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Miele Triflex HX1 vacuum cleaner review: The purrfect tool for pet owners or a doggone disappointment?

We put this super sucker with an ingenious moveable bin to the test

Tamara Hinson
Tuesday 14 September 2021 10:34
<p>We even em<em>bark</em>ed on an obstacle course designed to test its features</p>

We even embarked on an obstacle course designed to test its features

Let’s face it: in an age when the vacuum cleaner market is dominated by a handful of brands, nothing piques our interest more than a model launched by an underdog – in this case Miele, a tech giant known more for dishwashers and washing machines. Which is precisely why we were keen to see how one of the brand’s most popular models, the triflex HX1 cat and dog cordless vacuum cleaner (£489, Miele.co.uk), stacked up.

As allergy sufferers who spend a large part of the year administering nasal sprays and sniffling into the wad of tissues we’ve always got to hand (not a great look at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic), we were especially interested in its proclaimed suitability for pet owners, which seems largely tied to its hi-tech filter. Said filter can – according to the brand – remove microscopic particles of pet dander and therefore should help reduce equally microscopic particles of dust, dirt and pollen.

The device’s pet-friendlyness is also tied to its wide selection of attachments, with the theory being that these make it easy to spot-vacuum smaller areas (such as dogs beds or favourite resting spots for four-legged friends) in need of a quick spruce up.

However, the HEPA AirClean lifetime filter is undoubtedly the star of the show. For pet owners, a decent filter is crucial – it will help prevent allergy-stimulating pet dander being released back into the air, and generally help keep the stuff we’ve sucked up firmly locked away. The added bonus of its lifetime design sounds like a pretty good deal to us, too.

How we tested

We put this machine to the test not simply by examining its power, design and ease of use, but by embarking on a vacuum-themed obstacle course that put its versatility to the test.

Read more:

Miele triflex HX1 cat and dog

Buy now £489, Miele.co.uk

Rating: 9/10

  • Cordless: Yes
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 3.60kg
  • Charging time: 240 minutes
  • Bin capacity: 0.5l

Design

Our first thoughts when we pulled the vacuum out the box? This is a pretty sleek sucker, finished in high-gloss black with an additional aesthetic upgrade of a bronze trim. The package contains a crevice nozzle, dusting brush (with stiff, synthetic bristles), upholstery brush, wall mount, power supply unit and two-floor brushes – a large one with a strip of LED lighting and a narrower, flatter one.

It’s immediately obvious that the vacuum has been designed with versatility in mind. The heads are easy to slip on and off, and we’re reassured by Miele’s promise that we could use it in what the brand refers to as compact mode – replacing the shaft with just the crevice nozzle should make it a brilliant tool for cleaning cars. But the killer feature is the option to position the section which contains the bin at either the top of the shaft or at the bottom, inches away from the brush head. The idea is that this enhances its manoeuvrability, so we were keen to put this to the test.

The test

First things first. We’re sticklers for accuracy and this test got off to a great start – we used a timer to confirm the claim that a full battery charge takes precisely four hours, as promised. This is what we’d expect for a vacuum of this power, although obviously it can be used when partly charged, too.

We were especially keen to get to grips with its three-in-one functionality. One of these “thirds” (the ability to use it as a compact handheld device without the longer nozzles) isn’t anything new, but the others are more interesting. In short, we could choose to position the section containing the bin at the base, a few inches above the brush head, or at the top end of the vacuum, something we assumed would probably make it marginally easy to lower the vacuum and clean between low-slung tables and chairs.

We can confirm it’s a real game-changer. Having the bin near the top of the unit made it wonderfully easy to lie the vacuum flat. We loved the ease with which the bin could be unclipped and moved to its lower position just above the brush head. It was a great way to take the strain out of longer vacuuming sessions, during which we were able to whiz around our test rooms in record time. Having the extra weight positioned just above the brush also made for a more stable vacuuming session.

Often vacuums designed for households with pets – the Dyson small ball allergy ( £199.99, Dyson.co.uk) is a case in point – rely solely on a top-notch filter as justification for their pet-friendly credentials, but the wide range of nozzles on the Miele certainly proved more valuable than we expected.

Read more: 8 best robot vacuum cleaners that clean your floors and carpets effortlessly

Owners will be able to give their pets’ favoured resting places a quick once over without assembling the entire vacuum or needing a full charge, and it’s also a great way to reduce the presence of other allergens – we used the nozzle for a quick sweep of our curtains (which pollen often clings to) and we also loved how its lightweight design meant we could grab it out of the cupboard for a quick once-over of our hallway – another area where pollen and pet dander quickly accumulates (we’ve all seen the dreaded dog shake, after all).

Ease of use was clearly a priority for the designers, who’ve added a thick, ultra-bright LED strip light on the front, and a great range of heads, including a bristle brush for use on hardwearing areas, a smaller floor brush and a shorter nozzle designed for use in tighter areas such as cars.

We also loved how, when used in the two highest power modes, the automatic floor detection system kicked in, adapting to suit the floor type in question. Finally, the battery is easy to remove but doesn’t need to be – it can be charged while plugged in, and we also appreciated the wall mount plate which meant we could hang it inside a cupboard.

The verdict: Miele triflex HX1 cat and dog

We loved this triflex HX1 cat and dog vacuum. We were somewhat sceptical about the name, but its power means it will certainly banish pet-related dander and dust, and its compact design and ease of use means it’s perfect for owners keen to give their homes a quick whip around in between deeper cleans.

Our only complaint is that we’d love to see a lighter weight model. One of our favourite pet-specific vacuums is the Bissell icon pet 25V cordless vacuum (£399, Amazon.co.uk), which does almost everything the Miele does but weighs in at a seriously impressive 3.1kg (compared to the Miele’s 3.6kg).

In summary, Miele isn’t a brand that dominates the vacuum market, but that hasn’t stopped it packing this vacuum with fantastic features that are worth their weight in gold, including the adjustable bin, which can be placed at different heights on the vacuum’s shaft, and the automatic floor detection system. In short, we love it. More of the same please, Miele.

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For more vacuum recommendations, read our guide to the best upright models that tackle large areas with ease

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