If you think $900 for a vacuum is insane, the Miele Complete C3 Kona (MSRP $929) might change your mind. It is by far the slickest, smoothest, and best-cleaning vacuum we’ve tested yet.
Other vacuums clean as well, but present users with nitpicking annoyances like wobbly wands and loud brushes. Engineering is what sets the Kona–and Miele in general–apart from its competitors. From storage in the closet to cleaning the carpet or the kitchen floor, Miele has made ease of use paramount. At the end of the day, the C3 Kona will make you less apt to dread vacuuming, and that’s half the battle right there.
The accessories are along for the ride
Like sugar in coffee, accessories are what makes the process of vacuuming go down a little easier. The Kona carries accessories inside its body. Pop open a small compartment and you’ll find a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a dusting brush. These add-ons are pretty standard fare but, like all Miele vacuums we’ve tested, they feel solid and well-built.
To round out the selection, Miele also included a Parquet Twister floor brush, designed to work on bare floors. It’s a unpowered brush head, because you don’t want harsh bristles scraping against your polished hardwoods.
Weighted heavily in your favor
It might surprise you, but Miele tends to strategically place weights in its vacuums to add stability. You can see these weights in action if you walk away from the vacuum during cleaning. You’ll never have to worry about the wand falling over in the middle of your living room—or tipping over in the closet for that matter.
When you decide to take the Kona out to clean or up stairs, the weights don’t detract from the experience. While the brushhead feels sturdy, that’s not to say you’ll feel like you’re pushing around a block of stone. In fact, when you turn on the Electro Plus powered brush, the motor is strong enough to propel itself forward.
Unfortunately, there’s a drawback to that benefit: In our measurements, pulling the brush back requires 2.7 pounds of force—not a huge drag, but enough to tire us out after a half hour of cleaning.
Dirt can’t hide
If you’re going to spend a boatload of money on a vacuum, it better clean well. And so the Kona does, on both high-pile and bare floors. On low carpet, it picked up most of the testing dirt we laid out for it in one pass–and should get your carpets totally clean in two or three passes. When we switched to high-pile carpet, it earned the best scores of any canister we’ve tested thus far.
The Kona doesn’t sweat big debris either. We placed uncooked macaroni and rice on our kitchen floor testing area and watched this Miele go to town. In a single pass, the Kona left the floor spotless. Our debris tests also included pet hair on carpets, to which the Kona gave no quarter. Regardless of how thick your carpets are, the Electro Plus agitated cat and dog hair clean out of thick carpet bristles. Combined with its HEPA filtration system, the Kona is a great way to help reduce allergens at home.
Given its size, this model dealt with tight spaces relatively well. The wand needs just four inches of ground clearance to reach under furniture, meaning Kona owners won’t have to move chairs and couches to clean an entire room. The Electro Plus brush also got a good grade, cleaning right up to the wall from both the front and side, and leaving no edge gap where dirt can accumulate.
It should be noted that all this powerful suction doesn’t grate on the ears. At maximum power, the Kona only produced 64.7 dBA–about as loud as a face-to-face conversation.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Miele covers its vacuums with a two-tier warranty. A seven-year warranty covers both the casing and motor for parts and labor. A one-year warranty covers all other parts, like the hose and wands.
Is $900 too much for a vacuum? For neat freaks who can spend some cash up front, the math works out in Miele’s favor. Given the Kona’s arsenal of accessories, this machine could replace your dust buster, your stick vacuum, and your carpet vac, all at once. And since it’s cheaper to replace most vacuums than have them repaired, buying a Kona means banking on Miele’s warranty.
The Kona’s test results and ease of use stand way out from the pack. It offers excellent dirt pickup on both medium and high-pile carpet, comfortable handling, and a wide array of accessories. Your $900 is an investment in thorough, painless vacuuming, and that’s about the best we could ask for come chore day.