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Miele Alize Canister Vacuum Cleaner

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Avg. consumer rating = 96/100 

The Alize is a fantastic canister vacuum but it is important to understand what you are buying before you purchase.  Miele makes a wide range of canister vacuums each with a host of different features and attachments.  The Alize is a great machine for cleaning smooth surfaces like hardwood floors, tile or vinyl.  It is also effective on flat weave rugs and low pile carpet.  However – with its existing set of attachments – it may not be the best choice for homes with lots of carpet (especially medium to deep pile carpet). 

Consumer Ratings
Over fifty owner comments and ratings were found and are provided in the table below.  These ratings when averaged generate a score of about 96 out of 100 (or 4.8 stars out of 5).  This is a very high score and you can compare this to ratings for other canister vacuums we have investigated in our canister vacuum cleaner ratings table.

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.8 stars out of 5  48
 Williams-Sonoma  5 stars out of 5  3
 Abt  5 stars out of 5  1

 

Consumer Insights
A thorough review of owner remarks and comments indicates the following Alize pros and cons:

PROS
- Very quiet
- Lightweight
- Powerful
- Well made
- Built-in headlight
- Great for smooth surfaces

CONS
- The power cord is a little short
- Expensive machine
- Not a good fit for medium to deep-pile carpet

Almost all owners agree that the Miele S8590 Alize is lightweight and easy to handle, quiet, and well designed.  It is also praised for having powerful suction resulting in good pickup on hardwood floors, tile, vinyl, flat weave rugs, and low pile carpet.  However there are a number of comments indicating that it doesn’t come with the best floor tool for medium or deep pile carpet.  Some Alize owners go so far as to say that if your home is mostly carpet then this may not be the right machine for you.  In general, if you have a home with lots of carpet the Alize is probably not the best tool for the job, and the deeper the carpet the more impaired the performance.

Alize spotlight
Spotlight on the handle

Owners are pleased with the built-in spotlight and the automatic suction setting which adjusts suction to best fit the surface being cleaned.  They also report that the vacuum is made of high quality materials and that the filtration is effective and keeps the air smelling clean.  However there are some comments that the power cord is not long enough.  It is not uncommon for folks to feel the power cord on a canister vacuum is too short – they are usually shorter than those on uprights.

Also, we notice that many of those who purchased an Alize are previous Miele vacuum owners and several of these report that their previous Miele machine was durable and lasted quite a few years.  While not entirely scientific, this does speak to the longevity of Miele machines and also to the loyalty of Miele customers.

You can read more Alize owner comments on Amazon if you wish.

Some Comments on Floor Cleaning Capability
There are many questions regarding the capability of the Alize on different floor surfaces so we wanted to highlight a few key pieces of information in this respect.

The Alize is a great vacuum cleaner for bare floors, rugs and some low pile carpet, however the floor tool that comes with the Alize (the AirTeQ SBD 650-3) isn’t really designed for extensive carpet cleaning and is certainly not the best tool for medium or deep pile carpet.  A better tool for carpet (low to medium pile) is the Miele STB 205-3 Turbo Plus Power Nozzle.  This nozzle has a brushbar which helps when cleaning carpet. It costs about $100 and you can see it here on Amazon

The Miele Calima comes standard with the STB 205-3 and you may ask yourself “Why don’t I just buy the Calima?”.  The Calima is also a good vacuum but bear in mind that it does not have several other features that are available on the Alize including:

• Automatic suction setting (popular with owners)
• Filter replacement indicator
• Deluxe handle grip with spotlight (popular with owners)
• Automatic standby switch in rear park
• Dynamic drive castor wheels

Also, if you have deep pile carpet then neither the SBD 650-3 nor the STB 205-3 will likely be sufficient. The SBD 650-3 has no brushbar and the STB 205-3 has a brushbar powered by suction, which may work on low to medium pile carpet but it will not work well on deep pile carpet. For deep pile carpet you will probably want a motorized nozzle (brushbar is driven by a motor), and to use a motorized nozzle with the Alize, you will need to buy 3 additional parts:

1) The SES121 Electric hose
2) The SET220 Electric wand
3) One of the 3 motorized nozzles: The SEB217-3, the SEB228, or the SEB236

These three items will not be cheap – probably $400 or more (depending on the motorized nozzle).  Therefore for deep pile carpet you may be better off buying an S8 canister that comes with a power nozzle like the S8990 UniQ or the S8380 Cat & Dog.   Or you could consider a Miele upright (like the Miele Jazz or Twist).


Generally speaking, the following can be used as a guideline (please bear in mind that these are broad guidelines only and depend to some extent on the particular vacuum and floor tools):

Floor tool with no brushbar: –Mostly smooth surfaces and area rugs.  Limited capability on low pile carpet and poor on medium or deep pile carpet.

Floor tool with suction driven brushbar: Sometimes paired with a specialized smooth floor tool.  This combination provides the ability to clean smooth floors, area rugs and low pile carpet.  Limited capability on medium pile carpet and poor on deep pile carpet.

Floor tool with motor driven brushbar: –Often paired with a smooth floor tool.  This combination provides the ability to clean smooth floors, area rugs, low pile carpet, medium pile carpet and usually deep pile carpet.


Vacuum Features and Specifications
The Alize is powered by a 1200 watt motor that is built in Germany by Miele.  This is a low-noise motor with sound insulation. It is very quiet, a point which has been highlighted by many owners.  The motor also has a 1200 hour life expectancy.

The vacuum has six suction settings (from 200 to 1200 watts) plus an automatic suction setting.  The automatic suction setting will adjust the vacuum suction to optimize cleaning for the surface being vacuumed (Miele warns that you should not use this setting for vacuuming draperies or other lightweight fabrics however).  The other settings allow you to dial suction up or down (via “plus” and “minus” foot pedals on the canister body so you don’t have to bend over).  This allows you to tackle delicate cleaning like curtains or lampshades (low suction), and more aggressive cleaning of very dirty floors (high suction).  This feature is also useful for dialing down suction when cleaning some area rugs which may have a tendency to stick to the vacuum nozzle. 

Sutcion settings on canister
6 suction settings on canister body

The 6 suction settings are as follows and each also has a lit graphic symbol on the canister body which highlights what kind of cleaning each level is best suited for.

Setting 1 - Draperies and fabrics
Setting 2 - Upholstery and pillows
Setting 3 - Thick pile carpets, rugs and runners
Setting 4 - Low noise and energy-efficient vacuuming
Setting 5 - Low pile carpets
Setting 6 - Hard flooring and intensive cleaning of carpets

The power cord on the Alize has an auto retract feature which works well and is quite popular with owners.  Auto retract is activated via a foot pedal on top of the canister.  With cord, canister body, hose and tools the Alize has a cleaning reach of about 36 feet.  This is reasonable but is by no means an exceptionally long cleaning reach.  For example Miele’s Cat & Dog upright has a cleaning reach of some 54 feet.

All the Miele S8 canisters have a sealed system.  Sealed systems ensure that all the air entering the vacuum passes through the filter(s) before exiting the vacuum.  This not only provides quality filtration but also improves vacuum suction by ensuring all air is pulled through the hose and attachments and not through cracks in the vacuum body or around unsealed joints.  Many less expensive vacuums do not have this feature.  You can read more about sealed systems in our article on HEPA filtration.

A sealed system combined with quality filtration guarantees that the air being expelled by the vacuum is clean.  The Alize comes with a HEPA AirClean Filter which is capable of removing 99.95% of all particles with a diameter of 0.1 microns or more.  This includes the likes of dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, etc.  The HEPA AirClean Filter also has a built in indicator (called a “TimeStrip”) which will tell you when it is time to be replaced.  The filter is good for 50 hours of use which Miele figure translates to about 1 year of use. 

MIele also sells an "active" AirClean filter that includes activated carbon.  This can be used instead of the HEPA AirClean filter and is a great option for homes with pets as it is capable of removing odors from the air.  The Alize is certified by the DMT Air Quality Testing Institution, an impartial German group that undertakes product tests on air hygiene.  You can read more about them here.

The Alize has 3 levels of filtration:

Layer 1: multi-layer vacuum bag
Layer 2: secondary electrostatic filter (pre-motor filter)
Layer 3: HEPA AirClean filter (exhaust filter)

The vacuum bags themselves filter quite a bit of dust and debris out of the airflow so downstream filters are kept cleaner longer.  The Alize takes G/N AirClean bags which have a capacity of 4.76 quarts and automatically seal when they are removed from the machine.  A bag change indicator on the vacuum tells you when you need to replace the bag.  It is important to note that this indicator, which is actually driven by airflow, may also turn on should there be a blockage.

Alize tool storage
Tool storage in vacuum body

Tools provided with the Alize include:
- Crevice tool (6 inches long)
- Dusting brush
- Upholstery nozzle

The tools all store on-board the vacuum in a small compartment in the canister body.  The vacuum also comes with a crush proof hose and a stainless steel telescopic wand with 18 different height settings.  The attachments click-fit into place as opposed to friction fit.  This approach creates a more secure connection that won’t fall apart.

Miele ArteQ Floor Tool
AirTeQ Floor Tool

The main floor tool provided with the Alize is the AirTeQ combination rug and bare floor tool  - model SBD 650-3.   A large rocker foot pedal on the nozzle lets you switch between bare floors and rugs/carpet.  On the bare floor “setting” brush strips are extended on the front and back of the underside of the nozzle.  These ensure no marring of bare floors.  On the rugs/carpet setting these brush strips are recessed.  The SBD 650-3 has no revolving brushroll so, as mentioned previously, capability on carpet is limited.

The vacuum also has a deluxe handle grip that sports an LED spotlight.  Owners report that this feature is quite helpful when vacuuming in dimly lit areas.  A button on the handle turns on the spotlight for 30 seconds. However you should be aware that this feature requires three AAA (1.5V) batteries.

At about 11-12 lbs, the Alize is a fairly lightweight canister vacuum.  The vacuums in the S8 series are actually all about 2 lbs lighter than the S5’s and this has been accomplished without compromising suction power.  Both the lightweight construction and a built-in carry handle make the vacuum easy to transport from room to room or up and down stairs.

The Miele S8590 Alize warranty is as follows:
Main Unit: 1-Year Limited
Attachments: 1-Year Limited
Suction Motor: 7-Year Limited
Case:  7-Year Limited

But please note that the above is for residential use only.  If you use the vacuum for commercial purposes the 1-year limited warranties and the 7-year limited warranties all drop to 6 months. According to Miele the vacuum should have a life expectancy of about 20 years.

Additional vacuum features include air-injected caster wheels (with shock absorbers) that swivel a full 360 degrees, a bumper that surrounds the entire canister to ensure it doesn't scrape walls or furniture, and a thermal cut out switch.  The switch is designed to help save the motor and will turn the vacuum off should it start to overheat (from a blockage for example).

Check out Miele Alize pricing on Amazon.

Alize Manual
The manual is useful for learning more about features, specifications and maintenance.  You can view it on the Miele USA website here.

 

 

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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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