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on July 7, 2010
Having struggled with vile super-heavy, badly-designed, dust-regurgitating Kenmore vacuum cleaners, esp. their upright model, I finally decided to spend money I haven't got and get a really good vacuum cleaner that will attack the dust problem in my old house and protect my baby's breathing.

So the Miele libra has entered my life as of today and it's ...well a revelation. I no longer have to get my husband to help me get the machine out of the closet, and cleaning the hallway carpet with it was like gliding on air...so easy and effortless. It fits nimbly under furniture, including old dressers and sideboards (that's a big reason why I wanted this power brush, not just that it's cheaper than the other two) which is so important for me; and is both light and powerful. And quiet. About choosing a power brush: I have just one thickish (old, and i'd like to get rid of it) carpet, and I find that this power brush does require some muscle work to move over it, but it is OK and sure picks up the stuff. It just doesn't glide as effortlessly as over the other carpets. But I am glad I didn't spend another 50 bucks getting a model with a power brush that might have handled just that one carpet easier because it just wdn't have made sense. I also have some wood flooring, for which the nimble parquet swivel brush works very well.

Now I don't have to go through the immense hassle of moving baby's crib every time I want to vacuum under it! I don't have to mess around with crappy little attachment brushes with no power just to tackle spaces narrower than a freeway. May Kenmore rot in a ditch!! Finally I will be able to clean my large, dust-prone home without misery and exhaustion! (Maybe i'll be able to breathe again too....)

oh, and if you are totally bewildered by the big range of Miele v. cleaners, there is a website [...] which has a great buying guide. But before buying via that website, do compare their prices with amazon, I saw that for some model they're more expensive...and as for the 'no tax' thing, amazon.com didn't charge me tax either (and I have 'prime' so I got 2-day shipping free).

I intend to update this review when I've had it longer...

UPDATE
OK, about 10 mths later...I just realized that I have to replace the exhaust filter; the machine was cutting out and over-heating and then I realized that was the problem. So I just ordered it. I'm still impressed with the machine; just want to warn you that you REALLY need to be careful when inserting a new vacuum cleaner bag - don't let the sides get caught in the door as you close it. It happened to me once and the bag was wrecked. I also just had an experience where the bag got really full and I somehow didn't notice, till I was using it and the indicator wasn't showing anything at all. Well I knew that was fishy because the bag wasn't new in there; I opened it up and it was SO full that the lid of the bag wasn't properly closed, as it should be. So I am puzzled how this happened, but must have been my carelessness not noticing a 'full' indication and continuing to use it till it was simply bursting. When correctly used, the bags are pretty great, and don't require a dust mask as the Kenmore ones do. I"ve also found that I had to replace the little filter inside the bag compartment more often than just 'every time you open a new packet of bags', as they say. But I have serious dust issues in my home and a messy toddler (which is how I justified springing for this deluxe machine in the first place...)
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on January 4, 2012
This unit is heavy, a little over 20 lbs with the wand and power head attached in the carry position. I weighed it. I believe this weight is due mostly to the metal telescopic extension wand and high quality motors in both the main unit and the brush head. And yes, I know this review is too long for most people to read, but I figure if you are putting out this much money you would want to know certain things.

We or rather she has used it only a few times since Christmas 2011 and have observed the following.

1) It is very quiet, even on its highest setting. I would say between 33 and 50% quitier than our old Fantom Lighting canister vacuum we bought back in about 1996.

2) The suction is excellent. Removed test particles right up against a wall on a hard wood floor using either the Parquet Floor Brush or the power head(turned off).

3) The power head is hard to push on carpet even with power to the brushes on. I am talking about what in the U.S. we consider medium pile carpet. This was mostly due to the suction power while set at both the 'low pile carpet' and 'daily cleaning settings'. Had to move it back to thick pile carpet setting in order to be reasonably easy to push, but still much harder than other vacuums we have had. In other words it has 6 power settings with 6 being the highest(used for bare floors). We had it set for 5(low pile) then 4(Daily cleaning) and finally 3(thick pile carpeting). Settings 1 (lowest power/suction) and 2 are for drapes and chairs. Settings start on the left and rotate clock wise to the highest setting(6) which has a picture that looks like some kind of aztec symbol.

4) The power head is advertised as a floating type head. I don't know what it is supposed to be able to float over as it does not have a carpet height adjustment option and the brushes did not move up or down when I applied pressure to them after it was disconnected. Also it has what I consider to be small wheels in which to roll about. The rear wheels measure about 3/8" W with a 1" diameter(compare these to the rear wheels of the one you currently have). The front wheels are even smaller.
In fact the rear wheels look like the front wheels on the Miele 228 powerhead. This may also contribute to it's rolling resistance making it harder to push. The more expensive power heads have wider and bigger wheels.

Miele SEB217-3 is the power head that comes with this vacuum

Examples of upgraded power heads with bigger wheels go to web site below the following two descriptions (A & B) as they have pictures of the underside of the heads. To do this, I suggest you go to google and replace it's name with witbeck vacuums (leave out the space between the words)and look under (Miscellaneous). Amazons computer removed the entire address when I included it, or even just part of it. Thats why you see the [...]

a) The Miele SEB228 has a carpet height adjustment but I can not find any reference as to if it will stand up by itself. Runs about $209. on Amazon with prime.
[...]

b)The Miele SEB236 is the delux model. It has a carpet height adjustmen a head lamp and will stand up by itself. Runs about $259.00. on Amazon with prime.[...]

5) The bags run about $18.00 for 4 of them here on Amazon as of this writing, with included filter replacements. No,the Hepa filter is not one of them.

6) The retractable cord feature worked well.

7) On low pile area rugs we got away with the power setting at 4 or 5 depending on the rug. The power head did an excellet job picking up dust, dirt, etc. and noticably brought the pile height somewhat higher.

8) Overall, I would say this unit is designed for European homes more than here. The small wheels on the main unit (canister) roll easily in all directions including over the power cord, hardwood floors, and low to medium pile carpeting, however I suspect they would bog down in thick pile carpeting (untested).

My wife does not like the fact that the powerhead unit (extension wand and power head) will not stand up by itself and has to be slipped (parked) into one of the groves on the main unit. However, you can buy the more expensive power head (currently available on Amazon for about $250.) which will stand by itself. You will then lose the ability to park the power head in any of the groves. Since I am no longer allowed to touch the vacuum as she is hovering over it like a hawk, this will be my last word on this subject :-)

1/28/12 Update. We sent this unit back to the Amazon seller as she had to change the suction setting about 3 or 4 times because it was so powerfull when she vacuumed the house (Hardwood floors and 3 different carpet heights)and because of the rolling resistance of the powerhead. Being older, she has occassional back pain and there was too much bending over, there was nothing wrong with the vacuum.

In fact, we replaced it with another Miele which we also purhased here at Amazon, the Capricorn model with the controls in the handle and the SEB236 powerhead.
Let me say this, the new powerhead made a world of difference in the rolling resistance. It is now much easier to push over all carpet types (low to medium pile. Not tested on Shag or deep pile) because of the bigger rear wheels, 3/4" wide and about 1 3/4" diameter (see my review higher up and the things you give up and get with this powerhead)and the adjustable head height ability. As a guess, I would say the SEB228 powerhead would also be a great improvement. With a different powerhead, I would give this a 5 star rating for units that you have to bend down to make changes to.

Only weird thing is that to adjust the height of the powerhead with the foot pedal, you have to go through all 5 settings, if you start at 2, and wish to go to 1 you have to go through 3,4 and 5. It then reverses and you have to go back through 4,3,2 to get to 1. Adjustment goes in a forward direction to 5 then reverses to 1. It does not light up.

6/19/13 Just started to run into a problem with a shag carpet we recently bought. There is no shag rake attachment that will fit on this vacuum that I can find. All the shag rake attachments I can find have a
1 1/4" diameter. But that is the same size as the end of the pole that it would go onto. Thus it will not fit. Have emailed Central Vacuum with this question today. If no other entries appear here, then there is none. This vacuum is very hard to push on a shag carpet, even with the adjustable head at it's highest setting and the vacuum power at it's lowest.
Still checking as of this date.

6/20/13 Jeff at Central Vacuum emailed me the next day and advised that they had a converter piece for the Milie (about $3.00) that would allow standard 1 1/4" diameter accessories to be used on it. Ordered it and a shag carpet cleaner from them. Case closed.
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on February 21, 2012
After exhaustive research, I ended up going with Miele. I had narrowed it down to two models, the Delphi vs. Libra. The difference is with Libra you step up into the sealed system, you get the sbb300 parquet twister (which is awesome), and HEPA filtration.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why one vacuum was more than the other etc., and it really boils down to the details of what is included. I ended up going with the Libra, which at the time of purchase was $849. If you take the Delphi at $500 + $50 HEPA + $100 parquet twister, you get $650, so you're paying about $200 in the end for the sealed system (on-board tools, longer cord, and generally higher quality body).

I figured if I'm paying $650, I might as well go all the way for a couple hundred since it's nuts anyway. It's actually a little embarrassing to spend this much money on a vacuum. But, with that out of the way, I don't regret the purchase at all.

What I discovered in my research that I didn't know before is, you need to really determine **BASED ON YOUR FLOOR TYPE** what vacuum you need. Then decide on a brand you like and have confidence in. For us, we have all hard floors - wood and slate - with area rugs. This means that a canister vac is ideal. If you had wall to wall carpet, you would go with an upright. This is why vacuum reviews are so hard to sort through I think - some people simply have bought the wrong vacuum for their floor type.

I always thought vacuum = upright. This is incorrect. We should have had a canister for our floors for a long time.

I liked Miele because I heard they last forever, have been making vacuums for a very long time, and it's designed well.

Be sure you know which Miele you need. Every vacuum is really designed for an even more specific floor type or range of floors, so it really will make a difference to figure out which attachments you want. Having a powered head I think is best, even for area rugs.

So, how does the Libra work? GREAT! The parquet twister is an absolute necessity, it works so great it's almost fun :). Floors get really clean and wads of hair and dust under things are a thing of the past (We have 2 hairy dogs). We seem to be able to actually vacuum less because the thing does such a great job. And on top of that, the hepa (real H.E.P.A. filtration due to the closed system), does an excellent job of cleaning the air in the house - it just smells/feels noticeably less dusty and more clean.

Take note, the Mieles are some of the few vacuums that can actually achieve true HEPA, see GoVacuum's videos to learn more about this.

Several times, we've been on the floor with our baby and noticed how amazingly dog-hair-free it is. We had an Oreck before which served it's purpose, but, again, was the absolute wrong vacuum for hard floors (we had no idea).

The vacuum is very quiet.. Some reviewers say it doesn't scare the dogs or wake up the baby... Well, I don't know if I'd go that far, but it's extremely quiet. You could run it in one of the lower power modes to make it pretty quiet, but we usually use it at full power for cleaning floors.

What else... nice to store. We thought it might be a hassle with the attachments and things, but it really is quite small and fits neatly in the closet. We've only changed the bag once, since it seems to hold a ton with very little if any loss of suction.

Oh, one other thing - have you considered how you dust? Because the dusting attachment is amazing on this thing. We usually use swiffers to dust window sills and baseboards etc., but the efficiency of using the Miele is an added little perk that really gets things super clean! Another great thing about HEPA filtration.

Awesome vacuum. If you have hard floors with area rugs, you will not regret it.
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on October 15, 2011
I replaced a Kenmore canister with this Meile Libra Canister. I have two large dogs that shed and I was looking for something that was good at cleaning a variety of floors and furniture. I had orginally wanted the Cat and Dog Canister, but was told it was no longer available and this one was better.

PROS: the suction is unbelievable and it cleans like no other vacuum. For this reason alone - I LOVE it.
It seem to be really sturdy and well built.

CONS: I had to purchase (seperately) the adjustable height floor tool as the one that came with the Libra was impossible to use on my carpet (which is not a high pile). You would think for almost $900 that it would just come with this tool.
Also had to purchase seperately, the mini turbo power brush for cleaning my furniture.
The power button is not on the wand, but on the canister which I hate.
The power cord is reasonable length but shorter that what I am used to so I have to change plugs more often.
The bags are a great change and good quality but they are too small. I have to change them every other vacuum session.
Generic attachments and tools (like my Furminator dog brush attachment) will not fit your Miele. for some reason the hose ends are an odd size.

Although I love my Miele, I wish I would have known the above before purchasing. I might have looked for something else.
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on July 27, 2011
well built, good (adjustable) suction. light. easy to use. adjustable length wand. power attachments works right on the power handle for cleaning furniture and stairs. the power brush and hard floor tool make it great for any house. one switch on power handle to turn power brush on/off.
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on April 23, 2011
This is such a great vacuum. Very quiet. Considerably bigger and heavier than the less expensive Miele vacuum (but still light), but it works really well and the compartment for the attachments is a nice touch. I bought this vacuum to replace the Dyson canister vacuum I had. It was SO loud! My GOD. It was so obnoxious and heavy and awkward to carry. I hated that darned thing.
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on December 31, 2011
I'm returning to using a canister vacuum after about 12 years with 2 Oreck uprights, which I just didn't find that effective (reliability and power wise) over the long term. After having Miele strongly recommended by a friend, I went with this model for some of its features - long, retractable cord, pretty lightweight, built-in attachments, easy rotate wheels, good floor and carpet suction reviews. Having both the power brush (for carpets, but which I often use on floors as well) and the floor brush was mandatory for me, so one big reason I went with a model this expensive. Two things I wish it had that my old Eureka canister had - the ability for the wand piece to stand upright on its own (with a lock setting - you have to lean it up against something), and a master control switch on the wand instead of on the base unit. It is SUPER quiet, which is nice. Pushing it on carpet can be a bit of a workout, so I may buy the adjustible height attachment. Other than this, after 6 months, I've been pretty happy with the power, weight, and flexibility of this unit. Is it expensive? Yes. However, I've found after 20+ years with different types of vacuums that if you spend under $450 on a vacuum, you're going to be replacing it within 3 years, frustrated. This one should last me for at least 8-10, and I can be happy with it. I really like being able to have everything all in one unit: the ability to do carpets, floors, stairs, furniture, and light shades / curtains.
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on May 10, 2012
I waited a while to hopefully give the Libra a more proper review.

Background:
My 2-storied place has 98% wood floor and tiles, with a small (low pile)carpeted area. No pets and kiddies. The motored brush was desired for rugs and in case I would move into another place that has some carpet again. (I can't have wall-to-wall anyway due to allergy.) Hope it'd work for any future home. Lilith's review also helped me settle on the Libra.

After reading so much on vacuum cleaners, a decision still eluded me. I then visited 2 repairmen to get their input. (They're authorized to service Miele, as well as other brands.) Both recommended Miele for durability and function. One patiently showed me various repairs in his shop and his opinions of their designs. He even said Capricorn would be overkill, and to forget S5 series and save money on a S2 Titan. Good point. But I really needed longer power cord and minor bells and whistles to get the job done the quickest way possible.

I'm familiar with the canister style but never got one in the States, only had hand-me-down uprights that often exhausted me after each use.

Pros:
1. Quiet. It's a recurring remark but one that came true. No more ear plugs.
2. Parquet brush head glides smoothly and swiftly on floor and under furniture.
3. Clean. No shoes indoor and I vacuum about 3-4 times a month for the past 18 months. The floor feels very clean to the feet after vacuuming.
4. Motored brush is adequate for what I got. A regular parquet doesn't clean carpet as well for sure.
5. Extended wand means making fewer strokes to cover quite a large sq ft here.
6. Long, retractable cord reduces hassle.

Cons:
1. Cost, no doubt. The machine, and running expenditure of bags and filters. It required a really thorough research to justify the purchase for me.
2. Weight. Not the lightest to lug up the stairway but the extendable wand allows me to reach 6 steps while resting the machine on the ground floor or one of the landings. I barely weigh 3-digit in poundage though.

A chore is a chore is a chore. The Miele sits pretty but still reminds me of it. I could do way worse however. Compared to the then offerings out there, this Libra has performed efficiently and effectively. Just the right model for my household and medium usage. It makes a tedious job less maddening. The pros outweigh the cons to me in the end.
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on February 6, 2013
I purchased this vacuum for reducing the dust in my house. So far, it is great to use, cleans well and best of all... it's so quiet! I recommend it for anyone. Please be careful when buying this with the electric motorized floor sweeper. It can be hard to push over thick carpet. But, it does a great cleanup!
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on December 19, 2012
This vacuum is everything that the write up says. It is relatively light weight. Really nice to have a metal extending rod instead of plastic. Really is very quiet compared to other vacuums. It's worth the money.
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