(Pocket-lint) - Miele is known for quality in domestic appliances and has a long history in vacuum cleaners. The Triflex HX1 is a lot more ambitious than its popular cylinder cleaners - and it's a lot more expensive too.
It's a natural competitor to the Dyson V11, offering a stick-type cleaner, but providing a lot of flexibility in the process. It's this versatility that gives this cleaner its appeal.
But does it make it worth its asking price?
- Repositionable PowerUnit for three use modes
- Length: 1297mm / Height: 260mm / Weight: 4kgs
- Finishes: Lotus White & Rose Gold / Graphite Grey & Rose Gold / Ruby Red & Silver
There's no shortage of parts you'll find when opening the Triflex HX1 box. It's a little more like the start of a Lego build, with a range of components packaged. There are so many parts, because the Triflex is designed to be used in three main modes - as its name suggests.
Everything is based around the vortex-driven heart of this cleaner, which is the largest lump, called the PowerUnit. It provides the suction, collects the dirt, houses the HEPA filter (or 'Hygeine Lifetime Filter' for the entry-level model) and the battery.
You can use the PowerUnit on its own, connecting accessories to make it a handheld cleaner that's highly portable. You then have the 'wand' that will extend the reach and, uniquely, the PowerUnit can go at either end - meaning you can have a couple of different modes.
If the PowerUnit is at the top of the wand it's great for high places reaching up with a brush, or in hard to reach places such as right under the sofa, for example. If the Power Unit is at the bottom, it moves the weight down closer to floor level so it behaves much more like a conventional upright cleaner.
In this mode the HX1 is ideal for big floor spaces or carpeted sections when combined with the powered 'Electrobrush'. This brush is also illuminated, doing a great job of showing you just how dirty your floor is. The HX1 will also stand up on its own like this, so you can park it while you move things around. In this mode it's really comfortable to use as you basically don't have to support any weight at all.
What's great is that you can easily switch components around as you clean. It's simply a case of depressing a latch and slotting things together the way you want them. The handle, along with the power slider, moves around so it's in the right place for each configuration.
Outside of the main components there is a crevice tool, brush and upholstery nozzle in the box, with some accessories available to buy separately. There are several different versions: the Cat & Dog offering a narrow powered brush; the Pro adding a second battery and charger. The powered brush and spare batteries are available as extras, so you have some decisions to make when it comes to choosing the appropriate model.
There's also a wall mount, so you can hang the HX1 and all the accessories on the wall of your utility room, ready to use when you need it.
The quality is great, but if there was one thing we think could be more precise then it's the attachment of the dust canister to the PowerUnit. It feels like it should affix a little more positively.
- 14-minute clean time at top power
- 60-minute clean time at low power
- 240-minute recharge time
One of the key attractions of the Triflex HX1 Pro is that it comes with two batteries in the box - although it's a lot more expensive as a result. This means it can talk of 120-minutes of cleaning, but that's really two 60-minute blocks provided by those two batteries. What's also cunning is that there are also two chargers, so you can plug in the cleaner and have another battery sitting on the charger.
The removes any sort of anxiety you might have about going wire-free, because you can always have a fully charged battery to switch to - although a second battery costs £109 if you want to buy one separately instead, and choose a cheaper model of Triflex. The basic model is £479 anyway, so there's quite a price difference.
There's a charge indicator on the PowerUnit so you can see how close to fully charged it is, using a system of flashing lights. It's not as fancy as the Dyson V11's display, but it does the job.
But let's talk about that 60-minute claim. That only applies if you're using the PowerUnit at the lowest power setting without all the other accessories. Once you add on the Electrobrush, which draws more power, and switch up the power, your cleaning time is down to about 14 minutes.
That's 14 minutes of intensive cleaning at full power. Of course, the battery duration will depend on how you use the Triflex HX1. Have it ready to grab in the kitchen when you've dropped flour on the floor or the dog has walked grass cuttings into the house and you'll be done in no time - and in this situation you might be able to go weeks between charges. It really depends on how you plan to use it.
If you have a big and busy house then there's no avoiding that a wired cleaner will make more sense for longer cleaning jobs.
- Removable dust bin
- Illuminated Electrobrush
The performance of the cleaning from the HX1 is good. There's plenty of suction to drive the various tools and, as we said above, the flexibility provided makes this a viable alternative to having a traditional larger vacuum cleaner.
The Triflex's illumination is really good at showing up dirt on hard floors, and when it comes to carpets the rotating brush will lift dirt and hair away, combined with the suction to make sure it gets into the dust bin. It's not as powerful as some wired cleaners, but we found it effective in picking up pet hair and human hair from carpet, for example, and fibres that were well pressed in to medium pile carpet.
However, because of the lighter construction of the HX1, it doesn't feel like you can really drive it against the carpets for the deepest of cleans, like you might do with Miele's cylinder vacuums with metal tubes. If your house is fully carpeted, full of animals and children, you might still want a conventional cleaner for volume cleaning. Devices like the Triflex are better for quick targeted cleaning, when getting out a large vacuum cleaner will take longer than the actual cleaning job you want to do.
As a handheld unit the waste bin is a little on the small side and will need regular emptying. This isn't the sort of cleaner that you can run for a month and then empty, unless you're only using it very sparingly. The whole cylinder detaches from the rest of the unit so you can easily carry it to the bin.
Rotating the top of the bin unlocks it from the PowerUnit and a further rotation releases the bottom so the rubbish can drop out. It's really easy, especially as you can leave the rest of the cleaner assembled while you empty the canister. That's pretty straightforward, but the dirt is prone to sticking, so you might have to pull it out by hand to actually get it to empty.
You can also remove the filters with the recommendation that they are cleared out once a month, with a fine dust filter and a pre-filter both accessible. This is recommended to keep the cleaning nice and powerful over time - and you'll notice the difference when you do clean them out. Miele says that the HX1 has a lifetime HEPA filter, which filters out microscopic particles.
Living with the Miele Triflex HX1 is all about convenience. It's lightweight and versatile, has the power to do the cleaning, so if you have a couple of rooms you need to tidy up or the kitchen needs cleaning quickly, then it's the ideal tool for the job. It's also well suited to cleaning the car because it's easy to carry out to quickly get the job done. That's where the HX1 is at its best: in tackling a variety of smaller cleaning jobs.
The Miele Triflex HX1 is a great cleaning system. It feels like good quality and it has the power to do the job. The powered Electrobrush is good on carpets, while easy access to the battery means you can hot swap them if you have more than one. The dust canister is also easy to change.
The biggest decision, however, is probably the model you should choose. At its 'cheapest' - and we say that somewhat tongue in cheek, as there's no avoiding that this is an expensive cleaner - the Miele undercuts the Dyson V11. However, things get more expensive once you start opting for the extras.
The Triflex HX1's appeal is really the versatility of its design. The modular system means it meets a number of demands that other cleaners can't claim to deliver.
The Dyson V11 offers a similar cleaning time but comes with more powered tools as standard - although like the Miele, there are various versions at various prices. Dyson feels a little more sophisticated with its auto sensor and display, but Miele's modular approach is more versatile.