23 September 2010

Miele makes vacuum cleaners and they're as good as it gets

Everybody knows Miele from their great dishwashers, coffee makers and other kitchen appliances. It comes as a surprise to a lot of people that they also make vacuum cleaners. Just as their dishwashers are the best in their class, so go their vacuums.

A lot of what makes a good vacuum a good vacuum has to do with the motor of course, but the onboard filter plays as big a role in a vacuum's performance.

Adding HEPA filters to vacuums gets a lot of press when it comes to these things but a HEPA filter's only as good as the seal that isolates what's been filtered. Vacuums that don't filter the exhaust air from from the motor aren't really doing anything but make people think their vacuum's working when in fact, all it's doing is pushing around air and particulates.

Miele's collection of vacuums was tested by an independent lab, Michigan-based IBR Labs, and IBR compared the filter efficiency of Miele's versus a number of other premium vacuums. Here's a chart that shows some of the results.

Miele USA set up a section on their website that's dedicated to explaining the results of these tests and if you'd like more information about Miele vacuums and their filtration, check it out.

What amazed me to read is that my vacuum's motor spews as much dust back into the air as it vacuums up. And that dust and particulates generated by the motor itself. Miele vacuums filter the motor exhaust air and removes the particulates that I for one never knew were there.

For a lot of people this level of air filtration may be overkill, but if you or someone you care about suffers from  respiratory problems, no amount of filtration's enough.

Looking over these reports certainly has me looking at my cursed, $100 vacuum with new eyes. I have to tell you, there's a lot to like here. The motors on these Miele vacuums have adjustable speeds, so you can vacuum things like draperies on a lower setting. Pretty smart. They also look really good. Here's their Libra cannister vacuum.

Most of their models take their names from Classical mythology and I'm torn between if I'd rather the Callisto, named for the nymph who was later turned into a bear

or Neptune, simply because he was so cool.

So consider these vacuums the next time you're in the market for a good one. You can see these vacuums and the rest of Miele's products on their website.


  1. I feel validated after reading your post. My old vacuum died a few months ago - it was noisier than a plane. I bought a Miele (but toyed with the Dyson because it looked cool). Anyway, I'm happy with my final choice - it has a low noise setting and cleans exceptionally well.

  2. Glad to know they're popular in Brisbane. From just about every measure I can see, they beat a Dyson even if Dyson has the "cool" facotr.

  3. Yes! I'm a huge fan of Miele vacuums. They're truly the best. The price tag speaks to the investment you'll make, because these are rated to last about 20 years.

    I think one of the things I like about them, and isn't mentioned here, is how quiet they are. You never realized how noisy your vac is until you can use a Miele while toddlers nap (honest to St. Pete Paul.)

  4. They were twin 1-year-olds...If that's not an endorsement, I dunno what is. You should go try one out at a showroom. This was the Solaris canister model I believe. Many in my family own it.

  5. Hi Paul! Long time no comment from me. I want a Miele vacuum badly! Maybe Santa will leave one under the tree for me this year.

  6. Sharon: I want the same thing to happen to me this Christmas but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to take this one on by myself.

  7. I have a Miele vacuum. It has truly spoiled me for any other vacuum, seriously. I have dust allergies and the difference it makes in the home is astounding.

    (*cough* Not paid or endorsed in any way. Ardent fan? Oh, yes!)

  8. I'm glad you like your vacuum and in the interest of disclosure, I received nothing from Miele for this post. :)

  9. Interesting post - I'd not seen these charts before. Bt I can say I once had a miele, got a dyson (yes, I admit, I was sucked in by the cool design and funky colours) and was disappointed - and now I know why. Anyway, we now have some fancy pants in the wall system which I really like, because the vacuum engine and the dust that's sucked up all end up far far away from the room.

  10. Do central vacuum systems really work? I've never heard of someone who's been happy with their performance, but the lack of noise seems to temper disappointments.

  11. well - i'm no expert - but ours does seem to work. Mind you we're not in a huge house - rather a modest sized 1960s condo/apartment/unit. Installing a ducted vacuum system back then, in a block of flats (or whatever you call them), must've been seen as quite an innovation. Two years ago we upgraded the original vacuum engine (which was noisy and had not a lot of suction). We kept the same plumbing - there was no need to change the pipes - so the upgrade was very simple. The new vacuum unit (by Lux) is more powerful that the old 'tin cans' and quieter too, and there's no recirculation of dirty air in the living areas because the engine is in the basement (might be a different case in the basement - I don't know). I'd always thought ducted vacuums were a bit silly, but now that I have a ducted system, I do like it. Don't know what anyone else thinks....


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