Our trusty all-metal Royal Supreme has served us for 19 years, and while it still works, we have grown tired of the loud noise and inconvenient transition to using hose accessories. But we have benefitted greatly from the larger investment we'd made in this quality vacuum and we realized such an investment is required for a quality replacement.
Recommend this product?
Powerful suction, top-notch filtering, quality construction, and convenient accessories were our primary criteria, which quickly eliminated most of the lower end Chinese manufactured units sold at Wal-Mart, SEARS or department stores. We've tried bagless vacuums and wanted nothing to do with messy bagless units for inside the house. Ugh.
We have over 2000 sq ft of wall-to-wall carpeting and 1000 sq ft. of wood and linoleum flooring. Uprights are easier to use for our extensive carpeting, so we primarily shopped for uprights. The choices quickly narrowed down to the Riccar Radiance, Sebo X4, and the relative newcomer S7 uprights from Miele. The S7's are not outsourced like earlier Miele uprights. They're made at Miele factories in Germany like the fine Miele canister units are.
After extensive research online and at vacuum shops, we chose the Miele S7210 as the best value for us, but to be honest, any of these three units have the power, quality, and accessories to work well in our home.
We wanted to love the USA made Riccar. It is a powerful and flexible unit, but the price was much higher, and it was by far the noisiest of the three we were considering.
We nearly purchased the Sebo X4 for its light weight and legendary reliability. What killed it for us was the inability to stop the beater brushes when sweeping hard floors and using accessories, the lack of a pivoting power head, and the short accessory hose.
Earlier in 2009, Miele introduced their "Twist" S7210 model which removed expensive and largely useless doo-dads like LED headlights ($50) and electronic controls ($200+), leaving just a good quality, quiet, powerful vacuum cleaner for $550. It has all the rug-sucking capability of their $900+ Tango Model without un-necessary complexity of extra lights and electronic circuit boards. This is the unit we chose, and our dealer upgraded the final filter to the Miele HEPA filter for an extra $42. Our total $595 cost was about $70 less than a comparable Sebo X4 with the Sebo S-Class filters, manual controls, no-headlights.
Our first impressions were good. Unpacking and assembly was very easy. Filters & dust bag are installed in the machine and one extra dust bag is provided. Assembling the unit meant only un-wrapping and sticking the handle with power cord into the main body of the unit. In less than two minutes, we had it ready to go. A quick start guide and user manual are included.
The Miele S7 uprights are solid, 22 lb vacuums. They maneuver very well when actually vacuuming, but you notice the weight carrying them up stairs. Miele provides a mid-height wide handle for carrying the unit evenly balanced which really helps. The size and weight come from large 6 qt. dust-bag capacity and two quality motors - both benefits for us.
Vacuuming with the Miele is a joy. It is quiet, easy to maneuver, easy to get under furniture, powerful, and effective at refreshing the carpet pile and removing dirt. The on-board accessory hose and wand extends 14 ft and is available in seconds for getting into crevices, removing cobwebs from the ceiling or light fixtures, dusting upholstery etc. The powerhead design is as good as Sebo or Riccar for getting close to edges. Like any upright, there's at least half an inch from bumper to brush that is consumed by the frame. Deep cleaning at the carpet-baseboard joint requires an occasional pass with the crevice tool. The strong suction will pick up surface dirt, even at the edges.
Like the Sebo X4, the Miele S7 units have a clutch assembly that detects when the beater brush has been jammed by shoelaces, or a stray sock etc. A jammed beater shuts the Sebo completely off, (one motor), where on the Miele, only the brush motor is automatically shut off. On both units, clearing the jam is usually just a matter of pulling out the offending item. The Miele has a deep groove machined into the brush roller so that users can get scissors under any threads, string, or hair wound around the roller to cut them for simple extraction. The Sebo has a convenient way to remove the entire brush roller for servicing.
The separate brush motor with separate on/off switch makes it easy to turn off the brushes and use suction only for a quick, gentle pass over your hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors. Riccar also has this feature, but the Sebo X4 is a single motor vacuum so the beater brushes are always spinning. The Miele also features an electronically controlled on-switch so the motors gradually spin up rather than the light-dimming instant on you get with other vacuums. Miele claims this extends the life of the motors.
When a user locks the handle in the full-up position, the Miele S7 turns off the beater brush motor automatically. On the Sebo X4, the automatic height adjustment wheel raises the beater bar to the full "up" position, but the brushes still spin. This could be problematic on certain deep pile carpets. Because it is not possible to stop the brush roller for a quick vacuum of a hard floor, with the Sebo X4, one must always switch to the accessory hose and use a floor brush-head while dragging the upright unit - brushes spinning - behind. We liked the separate brush-motor on the Miele and Riccar. Two motors vs. one is a big part of the trade-off for total weight of the vacuum cleaner. The single-motor Sebo X4 is five pounds lighter than the Miele.
Changing dust-bags on the Miele S7 is very easy. The HyClean bags include a sprung flap that closes as soon as the full bag is removed. Definitely helps keep dust and dirt from scattering as you transport it to the trash can. The new dust bag must be correctly installed or the door won't close. While we don't like the expense of dust bags, we really like the filtering, cleanliness and convenience that dust bags provide.
Both Sebo and Miele vacs include a dust-bag change meter that measures airflow. If you clean up a lot of fine dust from your drywall project, the meter will advise a dust bag change well before the bag is bulging. Normal rug-fuzz and pet hair won't obstruct the fine pores in the bags as quickly and the full capacity of the Miele's six quart dust bag can be utilized. Sebo claims 132 CFM, Miele claims 140 CFM airflow. Both provide adequate suction power, but the Miele makes less noise in the process.
The Miele S7 provides a 40 ft cord and three on-board accessories - a crevice tool, upholstery brush, and small dusting brush that articulates to make it easy to dust out those ceiling cobwebs.. We purchased the $80 small STB-101 Turbo-mini brush head for reaching under low furniture and doing our carpeted stairs. For an air-driven power head, it works well. We plan to add Miele's articulating floor brush for reaching under furniture on the hard floors.
Not everything about the Miele comes up roses.
- Miele's electro statically charged HyClean dust bags are expensive and do not appear to be available in bulk quantities. At a discounted price of $18.95 for a box of four bags, that's $4.75 each. (Sebo X4 bags are about $2.20 each; Royal micro-filter bags about $2). Miele bundles a new bag chamber and SuperClean filters with each box of dust bags, so users are reminded to keep all filters fresh. We go through about 16 bags a year with our old Royal vac. so we're likely going to be spending an extra $50 a year on bags.
- The special Charcoal / HEPA filter retails for $60, and must be replaced at least annually. Most modern vacuums have such a filter (and expense), but Miele's is among the most costly.
- The accessory hose "locks" with a plastic tab that looks like it will eventually break off
- The HEPA filter cartridge is housed under a door on top-front of unit. The door "latch" is a friction fit of plastic parts and a tight seal on the HEPA filter depends on having the filter door tightly closed. When we use the vacuum under beds, this door latch can get pulled open and the filter seal broken. We've learned to watch for this.
- The shiny plastic finish is beautiful, but it scuffs easily.
- It's a hassle to keep the power cord out of the way when using the accessory hose.
- Unlike our old Royal, there is no air chamber compartment to load exhaust air deodorizers.
While the actual longevity of the unit remains to be seen, this is a Miele designed and built unit, trading on their extraordinary reputation for longevity. We believe that the Miele S7210 is a good value in today's vacuum cleaner market. We stuck with an upright vacuum this time, but were we to convert to a canister vac, the Miele units would be high on our list for consideration. Did I mention how quiet the Miele vacuums are?
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Amount Paid (US$): 600