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Miele Complete C3 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3
Reviewed Sep 11, 2020 at 09:17 am
Latest change: Writing modified Apr 09, 2024 at 01:38 pm
Miele Complete C3 Picture
7.9
Bare Floor
6.6
Low-Pile Carpet
6.4
High-Pile Carpet
6.9
Pets
7.7
Stairs
7.8
Cars
5.5
Workshop

The Miele Complete C3 is a canister vacuum with several variants to better tackle different floor types and messes. While the Alize variant we tested is a little more bare-bones compared to others in the same lineup, with a straight-suction head that's ill-suited to carpet-cleaning and large debris, it has a powerful motor and is highly maneuverable. It's also sturdily built and incredibly easy to maintain. Its range is a little short, so you may need to change outlets more frequently.

Our Verdict

7.9 Bare Floor

The Miele Complete C3 is very good for bare floors. The STB 285-3 floorhead sits too low to easily fit over large or medium-sized debris, so you'll likely want to go for the brand's Parquet Twister tool if you have a lot of hard flooring in your home, though it's more than powerful enough to lift away finer material. Maintaining this well-built vacuum is also very easy as its parts clip together. However, there are a few recurring costs, like the dirtbag.

Pros
  • Outstandingly easy to maintain.
  • Powerful motor allows for good fine debris pickup.
  • Exceptional build quality.
Cons
  • Several recurring costs.
  • Short cable length.
  • Standard STB 285-3 floorhead pushes around larger debris.
6.6 Low-Pile Carpet

The Miele Complete C3 is okay for low-pile carpet when used with a straight-suction STB 285-3 head. You'll need to lift up the head to clear away larger debris, which can be a bit of a nuisance due to the vacuum's strong suction power, though it is powerful enough to suck up finer debris worked deep into carpet fibers. This vacuum has an excellent build quality that makes it easy to maintain. It also has excellent maneuverability. However, it has a few parts that need to be replaced over time.

Pros
  • Outstandingly easy to maintain.
  • Powerful motor allows for good fine debris pickup.
  • Exceptional build quality.
Cons
  • Several recurring costs.
  • Short cable length.
  • Standard STB 285-3 floorhead pushes around larger debris.
6.4 High-Pile Carpet

The Miele Complete C3 is passable for high-pile carpet when used with a straight-suction STB 285-3 head. While it's powerful enough to suck up most fine debris embedded in carpets within a single pass, this attachment isn't high enough to pass over large or medium-sized debris. On the upside, this well-built vacuum is easy to maintain and maneuver throughout your home. There are several recurring costs, like the disposable dirtbag, though.

Pros
  • Outstandingly easy to maintain.
  • Powerful motor allows for good fine debris pickup.
  • Exceptional build quality.
Cons
  • Several recurring costs.
  • Short cable length.
  • Standard STB 285-3 floorhead pushes around larger debris.
6.9 Pets

The Miele Complete C3 is okay for pets. This well-built and sturdy vacuum easily picks up pet hair from bare floors, but the straight-suction STB 285-3 head is ill-suited for cleaning hair on carpets. Thankfully, it's outstandingly easy to maintain, although there are several parts, like the disposable dirtbag, that need to be replaced over time. Its allergen-sealed construction makes it a fantastic option for those who suffer from allergies.

Pros
  • Outstandingly easy to maintain.
  • Powerful motor allows for good fine debris pickup.
  • Allergen-sealed construction.
Cons
  • Several recurring costs.
  • Short cable length.
  • Struggles with pet hair on carpet.
7.7 Stairs

The Miele Complete C3 is great for stairs. While it's a somewhat heavy vacuum, it has a handle to make it a little easier to carry it up steps. Thanks to its handheld configuration with a built-in LED light, you can get into harder-to-reach areas and see what you're doing. It has an overall amazing performance on all surface types, too.

Pros
  • Can be used in a handheld configuration.
  • Outstandingly easy to maintain.
  • LED light on vacuum handle.
  • Powerful motor allows for good fine debris pickup.
Cons
  • Several recurring costs.
  • Short cable length.
7.8 Cars

The Miele Complete C3 is good for cars. While this very well-built vacuum can be a bit heavy to move around, thanks to its handheld configuration, you can get into difficult-to-reach areas and crevices. Its LED light is also a nice touch to help illuminate shadowy areas. It has a great performance on low-pile carpet like car rugs. However, some people may find its cord and hose length to be a little short.

Pros
  • Can be used in a handheld configuration.
  • Outstandingly easy to maintain.
  • LED light on vacuum handle.
  • Powerful motor allows for good fine debris pickup.
Cons
  • Several recurring costs.
  • Short cable length.
5.5 Workshop

The Miele Complete C3 is a mediocre option for workshop cleaning, but that isn't what it's designed for. It can handle household messes easily, but using it to clean debris like metal shavings can damage its bag and filter system, and you can't use it to suck up liquids.

Pros
  • Outstandingly easy to maintain.
  • Powerful motor allows for good fine debris pickup.
  • Exceptional build quality.
Cons
  • Several recurring costs.
  • Short cable length.
  • 7.9 Bare Floor
  • 6.6 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 6.4 High-Pile Carpet
  • 6.9 Pets
  • 7.7 Stairs
  • 7.8 Cars
  • 5.5 Workshop
  1. Updated Apr 09, 2024: We've added text to this review for the new tests added in Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Updated Apr 09, 2024: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.3. We've overhauled our floor performance tests and added new 'Hard Floor Pick-Up,' 'High-Pile Carpet Pick-Up,' 'Low-Pile Carpet Pick-Up,' and 'Pet-Hair Pick-Up' tests. You can see the full changelog here.
  3. Updated Oct 20, 2023: We've added text to this review for the new tests added in Test Bench 1.0 and Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Updated Oct 20, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.2. This update builds on our previous 'Suction' test with a new 'Airflow' test that more accurately measures a vacuum's ability to generate air movement. If you'd like to see an in-depth look at the reasoning and methodology behind this change, you can see our full changelog here..
  5. Updated Nov 25, 2022: We've changed the full product name to 'Miele Complete C3' in order for the review to encompass all model variants.
  6. Updated Aug 09, 2022: This vacuum's suction force has been retested with a more accurate manometer. The test results for the 'Maximum Suction' and 'Normal Suction' fields have been updated. All relevant scores and text have been updated.
  7. Updated Jul 28, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  8. Updated Mar 18, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  9. Updated Sep 11, 2020: Review published.
  10. Updated Sep 03, 2020: Early access published.
  11. Updated Aug 24, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Aug 21, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  13. Updated Aug 12, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

There are many variants of the Miele Complete C3. Although they use the same PowerLine motor, these models differ from one another depending on the vacuum head(s) as well as the tools and brushes included in the box. As a result of these differences, we don't expect our performance results to be identical to the C3 Alize variant we tested.

Model Name

Vacuum Head Parts Included Canister Color Notes
Complete C3 Alize PowerLine - SGJE0

AllTeQ Combination Floorhead SBD 285-3

Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush Petrol, Ivory White

Comes with comfort handle with spotlight, and filter change indicator.

Complete C3 Calima PowerLine - SGFE0 Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3,
Turbo Brush Floorhead STB 305-3
Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush Curry Yellow  
Complete C3 Cat & Dog PowerLine - SGEE0

Small Parquet Floorhead SBB Parquet-3, 
Electro Plus Floorhead SEB 228​

Handheld mini turbo brush, upholstery tool, crevice tool,
dusting brush
Lotus White  
Complete C3 Marin PowerLine - SGJE0

Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3,
Electro Premium Floorhead SEB 236

Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush Marine Blue  
Complete C3 SoftCarpet PowerLine - SGFE0

Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3,
Electro Plus Floorhead SEB 228

Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush

Tayberry Red Comes with a filter change indicator.

Complete C3 Kona PowerLine - SGFE0

Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3,
Electro Plus Floorhead SEB 228

Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush

Obsidian Black Comes with a filter change indicator.
Complete C3 HomeCare PowerLine - SGFE0

AllTeQ Combination Floorhead SBD 285-3, 
Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3

Extended flexible crevice tool, adjustable universal brush,
upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush

Mango Red  
Complete C3 HomeCare+ PowerLine - SGPE0

AllTeQ Combination Floorhead SBD 285-3, 
Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3,
Electro Premium Floorhead SEB 236

Extended flexible crevice tool, adjustable universal brush,
upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush

Mango Red Electro Premium Floorhead has headlights and is
designed for deep cleaning carpets. Also has a filter change indicator.
Complete C3 Brilliant PowerLine - SGPE0

AllTeQ Combination Floorhead SBD 285-3,
​Parquet Twister XL Floorhead SBB 400-3,
Electro Premium Floorhead SEB 236

Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush Bronze/Pearl Finish Electro Premium Floorhead has headlights and is
designed for deep cleaning carpets. It also has a switch
for the electrobrush right on the handle. Also has a filter change indicator.

If someone comes across a Complete C3 that's different from ours, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The Miele Complete C3 is a canister vacuum with premium build quality and a wide variety of convenience features. It also has a well-built design that makes it incredibly easy to maintain as most parts clip together. However, just like the NaceCare HVR 200 Henry or the Miele Classic C1, it uses a disposable dirtbag which, along with replacing its filters, can add cost over time.

Check out our recommendations for the best hardwood vacuums, the best vacuums for pet hair, and the best vacuums for high-pile carpet.

Miele Classic C1

The Miele Complete C3 is a better overall canister vacuum than the Miele Classic C1. The Complete C3 performs better on all surface types, is more maneuverable, and comes with a HEPA filter. It also feels better built and slightly quieter. However, it's a bit heavier than the Classic C1.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal [Animal Pro, Multi Floor]

The Miele Complete C3 is a better overall canister vacuum than the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. The Miele feels better built, is easier to maintain, and has a significantly more powerful motor. The Miele can also be used in a handheld configuration, and its handle has an LED light to help you navigate more shadowy areas. However, the Dyson has virtually no recurring costs and comes with more tools and brushes.

SEBO Airbelt D4 Premium

The Miele Complete C3 and SEBO Airbelt D4 each have their advantages, meaning one might suit you better than the other, depending on your needs. The Miele weighs less, is easier to maneuver, makes less noise, and delivers slightly better crack-cleaning performance. Meanwhile, the SEBO incurs much lower recurring costs thanks to its larger dirtbag and longer-lasting filters, has a much longer cleaning range, and gives you a wider range of adjustability in terms of changing its suction power level.

Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister

The Miele Complete C3 is a better overall canister vacuum than the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. The Miele model is better built and easier to maintain. The Miele has a more powerful motor, and it's more maneuverable. Its dirt compartment is larger, and this vacuum has more tools and brushes. However, the Eureka doesn't have any recurring costs.

NaceCare HVR 200 Henry

The Miele Complete C3 is a better overall canister vacuum than the NaceCare HVR 200 Henry. The Miele has a better performance on all surface types, especially on carpet, and it's more maneuverable. The Miele also has a HEPA filter and is easier to store. However, the NaceCare uses larger dirtbags and a more durable filter, resulting in lower recurring costs. The NaceCare also has a longer power cord hose and comes with a hard bristle brush.

Airsign HEPA Vacuum

The Miele Complete C3 is better than the Airsign HEPA Vacuum. The Miele feels better built, has a longer range, makes less noise, is easier to maneuver, comes with more tools, and performs better on low and high-pile carpets. The Airsign is a little smaller and lighter, making it easier to store in small closets.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.5
Design
Build Quality
Vacuum Type
Canister

This vacuum has excellent build quality. It has a sturdy plastic body, while its telescopic wand is made from stainless steel. The bottom of the head is aluminum, while its rubber-like wheels help it to move smoothly around your home. There are several thoughtful details in this vacuum's design. There's an LED light button on its handle to help you see in darker areas of your home, as well as an auto-cable winding button.

This vacuum is easy to assemble as most of its parts and tools clip to one another. However, you still need to connect the hose to the handle and wand before it's ready to use. You also need to insert its batteries to use the LED light.

9.5
Design
User Maintenance

This vacuum is outstandingly easy to maintain.

  • Dirt compartment: This part is easily accessible by pressing the top cover lid. There are arrows to let you know how to take out the bag. It needs to be disposed of when full.
  • Pre-motor filter: It's located behind the dirt compartment, and you can unclip it if you want to replace it. You should replace it after every four dirtbags.
  • HEPA filter: The HEPA filter is located on the top back of the dirt compartment. It has a time strip on it to let you know when it needs to be replaced, too, which is after about one year of normal use.

As the vacuum head doesn't have a brushroll, you don't really have to worry about detangling hair from the vacuum.

4.5
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number GN AirClean 3D
Filter Part Number SF HA 50
HEPA Filter Part Number SF HA 50

This vacuum has a few recurring costs as three parts need to be replaced quite often. The dirtbag needs to be disposed of when full. The pre-motor filter needs to be replaced after every four dirtbags, depending on your usage, while the HEPA filter needs to be replaced when its time strip turns red, which is estimated at 50 hours of normal use. Luckily, you can buy all of these parts from Miele directly. Consider the SEBO Airbelt D4 if you're looking for a premium bagged canister vacuum that incurs significantly lower recurring costs, as it uses much larger dirtbags and has filters with a much longer service life.

7.4
Design
Storing
Height
40.94" (104.0 cm)
Width
11.81" (30.0 cm)
Depth
25.20" (64.0 cm)
Cord Storing
Automatic
On-Board Tool Storage
Yes
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

This vacuum has decent storage compatibilities. Like the Miele Classic C1, you can store your tools and brushes directly on the vacuum to help save space. It also has an automatic retractable cable.

8.2
Design
Dirt Compartment
Bagless
No
Volume
0.66 gal (2.50 L)
Full Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
1

This vacuum has a great-sized dirt compartment. Although Miele advertises that this dirtbag can hold 4.5L, we measured much less. It can still hold a lot of debris. There's also an indicator to tell you when the dirt compartment is full.

Design
In The Box

  • Telescopic wand
  • Handle
  • Hose
  • 1x Bag
  • 1x HEPA filter
  • 1x Pre-motor filter
  • Main head
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool
  • Soft brush
  • 3x AAA batteries (for handle LED light)
  • Vacuum canister
  • User guide

7.7
Design
Range
Cordless
No
Cord Length
24.38 ft (7.4 m)
Hose Length
6.40 ft (1.95 m)
Minimum Wand Length
2.66 ft (0.81 m)
Maximum Wand Length
4.10 ft (1.25 m)
Total Range
34.22 ft (10.43 m)

This vacuum has an alright range. Its cord length is a bit longer than the Miele Classic C1, but you still may have to change outlets if you're cleaning a big room. If you want a canister vacuum with an even longer range, check out the NaceCare HVR 200 Henry.

7.1
Design
Portability
Total Weight
15.87 lbs (7.20 kg)
Weight In Hand
1.94 lbs (0.88 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

This vacuum has decent portability. It's quite heavy, but it feels lighter in your hands. There's also a carrying handle to help you bring it up and down stairs.

0
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
N/A
Maximum Battery Life
N/A
Recharge Time
N/A
Recharge Dock
No
Battery Life Indicator
No
Removable Batteries
No

This is a corded vacuum. It does use three AAA batteries, but this is for its LED handle light.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
Yes
Easy On/Off
Yes
Head Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

The Miele Complete C3 has a suction power control feature that can be raised or lowered to seven different levels: Min. (curtains), Furniture, Rugs, Auto, Ear (quiet mode), Carpet, and Bare Floor. There's also an LED light on the handle, which can help you clean dark, shadowy parts of your home. When the vacuum head is placed in the stored position, the vacuum automatically turns off, which is a nice touch.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
No
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
No
Turbo Brush
No
Crevice Tool
Yes
Upholstery Tool
Yes
Soft Bristle Brush
Yes
Hard Bristle Brush
No
Extension Wand
Yes
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

This vacuum comes with a couple of different tools. There's a soft bristle brush for cleaning more delicate objects, as well as a crevice tool and an upholstery tool. You can store all of them in the vacuum's body, which is convenient.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Blower Mode
No

You can use this vacuum in a handheld mode by connecting a brush or tool to its handle, which is handy for cleaning inside your car or hard-to-reach places.

Performance
6.0
Performance
Hard Floor Pick-Up

This vacuum's single-pass performance on hard floors is mediocre. While the C3 itself is plenty powerful and easily clears away finer debris, the bristles on its SBD 285-3 floorhead are too closely spaced to allow it to pass over large and medium-sized material like cereal or rice, causing it to push around this type of material. When dealing with this kind of debris, you'll need to lift the vacuum head so that the vacuum can suck everything up. Alternatively, you could also consider purchasing Miele's Parquet Twister head, which has less closely packed bristles, allowing it to more easily pass over large material.

5.0
Performance
High-Pile Carpet Pick-Up

When used with its straight-suction SBD 285-3 floorhead, this vacuum struggles on high-pile carpet. While its powerful suction motor enables it to easily clear away finer, lightweight debris like sand, its floorhead simply isn't high enough to pass over medium and large debris like rice or sand. If you want to deal with this kind of debris on this surface type, consider purchasing a floorhead with a brushroll that provides more surface agitation on carpets, like the SEB 217-3 powerhead or the height-adjustable SEB 228 powerhead.

5.0
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet Pick-Up

As with its performance on high-pile carpet, this vacuum isn't well-suited to low-pile carpet when used with the SBD 285-3 floorhead. It's more than powerful enough to suck up fine debris like sand worked into carpet fibers, but the straight-suction head simply pushes around larger debris like rice or cereal instead of allowing the vacuum to pass over it; you'll need to lift the vacuum head to clear away this kind of debris.

4.0
Performance
Pet-Hair Pick-Up

This vacuum has a hard time dealing with pet hair worked into low-pile carpeting. Its straight-suction SBD 285-3 floorhead simply doesn't provide the sufficient level of surface agitation to deal with pet hair worked into carpet fibers. If you're a pet owner with a lot of low-pile carpeting, consider purchasing a C3 variant that comes bundled with a powerhead or an air-driven turbo head, like the STB 305-3 head.

8.4
Performance
Suction
Maximum Hose Suction
87.8 inH₂O (21.87 kPa)
Maximum Head Suction
21.4 inH₂O (5.32 kPa)
Normal Head Suction
5.7 inH₂O (1.41 kPa)
Setting Used For Normal "Auto", Head Position "Floor Brush"
Hose Diameter
1.3" (3.2 cm)

The Miele C3 has great suction power at its floorhead, making it easier to clear debris in cracks or stubborn messes. You can adjust its suction power using buttons on its canister body.

9.3
Performance
Airflow
Maximum Hose Airflow
122.3 CFM (3.5 m³/min)

The Miele Complete C3 offers superb airflow performance. Its powerful 1200W motor and efficient filtration and bag system enable it to easily lift all kinds of heavy household debris.

8.6
Performance
Noise
Bare Floor
72.3 dBA
Low-Pile Carpet
62.9 dBA

The Miele Complete C3 is pretty quiet. With the vacuum running in its 'Auto' power setting, you won't have much trouble hearing what people nearby are saying, even with the vacuum running in the same room. It is noticeably louder in its 'Max' suction mode, but this level of noise is still very bearable and won't be too disruptive for people nearby.

8.5
Performance
Maneuverability

This vacuum has excellent maneuverability. Thanks to its rubber-like wheels, it rolls smoothly as it moves around the room. The LED light is pretty bright and can help you illuminate dark areas of your home, like under couches, as you clean. When using the extendable wand, its reach under furniture is very good, although the head can fall on the storage clip on the wand, which causes it to not lay completely flat on the floor. It's easy to clean around electrical cords, though, and while it can suck up rug tassels, the vacuum head mostly moves around it.

9.0
Performance
Pet Hair Furniture Performance
Sofa Pickup Post Test

This vacuum does a fantastic job of dealing with pet hair on upholstered furniture when used with its upholstery tool. It easily clears away both long and short strands of hair within one or two passes. It's also very easy to maneuver on this surface.

Performance
Air Quality
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The Miele Complete C3 is very effective at sealing in fine allergens, thanks to its three-stage filtration system. That said, the entry-level Alize variant we tested doesn't come with a HEPA-rated post-motor filter, so you're better off buying one separately or springing for a pricier version of the C3 that comes bundled with one, like the C3 Marin.

9.0
Performance
Cracks
Wood Cracks Post Test

The Miele Complete C3 is exceptionally good at cleaning debris from cracks. When using its floorhead, it easily cleans debris in shallow, medium, and full-depth cracks, with only a very small amount left behind in very deep crevices. If you want an even more thorough clean, you can always detach its wand and use its crevice tool.

3.0
Performance
Stains
Stain Pickup Post Test

The Miele Complete C3 does a terrible job of removing stains, which isn't what it's designed for.

0
Performance
Water
Wet Compatible
No
Water Pickup Post Test

This vacuum isn't designed to deal with liquid spills.

Automation
0
Automation
Physical Automation
Automatic Recharging
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Pathing Algorithm
No Pathing Algorithm
Physical Boundary Markers
No
Scheduled Start Buttons
No
Cycle Control Buttons
No
Navigation Control Buttons
No

This vacuum has no automation features.

0
Automation
Companion App Automation
App Name
No App
iOS Availability
No
Android Availability
No
Software Boundary Markers (No Go Zones)
No
App Scheduled Start
No
App Cycle Control
No
Navigation Control within App
No