Best robot vacuums for carpet and rugs 2023: Roomba, Shark, and more

As robot vacuums become more common in the average household, robot vacuums keep up with the demand with smart features that let us schedule cleanings while we’re on the go, control them via voice commands, or schedule which rooms should or should not be cleaned.

But if your home is mostly carpeted or carpeted, the convenience of a robot vacuum becomes tricky. Buying the cheapest you can find is almost guaranteed more annoying every time it eats a tassel or can’t muster the strength to pull pet hair off the living room floor.

Are robot vacuums good on carpet?

Not all vacuum robots are equipped to clean your floor coverings. Some just don’t have enough suction power or clearance to properly handle thick, deep-pile carpets. When choosing the best robot vacuum for carpets, you should check the product page of each robot vacuum to see what carpet height it can handle. While most only recommend low-pile rugs or flat-woven rugs, some vacuums can crank them up to a medium pile or even a fluffy, high pile. Consider the type of carpet in your home before choosing the right model.

What you should look out for when buying a robotic vacuum cleaner for carpets

So far, good maneuvering only gets a vacuum. Pet hair, crumbs, and dust die on carpets and rugs, so vigorous (but methodical) vacuuming is key for homes with a lot of stubborn floor coverings.

The rule of thumb is: hand vacuum cleaners have more suction power than compact vacuum robots. However, if you prefer to outsource the work, look for a robot vacuum with at least 2,000 Pa suction power to ensure carpet fibers are combed efficiently. Most modern vacuum cleaners have a boost mode that kicks in automatically when the vacuum cleaner detects a carpet. Those same sensors should be smart enough to provide a smooth transition to dark hardwood floors and *not* mistake them for a cliff.

Other features like smart sensors, self-draining capabilities, voice control, noise levels, and the ability to map multiple rooms and floorplans are nice to have, but are purely based on preference. They are not necessarily essential factors when looking for the best robot vacuum for carpets and rugs.

Will a Roomba ruin your carpet?

A robot vacuum is unlikely to ruin your carpet. However, watch out for loose rug cords and rugs with frayed ends. Bumbling bots with less accurate object sensors can gobble them up and stick to them, potentially damaging your flooring. Folks who love a good ruffled rug should consider a robot vacuum that follows virtual boundaries through intelligent mapping (rather than hitting or missing physical no-go stripes).

People in homes with combination floors may consider a hybrid model. Many budget robot vacuums now offer mopping—they just don’t promise not to mop your carpets, too. To ensure your carpets don’t get soaked, opt for a hybrid that will stop its flow of water when soft floors are sensed.

Which is better: Shark or Roomba?

Both are good, but a general comparison between the two brands doesn’t work that well. As with the Instant Pot vs. Ninja Foodi debate, Roomba offers a wider range of models and features that can be tailored to suit your needs. Shark’s full range is generally more budget-friendly than its closest Roomba counterpart. Shark offers self-draining and laser mapping of your home’s floor plan for just $449.99, while iRobot’s cheapest self-drainer starts at $599.99 (as low as $399.99 on sale) and doesn’t remember specific rooms. The other two (very impressive) self-draining Roombas cost $800 or more, while Shark’s most expensive bot costs $649.99.

But iRobot and Shark aren’t the only players in this group chat. Roborock, Eufy, and Yeedi present serious competition, offering attractive features like mopping or vacuuming that rival those of the big brands for hundreds of dollars less.

It’s important to note that not all robot vacuums are equipped to handle carpets — and not all robot vacuums are are equipped for it can actually handle it well. So what is the best robot vacuum cleaner for carpets in 2022? Here are our thoughts: Best robot vacuums for carpet and rugs 2023: Roomba, Shark, and more

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