In fairness, owing to its gargantuan size, the Dynamic U1 is a far more effective and versatile cleaner compared to the AirRam, but it’s worth keeping in mind just how large it is, especially if you live in a compact home. But for its size, it is surprisingly nimble, but that’s also like saying the cornering on a tank is surprisingly tight.
With the two side-by-side it’s a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger next to Danny DeVito. In contrast, the AirRam measures 1,125x292x258mm and weighs just 3.8kg. To put it into better perspective, the Dynamic U1 measures 1,150x386x264mm and weighs a significant 9.7kg.Just one look at the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat&Dog upright vacuum cleaner and you can tell it means business. That’s just due to the mere fact that it’s about twice as big as an upright like the Gtech AirRam.
When you’re not actively vacuuming, it is slightly easier to move around due to being able to tip it back on its rear wheels rather than having the full head be in contact with the floor as you push, but there’s no getting away from just how large a vacuum this is.You’ll get a considerable workout pushing the Dynamic U1 around, which is made harder for its suction power.
The rear height of the head will stop you getting under many sofas, however. It means the U1 can actually lie completely horizontal with the vacuum head still in contact with the floor so you can vacuum underneath objects such as beds.To actually adjust the angle of the main unit, there’s a foot pedal that disengages the lock so it can be tilted back in use.
I’ll discuss this more a little later.The handle has a trigger style grip, which is comfortable to hold and allows you to twist and rotate. This is designed for more intensive vacuuming scenarios, especially for well trodden in dirt, but it shouldn’t be engaged for deep pile carpets as the motor could potentially pull up the carpet threads. The power switch is also located here alongside another switch that activates the electrobrush mechanism on the head.
Accessories and Range
The cable can then be attached to the handle when in use to help keep it out of the way. Like the Vax Air Lift Steerable Pet, you can rotate one of the hooks to quickly release the cable when needed. There’s no automatic cable rewind system, so you’ll have to manually wind it around two hooks on the rear.Between the telescopic wand and 10m power cable, you have an operating reach of around 14m, so you don’t have to find another power socket too often.
There is also a mini turbobrush for tougher upholstery, such as car seats and, most usefully, carpeted stairs, but unfortunately, there’s nowhere to store this. The main vacuum body has a dial that lets you adjust the suction level based on different surfaces needing to be cleaned. Due to the sheer size and weight of the Dynamic U1, it’s not the best choice of vacuum if you have a multi-storey house but the telescopic nozzle and turbobrush do help to at least mitigate some of the difficulties.
There’s a separate flexible nozzle you can disengage from the rear of the vacuum, which is attached to a telescopic pole that extends to double its length. It’s a little fiddly to get out initially but you soon get used to it. A good selection of accessories is included, including an upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle and a dusting brush. Usefully, these are stowed away in the back of the vacuum so they’re easily accessible.
Vacuum Bags and Filters
The vacuum bags have a 6l capacity, so these won’t have to be changed that often, either. That’s a good thing, as at around £10.49 for a box of 4, they’re not particularly cheap but they do have some clever features such as charcoal filtration to stop allergens escaping back into the air. You can buy cheaper, non-branded, bags of course if you’re not fussy.
To access the dustbag, you need to unclip the front cover of the vacuum, which surprisingly feels a little flimsy. Removing the bag is at least easy and it automatically seals itself once removed so you’re not greeted by a plume of dirt. Air filters are housed inside the main head and remove 99.9% of fine dust before it is exhausted out of the vacuum.
The filter should be replaced when the indicator timestrip changes colour to red and this is approximately after 50 hours of use. Miele sells different types of filter, including HEPA (£30), Active AirClean (£20) and standard AirClean (£10). The cheapest filter option doesn’t include a timestrip to let you know when it needs replacing, which is a shame. The vacuum model on test included the Active AirClean filter, which is designed to reduce odours and during testing I never noticed any untoward smells. It’s worth factoring the cost of filters alongside the vacuum dustbags as part of the ongoing running costs.
Performance and Use
Performance on hard surfaces proved just as good. Even when I unceremoniously stamped the cat litter deep into the fibres, the electrobrush made light work of it after just a single pass. No cat litter was sprayed about haphazardly, either. While you need to adjust the suction power according to the surface, there’s no need to adjust the vacuum head in any way, which is convenient.Needless to say, a cat litter spill on medium pile carpet proved no problem at all. Suction power barely dropped off as the bag became fuller, dropping marginally to 24kPa.
It owes this in part to the weight of the vacuum that keeps it directly pressed against the floor and, when needed, the electrobrush that gets so deep into the carpet you can see faint marks in the tread from where it’s passed over and dug deep into the fibres. With an empty bin it managed to generate 24.5kPa of suction power, which on paper doesn’t seem a massive amount for a corded vacuum, but in use, you’re not left wanting.The suction power of the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat&Pet is certainly one of its strong points.
Just carrying it up staircases is tiring, and you’ll need to get to the next floor or landing to place it down as the footprint of the head is too large to rest it on a step. Trying to navigate between chair legs is overly-tricky. Suction up against skirting is at least surprisingly good and anything left behind can be finished off with the detachable wand.Use on stairs is difficult due to the size and weight. The size of the head also proves problematic if you have lots of furniture.
The fact that you build up a considerable sweat isn’t helped by the heat generated by the vacuum that is expelled through the exhaust on the top of the head, which seemingly directs it back towards you. It leaves you feeling rather damp after a few minutes of vacuuming.The problems in use with the U1, however, arise due to its sheer size, which I’ve alluded to already. It’s just so large and cumbersome that it becomes tiring to use.
While performance isn’t as good, the Vax Air Lift Steerable Pet would be my preference.While the suction and general performance are impressive, the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat&Dog is just too big and heavy and at 1,400W its power efficiency is also poor. Not only is it significantly cheaper, with the added bonus of reduced running costs due to using a cyclonic cylinder rather than disposable bags, it’s also far more nimble and more than adequate for cleaning anything but the most industrial of messes.
Unless you happen to live in a one-storey studio space with minimalist decor and furniture, you’re likely going to find its size off-putting. Its high initial cost isn’t helped by reasonably high running costs, either. This is not a good vacuum for an elderly user, for example.The size of the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat&Dog means it’s difficult to recommend for most households. Just storing it away is difficult unless you happen to have a pretty large utility cupboard. I also wouldn’t recommend this for anyone who isn’t reasonably athletic.
|Noise – Stated||80dBA|
|Floor types||Carpet, hard floor, upholstery|
|Auto Cord Rewinder?||No|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, upholstery tool, dusting brush, mini motor tool|
|Power and capacity|
|Vacuum power – stated (W)||1,400W|
|Suction – empty (kPa)||24.5kPa|
|Suction – half full (kPa)||24kPa|
|Suction – full (kPa)||24kPa|
|Warranty||One year RTB|