A decade after Dyson launched its first cordless stick vacuum, Miele has finally launched a cordless cleaner, and it’s the most expensive one you can buy.
Miele says its Triflex cordless vacuum is the most versatile model around, thanks to its modular 3-in-1 design. The premium version, which includes a spare battery, costs an astonishing £699. It was unveiled at the IFA 2019 trade show and should be available in the UK from February 2020.
The brand has certainly taken its time developing the Triflex – it’s the last major vacuum brand to go cordless. Perhaps that’s not surprising, as it only started making bagless vacuums in 2017 (the Miele Blizzard range).
But while it considers the cordless vacuum market to be ‘fledgling’, the truth is that it’s very well established, and extremely competitive. The question is, then, can Miele crack it with the Triflex? And is it ever worth spending £700 on a cordless vacuum cleaner?
On the face of it, the features don’t sound quite as exciting as some we’ve seen so far this year, but that doesn’t mean you should discount it. Read on to see how it measures up against key rivals such as Dyson’s flagship V11 Absolute.
Best cordless vacuum cleaners – see our current top picks
Miele Triflex: what’s exciting about it?
The Triflex is a very ‘Miele’ product. It’s deceptively understated and simple, with a minimalist design. But the brand says it’s packed with useful features and quality components. Here are some of the key features:
3-in-1 versatile design
At first glance, the Triflex follows the popular cordless stick design: a small handheld unit with a long cleaning tube for floor mode. This can be detached to create a lightweight handheld cleaner, but it can also be slid down the tube to sit nearer the floorhead.
This changes the weight distribution, so that you have less of it in your hand, and creates more of an upright cordless vacuum cleaner feel.
This means you can adapt the Triflex to suit different cleaning jobs. So you could have it in an upright setup when cleaning large sections of carpet, shift into stick mode when you’re cleaning cobwebs from light fittings and then detach the handheld vacuum when you start to clean the stairs.
We’re not 100% sold on how useful this is, but it will be interesting to try out once we get our hands on the Triflex.
These aren’t necessarily new, but we’re pleased to see them featured on the Triflex:
- Swappable battery – The battery is easily removable. This means you can charge it while stashing the vacuum away, and also have a spare (included with the top-end model) – effectively doubling your runtime to 120 minutes. Made by manufacturer Varta, the lithium-ion battery gives up to 60 minutes claimed runtime (120 with extra battery) and should recharge in four hours.
- LED headlights – handy for highlighting stray dirt under furniture.
Cordless vacuum buying guide – get the lowdown on what to look for
How the Miele Triflex compares to rivals
Somewhat disappointingly, despite having had years to come up with the design, there’s not much that is completely new on the Miele Triflex.
The AEG FX9 has a similar adjustable handle design. Plenty of cordless models have had LED headlights for a number of years, and most Shark vacuums, the Bosch Unlimited and the Numatic Henry cordless vacuum have swappable batteries.
Even among those that don’t, premium models such as the Dyson V11 Absolute (£599) and Tineco Pure One (£499) still provide up to an hour of cleaning time, which competes with the claimed battery life of all but highest-spec Miele Triflex.
There are also some recent features of premium cordless vacuum cleaners that are missing, such as:
- Auto cleaning mode – the Dyson V11 Absolute and the Tineco Pure One S12 both automatically adjust suction to optimize battery life and save you the trouble of switching cleaning modes.
- Digital display and controls – these models also have touch-sensitive digital displays that display the amount of battery life you have left and even alert you to maintenance jobs that need completing. As far as we can tell, the Triflex just has a slider control, and we can’t spot a battery-life indicator.
- Weight and capacity – the 0.5-litre dust container is smaller than on some premium rivals, and at 3.7kg it’s at the heavier end, too.
However, it’s not all about flashy features. We’ve seen plenty of cordless vacuums that are heavy on the gizmos but suck at the actual job of cleaning. However, it’s understandable that if you’re paying top whack, you might want to have it all.
See our Don’t Buy cordless vacuum cleaners for the inside track on the pricey models that disappoint on the basics
Miele Triflex range in detail
There are three models in the range. These are:
- Miele Triflex HX1 (£499) – the entry-level model. Available in grey ,white or red. Comes with a wall mount, a non-turbo brush, multi-surface floorhead and a detachable battery that Miele claims lasts for up to an hour.
- Triflex HX1 Cat&Dog (£599) – in black. Comes with a few extras including a Hepa filter and a souped-up floorhead that contains a turbo brush and bright LED lights to illuminate the way.
- Triflex HX1 Pro (£699) – in grey, and comes with an extra battery and charger.
Do you really need to spend £700 on a vacuum cleaner?
Cordless vacs tend to be much pricier than corded models, with many costing at least £250.
The more you pay, the more cleaning time you tend to get, as well as extra cleaning accessories and fancy features such as auto cleaning or digital displays.
But you don’t need to spend this much to get a good cordless vac. We’ve found Best Buy cordless vacuum cleaners from as little as £180 that are easy to use and clean exceptionally well.
If you’re looking to spend less, stick with the cord. We’ve found top-notch corded vacuum cleaners for less than £100.
We will be trying out the Miele Triflex as soon as we can get hold of one, so come back for our verdict on its cleaning power.
See how Miele corded vacuum cleaners fare in our tough tests.