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When it came to swapping a Miele vacuum cleaner for another brand, it wasn’t for a bagless, cyclonic vacuum cleaner, but another German bagged vacuum that would prove to be far cheaper to maintain, use and keep the secret to myself! When you look at Bosch bagged vacuums and realise suddenly that they mirror almost the same specifications and design that Miele charge, you have to ask yourself what possesses Miele to justify the high prices. Such was the case when I began to tire of continually having to buy Miele’s expensive dust bags and putting up with their heavy suction tubes and associated floor heads. After a brief affair with a Bosch BGLS5000 where the dust bags were hard to get, I wasn’t about to finish with Bosch then and there – until I swapped my Miele S6 for a Bosch BSGL4000 “All Rounder," just after my birthday in March last year. I’d rather share a secret with you about this vacuum as it is well made, powerful, generally quiet in use and has filters and bags that are easy to get - if you know where to look.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
Total weight 6.2kg (lighter than most!)
4 litre dust bag capacity (0.5 bigger than Miele's FJM)
Equipped with two small cleaning tools and 1 large suction only floor head.
8 Metre length mains cord, pull/pull auto cord rewind & variable suction dial.
Price in 2011 £89-99 to £109-00, Price in 2012 £109-00 to £114-00.
2 year guarantee as standard, extendable to 5 years, £39 extra.
Cost of dust bags - £6.71 to £9-99 for 4 bags in G box.
Can also use John Lewis VSO6 dust bags, 5 in a box £7-95.
Both Bosch & John Lewis boxes come with replacement motor filters, not HEPA.
The Product, The Promise & The Price
The difference between the Bosch BSGL4000 and the BGLS5000 I bought in December 2010 (short lived because of a dodgy hose and couldn't get bags unless I shopped on Amazon, exclusively) 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 of the Bosch means it is apt for small flats, homes or even if you struggle to find a place for a vacuum cleaner, as this is one little smart bug that seems to slide into awkward spaces with very little effort.
However the high filtration self sealing dust bags in the 4000 model are smaller (4 litres) but they are in plentiful demand-purchase-supply thanks to the fact that John Lewis also happen to sell a similar Bosch vacuum under the John Lewis name and the bags for this model have been around for at least eight years unlike the larger Bosch that has only been out for two years.
Dust bags for this Bosch model are available at Argos, Comet and Currys - and with average prices of £6-71 to £9-99 for four dust bags, can be £3 cheaper than the slightly smaller capacity filling Miele bags OR a much better bargain to buy the John Lewis dust bags at £7-95 and you get 5 in a box suitable for their similarly identical VS06 model. Like Miele, you also get a free filter with each box, so there's no extra expense worrying about further filter purchases and each dust bag is highly layered to minimise odours as well as being good news for allergy sufferers - the REAL sufferers who get familiar signs of sneezing or itchy skin the moment a cyclonic filter is taken out to clean - or if the machine is emptied and some of the dust ends up on
Pictures of Bosch BSGL4000
Once the top lid is swung over, access to tools, filters and bag is easy!
At cost, the Bosch BSGL4000 holds a large varying price level of between £100 to £114 dependent on the seller and already the cheapest I found so far was at www.lunneysonline.com who are selling the product at £109.00 and you also get 2 dust bags anyway to get you started as well as a very helpful user manual.
Compared to what I've put up with where Miele are concerned, the Bosch BSGL4000 "All Rounder" is a far better and faster vacuum than many other vacuums I own. The BSGL4000 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 it can sit on stairs BOTH vertically and horizontally due to its narrow, tall shape.
The Bosch 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 488 grams 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, located on the main body.
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.
Quality & Design
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.
Infact, performance wise, the Bosch BSGL4000 does very little wrong – but the whole purchasing experience has been a lot cheaper from my wallet’s point of view as well as being a far more versatile vacuum because of several key features. Even though it is smaller in size to Miele’s S6 series, I adore the fact that this vacuum cleaner has a long, 8 metre length power cord. No more plug hopping – and if you don’t need all of the 8 metres, you can pull out as much as you need at the time. Miele on the other hand fit 5.5 metres on their S2 and S6 series, so you can see here immediately that the Bosch can get further from one plug.
There is also a lack of an auto cord rewind pedal, but rather a feature copied from SEBO’s K series whereupon, when clean up is done - simply pull on the cord and it all automatically rewinds back into the machine!
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 bagless, cyclonic vacuums with their large fixed positioned rear wheels look old fashioned as well as minimizing stripes on the carpets when the small rubberized castors goes over the carpet surface gently compared to thick hard plastic!
The Bosch only weighs 5kg by body alone, increasing to 6.2kg 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 of the vacuum 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 German bagged vacuums because of its lighter tubing, hospital grade filtration, better quality, 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.
The standard Bosch HEPA filter is washable but must be fully dried before putting it back in and fitting both the filters and bags is very easy to do, whether you're taking them out or putting them back in!
Whilst we're on the subject of fresh, clean expelled air - the air exhaust on the Bosch copies Miele - it is at the top off the machine just below the main suction dial- but against Miele, even at the highest setting, Bosch have 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.
Optional Tools – A Chance For Pet Owners
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. The difference with the Bosch turbo brush head is that it has a rather nifty slider lock that allows you to use the floor tool on hard floors WITHOUT the brush bar moving – or have it moving if you flick the silder or dial the other way. This in turn gives the Bosch BSGL4000 an ideal alternative if you need a moving brush roll but prefer a cylinder/pull along vacuum to a heavier upright vacuum and the cost optional floor head makes the Bosch 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 and a much elevated cost price near to £200 for the privilege.
Infact, since 2012 Bosch have just brought out a similar BSGL4000 in red with a cost price of £139 and it includes the turbo head – giving you a far cheaper bagged alternative to Miele’s S6 Cat and Dog that costs nigh of £200. 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. Is there a familiar ring about buying into premium German appliances, all of a sudden? With Miele, it just seems to be an endless pay out of one thing or another and the initial cost prices can be hard to bear if you’re not happy to shop online, but rather would go for the purchase yourself on the high street.
Granted there are other models by Miele where the dust bags are larger (S2 series) but the Bosch BSGL4000 fights it corner well from being infinitely smaller to store, easier to use with lighter tubing and still, a lot more power cord and power on tap!
The fact that this Bosch vacuum 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 - so if you are changing up from a Miele, keep the friction fit small tools handy as you'll be able to use them with any Bosch vacuum! At least optional tools are available for this machine, unlike Dyson's City Vac where generic Dyson spares or accessories can't be used!
Where the Bosch BSGL4000 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.
Another downside is that there is no dusting brush with any Bosch vacuum cleaner unless you pay extra for it and then find there's no where to store it! This is a downside to the standard 3 tools you do get with Miele - but there are ways around this if you buy Miele's clip on tool holder and get the 3 smaller tools yourself online, because the Bosch diameter fixings can take them!
Lastly, 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. On the Bosch you may well have to tighten the tools and floor head onto the hose or corresponding height adjustable suction tubes and then find you'll need a tight grasp to take them off again! One year on however and I haven't had an issue with tools or the floor head falling off whilst taking them on and off is easier now that I've got used to the vacuum.
Compared to not buying dust bags with a cyclonic, bagless vacuum is all very well. Fine if you don't suffer from dust and yet being at the mercy of having to face the dust each time you empty the bin into another open bin and then feel the effect of dust flying back up at you (or even washing the filters when suction begins to weaken) can begin to grate on the nerves as well as being infinitely unhealthy! Bagged vacuums are still one of the best ways of capturing dust - if bagless, cyclonic vacuums were really healthy, hospitals and clinics by now would have seen the light and gone for the change.
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 3 months due to their small to medium capacity. Over the question of whether a Miele cylinder vacuum is worth it on cost and performance, I'd say the Bosch beats Miele at its own game - without having to push the buyer to spend more than £150 all in. If you want better quality and strong power, seek out SEBO's K series, where their K1 Komfort gives you three larger floor heads as standard.