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How to Keep a Robot Vacuum From Getting Stuck Under Furniture

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Updated September 26, 2022

If you are new to the world of automated cleaning gadgets, you may wonder how to keep a robot vacuum from getting stuck under furniture. Some of the best vacuum cleaners, after all, are robot vacuums, and these devices often get stuck under furniture and in other locations throughout the home. So why do robo-vacs get stuck, and what can you do about it? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Robot vacuum cleaners often become stuck underneath large furniture items, requiring manual retrieval.
  • To prevent them from getting stuck under a piece of furniture, such as a dining table, start by placing some furniture items on dedicated risers.
  • You can also prevent access entirely by setting new virtual walls, laying down boundary strips, or adding bumper extenders to the robot vacuum cleaner.

Why Do Robot Vacuums Get Stuck Under Furniture?

Robotic vacuums are smart, using algorithms and advanced AI to navigate spaces, but they can still get stuck sometimes, even if you have learned how to install and replace robot vacuum bumpers. If they could get under a couch, for instance, but then become unable to back out. This will ultimately lead you to research robot vacuum troubleshooting steps.

Insider Tip

You can also try buying elevated furniture to eliminate this problem.

No matter why your lil’ buddy got stuck, there are some nifty prevention steps to consider, even if you are still comparing Kirby vs Oreck vacuums.

How to Prevent Robotic Vacuums From Getting Stuck

Crawling under an item of furniture to retrieve your autonomous vacuum can be a daunting task, so it’s better to prevent them from getting stuck in the first place. Here are some ways to do just that.

Use Furniture Risers

Simple furniture risers not only give you some additional space underneath large items of furniture, allowing them to offer a modest bit of storage, but they also prevent robotic vacuums from getting stuck. The reason is obvious. More room to navigate means your robot pal will come and go as it pleases. Of course, not all furniture items can be placed on risers, so do some research ahead of time.

Affix Bumper Extenders

Bumper extenders tell the vacuum when to avoid a certain location, so when the extender bumps into the lip of a large item of furniture, it will go elsewhere instead of attempting to crawl underneath. Many models ship with a number of these bumpers, so you won’t have to make an additional purchase.

Restrict Access

Your vacuum won’t get stuck under the couch if it never goes under the couch, right? This is precisely why most robo-vacs ship with boundary strips or allow for setting virtual boundaries. Just lay down the no-go magnetic strips in front of the item of furniture or re-adjust the boundaries on the affiliated app.

STAT: In 1956, the American science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein described the concept of a robotic vacuum cleaner with a recharging dock in his novel ‘The Door into Summer. (source)

Stuck Robot Vacuum FAQs

Why does a robot vacuum get stuck?

Various types of robot vacuums get stuck under furniture when their sensors become overwhelmed by ambient light as they do their job cleaning, among other reasons.

What about Shark Ion robot vacuums?

Shark robot vacuum owners are also subject to this issue, even when cleaning hardwood floors. To prevent damage to furniture, use the model's optical sensor and dedicated app to set new boundaries.

How to stop a robot vacuum from getting stuck under the dining table?

Dining tables are tricky, and your best solution here is to simply cordon off the area with virtual boundaries or boundary strips. Virtual walls or physical barriers are also options.
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