* Prices may differ from that shown
As many of you may know by reading some of my reviews, I have been in an economical money saving routine for the last two years. From limiting my usage of vacuums to choosing to only use vacuums that have low power but offer good suction and performance to larger appliances that use up less power than what has gone on before. From money saving tips to continual use of LED plug in lights as opposed to leaving a table lamp on during the evenings, no wonder I continue to look for bargains and low energy run appliances. Does it all make a difference? I'd say so - with £150 less from my last energy bill, I'd say I'm doing rather well!
The EU though has not been resting on their laurels this year with the ever-increasing threat of a proposed law since 2010 to reduce the power usage of vacuum cleaners. It may sound a little mad and an issue where " a little too late " springs to mind. My own thoughts on lowering power seems to go against the thoughts of the bureaucrats who can't seem to offer up enough justification to why they feel a 2200 watt vacuum cleaner is more expensive to run than say a 3000 watt cooker, hob, rapid boil kettle or a washing machine. The EU law proposes to lower the motor power to 900 watts for upright vacuums and 1400 watts for cylinder vacuums - which for a lot of brands could well topple those who fight the advertising with "power promises," harder than brands that already offer low eco-friendly power rated vacuums. From 2011, the issue has produced a few reports in the industry that more or less offers up a £5 saving over a period of two to three years usage of a vacuum cleaner, though they can't seem to project whether this saving is made by using a vacuum cleaner daily, weekly, or monthly. In short, though the proposed law is a mere proposal, there really hasn't been that much data to provide the justification let alone proper tests of what can be deemed energy efficient or not.
For the most part, a lot of brands haven't been so quick to react with only a few well-known brands like Hoover continually churning out high-powered vacuums, with their latest model, the "Athos," features a 2500-watt motor for example. SEBO of Germany however has been producing low power high suction uprights since the 1970s and only a handful of UK buyers are now beginning to see the benefits of a SEBO upright vacuum cleaner in their home.
Bosch and Miele, the two other "bigger" German players in the floorcare market have also released "eco" versions of their vacuums over the years. After the purchase of the Miele S6240 Ecoline vacuum cleaner three years ago and being privy to the poor design of that model with its heavy floor head, I was at two minds to consider the Miele brand again. With its smaller than expected dust bag on board, it was not economical to keep the vacuum continually topped up with dust bags, even though I do prefer dust bags in general to bagless vacuums. Whilst I already own a Miele S5 model, it has a 2200 watt motor of which I'm not keen to use in my home because of its high power and the reason to why I wanted the S8 isn't just because it happens to be the successor model but for the fact that this brand new vacuum cleaner from Miele offers a little more than just an eco-friendlier 1200 watt motor...
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Brand and model: Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution Cylinder Vacuum.
* 1200 watts with 6 electronic speed settings.
* Twin stainless steel telescopic height adjustable tubes.
* 4.5-litre dust bag capacity in each bag - can last 3 to 5 months before needing to be changed.
* High Filtration dust bag for allergy sufferers as standard (HyClean, 7 layer) with self-sealing caps built in.
* Twin telescopic height adjustable tubes to an extended maximum height of 113cm.
* Crush proof 1.75 metre rubberised & ribbed hose.
* "Eco" AirTeq 2-way suction only floor head with added lint pickers supplied.
* Full size Turbo Brush floor head supplied.
* Full size Twister Parquet floor head supplied.
* 3 smaller cleaning tools - that hide away under a flap on top of the body.
* Super Air Clean filter - will not cope with smokers, or pet hair or allergy sufferers unless £10 yearly replaceable Active Air Clean filter is purchased or £20 to £30 HEPA filter is purchased for allergy sufferers.
* 7.1kg weight with built in castors for better gliding and movement.
* 6.5 metre cord length.
* Height 22.9cm by width 25cm by diameter 42.8cm
* 3 Park positions to the sides and back of the vacuum for easy storage.
* "Comfort-One Touch" Auto cord rewind.
* A current best buy awarded from Which? Consumer 2013.
* My price £209-95 from John Lewis.
* Average price £199 to £230-00.
General Impressions & Design
Although it has been on the market for two years, it would appear that the Miele S8 series really hasn't been given much of a thought from new buyers. No wonder, with prices starting at £200 and upwards, this really isn't a vacuum cleaner that many can afford - until you start to consider what you get for the cost price - and how it moves the game on, little by little compared to its predecessor. However the Miele S8340 is far from expensive when you consider that buying a likewise Dyson cylinder vacuum at the same price offers nothing but eliminating having to buy bags again and what you don't get is a user led design that is quiet on the ears, well built and offers twice as much dust capacity, even if you do have to buy dust bags for it. Comparatively speaking, the Dyson DC28 offers half the dust capacity and the same weight and same cord length as the Miele S8340 - but it lacks two vital floor heads that give you increased cleaning efficiency and versatility. Who is expensive now?
Similar to the more compact SEBO K1 Komfort vacuum cleaner suitable for smaller homes, Miele have tapped into SEBO's idea on the basis of not just offering one floor head at the time of purchase but to "sweeten the deal" further by adding two other floor heads completely free of charge, giving owners the optimum chance of covering every cleaning eventuality you would ever need. When you consider that Miele's standard S8210 costs £200 brand new, the S8340 Ecoline seems like a great bonus, even if you get a capped energy efficient motor of 1200 watts, thus ticking boxes for the moment where energy efficiency is concerned. The Miele S8340 also offers a bigger dust bag capacity than Miele's own S6240 Ecoline from 3.5 litres to one litre more, which for a medium-large home should be enough to get by on with Miele's statistical data of lasting three months before the next bag should be changed. Does bigger actually mean better, then?
Out of the box, there is very little polystyrene but more cardboard than anything else including a separate box that holds the three main floor heads consisting of the suction 2 pedalled "AirTeq" floor head that can be used on hard floors as well as carpets, the full size STB205 Turbo Brush Comfort floor head (usually a £45 extra), suitable for deep cleaning carpets and pet hair removal and the last floor head, Miele's rather excellent "Twister" Parquet hard floor tool (usually £30 extra) that can go around corners as opposed to the more standard fixed floor heads that you would normally find with standard vacuums.
Generally though, compared to the outgoing S5 model, the new S8340 is beautifully made and painted in a light cream colour with black PVC surrounds to protect it from scrapes. I'm not entirely sure as to why Miele feel that a cream colour is "eco-friendly" given that a few other brands have already painted their models in environmentally tagged green finishes, but I rather like the colour since it blends in well with my home.
Silver detailing around the hose mount on top of the vacuum as well as the obligatory motor exhaust still sandwiched on top of the vacuum cleaner between the suction speed controls and the function on/off and cord rewind pedals adds to the premium feel. No more dials are present though - Miele have moved their game on for the owner who will find pressing buttons the order of the day - and in some way alleviates the some what agonising experience of twisting a hand around a preset notched-dial step by step for more suction power. Here the suction controls move up and down with a rather more helpful, more precise foot tap-able "Plus" and "Minus" set of buttons with a corresponding 7 individual LED panel suction settings that shows each setting with a light orange colouring. The buttons exude that soft, push poshness that only Miele owners feel smug about bragging about, but it reiterates the price of this vacuum in general and what you get that makes life easier.
Yet, whilst the S8340 Ecoline Solution costs the same as the S6240 Ecoline but comes with a much bigger dust bag on board, there is no flimsy clip on exterior tool caddy-to-the-hose but at last, a proper place for the excellently made and well designed three-set smaller cleaning tools to hide under a flap that, just like the last on the S5, beautifully emerges and rises up slowly when the lid button on the top of the vacuum's main body is pressed. The button release is also decked in silver and despite the look good factor, the whole shape of the Miele S8 is open to question when laid out, with smooth, non-sharp sides that unfortunately makes it look like an upturned grub! No wonder the stock photos provide the vacuum with an upright position, as the outlook is a lot better.
I am slightly disappointed to find that Miele fit a piston valve mechanical dust bag indicator when everything so far is electronic LED based. Fitted with three rubberised castors though, the S8340 moves around supremely just like every Miele pull along vacuum before it, able to turn this vacuum on a 360° axis like every other Miele cylinder vac before it. This model in particular also features twin parking slots for the floor heads that provide ease of temporary storage if the vacuum is put into its upright position, as well as storing away after use.
Looks aside though, I am impressed with the added quality that Miele, have at last engineered into this vacuum cleaner. This is more apparent from opening the main bin door under the flush top tool door that has a large access point that displays the self-sealing GN style high filtration 4.5 litre HyClean disposable dust bag, of which one is included and a spare bag within the Miele "welcome" envelope that includes a user manual for both the Turbo brush floor head and a separate manual for the vacuum alone. Both manuals are written in very clear English with good diagrams too, even if it appears the user manual covers every model in the S8000 line up.
General Performance & Downsides
The S8340 Ecoline Solution continues with the trait of having an "AirTeq" suction only floor head as standard, because in theory a heavier floor head gives greater suction when motors have been capped for eco-friendliness on energy use. The floor head is just a slight redesign of the one I had to put up with on my old Miele S6 Ecoline and the weight is still the same of 765g alone, making it a touch unsuitable for those looking for feather light gliding on carpets. But there are ways around it, like choosing a lower suction power level or adjusting the handy air slider outlet at the top of the curvy light handle, but at the detriment of putting up with suction air noise, a feature that Henry owners will be used to if even the lowest setting isn't low enough! Thus, I find that I don't need to power up the S8340 Ecoline Solution for optimum suction power for instant pick up of dirt, and that's a blessing to my ears.
On hard floors, the rubberised wheels grip textures very well and there's plenty of movement that allows the floor head to remain flat to the floor, even if at times I have to twist my hand to go left or right, unlike SEBO's deluxe Kombi floor head that has the ability to go flat straight on. However, to be fair to Miele, they have recognised that the original floor head's pedals were sore to press on with a foot and have flattened out the pedals somewhat to improve the kind of pain I used to get when changing from hard floors to carpets and vice versa.
The bonus of the floor head is that it can clean right up to the edges very well, but it isn't for those after lighter gliding on carpet, which is where the free "main size" turbo brush comes in and does the job better, at the detriment of having a slightly bigger front hood that can get stuck under low furniture. This floor head in general is ideal for cleaning carpeted stairs though and even the boot liners of cars since it can be locked onto the main handle for ease of use. There's also the standard air slider on top of the floor head that allows for air to escape giving a much lighter gliding feel without the bristles of the roller burying in too deep into the carpet as well as lending a lighter push and pull movement that is exerted upon the owner. It is the floor head of choice for pet hair or deep cleaning of carpets removal alone!
It is a pity though that for all Miele has spent time redesigning key features that were cumbersome in the past that they haven't fully designed a floor head like Dyson where it automatically adjusts from hard floor to carpet without having to put your foot anywhere near a pedal. That said, the best floor tool that has so far proved to be my favourite is the castle cut fixed bristle "Twister" parquet floor tool - it only weighs around 306grams alone - and it is super easy to get into corners just by a twist of the handle of the Miele to get into tight spots on hard floors. Less time is wasted with this swivel type floor head but getting it to lay flat requires me to turn left or right, unlike SEBO's Parquet Deluxe floor head that remains flat when I go straight and lower the handle.
Elsewhere though, the Miele S8340 brims with fine intelligence, moving the game on from the previous S5 series. Compared to its slightly heavier predecessor, I was really surprised to find that this Miele S8 vacuum cleaner feels a lot lighter to carry around and to pull around, being a standard cylinder vacuum cleaner, but with a main grab handle that has been set at an angle pointing upwards for easy carrying. Infact, smaller seems to be the phrase that could also be applied to the Miele S8340. It seems to occupy a smaller space than the S5 when storing as well as appearing to be a little lighter and not as wide. It is still heavier than the SEBO D2 series though and Miele still persist in fitting this medium to large home sized vacuum cleaner with a 6.5 metre cord verses the 12 metre cable on the similarly priced SEBO D series and 10 metre cable with the Bosch BSGL5 series that makes do without both the SEBO and Miele's lockable hose, handle and floor heads.
Stats & Facts
As a general rule, the previous S5 measures height 22.6cm by width 27.5cm by diameter 48.7cm and a total weight of 7.4kg
This current S8 measures height 22.9cm by width 25cm by diameter 42.8cm, and a total weight of 7.1kg
Weight of twin pipes: 536grams compared to SEBO's stainless steel set of 504grams. SEBO's twin pipes have a total length of 94cm but you benefit from the suction pipes being lighter to lift for cleaning above the floor line and have less weight to pull due to the D2's excellent longer and lighter 2.1 metre hose compared to Miele's 1.8 metre standard.
As before though with most of Miele's cylinder vacuums you get a longer than average 1.8 metre length crush proof hose that gives more stretch than a lot of its rivals with telescopic height adjustable stainless steel tubes that can adjust for height from 60cm at its smallest to 103cm at its highest lockable height, making it super easy for those who are 5ft in height to 6ft. Once the tubes are locked, they stay locked. It is this design addition along with SEBO who first offered lockable tubes and handles that Bosch as a rival fails to offer in the UK, when their same machines in Germany appear to offer lockable mechanisms.
The far more reliable addition makes my life easy as I've never been that keen on having to physically and almost painfully remove pipes for shorter reach with other vacuums. Locking tools, tubes and handles make for a far more professional and yet quicker cleaning without much stress. It also makes for an instant vacuum that is reliable and doesn't have tubes that are difficult to remove, let alone floor heads or handles that fall off mid way during cleaning sessions. Thus both Miele and SEBO do well against Bosch who can't be bothered to fit likewise professional fittings to their vacuums for sale in the UK.
All the while, provided you have put the S8 into its upright position, you can lock the tubes via one of the floor heads parked into the nearby upright parking slot, giving you that added design facility of having everything you need in one place. The narrower design also makes the S8 ideal for storing in the upright position when cleaning stairs and the helpful tool tidy at the front means you can place the vacuum cleaner behind you safely with the lid pointing out from the stair for easy access to the snugly fit three cleaning tools on board.
In short, every cleaning possibility has been well thought out with the three floor heads you get here from Miele and the AirTeq twin pedalled suction only floor head is a bit more comfortable to use than what went on previously with the S6240 Ecoline model. When tube and floor heads of choice are parked by the handy park position on the rear, I find the 6.5 metre cable doesn't get tangled up when removing the handle, tubes and floor head from the parked position.
So to, at the end of cleaning if you park the floor head onto the back, it will not affect the return of the quick rewound action of the auto cord rewind that the Miele S8340 has, not to mention the beautifully designed "Comfort" rewind function first seen on the S6 where a tap to the pedal ONCE ensures all the cable can be rewound back into the machine after use; without having to do a balancing act by keeping your foot on the pedal, like other conventional vacuums. Again, you pay for quality and thought here - and you get a little bonus here in such a great design and safety aspect like that cord rewind.
Generally compared to most vacuums on the market aside from German brands, Miele's S8340 Ecoline Solution is supremely quiet with the first three settings even if the German company have been unwise to continue with the suggested "Silent Setting" on the fourth tap of the button that produces a louder motor noise. Generally even if you didn't know how to use a vacuum cleaner like this Miele vacuum, the well labelled controls and functions don't leave you wondering what they do - sensibly designed for the most part, the S8 exudes design intelligence without the stress caused to the owner by ill fitting plastics never mind poor cleaning tools with little versatility which luckily, the S8340 never suffers from, at all. The speed buttons also eliminate bending down to change the suction setting and ingesting the motor air, which I have found to be a design problem with previous Miele's general suction controls up until now.
Exuding ease of use and a certain luxury due to its overall design, life and usage with the Miele S8340 is a hushed but quick experience. When fitted with the main floor air driven turbo brush, I fins this attachment floor head to produce more noise than the vacuum cleaner itself, and of course it is so powerful that the floor head can't stick to hard floors due to a handy slider on top of the floor head that lets out some suction air to make gliding even easier.
Emptying & Consumables
Of course some compromises have to be made in general with this type of vacuum and for the fact that it can only use dust bags means it is far healthier than any bagless vacuum cleaner can dream of, but at the detriment of having to buy dust bags to keep it going. This is where ownership can be a downside for a lot of Miele owners but those who have the S5000/S5 series or S2 series benefit from having a bigger bag, the GN series that has a general cost of £9-99 to £12-99 for four dust bags.
Because the S8340 Ecoline Solution has the basic Miele Super Air Clean filter on board, you get this filter free with every box of bags, thus keeping the cost of filters down. Statistically Miele claim that every four bags should last a year. Now as the owner of a Miele S5 already, I can just about get one bag to last 2.5 months to three months and it has to be super jammed packed until the bag indicator suggests that the bag requires replacing.
However! You don't have to put up with the Super Air Clean filter if you have smokers in your home or have pets. Both are known to produce high odours that can come back into a room after cleaning and Miele have always produced two cost optional filters that last a year to two years. Consisting of the Active Air Clean filter that has a general cost of £9-99 to £12-99, this filter can be used instead of the exhaust Super Air Clean filter, provided that you still use the Super Air Clean filter for the secondary filter grid behind the bag in the vacuum cleaner.
Or, there is the £15 to £23 HEPA filter that is really only suited for allergy sufferers and has a blue grid to differentiate itself from the black grid of the Active Air Clean. Both filters are charcoal filled, so they absorb strong odours such as pet hair as it rots in the bag and like Dyson, require to be changed once or twice a year. It is however important to point out that if either charcoal filter is fitted, you won't be able to use perfumed powders for carpets or other scented means as these destroy the natural odour fighting molecules within the charcoal filters themselves.
None of Miele's filters are washable and reusable however but it points the way to total hygiene, which German vacuum cleaners in general are able to provide.
However, there's a bit more to why this vacuum cleaner (and its associated German brands like SEBO and Bosch are expensive to buy) because like SEBO, Miele offer cost optional cleaning tools to add to the versatility of your purchase. The standard three set small cleaning tools you get consist of a short crevice tool, Miele's supreme horse-hair round dusting brush that can be locked at different angles and their standard twin lint flat upholstery brush that is great for vacuuming up soft furnishings. Over a lot of brands I have used over the years, most of the German brands' tools are far better designed, better made, last the duration and are very light on the hand as well as being super easy to use. You can't store all of Henry's smaller cleaning tools on board, but with a Miele, SEBO or Bosch, you can!
Other Sorts & Final Thoughts
Currently Miele are offering six different S8 models such as:
* Miele S8310 base model in black, 2200 watts £200.00 with Super Air Clean Filter.
* Miele S8320 Cat and Dog in red, 2200 watts,
* Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution in "beige" / white £200 to £230 with Super Air Clean Filter.
* Miele S8390 Silence Solution in blue/bronze, 1200 watts £230 to £250 with HEPA filter as standard.
* Miele S8330 Solution HEPA in bronze, 2200 watts, £260 to £290 with HEPA filter as standard.
* Miele S8530 UniQ8 in bronze, 2200 watts, LED lights & Spotlight handle with HEPA filter as standard, £480-00.
For the meantime, the ultimate in low eco friendly cleaning for a medium sized home has arrived in the form of the Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution, providing buyers with not just one main floor head, but two free others that would normally cost nearly £70 to £90 extra when added together. The S8340 lacks a HEPA filter to keep costs low, but at the asking price of £200 to £230 and on account that you can buy the Active Air Clean filter separately that acts just as well as the HEPA filter, this vacuum cleaner alone gives pet owners an economical route rather than spending extra with the 2200-watt Cat and Dog model. On account that you can buy the tools separately that come with the more expensive vacuum from Miele, there's not much hardship here.
With a low, economical but strong suction motor on board, coupled with Miele's sealed suction design, quiet running noise, larger dust bags and eliminating the need to clean filters as well as being utterly compact enough to move around with, Miele can be proud of its S8340 Ecoline Solution vacuum. Better made and better designed than its smaller bagged S6 counterpart, the only fly in the ointment is a short power cord, which for owners who are looking for the ultimate similar vacuum should look to SEBO's D series. The SEBO D2 series beats the Miele alone with its much bigger cord length, 504gram tubes, 2.1 metre length hose, alone as well as the fact that the SEBO offers hospital grade filtration as standard as well as lower bag costs as they stock almost twice as many as Miele charge for a box of 4.
Exuding good design intelligence that doesn't make cleaning a chore, the Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution is modern, thoughtful and well equipped. Strong on power without hurting my ears, this is one vacuum cleaner that could be considered if you are fed up cleaning dusty filters AND if you are prepared to shop for far healthier high filtration bags that eliminate the need to get covered in dust. It hasn't quite beaten SEBO's D series just yet, but it bridges the need to consider that the Germans really know how to make and build a proper vacuum cleaner without adding stress to the owner, regardless. More importantly, it cleans home without being horrendous to use on power - and that's the whole point of an eco-friendly efficient vacuum cleaner. Thanks for reading!©Nar2 2013.
Nar2's Test Scoring of Premium German Cylinder Vacs
* 10/10 SEBO D2 Total. Weight 6.7kg, 5.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 10/10 SEBO K1 Pet/Komfort. Weight 5.5kg, 3-litre dust bag capacity.
* 10/10 Miele S8340 Ecoline Solution. Weight 7.1kg, 4.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S571 Weight 8kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S381 Weight 8kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S380 Weight 8kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S5211 Weight 7.4kg, 4.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S4212 Weight 4.5kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 9/10 Miele S4210 Weight 4.5kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 8/10 Bosch BSGL4000 Weight 6.2kg, 4-litre dust bag capacity.
* 8/10 Miele S6210 Weight 5kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 6/10 Miele S6240 Ecoline. Weight 5.8kg, 3.5 litre dust bag capacity.
* 5/10 Bosch BSGL5PROGB Weight 5.3kg, 4.5 litre dust bag capacity.
The Miele Ecoline Solution is a powerful vacuum cleaner with a special AirTeQ floorhead to ensure excellent suction power / To offer greater flexibility when cleaning the whole home, other tools arriving with this vacuum include: Upholstery nozzle to keep furniture looking good Crevice nozzle, great for those harder to reach spots Parquet brush, with its soft bristles, gives a thorough yet gentle clean to your hard floors Full size turbobrush gives an excellent deep down cleaning of carpets to remove any stubborn pet hairs Dusting brush Bag type: GN HyClean / Short name: Miele S8340