Seeing that my other post which is comparing Shark (Euro-pro) to Dyson has such a big success, I am holding at this very moment another “contest”, this time between Miele, the German appliance manufacturer, and Dyson, the UK vacuum cleaners producer. If you’ve ever wondered who will emerge victorious between these 2, now it’s the time to find out. This article endeavors to compare the two companies, their products, technology deployed as well as some things to look at in the near future.
Miele versus Dyson – the companies
There is no denial, to many people, the names that immediately come to mind whenever there is a mention of a vacuum cleaner are Miele or Dyson. Let’s see closely some key facts about these companies.
Miele is a German company that started manufacturing appliances back in 1900. Their first products were cream separators and “archaic” washing machines. Their vacuum cleaners production was initiated in the 20s. Over the years, they gained experience and achieved an exponential growth, based on an ever-growing line of loyal customers. Thus, one can safely state Miele has built a very strong and solid reputation in the world of electronics, especially in Germany. Today, the company rakes in returns and employs hordes of people in and out of their home country.
Last fiscal year (2014/2015), Miele achieved a staggering sales volume of 3.49 billion Euros. This is an increase of 8.3% from the previous business year. In Germany alone, they markedly grew by 53 million Euros to 1.03 billion Euros. Outside of Germany, the sales growth was pegged at 10.1% in the same period. As of 30th June 2015, the company employs over 17,000 people worldwide, with a handsome fraction of that being from Germany. And the best part of these numbers is that they are sustainable, as you can see in this graphic:
Miele manufactures an impressive range of home appliances: dishwashers, coffee machines, refrigerators, freezers and wine units, Hobs and CombiSets, baking and steam cooking appliances, cooker hoods, washing machines, tumble dryers and irons, and their respective accessories.
Of all their marketing efforts, I feel the most successful is their slogan “Immer besser” (translated
Forever Always Better). It’s nice to see they consider these 2 words as their philosophy foundation.
Dyson, on the other hand, is a much younger British Company (based in 1992). Dyson was the first manufacturer to introduce bagless vacuum cleaners, and I think this is where they gained the highest momentum. Dyson’s founder, James Dyson, is said to have created 5127 prototypes of his vacuum machine in a workshop behind his house, before finally releasing his first vacuum cleaner, the DC01. Dyson sells their electrical appliances in over 50 countries and employs over 4500 people worldwide. Dyson Ltd also designs and manufactures hand dryers, bladeless fans, heaters, air humidifiers and purifiers and more recently, lamps and other personal lighting systems.
Here’s a comparison table between these 2 companies:
|Number of employees||17500||4500|
|2014 turnover||estimated $3.5 billion||estimated $8 billion|
|Market share||Based on my online and offline sales, I would estimate Miele's market share at 14%. Estimated brand popularity: 1% or less according to my independent study. I think this is due their prohibitive prices and their rather ineffective marketing.||Dyson remains the leader of the industry, with an estimated market share of 25% (based on the 2012 reports). A while ago, I was also estimating their brand popularity at 15%, according to my independent study).|
|History||Miele is a 100+ years company, (116 to be more precise).||Dyson is just 24 years old.|
Miele vs Dyson – the uprights
Before comparing the vacuum cleaners produced by these 2 lovely companies, there are some prerequisites one should be well aware of. Dyson is very flexible, very responsive to new technologies, not just design. They are trying to focus on durability and low maintenance costs (i.e. their latest Cinetic models don’t even require filters). As an early adopter of the cyclonic tech, Dyson produces a bit more vacuum types, yet all of them are bagless. Miele on the other hand, is a conservative company. For instance, all their units are bagged (if you want to see a discussion over which is better, bagged or bagless, you can check out my round-up). They put a lot of effort into designing hospital grade filters and advanced brushroll systems. As their products target different types of consumers, comparing them would be a bit like comparing peaches with coconuts; still, in the spirit of this article’s scope, I will try to do my best. So here is the comparison chart between the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball (the end-line upright from Dyson, at the moment) and the Miele Dynamic U1 Auto Eco (reputedly the most complete upright from Miele):
|Miele Dynamic U1 Auto Eco||Dyson Cinetic Big Ball|
|Suction Power||Approximately 200AW by my independent measurements. |
An exact number is not provided by Miele.
|180 AW (according to their site)|
|Filtration||AirClean Sealed System with HEPA and filter bags||Cinetic technology - no need for filters|
|Accessories||- Dusting brush|
- Upholstery tool
- Crevice nozzle
|- Combination tool|
- Stair tool
- Tangle-free Turbine tool
- Multi-angle brush
- Mattress tool
- Carbon fiber soft dusting brush
- Reach under tool
- Accessory tool bag
|Bin capacity||1.3625 gallons||0.57 gallons|
|Weight||21 lbs||19.8 lbs|
|Warranty||7 years on motor and casing, 1 year on all other components||5 years|
|Price||Around $800, if you manage to find a good discount.||-|
As you can see, the Dynamic U1 gets 1 VGM point over the Cinetic, which is not much really (I would say that’s well inside the subjectivity threshold). The Miele is a bit more heavy and although it has a swivel neck, it’s a bit more bulky to use than Dyson’s classic ball. Another plus for Miele is the longer warranty (although Dyson has a lengthy one too). The Cinetic on the other hand has much more accessories, and thanks to a neat design, doesn’t clog as often the U1. Given the price difference, I would call it a tie.
Miele vs Dyson – the canisters
Given that Miele is an European company, their canister production is much more developed. Miele produces 3 types of canisters: C1s (for entry level customers), C2s and C3s (the most advanced and of course, the most expensive). Dyson’s approach is rather evolutive than exhaustive. At the moment, they produce roughly 2 types of canisters: a standard one (Dyson Cinetic Animal) and a compact version (Dyson Ball Compact Animal, formerly known as the DC47 Animal).
|Miele Complete C3 Brilliant||Dyson Cinetic|
|Suction Power||Estimated 250 AW||Estimated 230 AW|
|Filtration||AirClean Sealed System + HEPA 13||Cinetic technology + non-washable lifetime postmotor filter.|
|Attachments||Besides the SEB236 Premium Electrobrush (which is the main nozzle), you also get the following:|
- SBD 285-3 AllTeQ Combination tool
- SBB 400-3 Parquet Twister XL floor brush
- SFD 10 Extended Crevice tool
- Upholstery tool
- SSP 10 dusting brush
|- Tangle-free turbine tool|
- Combination crevice/brush tool
- Stair tool
|Dust capacity||1.18 gallons||0.53 gallons|
|Weight & dimensions||11.9 lbs||15.7 lbs|
|Warranty||10 years for motor and casing, and 5 years for all other parts||5 years|
|Price||About $1500, sometimes cheaper.||-|
Overall, I believe the C3 Brilliant is a far better unit than the Dyson Cinetic Animal canister. Although the price for one is 3 times what you would pay for the other, there are many cases where this difference is worth it. So Miele is leading now with 1 point.
Miele vs Dyson – the sticks/handhelds/cordless
Dyson has a good experience in producing stick vacuums. Their line of light weight models was revamped last year, when they released the V6 models. These were warmly received around the world. Almost all my friends either want one or have one already. Miele however doesn’t really care about this side of the market, producing a single stick unit, the same Swing H1 QuickStep.
|Miele Swing H1 QuickStep||Dyson V6 Absolute|
|Suction Power||40 Air Watts.||28 Air Watts (Standard Power) / 100 Air Watts (Boost mode)|
|Filtration||AirClean filter + Intensive Clean Plus FilterBag||Rinsable/washable filter together with HEPA (only in the V6 Absolute).|
|Batteries data / Cord length||Is a corded vacuum cleaner, with 28 ft of power cord.||Runs around 20 minutes. Recharges in less than 4h.|
|Bin capacity||0.22 gallons||0.105 gallons|
|Weight||9.7 lbs||4.9 lbs|
|Warranty||7 years for motor and casing, 1 year on all other components||2 years|
|Price||Around $200 if you find a good discount.||-|
The V6 is much lighter, easier to use and much more fun than the QuickStep. V6s come in a lot of models, some specifically for bare floors, carpets or for vacuuming mattresses. As you can see, Dyson clearly wins this round.
Miele vs Dyson – the robotic vacuum cleaners
With robotic vacuum cleaners, both manufacturers are at the beginning of their journey. Miele started producing the RX1 Scout, and is now at the second version for this model (RX1 Scout Red). Dyson on the other hand, is just about to release their long awaited 360 Eye robot.
|Miele RX1 Scout Red||Dyson 360 Eye|
|Autonomy||120 minutes||30 minutes|
|Bin size||22 oz.||13.5 oz.|
|Noise level||65 db||70 db|
|Filter||AirClean filter||Postmotor HEPA|
|Best price and|
Overall, the 360 Eye looks and performs better. Miele still has to work on cliff sensors, power management algorithms and smartphone connectivity. The 360 Eye has some downsizes: it’s taller (which means it can’t go in some places), it’s noisier, the battery depletes faster and last but not least, it costs twice the price of a RX1 Scout Red. Nevertheless, robotic vacuum cleaners have an audience inclined to pay more for efficiency, so Dyson also wins this round.
On a macro level, Dyson clearly wins the battle, but things are far from being settled. Miele shows signs of evolution, and given its continuous substantial growth, who knows what will happen in the near future? Although I don’t see them producing cordless vacuum cleaners or bagless units any time soon, they definitely can count on a specific customer range, people interested caring for allergies or more comfortable, who prefer to use a bag over washing plastic bins every now and then. What do you think?