Avg. consumer rating = 88/100
This mid-range Miele canister vacuum is getting very good reviews and ratings from owners. It is hard to find much in the way of faults with this machine. It is capable of handling low, medium, deep pile and soft/plush carpet as well as bare floors, and it is even good at pulling up pet hair. Owners are thrilled with how quiet the unit is and also the variable suction controls. It is made in Germany – a rarity these days – and it feels sturdy and durable. Probably the biggest issue with this canister vacuum is the cost - it doesn’t come cheap.
|Best for...||Hard Floors & All Carpet|
|Pet Hair Features||No|
|Approx. Weight||Approx 19-20 lbs (with all accessories)|
|HEPA Level Filtration||Yes|
|Power Cord Length||24 feet|
|Motor Driven Brushbar||Yes|
|Warranty||1 Year P&L, 7 Years motor/housing|
A Note On Soft Carpet
The ability to properly vacuum ultra-plush or super soft carpet is becoming more and more of an issue as the popularity of these kinds of carpet continues to grow. Many vacuums, especially those without height controls, will struggle to move through soft carpet. In addition, an aggressive brushroll can actually damage delicate carpet fibers. As a result, we are starting to see some newer vacuum cleaners designated as capable on soft carpet – they typically have manual height controls (and sometimes larger wheels) and brushroll on/off controls or brushroll speed controls.
We've just updated the ratings for this vacuum (September 2019). We found over 100 owner ratings for the Miele Soft Carpet. When these ratings are averaged they result in an overall score of 88 out of 100 (or about 4.4 stars out of 5). This is a solid rating. To compare you may wish to view other Miele vacuum ratings or canister vacuum ratings. You can also view all vacuum ratings in our vacuum cleaner finder application.
|Amazon||4.8 stars out of 5||32|
|Wayfair||4.3 stars out of 5||3|
|Overstock||5 stars out of 5||1|
|Abt||5 stars out of 5||1|
What Are Owners Saying?
A thorough review of owner comments has provided the following common C3 Soft Carpet likes and dislikes:
- Very quiet
- Good on normal carpet, bare floors, and even pet hair
- Able to clean soft carpet
- Strong suction
- Motor driven brushroll in cleaner head
- Variable suction controls
- HEPA filter
- Quality construction (made in Germany)
- Cleaner head is a bit heavy and large
Owners are having a hard time finding fault with the Complete C3 Soft Carpet. Perhaps the only two concerns mentioned are the hefty price tag (although most folks feel that it is worth it) and the cleaner head feeling a bit large and heavy. Also, there are a few comments about the vacuum color – burgundy. Some owners wish there were other color options (there are not).
Almost all owners are impressed with the extreme quiet of the vacuum and report that the machine doesn’t scare animals or disturb neighbors the way some vacuums do. One of the other standout features of this vacuum is its ability to clean almost all surface types well. It works well on normal carpet, soft carpet, bare floors, and it also has great cat and dog hair pickup. With tools and dialled down suction you can even clean delicate curtains, furniture, lamp shades, etc.
People find the vacuum easy to operate and also light enough to carry from room to room or up and down stairs with limited effort. The quality fit and finish of the machine is commonly brought up and owners are pleased that it looks good, is sturdy, reliable and feels solid. And, as always, the power cord rewind feature is popular (a loved feature on almost all vacuum cleaners provided it works well).
You can see more “Soft Carpet" owner comments on Amazon.
Two Cleaner Heads
The vacuum comes with 2 different cleaner heads - one for carpet and one for bare floors. The carpet cleaner head is the SEB 228 SoftCarpet Electrobrush. This has a motor driven brushroll and a 14 inch wide cleaning path (fairly wide). Miele states that the tool is designed for medium, high-pile and plush carpet, however we have also heard it does a respectable job on low pile carpet. It is reasonably maneuverable given the swivel neck but is a bit hefty at about 6 lbs.
The key to the SoftCarpet Electrobrush is the multiple height settings – 5 to be exact (see graphic below)
Setting 1 is the closest to the carpet and setting SC+ (Soft Carpet Plus) is the furthest from the carpet. It even has a display to indicate the chosen setting.
There are actually two types of SEB 228 Electrobrushes – one standard model and one SoftCarpet model. The SEB 228 SoftCarpet Electrobrush has a less aggressive brushroll than the standard SEB 228 Electrobrush. This less aggressive brushroll better accommodates soft carpets. The brushroll in the cleaner head can also be turned on and off.
The second cleaner head, the SBB 300-3 Smooth Floor Brush (right), is designed for bare surfaces. It has a 12.5 inch wide cleaning path and a swivel neck for full 180 degrees of maneuverability. It has intermittent sections of bristles which help it glide across the floor. Owners report that it is an excellent tool for hardwood floors and other hard surfaces.
Filtration & Bags
Miele vacuums also excel when it comes to air filtration, and the Soft Carpet is no exception. This vacuum sports a HEPA AirClean exhaust filter and AirClean filter bags. The HEPA filter ensures the removal of tobacco smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and many other allergens from the air. This is especially beneficial in homes with allergy or asthma sufferers. The HEPA filter will probably need replacing about once per year (given an average amount of vacuuming) but it actually has a built-in timestrip which will visually indicate when the filter needs to be replaced.
The HEPA AirClean exhaust filter comes standard with the Soft Carpet but you can also use the lower cost AirClean exhaust filter if you want. It’s a good choice for those who don’t have the kind of sensitivities to dust and allergens that require a HEPA filter. One can also opt for the Active AirClean exhaust filter that comes with a layer of activated charcoal for odor removal (it’s essentially a chunk of activated carbon between two Airclean exhaust filters). It’s a great choice for homes with pets.
The vacuum bags (or what Miele calls “filter bags”) are AirClean 3D Efficiency GN with a capacity of 4.5 litres. They automatically close the opening when removed from the vacuum thereby limiting (or removing) any exposure to dust and debris – this is an advantage over most bagless vacuums. These 3-layer bags, along with a secondary electrostatic pre-motor filter, also provide additional levels of filtration prior to the exhaust filter. A bag change indicator near the hose connection on the canister will highlight when the bag needs to be changed. In addition, the vacuum comes with the HEPA filter and a filter bag installed.
Capping off the Miele air filtration process is a sealed system. This ensures that no air escapes from seals or joints in the vacuum and that all the air drawn into the machine is forced through the filters. As a result, the air being exhausted from the vacuum is properly filtered and no unfiltered air escapes.
There are 6 suction setting plus a special setting for Soft Carpet. These are:
- Curtains, fabric
- Upholstery, cushions
- Deep pile carpets, rugs, runners
- Energy saving vacuuming (also the “Quiet” setting)
- Loop pile carpet and rugs
- Hard floors and heavily soiled carpets and rugs
- Soft Carpet
“+” and “-” foot switches on the canister body enable you to move from one suction setting to another without having to bend over.
It is the variability of both suction and cleaner head height that provide the Miele Soft Carpet its carpet cleaning versatility.
3 tools are provided:
- Upholstery tool
- Crevice tool
- Dusting brush
These click-fit onto the end of the telescopic stainless-steel wand or the vacuum handle. All are conveniently stored in the on-board, covered accessory/tool area built into the canister.
Cleaning reach on this vacuum is reasonable at 36 feet. It isn’t as long as some other canister vacuums we have seen like the SEBO Airbelt D4 which has 52 feet of cleaning reach, but it is sufficient. It is longer than several other Miele canisters like some of the C2’s and C1’s. A long cleaning reach is nice as it limits the amount of times one has to unplug and replug the vacuum when cleaning. Also, if long enough, it can allow you to access an area with few (or no) power outlets. Cleaning reach includes the length of the power cord, the wand and the hose. The Miele C3 Soft Carpet has a 24 foot power cord with an automatic cord rewind feature that pulls in the cord at the tap of the foot.
More Features & Warranty
The canister is supported by 3 caster wheels that each swivel a full 360 degrees. Canister movement is reported to be excellent. Also, an all-round bumper is built into the canister body which protects furniture, walls and the vacuum itself from scuffs and scratches. In addition, the Soft Carpet is a very quiet machine which is the result of special sound insulation. The Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet carries a 1-year warranty for parts and labor and 7-years on the motor and housing.
On a side note, we hear some people referring to the vacuum as “burgundy” in color. Miele actually calls this vacuum "Tayberry Red". We had never heard of a tayberry so we looked it up. Turns out a tayberry is a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry, so the color is probably about right!
Vacuum Cleaner Manual
We have manuals for both the vacuum cleaner and the SEB 228 Electrobrush. Both are fairly good and provide lots of information. You can view the vacuum manual here: Miele Soft Carpet Manual and the cleaner head manual here: SEB 228 Electrobrush manual.