Miele Vacuums- Are they really that good

marvelousmarvinAugust 14, 2013

Normally, I buy those inexpensive vacuums that only last a few years before I need to buy a new one.

But, I saw a Miele Delphi vacuum on sale at a price where I'm seriously considering buying my first expensive vacuum. But, I've got a couple of questions first.

1) What am I giving up and gaining by switching from an upright to a canister?

The Miele Delphi is a canister, but I've grown up using an upright.

2) Do you think I should still buy the Delphi if it doesn't come with its attachments? Do you really use your attachment tools?

The only reason its on sale is because its missing its attachment tools- dusting brush, upholstery tool and crevice nozzle. Otherwise, I don't think Mieles go on sale.

Or, will generic attachment tools work on a Miele?

3) How good is the airflow on Miele vacuums?

From what I've read so far, it seems like its the airflow and not the suction that's really crucial to a good vacuum. So, something like a Dyson with good suction might not be as good as people think if its airflow isn't that good.

4) How often do you need to replace the bags on a Miele cannister? Since they're smaller than uprights, it'd seem like they wouldn't hold as much and so you'd need to buy new bags more often.

Those Miele bags seem expensive to me, and I'd hate to buy new bags all the time.

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I just ordered a Miele Onyx from the Miele Store because my 15 yo Electrolux died and I don't want to pay to get it fixed. The Electrolux was $1,500 all those years ago so spending $500 on the Miele didn't seem so bad to me. That said, the Mieles are known to be fabulous vacuums and to last (the 6 series which the Onyx is part of has a seven-year warranty but the Delphi is part of the 2 series I think with only a one-year warranty). So, to buy one good vacuum that will last a long time seems like a better financial decision.

I prefer a canister because it is easier to use the attachments. And yes, our housekeeper uses the attachments all the time to clean moldings and dust. I would be surprised if other attachments fit the machine you are looking at.

Regards bags, I don't think they require changing that often based on how often I buy them (I think I have bought bags two or three times in ten years, but our apartment is 2100 feet and we don't have pets so YMMV).

If you have the budget and need a new vacuum I think a new Miele is an easy decision. The hard part is figuring out which one to get because there are so many models. There are various comparison charts online which help. For the canisters, there are the series 2, 6 and 8. The 6 seemed sufficient for what I needed. The 2 was the low end and was not that much less expensive.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 7:14AM
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I have two Miele vacs, both over 10 y.o. I feel they are excellent.

Sent one to my brother as a housewarming gift. They have an exotic cat. DB was rolling his eyes until they started using it and then they couldn't stop raving.

The bags aren't cheap but they are huge and hold a ton. They also close off for easy removal. It takes more than a year to use a box but some of that will depend on how quickly it fills which can be checked manually.

Before deciding on whether to go with the vac you saw, you might check with them to see how much the missing tools for that model (check carefully as it can be specific) would be if purchased separately. I feel these vacs are so convenient to use and do a great job. We use the tools.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 8:54

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:48AM
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Hi roc, now we have another Miele appliance in common! LOL

We purchased a Miele Marin, 8 series canister in June. Have only had canister vacuums. I had a Eureka, and more recently, a Kenmore Progressive vac. The Kenmore was very heavy, both the canister and the wand/power-head assembly, and my back always ached after vacuuming with it. The only thing I do miss, is having the on/off/controls on the wand/handle (the top-top model Miele might have that).

The three entry-level models, S2's? (The ones sold at BB&B for example) are supposedly constructed with a lower quality plastic than their other S series vacs, and they are not sealed systems, either I believe.

I didn't like the "handle" on the S6 series vacuums. I have small hands, and my hand "wrap" around the curved tube was not a comfortable fit. So, we looked at the S8 series.

We did consider a few different models within the S8 series, but the Marin had the features we wanted, including the electrified wand/hose, and a HEPA filter replacement indicator. It comes with a HEPA filter, so we did not have to pay for one separately, which you do with some of the lower models.

Also, with the Marin, you can choose one of three power-heads (different price for the vac depending on the head). We chose the SEB 217-3, Electro Comfort electrobrush. The Marin also comes with the Parquet Twister floor brush (which guys seem to really like--ooh and ahh! LOL) for hardwood and tile floors.

The vacuum is very lightweight, and easy to maneuver. It is much, much quieter than our previous vacuums. It has 6 suction control settings, plus Automatic setting, and you can turn the brush roll in the power-head on/off via a switch on the handle. The attachments swap out quickly and easily.

So far, I really like our Miele Marin, and if it holds up and lasts as long as I've heard and read, it will have been worth every penny. We got ours from a somewhat local dealer. He delivered it to our home (over the state line, so we saved on sales tax), and he met Internet pricing. Threw in a box of vac bags, too!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 12:49PM
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We could just end up living next door to each other catmom! LOL

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Now that would be awesome!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 5:03PM
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i got a miele vacuum S5 vacuum 2 years ago and i love it.. I have always use uprights before,and still upright in my office (they are cheap).

I think they said all the miele vacuum use the same motor from lowest price to highest price. the differences are quality of material, and features and attachments.. so even the cheapest one you are getting one of the best vacuum out there.

to answer your questions:
1.: canister is less tiring to manuver because u are just moving the handle back and forth, not the whole unit back and forth.

2. I do use my attachment quite a bit. at the corners, or on sofa, or around TV/entertainment cabinets..

3. they are very very good. I have never use a dyson (the other very popular vacuum), but I have use other upright where you have to dump out the dust.. that's definitely one of the lease favorite thing i like to do. No matter how good the cleaning is, the dumping of the dust disperses dust everywhere again. using a bag by definition is more expensive (since u have to buy the bag), but I take that over dumping out the dust anyday.. it's clean, no mess, no dust.

4. that entirely depends on how often you vacuum and how much carpet you have. we change our bag roughly every 6-8 months with 80% hardwood, 20% carpet use.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Fori is not pleased

I have an upright Miele. It's okay but not great. Better than the Target Special but overrated for sure. I previously had a Kenmore canister that I liked better except for a fatal flaw that caused the beater bar to short out.

I have found that spending a little more does get you a better vacuum. Spending a lot more? I'm not convinced.

Canister vs. upright is a discussion unto itself. A canister is more flexible (try vacuuming a sportscar with an upright!) but it has a canister following you around.

You can probably get the missing parts from Miele if you find you miss them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Love our Miele canister.
Our housekeepers hate it and bring their own. It is too heavy for them to lug up the steps.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 7:12PM
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In answer to your question: No they are not that good, at least in my humble opinion. I have a cannister that I absolutely detest. I purchased the Miele to replace a Sears cannister that I also didn't like, although it was top rated by a leading consumer magazine - big mistake. The Miele doesn't clean as well, is heavier, not as convenient (who can ever really "hook" their wand on the body for storage, as the salesman demonstrates?), I have had several costly repairs to it (rewinding cord mechanism broke prematurely among other things), and some cheaper (literally) parts have snapped off but I repaired them with duct tape rather than invest any more in this piece of junk that I hate.

Can I tell you what to buy instead? Afraid not. Just don't drink the Miele koolaid.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:16PM
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That's an interesting point about the cost of repairs, especially when you factor in how expensive Miele replacement parts are.

For vacuums, what parts tend to break down?

If its the motor that tends to be the source for most problems, then that should by covered by Miele's seven year warranty on the motor. But, if anything breaks down, then that will only be covered by a one year warranty.

Some things aren't worth the bother/expense to fix it because even after you repair it, they might not long for this world anyways.

When they say that Miele vacuums last a long time, does that mean that the vacuum will last a long time without any repairs?

Or, does it mean that the Miele vacuum will last a long time if you're also willing to pay for costly repairs and the vacuum will continue to run a long time after those repairs?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 2:42AM
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I love our Miele canister, we have the smallest size and we've had it for 8 years and it is a delight to use. We had a bagless upright when we got married 11years ago that I HATED. Dust everywhere a pain to clean and lousy suction.

My mom liked our vacuum so much she got a bigger version of ours at both of her houses. Though my sister who has two very hairy dogs went with the Dyson pet.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Our new Miele vacuum arrived yesterday and it is great! It weighs about half of my old Electrolux canister, maybe less. It is really quiet too. And it has a seven-year warranty. It was $450 with the Miele discount code.

I think that motors are what tends to break, in my experience. I have especially had trouble with a power head--effectively a second motor. We skipped that feature this time since we don't have deep pile carpets. The Miele salesperson said we didn't need it with floors and low pile rugs.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:11AM
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We have a Miele Delphi. I like it because it's really light in comparison to others we've had over the years. I was reluctant to spend this much, but I'm sold on the fact that it's far better than the Kenmores we've owned in the past.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:18AM
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I bought a Miele Capricorn about a year ago to replace a 9 year old (broken) Dyson Animal at the suggestion of my cleaning lady. I like the vacuum, but I don't LOVE the vacuum and if it were solely up to me, I probably would still prefer the Dyson (I think I prefer bagless and actually seeing what the thing is picking up!), but I recognize that the canister is a little easier to maneuver, especially in a multi-storey house. The house gets vacuumed once a week, both hardwoods and carpet, and we have a dog who sheds (but who lives only in the kitchen) and I have purchased bags twice in the last year. We're still on the second box.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:27PM
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My 16 year old Miele Platinum is still going strong. I did replace the wand, but that was broken due to heavy abuse by a beefy teenager. Other than that, it's been perfect. I do use the attachments. I like the canister because it rolls easily behind me, and can stand up on the stairs when I am vacuuming them, or standing it up makes the hose longer for vacuuming ceiling fans. It's a very well designed machine, it runs quietly, and I've been very satisfied with it.


This post was edited by cj47 on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 8:55

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:07PM
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I got the S2121 Olympus for $299. So far so good. I didn't need a version with a power head for carpets. It could have done with about 10 feet more of power cord.

I also got the Parquet Twister XL head, for the ridiculous $79. Large size, works well, good to have if you have hardwood or other smooth floors.

Here is a link that might be useful: Parquet Twister XL

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 2:44AM
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Well, I think they're better than the Sebo upright, which is what we have. I will never buy another Sebo. I like some things about it; but the weight, lack of easy manueverability, and the fact that the auto height adjustment mechanism has broken three times, with two different repair shops unable to do a permanent fix, has soured me on it.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:38PM
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I have a Miele Callisto. I love it. Very powerful and sooo quiet. The cord isn't as long as my Orek upright, and at times I would appreciate that extra few feet. Over-all I would say its the best I've ever had. Bags and filters are expensive, but the HEPA is worth it, IMO. The best advice I can give you is to try them out. See how you feel about the weight and the function.

BTW, I can't stand bagless vacuums. When you empty them dust and dirt flies everywhere. Just nasty! If you want to see what's in the bag, you can look, but why?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:58PM
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How much of a difference does an electric powerbrush make?

For the same price, I can get Miele Delphi with electric powerbrush but missing three accessories-dusting brush, upholstery nozzle, crevice tool- or get a Miele Olympus that doesn't have an electric powerbrush but does have those three attachments.

From what I can figure, everything else between those two models is otherwise the same.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 5:29AM
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The power brush is basically a beater head (Rotating brush head) for carpets. If you have a lot of carpets it is a good idea to have that.

As for the tools, well I use mine often, but if I didn't have them I could live without them.

I am like you (OP), in that I grew up (As did my DW) with an upright and didn't know anything else. But after the kitchen remodel we got a 8x10 oriental style rug for our dining room and it specifically said to not use a beater brush on it. Well our upright didn't have an option to turn that off so we needed to get something. Plus we now have a ton of hardwood.

We ended up with the Miele canister S8 Kona to be specific, and we were worried about having to drag the canister behind us and up and down stairs. But so far I honestly love it way more than our older upright. I like having the canister behind me, and it is lighter and less awkward than our upright to bring up and down the stairs.

If you can get a good deal on it I say go for it. See what the return policy is, ask if you get it home and decide you don't want it if you can bring it back. If they will let you do that take it home, don't turn it on, and wheel it around, carry it up and down stairs, see what you think. I find that is always the best way to do things.

Here is a link to the Kona:
LINK to S8 Kona

Here it is on Amazon:
Amazon Link

We didn't pay that price, as we got it from the same place we bought all of our appliance and he cut us a really good discount, I want to say we got it for like $600 if I am recalling correctly.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 10:18AM
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Two rooms in our house are carpeted (wall-to-wall), the rest are either hardwood, or tile. We got our Miele right after we got our new Berber carpeting.

We'd originally decided on the Alize, with it's multi-floor tool, because we had been told we should avoid beater bars/brush rolls with the Berber carpet. The vacuum store owner had us try out the suction-only vac heads, but suggested that we consider the power head we ended up getting (after all). He'd had two returns (?) of the newest suction-only head, the one supplied with the Alize-- difficult to push across the carpet, I'm not sure how well it actually functioned (picked stuff up).

He showed us the SEB 217-3, Electro Comfort electrobrush (the one we eventually got). He had us feel the bristles/brush roll as it rotated--very gentle, but we were afraid to go "against" the carpet store recs. So, we placed an order for the Alize.

In the meantime, the vac store owner sent us home with a loaner vac (not a Miele, but one with a similar suction-only head?). DH vacuumed the carpeting with it and realized that a vacuum with a suction-only head just wasn't going to cut it. Grains of cat litter (tracked from another room), lint, etc., remained undisturbed on/in the carpet after numerous passes with the vacuum.

We decided to take a chance on a vac equipped with the soft-bristled brush roll power-head after all, and we changed our order to the Marin (for this, and the other reasons enumerated in my first post). At the very least, the brush roll, while not having any height adjustments, is equipped with an on/off switch. So, if we experienced any issues with it, we could always shut off the brush roll if need be.

While vacuuming, I will sometimes switch between having the brush roll switched on or off, but I mostly leave it on (we use the Parquet Twister head on our hardwood and tile floors). Stuff usually remains on the carpet without the brush roll brushing up or loosening it from the carpet's surface (or further down into it).

The brush roll on our power-head really does appear to be gentle on the carpet. We haven't noticed any damage or wear whatsoever during or after vacuuming. The loops in the higher traffic area (near the doorway) do seem to be a little more flattened out as compared to the rest of the room, but that has nothing to do with the vacuum. It's just a naturally-occurring wear pattern, esp with Berbers.

I've been using the round brush attachment to clean the tops of our baseboard molding and baseboard heat covers, the cat beds (in between washings!), and the throw pillows on our couches. The upholstery attachment does a great job on our two felted wool wall hangings--they haven't been this clean since the day they were installed! And, it's been helpful in removing loose cat hair from our comforter, too!

Another difference between models (esp between the smaller vs full-sized series); attachment/accessory storage. Depending on the model/series, attachments are either stored externally, or "inside" the canister.

So, wand handle, electric vs non-electric wand (and therefore power-head vs suction-only head), external vs internal attachment storage, are all factors that might or might not influence your decision.

Cord length has been mentioned--even the longest cord length, which my Marin does have, could be even longer still, as others have pointed out. So that is something you might want to consider when choosing (the smaller models have shorter cords I believe).

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 12:21PM
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" What am I giving up and gaining by switching from an upright to a canister?"
You give up cleaning thoroughness. Uprights generally outperform canisters on carpet.

" How much of a difference does an electric powerbrush make?"
On carpet, it makes a big difference. The powerbrush shakes the carpet a bit, thus loosening the soil, helping it to get sucked up into the vacuum.

- - -
We have two Miele canisters. I bought them after much research online, to replace a Hoover WindTunnel canister whose handle would not stay locked on to the wand more than two minutes. (the other lives on a different floor where hardwood floor replaced carpet)

I chose the Miele because of the European build and in hopes the parts will last longer than that stupid H-WT. The H-WT worked fine, but the handle/wand was the pits after several years, and the lid that covered the accessory tools broke off, so tools sometimes went flying on stairs. Things like that annoy me.

I honestly cannot say it sucks any better than the H-WT did.

Bags are quite pricey.

I love how quiet the Miele canister vac is. I can actually hear the telephone and/or doorbell ring, when it is running.

I also love that the exhaust air is blown out the top of the canister. This makes sitting it up on end, vertically, on stairs a practical thing. Exhaust air flow is not blocked.

This post was edited by Cavimum on Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 19:10

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 7:08PM
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given the choice between a power head or crevice/upholtery/blinds tools, I'd take the power head. The tools can be found elsewhere and dont have to be Miele products to work.

if you have carpet, you need a power head.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Why would an upright outperform a canister on carpet? Are we talking about airflow and sucking up more dirt?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 3:48AM
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I have a Miele Kona. It's very good....and it SHOULD be, considering how much it cost. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't get it. Do yourself a favor and get something more reasonably priced, and whatever you do, don't buy one without the accessories. Miele accessories are expensive, and there are lots of complaints on the internet about generic accessories not fitting Mieles.

It's easy to get carried away with these appliances. For the cost of the Miele, I could've bought three less expensive vacuums, so the Miele doesn't save any $ in the long run. Before my Kona, I had a Kenmore Progressive canister for 12 years. It wasn't great, but it was good. My Miele canister is superior to it, cleaning and suction wise, but then it costs a lot more...so it should be better.

I have mainly hard surfaces and area rugs, with a little carpet. I also have a small house, which is why I like canisters. But if you have a lot of carpet, uprights are better for carpet. But if you get a canister, you need a powerbrush for carpet.

The lower level Mieles don't test any better than other less expensive brands, and sometimes don't perform as well.

I've read a lot of bad things about Dyson, BTW, so you may want to research that, if you're considering a Dyson.

I have a friend who swears by her $150 upright Hoover with a rubber thingie on the bottom which helps pick up dog hair. She got it as a temporary measure until she could get a "good" vacuum, but it turned out to be so great, that she's keeping it as her permanent vacuum.

As for that famous "German engineering," which is touted by Miele, Mieles have a reliable history, I believe. But bear in mind that Volkswagon and BMWs are German engineering....car manufacturers known for good performance but lack of reliability.

I love my Miele Kona, don't get me wrong. But I shouldn't have paid that much money for a vacuum cleaner. It's just stupid. I wanted to get another Kenmore, but they changed the design so much that the wand won't go under furniture and such any more. I needed a vacuum, so I sprung for the Miele.

Another thing is that the Miele bags are EXPENSIVE and TINY, so if you vacuum a lot, that will cost you.

One good thing, though, is that the filter is superb. The air feels clean after I vacuum, and the suction is excellent.

Bad thing: The accessories are not great. My cheap Kenmore had better upholstery accessories than my Miele. It's so poor that I bought a special handheld vacuum for my car. The Miele uphostery attachment (with supposedly has a rubber thingie for pet hair) did a terrible job. I got a Bissell pet hair handheld vacuum for the car....it's the best! My car upholstery (black with white pet hair) looked brand new!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 8:16PM
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I could have purchased three less expensive vacuums in the 16 years I've had my Miele Platinum, too. At the time, it was an incredible amount of money for us to spend. Our son had just been diagnosed with asthma, and we we needed a vacuum cleaner that filtered well. The Miele fit the bill, and I've never regretted spending the money on it. I doubt that any of the less expensive vacuums I could have purchased in the meantime would have done as good of a job, and I'd have had to go out and shop for a new one, too, which I hate.

When we moved into our home, the living room had an ugly brown carpet that was about 10 years old. When we finally were able to replace it, 7 years later, it wasn't any prettier! But, when they rolled it up and took it out, the workmen were amazed at the lack of dust underneath it. They kept saying how usually, there are piles of dirt under these old carpets--but not under mine! That powerhead (the biggest one they had at the time) did a great job on the carpet, I can hardly imagine that an upright of any brand could have done better, so I have to take issue with the previous poster's opinion that an upright is better than a canister for carpets.

I like the design of the machine, and it seems engineered well. The size of the bag depends on the size of the machine you have. If you have a small machine, you get a smaller bag. My machine is a 'medium' sized one, and my bag lasts approximately 6 months or so. Bags are not cheap, but they are part of the great filtration on this machine, so I suck it up (pardon the pun).

I guess I'm a little confused about the person who was complaining about the cost of the machine. Yes, it was expensive, but it did everything I expected it to do. 16 years later, it is showing no signs of giving up the ghost. I call that a good investment, not foolish spending.

Just my $.02.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 11:32PM
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