Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence Review

Pros

  • Superb hard floor cleaning
  • Very good on carpets
  • High suction and air flow
  • Low maintenance filters
  • Large, easy-empty bin
  • Moves super-smoothly
  • Very quiet

Cons

  • Pet hairs on carpet proved challenging
  • Rather large/weighty for stairs
  • Cable could be longer

Key Features

  • Review Price: £299.00
  • 1200W bagless cleaner
  • Self-cleaning HEPA filter
  • Easy-emptying 2-litre bin
  • Four-stage power control
  • 6.5m cord length

What is the Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence?

We loved Miele’s flagship Blizzard CX1 Comfort Powerline bagless vacuum cleaner, but what if its near-£400 price is a bit too rich for your floors? Enter the Blizzard CX1 Excellence for a slightly more affordable £299.

This model eschews the electronic handle controls in favour of four-level rotary power on the cleaner. There’s no parquet head, and it integrates the dusting brush on the handle. It retains the potent single-cyclone suction, the self-cleaning filter, great cleaning results – and a lot of TrustedReviews love.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence – Design and Features

While this step-down version of Miele’s Blizzard CX1 might be the entry-level in the range, near-£300 is still very much at the premium end of the vacuum cleaner market. Yet this series is Miele’s first foray into bagless cleaning, and with a cast-iron brand reputation to uphold, you know it’s going to be good.

The Excellence comes to the party in a more austere battleship grey than the yacht-like white of the top of the range Comfort Powerline model. Its dynamic lines are still dramatic compared to most curvy cylinder cleaners and the clear rear-end bin is unique. That said, its only clear when you get the CX1 out of the box – as soon after you’ll be looking at dust and dirt.

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The whole rear assembly lifts off easily with one hand. This includes the 2-litre bin and two filters – one large particle mesh and one finer gauze inside the bin. Emptying requires a single button push and the entire base falls open to ensure nothing is left behind. This whole section comes apart easily for cleaning out the gauze filters, although it’s a fairly messy job. Thankfully, it didn’t need doing too often.

The CX1’s main filter offers British Allergy Foundation approved HEPA filtration and will never need replacing. It’s a very large, folded material canister that sits in its own dedicated dust chamber and is self-cleaning.
 
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Made by Gore (the company famous for Gore-Tex), the filter has a row of prongs on the inside that are rotated automatically when the filter begins to block. The prongs flick and agitate dust out of the filter and into its bin below. You can engage this manually using the Comfort Clean button on the cleaner too.

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Power control is in four stages via a solid-feeling rotary knob. Each stage has its own flooring type icon, covering minimum power for curtains, gentle power for rugs, mid power for carpet and high power for hard floors.

The cable winder uses a single press to pull in its not-exactly lengthy 6.5m cable. As the plug comes back at you with some pace, you might want to guide the cable back slowly.

The CX1 Excellence isn’t small and weighing close to 8kg including hose, solid metal telescopic tubes and the main floorhead, it’s no featherweight either. Yet the very smooth 360-degree rotating castors with semi-pneumatic tyres see it glide around on hard floors effortlessly. A bit of a tug is required on deeper carpets, but in general, the CX1 handles its mass well.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence – Accessories

Clipping the beefy – but, again, not overly long – hose into the CX1 Excellence is slick and positive. It feels very high quality, and the hose rotates where it meets the handle to reduce strain on the wrist. The curved handle is robustly built and, on the Excellence model, fitted with an integrated dusting brush that drops down and clips into place over the nozzle.

For getting to those high-up cobwebs or using the floorhead, the metal telescopic tubes are another design masterpiece. They have perhaps the easiest telescopic action we’ve yet to see on any cleaner, using a hand collar that simply pushes forwards and opens up the tubes. The tubes go from 55cm to over 1m, clipping into place every couple of centimetres in-between to suit your cleaning requirements.

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The downside of all this robust engineering, lengthy tubes and long handle is that the whole ensemble is pretty weighty. For reaching up high above your head to get to those pesky cobwebs, you might need to use your other hand to help support the tubes.

Miele’s long-running EcoTeQ floorhead is the main business end of the CX1 Excellence. It’s a good size without being huge, rolls extremely well on its large rear wheels, and has plenty of articulation in the head to make it easy to steer.

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Its base is wide and smooth for gliding over carpets, with wide air channels that run right out to the sides of the head for efficient edge cleaning. There are a couple of thread catchers in the central section that help lift treads and hairs, but otherwise the entire head is flush to the carpet. That’s great for pick-up, but will almost certainly stick down with the cleaner on maximum power.

Press the foot switch on top of this head and stiff, heavily stepped bristles drop down for hard floors. Cut-outs in the bristles to the sides deliver great edge cleaning results too.

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If you want to up the suction power on hard floors, perhaps on bare floorboards where you need to clean deep into the cracks, the supplied SRD hard floor tool is narrow and wide to concentrate airflow. Stepped rubber blades keep the airflow focused on the floor and four wheels stop it sticking down under suction pressure.

The tool ensemble is complete with a crevice tool and a small upholstery brush, both of which are stored neatly on the rear end of the cleaner. Both are rather more compact than ideal, but that’s the price you pay for always-to-hand convenience. All the tools are very well made and work well.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence – How does it clean carpets and hard floors?

Just like it’s more affluent sibling, the CX1 Excellence positively glides over hard floors with the smooth casters and rubber tyres soaking up the bumps of even riven tiles. It’s a little heftier to pull on deep-pile carpets, but the underside is designed to help stop the wheels becoming stuck in your deep shag.

The 1200W motor is stupendously quiet, running from a whisper-quiet 60dB on its lowest setting to just over 70dB on maximum power. This is super-quiet for a powerful cleaner. Interestingly, much of the 70dB noise can actually be attributed to airflow rushing into the cleaner – at over 100mph according to Miele.

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That suction power and high-speed airflow translates directly into first-class floor cleaning results. Okay, the EcoTeQ head will limpet down to thick carpets on the maximum (hard floor setting) power. Yet knock the CX1 back to its carpet setting power level and the combination does a great job of cleaning deep into the pile while remaining fairly mobile.

No surprise then that the CX1 Excellence came up trumps in our standard carpet cleaning tests. In just one pass it effectively dispatched our mix of talc, carpet freshener and baking powder and delivered outstanding edge cleaning deep into the where the carpet dips down at the skirting board. 

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Close-up inspection of the carpet revealed a few grains of the heavy carpet cleaning powder remaining in the pile, but this was far less than we’ve seen with most non-brushbar cleaners we’ve tested. A second pass cleaned these up a treat.

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The combination of the Excellence and EcoTeQ head was no less impressive over hard floors. In a single pass, it perfectly cleaned our spillage of mixed oats, effectively cleared out the tile grouting groove and left nothing behind on the back stroke. The head’s side air channels drew in debris from over an inch out from the sides. The CX1’s powerful airflow, great suction and well-designed floorhead make for a superb hard floor cleaning combination.

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The large flap on the bottom of the bin made it easy to empty and the design tends to stop big clumps of hair and debris from becoming stuck in the bin. The self-cleaning filters are excellent too. We ended up giving the Comfort Clean button a prod almost every outing out of habit and didn’t notice any loss in suction through a couple of weeks of constant use.

You do have to empty the filter’s canister every few major trips around the house, but that is nearly as easy as emptying the main bin.

Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence – How easy is it to use on the stairs?

Big cylinder cleaners designed to clean larger homes efficiently are rarely great on stairs… and so it was of the CX1 Excellence. It’s just too big to sit comfortably on an average household step, either flat or upright on its back, and it’s simply to heavy to carry while you clean.

While the long tubes and handle offer plenty of cleaning extension, ultimate reach is limited by a shortish hose with limited stretch and a rather average-length 6.5m cable. Sat on its back at the foot of the stairs does allow you to clean a fair way up with the hose and tube alone. Yet at Chez Stevenson, poor placement of plug sockets in the downstairs hallway meant we couldn’t quite get to the top. 

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We ended up carrying the cleaner and using the EcoTeQ head directly attached to the handle. This proved extremely effective for all the same reasons the CX1 did well in our floor carpet test – great suction, great edge cleaning and an easy to manoeuvre head. Yet carrying the CX1 and using it at the same time is quite a physical operation, especially using the EcoTeQ head.

Switching to the upholstery brush worked well for tight turns and more detailed carpet cleaning on stairs, but its small size meant a lot of back and forth arm action per step.

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Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence – How does it cope with pet hair?

Like the CX1 Comfort Powerline, the CX1 Excellence doesn’t have a rotating brush bar floorhead. As such, it was always going to struggle with pet hairs wound into carpets. Our dogs poppy and Willow spent all week laying down a house full of pet-hair test areas just to prove the point.

Sure enough, despite the huge suction power, dog hairs hung tenaciously onto carpet. Repeated going over the same area simply rolled them up into tumbleweed hairballs.

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Conversely, the high level of suction, powerful airflow and stepped bristles on the EcoTeQ floorhead made very short work of pet hair on hard floors. You could see loose hair being dragged into the head from several inches away.

Moreover, the hairs never seemed to get caught up on the floorhead’s bristles. The hairs that were pulled towards the head ended up in the bin. Even there, while the hairs formed the usual bagless bin ‘mat’, they always dropped out when the bin was open. No more poking around, reaching in the bin to loosen debris.

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Backing down the power and using the upholstery brush proved fairly good on the sofa and in the dog beds. Yet without a brush bar some elbow grease is required in order to agitate hairs that are wound into the fabric.

While the CX1 Excellence wouldn’t be our first choice for homes with both pets and carpeted floors, its great performance with pet debris over hard floors makes it quite animal friendly in the right home.

We’ll be testing the CX1 Cat & Dog next month, so watch this space.

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Should I buy the Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence?

Miele’s CX1 series continues to impress with its excellent design, superb engineering and genuinely revolutionary features such as the self-cleaning filter. Suction and airflow performance are top-notch, and the Excellence passed our standard cleaning tests with honours.

However, stairs are tricky due to the its sheer size, and it doesn’t have an answer for the tough pet-hair/carpet combination. For people where this is a concern it may be worth shelling out a bit more for the some like the Dyson DC41 Mk2 Animal – but for day-to-day cleaning, the CX1 Excellence simply can’t be faulted.

If you can live without the electronic controls and parquet head of the flagship CX1 Comfort Powerline, the Excellence is every bit as good and even better value.

Verdict

The Blizzard CX1 Excellence brings Miele’s great bagless cleaning performance to a more affordable level.

Score


Score in detail

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

Other

Type Cylinder
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