'SEBO is the brand name of vacuum cleaners made by Stein & Co GmbH, a company based in the German town of Velbert. They produce a range of upright and cylinder vacuum cleaners for domestic and commercial use. Sebo vacuum cleaners are endorsed by Allergy UK (the British Allergy Foundation). Sebo stands for SEmigewerbliche BOdenpflege, German for semi-commercial floor care.
SEBO were established in 1977 by two German engineers, Klaus Stein and Heinz Kaulig, who were seeking to build a reliable, powerful and high performing commercial upright vacuum cleaner for their business. Klaus Stein had previously worked at Vorwerk. The first SEBO factory was located in Donnenberg in a disused weaving factory where they developed in 1978 the SEBO 350 Upright Commercial Vacuum Cleaner.
The 350 was a ground breaking upright vacuum cleaner and was the first ever to include many features that would later become standards on domestic machines such as a top release hose and hoister wand that had not been patented until SEBO produced their own. The 350 was designed to pass the hardest test: to facilitate the work of cleaning professionals and to have a longer running, commercial motor that could run continuously for 1000 hours. Due to the patented technical innovations that allowed effective cleaning of all kinds of carpets and the ability to clean the tightest corners, this first model immediately impressed the demanding cleaning personnel of hotels, hospitals and offices. With the addition of unique features such as an integrated (or on-board) hose, a clutch-protected brush roller, a by-pass motor and hospital grade filtration, the first SEBO caused quite a sensation. By 1979, the SEBO 350 had becoming the best selling commercial vacuum cleaner in the world. Cleaning companies such as Windsor in the U.S and Jeyes Hygiene also used SEBO commercial uprights under the own name during this time. In 1986, the SEBO 360 was launched to replace the 350.
By 1998, the company celebrates 20 years of SEBO Stein & Co. and the 1,500,000th unit built is a SEBO AUTOMATIC X1.
The automatic X1
In 1991, SEBO began to branch into the domestic market with an upright cleaner aimed more at the average household. The "automatic X1" upright was launched alongside a newly designed version of the earlier 360, the BS36.
Once again, Sebo were leading the way with innovation; the domestic "X1" was eco-friendly in offering an 850 watt motor and featured a whole lot of new features such as a computer controlled height adjustment, a lifetime guaranteed drive belt system, S Class filtration, easy access block-check doors and an easy access brush-roll with shut off mechanism to sense clogs or obstructions. The X1 became a popular seller not just due to its features but also because it is designed to be easy to maintain and fix by the owner.
SEBO's commercial machines continued to remain the best sellers throughout the 1990s and the X series is also fitted with an industry standard 10 metre length cable, bigger than most uprights on the domestic and commercial markets. In the mid 1990s, SEBO also launched "big" foot versions known as X2 and X3, two versions that are still available to buy in other European countries. Eventually the X1A received a higher motor increase to 1000 watts but still remaining powerful against other brands in the domestic market with much higher and often, not justifiable increases in power.
In 1999, the X1 was redesigned with a slight exterior redesign and with a newer stepped motor to compensate for use with a stair cleaning/pet hair turbo tool and replaced by the X1.1 with 1150 watts. The X1.1 remains to be a UK specific model only compared to the worldwide X4 Extra with slightly uprated motor power to 1300 watts but still eco-efficient. Both models with different colours are available to buy in the UK. A larger "big foot" model based on the X4 was also launched a few years later, called the "X5," and both X4 and X5 are worldwide models.
The C and K series Canisters/Cylinder Vacuums
SEBO's first cylinder/canister vacuum cleaner for the domestic market, the C series was launched in 1995 and though sited as a main rival to Miele and other premium brands, the C series offered an eco-friendly 1500 watt motor when most of the rivals had much more powerful motors. Equipped with an award winning Ergo-handle and a highly efficient filter system called "AirBelt," the C series quickly became a worldwide success. The AirBelt design acts to diffuse clean air from the main filters on board the vacuum and emits clean air from the sides of the vacuum cleaner as opposed to the top of the vacuum that can affect the breathing of the owner at time of usage.
With a foot operated roller suction dial and a comfort handle, also copied by Miele on their later machines, SEBO's highly compact C series also uses the X series large disposable dust bag to cut costs and extend accessibility. The design amasses awards from the Good Housekeeping Institute and was the first cylinder vacuum on the market to be credited with the British Allergy Foundation seal of approval among other organisations. By using the same capacity large dust bag as the X1 Automatic upright, this feature allowed buyers to independently choose between an upright vacuum or a more compact cylinder vacuum. Eventually SEBO launched the C1, C2.1 and premium C3 series with an electric power nozzle floor head, known as "ET-H."
The K1 and K3 series "compact" cylinder vacuum was launched in 2002, designed to offer domestic homes with a smaller version of the C series. Using a 4 layer filtration 3.5 litre dust bag and similar Hospital grade filter system developed on the C series, the K series was also awarded with the British Allergy Foundation seal of approval and carried on with the AirBelt Clean Air diffuser design. Much lighter and smaller than the C series, the K series was initially launched with an 1800 watt motor to compete in the market with rivals and featured a new 500gram lighter tube and hose system much lighter than a lot of its higher powered peers. Also equipped with a longer domestic market hose with 6 metres of cable length, the K1 has remained a very popular choice. SEBO further offered the K1 "Komfort" featuring three different floor heads with the model and a further K3 Vulcano with an electronic suction control added handle and the K3 Premium top of the range model, with electric ET-H similar to the C3.
In 2011, SEBO further enhanced the K series with a longer 2.1 metre hose on higher variant models and 1.8 metres standard on the K1 Airbelt. Later 1800 watts remained the standard for the base level K1 Airbelt, whilst 2100 watt fitted vacuums were made to compete with Miele's 2200 watt vacuums.
Later this year to conform to EU Directive (EU) No 666/2013 of 8th July, 2013, SEBO will launch an updated K1 Eco Comfort Plus with a 700 watt motor to comply with EU laws of producing vacuum cleaners that have been limited to 1600 watts and later to 900 watts.
The D series Cylinder/Canister
In 2010, SEBO replaced the C series vacuum with the D1, D2, D3 and D4 series - the largest cylinder vacuum SEBO has ever produced for the domestic market and specifically designed for large homes. Designed in collaboration with Achim Heine, Professor of product design and member of the German Design Council, whose timeless design is famous with Braun's small appliances, this innovative new vacuum emanates form and function, led by SEBO's original design knowledge. For example the circular front, with its patented airbelt bumper, is ideal for negotiating obstacles, houses an easy to remove filter inside, and allows a large capacity 6 litre disposable high filtration dust bag. An extra long 12m cable contributes to an incredible 15.5m cleaning range, twice the cord length that Miele supply.
To give maximum performance the air path has been optimised and a cone shaped hose has also been used, which improves suction and prevents clogging. The new Turbofan motor uses the latest turbine technology to give superlative cleaning power that isn't noisy and the vacuum carries on with the famous AirBelt clean air diffuser bumper as well as protecting both the vacuum and general usage in a home.
The D series vacuum cleaner is an instant success with GHI. Red Dot Award and other organisations approving this model for its excellent new filtration design and usage. SEBO also add power nozzle head options with the D4 model and in late 2011, a commercial version known as the "Professional D" is also launched with an pigtail interchangeable industry manual cord, low eco friendly 1200 watt motor and a design specifically catered for the commercial market.
In other countries and Germany, the D1 and D3 series offer several different permutations including an Eco model with 1200 watts.
The Dart/The Felix
In 2005, SEBO launched the world's first ever "swivel neck" upright (it is a common misconception that Dyson's "The Ball" was the first to do this). The SEBO Dart (and its domestic equivalent, The Felix) incorporated the performance of the earlier cleaners, but in a more lightweight and versatile unit. Interchangeable floorheads are available for both machines to deal with a variety of floor types, which is something that no other upright has yet offered. The floorhead can also be removed, and the handle folded down to convert the unit into a handheld cleaner, making it one of the most versatile and practical cleaners ever made.
In 2010, SEBO also added another floor head option in the form of the "DISCO" polisher buffer. With a variety of hard floor round discs for polishing and cleaning hard floors, the DISCO head can be used with both the Felix and Dart uprights.