The best robot vacuums for cleaning carpets and rugs

A robot vacuum on the floor

Robot vacuums have become a valuable part of domestic life. Like they’re mini housekeepers — always on hand to help with the chores and clean up after you. Over the past few years, they’ve become more powerful, with more smart features, and, in some cases, more expensive.

Whether you have a crazy work schedule or a large home that needs some extra cleaning, a robot vacuum will take some of the load off your hands. Vacuums with smart features let you schedule cleaning while you’re out, control them with your voice, and even set which rooms should and shouldn’t be cleaned.

If your home is mostly carpeted or if you have a lot of rugs laying around, you might be wondering if a robot vacuum will actually work, or if it’ll become more of a hassle. After all, some robot vacuums are known for getting stuck in weird places, getting confused by dark flooring, or refusing to transition from hardwood to carpet.

If you need a robot vacuum that can get the job done on carpet, there are a lot of strong options out there. Here’s everything you need to know. 

Do robot vacuums work on carpet?

Not all robot vacuums are designed to handle carpets and rugs. Some robo-vacs simply have too little suction or too little clearance to properly handle thick, high-pile carpet. When choosing a vacuum, look on each robot vacuum’s product page to find out what carpet height it can handle. While most suggest only low-pile carpet or flat-weave rugs, some vacs like those from Eufy can handle up to medium-pile, and some of the pricier models (such as Roomba) offer maximum suction on thick carpeting. 

Are upright vacuums better than robot vacuums?

As a general rule of thumb, upright vacuum cleaners have more suction power than small robot vacuums, and you’ll do a better job of thorough cleaning than most robot vacuums will. But if you simply have too much carpet or too many rugs to keep clean, a robot vacuum can help you outsource some of that effort. Look for robot vacuums with high suction (around 1400 to 2000Pa) to ensure you’re removing dirt, crumbs, and pet hair from carpets. Anything lower won’t do a very thorough clean.

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What are the best robot vacuum features?

Dual brushes and automatic cleaning brushes are a fantastic added bonus for carpeting. If you have a dog that sheds like a monster or a roommate who has enough hair for everyone in the household, chances are that hair will embed deeply into your carpet. Normal vacuums tend to get the hair tangled up in the brush roll, but robot vacuums with dual or self-cleaning brushes will help you avoid this problem altogether (and seriously, who wants to pull long hair out of a vacuum?). 

Models with automatic carpet sensing are a plus, too. This feature is ideal for homes with both hard floor and carpeting, since the robot will know when it’s on the carpet and adjust the suction strength to be stronger, picking up even more crud from deep within the fibers of the carpet. More suction on carpets and rugs mean less dust, dander, and allergies, too, so you can finally stop sneezing in your house. 

Is Roomba the best robot vacuum brand?

Roombas tend to feel sturdier compared to the competition, with some seriously strong suction power. But the downside is that they’re expensive, loud, and are prone to technology bugs. Other robot vacuums might feel a little bit less durable on the outside but still offer smart features at a lower price point.

Overall, Roomba robot vacuums offer smart features, solid navigation, and strong suction, so making the choice between a Roomba and a cheaper brand will depend on your desired price point and set of requirements.

Will a robot vacuum ruin your carpet?

Generally speaking, it’s unlikely. However, watch out for loose carpet strings and rugs with fringed ends. Some cheaper bots will try to suck these up and promptly get stuck on them, potentially damaging your carpets and rugs.

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If your home has a lot of decorative rugs with fringes, the best choice is the iRobot Roomba i3. Many user reviews say that this robot vacuum will glide right over the decorative hems on rugs without sucking them up or getting stuck. So that vintage rug you have in the living room? It’ll most likely be fine with the iRobot Roomba i3, but other bots with stronger suction might try to slurp it up. 

Which robot vacuum is best for carpets and rugs?

The good news is that there are lots of robot vacuums that work well on carpets. The bad news is that this makes deciding on a particular model quite tough. Fortunately, we have lightened your load by highlighting a selection of your best options.

We have lined up all the best robot vacuums for your carpets and rugs, including popular models from top brands like iRobot and Eufy. There should be something for every home and budget in this list. You just need to pick a favourite.

These are the best robot vacuums for carpets and rugs in 2022.

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