Sunday, March 14, 2021

Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog review

Floor cleaning stalwart Miele has turned its attention to the cordless vacuum market, with the launch of the Miele Triflex HX1 – its first ever wire-free vacuum. In a bid to snatch Dyson’s crown as the king of cordless cleaners, the Miele Triflex HX1 is a powerful battery-powered vacuum that equals its rival when it comes to suction power and runtime.

It’s even got a similar floor-sensing cleaner head that will automatically adjust the speed of the brush bar for a deep clean on carpets, but where it differs is the ability to be converted into a cordless upright cleaner by moving the main unit closer to the cleaner head, as well as a handheld vacuum cleaner. This means the vacuum can be stood upright if you need to pause vacuuming momentarily, and it also makes the 4kg cleaner easier to maneuver.

There are three power settings to choose from, and Miele says the Triflex HX1 will last up to 60 minutes between charges. The battery is also removable, so you can swap it for a fully-charged one (you will need to purchase an additional battery though), reducing the interruptions to your cleaning time. It also comes with an arsenal of accessories, while model-specific features include an LED headlight on the cleaner head to help you spot dirt and debris in dark corners.  

There are four different models to choose from in the Triflex HX1 range, but with prices starting from $499 / £479 / AU$799, this vacuum cleaner certainly doesn’t come cheap. So can it really rival Dyson when it comes to cleaning power? We put it to the test to find out.

Miele Triflex HX1 price and availability

  •  List price $699 / £579 / AU$999 

The Miele Triflex HX1 is priced similarly to Dyson’s V11 range of cordless vacuum cleaners. There are four models in the range in the UK and Australia, but only three in the US. 

The entry-level Triflex HX1 costs $499 / £479 / AU$799, while we tested the Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog, which sits in the middle of the range, building on the entry-level version with a pet hair brush and LED lights on the cleaner head, and which is priced at $699 / £579 / AU$999.

The top-of-the-range model is the Triflex HX1 Pro, which comes with two swappable batteries, LED lights on the cleaner head and a charging cradle for the battery, and costs $799 / £679 / AU$1,199. In the UK and Australia, there’s also a Power version, which comes with two swappable batteries, but no headlights on the cleaner head, and costs £599 / AU$999.  

Miele Triflex HX1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Modular design means it can easily be converted into a handheld or upright vacuum
  • 0.5-liter dust bin 
  • Comes with five tools and accessories

The Miele Triflex HX1 has a modular design that means it can not only be converted into a cordless handheld vacuum, but also a cordless upright vacuum. The only difference between the cordless stick and cordless upright modes is where the main unit is positioned. In stick mode it’s at the top of the vacuum cleaner near the handle, which means vacuuming under furniture is a breeze, while in upright mode the main unit sits at the bottom of the vacuum cleaner, connected to the cleaning head – this means it can stand upright by itself, and it puts less strain on the wrist when you’re maneuvering the vacuum, although it struggles to get under some furniture.

Miele says the Triflex HX1 offers the same amount of suction power and cleaning capability as a conventional corded vacuum cleaner, and says the battery will last up to 60 minutes on its lowest setting between charges. The power can be adjusted using the sliding switch on the front of the main unit, and we found that even on the lowest setting the vacuum was powerful enough to pick up everything from fine dust to larger debris like cereal.

The battery is removable, so you can swap it out for a fully charged spare to reduce the number of interruptions to your cleaning regime – as mentioned, the Pro and Power models come with a second battery, but if you buy one of the other models you’ll have to buy this separately. That said, with only a 0.5-liter capacity dust canister, which is smaller than those on Dyson’s rival cordless cleaners, you may find that you have to stop cleaning to empty the dust canister anyway. Emptying the vacuum is a little fiddly, as you need to remove the dust canister from the main unit first, and then twist the cap so the bottom flap opens, emptying the dust.

In a style similar to Dyson machines, the cleaner head can automatically sense the type of floor it’s being used on and adjust the speed of the motorized brush bar, providing more suction for carpets; however, this feature is only available on the medium and highest power settings. The vacuum also comes with five accessories alongside the electric cleaner head: a crevice nozzle, dusting brush, upholstery nozzle, compact electric brush, and wall mount.

The Miele Triflex HX1 weighs 4kg, making it one of the heaviest cordless vacuums we’ve tested. On the whole, it was easy to maneuver both as a cordless vacuum or cordless upright vacuum, but we did notice the weight when using the vacuum up high, for example when whipping cobwebs away from ceilings.
 

Miele Triflex HX1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Extremely powerful suction
  • Wider than usual cleaner head speeds up vacuuming
  • Dust canister must be disconnected from main unit before it can be emptied

The Miele Triflex HX1 impressed us when it came to power – even on the lowest settings fine dust, biscuit crumbs, cereal and the like were sucked up in seconds. Switching between the three different power settings, there was a clear difference in suction, although on all three settings the vacuum was pleasingly quiet – the loudest it got was 70db when used on the most powerful setting on hard floors, which is similar to the noise of traffic when you’re walking along the road. It’s one of the quieter vacuums we’ve tested.  

The 28cm cleaner head, which is wider than average,  speeds up vacuuming as it needs less sweeps to clean a room. As we’ve mentioned, it also automatically senses the type of floor it’s being used on, and adjusts the speed of the electric brush bar to suit – we found that it detected different surfaces reliably, and w certainly can’t fault the suction on hard floors or carpets, even those with a dense pile, and it also comes with an integrated HEPA filter that claims to trap up to 99.98% of dust particles. The LEDs running along the edge of the cleaner head make it easy to see dirt and debris under furniture and in dark corners too.

The sliding switch on the front of the vacuum makes it simple to boost or reduce the suction power, although with no LCD screen we had to glance down if we wanted to check which power setting we were using, and there’s no way of gauging how much runtime is left in the battery either.  

Switching the configuration between handheld and cordless upright is simple, as the sections can be pulled apart easily and then reconnected. We found the cordless stick configuration was best for rooms with lots of furniture, as it was easy to push the vacuum underneath the furniture, while the cordless upright mode made it easier to maneuver the vacuum and ensured it could stand upright if we needed to stop vacuuming.

There’s a good selection of additional tools including a crevice nozzle, upholstery brush which is great for sofas, curtains, and even car interiors if connected directly to the main unit in handheld mode. The HX1 Cat & Dog model that we tested also comes with a compact electric cleaner head that whipped away pet hair with ease. With this arsenal of tools, you’ll be able to reach every nook and cranny in your home.

As we’ve mentioned, the vacuum is one of the heaviest we’ve tested, and we certainly felt the weight when using it as a handheld vacuum cleaner or holding the vacuum up high. However when being pushed around a floor, the weight wasn’t an issue, and the cleaner felt stable and balanced.

The 0.5-liter dust container is on the small side, and we also found that it was a little fiddly to empty. You need to remove the canister from the main unit, and then the lid can be twisted to open the flap and eject the dust. 

Miele Triflex HX1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life

  • Battery life ranges from 17 to 60 minutes depending on the power setting 
  • The battery takes 4 hours to fully recharge
  • Extra battery included with some models, or can be bought separately

Miele claims the battery will last up to 60 minutes on the lowest power setting, and on test we found the vacuum cleaner lasted for 59 minutes on a full charge; on the most powerful setting, however, the vacuum only lasted 16 minutes. The swappable batteries mean that if one charge isn’t enough for you to clean your whole home, you can purchase an additional battery for $149.99 / £85 / AU$199.99, although if you have a large home it may be worth considering the Pro, or (if you’re in the UK or Australia) the Power models, which come with two batteries in the box. Using the bundled battery charger, it took just over four hours to fully recharge the battery during our testing.

Should I buy the Miele Triflex HX1?

Buy it if...

You want both a stick vacuum and an upright vacuum
With the ability to be configured as a stick cleaner, handheld vacuum or cordless upright vacuum, the Miele Tiflex HX1 offers the best of all worlds – it’s a cheaper solution than purchasing both a cordless stick vacuum and upright vacuum separately. 

You have a range of different floor types
The floor sensing cleaner head can automatically adjust the speed of the brush for different floor types, so if you have a range of different surfaces in your home, the HX1 can tackle them all effectively. 

You want a quiet vacuum cleaner
If loud appliances bother you, the Miele Triflex HX1 is worth considering. On the highest power setting, we hit a maximum of 70db using our decibel meter, which is quieter than many other cordless vacuums on the market.  

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a budget
With prices starting from $499 / £479 / AU$799, this is one of the most expensive cordless vacuums on the market. If you’re on a budget, then opt for a cheaper model from brands such as Shark or Hoover.  

You want a lightweight vacuum cleaner
Weighing in at 4kg, this is a pretty hefty vacuum. If you want a lightweight cleaner for stairs, or for clearing cobwebs away from ceilings, this isn’t the model for you.  

You have a big home
The dust canister can hold just 0.5 liters, which is one of the smallest on cleaners we’ve tested, so if you have a big home you’ll find you have to interrupt your cleaning session to empty the canister. Instead go for a cleaner with a larger canister, such as the Dyson V11 Absolute, with its 0.76-liter dust bin.  

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