Vacuum cleaner bag capacity

I have recently bought a Miele vacuum cleaner which was recommended by Choice in their test. Choice found the dust bag capacity to be 2.3 litres, whereas Miele claim it to be 3.5 litres. As these bags need to be purchased from time to time this could make a different over the life of the product, even with cheaper generic ones being available online. Looking at them I’d say the Choice number is more accurate than the what the manufacturer claims. Should this be referred to the ACCC as misleading advertising?

1 Like

We also have a Miele and I wonder if the discrepancy in the volume is Miele measure the external volume of the bag, including the bag lining…while Choice measure the internal capacity of bag. The bags are reasonably thick and do add to the total volume.

Alternatively, the bag could be 3.5L when fully inflated, but as most vacuums the bag is somewhat compressed in the vacuum cleaner, its effective volume is significantly less. Maybe Choice has measured the effective bag volume based on the vacuum being tested.

Maybe @RebeccaCiaramidaro or @kim can let us know how Choice measures bag volumes.

We avoid the generic/cheap no-name ones and buy a Miele 16 pack (4 boxes) for around $70-75 delivered. This means that you in effect get a box free compared to buying it in an electrical/vacuum retailer. Other vacuums I might be cautious buying a lot just in case the vacuum doesn’t last long enough to use all the bags…but we have found that Miele vacuums are known for their longevity and ours has been going strong since December 2011.


It could be Choice measures the capacity when the ‘full light’ comes on, eg the practical or operational capacity, and Miele uses the gross capacity that cannot be attained in practice under normal use (similarly to the gross capacity claims for a fridge)?


The internal capacity of the bag is what is relevant. If Miele are measuring the external dimensions of the bag this would be intentionally misleading.

1 Like

We measure the capacity of the dirt receptacle by measuring rice into it until the machine tells us it is full or the maximum level is shown on the bin. We then weigh it and convert it to volume in litres (minus the weight of the original receptacle).


It depends on what they say the measurement entails. If they say that the external volume is 3.5L, this isn’t misleading. If they say the volume is 3.5L, it is ambiguous to what the volume is they are referring. If they say that the internal volume is 3.5L, when in fact it is significantly less than that, this would be misleading.

Just wondering where you got the 3.5L from. The Miele boxes we have are silent on bag volumes.



It is on the website of the particular model, under Product Details - Filter System:

1 Like

This vacuum uses the FJM bags which have a maximum reported internal volume of 3.7 quarts or about 3.5L.

Choice has found that in the Miele SCAB3 (an unfortunate model name) of 2.3L when the bag is inserted into this particular model. It appears the bag can’t expand to its maximum possible volume within the space within the vacuum.

Is Miele correct, yes as the FJM bag has a maximum storage volume of 2
3.5L. Is Choice correct, yes as the FJM bag storage volume is reduced to 2l3L for this particular model. Should Miele report the maximum possible volume of a FJM bag within this particular vacuum model, I would say yes to be clear that the vacuum may not achieve the maximum rated bag volume of 3.5L.


After about 3 weeks I received a response from Miele:

“As a valued Miele customer, we thank you for your email in regards to our vacuum bags.
Miele make the vacuum bags and conduct testing, so we know the volume the bag holds. We guarantee you the information we provide is correct.
Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Customer Care Team on 1300 464 353.”

Perhaps Miele would like to discuss their figures with Choice?

1 Like

This is the case with both my bagged vacs.

1 Like