We put 13 of the best vacuum sealers to the test after extensively researching the top options on the market. Vacuum sealers are handy appliances designed to keep your food as fresh as possible. Our expert kitchen testers sealed all kinds of foods of various textures and consistency, ranging from berries and sandwich bread to dry rice and meats. We compared each model's individual food sealing performance, measured their vacuum strength, assessed their ease of use, and took note of overall operational convenience. Our review highlights models that perform well overall, excel with delicate foods, are ideal for heavy-duty use, and more, all so you can be sure to find the best sealer for your food storage needs.
A vacuum sealer can be an excellent addition to any home kitchen and can be especially useful for those who like to buy in bulk and plan meals ahead of time. You can store individual berry servings for your morning smoothie, pack produce expertly chopped in one of the best food processors, and seal up meat and veggies to prep for cooking with a top-tier sous vide. These machines can also come in handy for hunters who come home with a big haul they need to pack and process. Sealing meat keeps it fresher for use in the best slow cookers later down the road.
Editor's Note: We updated our vacuum sealer article on February 13, 2023 to ensure all products are current and to edit for clarity.
Measured Average Seal Time: 9 seconds | Measured Seal Thickness: 3mm
REASONS TO BUY
Built-in bag roller/cutter system
Prolonged operation time
Air suction hose
Great with delicate foods
REASONS TO AVOID
No removable tray
Below average suction power
The Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer is inexpensive, easy to use, effective, and lightweight at just 3.1 pounds. Our testing revealed that the suction and sealing process is gentle on delicate food. This feature is partly due to how easy it is to "pulse" the motor on and off during the final air purge, allowing one to get the package sealed just right. We also really like that both the package roll and cutter are incorporated into the unit, so you'll never be looking around for other tools and materials. Moreover, the built-in auxiliary pump allows users the flexibility to suck the air out of standard resealable bags as well.
Despite all these attributes, the Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer is not perfect. For instance, the vacuum pump only produces a vacuum pressure of 14.5 in. HG, which is significantly below the average of our tested models. When it comes to sucking/sealing time, it ranges on the slower end of the spectrum. The unit also lacks a removable cleaning tray that, in competitive models, makes clean-up much more manageable. That said, this sealer has a broad suction zone and can seal 30 bags in a row before requiring a cooldown period. As such, we feel confident that this machine will more than satisfy the needs of all but the most demanding users.
Measured Average Seal Time: 6 seconds | Measured Seal Thickness: 2mm
REASONS TO BUY
Impressive suction power
No bleed-off when sealing
The best with soft foods
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited operation time
Harder to clean
The Mueller vacuum sealer stands out for its incredibly strong vacuum pressure. The motor's power is even more impressive when you consider that the unit weighs just 2.7 pounds with modest dimensions. Also worth noting is the gentle touch of the machine when sealing up fragile foods. This model has a unique gentle sealing setting that ensures that delicate morsels won't get an unnecessary tenderizing treatment. This performance on soft foods is aided by the sensitive "seal" button that allows for quick on/off pulses.
While the Mueller is undoubtedly a powerful sealer, it is more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner. Case in point, the machine struggled to maintain sealing effectiveness after nine bags. The average for units we tested was ten bags. Consider those similarly priced units that can process 30 bags before requiring a break if this concerns you. Another frustration we encountered is that the touch screen is quite sensitive. This feature made it easy to activate unwanted functions accidentally. Yet, even with the aforementioned shortcomings, this machine belongs at the top of the list for its affordability and effectiveness, especially for delicate foods.
Measured Average Seal Time: 13 seconds | Measured Seal Thickness: 2mm
REASONS TO BUY
Great for prolonged use
Removable drip tray
REASONS TO AVOID
Relatively rough on food
The FoodSaver V4400 is a partially automated sealing machine with the convenience of a built-in bag roll and cutter, so you only need to get the machine out, plug it in, and you're ready to go. The unit has a robust motor capable of sealing 30 or more bags in a row without overheating to keep things rolling. The unit is easy to clean up when the sealing is complete due to its removable drip tray that catches liquids extracted from the bags. We were also impressed by the retractable suction hose that allows one to seal a wide variety of kitchen containers.
Although we love the utility and versatility, the V4400 does have some flaws. Weighing in at 7.8 pounds, the machine is heavy and bulky compared to other contenders. While the automated clamp, seal, and release functions remove guesswork, the process takes longer than if one were to perform the operation manually. The automation also makes it impossible to pulse the motor to prevent squishing delicate foods. Finally, the V4400's suction strength is average for the class, and the 2mm seal is on the narrow side. Despite these limitations, the machine's automated ease of use features makes it an appropriate choice for anyone planning on sealing bulk food items.
As part of this rigorous side-by-side evaluation of vacuum sealers, we used a wide variety of food items, including berries, ground beef, sausages, and dried goods. We also spent many hours comparing the ease of sealing these different foods and the overall convenience of using each machine. Finally, we used a custom-built negative pressure gauge to objectively measure which models had the strongest suction power.
Our testing of vacuum sealers is divided across four rating metrics:
Sealing Performance tests (40% of overall score weighting)
Convenience tests (30% of overall score weighting)
Delicate Foods tests (20% of overall score weighting)
Suction Power tests (10% of overall score weighting)
The vacuum sealers in this review undergo more than 17 individual tests, and each result is parsed out according to the categories listed above. The highest-ranking metric is the Sealing Performance score, which has a 40% influence on the overall result and comprises eight different tests. These include results from personal in-use experience and subjective lab tests such as seal thickness and endurance. Each additional metric has its own corresponding tests, and on top of all this, we perform extensive research on each product before testing even begins.
We conducted extensive research on the vacuum sealer market and combed through reviews and manufacturers' websites to pick the models with the greatest promise to perform at a high level. We then bought the leading models for in-house comparative testing. The following provides details on the testing process and can help you select the products that will fit your needs.
We define value as the sweet spot between price and performance. High-value products offer excellent performance without breaking the bank, and this review has some great options that are perfect illustrations of this ratio.
The Amazon Basics and Mueller sealers earned top marks in our evaluation despite below-average pricing for the group — exemplifying high-value choices. The NutriChef PKVS18BK didn't score quite as high overall but still offers solid performance for a very good price. Conversely, the FoodSaver V4400 costs significantly more than most of our tested models. However, it is a heavy-duty product that is far more suitable for someone who hunts and fishes for food and needs a sturdy machine to preserve their take. Likewise, folks who like to shop in bulk may find this product's bulk-sealing capability worth the cost.
The sealing metric is 40% of the overall score, and it is measured through a few different tests. First, we time each machine to see how fast it can evacuate the air from a bag and seal it off. We ran this basic test with four different food items and assessed how many bags could be vacuumed and sealed in a row without needing a break or showing a drop in output. Finally, we awarded points to each unit based on the thickness of the heat seal, with a thicker seal being favored.
Claiming the top spots in the line-up are the Weston Pro 2300, Amazon Basics, FoodSaver V4400, and FoodSaver FM2000. These four sealers earned the same above-average score for their overall sealing performances.
Some models didn't get off to the best start in our first set of tests focused on sealing duration. We timed how long it took each machine to seal four different food items: four slices of white bread, one cup of dried rice, one pound of ground beef, and four sausage links. We noticed that while the Amazon Basics, FoodSaver V4400, FoodSaver FM2000, and FoodSaver VS3182 aren't the fastest, they can handle a lot of sealing before needing a break to cool off.
The Mueller and Nesco VS-02 were leaders regarding time to seal. So, if you're in a hurry, these machines won't leave you twiddling your thumbs. However, they fell off in subsequent sealing evaluations, including vacuum strength and the number of bags they could continuously seal before needing a break.
The Amazon Basics and FoodSaver V4400 were true workhorses, sealing 30+ bags in a row before they required a cool-off period. Following the lead of its sibling model, the FoodSaver VS3182 sealed more than 20 bags without losing vacuum pressure in the process. The next closest competitors for consecutive bags sealed before a necessary cooling period were the FoodSaver FM2000 at 16 bags and the Weston Pro at 15 consecutively sealed bags.
The Anova Precision and Hamilton Beach NutriFresh were also able to handle volume before needing a cooling period, with the NutriFresh sealing 14 and the Anova sealing 12 bags, though neither did so without issue. The Anova didn't feel up to the task if it had to be used for large volumes with any sort of frequency, with parts of the machine almost getting hot enough to cause burns. A couple of the bags sealed by the NutriFresh in the volume test lost some vacuum pressure, and a couple almost seemed like they were double sealed.
As far as seal strength is concerned, one can't do better than the standard-setting 5.25mm heat-sealed seam of the Weston Pro. The Amazon Basics, FoodSaver FM2000, FoodSaver FM5200, and FoodSaver VS3182tied for a distant second place with 3mm seams.
As the entrepreneur's adage goes, find a problem and sell a solution. More often than not, these problems and their proposed solutions focus on convenience. As such, we evaluated how easy it was to get these sealers to do their job — namely, prolonging food storage times. We favored products with built-in storage for a roll of bags as well as an integrated bag cutter. We also advanced products with removable cleaning trays that captured spills and those with integrated attachments for sealing containers such as zip-lock bags and wine bottles. The interface, the locking mechanism, and the size and weight were also factors. The sum of these tests accounts for 30% of a product's overall score.
The FoodSaver V4400 and the FoodSaver VS3182 stood out above the rest for this metric. Both have a bag cutter and storage for a roll of bags, making it easy to make square cuts quickly. Additionally, they both include a removable tray, which makes cleaning a breeze if any liquid leaks out during the sealing process. They also have an accessory port for sealing zipper bags or other containers. If not for its bulky dimensions and considerable weight (7.8 pounds), the V4400 would have scored even higher.
We found that the models with analog "push" buttons were less touchy and thus more reliable than those with digital touch screens. To its benefit, the FoodSave V4400 is equipped with classic push buttons. The FoodSaver VS3182 also has reliable push buttons and weighs about 2 pounds less than the V4400.
The Amazon Basics, FoodSaver FM2000, and FoodSaver FM5200 also scored well in the metric. These models have onboard bag rolls, cutters, pushbuttons, and auxiliary suction pumps. However, the Amazon Basics was held back by the lack of a removable tray to expedite clean-up, whereas the FM5200's standings were limited by its relatively hefty 7.1 pounds. That said, the FM5200 seems relatively lean when compared to the gargantuan Weston Pro, which tips the scales at 22.3 pounds. The FM2000, while it includes a bag cutter, does not have bag storage — but is a much more convenient 3.7 pounds.
The Weston Pro finished at the tail end of the group due to its aforementioned weight and lack of bag storage, cleaning tray, and auxiliary pump. Moreover, while its interface is reasonably responsive, you must press and hold the lid down when using it, something that becomes increasingly annoying over time. That said, if you are looking for a semi-industrial model with serious suction power, these convenience shortcomings may not be dealbreakers, and this model may be worth a gander.
The Anova Precision and Hamilton Beach NutriFresh also finished below average due to a lack of an accessory pump and cleaning tray. However, the Nutrifresh includes a bag cutter and storage, and the Anova earned one of the best scores for size and weight thanks to its compactness.
We assessed each machine in the delicate foods metric on how well it preserved squishable or otherwise fragile foods. More specifically, we were interested in the sealers' ability to control the amount of vacuum pressure within the bag as it was being closed. While some products have a "gentle" setting that slows the suction process, most require an on/off pulsing of the motor to achieve a softer touch. As such, we used two slices of bread in our test bag and aimed to remove as much air as possible with the on/off pulse method. The outcome of this test accounted for 20% of a product's overall score.
Receiving an unprecedented perfect score for its performance, the Mueller outperformed the competition. One tester described the outcome as "pretty amazing." While you have to alternate between vacuum and stop (i.e., pulse) at the end of the process, the gentle mode setting sucks out air slowly, making it quite easy to get the level just right. The buttons are very responsive, and unlike much of the competition, the Mueller doesn't appear to let any air in when cycling off.
A close second to the Mueller is the Amazon Basics Vacuum Sealer. This machine required a bit more effort as it lacks a dedicated "gentle setting," though the "moist mode" appears to slow the suction down and certainly helped with the pulsing effort at the close of the procedure. The main difference between the two devices in practice is that the Basics has just a hint of a delay after pressing the on/off button. Aside from that, the outcome was nearly on par with its higher-ranked counterpart.
As the name suggests, the suction power metric evaluates just how much negative pressure each sealer can bring to bear. We measured the vacuum using a gauge we mounted into a standard vacuum bag, and those models exerting the most negative pressure received the highest score. This metric accounts for the last 10% of a product's overall score.
The Weston, Mueller, and Nesco earned the highest scores here, pulling 20, 19, and 18.8 inches of mercury (in Hg), respectively. You may be wondering why these leaders, or at least the Weston, did not receive a score of 10. Well, when we consider that true vacuum is 29.92 in Hg, we felt that there was room for improvement. These measurements are impressive for sure, but we believe they can be improved upon. The NutriChef PKVS18BK and the FoodSaver VS3182 both produced respectable results as well, creating a vacuum of 18 and 17 inches.
After performing multiple tests and using these machines repeatedly, we feel confident in our findings and the ranked list we've presented. We hope our comprehensive review of vacuum sealers will help you decide which model is best for you. Our hands-on testing covered suction power, control sensitivity, convenience features, and the quality of the final product. So, whether you're looking for an industrial-grade machine for heavy-duty use, a model with a soft touch for preserving delicate foods, or a budget unit that won't empty your wallet, there's a quality machine in our review that will seal the deal.
Genaveve Bradshaw, Austin Palmer, and David Wise