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Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpet?

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Updated February 7, 2023

If you’re shopping for a premium vacuum, you may wonder how well do robot vacuums work on the carpet. Top-tier robot vacuum cleaners should offer powerful suction on carpets and hardwood floors. That said, many wonder if robot vacuums for carpets are a good idea, especially homeowners dealing with pet hair. The bottom line is yes, they will work, but the effectiveness of the cleaning will depend on a few things. If it is a very old model, the results may not be great, but newer models have gotten better. The most important aspect to remember is the pile of carpet you need cleaned. In general, high-pile carpets will not be cleaned as well with a robot vacuum as low-pile carpets.


  • Most robot vacuums perform well on low-profile carpets, just like on hardwood flooring.
  • Some robot vacuums will work on medium-pile carpets, but you shouldn’t rely on them for deep carpet cleanings.
  • Users with high-pile or thick carpets should invest in a model specifically designed for carpet cleaning.

Can Vacuum Robots Clean Carpets

Users who wonder if a robot vacuum can clean multiple rooms should compare Roomba i4 vs. i8 models to get a sense of what’s on offer. Some basic robot vacuums perform well on carpets, but some popular models struggle to clean carpeted floors. Luckily, you can learn how to remove hair from a carpet without a vacuum to boost your robot vacuum model’s performance on carpets.

Insider Tip

Clean your robot vacuum’s beater brushes to prevent pet hair from diminishing the unit’s suction power.

Higher-end models can typically handle thick, high-pile carpets, but you should learn how do robot vacuums find their chargers to maximize their battery life. Read on to know if a robot vacuum for carpet cleaning is a practical and versatile option.

Robot Vacuum Model

While early robot vacuums weren’t great for removing dirt from carpets compared to a regular vacuum, modern versions typically offer better performance. Even budget robot vacuums can handle low-pile carpeted floors.

Surface Type

Your floor type will dictate the effectiveness of your robot vacuum’s cleaning job. Pricier models tend to offer multiple cleaning modes to suit your carpet height. Your unit’s carpet cleaning capabilities will differ on each type of carpet, but you should know what to expect with most robot vacuums.


Your robot vacuum cleaner will not return to the docking station if it doesn’t have at least two feet of clearance on the sides and four feet in front.

High-Pile Carpets

Homeowners needing advanced carpet cleaning abilities should seek a powerful robot vacuum specializing in carpet floors. That said, many experts do not recommend robot vacuums for daily cleaning, especially for users with thicker carpets.

Medium-Pile Carpets

Unless you have a robot vacuum meant for carpeted floors, you may not get great results on a medium-pile carpet. That said, you can use the robot vacuum for light, daily vacuuming and only use a traditional vacuum for deep cleaning sessions.

STAT: An Environmental Health Perspective study showed that 82% of surveyed US homes had detectable levels of mouse allergens in their carpets. (source)

Low-Pile Carpets

Most robot vacuums offer an effective cleaning cycle on low-profile carpets and hardwood. Since there are fewer carpet fibers to pull through, the robot vacuum’s powerful suction can pull high amounts of dust and dirt.

Do Robot Vacuums Work on Carpet FAQs

How do I clean an iRobot Roomba?

You can clean the outside of your robot vacuum with a damp cloth or sponge and remove hair from the brush housing to ensure powerful suction. Do not apply cleaning solutions to the robot vacuum, or you could damage the advanced sensors.

What do smart vacuum robots offer?

Smart devices link to the internet and offer smartphone apps for convenient remote controls, and robot vacuums are no different. A smart robot vacuum should offer smart features like voice control and connect to smart home assistants like Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

Are LiDAR or Optical sensors better on robot vacuum cleaners?

LiDAR technology offers more accurate object sensors and floor plan mapping than optical sensors. That said, robot vacuums with optical technology are generally cheaper than models using LiDAR sensors.
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