Thread Number: 36018  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
New Vacuum needed for Elderly Relative
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Post# 386342   2/18/2018 at 16:23 by airway77 (NC)        

Hi All,

I reach out for advice here. My 90-year-old great-grandfather is in need of a new vacuum cleaner (and he wants BRAND NEW). His 2-bed, 1 bath home is almost all hard floors; there is only one room with wall-to-wall low pile carpet and there are a few good-sized area rugs scattered throughout. While I am loyal to Aerus/Electrolux, Rainbow and Oreck, the lack of any major carpet (save one thick area rug) and his desire to have ONE easy-to-use machine to do floors, rugs and furniture definitely eliminates any Rainbow or Oreck, and the Aerus Guardian upright is not available around here for less than $1200. Also, he is 90, and we are in the process of hiring him a twice-monthly housekeeper, so ease of use and ease of maintenance is key for both parties here. I've been comparing machines online and have narrowed my options to a couple of machines.

The first machine up for consideration is the Dyson Ball 2 MultiFloor. Let me be clear that I'm not really a Dyson fan, but this machine really does fit the bill. Washable filters, bagless, easy to maneuver, brushroll shutoff and a simple, no-bull attachment kit and setup. His home is a one-level "typical 1960s" ranch, so the 15 lbs. carrying weight isn't too much of an issue.

Machine number two up for consideration is the Miele U1 Maverick. This is the current incarnation of the S7 Twist. This machine also fits the bill for the ability to clean hard floors and minor carpeting, as well as a not-extremely-complicated attachment setup. The only caveat I can find with this machine is the fact that bags are expensive, and I've also seen pictures/read reviews that disclosed some durability issues with the hose. Also, filters and other replacement parts aren't cheap, and they also have reports of being clog-prone.

Machine number three is the Numatic Henry. Again, great for hard floors and low pile carpet, and can easily be paired with the excellent VacuFlo TurboCat for the carpet/rugs if the suction head isn't enough. Attachments are also easy to use and the mechanical cord reel is bulletproof. The biggest caveat here is bag/parts availability; Numatic domestic machines and parts/spares are only available online through a handful of retailers in the USA.

All three machines fall into the $350-$450 price range. I will admit that I admire the Dyson for its maneuverability and the Numatic for its straightforward, no-bull design. The Miele is still a contender, but I'm wary of the collapsing hose issue. A $449 vacuum shouldn't have that problem.

So...your thoughts? All brand bias aside, which machine is best in this case??

Post# 386344 , Reply# 1   2/18/2018 at 16:54 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
I will post what I know Dyson uh no. Henry good not great. Miele is the choice of the 3. Best overall performance durability is one of the best.

Post# 386353 , Reply# 2   2/18/2018 at 20:31 by Airway77 (NC)        
New Machine...


I'm wary of the Miele's durability. Performance is great, but the S7/U1 platform is known to have serious issues with their hoses collapsing from not being able to withstand the suction and some other plastic components tending to break (rear wheels and bag collar mounts are reported to be weak spots). I'm sorry but a $449+ vacuum with those problems is not worth the money. Also, have you ever actually used a Henry? If so, what was your impression besides "okay"? What makes a Henry just "okay"? Every review I've seen plus the inputs on here have led me to believe that it is a well-made, quality machine that will hold up well in regular use.

As for the Dyson sentiment, I myself have owned a DC17 and DC18. Did they clean well? Yes, as far as bagless vacs go. I'm not a fan of them from a durability standpoint, but my grandfather takes great care of his stuff. He managed to get 22 YEARS out of a Eureka Bravo II PowerLine that saw regular use several times a week. We all know that the Bravo machines aren't exactly the most durable vacuums out there, so the Dyson should hold up fairly well in his care. Let me go ahead and say now that there is a solid 90% chance he's going to end up with the Dyson Ball 2 MultiFloor.

Post# 386354 , Reply# 3   2/18/2018 at 20:46 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
You can’t beat a Miele C3 Alize canister vacuum for great performance and ease of use. It’s quiet, powerful, and lightweight. The AirTeq carpet nozzle is great on low pile carpet. And the SpotLight handle is brilliant for illuminating dark corners and under furniture. Maintenance is a breeze as Miele’s high filtration dust bags pack a lot into them before changing is needed. The Comfort cord reel retracts the entire cord without having to hold down the button with your foot. The Alize also comes with a longer cord (24 feet) and a longer telescopic wand.

You can enhance the Alize by buying a turbo nozzle for the rugs, and/or a Parquet Twister brush for bare floors.

Really a great, easy to use, all around classic vacuum that would be great for a senior. Especially because it is very, very quiet.

Post# 386355 , Reply# 4   2/18/2018 at 21:00 by Airway77 (NC)        


I love the Alize canister. Another relative owns one to complement her Sanitaire S677 upright and I have found to to be a fabulous machine. However, my grandfather is 90 years old. He's still in good health, but bending to mess with a canister really isn't practical and the Miele Alize is above our price range, which has an absolute max of $475. An upright with pushbutton brush shutoff is really our best option here.

All Dyson brand bias aside, I need to know if the Ball 2 MulitFloor is capable of doing its job well. My DC17 and DC18 both cleaned well, but didn't hold up as we put them through a literal hell. My grandfather will take great care of the Dyson so I'm not that worried about durability.

Post# 386357 , Reply# 5   2/18/2018 at 21:10 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
Henry would be good

I would say the Numatic Henry is a great machine. The quality is excellent since they are also used in commercial environments. They are very quiet and powerful. You could get a turbo brush for the carpets. I really can't think of a disadvantage to the Henry other than the fact that they can't use an electric power nozzle but it sounds like in this case that is not an issue for you. I would definitely take the Henry over the Dyson any day, no comparison there.

Post# 386360 , Reply# 6   2/18/2018 at 22:17 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Aha. I see....okay, so no canisters.

But I would highly recommend staying away from bagless vacs for use by a senior: just too messy and complicated to maintain. I can’t see a 90-year old sticking his hands into a bin to get out clumps of dirt and hair.

Why not try Sears? Their Kenmore Pet Friendly uprights are excellent bagged vacs - top rated by Consumer Reports - and well within your price range. If not, you might look at the inexpensive Hoover T-Series bagged uprights in red or blue: also highly rated by Consumer Reports with one being tagged a Best Buy at $180. They both have a large push pedal to shut off the brush roll to clean bare floors.

Post# 386361 , Reply# 7   2/18/2018 at 22:39 by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture

First of all, I wouldn't be getting a Dyson Ball MultiFloor quite so quickly there. Your grandfather is 90 years old, who knows how much longer he will live. Plus, you said yourself he got 22 years out of a Eureka Bravo, a cheaply built vacuum. So, there's really no reason to spend tons of money here. What your grandfather REALLY needs is something that is light, easy to use with tools, easy to maintain, & has a brushroll shutoff to do bare floors.

First vacuum I would suggest would be the Hoover Powerdrive Pet. Under $200, nice large bin for less emptying, easy to use tools, & it weighs only 16 lbs. Both your grandfather & the housekeeper should be able to handle this easily. The only thing I would suggest is to keep an eye on the pre-motor filter & check it after each vacuuming session & wash as needed.

If your grandfather is open to a powerhead canister, I would try & find a Panasonic MC-CG902. This is the same classic design as the Kenmore Progressive canisters in the mid-2000's. Nice set of tools, long hose, all controls on the hose handle, easy to use quick release powerhead connection so the wand can be used for bare floors. Very good powerhead with headlight , 4 height adjustments, permanent poly v belt, & a very effective brushroll that works well on many different carpet types. Bags & replacement HEPA filters can be found for good prices in bulk, so it won't be costly to maintain. The only bad points about it are the HEPA filtration isn't a sealed system, I would definitely use only the HEPA Cloth bags in it, & to be careful & keep an eye on the hose, wand & powerhead electrical connections.

Most times this vacuum can be found for around $300-$350 online. The Panasonic MC-CG917 is the upgrade, which includes a telescopic wand over the 2 piece wand set, & the Optiflow bag caddy, for around $400-$450. I would just stick with the MC-CG902, it's all your grandfather really needs. And your grandfather & a housekeeper should be fairly comfortable with a canister, & much lighter than using any upright. Also, probably the best option for all the bare floors in the house.



Panasonic MC-CG902:

Post# 386369 , Reply# 8   2/19/2018 at 06:16 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

For a person that old--instead of a vacuum cleaner-maybe better to hire a weekly cleaning service for him.This is the case for my father who is now 95 yrs old.My father lives in a retirement home.It is an apartment.Somehow if the person is going to use a vacuum-I can't see him fussing with a bagless machine.A bagged vacuum would be easier for him to deal with if the person has to use it.

Post# 386370 , Reply# 9   2/19/2018 at 07:53 by Airway77 (NC)        
New Machine...

The Hoover PowerDrive Pet and the Kenmore Crossover uprights do look nice. I'll definitely be taking a closer look. As for the Panasonic canisters, I personally love them. However, I spoke with him just now on the phone and he made it clear that he wants either a bagless or easy-to-change bagged upright, which bumps the Numatic Henry off the list. Also, the new Dyson machines have a function in the release catch that cleans the shroud in the bin as the trapdoor opens, so (hopefully) he won't have to reach into it to clean it out.

Regarding the sentiment concerning his age, yes, my grandfather is 90 years old. However, he still lives on his own, drives perfectly fine, exercises daily, and still cleans his home regularly. The only reason we're considering a housekeeper is the fact that he does have trouble bending down/kneeling to clean under things and moving furniture to clean under it. He is still perfectly capable of just doing the basic weekly cleanup, and he will ultimately make the decision on what vacuum to buy.

Post# 386383 , Reply# 10   2/19/2018 at 12:30 by S2_82 (Columbus, Ohio)        
My personal suggestion:

I think that a Riccar/Simplicity Supralite/Freedom would serve him well. It's a lightweight but super powerful (similar to oreck style) vacuum that weighs about 9 pounds. This will only do carpets and bare floors, given that's all he'll need to vacuum. However, a small straight suction canister for his above floor cleaning needs can also be had by pairing up any of the above machines with a Riccar "Supraquik" or Simplicity "Sport" portable canister which could make all around effective cleaning team. Hope that helps

Post# 386388 , Reply# 11   2/19/2018 at 13:09 by dirtmaster37 (The Mitten..somewhere cold most likely...)        
To answer some Miele Questions...

dirtmaster37's profile picture
One is going to wade in the fray here. Our company retails Miele, along with Tacony, TTI and Sebo products, and Dyson AND Shark re-manufactured. I really find that maybe hearing something about the Miele from an expert of 24 years now, who sells these things daily, and has real, life experience with them may help you.

Aside the fact that it has been made clear that the Dyson is winning the race here I think if I have caught you in time, I may have a few things for you to really ponder.

So, as I've read the written statement was:

"I'm wary of the Miele's durability. Performance is great , but the S7/U1 platform is known to have serious issues with their hoses collapsing from not being able to withstand the suction and some other plastic components tending to break (rear wheels and bag collar mounts are reported to be weak spots). I'm sorry but a $449+ vacuum with those problems is not worth the money".

Some answers-

1. "I'm wary of the Miele's durability. My short and sincere answer is: Don't be. The long answer is: Mieles warranty is class leading, even on the entry level product, the Twist/Maverick. To that end, Miele has eliminated MOST if not ALL of the issues you have described during the very early stages pf production, and made it very clear to have any previous part replaced under warranty IF the problem arises, and again isn't a Blatant sign of customer misuse..or mishandling...

(Caveat- All companies have addendum to warranties or guarantees that are designed for customer buffoonery. sorry, but people are hard on vacuums, and put them away wet. I agree some issues were there on early Miele S7's, but they have been more anon..)

All dealers have been instructed, IF you dealer finds clear factory fault with any of the parts, and a properly trained dealer CAN tell if it was just blatant misuse, or a defect from the factory... they can be sure to get the company to honor any issues up to a point. I've yet to have a warranty I have submitted denied. Try that with anyone else warranty. Not so much. And that means ALL of the aforementioned brands. Including James Dysons whirly can...

2. Performance is great. Short answer: Yes, yes it is. Far safer for your hard floors, than anything other upright made, other than the Henry IMHO, and the Henry, which is a canister, was clearly stated as a no no.

Long answer: Please take a gander at the bottom of the nozzle of your Dyson uprights. They scratch floors..., most uprights do. It's scratching the heck out of your floors. Miele doesn't DO that unless you are picking up rocks, or copious amounts of kitty litter. And even then, it's not nearly as bad as most brands. Sadly, An upright vacuum just isn't the BEST solution to you needs. A canister is. But it's been made clear that's not an option. Out of them all, a Miele will do hard floors best and safest. And in terms of agitation you cant beat that either. Dyson's are known for damaging rugs. Miele doesn't. Check some carpet manufacturers. They will NULL and VOID the warranty if you use one. A Dyson that is...

3."But the S7/U1 platform is known to have serious issues with their hoses collapsing from not being able to withstand the suction":

Short answer: "Yep, they sure did, but the new ones, made in the last several production years arent doing that", even with being used with a optional Turbo brush.

Long answer: Now one, or all could ask in an online poll of how many companies have issues with those slinky hoses. LOTS do. I wish I could tell HOW many hoses I have replaced on Dyson's over the years at 50+ dollars a crack. Believe me James DyS sleeps on the feathers of angels over the money he makes from all the replacement parts hes sold, or the denying of 5 year guarantee. People spend LOTS of money fixing the big D's too, due the abysmal build quality of his hoses, and in total, whole cleaners in many cases. Not all Dysons are bad, but a larger amount of them are troublesome. Ask ANY reputable vacuum dealer. Very few if ANY like them, or think a customer gets a good deal from.

Addendum: That said, Miele has made it clear that any early production cleaner that comes in with a hose issue can be warrantied, after inspection by your dealer with a new style hose. Try that with Malmesbury England during it's five year "guarantee".. They would laugh, hang up a on you after some snide comment, and go back to their English Breakfast, and digestive biscuit. Miele knew they screwed up with making the hose too light, and fixed it. So there is that.

4."And some other plastic components tending to break (rear wheels and bag collar mounts are reported to be weak spots)".

Short Answer: these parts have been redesigned too. And are used in all current model U1 cleaners.

The long answer is: The new ones arent having the same issues, unless some HARD dropping of the actual unit goes down onto the wheels. Even then the rear wheels arent failing like they did at first. They use a stronger steel axle/support bar that does not twist if the machine is dropped down hard. 98% of my early issue machines were admitted "I dropped it". So Miele decided to upgrade the rear wheel assembly, thus has been re-engineered. I've yet to have a machine come back for that problem after it is remedied with the current production part. Problem solved. I cant tell you how many junked Dysons and other brands are brought in with the same problem. And try getting a warranty out of that. Most companies are like" nope not our problem, Including the big D".

Furthermore, the bag holder issue is another problem of the past. While they did not totally eliminate the problem , the one being complained about by the online reviews... Miele, knowing that not ever consumer is gentle or caring about their appliance, designed that bag holder PURPOSELY with a break away feature. Instead of breaking something more expensive (like the body this device attaches into; it was somewhat easy to yank out the bag holder when taking out a bag. They are less than $10.00 to replace, and Miele usually covers it when lost under warranty. The FIRST time...LOL...

Admittedly, over half of the customers asked were amazed to know that it was their fault, for being careless and over exerted when trying to pull out a bag with such a smooth action.. Once you show them that you dont have to yank at the whole device...they are like Ohs, and after we put in the new part it again rarely happens twice. If you yank hard enough on the OLD or the NEW part, it WILL come out. Although, and I show this now in the demo. You really have to pull like hell to get it to pop out now. If you do it now, you doing it wrong. There is no need to pull out the bag using that kind of force. And it's really not that hard to change a bag, or the filters on a Miele. far better that fooling with filters, or dumping cans for the competition.

Finally, Yes Miele bags are expensive, but if maintained properly those filters on the Dysons arent cheap either. In the price of four bags, which should last what you have described for at LEAST a year, it includes all the filters a maverick/Twist will need. And he wont have to mess with keeping the dirt out of the motor either, like all new Dysons. If you had any idea the number of broken wand/hose latches, handle releases, cord hooks, canister trap door latches have been broken on competition cleaners, including Dyson... It's staggering...

Either way, Proper use, and care of a Miele, or really ANY brand will keep any machine rolling along. No Mieles arent pefect, but none really are. My final piece of advice to you is this..

Go into you local dealer. TRY one out. Other that the weight of a Miele, the rest of it is, and can be easily alleviated as far as durability concern.

Believe, at 449- you wont get anything that can last as long as A Miele, thats for sure. Most vacuum stores will agree. And Dyson are around that price point too. As are many other brands/kinds. Go talk to a local professional, or two if there are different shops. Maybe then one can can be saved from the Dyson dream, or any of the others...LMAO!!

Best of luck!!


Post# 386391 , Reply# 12   2/19/2018 at 15:43 by HonestJoe68 (Mansfield, Ohio)        

Hey guys what are your thoughts on a Miele Swing H1 Quickstep for @airway77 great grandfather??

It’s easy to use, lightweight, great for smaller homes with mostly hardwood floors and it’s less expensive for bags and filters and lighter than the S7.. sound like a good idea? If need be you could add ($130 bucks) a Turbo Comfort (STB 205-3) head for the one carpeted room as the Miele connectors are super easy to lock and unlock. Even for my Moms arthritic hands. Or I added the step up, electric powered ($150 bucks) Electro Midsize Floorhead (SEB 217-3) to mine for carpets and area rugs. Either would be great for rugs and low pile wall to wall carpet.

I’m very happy with my Miele Quickstep and I’m only throwing my two cents in as hopefully to help Airway77. Just a suggestion.. anyone else have input, feel free.

Hope this helps! Best of luck and great job as a great grandkid.. it’s awesome to see family helping their older generations. Take care!

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Post# 386395 , Reply# 13   2/19/2018 at 18:05 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

crazykirbydude's profile picture
Don't go Dyson. Those are like pushing a brick across your floor. Here's a good one; Bissell Zing. It's light, easy to use, maneuverable, and it's affordable, at only $50. If he's not too hard on vacuums, this might be a good fit. They make both bagged and bagless versions. I would get the bagged one for him.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO crazykirbydude's LINK

Post# 386405 , Reply# 14   2/19/2018 at 19:35 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

One also needs to consider that the housekeeper that is hired may be using said vacuum as well. That or the housekeeper needs to provide the vacuum of her preference when doing the cleaning. A lot but not all of the hired help can be very hard on equipment that they don't own.

Post# 386417 , Reply# 15   2/19/2018 at 22:08 by HonestJoe68 (Mansfield, Ohio)        

You’ve got that right! My parents were using my second Miele S7 with AutoEco and at $800 bucks I was NOT about to let their new cleaning lady use it. But my Mom insisted “she’s a nice older lady and she’ll take care of it”! So against my better judgement, but wanting to respect my Moms wishes, I agreed. I did tell this lady BEFORE she cleaned the first time, it was an $800 dollar vacuum and to please be careful using it. Then I showed her how to properly use it and all the attachments tools and how to operate everything. I was polite and respectful to her and she seemed to understand. She was educated and well spoken, about 45 years old so you’d Think, she’d know how to care for things.

Never EVER again.. NEVER... After four visits to my Moms to clean.. she had dents, gouges, paint scraped down to the plastic and scratches all over that previously pristine, immaculate Miele and when I saw it I literally got sick to my stomach! Anyone who owns a Miele S7 upright knows how durable they are. but omg! So I made Mom make the cleaning lady use the old Hoover Windtunnel Self Propelled vacuum and took the poor Miele home, then to my authorized Miele repair.. I won’t mention how much it cost me, but the repair guy (under my request of course) replaced the hood cover, swivel neck cover and the bag compartment door.. basically ALL the painted parts.. then he had to replace the brushroll timing belt kit because the cleaning lady sucked up a rubber backed throw rug and then YANKED it out without turning it off! Oh and she had it clogged in the neck and he found a big ball point pen stuck in the hose and a quarter and dryer sheets stuck in the neck! She’d vacuumed up an entire PEN and a Quarter and Dryer sheet! Insane! She doesn’t even need glasses, perfect vision so that shows total disregard for others property! I showed my Mom the Miele repair bill and she felt terrible and wanted to pay me.. I said NO but I think the cleaning lady should pay Half.. Mom said oh no, I couldn’t ask her to do that.. she’ll get mad and quit! So I told Mom ok and let it go since it was her house. The company she worked for were bonded, they would have paid it. But I digress. The company soon after fired her for stealing jewelry from another client! It takes all kinds Lol

Needless to say I’m SO glad they have a brand new cleaning lady. She’s wonderful and after meeting her I decided to let her use the Miele Once, while I was there visiting Mom... not telling her I’d repaired all that, to see how she did.

Well I was thrilled when she opened the closet and said “Of you have a Miele.. those are the best vacuums” and she treated it like it was her baby. So I watched her while I set on the couch and she handled it with great care. To this day, there’s not one scuff or scratch on my Miele and she’s been cleaning with that Miele for over two years now. I like her! Lol

Post# 386431 , Reply# 16   2/20/2018 at 07:04 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
One thing about those great Miele S7 Dynamic uprights: they’ve got a really long cord on them...I think it’s 39 feet or something like that. And it’s easy to wind up because the cord hooks are located pretty high up on the cleaner.

It’s also one of the very few uprights - along with a Kirby - to achieve an “excellent” mark for carpet cleaning in Consumer Reports tests.

I like the look of the white “Cat & Dog” S7 with the headlight, but it’s out of your price range.

Post# 386432 , Reply# 17   2/20/2018 at 07:38 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

crazykirbydude's profile picture
Maybe the Aerus Classic?

Post# 386434 , Reply# 18   2/20/2018 at 07:58 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

The Aerus classic would be a good choice, but I am sure it would be above the price threshold.

Post# 386444 , Reply# 19   2/20/2018 at 13:28 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

crazykirbydude's profile picture
He said $1200 and under, didn't he?

Post# 386445 , Reply# 20   2/20/2018 at 13:31 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

He said it was $475.

"I love the Alize canister. Another relative owns one to complement her Sanitaire S677 upright and I have found to to be a fabulous machine. However, my grandfather is 90 years old. He's still in good health, but bending to mess with a canister really isn't practical and the Miele Alize is above our price range, which has an absolute max of $475. An upright with pushbutton brush shutoff is really our best option here."

Post# 386446 , Reply# 21   2/20/2018 at 13:32 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

crazykirbydude's profile picture
You're right about the Kirby being an excellent cleaner, but I don't think it would work in this situation. He has to clean hard floors, something better suited to a canister cleaner.

Post# 386447 , Reply# 22   2/20/2018 at 13:43 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

I think the OP has his mind set on an upright. No disrespect at all to him, but for a 90-year old homeowner and/or housekeeper, I would stick with the lightest option, maybe even a basic upright with attachments from a big box store like someone mentioned. I can't see his great-grandfather shelling out $400+ on a fancy vacuum cleaner to clean a two bedroom home, a majority of which has wood floors and a few area rugs. If he wants to spend more money, get an Oreck upright and a lightweight canister for above floor cleaning. Again, I'm not sure why so many have it in their mind that they have to have a new vacuum. I can't see this making a lot of sense for an individual of advanced years, as in the case of the OP's great grandfather. I went in to my local Oreck store yesterday, and their used machines were spotless. You could barely tell they were previously used.

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