In general, vacuums are loud. I mean, really, how can they not be? Most vacuum cleaners are essentially a motor and a bag (or container to hold the stuff you vacuum up). The motor creates suction that draws in air, debris, dirt, then traps the particles while allowing the air to pass back into the home. The problem is that not only does the motor produce noise as it runs, but you also have the suction created by the vacuum - that "giant sucking sound" (anyone remember Ross Perot?).
These two things often combine to make most vacuums so loud that you simply cannot hear the phone ringing, someone knocking on the door, or even someone in the same room trying to talk to you. Ultimately, brand matters little in this regard. From Dyson and Kirby to Eureka and Hoover, and everything in between, most vacuums are loud. But are ALL of them loud enough to rattle your windows? With the help of my family, I've decided to give you a photographic representation of a better way.
Looking for a quieter vacuum, particularly one that offers filtration as good as a HEPA air purifier, suction as powerful as any available, a warranty that surpasses all competitors, and a choice of styles, features, and colors? A Miele is your best bet! And I am fully confident that this completely unscientific photographic representation offers all the proof you need.
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Special thanks to my sister, sister-in-law, and nephews. The Miele pictured is the Auto-Eco (formerly the Bolero).
Thanks for messing up the shot!
Author: K. Gilmore
Starting with traditional bagged uprights, the Twist came in at that top. The only area where this vacuum didn't receive a best or near best rank was with regard to handling. This is somewhat understandable given the weight of Miele uprights. One of the few top vacuums that did receive a high mark in this area was the SEBO Felix Premium, which not so coincidentally, is one the lightest vacuums that was tested. In terms of noise level, filtration and performance (particularly on carpet), the Miele Twist was overall the top model.
Joining the Twist on the list was the Miele Cat & Dog, Bolero (now known as the Auto-Eco), and the Jazz. So for the category as a whole, Miele uprights snagged four of the top ten slots and two of the top three.
When it comes to bagged canister vacuum cleaners, again Miele was leading the way. In this category, the only average rank the Callisto received was in handling, but that was actually right in line with all of the other models. As something I've pointed out about Miele vacuums, the Callisto was the quietest of all the models tested. Unfortunately, the Callisto, as well as the rest of the Miele S5 vacuums have largely been retired. The upside is the new S8 line of canisters offers a direct replacement model for nearly every retiring S5. In the case of the Miele Callisto, the new Miele Kona canister is a direct replacement - same color, features, and performance, with a slightly redesigned package and a few upgrades.
Here are a few other observations from year's report. One interesting note about the upright category, Dyson was noticeably absent from the bagless uprights. Additionally, the Dyson Animal canister was noted as a particularly poor performer. Though overall, Dyson and Miele were some of the most reliable of the major brands.
For more information, pick up the latest copy of this unnamed, but very popular publication.
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Author: K. Gilmore
Vacuum cleaners can release large concentrations of particles, both in their exhaust air and from resuspension of settled dust (Duchaine et al. 2013). The aim of this study was to evaluate particles emitted into the air from various vacuum cleaners. Tests and measurements were made based on dust inside dust bags or dust bins (some were bagless) and from air emitted from the machine while in use. Duchaine and her team quantified how much bacteria and mold could be found within these tests with a particular focus on Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella spp and Penicillium/Aspergillus. While Salmonella is fairly commonly known, the other two are related to botulism and mold, respectively. For infants/toddlers and those with allergies or compromised immunity, this study can be somewhat worrisome.
There have been previous studies on vacuum cleaners that have established that dust bags can be a reservoir for certain types of microbes, and in one particular instance during the 1950's vacuums have gotten attention for this, as a dust bag was the sole source of a Salmonella outbreak amongst infants in a hospital ward.
Before, you toss your vacuum, consider some of the findings on this study. No appreciable levels of the microorganisms, with the exception of mold spores (which varied more widely in terms of measurable amounts), was found in the emissions. While there were some present, the concentration was extremely low. In the dust bag though, the story was a bit different. Concentrations of the different microbes found were fairly consistent, regardless of brand (of vacuum), and this leads researchers to believe that "vacuum emissions could potentially lead to short and more intense bioaerosol exposures than those due to resuspension of settled dust" given the emission rate of most vacuums.
At this point, it is likely worth noting a couple things. First, brands of the vacuum cleaners used were not disclosed. The near two dozen units were collected from the homes of staff and students at the university. The age of the vacuums tested ranged 6 months to 22 years and the prices from $75 to $800 (AUD - Australian), and each vacuum was tested as it arrived. Additionally, samples could not be obtained from all the units involved. A little over half of the models tested produced measurable results, in terms of emissions and dust bag content. The next thing to keep in mind is this. For test purposes, researchers used HEPA filter air through the vacuums, to ensure uniformity but also to introduce as pure of a medium as possible.
This was an interesting research topic, since dust is often overlooked as a conglomerate of debris with no life or benefit. But here we have live microorganisms amongst nonliving material. This could also shed some light onto what kind of vacuum do you want to purchase. If this blog has got you thinking about switching your vacuum to something a little more vacuum sealed, here are few things to consider.
Filtration matters - The fact that researchers used HEPA filtered air in their tests is telling, particularly when you compare it to the size of some of the microbes examined. Mold spores typically range in size from 3 to 40 microns while Clostridium botulinum, a rod-shaped microbe, can be .5-2 microns wide by 1.6 to 22 microns long. Certified HEPA filters capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns and larger.
Vacuums With a Bag Should Be Better - The entire point of the research piece was to focus on bioaerosols that vacuums can create and emit throughout the home. What is the point of trapping microbes only to expose yourself to them when you empty the dust bin?
Particularly Sensitive Groups, Pay Heed to What You Clean With - You often get what you pay for, and not all vacuums marketed as "HEPA" are equal. Some have been independently tested and certified (like Miele or Dyson), and other haven't. Even if you decide to pay for a vacuum with high end filtration, you are likely selling yourself short if you then use cheaper, aftermarket replacement dust bags or filters.
Lastly, On the Microscopic Level, Seals Matter - Vacuums that features seals to prevent air leakage and those that have dust bags that seal when you go to remove them are going to be advantageous.
Although this research does shed some light on potential bacterial exposure, don't fret because these types of infections are very rare. Overall, this statement from the study says a lot, "The vacuum characteristics here are likely to be the main predictor of emission, rather than dust content." However, if you're in a position where you have to crash on the floor at a friends or grandmas... you may want to consider a blowup mattress!
To read the full research article.
Author: R. Power
In many circles Miele vacuums are known simply as a luxury appliance. Styling, performance and price place many of their models at the top of the luxury vacuum list. For us, Miele is an effective, durable home cleaning machine, and recently, J.D. Power and Associates recognized both Miele canister and uprights as ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction".
Beyond the accolades, independently tested HEPA filtration, an array of features and tools, and quality construction combine to deliver the type of clean that not only leaves your home looking better but actually healthier too. From dirt, soil, and pet hair to allergens like dander, pollen and mold spores, these vacuums are designed to remove not only the mess you can see but also the microparticles that can pollute your indoor environment. From styling and ease of use to performance and durability, a Miele can be a great fit in any home.
Now, in addition to free express delivery, you can save up $49.95 in the form of a free filter. Each free filter will be included in the box with your purchase. One FREE HEPA filter per vacuum. Take advantage of this rare offer from Miele before time runs out!
For the second year in a row Miele uprights rank highest in customer satisfaction based on the latest J.D. Power and Associates study. Newly created this year, the canister vacuum cleaner category also features Miele as the top brand. With performance and ease of use being the strongest drivers of positive consumer sentiment, Miele vacuums ranked well for both of these criteria. Here's a quick look at the latest report.
Based on responses from over 5000 vacuum cleaner purchasers from Feb. 2012 to Feb. 2013, the survey scores vacuum brands on things like performance, suction, styling, price, ease of use, and other factors. Aggregated into 1000 point scale, the survey showed the Miele uprights scoring particularly well for performance, styling, and features while Miele's canister vacuums scored well for performance, ease of use and features. Both upright and canisters scored at least 49 points higher than average (more in the case of uprights), 816 and 805 respectively, making them each best in their segments. Thirteen different upright and ten different canister vacuum brands were included in this survey.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys are some of the most respected and mentioned consumer satisfaction benchmarks today. Annually, they compile quality, performance and satisfaction measurements for thousands of products from the direct feedback of millions of customers.
Author: K. Gilmore
The Soniclean uprights consist of two models, the Galaxy and VT Plus. Both work well on carpet, are very lightweight, and use Soniclean's patented sonic technology. A sonic bar vibrates hundreds of times per second, and it is this rapid vibration that helps to dislodge stuck-on dirt and debris. Powerful suction then removes dirt and allergens and stores it in an H13 HEPA filterbag. While the Soniclean Galaxy is a bit more in terms of price, it does offer a longer warranty, both in terms of parts and labor as well as on the motor. The VT Plus, though, is likely a better buy. Despite a shorter warranty period, as an AchooAllergy.com exclusive, with the purchase of a VT Plus upright you also get the Soniclean handheld vac for free.
The Handheld vacuum is a small canister style vacuum that also uses a HEPA filterbag. It is lightweight and fits over the shoulder with a strap. Included with this model are two wand extensions, a smooth floor tool, a handheld turbobrush (think PowerPaw), and three mini accessories - upholstery tool, crevice tool and dusting brush, all neatly stored away in a tote bag. You can literally fit everything (hose, wand, attachments, and tools), except the vacuum itself into the tote. This compact handheld unit is the perfect addition to either upright since it provides all of the above-the-floor cleaning ability that the uprights lack. Free with the purchase of the VT Plus, the handheld unit is great for quick spills in the kitchen, dusting through the house or simply as the perfect vacuum for garage projects.
In addition to the uprights and handheld model are two canisters. These use a filterbag, sealed system and separate HEPA filter to trap allergens and dirt. Keep an eye out for product reviews now that in-home testing is complete.
For anyone considering a powerful, lightweight and economical vacuum, Soniclean is well worth a look.
To see all Soniclean vacuums.
With two included floor tools, the Topaz is ideal for most homes or apartments. The SEB 217-3 offers powerful cleaning ability on most types of carpet while the Twister is the signature Miele floor care tool for all types of smooth flooring. This powerful, compact vac also comes with a sealed system and can easily be upgraded to a HEPA or Active AirClean filter. Seal-sealing FJM bags make replacement a cinch and ensure that debris and allergens collected stay trapped. Lightweight, the Topaz stores easily and is a convenient solution to multilevel homes.
The Topaz is now available in the Tayberry Red color and comes with Free Second Day Delivery included (continental US destinations). To learn more about the Topaz or to view the entire line of Miele S6 midsize vacuum cleaners.
Miele Onyx - First on our list in the Miele Onyx. Most people who are considering the Onyx find that it is perfectly suited for home with mostly smooth floors with some low to medium pile carpet and rugs. Quiet, powerful and economical, the Onyx is an easy choice for most.
Miele Callisto - An old mainstay, the Callisto is the most awarded Miele vacuum cleaner in history. Consistently ranking well in consumer reporting surveys, recipient of numerous Best Buy awards, the Callisto is a balanced HEPA vacuum cleaner that fits the cleaning needs of almost any home. Though it is retiring, the Kona is a direct replacement model. Though a new model, the Kona's features, price, and performance are all almost identical to the Callisto.
Miele Quickstep - Compact, lightweight and priced right, the Quickstep has been THE choice when it comes to having a second vacuum for the kitchen or laundry area. The slim design, ability to assemble and reassemble the handle, wand and body allow the Quickstep to go from an upright to handheld in seconds. Small apartment and loft dwellers love this compact vacuum.
Miele Alize - Though only available for a few months, the Alize has quickly become a very popular vacuum. Completely unique features like the sound-reducing DynamicDrive casters and Integrated Spotlight set the Alize apart while these features and the included floor tool makes this an ideal vacuum for anyone with smooth floors and a desire to remove allergens in the home. (Just a note, the UniQ was a close second amongst all S8 models, though the Marin is QUICKLY gaining ground on both .)
Miele Twist - Miele is known for canister vacuums, but since the introduction of the S7 uprights, these vacuums have been making serious headway in terms of popularity. Powerful, almost self-propelled, durable and very maneuverable, the Twist provides the largest cleaning radius of any Miele vacuum, works well all types of carpet and smooth flooring, and is far quieter than any comparable upright.
Author: Kevin Gilmore
What makes each model unique? The UniQ is by far, the top of the line, the crème de la crème. It offers the most features and several upgrades that truly make it "unique". The Marin provides many of the same features but also gives you the choice in which carpet cleaning tool will best meet your needs. The Kona is a direct replacement for the Callisto. Versatile and well-rounded, the Kona offers a perfect balance of value and performance. Similar to the UniQ in one-of-a-kind features, the Alize has a built in spotlight, DynamicDrive casters and the AirTeQ floor tool to help set it apart. Lastly, the Calima provides quality filtration and the right tools for homes with mostly smooth floors.
The last in the new line, the Miele Cat & Dog, can be pre-ordered, but stock isn't expected to arrive for about another week. This canister vacuum separates itself by using the Active AirClean filter and including the STB 101 to help make this vacuum the best fit for pet owners.
See the full line of Miele vacuum cleaners.
Author: Kevin Gilmore
When it comes to living in an apartment, having kids or pets buzzing around the house, there are bound to be spills. For sucking up the Cheerios that Jr. spilled or dirt that Max just tracked in on the kitchen floor, it can sometimes be a hassle to pull out the full size vacuum. This is where the Electrolux Ergorapido comes in handy.
The Ergorapido is a compact stick vacuum that doubles as a handheld vac. While this lightweight sidekick isn't as powerful as a full size vac, it makes up for that with convenience and versatility. With no bags to replace, no cords to rewind, and about twenty minutes of run time, the Ergorapido is ideal for quick spills and tidying up when time is at a premium. It's also ideal for bachelors who, let's face it, generally aren't prone to bouts of deep cleaning.
The second new model in our Electrolux offering is the Electrolux Nimble. As a full size upright vacuum, the Nimble features HEPA filtration, cyclonic suction and maneuverability that blends the Dyson Ball with the Miele Swivel Neck designs.
A brushroll control switch allows you to quickly transition from carpet to smooth flooring, and a sealed system ensures no air leakage. So instead of kicking up allergens, you actually remove them. The included 3-in-1 Versa-tool is a unique add-on unlike most other vacuum attachments available. Designed for several purposes, this one tool makes cleaning carpeted steps or crevices easier. Like the ErgoRapido, the Nimble is well-priced to fit nearly any budget.
So for quick spills, smaller living spaces or as an additional tool in your cleaning arsenal, the ErgoRapido is a great fit. And for full size and more powerful cleaning throughout the home, the Nimble is a vacuum worth checking out.