The 6 Best Vacuum Sealers in 2023


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Oct 07, 2023

The 6 Best Vacuum Sealers in 2023

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more If you find that you throw away too much food when you clean out the refrigerator or pantry, vacuum sealing may be

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

If you find that you throw away too much food when you clean out the refrigerator or pantry, vacuum sealing may be for you. Vacuum sealers help prevent food and money waste by removing air from food packaging, which extends its shelf life. This means you can save money by buying perishable foods in bulk, preserve the freshness of the produce you harvest from your garden, or even cook foods more precisely using a technique called sous vide where you vacuum seal foods in bags and cook it in a temperature-controlled water bath.

"Although you can use zipper top or silicone bags [for sous vide cooking], a vacuum seal bag is the best way to ensure a successful cook." says Chelsea Cole, food blogger and cookbook author of Sous Vide Meal Prep. "It's the most effective way to get as much air out of the bag as possible and get a good seal. I also use it to meal prep and stock my freezer with ready to sous vide meals."

To find the best vacuum sealer, we tested eight models using a variety of different foods. We evaluated each of the sealers on ease of use, vacuum and seal strength, portability and storage, extra features, and versatility. All the sealers claimed to keep food fresh five times longer than regular storage, and we found this to be true in our testing. You can read more about how we tested here and how the Insider Reviews team evaluates kitchen products here.

Best overall: FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System Starter Kit - See at AmazonThe FoodSaver V4840 is two vacuums in one, with a main body and a handheld component for zipper top bags and jars. A drip tray collects liquid from wet foods, and the progress lights make it easy to vacuum seal flawlessly.

Best budget: Nesco VS-02 - See at AmazonThe Nesco VS-02 is the most budget-friendly vacuum sealer on our list, but it can definitely compete with the more expensive options. It comes with a built-in bag cutter and has two levels of suction.

Best handheld: Zwilling Fresh & Save Starter Set - See at AmazonZwilling's handheld vacuum sealer works with both zipper top bags and glass containers and stores compactly in a drawer when not in use.

Best compact: NutriChef PKVS - See at AmazonThe NutriChef PKVS 12-inch vacuum sealer is sleek, portable and takes up minimal storage space. It has multiple settings so you can seal a variety of foods, from dry to wet.

Best for hunting and fishing: FoodSaver GameSaver Big Game Vacuum Sealing Kit - See at AmazonThe FoodSaver GameSaver is powerful enough for big cuts of meat and even has a power cord that connects to your car so you can seal while out in the field.

Best for sous vide cooking: Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer - See at AmazonThe Anova sealer doesn't come with the bells and whistles of some of the other models we tested, but it's a great sealer if you're looking for a step above zipper top bags for sous vide or simple meal prep.

Pros: Easy to use, clear lights indicate when sealing and vacuuming are done, handheld vacuum sealer is good for delicate foods or jars

Cons: Bulky and takes up a lot of storage space, heavy, pricier than other vacuum sealers

At first glance, the FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer is a little intimidating, with its big size and many accessories, but it's actually easy to use with little to no direction. What I loved most about this vacuum sealer is that it functions automatically: when you're ready to vacuum seal, you simply place the open end of the bag into the vacuum channel and it starts suctioning, no buttons required.

One feature I loved was the indicator lights. I was never left guessing if the sealing and vacuuming was complete because the lights flash red and green along a progress bar. Once the cycle is complete, the lights turn off letting me know I'm good to remove the bag.

The sealer is great for a variety of foods, from dry to wet. I tested some meat cuts, raspberries, and crackers. I didn't have any trouble with liquid entering the sealer, but if it does, there is a separate drip tray to keep the liquid away from the actual vacuum. There is even an indicator light to let you know when the tray is full.

The sealer also comes with a handheld vacuum for even more versatility. This feature does require you to push down with a little pressure, so it may be difficult to use if you have limited mobility in your hands. The handheld works for small bags, jars, and marinating.

This vacuum sealer is a pricier option, and it is a little heavy and bulky, but if you have the space and vacuum seal regularly, this is a great option for versatility and ease of use.

Pros: Sealer function is quiet, sleek design, portable and stores easily

Cons: Sliding cutter isn't as seamless to use as others, harder to close (takes some strength), doesn't have a manual vacuum option

The Nesco VS-02 is a good option if you aren't quite ready to spend a lot of money on a vacuum sealer. Maybe you aren't sure if vacuum sealing is for you or you only want to use it occasionally. Whatever your reason, the Nesco vacuum sealer is great to start with. It's easy to use, comes with enough bags to get started, and includes a built-in roll cutter.

My favorite part of the sealer is the two different seal times: extended and normal. The extended seal time is perfect for vacuum sealing liquids since they require a tighter seal. Normal is great for your typical foods: I tested it with cuts of meat, raspberries, and crackers, and they all sealed well.

A smaller price point means it doesn't come with an attachment hose for trickier sealing situations, but you do get 10 bags and a large roll, meaning you won't need to buy bag refills anytime soon. The built-in cutter isn't as easy to use as others and it takes a little strength to properly close the sealer. However, this is a great option if you're on a budget but still want the same functionality as some of the pricier options out there.

Pros: Compact and portable, comes with food-safe glass containers, has a phone app, stores easily

Cons: You have to use Zwilling's bags and containers, containers aren't ideal for bulk freezer storage

The Zwilling vacuum sealer is the simplest vacuum sealer I tested. It literally works at a click of a button. You just place the sealer over the port on one of Zwilling's bags or containers, hit the button, and viola. The handheld sealer can fit in a drawer and comes with a charger so that you can operate it wirelessly if needed.

Since the vacuum sealer works by placing the suction over a port, you have to use Zwilling's specially designed bags and containers with the sealer. The glass containers are oven-, microwave-, dishwasher-, and freezer-safe.

The best part of the Zwilling vacuum sealer is the companion app. You scan the bag or container you're using and input the type of food, date, and method of storage. The app will then send you alerts when it's getting close to expiration. It helps me stay organized and makes me less likely to forget about the foods lurking in the back of my freezer.

I use this sealer in my day to day life and have tested it with many other items, including salad mix and fruits I eat on the daily. I found that it keeps the salad mix fresher for almost three times as long as a standard storage container – about 18 days as opposed to a few days.

The one downside is that this sealer isn't great for any foods with liquid. When I sealed raw cuts of meat, the liquid would get sucked up into the sealer.

Pros: Lightweight, has a gentle mode for delicate foods, dry and moist modes, digital button controls

Cons: Was too powerful for raspberries but not crackers, hard to close (doesn't always click to let you know it's closed)

The NutriChef PKVS vacuum sealer has a sleek, modern look so it's pretty and compact enough to leave out on the counter. What makes it different from the other vacuum sealers is the sleek digital button controls. The sealer is simple to use — I was able to operate it easily without even looking at the instructions. (But if you do need instructions, I found the manual for this sealer to be the most informative.)

The sealer comes with a gentle and normal sealing mode as well as dry and moist food settings so you can use it with a variety of foods with different textures and shapes. I tested cuts of meat, raspberries, strawberries, and crackers. Though I used the moist, gentle setting for the raspberries, they still crushed a bit. However the gentle setting still worked well for the strawberries and crackers.

The sealer also comes with a built-in cutter so you can cut the seal roll to a custom size bag. You can press the Stop button so you can stop the unit safely at any time during the vacuum seal process.

An air suction hose (included with the sealer) easily plugs into the inside of the main unit and connects to an included wine stopper. This unique feature purports to preserve the quality and taste of your wine for longer, so it's a great option if you end up wasting wine after you open a bottle.

If you're looking for a sealer for a variety of foods and don't want to deal with constantly moving and storing a sealer, this compact one easily does the job.

Pros: Has a car plug-in so you can take it on the go, sleek design and handle for easy portability, can preserve large cuts of meat

Cons: Doesn't come with any zipper top bags, you have to buy canisters and zipper bags separately to use the accessory hose, takes a little longer to seal than other models we tested

One of my favorite features of the FoodSaver GameSaver vacuum sealer is that it comes with an adapter cord that can plug into your car, so you can take it on your next hunting or fishing adventure. Plus, it has an easy to carry handle and won't take up too much space in the car.

The sealer is easy to use and includes a built-in bag cutter and seal rolls so you can customize the size of your bag. The starter kit also comes with five pre-cut bags in quart and gallon sizes.

The sealer has an easy-to-use latch for opening, closing and storing the sealer. A progress bar tells you when the sealing process is complete, and there are separate buttons for vacuuming and sealing for extra customization. The vacuum sealer does take about 15-20 seconds longer than the others I tested, and it comes with an accessory hose, but not the canisters needed to use it.

I tested salmon, ground beef, chicken, raspberries, crackers, and strawberries, and it sealed everything perfectly except the raspberries, which it slightly crushed. However, this is the only vacuum sealer that you can take on the go and the only one that can handle big cuts of meat, which is why I recommend it for hunters and fishers.

Pros: Made by a well known sous vide company and made specifically for that use, lightweight, portable, sleek design for storage, has a pulse vacuum for delicate foods

Cons: More manual than other sealers (you have to line up the bag and make sure lid is closed), suction power isn't as strong

If you love the idea of a no-fuss vacuum sealer, the Anova may be just what you're looking for. It only has three buttons: "Vacuum & Seal," "Seal," and "Pulse Vacuum." It's not as powerful of a sealer, but you don't really need that if you're primarily interested in sous vide. It's a definite upgrade from zipper top bags, and the weaker suction is actually ideal for keeping liquids in the bag and out of the sealer. The "Pulse Vacuum" function also helps with this.

It's also small and lightweight, so you can keep the sealer on the counter or easily tuck it inside a cabinet. The vacuum sealer doesn't come with a built-in cutter, but all the bags in the starter set are precut.

Nesco Deluxe VS-12: This was one of the most powerful sealers I tested. It properly sealed all the foods I tested and its lock feature was one of the easiest to use. The reason it didn't make the list is because the pulse vacuum feature was difficult to use, the vacuum and seal process took longer to complete than others I tried, and it was bulky and heavy.

FoodSaver FM2000: A smaller, less expensive version of our top pick, this machine is sleeker and more compact. However, it crushed the delicate foods I tested, operated loudly, and doesn't include a built-in roll cutter (you have to use scissors to cut the roll).

To find out which vacuum sealers made the cut, I tested each one in based on the following criteria:

Sealing: I tested each vacuum sealer using measured amounts of the same foods: ground beef, salmon, chicken breast, crackers, raspberries, avocados, and strawberries. I evaluated each sealer to see how they handled the different textures, moisture and shapes of each food.

Freshness preservation: I put all the vacuum sealed meat in the freezer for a month, vacuum sealed produce in the refrigerator for two weeks ,and vacuum sealed crackers in the pantry for a month. At the end of the testing period I evaluated all food for freshness. All sealers passed this test.

Ease of use: I took note of how easy it was to assemble the sealers, whether the instructions were clear and intuitive, and if the machines were easy to operate. I also considered how heavy they were to move and carry and if I could easily store them.

Extra features: I tested every sealer's extra functions as long as I had the proper materials (for example, if the sealer's starter kit didn't come with a canister, I didn't test the canister function). I also determined how useful certain functions were, like whether or not the pulse or gentle vacuum functions were necessary for delicate foods like raspberries.

Vacuum sealers work by creating a barrier between air and the food. Air carries gas compounds and bacteria, which alter food's quality and taste and will eventually cause the food to go bad. Since vacuum sealing removes any existing air from the packaging and keeps other air out, the food lasts longer.

Most foods are safe to vacuum seal as long as the food is still fresh when you seal it. You can check the freshness date of foods by category using the FoodKeeper app or chart, which was developed by the USDA.

According to the University of Minnesota Extension School, some foods grow a harmful bacteria faster in air-free settings and are hard to detect since it doesn't alter the food's look or smell. You should avoid vacuum sealing the foods below:

Additionally, the University of Minnesota Extension school recommends taking the following precautions when you vacuum seal:

Vacuum sealing foods with a lot of liquid can be messy, but there are ways you can do it seamlessly. First, many sealers have a chamber to collect the liquid safely without harming the sealer. If you plan on sealing liquid-heavy foods, make sure to invest in a sealer with this capability.

Otherwise you can try this trick: "Hang your bag off the edge of the counter when sealing so gravity is on your side and use the manual setting," said Cole. "As soon as you see liquid creeping towards the seal line, hit "Seal" on your vacuum sealer to stop the suction."

Depending on the previous contents of the bag, you can wash, reuse, and reseal vacuum bags. We don't recommend reusing bags that previously stored raw meats or oily, greasy foods because they're difficult to clean and may harbor bacteria.

Yes, buying in bulk saves you money in the long run and since vacuum sealing preserves food for longer, you will have less food waste. All the sealers we tested kept food fresh five times longer than when left in its original packaging, which makes vacuum sealers great for meal prep and storing bulk food.

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