Feb 23, 2010  •  In Gadgets, Home, Reviews

Why We Chose the Miele Over Dyson

Our beloved Roomba has died.

Correction: it is “disabled.” It has lost a lot of its suction power, its parts constantly need replacing, and it’s nearly not as “smart” as it used to be.

So we made the difficult decision to get a replacement vacuum.

I have experienced my share of vacuum frustration over the years, as my parents are neat FREAKS who clean for fun. (No joke. When we were growing up, my father, after grueling 6-day, 70-hour workweeks, would wake the entire family up at 7am every Sunday morning to clean.)

In addition, J likes to walk around the apartment barefoot and so likes his floors spic and span. Oh, and did I mention that he’s allergic to dust? And that we have a baby on the way?

As such, we decided to splurge and I excitedly turned my sights to the Dyson.

Ahh, Dyson. The kings of vacs. The vacuum that claims to never lose suction. And no bags! No filters! HEPA certified! Plenty of satisfied customers!

I carefully considered each Dyson model to try to find one that would best suit our needs: all hardwood floors with some tight spaces (ie, under the bed and sofa). That’s when I realized that an upright would be too heavy and bulky; a canister vacuum would be better for us…and the Dyson canisters start at $699. Oy vey.

Then I happened upon some interesting information about Dyson. Many specialty vacuum retailers actually do not recommend the Dyson for the following reasons:

    • A vacuum which says “HEPA certified” almost always means that its filter is HEPA certified. The vacuum itself can still emit tons of dust and particles into the air.


    • Bagless does not always mean cleanest. When you are emptying the Dyson canister, you are once again letting all the particles into the air. In cases like this, it is far better to invest in a vacuum with quality bags that will trap and keep the particles inside from the vacuum to the trash.


  • Up until the year 2000, Dyson licensed its design to a distributor named Phantom (do you remember these vacuums? I do), which went out of business. The Dyson is actually a rebranded Phantom, with the same design at an increased price, and new marketing efforts.

I then came across this YouTube video:

Granted, this retailer may be biased as his store does not carry Dysons. However, what really drew me in was the particle counter…you can’t fake that!

I proceeded to watch his video on Miele vacuums and became interested in this German brand. I knew it to be a manufacturer of high-end appliances; were their vacuums top-notch as well?

My internet searches found nothing but happy, satisfied, and long-time, loyal customers of Miele vacuums.

The best part? The Miele Polaris, which was designed specifically with hard floor surfaces and low-pile carpeting in mind, was a steal compared to the Dyson at $399.

Not only that — this vacuum is sexy!

We ordered ours online from the many internet vacuum stores that offer free overnight shipping for Miele vacuums and received it today.

I love it.

The Polaris, like all Mieles, comes with various power settings (this particular model, although on the low end of the Miele product line, comes with six) and from my one-time use, even the lowest setting seems to have enough suction power for most household cleaning.

The vacuum hose is crush-proof and the body is lightweight at 11 lbs. The vacuum is quiet — many new users become concerned that the suction power must be sub-par due to its low noise levels; however, the quiet operation is only due to the superior design. Maneuverability is superb — the body follows me easily, and the wand/floor attachment can be used completely horizontal to the ground. This is a lifesaver for cleaning under our king sized bed!

All Miele vacuum bags are made of nonwoven fabric and lined with aluminum foiled plastic. The bags seal closed when removed from the vacuum for the ultimate in clean. Sure, they can be expensive ($19 for a box of 4) but from what I’ve read, each lasts a LONG time.

The best part is that the Miele is truly HEPA. After using it around the house, I can honestly say that the air seems fresher! Gone are the days of the distinct “vacuum smell” that plagues many households after cleaning!

I’m loving this vacuum so much that I’m considering gifting one to my parents! And I highly recommend it to my readers!

59 Responses to “Why We Chose the Miele Over Dyson”

  1. Pink Heli says:

    I think you made a good choice to skip the dyson. Mine is 6 years old (I have a big upright one) and I swear, it HAS lost suction. I do’nt know. It never really was ALL THAT. It did not wow me. And it’s heavy as f*ck. Most of the time it sits in the basement while the dust and dirt collect on our upper floors.
    I’m seriously considering a Roomba. Our home has almost all hardwood (or low-pile area rugs) and we have a cat hair problem, which I simply do not have time/energy/patience to haul my rather(non)sucky dyson up the stairs to deal with. A vacuum that cleans while I’m studying sounds OK to me! I’d be interested in hearing what you thought of yours (before it died, that is).

  2. Amanda says:

    Thanks for this post. Our vacuum is dying a slow death and smells funky. I was jealously eyeing the Dyson, but now I think we’ll save up for the Miele instead. Is it better than a roomba?

  3. Geek in Heels says:

    To both Pink Heli and Amanda —

    We’ve had our Roomba for over two years, and while we thoroughly enjoyed it at first, it’s become more of a nuisance in the past few months. As cool as it is to see the vacuum just go around doing the work by itself, it always misses spots, and as time went by it became more prone to getting stuck in places and sometimes just spinning around like a crazed robot. Nevermind all the broken parts that we’ve had to replace…I think we’ve spent around $200 in just replacement brushes, screws, broken filters, etc!

    As for suction power, it’s just so-so. That’s expected in such a small vacuum, but I DEFINITELY would not recommend it to pet owners. Right now I’m team Miele all the way!

  4. We have the Miele (Athena model) and we LOVE her!! We started looking at Dysons and picked the Miele for many of the same reasons as you. We also found the Dyson SO heavy whereas Athena (as we call her) is so light and easy to move around.

    Miele’s are also better on hardwood I think!

  5. I have a few friends in the home cleaning and office cleaning business and when they first started out, their bosses said to never use Dyson as its suction was useless. After going solo in home cleaning, my friends were also advised not to use Dyson by some of their newer and wealthier clientele.
    It’s funny though, Dyson continue to be the leading promoted vacuum cleaner company in Australia even though there is so many households not in favour of it.
    Maybe they pay more for their promotion and advertising than fine tuning the product?

  6. YES!!!!! We have the Miele Pisces –
    I have this battle with people all the time, everyone says ‘Dyson is the best’ but seriously Miele crushes them out of the water. 1. I hate uprights – they are heavy and bulky. 2. I hate bagless vacuums – I like the dirt to stay confined :) 3. They last FOREVER 4. Love the actual HEPA filter and 5. the Germans nailed the engineering – this thing is so powerful it could suck up a small dog and yet its still quiet!

  7. YES!!!!! We have the Miele Pisces –
    I have this battle with people all the time, everyone says ‘Dyson is the best’ but seriously Miele crushes them out of the water. 1. I hate uprights – they are heavy and bulky. 2. I hate bagless vacuums – I like the dirt to stay confined :) 3. They last FOREVER 4. Love the actual HEPA filter and 5. the Germans nailed the engineering – this thing is so powerful it could suck up a small dog and yet its still quiet!

  8. I bought the <A HREF="http://www.vacuum-direct.com"&gt; Miele Vacuum about four years ago and still think it was the best purchase decision I’ve ever made. It’s really quiet, does a fantastic job of getting the long cats hairs off our rugs, and has helped my allergies a lot. I strongly believe that buying better quality means buying less frequently and, in the end, saving money while putting fewing things into landfills. And fortunately quality doesn’t always mean spending more money.

  9. AudsB says:

    Ok vacuum gurus – these posts are from early 2010 and I’m having the same internal debate Miele vs. Dyson today as I’m about to purchase a new vac. Geek in Heels do you still love your Miele after 20 months? Thanks for sharing ~

    • Yep, still have the Miele and still loving it!

      • Sam says:

        Just in case – we bought a Miele Solaris in 1999…. 15 years later with almost daily use, it works like it did on the first day – with the exception of the automatic cable reel not pulling in as fast and strong as it used to…. We also had to replace the curved plastic piece that serves as the handle and connects the hose with the metal wand – the arrest system for the wand had worn out ($25 piece).

  10. AudsB says:

    Thanks for your time reply ~ I bought the Miele Titan today and so far am in love! To any future readers of this thread definitely check out Miele before you buy the Dyson. I’m so glad I did my homework! Take Care ~

  11. Happy Tommy says:

    We have had a Miele Cat and Dog for a couple of years now. Still works as well as the day we bought it.

    My parents’ Dyson is left in the dust!

  12. michaelm says:

    My Miele Flamenco is going to be 20 years old this summer…it is beat up..looks like it’s been in a war..has duck tape holding a few things together…brought it in to service and there was something wedged in the hose I couldn’t see..guy popped it out with a coat hangar..put suction gauge on it and it tested almost new..that was about a year and a half ago..price was $260 in 1992..my next vac will be a Miele..I will probably be buried with it or leave it in my will

  13. Bahar Diken says:

    We are also planning to buy a new vacuum cleaner and Miele seems to be a good option as we have mostly hardwood floors. The challenge is though there are so many models to choose from. Geek in Heels, what model is yours?
    Thank you–and all the best.

    • We have the Polaris which has since been discontinued. But the Polaris has been replaced by the Quartz (which is the same price as the Polaris was, and is also designed for smooth flooring and low-pile carpeting), which my parents have and love.

  14. Bahar Diken says:

    Hi Geek in Heels,
    Thank you for your response. I just talked with someone from Miele. The only models that have the “combination carpet/smooth floor tools” are S2 Olympus, S5 Ariel, and S6 Quartz. So you can switch from carpet to hardwood without having to change floor tools, which I like very much. However, they do not have an electric hose. I was wondering if it is a disadvantage.
    Thank you.

    • I’m not sure what you mean by an electric hose, but if you are referring to a hose extender, I have personally found no need for it. But then again, our condo is not very large and we have no stairs or high ceilings or anything else that would require a longer hose. The only complaint I would have is that the electrical cord could be longer, but the tradeoff would be a larger canister body and it doesn’t bother us too much.

  15. Cher says:

    I was trying to decide between a Miele and a Dyson. We have mostly hard floor type surfaces (a variety really) and 3 carpeted bedrooms. My husband doesn’t like canister vacuums & we tested the upright Miele last night and it worked great…but that was on carpet. Didn’t try on hard surface. Lady at vacuum store said canister probably better for our house but as I mentioned, my hubby doesn’t like canisters so…does anyone know if uprights will do just as good on hard surfaces?
    Thank you

  16. PCC says:

    I’ve been needing a vacuum and today I found a pristine condition used Miele upright…only $200 for an S7280 Calypso! My sister has a Miele canister so I knew about their quality beforehand. FAR superior to those junky Dysons.

  17. Eddie says:

    I live in Australia and have my own home cleaning business. For a number of years, Dyson were heavily promoted in Australia. Many people fell for the hype, including me. I bought a canister Dyson in 2007 and found it bulky and heavy. Not only did it look like a children’s toy with all its plastic coloured parts, it came with an overflated price. I kept it for about 2 years then sold it after discovering my parent’s wonderful Miele Cat and Dog model (has additional vacuum head to pick up pet hair). Some of my clients also own Miele vaccums and I got to use those too. The clients with Dyson vacuums had nothing but problems with them – bad suction, falling apart, cords which no longer retracted etc etc. The worse thing about Dyson is that you have to come into contact with the dust when emptying the bagless section. That is not healthy. I cannot rave enough about Miele. I have owned other vacuums over the years as well including Nilfisk and Sanyo. The Miele outshines them all. It never loses suction, and it picks up everything. The carpet looks amazing after a vacuum. In my opinion, Miele are very well priced considering the German technology and reliability. You can often start with a basic model because the engine is the same as the more expensive model, but with less accessories in the box.
    Apparently repairers don’t like Dysons as they are a bugger to fix. That speaks volumes! MIELE all the way for me.

  18. Pamela McCabe says:

    I wish I bought a Miele but I have a Wertheim which was really expensive, more than the top of the line Miele and it has lost suction recently. Luckily it is still under warranty and is being repaired at present, however I was looking at the Miele last weekend with my mum and the Dysons and I was not impressed with the suction from the Dyson when compared to the suction from the Miele, I could hardly move the head of the Miele on full power. Wish I bought a Miele. Wertheim are overpriced and not as good at Miele.

  19. Hausfrau says:

    I bought a Miele Capricorn after trying out my daughter’s Miele Red Velvet. I looked at Sebo and Dyson. The Sebo was impressive but the Dyson was very cheaply made. Dyson is all about hype.They advertize it as “the IT vacuum”.
    I’ve owned my Miele for over 2 years and it has run flawlessly! I’m hoping it will serve me at least another 20:) *Another perk for Miele is how quiet they are.

  20. Randy says:

    On average, how often do you have to change the bag (and with what frequency of vacuuming)? I’m going through this same Dyson/Miele debate, trying to wade through the Dyson “cult” to find people not afraid to say they suck, and the last deciding factor I’m at is more of a bagged vs. bagless debate. I hate to spend $600 or so for a vacuum and find I’m also spending $20+ a month on bags. Thanks!

  21. Michael says:

    I’ve owned both. Dyson is all hype. We’ve had the miele for about a year and spent $40 on bags. It is an incremental cost but not burdensome given its better performance. Dyson is a clever machine, but is very heavy and will lose suction over time. The connection between the canister and vacuum is the weak link. It relies on a little rubber gasket to maintain suction. Just a minor amount of abuse and it won’t line up anymore, causing some loss of suction pressure. Miele is by far a better built and engineered machine. Dyson is a toy by comparison. Considering they are a similar price it is a no-brainer. And the Miele is much more quiet, making for more pleasurable experience.

  22. Connie says:

    I had a Miele for 10 years and Loved it…but it weighs a ton and I was tired of lugging it around…especially after my back and hip began aching and every vacuuming left me in need of Ibuprofen or enduring PAIN.
    I wanted a LIGHTWEIGHT Miele….it doesn’t exist. The Dyson #24 is PERFECT. Weighs a bit over 9 lbs…does floors and carpet (bedrooms only) and since I don’t have major allergies I love that I can hold it over a trash bag, press a button and bam…all the dirt dumps into the bag. As for the MIele bags — yes they are good BUT was never able to take it out without some dust flying up at my face. The Miele was definitely stronger but on hardwood and berber carpet this Dyson is FANTASTIC….I also love how easy it is to add the attachment for doing corners, etc. The attachments on the Miele required a production to remove the base, unplug the power hose and add the attachment, replug the hose, etc. LOVE THE DYSON 24.
    It cleans my 1300 sq foot apartment at least twice before I need to dump the dirt….YAY Dyson

    • Josh says:

      I have the DC25 and I absolutly love it I have always had Dyson dont really like Miele because they are too heavy and bulky. And with the Miele uprights you have to pull out the hose and faf about atleast with the Dyson its one pull and the hose is extended. I would never trade my Dyson its too good at its job.

  23. Arthur says:

    I previously used a Dyson vacuum and the thing I disliked most was that the noise was similar to a hydrogen bomb going off. I remember getting scared just turning the thing on. I procured a Miele Polaris vacuum from my Korean ex gf (who taught me how to be a neat freak- now I’m an addict myself) and I never looked back. Actually I recently purchased an inexpensive Olympus model because I couldn’t pass up on the price ($260.00). I am having a love affair with Miele now. But I still like women as well…….

  24. janine says:

    Back in 1995 I was talked into buying a miele. At the time, as a uni student, it was an outrageous purchase. However, the guy in the shop promised it would last 10 years. Well, over the last couple of years, I purchased a new vacuum, volta, just because I thought my miele was getting a bit old. I have used the volta probably four times, and it sits in the garage gathering dust. My miele just keeps on going. My husband has even used it when he was renovating to suck up gyprock particles and wood chips etc and still it goes on and on and on and NEVER loses it’s power. I am going to buy a new one soon, just because I have lost some of the nozzels but we are keeping the old one for cars etc. Go the miele, you won’t be disappointed.
    Love it!

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  26. Josh says:

    I can’t understand why Dyson is such a bad choice I own two the Dyson dc25 and the dc35 they both are superb vacuums and I would never trade them. I have used a Miele before (the s7) I find them to be too heavy and bulky even my aunt hates hers she’s had it repaired three times because of a fault with the swivel that they cannot be bothered to fix properly. And in your article you said that Dyson bought phantoms design THIS IS WRONG, actually it was the other way around Phantom bought Dyson’s dc01 design. In addition you also say about the bags, when emptying you still have to touch the bag and you still touch the allergens so that argument to be fair is void in my case. Finally I would recommend a Dyson to everyone, I recommended one to a friend and she loves it and never will change. I feel that it is all down to personal opinion really not everyone has to like Dyson or Miele doesn’t mean either of them are bad brands though.

  27. nick says:

    I totally disagree with the above statements. The miele I purchased failed less than twelve months of ownership. And miele declined any warranty and or assistance, they simply brushed me off. I am left with the material bags. They went on to accuse me for using the machine without a bag.
    I am in the process of purchasing a Dyson. Rolls Royce of vacuums. No ongoing costs for the exorbitant prices that they request for these material bags and filters.
    Miele vacuums do not suck, but their customer service does.
    I have made it my mission to inform everyone I know and the blogs I can get onto, to let them know of the poor quality of product.

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  29. Cindy Halunka says:

    I just bought a Miele Marin. The S8’s are now 5 lbs lighter then their predecessors and quieter as well. I used my sisters earlier generation with the power plus head and I fell in love. I have bought so many supposedly good vacuums that turned out to be so so. I bought a dyson a while back and got rid of it (upright). I thought it was bulky, didn’t like all the plastic, difficult to maneuver, etc. I bought a Rikkar upright. I will swear that thing is a work horse and would have been tempted to get their canister (we are now all solid wood & Stone flooring) until I used her Miele. The power plus head is awesome, the parquet Twister brush is by far the best brush I have ever owned. Nothing about Miele is cheap but they are worth every penny. I hope this lasts as long as everyone else. With 3 golden retrievers this vacuum will get a ton of work. I think if I didn’t get the Miele I would have gone with a Sebo, Rikkar or Simplicity. Definately not a Dyson.

  30. edward says:

    I got on Facebook and asked for input on a new vacuum decision. Only constraint was less than $800. Ten friends said Dyson, and two said Miele. I had never heard of Miele. They don’t advertise. So I asked if I could borrow my friend’s Miele and my friend’s brand new Dyson for a couple days and test them out.

    The 5 year old Miele was a precision machine and felt like new, and the 1 year old Dyson was a clunky, pasticky clanky loud machine. It worked, but it did not agitate the carpet. I was always able to get more stuff up after the Miele than the other way around. The HEPA filter on the Miele is about the best in the business (search YouTube for Miele and HEPA and Dyson and you’ll see how much better the Miele filter is). Also, I like the bags because it completely traps all the dirt, no dust, and it does not lose suction until the bag is full. I don’t mind spending $5 for a bag every couple months.

    The Dyson is like the Camaro of vacuums. The Miele is like the BMW, but costs the same. Look at what Dyson spends on advertising – that’s where your money goes.

    So bought a new Miele Jazz S7 and it exceeded my expectations because it swivels like the Dyson ball TRIES to do, but can’t. It’s quiet, powerful, and easily outperforms the Dyson.

    One of my friends said: “If you do go with Dyson, get it at Costco because when it breaks (and it will), Costco will be your protection”. She is a Dyson owner and has had to replace it twice at Costco. How about getting a machine that lasts? I love the Miele. The Germans know how to make machines.

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