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How Well Do Robot Vacuums Work in Long Hallways?


Much like how robot vacuums can clean rooms, they can also vacuum long hallways. However, it’s the question of how well they can do it we want to answer.

Unlike rooms, hallways generally have fewer obstructions along the way, making it easier for robot vacuums to navigate. Hallways also often tend to have bare floors, so it will allow robot vacuums to have a smooth drive as it sucks up any dirt, debris, and pet hair if you have any furry friends at home. With that said, one can assume that robot vacuums can do a great job at cleaning long hallways but it’s a little more complex than that.

As not all robot vacuums are built the same, the performance and cleaning quality will differ. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that will contribute to how well robot vacuums work in and clean long hallways.

The Navigation Capabilities of Robot Vacuums

How Well Do Robot Vacuums Work in Long Hallways?

With little monitoring and intervention needed, robot vacuums can clean semi-autonomously. Depending on the model of the robot vacuum, you can even set up a cleaning schedule that will automatically program the robo vac to start the cleaning routine. The robot vacuums are able to work this way through a navigation system designed by the manufacturer and this has a direct effect on how well they can do their job at cleaning a hallway.

We can group robot vacuums into two depending on the navigation system they have.

Random Navigation Robot Vacuums

Low-end and entry-level robot vacuums often have a random navigation system designed into them to cut down on costs. Although they still function well and can sometimes finish their job at the same time as high-end models, these robot vacuums will clean by covering an area randomly. With a random navigation system, robot vacuums will “bounce” around an area and there is no guarantee that they can cover spots that you would like for them to clean.

If your robot vacuum has a random navigation system, then letting your smart cleaning device run its own course in a long hallway may be quite risky. For one, the robot vacuum may suddenly enter a room instead of cleaning the hallway. If your hallway is adjacent to a staircase, the robot vacuum may also accidentally fall down the steps if there are no boundary strips to divert them.

With that said, a robot vacuum with random navigation can still clean a long hallway but the level of cleaning may also be a bit, well, random. Be sure to invest in boundary or digital strips to keep them on course. It’s also best if you intervene or monitor the robot vacuum from time to time to see if it runs into any problems.

Smart Navigation Robot Vacuums

High-end robot vacuums have mapping technology that allows them to learn a route and memorize a layout. Although a hallway will have fewer obstructions and furniture scattered, having a smart navigation system and mapping technology will help robot vacuums avoid any hurdles and getting stuck between objects.

Smart navigation robots also differ in the mapping technology they use. There are models with camera-based mapping, which means they have a built-in digital camera that will allow them to take photos of “landmarks” to serve as a guide for the area to be cleaned.

On the other hand, robot vacuums with lidar-based mapping use infrared lasers to collect data on the size of the room and take note of the obstacles or furniture in the area. Robot vacuums that use gyroscope mapping have sensors that will measure the distance and directions of the area. High-end models can have combined mapping technologies, which makes them the most accurate and efficient when cleaning.

When cleaning a long hallway or any room for that matter, smart navigation robot vacuums are worth the investment. You will be at ease knowing that your robot vacuum can flawlessly clean your hallway without running into many accidents or needing any assistance. Depending on the model, you can even control and monitor them through smartphone apps, Alexa or Google Assistant.

The Cleaning Features of Robot Vacuums

How Well Do Robot Vacuums Work in Long Hallways?

Robot vacuums have different cleaning features and capabilities depending on the model. There are cleaning features that are a given and are standard to be included in every robot vacuum such as brushes, filters, and powerful suction to vacuum the dust and dirt. However, there are certain features that cut certain robot vacuum models above the rest and can definitely be a great help in their performance and cleaning quality.

The basic cleaning features may be good enough for your robot vacuum to do a great job at keeping hallway tile floors spotless. Just take note of the brushes your robot vacuum has so it won’t scratch the tiles with their bristles. More advanced cleaning features may be needed if you have carpet flooring for your hallway.

A bigger dust container and high-performing filter are recommended so your robot vacuum can suck up more dirt, debris, or even bugs to keep your hallway carpet flooring clean. Having a UV sterilization feature is also good since a robot vacuum won’t be able to do a deep suction cleaning on your carpet.

In case you want your robot vacuum to take cleaning your hallway floors to the next level, then you can even invest in a hybrid model to vacuum and mop your floors simultaneously or interchangeably. Of course, a hybrid robot vacuum model is only recommended for hallways with tile floors since we wouldn’t want your carpet to get damp.

The Battery Life of Robot Vacuums

How Well Do Robot Vacuums Work in Long Hallways?

Unlike regular upright vacuum cleaners, robot vacuums run on rechargeable batteries. This gives them more mobility and freedom to clean and cover as much area as possible without our assistance.

However, if a robot vacuum starts to run low on batteries, it will need to go back to its docking station to charge up before it can clean again. For this reason, the battery life of robot vacuums plays a major role in their performance on how well they can clean your hallway, especially if it’s a long one.

Most robot vacuums can last up to 60 to 70 minutes of cleaning time —but this will still depend on the features your model has running. There are also models that can stretch their battery life up to 90 minutes, which will allow you to cover more ground and areas.

It’s recommended that you measure the length of your hallway so you can gauge the battery life needed for your robot vacuum. The last thing you would like to happen is for your robot vacuum to stop mid-cleaning and leave your hallway half unfinished.

The Size of the Area to be Cleaned

How Well Do Robot Vacuums Work in Long Hallways?

In relation to the battery life, a robot vacuum’s performance and cleaning quality are also influenced by the size of the area to be cleaned. Ideally, the size of your robot vacuum cleaner must be in proportion to the size or length of the hallway.

Otherwise, the robot vacuum cleaner may not be able to hold enough dirt in its dust container or be too big that it won’t be able to insert itself in small corners. It’s important to consider the size and layout of your hallway to make sure the robot vacuum model you will be using is proper for it.

Final Note

How Well Do Robot Vacuums Work in Long Hallways?

Technically, all robot vacuums can clean a hallway. It’s how well they can clean it that will differ based on four factors: navigation capabilities, cleaning features, battery life, and size of the area to be cleaned.

Fortunately, there are plenty of robot vacuums to choose from that can do a great job at cleaning your hallways and other rooms in the house depending on your requirements!

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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