Miele S4212 Polaris Vacuum Cleaner


Avg. consumer rating = 78/100 

The Miele S4212 Polaris canister vacuum gets average grades from consumers.  It is the least expensive of the Miele S4 series of canisters and is recommended for short-pile carpet, area rugs and hard surface floors.  Consumers like the Polaris'’ light weight, variable suction and extremely quiet operation.  On the downside the power cord is a little short.

A review of consumer comments and ratings from several quality sites indicates the following common Polaris likes and dislikes:

- Extremely Quiet
- Small footprint
- Lightweight
- Very maneuverable
- Powerful – with variable suction
- Solidly built

- Power cord is a bit short
- Attachment holder is on the hose
- The SBD450-3 nozzle is not great for medium to high pile carpet

Consumer ratings for the Polaris were found at several retail outlets and are shown tin the table below. When averaged they generate a score of 77 out of 100 which is fairly average.

Ratings Updated March 2016
 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  3.6 stars out of 5  66
 AJ Madison  3 stars out of 5  2
 Abt  4.5 stars out of 5  23
 Viewpoints  4.7 stars out of 5  7


The Miele S4212 Polaris is powered by a high output 1200 watt vortex motor and the suction on the vacuum can be adjusted to between 200 and 1200 watts.  Suction adjustment is managed by a rotary dial with six settings on the canister body.  The motor has lifetime lubricated ball bearings and balanced parts.  Miele claim that it has an average lifetime of 1200 hours and as such they provide a 7 year warranty on the motor.

Sealed System Construction
The Polaris also comes with Sealed System Construction.  We’'ve written about this in the past and it essentially ensures that all the air drawn into the vacuum passes through the filters without leakage.  This intelligent approach makes sure that unfiltered air does not get back into the environment.  High level filtration is useless if air is bypassing the filters.

Tools & Attachments
The floor tool that comes standard with the Miele Polaris is the SBD450-3 Combination Carpet/Smooth Floor Tool (a switch on the top of the nozzle allows switch between carpet and bare floors).  This tool is said to work best on bare floors, area rugs and low pile carpet.  Consumers have mentioned that the vacuum has limited ability on medium or high pile carpet.  If you are looking for a machine for medium or high pile carpet you will want to consider a Miele with an electric hose and a powerbrush (maybe the Miele Titan or the Miele Callisto).  One could also consider the Miele Neptune which is said to be effective on medium pile carpet but it does not have a power driven brushbar (it is air driven).  To get an idea of the differences between the S2 and S4 series you will want to check out our easy S2 vs S4 comparison article.

The Miele Polaris is essentially the same vacuum as the Miele Neptune except the Neptune comes with two floor tools: the STB205-3 Turbo Comfort brush (specialized tool for low to medium pile carpet) and the SBB300-3 Parquet Twister (for bare floors).  These tools are specialized and work better than the single combo carpet/smooth floor tool provided with the Polaris.  Having said that there are clearly many consumers (consider the ratings) that find the Polaris and the combo tool to be more than adequate for their needs.

A number of tools come with Polaris including:
- Upholstery Tool
- Crevice Tool
- Dusting Brush (with natural bristles)

Filtration & Bags
Air filtration is provided by an Air Clean Filter.  This level of filtration removes 94% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or greater.  Two optional filters can be purchased for the Polaris.  These include an Active Air Clean Filter and an Active HEPA filter.  The Active Air Clean filter is essentially the Air Cleaner Filter with an activated carbon component.  Activated carbon is extremely effective at removing odors from the air.  The Active HEPA filter combines activated carbon with HEPA level filtration.  HEPA filtration removes 99.9% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or more.  This is an excellent feature for those suffering from allergies or asthma.

The Polaris uses 3.7 quart FJM HyClean Dustbags which have a spring-loaded, self-sealing cover that ensures no dust leakage upon bag changes.  The bags themselves also provide significant filtering of the air and help to reduce the load on the filters.  They are made from 3-ply polymer fibre that also makes them virtually puncture proof.  Consumers indicate that changing the bags is quite easy and there is an indicator on the vacuum to tell you when a bag change is needed.  It should be noted that the S2 series has a larger 4.76 quart bag.

Other Features
The vacuum is marketed as having a 29.5 operating radius and what this really means is that it has a 21 foot power cord.  This is probably the main consumer complaint with the Miele S4212 Polaris – the short power cord.  It does have auto-rewind however.

Additional features on the Polaris include a stainless steel telescopic wand and a thermal shutoff switch that will ensure no motor damage upon vacuum overheating.   The Polaris is also quite light, weighing a meagre 14 lbs - very handy if you have more than one floor to clean.  The vacuum is also rather compact with dimensions of 17 x 7 x 8 inches.  The Polaris carries a 7-year warranty on the motor and a 1-year parts and labor warranty on the remainder of the vacuum.

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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Also, watch my video reviews on the Vacuum Cleaner Advisor YouTube Channel.