Dyson or Kirby or Miele, oh my???

lynn_r_ctApril 26, 2008

In my haste to purhase a decent vacuum after having BOTH my cheapie Walmart vacs die at the SAME time (also tired of making the Walton kids richer with their cheap Chinese products) I decided to buy a decent vac. Flipping through the tv channels I saw the Dyson canister. Hmmm, sounded good so I ordered it - last Thursday. On Friday, everyone says "why didn't you just get a Kirby?". So I reseach and the pros say Kirby wins hands down vs. Dyson, so I go to ebay and bid on a new Kirby SENTRIA, figuring I would return the Dyson and just absorb the shipping cost (better than being forever unhappy and thinking I bought the wrong one). Then I do more research and I find the "experts" think the Kirby DIAMOND is actually the better one (older but with two speeds).

There is a thread on home decorating re: vacuums (almost everyone just love, love, loved their Dyson) which led me here and now I read that everyone here loves their Miele. Help me please. I am in vacuum pergatory. I now have a Dyson canister still in it's box, so far no one has overbid me on the Kirby Sentria so I may also own that in a few hours, and now I am thinking I should have purchased the Kirby Diamond not the Sentria and maybe I shouldn't have purchased a Kirby at all, but I should have bought a Miele.

Can anyone make sense of this mishmash. Opinions please - by any chance has anyone owned at least two of these vacuums that could compare them for me. This is harder than picking out a husband.

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I purchased the Dyson DC15 Animal for our residence, and have the following to offer:

1) It vacuums very well.

2) It can discharge too much static electric shock depending upon weather conditions.

3) It is not service free as you have to clean other areas of the canister that become laden with very fine-particles of dirt, and you must clean a foam filter that resides in the upper-half of the canister every six months. If you have allergies this job will not be for you as it is exceedingly messy, and a requirement that is not properly highlighted by Dyson, but should be.

4) It is heavy, and my wife, and occasional housekeeper do not like it for that reason, so if you have more than a one-story residence, you might consider purchasing one for each floor (depending on the square footage of the floor). Dyson has developed a lighter, slimmer model, but I do not know how well it works.

5) Dyson designs very clever functions on their models, but sometimes they backfire (e.g., the attachments have vent slots in them so they need constant pushing in to the hose receiver to maintain suction). There are also several seals that aid in diverting suction depending on how you use the vacuum that concern me regarding longevity, but it is too early to determine how well they will last.

6) The hose on the upright model is a mixed-blessing as it acts like a rubber band when in use so be careful how and where you use it (e.g., stair landings).

About two months after the Dyson purchase I happen to be next to store that sold Miele vacuums so I reviewed the Miele canister vacuums as I did not like the Miele uprights (I prefer Sebo's uprights to Miele's):

1) Exceedingly well-made.

2) Quiet, very powerful, and actually quite light for the power with the ability to hold the canister and easily use the vacuum.

3) Expensive.

4) Relies on expendables, as in the filter bags, however, without a doubt one of the best filter bag systems I have seen, and people who suffer allergies should have very minor issues with the Miele. Bottom line: the filters are expensive so plan on budgeting for them.

5) Since it is a canister, people who prefer uprights simply prefer to use uprights as my wife does.

I grew-up in a family that used Kirby, before changing to Filter Queen, and later to central home vacuuming. The Kirby's were always expensive, but blew a lot of dirt around; times may have changed, but I would not consider a Kirby these days.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:14PM
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We are in love with both our Miele canister and our Miele stick (broom) vacuums. IMO they are superior by a long ways to anything else on the market.

As for the bags, their $14.95 for a box of 5. That's $3.00 a bag, not exactly a budget buster. That also includes a new vacuum filter. The bags are self-sealing so there's no puff of dust escaping.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:51PM
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I have a Dyson upright and a Miele canister...
Miele canister - heavy - QUIET - easy to change filters/bags etc. easy to push/pull navigate.... a sense of quality, does a great job - expensive
Dyson - Loud, heavy, EXTREMELY DIRTY TO DUMP THE CANISTER - never just discharges the dirt but must be slightly shaken/or pulled by hand, a dirty messy job - I dump the canister each time I use it and it is still a pit - because of this I would never buy another Dyson.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:28PM
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I have the Dyson DC 25. Love it. Go to Amazon and read the reviews on the Dyson, most people love it. It's great not having to buy and change bags and I don't think emptying the canister is messy at all. Another vacuum you may want to consider if you want one with bags is the Sebo.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:45PM
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pluckymama, in a perfect world no one would ever change bags. The cheapies I purchased were bagless and yes I loved the feature but... you seem to sacrifice so much for that benefit.

If you want to check the discussion re dyson vacuums in the Home Decorating Forum, I posted the research I mentioned above from an ebay vacuum dealer (who has sold hundreds of vacuums) and his opinion was that the Kirby beat the Dyson hands down.

I think the reason I got the "nothing beats a Dyson" over there is that most of the posters were comparing their Dyson to a Walmart cheapie and I think anything would beat them.

This is why I came here. I really wanted more of an opinion as to which of the "higher end" vacuums you have had and are, or are not, happy with.

So if there are any like lucypwd, who have had one, two or all three of the above, I very much value your opinions. Keep them coming please.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:00AM
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Lynn, I have both the Sebo K3 canister, the Sebo X4 upright and the Dyson 25 upright. (I know, a lot of vacuum cleaners!) I haven't heard great things about the Dyson cannister. But I will say the Dyson 25 upright works well and I'm comparing it to high end vacuums. Look into the Sebo, it's German made and is even the vacuum used at the White House. Here's a link: http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/all-sebo-vacuum-cleaners.html I would highly recommend this as a high end vacuum. It is extremely easy to push/pull and the bags are super easy to change. It has an excellent filtration system and is great for people with allergies. I have always heard good things about the Miele as well. In fact, I compared both and ended up with the Sebo, but it was a tough choice. I know 2 friends who have Kirby's and they both feel it was a lot of money for just an ok machine. Good luck with your decision, I seem to anguish over each of my appliance decisions and am so grateful for this forum.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:17AM
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I highly recommend a Sebo...I got the C3.1 for about 750 at my local vac store and it has all the features of the 1250 dollar Miele (except that its a pound heavier). It really does everything with the power head and on the wand power slide. I love the way the powerbrush comes out for cleaning and the bags change up clean and fast. I've had it for 9 months now.

By the way I tried out my neighbors Dyson and just found it sooo heavy and loud....and the nose of it didn't fit under my toekick in the kitchen (standard toekick height), so I couldn't get that rim of stuff that collects under there. So I tried the flat floor attachment and that just stuck to the floor...no gliding.

I just love the Sebo.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:31PM
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I have to agree with pluckymama on Sebo as I have dealt with them on a commercial level, and you will find them in many five-star hotels. I purchased our Dyson out of curiosity (ask my wife about what she thinks about my curiosity).

Dyson, and now many others, use the principle developed for air intakes on combat helicopters assigned to desert duty as the sand was clogging the filters, thereby, rendering the helicopters useless. In this case, they are collecting the intake debris into a canister instead of expelling it, but there is still a filter in these machines that need cleaning. A well designed bag collection system in a vacuum is hard to beat.

I looked-up Kirby, and was surprised at how they want you to setup an appointment and show so little of their product on their webiste. After seeing what they have to offer today, it differs little from decades past; still has the various attachments, and I bet they are still a PITA to change about. The one aspect you will find about Sebo, Miele, and some others is that they are purpose-built to do one thing well without any of the gimmicks.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:38PM
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I have a 3 year old Dyson canister and I hate it. I wish it would break, so I wouldn't feel guilty throwing it away. Emptying the debris creates a nasty dust storm, so I end up vacuuming once more around the garbage can. My old Kenmore did a better job cleaning, to boot. Seems like a lot of people on the forum like Miele, so I'll probably go with them after the Dyson dies.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:50PM
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I now officially own a Dyson canister AND a new Kirby for I won the bid on ebay for the Kirby. The Dyson is going back. I'll lose the shipping cost but that is minor next to the pain I will feel if I have spent $500 on a vacuum I hate. I got the Kirby Sentria for approximently $700 including shipment for a new one with all the attachments. Farenheit 451 I would only buy a new Kirby from an ebay vac store and not from Kirby directly.

IF... I keep the Kirby, in hindsight I would have preferred a refurbished Diamond and not the Sentria. Only major difference in the two is that the Diamond has two speeds. I don't know how important that is but it seemed to make sense to me that it might be. I researched the Miele and the Sebo last night and they all have the wonderful reviews that you claim. Certainly, the Kirby, the Miele and the Sebo all are tops as far as reliability is.

I am still leaning to the Kirby for the following reasons: 1)First and foremost-it has a shampooer. It would be great to eliminate that clunker rug shampooer I have right now for I have a small broom closet and 2)it comes with a bi-zillion attachments.

Yes, I know all the negatives about the Kirby but I still think it is the way I want to go. I may however, just relist my Kirby on ebay and see if I can recover what I just spent for it, unless there is someone in CT that would like a brand new one for just what I paid for it. Then I can get the diamond.

I think!!!! Too many tough choices here. I don't want to even think about what it will be like to pick out the kitchen appliances when we start our kitchen the end of this year. I have read some of your posts and it is scary.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 4:20PM
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I cannot believe that yous shelled out $700 for a consumer vacuum cleaner! If you really did your homework; you should of purchase the vacuum that the major hotels chains use - Continental! It is only $150.00 with a lifetime warranty! Made in the USA.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 12:02AM
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I just bought a Sebo X4 and I really love it. I had one on loan first and the automatic height adjustment is just wonderful with my mixture of hardwood and different area rugs. There are two shops in my town selling this vac. One wanted $699 and the other charged $580.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 2:18PM
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Congrats on your Kirby! I had the Dyson canister and took it back to Sears. As to your question to the 2 speed motor, the motor goes into a higher speed when the hose is attached for above the floor cleaning. The CFM is increased. You never posted as to what type of house you have as to your various floor surfaces and cleaning needs. The only reason that came to mind as you purchased a Dyson canister and then the Kirby. I have a G-3 and a G-4. 1 on each floor. I also have central vac and don't ever use the hose or the other stuff which comes with a Kirby. It takes way too long to do the switch to the canister mode. I know how to do it and it still takes time that I don't have. I use my Kirbys every day on the carpet and the CV comes out on the weekend to do everything else. Kirbys are great vacs and do a great job. We just don't have the June Cleaver time these days. LOL I would just purchase a Eureka Mighty Mite to to the detail cleaning. I think they are around $100. The shampooer takes some practice and does leave the shampoo in the carpet. I either use the Kirby or my Lux/Areus 3 brush carpet cleaner. I still extract all of the cleaner out with a Hoover Steam and Vac and have a pro come in with a truck mount once a year. They have water heaters on the truck and the water pick up is much higher so all of the cleaner is removed. I then have them apply Teflon stain protector. The carpet is white. No comments as I ask no 1 to take off their shoes. They just do it anyway as it is intimidating! LOL I could care less as I just replace it every 5 years as all carpet just gets gross. It is always white though. Let us know about you cleaning problems and you might get more suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Ah, I just bought a Bosch vacuum today. I needed a canister for vacuuming wool carpeted stairs. I have(had) no idea what I was buying. It said it was made in Germany, and I took that and good will and pressed 'buy'. Premium Electro Duo HC.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 11:17PM
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Dyson gone bye bye -end of that story.

Hardwood in living & dining rooms. Some bedrooms have hardwood and the others WTW (need infrequent shampooing.) Oriental area rugs throughout. Cheapo WTW down in the family room with three teens and many friends. All I need there is a vacuum that picks up potato chips.

I just want a vacuum that is going to do it's job, whether on the floor, stretched to the ceiling to get the cobwebs in the corner and everything in between. As I mentioned I am tired of these Chinese cheapies that do a lousy job, force me to unclog them every other week and die after six months.

I would not use all of the attachments on a daily basis but I like knowing they are there when I want them. I like a clean house, but in all honesty I don't wish to BE June Cleaver - too many other fun things to do (like read all these blogs.) Like the Miele but I still want all the toys.

Just pulled this info up and want to read it. It is very interesting. It is also too technical for my brain at midnight.

Meanwhile, keep up the comments! Many thanks.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 12:16AM
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My suggestion is that you buy 2 vacuums. I know it's a lot of money but I think with all the flooring, carpeting and wanting attachments that will clean the ceilings, corners, etc.. you would benefit from both an upright and a cannister. I would look at the Sebo X4 upright for doing your carpets, including Oriental rugs because it works so well going onto a carpet from a floor and then back to the floor. It self adjusts. I've had mine for 4 years and it has never been repaired. It has been in every year for a cleaning, but nothing has ever broken. Then I would get a good canister that has the attachments you need for the rest of your cleaning. I have the Sebo K3 canister. It's small, light and works fine for what I use it for, because I use the uprights for everything else. I think if I had to do it over again I would have spent the extra money and bought the bigger Sebo C3 canister, but it seemed like I was spending too much money on vacuums! You can shop for the best price on the internet and maybe get a deal if you buy both an upright and a canister. Sebo has a new upright vacuum out, the Felix, that I don't own, but the vacuum store that sells them nearby and where I buy my bags, says people really like them. It is a bit less $. If you can only get one vacuum, go with the Sebo C3 canister. These really are nice, high end vacuums and you won't spend all of your time unclogging! Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 8:48AM
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I have had the Dyson Animal (purple/gray) for about 1 1/2 years and absolutely love it. I can't believe all the negative comments. I had a Kirby for many years and when I got new Ultra Stainmaster carpet I hated the carpet because it seemed dirty and old looking. About 4 months later I bought the Dyson and my carpet came alive again -- looked brand new and clean and alive. I clean out the canister after each use and just push the button when I have it over the trash can and the contents drops out. I then push the other button and am able to quickly dust off with a paper towel what stuck to it and then just lightly tap it all around and the fine dust particles sprinkle out. I washed the filter today after 1 1/2 years (instead of 6 months) and was surprised that the filter wasn't that dirty. I think it's because I always tap all around and let all the dust fall out. It only takes a couple minutes and is so simple to do and put back together. I love the Dyson and would not hesitate to buy it again.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 11:22PM
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I think you folks have not done enough research. Dyson like Kirby is way over price. Kirby has HEPA filtration bags and they work great with my wife�s allergies. The big negative is the weight. However, to really test these units you need to test them used. Miele HEPA filter must be replaced once a year $69. It also requires annual servicing $50. I have had a Kirby Gen 3 since 1990! My wife made me buy it and I was not happy. Back then it was $1800. But here is the deal. It is still running strong. It is a GEN 3 model and I have only had to replace belts and a brush every few years. On all production tests performed by various entities (Used units) Kirby wins 3 to one. Just search the internet "Kirby vs Dyson" or Kirby vs Miele. Remember many things work great new. However, the pollutants coming out of a Miele or Dyson after they are a few years old leaves them to fall behind Kirby. My wife has gone the cheaper route several times with various uprights. They all broke in a year or two. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

I just saw an article from Consumer Reports about how bad the air is from a Kirby. Well they used a regular bag not the HEPA filter bag. By the way Only Miele�s top model does well under tests when new and no I am not a Kirby salesman. I am very critical and skeptical and I must state when I am impressed it is not an easy thing to do. How many products do you know of that last over 20 years?

We recently viewed Rainbow to only find out that when the water evaporates the fumes get past the gasket and corrode the inside plus after a few years the air quality out the exhaust is worst than a cheep uprite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Great Vacs.com

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 7:49PM
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