Can a HEPA bag fit on my Kirby Vacuum Cleaner?

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Can a Kirby HEPA bag fit on my Kirby?  This guide will cover if you can put Kirby HEPA bags that were designed for a newer model on older Model G model Kirbys.

Hi this is Dustin Chaffin General Manager of Great Vacs.  At Great Vacs we have sold over 12,000 Vacuum Cleaners online, and we know vacuums.  As a result we have literally received hundreds of emails from people wondering if the new model HEPA bags can fit on a older G model Kirby.  This guide is written to answer that question.

First of all lets identify what a G Model Kirby is.  Below they are listed in order of oldest to newest at the time this guide was written.

Generation 3
Ultimate G

Next lets talk about what HEPA filtration is.  To be considered HEPA you must be able to filter down to .3 of a micron.  Models Generation 3 used standard paper bag filtration, models G4 and G5 used micron magic filtration, and models Gsix to newer uses HEPA filtration.  The rating on the micron magic filtration is actually .3 of a micron so technically those could be considered HEPA.  But when Kirby does something they like to do it right.  So when they actually came out with their HEPA filtration it filtered down to .1 of a micron.  HEPA filtration is just a standard of filtration.

Pros & Cons of HEPA filtration.  The purpose of filtration is to separate the dirt out of the air that is being exhausted back into your room.  HEPA filtration is just a higher standard of Filtration.  So the Pros of HEPA filtration is less dirt and allergens will be let back into your breathing space.  The Cons of HEPA filtration is that is requires more power to PUSH the air through the HEPA filter or Bag.  I have written another guide on this see that for more detail.  However what happens is a lot of entry level vacuum makers that had standard filtration when HEPA became popular simply slapped a HEPA filter on it and marketed it at that.  The problem with that is it chokes the suction power.  So to properly have a good vacuum with good filtration it has to be well made to handle the HEPA filter.

So Kirby understood that when they designed their HEPA filtration bags.  They did not just upgrade the bags and leave it at that.  They redesigned the mini emptor of the bag for increased air flow and in some later models increased the motor RPM’s.  

So say you had a Generation 3 or G4 and you decided to put the Kirby HEPA bags on it.  Would they fit?      Yes they would.  Would it choke down your power?  Yes it would choke it down some.    Would it filter just as good as the newer models running the same bags?       No it would not.     Would it improve the filtration?   Yes it would.

You see on a Kirby vacuum the disposable bag is only part of the filtration.  The other part of the filtration is the outer cloth bag.  That’s why at Great Vacs on all our Kirby Vacuums we sell we wash that outer bag on every Kirby vacuum.  Its almost like having a washable HEPA filter.  So the outer cloth bag on a Kirby Gsix would have better filtration that the outer cloth bag on a Kirby G5 model.  

Now on recent models Kirby has come out with the 3M HEPA bag.  It is white and much larger than the standard bags that Kirbys makes.  So larger means it will hold more dirt AND ALLOW MORE AIRFLOW.  So I was curious would that actually improve the power of the Kirby?

Let me introduce you to an air flow meter.  An airflow meter measure’s exactly that airflow.  It is a cylinder tube with a ball on it attached to a spring.  On the outside of it is a number system from 0 to 10.  It measures airflow and power.  Most department store vacuums will measure a 2 or below on it.  The Kirby vacuum when hooked up to the head will measure a 10.  So I wanted to measure the difference in power on a Kirby when a different bag was being used.  So I took a Kirby and hooked up the hose.  Usually with its hose on the Kirby will pull a 7 on the scale (this shows you the principle that the longer your hose the more power you loose).  So I hooked up the micron magic bag and it pulled a 7.  Then I hooked up the Kirby HEPA bag and it pulled a 6.5.  Then I hooked up the Kirby 3M HEPA bag and it pulled a 7.  So my theory was correct.  The larger 3M style allowed more airflow through while doing just as good of a job filtering.

An important note here.  There is a aftermarket bag made for Kirbys that is made of the same material as the 3M HEPA bag.  However it is about the same size as a standard Kirby bag and much smaller than the 3M one.  While I have not tested that bag I doubt you would have the same results with it than the 3M Kirby one because it is smaller.  

Hopefully by now you should have enough information to make a educated decision.  My suggestion to you is to stick to the manufacturers suggestions on bags because that is what the models were made for.  However if you are going to put a advanced filtration bag in your Kirby I would go with the Kirby 3M one.  

Was this guide helpful to you?  If so would you take a moment and vote on it?

At Great Vacs we don’t sell vacuums we don’t believe in and have tested practically ever model we sell.  If you are still unsure of the perfect vacuum for you feel free to drop me a email at  and tell me a little about your needs.  What your pet situation is, how much carpet vs. hard surfaces, any allergies etc  and we will do our best to suggest something perfect for you.

Thank You,
Dustin Chaffin
General Manager – GreatVacs

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