Top positive review
Great vacuum! Provide you use it as designed.
April 10, 2015
When my 10 yr old upright Bissell died, I started looking for a replacement. After a ton of of research, I finally settled on the Alize. I have about 60% smooth floors (tile and hardwood), and 40% short-pile carpet (1/2" cut pile), and I wasn't sure the Alize would be a great fit for me as it's advertised as primarily designed for smooth floors. If you are reading this review, then perhaps you have the same question. Let me share my research and personal experience:
Comparison vs the S2 series:
The S2 series is Miele's economical line of canister vacuums. Compared to the Alize and the rest of the S8 line, S2 series doesn't have a certified sealed filtration system (although supposedly it still does a good job filtration wise), which is an important feature for asthma and allergy sufferers. It has a shorter cleaning radius (29.5 ft vs 33 ft). The S2 has a rotary switch to control the suction level, where as the S8 has a foot switch, so you don't need to bend down to adjust the suction level. The S8 also has a quieter motor than the S2. Furthermore, the tool attachments come on a external clip (called VarioClip) for the S2, where they are stored inside the vacuum shell for the S8. Lastly, S8 has a rubber bumper around the vacuum, where as S2 does not. Where as all S8 models come with an Active HEPA filter, only the S2 Titan comes with one. Although any of the S2 models can use an Active HPEA filter if you buy one separately.
The Alize has some additional features that are not available on all models in the S8 line, which I will discuss in another section.
Comparison vs the S6 series:
The S6 is Miele's compact canister series so it is smaller and lighter than the S2 and S8. Feature wise it's between the S2 and the S8. It has the certified sealed filtration system (AirClean Sealed System), the quiet motor, and the 33' cleaning radius of the S8, but does not have the foot switch controls, the integrated tool storage, or the rubber bumper. It also uses a smaller dust bag.
Comparison vs the Calima (and the rest of the S8 series):
You are probably having a hard time deciding between the Alize and the Calima like I was. After all, they look pretty similar and cost about the same. We've already covered the standard features of the S8 line in the S2 vs S8 comparison section, so let's look at the differences.
The Alize is more technologically advanced than the Calima in multiple ways. In fact, it has several features that even the more expensive Kona and Cat & Dog models do not have. It's best to think of the Alize as the $1000+ Marin, but without any powered brush attachments. Let me explain: The Calima and the Alize come with floor tools that are air powered. That means they do not have enough power to handle high pile carpets. The Kona, Cat & Dog, Marin, and UniQ have powered brushes, which means the floor tool has a rotating brush inside that is driven by an electric motor. This brush beats the carpet piles and loosens any debris so they can be sucked up by the vacuum. Now let's go over each feature that the Alize has that the Calima does not have:
- Intelligent Automatic Suction Setting - The Alize can automatically adjust the suction setting by sensing what type of surface you are on. This feature is not available on the Calima, Kona, Cat & Dog. It is available on the Alize, Marin, and UniQ.
- Filter Change Indicator - Lights up when the HEPA filter needs to be changed. Not available on the Calima, Kona, Cat & Dog. Available on Alize, Marin, and UniQ.
- Automatic Standby When Parked - When you park the wand on the rear of the canister, say to take a phone call, the vacuum automatically stops. When you pull it back out, the vacuum resumes its previous setting. Not available: Calima, Kona, Cat & Dog. Available: Alize, Marin, UniQ.
- Deluxe ergonomic handle - A nice handle with a rubberized grip. Available on all S8 models except for Calima. The Calima comes with a simple curved handle.
- LED spotlight on handle - A LED spot light that lights up for 30 secs when you push a button on the handle. It illuminates directly in front of your wand so you can see where you are vacuuming in darker places. This feature is ONLY available on the Alize and no other S8 models. Although the floor tool that comes with the UniQ (and optionally on the Marin) has full time LED lights that serve the same purpose.
- Dynamic Drive - The wheels are air filled and have independent suspension (not unlike a car), which makes it much quieter when going over uneven surfaces such grout lines. This feature is also ONLY available on the Alize and on no other S8 models.
At this point, you are thinking the Alize is clearly better, and you'd be right. But why are they the same price? Well, it's because of the attachments that come with the Calima. The Alize comes with a single combination tool call the AirTeQ Combination Floor Tool. It can be used on both low pile carpet/area rugs and smooth floors. It switch modes via a foot switch on the tool itself. The Calima comes with two tools: the Turbobrush for low to medium pile carpets, and the Parquet Twister for smooth floors. This is why Calima costs the same as the Alize. While the AirTeQ is a fine tool, it's a compromise; a jack of all trades, but master of none. The Turbobrush has a brush inside the floor tool that is driven by the vacuum air flow, which stirs the carpet and helps it clean better. Note that since it's air powered, it does not have the same power as an electrically driven power brush such as the ones that come with Kona, Cat & Dog, Marin, and UniQ. The Parquet Twister is a dedicated smooth floor tool. It pivots and rotates and lets you get into a lot of tight corners. So while the Alize comes with a decent tool that does both, the Calima comes with 2 separate specialized tool that do those tasks better. Note that both of those tools can be purchased separately and fitted to the Alize.
My experience using the Alize:
My primary concern was that the AirTeQ tool wasn't going to be strong enough for my short pile carpet. Turns out my concerns were unfounded. It worked just fine on my 1/2" high cut pile carpet. Since I was concerned about the carpet, I picked up a used Turbobrush attachment on ebay right after I ordered the Alize. I compared the Turbobrush's performance on my carpets vs the AirTeQ, and I couldn't tell a difference. They both worked well. I do think that if my carpet pile was higher, or if I had pets, then the Turbobrush would distinguish itself with its higher carpet cleaning capabilities.
Based on my research and experience with the Alize, here are my recommendations:
1. If you have primarily smooth floors with some low pile area rugs or low pile carpets - Get the Alize and use the included AirTeQ floor tool.
2. If you have any kind of carpets and pets - Get the Alize, then buy the Turbobrush attachment.
3. If you have a lot of smooth floors, and any medium pile carpets or medium pile area rugs at all - Get the Alize, then buy the Turbobrush attachment.
4. If you have little or no smooth floors, and all medium or high pile carpets - Get one of the models with an electric powered floor tool, such as the Marin.
5. If you have ANY high pile carpets at all - Get one of the models with an electric powered floor tool, such as the Marin.
6. If you have mostly smooth floor now, but you think you might have high pile carpets or area rugs later on - get one with electric powered floor tool, such as the Marin.
Hope this helps!