The average American family wastes approximately $2,200 in food every year. Take a moment to think of what better way you could spend that money and then consider how much in your freezer right now is on the edge of spoiled or freezer burnt. While not all of that $2,200 is food wasted due to spoiling, certainly a good portion is. If you had a way to save your food for longer, you would undoubtedly save money. And that is, at the root of it, exactly what a vacuum sealer will do for you: Save money. They’re also great for storing food and supplies compactly for camping, hiking, or hunting, with a reduced risk of spoilage thanks to an air-tight seal.
We reviewed dozens of vacuum sealers to identify the best of the best. We found those that will store your food in bags, and those that work with containers. We found the complex vacuum sealers with different settings for liquids and solids and those simple or manual vacuum sealers that you can use on the go with little-to-no set up. No matter what your preferred use, we have the best vacuum sealer for you.
From the get-go, we knew that the obvious choice for our top pick was the NutriChef Vacuum Sealer and after thoroughly researching it and its peers, we were all the more convinced. With its multiple settings and starter kit, you have everything you need to get started.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Vacuum Sealers
|Best Overall||NutriChef Vacuum Sealer||4.1|
|Runner Up||Mueller Automatic Vacuum Air Sealing System||4.8|
|Best Budget Buy||GERYON Vacuum Sealer||4.2|
|Best Chamber Vacuum Sealer||VacMaster Chamber Vacuum Sealer||4.3|
|Best Hand Pump Vacuum Sealer||Vickaro Handheld Food Vacuum Sealer||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: NutriChef Vacuum Sealer
The NutriChef Vacuum Sealer boasts that it can preserve food for five time longer than other methods of preservation (meaning freezer bags and “air tight” storage without the vacuum). With this purchase, you’ll receive an entire starter kit, giving you the bags and suction hose along with a variety of accessories that will give you everything you need to start your food sealing adventure.
The settings on this vacuum sealer will allow you to create a bag of your own with the sealer (sans suction) and the “vac seal” setting will allow you to seamlessly go from suction to sealing, while never breaking that airtight seal the machine creates. And doing so automatically means you won’t have to worry about whether or not the storage bag and your food is ready for the seal; it has sensors to determine when the air stops flowing from its suction.
This vacuum sealer has an impressive number of customer reviews on Amazon, almost 5,000, and that will lend to the credibility of its overall rating – 4.1 stars. Those overwhelmingly positive customer reviews are more than enough to convince us (and we think you, too) of the the overall quality of the product.
NutriChef Vacuum Sealer Key Features:
- 7.8″ wide, 6’7″ roll included
- 2 color options
- Accessory starter pack features: Vacuum sealer, wine stopper cork, air suction hose, 5 medium vacuum bags
Our Runner Up Pick: Mueller Automatic Vacuum Air Sealing System
The Mueller Automatic Vacuum Air Sealing System comes with five medium sized vacuum bags and the bag roll that is over six feet for you to make your own vacuum bags; and both are waterproof and reusable. You can use two suction settings and you can use the gentle mode for your softer foods and the stronger suction of the normal speed is perfect for your meats and veggies that can be packed snugly.
There are plenty of settings on this vacuum sealer that will allow you to customize its use however you should need. It has a moist setting for your wet foods and a dry setting for solids, so whether you’re using it for a stew or cookies, your food will be preserved perfectly. And what a wonderful way to force a little organization to your freezer!
This vacuum sealer may have substantially fewer customer reviews on Amazon than our top pick, only around 200, but that is still plenty to build your trust in its rating accuracy. And considering that overall rating is actually an impressive 4.8 stars, this is a very solid investment.
Mueller Automatic Vacuum Air Sealing System Key Features:
- 5 medium bags and 7.8″ wide, 6’7″ roll included
- 2 speed settings; 2 food settings
- Vacuum and seal settings
Best Budget Pick: GERYON Vacuum Sealer
The GERYON Vacuum Sealer will max perform when using the Geryon name brand bags, but it will work for others, as well. The listing is quite clear that while the vacuum will work with any lined bag, you should only use the seal, and not the vacuum portion of this vacuum sealer on the bags that lack texture.
This is a vacuum sealer that has just what you need and none of those extra complications. You’ll be able to create bags from the bag roll using the “Seal” setting and you can vacuum your food quickly and easily with the “Vac Seal” button.
With an overall rating on Amazon of 4.2 stars, you begin to suspect this is a high quality product from first glance but when you notice that this rating comes from over 650 customer reviews, you know you can trust in the reliability of that rating. But what’s even better is that you can pick this vacuum sealer up for under $40!
GERYON Vacuum Sealer Key Features:
- Stop, Seal, and Vac Seal functions
- 5 medium bags and 7.8″ wide, 6’7″ roll included
- Lifetime warranty
Best Chamber Vacuum Sealer: VacMaster Chamber Vacuum Sealer
The VacMaster Chamber Vacuum Sealer is the perfect addition to your food saving process for when you absolutely, positively cannot afford to lose the food. It will remove all the air at the same time, making it a very thorough and effective way to vacuum seal your food and make sure you’re getting the most out of it all.
Because this sealer has an extremely powerful motor for a kitchen appliance (a quarter horsepower) it does require occasional maintenance. Just as with your car, you will need to perform an oil change on this; only once every year or so for this, though. You would also likely benefit from finding a rolling cart to place this on, as it is heavy duty and weighs over 80 pounds. But at least behind this weight, you can actually feel how hearty it’s made.
As with all chamber vacuum sealers, this is a costly purchase; this one sits at around $880. But with the best customer reviews of all chamber vacuum sealers on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.3 stars, you can be sure the old adage is true: you get what you pay for.
VacMaster Chamber Vacuum Sealer Key Features:
- 20″ x 14″ x 15″
- Heavy duty; 84 lbs
- 1/4 horsepower rotary oil pump
Best Hand Pump Vacuum Sealer: Vickaro Handheld Food Vacuum Sealer
The Vickaro Handheld Food Vacuum Sealer will lock in nutrients and keep fresh food fresh up to five times longer. Its compact design and easy operation make it an excellent choice for the casual vacuum sealer, as well as those who don’t have the space to store a larger vacuum sealer in their kitchen. It automatically removes air and seals bags with the simple press of a button.
Simply place your food inside the zipper bag (it comes with two large and three medium bags), lay the bag flat with the blue circle facing up, squeeze air out of the bag and zip the bag closed. Then, press the handheld sealer over the blue circle and press the on/off button to start vacuuming the remaining air from the bag. It will automatically stop vacuuming when the bag is fully sealed. It’s as simple as that. From start to finish, you’ll probably spend under a minute preparing the vacuumed food.
The included bags are made of 100% BPA free plastic and are easily washed and reused, making them all the more cost efficient to use. And, this is a particularly helpful tool for preparing your food sous vide (which is a cooking method that places food in a sealed plastic bag directly in a water bath and heating the water). It’s perfect for creating individual portions and not worrying about how much space it will take up in your kitchen.
This handheld device is a perfect small addition to your kitchen that will add up to big convenience. Not only to your food preparation but to your wallet, too! You’ll save your money by using the resealable bags that will keep your food freezer burn free and fresh for longer and you won’t use a lot of your kitchen’s limited space.
Vickaro Handheld Food Vacuum Sealer Key Features:
- ≥3.5L/min vacuum speed
- Charges with a micro USB (included)
- Compact size (2.1” x 5.2”)
- Includes 2 large and 3 medium reusable bags
Who Should Buy a Vacuum Sealer
Sometimes it’s hard to predict how much your family will eat. And even worse, it’s hard to predict what will and won’t be eaten when you throw a party. Rather than toss the food that isn’t eaten, it may make more sense to freeze it. The shelf life of food in a refrigerator isn’t infinite and your family may need a break from one leftover or another. Freezing it for another time will save you all the lost food (and therefore money) that isn’t eaten. And a vacuum saver will keep it fresh for much longer, giving you a longer opportunity to eat it.
A vacuum sealer will also provide you the opportunity to buy foods when they’re on sale. Your local grocer may have deals on steaks just before grilling season, but you know those steaks won’t last the two months without getting freezer burnt. Some butchers will run exceptionally good deals on meat if you buy it in bulk. For example, sometimes you can buy an entire strip loin for mega deals. You have to buy ten plus pounds of meat this way, but you can pop them in a freezer and save them for your perfect grill day. And with a vacuum sealer, you can stock up and not worry about them going bad by the time the weather breaks.
Week nights are notoriously difficult to have a quality, home cooked meal. Between work, school and extra curricular activities, just having an hour for your family to be together is sometimes pushing it. But preparing those home cooked meals ahead of time and freezing them can save so much time. You can prepare for weeknights or busy periods, like after a baby is born or when you have family in town to optimize how your time is spent. And speaking of time, the suction will save more time in other, ways, too. Vacuum sealing food will separate its fibers and expand the food ever so slightly (Or by a lot, if you’re using marshmallows as reference). This makes vacuum sealing incredibly useful for marinades. Because the marinade will seep into the meat that’s been slightly “opened” you can do a marinade in significantly less time saving you a lot of time. Even under an hour will be enough time to get your marinade all through your steak or chicken.
If you’re a hiker, camper, or hunter, vacuum sealing food will keep it fresh longer during your adventures, and vacuum sealers can even be used for storing your supplies more compactly – or for sealing essentials like extra clothing so that they don’t get wet. For hunters and fishermen, vacuum sealers are a must for packaging fish and meats for freezing after a successful day in the wild.
Important Features to Consider
A vacuum sealer should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a vacuum sealer for your food:
- Bagging. Bagging is the most popular way to achieve a vacuum seal on your food and with good reason: it’s cheap and simple. You can use a handheld, but the overwhelming majority of vacuum sealing products are electric and suction food which have been placed in bags. You don’t need any additional parts and clean up is simple. You won’t have to wash anything, just wipe down the sealer in case any food splatter occurred. If you’re sealing raw meats, you may want to be more conscientious on the wiping, of course; maybe use sop and water or Lysol wipes. Honestly, though, it will take less than a minute to clean up and once you’ve used the food, there won’t be any additional clean up there, either. You’ll use the disposable bags and, admittedly, those are the most expensive part of this whole process. You may be able to find “off-brand” bags, or you can try buying in bulk to save a bit more. The bags will allow you to get a perfect suction each time, but collapsing around the food in the bag and pulling out all the air.
- Handheld and/or manual. Your handheld vacuum sealer may come with batteries to perform the suction and as such, it is completely portable. You may lose a bit on bells and whistles, so this may not be the “be all, end all” vacuum sealer if you choose to use this frequently, but it will more than meet your basic needs. You could also get a handheld vacuum sealer that works manually via a hand pump you will operate. This is a sensational option for maximum flexibility, but keep in mind you may not have the same power behind your hand pumps as comes with a suction machine. Of course, what you may not have in power, you definitely have in convenience. If you’re away from an electrical outlet, an electric vacuum sealer will do you no good and with a manual, you don’t even need to worry about batteries.
- Container tubes. Sometimes a bag just won’t work for what you plan on sealing. (Now may be a good time to mention that getting your food into a soft and flexible bag without making a mess can sometimes prove challenging; Rewarding but challenging.) If you have a food that you don’t want to crush with the strong suction but still want to preserve it with an airtight seal, there are still options for that. In such a case, they do make containers specifically for vacuum sealing that have a proper hole to perform suction. You’ll either need a specialized machine that you can place your container in or, more commonly, you’ll need a transitional tube that will suck the air from the container using the same machine you use for your bags.
- Chamber vacuum sealers. A chamber vacuum sealer will remove all the air from the storage container at once, making it a truly and perfectly airtight seal. It goes without saying at this point that the better the seal the longer your food will last, but to drive the point home, this is going to make your food last the longest. You will undoubtedly get a better airtight seal with a chamber vacuum sealer but keep in mind the price tag. This is more industrial in its strength and similarly, it is more “industrial” in its price. You will spend significantly more on a chamber vacuum sealer and while you could still use it in your home, this may be best used if you have a restaurant of food related-business.
- Reusable bags. This may make the clean up a bit more difficult, but as we mentioned, the bags are the most expensive part of most vacuum sealing ventures. So if you can find a way to make the already-money-saving technique save a little more, it’s certainly worth a look. You find this most often included with handheld vacuum sealers, but they are definitely available for your more “traditional” vacuum sealing machine, as well. Even the disposable bags can be washed but they’re quite difficult to get completely clean. They make reusable bags that are easier to clean, more nonstick for example, and will maintain a solid seal every time you use it. After all, if you use this method frequently (and you’re sure to once you see how easy it is) the cost savings will really pile up over time.
- Liquid and solid settings. You may not use the vacuum sealer to freeze liquids such as soups (although that is a wasted opportunity and during those long winter months you’ll be sad you didn’t), but even your meats, casseroles and other foods will still have moisture that can make it more difficult to get a proper seal. In order to get a good seal, and maintain the vacuumed space, the seal line needs to be clear of food and dry. If you have varied settings on your food saver, you’ll be better able to change the suction and prevent the wetness of your food from being pulled into the sealing line.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a vacuum sealer and how does it work?
A vacuum sealer is an appliance for you to remove the air from your food in order to preserve its freshness. Without oxygen in the storage container, your food will be less likely to spoil and you can keep that freshness for months, if not years. You will most likely place your food into a bag of some kind, place it in a sealing machine and the machine will suction the air from the bag and heat seal it automatically, maintaining an air tight storage. Another option is to use a container in conjunction with a tube connected to a vacuum sealer to remove the air or a chamber that will remove the air all at once. You can even use a hand pump that will go with you wherever you want and relies on your own hand strength to pull the air from the storage container. No matter what method you use, the end result is the same: Air removed from your food’s storage. And no matter how you achieve it, the benefit is the same: Your food will last much longer. If you’re going hunting and want to store some snacks in your hunting backpack without throwing off your scent, vacuum sealing your foods can keep smells from escaping, too.
Can mold grow in a vacuum sealed bag?
When the air is removed from a storage container, mold (and most bacteria, even), are unable to live on your food. Mold requires oxygen and if you have the air suctioned from the food, then mold will be unable to grow on it. You may struggle to get all the air from the storage container, though, so this isn’t a perfect “No” answer. However, even taking user error into account, there’s still a fairly small possibility that your food will grow mold. The environment in which mold grows best in is damp or wet surfaces with a temperature between 77 and 86 degrees F. If you pop the vacuum sealed bag in the freezer, there’s every reason to expect you will not be able to grow mold in that environment. But that doesn’t mean the mold that is already formed won’t survive there. Mold will be deactivated by extreme cold, but it isn’t killed by it. By vacuum sealing, you’re minimizing the risk of your food having mold, and all but negating it but, as always, there will be exceptions to prove the rule.
How long does meat last vacuum sealed?
You know that removing the air will make your foods last longer, but by how much? You can expect your meat to last in the freezer without a vacuum sealer up to 6-12 months and even that will run a pretty likely risk of freezer burn. With a vacuum sealer, you may be able to go a full 2 years before your meat shows even the beginning signs of freezer burn. You’ll likely be able to get at least a full 3 years before you see any signs of spoiling or rot. This does assume an efficient machine and a effective seal, but if putting a little time into the research to find the right sealer and some attention into ensuring a good seal means you’ll be able to keep your pricey meats fresh for literal years, we think you’ll opt to go ahead and do it.
Does vacuum sealing bread keep it fresh?
Bread is among the fastest food items to spoil and mold. Freezing it will definitely prolong its life as will just preventing it from being exposed to air, even in room temperatures. If you have an “Instant Seal” button on your vacuum saver, this will be a life saver when it comes to bread storage. You don’t want to smash your bread but you do want to remove excess air surrounding it. If left unchecked, a vacuum sealer will pull the air out of the bag and the bread, flattening it. In order to prevent that, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the process. Even if the suction and sealing is an automatic process, you’ll need to stop the suction after you remove the surrounding air and before the bread begins compressing. An “Instant Seal” setting will stop the suction (without losing any that it has created that far) and seal it at the air content it is at when you press that button. That means you’ll be able to use the vacuum sealer to freeze bread or even just to seal it safely and keep it fresh for your next use.
Other Vacuum Sealers We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other vacuum sealers. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best vacuum sealers list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your food. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Handheld Vacuum Sealers
You won’t need to worry about replacing batteries on this handheld vacuum sealer, it’s all down to you.
- Includes 5 different sized vacuum bags
- Intended for solid or semi-solid foods (not liquids)
- Reusable double zipped storage bags
This sealer comes with vacuum seal storage bags that are reusable, FDA approved, and BPA free as well as freezer safe.
- Rechargeable vacuum
- Includes 5 reusable bags
This handheld vacuum sealer is handheld, cordless, and mega compact for maximum flexibility.
- 7.3″H x 2.64″W
- Seals within 6-20 seconds
- Includes 5 reusable bags
This rechargeable vacuum sealer is made with high quality materials that are impact, heat, abrasion, and low temperature resistant.
- Requires 6 AA batteries
- 30-50 uses between charges
- 1-year warranty
This handheld vacuum sealer works just as well for containers as it does storage bags or wine bottles and is a one-handed operation for easy use.
- 2 AA Batteries required (not included)
- Includes 2 removable suction nozzles for easy cleaning
- 5 – 27 x 29.2 cm reusable bags
This rechargeable vacuum sealer was built to be held in your hand and it shows; not only is it compact, it’s also created with an optimal ergonomic design.
- 50 bags between charges
- Works with Nesco sealer bags models VS-10HB and VS-11HB
- 4 small reusable bags included
Bagging Vacuum Sealers
While this isn’t perfect for completely liquid foods, it will still handle a moist food brilliantly.
- 2 vacuum settings
- Moist or dry food settings
- 2-year warranty
This vacuum sealer comes with a tube accessory to make vacuum sealing easy for anything from a container to a jar, and even a wine bottle cork.
- 14.2” x 2.1” x 2”
- Includes vacuum tube, and 10 bags
- 2 sealing options (with or without vac)
This will automatically sense when the bag is placed into the vacuum and begin suction and then after it’s complete, it will automatically seal, as well.
- Attached vacuum tube accessory
- Dishwasher save drip tray
- 5-year warranty
If you don’t plan to frequently use the vacuum tube, or the extra bells and whistles of the FoodSaver listed directly above, this is a money saver that will still give you a great seal and suction for your food.
- 1-touch operation
- Includes vacuum hose, 3 medium bags, 2 large bags and a 10′ bag roll
- 24″ power cord length
You’ll be able to use this vacuum sealer to preserve your food with just a 12-second suction time.
- Quiet suction
- Stainless steel cover
- 2 color choices
This bundle is a starter kit that will give you everything you need to start organizing your freezer and extending the life of your foods.
- One button operation
- Includes Suction hose, 8″x 10′ bag roll, 11″ x 10′ bag roll 5 gallon bags, and 5 quart bags
- 3 color choices
The risk of this purchase is minimal with its 2-year warranty and 60 money back guarantee.
- Includes vac hose accessory, bag roll, sealing sponge, 5 medium bags, and 5 large bags
- 2 sealing modes (dry or moist)
- Low noise, 40 Db
This vacuum sealer will operate with just one touch to both vacuum and seal automatically.
- Built-in bag cutter
- Cord storage beneath machine
- 2-year warranty
If you have any problems while using your new vacuum sealer, this model has a 24-hour customer service and technical support phone number for you.
- 3 color choices
- Includes 10 quart, and 10 gallon bags and vac hose
- 5-year warranty
This sealer will close securely with a locking lid so you won’t have to worry about getting an effective seal.
- Moist and dry food settings
- Includes 10 special bags and pumping tube
- 50 consecutive seal or up to 120 lbs back-to-back
This vacuum sealer is listed with an 8″ x 10′ bag roll and 11″ x 10′ bag roll, along with five gallon bags and five quart bags, that will have you storing for quite a long time.
- Bags are BPA free and FDA approved
- Seals in 10-20 seconds
- 2-year warranty
This vacuum sealer is a commercial grade appliance that will work without overheating, nonstop to seal bulk foods.
- Stainless steel construction
- 2 color options
- Choose the included bags, 8″ x 12″ or 11″ x 16″
This simple and easy to use vacuum sealer will preserve your food without any extra complications.
- Utilizes 90 Watts of power
- 1-year warranty
- Includes 15 vacuum bags
Chamber Vacuum Sealer
With this chamber vacuum sealer, you won’t need to perform regular oil changes and that’s a huge perk you’ll love.
- Includes 6 pint, 6 quart and 6 gallon vacuum bags
- 13.8 x 12 x 4.3 in
- Three preset and programmable buttons