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If you are a Miele vacuum cleaner owner and own a Miele cylinder/pull along vacuum cleaner there have always been two to three types per model as to what dust bag the vacuum cleaner is supposed to use. The famous "Cat and Dog" vacuum cleaner from Miele that carries the S5000 model numbers use the GN size dust bag from Miele and it has been on sale for more than ten years since the bag was also used in the previous generation S800 XXL cylinder vacuum cleaner as well.
Miele made the change to synthetic dust bags as far back as 2006 when their previous IntensiveClean synthetic dust bags began to meet competition from other brands that offered the same layers of filtration. As such Miele were not to be out done and where previously IntensiveClean offered 7 layers of filtration, the HyClean bags offer 9 layers of protective filtration. Pity the reinvention didn't cover the price. At a cost price of £9-95 to £12-95 dependent on stockist, the GN dust bags come in a box of just four bags with a spare set of Super Air Clean filters, one designed to fit behind the dust bag that has to be cut to fit and a rectangular spare filter designed to replace the standard Super Air Clean filter on board, so that it purges the vacuum cleaner completely, thus giving the filtration value a new lease of life.
General Impressions & Design
Each GN dust bag that comes out of the Miele GN box can fit the following models: previous S400,600 & 800 models, S2000 models, S5000 and S8000 models. The other cylinder vacuums by Miele use the smaller 3.5 litre FJM dust bag that mimics the same design as the GN series but is smaller in size and has a different colour of pull and seal. The GN series holds 4.5 litres to 5 litres of dust before the bag will require replacing and there's a self seal on the bag that is supposed to prevent dust escaping when the bag is taken out as well as made with a protective barrier grid inside the bags so that harder dust like glass and sharp bolts can't penetrate the synthetic filters, thus having a stronger bag.
Add to the additional filters on board and the Miele system offers about 13 layers of filtration altogether - much more than a lot of brands who persist in using paper HEPA cartridges compared to Miele's more advanced filters.
For the cost price, Miele have made these synthetic but disposable "one use" only bags as well made as they can. That's not to say that the previous dust bags from the IntensiveClean were bad - they were far from it - and the only design element that has been added here compared to Intensive Clean is the inner self seal and rubberised membrane to seal in dirt as well as extra layers of filtration. They are still white in colour and have a soft, flexible feel with genuine branding in grey.
General Performance & Downsides
Due to the popularity and general excellence of Miele cylinder vacuums in the UK at least, the old Intensive Clean dust bags are now very hard to find - and that's a great pity as I tended to buy the older dust bags to make money stretch further - and the GN size for Intensive Clean are now extremely hard to find because they have all been replaced by the GN HyClean series.
However, in use and in my Miele vacuums, I find 2.5 to 3 months seems to be the maximum that the GN style bag can take in terms of dust capacity before it requires it to be replaced. This is why Miele give you only four dust bags in a box because they have tested each bag to last three months and thus claim that one box of dust bags can last a year.
The HyClean GN bag is reasonably well made for the price, very flexible and very easy to slip into any Miele vacuum cleaner, only locking with a quiet, quality reassuring soft-click sound to highlight the soft-locking mechanisms. The smaller FJM size is identifiable because it has a red pull and red seal whereas the GN has a light blue pull and blue seal, thus making sure the owner doesn't get confused as to the proper bag their vacuum requires.
In use, the GN bag does what it appears to do - however - if you own pets and even with a pet filter added such as the yearly chargeable "Active Air Clean," or "HEPA" filter cartridge, the free filters are a bit of a waste of money, if only able to be changed for the motor and the bags in my opinion don't hide the rather nasty pong of dog hair and associated dirt collected from having four legged friends.
Though the filter on board does a good job of holding back pet odour when the vacuum cleaner is used, it only afterwards when opening the bag door that I can smell the rather off-putting smell of dust and dog hair. This is because, despite Miele's promise, that the self-seal cap inside the bag fails to close over when the bag requires emptying. At times, dependent on the dirt picked up and put into the bag, dust can fall out of the bag's main dust channel when pulling the bag softly from its locked mechanism holder when it requires to be disposed of.
Other Sorts & Final Thoughts
Over the years companies such as Uni-Fit and Qualtex have provided copy bags that are non-genuine with Miele vacuums. Whilst some fit well, I have only used copy bags ONCE and they were a complete disaster. Despite the copy bags offering top value of five bags for £4-99, the plastic holder that slides into the bag holder in my Miele vacuums were very thin and liable to crack, pulling away from the holder and allowing dirt to fall into the bin area. This is damaging for the filter near the motor, even if it is felt design, it can't hold everything back and can damage the fan if any excess dirt gets past the white felt filter.
Secondly due to the high force of power that most, if not all Miele vacuums express, the copy bags that are available for Miele vacuums similar to the GN either have poorer seals that are worse than Miele or have retained the similar plastic holder design and replaced it with thin cardboard that eventually bends out of the holder. With either design, you're liable to shorten your Miele vacuum by using copy dust bags and based on the fact that Miele vacuums aren't cheap to buy but have a 10 year lifetime expectancy, fitting genuine GN HyClean dust bags are far more recommended. If you can find the cheaper "older" Intensive Clean GN dust bags, you're looking at half the cost price for the same amount of bags, but they can be hard to find now, in 2014.
At the end of the day, Miele only produce one high filtration disposable dust bag for high end Miele vacuums and the GN dust bag is about as professional as you can get from Miele for your Miele. The dust bags are well made, easy to fit and easy to take out and whilst they hold a lot of dirt, gentle care is required when taking the bags out to prevent any dust escaping. Until Miele address the self seal that properly closes up, no matter what, these bags are good - but they could be better for ultra cleaning and disposing of - especially when bagged vacuums in general are better all round for those with dust allergies. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2014.
The GN HyClean Vacuum Bags are compatible with the following vacuum cleaner models: Miele S 400, S 600, S 800, S 5000, Cat & Dog 5000, Solution Hepa 5000, and Allervac Sensor 5000 / This four-pack of original Miele GN HyClean Vacuum Bags also includes one pre-motor filter and one Super Air Clean exhaust filter / Technical specifications Characteristics Includes 4 x GN HyClean Dustbags 1 x Pre-motor Filter 1 x Super Air Clean Filter Suitable for: Miele S 400, S 600, S 800, S 5000 Lifestyle Models: Cat & Dog 5000 Solution Hepa 5000 Allervac Sensor 5000 / Short name: Miele GN