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Miele S163 Universal Upright Stick Vacuum Cleaner Review

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Avg. consumer rating = 73/100 

Like most Miele vacuum cleaners this one works very well but reviews are fairly average and it is also expensive. Having said that, it was recently rated by Consumers Digest as a Best Buy.  Owner ratings on this unit are limited, but those comments that can be found are good in some cases but poor in others.  The Miele S163 stick vacuum also comes with a Super Air Clean Filter and an optional HEPA filter, a level of air filtration not overly common with stick vacs.  It is recommended for low-pile carpeting and smooth floors.

Consumer ratings from several reliable sources are provided below and indicate limited consumer satisfaction with the Miele S163.  They are also a little odd in that ratings from Amazon are so poor while other sites sport much higher scores:

 Source  Consumer Rating  #Ratings
 Amazon  2.9 stars out of 5  9
 Epinions  5 stars out of 5  4
 Abt Electronics  5 stars out of 5  1

The Miele S163 has a sophisticated filtration system.  A key component of this is the Sealed System construction that ensures air does not leak prior to filtration and all the dust is kept inside the unit.  This is important as filtration is only effective if all the air passes through the filters – if air is allowed to bypass the filters then no matter how good your filters are you will not be getting the full benefits of proper filtration.  The Miele uses multi-stage filtration: a Super-Air-Clean filter which traps almost 94% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size (and 99.95% of particles down to 0.5 microns in size), and the ability to add an optional HEPA filter (removes over 99% of particles down to 0.3 microns).  There is also an optional Active-Air-Clean filter that combines the Super-Air- Clean filter with an active charcoal cassette that absorbs odors from the dust bag.  This can be useful if you have pets.  The lifetime of the Active-Air-Clean filter is about 50 hours of vacuuming.

The S163 is a bagged vacuum cleaner.  Bagged vacuum cleaners use a disposable bag to collect debris. When the bag is full it is removed, thrown away and replaced. There is a long standing debate about whether bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners are better.  It is typically easier to dispose of collected dirt and debris with a bagged vacuum cleaner. With a bagless vacuum cleaner it can be more of a chore to empty the dirt container (while keeping yourself and surroundings clean), however you do not have to purchase or toss away bags.   The S163 uses a 2.6 quart (2.4 liter) capacity dust bag that has puncture proof walls and seals automatically upon removal so no dust escapes when changing bags.  The vacuum also has a dust bag indicator light that indicates when it is time to change the bag.

The S163 motor is powerful at 1000 Watts and it provides about 96 cubic feet of airflow per minute (CFM) or 45 litres/second if metric is your thing.  The Miele S163 is designed to work effectively on most surfaces from bare floors to low pile carpet and rugs.  The S163 can be reconfigured such that the suction nozzle is below the canister - this configuration makes it easy to get under furniture like beds and sofas.  A detachable handle also allows the unit to operate more like a handheld device.
 
The Miele S163 has two speed settings  - low and high, weighs 9.3 lbs and has a 26 foot power cord.  It comes with a crevice nozzle for getting into hard to reach areas and an upholstery tool.  Also included is the Universal SBD245 Combination Rug / Smooth Floor Tool – this tool is a straight suction, multi-surface floor tool that is recommended for cleaning smooth surfaces as well as low or medium carpeting, regardless of type or density.  The S163 It comes with a 7-Year manufacturer's warranty on the motor and 1-year on parts and labor.

A review of consumer comments from several quality retailers indicates the following common likes and dislikes with respect to the Miele S163:

PROS
- Lightweight (just under 10 lbs which some consumers consider light)
- Powerful
- Quiet
- Corded (as opposed to battery operated) with fairly long cord
- Good on both carpet and bare floors
- Low maintenance

CONS
- No dusting brush
- Small vacuum cleaner bags
- Expensive
- A bit heavy (contrary to the Lightweight comments, some consumers feel that just under 10 lbs is too heavy for a stick vac.)

 

 

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Comments  

0 # Ron D\'Agostino DO 2011-10-19 10:45
This is an excellent review, with enough info for me to buy immediately.

Reviews this good are worth 10% of the product price.
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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.  

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