The best vacuum food sealers are designed to keep your food for longer and reduce food waste. They’re incredibly versatile and are suitable for leftover meals, cheese, fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, and herbs. Also called food saver machines, they can preserve food for weeks if sealed at the right time and stored correctly in your fridge. Even better, frozen items can last several months depending on what you’re freezing. All this means you can wave goodbye to discovering moldy items lurking at the back of the fridge.
The best vacuum food sealers can keep your leftovers for longer thanks to their ability to create an airtight seal around food placed in a compatible plastic bag. This removes oxygen and so prevents mold growth. While it may sound high-tech, this tried and tested method dates back to the 1940s. Vacuum food sealers even enjoyed a moment in the 1970s as a popular cooking method to intensify flavor called the sous vide technique.
From a sustainability perspective, using vacuum food sealers enables you to preserve foods for longer without using chemicals. On top of that, they protect your food from the dreaded freezer burn which can affect the quality and look of your produce.
When figuring out the best vacuum food sealer for you, consider what you eat regularly and want to preserve. Whether you’re looking for a model with wider openings to store larger items or your priority is one with fast suction times for maximum efficiency, there’s a food saver machine for you.
We’ve rounded up the top picks that get our seal of approval. If you’re looking to give your cooking kit an upgrade, check out our guides to the best air fryers (opens in new tab) and the best food steamers (opens in new tab).
1. FoodSaver V4400: Best vacuum food sealer overall
The FoodSaver V4400 2-in-1 Automatic vacuum food sealer is a mid-price and high-performing sealer which will save vast quantities of food in any home kitchen. We were impressed that this food vacuum sealer provides two closure seals to ensure freshness, and it can handle delicate items with care.
You get a removable drip tray with his vacuum food saver, which can be removed and placed in a dishwasher to spare you any spills of meat or fruit juices. It has a hand-held hose which can work on additional extras including a marinade attachment or jar sealer, which makes this a versatile food sealer for all kinds of uses. We were also very impressed by the five-year warranty which comes with this food sealer, which is way above the industry standard.
Read our FoodSaver V4400 2-in-1 Automatic Review (opens in new tab)
2. Hamilton Beach NutriFresh: Best vacuum food sealer on a budget
We love the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh because of how well it seals, and its ease of use. The suction was good in our tests; the sealer bags formed tightly against the food we preserved, and even the pineapple rings got a snug seal despite the juice in the bag.
The NutriFresh boasts a 15-inch wide vacuum chamber which will work for large items and bags, and it has multi-functional settings including a ‘Vacuum and Seal’ button and the option to either vacuum or seal independently, which can make it easier to vacuum seal fruits and fragile foods or to create a seal on new bags before filling them.
There are two speeds on this machine. Hamilton Beach suggests using the Extended setting for moist foods and the Normal for dry. On top of all its great features, the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh also has an inbuilt bag dispenser which makes it easy to cut new bags for vacuuming.
Read our Hamilton Beach NutriFresh Review (opens in new tab)
3. FoodSaver V2244: Best compact vacuum food sealer
FoodSaver is likely the brand you associate with the best vacuum food sealers, and for good reason. When we reviewed the FoodSaver V3240 (opens in new tab), which has now been sadly discontinued, it was incredibly powerful and impressive value for money. The FoodSaver V2244 is a little smaller and less expensive, but it’s still got all the great features you’d expect from a FoodSaver vacuum sealer. Users love the updated functions in this sealer, including the option to adjust the vacuum level you use, which can prevent any delicate items such as fruit from being crushed and also apply maximum pressure on a cut of meat or fish.
One user even compared it to their old FoodSaver, saying the FoodSaver V2244 is “quicker, quieter, and takes up less counter space.” Given that our main gripe with the V3240 was its bulky design and noisy vacuuming, this sounds like a great arrangement to us.
The FoodSaver V2244 claims it can extend the life of your food to three years when vacuum packed and placed in the freezer, and it comes with a patented removable drip tray which prevents unnecessary mess when vacuuming liquids or wet items. This vacuum food sealer works in three simple steps: you place the bag, filled with your food, into the sealing channel. Then, simply lock the lid and press the seal button to extend the life of your food.
The main complaint users have with the FoodSaver V2244 is its lack of built-in bag roll storage. This means you have to cut, fill, and seal your food storage bag separately which could cause some inconvenience.
Read our FoodSaver V2244 Review (opens in new tab)
4. SousVide Supreme VS3000: Best food vacuum sealer for sous vide cooking
The SousVide VS3000 is really easy to use and seals foods, both wet and dry, without a problem. We’ve used this, and other sealers, as part of our testing of the best sous vide machines. The SousVide VS3000’s seal is thick and holds well, so we can recommend using it with any sous vide device you have.
It has just one lid lock release instead of two on either side of the lid like most other sealers. This makes it easier to open after you’re done sealing your food – and easier to lock the lid in the first place – compared to other machines that took a lot of effort and muscle to latch.
It comes with some bags, but the bag length that required to feed into the sealer meant there wasn’t a lot of room left to space out more than one hamburger patty, chicken breast, or pineapple ring. This limited the space around each item and caused some air to become trapped between them.
But this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re using this sealer for sous vide cooking since it is recommended that you only seal one food item at a time.
Note that the SousVide VS3000 lights up red during the sealing process and changes to green when it’s done. This is different from all the other machines we tested; they show red when they’re done.
Read our SousVide VS3000 Review (opens in new tab)
5. Seal-a-Meal: Best vacuum food sealer for wet foods
Seal-a-Meal is the best vacuum sealer for juicier foods and liquids. When we tested this machine with four pineapple rings, it quickly vacuumed and sealed the food while extracting only 0.25 ounces of juice. Most other vacuum sealers extracted four times that much.
Plus, the seal was firm and the bag compacted against each ring so there wasn’t a lot of air left around the food. Even after a few days, the pineapple still remained tightly sealed. The little bit of juice that fell onto the catch tray was easy to clean up because the tray is removable.
But this vacuum food sealer does have its issues. The biggest is that Seal-a-Meal doesn’t have a lock. Instead you have to hold down the lid as the sealing process begins and keep holding it until the Hands-Free indicator light comes one.
We found that we generally ended up holding the lid tightly during most of the process, which caused our hands to become sore pretty fast.
Read our Seal-a-Meal Review (opens in new tab)
6. Weston Pro 2300: Best professional vacuum food sealer
Our favorite choice for preserving large chunks of meat, including big game and fish, is the Weston Pro 2300 (opens in new tab). While this is a commercial-quality vacuum sealer, it works well in home kitchens, too.
It handles storage bags that are 15 inches wide, which accommodates good-size cuts of meat. Also, you get both automatic and manual sealing modes that give you some control over the vacuum pressure.
The see-through acrylic lid lets you see into the machine to make sure the bags are lined up correctly, and it comes with a two-year warranty.
This vacuum seal is pretty heavy at 22 pounds, which makes it inconvenient to pull out for a quick seal.
How we tested the best vacuum food sealers
When it comes to figuring out the best vacuum food sealers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve been testing food saver machines for over four years and we’ve researched and reviewed other small appliances like food processors and turkey fryers for even longer. We also use vacuum sealers when testing sous vide machines so we know what to look for.
We scoured consumer reports to check whether there were any safety issues and contacted associations like FoodSave.org (opens in new tab) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (opens in new tab) (FAO) to give you expert advice on how best to store food and how long you can keep it before it spoils.
We put the best vacuum sealers through a rigorous testing process to give you peace of mind. We spent three days testing the food saver machines with different types of food including hamburger patties, chicken breasts, cereal, slices of bread, and pineapple rings. We chose pineapple rings to see how the sealers fared with wet foods. This is so we could observe how tight the seals were and determine whether the suction was effective. We placed the vacuum-sealed meats in a freezer and observed them over several days.
You can rest assured that we put the vacuum sealers through their paces. Our testers kept an eye out for issues like discoloration, air bubbles, freezer burn, and ice crystals inside the bags. We lined them up side by side so we could observe any small differences. We checked whether the bags laid flat, an important consideration if fridge and freezer space is at a premium. Our testing process took place over several days so we could spot any issues that didn’t develop immediately. While the seal may appear tight at first glance, air bubbles can become visible after a period of resting so we checked for that.
On top of all that, we checked in with people who use vacuum food sealers both for short-term and long-term storage to gather their insights and to get a real-world perspective. We know that value for money is important so we factored in the cost of each machine, what is included, and the warranty to give a rounded view.
How to choose the best vacuum food sealer for you
How much does a vacuum food sealer cost?
The best vacuum food sealers come in at a range of prices. For a decent model, you’re looking at starting prices of $125. While you can find cheaper machines, they don’t offer the same quality which is important when it comes to storing food safely. If you’re a big game hunter, then one of the higher-end models ranging from between $600 and $1,000 may be worth the extra investment. For most homes, however, a vacuum sealer at around $125 is a solid choice.
Can I use ziploc bags in a vacuum sealer?
In short, no! While it may seem convenient to use sandwich bags you already have in the house, they can’t stand up to the pressure and heat of a vacuum food sealer. Vacuum sealer bags are textured on the inside and this design feature allows them to extract air from the bag and fit snugly around your food. After an initial outlay, you can re-use vacuum sealer bags, good news for the planet and for your wallet. Many models even come with sealer bags designed for that specific food saver machine. You can also buy a roll of sealer bags (opens in new tab) which work well with all of the devices we tested.