Do Robotic Vacuums work on Carpet?

The other day I was at a robotic vacuum cleaner shop window shopping. And expectedly, there were many others doing same at that shop.

And to my surprise, there were many other people around who actually wanted to buy one, but were hesitating. And their reason was simple: they have carpets in their homes.

One of them even approached me, and asked in a kind of whisper: do robotic vacuums work on carpets that well? 

I said yes, without hesitating. Because I have one perform wonders on carpets. 

But I had to explain to her why they work well on carpets and the factors she would have to consider when she decides to buy one.

So today, I intend to elaborate more on this point in this post. As many people have this concern.
I will explain to you why robotic vacuums can work well on carpets, how to get the best robot vacuum for your carpets and rugs and importantly, I have a great recommendation for you so that you would not have to work out the best robotic vacuum cleaner for your carpet again.

( Spoiler alert! Neato Botvac D7 is my favourite for carpets. It has everything a robot vacuum cleaner will need to clean your carpets. You would not have to worry again about dirt on your carpet surfaces should you go for it.
The Neato Botvac D5 is my clear runner up. It has almost the same features as the D7, just that its battery run time is shorter. )

I would explain my judgment below.

robot vacuum cleaners can work on carpets

Let’s get started:

It is very evident many people avoid robot vacuum cleaners because of the nature of their floors at home.
People with carpets and rugs hardly consider them when they think of getting a helping hand to assist in cleaning the floors in their homes.

But this should not be so.

Yes, it is true that the earlier robot cleaners were quite hopeless on carpets and rugs. But that was then. A lot has changed since then.

Robotic vacuum cleaners have come a long way since their inception. They are now equipped with great technologies to make them work on variety of surfaces these days.

In effect, it is no longer the case that they work well on only hard floors. You can as well picks up the dirt, pet hairs and other unwanted particles easily and effortlessly from your carpets with these robots.

The models I recommend below come with great features and function to enable them clean well on your carpets without unnecessary tangling and break downs.

Now let’s look at the factors we must consider when we want to get the best robotic vacuums for our carpets: 

Though it is true that the these units work on carpet, we must however add that not all of them work well. It is important we take into consideration the factors below when we want to delegate our cleaning duties to these robots.

Power matters

The power of a robot vacuum cleaner plays a crucial role in its effectiveness on carpets. A robot with a low power will simply not work well on rugs and similar surfaces as it would not the have the needed energy to picks up the dirt you want to clean.

For a general rule, a robot vacuum with a power of about 1000 pa or above is the ideal for cleaning carpets and rugs. You should not go below this limit if you need a thorough cleaning on your carpets.

I should however make the exception that if your carpet is not thick or high pile, even a unit with 500 pa might do satisfactorily on it.

Personally, I would keep to the 1000 pa rule. No matter what. Just to be on the safe side.
Powerful suction and large bin to contain it

A powerful suction is needed to get out the dirt from their hiding places in your carpets. As you may imagine, dirt can easily find hiding places in carpets and rugs. Especially the thick ones. To fish them out, a power suction would be needed.

Also, the bin must be large enough to contain the dirt collected. If not, the efficiency of the unit would be greatly impacted beyond your imagination.

Wheels and brushes

Generally, robot vacuum cleaners with large wheels perform better than those without large wheels on carpets and rugs. Because these enable the unit to move more freely.

To avoid tangling, the brushes of the unit should be the robber ones. These types encounter tangling less. The rough bristle ones are bad. They can easily get into tangle with the fibers of your surfaces.

Battery with long run span

The run time of a battery is another important point you can not ignore in selecting the ideal robot vacuum cleaner for your carpet.

It is not uncommon to hear people with these units complain about shorter battery run times when they use them on rough and thick surfaces like carpets and rugs. I must say that this is a “normal” phenomenon.

Naturally, a robotic vacuum cleaner will need to spend more power and energy on a carpet and rugs than it would need on normal surfaces.

To get the best results, choose a unit which has an enough run time. 90 minutes is great. But 120 minutes is almost perfect.

And since we are talking about batteries, I should add that, your unit should be able to go back and continue cleaning after re charging its battery. In many instances, your cleaner can run out of battery during cleaning. Most robot vacuum cleaners are programmed to automatically find their charging base for re charging. But not all of them are designed to go back to continue their work.

If you do not want half hearted jobs from your cleaners, you should use a model that can return to its base after re charging.

Advanced Tech

Even though, these aren’t a must have for a robotic vacuum unit to work effectively on carpets, but their presence will surely add a lot to the experience.

A robot that can map is better:

Mapping is a feature many people desire in their robot vacuum cleaners. This feature helps the unit to map the place and clean it thoroughly.

Those without this advance feature just bump around. They do not provide thorough cleaning on a particular sport as compared to the others.

App controlled

Being able to control your robot vacuum from your smart phone is certainly a plus. This allows you to control the unit even when you are not around.

Time to Unveil the clear winners for carpet cleaning jobs ( again):

These are the best robotic vacuum cleaners you could get for your carpets.

1. Neato Botvac D7 ( winner by a convincing margin)

The neato botvac d7 is great for carpets

Check its Price

This the favorite for me and many in this regard. This model has proven to be outstanding in picking up even the micro dirt from carpets.

In fact, it satisfies almost all the conditions we laid out above.

First of all, it has a suction power of about 2000 pa. This is well above our minimum requirement. With this amount of power, the model has more suction power than 98 percent of all robotic vacuum cleaners.

It is able to provide a thorough cleaning especially on low to medium pile carpets.

With this unit, you can even picks up allergens in your homes.

The D7 robot vacuum cleaner does not just bump around in the name of cleaning. It actually maps out the area and clean in a very methodical manner. It also has a special feature that allows you to focus the device on more dirt areas.
As expected, the unit can be controlled by an app. So you have the opportunity to program it, even when you are away.

This is indeed the favourite for carpet cleaning.

It is even interesting to note that this particular model has an impressive 120 minutes battery run time. This makes it to work longer than 89 percent of its counterparts. Incredible indeed.

There is no fear of a half done job with this. When the battery runs out of power, it automatically go to its charging base and resume after charging to finish off your work.

It has downsides?

Sure. It is not perfect. It is costly and also it comes with no carpet boost feature. That is to say, it doesn’t increase its efficiency to specially target carpets. And most Robot vacuum cleaners do not have that feature.

But who knows? We might get that feature later. As the software of the unit is regularly updated to increase its efficiency.

Bottom Line:

The Neato Botvac D7 is indeed a winner in this regard. Its got enough compelling features. Its performance on carpets and similar surfaces is convincing. And I really recommend it to anyone looking for a robotic vacuum cleaner.

You can also check out my best picks for robotic vacuums cleaners

2. Neato Botvac D5 ( let’s get to know our runner up)

Neato D5 is also quite good on carpets

Check its Price

This model is identical to our winner in many regards. Hence, the second position it enjoys on my list.
For example, it also has a suction power of 2000 pa for through cleaning on surfaces. Its cleaning ability is greatly enhanced by its large brushes and the side brushes it comes with.

The Combo brush of the model are effective at cleaning carpets with little difficulties.

Just like the first one, the filters can also capture allergens

It does not also clean in a random manner. It maps out the area before cleaning. And another good thing about it is that it used lasers to help it picks up dirt even in the dark.

It’s app controlled and works perfectly fine with Alexa. So control over this device is simple and easy.
But unlike the Neato Botvac D7, its battery run time is only 90 minutes. And that is why we can’t rate it over the D7 model.

It also doesn’t have a carpet boost feature.

But all in all, it is a great alternative to the D7 model and you could consider it for your carpets.

3. Roombo 960

roombo 980 is ideal for low pile carpets

Check its Price

This model also deserves a mention. Even though it is not as good as the first two we discussed about, it can certainly be considered for carpets. Especially if your carpets are not so thick.

Its suction power is way below the others in the list. It is about 900 pa. And its battery can only run for about 75 minutes pet charge.

But the good side of it is that it is trained to work more on place with high amount of dirt. It does also map out its cleaning place.

The brushes are made of rubber and can adjust to suit the surface it works on for effective cleaning.
It has the voice prompt feature. The others on our list do not have this. And this allows you to know the status of the robotic vacuum cleaner at any given time.


Robotic vacuum cleaners do work well on carpets. You should not hesitate to buy one because of your carpets at home. If you follow the guidelines we outline above, you should be able to pick the best robotic vacuum cleaner with ease.

In fact, you can just go by our recommendations and you will be fine. The Neato Botvac D7 is the leader on out list. It is equipped with almost everything you want to see in a robotic vacuum cleaner you intend using on your carpets.
The D5 model is also good. And can be a great option if you want to invest less.

The roombo 960 deserves a consideration as well. Especially by those whose carpets are low pile.

Have you used a robotic vacuum cleaner before on your carpets? How did it performed? Let’s hear you in the comments.

You can also leave us any question you have about our list. We would be happy to respond to you.

You can also read about how to get a good vacuum cleaner

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