Lisa Holloway reviews the Kobold VK 200 vacuum

You may remember in our Nov/Dec issue we included a feature on top tips to keep your mattress clean. This month B&B Owner Lisa Holloway puts the Kobold VK 200 through its paces and gives us an honest account of her experience

 

We were lucky enough to be lent this vacuum cleaner for 3 weeks and  put it through its paces. Peter Hollier from Kobold, gave us a thorough demonstration and we were pretty impressed.

 

I have to be honest here; I didn’t use it as much as my Housekeeper, Racheal Nixon, who used every one of the numerous tools which come with the Kobold, but I watched every time she used one of the tools for the first time, so we both knew what to do, and we discussed it in great detail.

 

Racheal ‘s standards are extremely high , and her work is thorough, so the tools she uses are important. If she asked for a gold plated vacuum I’d buy her one! So I was intrigued to find out what she thought of the Kobold.

 

It retails at £749 for the basic upright vacuum, and £1499 with the whole kit of tools – 5 units; small attachment for cleaning stairs, mattress cleaner, dry carpet cleaner, hose and attachments for above floor cleaning,  and really clever floor mop.

 

This makes it quite a lot more expensive than the vacuums we currently use, which don’t have all the tools, but in order to get value for money, you need to use all the equipment regularly.

 

The filters, bags, sprays and powders are all added extras, which you can buy on line, or by speaking to an actual person on their order line, which I much prefer.

 

The vacuum itself is remarkably powerful, and light to carry. After just one bedroom we had quite a lot of fluff!  The bags filled up fast, and the Kobold claims to be fully rated for asthma sufferers.

 

The fabulously long hose was a boon and made cleaning the stairs a cinch. No hopping from plug to plug round the house.

 

Another feature we liked was the “auto” button  on the main vacuum, so it picked up on any surface when changing from rugs to carpets to hard floor. And if you have to stop for any reason, as soon as the body of the machine is upright, the motor cut off, so no looking for the switch. Work is  often interrupted here so we found this a particularly handy feature.

 

The rest of the kit comes in 2 cases, with helpful outlines so you know where everything goes. There are 3 vacuum heads and lots of pipes and different cleaning heads. We loved the little gadget which catches dust when you drill a hole, and Racheal absolutely raved about the brush which spreads out to become soft enough to dust delicate glass and lights.

 

The vacuum model goes completely flat so is ideal for under beds, furniture etc. And the bendy hose which fits on a separate pipe is ideal for behind radiators, tiny spaces – and cleaning the car!

 

The floor mop is ingenious as it sweeps as it cleans, and  you only need one head. You swap heads then put the cotton pad soaked in the cleaning solution on. The floor was dry within 10 minutes so we were impressed with the results. 

 

The carpet cleaner with Kobosan Active dry cleaning carpet powder made our Persian rugs in the hall brighter, with the fibres standing taller, but on the hard wearing and heavy traffic areas of the Dining Room, (which we have professionally cleaned every quarter), we didn’t find it so effective, although there is a spot cleaner which got rid of some stubborn stains. Perhaps if we used it regularly over some months the result would have been better. We were advised to use it every quarter as it removes grease from the carpet.

 

The mattress cleaner was terrific; it pounded the mattress and with the Lavenia powder, made the whole bed smell of lavender. The Kobold claims to make mattresses allergen free, but all our mattresses, duvets and pillows have protectors which are regularly washed and protect from stains – we do however vacuum the mattresses on both sides and we all loved the fresh smell, which stayed for several days.

 

I think the Kobold is a cracking machine, it has everything you could possibly need, all made with German precision engineering. It is expensive, but lasts for years and I know people who have more than one in their homes. If you want a thoroughly dust free home, this is for you. For larger establishments where cost may not be so crucial, one on each floor would be perfect.

 

The downsides for us (and we have a 4 storey townhouse with rooms and bathrooms on 3 floors) is that you can’t get a lot of the tools on board the main vacuum. So if you need a piece of kit, you have to stop work, go to where you are storing the cases (another problem), to get it and change the heads etc. If you had a 2 storey building I’m sure it would not be a problem, but for Racheal it was too much of a hassle to keep pounding up and down for extra tools. 

 

We both prefer not having a bag in our machines, emptying the bag is just another job, and it seems old fashioned now. But the main concern was the guarantee which is 5 years for domestic use, but only 2 for commercial. 

 

I quite understand the reasons for this, which Peter explained, but for Compton House, after sales and servicing are crucial, and if we are spending nearly £1500 on a vacuum, a 2 year guarantee is not long enough.

 

Buying a vacuum is not just about cleaning; it is peace of mind, ease of use and no ongoing costs.

 

The Kobold VK 200 was a delight to use, we found it very exciting trying out all the specially designed parts. But for us, it was a tool too far.