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How Much Debris Do Robot Vacuums Hold?


Similar to a regular vacuum cleaner, a robot vacuum has dustbins to store all the dirt it was able to pick up during a cleaning job. Perhaps what most people do not realize though is that the dustbin capacity of a robot vacuum is pretty impressive considering the small size of this smart cleaning device.

With all the advanced features of a robot vacuum, such as self-navigation or turning into a hybrid robot mop, it’s easy for people to overlook the importance of dustbin capacity. However, the dustbin capacity is perhaps one of the most important features of a robot vacuum as not only will it affect its cleaning performance, but also the cleaning time.

After all, the bigger the dustbin capacity, then the more dirt, debris, and even pet hair the dust bag can hold.

How Much Dirt Can a Robot Vacuum Hold?

How Much Debris Do Robot Vacuums Hold?

Although a large dustbin capacity is always ideal, one need not always choose this option. Factors such as floor types at home, pet hair on the floor, and more can influence your decision on purchasing a robot vacuum with a large dustbin capacity.

If you live in a quaint apartment with tile floors, then a robot vacuum with a small dustbin capacity may already be enough.

As the requirements may differ per person, let’s take a look at how much dust and more can a robot vacuum hold depending on its dustbin capacity. For this article, we made use of the dustbin capacity of Roomba vacuums as a basis.

Dustbin Capacity: 300 ml

A robot vacuum with a dustbin capacity of 300 ml is suitable for small homes with a pet or two. Considering the small dustbin capacity, one may need to reconsider purchasing a robot vacuum model of this caliber if you have carpet floors at home as the dust bag might fill up right away.

One Roomba model that has such dustbin capacity is the Roomba 890. As this model is priced lower, it does not have advanced features such as a self-emptying bin. With that, you will need to empty the dustbin manually — similar to how you would empty a trash can.

However, the iRobot Home App will let you see the full bin status so you would know it when the dustbin is already at capacity, which is a good bargain for the lack of automatic dirt disposal or self-emptying feature like most Roomba models have.

Dustbin capacity: 400 ml

Not speaking of other robots, but the Roomba i7+ with a 400 ml dustbin capacity would be one of the best vacuums out there in terms of how much dust it can hold. This model can hold up to 30 times the volume of its dustbin capacity because of its Clean Base feature.

This feature is only particular to the Roomba i7+ and it allows the said model to essentially carry 30 dustbins. Due to the dustbin capacity and Clean Base feature, the Roomba i7+ will assure you of a thorough cleaning session where you will need to replace the bag after a few months or weeks depending on how much dirt it has accumulated.

Although you can empty the dustbin yourself, the Roomba i7+ has self-emptying and automatic dirt disposal features so you won’t need to bother. The most you will have to do in terms of cleaning is to replace the HEPA filters and bags now and then to make your robot vacuum last longer.

There are other Roomba models though that have a 400 ml dustbin capacity. One of which is the Roomba S9+, which is also a self-emptying robot vacuum that has an automatic dirt disposal feature. Although it doesn’t have its Clean Base feature, the Roomba S9+ is the most powerful Roomba to date with a suction power of 2600 Pa.

Paired with a strong suction power and large dustbin capacity, the Roomba S9+ is ideal for medium-sized homes with different flooring. The Roomba S9+’s suction power and dustbin capacity also make it ideal for those who are cleaning up after pet hair or even bugs. Just make sure to also replace the HEPA filters!

Dustbin Capacity: 500 ml

A robot vacuum with a 500 ml dustbin capacity can be more hardworking and clean up homes with pets and heavy foot traffic that will make areas dirtier. Some Roomba models that have such dustbin capacity are the Roomba i7 and the Roomba e5. However, both models do not have a self-emptying feature.

Aside from Roomba models, there are other robot vacuums with a 500 ml dustbin capacity. Having such dustbin capacity will make the robot vacuum fall under the large category and it might be ideal to look for a model with a self-emptying feature.

Dustbin Capacity: 600 ml

If your robot vacuum has a 600 ml dustbin capacity, then congratulations! You have a model that can take on a lot of gunk, dirt, debris, and more. A robot vacuum with said dustbin capacity is ideal for large households with big floor areas and a lot of furry pets roaming around.

Roomba models with a 600 ml dustbin capacity are the Roomba 980, 960, and 690. Contrary to popular belief that a robot vacuum with a large dustbin capacity is often priced higher, the Roomba 690 is actually an entry-level model that a low price point.

However, there is no self-emptying feature nor a full bin indicator. Otherwise, you may opt for the Roomba 980, Roomba 960, or other robot vacuum models that may include a self-emptying feature.

Final Note

How Much Debris Do Robot Vacuums Hold?

The dustbin capacity of a robot vacuum will vary depending on the model, so there is no definite answer or number to the question of how much dirt a dust bag can hold. Rather, one should look at certain factors such as room size and the cleaning requirement so you can choose the best robot vacuum with ample dustbin capacity for the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much dirt can an iRobot Roomba model hold?

The amount of dirt a Roomba robot vacuum bag can hold will depend on the dustbin capacity of the model. Dustbin capacities will range from as low as 300 ml to as high as 650-700 ml. Similarly, the HEPA filters of Roomba models will vary.

Will iRobot Roomba vacuums tell you when a bag is full?

One of the many wonderful features of Roomba vacuums is the light indicator that will let the user know when a bag is full and needs emptying. This is especially useful if your robot vacuum model does not have a self-emptying feature.

Aside from the indicator light found in the robot vacuum, the iRobot Home App will also let you know when the bag is full.

What is the Roomba three-stage cleaning system?

The three-stage cleaning system is a patented cleaning system of Roomba. This patented cleaning system works as a way to ensure that your Roomba will do thorough and detailed cleaning for every stage and help detect dirtier areas.

The first stage is where the spinning side brush cleans the wall edge to pick off dirt and debris so it can fall in the cleaning path for the Roomba’s two-counter rotating brushes to pick up.

The second stage is where the two-counter rotating brushes will lift the dust, debris, and other dirt off the floor and into the dustbin. The third and last stage is where the Roomba’s powerful suction comes into play as it sucks up the dirt from the floor and into the AeroVac/AeroForce bin.

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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