Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine

Score

Pros

  • Excellent pet-hair cleaning
  • Very good on carpets
  • Excellent SRD head for hard floors
  • High suction and airflow
  • Low maintenance main filter
  • Super quiet

Cons

  • Messy secondary bin filter
  • Bulky for stairs
  • Cable could be longer

Key Features

  • Review Price: £349.00
  • 1200W bagless cleaner
  • Cat & Dog floorhead
  • Self-cleaning HEPA filter
  • Large 2-litre bin
  • Four-level power
  • 6.5m cord length
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What is the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine?

Miele’s Blizzard CX1 bagless vacuum cleaners have impressed in both the basic CX1 Excellence and the flagship CX1 Comfort PowerLine models. The Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine tested here is aimed at homes with furry friends, bringing a pet hair-busting floorhead to the tool lineup.

With a small menagerie of animals at the Stevenson homestead, we reckon the CX1 Cat & Dog is close to the perfect mains-powered cleaner for pet-centric homes. Powerful, practical and well built, this cleaner is the CX1 Best of Breed.

Related: Best Vacuum Cleaners
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Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine – Design and Features

As a recap on our previous Blizzard CX1 reviews, this premium series of vacuum cleaners is Miele’s first foray into bagless technology. They use a large bin with a single, high air-speed cyclone, an innovative self-cleaning filter, and all the superb engineering touches we’ve come to expect from Miele.

Yet both the affluent and electronically controlled CX1 Comfort PowerLine and the range-opening CX1 Excellence have lacked the tools for serious pet=hair cleaning. Despite heroic suction power and great standard floor tools, there was no floorhead with a rotating brush bar to really pull pooch pelt from the pile.

Enter the Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog. Based on the manual power controlled Excellence model, this bagless cylinder cleaner adds Miele’s Cat & Dog floorhead to the tool roster. We’ve been impressed by this tool on some of Miele’s other pet-centric cleaners. Its air-powered rotating brush bar with twin rows of stiff nylon bristles are very effective for all-round carpet cleaning duties.

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Here, the CX1’s dramatic lines are finished in a bold crimson that complements the grey trim and large, 2-litre crystal clear bin at the vacuum’s rear. At the top of the bin assembly is a removable panel with gauze filter in the middle of the single cyclone stage.

Unusually, the CX1’s cyclone is at right angles to the main bin, which we’ve found neatly stops balls of pet hair becoming caught around the gauze filter. Pop open the bin’s vast bomb-door like panel at the bottom and the contents all drop out with ease.

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With the bin removed you can unclip and pull out the separate filter canister from the cleaner. Inside is an innovative material filter made by Gore. It offers Allergy Foundation-approved HEPA-level filtration and features a self-cleaning system. Automatically following a few cleans, or manually using the Comfort Clean button on the cleaner, small prongs rotate inside the filter to dislodge dust into its canister. You simply open it up and tip out the dust every few cleaning sessions.

Inside the main bin is a smaller, finer mesh filter that will also need to be cleaned occasionally. Given the ease of emptying of the bin and the self-cleaning main cartridge filter, this filter is a pain to detach and clean. There’s no getting away from the fact that you have to get your hands dirty inside the bin to remove it.

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The CX1 Cat & Dog offers four levels of cleaning power, controlled via a rotary knob on the top of the cleaner’s body. The levels are graphically labelled for use on curtains (or other delicate fabrics such as soft upholstery), rugs, carpets and hard floors, in ascending order of suction power. The main on/off and cable rewind buttons are large enough to be operated by foot and the so-so 6.5m cable whips all the way back in with a single press.

At close to 8kg, and with a significant footprint, the CX1 is no ultra-svelte cleaner. This is a large, powerful cleaner for tough cleaning duties, but in use its hides its mass well thanks to four free-wheeling coasters with soft rubber tyres. These allow the cleaner to glide over hard floors quietly and follow you like a bloodhound over carpet.

Speaking of hounds, while this cleaner is named specifically to cater for households with feline and canine residents, other pets shouldn’t feel left out. It can tackle all pet hair (fluff, fur and feather) cleaning duties… it’s just that another bagless cleaner brand has already laid claim to the more generic ‘Animal’ moniker.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine – Accessories

The CX1 Cat & Dog has no shortage of tools and accessories. It adds the Cat & Dog floorhead to the Excellence model’s tool roster and misses only the giant Parquet head and electronic control handle from the flagship Comfort model.

All of the tools, the flexible hose and the steel telescopic tubes are well designed and built to last. In particular, the tubes are robust, if not light, and extend with ease thanks to a large collar that releases the clip mechanism. We found that half-extended was good for floor cleaning, with the extra length useful for high-up cobweb busting.

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The CX1’s curved handle allows the hose to exit underneath and rotate. Both features are designed to reduce wrist strain. It’s fitted with a good-sized, pull-down dusting brush. It’s a neat design, but the integration into the handle does mean the brush can’t be used with the tubes for long-distance dusting. For that you’ll need to use either the crevice tool or the small upholstery brush, both of which are stored on the rear end of the cleaner’s body.

Miele’s excellent EcoTeq floorhead is supplied for general cleaning duties across hard floors and carpets. It’s a decent size without being unwieldy, glides on large rollers, and has a fully articulating neck so can be steered with ease. A foot-operated switch on top changes between carpet and hard-floor duties, the head catering for the latter with a circuit of heavily stepped and very stiff nylon bristles.

For more dedicated hard-floor cleaning duties, the SRD floorhead is wider than the EcoTeq head so will cover smooth, hard surfaces far quicker. Stepped rubber blades keep the airflow focused on the floor, and four wheels stop it sticking down under suction pressure.

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Which brings us to the star of this particular CX1 show: the Cat & Dog floorhead. This mid-width head is quite deep back-to-front and integrates an air-powered turbo brush bar. This nylon bar has two rows of stiff bristles to loosen pet hairs and other debris from carpets and has two speed controls. These are selected by using the slider-switch on top of the head, which diverts more or less air over the brush’s turbo fan.

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A panel pops off of the base of the floorhead on two coin-turn clips to facilitate easy cleaning of the brush bar. The Cat & Dog head has a tilt and rotating neck for easy steerage, albeit not with quite the range or fluidity of motion of the EcoTeq head.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine – How does it clean carpets and hard floors?

With a modern 1200W motor under the hood, the CX1 Cat & Dog is extremely quiet. Maximum noise of the cleaner – including the Cat & Dog head running on its fastest setting – was just 72dB. In fact, the sound of the air rushing into the cyclone at over 100mph is a large part of that noise since the motor itself is very well suppressed.

Given the sterling performance of both the EcoTeq and SRD floorheads in the other CX1 models we’ve tested, it was little surprise to discover that cleaning results were exemplary with both.

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The CX1 body and single cyclone produce prodigious suction and a huge amount of airflow, translating through the floorheads into highly efficient cleaning. Yes, the EcoTeq head will clamp down on carpet on the highest power setting as if it’s lead-weighted, but on the carpet and rug settings it balances great suction with far easier manoeuvrability.

Our carpet and hard-floor test results with this head were a replica of those achieved with the same head on the CX1 Excellence model. Simply put: superb cleaning right up to the skirting edge, with only a few heavier grains of test powder showing on the carpet after a single pass. Pictures of that test can be found here.

The Cat & Dog head pushes that cleaning performance up another notch, and not just for pet detritus. The beating action of the brush bar agitates dust and dirt free from the carpet pile, cleaning carpets deeper and more efficiently than is possible with the standard EcoTeq head.

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Moreover, the moving bar helps to stop the head sticking down to the surface, keeping things moving more easily if you use the cleaner’s full power setting. Switching between brush bar speed settings has a fairly subtle effect on the rotational speed of the bar. The setting with the lager fan icon seemed more resistant to slowing down on deeper-pile carpets, which is always an issue with air-powered brush bars.

Using the Cat & Dog head, carpet test results looked great. On the highest power setting, it cleaned close to the skirting edge and resulted in fewer freshening powder grains remaining in the pile after a single pass. A couple of sweeps, as per normal cleaning, and they’d been beaten, loosened and sucked up. Unless you want the ability to switch from carpet to hard floor cleaning using a single tool, the Cat & Dog head would always be our tool of choice for carpet cleaning duties – pets or otherwise.

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We did try the Cat & Dog head on a tiled hard floor, but our spilled oats test delivered some mixed results. While the huge airflow of the CX1 resulted in it easily sucking up all of the oats and crumbs in the floorhead’s path, the stiff bristles of the bar tended to smash the particles into the surface, creating the occasional oaty smears or splodge. Thankfully, both the EcoTeq and SRD head are much better suited to hard-floor duties.

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Once our cleaning tests were complete, we ran a quick Comfort Clean cycle to clean the filter and then emptied the bin and filter canister. The latter had just a light layer of dust, so we reckon you’ll be able to run several whole-house cleans before the filter canister needs emptying.

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Emptying the enormous bin is as simple as holding it over you dustbin and releasing the large flap. The internal layout of the cyclone resists debris becoming caught up around the main circular filter gauze, so it empties cleanly all of the time.

The same can’t be said of the smaller filter inside the bin. This looked pretty clogged up after just one full bin’s worth of cleaning, so needed to be addressed. It clips in and out and cleans up easily, but since it’s located in the middle of the bin, expect to get very messy doing it. I suspect the Allergy Foundation didn’t spot that when it was issuing approvals.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine – How easy is it to use on the stairs?

When approaching stairs, the Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine has the same issue as its siblings – it’s weighty to carry and too large to sit comfortably on average UK household steps. It has the ability to stand upright on its rear, but even this presents a pretty large footprint that’s likely to hang over the step edge.

Once again, the long tubes and lengthy handle come to the rescue. You can reach a fair way up a flight of stairs with the cleaner itself safely at the bottom. The 6.5m cable was just long enough to get the cleaner to the base of our stairs, but another metre or two here would have added greater overall range and allowed us to heft the CX1 up the stairs, cleaning as we went.

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On our carpeted stairs, the Cat & Dog head once again came to the fore. It offers exceptional carpet cleaning and is easier to move around than the EcoTeq head thanks to the brush bar helping to avoid suction stick down. For smaller flights of steps, or for awkward shapes, you can switch the upholstery tool – but its compact size means slow progress.

None of the CX1 models are really great for stair cleaning, but the Cat & Dog nudges into the lead here thanks to the extra manoeuvrability of the Cat & Dog head.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine – How does it cope with pet hair?

If the Cat & Dog edges into the lead on stairs, it charged way out in front on pet hair cleaning duties – particularly on carpeted floors. The Cat & Dog head is purpose-built for digging out fur balls and pet hairs entwined into the pile, and the CX1’s super-suction does a great job of transferring them into the bin.

On an inexpensive rug in the lounge, our two canine assistants did a fine job of scruffling a solid layer of hair into the pile. The mix of short, chunky Labrador hairs and longer, finer Collie hairs create a good test – but proved no match for the CX1 Cat & Dog.

In a single pass with the dedicated head the rug was left extremely clean and clear of hair, with the pile suitably groomed in its wake. Most of the time, there wasn’t even a need to go back over the same spot on the backstroke.

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On hard floors both the EcoTeq and SRD heads were excellent at capturing loose hair balls, thanks mostly to the CX1’s high suction and airflow. On occasion, hairs can become caught on the bristles of the EcoTeq head, but the stepped cut-outs in the bristles help to reduce this effect.

The Cat & Dog head is a bit too large to use effectively on the pet beds or the sofa, so we switched to the upholstery brush for detail cleaning duties. This tool is small and you need to reduce the CX1’s power to stop it clamping onto bedding or furnishing material, so this won’t be a quick job though.

The CX1 Cat & Dog certainly lives up to its name and is a superb performer for pet-centric homes. Perhaps in an ideal world we’d have liked a second, smaller air-powered turbo brush tool for pet beds and the sofa – Miele’s own Turbo mini tool, for example – but that’s a minor omission against otherwise excellent cleaning results for homes with pets.

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Should I buy the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine?

Adding Miele’s pet-centric rotating brush bar Cat & Dog floorhead to an already excellent tool lineup, the Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine is arguably the most practical, versatile and best-performing model in Miele’s bagless cleaner range. It’s still a big beast for stairs, the small bin filter is messy, and the cable could be longer – but these are all minor niggles.

You simply can’t beat the CX1 Cat & Dog’s superb suction, high airflow and super-quiet operation. Add in the self-cleaning main filter, outstanding build quality and the Cat & Dog floorhead for great carpet cleaning (with or without a pet), and the Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine is a fabulous all-round cylinder cleaner.

Verdict

Our favourite model in Miele’s CX1 range, the Cat & Dog PowerLine offers outstanding cleaning, quiet running and tools for almost every cleaning scenario.

Score

Score in detail

  • Usability 9
  • Cleaning performance 10
  • Features 9
  • Design 10
  • Value 9

Other

Type Cylinder