Bag Filter Housing vs. Cartridge Filter Housing: Which to choose? cover image

Bag Filter Housing vs. Cartridge Filter Housing: Which to choose?

Kaitlyn ColliganKaitlyn Colligan avatar

Kaitlyn Colligan

3 minute read

A filter housing is a metal or plastic casing that holds either a filter bag or a filter cartridge. There are many uses for bag housings and cartridge housings in the industrial filtration world and both impact the way that liquids and gases get filtered. However, it is important to understand the unique differences between the two housing types to ensure you select the best option for your application. In this post, we will breakdown the main differences between a bag filter housing and a cartridge filter housing so you can be certain you are choosing the correct solution for your filtration needs.

Why use a Bag Filter Housing?

Bag housings can hold either a single bag or multiple filters bags. Liquid flows through the bags, leaving behind any large solids or debris. Filtration using a bag housing is a more affordable equipment investment. Bag filter systems are usually the more cost effective solution, as bag housing filtration generally has a lower cost per gallon filtered. Single layer bags are relatively inexpensive and mulit-layer bags offer similar efficiencies to cartridges. Various types of industries are able to utilize bag housings in a wide range of applications.


  • Cooling water in power plants
  • Cooling tower loops
  • Machine tool coolants
  • Paints & coatings
  • Drinking water


  • Power Generation
  • Groundwater Remediation
  • Paint/coating manufacture
  • Machining, grinding, & screw machining

Bag Media

  • Limited choices in regards to media

    • Polyester felt, polypropylene felt, and nylon mesh are the standard media options offered
    • There are also some multifilament felts and multi-layer bags available which offer a higher efficiency


  • Considered to be a lower cost option when compared to cartridge filtration
  • A single bag can handle flows of 100-150 gpm and usually costs just a few dollars per bag

Why use a Cartridge Filter Housing?

Cartridge housings are very versatile and offer a large range of flow capacities and contaminant holding capabilities, allowing them to serve many purposes. Cartridge filter housing systems are an excellent option when you need to attain precise filtration. Cartridges are available in a broader range of material and micron retentions, going all the way down to ultrafilter levels which are tighter than bags. Cartridge filter media can be pleated to offer a much higher surface area. Much like the bag filter housings, cartridge housings come in various sizes that can accommodate anywhere from a single cartridge to multiple cartridges.


  • Cartridge filtration can be used in most any application, provided the materials are compatible
  • Metal cartridges can be used for high temperature filtration where polymetric material will not work


  • Power Generation
  • Food & Beverage
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Life Sciences / Bio Technology
  • Chemical Processing
  • Drinking Water & Process Water

Cartridge Media

  • A wide variety of media are available

    • Materials include: polypropylene, polyester, nylon, polyester sulfone PES, PTFE, PVDF, stainless steel


  • Higher overall cost when compared to bag filtration

Three examples of different sized cartridge housings

Bag Housing or Cartridge Housing: Which to choose?

Bag housings and cartridge housings both offer great solutions for various filtration situations; which type of housing to choose all depends on the specific application and type of filtration required. Not sure which one is the best option for your application? Our technical sales team has years of experience and would be happy to discuss your application in detail and recommend the best solution for you.

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