Cleaning the house is hardly my favorite way to pass the time. Vacuuming is right up there with scrubbing tile and dusting. This summer I decided a robot vacuum needed to be part of my life. While Roombas are certainly popular (and we've reviewed quite a number of these on the site) they are pricey. Eufy's robot vacuum cleaners are a noticeably less expensive smart home device. We bought our device for about $180, (but have seen them sell for up to $229) — and we thought at that price, the Eufy Boost IQ RoboVac 11S was worth trying in our 1,000 square-foot apartment that we share with a shedding Labrador retriever.
Get to work
Installing the Eufy vacuum could not have been easier. You snap in its brushes and you're ready to go. You do, however, need to find an outlet with 6 feet of wall space that's clear around it. Eufy is smart enough to find its way back to the charger when it's running low on juice. The problem is, like a child learning to walk, Eufy needs a wide berth to get home. Without enough unblocked space, the robot will beep and need help reconnecting.
The vacuum also comes with backup brushes, a remote control, a cleaning tool, AC power adapter, charging base, extra filters — and that's it. The Eufy Boost IQ RoboVac 11S doesn't use an app. You turn on the cleaner with the remote control (remember those?) or by pushing a button on its back. You never need to touch it again unless the cleaner gets stuck. (Which it will.) Presumably, you can turn the cleaner on once a day and it takes care of itself, and your floors, until it needs recharging, heading home on its own.
Eufy is a good vacuum cleaner. Period. As I mentioned earlier, my family and I live with a Labrador retriever — he is a shedding machine. Hair gets everywhere. Just wrapping a gift is a frustrating experience trying to keep his hair from sticking to tape. If Eufy could help just with that alone, I would consider it a success. I also live in New York City, where dust seems to grow from inside my home. I had no idea how much until I began to empty the Eufy's bin. The dust that could collect in just an hour was extraordinary. Every day.
Sometimes, though, I would see piles of dog hair in corners. These were places where I realized Eufy hadn't really missed, but more like corralled. Was the suction not good enough? Not at all. Pick up Eufy and place it in front of these mounds and the hair disappeared. Eufy's Boost IQ feature is apparently designed to adjust the suction when it encounters a situation that needs more strength. Did I notice this? I did not.
Eufy, however, does not keep a record of the rooms it vacuums. The robot just moves from space to space, not knowing what it's covered or not.
Smart or not smart?
Unlike Roomba which maps rooms — sending that data to the app, and then helping the robot remember where it's gone — Eufy just starts anew each time. The vacuum is able to sense things around it, preventing the device from running into objects like furniture, people and, yes, your dog if he happens to be sleeping and forgets that the robot is trolling. But those sensors do not make the robot smarter. Honestly? That's fine. For people who just wanted to reduce the level of dog hair, and have some cleaner floors, Eufy provided.
We did however, have some argument with the super quiet claim of the robot. While Eufy was certainly much quieter than our regular vacuum cleaner, it was not quiet. Considering you have it, ideally, running for an hour or almost two at a time, it's a noise you're aware of when you're in the house. This is a whirling hum always present.
You're going to need to be present too because Eufy gets itself into jams — we found about once every 10 minutes. Most of the time we had to rescue the vacuum from cords under our shelves. Cords are an ugly reality of modern life Even if you're wireless, you have a wire going from your Wi-Fi router to a wall outlet. We have a few more wires than that. Eufy couldn't seem to know not to suck these up into its rollers.
When Eufy has these issues, it stops and lets out a very loud beep. You'll hear it. You'll jump up. You'll clear the obstacle, and you'll get Eufy back on its way. The point is, we don't recommend starting Eufy when you head out to work. You're better running the robot when you get home.
Would I buy Eufy again?
Here's the problem with smart devices: we start to have expectations once we see what they can do — or what we assume they can do. A vacuum cleaner that navigates your home, collects dirt (and dog hair), can run through the push of a single button and isn't the price of a car, is pretty miraculous to someone who pushed a sweeper around their house 30 years ago.
Then again, I would like my robot to know not to roll over cords, or vacuum up nails. Eufy doesn't do this. It also can't go upstairs, nor can it empty itself which the latest Roomba apparently now offers.
What it does do is sweep my home for two hours straight. If I have to get up — once — to empty its bin, if I have to occasionally get up to rescue it from a tangled mess of cords under my TV stand, in exchange for clean floors that I didn't have to vacuum, it's more than a fair exchange. Would I buy Eufy again? It's not even a question I need to ask.
- Works for up to 100 minutes
- Is able to avoid objects around it.
- Lacks an app
- Can't avoid cords, and needs rescuing periodically