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Miele Olympus Bridges Gap Between Quality and Budget

I’ve been using new Miele entry-level canister vacuum, the Miele Olympus, in my home since we received our first delivery in mid- October, and it’s easy to see why it’s becoming so popular.   At $299.00 this vacuum is a terrific buy.  I can’t think of another manufacturer that offers a vacuum cleaner of this quality for that price.  

Here’s a point by point review for those of you considering it.

Right out of the box there’s no doubt the Miele Olympus is a true Miele vacuum product.  All the familiar parts are there, from the six-foot crush-proof hose and three-foot adjustable stainless-steel wand, to Miele’s combination rug and floor tool.  There’s also Miele’s three-piece accessory cleaning tool set – dusting brush, crevice nozzle and upholstery tool – with on-board carrying clip.   An air-driven “Turbo” brush is available separately.

Controls are super simple.  There are just three: one button for power on/off, one button for the cord rewind, and a dial to increase or decrease the suction power.    As with all Miele canister vacuum cleaners, you can adjust the length of the wand so that the height is comfortable for your back and shoulders. 

The first thing you notice is that the Miele Olympus is incredibly light.  It weighs less than 10 pounds making it tempting to just pick it up and walk around with it rather than have it roll behind you.  And it’s quiet.  Just like in the Miele commercials, you really can have a normal conversation when the quiet setting is selected.  
 
But it’s the suction that really stands out.  Remarkably, this is the same high-performance motor as the one in the more expensive Miele S5 series, and it performs just the same.  Powerful suction draws in dust bunnies from several inches away on hardwood floors, and you can really feel it pulling down deep into the area rugs.  You’ll definitely need to use the adjustment dial to reduce suction when vacuuming smaller rugs, drapes or upholstery.

Miele’s basic floor tool does a great job on hard floors and area rugs.  It’s only three inches high, so you can vacuum underneath furniture without having to move it, and the suction is directed right to the ends of the tool, so edge cleaning performance is excellent on bare floor. But because the lint lifters are only in the center of the floor tool, edging is less impressive between carpet and baseboard with the basic tool. 

The rug and floor tool is really best suited to homes with that specific kind of flooring. If you have several rooms of flat or looped wall-to-wall carpeting, opt for the Miele Olympus with Turbo Brush.  And if you have any thicker, cut-pile carpeting, you should be looking at the Miele Delphi model that comes with a motorized power brush.

Above the floor cleaning is just as good.  The wand is light and reaches up to a nine-foot ceiling height.  The dusting brush is great for getting at cobwebs or cleaning baseboards, but my favorite accessory is the upholstery tool.  It has these little rounded velvet strips that lift off any pet hair or lint as the vacuum sucks it away.  It’s simple, easy and works perfectly.

When you’re done, just push the button and the cord zips away for storage.  Love that.  The wand collapses and the floor tool locks in a holder on the back of the vacuum, so it all stores in the closet in nice tidy little package.

All in all the Miele Olympus vacuum is a great starter or second vacuum for homes with mostly bare floors, some area rugs, and maybe a couple of rooms of flat carpeting.    But we couldn’t end this review without talking again about the value.  At $299.00 this vacuum is an outstanding buy, an entry-level Miele that does not sacrifice on performance.  

I hear you: So what’s the catch?  If it’s so great, why even think about the more expensive models?  Well, there are some significant differences between the Miele Olympus and other Miele S2 vacuum cleaners and the more expensive Miele S5 models, such as the Miele Pisces?

For one thing, the plastics are not the same.  They are thinner on the less expensive Miele S2 vacuum and it shows.  The thicker plastics on the Miele S5′s are higher quality and give them a more substantial feel.  In addition, the Miele S5 vacuum cleaners have a solid rubber bumper around the base of the unit to protect baseboards and furniture from being marred.  The Miele S2 bumper is plastic.  Also, the power cord on the Miele S2 is three feet shorter than the Miele Pisces, something you’ll notice when trying to reach that last corner in a large room.

But the two main differences are the accessories and filtration.  The accessories on the Miele S2 are similar, but not quite as nice as the ones on the Miele S5 models.  The dusting brush has hard nylon instead of soft natural bristles, the hose is thinner and less resistant to crushing, and the bottom of the floor tool is plastic instead of the chrome plated steel that comes on the more expensive models. 

As for the filtration, it’s significantly higher than most vacuums, but it does not meet the same standard as Miele’s certified sealed system, which is the very best available today.  Not such a big deal for normal seasonal allergy sufferers, but if there’s someone in your family with severe respiratory problems like asthma, the HEPA certified system that is standard on most Miele S5 models is a better choice.

Apples to apples, you pay about $200 more for the higher quality Miele S5 models. All differences aside, though, budget is a major concern for families these days.  While it may or may not make sense to move up to the more expensive models, it always makes sense to pay a little more to buy something of quality that won’t end up in a landfill two years from now.  The Miele Olympus vacuum cleaner bridges that gap between quality and budget.

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