I must say I felt conflicted when Miele announced their first bagless vacuum cleaner earlier this year.
After all, Miele build their reputation as one of the world’s top vacuum cleaner manufacturers for the past century, spruiking the benefits, indeed the necessity, of making a bag an integral part of their cleaning process.
And now they announce a bagless vacuum? Have Miele created the best of the bagless bunch?
It certainly is a futuristic-looking machine….
Follow me as I dragged the Blizzard CX1 through the office and our house.
Actually “dragged” is not the right word: it glides behind you on the so-called DynamicDrive air-filled castor wheels… (who invents these empty marketing fuzz words?!)
Anyways, it does move quite nicely without much effort.
So, let’s quickly summarise a few other features that impressed us right from the unboxing.
- Stunning futuristic looks. That’s not a feature you buy a vacuum for, but hey, it doesn’t hurt when you have to pick one from the showroom floor….
My mantra is that if something is well-built it generally looks good too.
- The main feature is that large, transparent bin at the back that collects all the detritus from daily living: dust, dog hairs, fluff and stuff.
- The Blizzard has very strong suction by creating an airflow of up to 100 km an hour, yet is relatively quiet without being whiny.
- It’s a master of hard floor cleaning and does very well on carpeted areas even though this particular model does not come with a turbo brush.
- The CX1 Comfort model has remote controls right on the handle without (I stress again: without) any electrical connection to the vacuum cleaner. That makes the whole tubing and hose system much lighter and less complicated.
Leaving Other Vacuum Cleaners in the Dust?
Let’s talk about Miele’s decision to create a bagless wonder.
It is so revolutionary that you can compare it with a company like IBM whom I worked for in the 80s suddenly announcing they’re going from building massive mainframe computers to bringing out a Personal Computer… The hardest people to convince that this is a good move are your own salespeople!
Yet it is not a matter of either / or but offering an alternative.
I love bagless vacuums. There are no additional ongoing costs in buying expensive bags and those Miele dustbags are not cheap!
Bagless vacs are easy to clean and you can see exactly when they need to be emptied.
Yet they can leave dust behind in the air from stirring up a whirlwind if there is no well-designed bag that can help in the filtration of these fine dust particles. And that’s what Miele has been telling us all these years.
So how are they guaranteeing that this problem is properly addressed?
It might have something to do with the Single Vortex technology, invented by their R&D team.
I’m not an engineer but as a pilot I have a great respect for vortices. A vortex can be very destructive particularly if you’re flying closely behind a Boeing 747 that can generate massive vortices from its wingtips.
Yet, in the compact confines of the Blizzard that whirlwind can be used constructively to separate course and fine dust. In emptying the dust container you’ll notice that the fine dust is collected in the fine dust filter.
Miele always applies the gold standard of HEPA exhaust filtering (High Efficiency Particulate Air) which removes pollen and dust mite faeces so that asthma and allergy sufferers can breathe again. The CX1 AirClean Lifetime filter removes up to 99.95% of small particles so that fine dust and allergens are retained by the system.
There’s a bit of automatic cleaning when it comes to the fine dust filter cleaning.
But most of the maintenance involves simply emptying the dust container regularly. The MAX marking is about halfway on the plastic container. Unlike vacs with bags that we tend to fill up till they are about to burst, it’s probably better for the suction if it is emptied regularly. The dust container can be rinsed off if needed as long as it is thoroughly dry before starting the vacuum again.
We found the whole business of taking out the dust container and filter very well engineered and easy to do.
Question. With the air moving at high speed through the system, how loud is the CX1?
At the strongest setting (for hardwood floors) the motor and suction sound is only slightly noisier to that of the previous – bagged – top model the C3 which we reviewed here. At the lowest setting (for curtains) both are extremely quiet.
In the realisation that someone who uses a vacuum cleaner is not interested in duplicating the rigorous testing that was done in the European labs, we offer just our opinion from an average user point of view, rather than testing the product to standards only an engineer would understand.
We gave the CX1 a good workout by several members of our team who all contributed to the findings.
And this is what we found:
What We Particularly like in the Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort
- Outstanding cleaning results on hardwood floors, tiling and carpets as well as rugs.
At times a turbo brush would have given better results, particularly in carpeted areas.
- Good cleaning results are always the hallmark of a Miele.
- Great design down to the floorheads and brushes that come with this model. They have redesigned some of them and brought out a humongous 40cm Parquet Twister XL floorhead for large hardwood areas. The crevice and upholstery tools are carried on board but for some reason the dusting brush couldn’t find a spot with the other tools which is a pity. It’ll probably get lost in the cupboard….
- Wireless controls which simplifies the construction of the hose and tubing.
- Low maintenance and no ongoing costs.
Are There Any Gripes?
- No turbo brush came with this model but it is available as an optional extra for $179.
- Not too sure how easy it will balance on some stairs as the tail end is fairly wide. You need steps of about 30cm to be able to rest the vac on.
- The reach of the CX1 is a bit limited with a cable length of just 6.3m. Another metre would save me having to plug it in behind couches and other furniture to get to the last half of a room from a central power point…
- If you have pets you might want to choose the Cat & Dog model.
There are 4 models in this CX1 range which start at AUD699 up to $949 for the Comfort model as reviewed in this article. The “Comfort” designation refers specifically to having the suction power controls on the handle rather than having to bend down to adjust them on the cleaner itself. The swivel handle by the way is probably the best “comfort” feature of all of these Miele models.
Our unit came in Obsidian Black and it looks that each model has its own specific colour. The Excellence model is white and the Multi-Floor vac is blue while the Cat & Dog model sports red – probably to scare the cats away…
Last year we reviewed the top-of-the-line Miele Complete C3 Comfort, which we rated very highly.
In fact we gave it our Editor’s Choice Award.
Given practically the same cleaning results with even greater innovation displayed in creating this bagless vacuum, we do not hesitate to award the same honour for the Miele Blizzard CX1 model.
Miele continues to surprise us. Who knew that Miele built motor cars, bicycles, hand carts and motor bikes in their long history? What’s next?
Personally, I’m still waiting for a new model robot vacuum…