Until now, the Miele-Dyson debate really was about whether you preferred the old-fashioned canister-style vacuum to the newer upright style. But an introduction from Dyson may tempt even hard-core Miele fans.
The Dyson DC39 has a radical new design in which key components, including the motor, are located inside a central ball for a low center of gravity, greater stability, and easy maneuvering around furniture and other obstacles. Couple that with its bagless approach, and you have a very technologically advanced machine. Miele, on the other hand, is known for its superior air filtration system (which is why the company has not embraced the bagless technology). Have a look below and decide for yourself.
Above: Remodelista editor Christine is a fan of Dyson. "They rethought the vacuum cleaner, how it works and how it looks," she says. The Dyson DC39 ($449.99) has a "triggerhead" tool that lets you adjust for different floor types at the handle—no more bending down to swap out vacuum heads.
Above: The Dyson DC39 Animal ($499.99) is specifically designed to pick up pet hair (nearly 40 percent of US households own a dog).
Above: The Miele Titan Canister Vacuum accommodates medium-pile carpeting with a power head that is designed for carpets; $599 at Amazon.
Some options at more affordable price points? See 5 Hard-Working Vacuums for Serious Cleaning. Which vacuum gets your vote? Please share your finds in the comments section below. Doing some New Year's tidying? See Expert Advice: Editors' Top 10 Cleaning Tips and Editors' Essential Cleaning Tools.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 7, 2012 as part of our Channeling Downton Abbey issue.