What vacuum cleaner should I buy?
July 5, 2014 5:37 AM   Subscribe

Right now I have a Hoover Pet vac that does a pretty good job but I'm looking for an upgrade.

I think I've settled on a Miele vacuum but I can't figure out which model will be the right one for my home. The first part is deciding on the Twist upright vs. one of the canister models. I'm leaning towards a canister model unless enough of you make the argument that the Twist is better for my house.

My house is 1800 sq. ft. We have hardwoods throughout the house, tile in the bathrooms and kitchen and one area rug (low pile dhurrie). We also have two cats. I especially want to be able to get all the hair and dander out from under furniture, out of crevices and off of our sofa, chairs, bed, etc.

There are so many canister models and some come with certain attachments, some can add the attachments via purchase later, etc. But then it seems like some canister models can't accept attachments that similarly priced canister models can. What base model is going to suit me well to begin with but will also have upgrade potential when or if I need it? I don't want to pass on a feature or the ability to add some attachment by purchasing the wrong model now. Some of the models I've been looking at are the Alize, Titan and Calima. Am I overlooking anything here? This is not a cheap purchase so I want to make the right choice. Thanks!
posted by rbf1138 to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Four cats and a fluffy, shedding Husky in the house, and I live on a dirt road. We have some short nap carpet on two floors and polished cement on the main floor, with tile in the bathrooms. I have this Shark vacuum and I love it. I can't speak to how long it will last, I've had it for about three months. The attachments are perfect for my use.

This is, without doubt, the best vacuum I've ever owned....
posted by HuronBob at 6:35 AM on July 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: tl;dr: I just went through this same decision in our 2-cat, 1-dog household and settled on the Titan. But you should get the Capri.

The first main difference in the Miele S21xx series is that the Olympus and Capri do not have a plug-in for an electric brush, while the Delphi and Titan do have the connection. So, the Olympus and Capri can never use the powered brushes, but this is okay, since you only have one rug, and non-powered brushes will be fine for the area rug.

So, between those two: the Olympus comes with a single combination brush that works for hard floors and carpets; the Capri comes with both a brush specifically for hard floors and a spinning brush for carpets that's suction-powered. Between those, I highly recommend the Capri. My Titan has the same "parquet floor brush" and it is magical. You can watch the hair being sucked across the floor and into the brush. And, it's engineered in such a way that the wand folds down parallel to the floor while the brush is still flush, so as to vacuum under any furniture you have (we literally have yet to find furniture that it won't fit under).

The Miele is truly a wonder of engineering; when we first got ours, we'd vacuum twice a day just for fun. That's tapered off, but it's still just a joy to use, and it works light years better than any other vacuum I've ever used, including Dysons. The wand is almost silky in its extension, and gets really long—I'm 6'2" and never have to stoop with it (unless I'm vacuuming under things). There are wonderful attachment points to slide the wand into the body when the body is in both vertical and horizontal positions so you never have to just lay the wand on the ground. And best of all, the suction is amazing. Pet hair be gone.

So, get a Capri. It's killer for hardwood, the canister form factor is wonderful, and it'll do all the vacuuming you can imagine and more, AND it has a 7-year warranty. If you're feeling spendy, the Titan is great, and future-proofs the thing with the electric brush in case you ever move somewhere with more carpeting; it also comes with a HEPA filter (though you can add that to the Capri if you're inclined).
posted by The Michael The at 6:59 AM on July 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: What about the Alize vs. the Capri? It's $250 more but has what look to be a lot of extra features and a newer construction type.
posted by rbf1138 at 10:21 AM on July 5, 2014

We just got the DC 45 Animal Dyson, the handheld cordless one. My wife loves it as it saves lugging a full hoover around the house and up stairs. Battery lasts 20 mins which is more than enough for our needs and picks up cat hair as well as the Dyson stand up vacuum we've had for 6 years. It's spendy but worth it in our books.
posted by arcticseal at 10:33 AM on July 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about the Alize vs. the Capri? It's $250 more but has what look to be a lot of extra features and a newer construction type.

It doesn't look like that much of an upgrade to me—they both have a 1200-watt motor and use the same bags. The Alize has a slightly longer radius and a light on the wand, auto motor speed selection, and sleeker tool storage. I'm sure it's nicer overall, but for me the extra $250 would be wasted. If you can spend the extra, great, but I think the Alize is a number of smaller refinements rather than another real step up.
posted by The Michael The at 12:34 PM on July 5, 2014

Ok. I just did the vacuum buying thing and ended up with a Riccar. Never heard of it, right? Me neither. I loooove it.

First, I went to Target and bought a Dyson D65. I thought I loved it, but the housing was getting covered in fine dust (from the exhaust I presume) which means it wasn't removing the dust from my house. I returned it within a week.

I did some research and headed to the vacuum store FULLY INTENDING to purchase a miele. The vacuum guy showed me the motor housing from an old miele (repairable, heavy and cased in metal) and a new miele (light, plastic on NOT repairable). Then the vacuum guy showed me a Riccar. He actually did the whole 'used car salesman' routine to sell me a base model upright and I was close to walking out the door with it. But I didn't.

I went home a did some research- I even read the IAMA Vacuum Repairman Reddit thread! I ended up going back to the vacuum store and buying a higher end Riccar model than what he tried to sell me originally. It's got two motors - one for the upright floor suction part and one for the tools/hose. Don't bother with their air-powered upholstery tool, it doesn't work. Instead ask for a hose adaptor piece for you can go get the Dyson tangle-free turbine tool (which really does work!).

Anyway, I really love the Riccar that I bought. It sucks in a totally fabulous way! Plus, the hose actually stretches, unlike a Dyson. And NO DUST from the exhaust, also unlike the Dyson.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 1:22 PM on July 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Miele Twist is recommended over the small canister if you have any carpeted areas; I splurged on it, and it is great on carpets.
posted by mmiddle at 8:08 AM on July 7, 2014

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