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Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction

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Avg. consumer rating = 91/100 

The Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction canister vacuum is popular and it is a good fit for homes with mostly hard flooring – hardwood, tile, linoleum, etc.  However the vacuum does not have a brushroll in the cleaner head so it is not very good at cleaning carpet.  Owners like that the unit is made in Germany and that it quiet and has very powerful suction.  They are also pleased with the variable suction feature that allows you to adjust the strength of the suction (6 settings). On the downside, the power cord is a bit on the short side and Miele vacuum bags are not inexpensive.

 
Quick Specs
Type Canister
Bagged/Bagless Bagged
Best for... Hard Floors & Very Low Pile Carpet
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 13 lbs
HEPA Level Filtration No
Power Cord Length 21 feet
Motor Driven Brushroll No
Warranty 1 Year P&L, 7 Years motor/housing
 
Consumer Ratings
This is a popular Miele canister vacuum and we were able to find well over 600 owner ratings – see table below.  When we applied a weighted average to these ratings the C1 Pure Suction got a score of 91.3 out of 100.  This is an excellent score.  You can compare it to other vacuums in our vacuum cleaner finder application.  
 
Source Consumer Rating # Ratings
Amazon 4.6 stars out of 5 487
Bed Bath & Beyond 4.4 stars out of 5 112
Overstock 4.6 stars out of 5 46
Wayfair 4.6 stars our of 5 17
Sylvane 5 stars out of 5 3
Abt 3.5 stars out of 5 2
 
Miele classic C1 pure suctionPros & Cons
A thorough review of owner comments has provided the following pros & cons.
 
PROS
- Made in Germany
- Very quiet
- Automatically retracting power cord
- Strong suction
- Variable suction
- Not too heavy
- Feels sturdy
- Great on hard floors
 
CONS
- Power cord is a little short
- Bags are not cheap
- Not really designed for carpet
- System for on-board tools is average
 
What Are Owners Saying?
There are several “themes” regarding the Pure Suction that are expounded upon by owners.  One of these is that the vacuum is made in Germany – as opposed to being made in China.  There are no specific issues highlighted that indicate the German-made machine is better, but owners seem very pleased with their European vacuum cleaner.
 
Another popular characteristic owners like to highlight is the unit’s suction.  Many folks report that the Classic C1 Pure Suction has very powerful suction – more than you generally require for basic cleaning.  It is also very handy that the vacuum comes with variable suction controls that allow you to dial down the suction if you want to.  You can essentially tailor the suction to your cleaning needs.
 
As indicated by the high consumer scores it appears most owners are very happy with their purchase.  We’ve seen comments such as “love this vacuum”, ‘dream machine”, “excellent vacuum for the price”, “superb vacuum”, “it’s a steal”, and “best vacuum ever”.
 
Owners are pleased that the vacuum is very quiet.  Many who have not previously had a Miele vacuum are frankly very surprised at just how quiet this unit is.  A sound optimized motor and special insulation help with this.
 
Folks also report the Pure Suction performs very well on hard floors.  Dust and debris pickup is excellent and maneuverability is good. 
 
Finally, many people feel that the unit is well-made and reliable, and that it is fairly lightweight.
 
Miele pure suction on carpet
 
Probably the biggest complaint about the Classic C1 Pure Suction relates to its performance on carpet.  For the most part it is not a great vacuum if you have lots of carpet.  It seems that, in a pinch, it is ok on some low pile carpet (but not excellent) and it is not a good fit at all for anything deeper pile.  Some folks buy this vacuum without understanding this limitation and are disappointed. 
 
Also, while the bags are fairly large, they are not particularly cheap.  We’ve recently priced these on Amazon and found that a package of bags (contains 4 bags / 1 pre-motor filter / 1 post-motor filter) costs about $18 - $20 USD. See ad to right.
 
In addition, the power cord is a little on the short side.  This is, in part, due to the fact that it is auto-retract and is stored inside the canister.  Some folks complain that they have to unplug the unit and search for the next power outlet to clean their larger areas. 
 

Classic C1 Pure Suction OR Compact C1 Pure Suction?
We’ve reviewed both the Classic C1 Pure Suction and the Compact C1 Pure Suction and they are similar in many ways (they are also both supposedly designed for hard floors and low-pile carpet).  However there are some important differences.
 
COMPACT C1 PURE SUCTION
  Bag capacity = 3.7 quarts
  Air filtration system is sealed
  Made in China
 
CLASSIC C1 PURE SUCTION
  Bag capacity = 4.76 quarts
  Air filtration system in not sealed
  Made in Germany
 
A sealed system is useful if you want high level air filtration.  It ensures that no unfiltered air escapes from the vacuum before it is passed through all the filters and exhausted. 
 
If you are not sure which machine is best you may also want to read our Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction review.
 
What’s In The Box?
- Classic C1 Pure Suction canister vacuum
- Crevice Tool
- Upholstery Tool
- Dusting Brush
- Clip for attaching tools to hose
- AirClean Filter
- 1 Type GN AirClean Filterbag
- Vacuum Cleaner Manual
 
Floorhead
This vacuum comes with the AllTeQ Combination Floorhead SBD 285-3.  The AllTeQ does NOT have a brushroll – it is a pure suction floorhead.  The lack of a brushroll limits this tools ability to clean carpet and, as many owners suggest, relegate this floorhead to effectively dealing with hard flooring and the occasional area rug.  Some folks find it does work on very low pile carpet but it can be difficult to push.
 
The SBD 285-3 has a rocker foot switch on top that in one position pushes out a brush at the front of the nozzle and in the other position retracts the brush.  The brush is retracted when tackling area rugs or carpet.  A double jointed connector helps the floorhead pivot and move easily.  The unit has a cleaning path width of about 11.5 inches.  This is perhaps a little narrow.
 
Miele pure suction floorhead
 
Folks who require something more effective on carpet may want to use a turbo floorhead (maybe see the Miele Turbo Team review).  Note that turbo floorheads have a brushroll that is spun by the suction of the vacuum.  They do not have an independent motor to power the brushroll.  Floorheads with an independent motor will not work on the Pure Suction as it does not have power at the end of the hose or wand.  
 
If you don’t want to buy a Miele vacuum that comes with a turbo floorhead you can always buy one separately for your Pure Suction vacuum (see the TurboTeq STB 305-3 on Amazon for example). 
 
Tools
Three fairly generic tools come with the vacuum:
 
- Upholstery tool
- Crevice tool
- Dusting brush with synthetic bristles
 
These tools also store on-board the vacuum using what Miele calls a vario-clip.  The vario-clip holds all three tools and it attaches to the hose.  The system works but is not elegant.  Some larger Miele canisters have a tool storage compartment built into the vacuum which is a nicer solution.
 
Miele vario clip and tools
 
None of the tools provided are powered and powered tools cannot be used with this vacuum as there is no power through the hose/handle/wand.  You can, however, use a turbo tool as these are powered by suction and not an electric motor.
 
Variable Suction
This Miele canister has variable suction – a very handy feature when you want to dial down the suction to vacuum more delicate items (or sometimes to help the floorhead move easier across some surfaces).  A rotary dial on top of the canister body has 6 suction settings:
 
- Curtains & fabrics
- Upholstery & cushions
- Deeper pile carpet, rugs & runners
- Energy saving mode (low noise)
- Low pile carpet & rugs
- Hard floor (or heavily soiled carpet & rugs)
 
Miele classic pure suction dial
 
Variable suction on this vacuum is not the result of opening or closing a gap which bleeds of suction.  Rather, the motor speed itself is varied.  Using this approach you are not always running the vacuum at maximum speed and wasting power when you want lower suction. 
 
Air Filtration
There are three levels of filtration:

- A pre-motor filter
- The vacuum bags (9 layers thick)
- An exhaust filter (AirClean filter - (SAC 20/30))
 
The culmination of these filtration levels provides a 99.9% reduction in particles with a diameter of 0.5 microns or less.   This is very good air filtration but it is not HEPA level.  In addition, this vacuum does not have a sealed system.  A sealed system ensures that no unfiltered air exits the vacuum through poor seals or fittings. 
 
Also, there is no filter change indicator on this vacuum.
 
Vacuum Bags
Miele often refers to vacuum bags as filterbags or sometimes dustbags.  The Classic C1 Pure Suction uses a Type GN AirClean filterbag.  This vacuum bag is fairly large and has a 4.76 quart capacity.  It also has a special spring loaded collar with a rubber seal that snaps shut when the bag is removed.  This approach ensures that dust and debris do not escape the bag when it is being replaced.
 
Miele classic C1 bags
 
The vacuum has a full bag indicator that tells you when you need to change out the filterbag.  You should note that this indicator is actually just an airflow indicator – so it will also detect any air flow restrictions and may not necessarily be telling you that the bag is full.
 
Cleaning Reach
The power cord on this unit is a bit short.  The manual states that it can be pulled out to a maximum of 18 ft (although many sources claim it is closer to 21 ft).  We usually like to see a longer cord than this and indeed quite a few owners lament the length of the cord.  A short cord can be annoying as you may find the machine unable to reach certain parts of the area you are cleaning, and you will have to hunt about for another power outlet.  It is just inconvenient. 
 
However, it should be noted that you will get additional reach from the hose, handle, wand and tools and the machine’s total reach is 29.5 feet
 
Other Features
The vacuum weighs only about 13 lbs and the telescopic wand that comes with the Classic C1 Pure Suction is made of stainless steel.  The vacuum also has a convenient built-in carry handle.  In addition, a temperature limiter will kick in and shut the machine off if it detects the motor heating up.  This can happen if, for example, there is an air flow blockage.  The temperature limiter can save the motor from being damaged.
 
This is a UL listed vacuum cleaner.  UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, which is an organization that tests and approves products for consumer safety.  They’ve been around since the late 1800’s.
 
miele classic pure suction
 
Warranty
7-year manufacturer’s warranty on motor and casing
1-year manufacturer’s warranty on parts and labor
 
Vacuum Cleaner Manual
The manual for the Classic C1 Pure Suction is not particularly long or detailed but it covers the basics.  The manual we provide here is written in both English and French. It covers operation and maintenance, and there is an FAQ section as well as warranty information and some other details.  You can see a copy here: Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction Manual

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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.