Updated Miele Buying Guide

How To Choose The Right Miele Vacuum

Though it seems daunting, it’s actually pretty easy to narrow it down to a few models in a couple of minutes. When it comes to buying a Miele vacuum cleaner, all you need to know is one important buying tip and then follow three simple steps to choose the perfect Miele for your home. Continue reading our Miele vacuum buying guide to learn more, then click the link above to see all our Miele vacuum cleaners for sale.

Buying Tip:  Miele only makes five vacuums

The big tip you need to know before beginning is that Miele does not make thirty different vacuums; they only make five.  That’s right, there are just five vacuums to choose from: Three canisters (C1, C2, C3) and two uprights (H1, U1).  These different vacuums are then paired with different features or accessories to make up the various models.  

To be clear; all the C1 series models are the same vacuum cleaner canister. All the C1’s have the same motor, same suction, same body, same cord, same wheels, same plastic.  This is also true within all the other series- all the C2’s are the same, all the C3’s are the same, and even all the U1’s are the same.  

Where it can get confusing is when you discover that each series has it’s own set of special features, and that each model in the series is paired with different floor tools for different kinds of carpet.  When you add to that more than a dozen special accessories and three different types of filters to choose from, it does seem a bit excessive until you realize that, instead of having to compromise on a “one size fits all” product, you can find the exactly the right vacuum for your flooring, your filtration needs, and your budget.

Before you begin to choose: upright or canister

Both Miele uprights and canisters have the same great suction and filtration so if you have a real preference for one or the other, stick with that style to be sure you’ll be comfortable using the vacuum.  

If you are a bit more flexible in your preference, follow this general rule of thumb:  buy a canister if you have high-end carpet or mostly bare floors and area rugs;  buy an upright if you have mostly wall-to-wall cut-pile carpet. 

Buying a Miele Upright

Choosing a Miele upright is very simple.  There are only two model options:  the H1 series Quickstep and the U1 series full-size upright. 

The Swing H1 Quickstep is a small broom model with a powerful motor and simple rug and floor brush.  It only comes in one model (H1), but optional carpet and accessory tools are available.  The Quickstep is not intended to do the job of a full-size vacuum, but is perfect for bare floors and area rugs in smaller homes or to be used as a second vacuum in a larger home. 

The U1 is Miele’s full-size, full-power upright.  It is suitable for most types of carpet and hard flooring, but is not recommended for delicate carpet, long carpet (shag) or rough stone and tile.

There are four model variations of the U1.  All are the same basic vacuum paired with different tools filters or advanced suction control.  Here is a simple breakdown of the different features on the four models.  Just choose the one that has the features and tools that best fit your household.


Basic model with AirClean filtration


Same as Twist plus LED headlight and HEPA filtration


Same as Jazz plus Automatic suction control

Cat & Dog

Same as Jazz w/ odor blocking filter plus mini turbo brush


Buying a Miele Canister

Miele canister vacuum cleaners are a bit more complicated because there are three different series (C1, C2, C3) and several carpet tool options.

Though there are important differences between each series, these feature options are not nearly as important as choosing the right floor tool.  You may not miss having a foot-tap suction control or rubber bumper (C3), but you will definitely know it if you get the wrong carpet tool for your carpets. 

Step One: Pick a carpet tool

All Miele vacuums- every one of them- work beautifully on wood floors and tile. For carpet though, there are five different tools designed to let you tailor the vacuum exactly to your needs. Below is a brief description of each carpet tool and what kind of carpet it is designed for:


Recommended for

Rug and Floor Tool

Wool, high-quality area rugs and bare floors

Turbo Brush (205)

Area rugs, looped or short pile carpet

Power Brush (217)

Med pile carpet, pet hair and

Power Brush (228)

High pile, thick or plush carpet, pet hair

Power Brush (236)

Same as 228 w/ headlight and bumper


Once you have chosen the correct carpet tool, then you can choose among the available models that have that tool packaged with them.  There is usually just one model in each series that comes with a given tool, so really, you have just three models to pick from once you’ve selected your floor tool.

Step Two: Pick a canister series

Each time you move up in the canister series (and in price) you get more features and higher quality fit and finish. Starting with the entry level Classic C1 series and ending with the Complete C3 series, all the vacuums have the same great suction and warranty.  Without going into exhaustive details, here are the basic differences between the three series. 

Classic C1: Basic vacuum body with dial suction control and semi-sealed filtration

Compact C2: Adds the following upgrades that are not available on the C1   

  • Thicker plastics
  • Better fit and finish
  • Longer cord (three feet longer)
  • Upgraded floor brush (natural bristle)
  • Upgraded dusting brush (natural bristle)
  • Longer wand
  • Quieter motor
  • Crush-proof hose
  • Fully sealed filtration

Complete C3: Adds the following upgrades that are not available on the C2

  • Rubber 3-D bumper surround
  • Toe tap suction adjustment
  • Built in accessory storage compartment
  • Fully sealed HEPA filtration standard
  • Available automatic suction control
  • Available finger-tip suction control
  • Available HEPA filter usage timer
  • Available Auto-stop tool rest

Step Three: Pick a model

Now that you know which carpet tool you need and have chosen a canister series, you’re ready to pick the perfect Miele in your budget.  Here is a quick breakdown of the most popular models for each tool:

Rug & Floor Tool Models

Classic C1: Olympus  ($329)

Compact C2: Quartz  ($429)

Complete C3: Alize  ($649)

Turbo Brush Models

Classic C1:  Capri   ($399)

Compact C2:  Onyx   ($499)

Complete C3:  Calima ($649)

Power Brush Models

Classic C1:  Titan  ($599)

Compact C2:  Topaz  ($749)

Complete C3:  Kona    ($929)


Extras:  Accessories and Filtration

Whichever Miele model you choose, all come with a full attachment set (dusting brush, crevice nozzle and upholstery tool) so you’ll have all the tools you need for regular cleaning.  For special jobs, there are special tools; radiator brushes, bendable crevice tools, auto detailing kits, window blind brushes- and the list goes on. There’s a specialty attachment for just about any cleaning job you can think of.

Miele AirClean filtration is a basic, low-cost filter that cleans the vacuum exhaust air before it leaves the vacuum.  The Active Air Carbon option filter adds a thick layer of odor absorbing carbon for those of us with pet odor issues. These filters are fine for most people, but if you have serious allergies or asthma, we recommend opting for Miele’s S-Class HEPA filter for absolute protection againt allergy and asthma causing particles. For a full, in-depth discussion of filtration, please see our article on HEPA filter vacuums here.

Questions?  Call us.

That’s it.  You now have all the inside knowledge of how to choose the best Miele vacuum for your home. But if you’re not quite sure or feel like you’ve spent enough of your life trying to find the right vacuum, it’s time to call the experts.  That’s what we’re here for.  Call 1-888-205-3228 to talk to a trained Miele product specialist that will answer any questions you might have.