Miele C1 vs C2 vs C3 – An Extensive Comparison

Miele is widely regarded as one of the top vacuum cleaner manufacturers in the world. This is a brand that is rightly associated with quality and efficiency, and that is easy to recommend for any homeowner.

While the brand is high quality however, the sheer variety of products on offer can make it confusing for customers to know where to start. Do you need the Miele C1 vs C2? Will the Complete Cat and Dog be useful for someone without a cat or dog? What if you have a cat and dog and don’t want that model?

In this post, we’re going to compare the three categories of Miele vacuum cleaners: the Miele C1 vs C2, and C3. We’ll see what these designations mean, who they are for, and which specific product within those lineups is best for you.


The right vacuum cleaner can make a huge difference to your lifestyle and your home. First and foremost, a powerful vacuum is going to help keep your home that much cleaner. That means it will look better throughout the day, which will make your environment that much more relaxing after a hard day of work. This has obvious knock-on effects for your health. Breathe in less dust and grime, and you’ll feel better and more alert! You’ll even find that this can help to extend the lifespan of your appliances and installations. Consider how much less the filters on your air conditioning will need to work when there is that much less dust and grime in the air!

Vacuuming With Miele C1 Vs C2

At the same time, the right vacuum cleaner will make keeping your home that much cleaner and tidier all the easier. This used to be a chore that took hours, but smaller and lighter products now mean that it can often be finished within minutes – and with very little physical exertion on your part.

Miele makes a wide range of high quality vacuum cleaners and stands out from other manufacturers, such as Kirby or even Rainbow vacuums.

In truth, any of these products will work well in almost any home. However, in order to get the best product for your specific property, it’s important to understand the differences.

Get something overly large and powerful and you risk wasting cash and creating more effort for yourself while cleaning. Likewise, you may struggle to store a very large vacuum cleaner if you live in a smaller home.

Alternatively though, if your vacuum cleaner is too small, then you will risk spending a lot of effort to achieve a sub-par result. A small vacuum cleaner can easily get clogged with hair if you clean regularly, or can overheat. Likewise, it may simply prove unable to remove a lot of the dust and grime that you have in your home.

Why Miele?

Miele Vacuums Are Quality Vacuums
Photo Credit: Picserver.org

Miele is a company that makes some fantastic products that cater to a wide range of audiences. The brand has something of a reputation for being more expensive than Dyson and similar brands, but the truth is that this is what ensures the highest possible level of quality. The company is committed to delivering the best quality assurance and highest efficiency possible, and this shows clearly during the cleaning experience.

That said, if you purchase a Miele C1, then you will actually find that these are particularly good value: especially against the bagless, cordless, options provided by the likes of Dyson and Shark.

They might not be as convenient, but they’ll sure be much more powerful and last way longer.

Why These Products?

Miele C1 vs C2
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

This is what a lot of people don’t realize, and it’s the big argument for using any product in the Miele “C” range. While Miele does make upright vacuum cleaners, these compact systems actually provide a huge amount of the same benefits as the cordless alternatives from the likes of Shark.

You’ll save money by choosing something like the Miele Grey Classic C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum Cleaner over a Cordless Dyson, but at the same time, you’ll get more benefits.

The problem with cordless, upright vacuum cleaners, is that they tend to have low powered vacuums and a proclivity for getting jammed up. The result is a vacuum cleaner that may seem easy and convenient to use on paper, but which actually keeps getting jammed every time you go to use it! If you have someone in your home with long hair, then you might find that this simply doesn’t do the trick.

Likewise, the battery tends to die just as you are halfway through the job! These batteries also take a long time to charge – often several hours. The only way to clean the entire house in one go then is to buy a separate battery and remember to charge it. This is expensive, especially if you lose the battery!

Ostensibly, the benefit of using such a vacuum cleaner, is that you are able to hold it with one arm without too much effort, and easily reach areas that other vacuum cleaners don’t reach.

But with the C1, you’ll get many of these same benefits. Miele are well-known for making very long cords, which means that you can easily reach outside and clean your car, or move up the stairs. With a canister vacuum cleaner, you actually don’t need to worry about the weight of the vacuum most of the time: you only need to handle the nozzle at the end!

More to the point, even when you do lift the Miele C1, you’ll find that it is extremely light and easy to carry around. The extremely mild inconvenience of needing to plug in your Miele is nowhere near as awkward as the reality of needing to constantly charge a powerless vacuum cleaner!

And if you need the power and performance of the Complete C3, then no cordless option will come close.

Thus, you really need to ask yourself: why are you considering a portable, wireless option? Is this really just about what is in fashion, or what has been well-marketed? Would you not do better with a better-made solution from Miele?

There are other things that Miele do particularly well, too. For example, you will find that Miele canister vacuum cleaners are much quieter than the competition. They also have variable suction control, which is a feature you’ll find missing on many other canister cleaners.

They also feature filters which help to reduce the amount of dust and dander that gets thrown up into the air during use. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone with allergies, and certainly anyone with cats or dogs.

The next question then, is which one?

So, What’s the Difference Between the Miele C1 vs C2 vs C3?

Miele C1 vs C2 vs C3

Are you wondering about the various differences between the Miele C1, C2, and C3?

Why three versions of ostensibly very similar products?

“C” here stands for “Complete.”

The differences are not generational.

That is to say that the C2 is not a generational improvement over the C1, in the same way that an iPhone 11 is an upgrade over the iPhone 10. Likewise, the C1, C2, and C3 are not products in themselves but rather categories of product. You can actually get different styles of “C1” and “C2.” For instance: there is the Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction, the Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog, then things like the Miele C3 Cat & Dog.

Thus, it is not always possible to compare C1 to C2 on an equal footing: it depends on the model you have and on the specific requirements you have for your home cleaning system.

The main difference here comes down to size, feature-set, and price.

All three of these vacuum cleaners are similar, in that they are bagged, canister vacuums.

However, whereas the C1 models feature the more basic features, the C3 models come with things like sealed bags and HEPA filters. As you might imagine, the C2 finds itself snugly in the middle and can actually be compact or full size, and with different combinations of features.

The C3 is the premium, full-sized option. As you might imagine, these are more expensive, but they also work great for larger spaces and have more than enough power to vacuum up even the toughest areas of dirt and grime. They also tend to come with the most high-end features and settings.

But, it’s not possible to compare these products without looking at the different sub categories. So that is what we need to do!

First, let’s take a look at the most “standard” model that falls into each of the different groups.

Miele Grey Classic C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Miele C1 vs C2 - Grey Classic C1

If you’re looking for the Miele C1 vs C2 or C3, then chances are that it’s the Miele Grey Classic C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum Cleaner that you have in mind! This is the most basic, fundamental model that Miele offers, and it is a fantastic fit for many different people.

If you are:

  • A young professional living in a smaller apartment
  • A young family with a 2-3 bedroom property
  • An elderly person who doesn’t want to heave large vacuum cleaners around
  • On a budget and try to save cash on larger, more expensive models…

Then you should find that the Miele Grey Classic C1 is an ideal choice for you!

The first thing that will strike you about the Miele Grey Classic C1, is just how compact it really is. This small vacuum cleaner can be carried in one hand extremely easily, and can just as easily be stored in any small cupboard. The design is particularly compact and “cute.” The whole thing fits into a single round body, which also means that there are no awkward jutting out parts to try and fit when storing.

In terms of performance, don’t let the small size fool you!

This powerful product has an impressive 1,200W suction power, and comes with a combination floor head that is ideally suited to both carpets and hard floors. This means that for most standard use, you should have no problem cleaning anywhere in the home. In fact, the Miele Grey Classic C1 is much more powerful than many vacuum cleaners that are marketed as being suitable for dog hair and the like.

The package also comes with a variety of additional tools and attachments: you get a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, a crevice tool, an air filter, and the AirClean FilterBag Type GN. The long cord means you really don’t need to worry about the practicality of cleaning large areas or even getting outside to the interior of your ca. The vacuum itself also has an impressive cleaning radius of 29.5 feet: meaning that for the most part you can simply place the vacuum cleaner in the cetner of the room and go to work.

The product is extremely well built, which means it also comes with a 7-year manufacturer warranty!

In short, this product has all of the small size, light weight, and convenience of any cordless upright vacuum cleaner, but it is a lot more powerful and practical than those!

But of course, you don’t get everything. What are the limitations of the Miele Grey Classic C1? Well, for one, you don’t get the same AirClean Sealed system that you do with the C2 and C3. That means that the Miele C1 vs C2 is going to lose a little more of the dust and dirt it collects when it’s time to empty the bag. This can make the product less efficient than those more expensive alternatives.

Likewise, the C2 and C3 will typically come with larger canisters and more powerful motors. This means that you’ll find you can clean up larger areas more quickly without making repeated trips to the dustbin. Likewise, you’ll find it’s easier to pull up dirt from very thick, heavy pile carpet (though this isn’t always the case as you’ll see in the next entry). You might find that the C1 struggles on very heavy pile carpet.

Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Miele C2 Complete Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner

We’ll be taking a look at the Miele C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner.

With a 1,200 Watt vortex motor, this option has the same power as the C1 classic. In that regard, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Miele C1 vs C2 is not always going to be more powerful. Likewise, this model comes with a 4.75qt bag which is functionally the same as the C1’s 4.76qt bag.

This model is still intended for that same audience: those that have a slightly smaller apartment, that have hard wood and short pile carpet. The difference is that by spending a little extra, you will be getting a wider range of features.

That said, it does come with additional features. For example, you will find that the Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner comes with more different suction settings (6 to be precise) available through a very easily accessed rotary dial. This can improve performance, even where the motor strength is actually the same.

The bag also comes with the sealed bag, which helps to improve efficiency and prevents dirt and dander from making its way out of the bag when you go to dispose of it. This makes a big difference to the overall cleanliness of your home.

In short, you will spend a little extra to get extra features that make for a more performant model. However, you won’t get that extra capacity, or a stronger motor.

If you’re eyeing this vacuum and want to learn more, check out our review of the Miele C2 Complete here!

Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Miele C3 Complete

The next Miele vacuum is the Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum.

This model has a Turbo brush and an added HEPA AirClean filter. It also comes with additional impressive features, such as the silence motor which means you can clean the house while baby is sleeping and not worry about waking them.

However, the motor size on this model is still the same at 1,200.

Therefore, if you really want to get the ultimate performance, you need to consider a different model of Miele C3. For example, the Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister comes with the same HEPA filter, quiet motor etc. but ALSO packs more of a punch. This system has a much more powerful head that makes it suitable for cleaning even the thickest carpet. It can actually help to restore crushed carpet nap, as well as picking up large amounts of pet hair, and providing a deep clean that is more akin to the kind of thing you might get from carpet cleaning (though of course these is no shampoo!).

The Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister HEPA Canister Vacuum Cleaner with SEB236 Powerhead Bundle vs the Miele 41GFE036USA Complete C3 Calima Canister Vacuum even comes with more features – packing in things like swiveling, pivoting attachments for reaching under sideboards and around corners.

BUT it’s much heavier and even the steel wand itself is fairly weighty. The wattage of the vacuum cleaner itself is consistent at 1,200, meaning that all that extra oomph is coming from the wand! That means you’re going to be pushing not only against the weight of the wand, but also the extra suction that will be gripping it to the carpet.

Miele Cat and Dog Models

The cat and dog models are of course designed to be the ideal solutions for anyone that owns cats or dogs. These work using a special charcoal filter that can not only capture hair and fur, but that will even actually help to prevent odors from finding their way into the ambient environment.

This is an amazing feature, as it means you’ll be able to improve the cleanliness of your home AND improve the smell. Activated charcoal is essentially a very porous form of carbon that has tiny pores running through it. These create small tunnels that are only just visible to the naked eye. Were you to measure the surface area created by all of these tubes, it would be surprisingly huge!

For this reason, activated charcoal is extremely effective at collecting and trapping things that you don’t want to get out. This includes the bacteria that causes odor. This is not just a matter of presentation: if you reduce pet odor you also make the environment inherently cleaner and more hygienic.

Miele Compact Models

Thought that the Miele Grey Classic C1 was already a very compact vacuum cleaner? The Miele Compact Classic C1 Pure Suction vs Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction is even smaller and even smaller to store! The compact model has a 3.7qt bag and actually does feature the AirClean Sealed System which is handy for those additional trips to the trash!

More Miele Models

There are other Miele models to consider besides the Miele C1 vs C2. You may, for example, consider the Miele Classic C1 Turbo Team Canister Vacuum Cleaner. If you consider the Miele Classic C1 Turbo Team Canister Vacuum Cleaner vs Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner, you’ll actually find they have a lot in common. The Turbo comes with the 6 suction settings and some additional “Turbo” accessories/attachments for enhanced performance. The Turbo Brush Floorhead gives the system more power for handling medium pile carpet.

However, it also lacks the sealed bag, meaning that it isn’t fully a more powerful option vs the C2.

The Electro+ models have the benefit of being highly efficient with lower power consumption compared to the same impressive power. Not only is the bag sealed, but you also get a HEPA filter for even greater reduction of odor and other contaminants.

Conclusions and How to Choose the Right Miele Model For You

The great thing about any Miele vacuum cleaner, is that you know the 1,200 Watt vortex motor is going to provide more power and efficiency than a lot of the competition. These products are well made, compact, and built-to last. That’s why they come with such generous warranties in many cases!

As for which model you should choose, this comes down to multiple factors.

The basic Miele Grey Classic C1 is going to perform well enough but only comes with basic features. This is a well-built product that doesn’t have any added bells and whistles. It is affordable, functional, and performant.

That’s where we look at the Miele C1 vs C2: the C2 adds in more features like a properly sealed bag, and more settings: though the size and performance are similar. Any Miele C3 will then automatically add in more features and give you more power via the turbohead attachment. This makes the C3 suitable for medium pile carpet and much larger homes with big families.

But whether you go for a C3 Marin or Calima is where you’re going to see the real difference. The Calima is a C1 Classic with more features and a Turbo head. The Marin takes this up a notch and provides an even more powerful head capable of offering a deep clean for your carpets – at the expense of being heavier and more cumbersome to use (not to mention more expensive).

But what if you need some of that extra power or some of those features and don’t want to upgrade to an expensive C3? That’s where all those other options come in. You can opt for greater efficiency with the Electro+ models. You can simply add the turbo head to the C1 Classic with a C1 Turbo. Or you can get something a little less powerful than the Marin that will be capable of handling lots of pet fur using the C3 Cat & Dog.

Decide on the base model you want based on features and budget, then pick and choose the additions to find the perfect model for you!

Laura Smith is an author and philanthropist; runs several trust funds and teaches people in different forums the importance of developing actionable solutions, to help in the conservation of energy while limiting environmental degradation. She is passionate about everything tech and has written different reviews on a myriad of electrical gadgets. Technology and environmental degradation are a major challenge around the globe today, and many companies produce gadgets without a guideline on how to dispose of, after they have served their purpose. Laura has thus dedicated her life to finding eco-friendly solutions in the disposition of electrical gadgets in the middle of technological advancements.

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