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This vacuum series from sebo came out in 2005, so its nearly a 10 year old design (even though Sebo have enhanced a few things along the way). I purchased this model a couple of months ago after my trusty Samsung cylinder gave up the ghost. It was nearly 5 years old. I don't know weather that is good or bad to be honest, but considering what I paid for it, it is good I guess.
So many appliances we buy today are manufactured in the far east, and I believe to the detriment of quality. So when purchasing my new vacuum, I wanted to spend a little more in the trust I may get a vacuum that will last a good few years. Considering Sebo still design and manufacturer their products in Germany and they are still a privately owned company, I would be confident that I was purchasing a good product.
I do love this vacuum and it is the best we have had. Build quality is important to me regarding anything I buy. As we live in a throw away society, it's much harder to find products that are of good quality, but this is one of them. It feels strong and robust. Sebo do manufacturer commercial grade vacuums so this is no surprise.
It's very light-weight and has a brilliant swivel head. The handle is telescopic and made from aluminium. (I would recommend you smear vaseline on this metal tube as it is very stiff to slide up and down, but once this is done, it is a lot easier to adjust.) You can collapse it for easier storage. The cable hooks are also right at the top of the vacuum, so no bending down. The hose is well placed for getting it out quick and you can store two attachments on the handle.
The cord length is excellent. I can plug it in my living rooms and vacuum the whole house including the upstairs without changing sockets. The cable itself is right below the handle, as is the storage for it.
Because it is so ergonomically designed, light-weight and easy to use, I would imagine it would be good for the elderly and those who are physically challenged. For anyone though, it is a very easy to use appliance.
It is extremely quite. It has variable suction (also situated on the handle) and even on the highest setting, it is not loud at all and doesn't scream like other vacuums do.
The suction itself is very good, so much so I have to turn it down on low piled carpets as it becomes as heavy as a tank to push as it stick to the carpet so much. The agitation is very aggressive and vibrates the floor as you go along. It also pulls itself forward which is an example of how good the agitation it, makes it easy to push. It grooms even the thickest of carpets beautifully and pet hair comes up in one swipe. You can also turn of the brush bar for doing hard flooring. It will also cut itself out in the event you accidently suck up something like a sock. This stops the belt breaking and can prolong the life of the motor.
Sebo give you the option of buying a softer bristled brush bar if you have more delicate carpeting, but I personally do not need this. The agitation is very strong but not damaging at all. Also, the brush bar comes out incredibly easy. This is proper German design; you push the end cap of with the press of a button and the brush bar just pulls right out. My daughter has very long hair and it always get wound round any brush bar on a vacuum, so this is a godsend.
This particular model comes with a parquet floor nozzle which detaches itself form the main cleaner. This is also excellent for hard floors and pulls out dirt from all the crevices and cleans right up to the edge.
The cleaner also detaches itself form the main head to become a very large, but very powerful hand held. It's much easer to clean stairs and my car when its like this.
The bags are cloth type and they last a long time. The dirt compresses itself down and it is a bottom fill bag I believe. Whatever it is, it looses no suction as the bag fills up and you really can fill it right to the top before having to change it. Incidentally, the bags are among the least expensive for bagged uprights.
It also lays down flat and has a very low profile. I can actually get under the beds, unlike some other uprights which will lay flat, but are very bulky.
Their are a couple of downsides. You can only store two attachments to the cleaner - the crevice and upholstery tool... because it only comes with two. A soft dusting brush, extension arms, a turbo brush and other accessories are available to buy.
Other than that, I honestly can not think of anything I do not like about this vacuum. It is great. Recommend it to anyone.
Very difficult to top nars2 review, but as I own it and have had it for 3 months, I have nothing but praise for the Felix Navy.
A lovely retro design, the Felix Navy is surely a current design classic. I am collecting classic designs of appliances, and this is up there with the Dualit Toaster and the Smeg fridge.
This does not mean that there is any compromise in function. I have been a long time user of Dyson, since they were first marketed. The one I have is still working, but the hose is broken and the clips to hold the hose and the tools on have also gone. Time for a new one then?
Currys must hate me, I took back vacuum after vacuum. Eventually I gave in to the Sebo. Yes they are pricey, but IMO worth every penny.
They are manoeuvrable, swivelling easily around obstacles. They are light and have a small footprint, the suction is great, and maybe I don't vacuum enough, but after 3 months I have yet to change a bag.
My ground floor is laminate with carpet upstairs, and the Sebo cleans both surfaces easily, with just a swift kick to the button to change from hard floor to carpet and back again.
The machine is light enough to lug up and down the stairs and a quick wipe down has it gleaming as if new. I would recommend this cleaner to anyone.
Sebo give a very long guarantee which shows their confidence in their product
If you have seen a SEBO Felix, then its quite possible that you may well question why something so retro has been designed. The Felix may look retro from its fancy cloth covered front and bright colours but aside from cosmetics SEBO have produced a large "stick" vacuum for smaller homes, where the X upright may appear to be too big. Tough PVC plastics and metal, just like the bigger X range of upright vacuums, and its latest design from Sebo means softer edged plastics and a feel of general quality hence the expensive prices of £190 to £250 on average. The Felix is also environmentally friendly conscious with its maximum wattage of just 1300 watts and a super disposal system based on its sealed bags and filtration qualities.
When tested against the Dyson Slim DC14, which is a newer model than the Sebo Felix on size, the Dyson DC14 did appear smaller thus making my decision harder to justify. So I researched and found some surprising results. Sebo size has been given in closed brackets: The DC14 comes in at a height of 111cm (Sebo Felix height 104cm), a width of 30cm (Sebo Felix width 31cm) and a diameter of 41.5cm (Sebo Felix diameter 38cm). I'd have never thought that the DC14 was bigger than the Felix although the Dyson has washable filters and half of the Felix's dirt capacity (1.7litres). When tested side by side, I found that the Felix won on the impressive lack of motor noise, versatility, less weight and lighter increased steering on the basis of its pivotal neck getting around corners than the Slim's slightly stiffer but bigger neck hinge. Despite their latest claim of their model being compact, the Felix is physically smaller by its design outright against Dyson's best efforts whilst also being a lot more user-design friendly. I don't mind paying out for bags if my ears aren't subjected to what sounds like a mini jet taking off and a dust bin that deposits dust back into the air, despite the low release trap door design.
Like the commercial version of the Sebo Dart, the Felix uses the same timed electronic floor head that has a guidance system built into it. Sebo have fitted a four-height control dial for the consumer to choose. There is perhaps some logic to Sebo's madness which becomes methodical when in use: if you have different flooring in your home the Felix can be adjusted to any flooring to suit ensuring each time that the brushes actually hit the floor, lessening the actual brush wear and also maintaining Sebo's iconic gliding reputation. The Felix is very light to push and pull across any surface which maintains the memory of our old X1 but the X1 struggled on bathroom mats which the Felix does not. The X1 takes a few seconds for its floor head to rest on carpets due to its electronic hydraulics; the Felix doesn't have this added facility so the power and brush can be used immediately. However if you don't want brush roll there's always the brush roll stop button on top of the floorhead.
Safety is paramount when it comes to vacuums and SEBO are no stranger to this. So, the Felix has a stop button on the floor head if you want to clean using suction only, but if, say the hose is removed when the handle is lowered from the upright position, the brush bar will automatically stop as a safety precaution. Suction power can also be reduced from 1000 watts to 1300 watts via its slide on, switch on slide bar located at the top of the handle although when the brush roll is stopped and the suction is reduced, I found cleaning bathroom rugs and mats has never been easier. Flick the rotary dial to number 4 on the floor head, and the with the motor re-activated, stepping on the rug to keep it in place, the Felix will brush up any dirt collected easily - without the fear of a belt being broken in the process. When the hose is removed, there's 3 metres of total stretch available and there are two tools supplied such as a long crevice pipe and a T shaped upholstery tool. Both of these tools sit on a slideable tool holder attachment on the front of the machine. However a downside to the top release hose means that the Felix will fall over unless you keep a hand on the handle or position the Felix against a wall. For quick clean ups the Felix travels with me when I take out the hose and it's very efficient when left stationery and cleaning out the car.
The reason to how the Felix copes is down to the electronic floor head - it's a design that is included on Sebo's older C3 and K3 cylinder vacuums. By applying an electric brake internally and if anything gets caught up in the floor head, the orange icon on the floor head will flash permanently with the brush turned off until the Felix can be restarted again. No thermal cut out on any other vacuum is as fast, efficient or as clever as that on a Sebo upright - because like the X uprights, the Felix can simply be switched on instantly after the clog has been removed. Having two indicator lights lets me know exactly what is going on, such as the orange warning light which has a logical exclamation mark fitted to its LED cover and a green light that shines continually to show that the floor head is on and activated. When both lights shine this occurs when the floor head senses that the height adjustment is wrong and should be adjusted accordingly.
When it comes to removing clogged dust, just like the X range, the Felix (and Dart) both have the same trapdoor located on the floor head base that can be opened and viewed easily if there is a clog. Flipping the floor head on its side, or taking it off from the main body via its lock mechanism means that access to the main brush can also be removed via its lock button on the side of its "L" shaped brush corner. Once that is removed the entire brush roll can be pulled outwards. Once anything that is caught is removed, the brush roll just slides back in, twist and lock onto the flywheel and the door pushed back on until its locks into place. Against the X upright, the Felix has edge suction channels on both sides of its floor head but like the X, the internal hose on the machine can be unlocked and inspected fairly quickly and easily.
Where general use is concerned the Felix has a very convenient and handy 180° pivotal neck which gives the Felix faster cleaning action and swivels the floor head efficiently around corners which is quicker than the normal sawing action on traditional uprights. Because the floor head is thinner and no Ball to get in the way like Dyson, the Felix can get under low furniture and clean flat to the floor. Whereas a traditional upright employs the use of its owner to shift chairs out of the way or bash up a leg anxiously, the Felix can be angled from its handle to move left or right whilst the floor head turns at the same angle! Cleaning under the dinning table has never been easier and the Felix literally flies up helped along by its pivotal head that can lock into position if the handle is made to get the Felix back into its straight position; I've read that some reviewers/owners feel that this is a downside, but if no actual lock is used then the handle would swing down after use and crash to the bottom - the fact that it locks means that after use the Felix can be stored away easily. The handle and neck also position downwards without the need to step on the pedal release twice, a fact that Oreck owners will sympathise with without the need to find the pedal and press it down again when flat to the floor cleaning is required.
Apart from the electronic brush head, Sebo also include another floor head, which is for hard wooden or delicate floors. Although to many Sebo owners the Parquet brush is standard on machines such the K1 Komfort, the Felix has an improved design called the "Parquet Deluxe" which is better built and has two removable strips of horsehair bristles for cleaning as well as which both strips of brush hair float up and down in use on floors to ensure everything gets picked up first time. As handy as it is though I find it easier just to keep the original floor head in use rather than swapping floor heads around because the electronic head with its stop button cleans hard floors reasonably well without the need to swap over. Also the brush bar on board lacks beaters and for dirty hard floors, the brush bar when activated sweeps up dirt quite quickly as well as being able to move quite hard stubborn stains without damaging the floor.
A flap just below the top of the bin at the front reveals the next trick on the Felix and sadly isn't available on the Dart; a height adjustable handle. Pulling the flap outwards (and Sebo have marked it well as to how to do it and what it does) allows the handle to be unlocked and can be adjusted in three stepped positions from very low, medium or the tallest height. There is however a downside to this. In the highest position I felt that the handle feels slightly weak, probably because there is no more to its spine when it's at its most extended. Compared to the Dart's fixed handle which can never be adjusted, the Felix's spine feel strongest when it is set at the medium height although there is never a feeling that the thick metal neck will break off if the handle is set at the highest position; it just doesn't feel as strong as the lower positions available.
When the floor heads are removed by pushing a lock button at the bottom, the Felix reveals another surprise; its total weight with floor head added is around 6.7 kg and feels similar to my Dart commercial upright (remembering that both are nearly identical save on a limited specification where the Dart is concerned) but at 5kg without the floor head attached, the Felix is very light to lift around aided by its short hose which snap fits down one side and tools on the spine neck of the handle can be taken off for above the floor cleaning. In this exercise, everything is together with the Felix - the cord points are located on the back of the vacuum which means if you change up to hand held option, everything bar the floor head comes with you. Against the Dart's fixed handle, the Felix's handle can then be pushed back down into the main body that creates a more portable machine on width and total length. The Felix is fitted with a 9.5 metre cord that is bigger on length than most upright vacuums supply. No need for an extension cable then! When in cylinder mode, the Felix does reveal some weaknesses - it's short hose for example can stretch as far as you go, but without the long crevice tool attached, you may need to travel up more stairs holding onto the body of the Felix. The T shaped upholstery tool is great for cleaning on car seats - just like the X model from where this tool originates from, the T shape tool has a removable brush line so that you don't necessarily get the "line streaks" that some upholstery brushes leave behind on velour or cloth car seats. Generally the Felix is great for anyone who has a small amount of stairs in a small to medium-small home. For bigger homes you may need an extra 6 metre extension hose, one of which can be purchased at John Lewis, online or from SEBO direct. Cost price varies between £9-99 and £15.
The Felix is an incredible vacuum to maintain with its filters and bags, and anyone who tells you the bags aren't big enough aren't using them to their fullest capacity. The bin door is at top; it can be opened simply by flipping up the catch; the bag can be taken out and sealed straight away since the seals are now located on the bags themselves. New bag can then literally be dropped in and the bin door closed over - if the flap doesn't lock then the bag hasn't been put in properly only needing instant alignment with its coil lock and the lid falls over onto the top. From the two months of ownership, the Felix is still on its original 3.5 litre top fill dust bag and it is nearly full judging by its weight, but the bag fill indicator on the top of the lid has yet to agree that the bag is completely filled up and until it shows me its full orangey ness, the bag can still keep going!
The main motor filter carries the same principle, having to be changed after every 16 lots of paper bags have been used. A simple carry handle allows owners to line the bottom of the bin with the filter, push down until it locks into place; to remove, find the foldable handle, lift up and dispose of. Easy! Cost of replacement ranges from £5-95 to £7-95 and the filter can last up to 16 bags depending on how black it turns!
The other main filter surrounds the main body of the Felix and looks for the most to be the same soft bag designs that graced Hoover Junior and Senior models for the best part of forty odd years. Only that it isn't a soft bag; it's a soft lycra cotton-mix cover which acts as Sebo's electrostatic filter which sums up the S Class grade filtration system which equal HEPA/High Efficiency Particulate Air filters and all Felix machines have been awarded with the Seal of Approval by the British Allergy Foundation. Removing the cover for the main filter is easy to do by unlocking two plastic bracelets which sit at the top and bottom of the cover; after these are taken off, a new cover (after being bought) can be placed back on, folding the sides down into their bend channels and then fitting the braces back on; it is an eye catching if not novel design because Sebo make three different kinds of colourful colours of which you can customize your Felix; red/orange, dark Navy blue and a colour tartan stripe I adore which is made up of cream and dark reddish patches - Chavs up and down the country may well aspire to the Felix because of this tartan as it is similar in look to Burberry; however they may baulk at the asking price of the total vacuum although replacement covers can cost between £5-95 and £7-95. I still have my original blue cover but my mum likes the beige colour and it seems to go well with the Sebo "Navy" model when the Navy cover is removed.
For me, the X upright is still the best upright vacuum on the market, but whilst the X is suitable for larger homes, the new Sebo Felix is ideal for smaller homes or flats. Provided you hold onto the vacuum whilst using the hose, the vacuum will not fall down. Yes, it's a compromise over a traditional upright but whilst everything else is easy and simple to use and access, the value of the long lasting bags and filters, high suction power and low noise means the Sebo Felix isn't expensive or awkward to maintain and for owners who miss cylinder vacuums but don't like whacking hoses off doors, the Sebo Felix fills a particular niche that many other brands in the UK have been slow to release. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2008
* Thank you to John Lewis, Edinburgh for the comparison test!
You Tube video promo video:
** April 2009 Update **
After a problem with its electro-brush not functioning properly and doing some spot checks I sent my Felix back to Sebo. Upon returning and paying a delivery charge of £49-50 I was informed by Sebo that a major repair had taken place - thankfully my model purchased had a 5 year warranty with it - so nothing to pay except a delivery charge on a major fault that would have rendered the machine useless. Sebo have a fantastic customer service division and their service department were top notch, also repairing the long 10 metre power cord for free.
Now, Hoover would never give you something free when one of their models go in for repair!
** UPDATE AUGUST 2010 **
The slideable tool holder that clips onto the neck is not available to view on Sebo's accessory shop. However if you need the tool holder, the product code is "7097SR," and can be ordered by telephoning Sebo on 01494 465533.
Sebo's Felix vacuum cleaners are designed to be highly manoeuvrable, with a flexible neck allowing them to steer round obstacles, making light work of cleaning. Equally at home on carpet or hard floor, their flat-to-the floor design means they can scoot under furniture with ease. Their telescopic handle is perfect for compact storage and easy carrying, and with the variable power control on the handle, altering the power on the Felix is also effortless. The Felix is also a mini vacuum cleaner in disguise ? simply detach the suction unit from the power head and you get a lightweight, powerful cleaner ideal for stairs, car interiors or curtains. A supplied parquet brush can be fitted in place of the power head, for optimum hard floor cleaning. The Felix is approved by the British Allergy Foundation and has S-Class filtration.