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What are Boundary Strips for Robot Vacuums?

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Updated August 16, 2022

If you are just wading into the world of automated cleaning, you may wonder what are boundary strips for robot vacuums. Some of the best vacuums, after all, are robot vacuums, and these robots are assisted by various accessories. So what are boundary strips, how do they work, and what are some tips to make the most of them? Keep reading to find out.


  • Robot vacuum cleaners need to be told which areas of the home to avoid, and that is where boundary tape and magnetic strips come in.
  • These strips, typically available as reflective tape, can be placed anywhere, setting up a precise environment for cleaning.
  • Some robot vacuum cleaners eschew physical strips in favor of digital boundary software, which is accessible via an integrated app.

What are Boundary Strips?

One of the most common robot vacuum troubleshooting steps is using a variety of tools and accessories to create boundaries. So, boundary strips tell the vacuum where it can or cannot go, even if you have learned all about gyro navigation with robot vacuums.

Insider Tip

If you have small children, you can also cordon off their rooms so that the vacuum does not disturb any sleep.

This is extremely helpful, as robo-vacs are expensive and constantly hurling them down the stairs is not a good look. Boundary strips let you cordon off sensitive areas, thus keeping the vacuum safe from itself.

Types of Boundary Strips

There are various types of boundary strips, and you’ll typically find that a roll or two ships with any newly purchased robot vac.

  • Boundary Tape – This is your standard accessory for this task. Boundary tape is outfitted with a reflective coating that the vacuum will not travel across. You can cut it and lay it out however you want.
  • Boundary Strips – This is just like boundary tape but resists cutting and must be laid out as-is. Still, these strips are often more aesthetically pleasing than tape.
  • Virtual Boundaries – Not all models need boundary strips at all, as some perform this task digitally. The robots will make a note of any problem areas and avoid them accordingly. Additionally, you can set up these virtual boundaries on a smartphone app.

How to Create Boundaries for Robot Vacuums?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach here, though there are some helpful tips worth considering when using any kind of boundary tape or strip.

  • Stairs are a no-go for these little buddies. Cordon them off as needed. If you need multiple floors to be cleaned, carry the vacuum from one floor to the next.
  • Avoid heavily trafficked areas if you are going for a more “out of sight, out of mind” approach to automated cleaning robots.
  • These strips are also for telling a robot where to clean and not just where to avoid. Set up the strips to create a cleaning path for the little bot.

STAT: Roomba is a series of autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners sold by iRobot. Introduced in September 2002, they have a set of sensors that enable them to navigate the floor area of a home. (source)

Boundary Strips FAQs

How do I apply Eufy boundary strips?

Check the product details, but most Eufy-branded strips can be affixed just about anywhere to suit your specific robotic vacuum. Check the product description for exact usage details on robot vacuum cleaner integration.

Which magnets do I use for my robot vacuum?

Magnetic strips are a type of boundary-setting material typically used to set up virtual walls for your robot vacuum cleaner when performing multi-surface cleaning. Read reviews before making a purchase.

How does the Shark IQ Robot XL Vacuum compare to other vacuums?

Shark robot vacuum cleaners are known to be high-quality and particularly effective at multi-surface cleaning, including hardwood floors and some medium-pile carpets. These vacuums often feature high star ratings, long power cords, and a decent Wi-Fi-connected software suite.
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