Best Vacuum Sealers
Credit: FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS

The Best Vacuum Sealers We Tested for Easy Food Preservation

The Nesco VS 12 will help extend the shelf life of food quickly and efficiently.
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Finding ways to extend the shelf life of groceries is a great way to cut down on food waste at home. Most people spend a lot of time, money, and effort grocery shopping, and there's nothing worse than reaching for a certain ingredient and realizing it's spoiled before you've even had the chance to use it. One of the easiest ways to keep food fresher for longer is by investing in a high-quality vacuum sealer. 

These handy tools work by removing air from the bags or containers that food is stored in, which prevents bacteria or mold from growing and protects food from freezer burn. Vacuum sealers are useful in a variety of ways, but they're particularly helpful if you prefer to buy products in bulk, meal prep, or if you're trying to preserve food that you've grown or caught yourself. 

In order to find the best vacuum sealer, we put a few leading models to the test by sealing some of the most delicate foods we could find, to assess their ability to effectively preserve food without crushing it.  Overall, our testers were most impressed by the Nesco VS 12, thanks to the complete power control it offers. It excelled in our tests and was the only machine that was able to preserve raspberries without crushing them.

Our Top Picks

Vacuum Sealer
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Overall: Nesco VS 12

View at Walmart ($120)

Pros: Our testers found that this vacuum allowed for complete control, which lets users manage exactly how much power they want to use. As a result, we were able to seal raspberries without crushing them—a task that most of the other machines struggled with. 

Cons: We found this machine to be a bit louder than the others, but sound didn't affect performance.

One of the most difficult aspects of using a vacuum sealer is being able to preserve food correctly, without completely crushing it in the process. That's why our testers love this option from Nesco. A pulse function along with three power settings lets users manually control how forcefully air is being sucked out, so delicate foods—like raspberries—can be preserved gently, without being squeezed and mashed. This allows even the most irregularly shaped foods to maintain their form and appearance. Our testers found that this machine offered more control than any other option that we tested. It also boasts an easy-to-lock lid and a compartment for storing sealer bags and a sliding cutter to easily slice through each plastic bag.

It maintained a sturdy seal, and the bag stayed intact throughout our testing. Overall, this was our testers' favorite gadget thanks to its unmatched power, ease of use, and affordability. Keep in mind that this vacuum sealer is slightly louder than some of the others, but we didn't find that this impacted performance in any way. It comes with two rolls of bags to get you started. 

  • Seal Settings: 3
  • Bundle Includes: 2 Vacuum sealer bag rolls, vacuum pump, built-in bag cutter
Best Vacuum Sealers
Credit: FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS
Vacuum Sealer
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Value: Geryon Food Vacuum Sealer Machine

View at Walmart ($46)

Pros: This lightweight vacuum sealer is easy to assemble and surprisingly powerful. 

Cons: As a result of its powerful motor, it doesn't seal as gently as others, and it crushed some of the more delicate ingredients in our tests. 

Our testers found this vacuum sealer to be an efficient, functional option for the price. It's lightweight, easy to use, and creates a sturdy seal. We found it to be very easy to clean in between uses, and nothing got trapped in the crevices. It has a powerful suction that effectively seals in meats, fish, and vegetables and we love that it has a setting for dry and moist ingredients. Its compact size makes it easy to store, use and maneuver. In addition to the vacuum sealer, this option comes equipped with an air suction hose, and five sealing bags.

Two pressure options allow for gentle and normal suction, and the machine uses six food settings like vacuum and seal, seal and stop, canister, moist, and dry for a more personalized experience. 

Though this vacuum sealer is equipped with two sealing modes, it isn't as efficient at sealing fragile foods. Our testers found that it crushed the strawberries and cereal, rather than sealing them gently. 

  • Seal Settings: 6
  • Bundle Includes: 5 heat seal bags, 1 vacuum sealer bag roll

Related: The Best Kitchen Tools and Appliances That Are Worth the Splurge

Best Vacuum Sealers
Credit: FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS
Vacuum Sealer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Compact: FoodSaver VS0150 Vacuum Sealer

View at Amazon ($95)

Pros: This compact gadget can be stored horizontally or vertically, which takes up less space on crowded countertops or in small cabinets.
Cons: Due to the narrow design, we found that this was a bit challenging to clean.

Complete pulse control and simple functionality make this space-saving vacuum sealer a great option for any small kitchen. We found that it efficiently sealed delicate foods, and this was one of the only models that did not crush fragile items like raspberries. The interface is super straightforward, with a simple design that is easy to understand and operate. Our testers love that it can be stored vertically, which helps save cabinet and counter space in kitchens where space is an issue. 

The uncomplicated design coupled with the simple storage option makes this a fantastic option for any occasional user looking to dabble in food storage without investing too much money—or space—in another big machine.This gadget comes with two seal settings, one for dry goods and one for moist foods. 

  • Seal Settings: 2
  • Bundle Includes: 3 quart-sized vacuum seal bags, 2 gallon-sized vacuum seal bags

Related: You Should Be Organizing Your Refrigerator Like a Chef—Here's How

Best Vacuum Sealers
Credit: FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS
Vacuum Sealer
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Best for Beginners: Nesco VS-02

View at Target ($71)

Pros:  A simple interface, slim design, and increased suction control makes this an easy option for first-timers.

Cons: Unlike some of the other models on this list, this option does not have a pulse function. 

This affordable option offers versatility and control in one petit gadget, which makes it a great choice for new or occasional users looking to gain more experience. Thanks to its condensed size, this vacuum sealer is also ideal for small kitchens that have limited storage space. Our testers found it to be a great value for the price, and were impressed by its strong suction capability that managed to safely seal food without crushing it. In fact, there was minimal breakage in our pretzel test with barely any air pockets left behind. Our testers were pleased with the power control, which gives users the option to vacuum seal or seal only, and overall found it easy to use and maneuver. However, our testers noted that this is one of the loudest vacuum sealers on the list. Additionally, it doesn't have a pulse function like most other models do. 

Overall, if you're a first time or occasional user, this machine is simple, functional, and affordable, which makes it ideal for someone looking to gain more experience vacuum sealing their own foods. 

  • Seal Settings: 3
  • Bundle Includes: 5 quart sized bags, 2 7.9" x 9.8' bag rolls, built-in bag cutter
Best Vacuum Sealers
Credit: FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS
Vacuum Sealer
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Delicate Foods: NutriChef PKVS Sealer

View at Amazon ($56)

Pros: This slender machine was the most gentle of all we tested, and was able to easily remove air without crushing any of the delicate foods.

Cons: Our testers don't recommend this unit for bulk sealing, so it's not ideal for working in big batches.

This super lightweight machine performed exceptionally well when sealing fragile foods. It has a strong suction that effectively removed all air pockets and it had one of the most gentle functionalities of any machine that we tested. It has a slender body that requires minimal accessories. The simple interface uses touchscreen buttons with LED lights so you can easily see what mode you're using. It offers both dry and moist food functionalities, and the set comes with five reusable vacuum bags and one extra long vacuum bag roll. If you like to preserve fruits, cereals, or delicate fish, this gentle option is great for its strong, tender suction capabilities and quick sealing. 

Keep in mind that the NutriChef PKVS Sealer isn't great for sealing in bulk, as we noticed that it started to struggle after too much back-to-back sealing. 

  • Seal Settings: 2
  • Bundle Includes: 5 medium vacuum bags, 1 extra long vacuum bag roll 

Related: The Best Food Containers to Use for Storage, Reheating, Cooking, and More

Best Vacuum Sealers
Credit: FOOD & WINE / KEVIN NORRIS

Conclusion

For a simultaneously strong yet gentle machine that removes air without crushing food, opt for the affordable, easy-to-use Nesco VS 12. This machine excelled in all of our tests and was able to expertly extract air while keeping even the most delicate foods—raspberries and pretzels—intact. 

Factors to Consider

A high-quality vacuum sealer's most basic function is to preserve food for later use. Therefore, it should be able to suck out air efficiently, without damaging the foods that are being preserved, and it should create a strong seal that helps lock in freshness and prevent bacteria from growing. When shopping for a vacuum sealer, it's important to take functionality, design, and power capabilities into consideration before purchasing one. Some sealers are more powerful than others, but crush delicate foods in the process. Power does not always equal quality, and a powerful suction without pulse control can damage the foods you wish to preserve. 

Pulse Control

When purchasing a vacuum sealer, assess the machine's ability to seal food gently, without crushing delicate or irregularly shaped items. For best results, look for a machine that offers its users a good amount of control over the amount of power being used. You'll want to look at the control options each machine offers, and make sure it has a mode that is specifically designed for more delicate foods. 

Suction Power

Sucking out air can be challenging, especially if you are preserving foods that are irregularly shaped, which opens up the opportunity for air pockets to hide in small crevices. Throughout our tests, we assessed whether or not each machine was able to effectively remove air, or if pockets were left behind in the process. 

The Tests

Before assessing their functionality, we first noted how easy each machine was to handle, use, clean, and store.  We set each machine up manually and assessed whether or not the interface was straightforward and easy to use. In doing so, we kept beginners and occasional users in mind to determine whether or not each machine would be a valuable option for advanced or novice users.

To test pulse control, we vacuumed and sealed two of the most delicate foods we could think of—raspberries and Life cereal. Since these two ingredients are so easy to crush, this test allowed us to determine how easily we could control the power of the machine. We aimed to preserve the integrity of the delicate food items and evaluated each machine on its ability to do so.

To test each machine's ability to effectively suck out air and create an airtight seal, we vacuum sealed irregularly shaped foods like pretzels. Pretzels have lots of nooks and crannies for air bubbles to hide around, so this test allowed us to see which machines were able to remove all air pockets and create a super tight seal.

What Didn't Make the List

FoodSaver FM5200 Series 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

FoodSaver 2 in 1

View at Walmart ($199)

Overall, we didn't find this gadget to be particularly intuitive. This machine has an auto-seal, which means it seals as soon as the vacuuming process is complete. There is no pulse function, so a lot of the more delicate items got crushed in our tests. However, it was incredibly strong (sometimes too strong) and did an excellent job at tightly sealing meats.

Vacuum Sealer Machine
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Weston Pro 2300

View at Amazon ($425)

This is the largest machine we tested, and we found it to be particularly bulky and heavy to maneuver. Though the suction power is incredible, it doesn't have a delicate or gentle setting, so it lacked pulse control and the more fragile items in our tests were completely crushed. This is by far the most expensive item on our list, and due to the lack of pulse control we don't recommend it for the price.

Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Anova Precision 

View at Target ($80)

Our testers found this machine to be very easy to use with simple, straightforward functionality. We love how lightweight it is, and the streamlined design makes it a great choice for small spaces or kitchens that are short on storage. We found it to be moderately powerful, but we were disappointed with the lack of pulse control. It's a good option for hearty ingredients like meat, but we wouldn't recommend this gadget for more fragile items, as it crushed the delicate foods in our tests.

Our Experience

For this piece, our team of product testers and editors assessed a series of vacuum sealers and reviewed each on how easy they were to use, clean, and store. We performed competitive research to develop a product set that was inclusive of different brands and price points and tested each unit to properly assess the individual characteristics of each. 

The author of this piece, Rebecca Carhart, is a Senior Ecommerce Reviews Writer and Strategist whose work can be found in Travel & Leisure, InStyle, Real Simple, People, and more. Rebecca uses her home cooking experience along with competitive research to review the best gadgets for the home and kitchen. 

This piece was updated by Laura Denby, a Product Reviews Food Writer and former chef. Laura uses her professional culinary experience to make informed, thoughtful recommendations for publications like Real Simple, FoodNetwork.com, Better Homes & Gardens, and Taste of Home. Laura has tested hundreds of kitchen products in search of the most functional, efficient, and versatile gadgets for home cooks.