Investing in some vacuum pack storage bags can be a quick and easy way to create more space in your drawers.
Not only do they reduce the size of clothes and bedding for storage but the vacuum packs also keep clothes clean, dry and moth free.
However, before you invest your hard-earned cash let us take you through all the key questions about vacuum storage bags to help you to decide if they are the right solution for you.
- Skip to our quick FAQs on vacuum storage bags
- Skip to our guide to the best vacuum storage bags for every budget
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How do vacuum storage bags work?
Vacuum storage bags come in all shapes and sizes but in their most basic form they are large, thick plastic bags which can be sealed shut, usually with a zipper.
The attachment on your vacuum cleaner can then be inserted in order to suck out all the air, which massively reduces the size of the bag and allows you to stack them neatly away.
Most vacuum storage bags will reduce a bag of clothes to around 50% of its previous size so, if space is at a premium in your house, they can provide useful extra storage.
How long does the seal on vacuum storage bags last?
As long as you seal the bag correctly (here’s a great guide on how to seal your bag) and there are no tears or leaks then the storage bag should remain airtight for a number of months.
However, it is wise to check them once a month to make sure the bags have not slowly reflated.
If they have check there are no tears or holes (if there are you can use some duct tape to make a repair) and simply attach your vacuum once more to suck out the air.
What can I store in vacuum storage bags?
Many people use vacuum storage bags to store their winter clothes during the summer months and vice versa – freeing up space in the cupboard.
You can also store soft toys, cushions, pillows, duvets, blankets and other soft furnishings.
Looking for advice on which duvet to get? Check out our post on the best duvets.
How long can I safely store clothes in vacuum storage bags?
Some fabrics do not like being stored in a vacuum as they need air to maintain their shape, this is especially true of natural fibres such as wool.
However storing clothes in a vacuum storage bag for up to six months should not cause damage to your woollen clothes.
Bear in mind that the clothes may come out somewhat wrinkled and will need to be hung up and aired for a few days to help them to return to shape once they have been removed from storage.
Do vacuum storage bags protect your clothes?
Most good quality plastic storage bags will protect your clothes and soft furnishings from dust, damp, mould and moths.
Moths are one of the greatest threats to any clothes in storage and people often ask: Can vacuum storage bags can help protect clothes from moths? The answer is, yes!
Vacuum storage bags can be especially helpful if you are fighting an infestation of moths.
Once you have packed the affected items into the bag and sucked the air out they are more easily placed in the freezer which is a quick and easy way of killing any residual moth eggs.
Leave the item in the freezer for a few days until all the moths are dead and then it can safely go into storage without any fear of further moth attacks.
What items Should NOT Be vacuum packed?
Some items really should not be vacuum packed.
For example: anything with lots of sharp edges as this will likely pierce the bag and stop it from working.
Additionally some fabrics do not respond well the being vacuum packed, for example leather or fur.
Lots of people ask: Is OK to vacuum pack duvets and pillows? In general it is a great way to store these bulky items.
However, take care if you are vacuum packing feather or down-filled pillows or duvets – as if they are vacuumed too tight it can crush the delicate feathers.
Instead leave just a small amount of air in the storage bag to ensure the feathers are not crushed.
Sleeping bags or down jackets should also not be vacuum packed as they rely on the air inside to keep them fluffy and warm.
If you suck the air out of them it is very hard to put it back in, so it is best to avoid vacuum packing sleeping bags or down jackets.
How to prevent wrinkles in vacuum packed clothes?
A simple way to prevent your clothes from getting wrinkled while stored in a vacuum pack is to roll up the items neatly before you pack them away.
Also make sure not to over pack the bag as this can also cause some wrinkling.
The best way to deal with any wrinkling caused by clothes being stored in a vacuum bag is to hang the items up for a few hours after you have unpacked them to give them time to pop back into shape.
Any stubborn wrinkles can be removed by ironing the offending item.
Can I use vacuum storage bags if I don’t have a vacuum cleaner?
It might seem like a silly question but actually you can!
You can’t get quite as good a result as with a vacuum but if you pack your clothes into the bag and then roll or squish the bag, pushing as much air out as possible, before sealing it then you can still reduce the size of the bag significantly.
The bags will also make sure your clothes stay clean, dry and moth-free.
Some vacuum pack bags also come with hand pumps (a bit like a bike pump). It takes a bit more labour and effort but these can be a great option for holidays and travel as you can pack the pump to bring along with you.
Another alternative is to invest in a small air pump (like you’d use for an inflatable lilo or air-bed). Find one with nozzles which also attach the outflow and you can suck air out using the same machine usually used to blow air in:
How to get the most out of your vacuum storage bags?
To get the most out your vacuum storage bags you should:
- Make sure clothes are clean and dry before being packed away
- Ensure the bags are correctly sealed so they stay airtight
- Don’t over fill the bags or they are more likely to leak
- Check on them once a month to make sure they have not let any air in
- Don’t store them near a heater, instead keep them in a cool, dry spot
- To keep wrinkles away store the bags on a flat surface.
Are vacuum storage bags worth it?
If you are short on storage space then using vacuum packed storage bags can help to reduce the space taken up by clothes and soft-furnishings to about half its previous size.
Additionally because the bags are made from strong plastic they can protect items from dust, damp, mould and moths.
Storage bags are best used for six months at a time as clothes stored long-term in this fashion can lose their shape.
In conclusion storage bags are relatively cheap to buy and can be reused a number of times so they work out as a good value storage solution.
The Best Vacuum Storage Bags for Every Budget
This extra-large vacuum pack – priced around £9.99 – comes with two bags 70cm x 105cm which is large enough to store a double duvet set.
It works with any type of vacuum cleaner nozzle and comes with a 5-year guarantee so you can use them over and over again.
This brilliant travel set does not require a vacuum cleaner. Instead you simply roll the bags to squeeze the air out.
This set comes with 1 x large bag (50 x 70cm) and 2 x medium bags (40 x 50cm) which is plenty big enough to fit all your clothes into your suitcase or rucksack.
Lakeland also do a great range of vacuum storage bags, including the brilliantly named ‘Camel’ range, which come complete with tote bags to pop the sealed packs into, to make under-bed storage even easier.
Vacuum Storage bags on AMazon
Here are some of the frequently asked questions (or things to consider!) when buying vacuum storage bags:
What size vacuum storage bag should I get for a double duvet?
100cm x 70cm is large enough to store a double duvet and 130cm x 100cm is big enough for a king size duvet.
Are vacuum storage bags allowed on planes?
Yes they are.
In fact most airlines are more worried about items with extra air inside them (which can expand and contract as the aeroplane ascends/descends).
When travelling it is best to use the kind of bags which don’t need to be sealed with a vacuum cleaner – unless you’re certain you can access a vacuum at the other end of your trip – otherwise you can end up unable to fit all your luggage back in your bag to come home again!
Some bags work by rolling and pushing the air out. This way you don’t need to have a vacuum cleaner handy on holiday.
Or get a set that come with a hand pump or invest in a portable electric air pump (like you’d have for inflating a rubber ring or air bed).
Do vacuum storage bags The reduce weight of baggage?
No. In some cases they actually add weight because the weight of the storage bag is more than the weight of any air removed.
Sorry. If you were looking to stretch your luggage allowance for a holiday, vacuum packing won’t help.
Can vacuum storage bags be reused?
Yes. Vacuum storage bags can be used again and again.
Can vacuum storage bags be recycled?
Usually, yes. If they are made from simple plastic then most vacuum storage bags should be able to be recycled along with plastic bags but always check with your local authority.
Are vacuum storage bags moth proof?
Yes. As long as the clothes you pack into the bag are moth-free then they should stay that way. Moths cannot get into tightly sealed vacuum packed bags.
Are vacuum storage bags waterproof?
Yes. Vacuum storage bags will keep out any damp and protect clothes from water.
Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API