Miele??- buy $1500 W4840 vs $1900 W4842?

navillusJanuary 9, 2012


The title of my post says it all- should I buy a dealer's floor model Miele W4840 at a $400 discount or take the plunge & order a brand spanking new W4842 at list price?

Any thoughts? I realize the W4840 is the old model, but has Miele changed that many features in the W4842?

FWIW, we are also leaning towards buying a T9822 gas dryer- any input on that purchase would be appreciated as well.



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Wow - tough one. We looked hard at Miele and while they say that independant sources claim they last 45% longer than other machines, I just don't understand why their warranty is now only one year. So we bought a Samsung 330, which at $810 is less than half te price of a new Miele. That makes it a better buy than the Miele even if it lasts just half as long. And most of the specs - including the diamond drum - are the same.

Make no mistake - Miele is likely the best machine out there. But that does not necessarily translate to a good investment.

Despite it's superior build and quality, we dismissed the Miele for three reasons: (1) the warranty suggests they are not "putting their money where their mouth is", (2) if it requires out of warranty service, it would likely cost significantly more to repair than a Samsung, and (3) if the Samsung dies earlier than the Miele (as expected), we get to invest in the best technology at THAT point and still be ahead in terms of $$$.

But the big one for us is that we just can't get past item (1) - they claim a better build but won't back it up with anything more than words. If it breaks, it could be a nightmare scenario because of the huge investment, the expensive parts and the specialized technical expertise required.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 11:12PM
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I totally agree regarding the warranty. If the machine is going to last 20 years then warrant it for 10, even 5 years - but one year? That's insulting. However, I bought the Miele given my experience with their dishwasher. Excellent all around.

I will pay more for a machine that lasts longer because we are at a point in our world where there are larger considerations than simply ROI. Do you know what tremendous resources it takes to produce a washing machine - or anything, for that matter? While it might make sense for the Samsung to fail earlier and you can buy a new machine with all the bells and whistles at that time, what about the trees that were destroyed and animals that died in order to provide you with a new "cheap" washing machine? That's not even mentioning the human cost - the metal and plastic that goes into your machine comes from somewhere. Usually mines where miners die, plastics come from factories where workers die of cancer and toxic exposure.

So no, it is not smarter to spend less and "upgrade" sooner to a more fancy machine. I find such a suggestion offensive and shortsighted, but I choose to live my life in a manner that involves more than just me.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 12:03PM
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Wow, that came across as smug and superior and insulting.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 12:27PM
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Yikes, sshrivastava - I didn't mean to offend you!

I see you own a Miele and so I certainly understand and respect your product loyalty. I never really considered that more trees and animals die for Samsung than for Miele. I guess not as many die for a Miele because they last so long? I'll admit that it's confusing. I wish Miele had mentioned that in their advertising.

Your insightful consideration of my post makes me wonder if perhaps I HAVE been living my life for "just me". I need to reconsider my motives on this entire purchase.

And don't worry, sshrivastava - as a Jew, I don't consider you to be "offensive and shortsighted" in purchasing a German product carrying the same teutonic attributes of the Nazi regime it at one time co-existed with. Many of those companies were forced to retool and contribute to the Nazi war effort. It wasn't their fault. I have deceased relatives who barely survived the holocaust and living relatives who still remember it. A couple of them would never purchase a German product, much less from a company that made ovens, for reasons similar to yours - it would be shortsighted and insensitive. I guess I should be more thoughtful about THEM in my purchase decisions, too, even though they may have just been over-reacting a little.

By the way, sshrivastava, we ARE conscientious consumers. Or at least we try to be. We're probably not as good as you, but we did buy a Prius because we couldn't justify burning any more hydrocarbons than necessary - not only due to environmental reasons, but for the fact that every gallon we burn carries a few drops of blood from US soldiers who continue to serve those geopolitical interests. So fuel efficiency is important to us simply as a measure of respect. But then someone pointed out how toxic the manufacturing process was for the Prius rechargeable battery, and we felt guilty all over again.

Maybe we should trade in the Prius for a bicycle and forget the Samsung washer altogether, opting instead for a washboard. I'm sure producing a washboard has resulted in far fewer tree and animal deaths than even your Miele.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Once again washer discussion turns to the Holocaust ... puzzling.

I purchased Miele in 2011 over LG. I was buying into the concept that I "hopefully" will have this machine for 20 years. It helped that Miele Canada gave me a 10 year warranty for free (promotion they were running).

I don't disagree with all @sshrivastava comments.

I believe a huge reason it's so hard to find reliable anything anymore is that we don't want to spend good money.

I was speaking about this with my parents and we were talking about when they and their parents (my Grandparents) bought a new appliance it was a BIG deal. It cost a lot of money.

I believe its fact that they spent a greater percentage of their income on things than we do. The mentality that we'll just throw something away and get a new one is very different than how they lived. But that sums it up ... we're a "throw away" society.

I've linked a good article that describes this and other issues affecting the appliance industry. It's UK based but the information is the same.

"Of course consumers, looking for lower prices, are given what they ask for in terms of price but it is all too often not pointed out the sacrifices that they are making to obtain the low pricing. Only when the machines are used, often for some time, that the deficiencies become apparent by which time it's too late to do much about it."

"But the cost to the environment is just massive. The raw materials being consumed to feed the sales machines in conjunction with the impact of all these appliances not being recycled is far more damaging and polluting than any energy savings being made by the newer appliances ..."

I digress; no one has really answered the OPs question.

There were changes from the 4840 to the 4842. I can't speak to them all. I believe one may have been the suspension system. I personally wouldn't take the chance on the older model. Spend the extra $400 and get the latest.

I have the Miele gas dryer and have no issues with it. It works very well. I prefer gas as it's a moister heat. It's also faster - like a gas stove instant on/instant off.

Having said that, in Canada Miele has already launched the newest rendition (IntelliQ). It will not have a gas option. They told me at the Miele head office that gas wasn't as popular. She told me most people didn't even know it was an option (wild).

I've been extremely happy with my Miele purchase. In the last two years I've purchased a Miele S5 vacuum, S7 vacuum, Optima dishwasher and the washer/dryer. All have performed above my expectations.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Great Washing Machine Swindle

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Hi, LiveBetter -

We purchased the Neptune vacuum and it's wonderful. We seriously gave a look at the washer. If the warranty was consistent with the claims, I think we would have gone with it, actually.

The holocaust issue is just a true point to the earlier person's comment which essentially was about conscientious consumerism. It seems hard to do anything now-a-days that doesn't leave an environmental footprint. The thing is that while I agree with the poster about due sensitivity in purchases (much like how my relatives are about German products and how I am about energy consumption), we must be careful who we hit over the head with that hammer.

My fear is that navillus will finally return to read this thread and ned up buying a washboard... :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 5:46PM
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"My fear is that navillus will finally return to read this thread and ned up buying a washboard... "

I doubt it. He's already zeroed in on Miele. A good choice IMHO.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Usually mines where miners die, plastics come from factories where workers die of cancer and toxic exposure.

Putting aside that the above is gross hyper exaggeration; the solution is to stop buying the products miners and factory workers produce so they lose their jobs?

Someone who gets you fired is not your friend.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 4:41AM
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@ suburbanmd

I am simply sharing my opinion. If you felt it was smug, superior and insulting then you are filtering my comments through your own perceptions and experiences. That has little to do with me or my comment.

@ kidziti

I was not trying to insult you, I was simply stating my opinion about what you said and disagreed based on my own set of values. You focused on price and I was simply saying that in my world, there are greater considerations. That's my world, not yours. I don't understand what that has to do with you being a Jew and wanting to own a German product. I'm totally confused by the comparison.

I'm not comparing myself to anyone or saying I'm better, I'm simply stating my opinion and how I roll. If you're getting anything else out of my comments, you may be reading far too much into what I said.

@ deeageaux

Yes, it's better to be alive and unemployed than employed and dead shortly thereafter. But again, that's my opinion and I'm not holding a gun to anyone's head forcing them to accept my way of thinking.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 3:58PM
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We just went through the research/purchase process, and bought a W4842 (and a dryer as well). My understanding from our dealer (from whom we bought a Calypso 2 years ago) is that the 4802 and 4842 have made some changes such as making the door less likely to sag and other small problems that plagued the prior line. I believe the 4842 has been out in the US for a couple years. (I won't buy a first year model car, either. I work in product management and I know the first release almost always has some bugs that couldn't get addressed in time for the launch.) Personally I would pay the $400 difference to get the newer model.

We opted to spend the $200 difference to get the 4842 over the 4802, so I could get the visual display. I am so glad I did, seeing how much time is left in the cycle makes a tremendous difference as we adjust to having a front loader and using some of the special settings. I know you didn't ask about that, but I wanted to add it.

I did have some qualms about the 1 year warranty but I believe these products are better made than the others on the market. Frankly I think that some marketing person came in realizing how much money can be made on service warranties (I worked in that area of my company for a few years too) and they just decided to stop giving away the potential upsell $$. Just my opinion, not based in any fact whatsoever.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 5:20PM
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sshrivastava, a statement like "I choose to shake my towels before putting them in the dryer" isn't insulting at all. But the similar "I choose to live my life in a manner that involves more than just me" is definitely insulting...so much so that I was struck by it, even though I wasn't even involved in the discussion. What's the difference? I think it's because most people think of themselves as unselfish, as living a life that involves more than just themselves. By explicitly claiming such a universal trait for yourself, it seems like you're implying that the other person lacks that trait. The natural reaction is "oh, and I think only about myself?". Maybe you didn't intend it that way, but that's how it comes across.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 5:56PM
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I agree with @RoundRockMom re: the display (however both models the OP is asking about have it). In Canada that upgrade was $500 ... really had to think about it but glad I have the display. I use it every time I use my machine. I sometimes adjust what I'm doing based on the time involved.

I noticed Miele Canada is yet again offering the free 10 year warranty upgrade. They run that promotion fairly often. That tells me they are not afraid to warranty their item (bumper to bumper) for 10 years. That says a lot to me anyway.

I do have the 10 year warranty and it sure did allow me to make this large purchase with more comfort than if I didn't have it.

I can tell you these machines are definitely built better than most others on the market.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 8:03PM
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I admit my statement regarding Jews and German products may have been a bit confusing, and I am happy to give an explanation.

Sshrivastava, you essentially insinuated that my lack of sensitivity for animals, plants, dying miners and cancer-stricken factory workers by purchasing an inferior washing machine was "offensive and shortsighted." If you read the responses to your post, you'll see that I am not alone in feeling your comment was a bit strong. You suggested that my decisions were coming from a very narrow, selfish perspective without thought for how others would be affected by my washer decision.

The irony is that others could claim similar insensitivity about YOUR choice of a washer for DIFFERENT reasons.

While I personally have no problem buying German products, I know that if I bought a Miele, there would be those who would come down on me for being similarly offensive and shortsighted. I applaud your conscientious consumerism. But it really does come across as "smug" when you ascribe superior motives to yourself as if the rest of us were living under a lesser set of values.

I have no intention of hijacking this thread in order to defend my questionable morals on a washing machine purchase. So I will return to my original point about Miele...

I find RoundRockMom's perspective on the industry to be interesting! I never considered that. As a consumer, I still have an issue with "purchasing" from a company their willingness to stand by their product, but that's a philosophical issue with me. If Miele stands for quality, then selling an assurance of that quality seems to me an insidious erosion of the company's own brand reputation. It's like saying, "My machine will last at least 10 years! And I'll stand behind it ... for a price."

That said, I have been offered a $109 four-year extended warranty on my new Samsung - and I have 30 days to decide whether to "bite". I might consider paying that if it was SAMSUNG that was offering the warranty, but being Lowes, I will probably decline it because it is a third-party offer.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 9:14PM
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OK- thanks to everybody for their input, I guess. The ratio of wheat to chaff in the thread was pretty abysmal, though!
The next time I need appliance advice I think I'll post a question about German collective guilt for WW2 & our need to care for Gaia and wait for that conversation to veer hopelessly OT into a detailed and objective discussion of, you know, choosing Miele laundry appliances. I've enjoyed my visit to Bizarro World, so thanks for that! LOL, as they say.

The silly posters who actually responded to my question on the merits have me leaning towards splurging on the W4842. I'm not keen to experience sagging doors (insert your own joke here) & buying a version 1.0 of anything is something else to avoid, I suppose. I guess I'll chat up DW & try to convince her that an extra $400 on the washer would be money well spent. Ironically, I'm the one lobbying for the Mieles, DW says she'd be happy with Samsung, Bosch or LG. I turned 50 last month & we're 6 months from being empty nesters. In short- I figure I'm done compromising on quality.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 9:51PM
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Well if DW (darling wife?) likes the Samsung, the WF330 has a very similar feature set to the Miele, including the tub design.

Thanks for the laugh - that was a VERY funny post! Bizarro indeed...

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 11:35PM
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"the WF330 has a very similar feature set to the Miele, including the tub design"

I'm going to have to disagree with that statement.

I know someone in high end appliance sales (he's been to Germany first hand to see Miele production). He says no one builds them like Miele. He told me if they opened up a Miele machine and other brands for consumers to compare, most would buy the Miele hands down.

FWIW, his current "distant" second would be Samsung :)

There are many differences between the two machines. For instance, Miele has an enamelled front (not painted), Miele uses a cast iron cradle (not concrete). Miele will maintain the target temp in all programs except Normal.

There are subtle nuances that can only be appreciated when you own them. For example, Miele uses a special program for large loads. In large loads, the items at the centre don't always agitate to the outside (which is where they get cleaned best). Miele uses a special drum rhythm to ensure they get moved to the outside.

"SpinClean ensures that larger volume loads are cleaned thoroughly, without excess wear, by manipulating the drum rhythms to ensure superior results and longevity."

@navillus, I've linked my favourite Miele video for your viewing pleasure. I don't believe Hitler makes an appearance and no animals were harmed in the making of it so it should be OK. This video really pushed me over to the Miele side.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele - The Art of Laundry Care

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 1:08AM
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If someone can figure out a way to bring the Beatles into it, this will be a classic internets thread.

Wait - I just did.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Wow! A true environazi thread! Now the rabid, he TL guy (nunyabiz?) needs to weigh in.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Sandy: "Now the rabid, he TL guy"

Can you use HE detergent in a top-loader?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I have used Lowes extended warranty on my Whirlpool Duet (now history 'cause I couldn't take the Duet anymore).

It was top notch. In fact, I like buying stuff from Lowes because their extended warranties are quite reasonable. The guys who come to my house to service the Duets knew what they were doing, and were a local appliance repair company that had good entries in bbb.org.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 5:21PM
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@conate, did you post this on the right thread? I'm not sure how that fits into this discussion.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 5:39PM
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Samsung is known to have "dumbed-down" wash temperatures (based on discussions here, and consulting the online manual). The sanitize cycle is very hot, presumably, but there's a big gap between it and the next lower temperature setting. So if you believe that wash temperature makes a difference in results, Samsung might not be the best choice.

I returned an LG FL after less than a week, and got my Miele W4840, just because of wash temp and heater usage issues. Once I saw that the LG was filling with a mixture of cold and hot for a "hot" wash (even though my hot water delay is very long), and the water was still only tepid at the end of the wash cycle, I realized I'd never even get a decent warm wash out of that machine, in my house anyway.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 6:25PM
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