Miele S8990 UniQ Canister Vacuum Review – Quality vs Price?

The Miele S8990 UniQ canister vacuum cleaner goes a step beyond other models from this popular brand like the Alize and Capri in both form and function. While it has the same powerful 1200 watt low-noise motor, it has some extra features that make it great for all types of flooring and carpet.

Miele S8990 UniQ Canister Vacuum Review

Last update on 2022-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ease of Use

Aside from replacing the bag and filter when needed, which really isn’t difficult, the S8990 is very easy and comfortable to use on a regular basis. It has a deluxe grip handle with the controls right on it, so you don’t need to bend over to change anything, which is especially convenient if you’re going from hardwood floors to carpet and back again.

For storage, it has two parking positions, so you can store it with the canister down or vertical depending on the type of space you have available. The construction is also lightweight so you won’t break your back moving it around or even carrying it when necessary.

The S8990 UniQ has a 36’ operating radius, which means you won’t need to unplug and replug as often as you move around your house. It also has LED lights under the body and a velvet bumper strip so it won’t leave scuff marks if it gets too close to your baseboards or cabinets.

As far as changing the bag and filter, there are indicators for both so you won’t need to keep checking to see the level of dirt. The bag even has a self-sealing mechanism which seals as it is removed from the canister, so you won’t have a cloud of dust flying around that you need to vacuum up again.

As for the attachments, you get a wide variety including a dusting brush, long crevice tool and upholstery tool that store right inside the top of the canister so they won’t get lost. You also get two different floor heads including one specifically for bare floors and one that works great on all types of carpeting, even those with deep pile like shag.

Allergies & Clean Air

The Miels S8990 comes standard with the patented AirClean system and also a HEPA filter which meets the most stringent standards for removing particles from the air. It captures 99.95% of any particles that can damage your lungs down to as small as 0.1 microns. To give a sense of how tiny that is, a human hair is about 75 microns, and most bacteria can be .2 microns in size. There are 25,400 microns in one inch.

Miele goes one step further and incorporates a TimeStrip indicator into the filter. Over the course of one year, the TimeStrip releases a red line of liquid which lets you know when the filter needs to be changed.

S8990 UniQ vs Complete C3 Brilliant (newest model)

There really seems to be no difference in the older and newer models of this best-selling canister vac. Both have the same powerful motor with less noise than less expensive models. Both use the same types of bags and filters, and they come with the same accessories. The only difference here is you get an additional cleaner head with the Complete C3 Brilliant that is a combination bare floor and carpets tool.

Both also offer an impressive 10-year warranty on the motor and casing and 5 years for the rest of the components. The only other difference is a slight color variance: The S8990 UniQ has a mahogany brown metallic, whereas the Complete C3 Brilliant is a bronze pearl. Both are very similar, but the bronze pearl is a bit more gold than brown.

Ongoing Costs

Like any bagged vacuum cleaner, you’ll need to buy bags for this one. The filters are not washable and need to be replaced as well. However, the bags for this vac hold 4.76 quarts of dirt, and the filters and bags are sold together for about $$ for one bag and filter or about $$ for a pack of 4 bags with 2 filters.

Tools & Accessories

  • Electro Premium Brush – 13 3/8 wide brush roll with a swiveling neck, headlights and 5 height adjustments for different carpet types, including deep pile shag
  • Parquet Twister Floor Brush – Great for hardwood and bare floors and rotates 180 degrees to get around furniture and appliances
  • Upholstery Tool
  • Dusting Brush
  • Extended Crevice Tool
  • Telescopic Wand – stainless steel


  • Color: Mahogany Brown Metallic
  • Motor: 1200 watt low-noise
  • Automatic Cord Rewind: Yes
  • Filters: HEPA
  • Bag Type: Miele G/N
  • Operating Radius: 36’
  • Cord Length: 21’
  • Headlights: Yes
  • Warranty: 10 years on motor and casing; 5 years on all other components
  • Product Manual


  • Amazing suction
  • Works great on all floor types from delicate hardwoods to deep pile carpet
  • HEPA filtration
  • Anti-scuff bumper protects walls from scuff marks
  • Auto cord rewind
  • Headlights
  • Attachments are a good size
  • Very well made


Obviously, this is not a cheap machine either in price or quality. Review after review say that it is more than worth the price, and one 63 year-old woman said it is by far the best vacuum she’s ever owned and it was a smart investment. However, if you are on a tighter budget, other models like the S8590 Alize or S2121 Capri are also good but don’t do as well on thick carpeting.

How does it compare vs Dyson?

In one review from a woman who bought this machine to replace an upright Dyson Animal, she says this one has suction just as good if not better, and she loves that she doesn’t need to push around a big vacuum anymore. The canister on the Miele is so easy to maneuver, and the extension wand and cleaner heads are so low profile you can get under anything.

Final Thoughts

While the Miele S8990 UniQ and the newer Complete C3 Brilliant are quite expensive, reviews from people who bought and use them on a regular basis say both vacs are more than worth the price. If it’s in your budget and you don’t want a full-size upright to push and pull around, either one of these canisters is a good investment and will last you for many years to come. Amazon currently has the S8990 on sale for special off. You can also get a great price there on the newer model, the Complete C3.

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