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Dyson vs Miele Vacuums
Bought, Tested, and Compared

Updated

Dyson and Miele are both big players in the realm of premium vacuums, but they specialize in different types of vacuums. Dyson offers a wide range of cordless and bagless models with their lineup of V-series stick vacuums, while Miele has staked their reputation on powerful, well-built, and easy-to-service bagged models, though in recent years, they've branched out to bagless and cordless models.

Dyson vs Miele: Bagged vs Bagless

Any comparison between these two brands will focus on the philosophic differences in their designs. For most of their history, Miele has specialized in high-end bagged models. That said, they've branched out into bagless vacuums in recent years with models like the Miele Blizzard CX1 and Miele Boost CX1, both of which we've yet to test.

On paper, bagless vacuums, like those made by Dyson, incur lower ownership costs, as you won't need to go through the hassle of tossing out a filled dirtbag now and then. That said, this doesn't tell the entire truth. The absence of a dirtbag means there's one less layer of filtration media ahead of a vacuum's exhaust, so the vacuum's filters have to work harder to capture debris. While most Dyson vacuums have filters that the manufacturer advertises to last the vacuum's lifetime, you'll still have to clean them a lot more regularly than the filters on a bagged vacuum.

Emptying a dustbin is also a far less hygienic process than disposing of a filled dirtbag, as you'll need to shake or even brush out the inside of a dustbin to collect every last bit of debris and potentially release a cloud of grit, fine dust, and other airborne allergens.

Dyson vs Miele: Corded Models

Miele Complete C3Miele Complete C3
Miele Classic C1Miele Classic C1
Dyson Cinetic Big BallDyson Cinetic Big Ball

Corded vacuums are Miele's bread and butter. The German manufacturer's lineup of corded vacuums are widely held in high regard for their performance, durability, and general ease of use. The Miele Complete C3 sits at the top of the brand's pyramid of bagged canister vacuums and is available in several different configurations with different types of floorheads, attachments, and filters - you can see a full breakdown of each C3 model available in the US market here (it's important to note that different markets come with different variant names as well as different equipment bundles). Regardless, almost all variants are near-mechanically identical, with everything from the entry-level C3 Calima to the flagship C3 Brilliant using the same body with a 1200 W suction motor, ensuring strong debris pickup performance. All C3s have a canister body made of thick, high-grade plastic, an onboard tool storage compartment, and four caster wheels that enable you to roll it in almost any direction. It isn't all sunshine and rainbows, however; the C3 uses somewhat small 2.5L dirtbags that are dwarfed by the 4.5L bags used by the SEBO Airbelt D4, another high-end German canister vacuum, as well as the 5.6L bags found in the NaceCare HVR 200 Henry.

Further down the ladder is the Miele Classic C1 lineup, also available in several variants, which you can see in closer detail here. The Classic C1 lineup shares the same 1200W motor as its bigger, pricier brother and delivers similarly excellent suction performance. That said, a few compromises come with its purchase price. First and foremost, C1 models don't have an onboard tool storage compartment, and you'll need to fit its three included attachments on a rather flimsy-feeling rack that clips onto the base of its hose. C1s also feel less durable, with a slightly thinner plastic body, are fitted with a shorter power cable, and have three caster-mounted wheels to the C3's four, so the canister body can tip slightly when making sharp turns. Unlike the C3, not all C1 variants come with an electrical socket at the base of their hose to enable them to use powered floorheads.

Dyson's corded models don't quite have the same level of cachet. The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball can't compete with the Miele Complete C3 or Classic C1 in suction power, build quality, or ease of maintenance. Its bagless, filterless design does minimize recurring costs since you won't have to replace a dirtbag or filters periodically. However, this design is also less hygienic when disposing of dirt, as shaking out the bin can release a cloud of dust, as mentioned previously.

Dyson Ball Animal 2Dyson Ball Animal 2
Dyson Ball Animal 3 Dyson Ball Animal 3
Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLineMiele Dynamic U1 PowerLine

If you prefer using an upright, Dyson's currently the only player in this game still offering new models. The manufacturer still offers all three generations of the bagless Ball upright: the original Dyson Ball, the Dyson Ball Animal 2, and the newest Dyson Ball Animal 3. The latter is a vast improvement over its predecessors in almost every way. The redesigned floorhead features three levels of height adjustment, making it considerably easier to maneuver on thickly carpeted floors, especially in comparison to the older Ball Animal 2, which, while powerful, had a habit of tearing up carpet fibers. The Ball 3's floorhead also has a built-in comb that does a fantastic job of trapping pet hair. Unfortunately, build quality has remained consistently mediocre across successive generations, with a mainly plastic construction that creaks and flexes while in use; this is pretty disappointing for a vacuum at this price point.

If you don't mind scouring the classifieds and buying something used, the now-discontinued Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine is a very good option with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages over Dyson's uprights. Right off the bat, it's crucial to note that this is an incredibly heavy, bulky vacuum for household use, with a curb weight of almost five pounds more than the already hefty Dyson. That added bulk is mostly warranted, as it feels considerably sturdier than the Dyson Ball Animal 3, with a mostly high-grade plastic construction that's similar in feel to Miele's premium canister models. The U1 uses larger-format 4.2L dirtbags than its canister siblings, so you won't need to swap in a new bag very often. Performance on bare floors and carpeting is superb. It's also an even better option for really thick rugs when compared to the Dyson, thanks to its automatically height-adjusting floorhead, four-level suction power adjustment dial, and brushroll off switch to prevent it from damaging more delicate carpets.

Vacuum

Type Bagless Max Suction At Floorhead (As Tested) Dustbin/Dirtbag Capacity Range Weight (As Tested)
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Yes

2.9 inH₂O (0.72 kPa)

0.32 gal (1.20 L) 37.89 ft (11.55 m) 17.20 lbs (7.80 kg)
Dyson Ball Animal 3 Upright Yes

10.7 inH₂O (2.67 kPa)

0.32 gal (1.20 L) 37.83 ft (11.53 m) 17.46 lbs (7.92 kg)

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball

Canister Yes

3.6 inH₂O (0.89 kPa)

0.26 gal (1.00 L)

30.46 ft (9.29 m)

17.99 lbs (8.16 kg)

 

Miele Classic C1

Canister No

20.0 inH₂O (4.98 kPa)

0.66 gal (2.50 L)

27.26 ft (8.31 m)

13.01 lbs (5.90 kg)

 Miele Complete C3 Canister No

21.4 inH₂O (5.32 kPa)

0.66 gal (2.50 L)

34.22 ft (10.43 m)

15.87 lbs (7.20 kg)

Miele Dynamic U1 Upright No

0.8 inH₂O (0.21 kPa)

1.11 gal (4.20 L)

42.22 ft (12.87 m)

22.05 lbs (10.00 kg)

Dyson vs Miele: Cordless Models

This is yet another lopsided match-up, but with the roles reversed: Dyson's selection of V-Series cordless vacuums are de-facto market leaders, with a sleek aesthetic that countless other brands have imitated. The flagship of the lineup is the Dyson V15 Detect. Its 230 AW suction motor makes it one of the most powerful cordless vacuums for household use on the market. It has no trouble dealing with debris on a wide range of surface types, and its automatic power adjustment system lets it modulate suction power depending on the surface type you're cleaning. At a little over six pounds in weight, it isn't the lightest stick vacuum in Dyson's lineup, but it's still very portable. It also has a built-in piezo sensor that lets it automatically count and measure the size of debris being sucked into it. This info then displays through an LED screen at the back of the body. Attachment selection is another strong point; like many other Dyson vacuums, the standard V15 has a wide selection of tools. These include the standard multi-surface floorhead, the soft-roller floorhead for hard floors, a miniature turbo brush with a conical brushroll to reduce the chances of hair jamming the mechanism, and a soft-bristle brush for cleaning delicate surfaces. The smaller Dyson V12 Detect Slim has most of the same features as the V15 but is packaged inside a smaller body and with a smaller, less potent 150 AW motor.

Dyson V15 DetectDyson V15 Detect
Dyson V12 Detect SlimDyson V12 Detect Slim
Miele Triflex HX1Miele Triflex HX1

In comparison, the Miele Triflex HX1 looks pretty outgunned on paper. Its battery life tops out at just over half that of the Dyson V15 Detect or Dyson V12 Detect Slim. It also has a tiny dirt compartment that'll need emptying at the end of almost every cleaning session, and it falls noticeably short in terms of suction power. However, that isn't to say that it doesn't have its share of tricks up its sleeve. Build quality is noticeably sturdier than any of Dyson's cordless vacuums. It also boasts a unique three-in-one design; you can rearrange the motor unit, grip, wand, and floorhead as necessary: for instance, in its default configuration, the motor unit is attached between the floorhead and wand, but you can move it further up and sandwich it between the grip and wand for similar ergonomics as a cordless stick vacuum, as seen here. Like the Dyson, it also has a surface detection system that enables it to adjust its brushroll speed to match the floor type it's on or even stop the roller if something gets caught in it. Its brushroll also sits higher off the ground than the Dyson, making it easier to maneuver on thicker carpeting. It's worth noting that Miele has released an updated version of this vacuum, the Miele Triflex HX2, with a more potent suction motor that the manufacturer advertises to produce 60% more power, but we've yet to test it.

Vacuum

Max Suction At Floorhead (As Tested) Dustbin Capacity Min/Max Runtime (Single Battery) Weight
Dyson V12 Detect Slim

6.1 inH₂O (1.51 kPa)

0.04 gal (0.16 L) 8.2 - 70 min 5.20 lbs (2.36 kg)
Dyson V15 Detect

9.8 inH₂O (2.44 kPa)

0.12 gal (0.45 L)

8 - 75 min 6.46 lbs (2.93 kg) 
Miele Triflex HX1

1.7 inH₂O (0.43 kPa)

0.07 gal (0.25 L)

18 - 34min 8.18 lbs (3.71 kg)

Conclusion

There isn't a clear winner in this match-up. The better of the two brands is the one that better fits your needs as a vacuum buyer. If you have a smaller living space and need something compact and cordless, Dyson has a much broader range of stick vacuums that deliver better suction power, better battery life, and a greater debris capacity than Miele's cordless offering.

On the other hand, if you don't mind the bulkier design and added cost of ownership, Miele's bagged canister models will serve you well, as they're much better built, deliver superior suction performance, and are considerably easier to maintain than any of Dyson's offerings. If you suffer from allergies, a bagged model is the way to go, as they provide an additional layer of filtration and are much more hygienic in debris disposal.