What’s the Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet?

What’s the Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet

If you have a carpet, you need to settle on nothing less than the best robot vacuum for carpet. However, many homeowners end up spending their hard-earned cash on the wrong models.

Well, if you were not aware, there are specific robot vacuums designed for carpets. So, don’t go buying just any other robot vacuum thinking it will clean your carpet just fine.

But the problem is that robot vacuum brands and retailers give their products undeserved praise. More than often you will find cheap robot vacuums advertised as ‘best for carpets,’ but then, they can’t effectively vacuum hard floors, leave alone carpets.

Top 5 best robot vacuums for carpet in 2018

Many people have been asking, what’s the best robot vacuum for carpet? Today, we want to settle the matter once and for all.

We have reviewed the top 5 best robot vacuum for carpet.

 Great ChoiceNice ChoiceClever Choice Good ChoiceBest Choice
Product Image
Model:RV750ILIFE V3s ProDEEBOT N79SRoboVac 11SRoomba 980
Design2.6 inches3 inches3.1 inches2.85 inches3.6 inches
NavigationSmart SensorsAdvanced sensorsSLAM Smart Bounce technologyiAdapt 2.0
BrushHelix-pattern high-tensile bristlesMain + side brushInnovated
tangle-free
roller brush,
2 sides brush
4 side brushesTangle-free
Dual
Multi-Surface
Brushes,
Edge-Sweeping Brush
Carpet ModeNoNoMax ModeBoostIQ™ TechnologyCarpet Boost
Virtual WallsBotBoundary™ StripsNoNoNoYes
Wi-FiYesNoYesNoYes
FilterHEPA filterHEPA styleHEPA filter3-Layer High-Performance FilterHEPA filter
Suction power550Pa600Pa1000 Pa1300Pa Up to 10x more air power
Battery Life70 Minutes110 minutes120 minutes100 minutes120 minutes
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Why trust our recommendations?

Perhaps you are asking how we arrived at these models.

  • First, we shortlisted over 12 models and finally came up with a shortlist of 10 robot vacuums. After thorough tests on carpets, as well as other surfaces, we were able to sieve out the 5 and remained with the below robot vacuums for carpets.
  • We used just some of the everyday dirt the robot vacuum will be cleaning in your house. These include sugar, flour, Cheerios, popcorn, kitty litters, some pet hair among others.
  • For the record, when it comes to allergens, we just gave a score of the difference we felt after vacuuming a room that had dog urine. This test is not quantifiable as in sugar, rice and the rest of the dirt where you can quantify the amount of dirt picked up.

Unlike most reviews you will find, we took it upon ourselves to test these models on the different carpets you will find in many American homes. One of the reasons we emphasized on testing these robots is because the type of carpet determines the robot vacuum you should buy.

The Finalists

In this section, we will be reviewing the best models and also be presenting our cleaning results on how each model performed on the different carpet types. This will give you a clear picture of what to expect from each robot vacuum, no marketing hype!

That said, here is our list of the best robot vacuums for carpets.

5. Shark ION RV750 Robot Vacuum for Homeowners

Opening our list of the best root vacuums for carpet is the Shark ION 750, the latest model from SharkNinja, a renowned vacuum brand.

We feel this robot vacuum deserves a spot in this review because it’s from a reputable brand and it is also affordable.

SharkNinja is a well-known brand, probably popular than ILIFE or ECOVACS. It’s just that they are late entrants in the robot vacuums market. Retailing at $300 it offers some excellent service on carpets.

Here are our cleaning test results on different carpet pile.

Shark-ON-RV750

The Shark ION did quite a good job cleaning most of the dirt, especially the large particles. However, it struggles with the small dirt when it came to the heavy pile carpet, but on the low pile and medium pile, the performance is fantastic.

I would recommend this robot vacuum for homeowners with light and low pile carpets only.
But what else makes Shark ION feature in this list? I really have to mention the Helix-pattern high-tensile bristles that will brush dirt that sticks on the carpet without damaging the fabric. This is unlike the D7 Connected and several other models that have tough bristles.

Another thing, it comes with HEPA filters which are more efficient especially in houses with high pile carpets.

Remember, one of the disadvantages of the high pile is that they harbor allergens, so you want a robot vacuum with 99.97% efficient filters, and that’s what Shark ION offers.

Besides the carpet cleaning features, Shark ION also does a great job on hard floors as well as hardwood floors.

We tested it on a hardwood floor, and the results were much better than on low pile carpets. Regarding versatility, it is such a bargain. When it comes to navigation, it packs Smart sensors and uses Smart sensor mapping in a somewhat methodical pattern, but it’s not so intelligent.

The runtime is 70 minutes which is quite enough for an average apartment. If you are a Smart home enthusiast, you will also love the RV750 as it comes with Wi-Fi and Alexa compatibility.

The only issue we noted was weak Wi-Fi signal reception.
Editor’s Thoughts: Shark ION RV750 is a great robot vacuum that can give some of the household names a run for their money. I like it because I have several other Shark ION vacuums and they haven’t disappointed so it’s a brand you can trust.

However, I would have appreciated if it had a better motor to facilitate more vacuum power. For now, it is restricted to light pile carpets only, and for the price, I can’t complain much.

4. iLIFE V3s Pro has Better Performance on Carpets

ILIFE may be disregarded as a cheap Chinese brand, but it offers excellent value for money. One of their most affordable robot vacuums is the ILIFE V3s Pro that costs around $150.

One of the most important things to note is that while the other V Series robot vacuums have integrated mops, the V3s Pro is a basic model with vacuuming only. Interestingly, the V3s Pro has better performance on carpets than the V5s because the layer is designed with more focus on mopping hardwood floors.

So, how does the V3s Pro perform on carpets?

iLIFE V3s Pro

Just like many robot vacuum cleaners, ILIFE V3s delivers enough suction to pick up all the dirt on the light pile carpet fabric. But it starts to get overwhelmed on the medium pile, and as you get to high pile, the inefficiency is evident. If you have low pile carpet, this robot will work for you but higher pile, it is a gamble.

Did I mention the excellent pet hair pick up on carpets? One problem with many robot vacuums it that they can collect pet hair from the floor but on carpets, rugs, and fabric, they hairs stick on the material.

ILIFE V3s has an efficient brush that will grab the little hairs and dump them into the bin. With the V3s, you can finally have a peace of mind if your dog or cat likes rubbing its back on your carpet.

Unfortunately, this model doesn’t have HEPA filters so you will struggle if you have allergies.
What else does the ILIFE V3s Pro offer?

The V3s Pro comes with large RoadRover wheels that make carpet transitioning easier. Also, if you have a large apartment, at least it will run for an hour and a half or so. This is quite some long runtime compared to the entry-level Roombas that do an hour. The navigation is not so accurate because time and again, you will find it stuck if the house is relatively crowded.

Editor’s Thoughts: ILIFE V3s Pro is an impressive budget robot vacuum that you can snap today if you have a low pile carpet and pets. It is very efficient in picking up pet hair on carpets and other dirt. But note, it’s designed for light pile because it lacks Max mode like the successors. For the price, I wouldn’t complain much though there is still a considerable room for improvement.

3. ECOVACS Deebot N79s Cheap Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Carpets

Deebot is a popular Chinese brand that has dominated the scene with some fantastic robot cleaning solutions including automatic window cleaners.

The N79s is their cheap robot vacuum cleaner for carpets. It has been designed for the low pile to medium pile carpets as well as a host of other cleaning needs.

If you have a carpet and you are on a budget, this is a deal you can snap.

The data below manifests its impressive performance on carpets. This is bearing in mind that it is an entry level robot vacuum.

ECOVACS Deebot N79s

The Deebot N79s strikes a balance between performance and convenience so don’t expect super-performance from it. But it’s able to clean most of the dirt on light and medium pile carpets.

However, on heavy and dense pile carpets and rugs, the performance suddenly takes a different turn. Most of the small dirt particles remain inside the pile meaning this robot vacuum has not been designed for high pile carpets and rugs.

The advantage is that it can run on two power modes; Eco and Max mode with the latter activated when it detects carpets.

The Deebot N79s is also a great robot vacuum for hardwood floors. It has very gentle extractors that will scrub all the dirt without damaging your precious hardwood floor.

Pet owners also have a reliable vacuum in the Deebot N79s even though it lacks a HEPA filter. That’s another reason you shouldn’t buy Deebot N79s if you have a high pile carpet as it harbors a lot of allergens.

Regarding convenience, the Deebot N79s comes with Wi-Fi for Smartphone operation as well as Alexa compatibility. The advantage of this feature is that it gives you more control over your root vacuum and the cleanliness of your floors.

One of the advantages is that you can always vacuum your carpet even when you are not at home. This is a great feature now that carpets require frequent vacuuming to prevent the buildup of dirt and worse enough, staining.
Editor’s Thoughts – The Deebot N79s is a replica of Roomba 980 but is not as powerful. The advantage is that it is cheaper by over $500 and has almost all the standard features Roomba boasts. The only problem is that it won’t be a reliable maid if you have high pile carpets and area rugs but as far as light to medium pile vacuuming is concerned, Deebot N79s will be a smart buy!

2. Eufy Robovac 11s (BoostIQ) is Affordable and Delivers More Than Enough Suction

Eufy is quite an unpopular brand but one that has some really great robot vacuums. One of my favorites is the Eufy BoostIQ that has been designed for carpets. Actually, this is among the few robot vacuums that have really given Roombas a run for their money as far as vacuum power is concerned.

It delivers an impressive 1300 Pa. Remember, expensive models like Roomba 890- and Roomba 960 deliver just 900-1000Pa. Perhaps the best part of Eufy BoostIQ is the fact that it is affordable unlike high-vacuum power robots like Roomba 980 and D7 Connected.

Here is how the Eufy Robovac 11s performed on carpets.

Eufy Robovac 11s
The performance of Robovac 11s on carpets speaks for itself. It can clean light, medium, and even high pile carpets without a problem.

All the dirt we put on its way was sucked into the dustbin. Perhaps the only hurdle was the flour on heavy pile carpet. A little of the fine flour got stuck deep inside the pile, but none remained on the top of the fabric.

I’m sure the much powerful Robovac 30 will vacuum everything because it has 1500 Pa. But for its price, Robovac 11s is great value for money if you have just any carpet; it doesn’t limit you like Shark ION, and Deebot N79s.

Robovac 11s has been able to excel in some areas many robot vacuums haven’t been able to. If you have a large apartment, you understand the need of having a long battery life. The Robovac 11s doesn’t offer just that. It has been built with auto-resume function meaning it will automatically recharge and resume cleaning automatically.

Another thing that fascinates is the slim design of this robot vacuum and a large dustbin. It stands at 2.8 inches and has a large 0.6L dustbin. This is quite impressive considering top of the range models like Roomba 980 have a 3.6-inches height and a smaller 0.3L dustbin.

I also like the offroad wheels that climb carpets and areas rugs easily without getting stuck. But how I wish the navigation were a little bit enhanced now that it cleans quite randomly.

Editor’s Thoughts – The Robovac 11s is not yet the best robot vacuum in the market, but for carpet owners, it can be an invaluable addition to your cleaning team. It is affordable and delivers more than enough suction for its price. You also get some premium features like auto resume which is a reserve for the high-end models.

1. Roomba 980 the Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet

And finally, our number one choice for the best robot vacuum for carpet is the Roomba 980. If you want a true all-around robot vacuum cleaner, you have the answer in this elite 900 Series.

Roomba 980 is iRobot’s high-end robot vacuum and a standard of excellence in the robot vacuums market. If you’d ask me why it makes it on this list, I would give a dozen reasons. But for now, keep in mind that it has the industry’s leading ‘Carpet Boost’ mode that even the pricier Roomba 960 lacks.

Here is how it showed its dominance from low to high pile carpets.

Roomba 980

Immediately the Roomba 980 went on the carpet, Carpet Boost was activated, and it picked up all the dirt without any problem. With a vacuum power of up to 1700Pa, this is a real sucker of dirt.

Unlike others that did well on light or medium pile carpets only, Roomba 980 is ideal for low, medium and high pile carpets.

This robot vacuum also comes with HEPA filters which make sure all the allergens that are trapped in the carpet fabric is filtered out. If you have pets, you understand how dog urine will leave your carpet with an odor, especially if it is heavy.

With Roomba 980, the AeroForce ultra efficiency system will take care of the job regardless of the type of carpet. It also uses rubber extractors as opposed to bristles making it gentle on the carpet fabric. Rubber extractors are also easier to maintain.

The Roomba 980 also has a longer runtime and besides, it will resume cleaning after recharging. This is an important feature now that runtime is greatly affected depending on the nature of the carpet pile. Heavy carpet piles tend to shorten runtime because of the extra power required by the robot to move.

I also like the fact that the Roomba 980 has a VSLAM navigation that is more accurate and efficient. It uses the usual Smart sensors, obstacle sensors as well as cliff sensors to find its way around the house. In addition to that, there is a camera that feeds it live images for enhanced localization.

Editor’s Thoughts – If money is not a problem, the Roomba 980 is something that should be number one on your wishlist. However, its price is so exuberant and considering it doesn’t have a mop, and many people don’t find it worth because there are a lot of cheaper options. But you can’t ignore the power of Carpet Boost especially if you have a high pile carpet. With low and medium pile carpets, you can gamble with the likes of ECOVACS, and ILIFE and Shark ION but when it comes to heavy carpets, Roomba 980 is the perfect robot vacuum!

Alternatives

Neato Robotics D7One of the trending robot vacuum cleaners right now is the D7 Connected. It is an excellent choice if you want a high-end robot vacuum cleaner apart from Roomba 980. It costs $800, and the price is proportional to its performance.

For carpets, you get two power modes; Eco and Turbo and a Generation 3 motor. Other features include an easy boundary marking feature and 5GHz Wi-Fi band.

My concern with Deebot D7 Connected is the fact that $800 is too much for a vacuum cleaner that has the old SLAM navigation yet at the same budget, you get vacuums with SVLAM navigation which is more intelligent.

Shopping Guide: Buying the best robot vacuum for carpet

Each passing day, robot vacuum brands continue to develop much better innovations so the models that are top today might be replaced by newer models soon. That said, it’s important to learn the ropes instead of depending on recommendations alone.

We have taken it upon ourselves to teach you how to shop for the best robot vacuum for carpet in this buying guide. We are going to discuss the static factors that matter most when buying a robot vacuum for your carpet.

10 Factors to consider when buying a robot vacuum for carpet

For the first time shopper, it may be quite difficult to choose a robot vacuum. We have made things simple by discussing ten important factors you will need to consider when shopping for a robot vacuum. Make sure to follow them to get a robot vacuum that will suit your needs and offer value for money.

1. Budget

The first thing is to ask yourself, what is your budget? Robot vacuums range from $50 all the way to $1500 and even higher.

A good robot vacuum should cost you an average of $200 – $300 if you have a light pile to medium pile carpet. However, for homeowners with heavy and high pile carpets, set a budget of $500 to get a powerful vacuum that will thoroughly clean your thick carpet.

But always remember, cheap is not always clever, and you get what you pay for!

2. Brand

The robot vacuums market has hundreds of different brands to choose from. While there are some reliable and trusted brands, many of the stuff you find in the market are generic. They have been built with low-quality materials and are not as effective.

That’s why I normally recommend that you buy from a trusted brand. Here, we are talking about the likes of iRobot Roomba, ILIFE, ECOVACS, Shark ION, Eufy, Neato and the rest.

3. Cleaning performance

The ultimate question in our today’s topic is, will it clean carpets? We have already discussed this but just as a recap, choose a robot vacuum depending on your carpet.

For heavy pile carpets and rugs, get a powerful robot with high suction power, at least 1,000Pa. For light pile and thin carpets and rugs, you can get these entry-level robot vacuums from 500 Pa.

But the standard robot vacuum cleaner right now should have around 800 Pa – 1000Pa.

4. Maintenance

In as much as you want a cheap robot vacuum, also remember to factor in the costs of maintenance. For carpet owners, you need to worry more about maintenance because robot vacuums requite optimum performance on carpets.

While many of these robot vacuums might be cheap, some of them require intensive maintenance, and an example is Shark ION RV750 compared to Roomba. The maintenance costs of the former are double that of Roomba 980.

5. Autonomy

As discussed above robot vacuums tend to have a short runtime on carpets because of the terrain. That said, you should always be giving yourself an allowance of around 10 – 20 minutes depending on your carpet.

But we recommend going for the longest runtime and if possible, get a robot vacuum with auto-resume, for example, Roomba 980. It will automatically resume cleaning after recharging, so you don’t have to worry about runtime even on the heaviest of carpet piles.

6. Operation noise

Robot vacuums are not so pleasant when running. But then, the noise they emit varies from model to model as well as the surface the robot is cleaning.

Unfortunately, most robot vacuums will increase power on carpets which in turn increases the noise produced. Here, I won’t promise you a robot vacuum, for carpets that will offer silent operation because it will definitely compromise the vacuum power.

7. Design

You want a low profile design that will creep under most of the furniture with low-ground clearance.

Another important consideration is the wheels.

Carpets, especially high pile, require robot vacuums with large wheels to easily transition from the floor to the carpet and vice versa.

If you have area rugs, then this is a critical consideration because many homeowners complain that their robot vacuums get stuck on rugs. In most cases, they are using the wrong robot vacuum probably with tiny wheels that find it hard to climb the carpet edges.

8. Navigation

Robot vacuums navigate independently, but they are not reliable at all times. The accuracy of robot vacuums varies from model to model.

Right now, the best robot vacuums for high traffic rooms have VSLAM navigation, for example, Roomba 960 and 980.

But then they are quite expensive, so in most cases, you will have to settle for the Smart sensors only. In many models, they work just fine, but in some, they detect dark carpet spots as cliffs or stairs so they will avoid them.

9. Connectivity

With the proliferation of Smart home technology, you don’t want to miss out on the offerings of a Smart robot vacuum. But when it comes to carpets cleaning, the Smart connectivity helps you to control your robot vacuum easily and remotely.

If you have a busy home, you understand how frequent you will be required to vacuum. With a Smart robot vacuum, you can schedule cleaning easily, tell the robot to clean remotely or even adjust some advanced cleaning settings.

Look for a robot vacuum with Wi-Fi and Alexa support, and maybe other integrations like IFTTT, HomeKit, SmartThings and so on.

10. Warranty and aftersales

Lastly, you want to buy from a brand or retailer with a good after sales record. There are times your purchase may develop a problem for no apparent reason. The warranty takes care of this as long as it is valid.

Buy a robot vacuum with at least 1-year warranty.

Also, make sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly, it’s not just about the warranty length.

However, I’d like to caution you about some brands and sellers who don’t honor their warranty. The advantage of buying online is that you can see what previous customers said regarding the aftersales.

But a good gamble is the top brands because they value customer satisfaction.

There you go, ten tips that will help you buy the right vacuum cleaner for your carpet.

Carpet pile and vacuuming; Does carpet pile matter when buying a robot vacuum?

I know a lot of homeowners who often complain that their robot vacuum is not thorough on their carpets. One of the first questions I ask people with that complaint is, what’s your carpet type?

I understand that there is a dozen of carpet types categorized depending on the design, fabric, and a whole lot of factors. But when it comes to carpets vacuuming, there’s one important variable that is important; the carpet pile.

In this section, we want to find out more about carpet pile and why it is essential in carpet vacuuming.

What is carpet pile?

Basically, pile refers to the interwoven loops of fabric that make up a carpet or rug. In our discussion today, we won’t go into many details apart from the three types of carpet pile in many households and the best robot vacuum to buy.

1. Low pile carpet

These are carpets with a height of ¼-inch or lower. Low pile carpets are crafted from soft fabric, and the pile is tightly interwoven into a nice textured fabric. A lot of homes prefer low-pile because it doesn’t harbor allergens like high pile carpets. However, you sacrifice the extra warmth and coziness. But the best thing about low pile is the maintenance.

Here, you can gamble with just any other robot vacuum cleaner with 500 Pa suction power and above. It should also have an elaborate brush for agitation and pick up of dirt. Maneuverability is not a significant concern like in high pile so even the average set of wheels will climb carpets and area rugs easily.

ECOVACS Deebot N79s, Shark ION 750, ILIFE V3s and the rest are great options here. It all depends on your preference and budget as well.

2. Medium pile carpet

This is a balance between the low pile and high pile and ranges from ¼-inch to ½-inch high. Medium pile carpets have fairly dense loops and weave. They are a little bit cozier and warmer and strike a balance between comfort and affordability.

However, cleaning medium pile carpets is the problem. Here, it keeps allergens and hides quite a lot of fine dirt particles. I recommend that you be careful when buying a robot vacuum for medium pile carpet. I suggest you go for a much powerful robot vacuum ranging from 800 Pa upwards.

Here, be very selective on models and some of the robot vacuums that should feature in your wishlist include Roomba 890, Botvac D7 Connected, ILIFE V7s Pro, Deebot R95 and the rest of the mid-range robot vacuums. The entry-level robot vacuums will still get the job done but not as efficiently.

3. High pile carpet

These are carpets that have heavy fabric because of dense loops. Generally, they are about ½-inch to an inch and sometimes even higher. The high pile is a favorite for families living in cold regions because of the warmth. It’s also great if you have kids who like to lie on the floor.

If you have a heavy pile carpet, you know that cleaning it is a headache. This is because the smallest dirt particles creep inside the pile and flushing them out becomes a tall order. But with super high suction, even the tiniest particles will be sucked into the bin.

That said, you need to buy a robot vacuum with the highest suction power. Right now, Roomba 980, D7 Connected and Eufy Robovac 30 lead the pack delivering over 1500 Pa.

Wrapping up

Folks, we’ve now come to the end of our review of the best robot vacuum for carpet. As you have seen, not just any robot vacuum will suit all carpets.

There are specific robot vacuums designed to handle carpets. And not just any other carpet, you have to be very selective. Make sure you know your carpet pile and choose a robot vacuum accordingly.

Always remember that suction power is a basic fundamental when shopping for a good robot vacuum for carpets. Also look out for larger wheels to ease carpet-floor transitioning. Besides, get a versatile robot that will also handle your other cleaning needs.

With that, we have come to the end of our review so until next time, thanks for reading!

What’s the Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet?
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