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S5 Miele

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Miele German-made canister vacuums are extremely well-liked and highly rated by consumers.  Their top of the line canister vacuums are the S5’s.  So which S5 Miele canister vacuum is best for your needs?  It seems like a simple question, but once you start doing a little investigating it quickly becomes confusing.  Different models are recommended for different flooring, however several models get the same recommendation.  The vacuums also have a wide range of features that vary model to model – and optional attachments.  In this article we have gathered and organized key vacuum information in such a way as to make your choice a little bit easier.

According to the Miele website there are a number of new S5 Miele Vacuums and a number of older yet still popular S5 Vacuums.  The latest S5 series of vacuums includes the following models:

- S5981 Capricorn
- S5481 Earth
- S5381 Leo
- S5381 Gemini
- S5281 Libra
- S5281 Pisces
- S5281 Callisto (with SEB228)
- S5211 Ariel

Previous but still popular S5 models include:

- S5980 Capricorn
- S5580 Aquarius
- S5281 Jubilee
- S5281 Callisto
- S5280 Callisto
- S5280 Pisces

S5 compared to S4 and S2
There are some general differences between the S5, S4 and S2 series of Miele canister vacuums.  These can be summed up as follows:

- The S5 are larger canister models than the S2 and S4 series.  The S5 series is described by Miele as a “full size canister vacuum”, the S4 as a “mid-size canister vacuum”, and the S2 as a “compact canister vacuum ”.

- The S5’s have larger bags than the S4 but the same size bags as the S2.  The S5/S2 bag size is 4.76 quarts.  The S4 bag size is 3.7 quarts.

- All S5’s have three integrated tools that are all stored on-board under the ABS plastic casing.  These are attached to the hose via a clip on the S2 and S4.

- HEPA filtration is standard on all S5 Miele models.  It is not standard on the S2 and S4 series although some models in these series do have it.

- On average the S5’s have more floor tools than the S2 and S4 vacuums.  The top four vacuums of the S5 series come with 2 floor tools each.

If you want to see further comparisons of the S2 and S4 canister vacuums you will want to read our Miele S2/S4 comparison article


S5 Models
Probably the first thing a consumer wants to know is which S5 Miele canister is the best one for their needs.  This usually starts with a flooring recommendation.

S5981 CAPRICORN
Recommended for medium to high-pile or plush carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring. 

S5481 EARTH
Recommended for wall to wall, high pile, or dense carpet, and all smooth flooring. 

S5381 LEO
Recommended for medium to high-pile or plush carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring.

S5281 LIBRA
Recommended for medium to high-pile carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring.

S5281 CALLISTO (with SEB228)
Recommended for medium to high-pile carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring.

S5281 PISCES
Recommended for low to medium pile carpeting and smooth flooring.

S5211 ARIEL
Recommended for low pile carpeting and smooth flooring.

S5381 GEMINI
Recommended for medium to high-pile or plush carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring.

 

Pricing for these units is hard to nail down as they often appear with different floor tool options and thus prices vary quite a bit.  Also one will note that several of these are recommended for the same flooring use - but the vacuums have different features.  S5 Miele features and other details are best shown in table format.

 

Feature
Capricorn S5981
Earth S5481
Leo S5381
Gemini S5381
Color
Luna Silver
Marine Blue
Saffron Yellow
Java Green
Dust/upholstery/ crevice tools
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Power
1200 Watts
1200 Watts
1200 Watts
1200 Watts
Sealed system
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Operating radius
33 feet
33 feet
33 feet
33 feet
Dustbag capacity
4.76 quarts
4.76 quarts
4.76 quarts
4.76 quarts
Dustbag full indicator
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Silence insulation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
HEPA filter
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Safety shutoff
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Warranty
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
Handle
Deluxe
Deluxe
Deluxe
Deluxe
Suction Control
Touch controls on handle
step-on button controls with eco friendly automatic
step-on button controls
step-on button controls
Change filter indicator
Yes
Yes
No
No
Thermal shutoff indicator
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Recommended for
medium to high-pile or plush carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring
wall to wall, high pile, or dense carpet, and all smooth flooring
medium to high-pile or plush carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring
medium to high-pile or plush carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring
Hoses
SES130 Electric Hose
SES119 Electric Hose
SES119 Electric Hose
SES119 Electric Hose
Floor tools
SBB300-3 Parquet Twister Floor Brush
SEB217-3 Powerbrush, SBB300-3 Parquet Twister Floor Brush
SBB300-3 Parquet Twister
SBB300-3 Parquet Twister
Wands
SET210 Electric, telescopic Wand
SET210 Electric, telescopic Wand
SET210 Electric, telescopic Wand
SET210 Electric, telescopic Wand
Optional floor tools
SEB236 Powerbrush, SEB217-3 Powerbrush
SEB 228 Mid-Size Powerbrush, SEB 236 Full-Size Powerbrush
SEB217-3 Electro Comfort, SEB236 Electro premium
SEB217-3 Electro Comfort, SEB236 Electro premium
 

 

Feature
Libra S5281
Callisto* S5281
Pisces S5281
Ariel S5211
Color
Mango Red
Deep Black
Royal Blue
Polar Ice
Dust/upholstery/ crevice tools
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Power
1200 Watts
1200 Watts
1200 Watts
1200 Watts
Sealed system
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Operating radius
33 feet
33 feet
33 feet
33 feet
Dustbag capacity
4.76 quarts
4.76 quarts
4.76 quarts
4.76 quarts
Dustbag full indicator
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Silence insulation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
HEPA filter
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Safety shutoff
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Warranty
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
7-years on motor, 1-year on parts and labor
Handle
Deluxe
Standard
Standard
Deluxe
Suction Control
6 setting rotary dial
6 setting rotary dial
6 setting rotary dial
6 setting rotary dial
Change filter indicator
No
No
No
No
Thermal shutoff indicator
No
No
No
No
Recommended for
medium to high-pile carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring
medium to high-pile carpeting, area rugs and all smooth flooring
low to medium pile carpeting and smooth flooring
low pile carpeting and smooth flooring
Hoses
SES119 Electric Hose
SES119 Electric Hose
Non-electric Hose
Non-electric Hose
Floor tools
SEB217-3 Electro Comfort, SBB300-3 Parquet Twister
SBB300-3 Parquet Twister, SEB228 ElectroPlus
STB205-3 Turbobrush, SBB300-3 Parquet Twister Floor Brush
SBD550-3 Combination carpet /smooth floor tool
Wands
Stainless steel, telescopic wand
SET210 Electric, telescopic Wand
Stainless steel, telescopic wand
Stainless steel, telescopic wand
Optional floor tools
SEB 228 Mid-Size Powerbrush, SEB 236 Full-Size Powerbrush
SEB 217 Mid-Size Powerbrush, SEB 236 Full-Size Powerbrush
None
None
 

* This is the latest version of the callisto which comes with the SEB228, older S5281versions have different floor tools and a different wand.

Descriptions of Miele floor tool capabilities:

SEB217-3 Electro Comfort - electrically-driven carpet tool with a 10½"-wide brush roll with floating head and swivel neck design.

SEB236 Electro premium - electrically-driven carpet tool with a 13 3/8"-wide brush roll and 5 height adjustments for a variety of carpet densities. Also has a swivel neck for maneuverability, an integrated, light and all-around bumper strip to protect your furniture and an automatic shut-off when in the parked position.

SEB236 Powerbrush – same as SEB236 Electro premium.

SBB300-3 Parquet Twister - floor brush for tile, wood and other smooth surfaces. It has a 90° rotation.

STB205-3 Turbobrush - has a rotating roller brush that is activated by the air that is drawn through the head.

SEB228 ElectroPlus - electrically-driven carpet tool with a 14"-wide brush roll.  Equipped with a swivel neck and five level height adjustment.

SBD550-3 Combination carpet/smooth floor tool - universal tool for all smooth flooring and very low pile carpeting. A rocker switch allows you to go from smooth floors to carpeted surfaces.

 

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Comments  

0 # Tammy Brown 2012-01-23 14:44
Thanks for explaining, makes the executive decision easier!! Cheers
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