In our books, if you want a buy-it-for-life vacuum, you’re going to want a Miele–specifically their made-in-Germany canister line. If you can spare the money for a Complete C3 model, such as the Complete C3 Cat & Dog, our overall favorite Miele, you’ll be the owner of one of the absolute best vacuums on the market. However, if you live in Canada, you’re probably not going to enjoy paying higher prices than you would if you lived a few hours to the south in the United States. A Miele is amazing, but after all, you still need to keep a roof over your head.
Fortunately, Miele’s been listening to our feedback, and some years ago, began to sell a line of canisters exclusively to Canadians. We’re reviewing them piece by piece, and we’re happy to say they’re every bit as good as their American counterparts. We recently reviewed the only-available-in-Canada Miele Compact C2 Total Care and found it to be a solid vacuum; today we’re going to review the Miele Complete C3 Total Care in Navy Blue and compare it to the C2 equivalent. Our thoughts in ten seconds are to buy the C3 for the foot-switch controls, larger cleaning capacity, and ability to upgrade the electric powerhead, and to buy the C2 to save money and a bit of weight. Our full review is below, and you can buy the Complete C3 Total Care here.
Pros, cons, and key features of the Miele Complete C3 Total Care
The Complete C3 Total Care is one of a growing number of canisters Miele has released exclusively in Canada over the last few years. Whether in the US or in Canada, Miele sorts their canisters by C-categories. At the C1 level, you’ll find the Compact C1 Celebration and the Classic C1 Cat & Dog. Among the Compact C2 models, Canadian-only Mieles include the Cat and Dog, Total Care, and Hard Floor. At the Complete C3 level, there’s the HomeCare, the Total Care we’re reviewing today, the Power Plus, and the Limited Edition. Finally, in the Blizzard Cx1 line, which is as yet unavailable in the US market, there’s the Cat and Dog Cleaner, the Hard Floor Cleaner, and the Total Care Cleaner. There are a lot of models; fortunately, we’re reviewing all of them.
The Complete C3 Total Care’s key features include its 1,200 watt Miele Vortex motor, a 36 foot operating radius (11 m), and a 24 foot (7.5 m) cable that rewinds at the touch of a button. The C3 also includes a crush-proof hose and electro-telescopic stainless steel wand that can power both electric and air-powered brushes. The canister itself features a bumper on the handle to protect furniture while cleaning. It weighs 11.9 pounds (5.4 kg) fully loaded.
The standard six power settings are included, including Miele’s famed silent baby-friendly cleaning mode, but you can switch between them via foot-switches on the canister; an illuminated indicator shows you your current power setting. You also get a park system that allows you to stand the wand and cleaning head beside the vacuum and automatically turn it off whenever you want to take a break from cleaning (e.g., to answer a phone call). The full-sized canister holds 4.5 L GN dust bags and is rated by Miele to deliver at least 20 years of service on average. Given what we’ve seen of other C3 Miele canisters, we’d put the estimate closer to 30.
Which accessories and cleaning heads ship with the Complete C3 Total Care?
A benefit of choosing the Complete C3 Total Care is that the full-sized canister is also large enough to fit the 3 included accessories–a crevice nozzle, a dusting brush, and an upholstery tool–inside the canister. Miele follows their standard approach of sorting their canisters by the usefulness of their cleaning heads. The Complete C3 Total Care falls toward the mid-to-higher end of the Miele pack, and can clean bare floors and low- to medium-pile carpets and area rugs with the default cleaning heads.
For bare floor cleaning, you’ll have the SBB Parquet-3 smooth floor tool, which is basically the SBB 300-3 Parquet head by another name. It’ll tackle hardwood, engineered wood, vinyl, laminate, ceramic tiles, marble, bamboo, concrete, brick, and similar surfaces with ease. It’s particularly nice to have with hardwood floors as it tends to polish them while cleaning them due to the soft and dense brushes included at the head.
You’ll also get the SEB 217-3 electrobrush, which we’ve reviewed elsewhere and found easily capable of handling low- and medium-pile carpets (e.g., typical Saxonies, berbers,and cut and loops) and area rugs. However, it’s of limited use with high-pile carpets, friezes, or soft carpets due to the lack of height adjustability in the cleaning head. To clean those, you’ll want the upgraded SEB 228 electrobrush. That said, if you don’t need to clean higher or softer piles of carpet, it’ll easily work for anything else on the market, and it can be used both with and without the roller brush (e.g., if you want to clean a bare floor, which wouldn’t benefit from the beater bar).
What’s the difference between the Miele Complete C3 Total Care, the Compact C2 Total Care, and the Complete C3 Cat & Dog?
Aside from price, the difference between these three models comes down to canister and cleaning head variations. The Compact C2 Total Care is a smaller and lighter canister (10.6 vs 11.9 pounds), but it also lacks the foot switches, easy parking, and length (33 feet vs 36 feet) of the C3 models, as well as the ability to store accessories within the canister.
The C3 Total Care cleans exactly like the C2 (bare floors and low-to medium-pile carpets), as both are equipped with the same caliber of cleaning heads. However, because the C3 Total Care ships with an electric head, you can upgrade it to the aforementioned SEB 228 electrobrush to gain access to high pile and plush carpets. The Compact C2, on the other hand, will never be able to use an electric head because it lacks the necessary electric connectors since it ships with a non-electric cleaning wand.The C3 Cat & Dog includes the SEB 228 out of the box as well as an additional mini Turbobrush, the STB 101, to make quick work of pet hair and fur on sofas and other upholstery.
Why buy the Complete C3 Total Care?
Buy the Complete C3 Total Care if you’re tired of buying unreliable and disposable vacuums. It comes from a long line of vacuums built to last for decades while working in near silence. It’s well designed, attractive, ergonomic, and for most families and individuals, is the only vacuum you’ll ever need. We’d particularly recommend buying it over the Compact C2 model simply due to the ability to upgrade electric heads in the future. If you’d like the SEB 228 out of the box as well as a few additional goodies, there’s always the C3 Cat & Dog.
Canadians can buy the Miele Complete C3 Total Care here or downgrade to the Compact C2 Total care here. For access to high-pile and soft carpets, buy the SEB 228 electric brush head here or upgrade to a canister that already includes it, the Complete C3 Cat & Dog, here.
If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can follow our efforts to keep maniacally reviewing home cleaning tools by shopping through our links above. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against every horror children, animals, and grown, yet messy humans can inflict upon a clean home.