Miele Robot Vacuum Review &
Miele RX1 vs. iRobot Roomba 880
The bottom line: I have been a very big Miele fan for more than 20 years. The Miele RX1 is their first robotic vacuum cleaner, and it is a huge disappointment. It came with high hopes, but Miele isn’t even close to its competitor’s standards. You can get much better cleaning results, quality, and convenience for less money with these models:
Simply the best you can get today.
for pet owners & allergy sufferers.
If you want to find out why we don’t recommend Miele’s RX1, check out our review.
High Expectations – Miele’s RX1
First of all, I have to admit that I am far from objective when it comes to Miele products. They have always been among my favorites. Whether I was searching for a vacuum cleaner, a dishwasher, or a washing machine, they’d always be on my list. I love the design, I like the craftsmanship and the quality feeling when using them. Not even their high prices could make me walk away.
Miele is a German company that has been around since 1899 and has always offered award winning, very high quality, and long lasting products. We already have Miele products, among them the Miele Cat & Dog vacuum, which I highly recommend. Despite knowing that this is their first robot vacuum, my expectations were very high because to date Miele always exceeded my expectations. I purchased it as soon as it became availabile.
It looks great, and honestly, that’s about the only thing that really stands out. My favorite robot to date, the iRobot Roomba 880, is cheaper and better in every single way.
The Benchmark – iRobot’s Roomba 880
We have tested about 75 robot vacuums to date, and we will put all reviews online. Please be patient with us please, it really takes time to put the reviews together. Right now, the Roombas 650, 770, and 880 are our benchmark models, each on its own price and features level. The only one coming really close overall is the Neato Botvac D80, and its review will be online shortly.
What you can expect from the best in class.
- It cleans on laminate and tile floors, hardwood, and carpets, regardless of pile height.
- Automatic Floor Surface Adjustment keeps it from getting stuck while making the transition from one floor type to the next.
- Scheduled cleaning allows programming up to seven days in advance, so it will clean the floors while you are working, sleeping, or having fun.
- Multi-room cleaning features ensure that your entire floor gets clean–not just one area or a single room.
- You can set off-limits areas where you do not want the vacuum to go.
- It docks and charges itself, so it never runs out of power.
- Cliff sensors keep your vacuum from taking a tumble down the stairs.
- All you really have to do is empty the bin, which is simple with a full bin indicator.
- It picks up pet hair as efficiently as many upright manual vacuum cleaners do.
- HEPA filters capture and hold particles as small as 0.3 microns, or a tiny fraction of the width of a human hair.
- The industry-leading manufacturer ,iRobot, provides outstanding customer support, assistance for do-it-yourself parts replacement and repairs, and a comprehensive website to answer any question you will ever have.
To check out its full review, click here.
According to the manufacturer, the RX 1 comes with:
Smart Navigation, a Ceiling Camera, a Triple Cleaning System, 4+1 cleaning modes, a furniture protection system and a battery of lithium-ion plus a remote control and who knows what else.
If the robot had done a good job, I would have started to go into detail at this point trying to figure out why. As the results are disappointing, to put it nicely, I’ll skip that. Its fancy sounding features may work well in marketing, but not in the machine.
Besides that, the only feature you would ever recognize anyway is the remote control, which the Roomba 880 has too, if you care about that kind of thing. Personally, what I love most about such a device is to set it up ONCE, letting it do its job and only being involved when it needs bin cleaning. That’s my benchmark, and exactly what I get from my Roombas.
I had it for one week, ran it 10 times on my upper floor, which is normally cleaned by my iRobot Roomba 880, and in the basement for testing where I normally run a Roomba 770. I am very happy with both, click the links to check out the reviews.
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Cleaning is okay at best, and only because I like the brand, and if the room is small enough to cover with one charge. If the room is bigger, we experienced a strange thing.
Miele states that the battery is very powerful and its tested run time is only minutes behind the promised two hours. The thing is, if it returned to the docking station for a recharge before it finished the whole area (I tested that in my basement, which is bigger than the first floor), it didn’t seem to pick up where it left off, like the Neato XV-21 or the Neato XV Signature Pro for example do, but from the very beginning. As a result, it cleaned the already cleaned part of the room again, running out of juice exactly where it ran out of juice last time, leaving the previously not cleaned portion uncleaned again. Not so smart if you ask me.
If it didn’t run out of power before returning to the charging dock, it still left heavier debris behind in the very middle of the room, and even some pet hair (we live with a Labrador retriever) in the corners and along sideboard edges. It got stuck on one of my rugs (pretty high) that the Roomba climbs every single time.
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It got stuck three times, and stopped another two times with some mysterious error and couldn’t find its way back to the charger once from another room, which I am also not used to.
The RX1 comes with magnetic strips. If you are new to this, these are used to block areas you don’t want it to go for some reason and they look like this. I don’t like them, and I am pretty sure that once you have experienced iRobot’s Virtual Walls or Virtual Wall Lighthouses from the Roombas, you won’t either. The strips look, at least to me, like a director’s mistake in a movie, like the wristwatch in Ben Hur.
What we’ve seen is that the RX1 likes to eat wires and cords, so I would highly recommend to pick those up from your floors.
I am not sure if it comes with cliff sensors, but it almost fell down the stairs once.
If you use it in areas which need more cleaning because of heavy dirt, one can try to get better results using the remote and different cleaning modes, which, again, is not my idea of “automatic”.
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Noise seems to be relevant for many and is pointed out in some Amazon reviews, so let me tell you that it is quieter than the Roombas. As our Roombas are scheduled Monday to Friday when nobody is home, noise isn’t relevant to me. Manufacturers seem to achieve less noise, at least in our experience, by reducing suction power, which leads to bad cleaning results, so discussing this point doesn’t make too much sense. I also haven’t read or heard of anyone complaining that a Roomba, which provides best-in-class cleaning results, is too loud. Funny anyway, right? We are talking about a vacuum cleaner. If you want to know more about that, check out our Robot Vacuum Cleaner 101.
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Some manufacturers try very hard to make their robots look very “smart”, covering the room in a logical way only once, which leads to getting the job done very fast and appearing very clever. Trouble is that we haven’t tested any vacuum yet that has the ability to clean up everything by going over it only ONCE. Therefore it’s nice to watch, but the cleaning result isn’t good, and unfortunately it’s the same with this one. Heavier debris and some pet hair weren’t picked up, which was worst on a rug.
We have Noise and AI covered in more detail in our Robot Vacuum Cleaner 101; if you’d like to know more, check it out.
Miele RX1 vs. Roomba
It’s quieter and finishes cleaning faster than my Roombas, both the 770 and the 880, which are the only advantages over the Roombas. I believe that these advantages are the reasons that the cleaning results aren’t good. Compared to its price (click to check it out on Amazon), it’s more expensive than any of the Roombas (click to check it out on Amazon), while delivering worse results. Therefore let’s cut it short: get a Roomba. To find out which suits you best, check out these reviews:
Hope this review helps you spend your money on a good product.