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Are you looking to save more money by buying more dry food in bulk? Or maybe your produce or frozen meats are going bad before you get the chance to use them. Whatever your situation, perhaps it's a good time to invest in a vacuum sealer.
Vacuum sealers work by sucking all 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.
Here, a list of the best vacuum sealers for whatever your storage or cooking needs.
Best Overall: Mueller Austria Vacuum Sealer Machine
Quick, strong seal
Compatible with other brands of sealer bags and rolls
It needs to cool down after sealing a few bags
A customer favorite, this vacuum sealer from Mueller Austria has an easy-to-use control panel that gives you complete control over the vacuum-sealing process. There are options for gentle or airtight vacuuming so you don't have to worry about delicate foods like crackers or soft produce getting smushed. It also has settings for moist or dry food to help you customize the perfect vacuum seal no matter what type of food you're sealing.
Reviewers praise this model for working fast, creating strong seals, and being compatible with other brands of vacuum sealer bags and rolls. You'll receive an accessory air suction hose, five medium vacuum seal bags, and a vacuum bag roll.
Best Professional: Weston Pro-2300 Commercial Grade Stainless Steel Vacuum Sealer
Seals within seconds
Fan-cooled to allow for continuous use
Manual seal mode is ideal for softer foods
It’s heavy and difficult to move
It’s has a large countertop footprint
If your vacuum-sealing needs exceed normal household use, or if you love having restaurant-quality equipment at home, you should consider this option. It’s great for hunters and fishers, or those who tend to buy meat in bulk at the grocery store. It’s also perfect for people who want a quick way to marinate their meat.
This commercial-grade countertop machine has a double piston vacuum-pump with 935-watts of power to seal your food in a matter of minutes. The extra-wide 5mm seal bar ensures a consistent and tight seal with no leaks. In fact, our product tester says she was able to get a successful seal the first time, every time. You can seal a variety of different sized bags, and the manual seal mode gives you complete control over the amount of pressure so you can expertly seal delicate foods without crushing them.
You can also use this machine with coins and other valuables to keep them safe from air and moisture.
"The air was sucked out and each bag was sealed within three seconds. As an added bonus, there’s no extra effort involved." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best for Sous Vide: Anova Precision Sous Vide Vacuum Sealer
Sleek and compact
Easy to use
Includes a pulse suction feature
Not many accessories included
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. Use it with bags of different sizes for serving groups of two or ten.
The best part is that it 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.
Reviewers also like that it includes a pulse suction feature, which lets them have more control over suction, especially when sealing delicate foods.
Best Budget: FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealer
Easy to use
Vacuum feature can be controlled
Includes removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray
No roll storage
Available in silver or black, this FoodSaver model is affordable and easy to use. It features an easy latch lock system that can be operated one-handed. The control panel is intuitive—it will suck the air out of bagged food and seal them, then turn itself off, with the touch of one button.
Reviewers like that the vacuum feature can be controlled so you can choose to suck all the air out of a bag, or just seal open bags of snacks like chips and pretzels.
It comes with a removable drip tray that is also dishwasher safe so this sealer can be used to preserve wet foods like marinated meats without making a mess. You'll also receive an accessory hose that's compatible with FoodSaver jars and canisters and three 1-quart sealer bags, two 1-gallon sealer bags, and a 10-foot vacuum seal roll. This sealer lacks roll storage, but you'll save some counter or storage space with a smaller unit.
Runner-Up, Best Budget: SEAL-A-MEAL Manual Vacuum Sealer
Straightforward, one-touch operation
Creates a tight, even seal
Compact and easy to store
Only one setting
Bar must be held down manually
This budget vacuum sealer boasts a compact designed, indicator lights that show the sealing progress, and a removable drip tray for easy cleaning. This sealer can accommodate the standard-sized bags made by FoodSave and other companies, including 8-inch rolls, 11-inch rolls, and gallon-sized pre-made bags.
An Open/Cancel button stops the process if you need to stop or adjust something and opens the lid when the process is done. This offers hands-free operation so you can walk away while it works—just press down on the lid until the hands-free indicator lights up and you’re done.
This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or special settings available on higher-end models, but it’s easy to operate and works well for users who have basic needs. It includes four quart-size bags.
Best Quiet: NutriChef Vacuum Sealer
Simple to use
Doesn't have a removable drip tray
Vacuum sealers preserve food up to five times longer than regular plastic baggies, and this particular model was subjected to in-depth lab testing to ensure that it does just that. Reviewers praise this vacuum not only for its compact size and quiet operation but also for its versatility.
Two sealing options—dry and moist—allow you to seal anything from soup to chicken or steak for sous vide. It has a suction rate of 12 liters (around 3 gallons) a minute, with smaller items being sealed in as little as four seconds.
The kit 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. Keep in mind that you do need an inch or so of room on each side of the item to successfully seal it: the more air the vacuum is able to remove, the longer food will stay in the fridge or freezer.
Best for Beginners: Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer VS-12
Useful settings give user more control
Double heat seal option
Doesn't include attachment hose for canister use
Nesco's deluxe vacuum sealer starter kit is intuitive to use and has several settings to ensure best results. There are sealing settings for dry foods, moist foods, and an option to create a double heat seal on any bag.
A double vacuum pump extracts every last bit of air from your sealed packaged. Reviewers say the pump is powerful, seals within seconds, and gets a tight seal the first time. There are also two vacuum pressures to choose from, normal and gentle, to keep more delicate foods like crackers and other snacks. There's also a pulse feature to let you have more control over the vacuum process so buns, pastries, and breads don't get crushed.
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 allows you to cut bags to the exact size you need. It includes two different sizes bag rolls to get started and when you need more, this sealer will work with any brand of vacuum sealer bags.
Best Compact: Geryon Vacuum Sealer Machine E2800-C
Straightforward to use
Lightweight and compact
Doesn't include a bag cutter
This compact vacuum sealer doesn’t include some of the bells and whistles that the big boys do, but it does the one thing you buy it for—it vacuums and seals bags for freezing, food storage, and sous vide cooking.
This can use any brand of vacuum-sealer bag rolls up to 12 inches wide, or with a pre-made quart or gallon-sized bags. To seal bags, you 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, which is great for delicate foods. You can also operate the sealing function without vacuuming first, which is great for making bags. Reviewers love how affordable and easy to use this vacuum sealer is.
To get you started, this includes five 7.8 x 11.8-inch bags and one 7.8 x 78-inch roll of bag material. This does not have a bag cutter or integrated bag storage.
Best User-Friendly: NESCO VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealing System with Bag Starter Kit
Intuitive control panel
Built-in bag roll compartment
Can vacuum and seal opened bags of snacks (like cereal, chips, and cookies)
Bulkier than some other models
No drip tray
Are you 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. It may not be the cheapest in the market, with a price that's decidedly middle of the road, but its intuitive design and handy features make those extra bucks worth it.
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 its width of 18.3 inches and 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.
Our tester had success with a variety of foods, including uncooked bacon, peanut butter sandwich cookies, and half a peeled banana. "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," she raves.
"From start to finish, the NESCO allows you to create airtight food packaging quickly and efficiently." — Karen Tietjen, Product Tester
Best Cordless: FoodSaver Cordless Handheld Food Vacuum Sealer
Compact and portable
Great for those who live in small spaces
No indicator light
Measuring 4.62 x 1.75 x 1.75 inches, this super-compact unit fits easily in the hand and on the countertop when not in use—one of the main pros listed by reviewers. Powered by a built-in lithium-ion battery, the sealer and docking station don't require a plug. This, plus its minimal size, makes it ideal for those with small kitchens, such as apartment dwellers. It also might make a good travel unit for those who hunt or fish.
Note that it's meant for use with compatible FoodSafe containers, bags, and accessories, but it does come with four quart-sized bags so you can start sealing immediately. If you experience any issues within a year, FoodSaver offers a limited manufacturer's warranty.
Best for Hunters: FoodSaver GameSaver Big Game GM710 Food Preservation System
Extra-long power cord
Some reviewers say it's prone to overheating
This sealer is designed to make sealing fresh catches and game meat easier for fishers and hunters at the source. It has a carrying handle and extra-long 15-foot power cord so it's ready to take on camping trips, fishing trips, and field hunts so fresh game and fish can be sealed at the peak of freshness.
The GameSaver is sized to handle large jobs and promises to seal 80 packages in a row or process up to 240 pounds of meat without overheating. It can also be used back at home to keep smaller packages of snacks and cheese fresh. It comes with several sizes of sealing roll and pre-cut bags.
The Mueller Austria Vacuum Sealer (view at Amazon) is our favorite for its quick, strong seal, cross-brand compatibility, intuitive control panel, and reasonable price. For professional use, check out the Weston Pro-2300 Commercial Grade Vacuum Sealer (view at Amazon), which can withstand continuous use.
What to Look for in 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). 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.
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.
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.
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'ss 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.
How long does vacuum-sealed food last?
On average, sealed food placed in the freezer can last several years and sealed food in the refrigerator will last several weeks. Vacuum sealed meat will last about a month in the refrigerator and 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. White rice will last longer than brown rice since brown rice contains fatty acids that deteriorate and go rancid.
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 bag roll, which lets you create bags of any size.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a product tester and writer for The Spruce Eats. The cookbook author specializes in kitchen tools and gadgets for our site. Check out her roundups on other food storage and meal prep solutions, including the best avocado storage tools, top glass food containers and meal prep containers, and the best canning supplies.
This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook who happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She happily makes space for any gadget that make cooking faster and easier and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.