Here’s how you can prevent a robot vacuum from going and getting stuck under furniture.
Robot vacuums, especially the newer models, are marvels of engineering and technology. At roughly eight pounds, give or take, a robot vacuum is a chock full of cutting-edge sensors and other features that many busy homeowners find delightful. Some robot vacuums are equipped with LiDar navigation, accelerometers, cliff sensors, and obstacle detection.
However, technology doesn’t always work as planned, and this is where issues may arise. These problems may not be as apparent if the robot vacuums do their thing in wide-open spaces. Let them work in homes with lots of tables and furniture, and their weaknesses become more pronounced: they keep getting stuck. Are there ways to stop robot vacuums from doing that, or should you just accept the fact that technology isn’t perfect?
The good news is the “getting stuck under furniture” issue may have a quick and simple fix. But before delving into the specifics, learn more about why robot vacuums tend to get stuck under furniture.
Why Do Robot Vacuums Keep Getting Stuck?
There are a number of reasons why robot vacuums keep getting stuck under beds, tables, appliances, and furniture. At times, these factors are beyond the robot’s control, so you may want to look around and see if you’re causing these problems in the first place.
Robot Vacuum Size
Common sense tells you that robot vacuums with the lowest profiles are less likely to get stuck under furniture. Of the dozens of robot vacuums in the market, they differ in size and thickness, even if they’re from the same manufacturer. Ultra-thin robot vacuums, perhaps no more than two and a quarter inches from the ground, are less likely to become obstructed by furniture.
If you get tripped by wires haphazardly lying around your house, don’t expect your robot vacuum to do any better. Some living spaces are crammed with too many chairs, tables, and furniture that there is no other way for anything, let alone a lifeless robot, to move around.
Homes with kids can get really messy. Toys, books, crayons, clay, and whatever the toddlers can throw around lie everywhere and can cause robot vacuums to get stuck.
Some robot vacuums use some form of brush technology to clean floors. If you forget to clean the brushes for too long, debris and hair could get all tangled up, causing the robot to get stuck. Homes with pets should really be on the lookout for this type of scenario.
Okay, let’s say you’ve picked up all the mess and tidied all the wires in your home, but the robovac still gets stuck. The most likely problem is that your furniture is too low. Sofas, beds, chairs, and tables with less than a three-inch clearance will stop robot vacuums in their tracks.
How to Keep Robot Vacuums From Getting Stuck Under Furniture
Now that we know how robot vacuum cleaners can get stuck, it’s time to understand how to keep them from doing so. If this problem occurs on a frequent basis in your home, it’s time to take action and make your robot vacuum effective again. These procedures should assist you in identifying and resolving the issue of a frequently stuck robot vacuum.
Turn the lights on
Unless your robot has cutting-edge mapping technology like LiDar, it needs light to “see” where it’s going. It cannot navigate around obstacles if there is insufficient ambient light. This is common for older versions and basic robovacs that rely on infrared technology for navigation. You can either upgrade your older model to eliminate this problem or schedule cleaning time during the brighter parts of the day.
Do some of the work yourself
This may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes you have to make the initial preparation and clear the way for your robot vacuum. Start by clearing away items under couches and tables that may stop your robot from working. Books, toys, shoes, and other large debris are the most likely culprits.
Use boundary strips or set no-go zones
Depending on the model, a robot vacuum may come with boundary strips that act as markers for places you wouldn’t want it to go. You may employ these same boundary markers around the couch or sofa where it’s frequently stuck. For models with app integration, you may also do the same by setting the furniture space as a no-go zone.
Use furniture risers
If the main issue is that your robot vacuum couldn’t quite get under the furniture because of its height, then furniture risers may do the trick. Some furniture risers could go as high as three inches, leaving plenty of space for the robot to pass underneath. The rub is that not all types of furniture are suitable to be supported by furniture risers, so you have to be careful.
Buy robots that do not easily get stuck
Only a few robot owners have the budget for an upgrade, but if it’s well within your means, this is a no-brainer choice. Some models are slimmer and more adept at navigating obstacles than others. It could come at a price, but these robots spare you the babysitting headache of older models.
Robot Vacuum Recommendations
As previously pointed out, stopping robot vacuums from getting stuck may be as simple as a product upgrade. After all, the latest models are packed with better navigation technology and are not as bulky as the older ones. As a general rule, slim robot vacuums with robust navigation systems are solid choices. LiDar is a luxury, but models with such technology need to be taller because of the raised sensors.
Here are the top (and cheap) robot vacuum options if you don’t want to hear your robot vacuum crying in the middle of a cleaning cycle.
- iRobot Roomba i3 EVO
The Roomba S9 is probably the best Roomba there is right now, but if you don’t have $1,000 to spare, it’s not an option. The Roomba i3, on the other hand, is reasonably priced, has a low profile (only 3.63 inches in height), and rarely gets stuck because of its integrated sensors.
- Eufy RoboVac 11s
Advertised as one of the slimmest robovacs, the Eufy 11s is only 2.85 inches tall. Its miniature build makes this robot vacuum very nimble, allowing it to easily go under furniture and do its thing. It’s best for small apartments or homes with limited spaces and is very budget-friendly.
- iLife A4S Pro
The iLife A4S Pro stands only three inches, just a couple of hairs taller than the 11s. It can easily slide under beds and sofa, clean the area, and comes out like nothing happened. The A4S Pro is an even cheaper option than the Eufy Robovac 11s. It has a solid battery life, a large dust bin, and can be set to a cleaning schedule.
- TCL Sweeva 2000
As far as slim types go, the TCL Sweeva is only 2.76 inches long, so like any other model in this list, the space under furniture is its playground. It’s less popular than a Roomba, but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for something with powerful suction, support scheduling, and solid battery life.
We’re living at a point in time when the best floor cleaner for home use is a robot. It’s both a blessing and a curse. While it offers convenience, technology can be a problem sometimes, and robot vacuum cleaners are no different. Many of these cleaning gizmos get stuck on cables or under furniture, and more often than not, they can’t find their way out without your help.
Fortunately, you can prevent such an issue using furniture risers or doing preliminary cleaning yourself. Or, you can upgrade your unit to something slim with solid navigation technology. Whatever path you tread, you can end this problem for good.