Respected German home appliance manufacturer Miele has long been an advocate of bagged vacuum cleaners, insisting that they were superior to the new generation of bagless offerings. Earlier this year, however, they introduced Blizzard, their first ever bagless vacuum. What changed? The company says it waited to get bagless technology right before entering the market, and suggests that the Blizzard combines the most desirable attributes of dustbag and bagless models.
According to Miele’s press material, most bagless vacuum cleaners, in which air passes through a multi-cyclone system, require air to change directions many times, making lots of noise and wasting lots of energy. Regulating suction power is also a challenge in multi cyclone units because the vacuum requires a constant air speed to prevent the cyclone from collapsing. Finally, bagless vacuums are notorious for letting dirt escape when the container is emptied.
Miele’s Blizzard uses a mono-cyclone “Vortex Technology” in which air passes through a single cyclone to deliver excellent cleaning and low noise levels.
A three-stage filtration system is designed to prevent dirt from re-entering the air. In the first stage of filtration, coarse particles are separated from fine dust. Then, dust is held in the pleated dust filter inside the vacuum. (With normal use, the removable filter container needs rinsing once or twice a year under running water, and cleaning is prompted by a sensor.) The hygienic disposal process has been certified by the US American IBR Laboratories, which tests filtration performance. The third stage occurs in models that have a HEPA filter, which collects even the smallest particles and allergens, so that air discharged from the machine is cleaner than room air.
I recently got to test drive the Blizzard CX1 Hardfloor Powerline (at $700 MSRP, it’s the least expensive of three models, which go up to a MSRP of $900).
Here’s what I liked about it:
It is indeed blessedly quiet. That’s especially true when it’s first turned on, because a “gentle-start” motor means power gradually increases to avoid circuit overload.
A range of setting means it’s powerful enough to clean a dirty carpet and gentle enough to handle delicate job like draperies. And it’s easy to pick the appropriate setting using buttons with clearly marked symbols on them.
On-board accessories include a telescoping tube and an upholstery rod. The latter is great for soft furnishing and for mattresses. (Wait. What? You don’t vacuum mattresses twice a year? Dude, you should – it’s a great way to get rid of allergens, dust and dander.)
Castors that swivel to make moving the machine easy but aren’t so loosey—goosey that it’s hard to control.
The cord retracts automatically with a foot-controlled button.
If you need to pause the machine (to pick something up or move a piece of furniture, for example) the floorhead locks into the side of the machine, leaving the suction tube in a secure position.
The dust container is easy to remove. After carrying it to a garbage bag, it can be opened and contents dropped in. As with all bagless models, you need to make sure you are well positioned over the garbage to avoid a mess.
The handle has an integrated dust brush that can be used on windowsills, drawers, and cupboards and to quickly clean up spilled dirt, dust or other dry materials.
All in all, this is a very fine machine. Worth the wait, Miele!
For more on this and other Miele floor care products, go to Miele
Watch a video demo here.
Miele Canada sent me a review unit of this machine, which I kept. They did not review or approve of this copy. I really did like it, folks.