I now own a new vacuum. Woo!

by Kristen on January 16, 2013 · 41 comments

in Reviews

Isn’t it purty?

After our vacuum met an unfortunate end, Mr. FG and I read review after review and article after article (and all of the comments you guys left) and we eventually decided to go to a store that specializes in vacuums. This turned out to be a great decision for several reasons.

  • At a vacuum store, you can actually try out a bunch of different vacuums, whereas in a big box store, the vacuums are all in, well, boxes.
  • The people there are knowledgeable and can tell you all about the different brands and what they offer.
  • Since vacuum stores repair vacuums, the employees there are really knowledgeable about how reliable certain brands are and what problems some vacuums tend to have.

We found it to be a really helpful experience, and I feel glad to now know of a place I can take my vacuum should it need repairs in the future.

After chatting with the people at the vacuum store, we decided that we didn’t want something bagless, and it became clear to use that a Miele upright is what would best fit our needs. (We considered a Riccar, but the equivalent to the Miele was more expensive and the salesperson said it was no better.)

Oh, and we already knew that we didn’t want to get a cheap vacuum, since we’re really trying to buy stuff that lasts a long time.

The vacuum we ended up choosing was the Miele Twist, which is the least expensive upright that they offer ($399.99). The next several levels of upgrades are actually the same body with some niceties added in, like a headlight and a nicer filter. I didn’t really need the bells and whistles, though, as the base model is still quite a fabulous improvement over what I had before!

What do I like about this vacuum so far?

  • The twist feature is pretty stinking awesome. I didn’t think I’d be super jazzed about it, but I am! It’s really, really easy to fit in the vacuum into tight spaces and to vacuum around things like bunk bed ladders and couch corners. It just takes a little twist of the wrist.

  • It’s not noisy. No vacuum is perfectly quiet, but this is a lot quieter than my previous vacuums.
  • It rolls easily. It’s not self-propelled, but it’s got high-quality wheels on it, so it’s a breeze to push in comparison to my old vacuum.
  • The hand tool is very easy to use. The handle is a great feature and since the tube expands, it’s got plenty of length to reach things like cold air returns and ceiling fan blades. This is miles better than my Kenmore’s hand tool.

The whole thing just feels a whole lot more solid than the cheaper vacuums I’ve owned…the engineering and build quality are on a whole new level.

For example (and this is a small thing), you know how you secure most vacuum cords with a little notch on the plug? And you know how sometimes when you wind it up, the plug ends up in a place that’s not handy for securing?

Well, the Miele is designed with a clip that can be moved anywhere on the cord, so no matter how you wind it up, it’s very easy to neatly snap the clip into place.

Oh, and this one comes with an automatic shutoff feature to prevent burning up the motor. You know, in case anyone decides to vacuum up a curtain again.

Ahem.

Now, since most vacuums are pretty decent right out of the box, the true test of this vacuum will be time. Am I still going to love it in three years? five years? ten years?

I don’t know, but I’m quite optimistic since the build quality of this machine is far superior to that of any vacuum I’ve owned so far. And if it outlasts my other vacuums, I’ll consider the extra money to have been well spent.

I’ll keep you all updated, maybe revisiting this post once a year to let you know how things are going.

Oh, and I should add that though this was an expensive purchase, we had money in our home maintenance account for it, we were able to support a small local business, and we bought a vacuum that wasn’t made in China. So, it’s all good in my mind.

P.S. I know all of these pictures show the vacuum on my wood floor, but I really tend to only use it on carpet (we sweep our hard floors). It’s just that the only spot in my house with enough light to take photos yesterday was the kitchen. ;)

P.P.S. Miele has no idea who I am and I forked over cold, hard cash of my own to pay for the vacuum.

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Joshua’s 365 post: Bob

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SarahD January 16, 2013 at 8:12 am

Very nice!!! Enjoy it. I liken Miele to the Mercedes of vaccuum cleaners. Good old German engineering. Solid quality and you can tell when you use it.

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2 Mindy January 16, 2013 at 8:40 am

Could you expand on why you decided against bagless? Love the pretty blue color btw.

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3 Kristen January 16, 2013 at 8:57 am

Well, the vacuum store people told us that bagless vacuums do not keep their suction as long as bagged vacuums do, and I’m inclined to trust them because they repair vacuums. Also, I had a bagless before, and after a while, it did indeed lose its suction, and it also started spraying dust around when I vacuumed.

So, even though it’s tempting to not have to buy bags, I decided a bagged vacuum seems like a better idea.

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4 Lili@creativesavv January 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

Have you considered a reusable bag? Is there one for this model?

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5 Reese January 16, 2013 at 10:30 am

I know that replacing bags is better than replacing an entire vacuum cleaner… but I am slightly disappointed by the bagged option. I wondered the same thing as Lili–is there a reusable bag option? For the price, you’d figure they’d be able to develop some sort of technology that lasts longer…

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6 Kristen January 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Ok, here’s my thought on that. Like I said in some previous comments, the expert opinion seems to be that bagless models do not work as well in the long run, and I want a vacuum that works for a long time. And like you said, a vacuum that lasts but requires bags is more environmentally friendly than a bagless vacuum that doesn’t last.

The other thing is this: from what I read, I expect to use about three bags a year. That’s not a large amount of trash production, honestly…three vacuum bags. If I want to get even more serious about reducing my trash than I am currently, there are a lot of other things I could worry about before I got to the point of seriously worrying about vacuum bags. For instance, I produce way more than three vacuum bag’s worth of trash in a year just from food packaging, even though I do most of my own cooking.

Although I haven’t had a chance to confirm this yet, the vacuum store employee said that Miele bags last longer than typical vacuum bags because of the machine’s design, which compacts the collected dust/dirt into the bottom of the bag.

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7 Lili@creativesavv January 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Thanks for giving us your thoughts on that, Kristen. I know it may sometimes seem like an inquisition, when all you did was post that you like your new vacuum. But if you’ve thought it through, then your thoughts may shed light on the subject when we face the same concerns. :)

8 Jen January 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

My bagless Dyson has been awesome for five years now, but congratulations on your vacuum too! I like the pretty blue color.

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9 Elaine in Ark January 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

You know, you can clean a bagless vacuum cleaner. I saw instructions on a website about cleaning a Tyson (email me for the url), and I just adapted it for my vacuum cleaner (I didn’t dismantle the motor compartment as they did, but I took the canister and chambers apart and blew them clean with my hair dryer – on the deck, not inside the house). I finished it off by wiping down the exterior, and it looks and works great!

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10 Lili@creativesavv January 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

I hope you get many, many years of use from this machine.

Do you happen to know if the “guts” (the motor and all the moving parts in there) are all metal? Were there any other brands at the vacuum store that you were impressed with?

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11 Economies of Kale January 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

Nice vacuum :) we have an old Miele vacuum that we inherited and the hose cracked (probably due to user error, nothing to do with the quality). I was trying to decide whether to replace the hose or buy a new one, but when I saw the price of new ones, the $20 for a new hose on eBay disn’t seem so bad :)

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12 Kathy January 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

HI Kristen! Do you notice an odd smell from the Miele
Twist?
We got the same model about six months ago. It performs wonderfully, but we noticed a strong, unpleasant smell – sort of like a mild puke smell – when we used it. Bed bath and Beyound exchanged it for another identical model – and we still smell it.
I am wondering if is a “new heated rubber smell.” We are keeping it because we figure there is nothing wrong with it and it’s a great vacuum.

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13 Becky January 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

Oh! – that is a lovely color!!
And it should help make vacuuming fun for at least a while ;-)

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14 Denise @ My House, My Rules January 16, 2013 at 9:54 am

Nice! I am curious why you didn’t want a bagless model?

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15 Kristen January 16, 2013 at 9:57 am

Well, a lot of the experts whose opinions we read recommended against it because they tend to make a vacuum lose suction over time, and the vacuum store people said the same thing independently.

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16 Lori January 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

I’ve owned a Miele canister vac for several years; I love it! I used a friend’s a few times before purchasing mine – hers was about 10 years old and still worked great! Quiet, so the dog and cats don’t freak out. As someone else said – can’t beat German engineering. Much better than the couple of bagless models I had that were “made for pets.” It handles all of the fur well!

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17 Casey January 16, 2013 at 10:18 am

Kristen…you will not regret buying the Miele–so durable. I’ve had mine for four years and while I only vacuum once a week (and no kids), I’ve on ly gone through about 6 bags and replaced one filter. They last a really long time. My grandmother cleans her bags out and reuses them, but I’ve not reached that point quite yet.

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18 Renee McD January 16, 2013 at 10:20 am

Apparently we are all very excited about your new vacuum. I would like to know how much the bags cost and if you have to change it after ever cleaning and/or how much the bags hold. Also is there a reusable bag for this model (or for the more expensive models)? Thanks for sharing.

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19 Battra92 January 16, 2013 at 10:43 am

Your heirloom link isn’t working by the way.

Nice vac. I like having the option to repair things. I don’t understand the replace it and forget it mentality of so many items. What was once an expensive luxury is now only a semi-durable good.

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20 Kristen January 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Thank you-I’ll go fix that momentarily!

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21 Kristen January 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

Oooh! I have vacuum envy. When I was looking into it, everyone said Miele was the best, but I simply didn’t have the money at the time. My current vacuum is actually working just fine, but I do want a Miele some day. I hope yours continues to serve you well!

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22 Kathy January 16, 2013 at 11:08 am

Kristen did you see my question about the Miele’s off smell?

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23 Kristen January 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I did-sorry! Right now, my Miele smells mostly like pine needles because we got it right before Christmas, so I don’t have a good answer for you. My vacuum store sold essential oils that you can put in your filter, though, so maybe check and see if you can get something like that?

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24 Kathy January 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm

That’s a great idea – thanks!

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25 WilliamB January 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

“my Miele smells mostly like pine needles because we got it right before Christmas”

Hee, hee. Maybe Kathy should import some pine needles, too. … Actually, that might actually work, now that I think about it.

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26 Cindy January 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

We just purchased a Miele diswasher this fall and I love my dishwasher. When my current vacuum bites the bullet, I’m so looking forward to purchasing the vacuum.

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27 April January 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm

The first 4 years we were married, I burned out 4 vacume cleaners. When we got married, we each had 2, (I had a 2 story house with one on each floor and he had a 3 story house with one on each floor). That year I got a Dyson for Christmas and love love love it. It is bagless. When I dump the bag I always find a treat–a diamond earring, money, usually pennies and often legos. I dump it in the compost pile, so often in the garden we find change and legos….

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28 Tammy January 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm

We have purchased two very cheap vacuum cleaners. You get what you pay for, and we certainly have! I would love to get a nicer vacuum cleaner. I’m just glad that most of our house is hard surface flooring, so I don’t have to use it very often!

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29 Elizabeth L. January 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I said this on Twitter, but I’ll say it here too: your post and all of the comments were the kick in the pants I needed to get a new vacuum. I had been using my grandparent’s old one and I knew it wasn’t doing a great job. It’s a cheaper Hoover model, so I thought it was better to replace it than to try to fix something that probably wasn’t very good in the first place.

I decided to go with a bagless (I read that it’s better for allergies?? not sure about that though) and after much debate, hashing and rehashing, and counting of gift cards and available funds, I purchased a Shark Rotator Professional LiftAway. I’m completely obsessed with it. :) I filled up three canisters just vacuuming my landing, hallway, and bedroom. I have a cat and I loose a lot of hair too, but I was unprepared for all the stuff the new vacuum picked up. I’m so embarrassed. I had no idea how gross my carpet was. It even feels different (the feel of clean I guess?).

So I just wanted to say thanks for blogging about your vacuum because it led me to my new one. :)

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30 Shana January 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm

We have the shark as well – I love love LOVE it – we have a big dog, with lots of black hair, that she sheds like nuts, so I am absolutely delighted with how well it picks up her hair. I empty my canister on our lower level (rather small) two times during vacuums – packed full of hair and dirt. It’s delightful!! :)

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31 Monica B January 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Congratulations on your new vacuum! We have a Miele (though the canister version) and I have to say that I actually love vacuuming now. Ours is about 2.5 years old and I still love it. Hope you will too!

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32 Jessica January 16, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Congratulations! The blue is loverly.

I had commented before that I was comtemplating the Riccar. I got the Supralite model ($300 including an extra set of bags) and it is awesome. Incredibly light and powerful. I agree with you about the vacuum store. I went to a little independent place here, and the owner not only assembled the vacuum for me but even changed the brand-new belt out! He explained that the belts can sometimes stretch even while sitting in the box. Not going to get that service at Wal-mart! He demonstrated the Riccar Supralite vs. the Oreck and the difference was amazing. The Riccar has so much more suction. I vacuum all the time now. :)

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33 Andrea January 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

YEEEHa! I LOVE my Miele!!! We go the pets one a few months ago- We call her Betty White (it’s a white vacuum and Betty White is all about animals) lol… I LOVE it. Yes it was odd to go with a bagged variety because I just thought that was better for the environment but I think you have to choose your battles and this vacuum won because it won’t end up in a land fill for a very very very long time if ever. I doubt I will go through very many bags very often. These are efficient vacuums! My husband was all about the bagless kind. The one we had was decent and then it just tanked and sucked and not in a productive “I’m a vacuum and I suck kinda way”. We looked at ALL the brands, went to several stores, we knew we didn’t want to have to replace it again in a few years. I LOVE the hose! It also made me realize how crappy my other vacuum had gotten. I also learned at this one place (a different brand dealer) the sales lady was very serious even when I joked about sucking up a Hamster… she got all weird and referenced a “situation”… It was kinda awkward.
I joked Betty was going to have her own spot at the dinner table…

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34 Emily January 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I need a new vacuum very badly. Thanks for doing all the research for me! ;-) But what are these vacuum stores you speak of, is there a chain called Vacuum’s R’ Us I’m not aware of?

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35 Kristen January 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Well, I’d do a search for vacuum stores in your area. Typically, locally owned vacuum stores also sell and service sewing machines, so you might search for that as well. Hopefully there’s such a thing where you live!

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36 teresa January 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

I bought a Riccar about 8 years ago and I love it! So worth the money. It has an easily removable brush and belt, which is a must since I sew and don’t always get all the threads off the floor.

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37 Janet March 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Hi Kristen, I live in Bear, DE and am in the market for a new vacuum. I am wondering where the vacuum store is that you were able to test all the different models. Would you mind sharing? My hubby and I have been researching online, but cannot make up our minds. We have had our Kenmore wedding gift vacuum for 11 years, and while I would love to get another one just like it, the ratings for the new models are not promising. Thanks in advance!

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38 Renee McD July 29, 2013 at 11:16 am

I was just wondering if you are still happy with this vacuum and if you truly think you are only still going to use about 3 bags/year. Just curious if you were still happy 6 months later.

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39 Kristen July 29, 2013 at 11:22 am

Well, I bought it in December, and I only just had to change the bag in May or June. So yep, I’d say I’m on track to only need three over the course of a year!

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40 Kristen January 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Oh, I don’t mind! On the surface, it does seem like bagless is a better idea, but once we delved further into it, we concluded that wasn’t the case.

But I can definitely see why people would wonder why I chose to get a bagged vacuum, so I don’t mind explaining.

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41 teresa January 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

Agreed. The guys at the vacuum store where I purchased mine also said that the bagless vacs are very difficult to repair.

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