The Blizzard CX1 is Miele’s first bagless cleaner range. Having been a staunch proponent of bagged cleaners for years – and it still is – Miele has now thrown down the gauntlet and lot of R&D dollars to offer a bagless option. It’s a stunner, too.
Enter the range-topping Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine. At £400, this premium bagless cylinder cleaner is a suction powerhouse that bristling with features.
Wireless remote control, variable power, self-cleaning low-maintenance filters, easy-to-empty bin and a raft of tools are just the beginning of the story. It isn't great for pet hairs on carpets (there’s the CX1 Cat & Dog version for that) – but otherwise, the CX1 Comfort PowerLine never fails to impress.
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Miele entering the bagless cleaner market is about as big as news headlines gets in the heady world of vacuum cleaners. Having staunchly supported the bagged argument for decades, Miele’s decision to add bagless cleaners to its range must have been a tough one. Clearly, the Blizzard CX1 was going to have to be something rather special.
Out of the box, the flagship Comfort PowerLine edition is a sleek-looking cylinder cleaner. Its white coachwork, darker panels and sweeping lines are reminiscent of a fly-bridge on a luxury yacht, and the crystal-clear bin offers you a window into the centre of its single cyclone bagless system. The cleaner isn't small, nor is it light, but it certainly looks like it means business.
Pulling the cleaner around, the weight and size become irrelevant thanks to four Dynamic Drive casters. These combine 360-degree rotation with air-filled open rubber tyres, giving the cleaner super-smooth movement even over rough surfaces such as riven floor tiles.
They lose a little of their grace in very deep-pile carpet, but each caster body has a pair of parabolic ski-like mouldings to help stop the wheels bogging down.
At the back end of the cleaner a handle pulls up, allowing you to lift off the large cyclone and bin assembly with one hand. The single cyclone sees air-flow over 100kmh in its vortex, and Miele claims that it's quieter and works more efficiently at variable power levels than multi-cyclone designs.
A full-size flap at the bottom swings open for easy bin unloading, aided by the fact the vortex chamber is at right angles to the bin so fluff and other larger debris can’t get stuck around a central core.
There's a mesh gauze cup in the centre of the vortex, accessed by a panel that pulls off the back of the bin, and a finer mesh filter in a frame inside the bin. This doesn’t need regular cleaning, but when it does you have to get your hand in the bin to unclip its support frame. That's a mucky job.
The CX1’s real business filter is huge, housed in its own separate dust bin and has a self-cleaning function. Made by Gore (the company famous for Gore-Tex), the CleanStream filter is a folded fibrous canister with a row of prongs on the inside that rotate to agitate and flick dust out of the filter into the base of its bin.
The cleaner automatically detects when this filter is becoming blocked and pauses the vacuuming power for 20 seconds while it rotates the prongs to clear the filter. You can also initiate automatic filter cleaning by using the Comfort Clean button on the cleaner control panel at any time.
The filter canister pulls out of the cleaner and the filter pulls out of the bin so you can empty the contents; we found this didn’t need doing very often either. We got in the habit of giving the Comfort Clean feature a whirl every couple of cleaning sessions to keep the filter in tip-top performance.
Beside the Comfort Clean button, the control panel sports four power level indicators with graphics depicting increasing power for curtains, rugs, carpets and parquet/hard floors. There are no controls for this on the cleaner, however. That's handled by Miele’s sumptuous comfort handle with its wireless remote control.
Powered by a long-life replaceable button battery, the remote buttons offer thumb control on/off and /- for power level. With the cleaner switched on, the last-used power level indicator pulses slowly until you press on/off on the handle. It starts slow and builds to that level. Up/down adjusts power level accordingly, and another press of the power button puts the CX1 into standby. Slick and gadgety – I like it. Jackie was impressed too, albeit more for its practicality.
The final control on the cleaner body is the cable rewind. Unfortunately, the cable itself is a mid-length 6.3m long, which isn't exactly generous on such a premium cleaner. Unlike regular sprung winders, you don’t have to press and hold this button down until the cable is wound fully. Instead, one press pulls the cable right in, snaking back towards you like Indiana Jones’ whip if you're not careful.
There is no shortage of tools on this top-spec model, although the Comfort PowerLine is clearly leaning towards hard floors and homes without pets.
The flexible hose, handle, tubes and tools all clip together and unclip with the consummate ease of a very slick and well-designed product. The telescopic metal tubes are a fine piece of engineering, feeling solid in the hand and fitted with a simple collar that pushes up or down to unlock the telescopic action.
At full length they offer plenty of scope for high-up cobwebs, and we found them comfortable vacuuming at floor height with the tubes extended about half way.
The curved handle offers about 90 degrees of rotation around the hose connection, which helps to stop the handle twisting when the hose is stretched. The wireless remote control in the handle runs off a small and commonly available CR2032 button battery and will last for some time. Being wireless, it will also work if completely detached from the hose and cleaner, offering great potential for YouTube comedy gold with unsuspecting family members or pets.
Six tools are supplied, majoring on Miele’s EcoTeq Plus multi-purpose floor-head. This mid-size head is nicely articulated with a tilt-and-pivot neck and two large rear rollers, so easy to manoeuvre around obstacles.
The base runs flush over carpet, with just a couple of thread-catching pads for support. This provides a good, deep clean of carpets – but will see the head sticking down on full power. Tap the foot switch on top of the head and two rows of stiff bristles drop down for hard floors.
This model also comes with the biggest hard-floor head we've ever seen. The Miele Parquet Twister XL is a proper whopper at over 40cm wide and is designed for smoother hard floors such as laminates, lino, vinyl tiles and parquet.
It’s nicely low for getting under obstacles and has a complete perimeter of castle-stepped brushes. Spreading your vacuuming power over such a big cleaning area suggests Miele is very confident in the suction power of the CX1.
You also get a second, much smaller hard-floor head with rubber blades. Miele suggests this is better suited to floors with gaps and grooves, such as riven tiles and naked floorboards. The design concentrates the air-flow for deep-down cleaning.
A good-size dusting brush offers soft, natural bristles, and a small collar on the inside to stop them collapsing into the air-flow. This brush is integrated into the handle on some of the other CX1 variants, which would probably save it becoming lost at the back of the cupboard.
Finally, there's a small crevice tool and an equally compact upholstery brush, both parked on the rear end of the cleaner for instant access.
All the tools are very well made, feel robust and work well. From the cyclone system and self-cleaning filter, to the tools at the end of the hose, the CX1 is a great piece of design engineering.
Simply pulling the CX1 Comfort PowerLine around is quite an unusual experience; the smooth rolling rubber wheels make it glide silently over hard floors.
The 1,200W motor purrs into life when you operate the remote control. It ticks over on the lowest power level emitting around 60dB of noise, which is very quiet indeed. Ramp up the power and you can hear the air-flow almost as much as the super-quiet motor.
At full power over carpet, we recorded just over 70dB noise output, some 6dB less than the energy label suggests. The noise increases over hard floors, but this is still one supremely quiet vacuuming cleaner.
The CX1’s low noise certainly doesn’t equate to low power, however. At full power this bagless cleaner has absolutely outstanding suction and an incredibly high air-flow rate. We were quite excited about trying out the Parquet Twister XL floor-head for that very reason – and the results were brilliant. It’s our new favourite floor-head for hard floors!
The sheer size of the head covers the ground in double-quick time. The cleaner’s high-performance cyclone sucks in anything that isn't nailed down, and the shape of the head makes it ideal for getting under table bars, radiator covers and low furniture. The bristles are cleverly positioned to resist simply sweeping dust in front of the head, and the stepped cut-outs deliver suction power right up to the edges of the skirting boards.
The small rubber-bladed "SRD" floorhead – we never did work out what that acronym stood for – was surprisingly effective too.
We had expected the head to clamp down to the surface with anything more than minimal power, but four small wheels and a fixed, rather than tilting, neck meant it never sealed itself to the floor.
Concentrating the suction on full power proved very effective at drawing particles out of deep grooves in our very old parquet, even if it didn’t cover the ground with the alacrity of the Twister XL head.
These tools make the hard-floor abilities of the EcoTeq head a little redundant – although it, too, was no slouch on our floor tile test.
It very effectively cleaned up a pile of spilled oats in a single sweep, giving it a perfect hard-floor test result in its own right. We ran the same test for our star Twister XL head and the results were just as good – only with wider coverage in a single sweep. Excellent.
Pulling up the bristles on the EcoTeq head and moving to carpets proved more of a challenge for the new Miele, but not one it couldn’t cope with.
At full power the large rear wheels still allow the head to be pushed around on shorter pile carpet, although on deeper pile, the sheer suction power made it more difficult to move. To be fair, if you leave the CX1 on its carpet power setting (level 3) it offers a great compromise between power and manoeuvrability.
That all translated into an excellent carpet clean test too. Using a mix of talc, baking powder and carpet freshener on red nylon carpet, the combination of the CX1 Comfort and EcoTeq head produced a clean sweep, quite literally.
It cleaned right up to the edge of the skirting, removing the test powder from deep within the groove where the carpet is tucked under the gripper rod.
On close inspection you could see that a few of the heavier baking powder particles still remained after a single pass. Without the assistance of a rotating brush bar, the head required a back stroke or second going over of the area to pick up these grains. Yet, overall, the CX1 Comfort PowerLine and ExoTeq head produce great carpet cleaning results.
It’s worth mentioning the bin and filters too. The large flap at the bottom does make the bin very easy to empty without having to dig around, and neither of the two in-bin gauze filters seemed to require too much cleaning. We ran the Comfort Clean cycle frequently as a matter of course, and certainly didn’t notice any filter-based reduction in air-flow throughout testing as a result.
Not having to get dirty digging out dust from the bin too often and not having to remove, wash, rinse and dry out foam filters were both real winning features for us. Yes, some maintenance of emptying the filter bin and cleaning the internal gauzes will be necessary, but much less frequently than typical foam filters.
Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine – How easy is it to use on stairs?
The CX1 is a big beast with a large footprint whether laid flat on its wheels or stood upright on its back. It was really too big to securely balance on our typical household stairs, meaning it had to be carried while cleaning or reaching up the stairs from a secure ground level footing.
The trouble with the latter is that while the tubes and hose are a good length, the tube itself isn't particularly stretchy and therefore limits your cleaning reach from the vacuum. We certainly couldn’t reach to the top of our steps from ground level.
Carrying the cleaner upstairs as you clean is a fair challenge, too. The main body weighs a chunky 6.7kg on its own, plus another 1.4kg for the hose, handle and EcoTec head. The weight is made somewhat easier to manage by the large handle at the front, which balances the cleaner well when lifted.
Stair cleaning performance was excellent thanks to the suction power, EcoTeq head and the flexibility afforded by the rotating handle. You can manoeuvre the head around and cover the steps quickly – so at least you won’t have to carry the cleaner for too long. For detail and tougher cleaning, the upholstery brush is right there on the cleaner.
We got almost to the top of our stairs but were stopped by the cable. At 6.3m, it was just too short to get to the full height of the stairs – thanks to awkwardly placed plug sockets in the hall downstairs. We had to swap to a landing socket to clean the last step.
Given that the CX1 Blizzard is also available in a Cat & Dog version, the Comfort PowerLine probably isn't the model you'd choose if you have a house full of furry friends.
Without any rotating brush bars in the floor-heads, this model was always going to struggle with pet hairs wound into carpets. Sure enough, despite the exemplary suction and good design of the EcoTeq head, dog hairs hung on tenaciously to our carpets, simply becoming rolled into balls if you repeatedly vacuum over them.
Results were the polar opposite on hard floors. The significant air-flow and well-designed floor-heads sucked in fur balls ravenously, and none of the tools became tangled or clogged with hairs. Over parquet, laminate and tiles, pet hairs didin't stand a chance and the excellent edge-cleaning action of all three supplied heads ensured no hairs were left clinging onto the skirting.
Using the upholstery brush on the sofa and dogs' bed worked well for detail cleaning of pet hairs, especially as you can reduce the power to stop loose coverings being sucked in.
Interestingly, the CX1’s bin proved something of a star performer with pet hairs. Vacuumed up hairs were pushed to the bottom of the bin chamber, didn’t seem to get caught around the gauze filters, and always dropped out easily when the flap was opened.
The CX1 Comfort PowerLine received a solid "paws up" from the canine contingent here, too, thanks to its very low noise. We managed to clean right up to our Collie without disturbing her from a daytime snooze…
Brilliantly designed, powerful, controllable, flexible, and with great touches such as the self-clean filter – Miele’s first bagless cleaner is a real winner.
The Comfort PowerLine is supplied with outstanding tools for hard floors in particular, and is very easy to empty and keep clean. It’s rather heavy for stair climbing and it struggled with pet hairs on carpets, but Miele does offer a dedicated Cat & Dog pet-centric version of the CX1 too.
Add in the super-quiet operation, wheels so smooth the cleaner glides, and a wireless remote control, and the Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine more than justifies its substantial price tag.
The Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine is an outstanding flagship bagless vacuum cleaner that combines superb cleaning performance with great features.