• Related content

Pros

  • Powerful suction

  • Sturdy design

Cons

  • Difficult to push across plush carpet

  • Very expensive

After using and testing nearly every vacuum in the series, we can say that engineering is what sets Miele apart. From painless storage in the closet, to comfortable handle- or footswitch controls, these German-made vacuums have a fit and finish unlike any other. And our tests show they clean well, too! At the end of the day, if you dread vacuuming chores a little less, that's half the battle right there.
There are nine different vacuums in the C3 Series. Each one is equipped with the same 1,200 watt motor and an integrated set of accessories that’s stowed in the body of the canister itself. It includes an upholstery tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush with natural bristles.

Beyond that, the model you want—and therefore your price—will vary according to which vacuum heads you want included.

See, the nine vacuums are really nine combinations of floor tools, air-powered Turbobrushes, and Electrobrushes with powered brushrolls. The $1,499 C3 Brilliant, for example, includes a combination floor tool, extra-large Parquet Twister, and a “premium” Electrobrush (it adds LED headlights). The $649 C3 Alize, by comparison, includes none of those.

To see our take on products within the C3 line, use the Related Products menu at the top right, or try the comparison tool at Miele's website.

Lights

The "Premium" Electrobrush is equipped with LED headlights.

Part of what makes Miele vacuums feel so “right” is strategic placement of weights inside the vacuum for stability. Step away from the machine, and you'll never have to worry about the wand falling over in the middle of your living room—or tipping over in the closet for that matter.

That's not to say you'll feel like you're pushing around a block of stone. In fact, when you turn on the powered Electrobrush, the brush roll is strong enough to pull itself forward.

The one drawback involves pulling it back again: According to our measurements, pulling the brush back requires 2.7 pounds of force—enough to tire out our arms after a half hour of cleaning.
If you're going to spend a boatload of money on a vacuum, it better clean well. And the C3’s do, on both carpet and bare floors.

Related content

On low carpet, it picked up most of the testing dirt we laid out for it in one pass—and should get your carpets totally clean in two or three passes.

Velvet

In the $1,500 C3 Brilliant, the onboard storage compartment is lined with velvet.

High-pile carpet is tough to clean, as dirt and dust attaches to carpet fibers and settles at their base. However, when we switched to high-pile carpet, the C3 earned the best scores of any canister we've tested thus far.

The C3 doesn't sweat big debris, either. We placed uncooked macaroni and rice on our kitchen floor testing area and watched this Miele go to town on the kind of kitchen mess that your kids might make. In a single pass, the C3 left the floor spotless.

If you have pets, we recommend you buy one of the six models that ship with a Miele Electrobrush, since it will agitate cat and dog hair right out of thick carpet bristles. Combined with the HEPA filtration system included with most models, cleaning with a C3 will help reduce allergens at home.

Given its size, the C3 also deals with tight spaces relatively well. The extendable wand needs just four inches of ground clearance to reach under furniture, meaning owners won't have to move chairs and couches to clean an entire room. The Electrobrushes themselves also earned top marks, cleaning right up to the wall from both the front and side, and leaving no gap where dirt can accumulate along the baseboards.
Miele says their vacuums are engineered to last 20 years. But just in case, a 7-year warranty covers parts and labor for both the motor and casing. A 1-year warranty covers all other parts, like the hose and wand.
For neat freaks who can spend some cash up front, the math works out in Miele's favor. Given the C3’s arsenal of accessories, this machine could replace your dust buster, your stick vacuum, and your carpet vac, all at once.

The C3 Series' test results are strong, but their ease of use stands way out from the pack. Each C3 vacuum offers excellent dirt pickup on both medium and high-pile carpet, comfortable handling, and a wide array of accessories. You’re investing in thorough, painless vacuuming, and that's about the best we could ask for come chore day.

Meet the testers

Christopher Snow

Christopher Snow

Managing Editor

@BlameSnow

Chris was born and raised less than ten miles from our editorial office, and even graduated from nearby Merrimack College. He came to Reviewed after covering the telecom industry, and has been moonlighting as a Boston area dining critic since 2008.

See all of Christopher Snow's reviews
Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Lab Manager

@ReviewedHome

Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

Shoot us an email