The more years pass, the more it seems like Miele is incapable of making a bad canister vacuum cleaner. We’ve had the pleasure of using a number of excellent Mieles in more than a decade of carpet and hardwood floor cleaning, and they’ve rarely let us down. These days, we’ve been taking the Compact C2 line to jobs requiring floor care, and we recently reviewed the Compact C2 Onyx and Quartz. Both performed admirably, but the Onyx pulled ahead due to its dedicated brush heads. Today we’ll take a look at the two higher end Compact C2s, the Compact C2 Electro+ and Compact C2 Topaz canisters, each of which features high end independent brush heads, in order to determine which does a better job on both carpets and hardwood floors. If you’re in a hurry and ready to buy, we’ll let you in on a secret: the two vacuums are almost exactly alike; one just costs a lot less (the Electro+) because it’s succeeding the other (the Topaz). As a result, we recommend the Compact C2 Electro+, and you can buy it here.
Pros, Cons, and Key Features of the Miele Compact C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum Cleaner (SDCE0)
Out of the box, we knew we’d stumbled onto something special with the Electro+. As with the Compact C2 Onyx, it came with the SBB 300-3 Parquet Twister Brush, which meant we weren’t going to spend any amount of time pushing around dust and dirt on hardwood floors instead of actually sucking it up and moving on to the next job. It also meant that we weren’t going to risk damaging hardwood floors no matter how delicate they were, as could sometimes occur with more “energetic” brush heads. In other words, this was a vacuum that could handle any kind of smooth flooring, and handle it with ease. However, that wasn’t where things ended. As noted above, there are two independent brush heads with the Electro+ and Topaz. So what’s the second?
It’s the Electro Comfort electro brush; the SEB 217-3, to be specific. This is entirely too much to say, but the long and short of it is that it’s an electrically-driven brush head that turns any Miele capable of driving it into a Miele capable of tackling both low- and medium-pile carpets and rugs with ease. Think of it like the Turbo brush on steroids (or since steroids are bad, on a healthy diet of organic, farm-raised, free-range cleaning enhancers). We didn’t experience any hesitation or entanglement with low-pile or medium-pile carpets, and it was almost as easy to clean them as it was to use the Parquet head on smooth flooring. It was also significantly smoother and required fewer passes to clean out pet stains (think dog urine, cat vomit, dog vomit, and cat urine–all mixed together in some strange territorial dance) and human stains (the drinking kind, the eating kind, the toddler-sick-from-daycare kind). To put it simply, we were satisfied. More than satisfied; this is the best vacuum we’ve reviewed under $1,000 for hardwood floors, low-pile carpeting, and medium-pile carpeting.
Naturally, the Electro+ shared the winning features of its lower-end Compact C2 siblings, including the 33-foot operating radius, an AirClean system (we particularly appreciated the included HEPA filter), 1,200 watts of power, an AirClean sealed system (to reduce allergen dispersion), and a silence mode among the six settings. The standard three accessories–the crevice nozzle, the upholstery tool, and the dusting brush–were also included. On top of all of this, we also liked that the handle grip on the end of the telescoping wand featured controls for the electro brush, saving us the need to reach down to the brush head to make adjustments. Overall, it left us with a very positive impression of the Miele brand in general and of the Topaz in particular.
With as much as the Electro+ brought to the table, we imagined it might be hard for the Topaz to compete, but compete it did, and admirably. Rather than playing the standard game of stripping key features from the next-tier model in order to up sell the buyer, Miele actually decided to include both the Parquet head and the Electro brush head in the Topaz. In fact, nearly everything in the Electro+ was also in the Topaz. Why? Because they’re almost exactly the same vacuum.
We didn’t believe it at first, but after examining both vacuums in detail, we realized they looked almost exactly the same (very good), they cleaned in pretty much the same way (very well), and they had nearly identical model numbers (the Electro+’s number is more advanced). We then went and called Miele and they confirmed it with us from Germany. The Electro+ is the successor to the Topaz, much in the same way that the Classic C1 Olympus succeeded the S2121.
In fact, the only differences we could discern between the two models besides things like names and model numbers were price and weight. Specifically, the Topaz inexplicably costs significantly more than the Electro+ despite being the older equivalent model; we think this is because the Topaz is slowly becoming harder to find due to being discontinued, but we’re not entirely sure yet. What we are sure of is that the two vacuums come with the same features and clean the same way, but one costs much more than the other.
It’s also worth noting that the Electro+ weighed significantly more than the Topaz at close to 19 pounds in the Elecro+ compared to a shade over 14 pounds in the Topaz. Considering the fact that all the other Compact C2s weighed in at approximately 14 pounds on our scale, we’re not entirely sure what inside the Electro+ made it tip the scales, but it’s something to keep in mind, as it did make a significant difference when hauling the Electro+ up and down stairs.
Overall, we loved the Topaz. We just didn’t feel like paying more for it, so we preferred the Electro+.
Is the Compact C2 Topaz Worth it Over the Compact C2 Electro+?
In a word, no. When it came to value, we felt that the Electro+ did pretty much everything the Topaz did (except for weighing less) while costing less. Since what’s ultimately most important to us is cleaning power, we couldn’t justify paying for exactly the same levels of functionality. That said, we found it hard to complain about the Topaz, and easily rated it as one of the two best canister vacuums under $600. It did an excellent job in nearly every environment; we just felt the Electro+ did the same things for less money. That said, if weight is a deal-breaker for you, you’ll want to strongly consider the Topaz, as it did weigh significantly less.
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