Best Vacuum Sealers

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

33 Models Considered
14 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best food vacuum sealers

Rather than let your leftovers go to waste, use a vacuum sealer to preserve your food for a future meal. For what they can accomplish, vacuum sealers are relatively inexpensive appliances that can pay for themselves in just a few meals. But there are several options to consider so it's best not to purchase without guidance.

For the typical home, an external vacuum sealer makes the most sense because it is not large like a chamber vacuum sealer and it can handle portions that you might not be able to seal with a handheld unit. The best models are easy to use and have a great degree of versatility when it comes to bag specifications.

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Vacuum sealers can be great for making prepared meals. Simply vacuum seal the pre-portioned, cooked meal and then microwave when you are ready to eat.

How do vacuum sealers work?

Vacuum sealers work in tandem with specially designed plastic bags. The vacuum sealer sucks all the air out of the bag and then seals the bag’s opening with heat. This protects the food in the bag from oxidation, too much or too little humidity, mold spores, bacteria, and freezer burn.You still need to refrigerate or freeze food that requires cold storage, and it’s not going to last forever. But it will remain good to eat for a considerably longer time (up to five times longer) than it would have if you’d stored it in the fridge or freezer without sealing it.

Types of vacuum sealers

There are three basic types of vacuum sealers. Consider what kind of jobs you want your vacuum sealer to handle and also your storage space.

Handheld vacuum sealers

If you plan to use your vacuum sealer mostly for smaller items such as deli meats, cheeses, small portions of produce, or single-serving leftovers, a handheld vacuum sealer may be your best choice. These smaller devices are portable and easy to hold and use, and they don’t require much storage space. They typically run on rechargeable batteries, so if you want to use your vacuum sealer for extended sessions – for example, cooking and sealing several meals Sunday evening so you’ll have a week’s worth of meals in the freezer – you might have to stop and recharge halfway through. Handheld sealers don’t have the power of larger devices and sometimes struggle to properly seal large bags.

Chamber vacuum sealers

Once only found in professional kitchens, these counter-hogging appliances are now available for residential kitchens as well.

Chamber vacuum sealers are larger, more powerful, and more expensive than the other types of vacuum sealers. But they do a great job sealing and preserving large batches of food or wet items like gravy and soup.

The entire bag of food goes inside the chamber, where the air is vacuumed out and the bag sealed. Some chamber sealers even have built-in cutters so you can customize your bag size.

External vacuum sealers

These countertop appliances are the most common type of vacuum sealer used in home kitchens. The sealer clamps down on top of the bag, vacuums out the air, and then seals the bag.

Because the entire bag of food doesn’t have to fit inside a chamber, these devices are excellent for preserving large cuts of meat or big batches of food.

Some models come with attachments for sealing jars and canisters, as well. Most external vacuum sealers are reasonably sized and won’t take up too much counter space.

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Expert Tip
Vacuum sealer systems help protect food from bacteria growth, but they don't eradicate all pathogens that can cause spoilage or illness. Treat vacuum-sealed food as carefully as you would any other perishable item.

What about the bags?

Vacuum sealers require special heavy-duty bags that are generally more expensive than the regular plastic bags used for short-term food storage. Some brands of vacuum sealers work with any bag, while others only work with their own brand of bag.

Before selecting a specific vacuum sealer, check out its bag specifications and consider the following:

  • The cost per bag

  • Whether or not you can use other brands’ bags

  • The ease of finding bags at your local store

  • How many bags you are likely to use per week

  • Whether or not the bags can be reused


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Currently Executive Chef at Bon Appétit Management Company, Steve began his tenure with Bon Apetit as Chef de Partie. He has over ten years of experience, including tenures at two- and three-Michelin star restaurants. Steve is passionate about all things cooking – products, supply chain, management, menu design, and budgeting.
Executive Chef

Tips for using your vacuum sealer

  • Vacuum-seal potluck dishes to avoid spilling food in the car. Once you arrive, simply open the package and pour the food into your serving bowl.

  • Save lemon juice, chicken broth, minced herbs, crushed garlic, and similar ingredients that are typically measured out in small amounts by first freezing the food in ice cube trays, then vacuum-sealing the frozen cubes. Remove the cubes as needed, and then reseal the bag.

  • If you buy meat in bulk, separate it into the portion sizes that work best for your family, then seal and freeze.

  • To keep a bag of potato chips, cereal, or other dry snacks fresh, turn off the vacuum and use the appliance to seal the bag so the food stays fresh but isn’t crushed.

  • Make sure you label sealed bags with the contents and date sealed before placing them in the freezer or fridge.

  • If you want to preserve powdered ingredients like flour, sugar, baking soda, or boxed spices, vacuum-seal them in their packaging to prevent powdery build-up from sucking into your machine.

  • Leave a bit of space at the top of bags you expect to open and reseal.

  • Some vacuum sealer bags can be rinsed and used again, provided you haven’t used them to store raw meat.

  • If you spot bags for your vacuum sealer on sale, we advise you to go ahead and stock up.

  • Some vacuum sealers can be operated with one hand (or no hands), while others require two. Consider how simple you want your sealer to be, and how much you’re willing to pay for it.

  • A vacuum sealer with a large, strong sealing bar will provide the best protection for your food.

  • If storage is a major issue, consider a handheld vacuum sealer. These are small enough to stow in a drawer.

  • A removable, washable drip tray is a must if you plan on sealing meats in marinades, gravy, or sauce.

  • Vacuum sealers with manual controls let you decide exactly when to stop vacuuming and when to start sealing. This makes it easier to preserve delicate, wet, or bulky food items.

  • Perhaps you want to save soft fruit like berries, but you don’t want them to be crushed by the vacuum. First, freeze your clean fruit until it is just firm. Then go ahead and use your vacuum sealer to preserve the frozen fruit.

  • Look for a vacuum sealer that clamps down automatically rather than requiring you to manually keep the clamp closed with your hand.

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Expert Tip
You may be able to reuse bags if they contained fruits and vegetables, but never reuse bags that sealed raw meat.

How much do food vacuum sealers cost?

The price range for food vacuum sealers is a wide one.

Typically, expect to spend the least for a handheld device – $20 to $30 will buy you a quality unit – and the most on a chamber vacuum sealer, which will set you back several hundred dollars.

For the majority of cooks, however, an external vacuum sealer is the best choice. These handy devices are quite reasonably priced; expect to spend $40 to $60 on a quality unit.

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When selecting a food vacuum sealer, remember to factor in the price of the bags in the total cost of the device.


Q. Can any type of food be vacuum sealed?

A. You can vacuum seal just about any food. For delicate foods, however, it’s better to preserve freshness by sealing the bag without vacuuming out the air.

Notably, most vacuum sealer manufacturers recommend that you avoid sealing mushrooms and soft cheeses, as the lack of oxygen in the sealed package can encourage mold growth in these items.

Q. How would a vacuum sealer help me save money?

A. A vacuum sealer can help you save money in several ways. Vacuum-sealed foods stay preserved much longer than foods that are stored the “regular” way. Therefore, you can save money with a vacuum sealer because you’re not throwing away as much spoiled or stale food.

Food vacuum sealers make it very easy to buy economically in bulk, then seal and store portion-size bags of food for later use. This is another way you can save money in the long run with a vacuum sealer.

Q. Are vacuum sealers only for food?

A. No. You can also use your vacuum sealer to seal toiletries before travel (no more leaking shampoo in your suitcase); protect photos and important legal documents; preserve garden seeds for next year’s planting; keep small items like game pieces, craft supplies, or tiny nuts and bolts together; and create small first-aid kits for travel.

Q. Besides using a vacuum sealer, how else can I make sure none of my food goes to waste?

A. Plan your meals, use a shopping list, and avoid impulse purchases at the grocery store. Brown-bag your leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch or freeze them for use at a later meal. Store cereal and other grain-based products in airtight containers. Use slightly wilted produce in smoothies, soups, or stews. And don’t automatically toss food just because it’s reached its expiration date; many foods are perfectly fine to eat even several days past that date.

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