* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought one of these about 6 months ago on the recommendation of one of the staff at John Lewis.
It is generally a well made machine, not too noisy, with good suction and mine came with a couple of heads - one for smooth flooring and the other, a turbo head for carpet. Both heads work well and are jointed for manoeuvrability around furniture. The dust filtration is excellent.
It is vast improvement on the series of noisy, smelly and unreliable Dyson's that I have owned before. The thing just works and is a great cleaner.
However, I would not recommend buying one of these because the customer service stinks - both Sebo's and John Lewis'. I noticed a couple of days after buying it that the back panel wouldn't close properly. On closer inspection, I could see that a small plastic tab was missing or had sheared off the panel. John Lewis tried to pass the buck to Sebo, and when I phoned Sebo the customer service rep. was extremely condescending and refused to honour the warranty, suggesting that I had broken it. This is despite me only having used it once to test it. Eventually, I took the machine into customer service at John Lewis, where I resolutely sat until they remedied the problem. I did receive a new back panel in the post from Sebo, but it took me hours of time on the phone and at John Lewis. Just not worth it.
Thanks to their commercial origins, and their favour in paper bags and S Class/HEPA as standard filter preferences Sebo hold their position as being one of the largest producers of vacuum cleaners designed to last. Such a claim however is evident in the way that the whole family of products from Sebo have always been designed; from thick quality PVC plastics to the sheer thought and time Sebo have implemented into every design of their vacuum cleaner models. The fact that they test each model out before it leaves the factory floor as opposed to "one batch testing," further adds in a more professional yet personal touch to long term care and commitment for the consumer. Our old X1 upright has been going for 11 years and still continues to impress; owners can virtually service their own machines without need to return to Sebo - that's a first in a long line of reasons to why you should consider Sebo.
After owning and using a series of Dysons there is no doubt in my mind that bags are cleaner than bagless bins even though you do incur more cost to buy bags. Put simply if you don't ever want to touch dirt, you'll always buy bags regardless of how dirt is emptied from bagless applications; somehow dirt always ends up back in the air and the filters within the bin also have to be cleaned, which means yet more contact with dirt. If you don't clean that filter shroud in your Dyson, be prepared for long term damage.
** Nar's Quick Skip Product Spect **
1800 watts low noise motor with variable rotary suction control/on button.
Bag fill neon light indicator.(Orange)
Hospital grade motor filter/ S Class HEPA - Unwashable. (2 filter types available, cost options)
Secondary hospital micro filter - Unwashable.
3 litre high filtration dust bag with individual sealing caps.
"Air belt" all inclusive design for maximum airborne dust retention. (belts can be changed for other colours)
5 / 5.5 metre power cord with auto cord "pull" rewind function.
Telescopic height adjustable chrome extension tube enclosed in main PVC tube with Sebo's upright style handle.
2 way universal floor brush and small dusting brush with additional clamp - sits on the tube.
Long crevice tool with flat upholstery brush - sits onboard machine.
5.5 kg weight = compact design and 2 park positions.
Very helpful instruction manual written in clear English with additional photographs.
3 soft castors for maximum movement for complete 360° access and to protect flooring - reduces marking.
For anyone in the market who is confused between the choice of Miele and Sebo then read on; whilst most Miele models are good, they can be over priced against Sebo but both companies are from Germany which is generally a great country known for its solid economy and solid craftmanship.
I was looking to buy Sebo's basic red K1 at Argos at the brand new price of £129-99. But if you are wondering just why Sebo machines are so expensive (and sit side by side with Miele in this respect) you need to sample the machine first which you can do (and I did) at John Lewis stores where amongst Miele and Bosch, Sebo is one of John Lewis stores' greatest sellers.
** What the "Komfort" model comprises of: **
Over the basic K1 you get three extra attachments; all can either be attached to the telescopic pipes on the Sebo or the plastic coated metal hoister top pipe with Sebo's original patented handle. These consist of a turbo air powered floor head brush, a parquet brush and a small upholstery brush which can be clipped to the main pipes.
But there's more to the K1 Komfort than just three additional attachments to make life easier:
** Weight **
At 5.5kg I find the K1 to be very lightweight which includes the one piece telescopic height adjustable tubing which incorporates another inner tube. Against Miele's best efforts you won't find chrome inserts here, or a smattering of silver and and golds to impress but purely a squarish, edgy design which to my eye looks more practical and less cosmetically pleasing.
Two park positions on the K1 ensure that (and with the hose and tube retracted via telescopic height adjustable means) it is easy to rest the tubes and geographically claims a small space when storing away. The K1 feels easier to carry, pull around and ultimately breeze through cleaning tasks effectively without strain to the user although the main lift handle could be bigger for my hands. Sebo however have taken their X range hoister from the tube assembly and fitted a proper handle to the hose rather than a bent piece of plastic to reduce hand fatigue. In many ways it works well, with the floorheads being able to turn around fully without strain to the user. Just like Miele, Sebo have also applied a metal strip to counter act static whenever the plastic handle is handled. But whilst the handle feels excellent, it can also steer the floor head with just a pinch of the fingers which suggests great manoeuvring skills.
** Minimising Air Blast from the Motor **
All K1 models have an additional removable cloth belt which surrounds the perimeter of the vacuum, called the "air belt." Even when the K1 is set to its highest suction control available, I find the amount of air which this machine pumps out is minimal, which then means less stress and heat to the owner and when passing a table full of papers - for once they stay on the table rather than be fluttered around. Other cylinders have a tendency to locate the exhaust at the top which means lots of heat from the motor directed towards the owner.
And the airbelt also provides outward protection too; forget PVC bumpers here which may well protect your home but show up scratches on the surface of the machine, instead the K1's "Air belt" soft Lycra cloth additionally protects surfaces and scrapes either to the vacuum cleaner and surfaces in your home. The lycra belt can be replaced if it gets stained badly or washed with a damp detergent-less cloth.
** A Quiet Motor & Cord Rewind **
My parents couldn't believe how quiet the K1 is when it starts up in low power. Sebo state that 65db is the maximum rating of sound which the K1 increases to and that means the noise of the motor in its highest setting. My Hoover Telios has a rating of 10db more and Hoover go as far to claim that their rating is quiet yet when you go to pick out the drop in filter under the Sebo nameplate you will find that the noise from the motor is louder. Push the filter back in, close the name plate over and all is restored - that's quality thinking for you!
There is no pedal to retract the power cord though which is a bit of a surprise and frankly it is what I dislike about the Sebo K1. Instead after the cord has been fully used, the cord can be pulled from the base exit to which the cord automatically retracts back into the rear of the K1. Now that is a neat idea to avoid being hit in the ankles when it whips back into the recess of the vacuum, but if the cord gets trapped around the corner in use, the K1 will re-act the cord rewind which pulls the machine back.
** Manoeuvrability: 5/5 **
Sebo fit three soft padded castors which protect flooring and at the same time allow the K1 to turn in a complete 360° access. This design thought ensures that the K1 performs well in the smallest of homes and the hose is also long and able to bend without little kinking. And because the motor is at the top of the cleaner, the K1 never stumbles over or knocks over - even when pulled roughly. Two rubber mounts on the top ensure for example that if the K1 never topples over on its front, it sits on a angle so it can be pushed back down on the floor as normal and the rubber mounts won't scratch floors either.
** Attachments: 3/5 **
The crevice tool is exactly the same type found on the X1 upright. Another aspect of this 10" tool (in length) is that it has its own "hiding" hole located on the other side of the base of the machine from the cord recess;
Other tools consist of a flat upholstery tool which can be slid on the crevice tool and an additional dusting brush with its own clamp.
** Using The Different Floor heads: 3/5**
1) The Turbo Brush
Experience has taught me that any cylinder vacuum which has a turbo brush must be set to the highest suction possible in order for it to turn at high speed. Initially I found the air brush very difficult to move along the floor and although the whine is apparent from the motor brush, it suddenly dawned to me with the K1 that the highest amount of power is not always necessary. Select a low speed of suction and there is a marked improvement on gliding ability and still a lot of suction power even though suction has been turned down. Typically with Sebo you don't have to adjust anything when it comes to using this floor head as it has been designed to adjust automatically with each type of flooring.
What a pity then that the turbo brush floor head is bulky - all turbo floor heads tend to be anyway - but in its defence it does give noticeable pile lifting on the carpet fibres. It replaces the need for an upright here and it does it well - built in edge brushing on both sides and a replaceable "Trapdoor" flap on the underside - shows additionally extra ease of cleaning, particularly when anything gets clogged up or missed on corners. Most turbo air brushes from other companies these days don't have the additional flap on the underside unless you undo 4 to 6 Philips/cross head screws.
The K1 has a minimum of 1500 watts and a maximum of 1800 watts so it's no surprise to find that here, against other machines I've used you don't need to raise the power to get the fastest rate of suction or power. I usually keep the machine low except for some carpet fibres where extra suction is really needed.
2) The 2 Way Universal Floor Head
The 2 way universal floor head is a simple piece of engineering, with a metal soleplate which has been contoured to be used on carpet and hard flooring. Although the base plate is metal, common sense dictates that the brushes put down are for hard flooring, whilst brushes up for multi fabric made carpet textures. I prefer to use this floor head normally against the others because of the mix between floor coverings from room to room.
3) Parquet Soft Brush Floor Head
The parquet brush is very simple, supported by two wheels for extra gliding factors and in addition the original horsehair bristles are extremely long and soft for precious marble and other hard material flooring. Edge brushing built in ensures that nothing is missed.
Importantly, all three floor heads share a few things in common; they all fit by a locking pip switch which ensures that once they are fixed to the hose, they are locked on. Additionally the locks can be taken on and off by simply pushing a button located on the pip lock itself. Easy! Change over from floor head to options is quick and easy to do.
** Access to Bag and Filters **
No wonder Sebo have been accredited with the seal of approval from The British Allergy Foundation and this award applies to ALL models in the Sebo range. Briefly, the filters are the largest and thickest I have ever seen from a cylinder vacuum cleaner but they are not washable.
The first filter for example actually fits on top of the K1 and it is a smaller green filter compared to the larger motor filter. It can only be inserted one way and has a fold down handle to ease lifting. Lifting it out reveals that it also acts as a sound barrier to the main motor! The secondary motor filter is located underneath the filter bag which is located on the base of the K1. Sebo offer two different types for complete dust retention but its triple action system mirrors HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) and S Class standards anyway which is standard fit on all K1 models.
The filters are replaceable and easy to fit and take out; after 16 to 24 bags have been used, the filters have to be replaced. Now that's a lot compared to filters on other bagged vacuums which have to be replaced just after using 5 bags. (Hello, Miele!)
** Fitting a Dirt Bag **
Sebo have obviously copied the same mechanism from their older X1 upright here in terms of fitting a bag. This means a bag holder where the bag just slips in, clicks and locks into place, then close and the door locks into place. Any time you need to open the back door, a lock unlocks at the top and the bag holder pushes down on a spring to gain access to the bag. And just like our old X1, every Ultrabag is a 3 layer affair which also comes complete with a seal hat. Once you take out the bag, you simply push the seal onto the bag and dispose of it. Like Sebo bags for our X1 upright, Sebo also print directions on the bag if you can't remember how to install one.
** The Bag Capacity & Downsides **
Sebo have for so long emphasized that the dirt bag capacity on their X models are larger in use rather than specifications suggest and I would have to agree and say that this is true. When I lifted all the old wool carpets out of my parents home to be replaced with new ones, one Sebo bag lasted 8 months of heavy carpet dust and heavy thick carbon from the underlay. However Sebo also apply the same thinking to the K series and if only the claim was as true!
I found that whilst the K1 is excellent with pet hair, retaining all the odours and general household dirt, the K1 copes badly with D.I.Y dust thanks to the high filtration ultra bag which has at least 3 layers of paper added to its inards. It is easy of course to check the bag's status by looking at the Orange LED indicator which flashes all the time to let you know the bag is full - but if it flashes intermittently then this is a warning the bag is nearing the end. No more mechanical dodgy bag fill indicators on this little baby!
** Bag and Consumable Costs **
Sebo's "Service box," which includes 8 bags, seals and both filters at the cost of £15-00 compared to Sebo's charge at £18-49 before postage and packaging, at John Lewis in Glasgow shows that shopping around can get cheaper by the moment! You can also buy 8 bags alone for the K1 at the cost of £7-99 which is comparable to other cylinder vacuum cleaners anyway which use bags.
** Conclusion **
The Sebo K1 Komfort is a very complete cylinder vac which comes with three additional heads for versatile cleaning - and with its excellent filtration system and defined manageable storing skills and general use - appears to be a cut above the rest of mass producers who reiterate old components in newer body shells without much thought for the owner.
But it is also has excellent PVC quality, stainless steel tubing which is height adjustable with a top sheath of plastic which protects the inner top tube. Add in the handle which makes cleaning above the floor and on walls/crevices very easy to do, and you have a great compact vacuum here able to do what it suggests. The hose and tubing is lighter than Miele's tubing and aids above the floor cleaning tasks too.
Typically in Sebo form, the K1 does everything you'll need it to do for a general day to day cylinder pull along vacuum but it comes at a price and interestingly works out to be cheaper than owning a Miele. ©Nar2 2007
** Update June 2007 **
The newer model for 2007 now has a greater motor of 2100 watts but the same amount of quietness; yes I could not resist testing out the latest Komfort model at John Lewis! Sebo have also improved some of the controls and the turbo head is lighter and more compact than before.
As of December 2006 there are video links which show a brief demonstration of the K1 Komfort model/K1 range.
I like my Sebo K1 Komfort !
I am not going to include a lengthy description of the cleaner as you can get that from the Sebo website.
This is a small cylinder cleaner that is fairly light to carry and easy to pull around when vacuuming.
It has all the tools you would need and is well made with good quality plastics - I agree with others when they compare it to VW and Audi engineering.
It comes with an air driven turbo head which drives the roller brushes round and really works - when you have the power on if you pick the head up you can see the roller whizz round !
The Turbo Head seems to make it easier to push and seems to adjust itself when going from carpets to hard floors and vice-versa.
It picks up very well, right up to the skirting board.
I like the way the little hard brush, little soft brush and slim nozzle are immediately get-attable without having to undo plastic doors - neat design that !
In use it is pretty quiet and easy to use, I like the way you can extend the tube for your height so there is no bending over when vacuuming; in that respect, it is just like using an upright but without the weight to push and pull.
I looked at reviews, Which Magazine etc and think this is comparable with Miele machines but not as expensive.
I got a good deal from Andrew McCullough in Cambridge.
The SEBO K1 Komfort bagged cylinder vacuum cleaner is light and compact yet durable and powerful / The innovative and intelligent design shows in every aspect including comfortable handle grips lightweight telescopic tubes SEBO airbelt bumper system and easy bag change / Powerful motors professional cleaning heads and a highly efficient airflow combine to give outstanding cleaning performance on any type of floor and for any size of home / The anti-allergy design with British Allergy Foundation Approval also makes it an ideal cleaner for pet owners and allergy suffers / / Motor (Max Watts): 1800W / Filter bag: 3 litres/4-layer / Sound level: 63 dBA / Body Weight: 5.5kg