Twenty years ago the idea of returning home at the end of a hard day's work to a freshly vacuumed carpet was a pipe dream, but thanks to robot vacuum cleaners this has been a feasible reality for a little over a decade.
This experience has been expensive though with products from well known brands such as Dyson or Roomba – which have both become synonymous with the automated cleaning tech – proving prohibitively expensive for the average user.
Now we're gradually seeing the introduction of more budget friendly robot cleaners that sit at a similar price point to your average vacuum but take the strain out of cleaning up your home.
One of those is new challenger brand Eufy – an offshoot of battery tech company Anker that's well known for making portable chargers – which has introduced the RoboVac 11. But does this affordable vacuum still clean up well?
Eufy RoboVac 11 price and release date
The Eufy RoboVac 11 is available in most markets now through a variety of third-party retailers including Amazon and has been on sale since the tail end of 2016.
At the time of writing the RoboVac 11 costs $259.99 / £209.99 (about AU$370) which compared to the competition is a great price.
To buy either the Dyson 360 Eye or the iRobot Roomba 980 you’ll be spending closer to $900 / £800. Eufy has also introduced a new cleaner in certain markets called the RoboVac 11+, which means we've seen the price drop down for this model.
It’s difficult to get excited about the design of the Eufy RoboVac 11, but it’s practical and it won't take up much room in your home.
Like a lot of robot vacuum cleaners, the Eufy has a round design that has a bumper at the front so it won’t get damaged when bumping into furniture and -
perhaps more importantly - won't damage your belongings.
Small side brushes point out from the bottom few the round design to sweep up the mess too.
The top of the RoboVac comes with an attractive reflective look. It's also emblazoned with the Eufy branding and then the main power button sits on the top too that you can press to start up the auto cleaning mode.
You won’t use this button much but it will sometimes come in useful when you can’t find the remote control, which comes in the box with the cleaner.
We found the bumper on the front worked well and if it collided into furniture neither the robot or the item it crashed into was damaged. That's a good thing as the Eufy will bump into a lot of items in your home.
Around the back of the cleaner is another power switch, which is only useful to turn the actual vacuum cleaner off. Again, we didn’t find ourselves using this much as the Eufy just heads home to its charging dock when it needs to grab some more battery charge.
It’s not a light gadget, but as it rolls around on its own we didn’t find this to be a problem. The wheels on the cleaner travel well across carpet, laminate flooring and tiles.
The Eufy makes short work of bumps in your flooring and is unencumbered by floor dividers so you don't have to worry about it moving between rooms or getting stuck moving from one surface to another.
One of the highlights the Eufy is its low clearance as it means it can fit into smaller places that say the Dyson 360 Eye won't be able to reach. The Dyson's height stops it fitting under some of your furniture while we found the low profile design of the RoboVac 11 was thin enough to even travel under some sofas and our desk, vastly increasing the amount of carpet it was able to reach.
The Eufy is 3.1-inches tall, so if you have furniture with space underneath you'll find the cleaner can clean up below it. While it's a useful element of the design, if you don’t want your vacuum cleaner to head under certain pieces furniture in your home due to cabling, it may cause problems .
Emptying the RoboVac 11 is a simple process that you should be able to teach to all of the members of your household wit ease so you're not the only one maintaining your vacuum cleaner.
You won’t need to buy expensive bags with the RoboVac 11 as it uses its own box to store the waste. That's the norm with most robot vacuums though.
It's easiest to turn the RoboVac 11 upside down, and then hold down the handle to pull out the waste box for emptying it. We found the box would last a few journeys around the home, but you will need to empty this more regularly than a lot of other robot vacuums.
In the box you’ll find four side brushes – the cleaner uses two at a time, so you’ll have two spares – and these are easy to switch out when you need to. You can also easily order replacements from Eufy directly or a series of third-party retailers, but in the two months we spent with the RoboVac 11 we didn't need to replace the side brushes, so buying replacements is unlikely to be a common occurrence.
The rolling brush on the bottom of the cleaner will often get clogged with hair and other items from around your home, but again this is easy to remove by pulling on the yellow hooks at the bottom of the vacuum and you'll be able to manually pull out the items.
We found ourselves doing this quite regularly, but it’s a small price to pay for the house being hoovered without us needing to put in any elbow grease.