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Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpet?


With convenience and technology working hand-in-hand, robot vacuums are becoming a popular and favorite cleaning device in every household. As you sit back and relax, a robot vacuum will clean areas of your house or apartment simultaneously. It’s passive but effective cleaning at its best!

Since robot vacuums are designed as semi-autonomous smart cleaning devices, the ability to be able to perform well on any surface type should be a requirement. While it’s no question that most robot vacuums can easily do a great job in cleaning hardwood floors or tiles, cleaning carpets may be a different discussion. The performance of how well a robot vacuum can clean carpets will depend on its model and the type of carpet.

What is a Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpets

A robot vacuum or robot vacuum cleaner is a semi-autonomous smart cleaning device that is designed to have a powerful suction that can pick up dirt, debris, and even dust bunnies from hard floors, rugs, and carpets.

Compared to a traditional vacuum, a robot vacuum needs little to no human interference for it to keep running. To keep a robot vacuum from bumping into obstacles, some models have a built-in navigation system with advanced sensors that can detect objects or furniture blocking its way.

Robot vacuum cleaners vary in models, brushes, features, and technology. Regardless if the robot vacuums are corded or cordless, these chargeable robot vacuums can be controlled via a smartphone app or be programmed straight from the device.

How Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Work?

Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpet?

Robot vacuum cleaners are often powered by lithium-ion batteries, which makes them chargeable smart cleaning devices that can run up to 120 minutes. With a major selling point of being semi-autonomous for the user’s convenience, robot vacuums have various ways of navigation.

There are robot vacuums that have a built-in navigation system with advanced sensors to help them detect any obstacles, such as objects and furniture, in their way so they can avoid them. Similarly, there are the higher-end robot vacuum cleaners that have mapping technology that will allow them to “memorize” the layout of an area that they are programmed to clean and along with that the obstacles they need to avoid.

On the other hand, there are robot vacuum cleaners that have no built-in mapping features but can still work perfectly fine like other upscale robot vacuums. Often with the help of physical boundary stripes or virtual boundaries, these robot vacuum cleaners can still detect obstacles and the hard surfaces that need to be cleaned accordingly.

Can a Robot Vacuum Clean Carpets?

Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpet?

Carpet cleaning can be a tiring chore to do. Some carpets are too heavy to carry and transport to a specialized cleaning store while there are thick carpets that seem to not let go of the dirt and dust that has latched on to them. This is where robot vacuum cleaners can come in handy!

Although not all robot vacuums can clean carpets, some models are designed and powerful enough to clean specific carpet types.

Robot Vacuum Features for Carpet Cleaning

Do Robot Vacuums Works on Carpet?

When it comes to cleaning carpets, there are specific features that are needed so a robot vacuum cleaner can take on the job in the first place.

Suction Performance

Generally, a robot vacuum with 2,000 Pa in suction will be able to pick up dirt, dust, and pet hair between carpet fibers and thread. Although an upright regular vacuum cleaner will still be able to deep clean a carpet more efficiently, some robot cleaners have a UV sterilization feature that can arguably be a good exchange.

Height Overcoming

As robot vacuum cleaners navigate on their own, height adjustment is a feature that is important so they can drive over and around the carpet it is cleaning. Particularly for high pile carpets, thicker carpets, and medium pile carpets, robot vacuum cleaners with large wheels are a must.

Flooring Detection

More advanced robot vacuum models have flooring detection in which they are able to distinguish if the surface they are on is a carpet or otherwise. With this feature, robot vacuums can be triggered to adjust their suction levels accordingly.

Dust Container

Since carpets have a lot of dirt and dust accumulated in between their threads and fibers, a robot vacuum cleaner who will be taking on the job of cleaning it must have a rather large dust bin. Otherwise, a user would be emptying the dust container ever so often unless the model has a self-emptying feature.

Can a Robot Vacuum Go from Hardwood to Carpet?

Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpet?

As a robot vacuum is designed to be semi-autonomous and requires little human interference, the question of whether it can go from a different flooring to another by itself is often asked. In this case, we’re looking at answering the question if a robot vacuum can go from hardwood to carpet as homes and apartments usually have different types of flooring per room or have accent rugs and carpets laid out.

A robot vacuum cleaner can have an easier time driving over low pile carpets since the height is not far from hard floors. However, a robot vacuum cleaner will need larger wheels should they drive over and around shag carpets and plush carpets since the fiber height is a bit higher from the base floor.

Think of a robot vacuum cleaner as a toy truck – a robo vac can drive over various ‘terrains’ or surfaces such as carpets to the floor because of its wheels. Since carpets have a different height and texture from the surface floor, then a robo vac can only possibly drive over and around it if it has the proper wheels for it.

Final Note

Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpet?

Due to the robot vacuum model and surface type, not all robot vacuums work the same way when cleaning. Even some of the best robot vacuums can find carpet cleaning a difficult task to do if it was not designed to clean out such floor type.

Before cleaning a carpet using a robot vacuum, find out first the carpet type to be cleaned and then match it with the robot vacuum cleaner that has the design and features that are best suited for it.

However, a regular upright vacuum cleaner or a professional service is still recommended when you intend to deep clean thick carpet or medium pile carpet. Hopefully, with more improvements and advancements in robot vacuum technology, we are soon able to get robot vacuum cleaners that can easily clean all the dust and dirt deeply hidden in a carpet or rug.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpets

Are robot vacuums good on suction power?

All robot vacuum cleaners have good suction provided that they are used in areas where they are designed to best perform. There are robot vacuum cleaners that are capable of cleaning carpet floors and there are those that are only suited for tiles or wooden floors. Regardless, any robot vacuum cleaner has enough suction to pick up any dirt, debris, dust, and even pet hair on the area it is designed and intended to clean – may it be carpeted floors or wooden floors.

You can read this guide we’ve created on the best robot vacuums if you’re looking for a robot vacuum cleaner that can go from carpets to other floor types.

Do Roombas work well on carpet?

Regardless of the model, Roombas are often hailed as the best robot vacuum cleaner in the market because of their popularity, features, and positive reviews. With that said, Roombas, like the iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum, can do a great job on both hardwood floors and low-to-high pile carpets.

Said model has a floor sensor feature that enables the robot vacuum cleaner to switch its suction power that is most optimal on the floor type. Thus, intense suction power can automatically be triggered when the Roomba vacuum cleaner goes from the tiles to the carpet.

Sota Takahashi

Sota Takahashi is a Japanese-born electrical engineer. At the age of 18, he moved to Seattle and completed his Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Washington, Seattle. Being a fan of all things tech, he channels his geeky side through this website, and with his wife Linda, shares knowledge about robot pets and how they can be lifelong and advantageous companions for both children and the elderly.

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