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Are you looking to save money by buying more food in bulk? Or maybe your produce or frozen meats are expiring before you get the chance to use them. Vacuum sealers work by sucking the oxygen out from the space around your food inside a bag or canister and then sealing those containers to prevent air from leaking back inside to spoil your food. Besides extending shelf life, vacuum sealers are also useful for sous vide cooking, keeping valuable metals protected from air exposure, preserving fish after a fishing trip, and more.
"Vacuum sealers are your best friend if you want to win the fight against freezer burn," says Robert Miller, butcher and owner of The Conscious Carnivore. "When meat is loosely wrapped or stored in a Ziplock bag, ice crystals can form on the outside of the meat and puncture the cell walls resulting in a dried-out product that's weeping a lot of juice when thawed. These ice crystals will form during the freezing as well as the thawing process."
We tested ten of the top-rated vacuum sealers side by side in the test kitchen of our dedicated Lab and rated them on ease of use, pulse control, suction power, and cleanup. For one of the tests, we sous vide-cooked vacuum-sealed meat and checked for broken seals. While all the vacuum sealers delivered tight seals that stood up to the water bath, there were some clear winners when we compared the seals—and the sealing process—for everything from raspberries to pretzels to ground beef.
Here are the best vacuum sealers available today.
Best Overall: Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer
Excellent pulse control
Great for fragile foods
Easy to use
Doesn't include attachment hose for canister use
The Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer is intuitive to use, features several settings to ensure the best results for a variety of foods, and in our testing, its capabilities equaled or surpassed that of models double its price. There are sealing settings for dry foods (like cereal) and moist foods (like raw meat), as well as an option to create a double heat seal on any bag. A double vacuum pump extracts every last bit of air from your sealed package. Even with irregular-shaped items, we saw almost no air pockets or bubbles after sealing.
There are also two vacuum pressures to choose from—normal and gentle—to keep more delicate foods like crackers and other snacks from breaking. The gentle setting, in combination with the pulse feature, offers precise control over the vacuum process so items like buns and pastries don't get crushed. In our Lab tests, the Nesco VS-12 was the only sealer that didn't crush fresh raspberries—the most delicate of foods we tried.
Beyond performance, we loved how user-friendly it was: The latch locks easily and there's a timer that counts down until it manually seals (although it is a bit slow). An accessory port allows you to attach a hose to the sealer to extract air from jars and vacuum canisters and a built-in bag roll storage and bag cutter allow you to cut bags to the exact size you need. Two different sized bag rolls are included to get you started and when you need more, this sealer will work with any brand of vacuum sealer bags.
Dimensions: 17 x 5 x 9 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: Yes | Removable Drip Tray: No
"The cereal sealed with zero air pockets, the pretzels didn't crack, hardly any juices were released from the strawberries, and—probably most impressively—the raspberries weren't crushed in our tests. Plus, it was really easy to use." — Mary Kate Hoban, Senior Editor
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Mueller Austria Vacuum Sealer Machine
Quick, strong seal
Includes accessory port and hose
No bag cutter or onboard storage for rolls
Accessory hose doesn't include an adapter
This vacuum sealer from Mueller Austria is a great value. Not only does it create strong seals, but it also boasts an easy-to-use control panel, which gives you complete control over the vacuum-sealing process—and it's compatible with other brands of vacuum sealer bags and rolls.
There are options for gentle or airtight vacuuming so you don't have to worry about delicate foods like crackers or soft produce getting smashed. To test this sealer's efficacy in a real-life setting, we also sent it to an at-home tester, who liked this option for freezing leftover brownies or strawberries and overripe bananas for smoothies. She also used it to keep walnuts fresh.
The Mueller has settings for moist or dry food to help you customize the perfect vacuum seal. Our Lab tests revealed incredible suction power with good pulse control that allows you to get super-tight seals even on irregular-shaped items. The cereal we sealed had zero crumbs and minimal air pockets.
Our home tester loved that this device was small enough to hide away in a cabinet, pantry, or drawer, but the compact design does mean that there's no onboard storage for bag rolls and no integrated bag cutter. Still, neither were dealbreakers for us. It comes with an accessory air suction hose, five medium vacuum seal bags, and a vacuum bag roll.
Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 5 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds| Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: No | Removable Drip Tray: No
"I sealed ground beef that was destined for the freezer. Although it pulled some liquid from the meat, the seal was solid, and the meat froze well with no hints of freezer burn. I also vacuumed-sealed some country pork ribs that I cooked using sous vide. The bags stayed leak-proof throughout the process." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best for Beginners: Anova Precision Sous Vide Vacuum Sealer
Easy to use
No accessory port for containers
No adjustment for sealing dry/moist foods
This sealer is intended for use with the brand's popular sous vide cooker, but it works well for food saving, too. The super-sleek and simple one-touch Anova is designed to extract air quickly and seal tightly. You can use it with bags of different sizes for serving groups of two or ten. If vacuum sealers with tons of bells and whistles intimidate you, you're in luck. You don't have to be tech-savvy to use this one.
The three buttons on the top—vacuum and seal, seal, and pulse vacuum—are straightforward and get the job done. In fact, our Lab testers didn't even need to look at the manual to figure this machine out. Plus, unlike a lot of other models we tested, minimal pressure is required to close and latch the sealer. While it didn't achieve the best results with delicate items like raspberries, it worked well for meat and other snacks.
It also has a small footprint, making it ideal for people in apartments or homes with limited cupboard and counter space. However, the tradeoff is that the no-frills model doesn't come with accessories (beyond 10 pre-cut bags) like other options. Still, our home tester noted that even if you don't have the most evenly cut bags, it will still work. "A slightly wavy cut or a bit of an angle doesn’t make any difference at all," she reported.
Dimensions: 16.73 x 4.8 x 3.14 inches | Weight: 2.3 pounds | Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: No | Removable Drip Tray: No
"While there’s no button for any kind of gentle vacuuming, the pulse vacuum takes care of that while offering complete control of how much vacuum is applied, so it’s possible to package everything from dense meat to fluffy pastry with those three simple buttons." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best for Small Spaces: FoodSaver VS0150 PowerVac Compact Vacuum Sealing Machine
Can be stored vertically or horizontally
Easy to use
Good pulse control
Some air pockets when sealing meat
With its slim, lightweight design and ability to be stored vertically or horizontally, the FoodSaver 0150 is a vacuum sealer that's perfect for kitchens with limited space. Despite its moderate price tag, this model offers two convenient settings—one for dry foods and one for moist—and includes a removable drip tray for easy cleanup.
While we had to press down fairly hard to get the machine to lock, our Lab tests revealed excellent pulse control and an easy-to-use interface. Simply press the "vacuum" button to start or stop. In our tests, both the cereal and raspberries stayed almost completely intact, and we were particularly impressed with the machine's ability to vacuum seal strawberries without any juices escaping.
There were some air pockets when sealing meat, but the space-saving design and the fact that FoodSaver is such a well-known brand make this a worthwhile buy, particularly for those just getting started with vacuum sealing.
Dimensions: 15.94 x 6.16 x 2.71 inches | Weight: 5.46 pounds | Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: no | Removable Drip Tray: Yes
"We loved the control on this one—it was super easy to start and stop with no delay when you hit the button. The slim design is perfect for a tiny kitchen and anyone intimidated by the hefty, professional-looking vacuum sealers." — Mary Kate Hoban, Senior Editor
Best Budget: NESCO VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealing System with Bag Starter Kit
Intuitive control panel
Built-in bag roll compartment
Can be used on opened snack bags
Bulkier than some other models
If you're in the market for an appliance that's efficient and easy to use, but you want to save a few bucks, the Nesco VS-02 Vacuum Sealer may be for you. This vacuum sealer boasts a bag roll compartment (which lifts smoothly and easily), built-in bag slicer, and large, clearly marked buttons, which, combined with the fact that you can customize your bag size, allow for smooth operation. Plus, the Nesco can re-seal snacks, like chips, in their original packaging.
All it takes to operate is the press of one of two buttons, the "Vacuum/Seal" button and the “Seal Only” button, the latter of which will stop the vacuuming process and create a seal. There is also a cancel option. You have to be quick with the controls to ensure you don't crush more delicate items, but once they got the hang of it, our Lab testers were able to successfully seal pretzels with minimal breakage and very few air pockets.
Our at-home tester had success with a variety of foods, including uncooked bacon, peanut butter sandwich cookies, and half of a peeled banana. Our Lab tests showed some air pockets when we sealed ground beef so this wouldn't be our top choice for large quantities of raw meat (there's also no drip tray, which makes cleaning a little tricky). However, overall performance and convenient features make this a great buy at a great price.
Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 7 inches | Weight: 8 pounds | Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: Yes | Removable Drip Tray: No
"The bacon looked store-bought for days after the original package was opened, the crackers stayed crunchy without being dried out, and after 24 hours, the banana still hadn’t gone brown." — Karen Tietjen, Product Tester
Runner-Up, Best Budget: Geryon Vacuum Sealer Machine E2800-C
Easy to use
Lightweight and compact
Powerful suction good for meat
Not good with delicate items
Overly sensitive touchpad
This compact vacuum sealer doesn’t include some of the fancy features that the higher-end models do, but it performs its primary function—vacuuming and sealing bags for freezing, food storage, and sous vide cooking. It works with any brand of vacuum-sealer bag rolls up to 12 inches wide, or with pre-made quart or gallon-sized bags. The setup can't be beaten—basically, you plug it in and you are ready to seal. To seal bags, place the end into the machine and press down to lock it in place, then press the vacuum button.
A sealing indicator shows the progress, or you can stop the vacuuming at any point to seal the bag before it is fully vacuumed. We like that we can also operate the sealing function without vacuuming first, which is great for making bags. In our Lab tests, we were impressed with its power and ease of use but did find that it's tough to get a good seal on delicate items without crushing them in the process. The sensitive touchscreen takes some getting used to as well.
To get you started, this vacuum sealer comes with five 7.8 x 11.8-inch bags and one 7.8 x 78-inch roll of bag material. It does not have a bag cutter or integrated bag storage.
Dimensions: 2.5 x 5.4 x 14.6 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: No | Removable Drip Tray: No
"For its price and size, I was honestly shocked at how powerful it was and how well it worked. For anyone looking for a basic model—particularly if you just want to seal meat—this is it." — Mary Kate Hoban, Senior Editor
Best Professional: FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System
Fully automated and simple to operate
Powerful suction is quick to seal
Easy to clean
Not great for delicate items
FoodSaver is known for, well, food-saving systems, and it makes some of the best-selling vacuum sealers available today. This vacuum sealing system is fully automated: There's bag detection that starts the vacuum-sealing process and moisture detection that selects the correct mode, whether you're sealing marinated steaks or pantry snacks. There's an LED light display to indicate progress, and the machine turns itself off when the job is done.
This machine had some of the best suction power of all the vacuum sealers we tested in The Lab, making it ideal for sealing meat. Plus, it was quick. If you're looking to stock the freezer all at once, the FoodSaver 2-in-1 will tackle your task in no time. Our tests revealed one major weakness, however. This machine is too strong for some things. It crushed all delicate items we tried to seal and there is no pulse control option.
The price tag is a little steep for the casual user, but the machine comes loaded with some convenient features that help justify the spend. It's easy to clean thanks to a pull-out drawer that houses a dishwasher-safe drip tray. It has built-in roll storage, a bag cutter, and a retractable handheld sealer that can be used to preserve pantry snacks, cereals, and nuts in FoodSaver zipper bags, containers, and canisters. Plus, it comes with a five-year limited warranty.
Dimensions: 18.8 x 9.5 x 10.6 inches | Weight: 10 pounds | Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: Yes | Removable Drip Tray: Yes
"This one will totally impress you with its power, but take caution when sealing delicate items because it's almost too powerful! Meat-eaters looking to stock their freezers will marvel at its suction ability and tight seals." — Mary Kate Hoban, Senior Editor
Most Versatile: NutriChef Vacuum Sealer
Incredible pulse control
Compact, lightweight design
Includes air suction hose and wine stopper cork
Featuring a lightweight design and straightforward interface, the NutriChef vacuum sealer earned top marks in our Lab test for pulse control. Two sealing options—dry and moist—allow you to seal anything from soup to chicken or steak for sous vide. There is also an option for normal or gentle. In our Lab tests, the NutriChef excelled at sealing delicate food items. Strawberries, raspberries, cereal, and pretzels all held up exceedingly well. Some juices were released when we used it to seal raw pork, but there were minimal air pockets.
The one real downside our Lab testers noted was the fact that the machine felt hot after each use, meaning this might not be the top choice if you're looking to seal in bulk. It's also missing a removable drip tray, which makes cleaning more difficult.
The vacuum sealer comes with five medium-sized vacuum bags and one extra-large vacuum bag roll, both of which are completely waterproof and reusable. If you need more, replacement bags are easy to repurchase from NutriChef or other vendors. As a bonus, the kit also includes an air suction hose and wine stopper cork so you can seal any leftover wine.
Dimensions: 6 x 14.1 x 3 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds | Bag Roll Storage/Cutter: No | Removable Drip Tray: No
"This was definitely an above-average pick overall, and it really wowed us when it came to fragile food items. The cereal and pretzels were unscathed in the sealing process!" — Mary Kate Hoban, Senior Editor
After testing each of these vacuum sealers in The Lab and performing home kitchen tests, our best overall pick is the Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer (view at Amazon); its power, ease of use, and pulse control earned top marks and it comes at a reasonable price. If you're new to vacuum sealing and want something super simple, we'd recommend the Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer (view at Amazon), which we found both easy to use and effective.
How We Tested
Over the course of several weeks, our editors researched vacuum sealers, developed a standardized methodology to test them side by side, and put them to the test in The Lab. We analyzed the data, reviewed insights from our at-home testers, determined ratings, and used our findings to finalize our list.
Each vacuum sealer was judged on its ease of use, pulse control, suction power, and cleanup. To evaluate all of these elements, we used each one to vacuum seal raspberries, strawberries, Life cereal, pretzels, ground beef, and pork. We placed the individually sealed pork into a sous vide bath of 200 degrees Fahrenheit and checked to make sure the seals stayed intact. Finally, the uncooked ground beef was placed into the freezer, and after two months, we will assess for freezer burn (at which point we will update this roundup with any findings).
Other Options We Tested
- FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealer Machine (view at Amazon): FoodSaver is a recognizable brand with tons of options for vacuum sealers. This one has a moderate price tag but no standout features. Our Lab tests revealed average to slightly below average pulse control. We weren't able to seal raspberries or cereal without completely crushing them. Our testers found the suction power to be good but had trouble sealing a bag of pretzels without small air pockets. The similarly priced FoodSaver VS0150 out-performed this one in nearly every category during our testing.
- Weston Pro 2300 Vacuum Sealer (view at Amazon): We tested this high-end model in our Lab and it was also reviewed by a home tester. While its cooling fan and speed make it well-suited for high-volume sealing, our Lab tests revealed lackluster performance when it came to sealing delicate items. For its extremely high price tag, we would have preferred more options for pulse control and customized settings (like a gentle mode or moist food option). It was also the largest and heaviest vacuum sealer we tested, and it was extremely loud. Unless you're looking to splurge on something that will deliver extreme suction power quickly for high-volume sealing and you have the space for it, we think there are much better options at lower prices.
What to Look for When Buying a Vacuum Sealer
Higher-end machines tend to have special buttons (for things like pulsing or sealing wet foods), and some might also have the ability to seal more than bags (like containers for marinating foods). If you're looking to seal more fragile items like fruits and pastries, you may want to find a model with a "gentle" setting. More basic models come at a lower price point with fewer features, but they tend to take up less space and work well if you don’t need the extra amenities.
"For more delicate cuts, like a fresh weisswurst, tender chicken, or turkey sausage, it's recommended to partially cook and then freeze them for 20 to 30 minutes before putting in a vacuum sealer to avoid crushing them during the process. The same can be done for softer vegetables or baked items." — Robert Miller, Butcher and Owner of The Conscious Carnivore
Size and Bag Storage
Do you want a vacuum sealer that stores bag rolls? The rolls will always be on hand, and the machine will cut the bags to length. On the other hand, if the rolls don’t store inside the unit, you’ll have two separate things to keep track of, but the units themselves tend to be more compact. Consider how often you'll be using your vacuum sealer and if you need it to be stowed away easily in a drawer. You can find models that are lightweight—just a few pounds—but more professional, heavy-duty models will probably need to find a more permanent home on the counter.
There’s no doubt that you’ll eventually need to buy extra sealing bags and rolls, but some machines include a variety of both so you can decide which you prefer before you purchase more. Many sealers come with an accessory port so you can attach a suction hose (which may or may not come included) and use it to seal canisters or even unfinished wine. Some starter kits even come with the containers or a cork for your sealed wine.
Can you vacuum seal soup, bread, and lettuce?
Yes, soft foods, like bread and lettuce, and wet foods, like soups and stews, can all be vacuum sealed with a little know-how.
Liquid items can't be vacuum sealed as is without making a big mess or overfilling the sealer's drip tray. The trick is to place soups, stews, and sauces in another container or storage bag and freeze them first. Then, place the frozen dish in a vacuum bag and seal.
Since bread is soft and spongy and will be smashed beyond recognition, you'll want to freeze it until it's firm before vacuum sealing.
Leafy greens and lettuce will likely be crushed too much in a vacuum bag but can be sealed in a vacuum canister. Look for a sealer that has a hose attachment that can be used to vacuum the air out of canisters.
For the best seal, remember to keep an inch or so of room on each side of the item being sealed. The more air the vacuum is able to remove, the longer the food will keep in the fridge or freezer.
How long does vacuum-sealed food last?
Vacuum sealing your food can greatly extend the storage time of food, although precautions should still be taken. Often vacuum sealer brands will list their own guidelines, which you should follow. On average, sealed food placed in the freezer can last several years and sealed food in the refrigerator will last several weeks. According to FoodSaver, vacuum-sealed meat will last about two to three years in the freezer. Whole fish or large fish filets will last about five days in the refrigerator and two to three years in the freezer.
Sealed vegetables will last one to two weeks in the refrigerator and two to three years in the freezer. Uncooked rice can be sealed and stored in the pantry for several years.
For best results, Robert Miller, butcher and owner of The Conscious Carnivore, recommends taking vacuum-sealed meats from the freezer and putting them directly into a bowl of cool water to thaw as quickly as possible.
Where can you buy vacuum seal bags?
Vacuum seal bags and bag rolls are available at most major retailers that sell kitchen appliances. Most vacuum sealers can use any brand of bag. Some sealers have built-in storage for a bag roll, which lets you create bags of any size.
How do you clean a vacuum sealer?
"The best thing you can do to prolong the life of any sealer is to keep it clean," Miller says. You'll especially want to clean the heat strip that seals that bag, as buildup could lead to a weaker seal that may give out during the freezing and thawing process. Some models offer removable drip trays (and some are dishwasher safe), which makes cleaning even easier. If you notice ice crystals forming on your frozen foods "like a gentle winter frost, it might be time to look for a new one," Miller says. Similarly, if the vacuum isn't pulling all of the air out of the bag during the sealing process, it may need to be serviced or replaced.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
The author of this roundup, Donna Currie, is a product tester and writer for The Spruce Eats. The cookbook author specializes in kitchen tools and gadgets for our site and personally tested one of the vacuum sealers for this roundup.
This piece contains additional reporting by Sharon Lehman, a home cook and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats, and Rachel Werner, who interviewed Robert Miller, butcher and owner of The Conscious Carnivore.