Is it a coincidence that my two closest family members—my husband and my mother—are obsessed with the same vacuum?
I suppose you could call my mother opinionated. Two winters ago, when she was visiting from Sweden, she came into contact with our old upright vacuum. As she wrestled the unwieldy appliance down the stairs, she blared (in Swedish): "I can't stand this thing! You need a new vacuum."
By new, she meant a canister vacuum, and by canister, she meant a Miele.
"I know," I said. "But it is a big ticket item. And we want to get it right."
My husband, Brandon, and I are not the sort of people who are susceptible to impulse buys. So my mom set out to build her case on cold, hard facts. Upon learning that our neighbor Rachel had received a Miele vacuum as a Christmas gift, she knocked on Rachel's door and borrowed the machine to give us a demonstration.
As I watched my mom suck up dirt like a blood-sucking leech, I was sold. Compared to our old hand-me-down vacuum, the Miele was quiet, smooth, and competent.
Still, it took a six-month long house remodel before we finally could justify the upgrade. Meanwhile, my husband did his own off-line consumer research: he called the local vacuum store and asked if the Miele was worth the price. "You won't find a better machine," said the owner, cementing the deal. My husband, who works for a German wind turbine manufacturer, does not take German engineering lightly.
It arrived two days later. I noticed my husband was simultaneously perplexed by and attracted to the ultra-instructive German packaging: the box was illustrated with instructions showing how to open the box itself. I knew things were getting interesting as I watched him carefully unpack the machine, absorb the instruction manual, and take it for its maiden voyage.
It was love at first dust ball. From that day, my husband adopted the high-performance house cleaning device as his own. I certainly don't mind, by the way, and am proud of the way he has mastered the use of the accessory brushes. I only hope he and my mom don't fight over the Miele next time she comes to visit.
Above: Brandon in Miele vacuum mode. He drives it as if it were a BMW.
Above: My husband's preferred method of dusting. He uses the natural bristle dusting brush which comes with the vacuum.
Above: We chose the Miele S6720 Quartz model, recommended for hardwoods, tile, low-pile carpets and rugs; $399 via Amazon.
Above: A glimpse under the hood—featuring a low-noise 1200-watt Vortex motor with six power settings. Impressively, Miele offers a seven-year motor warranty. A light indicator alerts you when it's time to replace the filter bag.
Above: Armed with an optional HEPA filter, this machine adds another dimension to vacuuming; it also cleans the air within your home. The filter includes a place for you to mark the purchase date (the Germans thought of everything).
Above: The Quartz model weights only 12 pounds, which my mom will appreciate next time she carries it upstairs.
Are you still not convinced of your next vacuum purchase? Read our post about the Great Vacuum Debate: Miele vs. Dyson.