Avg. consumer rating = 90/100
Miele is well known for manufacturing high quality bagged canister vacuums, but they recently jumped on the bagless bandwagon. In this review we look at the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat and Dog - a bagless vacuum with some very unique and special features. The Cat and Dog has a self-cleaning filter system and a two debris receptacle design that keeps fine dust particles in one receptacle while moving larger debris to another. As a result, the large debris receptacle can be emptied without that annoying (and sometimes allergy/asthma inducing) puff of dust. Owner ratings are quite good but the unit is expensive.
|Hard Floors & Low/Med/Hi Pile Carpet
|Pet Hair Features
|HEPA Level Filtration
|Power Cord Length
|Motor Driven Brushroll
|1 Year P&L, 7 Years motor/housing
Miele Cat and Dog – Bagged or Bagless?
Miele now have two Cat and Dog canister vacuums. The Cat and Dog Bagged and the Cat and Dog Bagless. Both are getting very good reviews and ratings from owners but they are a little different. If you want to learn more about the bagged version then check out our Cat and Dog Bagged review.
We found 130 Cat & Dog owner ratings from a host of different online retail outlets – see table below. When these were averaged they resulted in a vacuum score of 90/100 or 4.5 stars out of 5. This is a very good score
and you can compare it to that of other canister vacuums in our canister vacuum ratings
table. You may also want to see our Miele vacuum ratings
table or our vacuum ratings application
which shows ratings and details for ALL vacuums.
|4.9 stars out of 5
|3.8 stars out of 5
|4.5 stars out of 5
|Bed Bath and Beyond
|4.3 stars out of 5
|4.8 stars out of 5
|4.0 stars out of 5
Pros & Cons
A thorough review of CX1 Cat & Dog owner comments has provided the following likes and dislikes:
- Canister moves well along the floor
- Good looking vacuum
- Feels sturdy and well built
- No bags to buy
- Easy to empty the dust canister
- Self cleaning filter is a nice feature
- Respectable cleaning reach
- Not too loud
- Made in Germany
- Very effective on carpet
- Powerful suction
- Variable suction (can be turned down)
- Some owners feel it is a bit heavy
- Expensive vacuum cleaner
- Crevice tool is short
- Lots of plastic used in construction
- Wand feels heavy
- Carpet cleaner head is big
What Are Owners Saying?
While a small number of owners have found the CX1 Cat & Dog not quite to their liking, there are a plethora of good comments about this particular vacuum. We’ve seen quite a few comments like the following:
- “worth every penny”
- “impressed with performance”
- “love it”
- “expensive, but worth it”
- “great power”
Most positive comments relate to the vacuum’s ability to pick up dust/debris/hair on carpet. Folks seem very pleased with the motorized cleaner head and just how clean and well-groomed it leaves the carpet. People are also impressed at how easily the vacuum pulls up ground-in pet hair.
Some owners do report that the motorized cleaner head is a bit on the bulky side however, and that it can be problematic when trying to reach under very low furniture. Also, a few poeple have highlighted that the wand and cleaner head together feel a bit heavy.
Hard floor cleaning is a little more of a mixed bag. Some say the vacuum performs admirably while others feel the parquet floor brush doesn’t provide enough suction to the floor. It should be noted that the folks who report a lack of cleaning ability on bare flooring are in the minority.
Also, many feel that the CX1 Cat & Dog is very well-made, describing it as sturdy, clean-looking, and attractive. However others report that while the unit feels sturdy, it also feels rather heavy
and that it can be a bit of a chore moving the entire vacuum from room to room or up and down stairs.
Folks are happy with the air filtration provided by the vacuum and like that it has a HEPA level filter which is designed to last for the lifetime of the vacuum (HEPA filters can be expensive to buy). In addition, they are impressed with the automatic filter cleaner.
In addition, we have seen more than a few comments about how nice it is to have a bagless Miele vacuum. Especially as Miele vacuum bags can be a bit on the pricey side
Other positive comments include that the vacuum canister glides and moves well over all manner of flooring, that the vacuum has a good cleaning reach, that it is fairly quiet, and that the dust canister is very easy to empty.
A fair number of folks – both those who like the vacuum and those who do not – have highlighted that this is an expensive machine. Indeed it is, and it usually costs in the neighborhood of $900 USD. It isn’t cheap, but then most vacuums made in Germany are not (comparatively speaking).
What’s in the Box?
- Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Vacuum
- Extension Wand
- Flexible Hose
- Electro Plus Floorhead SEB 228
- Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3
- Dusting Brush
- Upholstery Nozzle
- Crevice Tool
- Handheld Mini Turbo Brush STB 101
- Owner's Manual
The Cat & Dog includes two cleaner heads:
1) Electro Plus Floorhead SEB 228 - for low/medium/deep pile carpet
2) Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3 - for bare floors
The Electro Plus Floorhead SEB 228 has a brushroll that allows the unit to deep clean into carpet and remove all manner of dust/dirt and hair. Miele also claims that the long bristles of this brushroll actually raise and straighten the fibers in your carpet making it look better. By all accounts this cleaner head does a great job on carpet.
The brushroll in the SEB 228 is 14 inches wide and it is driven by a belt and motor. It is capable of cleaning low, medium and even deep pile carpet. The cleaner head has 5 different height settings which allow it to be set at an optimal cleaning level above the carpet – for cleaning and for movement. Also, should the brushroll encounter a block (like a sock getting jammed in it for example) the motor will automatically shut off which will prevent any potential damage to the brushroll, belt, motor, etc. The brushroll in the SEB 228 can be turned on and off via controls on the vacuum handle.
The Parquet Twister Floorhead SBB 300-3 cleaner head can rotate a full 180 degrees (thanks to a double swivel joint) making it highly maneuverable and very easy to move around furniture. The underside of the floorhead has a brush made from a mix of polyamide and natural hair. Miele claims its floorheads have soft brushes so they glide easily and do not do any damage to delicate flooring.
- Dusting Brush
- Upholstery Nozzle
- Crevice Tool
- Handheld Mini Turbo Brush STB 101
None of these are powered tools. The dusting brush, the upholstery nozzle and the crevice tool have no moving parts.
The mini turbo brush (image to the right) has a turbo fan that is spun by the vacuum suction (note the term "turbo" - there is no motor
). This fan in turn spins the brushroll in the mini turbo brush tool, making this tool very useful for removing hair and ground-in debris from upholstery, carpet and fabrics (also useful for doing stairs as the head is smaller than the main cleaner heads). In our experience a motorized hand tool will do a better job than a suction driven hand tool, but some suction driven units still work well and this one gets good grades from almost all owners.
The tools can be attached to the end of the handle or – if you need extended reach – the end of the wand.
The upholstery nozzle and the crevice tool sit on-board the vacuum in two insets built into the back of the vacuum. They do not obstruct or get in the way when placed in their inserts.
The Cat and Dog has a multi-filtration system that consists of 3 filters:
- HEPA AIrClean Exhaust Filter
- Fine Dust Filter
All filters are lifetime guaranteed so you don’t have to go out and buy new filters when one of them becomes dirty. That, along with the fact that this unit has no bags, helps to save money on consumables.
The fine dust filter traps fine dust inside a separate fine dust container. This ensures there is no puff of dust when you empty the main dust canister. We have many vacuum cleaners, most of which are bagless. Emptying the dust canister can be a very messy affair, and if you have vacuumed up lots of dust it often becomes airborne when you open the dust canister. A system that removes this fine dust and places it in a separate container is something we have not seen before.
Also, the vacuum has something called a ComfortClean System which automatically activates when the fine dust filter is dirty (it has sensors that track air flow through the filter and when the air flow drops below a certain level it activates). ComfortClean runs for about 20 seconds and cleans the fine dust filter. There is a button on top of the vacuum which allows you to manually run the system should you want to. The fine dust filter resides in a plastic container that you can rinse out every 6 months or so to get rid of the fine dust.
Both the pre-filter and the fine dust filter can be rinsed with cold running water (do not use detergent). When, and only when, the filter is completely dry - typically after 24 hours or so - it can be placed back in the vacuum.
The HEPA filter is maintenance-free and will last the lifetime of the vacuum. A HEPA filter is important if you or someone in your household suffers from asthma or allergies. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and a filter of this kind will remove the likes of tobacco smoke, mold spores, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, etc from the air. They are especially beneficial in homes with allergy or asthma sufferers.
The Blizzard CX1 has variable suction. Variable suction is accomplished via adjusting vacuum motor speed – not by opening/closing a suction release valve (as you may see on typically less expensive vacuums). The Cat & Dog has a dial on top of the canister body (see image below) which has 4 settings:
1) Curtains, Light Fabrics
2) Deep Pile Carpet, Area Rugs, Runners
3) Low Pile Carpet, Light Area Rugs
4) Hard Floors, Heavily Soiled Carpet & Rugs
Setting 4 is also used when you are cleaning upholstery with the upholstery tool. The ability to dial down suction is very useful, especially when you need to clean lightweight or delicate fabrics. Level 1 on the dial generates the least suction while level 4 provides maximum suction.
Weight & Movement
The bagless Cat & Dog weighs in at a fairly hefty 19 lbs and this has caused some grumbling from owners. It is not a particularly lightweight vacuum. It does however move very well on all manner of flooring. There are four 360 degree swivel wheels that allow the canister to glide well when pulled in any direction. These wheels are also rubberized to ensure no marring or scraping of delicate flooring.
The hose rotates at the point where it meets the handle which also makes the vacuum easier to move and maneuver. In addition, the rotating hose has the added benefit of reducing strain on the wrist.
When lifting the vacuum, to move it up a set of stairs for example, you can use the built in carry handle.
The cleaning reach of the Cat & Dog is a full 33 feet. This includes the power cord, the hose, and the wand. The hose on the vacuum is a stretch hose and the wand is telescopic with several different length settings that can be locked in place.
The 21 foot power cord has the very popular auto-rewind feature. Power cord auto-rewind is initiated by pressing a large button on the top of the canister with your foot so you don’t have to bend over (can also use your hand to press this button if you want). The button does not have to be held down and once pressed the power cord reels itself in. We are often surprised at how popular auto-rewind is but many, many people like this feature which is testament to how much people hate manually unwinding and winding-up power cords.
Other Cat & Dog Features
The vacuum suction motor used in the Cat & Dog is a 1200 Watt Miele-made vortex motor which has sound optimization. There are many comments about the quiet nature of this vacuum and the sound dampening features clearly work. Miele have also designed the motor with a “gentle-start” attribute. This means that when turned on the motor power level increases slowly which protects the mains from any potential overload.
A temperature limiter will kick in and shut down the motor should the air passage be blocked – this is a feature on all Miele canister vacuums. This design ensures no damage to the motor (from overheating) or other vacuum components should a blockage occur. The vacuum can be started again after it has cooled down.
Another feature worth pointing out is the anti-static conductor which is built into the vacuum handle. This ensures that there is no static discharge between the vacuum and the user. We’ve actually seen a number of complaints about this very problem with vacuums like the Dyson V8. So it’s nice to see a manufacturer addressing this issue.
The CX1 Cat and Dog is a CSA listed product which simply means it has been tested against a host of North American safety and environmental standards requirements. If it is a listed product then it has complied with the standards.
We note that there are no headlights on the vacuum which is a little disappointing but these are really a “nice to have” and not essential.
The vacuum carries a 1-year limited warranty with a 7-year limited warranty on the motors and structural integrity of the body.
Vacuum Cleaner Manual
We usually like Miele vacuum manuals but we find this one a little weak. It is provided in three languages which is nice - English, French and Spanish - but it does not place the graphics beside the text but rather at the end of the manual. So when you are reading about a feature or function and wish to see the associated graphic/picture you have to keep going to the end of the manual. The manual is also a little thin on details. We’ve seen better manuals. You can view this one here: Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat and Dog Vacuum Manual