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Miele C1 Compact Vs Miele C3 Complete Pure Red

Written by James Hall |

Not sure whether to pay more for the Miele C3 Complete? Here’s our in-depth Miele C1 Compact vs Miele C3 Complete comparison to help you decide.

Miele produces a range of excellent bagged cylinder vacuums. Unfortunately, their models tend to have similar names and designs, which can make it hard to decide which to buy.

In this article, we’ll compare the Miele C1 Compact and Miele C3 Complete Pure Red. These are both popular Miele vacuum cleaners, but are designed for different purposes.

The Quick Pick...

Miele C3 Complete Pure Red

Winner: Miele C3 Complete Pure Red

Both the C1 Compact and C3 Complete are high-quality cylinder vacs, but the Miele C3 Pure Red is the winner of this comparison. It has a range of extra features, such as integrated tool storage, foot pedals, a bigger dirt capacity, and a longer power cord for greater reach. Click here to view the C3 Pure Red’s price.

The C1 Compact is still a great option for smaller houses or apartments though. It generates similar suction, just with a reduced cleaning radius and smaller dust capacity. It’s also cheaper than the C3 Pure Red. Click here to view the C1 Compact’s price.

A Quick Comparison of the Miele C1 Compact and Miele C3 Complete Pure Red

The Miele C1 Compact and Miele C3 Complete Pure Red both have variable suction power, bagged emptying systems, and Miele’s 890w Powerline motor. Like all cylinder vacuums, they also both have long hoses and a wand.

However, Miele’s Compact range is designed for smaller homes and apartments. That’s why the C1 Compact is lighter (4.3kg compared to 7.3kg,) has a smaller 3.5 litre dirt capacity, and a tiny 5.5m power cord. The result is that it’s portable and easy to store, but less convenient for medium or large homes.

Size isn’t the only difference though. Both vacuums have the same accessories, but these are only integrated into the C3. The C3 Pure Red is also controlled with ergonomic foot pedals, instead of the manual rotary dial on the C1.

As you would expect, the larger design and extra features also make the C3 Pure Red a more expensive option.

Versions

There’s only one Miele Compact C1 model, but you can find a few different versions of the C3 Complete. The main differences are in the floorhead, filters, and accessories. All models include a dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool as standard.

At the time of writing there are four other Miele C3 Complete models:

  • Miele Complete C3 Powerline – This vacuum is the same as the Pure Red model, but in a different colour. It uses the same universal Allteq floorhead, AirClean filter, and has integrated accessories.
  • Miele Complete C3 Total Solution Powerline – The Total Solution has an upgraded Turboteq floorhead that uses airflow to power a rotating brush roll. It also comes with HEPA filtration (in the form of a HEPA AirClean filter) and a parquet brush twister accessory.
  • Miele Complete C3 Silence– This model has a smaller “silence” motor, the Ecoteq Plus floorhead, and a Silence AirClean filter for quieter cleaning.
  • Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Pro Powerline – Designed for pet owners, this version uses an Active AirClean filter to reduce pet odours, and has the upgraded TurboTeq turbo brush for deeper cleaning on carpets.

We’ll be focusing on the Miele C3 Complete Pure Red in this comparison, but many of the design features are the same across Complete C3 models.

Design and Weight

The ever-popular design of Miele cylinder vacuums means the C1 Compact and C3 Complete Pure Red look similar, except the C1 is smaller. Some other key differences make these vacs suited to different tasks.

While they both use the same bagged emptying system, the C3 has a more generous 4.5 litre dirt capacity, instead of 3.5 litres with the C1. It won’t need emptying as often, which is good for bigger homes that require more cleaning.

However, a compact design also means less weight. The C1 is just 4.3kg instead of the heavier 7.3kg of the C3, so it’s much easier to carry around. The good news is that most of the weight is supported by the castor wheels, at least when you’re cleaning floors, making both vacuums easy to manoeuvre.

As for user comfort, both the C1 and C3 have an automatic cord rewind operated by a foot pedal. But the C3 also has ergonomic foot suction controls, whereas the C1 has a rotary dial to switch between suction power settings. This isn’t so convenient if you suffer from a bad back, as you’ll need to bend down to change modes.

Winner of the “Design” Category: Miele C3 Complete Pure Red

The foot pedals, longer cord length, and bigger capacity make the C3 the more versatile and easy-to-use vacuum. But there’s still a place for the C1 in smaller homes, or those wanting a lightweight vacuum.

Cleaning Performance and Suction Power

The Miele C1 Compact and Miele C3 Complete Pure Red both offer powerful cleaning due to their identical 890W motors. 

There are also six power options on both vacuums. This makes it simple to clean a range of surfaces, from delicate fabrics to thick carpets. You probably won’t use all of these settings regularly, but it’s great to have the option when required.

Floor Cleaning

The C1 and C3 both use Miele’s universal Allteq floorhead, which, despite the lack of rotating brush roll, is brilliant on hard floors and carpets (including high pile carpet.) The retractable brushes are also simple to click up or down for switching between floor types.

We don’t have any major complaints about this floorhead, although it can sometimes struggle with larger debris on bare floors. Particles tend to get pushed around unless you lift the head, which can be frustrating.

As both vacuums have the same motor and floorhead, the biggest difference when cleaning floors is the cord length.

The C1 has a short 5.5m cord, so you need to frequently swap plug sockets. It’s actually one of the shortest cords we’ve reviewed and limits the C1 smaller homes. Meanwhile, the C3 has a longer 8.5m power cord, so you have a much wider cleaning radius.

Even so, both vacuums provide excellent floor cleaning performance.

Above Floor Cleaning

Both cleaners have a stretch hose and telescopic stainless steel tube, so they manage high-up cleaning with ease. The crevice tool and dusting brush are also useful for above floor cleaning.

It’s worth noting, however, that the C1 is smaller and lighter, making it easier to lift. It’s also more compact for sitting on stairs.

Pet Hair

You don’t get a motorised pet tool with either the C1 Compact or the C3 Complete Pure Red. While we recommend a turbo tool if you have pets, both these Miele vacuums clean pet hair surprisingly well on carpets and hard floors.

The strong suction clears pet hair without the vacuum cutting out. And the bagged design provides a hygienic way to dispose of hair and dander without coming into contact with it.

Still, you might want to look at upgrading to the Cat & Dog model if you have pets, as the floorhead on this vac has a rotating brush bar to agitate fibres and achieve a deeper clean.

Winner of the “Cleaning Performance” Category: Miele C3 Complete Pure Red

The longer reach and larger capacity make the C3 easier to use around the home without stopping. There’s not a huge amount in it, however, and the C1 offers a strong performance if you’re tight on space.

Filtration

The Miele C1 Compact and C3 Complete Pure Red both use the same AirClean filter, along with HyClean dust bags.

While the vacuums don’t come with a HEPA filter, which is the gold standard for removing dust and allergens from the air, it’s still an effective filtration system. The bags are self-sealing too, so there’s minimal contact with dirt, dust, and other allergens.

Winner of the “Filtration” Category: A Draw

Both vacuums use the same AirClean filter and bagged emptying system.

Tools and Accessories

You get the same crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery nozzle with the Miele C1 Compact and the C3 Complete Pure Red.

They’re good quality tools that increase the versatility of the vac, by allowing you to clean more than just floors.

But the big difference is that tools are integrated inside the main body of the C3. This makes them much easier to transport and store than with the C1, where they’re stored separately or using a clip. On-board storage also means the tools are less likely to get lost!

Winner of the “Tools and Accessories” Category: Miele C3 Complete Pure Red

Although the tools are the same, we like the on-board storage of the Miele C3.

Price

There’s a big difference in price between the Miele C1 Compact and Miele C3 Complete Pure Red. But is the C3 Pure Red worth the extra cost?

It depends on what you need. While the C1 provides great value, it just isn’t designed to clean big areas. So, if you’re looking for a cleaner for larger spaces, the wider cleaning radius and bigger dirt capacity make the C3 far more suitable.

With that said, the C1 pretty much matches the C3 for cleaning performance, while being smaller, lighter, and more suited to tight spaces. So, if you have a small home, there probably isn’t any need to fork out the extra cash.

Winner of the “Value for Money” Category: It Depends

Both vacuums serve different purposes and are excellent at what they do, so it depends on your needs.

Specification

Ninja Column 1Vacuum 1Vacuum 2
Miele C1 Compact PowerlineMiele C3 Complete Pure Red PowerLine
TypeCylinder Cylinder
BagBaggedBagged
FilterAirCleanAirClean
Price Range£££££
Power (W)890890
Cord Length (m)5.58.5
Weight (kg)4.37.3
Capacity (Litres)3.54.5
Motorised ToolNoNo
HoseYesYes

Summary and Key Differences

Let’s recap the main differences between the Miele C1 Compact and Miele C3 Complete Pure Red.

  • Suction Power: They both use the same 890W Powerline motor for impressive suction power. They also have six different suction settings.
  • Filtration: They both use AirClean filters and HyClean bags.
  • Floorhead and Tools: They both come with the same Allteq floorhead and have the same accessories, but the C3 has on-board tool storage.
  • Weight: At 4.3kg, the C1 Compact is much lighter than the 7.3kg of the C3.
  • Reach: The C3 has a longer reach due to the 8.5 power cord (vs 5.5m for the C1.)
  • Ease of use:  The C3 has foot pedals for suction power, while the C1 Compact has a rotary dial. Both have castor wheels.
  • Price: The C1 Compact is cheaper, but it’s less suitable for bigger homes.

Which Should You Buy?

If you have anything bigger than an apartment or small home, the Miele C3 Complete Pure Red is the best choice.

It’s more expensive, but the extra reach and generous dirt capacity make it the more convenient option. Plus, we love the ergonomic controls and integrated accessories.

The Miele C1 Compact is still a nifty cylinder vacuum for small homes or flats though. It has the same tools and filters, and we can’t knock its cleaning power and lightweight design. But the short-reach is a big drawback that you shouldn’t overlook.

Overall, they’re both outstanding vacuum cleaners for different purposes.

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