* Prices may differ from that shown
When it came to swapping a Miele vacuum cleaner for another brand, most people would probably think I'd be mad. This is like handing over a Macbook compared to a Netbook with several limited qualities. When returning to a part time cleaning job with a small private franchise recently I was very pleased to meet up with an old college friend who works for a tandem cleaning company who work with the company I work for, from time to time. Whilst it was good to catch up with him and his wife who have started out their own valeting business and has recently purchased a Bosch BSGL4000 of which had recently won a "Best Buy" award from Which UK. He's always wanted a Miele vacuum though but has never seen past the expensive prices. I explained the reason for bringing my recently purchased S6 Eco along with me, since it is much more compact than the commercial Henry vacuums (climbing three flights of carpeted stairs is not an easy job in a mansion with 6kg of vacuum cleaner in one hand and a hose in the other when it never stores on a Henry/Hetty/Numatic), I could see he was eyeing the machine up since the day I had brought it and it wasn't too long for me to wish I had brought another machine with me instead, despite the Miele design. Over lunch a couple of weeks later, he proposed that we swap with his new Bosch vacuum. I told him quite clearly about the Miele S6 Eco and the problem machine before hand with the fact Miele weren't good to me (and any of their vacuums would be susceptible to wet/moist dirt) (don't forget all the free promotion you've been getting from my reviews, Miele UK - Without Prejudice). He was happy to ignore this and so, we swapped our vacuums.
The difference between the Bosch BSGL4000 and the BGLS5000 I bought in December 2010 (yes, the very one that gets used in the garden since the hose keeps coming off the handle and is useless in the home) is that this vacuum is much smaller both by size and dust capacity even though it offers the same as Miele in their compact rivaling S4 and S6 models. The smaller size means it is apt for small flats, homes or even if you struggle to find a place for a vacuum cleaner. However the high filtration self sealing dust bags in the 4000 model are smaller (4 litres) but they are in plentiful supply thanks to the fact that John Lewis also happen to have a similar vacuum under the Bosch model and the bags for this model have been around for at least 8 years unlike the larger Bosch that has only been out for two years. Bags for this Bosch model are available at Argos, Comet and Currys - and with average prices of £6-95 for four dust bags, are £3 cheaper than the same capacity filling Miele bags. Like Miele, you also get a free filter with each box, so there's no extra expense. At cost, the Bosch BSGL4000 holds a large varying price level of between £100 to £145 dependent on the seller and already the cheapest so far is www.lunneysonline.com who are selling the product at £109.00 and you get 2 dust bags to get you started as well as a very helpful user manual.
Life with the Bosch BSGL4000 couldn't be any simpler but I'm very glad I've made the change to this brand even though past experience has been an otherwise ill thought gesture. The 4000 is very strong on dust pick up, both on carpets and hard floors even though it has a suction-only floor head. It is much smaller in terms of actual design than the Miele S4 or Miele S6 will ever hope to be, so putting it on stairs is a breath of fresh air as well as the fact that if it's made to sit properly lengthwise, the squat shape won't get stuck between car doors and storing it is so much far more simpler than Miele. It is also easier to handle thanks to the smooth flowing floor head which is well made and doesn't squeal against the floor (unlike the Miele S6 AirTeq) and the weight is also only 488grams compared to the Miele floor head (765g) with no additional constant battle unwriggling the power cord from the floor head since it has an all in flush design if you park it on the rear park mount momentarily. The Bosch may well be 8 years old in terms of its design underneath the curvy surface, but you wouldn't be able to tell from its silver painted top and black matt contrasting plastic paintwork. The sides are also made of PVC plastic and act as a bumper to minimize scrapes from the top. There's a variable power suction control, which adjusts easily and smoothly and lacks the daft "suction setting" pre-selective decals that Miele go to all the bother of as well as a lack of "silent setting" that roars at the wrong level (again, Miele.) - when common sense will tell you to adjust the power lower - without sacrificing the suction. This is because the Bosch has a 2000 watt motor that is quiet from low to medium and only gets a bit whiney in the top end. You'll have to pay £179 to get the same kind of motor on a Miele S6 - the model that this Bosch is seen as a rival to.
Infact, the Bosch BSGL4000 does very little wrong. It is extremely powerful thanks to a 2000 watt motor that is quiet from low to medium and only gets a bit whiney in the top end. Unlike Miele, the Bosch also has a super long 8 metre power cord (5.5 metres to Miele) which needs no pedal when clean up is done - simply pull on the cord and it all automatically rewinds back in. The fact that it has the same measurement at the hose end (3.5cm/35mm) means that I can use all the Miele tools I purchased over the years with the Bosch - including their extender hose attachment if I need more length of hose thanks to a spare Miele handle I have and that horrid Triscopic suction tube if I want similar "Miele build" performance. Frankly, I don't really need to bother but its good that the Bosch has the same sizing as Miele in general.
Pulling the Bosch around is also easier than the Miele S6 - and Bosch have been savvy here in retaining the three castors just like Miele and SEBO for 360° manoeuvres in the tightest of spots - making Dyson cylinders with their large fixed positioned rear wheels look old fashioned as well as minimizing stripes on the carpets when the small rubberized castors go over them compared to thick hard plastic. The Bosch only weighs 5kg by body alone, increasing to 6kg with the tubes and the floor head added. The hose is also longer than the one of my more expensive Bosch cylinder vacuum and thankfully, the bonded hose meets the handle properly without the look or feel that it is ever going to fall out unless I manually do it if there's a clog. The grab handle at the front is also wider and easier to carry the Bosch up stairs because the hose is only 1.6 metres compared to the longer 1.8 metres on the Miele. Everything is made to feel compact when it comes to use and the Bosch seems to be a master of this, especially when it comes to storing away - like SEBO, Bosch offer a central park position on the back of the vacuum where the floor head sits safely out of the way, whilst the hose and tubes can be compacted up, unlike the Miele S6 where too much hose can make it difficult to store in limited spaces. Where the Bosch scores points over the more expensive (and largely unjustified cost price of the Miele) is unbelievably in its performance and ease of use. There's even an LED bag indicator on top, which flashes if there's a clog or if the bag is ready to be taken out - unlike the mechanical bag indicator on ALL of Miele's cylinder vacuums.
Compared to the SEBO K1 which is still in my eyes, the better of the three vacuums because of its lighter tubing, hospital grade filtration, better quality, more compact style, and easier to access cleaning tools to hand on top and rear of the vacuum, the Bosch BSGL4000 beats Miele hands down because it has a HEPA filter cartridge on board as standard against Miele's "Super Air Clean" filter that doesn't do well on heavy traffic dust or cleaning up after home owners and their pets. Now, if you ever visit a John Lewis store, you can also purchase a John Lewis/Bosch branded main turbo brush head that has a unique slider that shuts the brush roll off for hard floor cleaning. It costs £39.95 (product code 85667215) against Miele's similarly sized turbo brush that lacks the stop feature at the same price. This will turn the Bosch into an effective pet hair/deep down thread vacuum cleaner, handy for buyers who may not be able to afford the rather expensive "new" Miele S6 Cat and Dog that has the same bag capacity, power and a much elevated cost price near to £200 for the privilege. Yes you can upgrade your Miele vacuum to accept the Active Air Clean or HEPA filter but it will cost you £9-95 for the AAC filter or £20 for the HEPA edition, which at the end of the day coupled with the cost at £178 for the basic "Eco" model I had, doesn't really make any more sense given the higher spec from the Bosch on offer. here.
With Miele, it just seems to be an endless pay out of one thing or another. With Bosch you buy the bags and just buy them whenever you need them. This is why, cost effectively Miele are by far the most expensive here not just by cost price alone. However, Miele fight back their corner with the cheaper S2 cylinders - and they're fairly cheaply built when you open the bin door and watch the suction control dial bend inwards, come with a plastic floor head that doesn't sit on carpet very well and again, the inherently short power cord which means plenty of plug hopping. Granted the S2 has a larger 4.5 litre dust bag (that's it's main calling card) but it's cheap build quality, low 1600 watt motors and expensive £146 prices means it still isn't good enough - particularly when it sits at odds with Miele's apparent "quality."
Where the Bosch falls down however is in access to the dust bag and it is thanks to the age of the machine, despite the new colour where the old design shows up. The Bosch has a lock just above the main park slider at the back of the vacuum, which employs the door to swing over the top of the vacuum to get to the bag. But you have to remove the hose first so that the door remains light; otherwise it is easy to get the feeling that the door won't last long unless the hose is removed. You'll also find an open space below the lock where the two smaller cleaning tools sit and hide away, easy to take out at a moment's notice such as a short crevice tool and a flat upholstery tool. Typically though there is no dusting brush with any Bosch vacuum cleaner unless you pay through the nose for it and this is a downside to the standard 3 tools you do get with Miele. I still prefer SEBO's idea though where the flat tool is mounted on top and can be taken off rather than have all the tools at the back because as much as Bosch have designed positions for the tools to park at the back, they can sometimes fall out if they haven't been locked in properly. It is however far better to have the tools "on board" as opposed to Miele's clip on flexible tool storer, which can be a bind as proved when stored away and something falls off when the tools catch something.
Unlike Miele, the Bosch HEPA filter is washable but must be fully dried before putting it back in. It is a pity though that for the price here, you get friction fit tubes, floor head and tools here as opposed to the better locking style of the Miele and SEBO although so far, one month on I've had no problems with tools or the floor head falling off in general use. Whilst we're on the subject of fresh, clean expelled air - the air exhaust on the Bosch copies Miele - it is at the top- but against Miele, even at the highest setting, Bosch have again directed the diffuser exhaust away from the owner's face when it comes to changing the suction setting and the dust bags have 6 layers of filtration with a novel pull slip that covers the hole of the bag with a viewable clear plastic strip when the bag is taken out.
Top spot for the most complete compact cylinder "pull along," is still the SEBO K1 series but the Bosch BSGL4000 takes second spot against the more expensive Miele S6 vacuums. This isn't because of brand preference - but due to one design "fault" that is apparent with most vacuum cleaners that use bags. All the German brands fit sealed motors, it's what happens afterwards that can injure them in use. The Bosch and Miele site the bag right next to the motor with only a fabric filter to separate the two. Following my experience with the Miele S4 Eco where the bag got wet due to wet grit being picked up and thus ruined the motor, the SEBO K has a sealed motor and is nowhere near the dust bag. All three vacuums can't pick up water though which isn't a downside but the SEBO's lack of viewable motor even when the filters are lifted means there's less to go wrong in later years.
At the end of the day the Bosch BSGL4000 is an impressive compact cylinder vacuum that doesn't feel heavy to carry or pull around with in use. It is effortless to use thanks to its very powerful and quiet motor and the dust bags seem to last between 1 to 1.5 months due to their small to medium although since late March I'm still using the original dust bag. For the cost price though, it is far cheaper than Miele but you make do without locking tubes, hoses and main floor head - and if you can put up with that - you'll be pleased you went with Bosch. It may only come with a 2 year guarantee, but then again so do many of Miele's vacuums - unless ironically enough you are forced to pay an extra £30 for a 10 year guarantee. Sebo vacuums come with 5 year guarantee right across the range and the SEBO K series filters don't need to be replaced until 16 to 32 dust bags have been used, thus making it the best cost effective consideration compared to the filter per 4 bags with Miele and Bosch and SEBO's box of bags come in 8, double the amount for £7 to £12. So it's top spot to the SEBO K, second to Bosch and third to Miele - because no matter what the Germans tell you, at the end of the day whilst suction, power and performance seems to be a high standard on all three, it's the design and bonus features that rule above - and it goes to prove that just by downsizing, you don't sacrifice the amount of power cord you get and cheaper running costs over Miele, make much more sense. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2011.
The Bosch BSGL4000GB Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner offers fantistic all round performance with its powerful 2000w motor, HEPA filter, and adjustable fllor tool and tools on board / Giving all floor types a thorough cleaning, the 10m operating circle will enable you to quickly clean large areas without the hassle of moving the plug / Keep your house looking immaculate with the BSGL4000GB Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner ! Characteristics Type Cylinder vacuum cleaner Power (Watts) 2000 Appropriate power (Watts) Information not provided Depression (Kpa) Information not provided Air capacity (dm3/sec) Information not provided Sound level (dBA) Information not provided Bag volume or reservoir (litre) 4 Filter type HEPA Indicator for bag content Yes Ergonomy Cable length 10 Others Colours Black Included accessories Crevice, upholstery nozzle Dimensions (cm) Information not provided Weight (Kg) 6.2 kg / Short name: Bosch BSGL4000GB