Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline

Pros

  • Powerful, variable suction
  • Outstanding on pet hair
  • Great carpet cleaning
  • Telescopic wand and on-board tools
  • Very long cable

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Average edge cleaning
  • Could use a headlight
  • Expensive bags and heavy power use

Key Features

  • Review Price: £350.00
  • 1500W bagged upright cleaner
  • 6-litre dust bag
  • 10.5-metre cable
  • odour filter
  • 9.7kg

What is the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline?

OK, you don’t really need to own a pet to make the most of Miele’s U1 Cat & Dog, but its great hair cleaning and odour-eating filtration aim to make it ideal if you do. This Powerline (high-power) 1500W upright machine is all about outstanding cleaning power and versatility, with portability and weight a secondary consideration.

Boasting a 14m operating radius, flexible hose with tools for spot cleaning and a large floor head with turbo brush, the U1 Cat & Dog combines massive HyClean U dustbags with active charcoal filtration to keep pet-borne allergens and unpleasant odours at bay. It’s a big machine with manoeuvrability aided by a smoothly swivelling head, though you’ll need strong arms as this is one of the heavier uprights we’ve tested. 

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Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline – Design & Accessories

The first thing you notice unpacking the mighty U1 cat & Dog is its size and weight. This is no lightweight cleaner for quick dusting duties around your space-restricted town flat. The U1 is designed for serious cleaning duties in larger abodes – probably with a menagerie of pets, messy children and a muddy garden.

Its powerful motor borders on the upper limits of EU vacuum cleaner legislation (peaking over it in our tests) and the main head is fitted with a wide rotating brush bar with stiff bristles. The large HyClean dustbags will hold six litres, with a bag full indicator on the front of the cleaner. These are fairly expensive consumable items (RRP £10.99 for a pack of 4), but offer very high filtration and self-seal as they are removed from the cleaner.

Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline 4

A handy wand unclips from the side of the main cleaner body with a long crevice tool and upholstery-dusting brush conveniently located on the rear of the machine. The pack also comes with a small turbo-brush head, ideal for picking up pet hairs from places the main cleaner won’t easily reach such as stairs and upholstery. With an electrical cable over 10m long, you won’t spend too much time searching for a power socket either.

The wand uses solid-feeling metal poles, which telescope to double their length to get to those hard to reach places. The wand has a curved ‘ergonomic’ handle much like those found on Miele’s cylinder machine and is supremely comfy in the hand.

Power is controlled in four stages from a dial on the main body. Handily, it’s labelled by typical use rather than numeric power, with settings for curtains, deep pile, low pile and smooth surfaces. The main on/off switch and on/off for the rotating brush bar are located close to your thumb on the main handle – it’s a sensibly designed, practical machine in this sense.

But, in use, the Miele struggles to hide its weight. It rolls well enough and the pivoting neck section between the body and floor head make it quite manoeuvrable, but you notice its near-10kg weight when you lean it back to slide under low objects, and getting this machine upstairs is a small workout.

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Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline – Cleaning

It was little surprise that the U1 growls into life with a purposeful sound, although at around 80dB over a carpeted floor and on full power, it is far from overtly noisy. It glides easily on all but the deepest of carpets and the pivoting neck keeps the floor head flat to the floor, irrespective of the angle you hold the main body. There is a gloss black panel at the front of the floor head but we were disappointed to find this was just trim detail and not a headlight as we had thought.

We’ve yet to see a Miele vacuum that didn’t clean well and the UI is no exception. The main carpet test proved that we did not need to go over the area three times (as per our standard test) to remove all the test powder from the pile and there was some standard household dust in the bag that previous machines had clearly left behind.

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Before (above) and after (below). Not the best at getting close to skirting boards

Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline

Unfortunately, on three passes near the skirting board the U1 proved to be much less effective at getting right up to the edge. The large brush bar only extends to within 2cm of the side bumpers and there is little facility for the airflow to get to the edge of the cleaner. This left a noticeable residue of test powder in the crevice where the carpet is pushed behind the gripper rod.
 
No such problems with the supplied wand and tools, with the U1 providing exceptional suction power and very versatile cleaning abilities. We particularly liked the long crevice tool for getting down behind the radiators and the soft brush was ideal for curtains and upholstery. The telescopic tubes give considerably more overhead reach than most upright models achieve and the spiders around the office ceiling were looking distinctly nervous.

It’s hard to get the U1’s weight going and requires an equally large effort to pull it back in the opposite direction. This effect is exacerbated by the high suction power as the floor head tends to suck down to smooth hard floors. Of course, the upshot of all that power and suction is exceptional hard floor cleaning and enough air flow to pull dirt from the edges.

Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline – Stair Cleaning

As you might have guessed, the U1 isn’t the best machine for homes with stairs – it’s a lot of effort to lug it up and down.The reach with the hose and telescopic tubes is good for an upright model, but not quite long enough to clean an entire flight of stairs from bottom to top without moving the cleaner up the stairs half way through.

Again the U1’s superb suction power proved extremely effective at lifting dirt and debris from stairs, even using the fairly soft brush tool on carpet. The small hard floor tool head is great for solid stairs and the hose attaches low to the body of the machine, making it very stable even when you are stretching the hose.

Hero of the stair-cleaning test was, however, the small turbo brush. This dealt very effectively with all sorts of dirt including ground-in dog hair where our Collie dog curls up for most of the day on a wide, carpeted corner step. The U1 is certainly effective at cleaning stairs – as long as you can handle the weight lifting logistics.

Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline – Pet Hair Cleaning

Given that pets are embedded in the very name of this vacuum, the U1 certainly did not disappoint when it came to cleaning up after our furry friends. It made light work of the worst of spring moulting collie and labrador hair, cleaning the test area easily in well under 10 seconds.

Moreover, the U1’s mini turbo brush proved almost as good for spot cleaning pet hair from the dogs beds, upholstery and the tough-to-clean nylon carpets in the car. If you often find your vacuum cleaner struggles with tough, embedded hair then the U1 will be a revelation.

But there’s a weakness in this system – it’s hard to clean the main brush bar when very long hair gets tangled in there. Once the bar has become properly wrapped in long hairs you have to reach through from the base of the machine to cut them off as there is no easy way to remove the bar for cleaning.  You can remove base plate to get at it, but as that involved torx-screws we decided that Miele probably didn’t want users to start taking their cleaners apart.

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Should I buy the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Powerline?

Maybe. It’s powerful, flexible, super-effective at cleaning pet hair and well featured, particularly with the inclusion of a handheld turbo brush for spot-cleaning sofas, cars and other places your pets reside.

What stops us recommending it outright is how heavy it is – nearly 10kg with all the tools on board.  Not only is heavy to carry around, it takes a strong push to get moving and a strong arm to pull back again. It also doesn’t clean that well up to the edge of skirting boards, though overall cleaning is very good.

Unless you must have a bagged upright, the bagless Dyson DC41 Mk2 Animal is the better the bet if you need a pet hair specialist.

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Verdict

A very good cleaner let down somewhat by being extremely heavy.

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