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Miele Classic C1 Olympus Review

Recommended For:

  • Bare floors
  • Low-pile Carpet and Rugs
  • Ceiling fans, crevices, upholstery, walls, and ceilings

 

Miele is best known for their high-quality vacuums that last decades, and have the best filtration in the industry.

The Miele Classic C1 Olympus is the replacement for the S2121 and is the most basic canister vacuum made by Miele.

Now:

The Classic C1 Olympus has the quality you would expect for its price, but as always nothing is perfect. Being the entry-level canister vacuum, it doesn’t have all the conveniences and additions of its more pricey C1 Series vacuums.

So here are the key points:

Hardwood, tile, or any bare floor are this vacuum’s specialty. By default, the cleaner head does not come with a spinning floor brush (a.k.a. beater brush). This limits this vacuum to low-pile carpet only. You can optionally buy a turbo brush, which is a floor brush powered by suction only. Having at least a turbo brush is highly recommended if you’re dealing with any carpet whatsoever. The Classic C1 Olympus does not have an electrically-driven brush option.

You have the option of using a HEPA version of the standard filter. Though the Classic C1 Olympus does not have the AirClean Sealed System, when combined with the AirClean FilterBags, these hygienic filters form an advanced AirClean System that retains 99.9+% of all dust particles.

Considering switching from an upright to a canister vacuum?

Canister vacuums are generally thought to be best for bare flooring, but with Miele canisters, you can expect just as much versatility and cleaning power on all floor types as an upright.

You just have to be mindful of which features you need for your flooring type(s).

If you buy this vacuum with the intention of cleaning mostly carpet, you will be disappointed when comparing its performance to an upright or a canister with a powered brush. This should not be your first choice for carpet.

Though this vacuum performs well on low-pile carpet, many homes have medium or high-pile carpet.
The first model in Miele’s canister line-up that I can enthusiastically recommend for carpet and rugs using its standard attachments is the Classic C1 Delphi.
But if that’s too pricey, consider the Miele Classic C1 Capri, which comes standard with the air-powered turbobrush.


Features
    • Very Quiet, but not as quiet as C2 and C3 models.
    • AirClean System is one of the best filters on the market.
    • FiberTeq Floor Tool for bare floors and low-pile carpet
    • The FiberTeq tool can be replaced with the STB 205-3 Turbobrush, an air-driven brush.
    • Designed with bare floors in mind.
    • Easily swap bags and filters; no dust clouds from emptying bagless canisters.
    • Six Power Control Settings
    • 1200 Watt Motor
    • 29.5′ Cleaning Radius
    • Rubber wheels
Concerns
    • Not great for carpet.
    • HEPA filter is not standard, but you can buy them separately.
    • Spinning brush (a.k.a. beater bar/brush) is not standard.
    • Pulling the canister around by the hose can weaken it, and eventually break.

Attachments

Being a canister vacuum, all of its cleaning heads are swappable attachments.

 

The default floor tool is the FiberTeq SBD 350-3 Rug & Floor Combination Tool. This is the most basic floor tool by Miele, since it has no rotating brush, but can still be used for low-pile carpet and particularly bare floors. However, you can also purchase SBB 300-3 Parquet Twister which has softer and longer bristles for your smooth flooring.

Best Bare Floor Attachments for the C1 Olympus

  • FiberTeq SBD 350-3 Rug & Floor Combination Tool
  • SBB300-3 Twister
  • SBB-Parquet-3 Floor Brush

Best Carpet Attachment for the C1 Olympus

FiberTeq SBD 350-3 Rug & Floor Combination Tool


Though Miele says the FiberTeq is adequate for low-pile carpet, you would really benefit from getting the STB 205-3 Turbobrush attachment. It’s not as effective as the powerbrush (electrically-driven), but the air-driven turbobrush at least adds some agitation to pull debris from carpet.

The FiberTeq has a switch to raise and lower the brush for either bare floor or carpet. It has a felt-like strip which is used in carpet mode to slide the cleaner head across the floor. Lent and hair tend to build up on the felt and will sometimes work itself loose in large clumps, which is actually convenient because you can then just vacuum it up. Obviously, however, this isn’t an ideal cleaning situation for carpet.

In bare floor mode, short bristles lower down and smoothly glide across hardwood or tile flooring. The suction is excellent, even at the edges. Like the Parquet Twister, the brush has gaps for larger debris to pass through, but the bristles of the FiberTeq are much shorter. It’s just a very simple cleaner head that does what it should on bare floors.

SBB 300-3 Parquet Twister

 

This hard floor cleaning head is more effective than the standard FiberTeq. It has larger bristles which have gaps that allows for debris to pass through easily. The gaps mean that larger debris won’t just get pushed around and this vacuum’s strong suction pulls the debris through the gaps.

The mix of polyamide and natural hair mean that wood and tile finishes won’t get scratched up. The range of motion of the swivel head also means getting under or around furniture is very easy since you have 180 degrees of rotation by twisting clockwise and counter-clockwise.

STB 205-3 Turbo Plus Power Nozzle

 

The Turbobrush is powered by the air flow through the nozzle. This means it is always on when it is attached. Even completely opening the air bypass leaves the brush spinning, albeit much slower. This doesn’t seem to be an issue even on bare flooring.

I’ve had no trouble using the turbobrush on tile or hardwood flooring.

The cleaning power of the Turbobrush is adequate for low-pile carpet. It is optimal for cut-pile, which most homes have. It definitely is lacking in power compared to a powered brush. If your home is mainly carpet, you will want a powered brush.

Lastly:

Cut out hair and fibers regularly from the brushroll. Since it is air driven, the added resistance from hair build-up will drastically decrease the rotating speed, and thus the overall effectiveness.

Interchanging Attachments

Most Miele attachments are interchangeable so you can always add new attachments to your unit. The Turbobrush can be attached to any Miele canister since it is simply driven by air flow. You cannot, however, add a powered brush to the Classic C1 Olympus since the hose does not have an electrical connection.

Suction

You don’t get to be one of best-filtered vacuums in the industry by having a leaky suction system. This is one of the great things about bag vacuums; their filtration and suction aren’t weakened by poor seals around a plastic dustbin.

High-quality seals also mean less noise. A lot of the noise generated by vacuums comes from air flow over poorly sealed piping.

Miele canisters, compared to any other brand, are the quietest.

No matter how big of a motor you have, you will still have terrible suction without excellent seals around piping connections and filters.

To the point:

The suction is excellent. The weakness is the lack of a powered brush (a.k.a. beater bar) to help break loose hair and debris from carpet fibers. However, you will not be disappointed if you have bare floors. Getting the turbobrush is a must if you plan to vacuum any kind of carpet, including low-pile or rugs.

Carpet Performance

Using the standard FiberTeq cleaner head on carpet leaves much to be desired.
Unless you have low-pile, commercial-like carpet, and I’m talking like a doctor’s office lobby, the FiberTeq attachment will require several passes to get up all the hair and dust out of the carpet.

You need agitation to get much done with carpet. The air-driven Turbobrush will do a much better job, however, and will adequately clean low-pile carpet. But at a minimum, you’re going to want the Turbobrush if you have carpet.

This video give you an example of how tough it is to clean carpet with the FiberTeq attachment. This carpet is not low-pile, which you would see better performance on.

Bare Floor Performance

This is where the Classic C1 Olympus shines. It’s what it is really meant for.
The FiberTeq brush works nicely on bare flooring, but if you normally deal with a lot of larger debris, you might consider the Parquet Twister since it has taller bristles with gaps.

This video shows a demonstration of with the FiberTeq cleaning several different types of bare flooring.

Noise

If you’ve never owned a Miele, then rest assured this will be the quietest vacuum you’ve ever used.
When I turned this vacuum on the noise level was impressively low. Miele makes some incredibly quiet vacuums.

A lot of noise originates from bad seals in the air flow system, but Miele has one of the best-sealed filtration systems on the market. The Classic C1 Olympus isn’t even the quietest Miele vacuum, but it is quite impressive. Bagless vacuums often have poor seals around the dustbin connection. Repeatedly removing the dustbin eventually wears out the seals.

Filtration

 

Miele pairs it’s Type GN filters with the AirClean 3D Efficiency bags. You can also optionally buy the SF-HA30 HEPA filter, and it is a drop-in replacement for the Type GN filter.

Filter Choices for the Classic C1 Olympus

Vacuuming without proper filtration can actually increase the amount of allergens in the air you breathe. Many of the allergen particles in your home are 1-10 microns in size. Miele’s AirClean filter (Type GN) is guaranteed to trap 99.95% of particles down to 0.5 microns and 94% of particles down to 0.3 microns. The more efficient SF-HA30 HEPA filter captures 99.95% of all particles down to 0.1 microns.

But here’s the kicker:

All Miele vacuums use self-sealing bags which have a spring-loaded flap to seal the bag when you change or remove it. This is the real advantage to having a bag vacuum: it’s more hygienic than emptying a bagless dustbin that ends up with dust escaping everywhere. Whether it’s when you empty the dustbin into the trash or go to wash the filter, you are exposing yourself to dust and allergens. For some this can be a big problem, so consider sticking with bag vacuums if you have allergies, asthma, or COPD.

Pet Hair

Pet hair on hard floors? No problem.

Pet hair on low-pile carpet? Better have the Turbobrush cleaner head.

Pet hair on high-pile carpet? No way.

That’s the short of it. You will definitely need some agitation to get up hair without having to make many passes over the same spot. The turbobrush is great for this, but also consider getting a vacuum with an electrically-driven brush like the Miele Classic C1 Delphi.

Regular Maintenance & Clog Removal

Here are your main concerns for taking care of this vacuum:

  • Changing the filter.
  • Changing the bag
  • Clearing hair and debris from the brushroll (if you have the turbobrush attachment).
  • Check to make sure the piping is clear of clogs as best you can.

How often should you change the filter and bag?

If you’re using the AirClean Exhaust Filter (Type GN):

Each time you open a new box of bags, the AirClean filter should be changed. There is an indicator on the body of the canister that completely turns red once the bag needs changing. If after a while of use you notice an odor coming from the exhaust, this is also a good time to change the bag.

A new filter is included with every box of bags. This will also help you know if you are buying genuine Miele FilterBags!

If you’re using the HEPA AirClean 30 Exhaust Filter:

This filter is designed to last for a year. Miele considers a year of average use to be 45 minutes at the highest setting once per week.

The situation with the bag is the same as with the Type GN filter, just watch for the indicator to turn red. If you notice an odor or decreased suction, change the bag sooner.

Customer Reviews

This vacuum is a bare floor vacuum, and if you add the turbobrush attachment, it can be effective on low-pile carpet. The most important thing to realize when purchasing this vacuum is that unless you buy it for what it was built for, you’re going to be disappointed.

It’s the best starter canister on the market if you use it for what it’s meant for!

Users that vacuum mostly bare floors really enjoy using this vacuum, and it really cleans.

There are so many users complaining about the lack of a brushroll; which is like going out and buying a Kia Forte and heading down to the local drag strip. It’s not going to end well.

A common complaint is that the hose ends up breaking a few inches from where it attaches to the canister body. Pulling the canister around by the hose does put a strain on that area, and Miele really should have used a stronger material. With that said, this can be avoided by holding the canister body (it’s not heavy) and positioning the hose behind you as you hold the handle and vacuum. This uses up some of the cleaning radius, but it puts less strain on your hose and is actually easier than pulling the canister around on carpet.

Warranty & Customer Service

What the warranty covers:

  • Anything resulting from defects in material and workmanship.
  • Parts and labor for repairs resulting from defective product.
  • The warranty period for the vacuum, and all accessories, excluding the vacuum cleaner motors, power head motors, and vacuum cleaner casings, is one (1) year from the date of purchase.
  • All repairs must be done by a Miele service agent.
  • The structural integrity of the vacuum cleaner body, will be covered for seven (7) years from the date of purchase against defects in material and workmanship.
  • The vacuum cleaner and power head motors will be covered for seven (7) years from the date of purchase.
  • Vacuums cleaners used for commercial purposes, except for their motors, will be warranted for six (6) months from the date of purchase.
  • This warranty only applies while the product remains within the United States, and shall be null and void in any other US territories, possessions, or foreign countries.

What the warranty doesn’t cover:

  • Damage or defects caused by or resulting from repairs, service, or alterations to the product or any of its parts or accessories which have been performed by service centers or repairmen not authorized by Miele, or damage or defects caused by negligence, accident, abuse, misuse, improper or abnormal usage or maintenance of the product, its parts or accessories. Ordinary wear and tear or cosmetic damage (scuffs, scratches, gouges, dents, etc.) shall not be considered a defect in materials or workmanship.

Specifications

FeatureDescription
Form FactorCanister
Bag TypeAirClean 3D Efficiency
Filter TypeHEPA: SF-HA 30 or AirClean Type GN
Cord Length18 Feet
Motor Power1200 Watts
Wheel TypeRubber coated
Multi-Floor OptionYes
Bag Volume4.5 liters
Weight13 lbs
Product LineClassic C1
Telescopic Suction WandStainless steel telescopic tube
Electronic Suction Power Setting6-stage rotary selector
Motor TypePowerLine

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