We cleaned our whole home with the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX - here's how it went

The Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX is a smart cordless vacuum with two batteries and enough tools to tackle dust and dirt all around your home, but it's expensive.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.
(Image: © Helen McCue.)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX is a top-performing vacuum that’ll leave your home spotless, but it might stretch your budget.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent dust pick-up

  • +

    Dust-detector sensors

  • +

    Plenty of accessories

Cons

  • -

    Expensive

  • -

    Lots of accessories to store

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Tineco isn’t one of the big players on the vacuum cleaner scene, but that hasn’t stopped it pushing the boundaries to produce an innovative smart vacuum to rival the likes of Dyson and Shark. The Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX is certainly a contender for a spot in our roundup of the best vacuum cleaners for home (opens in new tab) .

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: Key Specs

Type: Cordless
Dustbin capacity: 0.13 gallons
Suction power: 145W
Battery life: Up to 100 minutes
Battery charging time: 3-4 hours
Suitable for: All floor types
Dimensions: 44.3 x 10.2 x 9 in
Weight: Handheld unit 3.7 lbs, 6.4 lbs with wand and floorhead
Storage: Wall-mounted charging and storage dock
Warranty: 2 years, limited

Firstly, it’s a cordless stick vacuum that comes with two swappable batteries, so concerns around battery life and vacuuming times are immediately quelled. Under the hood, this clever gadget is equipped with smart dirt sensors that can increase the suction power if they detect high levels of dust and dirt under the floorhead.

It comes with virtually every cleaning accessory you could need to tackle not only your floors, but just about every other surface in your home. The smart touch sensitive power adjustment feels more like you’re using an Apple product than a vacuum.

We thoroughly tested it in a real home to see how it stood up to the task of everyday cleaning and how useful all those attachments really are. Plus, we wanted to see if the smart features are worthwhile or just another gimmick. Read on for our review on whether this budget busting vacuum is worth the investment.

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: Design

The S12 Pro EX has a matte white finish that’s really tactile and gives it a premium feel, reinforcing that this is a design-focused floorcare appliance. The power level can be adjusted via a touch-sensitive slider on the top of the vacuum which is so discreet you might not even realize it’s there if you didn’t know the vacuum. Additionally, it’s equipped with an auto mode which allows the vacuum to automatically increase the power when it detects heavily soiled areas.

The large, round LED display screen clearly shows battery level and the current suction power. It also displays the iLoop graphic, a round light that changes color from blue to red as more dirt is detected. This informs you of any particularly dirty areas that are worth vacuuming over a few times to ensure they’re left spotless.

The power trigger on the handle can be held in during cleaning, but if you don’t find this comfortable, there’s a trigger lock that you can slide into position to keep it switched on. The handle itself is comfortable to hold, but there’s an air vent above it that blows air in the direction of your hand, and when vacuuming on a cold day, this left us with a chilly hand after vacuuming.

It’s suitable for all floor types, with a separate soft roller for more delicate hard floors. All the accessories click into position and have to be released with a. button, which means they don’t fall off during use.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: Features and accessories

The Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX comes with the following accessories: 

• Direct-drive LED multi-tasker power brush
• Full-size LED hard floor soft-roller power brush
• Mini power brush
• 2-in-1 dusting brush
• Crevice tool
• Flexible long crevice tool
• Flexible extension hose
• Multi-angle folding adapter
• 2 batteries
• Hair cleaning tool
• Wall-mounted dock
• 2 pre-filters
• Automatic pre-filter cleaning tool 

As you can see from this list, there are plenty of attachments to choose from, making this a real multi-tasking vacuum. There are two main floor cleaning tools, the multi-tasker and a more delicate soft brush for hard floors.

To get into tight spots like down the side of the sofa there’s a crevice tool, the longer flexible crevice tool with a brush on the end is useful for lots of hard-to-reach areas. As the name suggests, the 2-in-1 dusting brush is perfect for dusting, and when combined with the multi-angle adapter, it can even reach areas you can’t see properly, like the top of a bookcase.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

The mini power brush is ideal for small rugs, upholstery and stairs. Meanwhile the flexible extension hose can be combined with any attachment for added versatility. All this offers numerous cleaning options, but it is worth considering whether you need and will use all these attachments, because for those who won’t, it’s a bit of a waste and it may be worth looking at the Tineco Pure One S12 which comes with fewer attachments.

The touch-sensitive slider offers variable suction power, but for most people the auto mode will be sufficient since it allows the smart sensors to do the thinking for you and increase the suction when needed. The app connectivity is another feature you don’t get with most vacuums. We found the filter usage helpful for determining when they needed a clean, but all the other information on offer such as the amount of dust collected and vacuuming times, is only really interesting for the first few uses.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: Setup and assembly

The majority of the packaging is easily recyclable cardboard, there are some plastic bags and a few small pieces of foam, but thankfully no big hunks of Styrofoam. As with most cordless vacuums, there’s nothing really to assemble, other than clipping the accessories onto the main body of the vacuum.

It comes with a wall mounted charging dock, this houses the vacuum when not in use and also charges both the battery in the vacuum as well as the spare, so getting this fixed to the wall straight away will make it neater to store and easier to start charging.

It might come with some charge in the battery, but it’s best to charge it fully before using the vacuum for the first time. We found the set up was all very intuitive and the large LED screen on the vacuum will alert you to any faults or issues.

The instruction manual contains all the info you need, what’s more you can connect the vacuum to the Tineco app, which offers some extra functionality and information, though it’s by no means an essential.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: Performance

No matter what surface we tried it on, this vacuum consistently impressed us with powerful suction and top-notch performance. However, we did have to use it on max power to ensure everything was collected from along the baseboards. The soft roller brush for hard floors is slightly less effective at collecting larger debris like oats, but great for finer dust. And unless your floors are delicate, you can keep the main floorhead on for better performance on hard floors.

We tackled stairs with the mini power brush, which proved to be the perfect size to get the job done quickly. It’s also a great tool for sprucing up sofas and worked well on the carpets in our car too. We found all the tools useful, especially if you’re trying to get to tricky areas like baseboards behind furniture or to give your car a thorough clean. It’s worth noting that when using this vacuum as a handheld, it can start to feel heavy and cumbersome, especially in confined spaces. But it’s well balanced and feels lightweight when vacuuming floors.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

The maneuverability on this vacuum is good, it glides on all floor types and transitions well between hard floor and rugs. When in auto mode, it was interesting to see the power increase in spots that we wouldn’t have known were particularly dirty. This made us spend a bit more time in these areas to ensure all the dirt was removed. This is where the iLoop comes in handy as you can see the light turn back to blue as the vacuum stops detecting high levels of dust and dirt.

If you use it exclusively on max suction, you’ll only get nine minutes from one battery so the second battery comes in handy. But on auto the suction level fluctuates and the battery will last much longer. A full recharge took 3 hours and 15 minutes. The charging dock will charge both batteries at once, but prioritizes the one installed in the vacuum.

At 77dB on max suction this isn’t the loudest nor the quietest vacuum we’ve tested, it’s about average. The noise level can be reduced if it’s used on the lowest suction level.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: Care and maintenance

At 0.13 gallons, the S12 Pro EX doesn’t have the largest dustbin capacity, so you’ll need to empty it frequently. It opens easily with the press of a button, and the dirt falls directly into the trash. During testing we found that if there’s a lot of tangled hair inside, dirt can become trapped, and you’ll need to give it a helping hand to come out.

All the filters are washable and the manual simply advises that you do this periodically. A special cleaning tool is supplied to clean the pre-filter. It utilizes the vacuum motor to perform an automatic one minute clean and because two are supplied, you can keep swapping them over.

The HEPA and the pre-filter will need replacing when suction power is reduced even after they’ve been cleaned. The frequency at which these will need replacing will very much depend on how regularly you use the vacuum as well as how dirty your home is.

Replacement filters as well as some replacement parts and tools are available from the Tineco website and there’s a warranty that’ll cover the vacuum for defects within the first two years.

The wall-mounted storage dock means you can keep the vacuum neatly stored while it charges. Though we were somewhat disappointed that it can only house three of the small tools, so you’ll need to find space for all the rest of the accessories supplied in the box. And as we already mentioned, if you don’t want to mount the dock to the wall, it’s the only way to charge the batteries and when it’s not wall mounted it’s quite bulky and awkwardly shaped.

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: Price and availability

  • $699.99 / £549

Available direct from Tineco or at retailers like Amazon, this is the most premium smart vacuum on offer from Tineco. It’s equipped with all the latest and greatest features and accessories and as such, it’s a pricey option.

The Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX sits up there at the more expensive end of the cordless vacuum market with a price that’s only slightly lower than the Dyson V15 Detect. However, you get a lot of bang for your buck, as it’s loaded with smart features, comes with two batteries and a host of useful accessories.

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: User reviews

At the time of writing, the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX has an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. 82% of reviewers gave it either 4 or 5 stars. Users praise it for being “very agile and not hard to move around at all”. 

Pet owners are impressed with its ability to pick up hair, with one reviewer commenting that there was “no dog hair left” and that despite recently having had their carpets professionally cleaned “this vac pulled out dog hair and dirt that the professionals couldn't get” - high praise indeed.

Some people complain that the dustbin has to be emptied frequently due to its small capacity. But on the whole, most people see the benefits in having lots of attachments as well as two batteries. And of those that have experienced issues while still under warranty, they report “Tineco’s customer service is great” with another saying “If every company had customer service that was even half this thorough and proactive, the world would be a far easier place”. 

Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX: What the experts say

We spoke to a senior product manager at Tineco who gave us some insight into the thinking behind this vacuum and what’s going on under the hood. 

For over 100 years, people have been mindlessly pushing the vacuum across their floors not knowing how much dirt and dust has been picked up. The Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX incorporated a dust sensor that can detect dirt as small as 15um, picking up dust, hair, pollen, and other minute particles in the home.

Tineco Senior Product Manager

They explained that it’s not just about a fancy screen: “with this iLOOP sensor, the suction power reacts directly to the level of dust underneath its roller head. So the consumer can feel confident that it will provide a consistent thorough clean each and every time,” making it suitable for anyone wanting to be certain they’re vacuuming up all of the hidden dust in their home.

Should you buy the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX?

If you’re looking for a top performing cordless vacuum that’s versatile enough to be used all around your home, this Tineco vacuum is a great investment. But it is certainly an investment, and the price will be prohibitive for some.

It’s jammed full of smart technology and with two batteries you’ll be able to vacuum non-stop, but there’s also a lot to store and the wall mounted dock doesn’t house many of the additional attachments. So if you have limited space, or you only want a vacuum for floors, you might find you don’t want or need all the extras.

Image shows the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX.

(Image credit: Helen McCue.)

How does the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX compare to competitors?

Price wise the S12 sits alongside Dyson’s V15 Detect (opens in new tab) and there are a fair few similarities. Both have a large LCD screen and both claim to detect dust particles, though the Tineco doesn’t feature a laser on the floorhead like the Dyson. There’s an impressive array of tools and accessories provided with both vacuums, but only the Tineco comes with two swappable batteries as well as an accompanying app.

In comparison to the Aspiron Cordless Vacuum (opens in new tab) the S12 is eye wateringly expensive. And while its price is justified by the aforementioned smart technology, numerous accessories, and great battery life thanks to the dual batteries. If you just want a simple, affordable cordless vacuum for light cleaning duties, the Aspiron might offer what you need while saving you a lot of money.

Or, if you want a good value cordless vacuum, you could do worse than the Shark Vertex Pro Cordless Vacuum with DuoClean PowerFins & Powered Lift-Away. Which might not come with as many accessories, but is still a versatile cleaner with a good range of tools. Plus, with most of the weight centered lower down, it’ll suit some users better than the Tineco.

Helen is a freelance writer who specializes in kitchen appliances and has written for some of the biggest home-related titles around. Helen also upholsters furniture and always makes sure she's got something interesting to work on.