Eufy vs. Roomba: Testing Two Affordable Robot Vacuums
After testing 14 robot vacuums over the past three years, I determined Eufy RoboVac 11S is the best for most people because of its affordability, quietness, and strong suction. Premium Roomba vacuums (over $500) are great, but the Roomba 600 Series (614, 650, 675, 690) is no competition for Eufy 11S.
I’ll explain how I reached my conclusion by comparing two robot vacuums (Eufy RoboVac 11S vs. Roomba 675) while evaluating five categories: navigation, suction, software, design, and company reputation.
Best For You
Eufy RoboVac 11S
- Navigation Two hour runtime. It’s solid at navigating and doesn't get stuck, but it’s not perfect around stairs.
- Suction It's better than Roomba on hard surfaces and carpet by a mile.
- Design It's the slimmest, lightest and quietest robot that I've ever tested.
- Software There’s no app, smart home integration, or WiFi scheduling.
- Navigation One hour runtime. It doesn't always get back to the base. Virtual Walls (included w/ 690, but not 675) are $40 each.
- Suction Picks up 50% less debris on hard surfaces and 30% less on carpets than Eufy.
- Design It’s the loudest, thickest, and hardest to maintain, and there’s no remote.
- Software 675 and 690 have Alexa and Google capabilities and brilliant scheduling.
Things To Know
- I’ve tested over ten different robot vacuums over three years. The entry-level Roomba and Eufy aren’t on the same level as $1,000 robot vacuums, but they’re best for most people and provide great value. Check out my power rankings to see the robot vacuums that I have tested ranked in order.
- Eufy 11S and Deebot N79S are my favorite robot vacuums under $300. Eufy has a slight edge on hard floors, while Deebot has a slight edge on carpets, but my numbers are close enough that I can’t definitively say which one is better. But it is definitive that Eufy and Deebot are better options than the Roomba 600 Series.
- All robot vacuums that I’ve tested can handle hardwood floors and low to medium pile carpets. They can detect and maneuver around stairs too.
- I tested these robot vacuums mostly on my bamboo floors in a home with a simple floor plan. But I brought them to other places to test different environments as well.
- You need to prep before letting them run. This includes picking up pet toys and anything else that’s lying loose on the floor. You may also need to create barriers to make sure the robot doesn’t get stuck. Depending on your home’s layout, it might be smart to put your dining room or kitchen chairs on the table to make sure the vacuum can clean everything underneath. Loose shoelaces and cords can be an issue too. The more prep you do, the better the experience.
- The models under $300 are REALLY subpar. They’re going to bump into things, miss spots, and sometimes go over the same spot five times for no reason.
- Each has its own algorithm, but it’s not updated in real-time to reflect your home’s layout. The robots’ path is random and frustrating to watch. Your best bet is to look away and let them do their thing.
- These budget models can’t be instructed to clean specific rooms or learn your home layout, but you can keep them out of places by closing the doors or creating a barrier. If they get stuck under a chair once, it’ll happen every time because they don’t have a memory. If you want a robot that has a memory with the ability to keep it out of specific areas, check out my post on mapping robot vacuums. Keep in mind these cost around $500.
- They require occasional maintenance. You need to empty the dustbin, blow out the filter, and clean the brush.
- If you have black floors or carpets, there’s a good chance the vacuum won’t work in that area. Some of the more expensive models can handle black floors, but not these.
- The most important thing you need in a robot vacuum is that it keeps going without stopping and it doesn’t get lost from the base. If it gets stuck easily, the suction power and battery life are irrelevant.
- What about dog poop? This is a real thing. If your dog leaves a fresh poop on the floor, robot vacuums are not smart enough to know what it is. The poop will get smeared everywhere. It’s gross. Make sure your dog is potty trained before you purchase one of these.
- The vacuums pick up pet hair surprisingly well and pet owners have a lot to gain by letting a robot vacuum run a few times per week. Within a half hour of letting them run (in a house with four pets and an appearance of cleanliness), it filled up four bins completely with pet hair. Robot vacuums are a must if you like a clean house and have pets.
- They have charging docks and return to the dock to charge when the cleaning cycle is complete. Ideally, it should be fully charged in time for its next scheduled run (if you set up scheduling).
- None of these are great at picking up super-fine material (small dust particles, flour, little pieces of dirt, or tiny crumbs) on rugs.
- The battery lasts a couple of hours, which is better than Roomba. It takes about one hour and 40 minutes to clean my house (1,000 sq foot first floor) before it cools down and seeks the base.
- It only runs for an hour in the max power mode. There isn’t much of a suction difference and it’s louder, so I’d stay away from the max mode.
- It slows down when it gets close to walls. The benefit is that your baseboard won’t get scuffed, but the downside is it doesn’t clean the edges as well as Roomba.
- Because of its slim design, it fits under more surfaces. It’s great for cleaning under couches and beds.
- Eufy does a fantastic job at getting back to its base when the cleaning cycle is over.
- When Eufy gets stuck, rather than just shutting off, as the others do, it rocks back and forth to try and wedge itself out. This is probably a smart approach, but if there’s no way of it getting out, it becomes a waste of battery life.
- You’ll have to do traditional prep before it does its run, and if you want it to stay away from areas, you need to create a barrier with an object. But if you don’t want to use everyday objects as barriers, you can buy Eufy RoboVac 30C that comes with magnetic boundary strips.
- It doesn’t do as well around stairs as Roomba. In my house, it got stuck rocking back and forth, while almost falling off the ledge, but it couldn’t get enough traction to get out of it alone so it was stuck in an endless loop.
- Eufy has four different cleaning modes that you can initiate through the remote. You can have it automatically run, edge clean, spot clean, or clean a single room.
- The suction power is fantastic. Eufy claims it has 1,300pa of suction.
- Technically, BoastIQ is supposed to add extra suction when it reaches a carpet, but I didn’t see this play out with low or medium pile carpets. I’m not sure where it’d work.
- In my real life testing, with rice and other materials, Eufy picked up way more debris.
- In my staged test, It outperformed Roomba by more than 50% during the same five-minute timespan.
- Hard Floor:
- In my real life testing, Eufy was the best performer on wood and other hard surfaces of any robot vacuum under $300.
- It picked up twice as much debris as Roomba.
- It’s the slimmest robot vacuum I’ve ever tested and just 2.85” tall.
- It looks great and comes in white and black. But because the top is shiny, it’s a fingerprint magnet.
- The dust tray is huge, easy to empty, and provides easy access to the filters.
- The remote is well-designed, with precise controls and extra options for edge or spot cleaning. You also use the remote to set up scheduling.
- You can control the suction power and the schedule remains on its screen the entire time.
- It’s the quietest robot vacuum that I’ve ever tested.
- Ideally, you’d let it run its cycle while you’re at work, but you won’t be bothered if you run it while you’re home. It can barely be heard from the other room and even when it’s in the same room, you can still watch TV.
- Sometimes the wheels squeak while taking turns on hardwood.
- There’s no app, but I’m OK with that because most robot vacuum apps are relatively useless. The only thing you’ll miss is scheduling and phone notifications, but you can schedule with the remote as long as you edit the schedule while you’re in the same room.
- You can’t configure it to work with Alexa or Google Assistant, but that’s not important if you already have a schedule set.
- Roomba 675 and 690 have an advantage with its WiFi scheduling.
- Some people have noted issues with the scheduling feature. Eufy representatives recommend resetting the clock by taking out the batteries and starting over. The remote needs to be in sight of the vacuum to send the IR signal to the vacuum. It’s not a WiFi signal or RF signal, so it needs to be in direct view. To make sure the schedule is set, listen for a beep.
- Anker is a well-known tech accessories company that owns Eufy. You probably have one of their cables or power banks lying around.
- I like Anker because they make reliable products and their customer support is the best in the business. Not only do you get quick responses from the support team, but they’re also helpful and effective. For example, I lost my remote, and they sent me a free replacement.
- But here’s an interesting timeline of Eufy that might change your perception:
- Eufy was outsourcing the design and manufacturing process of their robots to a different company. My favorite robot vacuum from 2017, Eufy RoboVac 11, was a re-labeled vacuum from Ecovacs.
- Ecovacs decided to sell their vacuums in the US, under the Ecovacs name, rather than only selling in China.
- For a time in 2017, two competing, yet identical, robot vacuums appeared on Amazon.
- Later, Ecovacs stopped manufacturing robots for Eufy, and Eufy RoboVac 11 was discontinued.
- Then, things got weird and frustrating because Eufy designed and released RoboVac 11+ (presumably made in their own factory).
- Eufy RoboVac 11+ wasn’t a good product and led me to investigate this situation by talking to Ecovacs representatives.
- Eufy put RoboVac 11+ on the same product page as RoboVac 11. Most people assumed a plus symbol meant an upgrade from the 11, especially since it was more money, but it was an inferior product and made me look bad for recommending it.
- Eufy should’ve been more transparent about their manufacturing contract and put the worse version on a new product page.
- After some subpar products in the first half of 2018, Eufy has finally found their groove with their new product lineup.
- Roomba 600 Series’ battery life produces around 60 minutes of consecutive cleaning time before it needs to be recharged. This would be fine if it could find its base to recharge and finish the cycle, like mapping robots, but it doesn’t. Roomba usually comes away with less debris after a cycle than Eufy.
- There aren’t customizable modes. You turn it on and let the algorithm run, or you can have it “spot clean.”
- Roomba has iAdapt Responsive Navigation. Its algorithm takes smarter routes than others according to Roomba, but I haven’t seen this during testing.
- There’s a green light that turns on when it detects dirt and Roomba will continue to go over that spot until the area’s clean. This ends up being a disadvantage in real life because of Roomba’s short battery life. It’d get more debris if it kept moving.
- It bumps into things hard, and this can potentially leave marks on your baseboards.
- You can set up a Virtual Wall to keep the robot out of certain areas without manually creating a physical barrier because it works with IR signals. It’s a major potential advantage in the navigation category, but aside from Roomba 690, none of the vacuums in the 600 Series include one out of the box. You can buy and set up as many as you want for $40 each.
- From three years of anecdotal evidence and rigorous tests with a variety of measured materials, I can confidently say Roomba 600 Series vacuums are the worst-performing budget robot vacuums. I don’t know if it’s a lack of suction power, its dirt detection system, or the single brush that’s to blame. But I’ll let the numbers below speak for themselves.
- Roomba gets too caught up in circling around itself because it detects dirt. This approach would make more sense if the battery was closer to two hours, but it’s only an hour. By the time an hour has passed, Roomba hasn’t visited all parts of your house.
- After running three tests, for five minutes each, Eufy picked up 50% more rice than Roomba in a small carpeted area.
- Hard Floor:
- After running three tests, for five minutes each, Eufy picked up over twice the rice compared to Roomba in a small area.
- It’s bulky, heavy, and thick so it gets stuck often. It’s over an inch taller than Eufy.
- There’s no remote. You shouldn’t have to schedule a cleaning often; but when you do, you have to do it directly on the Roomba or via the app.
- The dustbin is small, and it’s hard to empty the debris when full. If you have lots of pet hair it’ll accumulate quickly.
- The filters are hard to clean.
- Roomba was the loudest compared to all of the budget vacuums that I tested by a wide margin. It’s not a pleasant sound.
- The volume isn’t a big deal if you schedule it to run while you’re not home, but it’s not something you want to listen to while you’re trying to relax. Even with a door shut, you can still hear it in the other room. If you’re in an upper floor apartment, this could cause an issue with your downstairs neighbors.
- Roomba 675 and 690 have WiFi capabilities. You can control Roomba, and set an individual schedule for each day inside the app.
- Getting the app and robot synced together initially can prove to be challenging.
- The app is great. You get logs of all previous cleanings, robot’s health, filter/brush warnings, and battery life, as well as convenient scheduling features. I love the notifications on my phone when it has finished the cleaning cycle.
- It’s capable of firmware updates through the app, meaning it can potentially get smarter with added integrations or an improved cleaning algorithm.
- Roomba 675 and 690 have Alexa and Google Home capabilities. You can say, “Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning.” While the skill is a bit wordy to say, it can be useful in some situations. I like the idea of telling it to go home if a guest arrives.
- iRobot debuted the first robot vacuum, Roomba, in 2002. Roomba has the best longevity by far. iRobot has been making robot vacuums for 18 years, and they know what they’re doing. That’s good news if you ever need replacement parts or customer support.
- Their robots are built to be repaired and have unique error codes. Your Roomba will last for a while. I can’t say that about the others.
- Each Roomba 600 model has the same body with a couple of internal spec changes.
- Roomba 614 doesn’t have WiFi. It’s the current base model.
- Roomba 650 and 652 don’t have WiFi either. They’ve been discontinued by iRobot, but you can find them via third-parties.
- Roomba 675 has WiFi so you can set the schedule with the app and use it with Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Roomba 690 has everything that 675 has and includes one virtual wall.