be sealed in two ways:
1) Using a sealing machine: The machine removes excess air and heat-seals the bag.
2) Manual sealing: This involves using a vacuum nozzle or pump to remove the air from the bag before manually sealing it.
The right option for you depends on the items you are storing. For example, perishable food items require airtight bags to prevent the food from spoiling. With machine sealing, you can ensure there’s no room for air to get back in.
The machines are ideal for rolls of plastic or standalone plastic bags that you can cut to your desired length for the number of eatables you plan to store. All you need to do place the items inside and insert the open end into the machine for heat sealing.
Manual sealing is a different process, requiring users to fill the bag, zip it shut, and connect a hand pump or vacuum hose nozzle to the bag’s side. Once the air is drawn out and the contents are compressed, you can seal the port using a screw top or the bag’s own tab. Manual seal bags with zip-lock openings are ideal for flattening:
- Other similar items
Different sizes of vacuum storage bags
When shopping for vacuum storage bags, you must communicate your preferred size to the seller. The following are some of the bag sizes available in the market.
Though not that popular, this size is available in some product sets. They are large enough to store bulky goods, such as a few pillows and betting sets, but don’t compare with Jumbo bags.
These are the biggest vacuum storage bags, capable of storing blankets, bedding sets, quilts, pillows, and many other bulky items.
If you’re looking for standard-sized bags, tell the seller that you want a large size. You can use these to store multiple clothing items together, including shoes, bathrobes, towels, and toiletry items. They even have some space for thin quilts, one pillow, and a couple of cotton fiber or satin bedsheets.
Medium and small bags
Medium bags can house a thin quilt, a couple of clothes, and flip-flops or slippers. But be careful not to stuff these bags as anything in excess fully can result in item damage. On the other hand, small-sized bags are ideal for storing personal essentials (think shampoos, toothpaste, brushes, and other similar items).
If you want to save maximum space in your drawers, wardrobes, and other similar areas, go for rolled bags. These beauties are highly flexible—you can roll them after putting all the items inside, and then suck the air out.
Make sure to keep these sizes in mind to get the best item per your requirements.
If you want to know the bag sizes in inches, here’s a handy table you can check:
|Bag size||Dimensions (inches)||Inch-depth|
|Jumbo||40*26||3 or 4|
How do I use vacuum storage bags?
To use these bags properly:
- Put the items inside the bag and arrange them neatly.
- Search for pointed surfaces/tips and remove tip as they can tear the material with which the bag was made.
- Secure the zippers before connecting the vacuum pump’s pipe to the valve at the upper side of the storage bags.
- Turn on the vacuum machine to suck the air from the bags. Once done, the bags will deflate.
Vacuum storage bag FAQ
What vacuum bag size is best for storing quilts and comforters together?
It’s best to go with an XL or jumbo-sized vacuum bag if you want to store quilts and comforters together. Both sizes are large enough to store the items securely, reducing the chances of wear and tear.
Are vacuum storage bags reusable?
Shot answer: it depends. Some companies make reusable vacuum bags, while others manufacture bags for one-time use. Make sure to inquire about reusability before you make the final choice.
How long can I store things in vacuum bags?
It’s okay to store items in compressed bags for a few months, but storage exceeding six months is likely to cause damage. If you don’t have an alternative fabric for storing your belongings, ensure to air the bag once a month.
What can’t be kept in vacuum storage bags?
You should avoid storing glass items, food, pointed needs, and Telfon dishes inside vacuum bags. If you store these things in the bag, they might get damaged or break while you suck the air from the inside.
There you have it—everything you need to know to identify the best vacuum storage bag for your needs. For a quick recap, make sure to look at the size, durability, and warranty of the bag while also considering the intended use and additional components you may require. For additional peace of mind, always buy vacuum storage bags from top brands like Spacesaver, Simple Houseware, Storage Master, and CaseKix.