Updated 27 September 2022
A vacuum sealer is an incredibly useful product that can be used when you’re freezing meat or other food. We tested several different vacuum sealers and consider the Foodsaver Flow as our best in test. It provides excellent sealing quality for food, has a high capacity and is also super easy to clean.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carried out our tests ourselves and tested all the vacuum sealers as they are intended to be used. In our tests, the machines were used in everyday life to attempt to pack all types of foods with different characteristics, either soft, hard, moist, large and small. We checked everything from machines for wet foods, vacuum sealers for coffee beans, cuts of meat and even freshly baked rolls were included in testing. To assess the different machines and be able to choose a test winner, we examined them using following parameters.
Vacuum & seal quality: How good is the machine at sucking the air out of the bag? Are there still air bubbles? Does the machine produce a durable weld seam? Does it create one or more weld seams?
Size: How much space does the machine occupy? Can you keep it out on the kitchen counter?
Capacity: How quick is the machine at sucking the air out of the bag? How many bags in a row can be packed without the machine overheating?
Ease of use: Is the machine easy to use? How noisy is it? Are there extra functions and accessories that make it possible to pack wet food, or to marinate food quickly? How easy is it to clean the machine?
During the tests, we have assumed that the machine is for home use. There are other models which are better suited for use in a commercial or industrial kitchen, restaurant or similar. The machines below are intended for use in a kitchen, and should not be confused with the type of appliance used with a vacuum cleaner for clothes, pillows and duvet packing. Our score and review are based on the overall experience of the product in relation to its price.
Intelligently designed vacuum sealer with high capacity for sealing several bags in succession
Width: 41.2 cm Depth: 24 cm Height: 18.8 cm Weight: 3.4 kg Power: 125 W Bags on roll: Yes Accessories included: 3 x 0.94 L bags, 2 x 3.78 L bags, 3 x FoodSaver zip bags, 1 x vacuum seal roll 28 cm x 3 m
The Foodsaver Flow is an innovative vacuum sealer both in terms of design and capacity. Vacuum sealers are traditionally designed to be low and flat. The Foodsaver Flow is tall and narrow instead of flat and deep. This means it takes up less space on the kitchen worktop.
Hunters, anglers, berry pickers and other people who need to seal lots of bags in succession often have problems with the machine overheating at the seal mechanism. In other words, where the bags are welded together and sealed. And when this happens, you can’t do anything until the machine has cooled down a little. On the Flow, the manufacturer has tried to get around this by having separate mechanisms for sealing vacuum seal roll, to create a bag, and another mechanism for sealing the bag after the machine has removed the air. The overheating problem isn’t completely resolved, but compared to machines that only have one mechanism, the capacity has been increased significantly.
The Foodsaver Flow also has a small retractable nozzle intended for use with special boxes or zip bags. These accessories are quite expensive but work well. Foods like sliced salad stayed fresh much longer when they're stored in a container that’s had the air removed.
The only real weakness of this machine is when it comes to sealing moist foods. If the bag is damp or bloody (meat!), the machine struggles to seal it correctly, and you may need to add an extra seal so the vacuum doesn’t leak after it’s been in the fridge for some time. Overall, the Foodsaver Flow is ideal for anyone who needs a home machine with high capacity. The sealing quality is excellent and it’s very easy to operate once you've got used to it.
User-friendly, quick and strong
Dimensions (WxDxH): 48 x 30 x 11 cm Weight: 3.4 kg Power: 105 W Bags on roll: Yes Accessories included: 10 bags, 1 plastic roll, 1 suction tube and a vacuum box
The Foodsaver V2860 delivers excellent packing quality and there are rarely air pockets left in the bags. Other machines have problems with pieces of meat, but the Foodsaver handles these with panache. The included container, which is intended for packing soft or brittle products, works very well. Freshly baked rolls can be packed without being crushed, which means that they stay soft for longer. It’s also very effective at speeding up the marinating process of meat or fish for the barbecue. The Foodsaver V2860 has both an integrated cutting function and built-in storage for a plastic roll. It has three different speed settings, an option to control the pump completely manually, and even an automatic wet mode. Sealing is done with a good weld seam and you have the option to manually add an extra weld seam to the pack if you want. Of course, this requires a slightly more complicated operation, but it's a useful function, especially if the item being packed is damp or in liquid as the sealing process becomes more secure with less risk of leakage.
One really nice detail on the Foodsaver V2860 is the handle on the right-hand side, which is used for controlling the lid and makes closing it much easier. This is something that must be done with a certain amount of force so that the lid locks, which is necessary before the machine will start. There aren’t many buttons on the vacuum sealer and you’ll quickly learn what they are. However, the buttons are only marked with symbols. Some text may have made it more user-friendly. The lamps by each button show which setting you have chosen, and a red button shows clearly when the machine has finished the packing process. Cleaning is easy as the machine has a drip tray that can be removed and washed. One of the few weaknesses of this machine is that it tends to overheat if you pack a number of bags in a row. This quickly becomes a problem if you're packing large quantities of meat after a successful hunt - or freezing the day's berry harvest. When the machine overheats, an alarm shows in the form of a flashing lamp, and you can’t restart it before it has cooled. On the whole, the Foodsaver V2860 is still good value for money, functional and a user-friendly machine for food storage.
Innovative design and easy-to-use vacuum sealer with good sealing quality
Width: 47 cm Depth: 16 cm Height: 15 cm Weight: 1.15 kg Power: 110 W Bags on roll: Yes Accessories included: 2 x vacuum seal rolls 28 cm x 3 m, 3 x 0.94 L bags and 3 x FoodSaver zip bags
Just like the Foodsaver Flow, the Foodsaver Stream is an innovatively-designed vacuum sealer. The Stream is designed so that it’s tall rather than low and deep. This means it takes up less space on the kitchen worktop and we assume the idea is that it should be kept out between uses rather than hidden away. The sealing quality is as good as you’d expect from a machine for home use. The bags are emptied of air fast and effectively.
There are rarely air pockets left over. There’s a wet mode, for use if what you're sealing is moist, but we’d recommend that you run the pump manually instead. Just like the other machines in the test, the Stream is sensitive to moisture on the plastic when you’re trying to seal it. The seals are good, though, with a reasonable width.
The Stream has an integrated holder for plastic rolls and an excellent cutting function. There’s also a pull-out nozzle intended for use with Foodsaver accessories. The nozzle is compatible with all the older Foodsaver accessories, which is a positive aspect as most of the accessories are quite expensive. The Foodsaver Stream has few marked buttons, and even these only have symbols. Text would have made things easier, but it's still quite easy to learn to use the machine.
Cleaning it is straightforward, with a drip cup that’s easy to remove and wash. Unfortunately, the Foodsaver Stream has a tendency to overheat if you seal a number of bags in a row, and you have to let it cool down for a bit before you can use it again. If you've got a heap of meat or mushrooms to seal and freeze, this makes it rather irritating. But on the whole, the Foodsaver Stream is a very good value for money, functional and versatile machine that we recommend.
Very good value for money with good packing quality
Dimensions (WxDxH): 43.5 x 26.5 x 12.8 cm Weight: 3.0 kg Power: 130 W Bags on roll: Yes Accessories included: 2 plastic rolls, adapter hose for vacuum boxes (not included)
OBH Nordica’s Supreme Food Sealer is an excellent value-for-money machine which is easy to use and delivers good packing quality – one of the best in the test. It effectively empties the bags of air and rarely leaves air pockets. The machine is relatively quick too. It sucks the air out and seals the bag swiftly. The noise level is normal compared to the other machines in our test. The built-in storage for the plastic roll and the integrated knife work extremely well. Sealing is done with a single weld seam which holds well. To reduce the risk of leakage, you can always manually add an extra weld seam. The strength of the vacuum can be set to gentle or normal, with the gentle mode intended for soft, more sensitive products. There is also a wet mode for packing wet or moist products. Unfortunately, there’s no pulse function, where the pump can be controlled manually, which is a shame as this facility makes packing easier in many situations.
The machine has few buttons and is easy to use. The buttons have labels in English. The lid must be shut with quite a lot of force for it to lock on both sides, which can be difficult if the user is older or doesn’t have full strength in their arms and hands. Another disadvantage with this machine is that it doesn't have a drip tray that you can remove and wash. If meat or fish is packed, it's almost unavoidable that the liquid will get into the machine, which is why it's useful if the drip tray can be removed. Unfortunately there's no function that gives an overheating warning. Instead, a clear sign that the machine has become too hot is that the bags are sealed prematurely. However, if you follow the instructions for the machine and wait for one minute before sealing each bag, then you can pack lots of bags without problems. Overall, the OBH Nordica Supreme Food Sealer is good value for money and efficient with only minor shortcomings, i.e. not the bets for liquids or really moist food.
Large and robust, but lacking in capacity
Dimensions (WxDxH): 40x26x10.5 cm Weight: 3.2 kg Output: 700W Roll of bags: No Accessories included: Some bags and tubing for accessories
The OBH Nordica Food Sealer Pro is a large and robust model, clearly aimed at anyone who needs greater capacity than ordinary small machines can offer. In terms of design, it resembles several of the other machines in the same segment. It’s fairly large and bulky, with a handle for opening and closing the lid. In a stainless steel finish, with a long cable and sturdy rubberised feet, it gives the impression that this is a machine that belongs in a professional kitchen.
The buttons have English text, so if you don't understand English you’ll need to read the manual to get started. It offers all the features you’d expect. The suction strength can be set to ‘Gentle’ or ‘Normal’, where the former is intended for soft, more delicate products. There’s also a wet mode for packaging liquid or moist products. The seal can also be controlled, which is good if what you’re packing is moist, with a risk of liquid ending up in the join. Choosing to weld the join for longer will increase the chances of getting a tight seal. Obviously, you can also control the pump manually, and choose to start sealing by selecting with a separate button. One annoyance is that you have to hold down the button throughout the sealing process – normally you just need to start sealing and the machine will do everything itself. It offers the typical, good features of a machine in this segment. The only thing that stands out in terms of functionality is that it has a small display showing how long it will take until the packaging process is complete. While this is a fun detail, it’s not something that adds any real benefit or value.
As mentioned earlier, this is a very large appliance that takes up a lot of space in the kitchen. The target group is probably not someone who only packs the odd bag from time to time, but rather smaller companies or private individuals who want to pack a lot and often, and need capacity.
The quality of the packaging is acceptable. The bags deflate effectively in most cases, but the machine struggles a bit with e.g. minced meat and quite often leaves air pockets. This type of machine really needs more power. It’s only marginally more powerful than the smaller machines from OBH. If you’re packing a lot of bags in succession, a faster and stronger machine is preferable. The sealing is done with double joins, which are quite narrow, but work well. However, the machine soon experiences problems if there’s any liquid in the join when the bag is sealed. This often results in a seal that’s not tight, and you have to start again with a new bag. The machine is not prone to overheating and you can pack many bags in close succession, which is great!
We note the lack of a drip tray that you can remove for cleaning. If you’re packing meat or other moist items, it’s inevitable that some liquid will be sucked into the machine and thus it’s good from a hygiene perspective to be able to wash the drip tray properly. That said, the tray on Food Sealer Pro is larger than normal and completely smooth, which makes cleaning easy.
All in all, this is a machine that certainly works well, but doesn't really deliver the power and speed that a model of this size should. A more powerful pump and more effective sealing would have lifted this machine one step further.
Easy-to-use vacuum sealer and space saving!
Dimensions (WxDxH): 43 x 16 x 28 cm Weight: 3.4 kg Power: 105 W Bags on roll: Yes Accessories included: 10 bags, 1 plastic roll, 1 suction tube and a vacuum box.
The Foodsaver V3840 is a vacuum sealer with a design that stands out. The machine stands on edge, including while you use it, which naturally takes up less space on the kitchen worktop than machines that “lie down”. Another different capability in the V3840 is the automatic handsfree function. To start the packing process, you insert the end of the bag into a slot on the front of the machine. The bag is automatically held in place, the air is removed, and the bag is sealed. This is a function that we don’t see many advantages with. Some could even argue that it’s irritating as it's sometimes difficult to get the bag in correctly. The Foodsaver V3840 has built-in storage for one plastic roll together with an integrated cutting function that works very well. The vacuum sealer has few buttons and is easy to use with the help of the instruction manual. The packing quality is good, sealing is done with a broad weld seam and the machine effectively empties the bags of air.
Like its sibling, the V2860, this model also has different speed settings for the vacuum pump, and even an automatic wet mode. Unfortunately, there’s no option for controlling the pump manually. This function is very useful when packing wet or soft products. Even when the machine is set on wet mode, liquid is quite often sucked into the drip tray and the weld seam isn’t tight. Cleaning is easy because the Foodsaver V3840 has a drip tray that can be removed and washed. Like a number of other machines in the test, the V3840 also overheats if you pack a large number of bags in a row, even if you wait between the bags as stated in the instructions. On the whole, this product is good value for money, functional and a user-friendly machine. The vertical design with the handsfree function leads to a number of disadvantages from a purely functional viewpoint, but if you prefer a machine that takes up less space on the kitchen worktop than traditional machines, you should definitely take a closer look at the Foodsaver V3840.
Fan-cooled, powerful and bulky
Dimensions (WxDxH): 39x27.5x15 cm Weight: 6.2 kg Output: 700W Roll of bags: No Accessories included: Some bags
Genzo Propack v4 is by far the most powerful and heaviest machine in the test. With an impressive 700w and a weight of more than 6 kg, this is not a model that can easily be tucked into a kitchen drawer and taken out to pack a single bag. This is a machine designed for those who need to vacuum seal large volumes. Hunters, fishermen, and home cooks who want to fill the freezer will probably love Propack v4.
Propack v4 is a vacuum sealer that, in all respects, is designed to handle large volumes. Thanks to its powerful pump, it is very fast, about twice as fast as most others in the test. It is fan-cooled, which eliminates the risk of overheating. The weld is a full 5 mm wide, and you can set the duration that you want the machine to weld for. If you use thicker bags, or know that you will get liquid in the joint, it is greatly beneficial to be able to set it for a longer time. The same applies if you use thinner bags. In that case, it is great to be able to set the time so that you do not burn the bag.
In terms of design, it gives the impression of belonging in a restaurant kitchen or butchery. Stainless steel, analogue pressure gauge and a sturdy handle, as well as rubber feet to prevent it from slipping, all give the impression of a proper professional machine. All buttons are marked with Swedish text, which makes it very easy to understand how it works. The features were what we expected. One start button, one weld button, one to manually run the pump, and two to change the welding time. Simple and functional. A really smart detail is that the start and weld buttons are also located on the handle. So when you close the lid, you can immediately start the machine with your thumb. An appreciated function that you don't want to be without once you get used to having it. The cleaning is made easier thanks to the removable drip tray.
Propack v4 is a rather noisy machine. The powerful pump makes a lot of noise when running. The fan that cools the machine also makes a noise, and the manufacturer has also chosen to add a high beeping function that indicates that the sealing is finished. The latter feels incredibly unnecessary and quickly becomes irritating. It would be great if the sound could be turned off, as it is noticeable when the machine is finished without the beep. The quality of the packaging is excellent. The powerful pump means that no air pockets remain, and the wide weld seam ensures that the risk of air leaking into the bag is minimised.
In purely functional terms, this is undoubtedly the best in test. Fastest, best vacuum, no overheating, and superb welding. But it’s very heavy, makes a lot of noise, and has no plastic roll feature. This is not a machine for an average Swede, as a smaller and lighter machine would be more appropriate. But for hunters, or other households in need of a machine with a very high capacity, this is the obvious choice.
Dimensions (WxDxH): 40x18x10.9 cm Weight: 2.3 kg Output: 110W Roll of bags: Yes Accessories included: 1 roll of plastic and hose as external accessories
Anova is best known for its sous-vide circulators. The company was among the first to release products onto the market and their products are generally of high quality. A few years ago, Anova also added vacuum sealers to its product range, and we took a closer look at the Vacuum Sealer Pro. This is the larger of their two models. It has a slightly stronger pump and storage of sealer rolls with an accompanying integrated knife. Pro is a well-designed model, and compact despite the fact that the sealer roll storage takes up a lot of space. The entire machine is black, except for the silver logo. The buttons are located in the middle of the lid, and are illuminated in blue when the machine is switched on. There are few buttons, and they are clearly marked with both text and symbols. Exemplary clarity and excellence. The cord is long and there is a compartment at the back that it can roll up into when not in use.
It has all the usual features of a vacuum sealer. One button for vacuum & seal. Two different buttons to select DRY or MOIST mode. One to seal a bag, one to control the pump manually, and one to control the pump if you use the hose for external accessories.
A distinguishing feature of this model is its ease of use. Anova itself calls it the “One handed sealing”. It must be possible to use it with one hand. This really is true. The closing of the lid is particularly successful. Some models on the market require considerable force when closing the lid, but the Anova is so easy that most people should be able to close it with just one hand.
This is not the fastest or most powerful model on the market, nor is it the quietest. But it does its job, and the result is very good. The sealing is done with double welds, which is a major plus and ensures that the vacuum seal lasts. We also noted that the machine does not overheat, unlike some of its competitors. Instead, it is possible to seal many bags in succession. This is a great advantage, e.g. for hunters or someone who has cooked a big meal and quickly needs to seal larger quantities.
One weakness that we noted was the “moist mode", which promises to seal damp or wet food by reducing the speed and force of the pump. Unfortunately, this did not work very well at all. Rather, the liquid was sucked into the machine and the welds were often not intact. This is not unique to this particular model, as most models have the same problem. One tip is to control the pump manually and seal the bag before the liquid is sucked in, as this helps it to work better.
All in all, this is a well thought-out machine with few weaknesses, thus making it a good buy.
Good double weld seams which really stay sealed!
Dimensions (WxDxH): 38.5 x 8.5 x 24.5 cm Weight: 1.9 kg Power: 120 W Bags on roll: Yes Accessories included: 2 bag rolls, hose for vacuum container (Container not included)
The Caso VC300, which is the big brother of the Caso VC100, is a scaled-down model of a vacuum sealer, with few buttons and which is easy to use. The buttons and functions are logical and there is no problem using the machine despite the fact that the text beside the buttons is in German. There are primarily two differences between the two Caso models. One is the possibility of using plastic rolls where you decide the size of the bag yourself. The other is that the VC300 has an automatic wet mode for packaging wet or soft products. But the packaging quality is exactly the same as its little brother. Or as our testers would say, one of the worst in the test. On several occasions it didn’t completely empty the bags of air. Uniform or harder products such as frozen berries or cheese will be packed fine, but uneven pieces of meat are a challenge. Yet, sealing is carried out with double weld seams which do work well and reduce the risk of leakage.
The rather noisy VC300 is unfortunately a slow machine. One practical function when packing soft or wet products is the option to manually adjust the strength of the suction on the device. You can even run the pump 100% manually if the products are very wet or soft. The removable holder for the plastic roll and the cutting function make it easy to decide the length of the bags. However, the position of the holder is unfortunate as it is difficult to use, and the plastic covers the buttons as it rolls out. To see the buttons and use the machine, the plastic must first be rolled into the holder. Cleaning is very easy; the drip tray can be cleaned in a dishwasher. The primary advantages with the Caso VC300 are the double weld seams that make a secure seal and the option to use bags on a roll. However, just like the VC 100, the VC 300 doesn’t really live up to its price tag due to a number of shortcomings, which also reduced our overall score and review.
Compact and straightforward vacuum sealer that’s simple to use!
Dimensions (WxDxH): 38 x 9 x 17 cm Weight: 1.8 kg Power: 120 W Bags on roll: No Accessories included: 10 bags, hose for vacuum container (Container not included)
This simple and scaled-down model from Caso has few buttons and is easy to use. Unfortunately, the text on the buttons is in German, which reduces the user-friendliness somewhat. However, with the help of the instruction manual and a few attempts, it’s not difficult to learn how this handheld vacuum sealer works. The VC 100 is intended to be used with ready-made bags and not bags on a roll where you choose the size yourself. The machine was one of the poorer ones in the test when it came to packaging quality. Air pockets remain in the bags quite often, which reduces the lifetime of the food. Air pockets primarily occur when uneven pieces of meat are packaged, as you need some force to remove the last air pockets. Uniform and hard products, such as frozen berries, work better but still not entirely satisfactorily. However, the double weld joints mean that the bags are very well sealed and reduce the risk of leakage. Other than this, the machine is unfortunately both slow and noisy.
It’s possible to run the vacuum pump entirely manually, which is good if the goods to be packed are wet or soft. It’s a bit of a fiddly process that requires timing and there are a number of buttons to press, unlike some of the more advanced machines which have fully automatic wet/soft modes and better manual functions. The Caso VC100 is very easy to clean and you can put the drip tray in the dishwasher. Another advantage of this machine is the size. It’s so small that it’s easy to store in a normal kitchen drawer. However, our overall impression is that it’s a plasticky and cheap machine with several obvious shortcomings that reduce its review score.
Vacuum packaging is a fantastic way of storing all types of food. A longer lifetime, better hygiene and packaging that takes up less room are the biggest advantages compared to traditional freezer bags. Vacuum-packed bags for food also look much more attractive and neater, and you mustn’t underestimate that!
Once upon a time, it was perhaps mostly hunters back from a successful chase who wanted to package large amounts of game for freezing, but in recent years, more people have realised the advantages of using a vacuum sealer for a range of food products. In addition to the ability to pack food into bags, most machines have a variety of accessories that mean you can suck the air from different cans and containers to store soft items such as rolls, or to speed up the marinating of meats. When the meat is marinated in a vacuum, the process occurs much quicker.
It’s most common to package meat, fish, berries or vegetables that you intend to freeze, but you can also use the method for pantry and refrigerated items if you want to store them for longer. It’s incredibly satisfying to pack frozen goods so it's easy to see what’s in the bag – and to have them in perfect condition when you thaw them. Berries look like they were frozen the day before, even if they were picked a couple of years earlier, and meat is always in perfect condition without any sign of freezer burn.
The name “vacuum sealer” is a little misleading, as the bags used don’t really contain a vacuum. The principle is that the machine sucks the air out with a pump and then seals the bag with a welded seam. Removing air is crucial because air is usually the problem when packaged food– and even frozen goods – go bad. For example, if frozen meat comes in contact with air, it results in freezer burns in the form of dehydration and also ultimately leads to the fat in the meat becoming rancid. Vacuum sealers use thick plastic bags and some even come with reusable bags. Almost all of the air is sucked out and the weld seam that closes the bag ensures that no leakage occurs. This is what gives vacuum packed food a significantly longer lifetime compared to food packaged in traditional plastic and freezer bags.
The bags used are significantly thicker than normal freezer bags. You can buy these ready-made in different sizes or as bags on a roll where you choose the length of the bag before cutting and sealing it. Ready-made bags are easy, but rolls have the advantage that you can change the size of the bag according to the size of the foods you need to store.
In the majority of cases, the bags allow the food to be cooked in the bag. Either in the oven at low temperature or in a water bath – what’s known as “sous-vide” cooking. Sous-vide cooking means that you use a special sous-vide circulator to heat up a water bath to a selected temperature, and then cook meat, fish or vegetables by placing the vacuum-sealed bag into the water. The results are perfect every time. The majority of bags are also microwave oven safe. You will need to check if your model is suitable for food sous vide cooking.
If you want to pack softer foods, such as cakes, it’s easiest to use the containers that come as accessories with the majority of machines. These containers are also great to use for bread, vegetables or salad. They keep fresh for much longer than if they were stored in a normal bag. Vacuum packing berries also works very well, but make sure you freeze them first otherwise they may end up crushed. Damp or saturated products are a challenge as the fluid can easily be sucked into machine and make it impossible to seal the bag. However, many machines come with moist setting or function for packaging moist foods, which makes things a tad easier. Others come with marinade settings too. But it’s still best if there’s a manual function so that you can stop the process and seal the bag in time. Another tip is to fold a bit of kitchen roll and place it as a moisture barrier at the opening of the bag to stop any liquid from being sucked into the machine. But if you don’t want to mess around like this, simply opt for one of the models for liquids, especially if you want to store wine.
And of course, you can also package things other than foods. For example, jewellery or cutlery that tarnishes in the air may benefit from being stored in vacuum bags for added protection.