Eufy RoboVac 11 Robotic Vacuum Review
Ease of Use: 5 stars
The Eufy RoboVac 11 Robotic Vacuum is one of the best values for the money on the market today. A rugged little cleaning bot with a can-do attitude! Recommended for anyone who hates vacuuming, which is probably just about everyone!
Do you despise vacuuming? Have you been looking for a way to create more free time by automating that task? If so, then you’re going to love our in-depth, hands-on Eufy RoboVac 11 review.
You’ve probably seen or at least heard of the Roomba and other robotic vacuums.
You may have also heard more than a few horror stories of them malfunctioning in all sorts of crazy ways, getting stuck, getting lost, and sometimes even randomly “humping” furniture (which is another flavor of getting stuck).
There’s good news though! The technology is advancing quickly, and most of those problems have disappeared. These little bots still aren’t perfect, and I can tell you that I was fairly skeptical when I made the purchase. But I’ve got friends in the robotics industry, and this one came highly recommended, so I bought it to try it out.
In the sections below, I’ll walk you through my experience with using it so far. Even if you opt to go with some other model, I think you’ll agree, this little guy is amazing!
An Overview of the Eufy RoboVac 11
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
Here’s a picture of the Eufy in his charging station. He’s actually kinda cute, and I named mine "Harvey". No particular reason, except that it just felt strange calling him “The Eufy.” He's a hard-working little guy, so I figured he deserved a proper name.
He’s almost shockingly small, measuring just 12.83” x 12.99” x 3.07.” He’s just a smidge too tall to fit under my sofa, but he can get under just about everything else. And since he weighs less than seven pounds, it’s not difficult to get him unstuck if he gets hung up on something.
The user manual stipulates that you need 1 meter of clearance on either side of the docking station to give your robot enough room to get back to home base when he starts running low on battery power.
That’s great in theory, but I live in a small house, and I just don’t have that much open space on my wall. As you can see, I’ve got it crammed between a chest of drawers and a doorway. To date, he’s never had any trouble docking himself when it’s time for a recharge.
Anyone who has come over and seen him always had the same reaction: “Oh, he’s so cute!” He's a great conversation starter, that’s for sure.
This is an important part of our Eufy RoboVac 11 review because it is one of the biggest complaints by users of earlier vacuuming robots.
Earlier vacuuming robots get lost or stuck constantly, which in turn messes up their cleaning rhythm. As a result, users would wind up with a room that has some clean spots and some areas that just got missed.
Given that, they were…not quite useless, but far less than optimal because you’d’ have to vacuum behind it, which kind of defeated the whole point of the thing.
Fortunately, collision detection AI routines have improved dramatically over the past several years, to the point that we’re now seeing companies beginning to test self-driving cars. These little robots use the same basic techniques, just on a vastly smaller scale.
It would be overselling it to say that Harvey doesn’t bump into things. He does, and he did it a lot when I first introduced him to each room. He was feeling his way around the edges, “learning it,” and once that process completed, he’s pretty good.
I’ve only had two real issues, and neither of them are the robot’s fault:
First, a lot of my living room furniture are on wheels. My office is in the living room, and my office chair and the coffee table behind me (yep, I’ve got a coffee table on wheels!) both tend to change their positions, which understandably confuses my little bot and causes him to knock around until he learns the new locations of those two pieces.
The second is, he doesn’t do well with pedestal fans. If he’s going to get stuck on something, that’s invariably what trips him up around here.
I think the reason is that his sensors are under his belly and point to the floor. From that vantage point, the gradual slope of the pedestal fan’s base looks like something he can navigate, so he gamely tries, only to be defeated.
If the Eufy RoboVac 11 had a second sensor…like an eye, that looked outward at the room itself, he’d recognize it as an obstacle, and simply not try, so – a shortcoming, but a very minor one in my opinion.
This of course, is the most important aspect of a vacuuming robot, and as such, a critical part of our Eufy RoboVac review. After all, if he’s not going to pick up enough dirt to make a difference, then what’s the point?
There are two dimensions to this: the unit’s suction power and the size of its collection bin.
Here’s where I was initially skeptical. I’ve got four cats, and three of them are long haired. Only one room in my place has carpet, with the rest being hardwood (living room) and laminate (kitchen and bathroom).
Needless to say, with four cats, it doesn’t take long to develop dust bunnies the size of wolverines. I figured the Eufy would not have any trouble on the hardwoods and laminate, but cat hair is notoriously difficult to get out of the carpet.
My concerns were misplaced.
The Eufy has a single rolling brush (beater bar) and two side brushes and is equipped with 1000Pa suction, which I’ve found to be more than up to the job of getting out cat fur that’s been deeply ingrained in the carpet fibers.
It’s true that the collection bin is smallish. But in my experience, it’s well-sized, given the battery life. In other words, when the battery starts to run low and he goes for a recharge, I just make it a point to pick him up and empty the bin (which is usually close to being full by that point).
Note that one problem I’ve encountered in my home is the fact that the threshold between the living room and the bedroom is a little high for the Eufy to get over. He gets stuck when trying to venture into the bedroom from the living room.
Because of that, the routine I’ve gotten into is that I let him charge during the night, then divide the house in half, giving him about 30 minutes in the living room and kitchen. Then I move him to the bedroom/bathroom, where he finishes out his battery life (about two hours), before returning himself to his charging station.
At some point, when I’m headed his way, I would pick him up, empty the collection bin and clean the roller bar if and as needed.
Total maintenance time takes less than five minutes a day, and I get pristine floors. Here are a couple of photos, before and after of the living room.
Earlier in the day, I had spread some catnip for the felines, and after they were done with it, I turned Harvey loose in the living room.
Here are some additional shots of him doing his thing in the bedroom. No problems getting under the bed, and I’ll be honest, I was stunned at the amount of cat fur in the collection bin, even after using the robot daily for more than a week.
Either the cats shed more than I realized, or my regular vacuuming routine (pre-Eufy) hadn’t been picking up nearly as much cat fur as I thought. Either way, I’m totally impressed by his cleaning capabilities.
What About Noise?
The Eufy has two modes of operation: Regular and Max. Max provides full suction power and a deeper clean. I use standard power on the non-carpet surfaces, and max on the carpet. Even on max clean setting, the sound of the pedestal fan completely drowns out the sound of the robot vacuuming, so it’s a lot quieter than I expected it would be!
I would have no problem letting him run during the night, while I’m sleeping. Even with the fan not running, he’s just not loud enough to be disturbing.
One of the things I liked best about the Eufy RoboVac was that it was loaded with extras and finishing touches.
All I had to do when I took the unit out of the box was plug the charging station in and attach two of the four side brushes provided (two to put on the machine initially, and two spares).
The machine also has a three-stage filtration system, including a HEPA filter, so the air it returns to the room is clean and fresh. The Eufy comes with two extra filters, too, which is a super-nice touch.
It gets even better though because it also has a remote!
I wasn’t expecting to get one on a machine at this price point. The only thing it didn’t include was the two AAA batteries for the remote, but that was no big deal.
About the only thing you’ll have to do when you put the batteries in the remote is set the time. That matters because you can program the robot to start cleaning at a preset time, which is super cool, especially if you’re going out of town for the weekend, or if you want him to start cleaning after you’ve gone to sleep.
In addition to selecting between regular and max power, you can also choose from one of the following cleaning modes.
If you press Auto or the house icon near the top of the remote, you’ll activate “whole house” mode. Here, the unit will just troll around, trying to access different rooms and keep running till it runs low on batter power.
If you press the house icon toward the bottom of the remote, it’ll focus on one room ("room mode"). This feature doesn’t work all that well in my experience. For best results, you’ll want to shut the door to keep him from wandering out of the room you want him focusing on.
Then, there’s “spot clean” mode. This works well and confines the Eufy to about a three-foot radius from where you initially position him. He’ll slowly spiral inward, thoroughly cleaning the area in question.
Then there’s Edge mode.
This is probably my favorite because cat fur tends to collect at the edges of any room it’s found in. After doing the “regular” day’s vacuuming, about every third day, I’ll run the Eufy through each room again, this time, in edge mode.
As you might expect, this causes him to focuses on the edges and clean anything that might have been missed during the “regular” cleaning cycle.
Finally, the remote also has directional arrows, allowing you to “drive” the robot in any direction you like. You can use this to either get him unstuck by forcing him to back away from something or to chase cats. I vastly prefer this latter use.
Speaking of the cats – they DESPISE the robot.
Every time he’s on the job, they stalk and attack him as he makes his appointed rounds. Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing any time soon, so I doubt I will have any cute cat videos featuring them riding around on the robot, but I can live with that.
Ease of Use
Honestly, I didn’t feel as though there was a learning curve for this machine at all. The manual is short and on point. A quick skim through it will give you a sufficient familiarity with the unit’s operation that you won’t have any real difficulty.
Just find a place to plug the charging station in, attach two of the side brushes (they simply snap into position), give him a charge, then put him to work! That’s all there is to it.
Note that when the Eufy is charging, his power light will blink blue. When he’s fully charged, or in use, the light will be solid blue. When he's low on battery, the light turns red. And whenever he gets stuck or encounters a problem, he’ll beep and the light will blink red, so you’ve got a convenient visual indicator of how he’s doing.
When you flip the unit over to empty the dust collection bin, you’ll find a legend, which explains exactly what the various beep cycles mean.
Pros & Cons of the Eufy RoboVac 11
In our view, there’s almost nothing not to like about the Eufy. It’s relatively inexpensive as vacuuming robots go, capable, and has tremendous cleaning abilities.
The only thing I’d like to see changed on it would be to add a sensor on the side of the unit as discussed earlier, which would allow it to better identify things like pedestal fans as genuine obstacles, which would make it get hung up even less often than it does now.
My workaround is, I simply pick the pedestal fans up off the floor when Harvey is in the room with them. He hasn’t hung up on anything since!
Eufy RoboVac 11 Review Conclusion
And that wraps up our Eufy RoboVac 11 review. If you don’t like vacuuming (and honestly, who does?), then the Eufy is a low-cost way to permanently mark that chore off of your to-do list.
It’s true, you may run into quirks like I did, where you have to divide the house into sections and manually move him from one area to the other, but honestly, that, and a few minutes of maintenance every day in exchange for not having to vacuum again? That’s a very good trade.
Sturdy and capable, I’d highly recommend them to anyone. If you live in a two-story home, they’re inexpensive enough that you can probably just get one for each floor!