Friday, April 11, 2008

Miele versus Sebo

I recently had an elaborate discussion over email with David from Merced, California. He is in the process of shopping around for a new vacuum cleaner. After doing his own diligence, and perusing our blog and YouTube videos, he boiled down his search to two vacuum cleaners, Miele and Sebo.

His question was simple, Miele vs. Sebo - which one is better?

My logic is simple. Here was our exchange (reads from top to bottom:


David Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2008 12:08 PM
Subject: Miele vs. Sebo Powerheads?

Hi Gerry,

I have been doing vacuum cleaner research for about 1 week now as I am determined to get the right product for my new floors. I have about 45% DEEP pile carpet, 45% hardwood flooring, 10% tile flooring in my home. My investigations initially focused on upright vacuums as I just felt I wanted to keep doing what I have been doing all along…. Only with a better vacuum. Well, as I researched (and have continued to use my current cheap Eureka upright and hand sweeping all my bare floors)… I have decided I want ONE machine that can do it all. I think I am now convinced that an upright (even a great one, of which there are some) will still come up short in a few areas… and will have me working more than I want to on my bare floors.

Now to my POINT and/or QUESTION(s): I have narrowed my choices down to (2) brands/models of canister vacuums for a very specific reason… and I would appreciate your input some. Due to the fact that I have a very DEEP pile carpet, it is important that I get a vacuum with a powerhead that is most effective at picking up this pile in high traffic areas and reconditioning it bring it back to its original look. I have a few high traffic areas where the carpet gets quite matted and crushed. I am convinced that the only way to revive these areas is to vacuum more frequently with a high quality vacuum, with a very very good powerhead to separate and lift the fibers of the carpet again.

I am looking at a Miele canister with a 236 Powerhead as one of my weapons of choice, and I am also considering the top of the line SEBO canister as well with their best powerhead. I am trying to understand which brand will have the most effective powerhead for my situation. Both brands seem to be fine German machines, and are both highly regarded in my brief investigations.

I know you are a Miele dealer, and do not carry SEBO, but 1) am I understanding my need and issue correctly with my carpet matting? 2) Is there another area, issue, or solution I should also be mindful of? 3) If I go with Miele, is it worth it for me to buy from you…. or can you not give me a great incentive of some sort to purchase from you while I am way out here on the west coast (California)?

Thank you Gerry in advance for your reply. I found out about you while clicking on various links on the internet, and found your YouTube video which I enjoyed a lot. Have a GREAT day Gerry!

Merced, CA


Gerry Rubin []
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 1:34 PM

Hi David,

Your carpet should look like the first day of spring not the last day of winter.

The Miele canister with a full size s236 power nozzle will make your carpet like new and trap 100% of all particles down to .03 microns.

The Sebo canister although the manufacturer “claims” it is Hepa does not trap the dust particles.

It is your choice which vacuum to purchase!

My price is the same price as everyone else on the internet.

Thank you,


From: David
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 7:42 PM


Thank you for your reply. I consider you to be a reliable source, but I am admittedly quite ignorant of the entire subject matter myself… therefore I am seeking to understand truth and reality. I am also however, a personality type that is a planner/plotter (or is that plodder?). I had already previously unearthed the fact that SEBO was not a true HEPA filter product….. however, that doesn’t necessarily by itself tell me that it doesn’t effectively filter out down to .03 microns, anymore than having a HEPA filter ensures that any given machine is filtering effectively just because it does deploy a Hepa filter…. Your video demonstrates that very well I think.

While I have read/heard the SEBOs don’t have a true HEPA filter, I have not read/heard that they don’t effectively filter out the dust particles as effectively….?? By chance have you used your dust meter to measure the SEBO canister’s filter effectiveness against a Miele? Please understand I am not arguing at all because I don’t have cause or a position to argue from….. however, I am questioning just to make sure I understand. If you say one does clean and the other doesn’t then I will take your word for it. I “assumed” based on what I have read to this point that both did a very good job at filtering…. And the part I was focused in on was the powerhead abilities to effectively lift up and recondition the carpet. I appreciate your very clear description of your view of the Miele 236 powerhead in combo with an S5 model canister vac. Your confidence is very helpful in that regard.

I guess I just got thrown off a little by the unexpected filtering comments, but that is also appreciated…. Since I am after “truth” in this subject that I have ZERO experience in myself.

I don’t think I understand your comment about pricing…?? Are prices controlled on Miele products by the manufacturer?

Thanks again Gerry for being patient with me.


From: Gerry
Sent: Monday, April 09, 2008 11:04 PM


1) Miele crushs the Sebo in terms of HEPA filtration....While we have yet to post a video to demonstrates this, Sebo vacuums are not completely sealed. They surely do not trap the fine dust, particles and contaminants to true HEPA standards of 99.98%. While the HEPA filter itself may be HEPA certified outside the machine, it only matters what is being dispelled from the machines once it is inside the architecture...

Now, this leads me to the next point...

A vacuum is supposed to trap the dust... Why buy a Sebo, if it doesn't accomplish its main purpose --to trap the dust and dirt, without recycling it back into the air you breathe..You know the smell after you vacuum with your Eureka, or even the dust glaring when the sun beams into your living room, this is caused by the inefficiency in the vacuum you are using. The exact thing happens on the Sebo! As i'm sure you have seen with the particle counter, nothing is coming out of the Miele, it is sealed.

3) Miele is really a vacuum for a life-time... Now, they don't pay me enough to lie..But in all honesty, if i sold you a Sebo canister, you would never shop at my store again..I could never stay in business. But say you bought the same machine from Sears...You may never go back to Sears for a vacuum, but you would go back from a fridge or even a lawn mower. The bottom line is that Miele's are built to last and have lasted the test of time. Sebo is not known for its canister, but Miele is. The ingenuity of Miele's architecture makes it very sturdy, the engineering makes it so that it does not break down if you pick up a nickle, dime, penny or sock - so there is no hidden costs of repairs.
The motor alone in the Miele has a 7 year warranty. Nothing goes through the fan of through the motor.

4) Greater power thanks to the Miele being sealed... As I pointed out in my 1st bullet - the Miele is completely sealed. Think of a vacuum-sealed ziplock baggy with perishable food, if you were to puncture a whole in it - the food would go bad, right? Well, the same goes for a vacuum. In order for the vacuum to have complete suction, the vacuum must be completely sealed. To reiterate, the Sebo is not sealed! To add, Miele does in fact have greater water lift anyhow, 111 inches compared to I believe 90 inches for Sebo. But these numbers really are just numbers, unless you look at it from the context above. The cherry on top, in my eyes, is Miele's bag capacity. From what I know, Miele bag capacity is 4.76 Quarts, just under Sebo's 1.4 gallons (4 quartz in a gallon**). But that is not the end of the story, because Miele's bag will fill up completely and still have 100% suction, whereas Sebo will lose airflow as the bag fills up.

I hope that helps you come closer to your decision and if you have questions, feel free to call us on the phone . All the Miele models have different features that support different needs. Again, prices are standard across the web, but the sale doesn't end when you buy it from us, it begins. I am glad to help as are the rest of us here at


From: David
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 4:11 PM

Hi Gerry

Wow, GREAT response and very much appreciated and understood on this end. I am writing back however, to let you know I pulled the trigger yesterday on a Miele Capricorn w/236 Powerhead. I wish I had your response earlier because your response and explanation was just what I was looking for, and I would have purchased from you, had I woke up to your note yesterday morning instead. I have been researching for almost 2 weeks, and my wife was pushing me pretty hard to just do it. I bought yesterday from a more local dealer, but I was not as satisfied that I had all the info I wanted/needed…. as my personality thirsts for. Your response below gives me great confidence I selected the right machine.

Until your note this morning I didn’t feel I had a compelling enough reason to order from across country. Anyway, I want to thank you for your response Gerry. While unfortunately, I did not end up purchasing the vacuum from you…. I feel so strongly about your great response that I wanted to reply back out of respect for your knowledge and time. In addition, I will search your website and assuming pricing differences for filters, bags, and accessories are reasonable…. I feel committed now to order from you for those items. I know that isn’t what you were looking for, but it is the best response I can give at this moment, and it is something I feel compelled to do based on the way your note made me feel…. Valued.

I will also pass your site along to friends/others that might have future interest in a new vacuum. I now have a Miele I can show them in my home and then I can give them your website should the opportunity arise.

Thanks again, but I feel I am an honorable guy…. and your response, while a little later than what I needed, was exactly what I was hoping for and I did not want that to go unrecognized.