2018 News: The Miele Blizzard CX-1 Series of bagless canister vacuums have finally been released in the U.S. and are available from Amazon. Check out our updated reviews and comparisons below. Also, check out our Miele Vacuum Overview for a look at the recent changes to the Miele canister line-up.
Until 2016 Miele has only produced vacuums with a bag, and that made comparing it with bagless vacuum manufacturers, like Dyson, somewhat awkward. As we said before, comparing bagless and bag vacuums is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.
While both do the job of removing dirt and debris from our floors, it’s what comes after that makes them so much different. Dyson’s variety of cordless, canister, and upright vacuums certainly do an impressive job of subduing even the worst messes with ease. The same can be said of Miele’s impressively powerful, and quiet, canisters with their variety of attachment options.
It’s one thing to remove dirt and junk from our floors, but it’s another to do it in a way that can be easily disposed of without exposing dust and allergens back into your home’s air.
Below we’re going to go through a few details about the differences between Miele and Dyson vacuums, but then we’re going to dive into the latest Blizzard CX-1 Series and see how Miele’s bagless system compares to Dyson’s.
A Few Observations
Dyson has a cordless 2-in-1 series of stick vacuums. Miele doesn’t make any sort of cordless vacuum, but does have a corded stick vacuum that specializes in cleaning hard (bare) flooring and rugs. The Dyson V8 Absolute is our favorite, and more recently the Dyson V10 Absolute.
All Dyson vacuums are bagless. For some, this is very desirable, and for others, they couldn’t care less. Bagless vacuums are generally louder and filter poorly when compared to bagged vacuums. Dyson is no exception, but they do have some of the best filtered bagless vacuums on the market. However, Miele’s AirClean Sealed System is the best overall filtration system available today.
Miele vacuums are designed to last 20+ years. No joke. They are the old classic buy-it-for-life vacuum that your grandparents used. Miele has been slow to embrace trendier technologies such as cordless, bagless, and handheld vacuums in their vacuum lineup. However, they do what they do very well. Dyson does expect a lifetime of about 10 years out of most of its vacuums, so they aren’t too far behind.
Dyson, and now Miele, have tried to make the disposal of dust and debris that your bagless vacuum has collected more hygienic. One of our big issues with bagless vacuums is having to dig out wound up hair and clumps of dust from the dustbin. Ideally, you don’t want to come into contact with any of the junk you suck into your vacuum, much less breathe it. Dyson and Miele try to approach this problem in different ways.
Miele Vs. Dyson: Bagless Vacuum Design Comparison
In this comparison, we’re focusing on filtration and disposal. Both Dyson and Miele bagless vacuums are very capable of pulling dirt off the floor, and the more interesting part is how they deal with it after.
Miele’s new bagless vacuums use a mono-cyclone to separate coarse debris from fine dust. The coarse debris is collected in the main dustbin while the fine dust is trapped in the pre-motor filter. While Miele’s approach to airflow and dust separation may be unique, the overall concept is familiar. However, they did put a small twist on their design that attempts to reduce the amount of fine dust that you will be exposed to when emptying the dustbin.
The purpose of separating coarse and fine particles is so that you can empty the dustbin as usual without exposing yourself to all that dust that flies up out of the trash when you empty the bin. The fine dust is collected over a longer period, and you can choose to simply shake out the pre-motor filter and its container, or wash it out to ensure that the dust never makes it back into the air. You’ll eventually have to wash it and Miele recommends washing at least every 6 months, but that depends on how much you use it.
Miele also implemented what they call the “ComfortClean” system. It activates when the vacuum detects the pre-motor filter has collected enough dust and needs to be cleaned. There is a separate motor that activates and shakes the filter to loosen up dust and cause it to drop down into the filter housing.
You can then continue vacuuming as usual. Eventually, you’ll want to wash the filter and housing as we mentioned before.
Like the Dyson, the Miele has a HEPA exhaust filter than captures anything not captured in the dustbin and pre-motor filter.
Check out the video below from ibaisaic. He does great vacuum demonstrations and reviews.
So how does Miele’s new bagless system compare with Dyson’s?
The Dyson Cinetic vacuums completely leave out the pre-motor filter and rely on their multi-cyclone design to capture fine and coarse particles. Anything remaining in the air is forced through the HEPA exhaust filter, which is not serviceable by the user without voiding the warranty.
The Dyson Cinetic system works reasonably well as long as you’re religious about emptying the dustbin, which has a surprisingly small volume that is usable. Once the dustbin starts to fill up the performance of the cyclones seems to decrease. So instead of removing fine dust from the air, it makes its way to the HEPA exhaust filter. Eventually, it will clog and need to be serviced well before the advertised lifetime of the vacuum. We’ve linked some videos below demonstrating how quickly these filters can clog.
The regular Dyson Big Ball models with the standard pre-motor filter and HEPA exhaust filter are our recommended choice if you are considering a Dyson. Dyson has made it much easier to empty their dustbins without having to go digging out hair and dust with their new hygienic dirt ejector. It’s still not quite as satisfying as capturing all that fine dust in the filter housing and washing it away, like with the Miele.
More On Dyson’s Design
A great thing about Dyson’s vacuums is that they all can handle any type of flooring. They have the versatility that many people are looking for, especially if you don’t want to have to swap attachments or buy special cleaning heads for your canister. For bare flooring, their multi-purpose cleaner head does reasonably well, but we think the specialty Parquet Twister from Miele is a better option.
Dyson has recently tried to get rid of user-serviceable filters and eliminate the need to wash a filter for the life of the vacuum. This is the new “Cinetic” style vacuums and they only have a HEPA exhaust filter and no pre-motor filter.
But does it actually improve the experience? Let’s see…
What is Dyson trying to accomplish with its vacuum products?
- Remove the need to buy replacement bags.
- Make filters reusable (washable), or get rid of them altogether (Cinetic vacuums).
- Make emptying a bagless dustbin a sanitary experience.
- Be able to vacuum from floor to ceiling with nearly any of its vacuums.
I’m not claiming any of these are quotes from Dyson, but rather they come from my experiences and concerns as a consumer when using and researching bagless vacuums over the years. Let’s briefly go through each item and use examples to illustrate how well Dyson accomplishes each.
No More Bags
It is inconvenient to have to worry about keeping bags stocked up, but not necessarily expensive. Bags are not, however, inconvenient to change when compared to cleaning out bagless dustbins. You just drop the bag in the trash, and that’s it. No shaking or digging wound up hair and fibers out of a dustbin.
For bagless vacuums, there is a common set of problems that people tend to complain about.
Firstly, how quickly the dustbin fills up and requires digging to get tangled hair and dust removed. Bagless vacuums usually end up with debris wrapped around the filter/motor housing and require you to dig it out. Yuck!
Also, you always seem to end up with dust flying out of the trash can no matter how you empty the dustbin. Many people compound this problem by not emptying the dustbin once it reaches the fill line. This is mainly because they don’t expect the fill line to be reached so quickly. The actual usable volume of a typical bagless dustbin is shockingly small.
Second, is noise. Bagless vacuums are notoriously loud and tend to get louder over time and the plastic parts age and don’t quite seal just right. Leaky seals cause noise as air flows through holes. This also means claims of HEPA filtration might not really be up to the standard. Just because you throw a HEPA filter in the vacuum doesn’t mean you’re getting clean air out of the exhaust.
Third, pets only compound the first two problems. Pet hair means the dustbin fills up quicker, the brushroll gets clogged faster, clogs in the tubing are more likely, and poor seals mean pet allergens get released instead of removed by filters.
Doing Away With Filters (Or Not)
Filters will always need to be cleaned and eventually replaced. Even the Dyson Cinetic vacuums have a post-motor filter which filters the air right before it leaves the exhaust vent.
The HEPA exhaust filters on the Dyson Cinetic vacuums are supposed to last the life of the vacuum and not need to be serviced by the user. This is a problem. A user that vacuums their 600 square feet studio apartment is very different from someone vacuuming a 2000 square feet home with 2 dogs and a cat.
You should immediately be skeptical of something that requires no service or maintenance, especially a filter of any sort.
Finally, check out this video in which the vacuum tech shows a disassembled Dyson Cinetic Big Ball and what the post-motor filter looks like after 6 months of use.
Emptying a bagless dustbin without making a mess. Can it be done?
Of all the Dyson vacuums, they did get this right with a few. The Dyson V8 Absolute and the Dyson Big Ball Canister, most notably. The V8 Absolute is a great 2-in-1 stick/handheld, and it’s hard to find a major flaw in this product. The Dyson Big Ball Canister also incorporates the same dustbin emptying system.
The entire motor and filter lift out of the dustbin and forces all of the debris out. Instead of just opening a hatch on the bottom and hoping everything falls out.
Check out this example video below, it’s only 11 seconds.
What’s the bottom line?
The Dyson Cinetic canisters and uprights have some concerning problems. The exhaust filters will eventually need to be replaced or cleaned, and this requires tearing down the vacuum beyond what Dyson intended consumers to do. This means you will either need to take it to a certified technician or if the warranty has expired, you can order the filter yourself and replace it.
It gets better, though:
The Dyson Ball canisters and uprights (non-Cinetic) receive better reviews and are actually mostly cheaper than Cinetic vacuums.
That’s not to say the Cinetic vacuums don’t clean well; they do. The problem just lies with the HEPA exhaust filters that eventually get clogged up. How long that takes really depends on you and how often and how much you vacuum.
Here’s another look inside the Dyson Cinetic Ball upright, just so you can get an idea of what the filters look like after 3 weeks of use.
More On Miele’s Design
Miele, like Dyson, makes many other products besides vacuums (mainly home appliances). Vacuums are, however, something they do extremely well.
In the same way Dyson is pushing bagless technology forward, Miele has pushed bag filtration systems to the point that they are the industry leader. Now, with the release of the Miele Blizzard CX-1 Series, Miele has moved into the bagless vacuum space.
Bags seem like a nuisance in today’s fast-paced, streamlined world. We like things to just work and require the least amount of attention as possible. You have to worry about keeping a stock of bags and swapping them out when they get full. It’s an ongoing expense that may be small, but it is still just another thing you have to worry about.
You may be thinking: That’s a lot of negativity. Why would I want to buy a bag vacuum?
What if I told you:
- No bagless vacuum achieves the same level of filtration as the Miele AirClean Sealed System.
- Bags are the easiest way to dispose of your vacuumed debris.
- Washable filters, commonly used in bagless vacuums, lose their effectiveness over time and must be replaced.
- Bags are more hygienic and friendly to people with asthma, allergies, or COPD.
- Miele’s vacuums with the AirClean system will last 20 years.
The point I’m trying to make here is that bagless vacuums are not an escape from having to maintain your vacuum. You also may not realize the sacrifices you are making in your air quality and cleaning ability by using a bagless vacuum.
With the massive amount of marketing being done pushing bagless vacuums, I think some analysis is necessary to understand what the pros and cons are for bag and bagless.
As far as bag vacuums go, Miele is one of the best. Especially their canister series. Let’s take a look at their design goals to better understand the bag vacuum point of view.
What is Miele trying to accomplish with its vacuum products?
- Go beyond HEPA filtration and ensure air comes out cleaner than before you vacuumed.
- Make the debris disposal process quick and hygienic.
- Build a vacuum that will last 20 years.
- Build a vacuum to clean any floor type and design attachments that do their job really well.
Again, these are things that I have observed as a consumer and not an official statement from Miele. From using my Miele canister, I can say these are areas where Miele gets excellent marks.
The Best Filtration
The Miele AirClean HEPA filtration system meets or exceeds the US and European filtration standards. For some manufacturers, claiming to have a HEPA filter vacuum is as simple as sticking a HEPA filter in place of the standard filter. This doesn’t guarantee actual HEPA filtration. To achieve HEPA filtration, the entire suction system must seal properly and maintain that seal after years of use and changing of filters.
It doesn’t matter what type of filter you put in a vacuum if your filter system isn’t properly sealed.
Many vacuums fail to even seal adequately for any type of filtration, and you end up with more dust and allergens in your air than before you started vacuuming. I know a lot of the noisy bagless vacuum I’ve used failed to seal at the connection between the dustbin and the vacuum body. You can just put your finger at the connection and feel the leak.
Show me some numbers!
Miele HEPA filters capture 99.95% of all particles as small as 0.1 microns in size when used in the AirClean Sealed System, this exceeds the HEPA standard.
The AirClean Sealed System is built into the Compact C2 and Complete C3 Series vacuums.
The slightly less efficient AirClean System is guaranteed to catch 99.95% of particles down to 0.5 microns and 94% of particles down to 0.3 microns.
The AirClean System is built into the Classic C1 Series.
The Classic C1 Series has been eclipsed by the more recently released Compact C2 vacuums, which all come with the AirClean Sealed System. If you’re buying new, I recommend going for a model with the AirClean Sealed System. However, I wouldn’t turn away a deep discount on a Classic C1 model.
Hygienic Debris Disposal
This is really the pain point I have with bagless vacuums. Many manufacturers falsely claim that their dustbins release debris “with the push of a button,” or some such nonsense. I have never owned a bagless vacuum that didn’t require me to dig in the dustbin to get out tangled up hair and dust. As mentioned before, Dyson has greatly improved on this.
Bags completely eliminate this problem. Miele’s FilterBags automatically seal when you remove them from the vacuum and allow nothing to escape. There is no dust cloud from trying to empty a bin into the trash.
Swapping out filters and bags is a much cleaner and faster experience than cleaning a bagless dustbin.
The 20 Year Vacuum
Miele vacuums are designed and tested to last 20 years of residential use, which according to them means 45 minutes at the highest motor setting once per week. That works out to 1000 operating hours. That’s probably vacuuming your home once or twice a week, depending on size.
The upfront cost of a Miele may be higher than many other brands, but they truly will cost less over the years. Many bag and bagless vacuums just don’t match up to the quality Miele put out. So not only do you get worse vacuuming performance, but you pay more for it by having to replace your vacuum every few years.
Having a cleaner head that works exceptionally well on all types of flooring is a lofty goal. Miele has a variety of cleaning heads for its canister vacuums, some do offer great versatility, but others do their specific purpose really well.
Miele’s Parquet Twister floor brushes are designed specifically with bare floors in mind, while the Electrobrush can handle the thickest carpet or bare floors as well.
The main thing when buying a Miele is to pay attention to what kind of cleaner head you’re getting. Not all Miele canister vacuums are designed for all flooring types.
Miele Vs. Dyson: Best Canister Vacuum for Carpet
First, we’re going to look at the bagless options since we now have one from both manufacturers.
For vacuuming carpet, you want a powerful brushroll that can handle typical medium-pile carpet as well as thick rugs. Also, we don’t like to completely give up the ability to vacuum bare flooring, such as hardwood, since we often have a variety of floor types in our homes.
Miele always gives you options for different cleaner head types that do their specific job well. Since we’re talking about carpet, our top pick has to go to the Blizzard CX1 Electro because it comes standard with the SEB 228 Electrobrush.
Miele Blizzard CX1 Electro
It’s not a hard choice. When it comes to carpet, we prefer the SEB 228 Electrobrush over the Turbobrush alternative. Additionally, you get the Parquet Twister hard floor brush. The Blizzard Electro is a great option for carpet or bare flooring.
If you’re only dealing with medium-pile carpet, the Blizzard CX1 Turbo Team is a cheaper option and has a Turbobrush instead. The Turbobrush is driven by the airflow from the vacuum, while the Electrobrush is powered by an electric motor.
Recommended Bag Vacuum for Carpet
Of course, the only thing to talk about here is Miele vacuums. It just wouldn’t be right to only look at bagless models.
For the best performance on carpet, we have to favor the models that come standard with an electrobrush. Turbobrushes do well, but for thicker carpet and rugs you are going to need an electrobrush.
The Complete C3 Marin or Kona are great choices. The Marin has an automatic speed setting, which makes transitioning to different flooring types easier. The SEB 236 Electrobrush also has a headlight that’s super convenient.
Best Bag Vacuum
Miele Complete C3 Marin
The Marin comes standard with a HEPA filter and the AirClean Sealed System for superb filtration. The automatic speed setting adds a little extra convenience if you have a variety of flooring in your home.
If you’re not willing to spend quite that much to get the Marin, then consider the Compact C2 Electro+. It’s a more recent model and has all the necessities. You get the AirClean Sealed System, HEPA filter, SEB 228 Electrobrush, Parquet 3 Brush, and 6 speed settings.
Runner-Up Bag Vacuum
Miele Compact C2 Electro+
The Electro+ has a smaller body than the Marin, but still has the power and electrobrush that we like. It’s more lightweight and uses slightly smaller bags. If you have a few pets, then you might consider one of the larger Complete C3 models.
The Electro+ bags (Type FJM) are about 22% smaller than the Marin (Type GN) bags. If you have pets you will need to change them more frequently, but Miele filterbags are very efficient and maintain suction while optimizing the bag capacity.
Budget Bag Vacuum
Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team
The Turbobrush is a reasonable compromise if you want a quality vacuum on a budget. It’s great for medium-pile carpet and as long as you keep hair and fibers from building up on the brushroll you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Miele Vs. Dyson: Best Upright Vacuum
Uprights are more straightforward than canisters. There’s no switching the cleaner head out for carpet, rugs, or bare floors. This is usually accomplished by adjusting the height of the brushroll, which most uprights do automatically these days.
For uprights, Miele has the Dynamic U1 Series which are all bag vacuums. Dyson’s most recent upright is the Cinetic Big Ball Series and the Multi-Floor 2. Overall, we’re not impressed with either of these. However, the Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2 is a reasonable bang for your buck.
Neither the Miele or Dyson uprights handle thick carpet or rugs very well. The Multi-Floor 2 is smaller than the Cinetic Big Ball uprights, but will work fine if you have medium-pile carpet and bare flooring.
Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2
The Multi-Floor 2 works well on hardwood, tile, or medium-pile carpet. You’ll want to avoid thicker rugs and plush carpet. If you have a lot of animals, you need to vacuum more frequently and be sure to empty the dustbin after each use.
We just don’t think the Dynamic U1 Series lives up to the quality and performance that we see with their canisters. Their price doesn’t justify what you get. The Dyson Multi-Floor 2 is a reasonable compromise between price and performance, but you won’t be able to vacuum thicker carpet or rugs with it.
Miele Vs. Dyson: Best Canister Vacuum for Hardwood
Aside from the obvious differences I’ve pointed out already between Miele and Dyson vacuums, there are still quite a few things to consider when buying a vacuum for hardwood floors.
For example, if you have all hardwood and a few area rugs in your home, then ideally you’d like to have the right attachments to handle both.
What should I consider when selecting a canister vacuum for hardwood?
In no particular order,
- Soft wheels that won’t scratch your floor.
- Brushroll that doesn’t throw debris around instead of picking it up, or a hardwood specific attachment.
- Suction control.
- Cleaner head that has long bristles to remove fine dust.
- Also, be able to vacuum my rugs, so an electrically-driven or air-driven brushroll is helpful.
- Wide cleaning radius and wide cleaner head, so I can cover more area faster.
These are the really important features that I expect out of a hardwood floor vacuum. If a vacuum had all these features, then it would be pretty ideal. However, if you’re on a budget some of these features are unnecessary.
Our Favorite Bagless Canister for Hardwood
Miele Blizzard CX1 Electro
The new Miele Blizzard CX1 Electro is our top pick for hardwood because of its specialized Parquet floor brush and convenient filter system.
Sometimes highly versatile tool isn’t better than a specialized one.
We think that the combination of Parquet floor brush and powerful SEB228 Electrobrush outperform the multi-purpose Dyson turbine head in removing large debris as well as fine dust.
The Dyson Big Ball canister is our runner-up bagless canister for cleaning hardwood and other bare flooring. There are a few other Dyson canisters that are still great choices, such as the DC39, but they are no longer being manufactured. You may still find them while inventories last.
All of Dyson’s vacuums have multi-floor functions so you can use them for low to high-pile carpet, hardwood, tile, and any other bare flooring. Dyson also makes an effort to ensure that the cleaner head doesn’t scratch your floors.
Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum
The Dyson Big Ball Multifloor has the hygienic dirt ejector that we love and a multi-purpose carbon fiber turbine head that can handle any flooring type. It also has the unique ability to self-right if it topples over as you’re pulling it along.
The Cinetic Big Ball vacuums aren’t in the running for any of our top picks. Their questionable filter system and longevity are a serious concern. With that said, the more traditional Big Ball canisters are excellent vacuums.
Often vacuums do a poor job of picking up fine dust, and while the Dyson Big Ball turbine head doesn’t outperform Miele’s Parquet Twister brush, this Big Ball Canister is a solid choice for a versatile canister. If hardwood isn’t your primary flooring type in your home, then the Parquet Twister may not be necessary for you.
More Miele Canister Vacuums for Hardwood
Now, let’s take a look at some other Miele canisters, bag and bagless, that are great choices for hardwood and other bare flooring.
Miele’s starting point with its entry-level canister is with bare flooring. That’s true of most canister vacuums in general. Cleaner heads for bare flooring are much simpler and cheaper to make, so the budget options generally start from there. There is no brushroll (AKA “beater bar”) built into the Miele C1 Olympus, for example.
Miele also makes cleaner heads specifically designed for thoroughly cleaning hardwood and other flooring that has cracks and crevices where debris may hide, like tile. Their main attachment for this is the Parquet Twister and has a soft, thick brush with openings for larger debris to get pulled through. There’s no spinning brush to kick around dirt, and the bristles will get between cracks to agitate dust and dirt.
Likely, if you have a lot of hardwood or tile flooring in your home you also have some rugs and carpeting in bedrooms. So when you’re looking to purchase a hardwood floor vacuum, you would like to not have to use a completely different vacuum for those carpeted areas. All of our picks below are capable of handling both carpet and bare floors.
Best Bag Canister
Miele Complete C3 Marin
The Marin has a complete set of all the features you need from a Miele vacuum. It’s our top choice for hardwood, and is really a great vacuum for carpet at well. It has the largest Electrobrush and comes with the biggest version of the Parquet Twister hard floor brush. The automatic power setting lets you easily transition from hardwood to carpet or thick rugs.
The Marin is a nice compromise between the luxurious Miele Complete C3 Brilliant and the slightly more affordable Complete C3 Kona. Why pick the Marin over the Kona? The Marin has the larger SEB 236 Electrobrush and the automatic suction control setting. With the C3 Brilliant, you get handle controls for the speed setting, LED-lit underbody, and a velvet bumper strip. While these are nice features to have, they aren’t game changers and we don’t feel they’re worth the price jump.
Budget Bag Canister
Miele Compact C2 Electro+
The relatively new Compact C2 Electro+ is at a great price point with all the essential features for a bare floor or carpet vacuum. The SEB 228 Electrobrush is slightly smaller than the SEB 236 model, but gets the job done just fine.
It’s hard to call a vacuum at this price point a “budget” vacuum, but the performance and quality we’ve come to expect from Miele will pay for itself.
Put simply, you won’t be disappointed with this vacuum.
Budget Bag Canister
Miele Blizzard CX1 Turbo Team
The newest addition to the Miele line-up for US customers, the Blizzard CX1 Turbo uses the air-driven turbobrush for cleaning carpet and comes with the Parquet Twister floor brush for hard flooring. Using the Parquet Twister, this vacuum will perform just as well as the others here, but if you intend to also use it for carpet the turbobrush is not a powerful as the electrobrushes on the models above.
Miele Vs. Dyson: Best Vacuum for Allergies and Pet Hair
Miele has a much larger selection of vacuums, at many different price points.
The thing about Miele is that they have the best filtration system in the industry. Hands down.
If you’re serious about allergies, COPD, or asthma, then you need to seriously consider investing in a Miele vacuum. Their AirClean Sealed System is truly remarkable and exceeds HEPA standards.
Allergies and Pet Hair
Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog
The latest Blizzard Cat & Dog canister is a great choice if you’re looking to go bagless. The ComfortClean system and washable filter keep you from breathing in dust and pet allergens.
If you don’t mind sticking with a bag vacuum, then any of Miele’s Compact C1, Compact C2, or Complete C3 vacuums are an excellent choice as they all have the Miele AirClean Sealed System. The “Cat & Dog” version will come with a carbon filter for handling pet odors, but the carbon filter can be purchased separately and used in any Miele model.