Our In-Depth Review
The S7 Series by Miele are Upright models. The Miele Salsa S7280 and Miele FreshAir S7280 are full sized upright vacuum cleaners with a hose and on board tools.
There are two rear wheels at the back of the vacuum, and two 360-degree front castor wheels, which help the vacuum to move with great fluidity. All the switches are nicely situated right by the upright handle.
You can adjust the suction with the rotary dial, and switch from carpet to hard floors with a flip of a switch.
The 12-foot hose and extendable wand wrap nicely at the back of the unit. The two on board tools also snap in place on the back of the vacuum when they are not in use.
Another important design element is Miele designed the Salsa and FreshAir with an anti-tipping device. What this means is when you are using the hose, if you reach too far forward, the vacuum won’t tip over.
Instead it will simply roll towards your location on its 360-degree front castor wheels. Even though this is an upright model, it still has some excellent design elements like a canister vacuum.
The Miele S7280 vacuum is a bagged model. We were surprised with how thick the 5.45-quart vacuum bag was. The bag acts as one of the filters on the machine.
What is nice about the Miele bag system is it automatically closes and self seals when you pull the bag off the machine. This means no dust kicks back up in your face when you are taking the bag out. There also is an indicator light on the front of the vacuum that lets you know when the bag is full and needs to be changed. You can read more about how to change the vacuum bags on this model towards the end of this review.
Our favorite aspect of this upright vacuum cleaner was how well it moves. It has a patented SwivelNeck design coupled with 360-degree front castor wheels.
It moves and spins around remarkably easily. At VacuumWizard we have tested many vacuums, including the Dyson Ball, and we like the way this upright moved better than any other upright model we have tested.
It really feels that nice to move around. It also has a lower and deep cleaning head, so we could really get under the cabinet edge, and furniture easily.
Performance: Using the Miele S7280 Salsa
This is a tremendously well-rounded machine. The Miele S7280 vacuum does a wonderful job cleaning in virtually every situation. It also moves around really well, and has nice on board tools.
It does well on carpets, hard flooring, stairs, and with the long hose and attachments, it can clean the interior of your car.
It should be noted that although this is a heavier vacuum at 21.5 pounds, it moves like a flyweight machine. The SwivelNeck and 360 degree castor wheels allow it to rotate and clean very nicely.
You will feel a bit more tension though as you pull back on the Miele Salsa or FreshAir. The brush rotates very fast, virtually self-propelling the upright vacuum. The downside to this cleaning power is there is added friction when you pull back.
Performance on Carpets
The Miele S7 is a great machine on carpeting. The vacuum packs a lot of suction power and also has a high-speed brush bar that rotates at 4800 rpm to dislodge any dust or debris from the carpet fiber.
The suction power was just above 22 kilopascals. The typical upright vacuum registers around 20 kilopascals, so the Miele Salsa is above average for suction. Another nice feature is you can actually adjust the suction power of the Salsa depending upon the cleaning situation.
We tested the Miele S7280 with small particles first. We tossed flour on the carpet and it was immediately gobbled up in one pass. To get a closer look, we even went down to the carpet after one pass and turned off the machine.
We brushed the carpet back and forth to see if some flour was pushed down into the carpet instead of sucked up, but none was to be found. Using flour simulates fine dust particles or animal dander. There was no dust cloud kicked up. Everything went right inside the vacuum bag, like it is supposed to.
Crushed up potato chips were used for larger particles. We tossed these on the floor and ran them over with the Miele. Once again, the particles were cleaned up in one pass.
You could actually see the potato chip debris get pulled towards the vacuums suction before we even were able to get the machine to them. It was quite impressive. It also does a great job with pet hair. The brush bar rotates so fast, no pet hair stands a chance after a few passes with the Miele Salsa.
Performance on Rugs
Rugs are sometimes tricky to clean. We have tested different models that pack as much or more suction than the Miele Salsa, but they couldn’t clean rugs as well as the Miele does.
The reason is simple. The Miele S7 Salsa comes equipped with adjustable suction power. If you have the suction set on too high for a rug, the vacuum will lift the rug off the hard floor.
With the Miele Salsa, if this happens, you turn the suction power down on the dial. Then you can proceed to clean the rug.
Also, rugs vary in thickness. One set level of suction is never the right way to go. With the adjustable suction power, entry rugs, bathroom rugs, kitchen rugs, and large area rugs can all be cleaned up without having to use the on board tools.
Performance on Hard Floors
Hard floors are also cleaned up easily. You can switch from carpeting or rugs to hard floors with the flip of a switch. Right at the top of the vacuum is the power switch and the carpet or hard floor switch.
Simply switch to hard floors and turn off the brush bar. Then turn up the dial to ‘smooth’ so you have the suction power all the way up.
We really liked how the lower clearance on this Miele S7 upright vacuum could get under the lip of the cabinets. You should go head on when cleaning under the cabinets because this vacuum sucks up debris easier this way. With the flour small particle test, it left a faint white residue after a few passes.
We activated the brush bar that is for carpeting to get all the flour dust off the wood flooring. The Miele was excellent with large particles like crushed potato chips.
Sometimes with inferior vacuums on hard flooring larger pieces of debris get pushed instead of fitting under the vacuum head. The Miele doesn’t do this because the 360-degree castor wheels keep the vacuum at the right height at all times.
The edge of the carpet or the hard floor can be cleaned with the upright vacuum mode for the Miele S7280. We recommend going at the edge of the floor head on.
If you go at the edge of the floor with the side of the vacuum, it won’t suck up all the debris right against the wall’s edge. When you attack head on, the brush bar and powerful suction will get the carpet or hard floor clean.
Attachments / Onboard Tools
All the on board tools are stored directly on the vacuum. Wrapped around the perimeter of the vacuum is the hose and extendable wand. The hose looks very short at first glance, but you can really stretch this hose out very far.
We reached all the way up to the top of a vaulted ceiling (12 feet up) without any problems. The three tools that come with this Miele are a stair brush, a crevice tool for tight spots, and the upholstery brush for dusting off couches, curtains or furniture.
The Miele S7 vacuum is also designed to not tip over if you overextend your reach. The vacuum instead will roll towards the direction you pull it. In a way, it moves like a canister vacuum as you use the on board tools.
Zero particles sized 0.3 microns or larger were detected with our laser particle scanner. There are several steps that Miele takes to ensure all allergens, dust, dander, and any other air borne particles don’t escape the wrath of the Miele S7 Salsa.
That last sentence might be overly dramatic, but for people with asthma or allergies, nothing could be more wonderful than a vacuum that emits dust free exhaust.
There are three filters on the Miele Salsa. First is a pre-motor filter that requires replacing once a year (estimated price is $8 per filter). The second filter is the vacuum bag. This AirClean bag (estimated price for a four pack of bags is $19) has 9-layers to trap even the smallest of debris.
It also has a spring-loaded, self-locking collar. This means when you take the bag out, it locks the dust in, and none of it will kick back out on the carpet or on you.
Finally, there is the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA for short) Filter. This is located on the base of the vacuum. It captures the very fine dust that isn’t trapped by the vacuum bag.
It also is equipped with a Generally Activated Charcoal filter. This charcoal filter absorbs odors, so the exhaust is refreshingly odor free. You will have to replace this filter on average once a year (estimated price is $50 per filter).
Ease of Use
One thing the Miele Company prides itself on is the ease of use of their machines. This is a bagged vacuum, but it is much cleaner and easier to use than any bagless model or bagged model for that matter that we have tested.
Installing new bags, and emptying them is very easy. A light conveniently indicates when the bag is full so you don’t have to guess by feeling the contents of a dust filled vacuum bag.
There are many other nice features. All the controls are right at your fingertips near the top of the handle. The filters are easy to access and simple to change out. It moves very smoothly.
The on board tools and stretchy hose are snap on and off without much effort at all. Also, the cord is wrapped up near the top of the unit, so you don’t have to bend over to take it off or put it back on.
When you purchase the Miele S7280 Salsa or FreshAir, it is almost ready to go right out of the box. You will have to snap the handle into the machine, but no tools are required to do this. That is the only part that isn’t already in place.
There are two vacuum bags that come with the S7280. One will be in place already, and the other will be with the instruction manuals.
Even though this is a heavier upright at 21.5 pounds, it moves incredibly well. We really loved the SwivelNeck technology.
The 360-degree castor wheels are a feature that is on Miele canister vacuums, and we are very pleased they incorporated this on their upright models.
The brush bar spins at a rate of 4800 revolutions per minute, which is incredibly fast.
The fast spinning gives this vacuum the feel that it is self-propelled on carpeting especially when moving forward.
The 39-foot cord is also a nice feature. This increases the amount of area you can clean without having to unplug and find a new outlet. Also, the cord is nice and smooth. We notice that some cords are rougher to the touch and actually hurt to wind up, but this cord is flexible and smooth.
The placement of the cord wrap on the vacuum is ideal. It is placed high up on the vacuum, so you won’t have to bend down to wrap up the cord. It seems as if Miele left no stone unturned when designing their first series of upright vacuum models.
Ease of Use on Stairs
The only way to clean stairs is to use the on board tools with the Miele S7280. Just attach the stair brush to the extendable wand and hose to clean.
We enjoyed the high level of suction power as we cleaned up the carpeted staircase.
One nice design element is there is an extra handle at the back of the machine. Grab onto this handle to carry the vacuum up or down stairs.
It isn’t balanced well if you try to carry it with the handle at the top of the Miele. You will really notice how heavy (21.5 pounds) this machine is when you lift it up to carry it.
The average noise level for an upright vacuum is 80 decibels. The Miele Salsa is much quieter than that at 65 to 75 decibels. For hard flooring, it is around 65 decibels.
On carpeting, the brush bar is activated making the machine noise level reach 75 decibels. Either way, it is much quieter than what most people are familiar with when it comes to vacuuming.
You can actually hold a conversation with someone in the same room as you vacuum.
The maintenance that you will have to perform most often will be changing the bag. The light will go on when it is filled up.
There are two filters that also need to be changed once per year. The first filter is located right on top of the base of the vacuum. You simply pull the silver grate tab up to access this HEPA charcoal filter. Then you can pull the filter straight up to take it out.
It is labeled nicely, so you’ll always know which way to insert it back into the machine. The last filter is hidden behind the vacuum bag.
The motor filter is encased in a green plastic grid. Pull down on the green tab to take out the thin square filter.
Changing the Bag
First pull on the silver tab to open the vacuum up. The AirClean vacuum bag has a green tab at the top where it connects to the Miele S7.
Grasp the green tab, pull down and then out to detach the bag. You have to use a little force to get the bag off.
It self seals, so no dust should kick out at you. To put the new vacuum bag on, line up the arrows and slide it forward onto the green clips.
When the bag snaps into place, push up to seal the collar onto the vacuum. We have changed many different bags on various machines, and this Miele upright is the easiest, cleanest, and best design by far for bagged vacuum models.
Value For Money
The Miele S7280 upright vacuum cleaner is a costly household appliance. There is no avoiding this fact. This doesn’t mean it isn’t right for someone.
The ideal customer would have enough money to buy a top of the line vacuum, but also is concerned about a perfect filtration system. If you suffer from asthma or air borne allergies, the Miele S7 is a great choice. It cleans any floor surface with ease, and is very enjoyable to use.
Final Vacuum Verdict
The Miele S7 vacuum passed all of our tests with ease. It sucks up every kind of debris on any type of flooring.
The SwivelNeck design makes it move unlike any other vacuum model on the market.
It also looks and acts like a high performance vacuum, instead of some plastic toy like so many other cheaper brands out there.