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Dyson v Miele Vacuum Cleaner

Updated on August 24, 2015

I was given a Dyson vacuum cleaner as a present having mentioned that I thought it looked cool on a TV advert. The way it seemed to glide so easily on that little ball and was all see-through and modern looking.

This came after I had moaned consistently about the heavy old Miele.

The truth was that I hate doing the vacuuming so any model would feel my wrath.

I was really disappointed with the Dyson but to be fair and perhaps helpful to you I need to compare it with my trusty Miele. Please note the many pictures on this page show a fairly new Dyson against an old Miele. The Miele doesn't normally come in a paint spattered effect!

Dyson and Miele cleaners
Dyson and Miele cleaners
Dyson and Miele vacuum cleaners side by side
Dyson and Miele vacuum cleaners side by side

Style - Form Over Function

The Miele is not a stylish cleaner and the manufacturers would not claim it as such. It is a workhorse. A simple reliable heavy-duty machine designed to do its task. It is not a flashy beast. It will spend most of its time in a cupboard and it knows its place.

The Dyson ball vacuum cleaner is 'designed'. They have looked at every aspect of the traditional cleaner and asked how they can make it more appealing. More tech, more glamour, more sales appeal.

On looks alone the Dyson easily wins. I was seduced by the TV advert. Look at that exciting vacuum cleaner - forgetting that all we are talking about is a boring machine doing a very low-level task. Cleaning floors and carpets.

Dyson in foreground, Miele in background
Dyson in foreground, Miele in background

Quality of Construction

For build quality the Miele absolutely and categorically wins hands-down. It is a Rolls-Royce of vacuum cleaners. Solid, dependable, reliable. From the machine itself through to the brushes and attachments - every inch of the Miele tells you why they are a very successful manufacturer.

The Dyson is the opposite. From the moment I opened the packaging I could see how flimsy it felt. How the Dyson company had checked every part to see how they could make it cheaper and still retain its functionality. Cheap plastic with hard and occasional sharp edges that gouge paint out of wood. It looks great and feels rubbish.

Miele and Dyson vacuum cleaner heads - top view
Miele and Dyson vacuum cleaner heads - top view
Underside of vacuum heads - Miele and Dyson
Underside of vacuum heads - Miele and Dyson

Cleaning Power

The Miele Cat and Dog version has an extremely powerful suck. It is supposed to pick up animal hair and works OK. No cleaner is perfect and no carpets or dirt are the same. It mostly worked fine.

The Dyson is odd. It does not feel as powerful and yet to be fair it does cope with the same hair and dirt as the Miele. It is reasonably effective at what it does.

Top view of cheap plastic Dyson vacuum head
Top view of cheap plastic Dyson vacuum head
Underside view of Dyson vacuum head
Underside view of Dyson vacuum head

Manoeuvring the Cleaners

A key part of using a vacuum is the ability to move around a room easily and efficiently. All vacuum cleaners get tangled up in furniture, knock things over and generally tire you out. Vacuuming is hard work.

The Miele does what you expect a pull-along cleaner to do. It is a heavy cleaner but it is manageable. Going up stairs is an effort. It has rubber bumpers on the body and on the nozzle - so furniture and paintwork is reasonably protected from knocks.

The Dyson is awful. It is the worst and most frustrating of tools. The wonderful ball you see in the adverts does not swing gracefully round corners and from room to room. It falls over! Every time you turn it falls on its side and has to be manually picked upright again. That is additional back-breaking effort that makes me curse Dyson and its designers.

The Dyson also has no rubber bumpers to protect furniture. It is cheap hard plastic that knocks against everything it should glide past. The floor of the ball gets stuck on rugs and under sofas. It is smaller and lighter than the Miele and yet it is harder to manoeuvre.

Side view of Dyson ball cleaner - this is the view you will see every time you turn a corner and it topples over
Side view of Dyson ball cleaner - this is the view you will see every time you turn a corner and it topples over
Base of Dyson cleaner showing sharp plastic edge
Base of Dyson cleaner showing sharp plastic edge
Underside of Miele shows decent wheels and a clear clean belly with nothing to impede progress by catching on rugs or its own cable.
Underside of Miele shows decent wheels and a clear clean belly with nothing to impede progress by catching on rugs or its own cable.

Doing the Stairs

Hooray! The Dyson wins this one. It is smaller, more portable and is easier to carry one-handed while working up the stairs.

Well done Dyson.

The revolutionary Dyson bagless cylinder - full of household dirt and dust
The revolutionary Dyson bagless cylinder - full of household dirt and dust

The Bagless Dyson v the Miele Bag

The Dyson sucks OK and it has no bag. The Miele sucks well and it has a bag.

The Dyson advertising makes you think there is "loss of suction" when the old-fashioned cylinder bags fill up. That is true. The Dyson also fills up. It does not have a bag - just a see-through plastic container that fills with household dust.

When you change a cylinder bag - you take the bag out, put it in the garbage and put a new bag in. It is a quick, clean job.

The Dyson requires taking the plastic container off and shaking it into the garbage. Dust goes everywhere. It is a tedious and messy business.

The benefit of the Dyson is no more bags. The drawback is getting closer to the dirt and dust than you need to be.

Cylinder packed full of dirt - time to empty.
Cylinder packed full of dirt - time to empty.
Emptying the cylinder part one - look at all that dust!
Emptying the cylinder part one - look at all that dust!
Emptying Dyson cylinder - part 2
Emptying Dyson cylinder - part 2
The two main parts of the Dyson bagless cylinder dirt collection device
The two main parts of the Dyson bagless cylinder dirt collection device
Open Miele showing the old fashioned bag - clean, tidy and easy to change.
Open Miele showing the old fashioned bag - clean, tidy and easy to change.

Cables and Controls

Surely both cleaners have cables? Therefore there cannot be much to compare?

That is what I would have thought. A cable is just a cable. It gets tangled round things, it is a pain, a nuisance - something you learn to handle when you vacuum.

The genius designers at Dyson have probably never used their own cleaner. If they had, they would have noticed that the cable they supply with the ball cleaner has a slightly sticky, slightly grippy external covering. This means that it grabs onto every corner or object it touches.

Instead of being able to pull the cleaner round a wall or door into a new room as you can with the Miele - you need to deliberately bring the cable with you. It will not slide or glide around. It tangles up itself. It sticks to paintwork. It is absolutely maddening.

Quite frankly I would like to wrap that cable around James Dyson's neck.

The pictures below show a key example of the cost-saving Dyson attitude versus quality Miele construction. The Dyson has no way to alter the power - it is either on or off.

View of Dyson controls - left one retracts the cable, right one switches it on.  That's it.
View of Dyson controls - left one retracts the cable, right one switches it on. That's it.
Miele control allows different power settings for rugs, hard floors and so on.
Miele control allows different power settings for rugs, hard floors and so on.
Top down view of cleaners - on its end the Miele takes up no more floor storage space than the Dyson
Top down view of cleaners - on its end the Miele takes up no more floor storage space than the Dyson

To Sum Up

I hate vacuuming. I dislike cleaners that can't magically do it all for me but they don't exist. I don't believe the Miele is perfect and elements of the Dyson are pleasing.

For a small, simple to clean house - if there is such a thing - the Dyson may be perfectly fine.

For an awkward house with furniture you don't want scratching, and perhaps a back that does not need endless bending to pick up the ball or untangle cables - I would always choose the Miele.

Dyson vacuum attachments.  These are designed to fall off at every opportunity.  There is no storage place on the Dyson ball like there is in the Miele.
Dyson vacuum attachments. These are designed to fall off at every opportunity. There is no storage place on the Dyson ball like there is in the Miele.

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    • profile image

      robhingston 21 months ago

      its Dyson not Dysan, but its I agree with everything you said, I would say the early dyson Vacs where make really well but now its just about fast turnover, but Miele on the other hand put Love into everything they touch, you cannot go wrong with a Miele

    • Easy Advice profile image
      Author

      Easy Advice 21 months ago from UK

      Lol thanks robbingston. I have now changed the spelling!

    • smartvacuum profile image

      Jhony Isaacs 7 months ago

      I have no idea about Miele brand vacuum cleaner. But now reading this content I gather lot of knowledge about this. I think this content really helpful for newbie Miele brand users, who want to buy it.

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